Scientific Apophenia

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

 

apophenia_definitionScience, as a whole, advances or fails to advance in large part in a direct relationship to the presence or absence of bias in its research efforts.  There are many types of bias, and these have been discussed in the pages of various Climate Science blogs and publications over the years. [ see the short list at the end of the essay ].

One of the most common biases that skew research and slow or even stop the progress of science is Confirmation Bias:

A distinguishing feature of scientific thinking is the search for falsifying as well as confirming evidence. However, many times in the history of science, scientists have resisted new discoveries by selectively interpreting or ignoring unfavorable data.  Previous research has shown that the assessment of the quality of scientific studies seems to be particularly vulnerable to confirmation bias. It has been found several times that scientists rate studies that report findings consistent with their prior beliefs more favorably than studies reporting findings inconsistent with their previous beliefs.

Confirmation bias may thus be especially harmful to objective evaluations regarding nonconforming results since biased individuals may regard opposing evidence to be weak in principle and give little serious thought to revising their beliefs.  Scientific innovators often meet with resistance from the scientific community, and research presenting controversial results frequently receives harsh peer review.” — Wiki

Confirmation Bias itself is a special form of apophenia:  there are varying definitions, but generally:  ”Apophenia (/æpoʊˈfiːniə/) is the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things.” And in more recent times  “Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information”.  In the present instance, I will be looking at the concept: Scientific Apophenia.

The concept is discussed in some detail in the paper Scientific Apophenia in Strategic Management Research — Goldfarb & King   (2013), leading with this explanation:

Scientific Apophenia: “The term apophenia has been used in clinical psychology to mean the “perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena.” In our context, we use it to define not a type of cognitive disorder but a potential dysfunction in the way scientists find meaning in data. We define “scientific apophenia” as the assigning of inferential meaning when limited statistical power should prevent such a conclusion or when the data are actually random.”

Not long ago, I wrote a two-part essay titled Why I Don’t Deny: Confessions of a Climate Skeptic — Part 1 and Part 2.   After confessing that I accepted [almost] all of the proofs and evidence presented by the IPCC in support of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, I found that I still was left with this conclusion:

“I would … say that the evidence offered up by the IPCC, in their hundreds of pages of painstakingly reviewed and re-reviewed reports, does nothing more than present a case for the possibility that the hypothesis could be true. “

“The IPCC and the Climate Science community have, so far, failed to rule out the CO2 driven global warming hypothesis —  nothing more.” 

And thus, we find that we have a rather odd scientific situation surfacing in this month’s news about climate science:  the IPCC has issued a new report which says “Governments around the world must take ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ to avoid disastrous levels of and global warming” and warns that we have only 12 years to massively change the way human populations power their societies. The general public reaction?  “Ah, yes, well, thank you.  We’ll take that under advisement. [stifled yawn]”.

What is the problem here?  When the world realized that it had only ten years to fix a serious problem in much of the world’s software that ran in banks and stock exchanges and routed airplanes and almost everything, the Y2K problem, we buckled down, hired back a lot of retired and laid-off COBOL programmers and fixed the code.

Why aren’t the governments of nations calling out the National Guards to build millions of acres of solar-panel power stations, erecting millions of wind turbines, dismantling coal fired power plants, re-fitting abandoned hydropower stations, restricting the sale of gasoline-powered autos — all in a last ditch effort to save the planet and all of humanity?

I posit that it is because, as a whole, we don’t believe them.  We don’t believe the IPCC as a body of experts, we don’t believe Climate Science as a purveyor of physical truth.

There are a lot of theories as to why “we don’t believe them”.  My opinion is that the general public looks around and sees that things are as they always have been, as far as the weather and the climate are concerned.  People in New Orleans know they got flooded badly by Hurricane Katrina, but haven’t forgotten their grandparents telling them about the biggest flood of them all, Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.   Houston residents bemoan the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey, but know that they have built their homes on flood plains and are thankful that they were spared the destruction of the great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

The Climate Scientists try to tell the people that their present day problems — hurricanes and floods, wild fires, heat waves  — are caused by Anthropogenic Climate Change [caused by humans burning fossil fuels].  Why?

Because, this is how the Climate Scientists see it:

We’re scientists. We know the climate’s changing. And we know why.

Now, the question being debated is why the climate is changing. … Though there may be a public debate, there’s no debate among scientists like us — decades of research have demonstrated that human activities, primarily the emission of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels, are driving the climate change we are experiencing.”

 — Andrew Dessler  and Daniel Cohan

Reading Dessler and Cohan’s article in the Houston Chronicle will not tell you anymore than is contained in the paragraph above — the “decades of research” they detail to support their conclusion is [with apologies for bluntness] scientifically infantile:

If the Sun has been getting brighter, then that could explain the warming. The Sun, however, has an airtight alibi — we have direct measurements of the output of the Sun from satellites, and we observe that the Sun has not gotten any brighter. One suspect down.”

“Another possibility is the orbit of the Earth. We know that ice ages are paced by small wobbles in the Earth’s orbit, …Earth’s orbit changes too slowly and is now in a phase that should be slowly cooling temperatures. Another suspect down.”

“Volcanoes can cool the atmosphere for a year or two. But that can’t explain decades of warming. Another suspect down.”

“There is an entire list of suspects that scientists have looked at, and they have not identified a single viable one. With one exception — greenhouse gases.”

That’s it — that’s their scientific evidence for greenhouse gas driven warming.  Two of the items proffered are cooling effects and would be unlikely to be causing warming.  Dessler and Cohan casually dismiss hundreds of journal papers implicating the Sun in climate change and contradict the IPCC statement in AR4.

How is it that these two Climate Scientists see “proof” of Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change in those simplistic statements?  That is the question we’re looking at in this essay.

The “Experts” see AGW,  the general public, however, just sees what is in front of them and what has gone on in the past.

Scientific Apophenia:

The Climate Scientists are looking for evidence that supports the AGW hypothesis — and because they are looking for it, they see it in everything.

It was the same for my Great-Aunt Mildred, who saw evidence of spiritualist phenomena in the daily events in her life — ghosts, haunting spirits, and friendly garden pixies.  A vase falling off the mantel was proof positive of poltergeists (and not the fault of the minor earthquakes experienced nearly daily in southern California).

Both Great-Aunt Mildred and the Climate Scientists “mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things.”

Let’s suppose for a moment that the AGW Hypothesis had never captured the minds of atmospheric and oceanographic scientists, meteorologists, and those studying the Earth’s various Koppen Climate regions.

These men and women, at a great gathering of the world’s geophysical scientists, attend a lecture on past and present climate and see a PowerPoint slide of generalized temperatures over the last 2,000 years.  It might look like this:

Cool_Warm_WarmerImage Source:  See End Note.

Do you think that these brilliant minds would arise as one and shout for immediate and drastic changes to human society,  demanding that energy production, civil and social organization and even economic systems must change immediately in order to prevent global disaster?

Would they see catastrophic anthropogenic global warming in that graphic?

Or would they see that the Northern Hemisphere, at least, is finally warming back up from an unusually cool period to a more comfortable and sustainable level for human society? — a temperature almost up to the idealized expected average surface temperature for an Earth-like planet, 15°C.

If they had not convinced themselves in advance that rising CO2 concentrations would cause run-away dangerous warming, would they see that danger in the chaotic climate data of today?

If today’s IPCC Climate Scientists were not looking for impending climate disaster, would they see it in any of the following climate metrics?

WILDFIRE_LOTI_800

SLR_ASI_800

hurricanes_800

Honestly, I wouldn’t see existential climate change disaster in any of these, the  most-commonly-used measures touted to illustrate what is characterized as a planet threatening problem.

The problem arises when Climate Scientists, who are predisposed to, and trained to, accept the  CO2 Global Warming Hypothesis as fact, see all climate metrics through the lens of:

ML_CO2_Oct18

Rather than this:

Geological_CO2

This graph of geological-time CO2 Concentrations and Global Temperatures shows a non-linear (possibly chaotic) relationship that does not support the CO2-driven Global Warming Hypothesis.

The question then arises:

Is the whole field of IPCC Climate Science suffering from Scientific Apophenia?is the field collectively  assigning … inferential meaning when limited statistical power should prevent such a conclusion or when the data are actually random.” 

Clearly, the world is generally warming, apparently coming up out of the Little Ice Age that ended in the mid-1800s (possibly a bit earlier) and entering a generally (but not spatially universal) warmer phase,  but it is only dangerously warming if one already believes it to be so.

Some climate measures are changing but they are only look to be dangerously changing if one already believes it to be so. (In fact, for mankind, many are actually getting better.)

 The evidence, so far, simply does not support the inference that the Earth’s climate is changing dangerously.    Only persons suffering from Scientific Apophenia see dangerous climate change in the chaotic, random patterns of long-term climate metrics.

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Note:  The first temperature graph is adopted from Mann et al. (2008). It is meant to be illustrative.   It depicts a series of temperature reconstructions.  IPCC projections of future temperature have been removed, along with y-axis degrees (as 0.1°C ticks are not appropriate for reconstructions).  On the far right, UAH NH Lower Trop. (red trace) has been added as a proxy of present temperatures. The 15°C line (yellow) has been added for reference.

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Some Links on Bias in Science:

Industry funding and bias

Tackling human biases in science

Contradiction on emotional bias in the climate domain

Is federal funding biasing climate research?

The Bias of Science

Playing the Cognitive Game – The Climate Skeptic’s Guide to Cognitive Biases

Lewandowsky’s Competing Theories for Source of Bias in Scientific Research

On the Biases Caused by Omissions in the 2014 NOAA State of the Climate Report

“No bias here” says Aust Energy Market chief while planning 100% for unnecessary, pointless renewables transition

The lure of incredible certitude

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Author’s Comment Policy:

Yes, thanks for asking.  I do believe that CliSci’s Scientific Apophenia is self-induced — through a Feynmanian self-delusion that necessitates fooling one’s self in order to be accepted in the field of Climate Science.  There are many brave exceptions, and many more joining the ranks of Climate Science Pragmatists every day.

Nearly 15 years ago I told one of my children,  then a brand-new parent of a lovely little baby girl, that we’d have to wait another 10 years or more to let science get done before we started worrying about global warming destroying the planet (which was their fear).  The more time that passes, the less likely it is that dangerous climate change will take place during the next century.

Climates will surely change on a regional basis as they have always done.  Florida, the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean will continue to have hurricanes; California and the American Southwest will experience droughts; and elsewhere major rivers will overflow their banks flooding foolishly located and under-protected modern cities.  That’s the old normal and the new normal — nothing major has changed, just the details.

Let me see your opinions on “assigning … inferential meaning when limited statistical power should prevent such a conclusion or when the data are actually random.

If you start your comment with “Kip…” I’ll know you expect a response.

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200 thoughts on “Scientific Apophenia

    • And still waiting to hear from Steven Mosher concerning the basic physics of the radiation which has caused the Greenhouse Effect to begin to do something it cannot do.

      Any time now….

    • And still waiting for Mosher to reply to me about how LWIR from the surface does not get thermalised in less than 10 meters from the surface, despite “pressure broadening” and despite the “Shoulders” of the Physics of the radiation from the surface of the Earth.

      I hope I am not the only one here who knows about this. Effect of CO2 close to the surface of the Earth has been saturated for millenia. Increasing CO2 can only raise the altitude at which the Atmosphere radiates freely to space, which lowers the temperature at which the atmosphere can radiate to space, increasing the amount of energy retained in the Atmosphere. Minor effect, incaluable, I tried, can someone else try?

      Not the first time I have explained this. Someone does not follow???

      • We follow Michael. Just gave up trying to explain to you why you are wrong. That you try to make your case yet again on a thread about apophenia is… ironic.

      • ” Increasing CO2 can only raise the altitude at which the Atmosphere radiates freely to space, which lowers the temperature at which the atmosphere can radiate to space, increasing the amount of energy retained in the Atmosphere. “

        I know that this is the standard analysis, but, sorry, I don’t accept it as valid.

        There is NOT one altitude at which the atmosphere radiates freely to space. This seems like some sort of fallacy of bad averaging. Even if there were an “average height of emission”, I am not convinced that more radiating gas would “raise” that “average height”. Rather, I think that more radiating gas would distribute within the entire volume of the atmosphere, hence it would distribute, theoretically, around the same center of mass of the atmosphere, at exactly the same height as before. Only difference would be that there would be more radiating gas (theoretically) above this “emission height” and more below it, as the atmosphere, as a whole, continued to radiate from all levels (in reality).

        There would be a greater volume of radiating gas too, which would increase the overall volumetric mass of atmosphere radiating. Hence, I’m still not convinced that there is any warming effect whatsoever. Cooling maybe. Or sometimes warming, and sometimes cooling, maybe — I don’t know for sure. I just think that the reverse engineering of warming from a theoretical black-body calculation is a cheap sophistic trick.

      • Moon ==> If you wish to expound a unique personal theory and have the readers here discuss it, you should write an original essay, submit it via the
        Submit A Story link, and then, if Anthony Watts publishes it, you will be free to discuss it with readers in comments.

        Alternatively, find an Open Thread post, and try comments there.

        Here it is Off Topic.

      • The reduction in mean free path and subsequent thermalization happens all the way up. Yes, it slows the CO2 radiative transport but in the end convection rules anyway. The tiny difference in retained heat might cause convection to start earlier in the day by 3 minutes. No big deal. The daily maximum temperature need not change at all. Can we measure it by satellite of any other method? No. The heat radiated from the earth is an integral of daily/hourly/minute temperature curves and cloud changes, over the entire globe. Within the models it has to be all paramaterized guesses.

        This search for a CO2 warming effect in the most sensitive locations did not find it:

        http://notrickszone.com/2018/03/23/uncertainty-mounts-global-temperature-data-presentation-flat-wrong-new-danish-findings-show/

    • … looks like the name of a Greek goddess, or maybe an ancient Egyptian princess. (^_^)

      … which, by the way, seems somehow fitting, since climate “science” seems to be a form of mythology.

  1. “There is an entire list of suspects that scientists have looked at, and they have not identified a single viable one. With one exception — greenhouse gases.”

    Perhaps they need to start looking at multiple causal phenomena.;)

      • Richard M ==> Oceans have to receive energy from somewhere if they are to add it to the atmospheric climate system to produce warming. “Oceans” is not an answer to perceived recent warming — it is an element of the puzzle.

  2. Thank you: apophenia is a wonderful concept that I realize I have observed many times in my own field, medicine eg the cholesterol hypothesis, dietetics, type two diabetes, usually fields attracting large sums of money, whereas those fields which don’t attract funding tend to stay humble and open to differences.

    • Interesting that you mention cholesterol. There is a wonderful example of how bad science becomes entrenched and enforced.

      The crap about cholesterol and dietary fat are the results of one man’s work. Ancel Keys thought he noticed a correlation.

      After the Second World War, Keys became curious about something that kept cropping up in local newspapers. Many local business executives were being struck down with sudden heart attacks. The most likely cause of the attacks was smoking, but Keys wasn’t looking for that. He tested 286 middle-aged businessmen and found high levels of cholesterol in their blood. He soon concluded that this buildup of cholesterol was the main culprit in the businessmen’s heart attacks. link

      He and his henchmen ruined the careers of those who disagreed with his hypothesis. The parallels with climate science are pretty direct. The orthodoxy is enforced and the only scientists who can resist are in their late careers. For all the others, it is career suicide.

    • Ljh ==> How true — medical nutrition science is riff with apophenia — once the field starts collectively looking for “a link” between X and Y, it appears to be everywhere — until someone finally demonstrates with a double-blinded clinical trial that it was physiologically nonsense in the first place.

      Thanks for your “true in another field” view point.

  3. I went to the U of M, number 2 engineering school in the World, on an academic scholarship. ME, all classes except 2 or 3, were technical. Mechanical Engineering includes an involved study of heat, which generally requires money to generate, so, one would want someone who had studied it to be involved, sco, we DO.

    And then, I got curious about this so-called Global Warming thing. So, as a technically trained individual, I looked it up, and evaluated AGW following my technical training.

    “Climate Scientists” may have been Scientists as recently as the 70’s, when there were almost none. Since then, they just are not scientists. They are advocates, hoping to reduce if not destroy the use of anything mined from the Earth. They hate Mining! Pretty much all comes down to that. Oil, Gas, and Coal, how do we get them? They hate it, want the Earth to remain undisturbed, and could not care less what this does to prosperity.

    Strange individuals…

    • Hey Mooney
      I’ve been a Michigan resident since 1977.
      The U of M does NOT automatically become the
      “number 2 engineering school in the world”
      just because you went there !

      Why start off a comment
      bragging about yourself like that?

      You forgot to tell us whether
      or not you graduated, and became
      a professional engineer for many
      decades — that would mean something !

      Although the rest of what you wrote makes some sense
      … that first sentence is self-serving, and NOT TRUE.

      U of M is not even in the Top 5 of all US engineering schools,
      although might be in a US Top 5 list or two, specifically for
      mechanical, and manufacturing engineering.

      Did you ever consider that money / grants / jobs available
      determine what “climate scientists” believe in?

      The cigarette companies paid scientists to prove that
      smoking their product was safe, and got the junk science
      they paid for.

      We get the “climate junk science” that governments pay for.

  4. “That’s it — that’s their scientific evidence for greenhouse gas driven warming.”
    A bit of apophenia there. No, it’s not. Arrhenius showed in 1896 that putting a lot of CO2 in the air would cause warming. He calculated how much. There was argument for some years, but his argument carried the day. Then we did it. Then it warmed.

    It isn’t just an argument from observation.

    • Wilfully ignoring the fact that he recanted a few years later and reckoned it was about half his original estimate. Still an estimate, mind.

      Wilfully ignoring the fact that he reckoned any eventual warming would be quite beneficial (just like historical warming periods).

      I know I said I wouldn’t bother reading your comments any more after your ludicrous comment yesterday, but I read this by mistake and this particular claim always gets my goat due to wilful ignorance aka plain lying. I’ll try not to in future.

          • “read Arrhenius 1906”
            I have, many times. You haven’t. Try quoting the supposed “recantation”.

            Here is just one quote from the document you linked:
            “For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C).

            4°C per doubling (or halving).

          • If the ECS was anything close to “4 °C per doubling (or halving),” there would be more similarity between these curves…

            Circular reasoning not withstanding, back in 2003, Dana Royer “corrected” Veizer’s reconstruction for pH and got a better match…

            A crossplot of Royer’s temperatures vs GEOCARB gets you 1.28 °C per doubling (or halving), very much inline with most of the recent observation-based ECS estimates…

            Hansen et al., 1988 reflected a climate sensitivity of 4.2 °C per doubling (or halving)…

            Reality reflects about 1/4 of 4.2 °C per doubling (or halving).

            Here’s the really funny bit: In the unicorn-filled fantasy world of climate modelers, we would be back in an ice age without SUV’s…

            The models fail because climate modelers are the sort of folks who, if they dropped their car keys at night, they would only look under streetlights, because that’s where they could see.

          • Nick Stokes

            November 2, 2018 at 2:50 am

            “read Arrhenius 1906”
            I have, many times. You haven’t. Try quoting the supposed “recantation”.

            Here is just one quote from the document you linked:
            “For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C). “

            4°C per doubling (or halving).

            That being your stated case is 4C per doubling, back in 1900 co2 was at 300ppm. Doubling that would be 600ppm for 4C warming. We are currently at 410(ish) with 450 being half way between 300 & 600, so we are almost 1/2 way to doubling since 1900. Temperatures are currently measured at just over 1C increase since 1850 and the start of the industrial revolution. That being the case, we should already be approaching 2C for Half way to doubling shouldn’t we? Or is the 4C per doubling incorrect??

          • There are all kinds of graphs out there one can choose from in order to make a point – all kinds of opportunities for confirmation bias.

            For instance, here’s a graph that looks at BOTH CO2 and solar effects:
            https://skepticalscience.com/images/Phanerozoic_Forcing.gif

            –> NO ONE IS ARGUING THAT CO2 IS THE ONLY MECHANISM OF CLIMATE CHANGE. Duh.

            So let’s look at the data – what are other likely candidates?

            https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ContentFeature/GlobalWarming/images/anthropogenic_natural_climate_contribution.png

            https://thelogicofscience.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/hansen-et-al-2005-science.jpg?w=768&h=445

            Huh.

            Then there’s Kip’s “adoption” of the Mann 2008 graph. “IPCC projections of future temperature have been removed, along with y-axis degrees (as 0.1°C ticks are not appropriate for reconstructions). On the far right, UAH NH Lower Trop. (red trace) has been added as a proxy of present temperatures. The 15°C line (yellow) has been added for reference.”
            Why isn’t the temperature scale appropriate for reconstructions? That makes no sense whatever. Then Kip removes the original instrumental record of HAD and CRU and adds UAH lower troposphere data, without giving any justification for doing so. He apparently simply erased the original data and drew in the new, conveniently covering it with huge words (besides, the graph only goes to 2010 – he could at least have continued it to “current temperatures”). Why isn’t this an instance of confirmation bias?

            Not only that, but the UAH record should go higher, up to 0.4 C above the dotted line.

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Satellite_Temperatures.png

            (Oh, except this is global, and the graph is for NH. So where did he get his UAH data?)And what is “Earth’s idealized temperature”? The original graph:
            http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/105/36/13252/F3.medium.gif

    • Nick Stokes;
      Then we did it. Then it warmed.

      Except we also know there is a great deal of natural variation. Unless we can quantify how much of the warming (if any) is natural, we don’t know how much (if any) is anthropogenic.

      While we don’t know the above, we do know that the climate models have run hot, sea level rise hasn’t accelerated, hurricanes and tornadoes have been trending down in frequency and intensity, sea ice has slightly declined (not collapsed), ice mass in the antarctic and greenland is hardly changed (and in fact may be increasing), palmer draught index has remained pretty much flat…. Not only do we not know how much of the warming is because “Then we did it”, but none of the things that were supposed to happen when it warmed did. “Then it warmed.” is a complete cop out.

      • Then we did it. Then it warmed.

        That is a very glib remark from someone I generally regard as serious.

        The early 20th c. warming cannot be accounted for by CO2, and models fail to reproduce it, so until that is explained there is no reason to attribute later warming to CO2.

        The early 20th c. warming could be resumed as : it warmed , then we did it.

        • “so until that is explained there is no reason to attribute later “
          No, that doesn’t make sense. The original proposition still holds. A mechanism was shown that would mean extra CO2 in the air would cause warming. The CO2 increased, and it warmed.

          Now you may well say that the warming in early 20C was more than might be expected, though CO2 was increasing then too. The excess may have been caused by something else.

          If you smoke a lot, you’ll damage your blood vessels. Non-smokers die of heart disease too. That doesn’t mean smoking is OK.

          • Here’s another funny one Nick.

            The stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentration during the 1940s and 1950s is a notable feature in the ice core record. The new high density measurements confirm this result and show that CO2 concentrations stabilized at 310–312 ppm from ~1940–1955. The CH4 and N2O growth rates also decreased during this period, although the N2O variation is comparable to the measurement uncertainty. Smoothing due to enclosure of air in the ice (about 10 years at DE08) removes high frequency variations from the record, so the true atmospheric variation may have been larger than represented in the ice core air record. Even a decrease in the atmospheric CO2 concentration during the mid-1940s is consistent with the Law Dome record and the air enclosure smoothing, suggesting a large additional sink of ~3.0 PgC yr-1 [Trudinger et al., 2002a]. The d13CO2 record during this time suggests that this additional sink was mostly oceanic and not caused by lower fossil emissions or the terrestrial biosphere [Etheridge et al., 1996; Trudinger et al., 2002a]. The processes that could cause this response are still unknown.

            [11] The CO2 stabilization occurred during a shift from persistent El Niño to La Niña conditions [Allan and D’Arrigo, 1999]. This coincided with a warm-cool phase change of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation [Mantua et al., 1997], cooling temperatures [Moberg et al., 2005] and progressively weakening North Atlantic thermohaline circulation [Latif et al., 2004]. The combined effect of these factors on the trace gas budgets is not presently well understood. They may be significant for the atmospheric CO2 concentration if fluxes in areas of carbon uptake, such as the North Pacific Ocean, are enhanced, or if efflux from the tropics is suppressed.

            MacFarling Meure, C., D. Etheridge, C. Trudinger, P. Steele, R. Langenfelds, T. van Ommen, A. Smith, and J. Elkins (2006), Law Dome CO2, CH4 and N2O ice core records extended to 2000 years BP, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L14810, doi:10.1029/2006GL026152.

            From about 1940 through 1955, approximately 24 billion tons of carbon went straight from the exhaust pipes into the oceans and/or biosphere.

            If oceanic uptake of CO2 caused ocean acidification, shouldn’t we see some evidence of it? Shouldn’t “a large additional sink of ~3.0 PgC yr-1” (or more) from ~1940–1955 have left a mark somewhere in the oceans? Maybe dissolved some snails or a reef?

            Had atmospheric CO2 simply followed the preindustrial trajectory, it very likely would have reached 315-345 ppmv by 2010…


            Natural sources and land use changes probably accounted for 40-60% of the rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1750.

            Oddly enough, plant stomata-derived CO2 reconstructions indicate that CO2 levels of 315-345 ppmv have not been uncommon throughout the Holocene..

            CO2 from plant stomata: Northern Sweden (Finsinger et al., 2009), Northern Spain (Garcia-Amorena, 2008), Southern Sweden (Jessen, 2005), Washington State USA (Kouwenberg, 2004), Netherlands (Wagner et al., 1999), Denmark (Wagner et al., 2002).

            So, what on Earth could have driven all of that CO2 variability before humans started burning fossil fuels? Could it possibly have been temperature changes?

          • Nick Stokes. You are making the presumption that the only significant thing going on with climate change is CO2 because it does have some effect. As the correlation with temperature over the long term is very low, clearly other things are also involved. Explain the LIA using only CO2 levels.

          • “If you smoke a lot, you’ll damage your blood vessels. Non-smokers die of heart disease too. That doesn’t mean smoking is OK.”

            Not a valid analogy since smoking has little benefit that can’t be achieved more safely(e.g. the nootropic impact of nicotine) whereas CO2-emitting activities and moderate warming from any cause have vast benefits. Also, the downside of quitting smoking is small whereas the cultural damage alone from increased state control is huge.

          • A mechanism was shown that would mean extra CO2 in the air would cause warming. The CO2 increased, and it warmed.

            No, a mechanism was shown that would mean extra CO2 in the air would have a forcing effect. The effect on global temperatures however was not known. Its like, we discover the hob control knob. We turn it up. We measure heat emitted, and we know that we are applying increased forcing to the water in our pan.

            But whether it gets any hotter is another question, and if its boiling already it will not.

            The question is not about the forcing effect, whether there is one, and its magnitude. We all agree that other things being equal, if the only thing that changes is the rise in CO2, temperatures will rise.

            The argument is over whether other things are equal. Over the famous feedbacks, whether there are any and whether they are positive or negative. It is entirely possible for a rise in CO2 to produce no increase in global temperatures, because the warming impulse is compensated by negative feedback. Clouds and weather and ocean behaviors for instance.

            As when the water in our pan gets no hotter, but loses the heat by evaporation.

            It is very annoying when people who know better pretend this is a matter of simple physics. Its not about the warming effect of the CO2, which is simple physics. Its about the behaviour of a complex and chaotic system in response to it.

          • “The effect on global temperatures however was not known.”
            Well, Arrhenius said 4°C per doubling, and while some might think that too high, his reasoning and result are not far from modern thinking.

            But yes, it’s a forcing, and might conceivably lead to a range of temperature rise. But if you turn on the gas under the saucepan and the water warms, it isn’t post hoc thinking to say that it might be because of the gas flame. It’s why you turned it on when the water was cold.

          • Here’s another take on things I just ran across. Can’t vouch for the methods, but I’ll quote the abstract in full..
            “We use a newly developed technique that is based on the information flow concept to investigate the causal structure between the global radiative forcing and the annual global mean surface temperature anomalies (GMTA) since 1850. Our study unambiguously shows one-way causality between the total Greenhouse Gases and GMTA. Specifically, it is confirmed that the former, especially CO2, are the main causal drivers of the recent warming. A significant but smaller information flow comes from aerosol direct and indirect forcing, and on short time periods, volcanic forcings. In contrast the causality contribution from natural forcings (solar irradiance and volcanic forcing) to the long term trend is not significant. The spatial explicit analysis reveals that the anthropogenic forcing fingerprint is significantly regionally varying in both hemispheres. On paleoclimate time scales, however, the cause-effect direction is reversed: temperature changes cause subsequent CO2/CH4 changes.”

            https://media.nature.com/m685/nature-assets/srep/2016/160222/srep21691/images/srep21691-f1.jpg

            https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21691

            The last sentence is particularly interesting. I supports an argument often used by skeptics…and yet the same method supports the consensus view. I wonder if the method is capable of picking up a feedback mechanism.

          • David – stomatal density is not a very good proxy for prehistoric CO2 levels; they can vary for other reasons, such as moisture levels. They also don’t generally agree with other proxies, as you should know from the graphs you’ve posted in the past.

            What “solar indirect effects” do you mean? Have underwater volcanoes been known to cause temperature changes at the surface in multiple regions at once? What kind of long-term ocean oscillations might be showing the pattern of climate change we are seeing?

            And what about the theory? What is wrong with the theory of AGW that would make it irrelevant that CO2 is rapidly increasing?

          • Nick,

            Its actually not at all clear that CO2 increases warm the planet at all. What is clear is that they are a source of added heat. But whether adding heat, from this or other sources, produces a net warming, and if so how much, is a quite different issue.

            It is, as Kip says, a chaotic and complex system. It is entirely possible for the addition of heat to such a system to produce no increase in temperature.

            This is why continually talking about the absoption spectrum of CO2 or the simple physics showing that increased CO2 has a certain warming impulse (by people who know a lot better) is so misleading and disingenous.

            The problem is the nature of the system and its reaction to inputs.

          • michel,

            “We all agree that other things being equal, if the only thing that changes is the rise in CO2, temperatures will rise.”

            No, some don’t agree.

            “It is entirely possible for a rise in CO2 to produce no increase in global temperatures, because the warming impulse is compensated by negative feedback. Clouds and weather and ocean behaviors for instance.”

            This is a disingenuous argument. You say that heat is being added to the system. The surface temperatures are warming, largely as predicted. Yet you suggest that maybe the added heat due to CO2 is not actually making the temperature rise, instead some other (unnamed) influence is doing it?

            It’s as if some skeptics want to make the whole question much more convoluted than it is in order to deny the evidence. “Scientists have not PROVEN anything!” “There could be other, unknown factors involved!” “The evidence is not conclusive, merely circumstantial!” And, of course, “Models are worthless!”

            Meanwhile, people like Kip and many others accuse scientists of bias and try their utmost to find the lowest measures of “consensus” possible.

      • CO2 went up, and so did temperatures.
        That’s the only fact that Nick and his fellow travelers are interested in.
        Trying to explain to him about all the other things that impact climate fall on willfully deaf ears.

        • The lack of pirates is what causes global warming … the prediction has been around a very long time if you know the history of the joke. Bobby Henderson had it as one of his central science principles that he asked the courts to enforce if they were going to mandate scientists teach Intelligent Design.

          So it is a prediction that has been around a long time and apparently that makes it true 🙂

        • Nick being obtuse again.

          From wikipedia:

          Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: “after this, therefore because of this”) is a logical fallacy that states “Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.

          You stated,

          The CO2 increased, and it warmed.

          The post hoc event (Y) is, “it warmed.” The propter hoc event (X) is “CO2 increased.” The fallacy you’re stating is, because it warmed after CO2 increased, the increase in temperature must have been caused by the increase in CO2. Correlation does not imply causation.

          • “The fallacy you’re stating is, because it warmed after CO2 increased, the increase in temperature must have been caused”
            No. I’m pointing out that the explanation of the cause was given, and well accepted, long before the warming was actually observed. That cannot be post hoc, ergo non propter hoc.

          • Pray tell, by whom was “the explanation of the cause was given, and well accepted, long before the warming was actually observed[?]” Certainly by no geophysicist well grounded in thermodynamics!

          • “Certainly by no geophysicist well grounded in thermodynamics!”
            Arrhenius was not a geophysicist. He was a physical chemist, who won the Nobel Prize in 1907 for his work on ionic dissociation. And he was a major figure in thermodynamics. He introduced the concept of activation energy, His work on ionic dissociation led him to propound the first organised theory of acidity.

          • His work came after a low point in the Little Ice Age. It already warmed before his ‘prediction’. But the mere fact that somebody looks into a crystal globe then guesses right once, does not prove that the crystal globe is working. It can be a coincidence (especially if the prediction is vague).

            And as usual, Nick got that very wrong. The fallacy remains a fallacy no matter if somebody guessed or not guessed something ‘before’. The ‘post hoc’ has nothing to do with that, but with the conclusion based on the sequence.

            The scientific method needs more than a single coincidence, even if guessed previously. If I say ‘the devil exists and it will turn the coin toss tails this time’ then I throw a coin and it gets ‘tails’, it doesn’t mean my theory is true. It’s very similar with a warming/cooling situation, it’s basically heads or tails.

            Now, since it’s a prediction, according to Nick, how well was that realized? To be scientific, must be definite. To be pseudo-scientific, must be Nick style: “warmed” (that is, vague). So, how exact was the prediction? How exactly was the real world behaving compared with that? From Wikipedia, this was Arrhenius ‘pseudo-prediction’: “any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4C”. Now, they say it is known how much the CO2 increased and also how much it warmed. Easy to check if the accuracy was good or the prediction was wrong and the theory falsified. Now, Nick, show us that you at least have the kindergarten knowledge to compute the consequences of your pseudo-theory. What’s the prediction, what’s the reality? They say that at 1900, around the ‘prediction’ time, there were about 300 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. Now there are about 400. Good luck with the computations, Nick. Don’t forget to show them to us, Nick, let us be amazed of the power of prediction of the pseudo-theory, Nick.

          • “Easy to check if the accuracy was good or the prediction was wrong and the theory falsified. “
            Not at all. Time is a factor. It takes time to boil a kettle, and it takes much longer for the Earth to warm. It is now well established that there are century timescales important in warming. Arrhenius did an equilibrium calculation.

          • So Arrhenius did a pseudo-scientific calculation, claimed (but unverifiable, ergo anti-scientific) for a state never realizable in the real world. It was not a prediction as you lied, but a pseudo scientific bullshit.

          • The true giants of thermodynamics do not include Arrhenius. Activation energy in chemical reactions is more a matter of kinetics, rather than of thermodynamics. His in vitro equation plays no major role in the determination of in situ air or water temperature. Indeed, he was no geophysicist!

          • Phil R,

            Apart from the argument about the earlier prediction, the simple statement, “CO2 increased, and it warmed” does not imply causation. Your whole logical argument amounts to nothing.

          • Phil R,

            Sorry, I just read the context of Nick’s quote, and there is an implication of causal association. However, it’s only a logical fallacy if it’s not true.

            “Human’s added CO2 to the atmosphere, therefore the planet warmed” is not in itself a logical problem unless you can show that it’s not true, post hoc or not.

    • “Arrhenius showed in 1896 that putting a lot of CO2 in the air would cause warming”

      It seems that Nick Stokes lives in a glass jar.

      It warmed out of the COLD anomaly of the LIA.

      Be very thankful.

      There is ZERO scientific evidence it had anything to do with atmospheric CO2.

      • There is ZERO scientific evidence it had anything to do with atmospheric CO2.

        There is a lot of evidence of that. What we still don’t know, is the amount of warming.

        IPCC says 1.5K to 4.5 K per doubling.

        Observational evidence suggests it is less than 3K.

    • Nick

      “His argument carried the day.”

      You misrepresent what actually happened. He over-claimed the warming by a lot, and he also believed that water vapour would remain constant in terms of relative humidity.

      Arrhenius was wrong about the ECS, by a lot and grudgingly admitted it 20 years of bitter-ending it later. Everyone was wrong about the humidity, a hypothesis disproven by millions of readings from radiosonde.

      His was an argument from hypothesis. It was defective to the point of being wrong. The ECS to CO2 is low.

    • So how do you explain the Moore 2016 graph then, Nick? The temperstures are the lowest they have been since the Permian; the CO2 levels are also low and over millennia show no correlation with temperatures, and ice cores have demonstrated that where there is a correlation CO2 increases lag temperature increases by the best part of a millienium.

      Which at the very least could indicate that current increases in CO2 levels are an effect of the MWP.

      Arrhenius posited a 1°C rise per doubling of CO2. Anything beyond that is climate scientists and activists heaping a Pelion of wishful thinking on an Ossa of unproven hypothesis. The bottom line is “this global warming period is down to CO2 because we want it to be”.

      • Beyond that, a second doubling of CO2 would only result in a warming of 0.5C.

        So even if everything assumed is correct, taking CO2 from 280ppm to 1120ppm would result in a warming of 1.5C. Not only is this not a problem, it is probably entirely beneficial.

      • “Arrhenius posited a 1°C rise per doubling of CO2.”

        He could “posit” anything
        — that doesn’t make it correct.

        He could change his numbers.

        There was no way to measure
        warming in the troposphere,
        globally, at the time,
        so it was unprovable speculation,
        … much like all of modern climate “science”.

      • Newminster,

        “Moore 2016” (not his graph; it’s been around for years – it was even posted on WUWT in 2013), and graphs like it, only look at CO2. That’s just daft over that time period. No one argues that CO2 is the only thing to affect climate.

          • Kip, I doubt Nick is talking about the Phanerozoic. And I doubt whether he would say, if asked, that CO2 is always the only thing that ever affects the planet’s temperature.

          • Kip,
            ” in comments here?”
            Well, to quote my comments here:
            “Now you may well say that the warming in early 20C was more than might be expected, though CO2 was increasing then too. The excess may have been caused by something else.

            If you smoke a lot, you’ll damage your blood vessels. Non-smokers die of heart disease too. That doesn’t mean smoking is OK.”

            In fact no-one is claiming that CO2 is the only thing that affects climate, or causes warming. The issue is that if you put a whole lot of CO2 in the air, it will cause warming. Past warming was not caused by that; no-one has done it before. But we’re doing it now.

          • Nick ==> You can’t really be claiming that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are at the highest ever in Earth;s history…..the paleo-record does not support that view.

            So when CO2 was high or rising in the past, in some periods, temperatures dropped instead of rising.

            I quote yours above “Arrhenius showed in 1896 that putting a lot of CO2 in the air would cause warming. He calculated how much. There was argument for some years, but his argument carried the day. Then we did it. Then it warmed.”

            and here: ” I’m pointing out that the explanation of the cause was given, and well accepted, long before the warming was actually observed.”

            But I will accept that you realize and admit that CO2 may not be the (or even a major) cause of warming since the 1850s.

          • Kip and Nick,

            ” The issue is that if you put a whole lot of CO2 in the air, it will cause warming. Past warming was not caused by that; no-one has done it before.”

            I might clarify here that people have not put a lot of CO2 into the air, but that doesn’t mean that CO2 hasn’t played a role in temperature before. If one looks at the Phanerozoic and instead of plotting just CO2 vs temp, one looks at the combination of CO2 and solar, there’s a good fit to temp.

            “But I will accept that you realize and admit that CO2 may not be the (or even a major) cause of warming since the 1850s.”

            This is putting words into Nick’s mouth.

            There seems to be a movement away from the claim that temps have been driven >primarily< by CO2 since the 1850s to the claim that it's the major cause of warming since around mid-20th C. Aerosols also played a cooling role starting in mid-century, counteracting the effects of CO2, but this effect diminished starting in the '80s.

            "Arrhenius showed in 1896 that putting a lot of CO2 in the air would cause warming." …all other things being equal.

          • (Kip and Nick edit)

            “I might clarify here that people have not put a lot of CO2 into the air” …before the industrial revolution.

    • Nick Stokes: Correct. CO2 does indeed cause warming. We get the equation. A doubling causes about 3 watts. Plug that into Stephan Boltzmann at the current levels of radiation and you get 1 Celsius degree of warming per CO2 doubling, not 3, 5 or 7 degrees as the various paramaterize models predict.

    • Just because something happens in a test tube is not evidence that the exact same thing will happen in the real world.
      Even you should be capable of realizing that.

    • To Mr. Nick Stroker:
      You conveniently forgot, as usual, to mention
      the claimed warming from 1910 to 1940
      happened with little CO2 added to the atmosphere.

      Meaning a weak CO2 level – average temperature correlation,
      that you ignore.
      ,
      ,
      ,
      And the global cooling from 1945 to 1975
      happened with lots of CO2 added.

      A negative CO2 – temperature correlation,
      that you ignore.
      ,
      ,
      ,
      The global warming from 1975 to 2003
      happened with lots of CO2 added.

      A strong positive CO2 – temperature correlation
      that you love !
      ,
      ,
      ,
      The flat temperature trend from 2003 to mid-2015
      happened with lots of CO2 added.

      A weak CO2 – temperature correlation,
      that you ignore.
      .
      .
      .
      I suppose in your fairy tale ‘CO2 is evil’ world,
      Mr. Stroker, only the period from 1975 to 2003 matters,
      and we should just ignore all other
      “inconveniently different” data ?

      I suppose since you already “know the truth”
      about exactly what CO2 does to the temperature,
      as a member of the “CO2 is Evil Cult”,
      all that other contradictory data must be wrong !

      Just ignore it, and maybe it will eventually
      be “adjusted” away !

      • Come on, he invested 25 years working through climate science output. Why would he look at your data and fancy charts when your aim is to show…

    • Nick,
      A properly conducted experiment holds all variables constant except one, and then it is repeated with another variable held constant, etc. From that, one (hopefully) comes up with a multi-variable description of how everything interacts. That is what is missing from Arrhenius’ lab’ experiments. He wasn’t able to observe all the other variables (like clouds) even if he was aware of them. All he was able to demonstrate was that in a closed-system, in a laboratory setting, CO2 is able to absorb IR and be warmed. It is interesting, and could be useful, but it does not come close to fully explaining what happens on the Earth. It is not unlike an early experimenter observing that a pot of boiling water does not exceed 100 deg C, and pronouncing that is is impossible for water to exceed that temperature. And then someone discovered how to make steam engines.

  5. It’s a post I could have written myself as my view is similar and summed up by:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
    The majority of us are totally unaware we do it to some small degree all the time and one of the methods how we’ve survived as a species.
    I recall a well known BBC scientist presenter pointing out Confirmation Bias on someone, but then goes and does it himself; another trait of homo sapiens – hypocrisy.
    The there’s Confabulation (a bit of poetic licence on the definition) as I don’t believe many of the ‘climate scientists’ think they are doing any of this or in the midst of a scam, but genuinely believe they are doing the correct thing; we must be careful of almost using Halon’s razor.

    So in summary CAGW may well just be Confabulatory Confirmation Bias.

  6. Kim, there are two ways of looking at the matter of Climate chaange, aka Global warming.
    One, we have always had persons who are convinced that the world is about to end. The Bible and no doubt other ancient documents are full of such tales, and we used to see the odd male carrying a board stating Repent before it is too lat”e. But Two, we also have the rather sinister possibility that a person, or group, even the heads of a country y want to destroy the Western way of life.

    So a bit like “Follow the money trail”, what country does not believe in all this to us Nonsence, and would benifit by a decrease of the Western Worlds prosperity.

    One might point the finger at say China, but it deepends on its present prosperity by being the world biggest exporter of goods, so very unlikely. Russia ? again very unlikely, so who ?

    There is of course another possibility, th e output of the Wests Unerversities conssist of somewhat brain washed graduates, who have to make a living in the hard real world. So if they can persuaad a govermnment to pay therm a comfortble living, via the taxpayers largess, then they will do whatever is necessary to keep hat income stream coming.

    Only two things will stop this nonsence , nature not co-operating, and the lights going out.

    But could it be as simple as that ?

    MJE

    • Michael ==> In Science, the truth usually wins, but it may be a long time coming. First one has Confirmation Bias rampant in a field — then it becomes “enforced conformity” (many fields experience this on one scientific aspect or another). Once a “consensus” becomes enforced, the field is doomed to struggle to keep confirming the consensus almost ad infinitum until someone or some group of scientists breaks the strangle-hold.

      See my essays on salt. Despite absolutely totally debinked by Mente’s work, the American Heart Assoc. and almost all MDs still parrot the consensus policy “mandatory dietary salt reduction for all.”

  7. The similarity between the Y2K problem and AGW is that both problems involve extreme exaggeration of possible consequences to pry open the government coffers. Y2K demonstrated the profit to be made in fixing a problem that goes away no matter how inept the solution. Others on WUWT have previously leapt to the defense of the Y2K rescue mission but businesses, school boards and entire countries who did nothing to deal with Y2K had no more issues than those who spent vast sums to fix the “problem” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem False crises, like zika, swine flu and West Nile virus, have become huge business. AGW is the science of false crises taken to a whole new level. Warmistas probably learned a lot from Y2K including how to take credit for nothing (BC’s carbon tax is saving the world-‘the experts who implemented it have proved that, doncha know).

    • True.
      But for the purposes of this discussion it is worth noticing that actions were taken. Even if the risks were mis-calculated.

      There is a contrast with AGW where no-one thinks the risks are credible enough to take action. No Government. No corporation. No stock market investor.

    • The problems didn’t go away, they could be managed until a fix is implemented.
      The leading fix was setting each affected computer’s clock back to Jan 1, 1999 instead of Jan 1, 2000.

      The other solution was to wait until 2030, when all the date calculations would start working properly again.

      The claims that power plants would blow up and such were total nonsense. The worst that was likely to happen was the equipment would safe itself until a human could intervene.
      For example, elevator control software would conclude that no maintenance had been done in 70 years, so they would send all elevators to the basement to wait for maintenance. Inconvenient, yes. Catastrophic, no.

      The code that needed to be fixed was fixed.
      The code that needed to be replaced was replaced.
      The fact that reporters over hyped things in order to sell papers was to be expected.

  8. APOPHINITIONS

    Sleep Apophneia. Transition between dream and doom states.
    Apophacary. 1. Trading post for potions and hexes of doom. 2. Websites of doom.
    Anthroapologist. Those who attempt to unearth evidence of something not our fault.
    Apophlexy. Condition where the blood boils due to Global Warming.
    Hypophysis. Scientific assertion using falsifiable evidence claiming it’s worse than we thought.
    Sociopoph. One who ascribes not a single solitary noble attribute to one’s own kind.
    Poph-Tart. Pastry that causes depression.
    Pophalactic Birth control method administered to a large group; possibly violent.
    Pophacampus 1. Part of the brain the excretes doom. 2. A University that does the same.
    Apophasis. Mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned. BONUS: real word!

  9. The IPCC error bounds in climate sensitivity have not tightened in the quarter century since their first report. Climatology is field that has made No Progress in the last 25 years.

    How is that possible?
    Computers have improved so their models should have improved. Observations have improved (satellites and buoys, if not land observations) so their inputs should have improved. The sheer number of people researching the climate has increased so their insights should be greater. But no progress has been made.
    Seriously, how is that possible?

    The answer comes when you look at what other fields have failed to make any progress over that time. There aren’t many but I can think of two-
    Cryptozoology and Ufology.

    Despite smart phones and Google Earth no Yetis or Flying Saucers have been found. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there (it might be a clue, of course) but it does mean that the “experts” have failed to narrow down where they aren’t.

    Real science looks for evidence of what isn’t true to eliminate error. Then speculation can lead to things that might be right.
    Pseudoscience looks for evidence of what is. Then speculation allows anything to be believed and cannot be corrected.

    Climatology looks for evidence that is consistent with AGW. That isn’t science.

    • It’s probably correct. There is no reason to expect the climate to stay constant. It’s a chaotic system.

      The question is why the climate has changed. Betting that the change since 1950 is manmade while the change in the first half of the 20th century is natural is…

      Well, it makes an exciting news story so by journalistic standards that also passes for correct.

    • StephenP ==> The BBC claims:
      “The hottest days have become almost 1C hotter, warm spells have increased, while the coldest days are not as cold. The number of so-called tropical nights – when temperatures stay above 20C – is increasing. ”

      Isn’t that nice? 1C is not alarming — and for most of England — a treat. Warmer nights — 68F — are pleasant and not oppressive at all.

      So where’s the downside? we know things are getting better — warmer than a frozen Thames.

  10. Good job (as usual), Kip.

    I have a simpler explanation.

    It is a church. The would-be climate experts are the clergy.
    The politicians are the deacons.
    The general public are the parishioners.

    All of the above practice virtue-signaling.

      • More like Business are the ushers, doing the collecting for the politicians and clergy on everything that is bought and sold with ‘carbon’ in it. The poor general public (parishioners/congregation) just pay the entire bill. Very good analogy. Gonna remember this one for repeating since average folk who don’t keep up with this but know something don’t add up will really understand.

  11. I thought it worth mentioning.

    Detectives are conspiracy theorists. They often have to concoct initial theories with little information, most of these theories turn out to be wrong, often utterly wrong.

    It’s the claims you make off the back of these theories that matter, not the fact the theory has been put together.

    • Mark – Helsinki ==> Yes, quite so. Take Nick Stokes’ response to this essay — a defense of Arrhenius …. [almost] no one refutes or discounts Arrhenius. But the long-term CO2/Temperature records shows that CO2 and Temperature are not linearly related — they are chaotically related. this fact does not reject Arrhenius — it just shows that the one — CO2 — does not dictate the other — temperature.

      Arrhenius is no defense of the CO2 AGW Hypothesis against the long-term data. No claim it is is scientifically infantile.

      • What Arrhenius claimed in 1896
        was rejected, by him, in 1906,
        when he reduced his guess
        about the potential warming effect of CO2.

        What people today should not ignore
        is the primary wisdom from Arrhenius:

        He suggested that the human emissions
        of CO2 would be strong enough
        to stop the world from entering a new ice age,
        and that a warmer Earth would be needed
        to feed the rapidly increasing population:

  12. ““A distinguishing feature of scientific thinking is the search for falsifying as well as confirming evidence. However, many times in the history of science, scientists have resisted new discoveries by selectively interpreting or ignoring unfavorable data.”

    It’s like this was written to describe Astronomy.

    Though there is another factor, when a group of scientists have spent 20 million dollars and 5 years on something.. they are driven to not accept fail because of ego

  13. Some climate measures are changing but they are only look to be dangerously changing if one already believes it to be so. (In fact, for mankind, many are actually getting better. –>

    Some climate measures are changing but they only look to be dangerously changing if one already believes it to be so. (In fact, for mankind, many are actually getting better.

  14. Seriously Kip, do you really believe that the key protagonists of AGW actually believe their own – er – pronunciations?

    I am not talking about your average run of the mill scientist, who gets a grant because ‘climate change’ abd zips his lip..or the average person who simply believes scientists are incorruptible and wise…
    …The people who can take a bunch of research which, taken all together says ‘climate change, really not as bad as we thought, and possibly not human generated’ and turn into a summary that reads ‘Climate Doom If You Don’t Destroy Yourselves and Give Us All Your Money’ are not suffering from – er
    apophenia

    Its a far more common complaint of basic greed, envy, resentment, low cunning and utter incompetent stupidity, total lack of honour, and absolutely no sense of history or indeed any responsibility whatsoever towards the human race.

    Summoned up succinctly by ‘The Liberal Mindset’.

    You don’t believe anyone could be doing this deliberately. That’s because you are probably a decent honest nice guy who takes responsibility and has a time span of discretion slightly longer than an amoebas.

    The person I am afraid with apophenia, is you. You assume that other people are basically as honest well meaning intelligent and nice as you are.

    You should get out more, cross the tracks sometimes, and see life at the survival level, and then get yourself invited to some big money events. Same people, same motivators. Money and survival.

    Not everyone can earn a living like you do, honestly. Let’s face it. if it’s a dumpster on main street, or politics and the White House, which would you pick?

    Climate change, like politics, and dumpsters, is for failures who haven’t found anything better to do.

    All it requires is low cunning, a sociopathic inclination and a bit of narcissism thrown in and the ability to live, talk, and even believe a complete lie.

    Yes, people are really that bad. And just as primary schools attract paedophiles like dung attracts files, so politics and political science, journalism and the media attracts cheats frauds liars and above all psychopaths.

    The common feature is they attract people who like power over other people, which they gain by spinning plausible narratives, and those narratives are used to manipulate the opinions beliefs and decisions of others. Once they were called agents of the devil, or witches. Today we revere them, as Lawyers, PR men and ‘marketing’.

    These people live in a world of human conflict, matching one narrative against another narrative. They do not care what the truth is, they may even believe that there is no truth, that ‘truth is a cultural construct’ or some such. Liberated from adherence to Truth, they are simply trying to win . Because winning is the only thing their empty lives contain, because they are, after all, in every other respect empty hearted losers.

    You may feel sorry for them. I did. I do. It makes no difference to them. Your empathy and sympathy is simply another tool they can use against you. They note that people care about their offspring. They don’t. But they note that others do. ‘Protecting the Planet For Your Children’ becomes their slogan.

    They are criminals who never get caught. And they end up running things, because that’s the biggest win they know how to have.

    Remenber. Government controls science, the internet, media and as much of everything else as it can, and all government is best understood as a self-legalising protection racket.

    Its the legalised Mob.

    Now an again you get to change teh Godfather, that’s all.

    The only antidote is to realise that, and not personally be taken in by their narratives. If you don’t believe their nonsense, their power over you is reduced to physical coercion, and that’s a bit too obvious even for them.

    • A fair description of the liberal mindset. It is a shock to face that squarely – most today are simply unprepared for that, naive. Boomers are notoriously unable to fight, and millenials, x generation head for safe-places.
      But, look at Brexit, Trump, Italy … Something is going on , apparently popping up randomly, no discernible pattern – and that liberal mindset, which does not tarry at physical coercion, knows nameless fear of what Percy Shelley wrote – The Mask of Anarchy: Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester
      http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/PShelley/anarchy.html

      • Trump is a Baby Boomer. He’s a pretty good fighter

        I’m not sure what you mean by “notoriously unable to fight”. Perhaps you are thinking of the Vietam war protestors. Well, just remember that millions of other Baby Boomers went to fight the war in South Vietnam, and many of them volunteered to do so, and fought very well, defeating the enemy on the field of battle.. The enemy didn’t think they were unable to fight.

        • The Boomers saw president JFK murdered in broad daylight, ended up because of that in Vietnam after Bob Kennedy and MLK were also murdered. They also lived through the Cuban missile crisis . They then got into power with policies that ruined the US, and Trump put all of that on the table. The entire Cold War caper that Trump wants to end with good relations with Russia, China is driving the Brits (London and DC) insane.
          Trump, a real fighter, will meet Putin and Xi in Beuenos Aires. Like JFK and Reagan, who also bucked the Brits, every kind of filthy trick in the Brit arsenal is unleashed against them.
          The decisive battle is the midterms – the issue of war or peace.

          • bonbon ==> You must have this blog confused with a blog on US and International politics. It is not — it is about CliSci, Weather, Science and interesting things. please try to keep comments On Topic.

    • Leo Smith ==> You don’t need to be so reticent — let it all hang out and give us your honest opinion…..don’t be shy.

    • It is not so, basically because their objective is political and not science.

      When I started my work relating climate change in 1970s and continued to date, there were change in my perception on climate change. IPCC defines the climate change, UNFCCC defines the climate change; but both of them do not adhere to the definition but talk only on global warming but shy of using this term and instead use climate change. Here there is no bias, but it has a political agenda. Theyt adhere to that only.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  15. Marijuana causes people to see things that aren’t there. I wonder if anyone has done a study to find out what percentage of climate scientists smoke dope. My very short Google search doesn’t find an answer to that question.

  16. Everything you can not put in to “bias” basket. In climate, based on the period selected for the study may give different results. This is not a bias. If the data series ppresent a cyclic pattern, if you select the data of below the average, the result is different from the data of above the average period. Hundreds of such papers were seen in different journals on different subjects. I presented this type in early 1990s relating energy “over-emphasis of energy terms in crop yield models” relating articles by eminent meteorologists — Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 77(1995):113-120 & 68(1994):213-242. Here, all are correct in his own way but never tried to look at integrated way of others results. This I did.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Reddy ==> It is the “the assigning of inferential meaning when limited statistical power should prevent such a conclusion or when the data are actually random.” that is in question. This is a particular kind of confirmation bias.

      In CliSci, CO2 is seen as rising steadily since 1956….temperatures fall gently for another 20 years, but then begin to rise sharply til the 2000s. The inference is made for CO2 driven Global Warming — because it was expected, but it is not really supported by the data.

      • On our side, there are those who take the statement that the changes caused by CO (if any) are too small to be discerned from the background noise caused by normal climatic variations, as a claim that CO2 has no impact on climate.

  17. That tendency to see patterns, that’s a survival characteristic. Selected for in the most brutal way. We can’t help it. But often there is no pattern, no connection, no link.

    • Rhoda ==> Yes — and this aspect of human nature (apparently, anyway) can cause a lot of trouble! social, political, etc.

  18. Kip,

    There are a lot of theories as to why “we don’t believe them”. My opinion is that the general public looks around and sees that things are as they always have been, as far as the weather and the climate are concerned.

    This may a secondary reason, but primarily people are not willing to give up their comforts and necessities unless the danger is very clear and present. In general we’re very bad at remembering and assessing risk so unless it’s right in our faces we dismiss it. But even then some are obstinate. Some home owners will stay with their property as certain destruction by hurricanes and wildfires approaches. Y2K was obvious to the programmers because they could test the code with a 01/01/2000 date and watch it blow up. Their bosses believed them because they could see the results. There’s no appropriate and conclusive way to test the CO2 hypothesis on a global scale. Only the deluded will give up their conveniences for a vague fear.

    • Gary ==> A strong argument for “why they don’t act” but not for “why they don’t believe”. These are two very different questions and must be considered separately.

      Even the most convinced “AGW enthusiast”often still drives his Cadillac SUV, flys all over the world attending conferences, eats the best cuts of red meat, lives in a modern all-electric house with every tech gadget imaginable — in other words, a higher than normal CO2 “footprint”. acting and believing are not in the same realm.

  19. This comment from Freeman Dyson came to mind.

    “I consider myself an unprejudiced person and to me these facts are obvious. But
    the same facts are not obvious to the majority of scientists and politicians who consider
    carbon dioxide to be evil and dangerous. The people who are supposed to be
    experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are
    blind to the evidence. Those of my scientific colleagues who believe the prevailing
    dogma about carbon dioxide will not find Goklany’s evidence convincing. I hope that
    a few of them will make the effort to examine the evidence in detail and see how
    it contradicts the prevailing dogma, but I know that the majority will remain blind.
    That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a
    human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is
    blind to obvious facts? In this foreword I offer a tentative solution of the mystery.
    From Dyson’s introduction to Goklany’s paper Carbon Dioxide: The Good News
    https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

    • Freeman Dyson has a well-deserved reputation for clear thinking. And to the point:

      We continue these long complicated threads about whether or not CO2 is responsible for the globe warming. But……

      The problem is a political problem, started intentionally in the early 1970’s and fed into the United Nations Environmental Program conceived by the oil oligarch Maurice Strong who was the first Executive Director. All the other programs targeting CO2 proceeded from this because CO2 was seen as an ideal source for coordinating and controlling international politics. The Rio conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the IPCC and all the following apocalyptic forecasts were aimed at taking control of a large part of the world economy through energy. The idea of CO2 contributing to global warming was taken as a given. The only environmental changes studied were “human-caused” from the beginning. The only question was how to justify using the political hype for political reasons.

      Nothing has changed in nearly 40 years.

    • If we start by assuming that no (living) man/woman, including FD, is immune to confirmation bias then we’re probably better placed to make sense of his position vis a vis that “whole generation of scientific experts [ . . .] blind to obvious facts”.

      They’re all blind but I can see, may be a very fine example of confirmation (or other biases at work or perhaps plain arrogance – even though he may be right – or both) especially following his view of himself that he’s “unprejudiced”.

      Surely it’s better to start off from the assumption that we are, in truth, all prejudiced, in the sense he means (ie vulnerable to biases), and work carefully from there. Such a starting position helps us to treat the work of others with due respect, and perhaps obliges us to understand it better and thus be more capable of countering it if appropriate.

      I may be an idealistic fool for dreaming of the day when all of us who seek understanding and knowledge, apply to ourselves effectively Feynman’s crucial, and very difficult to heed, warning about how easy it is to fool ourselves. It looks like a very simple and obvious proposition, but building it solidly into our analytical equipment and processes is exceedingly difficult, and very firmly resisted by our egos. . . Anyone who thinks it’s easy probably isn’t doing it right!

      A very fine posting Mr Hansen. Thank you.

      • Jim Hogg ==> Certainly true that we are all prone to bias — prone to accepting data that confirms our existing opinions and views and resistant to contrary data.

        As Scientists (or persons interested in learning from science), we must guard and defend ourselves from our natural inclinations and do our best to evaluate information at its face value (after discriminating between spurious data and solid, scientifically sound data).

        Thank you for your kind words.

      • This article was
        unusually interesting
        and easy to read.

        For some reason that has
        not been the norm here
        in the past month.

        How can one not like an article
        that includes the word “poltergeists” ?

        Readability was helped
        by lots of spaces
        between sentences,
        and lots of easy to read charts.

        The only problem
        I found: Many sentences
        were too long.

        Using lots of commas
        helps that problem,
        but doesn’t fix it.

        Read the sentences out loud.

        Then write them to match
        how you said them.

        They will be shorter sentences!

        Reading
        THE ART OF PLAIN TALK
        by Rudolf Flesch,
        would be helpful.

        Of course even if your article was perfect,
        I’d come here to accuse you of having
        a ghost writer.
        heh heh

        • Richard ==> Actually, I write the way I talk. That is, I write in a narrative style, as if story telling or speaking. Thus, not all my writing looks or acts like solid academic prose. Others tell me I am an accomplished public speaker — I am not able to judge such things for myself, but I have done a lot of public speaking and have given a lecture on the subject to a Public Speaking course at our local University. So, just imagine a speaker at a podium and it should go easier. I use a lot of –s to indicate a pause in the spoken flow of words.

  20. Neither Einstein nor Kepler would have passed peer review. Both noted data that no-one else noticed. The breakthroughs did not come from the data, random or apparently not. Planck’s “h” (hilfe) is not from data.
    Then Bohr declared nature is fundamentally random, closing the case on further inquiry, or so he thought. von Newmann then proved further inquiry was impossible, mathematically, and is now totally discredited.

    That natural scientific process is under direct attack with “climate” – really nothing about the data, rather an attempt to make sure no Kepler, Leibniz, Einstein, Planck, deBroglie ever appears again. The liberal imperial mob rightly fears what Percy Shelley, only a poet can do this, beckoned :
    http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/PShelley/anarchy.html
    I mention this because most of the great scientists refer to poetry, music as the well-spring of ideas which tends to be forgotten in the ferocious battle: Shelley :

    With step as soft as wind it passed
    O’er the heads of men—so fast
    That they knew the presence there,
    And looked,—but all was empty air.

    As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
    As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
    As waves arise when loud winds call,
    Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

    That’s why science is never settled. We are not pattern matchers, nor conditioned reflexes.

    • Probably my favourite Shelley poem – which reflects a particularly emphatic “liberal” position against entrenched power. Nice to be reminded of it again. Thank you. . .

      We know less than we think, for sure, but the identification of patterns matters (for they appear to be everywhere), as do reflexes (biases),though, yes, we are much more – at least in our own minds. . . Apophenia might be an affliction but the pursuit (a fine biography of Shelley by Richard Holmes) of connections is probably key to scientific progress, for everything is connected, I believe (hopefully not apophenically) however tenuously.

  21. Thank you, Kip, for this useful and well-done exposition.

    Now, if I can just figure out a way to get every employee of NPR, PBS, Mikey Bloomberg, Jeremy Grantham, the WaPo, Pravda (a/k/a the N.Y. Times), MSNBC, National Geographic, Rockefeller Foundation, Park Foundation, Pew Trusts, MacArthur Foundation, the UN, the Sierra Club, Middlebury College, Hewlett Foundation, Gates Foundation, Audubon Society, Natural Resource Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, et al to read it.

    • John W. Garrett ==> You would be surprised (I think) at how widely read WUWT really is. I have been writing here (and elsewhere) for quite some time now and am myself surprised to stumble across links and references to my work here in places I’d never have expected to see it. This is even more surprising as I do no original research — am I just a science communicator — an essayist.

    • And of course the employees and owners of those will be trying to figure out a way to get commenters on WUWT to do the same . . .

    • “John W. Garrett
      …if I can just figure out a way to get every employee of…”

      You left out Scientific American. And I suppose others, but Scientific American is a big offender.

  22. Have circulated this widely including IPCC authors & other big dog experts. Lots of venom & rants yet no rebuttals.

    I’ll plow this plowed ground and beat this dead horse yet some more. Maybe somebody will step up and ‘splain scientifically how/why I’ve got it wrong – or not.

    Radiative Green House Effect theory (TFK_bams09):

    1) 288 K – 255 K = 33 C warmer with atmosphere, RGHE’s only reason to even exist – rubbish. (simple observation & Nikolov & Kramm)
    But how, exactly, is that supposed to work?

    2) There is a 333 W/m^2 up/down/”back” energy loop consisting of the 0.04% GHG’s that absorbs/”traps”/re-emits per QED simultaneously warming BOTH the atmosphere and the surface. – Good trick, too bad it’s not real, thermodynamic nonsense.
    And where does this magical GHG energy loop first get that energy?

    3) From the 16 C/289 K/396 W/m^2 S-B 1.0 ε ideal theoretical BB radiation upwelling from the surface. – which due to the non-radiative heat transfer participation of the atmospheric molecules is simply not possible.

    No BB upwelling & no GHG energy loop & no 33 C warmer means no RGHE theory & no CO2 warming & no man caused climate change.

    Got science? Bring it!!

    Nick Schroeder, BSME CU ‘78, CO PE 22774

    Experiments in the classical style:
    https://principia-scientific.org/debunking-the-greenhouse-gas-theory-with-a-boiling-water-pot/

    There is no greenhouse effect – and that’s a fact , Jack!

    • Nick:
      I have explained the science to for you for one.
      But of course nothing alters the course of comfirmation bias in these parts.

      And also you are aware there is this is in WUWT policy….

      “For the same reasons as the absurd topics listed above, references to the “Slaying the Sky Dragon” Book and subsequent group “Principia Scientific” WHICH HAVE THE MISGUIDED IDEA THAT THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT DOESN’T EXIST and have elevated that idea into active zealotry, WUWT is a “Slayer Free Zone”. There are other blogs which will discuss this topic, take that commentary there.” (My caps)

    • Nick Schroeder ==> The comments sections below my essays is not the proper place for comments such as yours. If you just wish to goad someone into arguing with you, find an Open Thread on any of the other many climate related sites and there you will find joy.

      Here, under my essay, your comment is simply Off Topic.

    • Well, everybody will just love this, but it’s an essential part of the scientific process.

      I don’t understand, Anthony, because you can’t explain what doesn’t exist.

      The 16 C, 288 K global average is a wild ass guess pulled out of WMOs butt.

      The 255 K is the S-B BB calculated temperature (actual upper level temperature measurements don’t support this, btw.) of the net albedo in/out ToA AVERAGE 240 W/m^2 needed to maintain the balance. The 255 K has absolutely no meaningful connection (Looks spot on topic to me.) with the surface 288 K. (1,368/4=342*.7=240 & 255 K – btw a really stupid model.)

      “Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.”

      Without an atmosphere the earth would be much like the moon, albedo 0.12, ToA average of 301 W/m^2 and equivalent S-B BB calculated temperature of 270 K not 255 K.

      But this ToA average model is stupid.

      Say the atmospheric earth is 308 K lit side, 268 K dark side, average 288 K, range 40 C.
      Say the non-atmospheric earth is 388 K lit side, 188 K dark side, average remains 288 K, range 200 C.
      Identical averages, but the first model is habitable, the second is not.

      Let’s look at reality.
      ISR
      1,368 W/m^2, 0.0 albedo, net 1,368 W/m^2, 394 K, 121 C, 250 F. This is why the ISS has a redundant pair of ammonia refrigerant chilling, cooling, AC systems. Space is hot, not cold.
      No atmosphere
      1,368 W/m^2, 0.12 albedo, net 1,204 W/m^2, 382 K, 109 C, 228.2 F.
      Atmosphere
      1,368 W/m^2, 0.3 albedo, net 957.6 W/m^2, 360.5 K. 87.5 C, 189.5 F.

      The without atmosphere is quite clearly 21.5 C hotter, not 33 C colder, than the with it atmosphere.

      Without an atmosphere the earth will be much like the moon, blistering hot on the lit side, bitter cold on the dark. (Nikolov & Kramm) Most certainly NOT the 255 K frozen ice ball some amateurs assert.

      • Nick:
        You said that in a post above.
        It is still you that is confused and not science (why is that not common-sense logic to you?).
        It is still WUWT policy not to deny the GHE on here.

  23. In order to believe one thing they must by definition disbelieve other things contrary to that belief. This cognitive conditioning occurs not only from one experience, but from constant and sustained exposure to an underlying tribal message.

    Plus the good old (30+years old) motivator to action: “we have only xx years left”!
    (Fill in appropriate years and watch this space for updates).

  24. First off the sun has more than one way to impact climate. The fact that they have eliminated one of these ways is not proof that the sun isn’t responsible.

    Secondly they show that each of the factors that they have eliminated can’t all by itself explain the change.
    They never looked at the possibility that multiple factors can explain the changes.
    For example, say the sun was responsible for 20% of the warming, and the elimination of aerosols from power plant emissions was responsible for 25% of the warming, etc.

  25. Kip
    You presented the graph of CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa since 1958.
    Nice increase. We all know this. However, did this increase caused the temperature to increase? Why not add the the temperature data on your graph so we can see a possible relationship?
    This has been done. Look at this site:
    http://www.climate4you.com/
    On the opening page, click on the item listed “Temperature and CO2”.
    You will get the answer.
    Then, take a good look at the last El Nino. See how the temperature increased before the increase in CO2. Same for the 1998 effect. Temperature increased first.

    • rd50 ==> That may be an example of the nonlinear relationship between atmospheric CO2 and Air/Surface Temperature. No one thinks the CO2/Temp connection is that fast.

      • Kip,
        I have come up with another hypothesis which I intend to explore. Succinctly, out-gassing from the oceans is controlled by the temperature of the water and the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. The production of anthropogenic CO2 is independent of either. However, Anthro’ CO2 will inhibit out-gassing because it is increasing the partial pressure. Thus, even in the absence of anthro’ CO2, the atmosphere might have as much CO2 as it presently does. That is to say, the correlation with anthro’ production of CO2 and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is a spurious correlation. CO2 is not the control knob on on temperature, temperature is the control knob on CO2, modulated by anthropogenic CO2.

        This will be difficult to quantify because a lot of assumptions will have to be made as to what volume of ocean water (and what depths) are contributing to the out-gassing and what the dissolved CO2 is in those contributors.

        • Clyde ==> An interesting idea — in fact the latest “ocean heat content” paper claims to derive ocean heat content from atmospheric composition (truthfully, I don’t buy it at all — ignores far too many known physical components that affect atmosphere).

          There is no doubt that ocean temperature rising causes some out-gassing of CO2 and other dissolved gasses.

  26. Hey Kip, nice to see your new essay. As usual good stuff.

    I posit that it is because, as a whole, we don’t believe them. We don’t believe the IPCC as a body of experts, we don’t believe Climate Science as a purveyor of physical truth.

    I reckon, you’re right. Generally we don’t believe IPCC, we don’t believe in those hysterical predictions, even if they’re supported by voices from scientific community. That’s interesting by the way – public generally does not have any problems with accepting even most difficult to grasp scientific ideas as quantum weirdness, black holes, singularity or relativistic effects. AGW is a remarkable and rare exception, considering effort scientific community and some governments is taking to convince ‘lay people’. Methinks there are couple of reasons for that such as:

    1. Contrast between scale of threat and demands to mitigate this threat versus supporting evidence. Here we have demands almost to de-industrialise ourselves, give up industry, give up cars, give up cheap energy, give up way of life. Because of what? Few computer models based on inaccurate historical records, heavily ‘infilled’, adjusted, normalised, averaged, filtered, de-trended and re-trended, combined, altered, tuned, processed, reconciled, harmonised and eventually digested. You don’t need a PhD to smell a rat; that something is not quite right in this picture.

    2. Universal interpretation of reality. Do we have a warm summer? That’s the obvious evidence for global warming! Doe we have a cold and snowy winter? That is also evidence for global warming (‘climate changing’)! In this way of thinking both warm and cold years constitute positive evidence for global warming. (If i remember correctly, there were voices that in the course of global warming we have to go through prolonged periods of global cooling). What does it tell you? That you are manipulated. Elementary, my dear Watson.

    3. The form and style AGW is preached to us, little ones. Often aggressive style, rants (‘accept it, moronic masses, what wise people are telling you!’), stigmatisation of skeptical voices, appealing to authority instead of hard arguments, zeal in proclaiming apocalyptic consequences of AGW and so on. This hysterical note is absent in the other branches of science. After all you can run double slit experiment in your house. If you’re really desperate you can purchase more expensive equipment and see with your eyes how photons (mis)behave.

    As all skeptics societies always saying: seeing is believing. Show us and then we will believe.

    • Paramenter ==> Oddly, the AGW advocates think they have showed us….see Nick Stokes above…for him, it is childishly simple.

      • Even they realize that it is not so simply as they want to paint that. Why medieval warming period disappeared from late IPCC reports? Because it suggests significant natural variability. Medieval industry is rather hard to blame. At best, what they have shown it that CO2 emissions may contribute to natural climate cycles. Contribute how much? Decisively? Significantly? Negligible? Here, we’re sailing into the sea of speculations. And that cannot be hidden even by the best propaganda. I reckon that’s why bold demands raised by ‘climate science’ are generally taken by general public with large pinch of salt.

  27. “There is an entire list of suspects that scientists have looked at…”

    Really, their short list of examples seems to me to be an attemp to set up what a logician would call a ‘false dilemma’, an attempt to get the reader to focus only on their carefully selected options.

    • Jon Salmi ==> Reqd their whole original piece in the Houston Chronicle….linked in essay—and you’ll see how childish their argument is. Similar to Nick Stokes repeated several times here today.

      • Kip;Thanks for the advice. I loved the chart matching temperatures to a prediction – perhaps a good example of the Texas sharp-shooter fallacy? How many charts did they have to go through to find it?

  28. Kip Hansen:

    There is a simple explanation for climate change which is easily proven to be correct, but which has been completely ignored by all.

    Whenever there is a large volcanic eruption, Megatons of SO2 are typically spewed into the stratosphere, where it is converted into dimming SO2 aerosols that cool the Earth’s surface for varying periods of time.

    When these aerosols settle out, as they all eventually do, temperatures warm up to pre-exiasting levels, or higher, simply because of the cleansed air, which allows sunshine to strike the Earth’s surface with greater intensity, increasing insolation.

    Anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions, from the burning of fossil fuels, has the same effect; cooler temperatures resulting from their presence, and warming temperatures when their concentration in the atmosphere is reduced.

    Circa 1975, anthropogenic SO2 emission levels peaked at 131 Megatons, and by 2014, due to global Clean Air efforts, they had fallen to 101 Megatons, and as for volcanoes, temperatures rose due to the cleaner air.

    The rate of warming was approx. .02 C deg. of temp. rise for each net Megaton of reduction in global SO2 aerosol emissions.

    With continued on-going efforts to reduce anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions, we are at risk of ever higher temperatures. A reduction of an additional 50 Megatons, for example, would cause an additional temperature rise of approx. 1.0 deg. C

    Can you agree with this analysis of Climate Change?

    • Burl ==> It is generally acknowledged that the Clean Air policies of the Industrialized world (Americas, Europe) helped reduced sun-blocking aerosols and increased incoming energy striking the Earth’s surface.

      It is not accepted as a major player in late 21st century warming.

      • Kip Hansen:

        “It is not accepted as a major player in late 21st century warming”

        A reasonable answer as an essayist, since no Journal editor will accept any paper that in any way contradicts the greenhouse gas hypothesis, leaving no papers for you to digest.

        However, you did not answer my question: Based upon the information that I provided, would you agree that it presents a logically and physically correct explanation of the actual cause of climate change, one which should be pursued?

        (This “hypothesis”–that decreases or increases in SO2 aerosol emissions will cause average global temperatures to rise or fall–is naturally validated after essentially every VEI4 or larger volcanic eruption).

        • Burl ==> I’ve already given the best answer I have based on my knowledge of the field.

          Cleaning up known air pollution by developed countries is known to have increased the amount of energy from the Sun hitting the surface of the Earth. This would have the natural effect of increasing energy in the Earth climate system — which might have led to some increase in temperature.

          This is a know fact in climate science since the 1970s on. But it is not considered to be a major player in the rise in surface temperatures since 1975-1979 or so.

          Volcanic eruptions, especially major ones, throw huge amounts of SOs into the air along with dust, smoke, and a lot of other material, and have a known effect (cooling) on the climate for a short period — one or two or three years.

  29. Kip,
    Shouldn’t the overstruck-“and” be moved in front of “warns?

    “…avoid disastrous levels of and global warming” warns that…”

  30. Kip,

    You say:

    Why aren’t the governments of nations calling out the National Guards to build millions of acres of solar-panel power stations, erecting millions of wind turbines, dismantling coal fired power plants, re-fitting abandoned hydropower stations, restricting the sale of gasoline-powered autos — all in a last ditch effort to save the planet and all of humanity?

    I posit that it is because, as a whole, we don’t believe them. We don’t believe the IPCC as a body of experts, we don’t believe Climate Science as a purveyor of physical truth.

    There are a lot of theories as to why “we don’t believe them”. My opinion is that the general public looks around and sees that things are as they always have been, as far as the weather and the climate are concerned.

    I think you are absolutely right, and I’ve said it often here, that ‘we don’t believe them’. But its not just ‘us’. Its all policy makers and governments all around the world, and its the Chinese and Indians in particular who by their actions are showing every day they do not believe it.

    I think an important part of the reason, which you don’t go into in your piece, is the gap between the theory and the proposed policies. The problem is that even if you concede all the alarmist case, there is then still no rational case for their policy agenda. Which appears to be, install lots of wind and solar in the West, in the totally unevidenced hope that this will somehow miraculously lower emissions. Whereas there is no evidence it will even lower the smallish proportion of emissions coming from electricity generation, let alone make a dent in the total of all emissions.

    And the alarmist policy prescription is also to have China and India and so on continue to emit and increase their emissions.

    This is so obviously irrational, even if you agree that the world is on the brink of catastrophe from warming due to emissions, that its no wonder no-one takes it seriously. If you accept their theory in its own terms, the policy prescription they pretend to believe in seems designed to ensure that the catastrophe happens.

    If the activists believed what they claim to, they’d be demonstrating outside every Chinese embassy everywhere on the planet. If our governments believed it, they would be screaming at the Chinese to get their emissions down by half starting tomorrow.

    The mystery is not why they do not believe it. That is in a way reassuring. Our leaders are not total idiots. The mystery is why they keep saying they do believe it. That is more worrying. It raises the thought that they take us all for idiots.

    • Michel ==> We are lucky that not all the world’s political leaders sheepishly parrot the AGW mantra — they are the sane ones or the honest ones (or insane enough not to care about their “appearances”). One never knows with politicians.

      Here in the US, politicians like Gov Brown of California say things that at other times would have seen them committed to an asylum yet he is cheered on by the other California Crazies. The President of the US says “No!” to Paris, and some say he is crazy.

      It’s a tough sell — this climate realism.

  31. Kip,

    In my honest opinion this is the best and by far the most powerful essay that you have written here at WUWT. It should be widely published.

    And as you wrote — “… the “decades of research” they detail to support their conclusion is [with apologies for bluntness] scientifically infantile: …”. No apologies are necessary with me as at times I’m kind of blunt myself and make no apologies.

    Keep up the good work.

  32. From the article:

    Dessler and Cohan: “If the Sun has been getting brighter, then that could explain the warming.”

    What these people really mean is: If the Sun has been getting brighter, then that could explain the [unprecedented] warming, since the late 1970’s.

    What they are doing is claiming we are in unprecedented temperature territory and there is no explanation for the “extra” warmth other than CO2.

    But they are operating under a false premise created by a false-reality global surface temperature chart.

    There is no unprecedented warming. See the comparison charts below. The one on the left is the Hansen 1999 US surface temperature chart, and the one on the right is the bogus, bastardized global surface temperature Hockey Stick chart.

    As can be seen, the Hansen chart shows a temperature profile much different than the bogus Hockey Stick chart. Hansen 1999 shows the temperatures going through regular temperature ups and downs of about the same magnitude since before 1910.

    The Hansen 1999 chart shows that temperatures reached a low point around 1910, and then warmed up from 1910 to about 1940 during a time when CO2 is not considered to have any major effect on temperature.

    Then the temperatures cool from about 1940 to about 1980, and the low point is almost at the same temperature level as the 1910 low. Then temperatures increase from 1980 to 1998 at about the same magnitude as the temperature increase from 1910 to 1940, and 1998 ended up being about 0.5C cooler than the 1930’s.

    So the temperatures had two periods of temperature increase during these period of time and both the cooling and the warming were of equal magnitudes and started at equal lows and finished at equal highs according to Hansen 1999.

    One of those periods, the 1910 to 1940 period, is supposed to be caused by natural variations, whereas the IPCC says the second period from 1980 to 1998 was caused by CO2.

    But there is no reason to assume the warmth in the later period has a cause any different from the natural variation that caused the first period of warmth.

    The temperature profile then cooled after 1998 (see UAH chart) and then warmed up again to 2016, where 2016 reached a temperature 0.1C higher than 1998, which makes 2016 0.4C cooler than the 1930’s. So there is no need to invoke CO2 as the cause for any of these warmings. Neither of the two latest warmings, 1998 and 2016, reached the temperature level of the 1930’s. So no unprecedented warmth is necessary to account for the warming after 1980.

    If you want to know where these climate scientists get the idea that today’s climate has unprecedented warmth, all you have to do is look at the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart like the one on the right in the chart below.

    The Keepers of the Climate Data perpetrated a fraud on humanity and went back and changed the original temperature record of unscary temperature ups and downs, and through computer manipulations they lowered past temperatures and increased present temperatues until they changed the temperature chart from having a benign up and down temperature profile to a temperature profile that presents a false picture of temperatures steadily climbing in a gently curving upward arc which matches the profile of the CO2 chart. They were trying to create a corrolation between CO2 and temperature. This fraudulent Hockey Stick chart is the only “corrolation” they have.

    So the fraudulent manipulation of the Hockey Stick chart cooled the 1930’s into looking like a little, cool bump on the temperature profile. Everyone knows the 1930’s had extreme heat and weather, so by making the 1930’s look cooler than it really was, they make the current warmth, which is actually less than the warmth of the 1930’s to look like we are in unprecedented temperature territory, since the level appears to be so much higher than in the 1930’s.

    The Hockey Stick chart is a big lie and basing any assumptions on it is a fool’s errand.

    https://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-07-29114325_shadow.png

  33. The medical community now openly admits that it’s biased against discussing publicly the rare but nasty side effects of vaccines. Even the Uniparty press will publish that now.

    And of course, they blame (imaginary) “anti vaxxers” for their bais – which in the decent world is spelled: dishonesty.

  34. Hi Kip.
    And thanks again for another interesting essay. I would like to disagree with you (actually I don’t really want to, but feel I must) and your use of modifier. I think that ‘Religious Apophenia’ makes far more sense, unless you think that an oxymoron (I don’t but it often is).

    I know ‘science’ is much debased in the popular media, but ‘Scientific’ should still be used by those of us who remain serious in an increasingly crazy time to indicate an attempt at objectively understanding ‘nature’. Real scientists do not feel the need to append ‘Science’ to their studies – you don’t see Physical Science, Chemical Science, Geological Science etc. Well, maybe you do now, but caveat emptor. I’m not trying to degrade ‘Biological Sciences’ – that is an umbrella for a lot of -ologies – but ‘Environmental Sciences’ is highly suspect. Maybe Atmospheric Scientists just don’t have a good -ology, but the exception proves the rule (archaic sense).

    I think that ‘Scientific’ is a misnomer when applied to ‘Climate Science’ and what we actually are seeing is just conforming to a Calvinistic doctrine – we can only know the world through the Word of Climate Scientists, we are all evil, and only those who believe will be saved (and the Climate Scientists will decide who are pure enough to deserve saving). I think this parsimoniously explains the religious fervour in Climate Science, the intolerance to dissenting views, the lack of logic, and the general restriction of this set of beliefs to cultures of European descent (ignoring the greedy opportunists elsewhere that see an advantage to them). End of rant and thanks again for an interesting essay.

  35. Kip,
    “Why aren’t the governments of nations calling out the National Guards to build millions of acres of solar-panel power stations, erecting millions of wind turbines, dismantling coal fired power plants, re-fitting abandoned hydropower stations, restricting the sale of gasoline-powered autos — all in a last ditch effort to save the planet and all of humanity?”

    1. Skeptic opposition
    2. Money
    3. Uncertainty
    4. Inertia
    5. Hope that technology will offer a better, cheaper, easier solution
    6. Lack of concern – “It’s other people’s problem, why should I fork out the dough?”
    7. Widespread propaganda discrediting the scientific community and dismissing the science (just like this post!)
    8. Leaders who only think of the short term GDP and the next election cycle
    9. Science has become a partisan political battleground, with many seeing the science not on its own merits, but for what it might mean for policy
    10. Unrealistic goals advocated by the IPCC and others
    11. Widespread ignorance of the effects climate change is having and could have, due to a very narrow focus on obvious direct effects on humans without consideration of the indirect effects through biota and ecosystem function – i.e. the “warmer and greener is better” syndrome, which is [with apologies for bluntness] “scientifically infantile”

    “I posit that it is because, as a whole, we don’t believe them. We don’t believe the IPCC as a body of experts, we don’t believe Climate Science as a purveyor of physical truth.”

    Speak for yourself.

    • I notice you ignore the fact that there is no scientific support for the belief that the tiny amount of warming that CO2 is capable of causing is anything but 100% beneficial. As is the greening of the planet that is being caused by CO2.

    • Kristi,

      I can’t speak for Kip but I can speak for myself and I agree with Kip. I just don’t believe the doomsday hype. You on the other hand are a true believer. Have you considered why you are so wrapped up in fear of an eminent climate apocalypse? Please speak for yourself.

      • eyesonu,

        “You on the other hand are a true believer. Have you considered why you are so wrapped up in fear of an eminent climate apocalypse?”

        Oy vey! You are speaking for me! What a ridiculous assumption. What the he11 makes you think you know me and my fears?

        Gee, no I never considered anything, now that you mention it! Wow, maybe I’ll try doing that some day. /sarc

        • I’ve read many of your posts when I have nothing better to do and it would be reasonable to conclude that they reflect YOUR views, beliefs, concerns and reasoning.

          That leads me to assume that your rambling, self contradictory, illogical reasoning, incoherent, and always defensive of any discussion not supportive of an impending climate disaster would reveal that you have an extreme fear of an eminent end-of-the-world climate disaster.

          Either that or perhaps you are paid to promote the ideological doomsday narrative. If you are paid to promote the the doomsday scenario then as the ‘mob’ would say “it’s just business”. But you are not very good at it if that’s the case.

          On the other hand, perhaps you offer an insight to the irrational fears of those that are sometimes referred to as the “believers” who share your fears. Their writings often reflect yours so closely that sometimes it appears to be computer generated. But the narrative and talking points are most always the same. Are the fears originating from the same limited sources?

          Anyway, I always like to read different viewpoints on various subjects but that doesn’t mean I will agree with them. Monty Python skits come to mind. While outlandish, they are amusing.

    • Kristi ==> Thanks for weighing in here.

      Oddly, I think that your list of “reasons why” governments don’t hop to and obey the IPCC’s recommendations has a lot of merit.

      As for #s 1 and 7, I think you grant too much power to the Climate Skeptics endeavor — we try, but it is a long hard row to hoe.

      Specifically on #7, the “scientific community” is in the process of outing itself — Internet search “reproducibility crisis” or “crisis in science”. The journals are full of the effort to correct the misuse and abuse of “science” for all kinds of reasons — personal gain, fame, career advancement, etc. If you’d stop the rant and catch your breath, you’d remember that I am a hard core Science Promoter, not a detractor. I hope I am seen as an enemy of Bad Science and Bad Science Journalism.

      Your #2, 3, 4, 5 are spot on — the governments remain unconvinced of the cost/benefit ratios, when heads of government check with their personal science advisors (often the smartest people in the world) they learn that CliSci is very very uncertain, there is a lot of technological interia (rebuilding the entire energy system and supply lines is insanely daunting) and there is hope that the Greens will give in and we can move forward with various new, safe nuclear and end all the nonsense.

      On #6, I’m not sure — the man-in-the-street does not comprehend the vast sums of money the governments spend — not in any real sense. They do wonder why “my government” wants to spend “my money” on “?????” (whatever).

      # 7 — If you think that this essay is propagandistic, please kindly point out which sections (outside of obvious personal opinions) you feel are factually incorrect or intentionally misleading.

      # 8 — can’t say I think politicians give a rats-behind about GDP but they sure do worry about elections.

      #9 is especially true for CliSci and all the environmentalist issues — particularly and exceptionally the IPCC and its fellow-travelers.

      # 10 — very spot on

      # 11 — I don’t find bias against living things very attractive — although I did not say so in the essay, greener is better than browner, and in the wider scope, a little warmer is better than a little colder….gee, we almost qualify as an “Earth-like” planet temperature-wise. Your snide little attack (for something I didn’t say) ignores the contents of a dozen or so of my essays here promoting life of all sorts.

      Finally, I always speak for myself.

      • Kip,

        First,
        ” Your snide little attack (for something I didn’t say) ignores the contents of a dozen or so of my essays here promoting life of all sorts.”
        I did not mean to imply that it was your saying this. I was just borrowing your phrase about infantile science.

        Regarding propaganda…

        ‘The Climate Scientists try to tell the people that their present day problems — hurricanes and floods, wild fires, heat waves — are caused by Anthropogenic Climate Change [caused by humans burning fossil fuels].

        There may be some scientists who think that some of these things are anthropogenic – and there is evidence that apart from wild fires, there is likely a regional increase in them. “Likely” is not “definite,” but some evidence is different from no evidence at all. But the main point is that it’s mostly the media who are screaming about these things, and it’s not all “Climate Scientists.”

        You have several of these generalizations, “The Climate Scientists…” I HATE silly generalizations intended to insult, discredit and dismiss. It may be just your opinion, but you do not make that clear, you state it as if it were fact. Even if people consciously know it’s probably just opinion, this is the kind of thing that when said often enough gets lodged in the unconscious mind as fact. And it’s something they want to believe – it’s classic confirmation bias.

        Confirmation bias is at least as strong among skeptics as it is within the scientific community. You offer absolutely no evidence, you just say it’s there. And I’m sure that’s true to some extent, but to suggest that it has meant the whole field is profoundly affected by it is not just speculation, it is an assertion that is meant to prejudice. What it doesn’t take into account is that individuals have different ideas, are prone to critique others’ work, find errors…anyone familiar with the literature can see that people talk about weaknesses in the science and ways of improving it. Science is a creative endeavor, and good scientists naturally look for alternative explanations and ways of doing things. That’s how it moves forward.

        Your points about reproducibility, and the much-publicized problems in science, that is referring to other fields, as you should know. Sure, there are always some problems in every field, but your suggesting that climate science suffers from the same problems as medical science, sociology, psychology, etc. is baseless. It’s propaganda.

        Stop making accusations without evidence. Stop the generalizations. Stop trying to discredit scientists, and focus instead on the science.

        The widespread distrust of the scientific community bothers me as much as the threat of climate change. It’s insidious, and it’s mostly the result of propaganda. If people trusted the scientific community as a whole, they could make informed decisions about climate change. Right now many skeptics think they know more, are smarter and less biased, and that’s just plain foolish.

        It’s also foolish to think of the IPCC as merely a political document. That just allows people to ignore all the science in it.
        …………………………………………………………………………………
        “Confirmation Bias itself is a special form of apophenia”
        I disagree. Confirmation bias can be about all kinds of things – picking graphs that support one’s opinion, for example. If anything, apophenia can be a form of CB, but that’s not necessarily true, either. I’d just say they overlap.

        • Kristi ==> The press quotes the likes of Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt, and a dozen or so others in their attribution of extreme weather events to GW.

          I am sorry to inform you that Climate Science as a field is badly flawed as a scientific endeavor. There are at least two State’s Climatologists and two Dept Heads of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences of state university systems that agree with me (one recently retired). I suggest that you only defend defensible science — and try not to tar yourself by trying to whitewash over a lot of shoddy work.

          “suggesting that climate science suffers from the same problems as medical science, sociology, psychology, etc. is baseless.” Please, come into the real world on this — CliSci is so badly biased by politics as to be a world-wide joke for the average citizen — and of course it suffers from the same poor science practices as the other sciences. I even wrote an essay on the bad science in Ocean Acidification studies and the brave action of some of its practitioners to try to correct it.

          “Confirmation Bias itself is a special form of apophenia” is a quote from the paper indicated. And it is correct….

          You are correct also, there are scads of ways to wreck research through confirmation bias — read any journal covering CliSci for examples.

          • “‘The climate is changing, so the signal that you’re looking for is also increasing,’ Schmidt said. ‘We’re seeing continued warming, and so the impacts of that are being felt more clearly throughout the system.’

            “Schmidt says there are limits to what weather attribution can tell us, with many events being impossible to attribute because the models don’t have enough fine spatial detail.”

            Does this sound like wanton attribution of extreme events? But even if Schmidt and a couple dozen others do make such attributions, why do you generalize? They are not The Climate Scientists, they are some climate scientists. There is a big difference. Words mean something.

            “I am sorry to inform you that Climate Science as a field is badly flawed as a scientific endeavor. There are at least two State’s Climatologists and two Dept Heads of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences of state university systems that agree with me (one recently retired).”

            And what makes you a better judge than I? Do you think I don’t read the original literature? Do you think I’m a mindless parrot? I started really getting into climate science through Breitbart and now WUWT, not from the AGW side. It was skeptics who inspired my reading, skeptics whose arguments I saw. And as a result of the weakness of the arguments and the pervasive bias and propaganda, and the complete lack of any cohesive view or hypothesis of contrarian scientists, the AGW side only gained credibility. I saw the way the climategate emails were interpreted to manipulate public opinion. I saw the way McIntyre and McKittrick’s critiques of Mann had such a huge effect on opinion, and the rebuttals to them, the faults in their analyses were either unknown or ignored. I saw the way the arguments about uncertainty and lack of credibility exactly reflected the goals of the fossil fuel-funded propaganda campaigns, and I saw the scientists named in their memos as spokesmen. I saw how many contrarian scientists were associated with conservative think tanks – and yet, it’s the “consensus” scientists who are accused of being politically motivated!

            I also saw healthy debate within the CliSci community, and generally quality research done around the world, and ample admissions of uncertainty and caveats. Sure, not all climate science is done well. But there’s a lot of poor contrarian research out there, too, yet many skeptics will accept one and not the other without even reading the papers. While I know that some skeptics are worse than others in their assumptions, there is little argument against bad assumptions.

            A few highly-placed individuals agree with you, and that’s supposed to impress me? Do you suppose I’m not aware of that?

            The picture of extreme events is more complex than just whether an event happens or not, or how often. The amount of rain during Hurricane Harvey was an extremely rare event, for instance, once in 9000 years, according to some research. That doesn’t mean it was necessarily due to climate change, but the predictions from climate change modeling suggest that it is likely that contributed to it. Do you see what I mean? Climate change didn’t cause the storm, but it’s likely it enhanced the storm’s damage. It’s not “proven,” just likely.
            http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa9ef2

            I’m very aware that the media tends to say every weird event is the result of climate change. I blame the media (and people like Al Gore) for a lot of damage to the credibility of climate science. Some scientists have contributed to that in their efforts to get people to take it seriously, and that’s too bad. There are also many scientists who don’t want to get involved in advocacy. I imagine one reason they don’t want to debate is because it gives them the reputation of bias. The skeptic calls for debate are justification for believing the consensus knows their position is weak. If they want to see the evidence weighed, they should read the literature – that’s where the debate happens. But of course, it’s hard for laymen to understand the literature…which is exactly why any public debate is superficial. (Wasn’t it you who posted the Happer/Karoly debate, and thought Happer won? Huh. Happer kept talking about socialism, the Soviets – didn’t he also get in a comment about Lysenko? Associate climate science with socialism, cause a knee-jerk, gut reaction from conservatives. Propaganda!)

            It seems like skeptics tend to oversimplify the science, and that sends the wrong message. The observations and projections of the IPCC, for instance, are taken as “this has happened” and “this will happen,” instead of, “it’s likely this has happened” or “it is somewhat likely this will happen.” When there’s a study that finds that something didn’t happen, it’s taken as evidence that the IPCC is wrong, without considering the gradations of likelihood and confidence. Or there will be a regional study, and people will act as if that disproves a global projection. Where, for instance, does the IPCC suggest that tornadoes or wildfires or hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. are very likely to increase in frequency?

            Then there are damage reports, such as those by Pielke, Jr. They are not relevant to the science of climate change itself, but some interpret them that way.

            “CliSci is so badly biased by politics as to be a world-wide joke for the average citizen — and of course it suffers from the same poor science practices as the other sciences.”

            Sheesh. Just look at the generalizations.

            “I even wrote an essay on the bad science in Ocean Acidification studies and the brave action of some of its practitioners to try to correct it.”

            And you made a false statement: ““The proportion of studies that had interdependent or non-randomly interspersed treatment replicates, or did not report sufficient methodological details, was 95%.” That leaves just 5% of the studies judged to have appropriate experimental designs.” Actually, it was only 5% of studies REPORTED appropriate experimental designs. But that it nitpicking.

            As you point out, OA is a very young field. As you also point out, researchers responded well to the critique and suggestions, and Cornwall did not suggest that OA research as a field was invalidated by his results. 465 studies over the course of 20 years is a reflection of the fact that this is not a big field. Most of the studies were in the laboratory. And this is is only one of the many fields that is tangential to climate change – OA is not a climate effect.

            So, that doesn’t in itself provide evidence that climate science is poorly done.

            How is preferring the evidence that support’s one’s views a form of “the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things”?

            Apophenia could happen without having any emotional investment at all. For example, someone could see two nice shiny new cars in a parking lot and mistakenly assume that the owners are both wealthy. That’s a cognitive error, but not a bias. And how is choosing a graph that suits one’s agenda seeing a mistaken connection?

            The paper’s author give a working definition to “scientific apophenia” for the purpose of their paper, but this does not mean that the definition is common elsewhere. “We define “scientific apophenia” as the assigning of inferential meaning when limited statistical power should prevent such a conclusion or when the data are actually random.” This is a form of confirmation bias, not the other way around.

          • Kristi ==> Sorry, you’re way over the top with this — too long — too ranty — too most everything.

            I’m sorry you are so stuck and that your mind keeps you jumping from one idea and topic to another.

            If there is a specific message in your comment, I can not identify it — other than you are upset that I say climate science, in general, and climate scientists, in general, have problems — and that these problems are pretty much (maybe more so) the same as those being rooted out in other scientific fields in the general “crisis in science” sense.

            Oddly, you not only object to what I say, you object working definitions used in peer-reviewed papers from others and you object to Cornwall and Hurd, heroes in the OA field (and very very mainstream). In short, you seem to object to most everything, which must be uncomfortable for you.

            If you don’t realize that CAGW Climate Science and the IPCC have badly damaged the reputation of Science in general, you have really been wearing blinders.

            I too know that there are a lot of good scientists working hard out there — and I appreciate them and their work. I often compliment them in my essays. I do not, however, suffer fools lightly — and these kinds of shotgun rants are not raising my impression of your critical thinking skills or communication ability.

            Try reading my essay again, and see if you can see what it is I’m saying — what the main point is — what question it asks. Don’t let yourself get distracted by your emotional reaction to little details. When you get to the end — there is the main question. You may think the answer is a definite NO! or a MAYBE… or hmmm, maybe yes?

            Let me know.

          • Kip,

            “object working definitions used in peer-reviewed papers from others and you object to Cornwall and Hurd, heroes in the OA field”

            No, I did not object to their using a defining a phrase for the purposes of their paper. This is commonly done. It doesn’t mean that they believe the definition holds true in general, which is what you have made it out to be.

            You’re right, I went on a rant. That was inspired by the condescending and unsupported, “I am sorry to inform you that Climate Science as a field is badly flawed as a scientific endeavor.”

            I did reread your post. To me it sounds like a rant itself.

            “The problem arises when Climate Scientists, who are predisposed to, and trained to, accept the CO2 Global Warming Hypothesis as fact, see all climate metrics through the lens of:
            [Mauna Loa CO2 graph]

            “Rather than this:
            [Paleoclimate CO2 vs. temp]
            “This graph of geological-time CO2 Concentrations and Global Temperatures shows a non-linear (possibly chaotic) relationship that does not support the CO2-driven Global Warming Hypothesis.”

            Scientists are not thoughtless automatons simply accepting what someone told them, but you make a broad generalization about them suggesting that’s the case.

            The graph of temperature vs. CO2 you show does not support the AGW hypothesis, but neither does it provide evidence against it – but that’s what many infer from it, and you encourage it. It’s silly. Scientists have never maintained that CO2 is the only driver of temperature.

            You fail to consider the main problem with AGW: the rate of change. That is what makes it a danger. Unfortunately, this is not stressed enough by the IPCC reports. The other problem is that there is no mechanism we know of that is likely to stop it unless we make an effort to do so – and even then there is a lag time, and natural feedback mechanisms (such as lower albedo from melted ice and increased GHG release from thawing permafrost) may kick in to extend it. Temperature can drive CO2 release, which can drive higher temperatures.

            Humans and the ecosystems upon which we depend need time to adapt.

            In a sense it seems to me too late to avert major changes, based on the momentum of energy use, population growth, and development. I believe there are more changes than have been documented and definitely attributed to climate change. It takes time to notice them and have enough consistent data to get a signal out of the noise. The length of droughts, for instance, is difficult to document because people only see them once they become obvious, and “effective” drought (the influence on plant growth) can depend on not just precipitation and temperature, but humidity, wind, season, cloudiness, height of water table, mass use of irrigation and type of vegetation. Droughts are not easy to define or measure.

            Coastal flooding depends not just on absolute sea level rise, but relative SLR, wind, strength of tides, and precipitation in other areas that causes rivers to swell. But the fact remains, flooding in many areas is on the rise.

            Precipitation intensity has risen in some areas and decreased in others, resulting in not much average global change – but in this case it’s the variance that’s important.

            Hurricanes should not be gauged simply by whether they hit the U.S., but their regional frequency and intensity – both in their wind speeds and precipitation amounts. The IPCC, for example, says it’s likely that cyclone frequency has increased in the North Atlantic. The U.S. data don’t support this, but there must be other data that do.

            Your sea level graph indicated it has risen faster this century than in the rest of the last two millennia. (Interestingly, it also suggests that effects of the MWP and LIA lagged surface temps.) Tisdale’s graph is not surprising – decadal increase in temps have been increasing since the 1970s. Even if they have leveled off, that still means temperature is increasing at a rate higher than any since 1800. (What is the light gray line?) So even some of the the evidence you present is alarming.

            This is all relevant to your argument about climate science and “disaster.”

          • Kristi ==> Please comment again when you you have one thing to say — that way we could have a conversation.

      • Kip,

        “#9 is especially true for CliSci and all the environmentalist issues — particularly and exceptionally the IPCC and its fellow-travelers.”

        Oh, you frustrate me! Do you not see how much policy is mixed in with the science here? Do you not see the comments about “libtards,” etc.? Skepticism is FULL of political partisanship and talk about the costs of policy change and fossil fuels. Even the idea that the IPCC reports are simply political documents is an excuse to ignore/discredit the science in them. So much skeptic rhetoric is about policy that it’s impossible not to suspect that denial of the evidence (for any NEGATIVE effects) is a rationale for doing nothing to slow or limit climate change. And so many of the attacks on “believers” assert that they are one or more of the following:
        1) socialists promoting global government and redistribution of wealth
        2) fearful an “fear of an eminent climate apocalypse”
        3) irrational, ignorant, hypocritical and biased
        4) suckers for left-wing media propaganda
        5) want to destroy the economy through energy policy
        6) ready to kill millions of people by forcing energy policy on other nations
        7) …of course, politically motivated

        It’s like there is NO chance of compromise. Everything is in black-and-white. Do nothing, or convert all energy to renewables. I hate this kind of thinking. It’s this unwillingness to converse and compromise and take responsibility that has made the U.S. such a hate-filled, angry, blaming, victim-playing nation.

        It’s unfortunate that the idiocy of the new IPCC report just plays into it.

        • Kristi ==> I am not personally responsible for the comments of “angry tweenaged trolls” (from either side of the climate divide)( any more than I am responsible for the things you write here.

          Luckily, I am also not responsible for the rank idiocy published by the IPCC — the worst thing they have done in a long time (and THAT is saying something). I am not sure the climate change effort will recover from their over-stepping any semblance of rationality.

          If you want to bring down your blood pressure, read my two-part series on Why I Don’t Deny

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=%22Kip+Hansen%22++Confessions

  36. Another excellent article, Kip. Thank you for writing it.

    Much kudos to you for your patience and perseverance sticking with all the many comments – right to the (bitter?) end 😉

    • Luc ==> Thank you. I make it an iron clad rule to read every single comment appearing under all of my essays — and to try to respond to those that have questions or want clarification.

      Some readers are still learning how to interact in a collegial manner — and are not quite there yet. I try to be patient with them.

      Thank you for reading here.

  37. Epilogue:

    Apophenia: the tendency to see meaningfulness (and in many cases in scientific apophenia, to see causality) when data is deficient (statistically weak) or even when data is actually random. Those readers in medical fields will recognize this tendency immediately: they see it every day in medical journals, particularly in epidemiology.

    A near perfect example is the World Health Organization publishing a report in Europe stating that environmental noise “is a health risk – contributing to cardiovascular diseases”: a perfect example of a group of scientific bureaucrats being told to find harm or health hazard in “XXX” and promptly doing so, despite total lack of any biological plausibility.

    In Climate Science we have seen two types of apophenia: 1) the almost exclusive attempt to link CO2 emissions to some idea of temperature rise — using various ever-changing, ever-adjusted metrics — since the mid-1800s, 2) the continuing attempt to link any and all negative effects of random weather or changes in phenology to the “idea of” (not actual measured or observed) climate change.

    Thanks to all of you contributing to the conversation, particularly those pointing out examples in their own fields of expertise.

    Thanks for reading.

    # # # # #

    • Kip,
      “2) the continuing attempt to link any and all negative effects of random weather or changes in phenology to the “idea of” (not actual measured or observed) climate change.”

      Scientists as a whole do not “link any and all negative effects…” On the other hand, many skeptics tend to think weather extremes are somehow separate from climate, and therefore ignore any patterns.

      Phenological changes, however, are most definitely happening, and when they follow a pattern, which they are, it can only be due to climate change. Trees all across the U.S. don’t just keep budding earlier, year after year (on average) for any reason but a change in climate. Bird migrations don’t change over the course of decades for any reason but a change in climate. Fish in the Atlantic don’t shift their ranges north unless there’s a reason for it (it could be directly or indirectly due to temperature change). This is not apophenia. Suggesting it is shows denial of evidence.

      • Kridsti ==> Quite right — real scientists don’t do those things. However, if you read the literature (actual journals and not just follow the blogs), you will find innumerable examples of just the behavior I mentioned.

        As you must know, if you pay attention at all, “weather extremes” in the US and Worldwide are downtrending — since I know this, you must admit that I am aware of the patterns. If you think that this is not true, you have failed to read the IPCC reports and latest journal articles.

        You are quite right — phenology is a real study and it follows changes in natural cyclic phenomena. The reason these is a field of study is that the indicators they follow change — that’s why there is a study of the changes. If there were no changes, there would not be a field of study to study it, would there. Since the field of phenology is not new and was not created to satisfy the needs the CliSci, it follows that just because there are changes to study, it does not magically confirm the unsupported claims of poorly done science.

        If you were to read the literature yourself, you would find that many studies notice the changes (which are always changing) and then claim “due to climate change” without any indication of actually having looked at any temperature records or other climatic features for the areas being researched. The latest “Moose Tick” epizootic paper in northern New Hampshire and Northern Maine failed to give any information on climatic conditions yet blamed “climate change”. — I had to write the author who had to refer me to a PhD thesis for information.

        Before you contradict me, you need to have actual facts. And, please, try to contradict ideas that I have actually put forward — and not make up your own to contradict.

        You might consider why you feel it necessary to “defend scientists” who have not been offended. I seldom make observations about “scientists” as a class — so your broad brush defenses of them is superfluous (and off-topic).

        If you wish to defend unknown-to-you climate scientists whom I have rightly accused of attempting to link all extreme weather events to climate change, have a go at it.

  38. “Only persons suffering from Scientific Apophenia see dangerous climate change in the chaotic, random patterns of long-term climate metrics. “ I would have to add that only people with zero knowledge of control systems and totally blinded by their apophenia would postulate a system (e.g., climate) with only positive feedbacks.

      • Joe ==> No worries…..at least you didn’t use all caps.

        To be fair, mainstream CliSci does have some negative feedbacks included in the constellation of feedbacks. As it stands today, the field knows very little about how actual feedbacks work — some feedbacks are so poorly understood that even the sign is not yet verified.

        It will take many more pragmatic climate scientists brave enough to speak out — once the stranglehold on the field is broken, there will be some real progress towards understanding how Earth’s climate operates.

        It is my belief that until CliSci gets a deep understanding of the effects of non-linear dynamics (ref: Chaos Theory) on Climate there will not be much real progress.

    • I just dropped back to check on any additional ‘contributions’ from Kristi and wow, just wow!

      Would she/he need a 2 hour rant to decide between pork chops or chicken at the grocery store? Just soo many words and no plain point or direction. It would make me lose my appetite. It would be just beer and chips for me.

      • eyesonu ==> Steady the buffs…..everyone is somewhere on the scale of extroverts, introverts, and exploding in all directions.

        I’m glad she participates here — and wish more would participate more and snipe less.

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