Unsettled, Steven Koonin’s new book

By Andy May

I was honored to be chosen by NYU Professor Steven E. Koonin to review his wonderful new book, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters. According to Amazon.com, if you order the Kindle version (Koonin, 2021) now, it will download on May 4th. Professor Koonin sent me a near final draft to read and comment on in November and I nitpicked it a bit, but the draft was in good shape even then. It is better now. I received a signed early copy a couple of weeks ago, but I pre-ordered a Kindle version anyway for easy access, and I recommend you do as well. This is an important book, not only because Koonin is a brilliant and famous physicist, but also because of the content. It is a good overview of the science, but also important philosophically.

Koonin has written more than 200 academic papers and articles. They have been cited over 14,000 times according to Google Scholar. These are mostly on his main fields of nuclear and atomic physics. He has also written on biofuels, energy, climate science, observations of Earth’s albedo, and analysis of the human genome. He was once chairman of the small JASON group of scientists that advise the Pentagon and other federal agencies. As the Wall Street Journal reports in their recent review of the book, “Mr. Koonin’s science credentials are impeccable.” (Mills, 2021).

Steven E. Koonin

We can expect that he will be excoriated by the press because he does not toe the party line, but he is clearly correct and level-headed in the book. The book is not available to the public yet, but it is already a #1 best seller in the Amazon Kindle store, under “Weather.” A few interesting quotes from the early copy he sent me:

“The earth has warmed during the past century, partly because of natural phenomena and partly in response to growing human influences. These human influences (most importantly the accumulation of CO2 from burning fossil fuels) exert a physically small effect on the complex climate system. Unfortunately, our limited observations and understanding are insufficient to usefully quantify either how the climate will respond to human influences or how it varies naturally. However, even as human influences have increased fivefold since 1950 and the globe has warmed modestly, most severe weather phenomena remain within past variability. Projections of future climate and weather events rely on models demonstrably unfit for the purpose.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 24)

This quote is particularly important because many in the public do not realize that the human impact on climate has never been observed or measured in nature. They consider it a fact, but, the IPCC has only provided us with a very rough estimate based on models. What does Professor Koonin have to say about the climate models?

“it’s easy to be seduced by the notion that we can just feed the present state of the atmosphere and oceans into a computer, make some assumptions about future human and natural influences, and so accurately predict the climate decades into the future. Unfortunately, that’s just a fantasy, as you might infer from weather forecasts, which can be accurate out to two weeks or so.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 79)

Two weeks? Koonin is being very generous, his reference is here. He adds a couple of pages later:

“anyone who says that climate models are ‘just physics’ either doesn’t understand them or is being deliberately misleading” (Koonin, 2021, p. 81).

Some scientists from the Max Planck Institute described how they tuned their climate model by targeting an ECS (the climate or temperature sensitivity to a doubling of the CO2 concentration) of about 3°C by adjusting their cloud feedbacks. To understand how awful this is, one much understand that clouds are not modeled; they are adjustable parameters. ECS is not a model input, it is computed from model output. Koonin’s comment: “the researchers tuned their model to make its sensitivity to greenhouse gases what they thought it should be. Talk about cooking the books.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 93).

The world’s governments and the U.N. have spent billions of dollars on climate research and thousands of scientists around the world have spent their entire careers on this subject, so how are we doing? Koonin tells us:

“One stunning problem is that the spread of the [IPCC AR5] CMIP5 ensemble in the years after 1960 is larger than that of the models in CMIP3 – in other words, the later generation of models is actually more uncertain than the earlier one. So here is a real surprise: even as the models became more sophisticated – including finer grids, fancier subgrid parameterizations … the uncertainty increased” (Koonin, 2021, p. 87)

We add that the uncertainty in the calculation of the effect of CO2 on global warming (ECS) in AR5 is exactly the same as the calculation given in the Charney Report (Charney, et al., 1979, p. 2), 1.5° to 4.5° (IPCC, 2013, p. 16).

Koonin was first trained in physics at Cal Tech, where he knew and studied with Richard Feynman, the famous physicist who taught us to believe “in the ignorance of experts.” Koonin reports this passage from Feynman’s 1974 Cal Tech commencement speech:

“Last night I heard [on TV] that Wesson Oil doesn’t soak through food. Well, that’s true. It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest, it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will—including Wesson Oil. So, it’s the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact, which is true, and the difference is what we have to deal with.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 7)

As Koonin relates, this is the state of climate science today. What the IPCC and U.S. government tells us about climate science is generally true, but in their effort “to persuade, rather than inform,” they leave out what doesn’t fit their narrative. They tell us enough to be alarmed, not enough to educate. It is the loss of scientific integrity that is alarming, not the climate.

Much of the book is spent dispelling the myth that extreme weather events are increasing due to human-caused climate change. He relates that heat waves are not more common today than they were in 1900, tornados are not trending up, nor are droughts. Koonin criticizes the media for claiming that extreme weather is somehow related to human activities, when it is clear there is no evidence to support this.

Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal also read a draft of the book and has written this, based on an interview with Koonin:

“Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false.” (Jenkins, 2021)

Jenkins and Koonin lament both the loss of honesty and the belief in the importance of honesty and truth in the news media and politics today. From 2009 through 2011, Koonin was President Obama’s Under Secretary for Science in the Department of Energy. Later in 2020, Obama declared we are in an “epistemological crisis.” Whether we agree with Obama on the issues or not, we agree that the U.S. is in a crisis with respect to truth and knowledge. Science is all about determining the truth in an objective and reproducible way. One’s feelings don’t matter, excuses don’t matter, consensus opinions don’t matter, what you call it (“global warming” or “climate change”) doesn’t matter, only what you present that can be reproduced independently matters. Unsettled is about getting science back on track, scientists should report what they know, what they don’t know, what they modeled, and what they observed. Nothing more, nothing less.

Some of you may remember that Professor Koonin led an interesting star-studded American Physical Society workshop on climate change in 2014. They discussed and debated the essential elements of the ongoing climate change debate. My summary of the workshop can be read here. Reading the transcript of this workshop was eye-opening for me, it is 573 pages long, but a great example of science well done. Unfortunately, the large holes in the popular man-made climate science narrative it identified were ignored. Koonin actively advocated for more such formal scientific debates on the science; with both sides represented, but sadly every proposal was shot down. As he describes in Chapter 11, “Fixing the Broken Science,” prominent Democratic Senators Markey, Schatz, Smith, Blumenthal, Shaheen, Booker, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Hassan, Markey, and Feinstein tried to literally outlaw federal funding of debate on climate science, their bill read in part:

“… to prohibit the use of funds to Federal agencies to establish a panel, task force, advisory committee, or other effort to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, and for other purposes.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 202)

Are they really trying to legislate a research outcome? Science is debate. Without debate, true science does not exist. The various scientific academies are no better than the Senate. Koonin and his colleagues have urged them to remain true to their principles and inform, rather than persuade, but their pleas were ignored. This is where we are today. We applaud Professor Koonin’s stand on scientific integrity and encourage others to follow his lead.

Works Cited

Charney, J., Arakawa, A., Baker, D., Bolin, B., Dickinson, R., Goody, R., . . . Wunsch, C. (1979). Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. National Research Council. Washington DC: National Academies Press. doi:https://doi.org/10.17226/12181

IPCC. (2013). In T. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S. Allen, J. Boschung, . . . P. Midgley, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

Jenkins, H. (2021, April 16). How a Physicist Became a Climate Truth Teller. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-physicist-became-a-climate-truth-teller-11618597216?mod=article_inline

Koonin, S. E. (2021). Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells us, What it doesn’t, and why it matters. Dallas, Texas, USA: BenBella. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JQKQGD5/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Mills, M. P. (2021, April 25). ‘Unsettled’ Review: The ‘Consensus’ On Climate. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/unsettled-review-theconsensus-on-climate-11619383653

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Joseph Zorzin
April 26, 2021 10:15 am

Koonin is all over YouTube- but y’all must watch a new interview of him by Alex Epstein:

“Obama administration physicist explains why climate catastrophism is unscientific”

Solomon Green
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 1, 2021 5:38 am

How or where can I get a direct link to the interview. I want to send it to a friend in California who, despite frequent outages, still believes in the “impending climate disaster”?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Solomon Green
May 1, 2021 6:17 am

It’s on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f15DWccid4I&t=3125s

almost every day I talk with friends who are highly educated- who also fear the climate emergency- since here in MA you can’t find anything in the MSM about climate change skepticism- and these folks don’t dig into “the science” or the skepticism- I send them links to this blog but they don’t look at them- despite their education, they’re as dense as the religious fundamentalists I used to debate decades ago- I was debating mostly evolution (in favor of it of course), not religion as I wouldn’t waste time arguing that subject

Solomon Green
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 2, 2021 5:18 am

Thanks

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Solomon Green
May 1, 2021 6:25 am

also send your friend the following link of Alex Epstein interviewing Bill McKibben

Alex mops the floor with McKibben who looks angry and mumbles- Epstein is very bright and a good speaker- very controlled.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_a9RP0J7PA&t=930s

Alex has his own channel on YouTube with great discussions and interviews- and he’s published a few books strongly in support of fossil fuels. He once went to an anti fossil fuel event at some college in CA- wearing a billboard over his chest that said, “I love fossil fuels”. He once testified to Congress on the energy issues- one of the politicians (Barbara Boxer I think) said she didn’t want to listen to him because he’s a philosopher by education, not a climate scientist.

His channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/ImproveThePlanet/videos

Solomon Green
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
May 2, 2021 5:19 am

And thanks for the suggestion.

Climate believer
April 26, 2021 10:21 am

“What the IPCC and U.S. government tells us about climate science is generally true, but in their effort “to persuade, rather than inform,” they leave out what doesn’t fit their narrative. They tell us enough to be alarmed, not enough to educate. It is the loss of scientific integrity that is alarming, not the climate.”

Very true, that god awful “State of the global climate” uses the same technique and language.

No context, no history, no mitigating factors, it’s a disaster everywhere and it’s all our fault.

They can’t keep pretending.

Reply to  Climate believer
April 26, 2021 10:25 am

It isn’t even ‘generally true’.

Jeff Alberts
April 26, 2021 10:27 am

Two weeks? Koonin is being very generous [about weather forecasting]”

I’d say two days was generous.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 26, 2021 11:18 am

I’d say two days was generous
=======
In Australia they fired the government weather forecasters when it was discovered their forecasts were less accurate than simply using todays weather as tomorrows forecast.

In Canada our forecasters have found a much safer soulution. Instead of forecasting rain or shine they now say percent chance of precipitation. And so long as they never say 0% or 100% they can never be wrong.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 26, 2021 11:33 am

Yes
100% chance of snow 30% of the time

It all make sense if you just stop thinking

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 26, 2021 2:46 pm

Having lived both of the following places, I found that 30% chance of rain in Phoenix meant a damn sight different result than a 30% chance of rain in Houston.

Bill Zipperer
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
April 26, 2021 4:04 pm

Red94:
LOL, I agree! as a native Houstonian now residing in Arizona. There is a chance of rain here today but unlike in Houston I won’t bother taking an umbrella. Weather forecasting is definitely location dependent!
But either way, the weather is ALWAYS consistent with climate change.
Got to hand it to the alarmists how they have covered all the possibilities.

JonasM
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 26, 2021 2:53 pm

60% chance of snow over 45% of the area 30 percent of the time.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  JonasM
April 26, 2021 10:02 pm

But there’s only a 10% chance of that.,..

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 26, 2021 10:16 pm

He says forecasts “can be” accurate up to 2 weeks ahead. This is true, it just doesn’t happen very often.

observer
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
April 27, 2021 10:19 am

If they only “can” be accurate up to 2 weeks ahead, then they’re not being accurate, are they? They’re just coincidentally conforming with what will happen.

Steve Case
April 26, 2021 10:30 am

 As the Wall Street Journal reports in their recent review of the book, “Mr. Koonin’s science credentials are impeccable.” (Mills, 2021).”

Mr. instead of Dr. How low can they go?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
April 26, 2021 10:39 am

Dr. Jill Biden would approve.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Steve Case
April 26, 2021 10:44 am

Having read the article, there was no disrespect intended by calling him Mr.

In any event, some of us are not impressed by anyone’s titles, believing people earn their scientific stature by the skill they exhibit. Dr. Feynman by any other honorific would merit respect. Dr. Mann, not so much.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
April 26, 2021 10:58 am

Fully agree. Freeman Dyson was a worthy role model.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 26, 2021 10:46 am

President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, Mr. Trump, President Biden.

Reply to  Andy May
April 26, 2021 11:29 am

“Mr.” for every male.
====≠=====
Can of worms waiting to be opened. Biological, surgical, or self-identified male? Will WSJ be cancelled if they fail to use the correct “woke of the day” title/honorific?

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Steve Case
April 26, 2021 12:31 pm

If it’s not on the cover of his book, it doesn’t need to be in the review.

Juan Slayton
April 26, 2021 10:53 am

The New York Post carried this story a couple of days ago:

https://nypost.com/2021/04/24/obama-admin-scientist-says-climate-emergency-is-based-on-fallacy/

We’ll see who else picks it up.

Joseph Zorzin
April 26, 2021 11:01 am

what settled science looks like- the mass of a proton = 1.6726219 × 10-27 kilograms

what unsettled science looks like- the ECS = somewhere, probably between 1.5° to 4.5°

Sal Minella
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 26, 2021 11:35 am

Current mass of the proton.

M Courtney
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 26, 2021 2:57 pm

I’ve said it before, 1.5° to 4.5° is a fair first estimate.

The problem is they haven’t managed to improve on it in 30 years.

Guess the climate scientists are waiting for those computer hardware guys to make improvements equal to their own self-assessed genius.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  M Courtney
April 26, 2021 4:21 pm

“I’ve said it before, 1.5° to 4.5° is a fair first estimate.”

I respectfully disagree. Approximately 1.5 degrees is what you get without feedbacks. However, the feedbacks have to be negative, otherwise we wouldn’t be around to have this discussion. Therefore 0 to 1.5 degrees is a fair first estimate.

M Courtney
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
April 27, 2021 12:15 am

Fair point.
But the argument would be that the negative feedbacks are “baked in” and the effect of CO2 was assumed to be purely positive. It’s a bold assumption but not as ludicrous as it sounds for a first guess.

April 26, 2021 11:03 am

the later generation of models is actually more uncertain than the earlier one.
=========
Further evidence that ECS is non physical. As per Bertrand Russell: when you believe something to be true that isn’t, you can prove anything (and nothing)

Subtract warming due to recovery from the little ice age. Subtract warming due to the explosion in urbanization. Subtract warming due to experimenter expectation bias. Subtract warming due to unknown unknowns.

All that and it may well be that increasing CO2 does not warm the planet; because of negative water feedback (clouds).

No one knows. Water feedback is just a WAG. Assumed to be 3, it could be -1, in which case ECS = 0.

Last edited 7 months ago by ferdberple
Richard Page
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 26, 2021 11:35 am

Increasing CO2 does not warm the planet; it may, however, be an indicator that the planet has warmed.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 26, 2021 2:50 pm

This sounds like the way I give an engineering cost estimate when I get no prior notification of the question: $40,000, plus or minus a million.

RickWill
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 26, 2021 3:07 pm

In Australia, any measured warming in the last 30 years can be placed squarely on the change to electronic temperature transmitters and their relocation at most rural locations from Post Offices to airports.

It is a bit sad to think that larger aircraft operating f=more frequently from rural airports are the key elements of Australia’s warming.

Australia has new temperature records based on 1 second reading three degrees above the 30 minute average.

Reply to  RickWill
April 26, 2021 5:44 pm

Those sensors are designed from the ground up to provide a safety margin for density altitude calculations. So, they will always read warmer and drier, every design decision is biased that way.

Reply to  RickWill
April 27, 2021 8:41 am

Not so for the first part, temperature change estimation takes relocations into account, it is faulty correction of undocumented changes at weather stations that can exaggerate warming, especially in ACORN-SAT, but there was a clear warming near the end of the 20th century.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  climanrecon
April 27, 2021 8:25 pm

Warming in last two decades of 20th century, clear

Cause? Clear as mud

You can tell a fraud by how positive they are

whiten
Reply to  Ferdberple
April 26, 2021 11:42 pm

ECS, basically stands for equilibrium – climate – sensitivity;
the CS, for/of the new Equilibrium, that of the man made climate, the catastrophic one to come soon enough, if we fail to follow the advice and the dictates of ppl like AOC or
Dr. Kerry.

That what ECS really means.
The man made CS… simple as that.
Good luck with trying a workaround it!

cheers

DMacKenzie
April 26, 2021 11:10 am

Koonin’s book might be a valuable addition to the neutralization of the rabid greens but is mostly only visible to people identified by algorithms as probable “skeptics”….but my alter ego “average citizen” news feed has at least 8 climviro catastrophe scare articles and zero about Koonin. That’s before breakfast…
Sceptics are losing this battle because rabid greens are targeting skeptic newsfeeds with false-win stories.

markl
Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 26, 2021 12:36 pm

Propaganda and censorship are winning the AGW battle and both are owned by the far Left/Progressives/Marxists.

H. D. Hoese
April 26, 2021 11:38 am

“As Koonin relates, this is the state of climate science today.” Plus oceanography?
https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/13/777/2021/ –OceanSODA-ETHZ: a global gridded data set of the surface ocean carbonate system for seasonal to decadal studies of ocean acidification []

From the abstract– “We assess the fidelity of the computed parameters by comparing them to direct observations from GLODAP, finding surface ocean pH and DIC global biases of near zero, as well as root mean squared errors of 0.023 and 16 µmol kg−1, respectively. These uncertainties are very comparable to those expected by propagating the total uncertainty from pCO2 and TA through the thermodynamic computations, indicating a robust and conservative assessment of the uncertainties….. Concretely, we find…”
From the conclusions “However, pH uncertainties are not as well resolved, most likely due to a mismatch in the representativity of the measured pH.”

Is there are journal – “Uncertainty Science” or is it this one? You don’t have to be much of physics major to understand the problem here, robust, concrete, but uncertain. Give the authors a little tiny bit of credit.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
April 26, 2021 12:10 pm

“publish or perish” drives this. Null results don’t published.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 26, 2021 2:53 pm

I happen to think a report of null results could be useful in science. At least other researchers would have a clue, going down this route is probably a dead end.

Tom Abbott
April 26, 2021 11:43 am

From the article: “We applaud Professor Koonin’s stand on scientific integrity”

Yes, we do!

April 26, 2021 11:46 am

It is about the “agenda.” The “agenda” of globalism and concentration of political power is driving the climate scam, the propaganda promoting it, and the loss of scientific integrity in the science Academies’ leadership.
At the forefront of this loss of scientific integrity in the US is the NAS, APS, AGU and the AAAS. These organizations were set upon by “scientist” activists 2 1/2 decades ago as VP Al Gore steered science funding and influence in the 1990’s during the Clinton Administration. VP Gore made sure folks like Happer and Bill Gray were forced out by having funding cut-off and also out of government positions of influence in the climate debate.

Bill Gray’s excellent essay here: https://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=820

For those who are unfamiliar with Dr Gray he was a 3 decades long hurricane expert at CSU before VP Al Gore got his funding cut for refusing to bow to his demands on building the climate scam in 1993. He passed in 2016.

Those actions by Al Gore are still hugely damaging today as the people who got the funding, promotions, and accolades from their IPCC and National Climate Assessment spin and propaganda and are now in senior positions across the various climate science disciplines. They are corrupted and will continue to steer the agenda, promote themselves and the junk science that got them started in their careers, the science be damned… because their Democrat puppet masters will keep feeding them grants and positions from which to push their junk science of climate models and their mal-adjustments of surface temp data sets.

Last edited 7 months ago by joelobryan
Ron Long
April 26, 2021 11:53 am

I am sure Dr. Koonin has written a valuable and scientific book, and I thank him for it. However, it is not good science to state in the same (paragraph 1 above) comment that “partly in response to human growing influences.” and then “…weather phenomena remain within past variability.” This is a claim to accurately measure something, human influence, against natural variability. There is simply no ability to detect a useful signal against the background of natural variability. When lizards are as big as dinosaurs, call me.

Reply to  Ron Long
April 26, 2021 12:38 pm

Bingo. Agree completely. He’s still working for the Obama (CO2 is bad) agenda — and is straddling the climate debate to maintain relevancy. I created a video for him and his kind … https://newtube.app/user/RAOB/aGqDEVt

Mr.
Reply to  Andy May
April 26, 2021 2:56 pm

Local climates can be changed by urbanization.

Clear all trees, foliage, swamps, then overbuild with asphalt, concrete, metal, terracotta, and evaporation diminishes, reduces humidity, so fewer localized afternoon summer thunderstorms.

I don’t have research papers, just first hand observations over 70 years.

Ron Long
Reply to  Andy May
April 26, 2021 4:17 pm

Andy, I admire your work, so I wonder if you could surmise that human activity since the Industrial Age (or end of the Little Ice Age if you prefer) has resulted in a 10% greening of the earth, as stated by NASA? This is all an attempt to know the exact parameters of interacting chaotic systems. Like my trying to understand girls in High School.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Andy May
April 27, 2021 4:44 am

“No one, including Koonin, can prove that humans influence climate. But, acknowledging that we probably do, to some small degree, is logical.”

I would agree with that. The “human” effect is so small we have not been able to measure it, and the human influence may not be all to the upside temperature-wise as there is speculation that addional CO2 added to the atmosphere might cause net cooling.

It’s logical to assume humans are having some influence, but we aren’t sure just what that influence is, and the influence is so small we cannot measure it.

The human influence on the Earth’s climate is not something to panic over. It’s not something we should be wasting $Trillions of dollars trying to fix.

To the best of our knowledge, CO2 is causing us no harm.

RickWill
Reply to  Ron Long
April 26, 2021 3:18 pm

There is no doubt of human influence in both measurement and impact.

There is the well known urban heat effect.

There is global greening as a consequence of more CO2 – and no doubt that burning fossil fuels adds to the amount of atmospheric CO2 – at least for some period of time.

The measurement systems have changed with greater spread and electronic automation plus the process of homogenisation – all creating a warming trend in the temperature record.

So there is no doubt that there is human influence on the temperature that goes into the record.

For me 2021 appears to be a bit wetter and colder than the last 5 years that I can recall. Probably as wet as I have seen in 30 years.

I perceive plants to be growing faster. Forest productivity indicates trees are growing faster. Crop productivity is higher.

So I believe there is a discernible influence of humans on the real and measured climate.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Ron Long
April 27, 2021 7:56 am

Humans influence the World’s climates in the same way I influence the Earth’s orbit when I jump into the air: the effect is real but utterly negligible and undetectable.

Rich Davis
April 26, 2021 12:21 pm

Andy,
The book title ends with “and Why It Matters”, rather than “and Why We Got It Wrong”.

Or did I get that Wrong? Does it Matter? 🙂

Sara
April 26, 2021 1:43 pm

Okay, the print copy comes up on May 4, too but you can order ahead now. If you buy the print copy, you don’t have to worry about losing it if the electrons stop buzzing around in the screen. 🙂
Nothing like a little light reading during suppertime.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Sara
April 26, 2021 2:15 pm

I love ebooks for several reasons. Change font and font size so do not need reading glasses. All sorts of electronic annotation possible.
Have both Kindle and iBooks on my iPad, but prefer iBooks because of better annotation tools.
As for losing electrons, everything is backed up about once a month (or after a couple of new books or pdfs or other stuff) on my Mac, and that in turn is backed up automatically on an external hard drive when on. Hard learned lessons from my home business days.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
April 27, 2021 4:55 am

“Have both Kindle and iBooks on my iPad, but prefer iBooks because of better annotation tools.”

I just got a Kindle for the first time a few weeks ago, and I must say I’m not impressed with it. Maybe I just don’t have it set right, but right now, I much prefer reading using the iPad.

cerescokid
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 30, 2021 1:08 am

Same here. I had a kindle years ago and as I recall it was very thin and quite small. Somehow it got misplaced in between some papers or something and I lost it for weeks. I had over 100 books on it. I couldn’t have possibly lost 100 paperback books so easily.

I have a new IPad and it’s larger and more convenient than the Kindle.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Sara
April 26, 2021 2:59 pm

I actually prefer the electronic versions. When I travel, carrying books makes my briefcase bulge obscenely, but my iPad never bulges no matter how many volumes I stuff into it.

Pat from Kerbob
April 26, 2021 2:07 pm

OT
Canada’s transmountain ppl expansion has been given stop-work order for 4 months.
Because they found some hummingbird nests and so the migratory bird act allows this.

To date, no Wind turbine ki!!ing migratory birds has ever been shut down.

All BS, all the time. Heads i win, Tails you lose.

Edit: used the K word by mistake

Last edited 7 months ago by Pat from Kerbob
RickWill
April 26, 2021 2:59 pm

 in other words, the later generation of models is actually more uncertain than the earlier one. So here is a real surprise: even as the models became more sophisticated – including finer grids, fancier subgrid parameterizations … the uncertainty increased” 

The basis of the models is WRONG. Starting with the concept of a “Greenhouse Effect” is where the problem begins.

Clouds are a response to the surface temperature. Cloud behaviour changes dramatically with small changes in sea surface temperature above 26C.

There is no way of parameterising clouds. They need to be based on the physics of the atmosphere.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  RickWill
April 26, 2021 5:55 pm

Clouds are the shutters that control the planet’s temperature. Clouds are responsible for at least half the .3 Albedo of the planet. Cloud cover automatically adjusts to let more or less sunlight through to the .06 albedo sea surface until the planet albedo is .3 again….Anything that warms the surface, eventually increases cloud cover, maybe 2 days later and 500 km away, maybe that afternoons thunderstorm. A square meter of afternoon cloud can reflect 900 watts of sunlight back into space, not to mention one square meter of sea surface can generate more than one square meter of cloud.

Doonman
April 26, 2021 6:23 pm

“Unfortunately, our limited observations and understanding are insufficient to usefully quantify either how the climate will respond to human influences or how it varies naturally.”

But wait! That doesn’t sound like a climate emergency.

Walter Sobchak
April 26, 2021 6:27 pm

If you order the Kindle version now it is $11.99 a $12.96 saving over the post May 4 retail price. Order now and save.

Last edited 7 months ago by Walter Sobchak
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
April 27, 2021 8:18 pm

I don’t know the model
If I buy a paperback for twice as much am I just making Bezos richer or does the author get a bigger paycheck?

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 26, 2021 10:28 pm

Thanks Pat, FP makes my post of 11:10 wrong, and me and I assume more, happy about it !!

Last edited 7 months ago by DMacKenzie
April 27, 2021 2:01 am

There was an interesting discussion about Dr. Koonin’s book on Judith Curry’s “Climate Etc.” blog a few days ago:

https://judithcurry.com/2021/04/17/week-in-review-science-edition-125/#comment-947624

Pat Frank
April 27, 2021 8:40 am

Steve Koonin isn’t telling us anything about climate modeling we didn’t already know.

Some physicists, possibly Frederick Seitz, had already criticized climate modeling as curve fitting back in the 1990’s. The modelers hotly denied that, but it’s true. So it’s no revelation that scientists from the Max Planck Institute tuned their climate model to get the ECS they wanted.

All the modelers tune their models to observables so as to reproduce the temperature trend since 1900. Jeffry Kiehl reported on that in 2007. Adjustment science is specious science, but climate modelers have been getting away with it since at least 1988.

From 2009 through 2011, Koonin was President Obama’s Under Secretary for Science in the Department of Energy.

Then why the bloody hell didn’t he advise Obama back then that AGW is a crock? Did Steve Koonin change from believer to skeptic between now and then? How did that happen?

Some of you may remember that Professor Koonin led an interesting star-studded American Physical Society workshop on climate change in 2014 …. [Its report was] a great example of science well done.

Here’s an extract from the APS’ current (2021) statement about climate (my bold): “While natural sources of climate variability are significant, multiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on global climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century.

“Although the magnitudes of future effects are uncertain, human influences on the climate are growing.

“The potential consequences of climate change are great and the actions taken over the next few decades will determine human influences on the climate for centuries.…In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more compelling than ever.

Where’s the great example of science well-done in that? It’s total, unscientific BS. The APS management knows nothing of what they claim.

There are no such “multiple lines of evidence…”

 “the connection … is more compelling than ever” is a claim made from ignorance.

The APS has betrayed science to make that statement. Steve Koonin and his star-studded workshop have had no positive effect at all.

I’ve taken a look at the 2014 APS workshop report. It’s a good discussion. They talk about physical error and the lack of error propagation in their calculations. But then they go on to other topics.

Toward the end of Collins’ discussion, he says this, “You looked at the difference between 2010 and 1950 and said, oh look, it’s 1.7 [W/m^2]. What if, in fact, it’s 1.7 plus or minus one watt per meter squared?

If you do the most naïve propagation of that, through the calculation you will find that you get, the range of this explodes toward the high end.

So: propagate model error and the range of uncertainty explodes. With even just a 1 W/m^2 uncertainty in tropospheric forcing. So says the 2014 APS commission on climate science.

At the end of Collins’s presentation, Steve Koonin asked, “Will these uncertainties in the forcings get propagated into the projections for the next several decades or into the projection after 2100?

Collin’s response was to equivocate.

The propagation of error Steve Koonin asked about is exactly what I did in “Propagation of Error and …” Except the forcing uncertainty is ±4 W/m^2.

And yet, the 2021 version of the APS still claim evidence of danger from CO2 emissions despite their own 2014 statement acknowledging their own ignorance.

The APS’ inability to follow science and reason is beyond understanding.

Maybe Steve Koonin can address that question. How did the APS come to abandon science and reason, and instead embrace a corrosive irrationality? Maybe the APS can have a star-studded workshop focused on that.

Paul Penrose
April 27, 2021 10:01 am

I don’t fear questions that can’t be answered; I fear answers that can’t be questioned.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Paul Penrose
April 27, 2021 8:14 pm

+10,000,000,000,000

Richard S Courtney
April 29, 2021 3:14 am

It seems that Koonin has written a good book but I see no reason to think it will have more effect than the many previous publications of the same information. I illustrate the truth of this with two examples.

The above article says,

Some scientists from the Max Planck Institute described how they tuned their climate model by targeting an ECS (the climate or temperature sensitivity to a doubling of the CO2 concentration) of about 3°C by adjusting their cloud feedbacks. To understand how awful this is, one much understand that clouds are not modeled; they are adjustable parameters. ECS is not a model input, it is computed from model output. Koonin’s comment: “the researchers tuned their model to make its sensitivity to greenhouse gases what they thought it should be. Talk about cooking the books.” (Koonin, 2021, p. 93).

In the last century I published a peer reviewed paper in the formal literature

(ref. Courtney RS, An Assessment of Validation Experiments Conducted on Computer Models of Global climate (GCM) Using the General Circulation Model of the UK Hadley Centre, Energy & Environment, v.10, no.5 (1999).)

It concluded;

“The IPCC is basing predictions of man-made global warming on the outputs of GCMs. Validations of these models have now been conducted, and they demonstrate beyond doubt that these models have no validity for predicting large climate changes. The IPCC and the Hadley Centre have responded to this problem by proclaiming that the inputs which they fed to a model are evidence for existence of the man-made global warming. This proclamation is not true and contravenes the principle of science that hypotheses are tested against observed data.”

More recently, in 2007, Kiehle published a paper that assessed 9 GCMs and two energy balance models.
(ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).

Kiehl found the same as my paper except that each model he assessed used a different aerosol ‘fix’ from every other model.

The above quotation from Koonin says climate modellers continue their practice of claiming inputs they choose to feed to a model are evidence that indications of the model output are correct. I see no reason why people will listen this time.

Indeed, I refer to this item http://allaboutenergy.net/environment/item/2208-letter-to-senator-james-inhofe-about-relying-on-ipcc-richard-courtney-uk .
It is a poorly formatted copy (Americans use strange paper size) of my reply to a request to me for information on climate change from US Senator James Inhoffe, Chair of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, that I provided in 2008.

No information requiring any alteration to that letter to Senator Inhoffe has subsequently been found (but additional supporting evidence for its contents has been found). This demonstrates
(a) there is stasis in climate science,
and
(b) there was no imminent climate crisis in 2008 and there is no reason to think such an imminent crisis has developed since then.

Importantly, the letter to Senator Inhoffe addresses all the issues mentioned in the above article about Koonin’s book. He used the information in the letter and he cited it in the US Senate, But nobody took notice and few know of it.

Richard

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