Scientists Decide that Scientists are Getting Better at Communicating Scary Climate Stories

[Emphasis and inline comments are mine–cr]

Excerpts from EurekAlert!

Assessment of how climate scientists communicate risk shows imperfections, improvements

The hardest part, experts find, is communicating “unquantifiable” uncertainty

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Scientists have long struggled to find the best way to present crucial facts about future sea level rise, but are getting better at communicating more clearly, according to an international group of climate scientists, including a leading Rutgers expert.

The consequences of improving communications are enormous, the scientists said, as civic leaders actively incorporate climate scientists’ risk assessments into major planning efforts to counter some of the effects of rising seas.

Writing in Nature Climate Change, the scientists review the language and graphics used in climate “assessment” reports between 1990 and 2021 by members of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

[We can imagine lots of hypothetical scary stuff-cr]

But other processes, particularly some of those acting on ice sheets, involve factors we don’t understand that well and that are difficult to put into quantitative terms, but might nonetheless be able to cause rapid sea-level rise.”

“There’s quantifiable uncertainty, which can be measured and presented with a degree of confidence,” he said, “and then there’s ambiguity, a form of deep uncertainty that cannot be well represented quantitatively.”

[Must get the fear out there. –cr]

But when conveying sea level uncertainties that have been and remain difficult to quantify, the language in the reports often has fallen short, either oversimplifying projections or conveying the information in a confusing manner, according to the analysis. Such language could lead policymakers to neglect the risks associated with possible high-end, sea-level outcomes.

[We may not know bupkis but push onward citizen!-cr]

Ambiguity arises in situations in which analysts can interpret a common set of facts in highly divergent ways – or can’t interpret them at all, Kopp said.

In the First Assessment Report, released in 1990, the authors characterized a rapid disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet because of global warming as “unlikely in the next century.”

In contrast, in the Sixth Assessment Report, published in 2021, scientists warn that higher rates of sea level rise before 2100 could be “caused by earlier-than-projected disintegration of marine ice shelves, the abrupt, widespread onset of marine ice sheet instability and marine ice cliff instability around Antarctica.”

The report goes on to explain that the processes are characterized by “deep uncertainty.” It concludes: “In a low-likelihood, high-impact storyline, under high emissions such processes could in combination contribute more than one additional meter of sea level rise by 2100.”

[The last sentence above appears to be a merging of Pascal’s Wager with random alarmist speculative hypotheticals peppered with mealy mouthed caveats. And much more scary.-cr]

[Policy must take the form of READY, FIRE, AIM–cr]

It matters that scientists get it right, the study concludes.

“The presence and magnitude of ambiguity in sea-level projections can affect how planners make decisions, and thus is important to communicate clearly and effectively,” Kopp said.

[We did well comrades–cr]

The other authors in the study, all of whom were involved with the Sixth Assessment Report, include those from Brown University and the University at Buffalo in the U.S., as well as others in China, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.


Nature Climate Change




Literature review


Not applicable


Communicating future sea-level rise uncertainty and ambiguity to assessment users



From EurekAlert!

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June 19, 2023 6:36 pm

No problem,,…..I just heard Elon Musk say that he has spent much of his life to develop electric vehicles and solar panels to save the environment ….thanks Elon….we’re saved! Now will naysayers just shut up?

Reply to  antigtiff
June 19, 2023 6:41 pm

A pretty teen spokesperson helps except when they’re shown to be a hypocrite.

John Oliver
Reply to  Scissor
June 19, 2023 10:46 pm

I am still digesting the cesspools of more Hillary/Clinton foundation, ripped off Haiti aid money and child sex traffic ring that the Twitter link led me into. Is there no end to the depth of corruption and depravity of our leftist political class? ( And RINOs!) I think we may have been generous in assuming there is any genuine science in the vast majority of the CAGW narrative. Most of these people are nothing more than crooks, con artists and hypocrites. Nothing less than a complete clean out of the entire system will suffice.

John Oliver
Reply to  John Oliver
June 19, 2023 10:48 pm

twitchy rather

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Oliver
June 20, 2023 3:31 am

“Is there no end to the depth of corruption and depravity of our leftist political class?”

No, there is not.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 21, 2023 10:46 am

Not while the money lasts, anyway.

Richard Page
Reply to  John Oliver
June 20, 2023 4:06 am

Nope. They just carry on getting worse and worse until, eventually, they are stopped. They rely on secrecy and a reluctance to believe in the sheer scale of corruption.

Reply to  Scissor
June 20, 2023 12:30 am

Speaking of which, the pretty lady speaking for the skeptical side – Naomi Seibt – has been going through a really rough patch judging by her Twitter posts. I hope she makes a full recovery soon.

Reply to  PariahDog
June 20, 2023 8:19 pm

Yes, best wishes for a full recovery. She nearly died, some kind of gut disease. She appears to be gaining strength.

Tom Halla
June 19, 2023 6:44 pm

They will eventually run into the problem that chiliastic preachers have, that predicting doom right soon now loses impact when the evil days come not.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 20, 2023 4:05 am

Seems to me that is already happening in the more mature segments of the population. And it has been accelerating as the personal consequences of years of giving lip service to the scammers is coming home to roost.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 20, 2023 10:04 am

The end is always nigher than you think, until it’s not.

Curious George
June 19, 2023 7:03 pm

Rhetoric is more important than science, but science has a better reputation. Simply call the rhetoric “the science”. Problem solved.

John Hultquist
June 19, 2023 7:45 pm

These “scientists” are looking for a problem they won’t find.
It is criminal to waste so much money and talent on these things.
 More people are dying every day from Fentanyl than will be killed by rising seas between now and 2100.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Hultquist
June 20, 2023 3:35 am

I’m trying to imagine how anyone would die from sea level rise? I don’t see it.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
June 19, 2023 10:07 pm

Bwahahahhahahahaha! A six fingered guy who has his right hand on his left arm and a three fingered guy who lost all his fingertips. Gives me great confidence in improved communications.

Reply to  doonman
June 19, 2023 10:25 pm

circled hand on the right only has four fingers.. so its all balanced.. on average

Bill Toland
Reply to  Charles Rotter
June 20, 2023 2:07 am

How dare you! This picture is obviously meant to be inclusive of all people who don’t have the standard number of fingers.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bill Toland
June 20, 2023 3:45 am

ha! gotta good laugh over that- made my morning! still laughing- can’t stop! 🙂

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 20, 2023 8:24 am

Heck with fingers, how does the guy on the left, in the blue lab coat, get his elbow to bend that way. Looks painful.

Richard Page
Reply to  Charles Rotter
June 20, 2023 4:10 am

Aliens! They walk among us and are responsible for the alarmism! No other explanation would account for the blue jacketed alien having his arms on backwards.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Charles Rotter
June 20, 2023 10:07 am

Might be safe to assume this was generated by the wrongly named artificial intelligence, also known as human-programmed idiocy.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Charles Rotter
June 20, 2023 11:11 am

The Left hand knows not what the Left hand is doing.

Scarecrow Repair
June 19, 2023 8:22 pm

I hope they broke their arms.

June 19, 2023 8:29 pm

If the public isn’t convinced by your crazy predictions that keep not happening, the problem—as you see it—is how you present your crazy predictions, not how crazy your predictions are? You need to get your mind right, climate nutters, because people can smell your craziness and they’re avoiding you on the sidewalk. Because you sound like crazy people. Get it?

Sea level rise projections by 2100
From recent measured trend: +0.34 meters (range of 0.3 to 0.38)
RCP2.6: +0.40 meters (range of 0.26 to 0.55)
RCP4.5: +0.47 meters (range of 0.32 to 0.63)
RCP6: +0.48 meters (range of 0.33 to 0.63)
RCP8.5: +0.63 meters (range of 0.45 to 0.82)

Sane people don’t take RCP8.5 seriously nor the even more extreme predictions of Mann, Hansen, and the other crazy-eyed bunch, claiming 1 to 5 meters of sea level rise. Even “mainstream” climate scientists admit RCP8.5 is improbable, but you keep using it in all your studies. Here’s the really funny thing: the world is emitting CO2 in line with the RCP8.5 emissions projections but sea level rise is below even the projections for RCP2.6, the scenario that imagines a fantasy of global cooperation to reduce CO2 emissions so they “start declining by 2020 (oopsy) and go to zero by 2100.” Someday you’re going to have to explain why sea levels aren’t following your extreme overestimates. If you want some credibility.

Reply to  stinkerp
June 19, 2023 11:13 pm

Sane people don’t take RCP8.5 seriously

Climate “scientists”, however, use 8,5 to get published

Reply to  Redge
June 20, 2023 3:15 pm

I fund through here
The money goes ’round and around
And it comes out here
I push the first paper down
The money goes down and around
And it comes out here
I push the middle paper down
The money goes down around below
Below, below, deedle-dee-ho-ho-ho

Apologies to Tommy Dorsey & the Clambake Seven, Edythe Wright, Tommy Dorsey

June 19, 2023 8:29 pm

Imperfections in the company line and impure thoughts will not be tolerated-
Mayo Clinic slammed for firing doctor who criticized NIH in pandemic (
The sackings will continue until morale improves.

June 19, 2023 10:29 pm

Climate CLOWN communication

Getting funnier by the day 🙂

Why not just say that current sea level rise is less than 2mm/year…

… and that they are totally clueless about what will happen in the future.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  bnice2000
June 20, 2023 3:43 am

That sums it up nicely. 🙂

June 20, 2023 1:36 am

..Story Tip —

Australia’s Renewable Energy Rollout—“Too Slow” says AEMO.

The head of the Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that the renewable energy transition is not moving fast enough to meet the federal government’s 2030 targets, despite a massive pipeline of projects waiting in the wings.

a recent report from EY saw Australia continue to slip down the attractiveness index for renewable energy projects. In 18 months it has slipped from 3rd in the world to 7th.


Investment in grid scale renewables heading south.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  SteveG
June 20, 2023 3:47 am

I think a number of places are getting close to hitting the “Renewables” Wall.

I wonder how that Texas grid is holding up under the extreme heat they are currently experiencing?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  SteveG
June 20, 2023 8:02 am

Australia has a population of 25.5m Even if it managed to go 100% unreliable energy it would have no measurable effect on world CO2 levels as China, India, Indonesia and much of the rest of Asia continue to expand their use of coal

June 20, 2023 2:40 am

When in danger
Or in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout!

Tom Abbott
June 20, 2023 3:30 am

From the article: “The report goes on to explain that the processes are characterized by “deep uncertainty.”

These “deep uncertainties” apply to all of alarmist climate science, not just to sea level rise.

Joseph Zorzin
June 20, 2023 3:34 am

“The hardest part, experts find, is communicating “unquantifiable” uncertainty”

No shit! Then don’t communicate it- or just say “we don’t know”. And it takes an expert to figure this out?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 20, 2023 10:48 am

They decided instead to go with the “Just lie like Hell” approach.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 20, 2023 12:22 pm

As Goebbels said, ‘“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

June 20, 2023 3:48 am

“…Quantifiable and unquantifiable uncertainties …” but I thought that the science was settled?
How can they claim to be 97% certain when their whole science (quantifiable and unquantifiable) is uncertain.

Lies, damn lies and climate science ….

Joseph Zorzin
June 20, 2023 3:50 am

that image looks to me like a circle jerk

Richard Page
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 20, 2023 4:12 am

It does rather what with only one hand per figure being visible….

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Richard Page
June 20, 2023 4:18 am

so maybe AI has a sense of humor?

Bruce Cobb
June 20, 2023 6:25 am

Stephen Schneider’s “we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” comes to mind.

June 20, 2023 7:02 am

Let the biased AI bot wars proceed while the carbon units shelter in place.

June 20, 2023 7:03 am

Why does the first line of the Abstract remind me of Mr Rumsfeld?

Gunga Din
June 20, 2023 7:20 am

So…despite being certain that there are vast uncertainties they are still certain what needs to be done?

Reply to  Gunga Din
June 20, 2023 7:27 am

Precisely, I think.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 20, 2023 8:25 am

And they know the “social cost of carbon” and the carbon tax rate to the penny…

Paul Hurley
June 20, 2023 8:15 am

[..] but are getting better at communicating more clearly, […]

Ha! At first glance I read that as “…getting better at communicating more cleverly. 😉

Reply to  Paul Hurley
June 20, 2023 8:28 am

Their story is getting so much like the “boy who cried wolf” that even the gullible are not pressing the “donate” button nearly as often.

Andy Pattullo
June 20, 2023 10:01 am

The purpose of the scientific process is to try and find truths about nature without fooling ourselves with our own biases. This also implies not convincing ourselves we know more than we do.
The purpose of much of academics these days is to create propaganda to support your own biases regardless of what nature would tell you if you asked the right questions the right way. Your duty seems to be to claim knowledge that you’ve done nothing to justify

Nicholas McGinley
June 20, 2023 10:45 am

In other news, huge percentages of young people are suffering from severe depression and despondency.
Hmmm…I wonder if these two things could be related?

Is there any chance that telling kids all day every day that they are living on a doomed and dying planet, with no more than a handful of years before we are all cooked, roasted, starved, overcrowded, overdosed, underappreciated, unloved, and genitally mutilated to death?


June 20, 2023 11:44 am

“In a low-likelihood, high-impact storyline, under high emissions such processes could in combination contribute more than one additional meter of sea level rise by 2100.”

Some professions maintain barriers to entry with technical jargon.

Reply to  KevinM
June 20, 2023 11:46 am

In other words: An experienced reader might quickly recognize that the author has said nothing.

June 20, 2023 2:20 pm

In a classic 1977 study, 94 percent of professors rated [their own IQ] above average relative to their peers .
Why We’re All Above Average

June 20, 2023 4:49 pm

It seems like the climate scientists are only interested in improving their communication skills but not their scientific skills. It still all comes down to computer models for which there is no solid way to model such a complex and dynamic system as climate. There are too many variables with equally as many rates of impact to the system. And they don’t even factor in the sun which the biggest contributor of all. They claim it is constant, therefore does not come in to play. That is the one variable which they need to take a second look at.

Edward Katz
June 20, 2023 6:05 pm

Why shouldn’t they when they’re being paid under the table by the various environmental organizations to become more sophisticated and convincing with their alarmist rhetoric.

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