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    While 700 ppm corresponds to 4 C, trying to frame it as a temperature immediately invites criticism that the exact value near 4 C is not known, and then endless rabbit holes about too much uncertainty to act, and that 4 C doesn't sound much. Framing it as 700 ppm, people can look at what paleoclimate has to say about those levels (iceless hothouse) which gives more feel for what we are comparing to. The CO2 level directly relates past climates to future emission rates. This is what we can control. So, yes, the argument should be about the CO2 level we want.

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    Steven Mosher: “...values are in dispute...” Agreed. Conservatives see an electric utility 15 years ago and says it works. And we have a lot of coal. Trains to move it. Then we have those that say, This way is a better way. And have been saying that since the 70s. Conservatives see foreign aid and the U.N. and say that doesn't work. When did that ever work? But the IPCC will work and so will these annual save the planet conventions. And of course, it doesn't work. Conservatives see that fracking and pipelines and power lines do work and they say, no they don't. Residential solar panels work better. And of course they don't. They Germany's and Australia's old grids that worked and see that their new ones work only if you believe the MSM. The climate consensus seems to, but maybe not, been bundled together with all this. It didn't help that some of them decided to join the side that said all these new things will work. Or that some of them spout this nonsense about green jobs or wars or hurricanes. They seem to have values that will save us. And we've heard that one before. About a hundred times. As I recall, Berkeley Earth said something like, Natural Gas and Nuclear Power. Two things that work. And I think that belies an otherwise good story about saving anything. We cannot save the planet without them. The type of values that now say it's too dangerous to use the very things that using current technology and deciding what has the best chance of saving us while taking into account risk as our best people can figure, are rejected, are not the kind of values they pretend to be. They are not about trying new things for the betterment of mankind but a dislike of what works. And I don't know what kind of dark place they are from? The same place that is indifferent to the many poor people living in other countries. We might argue that science is for the betterment of mankind. That's a value I suppose. A science that postures around us with our easy and safe lives, and walls off those living in poverty and says here are a few solar panels. That's not the betterment of mankind. What values anchor the left? It's hard to make sense of that. What is it this week? While the conservatives say, This works. It might be right-wing and yet another example of some kind of injustice, but it still works.

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    Ragnaar, here's a thought if you care about developing countries. One way to reduce emissions effectively is to leave the cheaper fossil fuels to developing countries that will burn them at a much lower (below the global average per capita) rate. This also preserves the dwindling supplies of cheap fossil fuels further into the future. What matters is the rate of fossil fuel use not the total amount over time. Using the same amount over 100 years is much better than using it over 25 years.

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    I agree completely on the geo-engineering. Rife with unintended consequences.

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    dpy6629 (David ?), "Brad, I’m not sure climate science’s problems are that unique. There is generally a replication crisis in science" But I didn't mention the replication crisis, nor do I think it's even in the top 5 things wrong with climate science. Now that you bring it up, though, my understanding is that most papers that can't be replicated can't be replicated because they're wrong, by which I mean, because the effect they claim to have found is, in reality, insignificant. Climate science, on the other hand, is noteworthy for the fact that some of its highest-impact papers *couldn't even be replicated if they were right.* I'm referring here to methodological coyness at best, or obscurancy at worst, of the kind that made it impossible to even *audit* a paper like MBH98. A peer reviewer wouldn't have to know anything about the contingent natural world to know that a paper whose steps can't be retraced does not meet the definition of a scientific document and should never be allowed to go to print. If, for some reason, the study was too big and complex to describe in "enabling detail," fair enough—but then the authors have to provide the extra information to curious parties on request. They're not allowed to say, *seven years later,* that they *still* won't reveal an algorithm because "giving them the algorithm would be giving in to intimidation tactics," as Mann said to science reporter Antonio Regalado in 2005.

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    Why Climate Science Is Uniquely Brilliant 1. Climatology, like a rat colony, grows on a much brisker timetable than any previous science. This is because the research cycle finishes at the ‘prediction’ step now. Richard Feynman famously got the scientific method down to a minute flat, which was not bad for the time, especially when you remember he was just a physicist. But climate, as you know, changes everything. These days, science barely lasts 22 seconds. Once we’ve ‘computed the consequences,’ we’re done, since—as today's latest scientists like to say—Predictions Are Our Product. 2. Retractions in climate science are extremely rare, making it the least scandal-plagued of all fields! This is due to climatology's high retraction threshold, which has been estimated at 10x that of its cleanest rival. In pharmacology a paper has to be pulled as soon as it comes to your attention that the ideal of double-blindness was violated; in clisci, double-blindness has to be gang-sodomized, waterboarded and strangled with its own bra live on cable news before things start to get retraction-y. Where but in climate science could a paper half as debauched as Cook13 be published with impunity? For pharmacologists such a joke would end in divorce, prison and seppuku; but for the SkS kidz it was tingles up the leg all round. No matter how far out of their way they went to pervert everything that is scientific, the authors just couldn’t stain the good name of climate science. One of these decades, something slightly-disgraceful is bound to take place in some outpost of the climatology world. Until then, the shamelessness of the field would put a saint to shame. 3. Are you pro-science? Climatology introduces a new, more convenient way to make your support known: simply say Yes to the entire discipline. No need to agree on a hypothesis-by-hypothesis basis, as in other fields. (This breakthrough was made possible by the fact that AGW is the only hypothesis anyone cares about in climate science—which they don't call The World’s First Single-Idea Field for nothing). 4. Unlike regular scientists, climate scientists only have one mistake, which they make over and over and over: they perseverate in underestimating how bad AGW is going to be. For reasons we don't fully understand, they never seem to learn from this unbroken history of over-optimism. 5. In climate science, most published papers are flawless. If you've ever wondered why climatologists use the word “flawed” as an indictment, now you know. To a chemist or a biologist, it’s virtually a truism that their work is going to be imperfect—but to a climate scientist it’s a rare and humiliating failure. 6. Great news—no more need to use metaanalysis every time you want to derive an überpaper from existing papers. Climate science now supports Synthesis (stapling) and Summary (cherry-picking), so you don’t have to be an expert in statistics or maths, let alone science, to create an attractive, professional-looking document your peers will envy and your inferiors will obey; it’s basic politics. 7. Climate science decides questions by Gestalt, handwaving, “consilience of evidence,” etc. That's why no paper has ever tested the hypothesis that AGW is severely net-dangerous to the world: they don’t have to. The evidence is everywhere; simply open your front door and squint. 8. In the unique etiquette of clisci, papers should only be published if they will “stand the test of time” (see Dana’s Guardian article on Flawed Versus Climate Science), a question that can be determined in advance by a simple vote of three [3] peers. 9. As a profession climatology only accepts the world's top 2500 scientists. If you're not good enough, tough, because it’s uniquely, exquisitely multidisciplinary (meaning a candidate must master several fields before she can even begin to claim basic competence). A garden-variety chemist might understand chemistry, if she's lucky. By contrast a climate scientist understands, and can and will—and ethically should—opine confidently on, chemistry, epistemology, physics, tax reform, psychology, abnormal psychology, group psychology, FORTRAN, C, utility theory, MATLAB, the atmosphere, steroids, game theory as it applies to the ecology of the savannah, geology, and more. 10. This means just about anyone can do climate science. The average cartoonist should be more than competent to write a textbook on climate science—called, for example, ‘Climate Science: A Modern Synthesis’—provided he studied physics ten years ago. This may appear to the untrained eye to be a case of Fake Experts, but it isn’t, because that’s a Denialist tactic, not a mainstream one. 11. Thanks to The (i.e. climate) Science, the man on the Clapham omnibus is now adamant of countless propositions he was both agnostic and apathetic towards 15 years ago. Moreover, the man sitting next to him is adamantly certain of the exact opposite things—effectively doubling the world’s intellectual debt to climate science.

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    John Ridgway: <i>With all due respect, I don’t think your dissertation makes enough of the distinction between the two patterns of catastrophe ideation. By lumping them together, one overlooks the opportunity to rightfully apply the CAGW acronym to those who do not profess certitude but, nevertheless, are guilty of the retreat from reason that probability neglect entails. </i> Your posts contain a number of interesting ideas that do not, in my opinion, detract from Andy West's main contributions in his two essays. First, with a consistently used definition of "catastrophic" he demonstrated that the meme, or claims, of "CAGW" are widespread and found at all levels of authority. [Willis Eschenbach proposed a broader definition, according to which there are even more examples of "CAGW"]. Secondly, that "CAGW" might be used as a snarl word, but generally isn't. In the quote, you propose [the start of] a taxonomy of kinds of catastrophe ideation. Maybe a good idea for a future essay; each group can be further subdivided, as with making a tree or unsupervised computational classifier. But it certainly does not contradict Andy West's demonstration that CAGW is widespread and found at all levels of authority. Furthermore, and in contrast with Andy West's essay, you provide no examples of the usefulness of the taxonomy that you propose; among those who consistently deny that CAGW has any definition at all, or among those who claim that CAGW is well-enough defined, who cares that the classification can be refined? Writers here like Jim D and Atomsk's Sanakan? So, as I wrote, interesting ideas, but hardly disputing Andy West's essays.

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    Steven Mosher: <i>In some sense we knew all we needed to know back in 1896 and did nothing. We knew what we needed to know in 1988 and did nothing. </i> Two really important things are not known [note, you usually abjure words like "know" and claims of knowledge, but I take them as short for circumlocutions referring to evidence and mental states]. First, for a given increase in CO2 concentration we do not know the resultant increase in temperature; a 99% percent confidence interval for climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentyration ranges from about 0.5 to 4.5 (usually, 90% CIs are quoted). Following that, we don't know how any process dependent on [or modeled with] temperature change will change. Second, we do not know whether the changes will be harmful or beneficial overall; will natural net primary productivity increase? Will coral populations adapt to higher mean temps and mean CO2 concentration? Following this, we do not know whether any redirection of resources (money, time, labor, steel, concrete) to CO2 reduction will do more harm than good. Much is hidden in your phrase "in some sense". Is it the same "sense" by which Isaac Newton claimed to have the correct identification of the anti-Christ from the Revelation of St. John? What sense is it?

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    Yes Brad, I appreciate the sarcasm. The lack of retractions is a major red flag I agree. Certainly half of paleoclimatology papers should be retracted. I wonder if Gavin Cawley and the SKS kids ever retracted their flawed sensitivity estimate paper? My guess is they didn't because the righteous are never required to set the record straight. I do believe as some of your points hint that climate science is more infested with political and ideological bias than most other fields. One only has to look at Andy Dessler to see the prevalence of the "evil deniers" theme is and how it influences scientific behavior.

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    Jim, I am familiar with the chart of atmospheric CO2 known as the Keeling Curve, and I realize your logic that if CO2 = forcing and forcing = climate control knob then CO2 = climate. But I pointed out that the IPCC had this hypothesis all along, and using those same metrics predicted that we would average 0.3 C per decade warming from 1992 to 2025 (see my last comment for linked and quoted FAR). That being 3-1/3 decades, the math is really simple: 3.3*.3 = 1.0C rise from 1992-2025. But that didn't happen. We might get 1.0C from 1950-2025 (0.134C/dec), but then again, we seem to going into a "cooling period." The question becomes how does one falsely the hypothesis. The experts said that 0.2C/dec was the lower boundary and we got a fraction of that. They also predicted that the lower troposphere would warm 10%-30% faster than the surface due to ocean heat uptake at the surface. Yet, the lower troposphere (satellite data) has been warming only a fraction of the rate of the surface data. After Hurricane Katrina they predicted more frequent hurricanes. That didn't happen. Now they say they really weren't predictions but just "scenarios." How can we trust their "scenarios" for 2100? Jim, you missed my question from my last comment: "Do you believe that tree ring data or lake sediments ridges (varves) can give us observational plots of the past 2000 years of global surface temperature?"

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    “...rat colony...” Wonderfully descriptive. When I thought you had outdone yourself, you kept coming up with even more satisfying prose. Even though I’ve followed the issue for nearly 9 years, I had never read all the Climategate emails until the other day, and nicely summarized and contextualized in one document. What an infestation. Reading rat colony feels so good.

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    Ron, as I have pointed out before that from the Keeling curve and global temperature data, the effective transient rate is 2.4 C per doubling, most likely 2 C of that being CO2. This TCR would be somewhat in the center of IPCC expectations and others that go back decades. This is also why no one is wondering why the warming rate is 0.2 C per decade because it is consistent with 2 C per doubling as a TCR and the growth rate of CO2 we have. As for proxies, PAGES2k has over 600 proxies including many non-tree-ring ones and a global coverage. It's a good dataset that is already producing valuable results on how trends have changed in the last 2000 years.

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    Mosher, Would you care to put up your graphs of world temp done 20, 15, 10 and 5 years ago and compare the differences in the past? If you do and they are all the same I will grovel. Here is your chance. Silence

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    Care to make a prediction now for whether 2019 will be highest. After all, all in your favour at the moment.

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    Yes, oh warrior for the scientific method, 'climate you know, changes everything, ' ) and the models ain't so good neither. Judith, November 2016, wrote a critical post for lawyers on models and their fitness for purpose...

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    angech. 5 years ago is berkely . posted 10 years ago, 2008 . probably first posted 2010. my blog 15 years ago . not doing climate

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    Jim D: "Ron, as I have pointed out before that from the Keeling curve and global temperature data, the effective transient rate is 2.4 C per doubling, most likely 2 C of that being CO2." What I think you are claiming is that you have analyzed effective TCR as being 2C. Did you write up a paper? Is it under review? Perhaps you could ask Nic Lewis to take a look. BTW, TCR is only looking at CO2 because that is the only anthropogenic GHG that has longevity. "As for proxies, PAGES2k has over 600 proxies including many non-tree-ring ones and a global coverage. It’s a good dataset that is already producing valuable results on how trends have changed in the last 2000 years." I assume you do know that there isn't correlation between any of these 600 proxies except by random chance. When plotted out, each looks like red noise. The question becomes: how do we know they are valid proxies for temperature? Do you know how this is accomplished? Just checking that your faith in them is based on knowledge.

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    Ron Graf, you should know that those 600 proxies are point values, and therefore would not be expected to correlate any more than London and Hong Kong station annual means would. If you look at the CET series, it is very noisy, as any local record, including proxies, would be. The noise is only removed by combining them into a global value. As for 2.4 C anyone can calculate it from Keeling and BEST or GISTEMP. It doesn't make a paper to do such a calculation. Regarding Lewis, his TCR for CO2 only accounts for half the warming since 1950. You need to get him to explain why, and it is not internal variability because he supposedly ruled that out with his choice of endpoints. I don't think his number is usable for much as-is.

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    why would they be the same. 1. more historical data has been added. 2. better methods progress

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    2019. gavin has made his prediction dafs

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