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- 12/13/18--03:20: Comment on CAGW: a ‘snarl’ word? by andywest2012
- 12/13/18--03:40: Comment on Week in review – science edition by JCH
- 12/13/18--08:29: Comment on CAGW: a ‘snarl’ word? by John Ridgway
Don32 wrote:<blockquote>We’re not at the level of Lysenkoism.</blockquote>No, Don, I think it is actually <i>worse</i> than Lysenkoism.
Soviet scientists who failed to protest Lysenkoism were simply saving their lives, not courageous but certainly forgivable.
American climate scientists who lie have less excuse.
N.B. I think the earth has warmed in the last two centuries and that anthropogenic CO2 has contributed to the warming. But to pretend that climate science can currently state definitively that anthropogenic global warming will be catastrophic... <i>that</i> is lying.
SOD and Angech: The moisture carrying capacity of the atmosphere at equilibrium rises about 7%/K. Observations of rising absolute humidity are similar. If I increase the water vapor scale factor in Modtran by 7% (which means 7% more at all altitudes), OLR drops 1.6 W/m2. So this crude rational give a reasonable value for water vapor feedback. The difficult problem is explaining why equilibrium considerations give a reasonable answer for a non-equilibrium environment - ie where relative humidity is less than 100%. For example, water vapor averages about 80% RH in the boundary layer over the oceans. Why? It is less than 100% because cooler and drier air is constantly being turbulently mixed from above. If that turbulent mixing remains about the same, relative humidity over the ocean will remain about the same. Relative humidity is closely linked to cloud formation and climate models are tuned to match the observed albedo of the planet. So a tuned model must get many aspects of water vapor transport about right - even though this may be accomplished through offsetting errors.
Climate models contain several dozen parameters to summarize the results of processes that occur on too small a scale to be properly described by grid cell. In theory, condensation begins at 100% relative humidity, but a grid cell that averages 99.5% relative humidity will have some clouds. The relative humidity at which clouds first start appearing is an adjustable parameter that is critical to getting the correct albedo. So is the size fine droplets of water need to reach before they start falling. Evaporation is proportional to wind speed and undersaturation, but the constant of proportionality (coefficient) arises from turbulence and is an adjustable parameter. The reflectivity of water droplets varies in a known way with their radius and the initial number of droplets may be limited by the number of cloud condensation nuclei. However, smaller droplets evaporate and the released water vapor condenses into thermodynamically more stable larger droplets. A parameter controls the rate of this process. None of these parameters controls the strength of one particular feedback - so feedbacks are not directly produced by tuning.
The parameter that has the largest effect on ECS is the entrainment parameter. This parameter controls the amount of mixing of drier subsiding air into saturated rising masses of air. It can change SWR cloud feedback from strongly positive (0.5 W/m2/K) to strongly negative (-0.5 W/m2/K). Zhao (2016) doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0191.1
Heat can only escape the upper troposphere by radiative cooling to space. The rate of radiative cooling to space limits the amount of heat that can be transported upward as latent heat. If LWR radiative cooling to space increases at 2 W/m2/K (ECS 1.8 K in the absence of SWR feedbacks), then the increased flux from the surface can only be 2 W/m2/K. Net LWR from the surface doesn't change much with warming at constant relative humidity, because DLR increases as much as OLR. A 7%/K increase in 80 W/m2 of latent heat flux is 5.6 W/m2/K, far more power than can escape if ECS is 1.8 K/doubling. (If sensible heat is co-transported with latent heat, make that 7 W/m2/K.) So convection must slow. So the LWR response appears to be limited by powerful energetic constraints. During seasonal warming (3.5 K), LWR rises about 8 W/m2/K or 2.2 W/m2/K and is highly linear. There are no obvious energetic constraints on SWR. An SWR feedback of +/-0.5 W/m2/K is an 0.5%/K change in 100 W/m2 of reflected SWR.
Both Alan Dershowitrz and Stephen Cohen are now favored guests on the Tucker Carlson show on FoxNews. (For those not "in the know," Cohen is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left <i>Nation</i> magazine.) Both men, both formerly liberals if not outright leftists, are being shunned by the Left for their sane views on Russia (Cohen is one of the country's leading Russia experts).
One by one, sane leftists are being forced to the right by the not-so-sane SJWs.
By the way, my own kids were both admitted to UW. Fortunately, they also got into higher-rated schools.
Zizek is now being <a href="https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/08/zize-f08.html" rel="nofollow">denounced</a> as a crypto-right-winger.
It does remind me of Marx's comment that history repeats itself -- the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
Our current-day leftists may or may not succeed in wrecking civilization before they finish devouring each other. But, at least we can have the pleasure of laughing at them.
Thanks for the links. The CEDS SO2 global emissions decline from, as you say, ~123 Mt in 2007, but only to 114 Mt in 2010 and then ~112 Mt in 2014, with most of the decline (Figure S40 and Table S3). Where exactly does your 2015/2016 figure of 85 Mt SO2 come from, and how do that source's emission estimates for previous years compare with the CEDS estimates?
I am well aware that a reduction of SO2 emissions causes warming. My reference to cooling related to the increase in aerosols from 1850-82 to 2007-16. And my point was that if the 100+ Mt increase in SO2 emissions only produced cooling of ~0.25 C, a 38 Mt reduction of SO2 emissions, even if it had occurred, would not produce warming of anything like 0.76 C. The warming would be only ~0.1 C.
NIc: I was surprised that you didn't need to get into the airborne fraction of emitted CO2 and more surprised by Goodwin (2007):
"To achieve PCO2 stabilization at present day levels for the MIT GCM requires limiting future CO emissions to 700 GtC."
Current cumulative emissions are 565 GtC and CO2 is 410 ppm. We can burn another 700 GtC, and when the ocean CO2 sink reaches equilibrium with the atmosphere, we will back at 410 ppm. Now I see why TRCE is larger than ECRE. (Since both processes occur mostly by convection, the rate of heat and CO2 uptake by the deep ocean are linked to each other.
“The paper lists characteristics of denialism.”
No. The paper lists some very basic defensive biases and some simple rhetoric devices (of which there are many more and some known since antiquity) and also asserts that one can arbitrarily assess the (in)validity of sources, and claims that ticks in these boxes are essentially the essence of 'denialism'. But the biases / rhetoric frequently occur on both sides in socially conflicted science topics, because these are endemic to culture and there is typically cultural support on both sides. And in complex competing networks sources are ultimately just proxies within the conflict and therefore subject to all the same biases / culture. So none of this can possibly tell us who is on the side that future history will declare the winner within a conflicted domain. And these are all surface effects too; they don’t know the underlying characteristics of ‘denialism’ that might be reliably testable, because they have made literally no attempt whatsoever to investigate what it actually is. So for instance the basic biases indeed look like ‘tactics’ if all is being executed consciously, an implicit assumption of D&M and a much more explicit assumption of Hoofnagle (aka 'lying', which D&M very wisely dropped) after which the paper is based, but they have in no way established this (and as it happens most cultural bias is subconscious).
It’s also the case that the authors fail to point out that in looking for fulfilment of each item on the list, one should first establish that a perceived group actually is a group by some recognised criteria. Otherwise each item can be assigned to individuals who aren’t actually within a coherent group, but whom the tester simply decides arbitrarily to frame as one. So even if the list was actually measuring something more useful, this would result in a situation where practically any random set of people would satisfy the test conditions. And indeed within a large enough conflict always some individuals (representing any spectrum viewpoint) will be biased and also using at least some of the rhetoric devices, plus other devices not listed.
“Your objection to that boils down to claiming this isn’t objective:”
Well also per above that rhetoric / simple bias frequently occur on what future history will call the ‘right’ side too, either for the wrong reasons by those with lesser domain knowledge or because it has attracted heavy cultural support of its own, which attacks in its normal way and not via reference to evidence / reasoned argument, plus also via some unrepresentative individuals who just do this, but may still form enough to trigger the D&M test. The cultural support thing is explained in more detail in the post. And also that D&M haven't even investigated the underlying causes of the effects they claim are reliably testable. However, these completely fundamental things aside, indeed objectivity is critical to any social test of this type. Otherwise, it no real value.
“…there can be clear methods of reasoning to see who is right and wrong.”
Regarding a *social* test for same, which is what the D&M test attempts to be (but fails), then if you think so, state them. I show that the test used by the paper is not only flawed, it has no underpinning theory at all. On science issues that are replicable, no social test for right or wrong is needed because the truth is manifest. On science issues that are not mature and especially with high social impact and socially conflicted, not only will these not be replicable yet but they will also feature defensive networks on both sides, which can impede maturation (especially where long timescale results also needed), and create culturally orientated ‘versions’ of the science, so to speak, which each feed their own side, making it impossible to formally prove (via science not social testing) who is right or even if there is a right yet. The sides can also became aligned to older cultural boundaries (say rep / cons versus dem / libs in the US), which tends to make the science a battleground and further undermines progress, plus promotes high profile public messaging (again typically on both sides), which has nothing to do with what science might hopefully still get done beneath the cultural radar, yet leaks back to bias same in strong cases. In such situations, if there was a magic wand that could tell us who was right or wrong, we wouldn’t need the scientific method, we’d just wave the social test wand. In practice while we can’t do that, and indeed there is no possible social test that can tell us who is right; there are some social tests that can in some cases tell us who is wrong (yet which gives us no information at all about what the right answer is), but for sure not this test.
“… evolution. But this does stop us from knowing what the scientific evidence shows, and whose positions contradict the evidence.”
Absolutely. This is because the domain is very mature, and it’s principles are highly replicable. No social test for wrong and right needed. Cultural inertia (which can sometimes be huge and last many generations), means that regarding creationism (in the US at least), there is still an enormous following despite the replicable status on evolution. This makes it a fantastic prototyping ground for social tests that can be used on areas where this is not the case; i.e. if a method can *objectively* (i.e. we literally have to pretend we don’t know the answer when running the test) tell us who is wrong in the creationism domain, it perhaps has value in domains that are far more nascent / murky.
“In science there are standard ways of inferring causation…”
Indeed. I have a science background and am a huge supporter of science, you’ve no need to sell me on it. I even think that science can explain all the cultural effects noted above, one day. However, you are not now talking social testing, but in-domain science testing. And unfortunately the enterprise of science and its methods are highly fragile to cultural invasion and have been tripped over many times, simply because we are human (and so innately cultural). And the times it is most fragile are the conditions per above. Of course betting on what amounts to the mainstream consensus every time (I guess only rarely it’s not clear which is mainstream), would mean you’re right most of the time, but you are not guaranteed to be right because this is not objective, and the mainstream does get overturned now and again. D&M after Hoofnagle have to use this as a backstop essentially, because their method is so poor it can’t really determine anything, so this is a means of weighting the odds, a sticking plaster essentially. But their test actually contributes nothing; even the authors claim denialism (in their sense) is being used by the ‘wrong side’ in a domain. Not a surprise. It’s worth reading footnote 11b from my Denialism Frame post, in which D&M are absolutely slated in the bluntest terms by folks from their home ETS domain for their offering of this non-test and the damage it would do. What struck me most is that some of the folks doing this were on the *same* side as D&M regarding ETS, not on the opposite side. D&M have also been accused of some of what their own paper says are denialist biases / rhetoric; does this mean we shouldn’t believe them on ETS? Well no, because their paper doesn’t actually have any ability to test whether they’re right or wrong anyhow, so we can’t use it on them or their biases just like we can’t use it on anyone else.
“And I know those methods likely aren’t skewed by ideological bias…”
‘Likely’ is only betting the odds, related to the maturity of the domain. Unless the science is long mature and eminently replicable, no method is free from ideological bias, nor indeed is there often enough insight into whether the methods have been objectively applied, because all reporting of same is also subject to ideological bias. As Lewandowsky correctly notes within the executive summary of ‘Seepage’ (2015): “Nonetheless, being human, scientists’ operate with the same cognitive apparatus and limitations as every other person”.
“I can use the general form of the Bradford Hill criteria to argue that…”
No-one can, *always*. It will work for you where there is mature and replicable science (aids being a good case). Where there is not matured and not replicable (e.g. disputed statistics on both sides), and socially conflicted science (and scientists), it may not. You can’t be sure, because all methods that rely upon ‘in-domain’ sources / data are subject to the conflict therein, and therefore subject also to its competing biases. This is why social tests, which if done properly (not like D&M) are out-of-domain (don’t rely on the conflicted data / sources) are useful, but they can only tell us (sometimes) who is wrong, and not what is right. Essentially your method comes down to relying on the main consensus, because such a consensus will dominate the literature and data and methods that you are likely to encounter in your search for truth, and will likely suppress / overwhelm alternatives. Any methods based on in-domain sources cannot work if there’s crucial evidence you haven’t even seen, or you discount without looking because consensus authority declared it nonsense. Of course your method will mostly be right, but it is not guaranteed to be right. However, if you believe you have your own guaranteed test for right and wrong under the noted conditions, fantastic! But if you think it could even maybe possibly go wrong one day, it is useless, you’re just betting the odds. There is not usually a massive hint glued to the wrong side as with creationism (old religion = wrong, so science = right). Ruling out the mature replicable domains and notwithstanding some domains are pretty lop-sided, cumulatively you’re essentially saying you can do better than thousands of disputing scientists, and within their home domains too. Whatever your qualifications, if it was as easy as that why in the 21st century are there so many disputed areas? And even for ordinary group think rather than cultural conflict writ larger in some of these domains, would for instance your method have detected say the incorrect 50 year consensus on the saturated fats issue before this broke?
Anyhow, your own potential infallibility on conflicted issues is off the path of D&Ms flawed paper on what denialism is and how to test for it, which approach is not at all useful because it hasn’t actually assessed what the phenomenon is or where it arises from, and hence derived tests that would be appropriate to such. You barely mention the paper methods or critique thereof anyhow, except to state essentially that it lists the characteristics of ‘denialism’, which is really just saying ‘the paper is correct’ in itself from the start. And to say that we must separate genuine scepticism from denialism *without* reference to the conflicted domain data / sources, in order to remain objective, says nothing about how these are socially expressed (e.g. there’s more than one kind of scepticism) and entangled (yes they’re entangled), such that tests can then be built atop this understanding.
“Your sociology of science isn’t going to change the soundness of scientific reasoning and evidence.”
Absolutely not; done properly it will considerably aid the triumph of sound scientific reasoning and evidence, by helping to free it from the constant undermining by cultural biases. Why would we not want to do that? I’ve not read Latour and know very little but some ridiculous (imo) notion from long ago of all science being merely a social construct (or some-such). My argument is not based on this or any kind of relativism, indeed could hardly be further from such. But rejecting this notion does not mean rejecting the obvious issue that science and culture are indeed frequently entangled, which is widely acknowledged (and from many cultural shadings, hence reasonable to rely on). We need to understand that entanglement before we can properly unravel it (via whatever means, including what D&M were attempting to do with social testing but absolutely failed to achieve). These entanglements exist because of Lewandowsky’s observation above, yet that doesn’t mean they can’t be challenged / minimised if we (scientifically!) understand them first. If such entanglements didn’t exist, there would essentially be no social conflicts related to science, and no consensuses established via the scientific community would never have been wrong, at least since the beginning of modern formal science as an enterprise (maybe ~3 centuries), and we would expect no more ever to be wrong going forward.
Thank you for your well argued and informative comment about LW radiative response and the energetic constraints on it (which are also linked to the hydrological cycle response). You say:
"So the LWR response appears to be limited by powerful energetic constraints. During seasonal warming (3.5 K), LWR rises about 8 W/m2/K or 2.2 W/m2/K and is highly linear."
However, it is not clear that the energetic constraint is at this level when warming is non-uniform. For the tropics (20S-20N), where solar energy input and ocean temperatures are highest, regressing TOA outgoing LW radiation per CERES data (2001-13) on surface temperature, using detrended and deseasonalised data, gave an increase of 4.05 W/m2/K (Mauritsen and Stevens 2015 DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2414, Table S2). An Iris effect resulting from convective aggregation appears to be the explanation. The average for CMIP5 models Historical simulations that they found (Table S3) is close to your 2.2 W/m2/K figure.
So I think that, while energetic constraints are important, they are not absolute - global mean feedbacks depend also on the spatial pattern of warming.
<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07638-w" rel="nofollow"><b>El Niño events will intensify under global warming</b></a>
<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0776-9" rel="nofollow"><b>Increased variability of eastern Pacific El Niño under greenhouse warming</b></a>
... We show that the EP-ENSO SST anomaly pattern and its centre differ greatly from one model to another, and therefore cannot be well represented by a single SST ‘index’ at the observed centre. However, although the locations of the anomaly centres differ in each model, we find a robust increase in SST variability at each anomaly centre across the majority of models considered. This increase in variability is largely due to greenhouse-warming-induced intensification of upper-ocean stratification in the equatorial Pacific, which enhances ocean–atmosphere coupling. An increase in SST variance implies an increase in the number of ‘strong’ EP-El Niño events (corresponding to large SST anomalies) and associated extreme weather events.</blockquote>
<a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-climate-change-deaths_us_5c101e14e4b0ac5371799b1c" rel="nofollow">Here</a> is a recent example from the HuffPo, by Gary Yohe and the inimitable Michael E. Mann that nicely illustrates what Mass is criticizing. Our esteemed authors declare:<blockquote>In 2014 the IPCC told us that our ability to attribute observed and projected climate change to human activity across the U.S. and the rest of the globe had progressed to the point that we could look to specific past extreme weather events and explore the contribution of human activity to their intensity and pattern. This ability is called forensic attribution, and it is, if anything, overly conservative.
To exploit this new opportunity, we’ve looked at data from hurricanes that have made landfall in the United States over the past three decades.</blockquote>.
The rest of the article is (unintentionally) funny. For example, they declare:<blockquote>Also this year, Hurricane Michael caused economic damage more than 1,000 times the historical average for the region.</blockquote>They seem to hope that innumerate readers will believe that climate change has made hurricanes <i>1,000 times</i> more powerful, rather than realizing that extreme events are <i>always</i> much more, well, <i>extreme</i> than average events.
But the funniest thing in the Mann article is the goofy claim about US history from a period both Judith and I remember:<blockquote>Opposition to the Vietnam War exploded with the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Their release convinced the American people that thousands of Americans were losing their lives in a lost cause, and they were appalled. A president was toppled. Another was impeached.</i> The "toppled" Prez would seem to be LBJ, and the impeached one Tricky Dick Nixon.
Except... well... you see, uh, LBJ left office in January 1969, well <i>before</i> the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. And, Nixon was most assuredly <i>not</i> impeached but rather chose to resign in August 1974 <i>before</i> the Congress could impeach him and remove him from office.
I, and any member of my generation, remember it all well. Most of us, (right-wingers as well as left-wingers, by the way) were relieved to see both men go.
Let me put this bluntly: Mann and Yohe are as dumb as the day is long: <i>they do nto even have the sense to make a quick check of Wikipedia to avoid a doublel historical blunder that any historically literate reader will see.</i>
Be assued that the rest of their article reflects the same level of intelligence.
As Schiller said, "Against stupiditiy, the gods themselves contend in vain!"
The IPCC Figure SPM.10 scenario projections are not directly comparable to by analysis, as they include warming from all forcing agents not just CO2.
I have however now added an update with a version of Figure 2 that compares projected CO2-only warming with that per CMIP5 ESMs, albeit that set of models has a somewhat lower average TCRE than does the set of CMIP5 ESMs and EMICs used to produce Figure SPM.10.
The blockquote did not close properly: here is the corrected form:
But the funniest thing in the Mann article is the goofy claim about US history from a period both Judith and I remember:<blockquote>Opposition to the Vietnam War exploded with the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Their release convinced the American people that thousands of Americans were losing their lives in a lost cause, and they were appalled. A president was toppled. Another was impeached.</blockquote> The “toppled” Prez would seem to be LBJ, and the impeached one Tricky Dick Nixon.
Except… well… you see, uh, LBJ left office in January 1969, well before the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. And, Nixon was most assuredly not impeached but rather chose to resign in August 1974 before the Congress could impeach him and remove him from office.
I, and any member of my generation, remember it all well. Most of us, (right-wingers as well as left-wingers, by the way) were relieved to see both men go.
Let me put this bluntly: Mann and Yohe are as dumb as the day is long: they do nto even have the sense to make a quick check of Wikipedia to avoid a doublel historical blunder that any historically literate reader will see.
Be assued that the rest of their article reflects the same level of intelligence.
As Schiller said, “Against stupiditiy, the gods themselves contend in vain!”
"With more CO2, the emission reaching the ground comes from lower, warmer levels."
How? If the radiation came directly back to the surface, it would be at the temperature it was emitted, but it doesn't come directly back. The back radiation must run the same gauntlet of absorbing gasses in reverse.
The emissivity of CO2 is low, ~.2. Mostly it absorbs, gets jiggy, and transmits energy kinetically to surrounding gasses.
"I seriously doubt the ocean is absorbing 25% of emissions."
The IPCC AR5 WG1 report Table 6.1 shows, over 2002-11, net absorption of 2.4 +/- 0.7 GtC/yr by the ocean, out of 8.3 +/- 0.7 GtC fossit fuel & cement emissions and 0.9 +/- 0.8 GtC net land use change emissions. That gives a central estimate that the ocean is absorbing 26% of total emissions.
Climate is best communicated in a court of law, preferably in Washington DC. It guarantees years of publicity.
“Your contribution of the precautionary principle angle was useful, thank you.”
Since you have chosen to end on a positive note, it would be churlish of me not to reciprocate. I have declared that I see no point in continuing to focus upon our disagreement, but that does not stop me from making an observation regarding the extent to which I think we agree.
The catastrophe narrative, in whatever form, is a narrative that raises emotions to an extent that makes inaction appear to be immoral. References to certain catastrophe, whether disingenuous or borne of ignorance, are bound to influence those who are motivated by a will to avoid harm. However, neglect of probability, as implied by the precautionary principle, is no different in this respect. The certainty of catastrophe is simply replace by the certainty that action is required to avoid a possible catastrophe. At the end of the day, it still represents a retreat from rationality, and an embracement of heightened emotion and moral outrage. Can we at least agree that this is what sceptics of all persuasions have in mind when they refer to CAGW?
Whether we have agreement on the above or not, I ask that your response focuses upon the following talking point. As I see it, Cliff Mass is a strong advocate of the precautionary version of the catastrophe narrative, and yet he stands accused of being a denier, or at least a friend of deniers. Do you believe that this is a perfect example of the growing demand for moral outrage? And what is it about the precautionary argument for action that fails to meet said demand? I ask these questions because it seems to me that the quasi-religious zealotry of some the advocates for action is beginning to make them look scarier than the catastrophes they are warning against. It isn’t the climate we should be fearing; it is those who think they have been placed on Earth to do its will.
At the same above link, he goes through the information supporting the oceans being a sink of CO2.
Coolclimateinfo, I agree that a warner ocean outgasses CO2, however the are ice-age samples which limit the amount of outgassing.
In icecores we observe a co2 increase: per Henry's law of about 16 ppmv/°C. That means that a 0.6°C increase is good for only10 ppmv CO2 increase in the atmosphere
A problem is the 'lensing effect' in mixed aerosols causing enhanced BC warming.
"Time-course evolution of BC aerosol composition, light absorption (where EMAC-BC is the enhancement because of coatings), and associated climate effects (as DRF)."
[…] Reposted from Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. […]