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Walter Watts
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #15 on: 2006-07-01 14:45:06 »
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[Blunderov] Hey there WW. Long time. Nice to hear from you again. How's the grandling? Must be getting quite growed up already.

Thanks for the kind words old friend. I hope to reinvolve with CoV now that some long-term RL issues have worked themselves out.

Take care and see you along the journey 


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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #16 on: 2006-07-01 22:28:13 »
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Stephen Hawking: Earth Could Become Like Venus

[Hermit: Stephen Hawking must be a prime contender for the position of highest-profile physicist to announce publicly that he is worried about the future of the Earth.]

Source: Associated Press
Authors: Alexa Olesen
Dated: 2006-06-15 (Date of Speech)

Stephen Hawking expressed concern about global warming Wednesday even as he charmed and provoked a group of Chinese students.

Before an audience of 500 at a seminar in Beijing, the celebrity cosmologist said, "I like Chinese culture, Chinese food and above all Chinese women. They are beautiful.''

The audience of mostly university students and professors and a smattering of journalists laughed and applauded.

Asked about the environment, Hawking, who suffers from a degenerative disease, uses a wheelchair and speaks through a computerized voice synthesizer, said he was "very worried about global warming.''

He said he was afraid that Earth "might end up like Venus, at 250 degrees centigrade and raining sulfuric acid.''

The comment is a pointed one for China—which is the second largest emitter of the greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming, after the United States. Experts warn that if emissions aren't reduced the world's glaciers could melt, threatening cities and triggering droughts and other environmental disasters.

<...>
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #17 on: 2006-07-14 12:09:01 »
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A cut 'n paste job before I complete my response ...

------------
This House report should be lots of fun indeed. But the real news, as usual, is in the last paragraphs -- Wegman's social network analysis of the climate crusade. (I have been exploring social network theory in my science knowedge diffusion research.)

My guess is that Wegman has used citation analysis and co-author clustering to show that the AGW theorists are a closed group. That is, a relatively small cluster of climate scientists who only cite each other and take turns teaming up on papers. That is a useful result indeed.

------------

HOCKEY STICK HOKUM

The Wall Street Journal, 14 July 2006
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115283824428306460.html

It is routine these days to read in newspapers or hear -- almost anywhere the subject of climate change comes up -- that the 1990s were the "warmest decade in a millennium" and that 1998 was the warmest year in the last 1,000.

This assertion has become so accepted that it is often recited without qualification, and even without giving a source for the "fact." But a report soon to be released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by three independent statisticians underlines yet again just how shaky this "consensus" view is, and how recent its vintage.

The claim originates from a 1999 paper by paleoclimatologist Michael Mann. Prior to Mr. Mann's work, the accepted view, as embodied in the U.N.'s 1990 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was that the world had undergone a warming period in the Middle Ages, followed by a mid-millennium cold spell and a subsequent warming period -- the current one. That consensus, as shown in the first of the two IPCC-provided graphs nearby, held that the Medieval warm period was considerably warmer than the present day.

Mr. Mann's 1999 paper eliminated the Medieval warm period from the history books, with the result being the bottom graph you see here. It's a man-made global-warming evangelist's dream, with a nice, steady temperature oscillation that persists for centuries followed by a dramatic climb over the past century. In 2001, the IPCC replaced the first graph with the second in its third report on climate change, and since then it has cropped up all over the place. Al Gore uses it in his movie.

The trouble is that there's no reason to believe that Mr. Mann, or his "hockey stick" graph of global temperature changes, is right. Questions were raised about Mr. Mann's paper almost as soon as it was published. In 2003, two Canadians, Ross McKitrick and Steven McIntyre, published an article in a peer-reviewed journal showing that Mr. Mann's methodology could produce hockey sticks from even random, trendless data.

The report commissioned by the House Energy Committee, due to be released today, backs up and reinforces that conclusion. The three researchers -- Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University -- are not climatologists; they're statisticians. Their task was to look at Mr. Mann's methods from a statistical perspective and assess their validity. Their conclusion is that Mr. Mann's papers are plagued by basic statistical errors that call his conclusions into doubt. Further, Professor Wegman's report upholds the finding of Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick that Mr. Mann's methodology is biased toward producing "hockey stick" shaped graphs.

Mr. Wegman and his co-authors are careful to point out that doubts about temperatures in the early part of the millennium do not call into question more-recent temperature increases. But as you can see looking at these two charts, it's all about context. In the first, the present falls easily within a range of natural historical variation. The bottom chart looks alarming and discontinuous with the past, which is why global-warming alarmists have adopted it so eagerly.

In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann's mistakes were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.

Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr. Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility."

In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman's social-network graphs suggest that Mr. Mann himself -- and his hockey stick -- is at the center of that network.

Mr. Wegman's report was initially requested by the House Energy Committee because some lawmakers were concerned that major decisions about our economy could be made on the basis of the dubious research embodied in the hockey stick. Some of the more partisan scientists and journalists howled that this was an attempt at intimidation. But as Mr. Wegman's paper shows, Congress was right to worry; his conclusions make "consensus" look more like group-think. And the dismissive reaction of the climate-research establishment to the McIntyre-McKitrick critique of the hockey stick confirms that impression.

--------

iolo

EDIT: link to the Wegman report:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf
« Last Edit: 2006-07-14 12:55:59 by Iolo Morganwg » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #18 on: 2006-07-16 20:12:19 »
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Let's see. On the one side of the ring we have (inter alia):
  • The National Academy of Sciences (USA)
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists
  • The World Resources Institute
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (USA)
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) (USA)
  • The Goddard Institute (NASA)
  • The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (Inter-agency research group)
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (established by the WMO and UNEP in 1988 - the date is probably significant if you think about it)


On the other, we have have the Wall Street Journal and Iolo Morganwg apparently asserting some massive conspiracy* between a very large number of well respected scientists operating in multiple independent disciplines all claiming to have reached the same conclusion ....

In addition, there are some serious developments in the demolition of the "skeptics" and "deniers" (if there can be said to be a difference any longer). For example:

Study Reconciles Data in Measuring Climate Change

Source: Washington Post Wednesday, May 3, 2006; Page A03
Authors: Juliet Eilperin (Washington Post Staff Writer)
Dated: 2006-05-26

A government study released yesterday undermines one of the key arguments of climate change skeptics, concluding there is no statistically significant conflict between measures of global warming on the earth's surface and in the atmosphere.

For years some global warming critics had pointed to the fact that satellite measurements had recorded very little warming in the lower atmosphere, while surface temperature readings indicated that the earth is heating up. Now the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, an interagency body, has concluded the two data sets match.

"The bottom line is there are no significant discrepancies in the rates of warming," said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a telephone call with reporters. Karl said reconciling the two sets of temperature readings is "really a major step forward" in understanding climate change.

The report also concluded that humans are driving the warming trend through greenhouse gas emissions, noting in the official news release, "the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone alone."

<snip of some supporting material and much so-called "balanced viewpoint" rumblings from such luminaries of the deniers such as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) )>


Speaking from my perspective, "Global Climatic Change" is no longer a theory being disputed by political interests, but a well established scientific consensus with demonstrated predictive and coherent explicative capabilities. Only a small but vociferous group of fringe interests are attempting to fight a rear-guard action in defense of their fond delusions.

*I should observe that assertions of "refutation" through so called "Social Network Analysis" of scientific papers is that the described results of the analysis (as presented by Iolo Morganwg) is probably true of all scientific disciplines - as this is to my mind a good description of precisely how science, when it is working well, works best. Particularly when overthrowing outdated models.
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #19 on: 2006-07-17 08:41:01 »
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Greetings Hermit,

Quote from: Hermit on 2006-07-16 20:12:19   
Let's see. On the one side of the ring we have (inter alia):


"On the one side of the ring"?  This is not - or should not be - a wrestling match.  It should be a serious search after the truth.


Quote:
  • The National Academy of Sciences (USA)
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists
  • The World Resources Institute
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (USA)
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) (USA)
  • The Goddard Institute (NASA)
  • The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (Inter-agency research group)
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (established by the WMO and UNEP in 1988 - the date is probably significant if you think about it)


  • The reference to this list is an extreme example of the 'bowing to authority fallacy'.

    Truth is decided by consideration of the available evidence and not by votes. Any authority could be wrong, and this is especially true when a cited authority has a vested interest, as does each authority on the list.

    Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) research is ‘big business’. Governments are probably spending more than $5 billion p.a. on it – the US government alone is spending more than $2 billion p.a. – and administrators of scientific institutions can be expected to protect against damage to this income. Several institutions depend on the AGW scare for their existence. For example, the Hadley Centre in the UK produces the IPCC’s so-called ‘scientific’ reports (i.e. reports from IPCC Working Group I). It was founded by the UK government to study AGW, gets almost all its funds from UK government, and only exists to study AGW. Similarly the The U.S. Climate Change Science Program, UNEP and the IPCC only exist to promote the AGW scare. Also, scientists are human beings – not saints – so a scientist asked to peer-review a paper is not likely to be favourable to a paper that threatens research funding to his institution (his job is threatened by the paper).

    The IPCC warrants especial consideration.

    The INTERGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change is a political organization established to justify the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and its reports are approved (line by line) by representatives of the governments that have signed the FCCC. The IPCC utilizes scientists and scientific data to justify its political assertions, but that does not make IPCC Reports scientific papers according to any normal understanding of science.

    These statements are not an assertion of “conspiracy” unless one wishes to call International Treaties (such as the FCCC and the Kyoto Protocol) “conspiracies”.  Indeed, they are simple statements of fact that can be checked by anybody.

    Furthermore, the citing of the IPCC as 'evidence' for AGW is an error.  Richard S. Courtney, climate scientist and Expert Reviewer to the IPCC Reports, offers the following: “None of the IPCC Reports concludes that AGW is happening to a detectable degree although they all assess the possibility that it may in future.  Furthermore, I and many other scientists – probably a majority – involved in production of the IPCC’s so-called scientific reports do not agree that AGW is happening or will happen to a dangerous degree although we would all agree that e.g. carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is increasing in the air.” – from private communication 17th July 2006.

    EDIT to include: With respect to the federal agencies in your list, none have concluded the hockey stick is valid.

    Quote:
    On the other, we have have the Wall Street Journal and Iolo Morganwg apparently asserting some massive conspiracy* between a very large number of well respected scientists operating in multiple independent disciplines all claiming to have reached the same conclusion ....


    Assertions of a "conspiracy"?  This claim is a 'straw man' because no such assertions have been made.  There is a 'bandwagon' based on a coincidence of interests.  Nobody has to conspire to get people to join or stay aboard a bandwagon that is going in a direction they all want to go. AGW is big business and the obtaining of much money and several reputations depend on it.  The most recent of many analyses of the AGW bandwagon and its effects is the Wegman report that can be read at
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

    Quote:
    In addition, there are some serious developments in the demolition of the "skeptics" and "deniers" (if there can be said to be a difference any longer). For example:

    Study Reconciles Data in Measuring Climate Change

    Source: Washington Post Wednesday, May 3, 2006; Page A03
    Authors: Juliet Eilperin (Washington Post Staff Writer)
    Dated: 2006-05-26

    A government study released yesterday undermines one of the key arguments of climate change skeptics, concluding there is no statistically significant conflict between measures of global warming on the earth's surface and in the atmosphere.

    For years some global warming critics had pointed to the fact that satellite measurements had recorded very little warming in the lower atmosphere, while surface temperature readings indicated that the earth is heating up. Now the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, an interagency body, has concluded the two data sets match.

    "The bottom line is there are no significant discrepancies in the rates of warming," said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a telephone call with reporters. Karl said reconciling the two sets of temperature readings is "really a major step forward" in understanding climate change.

    The report also concluded that humans are driving the warming trend through greenhouse gas emissions, noting in the official news release, "the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone alone."


    Irrelevant.

    Warming of the Earth does not prove that human activity warmed it. At issue is whether human activity is or is not affecting the changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.  Nothing is constant in nature:  everything changes all the time.  And the Earth must have warmed or cooled if its temperature were not constant over the past 100 years.

    The history of the estimated warming of the Earth does not agree with an assertion that human emissions were responsible for the warming over the past 100 years.  The estimates of the Earth’s average surface temperature (mean global temperature: MGT) all show warming from before 1900 to 1940, then cooling from 1940 to 1970 with a further period of warming after 1970.  The estimates show that most of the warming occurred before 1940 but 80% of the emissions were after that.  Indeed, the start of the cooling period coincided with the start of the major emissions.  Advocates of man-made global warming excuse this problem by attributing

    (a) almost all the rise before 1940 to be an effect of the Sun,

    (b) the cooling from 1940 to 1970 to be an effect of human emissions of aerosols, and

    (c) the warming after 1970 to be mostly an effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Evidence is lacking for this convoluted story to excuse the disagreement of the emissions with the temperature history.

    Furthermore, there is no “evidence” for man-made global warming:  none, not any of any kind. Decades of research have failed to find any.

    Importantly, it should be noted that an ability to attribute a cause for the history of the Earth’s warming merely demonstrates that the cause is a possible explanation for that history.  It does not prove that the attributed cause was the real cause of that history in part or in whole.  Indeed, as explained above, the “attribution studies” used by AGW advocates utilize and adjust three different predominant effects to gain the desired agreement with the history of the Earth’s estimated temperature over the last 100years.  Such methods can generate almost any desired agreement to demonstrate that something was a possible cause.

    And other causes for the possible recent warming are also possible; indeed, they are more likely.  For example, changes to cloud cover.

    Clouds reflect solar heat and a mere 2% increase to cloud cover would more than compensate for the maximum possible predicted warming due to a doubling of carbon dioxide in the air.  Good records of cloud cover are very short; but it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid 80s and late 90s. Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre.  This is a lot. The IPCC says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 W/sq m.

    Quote:
    <snip of some supporting material and much so-called "balanced viewpoint" rumblings from such luminaries of the deniers such as Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) )>


    I object to this word "denier" with its probably deliberate resonance with the phrase "holocaust denier".  I am not a scientist, however, I attempt to impartially assess all available evidence. The evidence pertaining to AGW does not indicate that AGW is a serious problem. Indeed, AGW is so small an effect that - if it exists - it cannot be detected because it is within observed natural climate variability.  But I do not deny that AGW could become a serious problem and in the unlikely event that some evidence is obtained to indicate that it is becoming a problem (or some evidence is obtained to show that it exists) then I will adjust my assessment.

    Quote:
    Speaking from my perspective, "Global Climatic Change" is no longer a theory being disputed by political interests,


    Global climate change has always existed and nobody has ever disputed its existence to my knowledge. The present AGW scare is not about "Global Climatic Change".

    Climate has always changed everywhere and it always will:  this has been known since the Bronze Age when it was pointed out to Pharoa by Joseph (the one with the Technicolour Dreamcoat).

    Of course, it is a fact that political interests support AGW and do not dispute it, and this simple fact is demonstrated by e.g. the formation and continued support for the existence of the IPCC.  But, the actions and policies of politicians tell me nothing about the existence of AGW in the physical world.

    Quote:
    but a well established scientific consensus


    !!! A "well established scientific consensus" tells nothing about anything. As I said above, evidence matters when determining scientific truth. Votes don't count in this, especially when the votes are purchased with tax-payers' money (as they are for support of the AGW scare;  see above).

    Quote:
    with demonstrated predictive and coherent explicative capabilities.


    This is fanciful beyond belief!  No climate model has demonstrated predictive capability.  Indeed, validation of a model's ability to forecast the next 50 years would require demonstration that it had successfully forecast several previous 50 years, but none has existed for 50 years.  Furthermore, none of them can accurately hindcast the last 100 years of climate (and hindcasting is much easier than forecasting).  I wonder how you think the predictions of such models could be falsifiable.

    And I know of no published proof that any climate model has "coherent explicative abilities" (whatever that may mean).

    Quote:
    Only a small but vociferous group of fringe interests are attempting to fight a rear-guard action in defense of their fond delusions.


    I think there is "a rearguard action in defense of ... fond delusions" because, as scientific evidence continues to mount indicating that AGW is not a serious problem, people like Ben Santer, Michael Mann and Phil Jones are desperately trying to defend the reputations they have built on the AGW scare.  Meanwhile, large numbers of scientists continue to try to defend science by refuting AGW alarmism.  For example, between 1997 and 2001 more than 18,000 scientists signed the Oregon Petition that stated there is no convincing scientific evidence that human emissions will result in "catastrophic heating."

    Quote:
    *I should observe that assertions of "refutation" through so called "Social Network Analysis" of scientific papers is that the described results of the analysis (as presented by Iolo Morganwg) is probably true of all scientific disciplines - as this is to my mind a good description of precisely how science, when it is working well, works best. Particularly when overthrowing outdated models.


    What!  You think a caucus that calls itself a "consensus" is "probably true of all scientific disciplines"?  No, such a caucus is a denial of the scientific method.  And it is ridiculous to claim that such a caucus is " a good description of precisely how science, when it is working well, works best".

    I point out that 90% of the references in the first two chapters of the next IPCC so-called scientific report are to papers published by the authors of those chapters, while the chapters make little or no reference to papers that dispute their findings.  Such behaviour can only build a defence around the views of the caucus, and I ponder how you think it could ever foster the "overthrowing outdated models".  Indeed, such behaviour induces the provision of falsehoods that support the prevailing model.  For example, the falsehood of the Mann et al. 'hockeystick' was included in the last IPCC report and supported by the pro-AGW caucus despite its disagreement with much previously published work:  and Michael Mann was an author of the IPCC chapter that included it.

    - iolo


    « Last Edit: 2006-07-17 09:10:53 by Iolo Morganwg » Report to moderator   Logged
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #20 on: 2006-07-17 12:57:28 »
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    [Iolo Morganwg] The reference to this list is an extreme example of the 'bowing to authority fallacy'.

    [Hermit] Not at all. By using a common name for the fallacy, you seem to have failed to grasp it's implications. The only fallacy which has a name similar to that you raise is "Ad Verecundiam" which includes:
      fallacious appeals to authority
      misuse of an authority
      appeal to an inappropriate authority
      appeal to an irrelevant authority
      appeal to a questionable authority
    [Hermit] Citing appropriate authorities who are regarded as experts in the given field (most of the bodies cited) and who are regarded as luminaries of science (e.g. The members of the National Academy) is not a "fallacy" in any shape or form.

    [Iolo Morganwg] Truth is decided by consideration of the available evidence and not by votes.

    [Hermit] "Consideration of the available evidence" requires the expertise to comprehend the evidence, knowledge of appropriate methodologies, access to appropriate data and tools and, ultimately, a consensus on its meaning. This usually takes expertise. When you don't have specific expertise, you either need to acquire it (which can be expensive - e.g. many fields require a life time of study) or to borrow it. When borrowing it, it is worth looking for in-field expertise (found by tracking citations and awards from others in the field) and counting votes.

    [Iolo Morganwg] Any authority could be wrong,

    [Hermit] Of course.

    [Iolo Morganwg]  and this is especially true when a cited authority has a vested interest,

    [Hermit] This is a serious charge of academic bias or fraud. Given the sheer number of independent bodies and scientists involved, it would also require a massive conspiracy. Given my observations of scientists and the importance of academic integrity, I rate it extremely unlikely. But you are welcome to explain how you reached your perspective.

    [Iolo Morganwg] as does each authority on the list.

    [Hermit] Please demonstrate how the National Academy of Sciences has an (improper) "vested interest." (I say "improper" because it is only if the "vested interest" you assert could reasonably appear to lead to bias that the accusations you make could have any merit).

    [Hermit] I won't respond to the rest until you manage to sustain this and your extreme claim that scientists regard their job security as being more important than the field that they devote their lives to. It really seems to me that the majority of your assertions are, to a greater or lesser extent, dependent on sustaining this claim. A claim which, to my mind, is so bizarre as to be unsustainable on the simple grounds that if it were true, we would never see any scientific opinion other than the status quo. Even more telling, your assertion would tend to be countered by the fact that the US government of GW Bush is extremely prejudiced against the idea of global climate change (God made the planet for people and will look after it for them), and the administrative actions taken against people for speaking out against suppression of inconvenient climatic change information is easily verified through Google. An additional weakness of your claim, to my mind, is that you appear to ignore issues of tenure which, as instituted, permits extreme intellectual freedom to espouse weird ideas without loss of position. This is relevant because many of the scientists whose reputation you so glibly trample-upon are tenured academics working in-field.

    PS You may find http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/apr/HQ_04140_clouds_climate.html educational.
    « Last Edit: 2006-07-17 13:06:41 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #21 on: 2006-07-18 07:26:52 »
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    Splendid response Hermit!

    I am away until the end of the week and will do my best to offer a reply that does yours justice.

    - iolo

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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #22 on: 2006-07-19 15:13:39 »
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    [Blunderov] Given the apparent difficulty with even hindcasting global warming trends, the project referred to in in the appended report  from Yahoo seems almost Quixotic in its ambition. Probably the disclaimer at the end is quite prudent.
    <snip>
    Japan plans 30-year supercomputer forecasts By HANS GREIMEL, Associated Press Writer
    Tue Jul 18, 9:00 PM ET

    TOKYO - Japan is planning ultra long-range 30-year weather forecasts that will predict typhoons, storms, blizzards, droughts and other inclement weather, an official said Tuesday.

    The project, to start next year, will harness the powers of one of the world's fastest supercomputers and is an offshoot of ongoing research by the country's science ministry to map global warming trends for the next 300 years.

    Using the Earth Simulator supercomputer, housed in a hangar-sized building in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, Japan's science ministry hopes to calculate long-term patterns in the interaction of atmospheric pressure, air temperatures, ocean currents and sea temperatures, said Tomonori Otake, an official with the ministry's earth environment bureau.

    The results will help establish predictable routes for typhoons and identify areas that are recurring targets for heavy rains, abundant snow, high waves, heavy winds, scorching heat or crop-threatening droughts.

    "Now we can see what areas are at risk and start thinking about what kind of countermeasures to take," Otake said.

    Early warning could enable the government to allocate money and resources to potential disaster areas before disaster strikes.

    The ministry is now outlining the parameters of the project and will accept bids from researchers with an eye toward starting the program by next spring. A budget is not yet set, but it could cost in the area of $26 million a year.

    The Earth Simulator, introduced in 2002, was the world's fastest supercomputer until 2004, when IBM's Blue Gene took the title. But the $350 million computer still performs 35.6 trillion calculations a second, more computations than there are stars in our galaxy.

    The machine tracks global sea temperatures, rainfall and crustal movement to predict natural disasters over the next centuries. As part of the project, Japan eyes forecasts for the entire planet for areas as small as 1.9 square miles.

    But don't plan on locking in sunny weather for that planned family picnic in July 2036. These forecasts are only general trends.

    "Just like the daily forecast, we can't give a percentage for how accurate they are," Otake said.
    </snip>
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #23 on: 2006-07-21 05:19:41 »
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    Greetings Hermit,

    Quote from: Hermit on 2006-07-17 12:57:28   
    [Iolo Morganwg] The reference to this list is an extreme example of the 'bowing to authority fallacy'.

    [Hermit] Not at all. By using a common name for the fallacy, you seem to have failed to grasp it's implications. The only fallacy which has a name similar to that you raise is "Ad Verecundiam" which includes:
      fallacious appeals to authority
      misuse of an authority
      appeal to an inappropriate authority
      appeal to an irrelevant authority
      appeal to a questionable authority
    [Hermit] Citing appropriate authorities who are regarded as experts in the given field (most of the bodies cited) and who are regarded as luminaries of science (e.g. The members of the National Academy) is not a "fallacy" in any shape or form.


    [Iolo] You have made an assertion and repeated it in the response. The assertion is that the cited organisations are "authorities" whose opinions should be believed.  It is a "fallacy" to accept any such opinions:  in times past the error took the form of 'Divine Right of Kings' and you provide it in the form of 'Expert Right of Professional Bodies'.

    Quote:
    [Iolo Morganwg] Truth is decided by consideration of the available evidence and not by votes.

    [Hermit] "Consideration of the available evidence" requires the expertise to comprehend the evidence, knowledge of appropriate methodologies, access to appropriate data and tools and, ultimately, a consensus on its meaning. This usually takes expertise. When you don't have specific expertise, you either need to acquire it (which can be expensive - e.g. many fields require a life time of study) or to borrow it. When borrowing it, it is worth looking for in-field expertise (found by tracking citations and awards from others in the field) and counting votes.


    [Iolo] One cannot "borrow" expertise. One has it or not. One can hire the expertise of somebody else (e.g. as many people do when needing legal or medical expertise) but one still does not have it oneself.

    And one does not "count votes" when assessing the value of expertise.  Expertise is assessed by the failure and success of an 'expert' (e.g. one assesses how many cases a lawyer has won and lost and how many of a physician's patients have recovered or died).  By this assessment, not one of the organisations that you listed has any expertise in climate prediction because not one of them has made a successful climate prediction to date.

    Also, respect from one's peers can be taken as an indication of worth so "tracking citations and awards" has some value, but it should never be taken at face value because mutual admiration of club members is no guide to anything except the health of the club.

    Furthermore, nobody can have expertise in a matter that has not been shown to exist:  and to date nobody has been able to show that AGW exists.

    Quote:
    [Iolo Morganwg] Any authority could be wrong,

    [Hermit] Of course.

    [Iolo Morganwg]  and this is especially true when a cited authority has a vested interest,

    [Hermit] This is a serious charge of academic bias or fraud. Given the sheer number of independent bodies and scientists involved, it would also require a massive conspiracy. Given my observations of scientists and the importance of academic integrity, I rate it extremely unlikely. But you are welcome to explain how you reached your perspective.


    [Iolo] 'straw man'. I did not suggest fraud. Most AGW-advocates are honourable and sincere (as in all sciences a very few exceptions could be cited but those 'rotten apples' do not discredit the great bulk).

    And "academic bias" is normal.  It exists because different academics have different views.  Science progresses by utilising the clashes of different 'biases'.

    Furthermore, return to the nonsensical 'straw man' of a 'conspiracy'.  I dispute that there is such a conspiracy since having read Botcher, who published his analysis of an AGW 'conspiracy' in 1996. Indeed, I have severe doubts that any conspiracy can be sustained for long, and the AGW scare has now existed for a quarter of a century. I remind that I originally wrote to the response of your comments on the Wegman Report:

    "Assertions of a "conspiracy"?  This claim is a 'straw man' because no such assertions have been made.  There is a 'band-wagon' based on a coincidence of interests.  Nobody has to conspire to get people to join or stay aboard a band-wagon that is going in a direction they all want to go.  AGW is big business and the obtaining of much money and several reputations depend on it.  The most recent of many analyses of the AGW band-wagon and its effects is the Wegman report that can be read at
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf"

    *

    Quote:
    [Iolo Morganwg] as does each authority on the list.

    [Hermit] Please demonstrate how the National Academy of Sciences has an (improper) "vested interest." (I say "improper" because it is only if the "vested interest" you assert could reasonably appear to lead to bias that the accusations you make could have any merit).


    [Iolo] What do you mean by "improper"? If you mean that supporting the incomes and employment of a large number of its members is "improper", then this vested interest of the NAS is "improper". I think that such support of its members is very proper, and it is undeniably a vested interest.

    Quote:
    [Hermit] I won't respond to the rest until you manage to sustain this and your extreme claim that scientists regard their job security as being more important than the field that they devote their lives to.


    [Iolo]So, you refuse to consider my clear and undeniable refutations of your erroneous (and somewhat offensive) statements until I manage to sustain yet another of your 'straw men'.

    I did not make the claims you say. Indeed, I said the opposite. I said that few scientists are likely to jeopardise the employment that enables them to 'devote' their lives to the field of study of their choice. Do you expect me or anyone else to believe you are so naive that you fail to understand this?  I think not, and I think your pathetic excuse for not responding to the bulk of my refutations of your remarks demonstrates that you know I showed them to be erroneous remarks.

    Quote:
    [Hermit] It really seems to me that the majority of your assertions are, to a greater or lesser extent, dependent on sustaining this claim.


    [Iolo]No. I made several statements that have no relationship to your straw man. For example, I said "Furthermore, there is no “evidence” for man-made global warming:  none, not any of any kind.  Decades of research have failed to find any. "

    Now, that is so bold and so unequivocal a statement that it would be easy to refute if it were not true:  all one has to do to refute it is to cite one piece of evidence for man-made global warming.  But you can't refute it because it is true, so you offer this pathetic excuse instead.

    Quote:
    [Hermit]A claim which, to my mind, is so bizarre


    [Iolo]It is a bizarre claim that you made, not me, and you invented this bizarre claim as an excuse not to address the scientific points I made concerning AGW.

    The remainder of your points address this invention of your that you provide to avoid discussion of the science, so I see no reason for me to address them.

    Quote:
    [Hermit]as to be unsustainable on the simple grounds that if it were true, we would never see any scientific opinion other than the status quo. Even more telling, your assertion would tend to be countered by the fact that the US government of GW Bush is extremely prejudiced against the idea of global climate change (God made the planet for people and will look after it for them), and the administrative actions taken against people for speaking out against suppression of inconvenient climatic change information is easily verified through Google. An additional weakness of your claim, to my mind, is that you appear to ignore issues of tenure which, as instituted, permits extreme intellectual freedom to espouse weird ideas without loss of position. This is relevant because many of the scientists whose reputation you so glibly trample-upon are tenured academics working in-field.

    PS You may find http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/apr/HQ_04140_clouds_climate.html educational.


    [Iolo]No, I didn’t. But I suspect that your ignorance of climate science is feigned.

    Hermit’s response shifts the focus from the statistical study to the social network observation. I treat the social network as a curiosity, and invite more commentary on the statistical study.

    Further, perhaps unfortunately(?) the approach I took (contra authority) seems to admit that all these organisations and agencies that Hermit listed somehow support the hockey stick over the Wegman report. They do not.

    But the strategy being employed against me is a common one, which might be termed argument by pile. I could have asked Hermit to supply specific citations, for each listed group, to their support of the hockey stick. But, even here I will in some, perhaps many, cases find that the hockey stick is in fact used, by EPA for example, because it was generally accepted after the last IPCC report.

    So my best argument is simply to note that the listed groups adopted the hockey stick before mathematical experts discredited it. This list is therefore a list of those who were duped by Mann, it is in no way an answer to Wegman. In fact efforts are underway to get the hockey stick off of federal websites.

    The NAS is a special case, if the recent NAS hockey stick report is meant. It does not vindicate Mann, even though he claims it does. More to the point this is just a quick study by a small group, not the position of the NAS. There is a lot of confusion about this.

    - Iolo

    * As far as IPCC First Assessment is concerned. It was sloppy science to identify the uncertainties but then give predictions based on computer models, but not conspiracy. There is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest that the SAR was influenced at the SPM stage to give more emphasis to the modelling than is warranted with the conclusion that "the balance of evidence suggests '. This is opinion dressed up as science but still not conspiracy, just herd management. I am undecided about whether TAR was the result of conspiracy or not. I have a gut feeling that the science was assembled and the SPM written to give substance to "the balance of evidence" of the SAR. Under normal circumstances Mann's Hockey Stick would not have passed muster against the overwhelming cultural and historical evidence of a varying climate; because of the novelty of the methodology it has taken a concerted effort to identify its failings. Similarly, for the IPCC to make the claim that the climate system lacks internal variability because computer models (heavily damped to maintain computational stability) do not exhibit variability in 1,000-year simulations is just preposterous. And then the claim that computer models are validated based on the simulations of 20th century global temperature suggests a willingness to believe on the part of those at the IPCC centre of power.

    In all of this we find 'experts' making claims that they are not justified to make.

    « Last Edit: 2006-07-21 05:20:25 by Iolo Morganwg » Report to moderator   Logged
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #24 on: 2006-07-21 21:33:20 »
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    [Iolo] Now, that is so bold and so unequivocal a statement that it would be easy to refute if it were not true:  all one has to do to refute it is to cite one piece of evidence for man-made global warming.  But you can't refute it because it is true, so you offer this pathetic excuse instead.

    [Hermit] I was busy, started to leave town, and stopped to write a long reply. When I got to this point I canned it. I regard your response here as being so wrong minded that I suspect we have no foundation on which to base discussions. From climate science, where I am not qualified, to analytic methods, theoretical and applied statistics,  and the philosophy of science where I am, we apparently have no vocabulary in common and differ too widely on too many issues for me to address meaningfully in this forum what I see as your multiple errors.

    [Hermit] However, on the above challenge, citing Stephen H. Schneider, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for International Studies; Professor, by courtesy, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Co-Director, Center for Environmental Science and Policy; Co-Director, Interdisclipinary Program in Environment and Resources
    Stanford University; website on Climate Change:
    Quote:
    [H]uman activity can and has also affected the climate. From Swedish scientist Arrhenius' 1896 study of how changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) could affect climate, to English engineer G.S. Callendar's assertion in 1938 that a warming trend caused by increases in CO2 was underway, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Lorenz's suggestion at a 1965 conference in Boulder, CO, that climate change could cause catastrophic "surprises", to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, support has increased for the idea that there exists a complex, and perhaps dangerous, society-nature cycle: climate influences human activities that, in turn, influence climate, etc. (For much more information on the history of climate change research, see Spencer Weart's website, The Discovery of Global Warming.)
    I recommend both sites to your attention. The latter in particular contains a vast range of multi-disciplinary data from a large number of respected scientists which leads me to conclude that the case is not only so thoroughly made that witnessing continuing attempted denials is empathetically embarrassing to the informed observer.

    [Hermit] Please notice that like evolution, global temperature rise is unequivocably happening. e.g.



    Source: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/20ctrend.htm

    Global average temperatures 1860-2002 (difference from 1961-1990 normals, °C), using air measurements at land stations and sea surface temperatures measured by ships and buoys. From the Hadley Centre, U.K. © Crown copyright 2003, see the site for updated data

    [Hermit] All that is left is to explain why. As I have repeatedly stated, the anthropological global warming hypothesizers have done a good job of predicting and explaining this. I refer you to Spencer Weart's Discovery of Global Warming site for why I accept this as probable.

    [Hermit] The above, and what follows hopefully explains why I am abandoning my attempt to reason with you on this issue, as I think that Schneider has in fact already addressed your most of what I understand to be your position, at a length I cannot afford, at Mediarology and in particular at Courtroom Epistemology. If you think I am wrong, please identify specifically what would be required to persuade you to change your mind about this subject.

    [Hermit] For example, I could be persuaded that anthropologically induced climate change is an invalid explanation for measured warming if you showed me an alternative source for the changes in man-made gases and CO2 in ice cores dating to the latter half of the 20th century (as opposed to all of the previous centuries), a period when proven atmospheric greenhouse gases did not act as a leading predictor for global temperatures, and the name of some scientific person or group who had, prior to the year 2000, proposed alternative theories and predicted that the warming trend of temperature measurements would become undeniable at around the turn of the century.

    [Hermit] The last issue I shall attempt to address, is the first item you raised. I do this on the grounds that I think that you are making so elementary an error here that I should identify it in such a way that anyone familiar with debate, never mind scientific studies will recognize why I see the following statement  as a fundamental flaw on your part. Citing appropriate authorities is always a valid thing to do. A lawyer might attempt to reject the validity of the citation or even attempt to counter the applicability. A scientist attempts to take it in stride and factor the responses into her validity map. So, pardon me if I attempt to explain why I regard the authorities mentioned (all of whom have issued statements which assert the likelihood of anthropological involvement in global climatic change) as applicable.

    [Iolo] You have made an assertion and repeated it in the response. The assertion is that the cited organisations are "authorities" whose opinions should be believed.

    [Hermit] I have never, ever, suggested that anybody be "believed." I have stated that when one has the capability one should evaluate the evidence for oneself. I have suggested that we need to be extremely cautious about making pronouncements in fields where we don't have expertise, because "determining the validity of a theory" needs the evaluator to posses the expertise required to perform appropriate evaluations. This is especially the case in complex fields where people tend not to comprehend to how large an extent a lack of familiarity can invalidate their thinking (i.e. You are probably in danger of overestimating your capabilities when you don't know how much you don't know). Due to this phenomenon, I have repeatedly suggested that we don't have the familiarity needed to make effective evaluations in a field, that we should develop or borrow the capability. "Borrowing" an ability, which is how I describe the process of identifying peer recognized experts and reading with a view to comprehending the often conflicting summaries of complex fields, and then following the consensus position as it emerges is, I suggest, the only valid way that somebody outside any field can hope to keep up with an evolving consensus. And if you have followed any of my writings on the scientific method, you will know that consensus is critical to the modern scientific method. In this case, the evaluation capabilities required includes, and is heavily dependent upon, the ability to evaluate statistics, statistical methodologies and the application of the scientific method as much of the evidence is complex and statistical in nature.

    [Hermit] I would suggest that the best people to judge the quality of the implementation of these processes are those people recognized by their peers as being leading, or at least, being competent scientists. I suggest that the more mutually recognized they are, the better they are likely to be at noticing anomalous processes or conclusions, and I also suggest, the less likely they are to put their names to unsustainable issues (I also note that this provides a great deal of stability to science and that in my opinion this is good, even where it means that any new theories (which may well be better) tend to attract a lot of opposition.

    [Hermit] Climate change studies are clearly regarded as good science by a huge number of very well regarded scientists. Indeed, in addition to my opinion which is not given lightly, climate change is regarded as proven by every scientist I have spoken to about it. Anthropological involvement is regarded as somewhat less certain, but is still a much better match than anything else which has been proposed; because the current models do indeed have predictive and explicative powers. In other words, going from what is seen, to describing mechanisms which affect the field to making predictions of what will happen as changes occur, to validating that when the changes have happened, that the predictions matched the observations - and when they didn't that there was some mechanism which could be shown to be involved which when corrected for resulted in the predictions being correct - and producing newer predictions which in turn can be tested. Climate change studies are clearly in this category.

    Hermit
    « Last Edit: 2006-07-21 22:16:48 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #25 on: 2006-07-22 06:31:20 »
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    [Blunderov] I have a (very layperson) question please. How much of the difficulty with creating climate computer models is due to the chaos effect? Am I right in thinking that that ostensibly identical chaotic systems might (will?) behave in markedly different ways?

    I suppose another way of asking the question would be: does chaos theory exclude the possibility of identical chaotic systems?

    If anyone has the time I would be most interested to know.

    Best regards.
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #26 on: 2006-07-22 09:07:56 »
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    Hey people! Our RSS feed tells me that things have been (at least locally) alive here!

    Let me drop in a link regarding Joe Barton's latest statistical witch hunt:

    The missing piece at the Wegman hearing
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing

    which contains links to Wegman report itself and to some replies, as well as a mention to Wegman's suggested "centering" technique as applied by qualified climatologists, giving about the same results:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/CODES_MBH.html

    One more comment. Regarding the social networking part of Wegman's report, notice that the diagram is solely composed of Mann and his co-authors. So, the "clique" exists by definition and the lines only represent the internal dynamics of the "clique". Statisticians...
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #27 on: 2006-07-25 05:38:49 »
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    Greetings Hermit,

    I have decided that for now I will no longer pursue any aspect of this discussion that does not deal with the science. I plan to return to this reply of yours once a resolution has been reached on the science.

    Hopefully you are in agreement.

    [Hermit] However, on the above challenge, citing Stephen H. Schneider, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for International Studies; Professor, by courtesy, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Co-Director, Center for Environmental Science and Policy; Co-Director, Interdisclipinary Program in Environment and Resources
    Stanford University; website on Climate Change:

    [Iolo] Again, you appeal to authority instead of citing evidence.  The number of names on your list does not increase the veracity and/or credibility of your assertions.


    [Hermit] [H]uman activity can and has also affected the climate.

    [Iolo] Yes, this is undeniable.  For example, the temperature in urban areas is hotter than that of surrounding regions.  But the argument is about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) induced by increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.  There is no evidence that human activities have affected the global climate by this or any other activity.


    [Hermit] From Swedish scientist Arrhenius' 1896 study of how changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) could affect climate, to English engineer G.S. Callendar's assertion in 1938 that a warming trend caused by increases in CO2 was underway, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Lorenz's suggestion at a 1965 conference in Boulder, CO, that climate change could cause catastrophic "surprises", to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, support has increased for the idea that there exists a complex, and perhaps dangerous, society-nature cycle: climate influences human activities that, in turn, influence climate, etc. (For much more information on the history of climate change research, see Spencer Weart's website, The Discovery of Global Warming.

    [Iolo] Ok, so there is a credible hypothesis for AGW.  I did not dispute that because it is not relevant to whether or not AGW does or will exist.  I stated the simple truth that there is no evidence that AGW exists.  A credible hypothesis is not evidence for the existence of anything.  There were credible hypotheses that phlogistion was responsible for combustion and humours were responsible for disease, but neither existed.  And those hypotheses were devised to explain the observed effects of combustion and disease.  There are no observed effects requiring the hypothesis of AGW to explain them.  Indeed, there are no observed effects of AGW because - if it exists - it is too small to be discerned from natural climate variability.


    [Hermit] I recommend both sites to your attention. The latter in particular contains a vast range of multi-disciplinary data from a large number of respected scientists

    [Iolo] Yes, much data and none of it - not any - provides any evidence for AGW.


    [Hermit] which leads me to conclude that the case is not only so thoroughly made that witnessing continuing attempted denials is empathetically embarrassing to the informed observer.

    [Iolo]Any "informed observer" could only be reduced to laughter - not embarrassment - by your silly assertions.  You are convinced that the case for AGW is made but you do not cite any evidence to support your conviction because there is no evidence for AGW.  All "informed observers" know there is no evidence for AGW and your failure to cite any evidence speaks volumes to any uninformed observers.


    [Hermit] Please notice that like evolution, global temperature rise is unequivocably happening. e.g.

    [Iolo] I did not deny it. Please note that I wrote (and you have failed to debate).

    "Warming of the Earth does not prove that human activity warmed it.  At issue is whether human activity is or is not affecting the changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.  Nothing is constant in nature:  everything changes all the time.  And the Earth must have warmed or cooled if its temperature were not constant over the past 100 years.

    “The history of the estimated warming of the Earth does not agree with an assertion that human emissions were responsible for the warming over the past 100 years.  The estimates of the Earth’s average surface temperature (mean global temperature: MGT) all show warming from before 1900 to 1940, then cooling from 1940 to 1970 with a further period of warming after 1970.  The estimates show that most of the warming occurred before 1940 but 80% of the emissions were after that.  Indeed, the start of the cooling period coincided with the start of the major emissions.  Advocates of man-made global warming excuse this problem by attributing

    (a) almost all the rise before 1940 to be an effect of the Sun,

    (b) the cooling from 1940 to 1970 to be an effect of human emissions of aerosols, and

    (c) the warming after 1970 to be mostly an effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Evidence is lacking for this convoluted story to excuse the disagreement of the emissions with the temperature history. etc”



    [Hermit]

    Source: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/20ctrend.htm

    Global average temperatures 1860-2002 (difference from 1961-1990 normals, °C), using air measurements at land stations and sea surface temperatures measured by ships and buoys. From the Hadley Centre, U.K. © Crown copyright 2003, see the site for updated data

    [Iolo] Yes, see my comments above.


    [Hermit] All that is left is to explain why.

    [Iolo] Yes, and there are several hypotheses of the cause.  Again, as I previously said;
    “And other causes for the possible recent warming are also possible; indeed, they are more likely.  For example, changes to cloud cover.

    Clouds reflect solar heat and a mere 2% increase to cloud cover would more than compensate for the maximum possible predicted warming due to a doubling of carbon dioxide in the air.  Good records of cloud cover are very short; but it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid 80s and late 90s. Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre.  This is a lot. The IPCC says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 W/sq m.”


    [Hermit] As I have repeatedly stated, the anthropological global warming hypothesizers have done a good job of predicting and explaining this.

    [Iolo] Yes, you said that, I laughed at what you had said, and you have failed to substantiate what you said.


    [Hermit] I refer you to Spencer Weart's Discovery of Global Warming site for why I accept this as probable.

    [Iolo] !? Merely "probable"?  I thought you concluded (above) "that the case is not only so thoroughly made that witnessing continuing attempted denials is empathetically embarrassing to the informed observer."  Perhaps and "informed observer" might see signs of your wriggling?


    [Hermit] The above, and what follows hopefully explains why I am abandoning my attempt to reason with you on this issue,

    [Iolo] It certainly does explain why you are "abandoning ... attempt to reason with" me:  you are 'taking your ball home'.


    [Hermit] as I think that Schneider has in fact already addressed your most of what I understand to be your position, at a length I cannot afford, at Mediarology and in particular at Courtroom Epistemology. If you think I am wrong, please identify specifically what would be required to persuade you to change your mind about this subject.

    [Iolo] Easy, I repeat what I said earlier;  i.e.
    "I am not a scientist, however, I attempt to impartially assess all available evidence. The evidence pertaining to AGW does not indicate that AGW is a serious problem. Indeed, AGW is so small an effect that - if it exists - it cannot be detected because it is within observed natural climate variability.  But I do not deny that AGW could become a serious problem and in the unlikely event that some evidence is obtained to indicate that it is becoming a problem (or some evidence is obtained to show that it exists) then I will adjust my assessment."

    That remains my position.  But you say that your position is that facts, evidence and information are not relevant because you "believe" AGW exists so anybody who - like me - considers the evidence for its existence must be wrong.


    [Hermit] For example, I could be persuaded that anthropologically induced climate change is an invalid explanation for measured warming if you showed me an alternative source for the changes in man-made gases and CO2 in ice cores dating to the latter half of the 20th century (as opposed to all of the previous centuries),

    [Iolo] OK, so let us see your degree of veracity.

    You say you "could be persuaded that anthropologically induced climate change is an invalid explanation for measured warming if you showed me an alternative source for the changes in man-made gases and CO2 in ice cores dating to the latter half of the 20th century (as opposed to all of the previous centuries)."  Hence, if you are truthful to any degree, the following will persuade you that "anthropologically induced climate change is an invalid explanation for measured warming".

    The ice core data cannot indicate rates of change in atmospheric CO2 concentration similar to those at present unless they are sustained for more than 320 years because CO2 will diffuse from regions of high concentration through sealing firn, and the IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR: that you claim to believe) says the ice takes 83 years to seal.  Therefore, any high concentrations of gases trapped in the sealing ice will be reduced by diffusion unless those high concentrations exist in the atmosphere for at least 320 years (because gas can diffuse both up and down through firn that takes 83 years to seal).

    But plants grow new leaves each year and adjust the sizes of their stomata with changing atmospheric CO2 concentration, and this permits the determination of rapid changes to past atmospheric CO2 concentrations by analysis of leaves preserved, for example, in peat bogs.  (e.g.  Retallack (2001), Wagner et al. (2004), Kouwenberg et al. (2003)).  The disagreement of the stomata data with the ice core data is clearly seen in all published studies of the stomata data.  For example, as early as 1999 Wagner reported that studies of birch leaves indicated a rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 327 ppmv (which is similar to the rise in the twentieth century) from late Glacial to Holocene conditions.  This ancient rise of 67 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 concentration is indicated by the stomata data at a time when the ice core data indicate only 20 ppmv rise. (refs.  Retallack G, Nature vol. 411 287 (2001), Wagener F, et al. Virtual Journal Geobiology, vol.3. Issue 9, Section 2B (2004), Kouenberg et al. American Journal of Botany, 90, pp 610-619 (2003), Wagner F et al. Science vol. 284 p 92 (1999)).)

    Also, I would be interested to know how you think ice cores can indicate "changes in man-made gases and CO2 in ice cores dating to the latter half of the 20th century " when the ice takes 83 years to seal.  Ice that fell as snow 82 years ago is still firn that has yet to seal so tells nothing.  The recent data is from direct measurements of CO2 in the air.


    [Hermit] a period when proven atmospheric greenhouse gases did not act as a leading predictor for global temperatures, and the name of some scientific person or group who had, prior to the year 2000, proposed alternative theories and predicted that the warming trend of temperature measurements would become undeniable at around the turn of the century.

    [Iolo] I cannot comment on this because I do not understand it.  Please rephrase it to be comprehensible or provide a reference to whatever it is that you refer.


    SNIP


    [Hermit] In this case, the evaluation capabilities required includes, and is heavily dependent upon, the ability to evaluate statistics, statistical methodologies and the application of the scientific method as much of the evidence is complex and statistical in nature.

    [Hermit] I would suggest that the best people to judge the quality of the implementation of these processes are those people recognized by their peers as being leading, or at least, being competent scientists.

    [Iolo] No, evaluation is best done by pertinent specialists.  For example, evaluation of the statistics used in a study is best done by statisticians (whomever conducted the study).  This is not a trivial point.  For example, the statistics used to generate Mann's 'hockeystick' were peer reviewed by other paleoclimatologists who failed to recognise the several serious flaws in Mann's statistical analysis, but when McKintire and McKittrick (i.e. statisticians) assessed the 'hockeystick' they soon detected that Mann's methods generate a 'hockeystick' when applied to random data.


    SNIP


    [Hermit] Climate change studies are clearly regarded as good science by a huge number of very well regarded scientists. Indeed, in addition to my opinion which is not given lightly, climate change is regarded as proven by every scientist I have spoken to about it.

    [Iolo] And anybody else with any sense.  Again, I remind that I wrote;
    "Global climate change has always existed and nobody has ever disputed its existence to my knowledge. The present AGW scare is not about "Global Climatic Change".
    Climate has always changed everywhere and it always will:  this has been known since the Bronze Age when it was pointed out to Pharoa by Joseph (the one with the Technicolour Dreamcoat)."


    [Hermit] Anthropological involvement is regarded as somewhat less certain, but is still a much better match than anything else which has been proposed;

    [Iolo] No, it does not match - as I explain above - and I repeat that there is no evidence for AGW; none, not any.  It is pertinent that you write many words but fails to provide any evidence for AGW.


    [Hermit] because the current models do indeed have predictive and explicative powers.

    [Iolo] No.  Again I repeat what I previously said when you previously made these assertions;

    “This is fanciful beyond belief!  No climate model has demonstrated predictive capability.  Indeed, validation of a model's ability to forecast the next 50 years would require demonstration that it had successfully forecast several previous 50 years, but none has existed for 50 years.  Furthermore, none of them can accurately hindcast the last 100 years of climate (and hindcasting is much easier than forecasting).  I wonder how you think the predictions of such models could be falsifiable.

    And I know of no published proof that any climate model has "coherent explicative abilities" (whatever that may mean).”


    [Hermit] In other words, going from what is seen, to describing mechanisms which affect the field to making predictions of what will happen as changes occur, to validating that when the changes have happened, that the predictions matched the observations - and when they didn't that there was some mechanism which could be shown to be involved which when corrected for resulted in the predictions being correct - and producing newer predictions which in turn can be tested. Climate change studies are clearly in this category.

    [Iolo] This is pure imagination as is proven by several published assessments. I cite one from some years ago; 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" E&E v10 No5 (1999))

    regards,

    - iolo
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    the.bricoleur
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #28 on: 2006-07-25 05:40:25 »
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    Greetings rhinoceros,


    Quote from: rhinoceros on 2006-07-22 09:07:56   


    Let me drop in a link regarding Joe Barton's latest statistical witch hunt:

    The missing piece at the Wegman hearing
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing

    Thank you, but I already had that link.  And the completely proper investigation is not a "witch hunt".  Those whose performance is being assessed are getting their pay from the public purse to conduct that performance.  US taxpayers are entitled to expect that such assessments would be conducted.


    Quote:
    which contains links to Wegman report itself and to some replies, as well as a mention to Wegman's suggested "centering" technique as applied by qualified climatologists, giving about the same results:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/CODES_MBH.html

    One more comment. Regarding the social networking part of Wegman's report, notice that the diagram is solely composed of Mann and his co-authors. So, the "clique" exists by definition and the lines only represent the internal dynamics of the "clique". Statisticians...

    Yes! That is the way it is.  Now, would you like to comment on my statements that said;

    “I point out that 90% of the references in the first two chapters of the next IPCC so-called scientific report are to papers published by the authors of those chapters, while the chapters make little or no reference to papers that dispute their findings.  Such behaviour can only build a defence around the views of the caucus, and I ponder how you think it could ever foster the "overthrowing outdated models".  Indeed, such behaviour induces the provision of falsehoods that support the prevailing model.  For example, the falsehood of the Mann et al. 'hockeystick' was included in the last IPCC report and supported by the pro-AGW caucus despite its disagreement with much previously published work:  and Michael Mann was an author of the IPCC chapter that included it.”?

    For the sake of science, let everybody hope that the Wegman enquiry sorts out the caucus that calls itself a consensus so all of climatology can return to being climate science instead of the present situation whereby a caucus of some climate scientists act as a mouthpiece for political interests.

    - iolo
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    Re:The Flipping Point
    « Reply #29 on: 2006-07-25 14:13:12 »
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    Iolo, I suspect that you didn't even bother to look at the AIP Website did you?

    Look at the extract below where I have highlighted some text in red. It raises the point that the IPCC was in fact founded to evaluate the confused situation at the time. And that it came to a firm consensus. A "populist evaluation" of this through the political process, overseen by Sen. Inhofe, a notorius climate change denier who comes from and unabashedly promotes his "coal state", is hardly the "completely proper investigation" you allege.

    You might also care to peruse http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm which deals with CO2 levels.

    Regards Hermit


    Others here may find the following of some use. I have tried to weave a short but coherent story from AIP's much larger web site attempting to reflect the current consensus position and in particular, how it was developed. I recommend the full site to anyone interested in this chaotic subject (Blunderov, you may be especially interested in http://www.aip.org/history/climate/rapid.htm which deals particularly with the chaotic side of things).

    But first a warning (quoted from the article) and in my opinion, good for a headline. As with evolution vs Intelligent Design - or Israeli ethnic cleansing:

    Journalists often sought an artificial balance by matching "pro" with "anti" scientists, one against one.(126)

    Unfortunately, as in evolution vs Intelligent Design it is quite possible for one side to be just plain wrong.


    Quote:
    Another scientist  the media noticed was the physicist Gilbert Plass, whose own work had convinced him that CO2 would warm the planet. In a 1959 Scientific American article he boldly predicted that global temperatures would rise something like 3°F (1.7°C) by the end of the century. Plass, thinking as a scientist, only remarked that this would allow a conclusive test of the CO2 theory of climate change. But the magazine's editorial staff connected his ideas with the public's growing concern about pollution, printing a photograph of coal smoke belching from factories. The caption read, "Man upsets the balance of natural processes by adding billions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year."(28*) The lesson was clinched by news in mid 1961 that meticulous measurements by C.D. Keeling had detected an annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.(29)

    ...

    Meanwhile new  studies convinced an increasing number of scientists that, given a choice between warming and cooling, it was the greenhouse effect that would dominate sooner or later. Theoretical work on aerosols suggested that human smog and dust might not cool the atmosphere very much after all. At most, the increased pollution might bring a mild cooling that would only temporarily mask greenhouse warming. Other studies suggested that the greenhouse effect might already be changing the weather. Computer models, although still provisional, tended to agree that the rising level of CO2 would bring a degree or so of warming within decades. Any statement that invoked supercomputers commanded strong respect from the public, and from most scientists too.     

    Climate experts were quick to explain the new findings. A well-respected geochemist, Wallace Broecker, took the lead in 1975, warning in an influential Science magazine article that the world might be poised on the brink of a serious rise of temperature. "Complacency may not be warranted," he said. "We may be in for a climatic surprise."(68) In 1977, the National Academy of Sciences weighed in with a major study by a panel of experts who warned that temperatures might rise to nearly catastrophic levels during the next century or two. The report, announced at a press conference during the hottest July the nation had experienced since the 1930s, was widely noted in the press.(69)

    ...

    The Summer of 1988
       
    While the public was assimilating the lesson of the ozone hole — the fact that human activity could change elements of the atmosphere both seriously and quickly — scientists were assimilating the latest research. A new breed of interdisciplinary studies was showing that even a few degrees of warming might have harsh consequences, both for fragile natural ecosystems and for certain agricultural systems and other human endeavors. Gradually it was becoming apparent that even a degree or two of warming could devastate many of the world's coral reefs, that tropical diseases would invade new territory, and so forth. Still more troubling, it seemed that the entire climate system could change more rapidly than most experts had suspected. A mere couple of decades might bring a shocking surprise. In particular, the circulation of water in the North Atlantic might shift abruptly, which would bring not warmth but severe cooling to the region.

    ...

    The most visibly outspoken climate expert was James Hansen. In 1986 and 1987, he created a minor stir among those alert to the issue when he testified before a Congressional committee. He insisted that global warming was no vague and distant possibility, but something that would become apparent within a decade or so. His group of climate modelers claimed that they could "confidently state that major greenhouse climate changes are a certainty." In particular, "the global warming predicted in the next 20 years will make the Earth warmer than it has been in the past 100,000 years."(94*)

    ...

    Opponents of regulation made sure that the technical uncertainties described in the Marshall Institute reports and elsewhere became widely known. In 1989 some of the biggest corporations in the petroleum, automotive, and other industries created a Global Climate Coalition, whose mission was to disparage every call for action against global warming. Operating out of the offices of the National Association of Manufacturers, over the following decade the organization would spend tens of millions of dollars. It supported lectures and publications by a few skeptical scientists, produced slick publications and videos and sent them wholesale to journalists, and advertised directly to the public every doubt about the reality of global warming.(122) The criticism fitted well with the visceral distrust of environmentalism that right-wing political commentators were spreading. The scientific criticism particularly influenced President George H.W. Bush’s administration. Enough of the public was likewise sufficiently impressed by the skeptical advertising and news reports, or at least sufficiently confused by them, so that the administration felt free to avoid taking serious steps against global warming.     

    Scientists noticed something that the public largely overlooked: the most outspoken scientific critiques of global warming predictions did not appear in the standard scientific publications, the "peer-reviewed" journals where independent scientists reviewed every statement before publication. The critiques tended to appear in venues funded by industrial groups, or in conservative media like the Wall Street Journal. Most climate experts, while agreeing that future warming was not a proven fact, found the critics' counter-arguments dubious, and some publicly decried their reports as misleading "junk science."(123) Other experts, Hansen for one, exclaimed that "wait and see" was no way to deal with the "climate time-bomb." Going beyond calls to limit greenhouse gas emissions, he concluded that "governments must foster conditions leading to population stabilization."(124) On several points open conflict broke out between some scientists, with acrimonious and personalized exchanges.(125)

    ...

    When scratch surveys sought the real opinions of climate scientists,, most of them revealed mixed feelings. A modest majority believed that global warming was very probably underway. It was only a small minority who insisted there was no problem, while at least as many insisted that the threat was acute. Amid the publicized controversy, it was hard to recognize that there was in fact a consensus, shared by most experts — global warming was quite probable although not certain. Scientists agreed above all that it was impossible to be entirely sure. The media got that much right, for most reports in the early 1990s emphasized the lack of certainty.

    ...

    Recognizing the need for a better representation of what scientists did and did not understand, climate scientists and government bureaucrats formed an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s committees managed to forge consensus views that almost every expert and official could accept, and published them as definitive reports. The first IPCC report, released in 1990, rehearsed the usual ambiguous warnings about the possibilities of global warming. This was nothing exciting or surprising, and the report got hardly any newspaper coverage.(127)Yet scientific opinion was shifting, although so gradually that it would take a special event to make that appear as "news."

    An opportunity came with the second IPCC report, issued late in 1995. The somnolent public debate revived on the news that the panel had agreed that the world really was getting warmer, and that the warming was probably caused at least in part by humanity. Although many scientists had been saying that for years, this was the first formal declaration by the assembled experts of the world. It was page-one news in many countries, immediately recognized as a landmark in the debate. (Further warnings from the panel, such as the possibility of climate "surprises," were less noted.)(128*) Better still for reporters, the report stirred up a nasty controversy, for a few critics cast doubt upon the personal integrity of some IPCC scientists. The principle target, a main author of the report, remarked that he had to spend the better part of the following summer dealing with journalists and e-mails.(129)    <=International
    Even more newsworthy was the international Kyoto Climate Conference, scheduled for December 1997. Here was where governments would make real economic and political decisions on the use of fossil fuels. The administration of President Bill Clinton made a bid for public support for a treaty, holding a well-publicized conference of experts on climate change in October. Editors saw a story line of conflict developing as they anticipated the Conference. News reports were further stimulated by advertising campaigns and other intense public relations efforts, funded by environmental organizations on the one hand, by the Global Climate Coalition of industrial corporations on the other. Television stories dealing with global warming jumped from a mere dozen in July-September to well over 200 in October-December. Most of the stories asserted that global warming was underway, with barely a tenth including any expression of doubts. Yet after the Conference the wave of attention faded away as quickly as it had come, leaving little change in public opinion. People mostly stuck to the positions they had adopted around 1988 if not earlier.(130)

    ...

    The increasingly  unequivocal and occasionally activist stance of many climate scientists continued to be opposed by a few respectable critics. Some of them argued publicly that the 20th century's global warming (if it existed at all) had come only because the Sun had temporarily become more active. During the 1990s they produced some fairly plausible data and theories to back them up, but other experts felt the case was weak. A scholar who reviewed nearly 1000 abstracts of technical articles, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, found that "none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position." In the minds of nearly all scientists (at least those not connected financially to the energy industries), the case was as well proven as anything in geophysics.(131 - Oreskes, Naomi (2004). "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change." Science 306: 1686 [doi: 10.1126/science.1103618]. )

    ...

    Most journalists continued to pursue their ideal of "unbiased" coverage, which meant writing a "balanced" story by presenting all sides of an issue. That put them in the odd situation of including, in a story that might describe years of research by teams with dozens of experts, a skeptical response by one of the few scientists who scoffed at the idea that human activity was bringing global warming. Such people often had ties to energy-industry lobbying groups, but the articles often failed to note that. An analysis of articles published between 1988 and 2004 in four influential US newspapers found that more than half of the articles gave roughly as much attention to the few contrarians as they did to the view accepted by the IPCC and all the other rigorous scientific panels. Moreover, after the Kyoto meeting the newspapers were more interested in conflicting political views than in the growing scientific evidence. Three-quarters of the articles 'balanced' scientists' calls for strong action with the energy-industry view that only voluntary action, if any, was needed. The scholars who compiled this study concluded that the leading US newspapers had misled the public about what scientists really believed, with 'biased coverage... hidden behind the veil of journalistic balance."(136a)

    ...

    While responsible  science journalists labored to explain exactly what the IPCC was saying, the brief stories in many of the chief media focused, needless to say, on the report's worst-case scenario — the threat that future temperature rise might be more dire than previous IPCC reports had suggested. Even that drew only modest attention.(139*) Also widely overlooked were warnings, buried in the report, about the risk of shocking surprises.

    If the models were wrong, it might be that they were not too radical but too conservative, neglecting the risk that a severe temperature shift might take only a few years. Evidence of such calamitous shifts in the past had now convinced most experts that sudden changes could not be ruled out. One entirely plausible mechanism was a reorganization of ocean currents, bringing serious change to neighboring regions. Many climate scientists worried that in the course of some future decade Europe in particular would suddenly grow too cold, even as other places grew too hot and dry. "The climate system is an angry beast," Broecker said whenever he got a public platform, "and we are poking at it with sticks."(140)    

    An Academy panel reported in 2001 that "The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade." They added that "this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers."(141) Stories about the risk of sudden climate shifts did show up occasionally in newspapers and science magazines. People scarcely noticed, for the stories lay amid the usual journalistic noise — warnings of future disasters from falling asteroids, genetic manipulation, and a hundred other conceivable threats. Perhaps the scientists had gone a step beyond what ordinary people were viscerally prepared to believe. As a geologist once remarked, "To imagine that turmoil is in the past and somehow we are now in a more stable time seems to be a psychological need."(142)

    ...

    This was in line with a proliferation of Web pages denying there was any likelihood of global climate change, pages maintained not just by paid lobbyists but by independent information hounds. These so-called “contrarians,” dedicated to their viewpoint, made plausible-sounding arguments (which tended to change every few years) by picking out recent bits of anomalous data and theoretical perplexities. After all, the best scientists always had points of disagreement, and they always would, new disputes at the outside edge of what they knew. Few people realized that the concept of global warming itself had originally flatly contradicted scientists’ beliefs — that it had been scoffed at or ignored, and won grudging acceptance only through a century of detailed scrutiny of many thousands of observations and theoretical studies

    ...

    Remarkably, the science-fiction novelist Crichton got an appreciative hearing as a "climate expert" on visits to Congress and the White House.

    ...

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    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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