Are You With Us or Against Us?

By Keith Kloor | April 23, 2014 1:52 pm

When I take issue with the one way skepticism and hyperbolic language of climate skeptics, I’m met with a chorus of “who me?” They especially object to being lumped together with the climate-science-is-a-hoax crowd.

It’s a fair complaint. At the same time, it’s worth noting that the representative standard bearers for climate skeptics are Anthony Watts in the U.S. and Andrew Montford  in the UK. Both of their widely read blogs (within the climate skeptic universe) selectively highlight articles and posts from like-minded voices and draw attention to examples of over-reach by climate concerned advocates. The impression they give is that climate science is unreliable at best, deceptive at worst, so man-made climate change shouldn’t be taken seriously. The person who works hardest to reinforce that message is Marc Morano. He gleefully pollutes the climate conversation dozens of times on a daily basis.

If climate skeptics want to be thought of as more than a noisy, one-note fringe movement, they need to stop playing footsie with the bomb-throwers, shun the charlatans, and not wink-wink at sympatico reporters who give them succor. Of course, climate skeptics are no less cognitively biased than their counterparts and have tribal loyalties, too, so I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to clean their own house. Moreover, If Judith Curry still hopes to be a bridge between a more reasonable (but no less outlier) climate skeptic community and mainstream climate science, then she has to acknowledge–and call out–the vitriol from prominent climate skeptics. At this point, failure to do so gives the impression that it is tacitly accepted. To be an honest broker in a politically and ideologically charged debate, in my mind, means you can’t hold your tongue when one side–the side you may be inclined to agree with–is behaving badly.

When I take issue with the incessant doomsday messaging and unseemly tactics of climate-concerned advocates, I’m met with angry responses that can roughly be summed up as, “you’re not being helpful.” In other words, by pointing out the rhetorical excesses and hardball behavior of well-intentioned actors, I’m giving aid to the enemy–the Marc Moranos of the world. This is the unfortunate landscape the climate debate inhabits today, where “give no quarter” is the silent motto. It is a landscape where even the names of new blogs are viewed with suspicion, where casual slander and character assassination is the norm. When the chief science advisor for a new cable documentary on climate change is the same person who for years has been–I’ll borrow William Connolly’s phrase–”foaming at the mouth“–and impugning the reputations of anyone who questions certain orthodoxies, much less his judgement on climate matters, that tells me something. (Of course, I’m not exactly unbiased.)

The larger point I’m attempting to make is this: Those who care most passionately about climate change belong to opposing camps. One camp believes global warming is much ado about nothing and the other believes it is an existential threat to civilization. These two camps are at war. The rest of us who chime in every so often risk being caught in the crossfire.

Remember, there are no bystanders in war. If you don’t choose a side, it’ll be chosen for you.

  • IskurBlast

    I love how you use Connelly as somehow a moder moderated broker and then follow with “and impugning the reputations of anyone who questions certain orthodoxies”

    News flash Connelly is prohibited from editing articles of living persons on Wikipedia becasue he has repeatedly used wikipedia to “impugning the reputations of anyone who questions certain orthodoxies”. The difference between Connelly and someone like Cameron is that Connelly is more subtle about it. You actually have to hid the edit tap on wiki to see that it is Connelly who is doing the impungining.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

      1) I don’t know the back story on William’s wiki history and am not interested in your thread-jacking with your personal beefs against him. This post isn’t about him.

      But I suppose you’re making my larger point that everybody is viewed in some way as being on one side or the other.

      • IskurBlast

        I’m simply pointing out that I don’t know what a “moderate” alarmist is. From my up front vitriol like the SKS loons or behind the scenes vitriol like Dr. Phil Jones and others going after any authors and editors who don’t tow the party line.

        There is no middle ground on the alarmist side only different approaches. They are always “”impugning the reputations of anyone who questions certain orthodoxies”. The only difference is if they do it overtly or covertly.

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

          You are misinterpreting what I wrote, for I never framed anyone as being a ‘moderate alarmist.’ That is your construction.

          That said, I think it is reasonable to be alarmed about climate change. This is my takeaway from climate science. But overstating/exaggerating that alarm is where I part ways…

          • CB

            Who is exaggerating the danger of climate change?

            If we haven’t set the Earth on a path to complete polar meltdown, just with the CO₂ already in the air, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of ice caps persisting with CO₂ so high?

            … and as for your hair-splitting between “skeptics” and “hoaxers”, I fail to see the difference. I have yet to meet a Climate Denier who could be called a skeptic. To a person, they fail to explain observed phenomena, which a true skeptic really should be able to do.

          • Helen W

            …why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of ice caps persisting with CO₂ so high?

            How many hundreds (thousands?) of times have you made that claim and not once backed it up?

            Get a grip or go home.

  • brossen99

    Co2 is their Scam, the science is clear no global warming since 1996 yet Co2 up 10%, all the latest cutting edge climate science says the warming was due to solar factors and predict global cooling down to 2035 !

    http://nollyprott.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/green-holocaust-tidied-up-after-first-publication-june-2012/

  • Morph

    Why are we unconvinced ? Convert me, or even recruit me if you prefer. I’m sure that war analogy is going to work out perfectly :-(

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/04/how-to-convert-me-to-your-new-religion-of-global-warming-in-14-easy-steps/

    The fourteen easy steps

    Step 1 – Stop making predictions that don’t come true.

    Step 2 – When you make a prediction, don’t just say something “might” happen.

    Step 3 – Don’t live your life like you don’t believe a word you’re saying.

    Step 4 – Stop the hate.

    Step 5 – Stop avoiding debate.

    Step 6 – Answer questions.

    Step 7 – Stop enjoying catastrophes.

    Step 8 – Don’t use invalid arguments.

    Step 9 – When you are wrong, admit it and apologise.

    Step 10 – Stop claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans are warming the globe significantly.

    Step 11 – Stop lying. If you think it is okay to lie if it’s for a good cause, you are wrong.

    Step 12 – Rebuke your fellow Warmists if they act in an unscientific way.

    Step 13 – Stop blaming everything on Global Warming.

    Step 14 – Why are the only solutions always big-government “progressive” policies?

    (BTW I’m of the left so I don’t agree with 14 so much, although I can see why it is in the list)

    • http://sagevals.wordpress.com/ Sage Vals

      To be fair to (most) climate scientists, a lot of the points you make are the fault of bad science journalists and politicians.

      But there are too many vested interests too. Climate & related scientists for whom research grants would dry up without keeping up the scary rhetoric, those whose careers would end if AGW turned out to be minimal or non-existant. It makes for desperation and exaggeration.

      • IskurBlast

        Nonsense most climate scientists specialize in telling is tomorrow why the prediction they made yesterday didn’t pan out today.

        And I’m not joking. The journals have been littered with these reanalises and a new phrase that I find humorous “retrospective prediction” aka curve fitting the climate model after the fact.

        If I were allowed to bet sports like climate scientists practice science I would never lose.

        ‘$1,000,0000 on Seattle to win the Superbowl please!’

        ‘Uh sir the Superbowl is over Seattle already won.’

        ‘I know I’m making a retrospective prediction now take my bet I have a PhD so I cant be a moron.’

        Come on these people are a fricking joke. Did you ever stop to think that climate science might not attract the best and brightest. What evidence do we have the those in the field are even intelligent relative to those who practice more traditionally established science. Climate Science is the communications degree of sciences.

        • Science of Doom

          IskurBlast,

          How many climate science papers have you read? Most climate scientists specialize in examining a particular area of atmospheric or ocean physics. Their papers review previous work, develop hypotheses and suggest future work that needs further study. Most papers highlight the problems and difficulties in the field, including limitations in their own work.

          You say: “What evidence do we have the those in the field are even intelligent relative to those who practice more traditionally established science.”

          They do practice established science, for example, atmospheric physics, and there is a huge amount of evidence for their “intelligence relative to other fields of science”.

          This evidence is presented in textbooks for a start.

          Here is some starting evidence for you to examine, just three texts I grabbed off my bookshelf:
          - “Atmospheric Physics: Theoretical Basis”, Richard M Goody & YL Yung, 2nd edition 1989
          - “Radiation and Climate”, IM Vardavas & FW Taylor 2006
          - “Introduction to Dynamics Meteorology”, James R Holton 2004

          You are probably already familiar with these texts and no doubt you can already detail their shortcomings.

          Where do you think these atmospheric physicists fall short in their understanding of the field? Feel free to bring up your comments at Science of Doom if this thread is closed off.

          And I will be delighted to provide 100 papers for you to examine so long as you promise to explain their shortcomings, or to admit you can’t find any if that is the case.

          • IskurBlast

            You can provide 100s papers all reviewed by other “climate scientists”. There are 100s of papers in journals supporting reflexology, homeopathy and other quackery published in favorable journals reviewed by other homeopaths, refloxoligists etc.

            That doesn’t mean that they are very intelligent relative to other fields of research. There are very few qualified “climate scientists” as evidenced by the large number of grad students who have been made IPCC lead authors.

          • Science of Doom

            Iskur,

            You asked “where is the evidence for their competence” – I provided some textbooks which you haven’t commented on.

            I offered to provide 100 papers for you to review.
            You aren’t interested. If you understand the subject so well it should be easy for you to point out the deficiencies in these papers.

            I would be delighted to offer you the forum at Science of Doom. I provide the papers and you explain what is wrong with them. Claiming in advance that they are all useless seems to indicate that you are unwilling to be put to the test and already have your mind made up.

            Well, the offer stands. Simply make a comment at Science of Doom that you would like to critique the 100 papers, I will give you the list and we will see whether there is a deficiency in the papers or whether you.. don’t bother to show up for the challenge.

          • IskurBlast

            “”You asked “where is the evidence for their competence” – I provided some textbooks which you haven’t commented on.”"

            I never said that you lying deceitful craven troglodyte. Did you learn how to quote from the lying Dr. Mann? Your use of quotes has the same amount of “rigor”.

            Do not use full quotation marks when you aren’t even paraphrasing!!!

            I didn’t say where is the evidence for competence. I said was

            “What evidence do we have the those in the field are even intelligent relative to those who practice more traditionally established science.”

            You are lying about what I said to lower the bar. I set the bar at a high level because it should be at a high level, espically when you consider that “climate science” is so dependent on appeals to authority. Don’t try and lower it by lying.

            Since you have proven that you are a deceitful, dishonest, lying, troglodyte I bid you that I’m not really interested in continuing this with scum like you.

            While some might think I’m being rude and harsh. I was perfectly polite until Mr. Scumbag decided to write his own quote and attribute it to me. He deserves derision for being such a scumbag.

          • Vangel

            “Where do you think these atmospheric physicists fall short in their understanding of the field?”

            Let me answer this as simply as possible. They fall short because they pretend to know more than they actually know. Think of what a physicist has to do to ensure that s/he actually knows something even about a very simple phenomenon where everything else can be kept constant. Do you know of any atmospheric scientists who has done all of the work necessary to understand the complexity of his field?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05WS0WN7zMQ

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPunpjeFaiQ

            A perfect example is clouds. None of the atmospheric models handle clouds adequately. So how can the ‘experts’ pretend to know?

        • OWilson

          Unbounded chaotic systems will render all but the most immediate predictions useless.
          Like economics, the stock market and the climate, there is a viable industry in analysis.
          But like those other disciplines they are restricted to explaining away why past rises and falls occurred.
          Like those other disciplines, climatologists, are no better (and often worse) than random when attempting to predict the future.

          • IskurBlast

            Which would be fine if they would simply admit that they cannot predict the future.

            However, there is much money and fame in fortune telling.

          • Helen W

            Unbounded chaotic systems will render all but the most immediate predictions useless.

            That is the most accurate and succinct summary of this issue that I have ever seen.

            Thank you.

  • windy2

    Of course it’s war and old news. The first shot in the war was fired in 1988 when some soldiers shut off the air conditioning and opened windows overnight so that General James Hansen could deliver a sweaty story to congress.

  • Science of Doom

    Keith, I really like your articles. This is another interesting one.

    In the blog world and the press there is a war going on, and it seems like there are only two sides. So many debates are framed as red corner vs blue corner, and as soon as you state an opinion on one small point, “everyone knows” what you are presumed to believe on everything else. Instantly everyone is on the attack.

    It seems different in the world of climate science papers. There, doubt is offered more freely. Conclusions are not so definite. And that’s good. Because there aren’t just two sides.

    Of course, when it comes to making a policy decision, a policy maker has to choose to do something or not to do something. But in science, as expressed in journals, there is a spectrum of opinion.

    I’m not a fan of the current war. Hopefully you can add Science of Doom blog to your blog roll – a blog where climate science is discussed without labeling people or attributing motives to them. In the intent of the blog:

    It’s easy to trade blows on blogs. It’s harder to understand a new point of view. Or to consider that a different point of view might be right. And yet, more constructive for everyone if we take a moment, a day even, and try and really understand that other point of view. Even if it’s still wrong, we are better off for making the effort.

    And sometimes others put forward points of view or “facts” that are obviously wrong and easily refuted. Pretend for a moment that they aren’t part of an evil empire of disinformation and think how best to explain the error in an inoffensive way.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

      Thanks for Stopping by and for your kind words. Sadly, I haven’t updated my blogroll in years, but I will add you to it.

    • Soarer

      I largely agree. Indeed, even in the IPCC Scientific reports there is much more nuance, and often conflicting opinions, compared to the Summaries.

      I don’t think it is only the fault of the Media. Some scientists when talking in public are much too definite in their statements, and the likes of Bill McKibben, David Suzuki. Al Gore and so on are thereby encouraged in their hyperbole.

      Our own Dame Julia Slingo saying the recent floods are consistent with climate change is a subtler example of behaviour which is extremely common. In fact, it is a banal statement – climate changes, weather is caused by climate, the weather caused the rain – but she must have known the effect what she was saying would have.

      She didn’t link the floods to AGW (and she knew she couldn’t provide evidence of a link) but she didn’t have to. She got ‘the message’ across anyhow.

  • http://CoSy.com/ Bob Armstrong

    I see no evidence that that either side of the debate understands or takes seriously the essential quantitative physics of radiant heat transfer .

    AlGore talks about “radiative balance” , but if he actually calculated it for Venus , he would expose the absurdity of his Witch Doctor Jim Hansen’s “scare story” that Venus is an example of a runaway greenhouse effect .

    It would have to be 10 times as reflective in the IR than aluminum foil to explain how its surface temperature can be 2.25 times that of a gray ball in its orbit .

    It’s past time for this nonscience to be crushed .

  • David Skurnick

    Perhaps there are only two sides from the warmist POV: those agreeing with the warmists and those disagreeing with them. However, I see at least 4 sides:
    1. people who think greenhouse gases are a big threat,
    2. people who think they’re not a big threat,
    3. people (like me) who think the models are inadequate, so that we simply don’t know how big a threat climate change is.
    4. Bjorn Lomborg’s view: Greenhouse gases are a big threat, but resources devoted to reducing greenhouse gases would do more good for humanity if used in other areas.

    • Graham Strouts

      Yes good points- there are not really two sides in this. In my opinion, the two sides Keith alludes two are political inventions of those who argue for strong policies on climate. To them, the “science is settled” the consensus is as sure as it is for the safety of GMOs and anyone else is a “denialist”. In fact, the “settled science” (IPCC) gives a climate sensitivity range of anything from 1.5degrees C for a doubling of CO2 (revised DOWN from 2dC in the previous report) to 4.5 dC- which clearly says “we dont know” and “no consensus here”. To claim the science is settled enough to know precisely what policy we should adopt, and with what degree of priority and urgency, is the real denialism.

  • JH

    Judith Curry is doing a great job. Thanks JC, you’re awesome.

  • MikeH

    Defining yourself as the reasonable middle is very lame if somewhat predictable.

  • OWilson

    Instead of constantly quoting the alarmists, your magazine could do a great service if you would just publish a couple of simple straight line charts showing the temperature, sea levels, and global ice cover from actual satellite observations these last 35 years.
    These data would show no statistically significant warming, sea level rise or loss of ice cover over a period of at least 30 years (which is defined by warmists as ‘climate” rather than “weather”)
    The fact that you will not, puts you solidly in the warming side of the debate, and allows rampant catastrophic speculation to continue in the media, and our classrooms.

    • Ray

      Interestingly there has been no warming for half of the satellite record.

  • Tom Scharf

    I think this column is a bit off base on a couple points.

    First, nobody is responsible for herding the cats of the extremists on their side of the fence. Even if you tried, it is a useless endeavor. I repeatedly hear that AGW will be “the end of humanity” on forums. Nobody responds to this. Why? Because it’s crazy. Likewise people rarely respond to “AGW is a hoax”. It’s a waste of time, ignore these people. Attempts to herd them will fail.

    Second, the assertion that Curry isn’t doing enough here fails on the facts. Curry has been posting her thoughts publicly on climate for several years now, at least 3 times a week, and has more public detailed content on what she believes than any other climate scientist and most journalists. Curry has stated in no uncertain terms that she is against advocacy in science, so she is practicing what she preaches.

    My opinion is the only time scientists need to step up and correct things is when the MSM reports incorrect information en masse. And here is where inconsistent with the science alarmist statements are many times allowed to stand.

    And yeah, when I heard Joe Romm and Heidi Cullen were the “science advisers” of the Showtime series, it is pretty predictable what the outcome of this will be.

  • Jay Currie

    Keith, what we are seeing is the gradual collapse of the first, alarmist, cut at climate science. The models run hot, the Pause is unpredicted and unexplained, sensitivity estimates are being walked back: and as that occurs there are two general reactions. The true believers – Mann, Rohm, McGibben, SkS – double down and become even more belligerent. The scientists – led by Judith Curry and people like Richard Tol – go back to the data and take another cut.

    Suddenly, to explain the Pause, the heresies of yesteryear – natural variability, the Sun, aerosols, oceanic heat capacity – are all back on the table. The “consensus” that CO2 is the single legitimate explanation for temperature has been, quietly, abandoned. The recognition that there is a lot of uncertainty, that the models were simplistic, that the policy prescriptions were as naive as they were economically destructive is a healthy evolution in the science and economics of climate.

    Of course, as a policy skeptic, I am delighted at the shift towards modest realism rather than cataclysmic certainty. It takes the wind from the sails of the crazier end of the policy spectrum. A modest, slow, increase in temperature gives us time to develop the technology and build the wealth which will allow such adaptation as is required.

    The war is gradually winding down. The patient, measured challenges to alarmist orthodoxy mounted by MacIntyre, Watts, Momford, Lindzen, Tol and Curry (along with many others) have, in an entirely civilised manner, exposed incorrect science and bad economics. None of these people or their supporters have the need or the inclination to grind their opponents into the dirt. They simply need to continue promoting scientific and policy modesty in the face of the current uncertainty inherent in an infant science.

  • Vangel

    When alarmists keep making predictions that are shown to be wrong by the passage of time it is hard for them to argue that they have science and knowledge on their side. And when they can’t even figure out what percentage of them agree with the IPCC position, something that my 13 year old can figure out quickly with a simple poll, it makes sense to think that things are not as they are portrayed to be.

  • John Samuel

    Scientists? Pfft. What would they know?

    http://whatweknow.aaas.org/

    • OWilson

      Well. one thing they don’t know is how to predict the future behavior of unbounded chaotic systems with any degree of accuracy.

      This is the one thing they have at least proven.

      • John Samuel

        The models have proven very good.

        The system is neither unbounded nor chaotic.

        • OWilson

          You obviously belong in the camp of the true believers. I would not want to debate your beliefs.

          But, you might want to check the temperature predictions contained in the 1990 IPCC Report against the current empirical observed temperatures, these 25 years on.

          • John Samuel

            You may want to ask why the oceans are rising, warming and acidifying. Why global ice levels (land plus sea plus glacier) are retreating. Why species are migrating polewards and upwards.

            Your pew in the Church of Denial is safe. I’ll stick with my faith in the scientific method.

          • Jay Currie

            Oceans have been rising for several hundred years..no current sign of any acceleration. Warming? A barely measurable amount. Acidification…again, barely measurable.

          • John Samuel

            Ah, no, the oceans were basically stable until the industrial revolution, at least according to NOAA.

            The warming of the ocean is a lot of energy. Do read Levitus 2012 to understand just how much.

            pH is very measurable. Don’t forget it’s a logarithmic scale.

          • Jay Currie

            Sea level…as I said rising slowly for a few hundred years – start of IR approx 1750.

            Yes, warning ocean is huge amount of energy which is probably why so little warming has been detected.

            Sure you can measure pH but limited change can be attributed to all manner of thing and in given areas pH may change significantly for no apparent reason.

          • John Samuel

            Sea level – try again.
            //oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

          • Jay Currie
          • John Samuel

            Judith is anything but current.

            The authors of her cited paper says she’s wrong. “We find that when correcting for interannual variability, the past decade’s slowdown of the global mean sea level disappears, leading to a similar rate of sea-level rise (of 3.3 ± 0.4 mm yr−1) during the first and second decade of the altimetry era. ”

            Try again?

          • Tom Scharf

            You might want to check on when the ARGO global ocean monitoring system below 700m came on-line. Hint – it wasn’t 1950. If you want to believe that proxies or models can accurately resolve 0.09C global trend changes in the deep ocean, be my guest. You can look at the disparities in the different estimates and see this is a crap shoot.

            Oceans are rising at a rate of 1 inch per decade, a number advocates always conveniently leave out when they speak of SLR. You should go put on your life jacket and run for the hills.

            Ah yes, “corrected” observations. When observations don’t match models predictions or expectations in science, most science areas start looking at their models or predictions, some scientists feel comfortable with simply correcting the observations.

            You might have heard the pause is non-existent too, these observations have been corrected as well. And it was peer reviewed. Very convincing. SkS likes it. Golden.

            I simply don’t see a problem here.

            But then there’s this on AR5:
            http://sppiblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/curry21.png

            And a recent AR4 comparison:

            http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/ar4-hows-it-going/

            Pretty compelling. Models are doing just great. Case closed. Science settled. Debate over.

          • John Samuel

            SPPI? Compelling? For the fruitiest of fruit cakes.

            Nothing reputable? Oh dear.

          • Tom Scharf

            You seem confused. I’m agreeing with you. There are no problems. Now that we have agreed it is settled, we should be able to compel political action really quickly.

          • John Samuel

            Anyone who cites SPPI is confused. It’s definitional. Lawd Monckton agrees.

          • Tom Scharf

            Exactly. AR5 models are spot on. They are even better after correcting for ENSO, volcanoes, south pacific anomalies, deep ocean heat transfer, Arctic corrections, and black carbon from Asia. Why are we even arguing?

          • John Samuel

            I’m not arguing. I’m telling you SPPI is for nutjobs. Join or not as you see fit.

          • Vangel
          • John Samuel

            How did you miss the plateau? I thought you clowns were keen on plateaus? Tsk, tsk.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

          • John Samuel

            “The 0-2000 m layer of the world ocean has warmed by ~ 0.09°C (~ 0.16°F) [24.0±1.9x1022 J] during 1955-2010.

            For perspective, if all the heat stored in the world ocean since 1955 was instantly transferred to the lowest 10 km ( 5 miles) of the atmosphere, this part of the atmosphere would warm by ~ 65°F.

            This of course will not happen. It is simply illustrative of the amount of heat stored in the earth system since 1955.”

            — Levitus et al. (2012), GRL.

            At the moment all the Australian climate models are forecasting an El Nino. And there’s a large kinetic wave in the Pacific.

          • Jay Currie

            And you seriously think our measurement technology is good enough that we can detect a tenth of a degree change in temperature in the top 2000 meters of the ocean world wide over 60 years.

            Seldom have I witnessed a more profound exclamation of Faith.

          • John Samuel

            I look forward to reading your reputable citation in support of your indignation.

            Levitus 2012 is considered a classic paper. If you have better, bring it out. Or are you just attempting disproof through personal incredulity?

          • Jay Currie

            You might want to take a moment to read Dr. Robert Stevenson’s examination of the Levitus paper:

            http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html

            You’ll see why I am a tiny bit doubtful about papers, even “classic” papers, which purport to have much to say about tenth of a degree changes in worldwide ocean temperature over 60 years.

          • John Samuel

            The good doctor lost all credibility with his leading role in the derisory Leipzig declaration.

            I wonder why his “rebuttal” wasn’t sent to the GRL as honest scientists would.

            Maybe you should be more sceptical.

          • Vangel

            “The 0-2000 m layer of the world ocean has warmed by ~ 0.09°C (~ 0.16°F) [24.0±1.9x1022 J] during 1955-2010.”

            Levitus can’t know this because he does not have accurate data. This was made clear when funding for the ARGO system was justified by scientists who, in 2000, told Congress:

            “But new technology, the vertically profiling ARGO float (Figure 4 [not included].), promises to give us the data we need to BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND this largest component of the global water cycle.”

            The bottom line is that there was no data to give us accurate enough information to come up with the accuracy claimed by Levitus and was accepted blindly by a true believer like you.

            And before you buy everything hook, line, and sinker, you might want to see why the people you pay attention to and have faith in changed that data as they went along.

            http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/is-ocean-heat-content-data-all-its-stacked-up-to-be/

          • John Samuel

            If Tisdale was right he’d publish – and not in a blog.

            Let’s see, Tisdale versus NOAA. NOAA versus Tisdale. I’m not finding this too hard. Are you?

            http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/05/bob-tisdale-is-perennially-puzzled.html

          • John Samuel

            Global pH levels are changed by Man’s emissions of CO2. But I’d be interested in any reputable evidence you have to the contrary.

          • Vangel

            Sure you can measure pH but limited change can be attributed to all manner of thing and in given areas pH may change significantly for no apparent reason.

            The trouble is that we don’t have good pH data for the oceans. And local measurements do not show anything that we should be worried about.

            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/ph-ocean-coral-reef.jpg

            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/ph-ocean-estuarine-near-short.jpg

            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/ph-ocean-kelp-forest.jpg

            http://ber.parawag.net/images/Aloha_ocean_pH_calculated_by_HOT.jpg

            The simple fact is that life in the oceans evolved when CO2 concentrations were ten times current levels. If that didn’t kill off life why would we worry about a doubling?

          • John Samuel

            Watts is spam. His 15 minutes was over when he appeared on Glenn Beck.

            Have you no reputable citations? None?

          • Vangel

            Ah, no, the oceans were basically stable until the industrial revolution, at least according to NOAA.

            Not true:

            http://cdn.antarcticglaciers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Post-Glacial_Sea_Level_rise2.png

            The warming of the ocean is a lot of energy. Do read Levitus 2012 to understand just how much.

            Levitus can’t tell you how much because he does not have accurate data. Congress funded the ARGO system to provide that data. Unfortunately for Levitus and the alarmists the ARGO data shows no material warming.

            http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/noaa_upper_ocean_heat_content.png

            http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/19-argo-era-ohc-atl-ind-pac.png

            And sadly for Livitus, his own papers show that he has little trouble with changing the old data.

            http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/12figure-1-levitus-2009.png

          • John Samuel

            Have you missed the plateau over the last 8,000 years or so?

            NOAA didn’t. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

          • Jay Currie

            And what pray are “land plus earn plus glacier” ice levels? Glaciers tend to be on land last time I looked. Would you care to provide a reference?

          • John Samuel

            Arctic – shrinking
            Antarctic sea ice extent – growing (but not volume)
            Antarctic land mass – shrinking
            Greenland – shrinking
            Glaciers – retreating

            The Antarctic land mass is, far and away, the largest repository.

          • Jay Currie
          • John Samuel

            The problem is Watts is spam, at least according to Scientific American. Piffle, you’ll say, who cares about reputable sources? Just pull out a paper that says “increase” and ignore the caveats and sell it to the gullible.

            I’m sure you’ll appreciate a more recent post fro a more reputable site, http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice-intermediate.htm.

            Or this summary, http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/11/six-things-to-know-about-antarctic-ice

            Or this, http://www.satellitetoday.com/publications/st/feature/2013/07/15/recent-satellite-data-inconclusive-on-climate-change-prompts-new-mission/

            Or this, http://www.iag-commission2.ch/GGHS2012/Session%206/gghs_session6_forsberg_grace.pdf. From the conclusions on page 23, “GRACE and IceSat shows consistent Greenland and Antarctica mass loss. Our ”best” current estimates from GRACE:(Barletta et al, TCD, 2012) Greenland -234 ± 20 GT/yr (~ 0.68 mm/yr); Antarctica -83 ± 36 GT/yr (~ 0.24 mm/yr)

            The Antarctic land ice mass is shrinking.

            You do need to look at all the data. That’s why the overwhelming consensus is important.

          • Jay Currie

            Ah, SS, home of the Crushers. Land of the 97%. Not credible and with the retraction of the Lew paper bordering on silly.

            I pointed to Watt because of the Icesat material there. Contradicts GRACE.on ice mass loss in Antarctica. Jury is still very much out on both Antarctica and Greenland ice loss.

          • John Samuel

            You’ll find the jury isn’t out.

            97% – as cited by the AAAS and NASA? As found by multiple studies? The best paper in the ERL last year? Besides, by papers published it’s over 99.98%.

            And you’ll post from a weatherboy who couldn’t find his way out of Purdue without a roadmap. Pity.

            Yes, the journal that retracted in fear of deniers does look more than a bit silly. Their editorial board resigned in protest.

            Lew is watching you.

          • OWilson

            It’s all there folks. Religion.
            The appeal to “authority”. The quotes (links) from their bibles, and from their saints.
            And a complete dismissal of any dissenting point of view.
            History has seen where this type of elitist jackboot attitude has led the sheep.

          • John Samuel

            You don’t even understand what an “appeal to authority” means.

            Asking my doctor for his medical opinion is not an appeal to authority. Asking my lawyer for a legal opinion is not an appeal to authority.

            Asking an expert for her expertise in her domain is not an appeal to authority.

            Laughing at your demented anti-science isn’t a jackboot attitude. It’s completely appropriate.

            Elitist though? Probably. You use nutty sources. I use reputable sources.

          • OWilson

            Liar. I only named one source, the IPCC
            But on second thoughts, you may be right.

          • John Samuel

            And NASA and NOAA and the UK Met Office and the world’s leading scientific organisations.

            The IPCC has done very well. Denialists have completely failed.

          • OWilson

            Sounds like a hymn. When confronted with facts, just sing hymns.

            Perfect! And on cue.

          • John Samuel

            Such a vast conspiracy even the facts collude.

            How does your brain hold it all in?

          • OWilson

            Easy, but first you have to know how to critically think for yourself.

            Oh, and a strong interest in the history of physical science.

            You’d be surprised at the average lifespan of “scientific consensus”. lol

          • John Samuel

            You have confused an empty mind for an open one.

            At the time of Arrhenius, the consensus was that global warming wasn’t happening. And then the evidence started coming in.

            Do keep up. There will be a test.

            You’d be surprised at the average lifespan of ideologically motivated anti-science. We’re still fighting tobacco.

          • OWilson

            Remember Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, Bohr?

            Skeptics all. Science can not advance without them. They appear whenever the “scientific consensus” becomes overwhelming.

            And no, you are not fighting tobacco, you are fighting to legalize drugs.

            And, your “test” has come and gone.

            You failed.

          • John Samuel

            All scientists are sceptics. It’s a pre-requisite.

            You are fighting physics. You failed.

            Do tell us your sceptical views on relativity and quantum theory whilst you’re at it – both newer theories.

          • OWilson

            But we skeptics are on one side of the AGW debate. You and yours keep promulgating the 97% “consensus” appeal to authority.
            You should keep up with the latest research. The (quantum) Standard Model has problems, that are too detailed to go into here, but can readily be looked up.
            Einstein’s gravity explanations do not hold up when looking at the anomalies of the trajectory of the Voyager probes, or when looking at the rotation characteristics of galaxies. Fudge factors like dark energy and dark matter are needed to explain.
            Fact is there is very little science that is “settled”, when probed at deeper levels.
            That’s why we spend $billions on particle accelerators.

          • John Samuel

            The latest research on the Standard Model won’t break any basic physics. You are a ffysics mystik.

            The consensus, measured a number of times, stands at more than 97%.

            Fact is there you have no science whatsoever behind your ideology. You are a pseudo-sceptic.

          • OWilson

            Which comes back to my point.

            The 1990 IPCC Report failed to predict the current temperatures we are observing these 25 years on.
            The U.N. admits it, why can’t you?

          • John Samuel

            The estimate wasn’t bad, was it? Better than any deniers? Why can’t you admit it?

            The seas rise, warm and acidify. Global ice (sea plus land) recedes. Species shift polewards and upwards. On the surface 13 of the 14 warmest years are all this century.

            You’ve already admitted you’re wrong. Why not just come out and say it?

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/oct/01/ipcc-global-warming-projections-accurate

          • OWilson

            The estimate was wrong by a larger than random factor. Does not agree with reality.
            Stick to your religious beliefs, but don’t try to sell the scam here.

          • John Samuel

            Are you still trying to sell slices of your mouldy denialist fruitcake?

            How many bridges have you purchased? Where do you store them all?

          • Helen W

            John, old thing! You are new here, aren’t you?

            Here’s a hint: most credible posters don’t go around voting themselves up.

            You’re welcome!

          • John Samuel

            Helen W, old thing! Thank you for your concern.

          • OWilson

            Stick with your faith, my friend. But like all religions, there is a reformation brewing.

            But somebody has to be left to turn out the lights.

            But your generalities don’t paper over my specific original question, which concerns itself with the failed predictions of the only “model” that can actually be checked over the long term.

          • John Samuel

            Lots of models can be checked over climatically significant periods. And they’re doing ok. Hansens’ 1988 paper stands up well.

          • OWilson

            “Hansen’s paper stands up well” is all we need to know about you.

          • John Samuel

            Denialists hate it when that’s pointed out to them. :-)

            My pleasure.

          • Vangel
          • John Samuel

            Look, sez Vangel, I found me some blogscience. It ain’t peer reviewed and I dunno if it’s right but it matches my preconceptions so I’ll post it so that everyone knows I’m talking complete rot.

            Now I know too.

          • Vangel
          • Sparafucile

            If the oceans were warming, wouldn’t we be seeing hurricanes increasing in number and ferocity? Instead, we have long-term-trending decreases in both quantity and intensity.

          • John Samuel

            I look forward to reading your reputable citation in support of your interpretation. :-) )

          • Vangel

            Actually my friend, weather systems are driven by a difference in energy levels. The trouble for the alarmists is that they couldn’t have that and they predicted the opposite. The other trouble is that there are more than a factor or two that matters. The alarmist story is so full of contradictions that it can’t be salvaged. They should have read their Aesop.

          • Sparafucile

            True. But I was just jumping ahead, beyond the reality of the atmopshere not warming in nearly two decades, and the excuse that “all the excess heat’s gone into the oceans”, with a mention that if the oceans have done so much warming, but the atmosphere hasn’t, then where are the hurricanes??

          • John Samuel

            Excuse? Measuring the ocean heat content is an excuse?

            Wow. In what units do you measure your derp?

            More energy enters the top of the atmosphere than departs. What happens next?

          • John Samuel

            Gosh, wonder why none of them can get published in a journal? Is it that vast conspiracy? Or their crap science? You decide>

            Oh, please tell us who Steve Goddard is. You should be more sceptical.

          • John Samuel

            Did not notice the level period of the last 8,000 years? Yet you get terribly excited over the last 17. How odd.

            There’s nought less sceptical than a climate sceptic.

          • IskurBlast

            Here is an actual graph form the raw data CRU data pulled from the wood for trees. This is before it passes through the SKS propagand filter. Dont know exaclty what SKS did but we know that they are lying hacks.

            [img]http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:1990/mean:12[/img]

          • John Samuel

            We now know that you are a lying hack. 2010 and 2005 were both warmer than 1998.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_temperature_record#Warmest_years

          • IskurBlast

            Oh wow wikipedia citing the NOAA which isn’t used by anyone. CRU is the gold standard of the surface records for a reason. NOAA is crap they dont have the stations that CRU has and extrapolate much of their data. They pretty much exist to feed stories to the media.

            CRU, and both Satellite data sets have 98 hotter. NOAA is a joke you cant even find its data on the woodfortrees.org database because no one uses it. Its crap!

            http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:1990/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1990/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1990/mean:12

          • John Samuel

            You have an odd manner admitting you are wrong. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2010-warmest-year.html

            But then you are a notorious spamming denier. Do derp on.

            http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/faq.html

        • Jay Currie

          “The models have proven very good”

          At what? Keeping grad students busy? Ignoring clouds? Over-estimating warming by 25%. Getting sensitivity profoundly wrong?

          Do tell.

        • Vangel

          “The models have proven very good.”

          LOL…If this is good what would you consider unacceptable?

          http://climatism.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/spencer-73-cmip5-model-fail.png

          • John Samuel

            That analysis is unacceptable. Bet you haven’t even tried to debunk yourself. Nothing less sceptical than a “climate sceptic”.

          • Vangel

            That is from the IPCC first order draft. Why do you think that the IPCC dropped referencing its models and went to ‘expert judgment’ when it backtracked on the sensitivity estimates?

          • John Samuel

            It’s obvious that you think there’s a conspiracy. That’s a first year course from WingNut U.

        • Helen W

          Not chaotic, you say?

          Edward N. Lorenz was the founder of chaos theory, and it came from an experiment he did with a very simplified set of the equations of motion for the atmosphere. He (as well as a lot of other scientists in the field) were astonished how quickly tiny changes in the initial conditions of the numerical models quickly made the forecasts completely different from the previous runs.

          In fact it would be hard to find a more difficult to model entity then the Earth’s atmosphere. And we are a very long way from having reliable models to do so.

          • John Samuel

            The atmosphere is chaotic, in a Lorentz sense, agreed. So making short term evaluations is difficult.

            However, the long term forcing is pretty clear. How it plays out locally is different. Global averages play the “my head is too hot, my feet are too cold but the average is just right” game.

            Have an old citation, from 1997. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_03/

          • Helen W

            You stated:

            The system is neither unbounded nor chaotic.

            If you were not meaning chaotic in the Lorenz (note correct spelling) sense, then what sense, exactly, are you talking about?

          • John Samuel

            Many use “chaotic” to mean non-deterministic. Implying it can’t be modelled.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

      • Eli Rabett

        PV=nRT Think about it

  • Aaron Sheldon

    There is only one side: nature.

    The rest of you are superfluous morons carrying out your second law thermodynamic imperative to catalyze the disspiation of the chemical potential stored fossil fuels back out to space.

    Once the extraction of fossil fuels is no longer self sustaining the argumentative machinations and sophistry of alarmists and denailists will be moot. As you will have your true purpose of randomly dissipating energy back to space. And that time will come sooner than anyone appreciates, as the rate limiting step is the the energy return on energy invested, rather it is the size of the thermal gradients that must bet maintained to extract the fossil fuels.

    Once society can no longer extract fossil fuels it will collapse back to pre-industrial agarian civilization. Which are fundamentally limited by the opposing forces of increasing entropy with increasing crop yield and decreasing entropy with the increasing thermal gradients of urban and agricultural heat islands.

    Now because I’m the only one on this planet who seems to understand how the second law of thermodynamics governs planetary societal evolution I’ve pretty much ensured that your offspring will be my offspring’s pets.

  • bobashworth
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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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