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Sunday, June 30, 2013

No, Mr McIntyre, you can't take any credit for scientific research on tree rings

Sou | 2:52 AM 82 Comments - leave a comment

I don't imagine for one second that Anthony Watts or his troops have the slightest clue about tree ring reconstructions.  They probably don't even know where Yamal is located.  It doesn't stop Anthony Watts from making a post about them a 'sticky'.  He thinks he's gloating about something that McIntyre is supposed to have done.  But the real story is a sorry saga and McIntyre as usual comes out looking like a belligerent, dishonest fool.

To read some about it I'll direct you to these two articles on RealClimate.org.

  • This first one is the most recent.  It's about a new paper by Briffa et al and it includes some discussion of where McIntyre is wrong.
  • This second one was written a year or so ago and documents more of the deceptions and wrong-headedness of Stephen McIntyre.


There is a third link, this time to dismissal of an appeal, showing the lengths McIntyre is prepared to go to harass scientists in a vexatious manner.

If you want to read more about that odious character (who shows signs of paranoia, conspiracy ideation and obsessiveness - and they are the more endearing of his attributes), there is a whole heap of stuff to read.  You can start here or here to get the idea.

PS In case anyone is in doubt, during one of the peaks of the attacks on scientists over the years, here is what McI orchestrated and took part in from his own website.  Vexatious in the extreme.  From SkepticalScience.com:
Then came the storm. Between 24 July and 28 July, CRU received no less than 60 FoI requests, and 10 more between 31 July and 14 August.
To compare, most scientists would never in their entire career get even one FOI request.

82 comments:

  1. There is a delicious reply to a McIntyre comment in the thread of the RC article about the new paper. If I didn't know better I'd say that they are sick of ol' Stevie's dishonesty and hectoring, but what do I know.

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    1. Thanks, Rattus. I agree.

      Here is the direct link to the McIntyre comment on realclimate.org and the response from Tim Osborne.

      Delete
    2. A couple more comments on RC that are worth highlighting:

      A second whiny "snot fair they're picking on me" comment from McIntyre, with a solid response from Tim Osborn.

      A comment from Gavin Schmidt, pointing out how McIntyre just can't help himself and continues to this day (or to the 28 June 2013) to misrepresent scientists and sets out to deceive his readers.

      Delete
  2. Both of the RC links are to the same target.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rattus. It's fixed now.

      Delete
  3. So please explain to me why exactly did the Yamal Chronologies change between Briffa 2008 and 2013. No links please. Let's see you do it yourself.

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  4. [ The irony is of course that the demonstration that a regional reconstruction is valid takes effort, and needs to be properly documented. That requires a paper in the technical literature and the only way for Briffa et al to now defend themselves against McIntyre’s accusations is to publish that paper (which one can guarantee will have different results to what McIntyre has thrown together). gavin ]

    Oops.

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  5. Steve is not claiming credit it for anything. His original observation was B2000 and B2008 were based on very small samples and there were many more sample available. He showed two things: 1) B2008 was very sensitive to the inclusion of a single sample: the famous YAD061 core from the YAD06 tree. 2) Inclusion of more samples from nearby greatly effected the shape of the curve.

    Steve merely predicted B2013 which did, among many others, 2 things: 1) Greatly reduced the weight given to the YAD061 sample and 2) included many more samples from nearby studies.

    When of the great distinguishing features of skeptic versus alarmist sites is how the moderators handle disagreement. This is a test post.

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    1. Steve McIntyre should be credited in this case for making numerous false claims about attempts to hide fraudulent data handling, and for including a set of cores that were either already known to be poor temperature proxies or simply not well investigated yet.

      In short: he should be credited for doing poor science and being a complete idiot. Again.

      Marco

      Delete
  6. I notice the blog owner uses the usual unthinking term "denier" a lot. Let me say something about that pejorative:

    "Denier" (and it's siblings) is psychological projection: only the climate alarmist crowd uses it. And only the climate alarmist crowd believes Michael Mann's Hokey Stick chart, which shows flat temperatures prior to the Industrial Revolution (the 'shaft' of his hockey stick): http://tiny.cc/018hzw

    Thus, only the alarmist crowd denies that the climate naturally changes. Pure projection. Unlike climate alarmists, scientific skeptics know for a fact that global temperatures always change.

    I further note that Steve McIntyre's meticulous, well-researched science and statistical analyses have never been falsified. THAT is why the alarmist crowd is so unhappy with him: McIntyre has almost single-handedly deconstructed the pillar of the alarmist narrative: that human-emitted CO2 is the root cause of global warming. Of course, it isn't. Any effect from CO2 is so minuscule at this point that it is too small to measure.

    Finally, the complaining about Anthiony Watts is apparently due to the fact that his site is enormously influential, having won the internet's "Best Science" Bloggies Award three years running. Complaining about Anthony Watts is simply sour grapes, coming from a blog with no traffic.

    When real science is discussed, more traffic will follow. But from what I have read here, that is not likely to happen any time soon.

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    1. Absolutely marvellous. Couldn't have written it better as a spoof :D

      Delete
    2. What makes you think it isn't a spoof? This is the giveaway:

      > McIntyre has almost single-handedly deconstructed the pillar of the alarmist narrative: that human-emitted CO2 is the root cause of global warming.

      In reality, McIntyre has made it quite clear that he accepts that the CO2 greenhouse effect is significant.

      ...and BTW the profile page of this commenter is in Dutch. Not a very Dutch name is it?

      Great Poe!

      Delete
    3. Mogumbo, I notice that you've used the unthinking denialist term, "alarmist". Let me say something about that pejorative term "alarmist".
      "Alarmist" (and all of it's siblings and extended family members) is a psychological projection! Only the climate denier rabble uses it. And only the climate denier rabble disbelieves Michael Mann's Hokey Stick chart, which shows a sharp temperature rise post the Industrial Revolution.
      Thus, only the denier crowd refuse to acknowledge that the climate changes both naturally and anthropologically. Pure denier delusion! Unlike climate denialists, scientific sceptics (note the spelling) know for a fact that underlying the diurnal and seasonal global temperature changes there is a long term upward trend.
      Get my drift, Mogumbo? It's all about perspective and yours is wrong.
      "Steve McIntyre's meticulous, well-researched science and statistical analyses have never been falsified." Says who? Steve? But what's this "meticulous, well-researched science"? Steve has never done any science research in his life! He's a mathematician who has applied econometric models to the analysis of science research data gathered by others. In effect, he is a research parasite.
      But I'm getting off track. Back to the narrative genre that you favour.
      McIntyre has almost single-handedly constructed the pillar of the denialist meme: that human-emitted CO2 is not the root cause of global warming. Of course, it is! Any effect from CO2 is so measureable at this point that it is too large to ignore.
      Finally, this blog's complaining about Anthony Watts is NOT due to the fact that his site is enormously influential among low-achieving, poorly-educated contrarians. It's because Anthony promotes voodoo science, science-not-of-this-world, well-monied-interests science, etc. WUWT won the internet's "Best Science" Bloggies Award three years running by using the same technique as Pentecostal Ministries use to have their favoured, God-witnessing contestants win the popular vote in national song and dance contests on TV. So, complaining about Anthony Watts is NOT simply sour grapes, coming from this blog which has integrity and real science posts.
      From what I've read at WUWT, real world science is not discussed nor allowed in dissenting comments, nor is it likely to happen any time soon.
      Ciao, Mogumbo.
      Kindest Regards,
      George
      PS Please disregard the above if what you wrote was an exercise in irony, a juxtaposition of reality and fantasy, an attempt to send a secret message to a North Korean operative, etc.


      Delete
    4. "scientific skeptics know for a fact that global temperatures always change."

      Why? Magic? Trolls? Just because?

      Delete
    5. cRR, apart from not knowing the "why", what fake skeptics don't seem to "know" is how little global temperatures have changed in the past 10,000 years - until recently.

      Delete
    6. So, what you're saying is, discussing the 'scientific articles' on the award-winning, 'world's greatest' bestest-ever science blog is not a scientific discussion?

      You're right, of course, but not in a way you'd like.

      Delete
    7. Hey Sou, have I unknowingly done something naughty? I'm straight off to moderation every time...

      Delete
    8. No, Bill. It's not you at all. Everything's on moderation for a few days until the weirdos stop trying to post silly comments. see here.

      Blogger has it's limitations, one of which is not being able to single out commenters without an add-on. I'm sorry, but it's better than the alternative, I assure you :(

      Most comments will get through almost straight away as long as I'm awake :D

      Delete
    9. D'oh!; I should have read down the blog! I reckon I can guess the name of the nuisance...

      Actually having an administrator actively at work is a grand thing!

      Delete
  7. "McIntyre has almost single-handedly deconstructed the pillar of the alarmist narrative: that human-emitted CO2 is the root cause of global warming. "

    This is simply not true. Steve's position is that anthropogenic CO2 is very likely causing warming. He takes no position on whether it causes most or only a little. His contribution has been to demonstrate the statistical methods used to show there was (essentially) no climate change in the distant past would not be used in in any other discipline. They are unique to paleo-climatology.

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    1. Could you please name one of the statistical methods that are unique to paleoclimatology?

      Marco

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    2. Good question from Marco. I await robertinaz' response with interest.

      This is puzzling too:

      His contribution has been to demonstrate the statistical methods used to show there was (essentially) no climate change in the distant past would not be used in in any other discipline.

      There's a vast wall of published paleoclimate studies demonstrating huge climate variability in the past. There's a lot of the past, of course, but I think I know what robertinaz has in mind. In the long years since 1998, numerous studies have shown no evidence for a global, synchronous MWP as warm or warmer than the late C20th.

      That would be a contrarian myth.

      Delete
    3. "Could you please name one of the statistical methods that are unique to paleoclimatology?"

      Publishing an influential study highly cited and reused in which the result is highly sensitive to the inclusion/removal of a single sample. Has this occurred in another field recently?

      Delete
    4. "There's a vast wall of published paleoclimate studies demonstrating huge climate variability in the past."

      Agreed. Indeed, before MBH 98 variability in paleoclimite was the rule rather than the exception.

      "..numerous studies have shown no evidence for a global, synchronous MWP " . This is true. The paleo studies now show that irrespective of how warm the North Atlantic got during the MWP, other places were less warm.

      Since earlier still warm periods in the Holocene were warmer than the MWP and the Eamian was even warmer, all without positive water vapor feedbacks kicking in,I remain relatively relaxed about the level of the current (non) warming. The alternative to a slowly warming world is not good.

      I think there was a study recently published that has lowered the Romoan and Minian and Holocene optimum warm periods to about the current level. We'll see how it stands the test of time as retreating ice continues to uncover Holocene trees and artifacts deposited in those periods.

      Delete
    5. "all without positive water vapor feedbacks kicking in"

      What an odd thing to say! Where do you get the notion that water stops evaporating on a warmer earth?

      Delete
    6. "What an odd thing to say! Where do you get the notion that water stops evaporating on a warmer earth?"

      I did not say that. I said that we have not seen positive water vapor feedback kicking in when temperatures are arguably higher than at present. In the case of the Eamian, significantly higher. The positive feedback mechanism central to CO2 alarmism has not been observed in the past.

      Delete
    7. "The positive feedback mechanism central to CO2 alarmism has not been observed in the past." What BS. For a little while I was under the impression you were marginally educated in climate science. I see that's not the case.


      "I said that we have not seen positive water vapor feedback kicking in when temperatures are arguably higher than at present."

      That doesn't make any sense.

      Who's "we"? Not the scientists. Changes in greenhouse gases explains the temperatures of past climates. Why do you think the temperatures in the Eemian were what they were if it wasn't for the effect of greenhouse gases? It wasn't just the insolation change acting alone. That was just the initial trigger. Read about it and more here.

      A bit of a kick and off goes CO2 and H2O and the temperature goes up or down much more, depending on the direction of the "kick".

      Richard Alley explains it well in his AGU video.

      BoM has a good booklet explaining the greenhouse effect.

      Delete
    8. "Who's "we"? Not the scientists. Changes in greenhouse gases explains the temperatures of past climates. Why do you think the temperatures in the Eemian were what they were if it wasn't for the effect of greenhouse gases? "

      Right. And it stopped getting warmer. There was no runaway warming effect. So to the extent the greenhouse effect including the critically important positive water vapor feedback has been demonstrated in the past, the results are not very scary.

      Delete
    9. Right. And it stopped getting warmer. There was no runaway warming effect.

      Oh my! You really don't understand any climate science, do you.

      For one thing, you don't understand the difference between a feedback and a forcing. This time CO2 is the forcing, not the feedback. It will only stop getting hotter when we stop adding CO2. Back then it was insolation, which when it changed again meant CO2 started dropping again, which lowered temperatures more.

      For another thing - where do you get the notion that CO2 as a feedback would automatically cause runaway warming? Even as a forcing that would be darned difficult, given the role of water in the earth system.

      A little learning is a dangerous thing;
      Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.

      Delete
    10. Right. I think Chris Colose has a great discussion on feedback mechanisms.
      http://climatephys.org/2012/07/31/the-water-vapor-feedback-and-runaway-greenhouse/
      http://climatephys.org/2012/06/28/climate-sensitivity-and-the-linearized-response/

      My point is that the impact of CO2 as forcing is a delta T and once you have realized that change in temperature than it does not matter whether it came from CO2 or some other forcing. There should then be a detectable water vapor feedback response. What we have seen in the distant past is the response to the delta T has been benign, capped, and ultimately reversed. In the case of the Eamian, descending into the next glaciation.

      AGW alarmism based on a runaway feedback would have a lot more credibility if it had been demonstrated in the the last couple of million years.

      Delete
    11. You are ignoring the change in the actual forcing and focusing on the feedback. In the case of most glacial - interglacial changes it was orbital changes impacting insolation. When the forcing changed the feedback also changed.

      I suspect you are also forgetting that there is outgoing radiation. The hotter it gets the more outgoing radiation there is. When the outgoing reaches a balance with the incoming, then the system stabilises provided there is no forcing. CO2 has a log relationship with temperature. As it gets hotter you need a lot more CO2 to get that bit hotter still. Once the forcing stops then CO2 feedback will stop when incoming radiation reaches equilibrium with outgoing. Of course there are longer time scale things happening in the carbon cycle too, like weathering.

      Water has such a short turnaround time that it will react quickly to any change in temperature, so by itself it doesn't exert much influence. It's influence is determined by temperature, which is determined largely by CO2. I see that Chris goes into a lot of technical discussion on that. I'd suggest getting an overview first. David Archer's video classes are good if you have the time.

      http://forecast.uchicago.edu/lectures.html

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    12. Vostok is not the entire planet.B=That said, there have been extended periods when the delta T implied by Vostok should have had ample time to be amplified before insolation (or other) changes bring it back into down. If even oneof these periods of higher temperature had seen a significant positive feedback spike, the current theory would have a lot more credibility.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok_Petit_data.svg

      Instead, the planet's temperature history looks suspiciously like it is dominated by negative feedback from a thankfully benign temperature level.

      Good night.

      Delete
    13. Huh? You are still insisting on ignoring the forcing and act as if it was CO2 that was forcing the interglacials. In fact CO2 was a feedback in both the glacial and interglacials.

      Really - you do need to do some basic research. Stay away from idiots like McI and go read some real science. There is a lot more easy stuff I can point you to if the references I gave are too difficult to digest.

      Delete
    14. Since earlier still warm periods in the Holocene were warmer than the MWP and the Eamian was even warmer, all without positive water vapor feedbacks kicking in,I remain relatively relaxed about the level of the current (non) warming. The alternative to a slowly warming world is not good.

      "Eemian".

      What nonsense is this? WV feedback was both positive and present. I think you are confused. A positive feedback does not automatically become a "runaway feedback" as you seem to be implying.

      I think there was a study recently published that has lowered the Romoan and Minian and Holocene optimum warm periods to about the current level. We'll see how it stands the test of time as retreating ice continues to uncover Holocene trees and artifacts deposited in those periods.

      This is a mess. You don't know what you are talking about.

      Instead, the planet's temperature history looks suspiciously like it is dominated by negative feedback from a thankfully benign temperature level.

      More rubbish. If the climate system were dominated by negative feedbacks then it would BY DEFINITION be INSENSITIVE to radiative perturbation of any kind. There would be none of the volatility that characterises paleoclimate behaviour. We would not get deglaciation under orbital forcing; there would have been - could have been - no MWP or LIA or modern warming, come to that.


      Think about it for a few seconds. This is all it should take for you to recognise that what you argue is flatly contradicted by everything we know about paleoclimate.

      Stop bluffing and do some reading per Sou's suggestions. And I second what she said about choosing your sources carefully. Avoid peddlers of denialist misinformation - they have clearly confused you badly already.

      Delete
    15. "More rubbish. If the climate system were dominated by negative feedbacks then it would BY DEFINITION be INSENSITIVE to radiative perturbation of any kind. "

      That is not what I said. There is a world of difference between negative feedback and insensitive. See my longer post below for more insight into my (apparently deranged) lack of concern about the 1970-2000 warming episode.

      Good night.

      Delete
    16. Robertinaz answers my query "Could you please name one of the statistical methods that are unique to paleoclimatology?"

      as follows:
      "Publishing an influential study highly cited and reused in which the result is highly sensitive to the inclusion/removal of a single sample. Has this occurred in another field recently?"

      Unfortunately, this shows to me robertinaz likes "talking points", rather than facts. The Briffa Yamal sample was not highly reused (contrary to some claims), for example. Nor did it have any appreciable impact on those where it was included. Nor was the inclusion of YAD061 very important to the reconstruction as a whole. And guess what howl would ensue if Briffa et al would have excluded one core! That would be bad statistical methodology: throw something out without very, very good reasons.

      But wait, I indeed have seen that happen. Steve McIntyre did that. He didn't like some of the data, so just threw it out and replaced it with other data, without properly checking whether this was a valid approach...

      Sorry, robertinaz, but it appears you rely on someone who isn't all that strict on proper statistical methodology when it suits his beliefs.

      Marco

      Delete
    17. robertinaz

      That is not what I said. There is a world of difference between negative feedback and insensitive.

      No there isn't. Negative feedback is what makes a climate system insensitive. You are now repeating rubbish despite clearly worded correction and without thinking, as requested.

      Let's try again.

      Negative feedback suppresses the effects of a change in forcing. It flattens out the climatic response. The climate system becomes unresponsive.

      Known paleoclimate behaviour is *incompatible* with an insensitive climate system.

      This demonstrates that the climate system is *not* dominated by negative feedbacks. Quite the opposite.

      Volatility under only *modest changes* in forcing - eg deglaciation under orbital (Milankovitch) forcing - is strong evidence that the climate system is moderately sensitive.

      You *obviously* do not understand the basics - either terminology or mechanisms. Yet on you go, yacking away.

      Stop, and read.

      Delete
  8. On what grounds do you call the FoI storm "vexatious in the extreme"? Rather than calling it, say, "clever and persistent"?

    Even the SkepS page you link to notes that the "storm" was in response to CRU's earlier intransigence and could have been avoided had they been more open earlier on. Quote: "[W]e find that a fundamental lack of engagement by the CRU team with their obligations under FoIA/EIR, both prior to 2005 and subsequently, led to an overly defensive approach that set the stage for the subsequent mass of FoIA/EIR requests in July and August 2009."

    The "storm" was a clever legal trick. If CRU hadn't simply been lying about why they couldn't release the data, the trick would have given CRU legal cover to help provide the exact info the skeptics were seeking at the time. And wouldn't have taken long at all to respond to.

    Skeptics wanted to see the raw data from which CRU was generating their series. CRU said "Sorry, we can't give you the data due to confidentiality agreements with some of our sources." CRU wouldn't release the text of the agreements or even say WHICH countries they had these agreements with, maintaining that the confidentiality agreements were, themselves, confidential.

    Skeptics quite sensibly wanted to know WHICH countries were involved in secrecy agreements so they could talk to the other parties and get the agreements rescinded so CRU would no longer be legally constrained and the data could be released. But how to find out which countries are involved? Answer: a process of elimination! If you ask to see any agreements with countries X,Y, and Z and there AREN'T any such agreements, CRU can answer your request in 5 minutes with a one-liner: "There are no agreements prohibiting data release with the countries you asked about." If by random chance your request DOES hit a country with an agreement, CRU would have to refuse to answer for reasons of confidentiality. A few rounds of this and the info would be known - exactly which countries weren't letting data be released - despite CRU never once having to violate the alleged secret secrecy agreements.

    So what's your objection? Why do you consider this clever legal hack "vexatious in the extreme"?

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    1. Horrible to think that Glen is not playing Devil's Advocate. There are actually people in the world who think like this.

      Tell me, Glen. How many of these people who think vexatious harassment of climate scientists is a fun blood sport thought instead of sending a letter to 190 countries to get their weather records? How many fake sceptics who ever faked an interest in climate science (as opposed to climate politics or "lets attack a climate scientist for the fun of it"), ever published anything with the information they did receive from an FOI request? Hmmm?

      I am disgusted by this comment of yours. I am sickened by the thought that there are people like you who live on the same planet as I do.

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    2. "How many fake sceptics who ever faked an interest in climate science (as opposed to climate politics or "lets attack a climate scientist for the fun of it"), ever published anything with the information they did receive from an FOI request? Hmmm?"

      This is a complex sentence. I assume that, irrespective of your earlier characterization of Steve, you do not include him in this group. Alternatively, you do include him in this group but do not consider the analysis he publishes on his blog as "publishing". This and following post is a good example of how he addressed data as it trickled out of CRU.
      http://climateaudit.org/2009/09/26/briffas-yamal-crack-cocaine-for-paleoclimatologists/
      If you are interested in a discussion about Steve's "relationship" with CRU, please read this and the next 4 posts and let's talk.

      FYI: CRU published this note on the influence of YAD061 on the Yamal chronology:
      http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/img/keep/yamal2008_yad061.png

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    3. What has McIntyre published based on material he got from an FOI request? I'm not aware of anything. And of course his blog isn't what I mean by "publishing". (He writes a whole heap of nonsense on his blog, as anyone can see from the links in my article to realclimate.org, and his ridiculous attempts to 'critique' a recent Lewandowsky paper. He couldn't get to first base with the stats and wanted to throw out data he didn't like.) McI doesn't engage in one-off harassment of climate scientists, he's made it his life's work.

      The Policy Lass says it well. As does pjclarke.

      You'll be waiting till the cows come home for McI to critique a contrarian's paper, whether on his blog or as a published comment. Attacking scientists is what McI does. He pretends he's "critiquing" science but that's not what he's doing or why he's doing what he does. You've only got to read the language he uses and watch his actions.

      Delete
    4. Re your comment, I prefer science from actual scientists, not from fake skeptic bloggers. I'm not about to host half a dozen links to McIntyre's blog full of false insinuations about the integrity of scientists. I've already posted too many of those.

      If you post some links to McIntyre tearing strips of Wegman for his plagiarism, or Willie Soon or Scafetta for their bad science I'll think about it for maybe a second. In my better moments, McIntyre merely bores me.

      Delete
    5. So you have not read the posts I suggested you read? It is clear that spend time reading for less worthwhile contributions on skeptic blogs?

      Delete
    6. Of course the CRU was operating under confidentiality agreements with many of the national meteorological services. Among them would be Great Britain, and most of the EU. After a period of several years they were able to choke that extra 5% of the data (those stations not covered in the GHCN) from the NMBs. But guess what, we already knew what the results would be -- they'd be pretty much the same as what you got from applying the CRU techniques to the GHCN data. Except nobody who was badgering the CRU for "teh data" ever bother to check. This is the very definition of vexatious.

      Ol' Stevie makes his bloggy living by reporting on FOIA requests that get turned down and accusing scientists of fraud and other acts of perfidy. Trying to keep people preoccupied with his requests instead of doing their work is his stock in trade. I have nothing but contempt for him.

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    7. I've read them and don't recommend them to anyone who is wanting to understand paleoclimatology. McIntyre has not changed the science one iota.

      His intention is to smear scientists using not just innuendo but straight up allegations of fraud (as he did with Prof Lewandowsky) based on nothing at all. Just telling the lie is enough for other anti-science bloggers to repeat it.

      Look at Glen's disgusting reaction. He actually thinks it's all a bit of a lark. A game. A blood sport. He'd have gone well in the audience at the Coliseum. That's just the reaction McIntyre wants - and gets from some quarters.

      Delete
    8. My favorite MacIntyre Moment came many years ago, when he accused RealClimate of censorship because one of his paradigm-crushing comments sat in the moderation queue for 24 hours before being allowed onto the site. The comment was posted on the evening of December 24th and didn't appear until the evening of December 25th -- malicious suppression of Truth was the only possible explanation.

      Delete
    9. There was another good one where (and this is strictly IIRC, not gospel truth) where he was unable to access his blog from an airport WiFi connection. Conspiracy! They a trying to take away my right to free speech! and other similarly dumb things. Gawd.

      Delete
    10. Yes, he jumped straight to that conclusion and was wrong. I think he's gone down that particular paranoid conspiracy trail more than once.

      The last time was last September. Ironically he posted that paranoid delusion as a comment in his ravings protesting the moon landing paper :D

      Delete
    11. @Sou "...to critique a contrarian's paper"... oh, you mean like http://climateaudit.org/category/other-multiproxy-studies/loehle-2007/ ? SM has a particular focus for his efforts, and no it is not on "alarmist" studies. You'll find an overview here: http://climateaudit.org/blog-rules-and-road-map/ ... and while I can't quickly find it, he's often said he prefers to focus on papers that will likely have an impact on IPCC... otherwise why bother.

      Yes, he has made his share of mistakes. The difference between CA and RC: CA admits and corrects mistakes. RC would never do such a thing, because RC is more about the politics behind the science. (Just look at RC's underpinnings.)

      Delete
    12. Funny thing, I just did an internet search of "McIntyre admits error" and the closest I found was this on the NASA GISS website.

      It looks to me that it's the scientists who are prepared to admit errors, and do it graciously too. Not McIntyre.

      But maybe you can help me out.

      I'd be grateful if you would point me to McIntyre admitting his errors in regard to his ridiculous series of posts (which ironically were full of conspiracist ideation and littered with paranoia, and fumbling in the dark on statistics) on the Lewandowsky paper and arguably libellous attacks on Prof Lewandlowsky.

      I'd also be grateful if you would point me to his admission of the errors he made in McIntyre & McKitrick (2003), a paper that he had to publish in E&E because it was so flawed that no reputable journal would publish it.

      And perhaps you could point me to his written, formal apology to climate scientists for the unjustified treatment that paper of his led to, all starting with his flawed paper, then the botchy plagiarism from Wegman, then the McCarthy style witch-hunts from extreme right wing republicans.

      About the only time I've ever seen McIntyre admitting errors is when they were pointed out to him by his fellow scientist-bashers.  And even then it's a very grudging admission at best.

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    13. I don't know what a "fake sceptic" is. I tend to assume people who seem to have an interest in climate science do actually have an interest in climate science. Some of the folks who hang out at CA end up eventually publishing something about it and others don't, which is fine too.

      I don't know what you think "writing to 190 countries" would accomplish in this instance, or why you think it should have been obvious to third parties that CRU shouldn't have either just (a) released the data being asked for, or (b) honestly explained WHY they couldn't release the data.

      In retrospect it seems like the primary reason CRU didn't release the data when originally asked is they didn't HAVE the data - they hadn't kept any clearly-unmodified copy and had to try to reconstruct one from scratch. But this was too institutionally embarrassing to explain. The notion of SECRET non-redistribution agreements that the "storm" was aimed at seems to have been complete bs AFAICT. The reason CRU didn't just SAY "we have agreements with countries X, Y, and Z not to release the data" was again a matter of poor bookkeeping - there may have been some sort of gentleman's agreement in place with SOME data suppliers but nobody had bothered to keep good records so this, too, had to be reconstructed from scratch when the need arose.

      The thing is, the skeptics couldn't know any of this, because CRU refused to TELL them. The "storm" seemed (to me) like a reasonable strategy given the available information they had at the time. (And you haven't answered my question as to why you think it wasn't.)

      I get the impression that you don't understand what McIntyre was actually trying to do. In his whole project, not just this one instance. To me, it seems intuitively obvious that his sort of "auditing" was useful and important, because I share in some ways a similar professional background and resulting mindset. I could try to explain further, but it might take a little back-and-forth and given how strongly you expressed your disgust and revulsion that "people like me" "live on the same planet" as you, I suspect it's not worth trying - you've read too much poisoning-the-well commentary from the usual echo chambers for us to have much in the way of common priors.

      For what it's worth, I've seen McIntyre freely admit errors on his blog. I've also seen him criticize claims made by other skeptics. And seen him rein in arguments made by skeptical commentators - discouraging what he calls "going a bridge too far" or "piling on" in the comments to his posts. He has even been known to let people critical of him make a top-post on ClimateAudit to make their case.

      In any case, I don't mind sharing the planet with you. :-)

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    14. A fake skeptic is someone like McIntyre and all the people who think it's a lark to harass climate scientists. A harasser is someone like McIntyre who sits on data for five years pretending he doesn't have it while publicly denouncing a third party (not the owner of the data in question) for not giving to him what he already had.

      As for why CRU couldn't just release the data - McIntyre and everyone knew why. That's obvious from the content of the FOI requests. The FOI's were asking for non-disclosure agreements.

      No-one can just hand over someone else's data given to them for their own ongoing research purposes without approval. They were a small research team and it wasn't their job to go and work for McIntyre or anyone else. McIntyre didn't pay their salaries - he's Canadian. He had no rights whatsoever in that matter. If McIntyre wanted data from weather stations it would have been a simple job to do the same alphabetic "five countries" split among all the posters and get them to write to those countries that didn't make their data publicly available. Instead he chose to bomb a small group of researchers, who he'd been harassing for years with frivolous requests, and expect them to drop everything and work for him and his blog efforts. He is worse than a leech. Not only does he harass, but whenever any scientist does make any effort to engage with him, he 'rewards' them by vilifying them and their work. A more contemptible excuse for a human being doesn't exist in the fake sceptic world. I rate him lower than Delingpole and Morano. They wear their motive on their sleeve and everyone assumes they only exist to spread disinformation. McIntyre is hypocritical, vindictive and dishonest while pretending to be "honest". He doesn't do science as he's proved over and over (to wit, his idiotic ramblings on the Marcott study), but pretends he does.

      I'm not taking any more comments on this matter. Anyone who took part in the vilification of honest climate scientists going about their work is beneath contempt. Particularly so because these are the very same people who were among the first to warn the world of the dangers we are walking into.

      Whether it was misrepresenting snippets of stolen emails like McIntyre and a lot of other deniers did. Or whether it was taking part in an FOI harassment campaign. Or whether it was falsifying reports to the US legislature. Or whether it was trying to dredge up old smears, which have been proven groundless by umpteen independent committees.

      It's not on. Not on this blog.

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    15. To repeat myself: "I'm not taking any more comments on this matter."

      I am not aware of McIntyre or anyone else who bombed CRU with FOI requests having done their own temperature reconstruction with the data that is all now made available. Nor am I aware of anyone seriously disputing HadCRUT, given that it is in line with GISTemp and the more recent BEST data sets.

      The FOI bombardment and what followed with the smear campaign of misquoting stolen emails was a horrific example of harassment of research scientists. It has to be one of the worst example of public bullying ever. It resulted in years lost to quality climate research - time that can't be recaptured. It is an abomination that is best put behind us but not forgotten, else we don't learn from that appalling episode never to let the offenders repeat it.

      We are all in this mess we've created together. People need to work together to figure out how to survive it, not shoot the messengers.

      To repeat myself again: "I'm not taking any more comments on this matter."

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  9. "I've read them and don't recommend them to anyone who is wanting to understand paleoclimatology. McIntyre has not changed the science one iota. "

    Naturally I disagree. Reading Climate Audit in addition to what RealClimate and others say about ClimateAudit is critical to understanding the state of dendro-climatology in particular and proxy reconstructions in general. The Yamal related posts are particularly important. As you read through what CA writes and the various responses, ask yourself if there is any other scientific discipline which tolerates the standards demonstrated by the dendro-climatologists?

    Another important resource to understanding the science is Jim Bouldin's site. He is a moderator at RealClimate and is very honest about the issues with the RCS methodology used in B2013.
    http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/briffa-et-al-2013-part-one/
    http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/briffa-et-al-2013-part-two/

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    1. I'm quite happy with publishing links to Jim Bouldin's blog. And I have no quibble with what he writes. I do quibble with much of what McIntyre writes and I am disgusted by McIntyre's attitude and actions.

      I'm betting your understanding of what McIntyre and Bouldin write is less than your understanding of the greenhouse effect, which is not at all as you've already admitted.

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    2. "I'm betting your understanding of what McIntyre and Bouldin write is less than your understanding of the greenhouse effect, which is not at all as you've already admitted."

      I confess that the science behind the theoretical runaway greenhouse effect as it is hypothesized to occur on Earth continues to escape me. I continue to fail to understand how, since it has been warmer in the past than the direct greenhouse impact of a doubling or tripling of CO2, why has the runaway effect not kicked in?

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    3. If my short comment above doesn't enlighten you, I suggest you do some reading on the subject. I've given some references that should get you started.

      There have been forcings other than greenhouse gases in the past. In fact most of the time climate change wasn't from a greenhouse gas forcing. Changes in greenhouse gases were a feedback from another forcing.

      When that forcing stopped or shifted direction (eg orbital changes) then the feedback changed accordingly.

      If we were determined enough and burnt every bit of buried carbon we could find, and chopped down all the trees, then Earth might end up like Venus. I don't know for sure. And I don't want anyone in future generations to find out. My thinking is that human society would be disrupted and humans decimated (vastly reduced in numbers) long before we were able to do that much damage. Earth could become very inhospitable without turning into a Venus.

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    4. Robertinaz, there are very, very, very, very few climate scientists who have proposed a runaway greenhouse effect. The only one I know of who has posited it as a possibility(!) is Jim Hansen. As I understand it, his argument is based on the rate of the current changes and expected trajectory, combined with a completely different distribution of land and ocean today compared to previous times it was this warm.

      Marco

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    5. robertinaz is fixated on the idea - the profoundly mistaken idea - that positive feedbacks will automatically lead to runaway feedbacks.

      Until robertinaz fixes this rather serious comprehensional problem, he will continue to be volubly wrong about climate ancient and modern.

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    6. OK, so I guess the upper end of the IPCC estimate for the impact of the 1.1 degrees direct warming from a doubling of CO2 is not defined to be "runaway". It is merely catastrophic. I stand the corrected and will use CAGW from now on.

      So, going by last year's science (before the Holocene optimum gets disappeared by paleo-climatology), we have a period in the recent geologic past that was significantly warmer than at present. Some forcing drove it to that temperature. According to the CO2 data from Vostok, CO2 was still increasing as it was roughly 220 PPM at that time. So while the forcing that drove temperature to the Holocene optimum level apparently went away, if Vostok is to be believed, atmospheric CO2 level was still increasing at a fairly steady pace.

      So, if the theory of positive water vapor feedback at somewhat higher temperature is true, then what caused the temperature decrease following the Holocene optimum level given that CO2 forcing was increasing? At 220 PPM, the impact of each additional increment of CO2 as far higher than it is at 400 PPM.

      Since the positive water vapor feedback theory is so critical to the CAGW alarm, it would be very nice if it could be discerned at some point in the historical record.

      The Cenozoic era has mostly been significantly warmer than at present, and yet it still cooled down so that we are in an ice age. Looking at recent geologic history, the tendency toward cooling is strong. So the facts say that it is hard to get warm and stay warm. It is very easy to get cold and see much of the northern hemisphere covered in ice. So some say that 3-6 degrees of warming would be catastrophic even though the overall climate of the earth would be similar to earlier periods that were labeled "optimums". We know that 1-2 degrees of cooling would be truly catastrophic.

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    7. Robert, sometimes Google is your friend. Here is some information on the Holocene climatic optimum:

      From NASA - the Mid Holocene Warm Period

      A graphic showing temperature anomalies

      Kerwin, M., J.T. Overpeck, R.S. Webb, A. DeVernal, D.H. Rind and R.J. Healy, "The role of oceanic forcing in mid-Holocene northern hemisphere climatic change." Paleoceanography, 14, pp. 200-210. 1999. (subs req'd)

      Wikipedia entry with a lot more references

      Also, see Marcott et al for the most recent temperature reconstruction of the Holocene. If you don't have access to the full article, this FAQ on realclimate.org is very informative.

      As far as the period in the recent geological past that was significantly warmer than present, are you referring to the peak of the Eemian? If so, this Wiki entry will get you started.

      You write: "So, if the theory of positive water vapor feedback at somewhat higher temperature is true, then what caused the temperature decrease following the Holocene optimum level given that CO2 forcing was increasing? At 220 PPM, the impact of each additional increment of CO2 as far higher than it is at 400 PPM."

      But in that period, CO2 was a feedback, not a forcing. When the forcing changed, so too did the feedback. Water vapour is transitory. I don't know that atmospheric water vapour is detectable in ice cores or elsewhere. It would be pretty hard to do. And even if it could be, whether it would tell you much because it would be site specific. Someone else might be able to help out here.

      From what I have read of your posts, including this one, you haven't yet cottoned on to the difference between a forcing and a feedback. When CO2 is a feedback it acts in response to a forcing. When the forcing changes, CO2 will rise or fall in response. When CO2 is the forcing, as it is now, then it will take a change in CO2 levels themselves to alter it. That's up to us.

      With regard to earlier periods, rather than refer you to wiki or scientific papers, have you looked at the Alley video yet or gone through the David Archer videos? It takes some time but you'll find them very informative and they should help you understand the science a whole lot better.

      Also, google scholar is a great resource. Your library may have access to journals if you don't. The IPCC reports are very good as well.

      It takes a lot of time and effort to cover all the things you are curious about, but it's so much easier these days with so much knowledge that scientists have discovered all there on line or in the library. It still takes time and effort on the part of the student though :)

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    8. Another thought, Robert. Try to clear your mind of what you think you know. Some of what you write seems very wrong and it may be getting in the way of your understanding. If you can start with a clean slate and just absorb what you read, you'll probably find you figure it out much more quickly.

      If you come across conflicting information, or papers that you think "that's not right", check and see how often the paper has been cited and go check the citations themselves. Citations are not a perfect indicator, but if a paper has been cited a lot it usually signifies it has some weight.

      The newest papers will be cited less, naturally enough.

      Sometimes citations will be updates to the knowledge and sometimes new knowledge that contradicts what was thought earlier. Usually it is an expansion and elaboration rather than a contradiction though.

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    9. robertinaz

      So, going by last year's science (before the Holocene optimum gets disappeared by paleo-climatology), we have a period in the recent geologic past that was significantly warmer than at present. Some forcing drove it to that temperature.

      The Holocene Optimum was a predominantly NH warming during the early Holocene caused by precessional forcing which waned from ~6ka. *Global* average temperature since then has been controlled by the slow NH cooling and the offsetting effect of slightly increased GHG forcing. Cooling is (or rather *was*) gradually "winning", possibly setting the stage for the slow slide back into glacial conditions thousands of years hence. Possibly.

      Once again, you must do some reading. Acquaint yourself with the basics.

      Incidentally, your snide remark about paleoclimatologists "disappearing" the Holocene Optimum is a paranoid, baseless insinuation of widespread, collaborative scientific misconduct and you can stuff it.

      * * *

      The Cenozoic era has mostly been significantly warmer than at present, and yet it still cooled down so that we are in an ice age. Looking at recent geologic history, the tendency toward cooling is strong.

      So let's look at the changes in forcings over the Cenozoic.

      - Solar forcing increased by ~1W/m^2 over the last 65Ma as a result of stellar evolution.

      - CO2 forcing fell from a peak of ~1000ppm or higher at ~50Ma to a low of ~180ppm during Pleistocene glacial maxima. This represents a reduction in forcing of about 10W/m^2.

      - CO2 forcing change is by an order of magnitude the largest during the Cenozoic

      The *overall* cooling since the Eocene Thermal Maximum ~50Ma to the Pleistocene is a consequence of the slow reduction in CO2 forcing.

      Yes, tectonics caused step changes along the way by altering ocean circulation. The opening of the Drake Passage and Tasmanian Gateway ~34Ma probably triggered the Eocene/Oligocene (Oi-1) Antarctic glaciation; closure of Central American Seaway ~4Ma may have triggered the subsequent Pliocene NH glaciations and Ice Age that endures to the present. But the slow diminution in CO2 forcing was the key primary enabling feature. The stage-setter.

      You don't know any of this, so please stop using paleoclimate as a sandbox for your denial.

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  10. Thank you for being polite.

    "Incidentally, your snide remark about paleoclimatologists "disappearing" the Holocene Optimum is a paranoid, baseless insinuation of widespread, collaborative scientific misconduct and you can stuff it. "
    I apologize. While I do not trust the dendro-climatology results coming out of CRU, Marcott et al. deserve better. Indeed, @Realclimate they are very clear about what their results do and do not say.

    Please do not denigrate what I understand and know. The conclusions I draw differ from yours and the current consensus. They are not based on WUWT but on extensive reading going back decades. Our hostess asks me to read the articles (I have read many) and consider how often they are cited. I ask you to take a look at this timeline and consider the evolution of the scientific consensus related to the atomic theory of matter.
    http://atomictimeline.net/index.php. Or consider the consensus related to the germ theory of desease. How about plate tectonics? Having started in physics coupled with an interest in geology, my view of science is that the consensus is always wrong (though I believe the subatomic guys are pretty darn darn close to absolute truth).

    And let's consider what is at issue here. The difference between AGW and CAGW.
    Current consensus: Increased CO2 --> Increased Temperature --> Increased water vapor --> Increased temperature until we get to a temperature higher than any seen in the Holocene and perhaps the Quaternary.

    What I firmly believe the consensus will evolve to is only slightly different.
    Increased CO2 --> Increased Temperature --> Increased water vaper --> increased cloud cover and snowfall --> stable or decreasing temperature

    So we know that at the Holocene Optimum glaciers were less than now, the Greenland ice sheet was smaller etc. We also know that the insolation changes related to the Milankovitch cycle do not change overall solar forcing. It only changes when and where it arrives. So we have a period in which solar + CO2 forcing is slowly increasing, albedo is low and temperature is higher and yet the temperature turned down. That tells me the water vaper positive feedback theory is tenuous at best.

    The major support for the positive water vaper feedback theory comes from computer simulations. The current generation of computer simulations has matured to the point that their hindcasts get the global average temperature in the ballpark. They have absolute no skill in regional temperature (or any other regional aspect of climate) reconstruction. This discipline is still taking baby steps. It is a computationally huge problem that will probably take 2-3 generations of hardware advances to get close to actually simulating real climate rather than incredibly simplified climate. Very competent people are working this problem. My most recent experience with computer simulations was of the electromagnetic environment which, when we put the radar receiver into service, turned out to be very good.

    In terms of the scientific consensus, Paleoclimatology is a side show. The main feature is how the planet responds to increased water vapor.

    Good night and to all of the yanks - a happy 4th.

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    1. Bear in mind that climate science pre-dates quantum physics by a good margin. And it's quite a few years since geologists settled on plate tectonics.

      Consider that you need to balance what you want to think (wish) against what is known (scientific facts and hard evidence).

      You're wrong about water vapour. There's not a lot of uncertainty about that. Water itself maybe - ie clouds. But there too the uncertainty has been reduced a great deal. And I can't see why there would be more cloud cover. And if there were how that could possible reverse or cap the warming. At best it would slightly moderate it, but is just as likely to be a positive as a negative feedback. Lindzen hoped it would but his theory has been proven wrong.

      Have a look at the snow cover chart in the latest WMO report and then think some more about why you think it should suddenly reverse the decline. It won't.

      Wishing and hoping can be a powerful force - and blind you to the facts. From what I read with most ordinary "skeptics" it's wishful thinking/fear aversion that drives them. (Lewandowsky's mental models and world view). And that's what makes them such an easy mark for the likes of Michaels, Morano, McIntyre, Curry and other doubtmongers and disinformation peddlers etc. Watts is probably a dupe as much as any other "skeptic". But he's happy to jump on the disinformer bandwagon even when he knows he's telling fibs. (He's not that bright so sometimes it's hard to tell if he knows he's lying or if he's just dumb. But other times you know he's deliberately lying and justifying it as being for the ideologically 'greater good'.)

      Hope that doesn't sound too harsh and that you'll still accept my good wishes for the 4th July :D

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    2. robertinaz

      Please do not denigrate what I understand and know. The conclusions I draw differ from yours and the current consensus. They are not based on WUWT but on extensive reading going back decades.

      And as I have endeavoured to point out, they are founded on serious misconceptions and you need to start afresh. You are engaged in wishful thinking and self-serving misinterpretation. I am sorry to have to say it, but it is the truth.

      What I firmly believe the consensus will evolve to is only slightly different.
      Increased CO2 --> Increased Temperature --> Increased water vaper --> increased cloud cover and snowfall --> stable or decreasing temperature


      What you are describing here is your "firm belief" in a negative water vapour feedback that dominates the climate system. A set of climate system responses to forcing (warming) that reduce, offset and smooth away the effect of that forcing. A negative feedback.

      As I have twice now explained, there is solid empirical evidence from paleoclimate behaviour that the climate system is NOT dominated by negative feedbacks, WV or otherwise. If it were, it would be insensitive to radiative perturbation and nothing much would happen.

      Consider - again - the example of deglaciation under orbital forcing. If the proposed negative WV feedback dominates, then how does the climate system warm? How does the glacial terminate? Why is the process not halted by a combination of low marine cloud formation and increased NH mid/high latitude snowfall with associated positive albedo feedback? Why?

      Go right back to the PETM (~55.5Ma). A huge temperature spike (~5C - 10C), apparently forced by GHGs as evidenced by the significant carbon isotope excursion in marine and terrestrial sediments. WV appears to have acted as it is expected to act - as a positive feedback and boosted the warming. Increased cloud albedo clearly did not offset the GHG forcing. The PETM is solid evidence that WV did not act as a negative feedback or the PETM could not have happened at all. In fact current thinking is that the magnitude of the PETM cannot be solely ascribed to GHG forcing. It required the action of positive feedbacks - including WV.

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    3. In terms of the scientific consensus, Paleoclimatology is a side show. The main feature is how the planet responds to increased water vapor.

      Once again, I'm afraid you are utterly wrong. Here's James Hansen, explaining the true nature of the scientific consensus on AGW. It's not about models. It's about paleoclimate:

      TH: A lot of these metrics that we develop come from computer models. How should people treat the kind of info that comes from computer climate models?

      Hansen: I think you would have to treat it with a great deal of skepticism. Because if computer models were in fact the principal basis for our concern, then you have to admit that there are still substantial uncertainties as to whether we have all the physics in there, and how accurate we have it. But, in fact, that's not the principal basis for our concern. It's the Earth's history-how the Earth responded in the past to changes in boundary conditions, such as atmospheric composition. Climate models are helpful in interpreting that data, but they're not the primary source of our understanding.

      TH: Do you think that gets misinterpreted in the media?

      Hansen: Oh, yeah, that's intentional. The contrarians, the deniers who prefer to continue business as usual, easily recognize that the computer models are our weak point. So they jump all over them and they try to make the people, the public, believe that that's the source of our knowledge. But, in fact, it's supplementary. It's not the basic source of knowledge. We know, for example, from looking at the Earth's history, that the last time the planet was two degrees Celsius warmer, sea level was 25 meters higher.

      And we have a lot of different examples in the Earth's history of how climate has changed as the atmospheric composition has changed. So it's misleading to claim that the climate models are the primary basis of understanding.


      * * *

      In the cold light of day, what makes you think that your understanding of paleoclimate and climate dynamics is uniquely superior to that of thousands of professional scientists whose lives are spent in profound engagement with these topics?

      Consider what Sou said above. Does the very idea not strike you as ridiculous? Wishful thinking? Intellectual arrogance, even?

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    4. You will have noted, BBD, that despite expressing disdain for paleoclimatology, Robert used his (albeit wrong) understanding of the Holocene climatic optimum and the Cenozoic era as arguments just a couple of posts ago.

      I've often noticed the paradox where someone will argue that "they" got rid of some facet or other of xyz period, when it is the paleoclimatological work of the very same "they" without whom the "skeptic" would never have heard of xyz.

      Like Don Easterbrook and now Steve Goreham inflating the temperature of the Greenland ice sheet to a level at which it would have completely melted out by now. (Goreham today showed Greenland ice sheet having a temperature around +17 degrees Celsius and the last time I looked, not a single commenter at WUWT remarked on the absurdity.)

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    5. Intellectual coherence and denialism are in dynamical opposition ;-)

      Delete
  11. Looks like OpenId is back and I can post using my standard moniker again.

    I was reading Hansen 2011 again and reminded that he considers the planet's response to forcing to be fairly linear for temperatures within a few degrees of the current temperature. Looking at a BBD comment on negative feedback, I guess that belief is shared. That is a theory.

    My skeptic argument is that the planet's response to temperature forcing is non-linear and as temperature gets this warm and warmer, the response becomes steadily more negative. I base my belief on the reality that is what the planet has been doing for a couple of million years. Temperature gets up to the current temperature and a little warmer then it stops warming and eventually reverses. The Hansen 2011 graphic for the most recent 400,000 years is particularly convincing as he shows an absolute cap about one degree higher than now. Of course, he attributes the "cap" to the removal of the forcing. He does this even though the cap appears at roughly the same place in every warming episode. An equally plausible explanation is that negative feedback start to dominate.

    So the bottom line, the skeptic position that CO2 induced CAGW remains a theory is a reasoned and reasonable one - despite the "consensus".

    And more on the consensus. Alarmists need to call on a consensus because the facts do not support their theory that the climate response to CO2 forcing is strongly positively reinforced at the current temperature level. There are numerous examples in the past 100 years in which the scientific consensus was overturned by the facts as they came in. This will prove to be another such instance.

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    1. Robert, you do not understand the basis of the consensus.

      "Climate science isn't strong because of the consensus, the consensus is strong because of the science."

      You claim the 'response becomes steadily more negative' - meaning what? That surface temperature cools as the earth warms? That doesn't make sense.

      If you think it 'then reverses' you must ask what causes it to reverse. It's not elves at the bottom of the garden. It's only a change in forcing that will cause climate to change.

      Your denial is typical of the WUWT crowd. You just take a lot more words than the average denier. Why not just go with Smokey's line, which can be summed up as: "No! No! No!" It would save you a lot of time and effort.

      No need to pussy foot around the issue. You reject the science and are scrambling to justify your rejection. You can't justify your rejection.

      When pressed all you have to say is: "I deny the science because I don't want to accept it".

      Or: "No! No! No!"

      Easy as.

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    2. Putting words in my mouth?

      The consensus has been strong "because of the science" and wrong many times in the past.

      "You claim the 'response becomes steadily more negative' - meaning what? That surface temperature cools as the earth warms? That doesn't make sense."

      A positive feedback like the the required to put the 'C' in CAGW, in this case positive water vapor feedback, means that water vapor increases with the little bit of warming associated with CO2 and positively reinforces the warming meaning that it works with the warming to make it a little warmer.

      A negative feedback, for example increased cloud cover resulting from increased water vapor and other warming collateral effects, would work against the warming and tend to reduce its effect. So, at the current temperature of the planet, the current positive feedback theory is that a tenth of a degree of CO2 induced warming leads to roughly two tenths of a degree of positive feedback resulting in three tenths of a degree of warming.

      If instead, a tenth of a degree of warming leads to net net negative feedback of three one hundredths of a degree, then the net warming would be seven one hundredths of a degree. It looks to me like the empirical evidence supports this negative feedback theory (at current or a little higher temperature. The reasons are indicated above.

      But I am sure you know all of this as it is covered by David Archer. So I an unclear as to the intent of your question.

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    3. robertinaz

      I'm sorry, I had stopped checking this thread so missed your recent comments until now.

      A positive feedback like the the required to put the 'C' in CAGW, in this case positive water vapor feedback, means that water vapor increases with the little bit of warming associated with CO2 and positively reinforces the warming meaning that it works with the warming to make it a little warmer.

      [etc]


      We've been over this already. The PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum invalidates your argument. This hyperthermal occurred when the world was significantly warmer than the present and at a time when it was in the process of getting warmer still. According to you, it could not have happened.

      PETM in context 65Ma - present.

      Here is what I wrote above:

      As I have twice now explained, there is solid empirical evidence from paleoclimate behaviour that the climate system is NOT dominated by negative feedbacks, WV or otherwise. If it were, it would be insensitive to radiative perturbation and nothing much would happen.

      Consider - again - the example of deglaciation under orbital forcing. If the proposed negative WV feedback dominates, then how does the climate system warm? How does the glacial terminate? Why is the process not halted by a combination of low marine cloud formation and increased NH mid/high latitude snowfall with associated positive albedo feedback? Why?

      Go right back to the PETM (~55.5Ma). A huge temperature spike (~5C - 10C), apparently forced by GHGs as evidenced by the significant carbon isotope excursion in marine and terrestrial sediments. WV appears to have acted as it is expected to act - as a positive feedback and boosted the warming. Increased cloud albedo clearly did not offset the GHG forcing. The PETM is solid evidence that WV did not act as a negative feedback or the PETM could not have happened at all. In fact current thinking is that the magnitude of the PETM cannot be solely ascribed to GHG forcing. It required the action of positive feedbacks - including WV.

      Delete
    4. "According to you, it could not have happened."
      No, according to me the spike stopped and reversed. The climate system is nonlinear and perturbations are invariably met by countervailing influences (since negative feedback seems to have a very precise meaning here that I have not quite grasped).


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    5. No, according to me the spike stopped and reversed.

      Yes. It did so because after the initial pulse of GHGs stopped, biogeochemical sinks slowly removed the CO2 from the atmosphere. The radiative forcing fell. OHC and GAT fell as a consequence.

      You also make this error with interglacials. You ignore the fact that orbital forcing peaks at the beginning of the interglacial and falls thereafter. Let's break this down:

      - Peak interglacial temperatures are the response to peak orbital forcing.

      - The subsequent fall in temperatures involves positive feedbacks to slowly declining orbital forcing.

      - The reversal of trend is not *caused* by negative feedbacks to *increasing* orbital forcing.

      And I sense that you still aren't really accepting that WV was a positive feedback during the PETM despite several attempts to explain why it must have been.

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    6. Off on holiday tomorrow, so that's it for the next week or so.

      Delete
    7. Enjoy your holidays, BBD :)

      Delete
  12. "...expressing disdain for paleoclimatology..."

    A careful reading would conclude that my disdain is focused mostly on the "treenometer" branch of paleoclimatology and its leading practitioners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another opinion based on ignorance. Like I said before, summarising your opinion on climate science, it's "No! No! No!".

      You're spending far too much energy denying and none on understanding. It's a waste of your effort. Try another hobby.

      Delete
    2. My opinion of treenometers is very well-founded for a layman because I read all of the available information pro and con. My opinion of CRU is not based on what Climate Audit says, but based on what they say. My opinion of Climate Audite is not based on what RealClimate says, but by my reading of climate audit.


      If it turns out I am wrong and the theory of treenometers turns out to be as its proponents say, it will not be from ignorance.

      Delete
    3. Well then you aren't reading Climate Audit very well. Do you understand the issue of red noise in McIntyre's supposed devastating critique of Mann's "treenometer" studies? Do you have an explanation for why McIntyre claimed he was using red noise when he hadn't detrended the data properly? Do you understand the effect that has on the value of his supposed "critique"?

      Delete
    4. robertinaz

      The latest research (PAGES 2k) independently confirms the Mannean Hockey Stick of MBH98/99.

      The flaws in M&M's methodology are demonstrated by Nick Stokes, here.

      Delete

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