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Monday, February 3, 2014

Snake-oil salesmen and their shonky "cures" at WUWT

Sou | 9:45 AM Go to the first of 57 comments. Add a comment


Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale has decided he wants yet another opinion on global warming.  He's got some idea of only one of the symptoms and is looking for a diagnosis and treatment. He is trying to rebut the "if 99 doctors' opinions were the same" argument about global warming.

What Bob wrote was (archived here):
Imagine you’re running a persistent slight fever. You visit a new clinic. The nurse takes your vitals and enters them into a computer program. A short time after the computer model completes its simulations, the doctor arrives, advises you of the computer-diagnosed ailment, and prescribes controversial high-cost medications and treatment.
You’re not comfortable with the service, diagnosis, prescription or treatment, so you check out online the computer model used by the clinic. It is proclaimed to be wonderful by its programmers. But, the more you research, the more you discover the model’s defects. It can’t simulate circulation, respiration, digestion, and other basic bodily functions. There are numerous research papers exposing the flaws in the model, but they are hard to find because of all of the other papers written by the model programmers extolling its virtues.
Of course, you would not accept the computer-based medical diagnosis from a model that cannot simulate basic bodily functions and processes. But that’s the position we’re faced with climate science.
We need a second opinion for the slight warming the Earth had experienced. Unfortunately, it is not likely to be coming anytime soon, not until there are changes to the political agendas that drive climate science funding.

What are the flaws in Bob's analogy?  Yes, they are too numerous for a blog article so I'll just pick out a few of them.

Bob's assessment of symptoms is wrong


First of all, Bob's got the symptoms wrong.  Earth isn't "running a persistent slight fever", the temperature of Earth is going up faster than ever in tens of millions of years.  Faster than ever since well before any humanoid ancestors appeared on the planet.  If we don't do something soon Earth will be heating up more than ten times faster than it has in 65 million years.

There are other symptoms that Bob didn't mention.  He wouldn't have known about them because AFAIK, there isn't a simple home test for measuring the pH of his blood.  (It's not like popping a thermometer in his mouth.)  For example, the pH of the oceans is dropping.  In Bob's analogy that would be your blood supply getting dangerously out of whack. An acidifying blood supply can be a killer. The experts know the pH of the oceans is dropping because they have measured it.  It is consistent with what is happening in the atmosphere.  Much of the extra CO2 that we've been adding to the atmosphere is being absorbed into the oceans, making them more acidic.


Bob went to a shonky clinic, he should have asked the experts


Bob has gone to a clinic where the medical staff don't use their own knowledge, they rely on a stand-alone computer program.  It sounds as if the nurse took his temperature and blood pressure and popped it into the computer.

It's no wonder Bob wants a second opinion.

Bob's doctor is shonky.  He should have used his brain, his training, his years of expertise, and the years of expertise of others - as well as his computer.  And if the diagnosis was unusual, as Bob implies, the doctor should have consulted others in the field.  Obtained a second opinion, explored the Cochrane Library and other sources and probably sent Bob to hospital for a further battery of tests to make sure his diagnosis was correct and the treatment was the best.


Earth system science is advanced


In Bob's analogy, his questionable doctor is using a questionable computer program.  Bob went to a shonky medical clinic with one doctor who relies on a computer rather than his own expertise and a nurse who simply measures his "vitals" rather than exploring Bob's symptoms in more detail.

One could compare Bob's single doctor mickey mouse clinic with himself and his excel spreadsheets.  Or with Wondering Willis Eschenbach and his mathturbations.  Or with any of the Dunning Kruger set at WUWT.

Bob's analogy bears no resemblance to the vast amount of work done by real scientists studying all the different aspects of the Earth system.

The Earth's problem is getting way more attention than that.  Thousands of people have been studying the earth for decades.  Bob's image of a single doctor and nurse working in a single clinic punching numbers into a black box rinky dink desktop computer is laughable.  And even though Bob isn't the brightest spark in the universe, I cannot imagine he doesn't know that.

There are thousands of scientists working in independent teams all around the world taking observations of all the different components of the Earth system and analysing them.  There has been detailed work going on for decades.  Scientists have examined individual parts of the system and the system as a whole. Scientists aren't just popping numbers into a computer.   These are people who are experts in their various fields.  And they all came to the same conclusion quite a while ago.  The data supports their findings.  And there is a lot of data.


Bob Tisdale is acting like a snake oil salesman


Bob claims to have been "studying climate" full time for at least a few years.  He is like the shonky doctor in his example.  If Bob were just an ordinary bloke in the street you could argue that he can't be expected to know what's happening in climate science.  But Bob presents himself as an expert in climate science.  He doesn't hide his lack of qualifications but he nevertheless allows people to regard him as some sort of expert.

Bob's acting just like a snake oil salesman. He is making believe that if we all just wait a little bit longer, someone will develop a sweet tasting syrup that will cure global warming without any need to shift to clean energy.  He reckons someone will find some snake oil that will be a magical cure.

In trying to add some credibility to his snake-oil solution, Bob misrepresents the symptoms and the entire body of earth system sciences.  He pretends there is a little computer program somewhere that a handful of people have plugged a few numbers into and made a diagnosis.

Here are some facts and figures just from the latest IPCC report:
  • 9,200 scientific publication were cited, most would have been authored by a team of people - so this taps into the research of at least tens of thousands of scientists who, in turn, built on the work of tens of thousands of scientists (or more) who went before them
  • 859 authors from around 85 countries drafted the actual IPCC report itself
  • 54,677 comments from 1089 "Expert Reviewers" from 55 countries and 38 Governments who vetted the work and help refine the end product.

Compare that to Bob's single doctor, nurse and mickey mouse computer program.



Beware the magic cures and wrong diagnoses from snake oil salesmen at WUWT.

57 comments :

  1. Bob Tisdale has either no idea of how doctors practise or has concocted a scenario that will support his contention re climate science. No GP, not even a nurse practitioner in a remote location, will rely solely on a computer program. Their first port of call will be their experience and training, not to mention their recent experiences with patients presenting with the latest 'bug' doing the rounds, etc. Health professionals major uses of a computer involves adding to their patients' health records, checking pharmaceutical equivalents when patients have intolerances or allergic reactions to the more commonly prescribed drugs, writing referrals and prescriptions, ...
    I won't go any further after re-reading Tisdale's "persistent, slight fever" hypothetical because it is absolute bollocks.

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    1. No GP, not even a nurse practitioner in a remote location, will rely solely on a computer program.

      I think that is the point that Bob is trying to make.

      Of course, with climate change nobody is relying solely on model projections, which is where his analogy fails. As long as there is no reliance on the models in policy making, Bob doesn't have a leg to stand on with this line of reasoning.

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    2. No, Greig. Bob's point was that climate science is like a GP who relies on a computer model. That's what he says and that's what he means. And it's simplistic, in no way analogous to reality and therefore deeply flawed.

      As for the rest of your comment: that's a poor attempt to be clever.

      All policy is based on projections. All projections are based on models. Models are used throughout our society to help us make the decisions necessary for everything from building bridges, running transport systems to predicting weather. In climate science the models have to handle so much information, so many parameters and are so complex that they can only be run on powerful computers.They will never be perfect but they're useful getting better and, most importantly, they're the best we've got.

      Some people, however, reject the use of computers to run models and instead prefer to rely on projections produced by their guts which are, inevitably, extremely simple and subject to human biases. Those denying climate science reject computer modelling and prefer this gut-modelling approach. Unfortunately it leads them to produce erroneous projections and support incorrect policy decisions.

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    3. John Russell,

      If you are arguing for the reliance on computer models for climate change policy, then you are agreeing with Bob's analogy.

      Certainly models are helpful in trying to understand a problem better, but as long as we have climate models that are producing temperature rise projections that vary from 1degC to 5.7degC over 100 years, then we cannot rely on them.

      My elderly mother was recently diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. She went to 3 doctors, and got 3 answers, and in the end did her own research and went with the doctor who most closely aligned with her conclusions. She was treated, is now in remission and the prognosis is very good.

      When it comes to a difficult problem, nothing beats human ingenuity, and access to collective expertise. And a dose of healthy scepticism, because sometimes even the experts are wrong.

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    4. Greig, I wish your mother well. It sounds like a nerve-wracking experience she is going through.

      As for the rest:

      If you are arguing for the reliance on computer models for climate change policy, then you are agreeing with Bob's analogy.

      You really should just accept the fact that you have no knack for logic, Greig. Bob Tisdale was not talking about simulating future projections. He was arguing that climate science is purely based on computer models, which it clearly ain't. His argument was that the diagnosis that earth's atmosphere is suffering an overload of CO2 is based solely on models. Which it clearly ain't. He was also implying that the diagnosis is based solely on the opinion of one lone scientist and TA. Which it clearly ain't.

      You also know darn well (or you should by now) that most of the variation in estimates over the next 100 years is because the models are simulating different scenarios of economic, technological and societal change and associated CO2 emissions. (You could be making the newbie error of confusing climate sensitivity with temperature trajectory under different emissions pathways, and picking the extremes.)

      If we keep burning fossil fuels at increasing rates it's highly likely Earth will be six degrees warmer by the middle of next century.

      https://twitter.com/ruth_mottram/status/430314397366747136

      If we cut back on emissions enough and find a way to get carbon out of the air, we may settle at around one or two degrees warmer over the next couple of hundred years.

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    5. Sou,

      Thanks for your kind words about my mother.

      Regarding you graph, it is showing projecftions for various RCPs or Representative Concentration Pathways, and that is not what I am referring to when I point to variations in model output. I am referring instead to the parameterisations used in the models that make up the CMIP5 experiments.

      Further, the problem with showing the CMIP5 projections and declaring that it is "highly likely Earth will be six degrees warmer by the middle of next century" is that the CMIP5 projections don't match observation (or projection vs known RCP). And basic science dictates prediction must match observation, or it is wrong.

      From Von Storch, et al. (2013
      only 2% of the 62 CMIP5 and less than 1% of the 189 CMIP3trend computations are as low as or lower than the observed trend.

      Hence

      1) the models underestimate the internal natural climate variability; 2) the climate models fail to include importantexternal forcing processes in addition to anthropogenic forcing, or 3) the climate model sensitivities toexternal anthropogenic forcing is too high,.

      In other words the parameterisations used in CMIP5 are in some way wrong. To rely on them for policy, when we know the models are wrong, is simply not going to happen. And it isn't happening, as evidenced by global increases in the use of fossil fuels, in particular in the developing world.

      If we cut back on emissions enough and find a way to get carbon out of the air, we may settle at around one or two degrees warmer over the next couple of hundred years.

      Maybe, but in the real world most people would laugh at your boldness in making predictions. You are really just stating an opinion. The science of climate change does not (yet) support your contention.

      The common ground is that all acknowledge that the globe is warming , it likely to warm in the future, and we face an unquantified risk (even Bob knows this). The debate is about what we need to do about it, and when, for humans to best traverse this difficult path. For that we need brains, training and expertise across multiple disciplines such as science, engineering and economics, collective knowledge and cooperation, new and innovative technology, and above all an open and sceptical mind.

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    6. Greig, the CMIP5 models show the projections for the various RCPs. They don't vary from 1 to 5.7 degrees unless they are modelling different pathways. And I doubt any of them - even a single RCP2.6 run, (RCP2.6 would require removing CO2 from the air), show only a one degree rise by 2100.

      Models do not pretend to be a perfect representation of reality but they give a decent guide on decadal to multi-decadal scales. Deniers will point to various flat periods on the 'escalator' and wail "see the earth is about to cool" but it hasn't and it won't.

      You do seem to know a lot about what goes on in the mixed up head of individual deniers ("even Bob knows this") and frequently apologise and interpret the words of other people. Fake skeptics the lot. If their minds were ever open then their brains fell out a long time ago.

      As for your common ground - there are lots of deniers at WUWT who say the earth is cooling, or about to cool, or has been cooling since the 1930s, or we're on the verge of an ice age. You know as much about fake sceptics as you do about climate science. Virtually zilch.

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    7. Grieg, the medical opinion analogy is a flawed one.

      The modeled physics that is used in climate change is the same modeled physics that put men on the moon - the latter decades earlier than now, and using computing capacity much less than might now be found in a bottom-of-the-range mobile 'phone. If it worked so spectacularly successfully then, where is the flaw in the modern science? And it's also the same physics that builds lasers and tracks aircraft, and yet we don't have (sane) people going around saying that these technologies are conspiracies and frauds.

      What's up with that...?

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  2. It's #6 in the most used climate myths, 'Models are unreliable". And then twisted to form a sordid tale. Bob and the Watties are getting desperate. Myths are all they have left.

    Reality.
    "There continues to be very high confidence that models reproduce observed large-scale mean surface temperature patterns (pattern correlation of ~0.99)"
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL.pdf

    Just imagine if doctors had access to a computer based system that enabled them to diagnose conditions with 99% accuracy!!

    But what most deniers fail to comprehend is that computer models are just a small part of the climate science 'kit'. Paleodata from ice cores, sediment cores, coral cores, tree cores, stalagmite cores plus satellite observations, billions of temperature measurements from thousands of accurate thermometers on the land, sea and air, plus the laws of physics and chemistry all add up to provide a very good picture of what is happening. It's no mystery any more.

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  3. Blathering, blithering Bob can't even retire gracefully. He has to fiddle with a simple analogy to make it fit his 'exacting' standards.... Bob! Stop now! Desist! You're only hurting yourself.

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  4. A bit off topic but on WUWT there is a "Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup". It includes a section on the Social Cost of Carbon with this gem:

    "Haapala discussed the absurdity of the concept of the social cost of carbon. All life on this planet is carbon based, does life have a social cost?"

    I cannot quite get my head round the absurdity of this statement. (Perhaps someone can explain it for me). But the thought that this is the level government business is discussed is unsettling.

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  5. The nurse takes your "vitals" and enters them into a computer?

    3 and a half inch floppy?

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  6. Sou wrote: Scientists aren't just popping numbers into a computer. These are people who are experts in their various fields. And they all came to the same conclusion quite a while ago. The data supports their findings.

    It is perhaps reasonable to say that scientists came to "the same conclusion" that AGW is real (i.e if you add greenhouse gases, it will get warmer). However there is still a lot of debate and discussion about how bad the warming is. There are experts saying we are all doomed, and other experts saying there is nothing to fear. It doesn't work to demand that all the experts are on your side, because there is always an expert out there who will disagree.

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    1. BS Greig. Give me ten scientific papers in reputable journals that are "saying there is nothing to fear". No?

      Give me two papers, no? You can't even produce two papers? How about one paper. You produce one paper that unequivocally demonstrates with hard evidence that there is "nothing to fear" and I'll provide you with 9,200 scientific papers that discuss real climate science, not your fantasy "science".

      Greig vacillates between trying to appear like a half rational human being and acting like just another nutter.

      I reckon that if 99 doctors analysed Greig's blood and urine and told him he had a blood sugar problem he'd keep going to more doctors till he found one "expert" who told him not to worry.

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    2. "There are experts saying we are all doomed..."
      Alarmist!

      "... and other experts saying there is nothing to fear."
      Excellent! False dilemma (excluded middle) and false equivalence in the one sentence. Grieg's logic sins continue to mount. Is everyone marking their Fallacy Bingo card carefully? Prizes may be on offer...

      Grieg may or may not be trying to "appear like a half rational human being", but if he is, he needs to try a lot harder to convinve the sceptical reader.

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    3. BS Greig. Give me ten scientific papers in reputable journals that are "saying there is nothing to fear". No?

      Give me one peer reviewed paper that concludes "we are all doomed". There are none, because such emotive language is not the language of science.

      As I said there are *** scientists *** who hold opposing views, and they are equally expert, and simply interpret the science completely differently.

      On the "we are all doomed" side, we have Hansen, Karoly, Mann, etc. On the other side we have Lindzen, Paltridge, Spencer, etc. All are peer-reviewed climate scientists. Alarmists and deniers flock to their heroes, and heap scorn and derision on those who disagree with their opinions. And this is done in equal measure, and ultimately is pointless.

      To put it simply, it is not true that climate scientists all came to the same conclusion. What does that tell you about the ability of the available body of evidence for predicting the future?

      When it comes to predicting future warming and impacts, 99 doctors are not agreeing on anything here, we have 100 doctors all giving a completely different prognosis.

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    4. Greig - therein lies your problem. Drs Hansen, Karoly and Mann are among the world's leading climate scientists and when they speak they are generally basing what they say on published science. When they speak of science they base it on science. (Karoly mainly sticks to science. Hansen also speaks out on policy, but he bases his policy opinions on science, Mann generally speaks on science but occasionally on policy, which he bases in science.)

      Lindzen stopped being a scientist a long time ago. He's a political hack wheeled out to talk utter rubbish by various denier groups. Paltridge isn't quite as bad as Lindzen. His thing is the same as Judith Curry on her blog and he talks up uncertainty as being much greater than has been measured. Spencer has published a thoroughly discredited book. He is quite happy to talk through his hat and say what deniers want to hear in public. He bases his opinions of the future on the warped pseudo-religion of the Cornwall Alliance.

      You are wrong. You have 99 "doctors" speaking of all the dangers that global warming will bring and a few hacks pretending otherwise.

      That you can't tell the difference speaks volumes. That you haven't bothered to investigate the science or lack of it behind what the various people you quote will tell you, shows you up as being a fake sceptic.

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    5. Lindzen has been proved consistently wrong. Spencer has been proved consistenly wrong. Paltridge has published nothing on climate change in the peer-reviewed literature. (Okay, one really confused paper about baloon-based observations that just showed how confused he is.) It takes very little effort to find this out for yourself - that means you really aren't looking. You clearly have no interest in (or possibly the ability for) evaluating the "skeptic" scientists' claims.

      Why do you think that 3 scientists - who have been proven consitently wrong - somehow outweighs the opinions of hundred, if not thousands - of other "equally expert" scientists?

      You talk about the "available body of evidence" implying that it is equivical, or even balanced between AGW being a big problem and it beign no problem at all. That is rubbish. The evidence - as published in the peer-reviewed litereature - is ***overwhelmingly*** clear about the fact that AGW is a huge problem. You seem to think that half a dozen papers that have already been refuted somehow constitutes as much evidence as the thousands of papers that show otherwise.

      You also state that "100 doctors all giving a completely difference prognosis." That is complete nonsense. Out of "100 doctors" 97 are saying "it's a huge problem", 2 are saying "we don't really know" and 1 is saying "look - squirrel!"

      Your post is full of untrue statements that are easily checked and found to be false.

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    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    7. Confirming from NASA's website, 97% are saying AGW is real

      The consensus position (whatever value there is in such a position) has absolutely nothing to do with the rate of future warming or whether it is a "huge problem". Quite rightly, scientists (unless they are politically motivated) will avoid staking a claim in a space where there is so much uncertainty.

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    8. Sheesh, Greig is delving further into denialism.

      The fact of AGW has rather a lot to do with the rate of future warming. The science demonstrates that if we keep adding more and more CO2 the warming will be faster and worse. If we start cutting right back on emissions in the next decade, we may be able to keep the warming to just two degrees or a bit over that. Which will be hard enough to adapt to.

      And Greig still hasn't produced even one paper that unequivocally demonstrates with hard evidence that there is "nothing to fear". Whereas the real scientists have just pulled together real science into a major report.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

      Greig is living in fantasy land and has shown time and time again that he doesn't have a clue about the science. He has a fair grasp of wacky denier memes, but isn't really on top of them either. Greig lives in his own little world.

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    9. Sou,

      Since you mention the IPCC AR5, note the acknowledgement that current observations and failure to match climate models, stating:

      This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing, and (c) model response error.

      The latest science shows the inconsistency in existing CMIP5 climate modelling experiment, and sheds uncertainty upon the degree of and rate of future warming.

      Also, I assume you have now read the NASA definition of climate science consensus, and realise now that you (and Unknown) were mistaken.

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    10. Greig, you've already tried that one on numerous occasions and failed. Go read some climate science and quit wasting your energy denying it.

      I couldn't give a damn about *your* definitions. Going by your past behaviour they are usually misdirection and/or misinterpretation on your part.

      The preponderance of science shows that climate change will be bad if we don't cut emissions. And very bad if we keep increasing them.

      You can moan and play word games and avoid producing evidence to back up your silly claims (because there is none). It won't stop global warming.

      (Duane Gish, watch out. Greig isn't on par with you yet, but he's trying.)

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    11. You really want readers to follow the link to your "NASA statement on consensus" ? In case they are nervous to follow a Greig link, here it is again.

      http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

      I encourage readers to follow up on the statements by all the US and International professional scientific societies.

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  7. I get the impression that Bob has no clue about how climate models work. For example, they most certainly do include "circulation." Have those who are more familiar with Bob noticed otherwise?

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    1. Yes, GCM stands for General Circulation Model.

      Delete
    2. They are getting more complex all the time. Here's one that models the biosphere:

      Over the past twenty years, land surface models have developed from simple schemes to more complex representations of soil-vegetation-atmosphere interactions, allowing for linkages between terrestrial microclimate, plant physiology and hydrology. This evolution has been facilitated by advances in plant physiology and the availability of global fields of land surface parameters obtained from remote sensing. The CSIRO Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange (CABLE) model presented here calculates carbon, water and heat exchanges between the land surface and atmosphere and is suitable for use in climate models and in the form of a one-dimensional stand-alone model.

      http://cawcr.gov.au/projects/access/cable/cable_technical_description.pdf

      And a new collaboration in the US to build faster models:

      http://research.noaa.gov/News/NewsArchive/LatestNews/TabId/684/ArtMID/1768/ArticleID/10430/NOAA-launches-research-on-next-generation-of-high-performance-weather-climate-models.aspx

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    3. "They are getting more complex all the time."

      Just to point out that "getting more complex" does not mean better. Just because a model is simple it does not mean it does not do a good job. Sometimes they can give a devastating insight into a process.



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    4. Yes, Jammy. I recall Gavin Schmidt (I think it was) writing that as models get more complex they approach the chaotic. There is a limit to complexity, just as, as you say, simple models can tell us a lot.

      Okay, that's not quite what he wrote. Here is the bit I was thinking of:

      Climate modeling is also fundamentally different from weather forecasting. Weather concerns an initial value problem: Given today's situation, what will tomorrow bring? Weather is chaotic; imperceptible differences in the initial state of the atmosphere lead to radically different conditions in a week or so.

      Climate is instead a boundary value problem — a statistical description of the mean state and variability of a system, not an individual path through phase space. Current climate models yield stable and nonchaotic climates, which implies that questions regarding the sensitivity of climate to, say, an increase in greenhouse gases are well posed and can be justifiably asked of the models.

      Conceivably, though, as more components — complicated biological systems and fully dynamic ice-sheets, for example — are incorporated, the range of possible feedbacks will increase, and chaotic climates might ensue.


      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_04/

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    5. Getting back to my original question, is there any evidence Bob understands how AOGCMs work? I think I know the answer, but am open to hearing otherwise.

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    6. With all this discussion on the simplicity and complexity of climate models, I am reminded of H L Mencken's quote:

      For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

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    7. Remember that next time you hear a denier say: "it's simple, do nothing". Or "we shouldn't apply the precautionary principle to complex problems" or "It's the sun stupid" or "it's about to cool".

      There is, unfortunately, no simple solution to the climate problem. It will require a complex array of solutions - attacking the problem on different fronts where we can, and adapting to climate change where we've failed.

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    8. Greig quoting H L Mencken. Oh the irony! Mencken had some very nasty racist views which poison his legacy but he also had little time for what he viewed as pseudo-science.

      Here is an account of Mencken and the 1925 Scopes trial. If he was alive today he would likely call Greig a "buffoon".

      " H.L. Mencken's trial reports were heavily slanted against the prosecution and the jury, which was "unanimously hot for Genesis." He mocked the town's inhabitants as "yokels" and "morons." He called Bryan a "buffoon" and his speeches "theologic bilge." In contrast, he called the defense "eloquent" and "magnificent." Even today some American creationists, fighting in courts and state legislatures to demand that creationism be taught on an equal footing with evolution in the schools, have claimed that it was Mencken's trial reports in 1925 that turned public opinion against creationism"
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_trial

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    9. MikeH,

      I getting familiar with the name-calling that happens at this site, so being called a buffoon by a racist doesn't faze me much.

      If you have me pegged as a creationist or pseudo-scientist, you have it wrong. Evolution is a fact as evidenced by the fossil record. And as mentioned previously, I am tertiary qualified in pure and applied maths and physics, fluid and thermo-dynamics, and environmental engineering.

      Delete
    10. "I am tertiary qualified in...."

      Yes, but you are posting stuff about how we should value the garbage produced by a guy with a history of debunked papers and who is known to have trousered money from the fossil fuel industry. That wouldn't impress a nine year old let alone an adult.

      Do feel free to head off to a site where former tobacco scientists are worshipped as the fount of all knowledge.

      Delete
    11. There is a disproportionate number of people claiming to be engineers who are science deniers. Not so many people who know science are similarly afflicted. I figure it's got something to do with the type of person who gravitates to some engineering courses. Plus a bit of science-envy, maybe?

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/07/more-denier-self-portraits-including.html

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    12. Millicent, you forgot to post a reference to your assertion of corruption, I don't even know who you are referring to.

      Sou, you are referencing your own opinions

      Credible scientists do not behave this way.

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    13. The fossil fuel industry employs an awful lot of engineers. Reading thru the comment section of this Guardian article indicates how very, very active they are on the web:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/oct/25/oil-companies-north-sea-spills?commentpage=1

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    14. Huh? Greig? You think that pointing to the evidence is something 'credible scientists' don't do? No wonder you have trouble understanding science.

      All the "credible scientists" I know of point to evidence, as I did. Show me conflicting evidence if you like, but it's not my "opinion" it's cold hard data.

      You might not like the evidence though I can't think why you wouldn't. You claim engineering and you boast how you reject climate science. You should be saying how you agree with the evidence seeing you're adding to it.

      Anyway, the evidence is right there. On a recount given there are now more comments than when I wrote that article, it's 42 engineers boasting how they reject climate science. Forty two science-rejecting engineers in a single thread!

      Much talk of "wrestling with their conscience" and "communists" and other wackiness. That thread is a classic if you want to see how the brain of a denier doesn't work.

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    15. you boast how you reject climate science.

      Do I? I hadn't noticed, I was too busy correcting your misunderstandings on climate change.

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    16. "... And as mentioned previously, I am tertiary qualified in pure and applied maths and physics, fluid and thermo-dynamics, and environmental engineering."

      Good to know. A confessed lying troll we have here. Those qualifications are wasted on you and you are a shame to science. But Curry is worse of a waste, no worries.

      Delete
    17. "... And as mentioned previously, I am tertiary qualified in pure and applied maths and physics, fluid and thermo-dynamics, and environmental engineering."

      As Hitchens put it: "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Griegs posts tell us a lot more about his competance to assess the evidence than his claimed expertise. Perhaps this is meant to be some special argumentum ab auctoritate ipso (argument from his own authority)?

      Grieg has shown no evidence of understanding how science works. But he's certainly eaten a lot of Curry.

      Delete
    18. "...the range of possible feedbacks will increase, and chaotic climates might ensue."

      Oh dear. Now you have worried me. Here's to hoping the complex models don't work.

      Delete
  8. "Acidosis is an increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue (i.e. an increased hydrogen ion concentration). If not further qualified, it usually refers to acidity of the blood plasma. Acidosis is said to occur when arterial pH falls below 7.35"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH

    Those medical alarmists! Everyone knows pH 7.35 is alkaline not acid, so how can it be called "acidosis"? They want to make it sound like blood is turning into acid like in Alien, that's the only way they can sell their so-called "modern medicines"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cRR, I believe lolwot was using sarcasm :)

      Delete
  9. "Conceivably, though, as more components — complicated biological systems and fully dynamic ice-sheets, for example — are incorporated, the range of possible feedbacks will increase, and chaotic climates might ensue."

    The great big analogue model we call Planet Earth already includes those components. Which is a sobering thought.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Millicent, you forgot to post a reference to your assertion of corruption, I don't even know who you are referring to."

    Greig. Stop what you are doing, get in a taxi (don't try and drive yourself) and head to the nearest hospital and ask for a brain scan. Tell them you are suffering from marked memory loss. Because what you are denying knowledge of is so well documented that anyone without recurring amnesia will know all about it.

    The other explanation - already suggested by other posters - is that you are a lying troll.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Grieg: "My elderly mother was recently diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. She went to 3 doctors, and got 3 answers, and in the end did her own research and went with the doctor who most closely aligned with her conclusions. She was treated, is now in remission and the prognosis is very good." (I am pleased at the outcome for her and for you) "When it comes to a difficult problem, nothing beats human ingenuity, and access to collective expertise. And a dose of healthy scepticism, because sometimes even the experts are wrong."
    Where to begin? This is not a very good analogy/exemplar and here's why. Firstly, it's a generalisation; the fact that your mother could do her own research doesn't mean that everyone can. I am assuming you mean that she self-diagnosed rather than selected the regimen of her treatment; either way it's still a generalisation. Secondly, there is no way of knowing that the same result would not ultimately have been achieved with the other two doctors i.e. the 'experiment' cannot be repeated to see what the outcomes would be. Thirdly, rare forms of blood cancer like MDS, and other associated rare blood disorders such as MPNs, APL, etc are detectable through routine blood tests. So the "went to 3 doctors, and got 3 answers" is unusual to say the least with respect to GPs and in the case of haematologists would be unusual beyond belief.
    The "nothing beats human ingenuity" applies as much to "the doctor who closely aligned with her conclusions" and who didn't have to do his own research. What you are suggesting is that your mother doesn't have to rely upon doctors for a diagnosis of any current and future medical conditions as they arise. All she has to do is to carry out her own research into her symptoms, by-pass the doctor and go straight to the nearest pharmacy or hospital. And applying this principle universally, there is no need for doctors other than surgeons, although these could be replaced by internet-savvy butchers, abattoir workers and seamstresses who have access to Youtube, etc. In other words, in the context of an extension of the elderly patient analogy, "access to collective expertise" doesn't work in solving problems unless the ones accessing the information can comprehend and apply it. Which provision is comparable to any standard economic model that begins with a qualifying "assuming consumers have perfect knowledge'.
    "And a dose of healthy scepticism" doesn't transfer from the case cited to cynical Bob Tisdale who is not an expert because he is almost always wrong rather than "sometimes ... wrong".

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sou: "Lindzen stopped being a scientist a long time ago." when he became an iridologist.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "It's all based on models and models are no good" - that's sooooooo 20th Century. It's as if the last 15 years of events have gone right past poor old Bob.

    Such signs of senility are everywhere you look in the denier world these days. They're coming up with nothing new apart from ice-bound squirrels and the like, and there's no new blood coming through. It must be quite dispiriting for them - well, I like to think so, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As someone who has worked in science for over forty years I can see why a perfectly sane engineer can fall for what passes as science but is in fact hand waving drivel. They are not taught to think but use lookup tables to find a simple solution to complex problems.
    When designing a bridge throw in a factor of safety after careful theoretical design as they really do not know!
    These engineers think that all scientists are just as ignorant as themselves. Sad but true.
    Bert from Eltham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They [engineers] are not taught to think (really?) but use lookup tables to find a simple solution to complex problems. When designing a bridge throw in a factor of safety after careful theoretical design as they really do not know! These engineers think that all scientists are just as ignorant as themselves.

      Somebody who is not an engineer proving that they don't know anything about engineering. = "hand waving drivel".

      Delete
    2. Yes - rare as it is for me to agree with Greig, engineer-bashing isn't accurate or productive.

      Delete
    3. I have four brothers out of eight who are engineers at different fields or specializations. My aeronautical engineer brother told me years ago that to design an efficient aircraft, the usual engineering safety factors are pared to the bone.
      Much careful inexact modelling is needed to get the design optimised.
      I wonder what this sounds like? Bert

      Delete

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