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Monday, July 25, 2016

Explaining different results for climate sensitivity and the low bias

Sou | 9:54 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment

This was a month late at WUWT but better late than never I suppose.  WUWT's current leading blog writer, Eric Worrall, has written about a paper published last month in Nature Climate Change (archived here). The authors, Mark Richardson, Kevin Cowtan, Ed Hawkins and Martin B. Stolpe, had a look at how temperature records are sampled. They found that slower warming regions are preferentially sampled, which means that observations are biased low.

The authors reported that after adjusting for biases, and using observations, the transient climate response (TCR) is 1.66 °C with a 5% to 95% range of 1.0 to 3.3 °C. This is consistent with that derived from climate models considered in the AR5 IPCC report.

Climate sensitivity and transient climate response (TCR)

First of all, what is climate sensitivity and the transient climate response? Kevin Cowtan explains this on his blog:
Climate models are used to estimate the likely range of warming we will see in the future for a given level of fossil fuel emissions. The size of the effect of human activity on global temperature is often summarized by a single number, the "climate sensitivity", which measures how much the Earth will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

The climate system takes time to respond to changes, and so different measures of climate sensitivity are used for different timescales. Most relevant to policy is the "Transient Climate Response", or TCR, which measures how much warming will occur over the span of a human lifetime.

Different estimates for TCR from different methods

The authors were investigating the reasons for the lower TCR reported from energy-budget models:
To put this in context, the authors discuss a couple of different ways used to estimate TCR:

1. Using climate model simulations (CMIP5 models), in which atmospheric CO2 increases at 1% per year. Here the multi-model mean is 1.8 °C (1.2 - 2.4°C).

2. Using Earth energy budget (like the three papers above) with the equation:

where ΔT is the observed change in temperature, ΔF is the change in radiative forcing, and ΔF2xCO2 is the forcing change for doubled atmospheric CO2.

Model-observation differences disappear when the data are treated the same

On Kevin Cowtan's website he wrote about what happens when the data are treated in the same manner (my emphasis). They agree.:
When we treat the models like the observations, we get a lower estimate of climate sensitivity. When we treat the observations like the models, we get a higher value. In both cases the models and the observations agree. But which is right?

Three factors explaining the difference between results

He then explained three factors that contribute to the difference between climate sensitivity estimated from models compared with that estimated from observations:
  • Incomplete global coverage - 15%: The biggest factor affecting low observation estimates of TCR is the incomplete global coverage of historical temperature observations. If the historical coverage is applied to climate model outputs, it reduces the temperature change by about 15%.
  • Surface vs air temperature - ~5%: The next biggest factor is using sea surface temperature rather than air temperature in the observational record. If you do that with climate models, the temperature change drops by a little bit under 5%.
  • Sea ice edge changes - <5%: Lastly, where the sea ice edge has changed, blending of air and sea temperature in those regions also reduces the temperature change. The amount by which reduces it is the least certain and likely has the smallest effect, something less than 5%.
The image below from Kevin Cowtan's website shows how there has been incomplete global coverage of data over time:

Figure 1 | Change in near-surface air temperature from 1861-1880 to 2000-2009 seen globally (left), seen by typical HadCRUT4 data coverage over 2000-2009 (centre) and by typical HadCRUT4 data coverage over 1861-1880 (right). Typical coverage refers to cases where more than 25% of months within that period report data. Source: Kevin Cowtan

As Kevin Cowtan wrote:
When combined, these three factors reduce the temperature change in the climate model outputs by about a quarter. The different handling of the temperature data between the models and observations therefore explains almost all of the difference between the estimates of climate sensitivity from models and observations.

This is also explained in the NASA press release:
The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of Earth, but there are fewer historic temperature readings from there than from lower latitudes because it is so inaccessible. A data set with fewer Arctic temperature measurements naturally shows less warming than a climate model that fully represents the Arctic.

Because it isn't possible to add more measurements from the past, the researchers instead set up the climate models to mimic the limited coverage in the historical records.

The new study also accounted for two other issues. First, the historical data mix air and water temperatures, whereas model results refer to air temperatures only. This quirk also skews the historical record toward the cool side, because water warms less than air. The final issue is that there was considerably more Arctic sea ice when temperature records began in the 1860s, and early observers recorded air temperatures over nearby land areas for the sea-ice-covered regions. As the ice melted, later observers switched to water temperatures instead. That also pushed down the reported temperature change.

Scientists have known about these quirks for some time, but this is the first study to calculate their impact. "They're quite small on their own, but they add up in the same direction," Richardson said. "We were surprised that they added up to such a big effect."

These quirks hide around 19 percent of global air-temperature warming since the 1860s.

Ed Hawkins wrote on his blog:
Richardson et al conclude that previous analyses which reported observation-based estimates of TCR toward the low end of the model range did so largely because of inconsistencies between the temperature reconstruction methods in models and observations.

As observational coverage improves the masking effect will reduce in importance but will still remain for the historical period unless we can rescue additional, currently undigitised, weather observations. The blending issue is here to stay unless estimates of changes in air temperature can be produced over the ocean regions. The physical mechanisms for the different simulated warming rates between ocean and air temperatures also need to be further explored.

Implications for climate policy and targets

Ed Hawkins added a comment about the implications of the work (which was also mentioned in the paper):
Finally, if the reported air-ocean warming and masking differences are robust, then which global mean temperature is relevant for informing policy? As observed? Or what those observations imply for ‘true’ global near-surface air temperature change? If it is decided that climate targets refer to the latter, then the warming is actually 24% (9-40%) larger than reported by HadCRUT4.

And that is a big difference, especially when considering lower global temperature targets.

What the anti-science brigade think about this science ...

Over at WUWT, Eric Worrall wrote:
NASA researcher Mark Richardson has completed a study which compares historical observations with climate model output, and has concluded that historical observations have to be adjusted, to reconcile them with the climate models. 
He added:
Frankly I don’t know why the NASA team persist with trying to justify their increasingly ridiculous adjustments to real world observations – they seem to be receiving all the information they think they need from their computer models.

That's Eric's comment on a paper that compares models with observations, working out the details explaining differences in results. Without the observations there'd have been no means of comparing the model outputs with observations. That would please the anti-science crowd no doubt, but it wouldn't expand our knowledge and understanding of the world we live in. (There's no point in my making any remark about Eric's conspiracy theory about "ridiculous adjustments". It's ridiculous.)

From the WUWT comments

Most of the comments at WUWT are worse that the usual ridiculous. They are viciously anti-science and a display of rank stupidity. There were a couple of people who slipped past Anthony's censors, however most of the comments are from the utter nutter variety who crawled out from under a slimy rock to call for scientists to be put in jail. WUWT readers won't rest easy until the last proverbial book is burned, the USA has Trump-Pence-Putin for President, borders of every nation are shut tight and, in the USA, roaming vigilantes are gunning for everything that moves.

Bitter&Twisted could be a spambot for all the value he or she adds to the discussion:
July 24, 2016 at 8:01 am
They have no shame.
Germinio was about the only person commenting who understood the work:
July 24, 2016 at 2:43 pm
I think you are completely misreading the paper. As I understand it the authors have taken the
output from their global models and processed the data in the identical way to what other researchers have done with the measured historical temperature data and have found good
agreement. Note that in this case there is no adjustment to the raw data and similarly no adjustments to the modelled data but rather only in the method used to calculate an average temperature from a climate model.

Windchaser is another person who understood what most WUWT conspiracy theorists couldn't fathom:
July 24, 2016 at 11:17 am
Isn’t this sort of back asswards science? Fudge the data to fit a model?

Eh, it’d be backwards if that was what was going on, sure. But it’s not.

They’re saying that what we measured in real life are not exactly the same metrics as what had been reported from the models. We’d been partly comparing apples and oranges. For instance, the models can report their temperatures for the entire surface of the Earth, whereas in real life, our measurements in the Arctic have historically been a bit sparse. You may need to account for that, either by improving your measurements there, or by dropping that region out of what you report from the models.

So, what’s happening is just that they’re saying “hey, let’s make sure we’re doing a fair comparison”. And good comparisons are a good thing in science; you want to make sure that you’re being as true as possible to the data and what it represents.

You have to try pretty hard to skew this into bad science.

Bartleby falsely accuses the researchers of fabricating data. They didn't. It's people like Bartleby who make up stuff.
July 24, 2016 at 11:39 am
“You have to try pretty hard to skew this into bad science.”
No, you don’t. Fabricating data is not good science. It’s a far cry from saying the initial measurements are bad and there’s no way to correct that. That’s good science. Bad science involves saying we don’t have any data so we’ll make some up, and look, it fits our model! Surprise surprise! Aren’t we just brilliant? Who’d have thunk it!?

Eugene WR Gallun goes hell for leather misrepresenting what the scientists did. Is it deliberate and knowing misrepresenation, or is this the Dunning Kruger effect, or is it his world view preventing him from understanding, or is he this stupid all the time? He also shouts a lot.
July 24, 2016 at 6:16 pm (excerpt)
Windchaser —
Here is what they are doing. They claim that past temperature data is flawed, failing to show enough warming. They specify what they think those flaws are. Then they take their models and apply the same flaws to the model output. Suddenly their model output matches what the measured temp data predicts.
They claim that their models only match the measured data if they DELIBERATELY FLAW THEIR MODELS!

They start out with the assumption that their models are FLAWLESS and claim to demonstrate that only if their models are DELIBERATELY flawed to match the flaws they claim exist in the temperature record will both make the same predictions.

In their twisted minds It then follows that this proves their models truly are flawless because they only produce poor results if you deliberately flaw them.

But the model have never ever worked!! They are intrinsically flawed within themselves. The flaws in the models have nothing to do with the flaws they claim exist in past temperature data. THIS IS REALLY JUST SIMPLE MISDIRECTION. THEY MISDIRECT BY SAYING — LOOK AT THE FLAWS IN THE TEMPERATURE RECORD! DON’T YOU DARE LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT FLAWS IN OUR FLAWLESS MODELS!


Eugene WR Gallun
No. That isn't what the scientists did. The observations and models match if the data are treated the same way. That is, for example, if the areas of the globe with no observations are masked out of the model results, and if sea surface temperatures are used not air temperatures. By doing this they found the model results and observations matched. That's how the researchers were able to pinpoint and quantify the differences. It's called science (something that WUWT fans know nothing about).

Jim G1 thinks he's in a discussion about politics. He could be right (pun intended).
July 24, 2016 at 8:15 am
The corruption of the left knows no boundaries irrespective of the field of endeavor one examines.

Geoff wrongly thinks the scientists changed data. They didn't. He probably thinks his comment makes him look clever. It doesn't.
July 24, 2016 at 8:16 am
Sounds reasonable. If the modelling isn’t working then change the physical historical data to that point needed agree with the models.
Those NASA guys have a sense if humour. Release an April Fools Day article 3 months after April Fools Day.

G. Karst also wrongly thinks that data was changed. Sheesh. One naturally doesn't expect WUWT-ers to read a scientific paper, however, aren't any WUWT fake sceptics capable of reading a simple press release?
July 24, 2016 at 8:31 am
Isn’t this a clear admission that the models are clearly wrong and not fit for predictive purpose. Changing data to verify a model used to be regarded as academicfraud. All hypothesis can be validated using such reasoning. Can everything conceived – be true? GK

Justthinkin is another dim denier who just doesn't know how to think. What's the bet he'll vote to put Putin's proxy into the White House?
July 24, 2016 at 8:34 am
These “scientists” can’t be charged with anything? Howzabout outright fraud and corruption? I mean. This guy admits it right in the “paper”!! Has science really sunk so low? To steal a phrase from SDA, this isn’t your grandmother’s science.
nigelf is showing his TrumpPence colours:
July 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm
I’m going to be so very happy when Mr. T cuts all this funding and reads them the riot act.
This is all about to come to a crashing end and it couldn’t be soon enough.

John Harmsworth might not have heard what's been happening in Siberia and Alaska the last few years (and months):
July 24, 2016 at 9:37 am
If they had no measurements at all the Arctic would be on fire! 

ScienceABC123  is another one of many who can't understand plain English:
July 24, 2016 at 8:50 am
Translation: “Our models don’t match the historical record. So we must adjust the historical record to save our models.”

This time Nick Stokes tries to explain, in vain:
July 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm
No, despite what the headline says, there is no mention of adjusting data at all. In fact, they go the other way. They show that of you process model output temperatures in the same way that HADCRUT 4 averages global measured temperature, you get a similar result.

Owen in GA is another utter nutter conspiracy theorist:
July 24, 2016 at 8:53 am
I believe the data protection act makes it a criminal offense for government employees to adjust that data. We need an attorney general who will start prosecuting that act. We can start with the climate adjusters and move on to the EPA. They have all been guilty of changing the collected data to more closely match their video games and need to go to jail for it, particularly any that overwrite the original data in the process! If the original data is still available they have an out, but then their “products” need to be called something other than data, because none of it was ever observed.

The rest of the 180 or so "thoughts" are just a repeat of the above, though many are even stupider. You can read them here if you want to. Anthony Watts must be so proud of his pathetic band of dim, nasty, and rather disgusting science deniers.

References and further reading

Richardson, Mark, Kevin Cowtan, Ed Hawkins, and Martin B. Stolpe. "Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth." Nature Climate Change (2016). doi:10.1038/nclimate3066

Bengtsson, Lennart, and Stephen E. Schwartz. "Determination of a lower bound on Earth’s climate sensitivity." Tellus B 65 (2013). doi: (open access).

Otto, Alexander, Friederike EL Otto, Olivier Boucher, John Church, Gabi Hegerl, Piers M. Forster, Nathan P. Gillett et al. "Energy budget constraints on climate response." Nature Geoscience 6, no. 6 (2013): 415-416. doi:10.1038/ngeo1836 (pdf here)

Lewis, Nicholas, and Judith A. Curry. "The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates." Climate Dynamics 45, no. 3-4 (2015): 1009-1023. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2342-y (pdf here)

K. Marvel, G.A. Schmidt, R.L. Miller, and L.S. Nazarenko, "Implications for climate sensitivity from the response to individual forcings", Nature Climate Change, vol. 6, pp. 386-389, 2015. doi:


  1. The problem Richardson et al. (2016) found is just one of three problems that result in too low estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity of simple energy budget models. If you would correct for all three, the estimate would become 4.6°C warming for a doubling of the CO2 concentration. See my post:

    Is it time to freak out about the climate sensitivity estimates from energy budget models?

    However the uncertainties of these energy balance model estimates are huge and you should also take many other methods into account. If you do so, the best estimate of the climate sensitivity is simply 3°C, like it has been for decades.

    1. Thanks, Victor. I was going to mention that. Kevin Cowtan did mention Marvel15 in his article. I'll add your article (and the Marvel paper) to the list of references, which I should have done already.

      (This paper was just about TCR, not ECS.)

  2. I think I understand the denier mindset here. (I say "mindset" under the assumption they have one; and I "understand" it only in so far as it is possible to comprehend this silliness):

    1) When the paper talks about "processing" the data (whether the data is from observations or models), deniers here "adjusting". There's no need (they think) to "process" it at all. Just use the numbers provided. Add the numbers together and divide by the number of numbers to get an average (that isn't "processing", I guess).

    So when the paper talks about how the historical data is "processed" compared to how the modeled temperatures are "processed", the deniers hear, "We scientists intentionally manipulate the models to get the results we want. If we also manipulate the Real Temperatures, we can get the results we want that way, too."

    2) Since the observational record includes so few readings from the Arctic, then any Arctic "data" from before good measurements began is simply made up. We can't know what the Arctic used to be like, because no one measured it. According to deniers, scientists are simply inventing bogus Arctic data for the purpose of skewing the results.

    Pretend there are ten (and only ten) places on the Earth. In the view of deniers, the paper is saying that we have historical readings for perhaps six of them. The models are simulating the other four. When you remove those four from the models, the models match the observations. When you add those four to the observations, the observations match the models. The entire difference between the models and the observations, according to deniers, is due to the four made-up readings which were added to the models for the purpose of obtaining the results the scientists want.

    Remember, deniers don't understand (and don't care about) the way the models work. They think the models are, at best, constructed by taking a bunch of real observations and doing a combination of three things to them: 1) projecting trendlines, 2) adding made-up temperatures to fill gaps in time or space, 3) simply altering the readings ("processing") to get the numbers desired.

    They don't understand that the models are based on simulating physical processes that act upon a set of initial conditions. When the models duplicate observations, this isn't because the observed readings were entered into the models. It's because the models are accurately describing the physical processes that result in the readings that were obtained.

    Part of the problem is that deniers don't understand climate modelling. Of course, they don't want to understand it, so they are unteachable. My point is simply that this lack of comprehension is what leads to their responses to a paper such as this.

    1. You are too kind, DC :(

      The way I read it, for some it could be just (wilful) ignorance. That is, I agree with you to a point. However, the tone of many of the "thoughts" suggests there are darker motives at work. These are not good people.

    2. You are probably correct, Sou. I suffer from the curse of a fiction writer: trying to understand motive in a way that can be depicted sympathetically, even when the character is a villain. Few actual villains view themselves as bad people, dedicated to wrecking things for everyone else--even though (as you rightly point out) at least some of them are.

  3. This is, in my opinion, one of the most important climate papers to be published in the past decade or so. And I just love the way Kevin Cowtan explains it on his site to make it accessible to us laypeople.

    The deniers never could read for comprehension. Their ideology always gets in the way. Somehow, even though it's a breakthrough paper, it's not gonna change minds that are already trying to explain the results of climate science only using conspiracy theories :-/

  4. Great post Sou! Glad you're keeping up on the idiotic denialisphere. Global temperatures and extreme events (ie., "real life") aren't enough to convince the "rank stupidity" that warming is real and measureable. They're desperate to find anything to support their losing positions (on everything they've claimed). Good job -- and thank you!

  5. In their haste to talk crap about 'adjustments' the inmates at WUWT have forgotten the WUWT position on temperature data. To compare like with like the climate models would have to predict temperatures adjacent to air conditioning vents, aircraft jet exhausts, the overly warm tents of Antarctic explorers, and Russian steam pipes. They are such a sorry lot at WUWT these days they can't even do denial well.

  6. Bert from ElthamJuly 26, 2016 at 6:43 AM

    Cowtan and Way showed in an earlier paper how the paucity of observations at high latitudes led to observations not matching models. The models predicted higher temperatures than the limited observations. This is due to the very real effect of polar amplification.

    When Cowtan and Way interpolated to estimate the missing data by Kriging and carefully taking into account the differences between land . ice and sea. There was a far better match. It also eliminated the faux pause.

    They have now done the same thing for estimates for the value of TCR both by observations and models for two situations. Comparing just the available data to the corresponding model data i.e. without the polar regions and two all the model data with observed data with the polar regions interpolated by their Kriging method.
    This then gives the result that the observed and model data are a far better match in both cases.

    For denialists to accuse them of changing data without even reading the papers sounds like projection to me.

    Thanks Sou for all your efforts. It gives me something to read to stay awake on long lonely nights of astronomical data collection. Bert

  7. Somewhat off the topic but I really think the Trump + Putin thing is an example of American "utter nutter conspiracy theory" in action. Joe McCarthy would be proud of that piece and a few others, Krugman anyone?

    Sure Putin may have said good things about the Donald but why not, he owes Russians a lot of money and it cost nothing to be nice to a somewhat bizarre US businessman.

    Somehow, I doubt that the President of Russia wants a batshit crazy, narcissistic idiot as US president. Putin may not be exactly a nice democratic leader, but he is not stupid. Clinton is not exactly a great bargain but she does not seem demonstrably nuts in international terms. Well, not all that demonstrably nuts, he says upon reconsideration.

    1. Somehow, I doubt that the President of Russia wants a batshit crazy, narcissistic idiot as US president.

      jkrideau, we may not seem at first glance to agree on all things, but at least on this point I think we can agree 100% :-)

      For context, I am a Yankee ex-pat from NJ who has been living quite happily in Europe for the past 38 years, and I sometimes despair of my homeland. As I often say to people: "you can see your own country better from 3000 miles away".

    2. :) I agree jkrideau. But I can see the attraction of this conspiracy theory, particularly as it should drive right wing extremists crazy, or more crazy :D

    3. I'm not sure which way to flip on this one. I can say Trump has painted himself into a risky corner. (Owing very large amounts of money to Russians is virtually asking to be pressured.) I can also say it makes fascinating reading - for someone like me who enjoys a good spy/thriller.

      Have you read this take on the broader topic?

    4. You know, I thought it was rather plausible. I don't think Putin has a clue how democracies work, and assumes they're essentially as phony as his own* (I'm reminded of Shirer citing Hitler's speculating on the US's desire for an Anschluss with Canada!). I doubt that he has a clue just how destabilizing even the nomination of Trump has been, and is far too sure of himself to believe that there could be any blowback that might affect him.

      Of course, maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. But I think we should also note that Assange has gone into cheerful après moi le déluge mode similar to the one I'm imputing to Putin, and similar to the position he took when he dumped the climategate emails.

      Some people really seem like they want to set fire to the world at the moment just to see what will happen. Sadly we all get to go up - or down - with them...

      *Given that the US is clearly a plutocracy in reality there's a case to be made here...

    5. Sou, you say, "I can see the attraction of this conspiracy theory, particularly as it should drive right wing extremists crazy, or more crazy"

      You may not fully appreciate the level of cognitive dissonance available to American right-wing extremists. They are fully capable of enthusiastically embracing stunningly incompatible concepts in what passes for their minds, and believing all the contradictory nonsense completely and simultaneously. You have, of course, frequently seen and commented on this in relation to climate matters. The syndrome isn't confined to science.

      While those who organize vast international conspiracies are Bad, in this case the conspirators are doing good work, so it's okay. While communism is also Bad (and Russia is still communist), Putin has been praised by the right wing as a strong leader, and seems to be chummy with Trump. Of course, President Obama was Bad back in 2012 when it looked like he might make some further arms deals and strategic policy agreements with Russia, but it's okay if Trump does it. And while foreign nations shouldn't interfere in American politics, it's fine if Russia helps to harm Hillary Clinton. I mean that's just a good idea, right?

      None of the contradictions are difficult for conservatives, since they've lost all moral sense and forsaken any touchpoint with reality. The atmosphere is becoming toxic here. Dangerous new psychotropic emissions may be pouring from the FOXstack.

    6. I'll add - Trump is a man who has clearly demonstrated that he has no conception of what the 'T' in NATO stands for, and this is music to Putin's ears.

      The Russians have every reason to resent a military alliance headed by their historic nemesis and their cold war enemy on their doorstep, particularly as Gorbachev thought he'd negotiated no eastward expansion of it in return for allowing the relatively orderly collapse of the Iron Curtain.

      (You might think this is ridiculous given their own countries abysmal record with regard to its neighbours and those neighbours' understandable fear of it, but such nuanced considerations are not how nation-states work. Witness the current US Administration stating with a straight face that their country condemns military coups! Um, sure...)

      We are talking a situation where the two most heard chants on the floor of the recent convention of one of the two major candidate producing organizations of the Eternal Plutocracy Party were the mindless, Orwellian 'Yew Ess Ay, Yew Ess Ay, Yew Ess Ay' and 'Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!', this directed at the head of the other candidate-producing faction! This is the very (bad) stuff of democracy that Plato warned about!

      How can anyone imagine this is not a polity spinning out of control? All bets are off as to whether any action is intrinsically too outlandish to be considered credible.

    7. You're right DC. I am getting used to the ability of science deniers to embrace multiple contradictory beliefs about science. There's no reason to think they can't embrace political and ideological beliefs that would otherwise be anathema to them. After all, they seem to believe that Donald Trump would act in their interests, when the interests of most of his supporters are diametrically opposed to Trumps.

    8. Anyone still think 'the Russians did it' is implausible?

      Moscow has rejected the allegations, but WikiLeaks is now attempting to distance itself from the hacking, suggesting the emails may have been provided via an intermediary, after originally dismissing the Russia allegations as a “lame conspiracy smear”.

      Julian Assange, in this instance, you're an idiot. If, after this surreal, literally incredible debacle, the American public is still so locked into its Infantile Oppositional Disorder that we still manage to wind up with a President Trump, you'll be as responsible as anyone.

    9. Actually, make that 'useful idiot'.

    10. "Julian Assange, in this instance, you're an idiot."

      I think Assange is an idiot, but in this instance he's made it clear that he wants Trump to win - or at least wants to ensure Clinton loses.

  8. Oh, good heavens, I, probably should not read the comments section of a WUWT post. If you look at the latest Tim Ball contribution there are some funny responses but then I looked at the comments for this posting and fell over this.

    ferdberple July 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Notice the study lacks double blind controls.

    1. And here I am again, JK. But it's all good, I assure you. Just buttressing what you said. The danger of applying the same/wrong standards to different disciplines:

      While 6-sigma confidence levels may apply to particle physics/confirming the existence of things like the Higgs boson, they don't in any way apply to the physics behind climate science.

    2. But how can we be sure that Climate Change isn't just a placebo?!1?

      Srsly, though, the comments at WUWT make me facepalm so hard. I go over there once in a while when I'm feeling masochistic, and you can read the comment thread on this one to see how that turned out.

    3. WUWT, where bad science never dies but just keeps rollin' along. ferdberple should eschew the "double blind" trial, skip the ethical component and go for the triple blind.

    4. Wouldn't that be 'double bind'?

  9. Anthony had a divorce. See latest Blog at WUWT.

    1. Had a wry comment to roll in with here, but do have a certain amount of empathy, so will refrain.

    2. No need for that, no. But he uses it to explain him not being much around at his blog and the lack of progress on the Open Atmosphere Society. So I thought it would be relevant to Sou.

    3. "...the Open Atmosphere Society"

      That generally earns a mention when annual subscriptions are due.

    4. This is bad news. Watts will now have more time on his hands to spread disinformation, and be more frustrated than ever which will probably rile up the irrationality and hate to new levels.

      But I sympathize with him and his wife. Divorces are generally bad experiences where everybody loses (except Louis CK).

  10. I see the main part of the paper as following the "fair test" principle we were taught in secondary school science classes (high school for non-British-Englishers).

    We just matched up the climate model output with real world measurements. Only take model output where we have real-world data, use water output if the real-world measurement is of water, air if the real-world is of air. Then do exactly the same calculations to models and observations all the way through.

    The models and observations agree pretty well, and using global near-surface air temperatures as people had been doing with models causes a 24% upward bias. Most of the apparent disagreement came from not doing a fair test in the past.

    It seems that some people disagree with the principle of doing a fair test.


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