OT Some climate change stuff

A couple of items for those interested:
First, a critique by Prof. Judith Curry of the models used to predict climate temperatures and trends. https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/climate-models.pdf
For those who haven't heard of her, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Curry
Second, an article on Watts Up With That, initially querying where the heat comes from that has caused the recent El Niño event, and earlier ones, but extending to offer yet another alternative explanation for Global Warming, that is claimed to fit the existing data much better than does simple anthropogenic CO2. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/08/where-did-the-2016-el-nios-heat-come-from/
Who Mike Jonas is, and what his qualifications are to write such an article, I've no idea, although Googling for him suggests he contributes regularly to WUWT and Curry's blog. http://tinyurl.com/j926se9
--

Chris

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I see you still fighting the same old strawman.
Climate models are not certain. Predicting the climate is not the same type of science as building a bridge or power station.
The sensible discussion is about risk and expectation.
The scientific analogy that should be used is that of medicine. New medicines should not be used without testing. History teaches us that unexpected and catastrophic negative consequences can occur.
All the climate scientists are really telling us is that they are pretty sure that we are now significantly affecting the climate and that we should try to minimise those effects because we do not fully understand what this "medicine" will do.
In short our uncertainty should lead us to stop emitting CO2 rather than continue.
I looked up Judith Curry and found the following article:
Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster <http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011BAMS3139.1
We quickly find the following quote about people detecting the monster of uncertainty:
----- The third type is the merchant of doubt (Oreskes and Collins 2010), who distorts and magnifies uncertainties as an excuse for inaction for financial or ideological reasons -----
Who does that remind us of?
The other amusing thing about the article is a reference to a previous uk.rec.cycling contributor (Annan, J. D). A person with whom I had a discussion about how uk groups get distorted by a few like minded zealots promoting a stupid non scientific agenda. Their argumentative style rejecting cycle helmets was very similar to your resistance to climate change.
On 09/02/2017 09:58, Chris Hogg wrote:

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You think the hypothesis of Global Warming is a straw man? You do surprise me.

Well, climatologists of course, although in their case it's action rather than inaction.

To laugh at Curry's article merely because you had an argument with the author of one of her references regarding cycling helmets is ad hominem, does you no favours, and is in fact a quite extraordinary line of thinking. You should be ashamed!
In this particular instance I was just the messenger, posting links to a couple of articles that might be of interest to those here who take an alternative view of the Global Warming hypothesis. I note you've not attempted to engage with details of either of the articles. But I do draw my views on the correctness or otherwise of that hypothesis from the likes of Prof. Curry and several other very well qualified and experienced climatologists, as well as a consideration of alternative theories that account for the observed variations in global climate temperatures, which tend to be ignored by the 'believers' such as yourself.
I trust you've expressed your opinions in the 'comments' section of Curry's blog or the WUWT blog, where you may get a rather more detailed response that you'll get from me.
--

Chris

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On 09/02/2017 17:21, Chris Hogg wrote:

THe Strawman is that climate models can predict global temperatures with precision or with certainty. The argument goes: "the climate change advocates said temperatures would rise at a particular rate and over the last x years they haven't. Hence the hypothesis of Global Warming is wrong and we can burn as much coal as we like. There is no man made global warming"

OK. there was no certainty smoking tobacco was harmful. There was no reason to believe thalidomide caused birth defects, how could aerosols hurt the ozone layer?
The precautionary principle is that the vast majority of scientific opinion believes CO2 emissions are significantly affecting the climate. There is a significant possibility that this Global Warming could be catastrophic. It would be prudent whilst this is a significant possibility to minimise CO2 emissions until we have better models to predict how much warming will occur.

I was laughing at what a small world it is. Curry's article was quite reasonable. I work with similar models (not climate related). I know the uncertainty she is talking about. With the models I'm familiar with the maxim goes: that they can be good for helping interpolation between know values but should not be trusted to extrapolate.

It is not Curry's article that is wrong but the way it is misinterpreted. We tell children that it is dangerous to run across the road because they will be run over and killed. Given a relatively low level of traffic on most roads it is actually quite unlikely that this will happen any time they do it. However I think most of us would agree it is not sensible to big this uncertainty argument up to children and encourage them to continue running across roads without looking.

I actually come to this group to look at DIY. I suppose I should ignore this nonsense.
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On 10/02/2017 10:05, Nick wrote:

That's odd, the argument is that the models don't predict what has actually happened so they can't be used to predict what will happen.
Just compare what they predicted ten years ago with what has actually happened and you will have enough proof that the models then were wrong.
They were wrong twenty years ago. They were wrong thirty years ago.
Just what evidence is there that they aren't wrong now?
Then there is the problem of some scientists tampering with the data to make it fit their model, which is what started this thread in case you didn't notice.
Its also what the thread is about.
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wrote:

Actually there was. It had caused defects when tested in some small mammal (rat or rabbit or so, I forget which).
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nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" -- Bill of Rights 1689
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beagles
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bert

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On 11/02/17 21:31, bert wrote:

Yeah. They taught beagles to smoke too.
Poor beagles.
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wrote:

OK, from what you're saying here and in our previous discussions, we shouldn't be concerned about short-term deviations from the results predicted by theory, in what is a stochastic process (whilest being a bit vague as to what defines short-term).
My take on global warming is as follows. Up until say the 1980's, nobody gave global warming a thought. I recall that in the 1950's people were even talking about the world heading towards a new Ice Age. Then in the 1980's it was seen that global temperatures had started to rise. Climatologists cast around for an explanation, and someone dusted off a suggestion by the Swedish scientist Arrhenius in 1896 that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels might cause a rise in global temperatures.
As with all hypotheses, the idea was explored, developed, theoretical models constructed and alternative hypotheses considered. The modelling was complicated, because of the range of variables involved and the considerable uncertainties in quantifying them, especially as some form of feedback, aka 'forcing', had to be invoked to get the models to work at all.
But despite those difficulties, a model was evolved that purported to describe the dependency of global temperature on the CO2 content of the atmosphere. With a bit of subjective manipulation of the magnitude of the factors involved (aka curve fitting), a tolerably good match was achieved between theory and observation. Climatologists got very excited, and everyone else became familiar with the shape of a hockey stick even if they didn't know what one looked like before. Alternative hypotheses were cast aside as being no longer needed; the answer had been found.
Based on the models, global warming was predicted to reach alarming levels very soon if the emission of CO2 was not drastically abated. The world went into panic mode. Environmentalists and supporters of renewable energy thought all their Christmases had come at once. Wind-generator and solar panel manufacturers rubbed their hands with glee, anticipating huge markets when previously they only had niche markets supplying a few isolated communities.
But according to you, we should never have been concerned about the rise in global temperatures 1975-2000 in the first place. It is after all a stochastic process and that sort of thing happens over relatively short time scales, just as the period of cooling happened between 1880 and 1910, and again between 1945 and 1975; it's what stochastic processes do.
But then, starting about 2000, temperatures stopped rising, and with the exception of 2016 which was a very strong El Niño year, have been pretty steady ever since. 'No matter', you say, 'such things are to be expected in a stochastic system; ignore it; see the bigger picture; stick with the model, it must be correct'. In which case, why is it that for the last fifteen years or so, climatologists have been scurrying around trying to explain 'the pause' (which you say we should ignore anyway), either by re-interpreting the data, adjusting the data, finding new reasons why the data was incomplete etc. They wouldn't be doing that if they were so confident that the theories were sound, and the pause was just what stochastic processes do from time to time.
Then there are the scandals/rumors/whatever about researchers being selective with the data, data being tampered with etc. and not least the recent fuss about NOAA scientists not following established protocols in verifying their data and apparently not keeping the source material. How valid those various accusations are I don't know, but it does the credibility of the AGW hypothesis no favours, and I struggle to believe it's all just anti-AGW propaganda.
Meanwhile, other theories are seemingly ignored, even though they appear to predict the changing pattern of global temperatures rather better that do those of CO2 emissions, stochastic processes notwithstanding.
Further, satellite measurements of the temperature of the troposphere (the lower part of the atmosphere, where all the weather is), show only a slow overall increase in global warming over the period 1979 to present, not the sharp rise 1975-2000, and nothing to be concerned about. Yet they pick up the El Niño excursions quite clearly. So what gives? Something's not right there.
And then there is the fairly trivial point of the subtle but Orwellian change in emphasis from it being 'Global Warming' to 'Climate Change' reminding me of the change from 'All animals are equal' to 'All animals are equal but some are more equal than others'!
Something is rotten in the State of Denmark! The hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming is a castle built on sand. Climatologists have a long way to go before they understand properly the factors controlling global temperatures. They don't even know why El Niño happens, so why should they think they understand the bigger picture?
<snipped bit about precautionary actions)

I am slightly puzzled. I've not read the Curry article you linked to other than to confirm your quote, but she's a leading advocate in opposing the hypothesis of AGW, so either you've misinterpreted her or she's not following her own dictum.

As you will have realised by now, it's a group with very catholic tastes, not just plastering, painting and plumbing. Politics (especially Brexit), immigration, climate change, renewable energy, all get a good thrashing here. It makes for a very active and lively group, when many other groups are fading.
--

Chris

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On 10/02/17 15:42, Chris Hogg wrote:

Except the shape of the hockey stick turned out to be a total fraud.

That was in fact the correct action.

Exactly.

Exactly.
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On 10/02/2017 15:42, Chris Hogg wrote:

I could reply to each point but it would take a long time.
Perhaps I could clarify. AIUI There is no precise reliable model of how the global climate acts, even excluding CO2. When I say things are modelled stochastically, this is an admission of ignorance, we model things using statistics and stochastic processes because we can't model them deterministically. We are not sure about stuff. However by mathematical magic we can still glean some predictive power from such models, which is why we use them. In physics these statistical models can become precise, e.g. when we model things like gas particles, but in fields like climate change this precision doesn't occur
Many of the stochastic processes we use have a mean reverting random component and a long term deterministic drift. In the short term the random stochastic noise dominates, drowning out evidence of drift, in the long term however the drift may dominate. This is why it is very difficult to make deductions about drift in the short term. I am vague about short term and long term because these concepts are determined by the relative magnitudes of the variance of the stochastic component compared to the magnitude of the drift over time.
As far as I can see Curry does not reject AGW. In fact she accepts it. She is instead rejecting the way the ideas are presented and governments reactions to them. In particular she states the current actions to limit CO2 are not enough to significantly affect AGW and secondly she does not expect AGW to be catastrophically bad by the end of the century, < +2 instead of > +4 degrees. However as she admits there is a great deal of uncertainty.
I think it is you who misinterpret and misrepresented Curry. I suspect the reason she has been ostracised from the global warming is because she makes it easy for people to misrepresent her arguments as contradicting AGW.
You have got to remember that even in the climate science community only a few will have the technical expertise to understand how the models work or what they really mean.
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wrote:
I can see we're going to have to agree to differ on this.

Did you read the PDF article she prepared for a group of lawyers in response to a request for a view on the models used to predict global warming, the link to which I put at the top of this thread? I reproduce the Exec. Summary here:
Quote
"There is considerable debate over the fidelity and utility of GCM climate models. This debate occurs within the community of climate scientists, as scientists disagree about the amount of weight to give to climate models relative to observational analyses. Climate model outputs are also used by economists, regulatory agencies and policy makers. Hence, GCMs have received considerable scrutiny from a broader community of scientists, engineers, software experts, and philosphers of science. This report attempts to describe the debate surrounding climate models to an educated but nontechnical audience.
Key summary points:
. GCMs have not been subject to the rigorous verification and validation procedures that is the norm for engineering and regulatory science.
. There are valid concerns about a fundamental lack of predictability in the complex nonlinear climate system.
. There are numerous arguments supporting the conclusion that climate models are not fit for the purpose of identifying with high confidence the proportional amount of natural versus human causes to the 20th century warming.
. There is growing evidence that climate models predict too much warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.
. The climate model simulation results for the 21st century reported by the IPCC do not include key elements of climate variability, and hence are not useful as projections for how the 21st century climate will actually evolve.
Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate system. However, the above points support the conclusion that current GCM climate models are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems. It is this application of climate model results that fuels the vociferousness of the debate surrounding climate models."
End quote.
That seems pretty damning of climate models to me, put diplomatically of course.
--

Chris

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snip

That's not fair! Why am I not a billionaire then? Not much point in being a new elite if you aren't part of the 1% who owns 50% of whatever.
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Roger Hayter

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You are Winston Smith AICMFP.
Basically you a not a member of the Inner Party.
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lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores
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OK, I think I understand your definition of 'left' a little better now.
--

Roger Hayter

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On 10/02/17 20:28, Roger Hayter wrote:

Are you a marxist then? Or a high up member of the EU?
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On 10/02/2017 19:00, Chris Hogg wrote:

[snip]
Summary - a naughty scientist reveals, to the common folk, that other scientists cannot see the future, clearly.
Who'd thunk it? Weather forecasts not always accurate!
However scientists are sure* (*trademark = 95% confident) that we are having a warming period over and above what we would have naturally. This includes Ms Curry.
OK I can see you are rightly shocked and appalled that your future is not clearly mapped out for you, so what do you do?
Do you:
A) Decide all scientists are charlatans and can be ignored. If there advice isn't perfect I'm not touching it. I understand the world is getting hotter but no one can prove I'm to blame so we'll just have to wait to see how hot it gets.
B) Think oh dear! The world is getting hotter. I wonder how hot it will get. Just in case there is a catastrophe I will try to stop what scientists tell me I'm doing that causes the warming. I don't know what will happen for sure but I will accept an, imperfect, best guess from the scientists.
I've also had a look at some of the other stuff Curry has said, in particular arguments she was using to reject the precautionary principle. Some of it looked a bit odd. Firstly she was assuming a roughly normal PDF for the risk of catastrophe, prompting me to go why, WTF? Secondly she was quoting an example that the precautionary principle dictates that we should be defending against asteroid strike rather than global warming. She said the risk of asteroid strike is more uncertain. AIUI the risk of asteroid strike is relative well known to be very small. So again I was left wondering about her ability. But of course I'm not an expert in the field and I'm just anonymously shooting the breeze in a diy group.
The point is that with people who want to oppose a scientific orthodoxy they will normally be able to find one or two scientists ready to break ranks and support them. This may be because the scientist is genuinely stupid, a PHD often doesn't seem to require a sharp mind, or because the scientist may see some advantage in doing so (fame, cash).
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When global warming first became news and of public concern, I, like most, was quite convinced of the problem, and was scornful of those who doubted it. But over the intervening twenty or so years, the more I read, the more sceptical I became.
It is sad that those few climatologists who have spoken out against the hypothesis of AGW have been so widely vilified, even though those climatologists are very experienced and at one time highly respected in their fields.
It is also sad that you seem to be going along with that vilification, a great deal of which is blatant 'ad hominem' attack with no consideration of the scientific arguments or respect for the experience of the scientists in question.
--

Chris

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It was the leaked e-mails from University of East Anglia (or was it Essex?) which did it for me.

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bert

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On 2/11/2017 9:43 PM, bert wrote:

UEA.
They were revealing, because they showed that the scientists had some doubts. This is no criticism, and no bad thing at all. Feynman used to point out that you could recognise really good scientists by the trouble they took to test and try to invalidate their current pet theory. Something we don't seem to see enough of these days, IMHO.
One of them said something like "We need to get rid of the medieval warm period" which was taken by some to imply a serious proposal to deliberately cook the figures.
I take the more charitable view that this was a shorthand within the group to say that the simplest models were not going to be viable. There is nothing wrong at looking at data which don't seem to support a theory firstly to see whether they are in fact correct and, if they are, then whether there is a subsidiary explanation for them which does not invalidate a more general model.
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