Where this blog is heading (subject to derailment, of course)

I have been scouring through WtD to address some on the issues presented. Some of these are:

The science is settled.

The scientific debate ALWAYS remains open. It is a characteristic of science. If quantum mechanics were treated the same way climate science is, when the CERN researchers found a particle that they believed to be going faster than the speed of light, they would have shredded the data because the settled science said particles do not move faster than the speed of light. Science is ALWAYS an ongoing search for knowledge. If it’s “settled”, it it NOT science.

Equating “deniers” with conspiracy theorists is a logical fallacy and baseless. At best, it’s a shady marketing technique—like the tomato company commercial where a speaker tells the female shopper that other tomato brands are chemically peeled. While she may be horrified, the science says such a practice is safe. Still, using the word chemical frightens the woman and keeps her from asking if the chemical peel is safe. Now, when she looks at other brands, she sees CHEMICAL PEEL. Associating something bad to other tomatoes is in no way a valid, scientific process. It’s cheap shot marketing. So is trying to tie “deniers” to conspiracy theories.

Peer-reviewed scientists are the only authorities

I had a friend tell me I should not use certain soaps because the soap turned litmus paper dark. She had no idea what the reaction with the paper meant, just that it was bad. She based her beliefs on what authorities told her, in virtually every decision. I could explain something in detail, then a month later her doctor would tell the same thing and she would then believe it. A surgeon talked her into back surgery when she came in for something totally different. She refused to get a second opinion—her doctor was all the authority she needed. This is anecdotal but is does indicate my point—how you choose and authority has a huge impact of the outcome of your choices. The definition of authority directly affects the conclusion reached.

Your coworkers and friends are suspect

Who people know has nothing to do with the accuracy of scientific theory. Unless you are a hermit, you probably know a few people with some unconventional beliefs. Attempting to push “guilt by association” is NOT acceptable. For years, I did not put my name on my blogs because WHAT I wrote was all that mattered, not who I was. People who read my pages were expected to do research and see if the viewpoint or theory presented was correct. Ideas are separate from the speaker.

“Follow the money”

  1. I do not know any skeptics who get payments from “Big Oil”, though I do know several who would like to. This is falsehood designed to make people think all skeptics are in the pocket of some huge, mean industry. Most skeptics write for the same reason believers do—they feel they need to give voice to science.
  2. Environmentalists and climate scientists are funded. Yet skeptics are vilified on the basis of possibly be being funded. Not reasonable.
  3. “Big Oil” benefits from wind and solar subsidies, yet I have not read climate scientists to outlaw oil companies and oil money (anyone whose income or inheritance can be traced to oil companies) from receiving the subsidies. Why not?

Follow the money does NOT disprove or prove anything. It’s a rule of thumb for a place to start looking. It has been misused and abused by many, many people. There are many more factors that must be considered. (Al Gore sold his TV station to an oil nation—follow the money? He’s financed by oil. Right?)

I will address these issues in more depth in future postings. I do read your comments and check out the links presented. I want to be thorough in my research and that takes time.


73 comments on “Direction

  1. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    You can google ‘poptech 1100′ and his site will come up.

    I did this and the first thing that struck me was why this is on Popular Technology website that claims “Impartial Analysis of Popular Trends and Technology”?

    Looking at the links on the site it seems more about right wing politics than either technology or real climate science – alarm bells should be ringing, there is nothing impartial here.

    As for the actual list, the next thing I noticed is that many of theses papers have nothing to do with climate science, they too are about policy and politics of climate change from a view point that has already rejected AGW as a serious problem. Many are published in ‘suspect’ journals like engineering and energy related ones or that from the CATO institute. These are not considered real ‘peer reviewed’ journals. Even Creationists have their own peer reviewed journals but no mater how much research they publish to ‘prove’ the earth is less than 10 thousand years old it doesn’t make it so. Another thing I noticed was that some were published by the people I mentioned above that are funded by the fossil fuel industries. I suspect if I had time I could find many likes back to such funding. The papers that seem to be from bona fide journals all seem very old, published in the 80s and not really against AGW, just early research that has been superseded or refined. So this list all seems rather suspect.

    However I have no doubt people like you and Reality Check are now calling foul! You think I have tried to make as many excuses as possible to avoid accepting peer review science that contradicts my view. So lets just say I accept this list of 1100 peer reviewed papers, no matter how suspect, as quality science. Even so, when considered with the 13950 papers that suggest AGW is real, we still have about 92% of research papers supporting AGW.

    With those odds, you should be concerned.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Well the hundred papers or so I have in my database, such as it is, are mostly from just the last year because my harddisk died in 2011. I don’t bother to back climate stuff up because its just a hobby. Did you say they only found 24? Wow, they must’ve been looking under every rock!

      Presumably you don’t think continental drift happens, heliobacter pylorii is important or planets orbit in ellipses, since the original consensuses did not support those findings.

      In science things change when new data is received.

      • Bruce of Newcastle says:
        “Did you say they only found 24? Wow, they must’ve been looking under every rock!”

        The methodology shows that there was the same chance of finding sceptic papers, but they had to have been published in real peer review journals and reviewed by qualified scientists..

        “In science things change when new data is received.”

        But cherry picking remains the same!

      • Bruce says:

        Drat! Caught! I’ll just have to use 150 years. Or would 250 years be better?

        Just think how good the IPCC ensemble models would be if they included solar magnetic and ocean cycles? Why, the UK and US governments would save ever so much money from all that unnecessary modeling! And all those highly qualified people would be a boon to the economy working in McDonalds and Walmart!

  2. Reality check says:

    “Big oil is a conspiracy term.”

    Not really. Big Oil are the big oil companies like ExonMobil and Koch and the people and front groups they fund like Heartland, American Progress, Cato Institute, etc. to influence opinion and politics. There is all well documented.

    “The internet is less limited.”

    Peer review is that standard for all forms of research. What you suggest by rejecting it and looking to the internet is that we should consider the astrologers, homoeopathy, young earth creationists, water diviners, faith healers, physic surgeons, flat earthers, real conspiracy theorists, etc. Some of these even have their own ‘peer review’ journals. All of this is because on this subject the accepted science, based on empirical research and data, carried out by the most academically qualified people there are, doesn’t tell you what you want to hear and is a far cry for the sceptical approach you claimed to follow earlier.

  3. Lazarus: After thinking about this at 3 AM, I realized I cannot really give you a list. The reason I don’t recognize the skeptics you listed is I don’t read based on the name on the paper. I read the idea, the theory, the hypothesis–whatever the paper is covering–and then look for other research on the same topics. I then compare all the information I have found and look for problems and strengths in the arguments. It may take additional research before I decide whether or not I agree with the premise and I may not decide at the time. Also, if additional research shows up that negates the first, I will do more research and see if there are additional studies backing the new one. I don’t follow researchers, I follow research.

    • Tony Duncan says:

      My goodness Reality. if that is what you do that sounds like a skeptic to me 🙂

    • Lazarus says:

      That sounds like a good policy and one I admire.

      However I mentioned on another post that a survey has found 13950 scientific research papers on climate change with just 24 papers arguing global warming was either false or was caused by something other than human activities. I can’t help wonder how many of these papers you have looked at and if you have balanced them at nearly 600 to 1.

      I also can’t help wondering if you reject the idea of peer-reviewed, one of the corner stones of all science and critical analysis, and if so in favor of what?

      But you seem to have ducked the reason I first posted, to show you that you are wrong in thinking ‘skeptics’, especially the most respected in the skeptic community, don’t receive funding from big oil or their front groups. Anthony Watts certainly has. Most of the scientists who have been involved in publishing the 24 papers mentioned above have too. The question is whether this information will influence you when considering their claims and evidence?

      • Big oil is a conspiracy term. No, it does not change what I think when I consider their claim. The data/claim is separate from the speaker. The data is the only authority is science.

        I reject peer review as indicating the truth or falsity of the data. There are a limited number of journals and a limited number of articles that get published. Several journals may reject a study, then one publishes it. Why? If peer review looks for errors and polices the science, why does one journal reject a study and another publish it? Lack of space? The paper still passed peer review. This is very limiting. As for what to replace it with, put the paper out to all of the science community on the internet (you can charge an outrageous fee for access if you want to weed out non-professionals). If the internet makes you nervous, then send the study to all meteorologists, climatologists, physicists, statisticians for review. Publish in whatever venue works. The internet is less limited.

      • Bruce of Newcastle says:

        Lazarus – Poptech databases 1,100+ sceptical papers on his site. I have not looked at them. I suspect the survey you describe might not have looked especially hard for sceptical papers, or had interesting criteria, like Doran and Zimmerman had. One should always read the fine print on these things in such a politically charged space as this is.

        You can google ‘poptech 1100′ and his site will come up. WordPress doesn’t like him for some reason, and links sometimes get flagged as spam.

        I also can add my randomly collected collection of recent climate papers is already 4 or 5 times the size of the lonely ’24’. That raises questions too. I haven’t been especially energetic in keeping such papers, they are just ones which catch my eye and look interesting enough to keep.

        Science is not a democracy. If one paper is right and 100 wrong then the right one gets the guernsey. Einstein said this himself about his own relativity paper when he got the same treatment that sceptics are getting now. Human behaviour doesn’t change much.

  4. Lazarus says:

    Reality check says:

    “I said I don’t know skeptics that get money–and I certainly do not know any of the people mentioned, so in keeping with the “exact” meaning of a comment, your list is irrelevant.”

    Well of course if you don’t know these skeptics, (some of the few skeptics that could be considered ‘qualified’ having actually published some research), then you can make such a claim based purely on your own ignorance.

    Would it be too much to ask you list some skeptics you do know off, that you would consider qualified on the subject of climate change?

    • “I do not know any skeptics who get payments from “Big Oil”, though I do know several who would like to.”
      NOT “I do not know OF any skeptics…..”.
      I used to read Anthony Watts. The others I am not familiar with.
      I will consider providing a list if you first tell me if peer-reviewed journals are your criteria for “qualified”. If so, I will consider whether to indulge the logical fallacy and put together a list.

  5. Bruce: Your comment to Tony “If you think sea ice anomaly in September 2012 is important you also have to scientifically explain sea ice anomaly in February 2013.” Do both events have to have the same cause? Do they have to be explained at the same time? Just wondering.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Do both events have to have the same cause?

      Rc – I don’t know. My observation is that people place so much emphasis on the Arctic and so many excitable news reports are issued about it. Very few reports appear on Antarctic ice. Yet there seems to be a rise in Antarctic sea ice which more or less matches the fall in the Arctic. In September there was an all time high of Antarctic sea ice area for those dates yet there was almost no reporting. This irks me, as scientists should attempt to explain all coincident data, not just half of it.

      The website which reported this first also notes the anticorrelation of the AMO and Arctic sea ice area. This is a reasonable hypothesis, since the AMO is based on northern Atlantic SST’s. You will see it has a roughly 60 year period. This has been shown to be the case for over a millenium in one of Michael E Mann’s own papers.

      If you look at the same global ice anomaly graph I mentioned to Tony you can just about see signs of the same 60 year sine-like cycle in it too. But we only have data from 1979, so there’s no way to confirm this correlation for another few decades.

      I should add that the ~60 year cycle has quite a large impact on global temperatures. Because it bottomed out in 1900 and peaked in 2000 (1.5 wavelengths later) it contributes about 0.3 C of the temperature ‘rise’ across the 20th C, which in IPCC’s AR4 was given overall as 0.74 C.

      So it seems likely to me that the AMO, representing SST’s in the northern Atlantic, drives much of the minimum we have recently had in Arctic ice. The AMO peaked very recently and is just starting its cyclical fall. The PDO on the other hand peaked in 2000 or thereabouts, and has been falling for a while. You would expect much more impact of it on the Antarctic than the Arctic because the Aleutian Islands resticts teleconnection between the Pacific and the Arctic, whereas the Arctic is wide open to the Atlantic.

      Not sure all this answers your questions, but maybe it’ll be of interest.

      • It is interesting. Thank you. The 60 year cycle came to mind when seeing data that only goes back 50 years.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        I am sorry but you are totally ignoring what I have written. I gave you quite reasonable explanation that are simple enough for someone woth my limited understanding of science can easily logically understand. You have offered no coutner to my explanations nor have you given any indication taht you even think those explanations are possible likely or almost surely correct. You just bring up explanations with no support that they can indeed explin the tremendous change int he arctic. I jsut saw an article about a team form Michigan State i think that analyzed the storm and came to the conclusion that at most 1/10th of the arctic ice loss was due to the storm. And that, as I pointed out, is ONLY becuase the sea ice was so thin and weak, it’s impact was MUCH larger than could ahve been even 10 years ago.

        You are trying to sound reasonable and I at least appreciate that. Your 60 year cycle would have an extremely low arctic SIE in the 1950’s when in fact it was it was no where near this low. Satellite data are by no means the only reference we have. Ships have been going to the arctic for at least 600 years, and in spite of brave attempts by denier websites there is absolutely no idication that the arctic was anywhere near this ice fre. there are also other sources of detemining to varying degrees of accuracy how much ice was in the arctic. You give me an account, even a LEGEND of vikings on Ellesmere Island or Nova Zemla and I will reconsider
        Your casual dismissal of the likelihood of this being a historically unprecedented situation. it is the type of thing that causes me to label someone a denier.
        Of course the ocean and other cycles impact imporant aspects of short and medium term climate. o one questions that. If there was any valididty to the claim that AMO was responsible there woudl have been SOMEONE that would have explaiend this before 2007. I know of no one who denies significant effects form ACC that predicted decreased arctic sea ice ove rthe last 10 years. I have repeatedly chappanged numeoprus very smart people to come up with someone, blog or otherwise that was promoting this idea, and get lots of runaround but no one has produced anyhting . The AMO theory is suddenly an explanation becaue deniers were provenr flat out wrong about arctic sea ice and in fact ridiculed scientists who were on the extreme as being lunatics. After being shown to be so disasterously and unambiguously wrong there needs to be some way out so that there is no need to acknowledge the possibility of ACC having serious consequences. Steve Goddard banned me form his site right before the new record was broken becuase i was on his case IN MARCH about his ridiculing the possibility of a new record. As it becamse clear he would be completely wrong, he apparently decided that he could not allow people to see me throw his words back at him for all his followers to see.

      • Bruce of Newcastle says:

        Your casual dismissal of the likelihood of this being a historically unprecedented situation.

        No, Tony, I don’t casually dismiss anything. I seek to understand and explain these processes to myself, preferably using the pure data. People have opinions, but the data is the baseline. Peer review is a way for people to get support for opinions. When I read a scientific paper I look at the data, decide what I think it means, and read what the authors think it means. Then I make a judgement. If I disagree with the authors I do so for reasons which I support with other data. Sometimes even their own data. I don’t necessarily take their word for it. That is scepticism.

        Mark Sereeze head of NSIDC thought the Arctic might be ice free in 2008. It wasn’t. That was an opinion. The previous year he thought it might be ice free by 2030. That was his opinion then.

        What I say is there are several plausible reasons why Arctic sea ice extent was low last summer. Soot. The AMO. Weather. CO2 (yes, pCO2 is highest its been in human history, and yes my data suggests it has an effect). But if the head of the Center which is supposed to know about these things is wrong about it too how can you expect me to be perfect?

        It is my opinion that ice extent is at a general minimum in the Arctic, and it will regain area over the next few years. We shall see. But even if I am wrong, so what? It doesn’t make much difference. Sea ice melting doesn’t raise the sea level due to Archimedes Principle. About the only thing that could realistically happen is the US, Russia and Canada getting into a tiff about oil drilling.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Bruce, youa re correct Serreze wa stating an opinion. I have read his words. He and a few other people have expressed the possibility of extreme rapid ice loss based on extrapolation of the trends at that point. They were ALARMED by the huge loss of ice and made public statements because of that alarm. That is not unreasopnable to me. Your pointing to a few people and ignoring the vast majority of experts who grossly underestimated the loss again posjtns to the positions of deniers and not a skeptical viewpoint. Once again you are ignoring most of what I have written as explanation that makes complete sense to someone like me with only a basic understanding of science.
        the idea that ice blowing out of the bering stright changed sea temps is a provocative one. How does last year compare to other years? was there a huge change? I know nothing of these isseus, but I would be happy to read some experts opinion about this as being an unusual event. It seems to me that this melting could explain the pause in the formation of an El Niño, but one can conjecture all sorts of things when one is not an expert. It is not a question of believing you. it is a question of relevance.
        As for your continued interest in antarctic sea ice. I have explained the reasons why it is not of such interest at this point. The sea ice is all on the periphery of a continantal shelf. the increase over normal historical rates is not that great. Since the increase is around the circumfernce of a large land mass winter ice will extend round a larger area. Int eh summer it pretty much falls back to the edges of the land mass. You show me that antarctic sea ice in increasing in volume significantly, or that summer sea ice is increasing significantly and I will start to pay attention. You are not discussing science here, you just appear to be trying to undermine the idea of arcitc sea ice being an indication of ACC, by speciifcally ignoring science. Again this is another tactic of deniers. Avoid responding to reaonable scientifical explanation and presenting peripheral issues that can be conjectured to have relevance
        and Again, I would consdier your AMO if ANYONE had been predicting this huge arcitc ice loss beofre 2007, or if there was evidence that this level of ice loss had occurred every 60 years or periodically something close to it based on interaction with other cycles.
        Saying there is no change in SIE global anomaly becaus in MArch that one metric is close to normal is pure propoganda. i have explained why, and you have not addressed that. Unless you can show me how ACC must have winter ocean temps above 28° in the sub arctic and that winter sea ice should not reform when summer sea ice is reduced to these levels.
        The idea that this is meaningless anyway, even if true, again sounds very much like a denier tactic. Being blasé about the complete change of one of the poles of the planet seems extraordinarily irrepsonsible and totally unscientific. It is a crucial prediction of a theory that contends global temps could increase by 2-6°C in the next 50-100 years. the potential consequences are rather unknown and lack of concern about that possibility is totally unscientific.

      • Bruce says:

        Antarctic sea ice coverage is on track to beat the highest recorded minimum. This year the Arctic had the lowest recorded minimum. Does CO2 only work on half of the Earth? In another time the data at the link would have had excitable types screeching ‘Ice Age, Ice Age!’

  6. Bruce says:

    Tony – On sea ice, I agree the Arctic ice coverage is lower than average. It was especially low this past winter because a big storm fractured a lot of the ice and pushed it out the Bering Strait. NOAA mentioned this.

    Antarctic sea ice coverage has been at record highs.

    Global ice coverage today is almost exactly average. That is not consistent with global warming.

    I suspect the rise in diesel engine usage in the last 50 years may have something to do with it. Recent papers show soot has a larger impact that previously thought. A bit of soot on the northern icecap would cause a significant change in albedo. It wouldn’t affect the Antarctic as its too far away, and most population and industry is in the north. But this is just my opinion. I have no idea why the Antarctic is so high other than to not the PDO has been in cold mode for about a decade and we’re in a deep solar minimum.

    • Tony Duncan says:

      Bruce, saying the Arctic is lower than average is a extraordinary understatement. you could say the year 2002 was lower than average, but last year was a phenomenal completed unanticipated loss except but the most extreme alarmists. I predicted 4.9milK2 at the beginning of the summer based on previous years and the conditions in June. I would be very surpised if this was not the lowest SIE in over a thousand, maybe since the Roman warming period.
      Antarctic ice is, as you know quite different from the Artic. My understanding is that climate models predict antarctica will be the last place to feel the effects because of the lack of seawater to impact anywhere near the south pole.
      Also global sea ice is NOT almost exactly average. While Antarctic ice has increased somewhat, the huge decrease in the extent and espcially in the volume of the arctic is much more than the slight increase in the Antarctic.
      It disappoints me that you are using the arctic storm canard as the explanation for the arctic loss. before the stron ice extent was already clearly heading toward a new minimum. You are seriously contending that the storm caused the breakup and transport of 600K2 kilometers of ice? The storm itself was unusual and the ice would not have been nearly as effected as it was except that ice thickness is so low. All of these things are quite consistant with ACC. If you can show me any study that indicates the ice extent would not have been a record because of the storm I will be happy to adjust my belief.

      I agree that some sort of particulate affecting albedo could be having an impact on SIE in the arctic and less so in the southern hemisphere. That might explain why ACC predictions about los of arctic sea are so far very innacurate becuase they have grossly underestimated the degree of loss.
      Also glad you mentioned the solar minimum, as that must have some impact even if it is small.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Tony – You didn’t look at the link to global sea ice area. The anomaly value is zero, pretty close. It was -2 million km^2 in September, but has come back to zero as of now. Its not my data, I’m just pointing it out. Last I saw Arctic was -0.6 Mkm^2 and Antarctic +0.6 Mkm^2.

      Here is what NOAA said about the Arctic ice minimum in August:

      According to analysis by the NSIDC, during August, sea ice was below average across all regions of the Arctic, except the East Greenland Sea, where the ice extent was near average. The rapid ice loss for the month was dominated by large ice losses across the East Siberian and the Chukchi Seas, partially due to a large and strong cyclone which impacted the region early in August. The storm broke up a large portion of the ice sheet causing it to melt faster. The Northern Sea Route opened up by the middle of August, but the Northwest Passage remained closed at the end of the month.

      My emphasis. That was from a 30 second Google search. How can you possibly say ‘Arctic storm canard’?

      I do not say that Arctic ice coverage is not lower than average. I give a specific reason why it was this summer and a general reason why it could be falling in area even if temperatures are not generally rising globally. I have restricted my comments to the official data. Global sea ice area is at the average today. That is the black and the white of the data.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        I am no scientist and only have a basic understanding of physics, but your comment is just rubbish. Saying the sea ice anomaoly is zero NOW is worse than misleading it is just propoganda. the only anomoly figure that means anything IS the september figure. As long as there is winter in the northern hemisphere and ocean temps go below 28° (or some slightly lower figure) the arctic ice will reform almost completely. You know this and I know this and it is rather insulting to pretend otherwise.

        I have had this stupid argument with three other sites and it is rather wearisome. the storm very likely had some effect, but nothing close to it causing the new record which SHOCKED almost everyone. Did you SEE the predictions even in AUGUST? only a couple fo the most alarmist scientists were near the mark. As I said my prediction was 4.9. the arctic storm is a complete canard. it is trying to explain away reality by attributing an effect to something that could not possibly had that effect. As I said if you can show me any study that supports the idea that the storm caused 600Km2 loss of sea ice more than would have been caused I will happily eat my words.
        You are ignoring almost everything that I wrote in my last post and if you are unwilling to have a serious discussion I am sorry but I will not engage you in wasting both of our time. And please do not twist and mischaracterize what I wrote. it is very clear and based on relevant data. this is an issue i have been following, and know the ins and outs of quite well.

      • Bruce says:

        Tony – Better get yourself some ketchup then. Its not my data. Cryosphere Today has the global sea ice anomaly at average right now. Can you read a graph? The red squiggly line.

        It is now winter in the Arctic and summer in the Antarctic. What is so special about summer in the Arctic which doesn’t apply to summer in the Antarctic? Aside from soot, which I mentioned.

        If you think sea ice anomaly in September 2012 is important you also have to scientifically explain sea ice anomaly in February 2013. Otherwise you are doing that terrible thing our CAGW friends accuse sceptics of doing: the dreaded cherry picking.

        Data is what it is. If you ignore it you are just emulating a cartoon ostrich.are just emulating a cartoon ostrich.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Bruce, give me a break. i will respond to this one time because you are obviously very smart and know a hell of a lot more about science than I do.

        you are NOt repsonidng to any of my specific points reaosnably. I am used to that on denier sites. they just keep throwing stuff at me that they think makes their case and ignore anything I write that is incvonvenient.

        The REASON SIE is important in September and not so much in March is because SIE in the Arcitc is all water so is very susceptible to changes in temp. the loss of 3-4 million Km2 is unoprecedented for, as I said porbably more than 1,000 years. It takes a HUGE amount of energy to decrease the etent and especally volume of that much ide. Antarctic ice has been pretty strady. the highs recently are of an order of magnitude less then the lows from teh arctic.
        And in MARCH almost all the ice refreezes in the arctic because ti goes below the freezing pint of sea water then. But it is vert THIN ice and will quickly refreezew next year.
        Last year the SIE was almsot normal in MArch an by septemebr had shattered the old Minimum SIE. It takes very little scientific knowledge to understadn these basic things.
        As I said in my previous post Antarctica is ALL land so temps can get MUCH colder and the water under the se ice in Artic can not go below a certain amount becaus it circulates some witht he resrt of the ocean water

      • Bruce says:

        Tony – I don’t really want to comment more, we can agree to disagree. But I agree that a huge amount of energy is/was required to melt all that ice.

        But where the energy came from is an interesting question.

        I am not internet savvy enough to do this as an animated GIF, but I can say that I was watching the Pacific sea surface temperature maps on and off from about June, because of the predicted large el Nino that GISS had talked about.

        You could well be right that the August storm wasn’t the reason (or the only reason). But I can say a big cool patch appeared in the sea off of SW Alaska in late June and migrated slowly down the coast of California and then extingished the warm patch of ocean forming with the el Nino at the Equator. Which then died. Now we have a weak la Nina in its place.

        I could see that process happening for months. It looked to me like the ice was broken up and blown out of the Bering Strait into the northern Pacific. Where it melted, cooling the sea temperature. It was really interesting to watch.

        So it looks to me a lot of the energy came from the Northern Pacific. I don’t expect you to believe me, but if you want to see these SST graphs you can find them here:

  7. Tony Duncan says:


    You say you have researched possibly the most important factor in climate science that shows unequivocably that the vast majority of climate science is completely wrong, and the that sensitivity for CO2X2 is LESS than Even Pat Michaels contends, and you do not think it worth your TIME to follow up on this?
    That is both mindboggling and incredibly irresponsible. We have the vast majority of climate scientists saying a figure of at least 1.7 and some as high as 4. this has convinced people like me that we need to take serious action immediately in order to prevent serious consequences.
    Over and over again on denier sites I have seen people make extremely reasonable assertions with all sorts of equations and charts and correlations that I could not completely follow that PROVE all sorts of things showing that almost every aspect of science related to climate change is wrong. I have repeatedly told them to show their work to Lindzen, Spnecer or Christie, and have THEM back up their work. No one does it. So many people decrying the horrible consequences of implementing policies to decrease carbon emissions, yet the people who have the scientific proof that it is a total waste, can not be bothered with forcing the corrupted scientists to have to deal with the truth. The one case I know where this occurred is Anthony Watts and his UHI studies. He HAd Pilke Sr. Publicly saying this research was a “game changer”. Strnagel yenough after it was made public, Pilke mumbled something as he backed away.
    Most of these people I consider to be cranks. People proving that CO2 is not anthropogenic, that sea levels are FALLING, that temperatures have not risen at all, that arctic ise is not decreasing. that there is no habitat change among animals, that there is no chance of acidity affecting sea life,that solar radiation is the sole cause of tempertaure increases, that specific life forms are not threeatened by cliamte change, etc etc etc.
    How on earth could you be so blasé about exposing the greatest boondoogle in the history of modern science? I know some climate scientists and the ones I know are not ideologues. Whenever I have had discussions with them, they have always acknowledged uncertainty, both ones I have brought up and ones I did not know about that they brought up.
    If I was a ACC denier or cliamte skeptic I would be demanding that you get your work published, becuase there would have to be thousands of scientists who would be able to verify the truth of your work, if it is valid and would eventually force the science to acknowledge that the danger for ACC is marginal at best. You would not only be famous, but you surely would become quite rich.
    if just the pursuit of truth is not enough for you.
    I understand the frustration of someone who has a clear idea of something and has “experts” poo poo it. I had a similar situation when I was a teenager. i was very into science and relativity, and in my high school the teachers did not know enough to follow my reasoning. I got to college and explained my theory to a graduate student TA. he listened carefully and then chewed me out for being such a stupid arrogant idiot, who could even consider that he could modify the theory of relativity when he did not understand basic mechanics yet. he totally discouraged me and I pretty much dropped the idea. then I read an article about Paul Dirac and they described his development of the same idea as mine in the ’30’s he had fleshed it out, and based it partly as i did on mach’s principle, and with mathmatical wizardry that I could probably never understand decided that while his idea may have been true, there would be no way to determine it. Instead of encouraging my creativity and insight, I had been crushed for attacking the status quo.
    I may think you are a crank, but if you turn out to be right. I want you to know that it will piss me off no end if you allowed my ignorance to continue when you had the correct answer and have been keeping it from the world. And I will not let you off the hook if you do not get this work publsiehd in some way or another

    • Bruce says:

      Tony – I did my duty. I made a submission under my own name to the Multiparty Commission for Climate Change (MPCCC) at the request of one of our parliamentarians who suggested I do so. At least he responded, the MPCCC did not and the ALP Government blithely went ahead with their carbon tax legislation. Should I have done more when it is not my field and the chance of economic support to write and submit a paper would not be forthcoming from ARC or any other funding body? I have a career. I’ve had many patents granted from doing it. I get paid well.

      There are plenty of papers out there. For example David Evans (ex modeller for the Australian Greenhouse Office who has an amazing 6 uni degrees) has a good write up on the relative merits of the two hypotheses. You can find it here. He’s done a Youtube too which you can find if you want.

      I only confirmed for my personal satisfaction that climate sensitivity is low. It would be remiss of me to comment on blogs without having made a solid investigation of the subject, since I am a scientist. Likewise when called upon to defend my position I do so as transparently as possible and with citations to the literature or other sources which can be easily found and read. This is what scientists should do. If you wish to replicate the calcs I did, all the information is there with the graphs. One guy did so in a blog discussion, he replicated my graph of the correlation between HadCRUT and previous solar cycle length, which cannot be explained by anything other than a solar dynamo effect. He then went very quiet about climate science, which suggests that at least he was prepared to think about things.

      I would like people of the left particularly TO think about this. There’s evidence in my country Australia that the left is losing support precisely for their crazy adherence to the climate ‘consensus’. There is no reason they should be so wedded to it except that most climate scientists, like Mike Mann, are strongly of the left and the left tribally defends its own. Defending something that is scientifically wrong, though, is futile. It will come out eventually. Not least because governments are skint right now and stumping up large amounts of money for silly unnecessary climate ‘mitigation’ schemes is very unpopular. Its all going to collapse, and I’d rather that the mainstream left doesn’t collapse with it.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        you are so matter of fact about all this. you did your “DUTY”. jesus man, if you are right this is the most important thing you could do by FAR. Submitting it to a “committee” isn’t going to do anythign, nor will having a blogger repeat a correlation. Your “here” link is not working for me, so I cannot see what it says.

        I am a little dubious of your claims as they have NOT been taken up by established cliamte scientists who ARE spending much of their time and energy trying to show that ACC is not an issue. What have people like Lindzen, Christie or Spencer said about your analysis? Why did none of them figure out what you, who acknowledge are not a climate scientist, seemed to have figured out so easily. As I have said repeatedly there are thousands of scientists, who liek you are capable of understanding the issues prettty clearly. If you have prorf that the sensitivity is THAT wrong it should be pretty easy to convince a lot of scientists pretty quickly
        You have not responded adequately to John analysis of the papers you posted regarding clouds. As I have discovered in my arguments with deniers, often when i check links that are used the characterizations of the conclusions are usually worng or misleading. that seems to be the case with those articles you linked to.
        I agree that unsound science will eventually collapse. yet I have been hearing this very voaclly for the last 4 years form the extreme right. Almost all of whom are cliamte deniers. Yet there are a number of scientists who are believers in ACC who are conservative. Why are they not seeing that the science is wrong? I can connect you with some of them.
        The “crazy” consensus of the left in australia has just had mother nature bring it the worst heat wave in recorded history, that seems to be hardly the type of observation that is going to convince australians of the craziness of the theory.
        But you are right. i consider myself a skeptic. I was a “believer” a number of years ago, but reading right wing blogs and talking to real climate scientists have made me much more leery of specific predictions. I think that there are a host of factors that can affect ACC, and some of them are likely to have impacts larger than we realize.Unfortunately in reading deneir blogs I have seen so much micharacterizatioj and fanatic belief in ridiculous ideas and rigid adherence to ideology, that i am extremely skeptical of anything that comes out of there, including this blog, unless i see it coroborated elsewhere.
        For example I just got into an argument with a very smart blogger and his followers who stated that the recent huge increase in arctic sea ice this winter indicates somehow that arctic ice in NOT melting in any serious fashion. this is of course a bizarre twisting of reality. yet, even such an obvious “lie” does not faze these people. They just acccept it uncritically and then attack, someone like me who points out how crazy their thinking is. the fact that there was the lowest SIE in history prety much ENSURES that the increase in ice in winter will be very large. As long as winter temps go below the freezing temp of sea water
        Yet people like John and Glenn and the climate scientists I know always respond reasobly whenever I have read their interactions with people, even when the people they are addressing are not being rational.
        So I urge you. if you have proof that snesitivity is really so low, then you should make sure that the skeptical climate scienstist absolutely MUST see your work, and heklp to make the scientific community acknowledge it. You clearly are successful enough to spend a good deal of effort on it.

      • Bruce says:

        Sorry, Tony, I must have stuffed up the hyperlink.

        Here it is again:

        I’ll address some of the other things you raise in separate comments to make it easier.

      • Bruce says:

        Tony – On clouds I was specifically rebutting this comment from John:

        Clouds are the only thing not yet fully accounted for but the evidence across the board is small negative feedback, neutral, small positive feedback and large positive feedback

        I had, when I’d seen them come out, bookmarked a good number of papers over the last year which suggest large negative feedback. John did not mention this alternative. I sought to correct his view. John then picked one paper which addresses the effect of individual clouds, which I commented in return. He then went to a second on cloud fraction, where I gave a detailed and carefully thought out response, based on the text of the paper, which shows that the models are not correctly modelling clouds, and are underestimating their effect thereby. Since he did not reply to either comment I took it as a point where to stop (we were getting pretty deep and very OT).

        He did make one response where I did not reply – a link to a scholar google search without any specifics. What was I to do with that?

        If he had continued I would have pointed out the link of cloud fraction to the solar cycle, in GISS’s own data. That suggests solar magnetic influence. Then I would have further explored the work by CERN and the Uni of Aarhus in the last year, which further links cloud generation to solar magnetic activity.

        You will note I cited Butler & Johnston 1996. I was hoping he’d pick up on it, as that was a lead in to the cloud-magnetic link.

        All these are very deep very controversial areas, and I have had long long blog arguments in the past. I can do so if you wish. Do you want me to give you some links?

        I admit that I am not as well read on cloud physics as I could be. But I am not paid for this. I am a chemist not an atmospheric physicist. I am well read in chemistry. I am paid to do that. If I was paid to do climate science I’d prepare myself better. Criticising a scientist who is not an expert in one small area of a very large subject in which he is not employed is like saying that I should fully read up on American football before watching the Superbowl.

      • Bruce says:

        Oops, didn’t close the blockquote properly. Sorry. The first para is from John, the rest from me.

      • Bruce says:

        Tony – On Lindzen, Christy and Spencer, these guys have papers which report their analysis of the satellite measured IR back radiation, where they calculate 2XCO2 in the range 0.5 – 1.3 C.

        This is an area which has been subject to much discussion and I chose not to return to that ground. Anyone who has been reading WUWT and SkS will know these high profile papers have gotten plenty of attention. You can read them if you want, I have multiple times.

        I wanted to cross check the claims of these guys and of the IPCC whether net sensitivity was low or high.

        So I set up a test method which seemed independent. It uses a different approach, but one which is acceptible (see #5 on p42 at link, warning 8Mb PDF). Spencer and Lindzen use #6. The IPCC uses #2 approach.

        My method came out at 0.7 C/doubling.

        There are other ways of doing this. Gleckler et al 2012 showed that sea surface temperatures rose by 0.125 C between 1960 and 2010. You can work out what that means for sensitivity. Assuming that temperature rise is solely due to human produced CO2 the calculation is:

        2XCO2 = 0.125 x log 2/(log 385 – log 310) = 0.4 C/doubling

        The numbers 385 and 310 are the pCO2 concentrations in ppmV in 2010 and 1960.

        Of course there are lags in SST response. But its a very long way from 0.4 C to the IPCC’s value of 3 C or even higher. Can 85% of incident heat hide in the sea where no one can find it? We’re not seeing it in ARGO data right down to 2000m. So this calc also suggests low sensitivity.

        I’ve seen other papers which find low sensitivity, like this one, I may have some others but I don’t have a full lit search.

        In summary, its quite clear that multiple research groups have measured low empirical values for 2XCO2. It is not a new finding. The IPCC chooses to ignore these findings and the CAGW bloggers try very hard to denigrate any such papers because it would falsify CAGW. Why are you so surprised that I wouldn’t want to buy into that fight?

      • Tony Duncan says:


        Well then it is all quite obvious and incontrovertible. From the links you pointed out and the data shown there the theory of ACC is completely untenable based on all the empirical evidence. In this case since the truth is so clear, there shoudl be a huge turnaround int he scientific comunity in the next year or so, and only the most incalcitrant ideologue activist scientist will try to hold onto the failed predictions. What you have posted is totally celar even to me who only has a basic graps of the physics involved, and hardly any mathmatical training. To almost any scientis who looks at the data then, it should be impossible to maintain, any other position.
        Asd I told reality there are numerous conservative cliamte scientists and once they look at the data and see there is nothing to be worried about their ideological bias should clearly make them the first one to come back onboard to realistic science.
        I wonder what Glenn and John have to say about this.

      • Bruce says:

        Tony – Why are you saying “the theory of ACC is completely untenable based on all the empirical evidence” based on what I’ve said? That is rubbish.

        I have maintained all times that 2XCO2 is about 0.7 C, which is basically what sceptics say. That’s why I gave the link to David Evans’ summary of the respective cases.

        A 2XCO2 of 0.7 C is “ACC” as you put it. CO2 produced global warming. I maintain that it is not CAGW. And unless CAGW is possible then no action is needed.

        Everyone agrees it is a logarithmic response. So if we’re at 400 ppmV of CO2 today, 800 ppmV would give +0.7 C, 1600 ppmV would give +1.4 C from todays temperature, and 3200 ppmV on the atmosphere would be required to raise temperature by +2.1 C. The forecast CO2 level is about 800 ppmV in 2100. It would take hundreds and hundreds of years burning carbon at the current rate to get a 2 C rise from today’s temperatures. We don’t have enough fossil fuel in the ground for that.

        I’m saying there is anthropogenic warming, but it is not a problem which requires immediate action. Or any action at all, pretty much.

  8. john byatt says:

    bruce we could do this all day and get no where

    So do we follow the science or accept a guy called bruce chemist hobby calculations on a blog?

    did you not notice that all your cloud feedback papers are just the ones that the sceptics put up based on only their bias, they rubbish peer review but if a paper confirms their belief they are quick to point out the fact .

    science is hard one , selecting only a dozen papers out of many thousands is not the way to resolve any issue, when i read an older paper i then go on to read the citations.

    this is a slow process, I wish you well though your mind is obviously made up that sensitivity is low.

    yet in arguing for a warmer MWP the CS would need to be even higher than we believe to achieve that, not saying that is your position.

    CS range must be within the constraints of paleoclimate evidence, .0.7C does not lay within that constraint



    • Bruce says:

      Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to a new analysis by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

      Sigh. If you omit solar magnetic and ocean cycles you will get a high sensitivity because you’ve fitted to the 20thC temperature record. This is the ‘omitted variable fallacy’. I see it all the time in multiple regression modelling.

      You put these two significant variables in and the derived sensitivity will drop to the empirical measured values ie around 0.5-0.7 C or so per doubling. If you have a 6x too high sensitivity in your model as soon as you extrapolate you get fruitloopery like this. You know those model do not model the hiatus correctly? Don’t you?

  9. john byatt says:


    george b made a comment at WTD which we all need to bear in mind

    George B says:
    February 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm
    Eric seems a bit cranky. Here it is in very simple terms even you tea-party nutjobs can understand:

    1. Climate Scientists know about Climate Science
    2. Everyone else is not a Climate Scientist
    3. Climate Scientists, using Science Facts, tell us there is Climate Change, there is Global Warming, which due to Human Activity
    4. Anyone not a Climate Scientist who thinks they have alternative data on Climate Change it talking through their ar*e

    • Bruce says:

      So George would believe Christy since Christy is a climate scientist. Great to hear!

      Can’t have it both ways. There are two hypotheses, supported by groups of climate scientists on each side. Both cannot be correct, one side or the other is wrong.

  10. john byatt says:

    Bruce you claim that the models are doing pretty poorly

    here is the latest update,

    • Bruce says:

      RC and Dr Schmidt are relentless in this, I will grant you that. Only 32 years? My model is successful over 250 years, and probably could do more than that if I could work out how to do the Maunder better. (I love his very first reference, which he uses all the time and which I falsify over and over every time it comes up using just one graph.)

      Perhaps you’d like to read these two links. Climate models 2.4 to 3.7 times worse than a random walk? How embarassing! I haven’t made a comprehensive study, but I do models regularly for large corporate customers and if delivered what these people deliver I’d hand in my modellers badge in shame.

  11. john byatt says:

    bruce i read the allan 2011 paper, my reading is that the paper is not about total feedback from clouds and the question of negative or positive overall is quite uncontroversial.

    I would email allan and get the facts from him direct though,

    quite willing to help

    • Bruce says:

      John – Its a good thing to offer, but mate I’m an Australian R&D chemist. I’m not paid as a climate scientist and I’d be uncomfortable chasing Dr Allan in the UK and consuming his time for what is for me a personal hobby. Furthermore I am not much interested in clouds per se, just as a part of the whole story – particularly the apparent link between CF and solar magnetism and solar UV variations. Which is interesting stuff. I’m much more interested in the solar aspect, clouds have only been peripheral for me.

      Its been a year or so since I read the paper, so I can’t comment on how it fits with the general climate system without going back to it. But -21 Wm^-2 is a lot.

      My background is also in statistical analysis and modelling, so that’s where I’ve spent more time. But as I said I’ve only spent hobby time for my personal aim of determining whether the low sensitivity or high sensitivity hypothesis fits the data better. My look at the data says the former is the best fit. Certainly so when you look at the solar links such as in Butler & Johnston 1996 as I mentioned before.

  12. john byatt says:

    Bruce i picked one of your papers at random

    the paper is about paramatizing of total cloud cove rnot whether feedback is negative or positive

    some clouds are a positive and some are a negative,

    have you just relied on someone else’s evaluation of this paper?

    • Bruce says:

      John – I have only read the synopsis at the link I gave, but that includes text from the paper. What that text says is that the IPCC ensemble models consistently underestimate actual CF. (I’ve saved a copy of the full paper now – thanks for the link – and I’ll read it all when I get time).

      Now because GCM’s are back cast fitted to the temperature record if you have a high sensitivity for CO2 (due to the added on effect of H2O – the positive feedback) you will have to have a low CF or your back cast will not match the trend, it will be too steep. And indeed from the paper this appears to be true. Certainly they found model CF is considerably lower than the real world data says, according to the paper.

      That is the case if you assume that water vapour is a multiplier of sensitivity (ie why 2XCO2 could be above Arrhenius 1.3 C). I presume this is how the models do it – I’ve never seen a GCM’s code so I don’t know. But this is a logical approach to take, from thermodynamic principles.

      The problem is if you use the 3.7 Wm-2 basic number and subtract from it due to feedback induced increases in water vapour you can’t then allow too much water vapour into the atmosphere or you would get too much warming (in the back cast fit validation exercise). So you have to have less water vapour to make the model fit the temperature record, and you get less clouds. And therefore CF comes out too low.

      This is what I said about ‘epicycles’. The same principle. If you have one parameter too high it will push down the other parameters since you are validating to historical data. The IPCC ensemble models should have an accurate CF. But if they did that the models would no longer back cast (which I might add they are pretty poor at already).

  13. john byatt says:

    bruce, it sounds like you follow Lindzen and Choi papers, we know of many positive feedbacks, eg water vapor, albedo changes, etc, and we know the temperature response from doubling of CO2 is 1.2DegC, so you must know of negative feedbacks which will result in a temperature rise producing a temperature drop that counteracts that,

    what papers are you referring to, as lindzens past papers have all been rebutted, he usualy brings out a new update now and then and then soon after they are also rebutted

    Clouds are the only thing not yet fully accounted for but the evidence across the board is

    small negative feedback, neutral, small positive feedback and large positive feedback

    lindzen’s iris hypothesis was not upheld by observations in the tropics,

    can you explain in your own words your reasons for the outcome of 0.7C remembering that we are still less than half way to the radiative forcing from doubled CO2 (about 3.7w/m2)

    • Bruce says:

      John – I determined 2XCO2 at 0.7 C but my own analysis. No one has done it that way but it is a valid method and would be publishable if I could be bothered (I have my own career and many publications, I don’t need a new career, nor the heartache of trying to get such a paper up). No one in the CAGW space has ever shown this calculation is wrong.

      I did that determination because back in 2008-9 the arguments that 2XCO2 could be low or high made me want to test which was most likely to be true. I wanted as independent a test as possible. I didn’t know which way it would fall. As it happens it landed close to LC2011 median value. But I did the calcs back in mid 2009 if I recall correctly, well before LC2011 came out. What I concluded was that 2XCO2 was much lower than even the lowest bound that the IPCC gave in AR4.

      John – Consider what a 2XCO2 of 0.7 C means. It means that to get another 2 C of warming, which is IPCC’s danger number, you would have to add another 2700 ppmV of CO2 to the atmosphere, which is 25 times as much as we have ever produced since prehistoric times. We already are supposed to be at ‘peak oil’, so it is certain there isn’t enough fossil fuel in the ground to get anywhere near 2 C of CO2 driven rise.

      And there’s plenty of argument whether 2 C rise would be dangerous. In practice the forecast pCO2 at end of this century gives only about 0.7 C rise due to CO2. No one thinks that would be remotely dangerous.

      So why if 2XCO2 is low do we need a carbon tax in Australia to ‘address climate change’? The answer is we do not. It is dishonest and immoral to have one.

      • john byatt says:

        Bruce are you only writing of the direct effect from CO2 your figure of 0.7C as opposed to the accepted value of 1.2C, because if you are claiming that the total effect is only 0.7C then you must identify what negative feedbacks accounted for that.

        sorry but if you used a purely mathematical calculation then the answer that you derive would by definition be pure nonsense,

      • Bruce says:

        You’re correct – I agree the Arrheius value is about 1.3 C. The 0.7 C is the empirical net sensitivity after feedbacks.

        I don’t have to characterise the negative feedbacks if I measure the overall value, in the same way that Kepler didn’t have to have an apple drop on his head for him to write equations for the planets. He was fitting equations to Copernicus’ data. I am fitting equations to Hadley’s data.

        I only have to acknowledge that a measured 2XCO2 logically implies there are negative feedbacks. We have discussed clouds as potentially being one of those.

        I should add that empirical 2XCO2 actually in this context represents the aggregate climate sensitivity of all GHG’s, not just CO2.

    • Bruce says:

      John – On cloud feedback here is a list of papers that I have seen in the last year or two, all of which show cloud feedback is much much larger than you say:

      Sun et al 2012
      Laken & Pallé 2012
      Allan 2011
      Miller et al 2012
      Cho et al 2012
      Caldwell et al 2012
      Lauer & Hamilton 2012
      Probst et al 2012
      Achtert et al 2012

      Just taking one at random, Allan 2011, says the net cooling effect is −21 Wm−2.

      It is interesting that so many completely different groups are now able to be published in the face of the consensus.

      These are not a comprehensive list, they’re just papers I saw reported on various sites for which I saved links. I don’t have earlier ones than 2011 because I lost my hard disk late in 2011 with any other links. No doubt I could find more if I looked.

  14. john byatt says:

    sheri what is settled is 1 that CO2 raises the temperature of the earth
    2 that it is due to humans
    that is it sheri and even bruce confirms that by his claim that doubling of CO2 will result on a temp rise of 0.7C
    I was wondering just what you belived that the settled science meant.

    Sorry for not explaning that but I thought that anyone coming in to the debate would alresdy know that what we call the settled science is those basics,
    we can debate the oucome or we can read the science

    a good place to start is at aip org history
    the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect

    • My apologies. I do understand that most scientists agree that CO2 raises the temperature of the earth (there are holdouts and that is one thing that can get you kicked off a skeptic site–so skeptics do generally agree with that premise). The disagreement appears to come from how much CO2 raises the temperature and how much humans contribute. That would be the “unsettled” part?
      I did not realize this was the definition of “settled science”. It is not the definition that I am used to seeing. I will keep that in mind and check the link you suggest.
      Please be patient with my trying to understand the meaning of terms in the discussion. When I misunderstand, I do appreciate your making clear what you meant.

  15. Lazarus says:

    Where exactly are the researchers saying the science is settled? I see this claim from deniers all the time but in the next breath they say follow the money – sound familiar? If the science is settled then they would not need money for further research. Both straw men.

    You don’t know any sceptics who get payment from big oil? Perhaps you should do the simplest of searches rather than wear your ignorance with pride?

    Willie Soon

    Fred Singer

    Bob Carter

    Anthony Watts

    Pat Michaels

    Finding those links took me all of two minutes.

    • Perhaps it’s just the pesky media pretending to know that the science is settled. I have not seen scientists running out to correct the misconception, but perhaps I need to watch and read more.

      Semantics–settled science can refer to the idea that climate change is caused by man and still involve research into how long before horrible things happen. That was my usage.

      I said I don’t know skeptics that get money–and I certainly do not know any of the people mentioned, so in keeping with the “exact” meaning of a comment, your list is irrelevant. (Yes, I am playing semantics back at you.)

      I DID NOT SAY FOLLOW THE MONEY. Read what I actually write, please. Just because other skeptics and believers do that does not mean I have done so.

  16. The WtD was a fast read. It consisted mostly of ad hominem attacks. I have made clear that who ones runs around with does not affect the accuracy of statements they make. Truth is NOT determined by the sum total of one’s friends and/or enemies (Many would argue that the constant attacks on Monckton indicate he is the one winning and that’s why he’s targeted–this is NOT my opinion, so don’t go there.)

    Whom one choses to endorse in a political race does NOT have any bearing on the truth or falsity of a scientific claim. I understand politics and science are pretty much in a strangle hold and this may cause one to falsely conclude some kind of causality (correlation is not causality). However, I doubt I would see a climate believer supporting someone who wanted to build more coal plants. People vote where their beliefs lie. Both believers and skeptics. Does it give believers something to use for an ad hominem attack, sure. Should we listen to said attacks, no. That’s as far into this as I am going for now. I will tackle politics and science later on.

    If someone can point me to the actual journal the Lewandowsky published in, that would be helpful. What I am reading is the paper never was published or was published in a “pay to publish” journal.

    Why does Monckton represent many skeptics? Invalid extrapolation.

    Lastly, if we apply WtD’s standards, Al Gore just sold out for $500 million to Big Oil (really big oil–a whole country) by selling his TV station. He is a theologian, not a scientist. The list goes on. TO CLARIFY: I am not claiming this is an argument I would make. I am saying that if one uses WtD’s standards, it would be a valid argument.

  17. Bruce: You comment has been set free!

  18. john byatt says:

    You do not seem to have done much watching as yet RC, you might like to defend Monckton after this one

    • I will read the article (I read as fast as I can but there are other things in my life outside this blog. :))
      I cannot and will not defend Monckton. I am not a fan of Monckton. Plus, he seems fully capable of defending himself if he feels the need. I may address his claims in a later post, but as for the person, not going there.

  19. john byatt says:

    If you do not accept that scientific laws are settled science, then how about the settled science that the earth orbits the sun?

    is that settled yes
    is that science yes

    that is an example of settled science yes

    • Bruce says:

      Easy one. The Earth doesn’t orbit the Sun. It orbits the barycentre.

      Sorry, John, I couldn’t resist!

      BTW to Sheri – I did post a long comment on this thread which I think WordPress consigned to the spam bucket. You might want to check. I had some links to Blogspot blogs, which WordPress probably doesn’t like. Tribal rivalry.

      • john byatt says:

        The barycentre lies within the sun bruce, but lets get back to the claim that settled science is not science

        will either of you like to address my claim that the science is settled on that?

        Ancient astronomer (science) Aristarchus ( about 200bce) thought that Earth goes around the Sun since he discovered that the Sun is much bigger than Earth. Copernicus (who is usually credited with the idea that planets go around the Sun) thought that Solar system centered on the Sun is more logical and beautiful, but had no definite proof. Kepler discovered that laws governing of orbits become much more simple if the Sun is in their center. Newton has shown that this is caused by the universal law of gravity. If gravity works, Earth and other planets have to go around the Sun, because it is much heavie

        .Aristarchus modelled that . the philosphers and theologians rejected the science

        Newton used a law to figure out that planets have to orbit the sun
        are to able to accept the idea that science can be settled for many questions?

      • Bruce says:

        You realise John that it is the IPCC’s affiliated modellers who are doing the whole epicycle thing all over again? For example, rather than acknowledging the solar dynamo’s effect on terrestrial climate they have been adding ‘epicycles’ like “Chinese aerosols” to force their models fit the temperature record.

        This is breaking down as the Met Office has now included the cyclic effects of the PDO and AMO. And their prediction out to 2017 is now much lower than it was before. Between the solar dynamo effect (which NASA has just recently noticed) and the PDO/AMO cycles you can handily model the temperature record including the present hiatus. You can’t do this if you have as your underlying modelling assumption that CO2 has a high climate sensitivity. Eventually the IPCC will be forced to take out Occams Razor, but for now they are persisting to fit high climate sensitivity into the temperature record. It just doesn’t work the same way that assuming planetary orbit are circular just doesn’t work.

        And before you ask me to explain how the solar dynamo affects the terrestrial temperature record I will point out that Kepler succeeded in modelling planetary orbits before Newton explained what force caused them to be elliptical. We don’t yet know exactly why the solar magnetic activity so strongly affects the temperature record, although CERN and the Uni of Aarhus are making progress on this, but it is empirically easy to show this is the case as the first link demonstrates.

        And I don’t doubt that if you asked the consensus before Kepler developed his equations that they would have opined that the science was settled.

    • John: Okay, okay, okay. I will attempt in the future to remember the “we’re all 100% literal so check every possible objection before stating anything.” I do not guarantee I will succeed nor do I guarantee that I will even care. Nitpicking is mostly annoying. Like asking if the sky is blue and then arguing over the correct color to call it–azure, aquamarine, gray (if you’re in China).

      Answer to your question: Yes, some aspects of physical science (earth orbits sun, etc) are settled. Physical constants are mostly settled, thought they do get tiny adjustments.

      So to have properly stated my point: Science where there is probability involved, as in climate science, is not settled unless at some point the probability becomes 100%. Until climate science can predict with 100% accuracy, it cannot be considered settled.

  20. Tony Duncan says:


    you are seriously mischaracterizing prety much everything that you are commenting on here. You are giivng an appearance of being open to reasonable discussion, so i am always willing to try.

    “Settled science”. Yes of COURSE science is always changing. I know of no one who contends otherwise. What is important is the likilihood of change. The effect of CO2 in the atmosphere increasing the global temperature is so well known that questioning that is, in my opinion, foolish. Also the forcing effect of H2O is a straightforward well accepted connection. That there is a corelation between increase in CO2 and temps is also quite clear. There are numeorus other indicators of ACC being real, rests on so many lines of evidence that rejecting all of them is, in my view, tantamount to a rejection of science.
    Your analogy with quantum mechanics is apt for exactly the opposite reason. there is quite a bit of argument and discussion between scientists in both fields around issues that are in contention among the most established experts.
    I certainly have read views from supporters of ACC where they attribute the idea of “settled” in areas that are not appropriate, but this is not the norm. as I stated in another psot, an issue that makes me use the term “denier”, is the almost universal refusal to critique comments that are clearly known to be wrong.

    “Equating deniers with conspiracy theorists” is of course not always correct. yet in 4 years of perusing anti-climte change blogs I have encountered so many conspiracy theories, many of them absolutely ridiculous so it is not a baseless claim, but one that is dependant on the person. If someone claims that ALL climate change deniers are conspiracy theorists, I would agree with you that that is baseless. the problem is that the evidence for ACC is so strong that it is hard to not resort to conspiracy in order to explain why certain facts do not support the arguments against ACC.

    Peer reviewed scientists are the only authorities. I have no idea what your anecdotal example is supposed to show. taking from your earlier corelation, I would not pay any attention to someone questioning the science talking about quantum mechanics unless they were a peer reviewed physicist in the field. Climate scence is a little different becuase it is so politically polarized. there is likely going to be some bias. Yet the field is so intently watched, it is hard to pass off research that is really bad too many qualified people can spot it.

    “Who people know has nothing to do with the accuracy of scientific theory.” this is absolutely true. it is something that has fascinated me about deniers. There are huge numbers of people who will not accept any information if it comes from a blog like Skeptical science. Certainly there are people who will not accept info from WUWT just because of where it originated, but in my experience a much larger percentage of ACC supporters deal with actual science and actually relish deconstructing psuedo science form anti Climate change blogs. I used to read Judith Curry’s blog regularly but her complete lack of interest in correcting commenters who posted ridiculous arguments, ones that she has explicitly disavowed, made me lose quite a bit of respect. As well as her occasional ad hominem attacks on other scientists.

    “Follow the money”. I do disagree with some Cliamte change activists and scientists who say that fossil fuel money is the major source of anti cliamte change publicity. I do think that is a part of it. The Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil, and other deep pocket investors support numerous right wing organizations that serve as conduits for lots of misinformation But the big issue to me is the ideological fanaticism of individuals that often are convinced that there is a huge left wing agenda to implement fraudulent climate change as the most effective tactic to implement destrouctive economic, political, and social policies. There is a sheen of wanting to promote valid science, but it is often easily shown to be extremely innacurate. The fact taht someone like me, who only has a basic understanding of physics can see through so many of the arguments against ACC is a strong indication that valid science is not the ultimate goal of these blogs.

    Of course environmentalists and climate scientists are funded. EVERY science is funded. Environmenatlists can be rightly accused of having a financial interest in having climate change accepted to support their policy prescriptions. Because fo the polarization of this issue there is much more interaction between cliamte scientists and environmental activists, yet I have seen very few indications of this distorting the science. James Annan’s recent discussion of scientists deliberately exaggerating conclusions cerrtainly falls under this, and is certainly a valid concern.
    Yet the mischaracterizations, false arguments, outright lies and recycled discredited ideas are rampant on the denier side and much much more dangerous.

    Of course big oil supports alternative energy, they would be foolish not to. it makes the best sense financially to try to be on the forefrom to renewable energy while at the same time continue making huge profits from fossil fuels for as long as possible. You are right, the money trail; is only the place to start, but the motivation of money should not be underestimated relative to the amount of money involved.

    • Please comment further on “the universal refusal to critique comments that are clearly known to be wrong–I don’t understand. Are you saying everyone knows science is settled? Because that is not my experience.

      SkS, when I have checked it, allows only specific sources to be used. Persons linking to any other site had their link deleted and replaced with “Not a science site”. Not very open.

      There are problems with people believing climate science was designed to destroy the economy. I do not believe this is true. Some of the philosophies of climate change align very well with the “Left”. Also, most spokespersons for climate change tend to be on the Left. This can lead people to believe there is a conspiracy when in actuality, climate change and the Left share similar beliefs. Sharing similar beliefs is not a conspiracy.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        “Universal refusal to critique comments” that are wrong is that in my experience on denier blogs I see almost no one willing to dispute a statement from any commenter as long as it opposes ACC. So I often see mutually exclusive arguments such as the temperature is NOT rising, or the rise is caused by ocean cycles, but there is never any argument between those two points of view. In WUWT, Steve Goddard, judith curry, and numerous other anti ACC sites I see no critique of skeptical postions, only attack on the consensus. And as long as it is an attack on the consensus it gets a free pass no matter how reasonable or crazy the comment is. This indicates strongly to me that there is an acute lack of interest in the actual science and what it means, but a STRONG interest in an ideological fanaticism.
        I have not seen SKS delete comments that linked to actual science. As you are seeing on your blog, being able to link to any page that supports some assertion is easy because every possible viewpoint on a subject can be supported somewhere. If you know of people who have had things deleted because they posted real science on SKS, then that is wrong, as long as it was relevent to the discussion. As John pointed out about Bruce’s posts the conclusions form those sources did not match the point he was trying to make regarding the issue of clouds. I see that all the time on denier sites. Someone posts a link, I read the link and if it is from a scientific source it rarely says what the commenter says it says. Even someone like me with only a basic scientific background I am often amazed at how uncritical so called skeptics have been, as long as it opposes ACC.

        It is good to see you you write that about the the difference between similar beliefs and conspiracy. that is the type of thing I do not see challanged on denier websites. There are a number of conservative climate scientists who are strong believers of ACC even though politically they are republican. One I lijke reading is Climate Asylum, he doesn’t post very often, but he and other conservatives are pretty clear on seperating the science from policy.prescriptions

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Peer reviewed scientists are the only authorities.

      Tony – I have read many dozens and probably over a hundred peer review studies which show that CO2 has at most a minor net warming effect (after feedbacks). While I’ve not looked at them Poptech has a database of over a thousand such papers.

      I know the science funding avenues in my country Australia. I’ve had many ARC grants despite mainly working in the private sector. I can say that your chance of getting a sceptical climate project up in the ARC cycle is nil. Despite that there are so many sceptical papers which have passed peer review even with mad CAGW activists reviewing them in many cases.

      It is abundantly obvious to me and many of my colleagues in science and engineering that the support in the scientific literature for CAGW is flimsy at best. The data I have investigated from primary sources such as NOAA, Hadley, DMI and the like shows 2XCO2 is a harmless 0.7 C or so. If you need an explanation why this level of climate sensitivity is harmless I can give you it.

      And no I don’t argue this on RC or SkS. Their commenting policies rub me up the wrong way. I’d be banned in a blink of an eye even if I stuck to peer reviewed journal articles (remember the Pielke Snr fight?). But I’ve debated Dana on the rare occasion he has ventured out of SkS territory and he’s not managed to out-argue me. Likewise Dave Appell, who is an atmospheric physicist. I wish both of them would act like the scientists they are and look at the data without ideological eyeglasses on.

      Science should be above politics. I wish it were true.

  21. john byatt says:

    Thje particles do not travel faster than light, you are out of your depth


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