Monday, January 20, 2014

Curry vs. Curry

UPDATE:  And Eli has been remiss on the Prof. Curry testimony circuit on not pointing to Tamino's take on her statements about the Arctic.   North Pole, South Pole, all around the planet. . .

Dana Nuccitelli, And Then, Sou and Bart have comments on last week's Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee testimony by Prof Andy Dessler and Prof. Judith Curry.

Prof. Curry has issued a challenge to those (Mike Mann usw,) who think she was being economical with the truth

Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’  I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide
Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that there is more than a bit of lawerly verbage in there given the cherry orchard that the evidence that somebunny provides can omit, but the bunnies are forgiving beasts.

In Prof. Judith Curry's testimony she claimed that
However, several key elements of the AR5 WGI report point to a weakening of the case for attributing most of the warming to human influences, relative to the previous assessment
  • Lack of warming since 1998 and the growing discrepancies between observations and climate model projections
  • Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
  • Evidence that sea level rise during 1920 - 1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993 -2012
  • Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent
Permit the Rabett to start at the bottom.  Eli and the Weasel previously noted Prof. Curry really does not believe that increasing Antarctic sea ice extent casts any doubt of the AR5's conclusions because she knows why the sea ice in Antarctica has been increasing (or perhaps not increasing as much, that may be another interesting tale of whom do you believe, theory or observation, as a recent preprint casts doubt on the magnitude).  In a 2010 PNAS paper, Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice Prof. Curry's abstract reads:
The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.(emphasis added)
Of course the Weasel thinks the entire paper is the stadium wave in forecasting form, but Eli will be generous given that Prof. Curry thinks that the paper was a good thing given her comments over at Stoat's. (The paper has vanished from the Ga Tech cache btw).  OTOH, a forecast of growth of sea ice through increased snow fall has a pretty simple and obvious mechanism going back to at least the 1990s.  The range of temperature at which snow falls is rather small basically because there has to be a significant amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, and when it gets really cold there ain't, so the only way for snow to fall is transport from warmer areas.  This makes sense if the Sourthern Ocean is warming, which cannot be gainsaid (sks has two useful debunkers which demystify Prof. Curry's claim in depth from which the next two images are borrowed)

and, of course, while there may be more sea ice, Antarctica itself is losing mass at a furious rate due to warming

But perhaps Prof. Curry's position has now shifted to that enunciated by Mark B
Liu and Curry, defended by The Team, selected inappropriate data and time periods, ignored data that doesn’t match the IPCC message, manipulated results, clearly engaged in misconduct, dismissed dissenting views, and ultimately pushed the notion that Antarctic Sea Ice will melt, based on fudged computer models, when data clearly shows otherwise. Read ‘The Antarctic Ice Illusion: CurryGate and the Corruption of Science’ by Montfork. It’s one of the best books written on climate science, though I can’t personally vouch for any of its conclusions
Prof. Curry appears to have publicly documented and rebutted Prof. Curry's statement in Prof. Curry's testimony about Antarctic sea ice increase weakening the evidence for man made climate change. Many thanks.

While Antarctic sea ice increase is taking place, according to Prof. Curry, it is inaccurate to say that it is evidence against man caused climate change, but according to her own published work, and that of others dating back to decades before her work, it is actually evidence for man made climate change because of the forecast increase in snow fall,. Prof. Curry's own work contradicts her own testimony.  Bunnies can now debate to what extent she gets an out by demanding that such a demystification be limited to the evidence that Prof. Curry provided, given that Prof. Curry probably provided Prof. Curry's CV with a list of publications as part of the evidence.  Moreover, this appears to be another case of where the models are too optimistic, as Prof. Curry herself states in Prof. Curry's paper.

To paraphrase Richard Alley, Prof. Curry,  looks at one part of the data, ignores much and and advises nulo problemo, Prof. Dessler looks at the entire picture and says, hey the models tell us we got a problem, we need to do something quick, and the Earth is over in the corner screaming bloody murder

36 comments:

Joshua said...

I think that you're missing a key point. The Professor Curry who wrote that paper is not an activist - in fact she thinks that scientists being activists is undermines science. The Professor Curry who testified before Congress is an activist, who appeared at the behest of Republican politicians so as to boost the viability of the policies they support. And don't forget that the Professor Curry who blogs strongly opposes any appeal to authority, whereas the Professor Curry who is making highly public statements about climate change feels that it is important for Professor Curry to lend her qualifications and professional recognition to the cause of climate "skepticism."

I hope that clears things up a bit.

EliRabett said...

Eli's head is spinning.

Albatross said...

Curry seems to have tied her tongue and brain in knots.

Curry's behavior is reprehensible. She is no more interested in the scientific truth than are Inhofe or Morano. It is just pure silliness for her to keep living this lie and trying to pretend otherwise.

Curry, an activist and advocate for the ant-science folks at the GOP. Quelle suprise.

Albatross said...

The GOP should have had Alley testify for them and not Curry who has no interest in the truth anymore.

Stupid statements of fact like this by her are enough to destroy the strongest head vice:

"The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales"

Mind exploding stuff. Let us start with the false claim by Curry about the supposed stagnation of warming the last 15 + years. This lie (for surely, surely she knows differently) is easily debunked by looking at the OHC data here:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

As for the whole control knob thingy. What can one say except, LOL! Maybe Alley can email her a couple of pages of papers on the subject ;)

Albatross said...

Another whopper by Curry,

"Evidence that sea level rise during 1920 - 1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993 -2012"

Even if true, which I doubt, this suggests that our climate system is very sensitive to small changes in radiative forcing! It completely undermines and contradicts her other attempt to mislead/dupe people about climate sensitivity being relatively low.

So when is someone finally going to do something about contrarians testifying on behalf of the GOP routinely misleading Congress and the American people?? Because until they do, BS like this from Curry et al. will continue, and for that oversight we and future generations will all pay.

John Mashey said...

Alb: these hearings are a form of Kabuki theatre, mainly to get things into the Congressional Record.

Usually, the majority party gets to decide if there will be a hearing, but the minority party gets to choose a few speakers.

Bernard J. said...

"...these hearings are a form of Kabuki theatre, mainly to get things into the Congressional Record."

It's a type of Pyrrhic victory, but at least future historians will be able to see by their own words how denialists hamstrung attempts to ameliorate human impact on the global climate. I think that it takes a special lack of shame to so brazenly record how truth and professional integrity are secondary (or tertiary) to ideology and vested interest.

Oale said...

Thanks Joshua for the best description yet :-). Now I have to decide who I want to be today, or this moment to know what more to say. Is internal consistency required from scientists? How can they say anything for certain in the world that's run by quantum mechanics? Shouldn't a good scientist be continuously perplexed if the aim is to explain the world?

Oale said...

oh, I remembered correctly, there was music to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED-fGndZx7U

David B. Benson said...

Please do not insult
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki
a historic art form which is much easier to understand than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noh

Beltway theatre is of course impossible to follow.

Susan Anderson said...

I agree that Joshua makes clear the active disingenuity in play here, but Oale's linke to Oingo Boingo was terrific, thanks (not recommended for those whose discriminating ears don't like the noise and pseudo-chaos involved in that kind of thing).

Susan Anderson said...

Benson is right. It's hard to find metaphorical entities without insulting same.

John Mashey said...

No offense to Kabuki, it was just the term I recall hearing from some staffer some time years ago.

SCM said...

Kabuki is know for its striking on-stage costume switches completely transforming the appearance of the actor. Pretty apt I'd say!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP4TdEMrNuo

bill said...

...and then there's butoh, a kind of Japanese dada, I've always thought, as used to great effect by Ron Fricke in Baraka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1J6TFHCevg&feature=player_detailpage#t=358 (5'58" if the time location link doesn't work)

Now dada seems apt indeed!

Anonymous said...

Anon-101a here:

"Evidence that sea level rise during 1920 - 1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993 -2012"

Just noting that 1920-1950 is 30 years and 1993-2012 isn't...

Maybe someone with maths skills can do the sums for me and Judy here.

Paul S said...

It's a bit of a technical point but the lowering (sagging?) of the sensitivity range bottom doesn't really change anything with regards attribution.

The range was lowered due to 20th Century obs energy balance studies pointing to sensitivities of around 2ºC. However, all these studies assume that temperature change is a linear response to forcing, implicitly attributing 100% of warming to forcing, no more no less. Anthropogenic forcing makes up at least 90% of net forcing since 1950, which means dominant human causation of warming over this period is implicit in their calculations.

All that's changed is the apportioning of warming to direct forcing versus climate system feedback response. You can get a lower sensitivity due to higher assumed net forcing, but that's just exchanging numbers between two terms in a balanced equation - the sum of the equation doesn't change.

If anything lower sensitivity calculated in this way may enhance attribution to human causation because anthropogenic net forcing becomes a greater percentage of total net forcing.

Mal Adapted said...

"It's hard to find metaphorical entities without insulting same."

Opéra bouffe?

"Opéras bouffes are known for elements of comedy, satire, parody and farce."

Russell Seitz said...

Joshua is on to something.

There are also two Naomi Oreskes.

Anonymous said...

" Anthropogenic forcing makes up at least 90% of net forcing since 1950..."

That really does imply that one knows what albedo is and how it has varied. What gives you such confidence?

There is not necessarily a good reason to assume variation, but "uncertain, assumed constant" is likely wrong.

Anonymous said...



Curry is rather like an electron:

She exists in a superposition of incommensurable states, and has no discernable magnitude.

When she is perturbed by David Rose or Donna Laframboise, her spin-axis instantaneously takes on a direction defined by the location of the nearest windmill.

- Jebediah Hypotenuse

Paul S said...

'That really does imply that one knows what albedo is and how it has varied.'

No, forcing in this context is pretty clearly defined in terms of changes which influence climate but originate externally to the climate system itself. Stochastic changes in albedo (presumably you mean clouds primarily) are not considered forcing factors in this framework. Talking about the percentage of forcing from anthropogenic sources doesn't imply any knowledge of stochastic albedo variations - just an accounting of anthropogenic external factors and natural external factors (Sun, volcanoes).

The assumption built into these studies is not necessarily that there is no influence from internal variability, but rather that we have no clear reason to suspect variability over the chosen timeframe would have been a net warming or cooling factor.

Paul S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul S said...

My favourite part of Judith Curry's spectacularly bad current blog posting was this:

'This has led skeptics – and some scientists - . . . Rather scary that Nature does not seem to acknowledge that skepticism is one of the norms of science, and regards ‘skeptics’ and ‘scientists’ are mutually exclusive groups.'

(emphasis is the quote from Nature).

Unless Curry has really lost the plot, she knows what they're talking about, as indeed does everyone else, yet she seems desperate to score some "sciencey" points with her audience by pretending she doesn't.

What's worse is that she has previously written a blog post about how she was shocked SHOCKED that Nature referred to the same group using the less etymologically confusing term 'deniers'. So, she's basically caused a fuss, essentially insisted that Nature must use the word 'skeptics', then criticised them for doing so.

Drug Maven said...

Wow Eli, you really attracted the ecoloons and real science deniers like Albatross, Benson, and Anderson, and Mashey. None of them, including Mann-loving Alley, are in the same league as Curry. Anderson is in a league of her own, though.

Anonymous said...

Just in, Wagathon, in a comment at Climate ETC.

"New Study just released—

Abstract:
Much of the increase in global temperatures over the last 17 years – due to the depredations of humanity and most especially, ‘dat ‘debil America – is hidden and for all practical purposes, lies deep, deep, deep in the deepest oceans where it is impossible to detect except through the powers of divination practiced by Western climatologists. The methods for said divination remain confidential due to the difficulty of describing the process to dumassyokels. The mechanism for cutting through the mystery of the unknown and therefore obtaining the undiscoverable data that proves global warming is real is subject to access control by government scientists in order to prevent unscrupulous capitalists from sniffing around and learning how to access this hidden source of free energy for private gain.

~Steptoe, et al., AGW Meets Flaming Chickzilla, Journal of Rabbit Holes, 1:1 (2014)"

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

And Drug Maven has all the answers in science by the simple ability of eliminating all the questions! In that special case there is no need for him to publish or even comment!

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Evidently Steptoe et al. is too stupid to find the measurements. Does the Anonytroll share his imbecility?

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

Mal Adapted said...

TLE: "And Drug Maven has all the answers in science by the simple ability of eliminating all the questions!"

Yeah, must be some powerful drugs.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Mal,
Yeah, I think Rush Limbaugh is his connection.

metzomagic said...

Well, hey, look... somehow our Judith just happened to completely misplace the last 16 years (since 1997) of arctic amplification in her testimony:

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/one-of-the-problems-with-judith-curry/

Mind you, so did the IPCC, from where she was taking her cues. I guess we'll just have to wait patiently for AR6...

Dano said...

I note that the banquet poor Judy was 'enjoying' was much less opulent than what Sallie Baliunas enjoyed on her Heritage Victory Tour when she and Soon debunked the Hockey Stick. Where is all the cash for FUDders?

Best,

D

Susan Anderson said...

Hardly worth the effort, but Drug Maven flatters me. I am honored by the company in which he places me.

Russell Seitz said...

FUD 's cloudy Wiki origin myth seems cautionary :

The term has also been attributed to veteran Morgan Stanley computer analyst Ulrich Weil. As Eric S. Raymond writes:[9]
“ The idea, of course, was to persuade buyers to go with safe IBM gear rather than with competitors' equipment. This implicit coercion was traditionally accomplished by promising that Good Things would happen to people who stuck with IBM, but Dark Shadows loomed over the future of competitors' equipment or software. After 1991 the term has become generalized to refer to any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon. ”
By spreading questionable information about the drawbacks of less well known products, an established company can discourage decision-makers from choosing those products over its own, regardless of the relative technical merits. This is a recognized phenomenon, epitomized by the traditional axiom of purchasing agents that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment". The result is that many companies' IT departments buy software that they know to be technically inferior because upper management is more likely to recognize the brand.[citation needed]

Cetamua said...

Drug maven,
Since drugs are your specialty, you owe it to yourself to try psilocybin, a substance that Prof. Maher describes here.

David B. Benson said...

I agree that Anderson is in a class of her own. That's more important than a mere league.