Monday, September 22, 2014

A Dog's Dinner

There is considerable unhoppiness about the APS.  The arrogance of physicists was the obvious driver in setting the stage for the now appearing Steve Koonin cluster fuck.  As Eli pointed out the members of the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) drafting sub-committee were several courses short of a clue on climate science, even the physics parts of it.  Ankh commented on how life imitates xkcd.

One would think that since the review of the APS statement on climate change was scheduled for this year, that the APS would appoint at least one or two physicists who specialized in climate science and could leaven the nuclear complex refugees who were on it.  But no.  That would not be physicist like.

When Eli suggested that what has been drafted was almost certainly a dog's dinner, Ethon's friend who had seen it replied that "while not at liberty to say anything about the statement as drafted, but let's just say I had to change my socks because Rover is drooling so much in anticipation of supper."

Ethon has read some letters to the APS and the Wall Street Journal and various blog comments. It turns out that Koonin lobbied to be in charge of the process, got input from climate scientists and then refused to acknowledge what he had been given, simply walking away.  Eli has it now from three sources (although they may overlap) that he has resigned from POPA.  Given that he was/is still listed the chair elect, take this as it is, but the WSJ article is a sure sign that the statement he ramrodded through has met considerable opposition.  The APS response will be indicative.

Ben Santer, who was one of those talking with the sub-committee is unhappy about the outcome, the waste of time and the possibility that he was simply set up by someone with an agenda and no intent to learn.  By permission Eli quotes him

Another source of real frustration is that Dr. Koonin had a real opportunity to listen. To consult experts in many different aspects of climate science. To do a deep dive into the science. To seek understanding of complex scientific issues. He did not make use of this opportunity. His op-Ed is not a deep dive - it is a superficial toe-dip into a shallow puddle, rehashing the same tired memes (the "warming hiatus" points toward fundamental model errors, climate scientists suppress uncertainties, there's a lack of transparency in the IPCC process, climate always varies naturally, etc.) 

59 comments:

turboblocke said...

IANAP (nor a climate scientist) so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. IIUC what most people refer to as the output of the models are plots showing the result of many models. Therefore this hides the fact that a hiatus in surface temperature is found in the models' results.

Fernando Leanme said...

I like to call it "absence of surface warming". Hiatus means the active ingredients went on vacation. But that isn't so. We just have more interacting ingredients than expected.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

But that isn't so.

Because some guy on the internet said so. Got it. Thanks! Thank you for your lucid and profound contribution to internet science.

Where would we be without you! We would be less entertained for sure.

afeman said...

I found this response more pointed than Dana N.'s:

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2014/09/20/on-eve-of-climate-march-wsj-publishes-call-to-wait-and-do-nothing/

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

A dog's philosophy on dinner:

"Go ahead and eat it. You can always throw it up later."

Anonymous said...

Predictions are fun, but only when they are validated are they part of science.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Again, it must be true because some anonymous guy on some blog somewhere said so. This is truly the domain of Dunning Kruger here.

Science, it's just the way I think it should be. I've got it all figured out in my head. Sure.

You're so smart, I bet you think this blog is about you, about you.

J Bowers said...

"Predictions are fun, but only when they are validated are they part of science."

That's the end of you, then. Bye.

Are the Models Untestable?

"Let's review the record. Global Climate Models have successfully predicted:

That the globe would warm, and about how fast, and about how much.
That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.
That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
That winter temperatures would increase more than summer temperatures.

Polar amplification (greater temperature increase as you move toward the poles).
That the Arctic would warm faster than the Antarctic.
The magnitude (0.3 K) and duration (two years) of the cooling from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
They made a retrodiction for Last Glacial Maximum sea surface temperatures which was inconsistent with the paleo evidence, and better paleo evidence showed the models were right.

They predicted a trend significantly different and differently signed from UAH satellite temperatures, and then a bug was found in the satellite data.
The amount of water vapor feedback due to ENSO.
The response of southern ocean winds to the ozone hole.
The expansion of the Hadley cells.

The poleward movement of storm tracks.
The rising of the tropopause and the effective radiating altitude.
The clear sky super greenhouse effect from increased water vapor in the tropics.
The near constancy of relative humidity on global average.
That coastal upwelling of ocean water would increase.

wheelism said...

Sorry if this was covered, but when is the APS expected to release its response/position?

John Mashey said...

APS describes the process.

If they are going to change the existing statement, they put up the new one for comment by APS members (like me), and I haven't seen any notification of that yet.

Marion Delgado said...

We went through this with Lubos Motl. Nutbar that he was politically, he at least did his own job (checking out problems from his string-theory projects and working with them and checking them in) competently. Then when he got involved with climate he ended up endorsing Steve Goddard's incoherent and wrong claims - which would have been embarrassing if he could feel embarrassment. That should be resurrected and dissected again, I think. I thought it was simply duplicating the efforts that went on when people like Sagan and Hansen were working out the temperature of Venus.

wheelism said...

Thanks, John.

EliRabett said...

FWIW, there are two links, one of them to Dana and the other to CSW in the post. . .

Anonymous said...

Would things be better if temperatures rose around 2K?

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

The blog would be better is idiotic anonymous statements were summarily deleted. But that wouldn't be fair to the idiots. Your village is calling you, please go home.

robert said...

Once again, we have science by OpEd. What Mr. Koonin has done, is publish his opinion on the state of the climate science in the WSJ. What he hasn't done, is publish a bona fide analysis in the literature.

For someone who claims to be standing up for the sanctity of science, he's not abiding by scientific practice. Where's his paper supporting his statements?

And by the way, what is he doing, publishing anything in the WSJ? This looks like a setup from the word go...

Anonymous said...

Well,

That the globe would warm, and about how fast, and about how much.
not quite

That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.
- ya

That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing which is slightly less at night.

That winter temperatures would increase more than summer temperatures.
Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing which is slightly less in the winter hemisphere
(and poles opposed to tropics - IPCC ).

Polar amplification (greater temperature increase as you move toward the poles).
So far so true for Arctic but not Antarctic.

The magnitude (0.3 K) and duration (two years) of the cooling from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
Since natural variability is about that much, it is not particularly significant.

They predicted a trend significantly different and differently signed from UAH satellite temperatures, and then a bug was found in the satellite data.
Ehhh... no. Models botch the Hot Spot. Since the lapse rate feedback is wrong, it means models are also wrong for at least one other energy transfer which is compensating.

If you wanna say 2100 will be about 1.5K warmer than today, I'm with you
At least we can point to persistence as our starting point for a forecast.


Lucy

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Luuuucy, you got a lot of learning to do.

Look at Foster and Rahmstorf wrt the amount of warming.

And what does "Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing," even fricking mean?

And the fricking models predicted trends in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, food tube.

And the hotspot has precisely zilch to do with the UAH fiasco.

And your dismissal of the nuts-on prediction of the effect of Pinatubo is telling.

Try selling your wares to your fellow scientific illiterates.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Luuuucy, you got a lot of learning to do.

Look at Foster and Rahmstorf wrt the amount of warming.

And what does "Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing," even fricking mean?

And the fricking models predicted trends in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, food tube.

And the hotspot has precisely zilch to do with the UAH fiasco.

And your dismissal of the nuts-on prediction of the effect of Pinatubo is telling.

Try selling your wares to your fellow scientific illiterates.

Hank Roberts said...

I accuse anonymous of un-citement to riot.
Just pick one of its un-cited claims, paste it into 'oogle and let's see:
well, ya got that backwards:

Section 3.6 - Aviation and the Global Atmosphere
www.ipcc.ch/.../index.php?...
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
For the same contrail cover, the net radiative forcing is larger at night. ....

So -- why would 'anonymous' believe differently? What source could 'anonymous' be relying on to believe -- and post without citing -- the mistaken notion that "radiative forcing ... is slightly less at night" -- eh?

And how many of the other claims are worth checking and cleaning up after?

J Bowers said...

robert -- "And by the way, what is he doing, publishing anything in the WSJ? This looks like a setup from the word go..."

Often a precursor to starting a consultancy business.

And thanks to anonyLucy for getting everything wrong bar one. The science stands according to anonyTroll. Speaking of whom.

"Would things be better if temperatures rose around 2K?"

No.

* Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition. Myers et al (2014)
* Europe-wide reduction in primary productivity caused by the heat and drought in 2003
* Russia swelters in heatwave, many crops destroyed

The Rockefellers have warned investors not to lose their money on fossil fuels and put it into renewables instead. Your day job's about to disappear. Bon chance.

Kevin O'Neill said...

That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing which is slightly less at night.

You just failed basic physics. GHGs reduce nighttime cooling. So warmer nights. And since the nighttime effects are larger than the daytime effects, night temps are warming faster than daytime temps. This leads to another prediction you didn't list: a decreased diurnal temperature range. Both of these effects are borne out by data.

You can't negotiate with physics. It really doesn't care about pseudoskeptic opinions.


Kevin O'Neill said...

For those who don't recognize our Anonymous pseudoskeptic's list, he took it from Barton Paul Levenson's webpage Are the Models Untestable?. Not only are these testable, accurate predictions made by GCMs, but BPL also lists the originator of the predictions and the data that confirmed the results.

So our Anonymous friend already has all the information he needs to verify both the science behind and the truth of these predictions.

Reading is hard for deniers. And even when they do manage to read, understanding is simply beyond their capabilities. Arrhenius figured several of these predictions out more than a century ago. I think our pseudoskeptic friends are always whining about the MWP because that's where they want all science to stop :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a_ray also has some learning to do (about posting comments) so he doesn't repeat himself.

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Roberts,

your link is for contrails, which are interesting, but not CO2.

I am speaking about the results from radiative transfer models.

If you don't have one, you can try this:

Go to the Archer MODTRAN tool

[ units for all below: W/m^2 ]

1. Use the defaults, except use 300 ppm CO2, then 'Submit the Calculation'

Note the Iout ( I get 288.88 )

2. The change CO2 to 600 ppm, and again, 'Submit the Calculation'

Note the Iout ( I get 285.709 )

3. The difference between the two ( I get 3.171 ) we'll call the 'Radiative Forcing of doubling CO2 for daytime'.

4. This tool doesn't let you play with the profile, but we can approximate night by cooling the surface, so again use the defaults, but set CO2 to 300, and also set 'Ground T offset' to -5 (cooler surface at night), and submit.

Note the Iout ( I get 270.856 )

5. Now change the CO2 to 600, while keeping the 'Ground T offset' at -5, and submit.

Note the Iout ( I get 268.062 )

6. The difference between the two -5 runs represents the 'Radiative Forcing of a CO2 doubling at night'.
( I get 2.794 )

7. The RF_daytime(3.171) is slightly greater than the RF_nighttime(2.794).

8. This is not surprising. The less energy that is emitted, the less that can be 'trapped'.
(imagine the earth and atmosphere had a temperature of absolute zero, then the difference between 300 and 600 ppm CO2 would be zero ).

9. The same applies to the poles versus tropics, and winter versus summer hemispheres.

10. Night temperatures may warm more than day, and poles may warm more than tropics, but if so, it would be because of the 'general circulation' and not from the radiative effects of CO2.

Lucifer

Anonymous said...

Look at Foster and Rahmstorf wrt the amount of warming.

For the satellite era,
global temperatures have risen less than Hansen Scenario C,
and have risen less than IPCC4 'Low Scenario'
(and certainly less than the 0.2 degrees per decade).

And what does "Perhaps, but not a function of radiative forcing," even fricking mean?

See above

And the fricking models predicted trends in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, food tube.

The Arctic, does in fact exhibit a warming trend larger than that of the global average.
The Antarctic exhibits a warming trend smaller than that of the global average.
There are probably good reasons for that - as above, it's the general circulation
that is modeled to warm the poles, and transfer across the mountainous barriers of
the Antarctic continent probably reduces the heat transport that the Arctic enjoys.
Nevertheless, GCMs indicate the Antarctic should also warm faster than the global average.

And the hotspot has precisely zilch to do with the UAH fiasco.
Your original entry indicates that you thought that UAH corrections resolve the
difference between what is modeled and what is observed. That is incorrect.
The gcms conjure up a Hot Spot that is not observed ( in radiosonde data, the UAH analysis,
or the RSS analysis ).

Lucy

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

The top of the atmosphere is what we are concerned with you brain dead cretin. The energy is going in and it ain't coming back out, get it? There are plenty of places for it to go, cold places, we know that, some places that are not monitored very closely and are fluid, other places frozen solid.

The temperature crap is irrelevant. The result is unchanged, your world is toast as long as you keep burning crap.

So go out and knock up some more babes, those kids will do just fine in your libertarian paradise.

Hank Roberts said...

> we can approximate night
> by cooling the surface

Nope. It's the stratosphere, not the surface. Your belief is un-cited and unsupported.

Are you on the staff of a House of Representatives member on the Science, Space and Technology Committee?
You could be writing their questions for them. Start around 03:00 in the video here. It's eerie how well their belief in their own facts matches yours, anon.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/8q3nmm/burn-noticed

The power of faith-in-your-own-belief to defeat science is -- faint and dim.

Marco said...

Anonylucy/luficer could learn something here:
http://www.climatedialogue.org/the-missing-tropical-hot-spot/
That is, if anonylucy/lucifer is capable and willing to learn.

In essence it is a non-discussion: cherry-pick your desired data set and you can prove or disprove anything you want. All datasets have their own challenges.

Steve Bloom said...

J:

"The expansion of the Hadley cells.

"The poleward movement of storm tracks."

Well, sort of. They're well short on the observed magnitude. They also miss the recent funny business involving blocking events, for I suspect related reasons.

Of course any denier who thinks these particular model failings are something to take comfort from is more deranged than usual.

J Bowers said...

Steve, many deniers would take comfort.

Fernando Leanme said...

Thomas Lee wrote

"The top of the atmosphere is what we are concerned with you brain dead cretin"

The top of the atmosphere is a concern for the International Space Station´s crew. I tend to worry more about the surface.

I have a request...can we try to avoid the ugly language?

Lars Karlsson said...

"There is considerable unhoppiness about the APS."

Unhoppiness - is that rabettese?

BBD said...

I have a request...can we try to avoid the ugly language?

Perhaps if you were to admit that you were wrong when you make silly errors people would be less likely to deal sharply with you.

And tone-trolling instead of an admission of error makes matters much worse.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Fuck off, Fernando.

Stronger response will follow.

metzomagic said...

Thomas Lee Elifritz said:

Fuck off, Fernando.

Since all attempts to engage with Fernando to date, at various venues, have proven to be... fruitless, I'm inclined to agree. I'm wondering if Fergus is having doubts about extending that olive branch now.

BTW, Thomas, I liked your Carly Simon ref. up-thread.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

I looked up the lyrics and I guess I got it wrong. But now that I'm on that subject, I always liked the clouds in my coffee reference as well. Before I learned that coffee came in beans that you could grind back in the 60s and early 70s there was a brand of instant, Taster's Choice, that foamed up nicely and when stirred produced the most amazing clouds and dynamical evolving swirls, which really got me interested in Hamiltonian dynamics and chaos at a very early age. And then came that song. Now it's stuck in my head.

Damn.

Anonymous said...

Elfinwitz calling others brain dead cretins.

Very entertaining.

Carry on.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Well, if anonymouse or anyone else is interested in, or interested in learning about these kinds of things, an interesting and fun (ny) place to hang out is chaosbook.org.

May your coffee clouds be less mysterious.

J Bowers said...

Nando -- "The top of the atmosphere is a concern for the International Space Station´s crew. I tend to worry more about the surface."

It's safe to say that the following quote from John the Wall Street broker, last Sunday, is far more intellectually rigourous and honest.

"One man, a physician, thought the protests were “awesome”, but that opinion was not shared across the line.

“I think it’s bullshit,” said John, a broker who did not want his last name or the firm he works for identified. He said that the protests were obnoxious and that climate change is a scam created by Al Gore to make money.

He said that his clients had made a lot of money by investing in companies that burn fossil fuels. “I think anything that makes clients money is good for my clients, and it’s good for the country’s economy,” John said."

At least John is honest with his audience and himself about where he actually stands.

E. Swanson said...

Anonymouse/Lucy said:

"Your original entry indicates that you thought that UAH corrections resolve the difference between what is modeled and what is observed. That is incorrect. The gcms conjure up a Hot Spot that is not observed ( in radiosonde data, the UAH analysis, or the RSS analysis )."

Since you don't provide a reference, I assume that you are referring to Spencer and Christy's analysis of tropical data from the MSU, using data from their MT product. The MT data is known to include contamination from the stratosphere that has exhibited a cooling trend. Thus, it's no surprise that their result shows little warming. They know this, yet still continue to spread their claim that there's little warming in the upper troposphere. I think this shows S&C aren't interested in a truthful presentation of the facts. Their antics border on scientific misconduct, IMHO.

While we're at it, did you know that ozone is a greenhouse gas? The area of depleted ozone over the Antarctic (the OZONE HOLE) is likely to have cooled the atmosphere below, which would, in turn, tend to produce more sea-ice during the freeze season. But, don't let mere facts stand in the way of your denialist rants...

E. Swanson said...

For those who are interested in the spread of Koonin's politically motivated piece thru the internet, this morning's google search ["Climate Science Is Not Settled" Koonin] returned 86,300 hits. That's almost 10 times greater than that 2 days ago. Rather like the exponential spread of Ebola and maybe just as bad for the long term future of the planet...

J Bowers said...

Isn't something happening in Paris? Oh yeah. FOIA milked the emails. Time for the WSJ to do their part in ruining civilisation.

Hank Roberts said...

"... an ensemble of some 55 different models [5]. Although most of these models are tuned to reproduce the gross features of the Earth's climate, the marked differences in their details and pro
jections reflect all of the limitations ....
... Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right."

http://cusp.nyu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Climate-article-annotated1.pdf

======== oh? Rly? =============

"... for the nonexpert, a collection of results is often most useful when combined and synthesized. The motivating question behind this study is how model trustworthiness can be increased by combining results of multiple models.

2. Model diversity: Potentials and challenges

Different scientific questions require different models in terms of resolution, components and processes, and spatial domain. However, there are also families of models of the same type—that is, multiple models incorporating the same set of processes at similar resolutions....
... can be seen as multiple credible approximations of the truth, given some constraints in complexity and computational cost. These are often seen as coexisting rather than competing models (Parker 2006). While two models may make assumptions on smaller scales that could be seen as inconsistent, both models would agree with observations within some uncertainty (typically a sum of observational uncertainty and the structural model error) and would therefore be considered plausible....

Challenges in Combining Projections from Multiple Climate Models
KNUTTI, FURRER, TEBALDI, CERMAK, and MEEHL
http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/repository/assets/osgc/OSGC-000-000-000-883.pdf
DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI3361.1
J. Climate v.23

Hank Roberts said...

Guthrie pointed out in the earlier topic, last February:

Santer and Collins are basically giving lessons in climate science to the committee. Do you think there's enough time to properly educate them, or should some preparatory reading have been prescribed?
Also it seems pretty stupid to have to go through the basics again, when they were either nailed down 40 years ago or were nailed down 5 years ago but the committee members haven't heard about them because its not their area of expertise.
It looks at the moment like they're going to try and rubbish the models, and of course the 'hiatus' that isn't has also come up.

Mal Adapted said...

"Santer and Collins are basically giving lessons in climate science to the committee. Do you think there's enough time to properly educate them, or should some preparatory reading have been prescribed?"

One assumes that both are unavailing, since "it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." (A truism; specific formulation credited to Upton Sinclair.)

Hank Roberts said...

By the way, that bit seems to me to suggest a really political PR spin rather than a physicist's understanding:

Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right."

That ain't true of almost any information source. Consider the humble thermometer in weather stations, for example, and how precision in what we know about natural variation increases the more sources are available.

The chemists know this stuff:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chemlab/info/resources/uncertain.html

How about the physicists?

Who is this guy again, and what do the JASONs do?

Or did some PR guy from the industry write that op-ed piece and attach his name to it?

John Mashey said...

I suspect Eli can discuss JASONs, or you can search in PDF attached here or see pp.171-174 of Merchants of Doubt.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

You stated that atmospheric temperatures have certainly risen less than 0.2C/decade. It doesn't look like this is true. For instance, if you look at the last four decades you get an average of 0.22C/decade:

Time series (gistemp) from 1974 to 2014.67
#Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0215801 per year

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

Layzej

Anonymous said...

Layzej,

perhaps that is so.


Here is the
NCDC rolling 34 year trends ( a number which reflects the beginning of the satellite data ).

This duration ( and there's not a magic one ) depicts how the trend has decreased with the lack of warming in the 21st century, the time the IPCC predicted the .2 C per decade trend.

J Bowers said...

"This duration ( and there's not a magic one ) depicts how the trend has decreased with the lack of warming in the 21st century"

Certainties, Uncertainties and Choices with Global Warming

"In fact, these last fifteen years are in no way surprising: 1998 was an extremely hot El Niño year and the early 2000s were at the peak of a strong solar cycle. The remarkable thing is that global temperatures have remained close to the peak values of the late 1990s despite the fact that natural sources of variability would indicate that they should have cooled. A statistical model (based on the work of Judith Lean at the Naval Research Laboratory) that accounts for solar variability, El Niño, volcanic activity, and greenhouse warming indicates that the underlying trend of global warming has accelerated over the past 15 years."

(H/T Hank)

Anonymous said...

Kinda makes one wonder why the IPCC was so confident in their prediction.

Anonymous said...

Dunno how many have read the the article on Germany's power choices but it's worthwhile.

Alien

J Bowers said...

University of Sheffield -- Second anniversary of green energy research reveals solar panels “do what they say on the tin”. In the UK. I'll stick with the research by actual solar researchers who put it past peer review, thanks.

EliRabett said...

"Kinda makes one wonder why the IPCC was so confident in their prediction. "

Maybe because they were not theoretical nuclear physicists?

BBD said...

Dear Anon.

Kinda makes one wonder why the IPCC was so confident in their prediction.

Please link to the section(s) in AR4 where it states that natural variability stopped at the beginning of this century and 'predicts' that warming will be monotonic for the rest of this century.

BBD said...

I won't hold my breath.

Best not, ATTP. You might well die.

BBD said...

Whoops. Wrong thread. Apologies.

Hank Roberts said...

Wait, you're claiming this is a decrease? Doesn't look like it:

http://climatewatcher.webs.com/NCDC_TrendOfTrends_34.gif