Friday, December 25, 2015

Normal Science


In Eli's humble experience, junior high school and the Internet are major problems, at least as far as understanding what science is, because of the superhero syndrome, driven by Darwin, Newton, Einstein and Popper.  Popper, of course gets most of the blame and he deserves it.

Karl Popper conceptualized science as a never ending struggle to prove everything everybunny knows wrong. Popper saw science as a cycle of conjecture and refutation and that the best scientists should continually engage in throwing spaghetti against the wall to test which fall off (are refuted) and which stick (not yet refuted).

There are problems with this.  The model has some validity at the far edge, where nothing is known nor is there much experiences, think extreme high energies where string theory is currently doing battle with the multiverse but it is only there, in junior high classrooms where it is simple to teach and the Internet where everybunny is Galileo.

Normal science is done as a chess problem.  Players/scientists work out positions but they don't change the rules of the game.  There can arise situations such as pawn promotion which changed in the nineteenth century, but chess is a game of puzzle solving and it is not less interesting for that.  Changes in the rules improve and broaden the game, they don't change it into checkers.

Thomas Kuhn, in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" understood what normal science is
Normal Science means research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice.”
Normal Science by definition operates when scientists share a common set of theories, models and observations, in other words when there is a consensus. Normal science is puzzle solving within the field’s consensus. Kuhn understood how fascinating normal science can be, trying to understand the world within the structure of current knowledge.

The observant amongst bunnies out there have already noticed that this chops away at some of the most popular myths about science.  To Kuhn, and actually to 97%+ of the practicioners, consensus is where science starts and building upon that consensus is where 99.999% contribute. Kuhn points out that consensus among practicioners is almost unique to science and it is what allows science to progress.  This unique willingness of scientists to work within the consensus of their field is what drives scientific progress.  Policy communities, economists, social scientists are intellectually less constrained and less demanding of consistency.
The existence of a scientific consensus in a field implies a knowable nature.
 Because a problem has not yet been solved within the current consensus does not mean that a completely new consensus is needed.  Experience shows that it is more likely the observation or theoretical work has overlooked some factor or made a mistake.  It is only when a large body of work cannot be understood within the current consensus that scientists start looking for a new paradigm.  Major changes in the consensus, Kuhn's paradigm are almost without exception extensions of previous paradigms rather than refutations.  The new paradigm extends the region of validity of the old.

To this Eli can add a bit describing a useful scientific paradigm.  It is characterized by coherence, consilience and consensus, the rule of the three Cs.

Coherent paradigms are consistent

Consilient, paradigms explain much efficiently and are coherent

And consensus means just what Kuhn said, that members of the community can talk with each other in the framework of a coherent and consilient paradigm.

97 comments:

Russell Seitz said...

Thank you for explaining why climate skeptics generally have no one to talk to but themselves.

David B. Benson said...

Towards the end of his life Sir Karl modified his position. Even so, what he wrote helped to see that psychoanalysis was unscientific along with phrenology.

I hold that neither string theory nor the multiverse are science for much the same reasons. Of course I prefer Einstein-Cartain theory...

Oale said...

The opposite of normal science is nicely pictured in the X-mas special of xkcd: http://xkcd.com/1621/ (he forgot though about allowing the building of a laser sword and the warp drive)

Tom Curtis said...

May I introduce you to Imre Lakatos. His approach may be briefly summarized as Kuhn without the (false) claim of the incommensurability of paradigms (scientific research programs for Lakatos), a formulation that Kuhn and Lakatos both acknowledged. Alternatively, he can be viewed as Popper, with proper acknowledgement of the Duhem-Quine thesis. (Popper in fact acknowledged the significance of that thesis, stating that falsifications are a matter of convention. He failed to see that (or perhaps I simply fail to see how) his philosophy survives that acknowledgement without radical revision along the line of Lakatos's methodology of scientific research programs.

Tom Curtis said...

Sorry, link failed in prior post:
http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/lakatos-meth-sci-research-phil-papers-1.pdf

William Connolley said...

Popper makes perfect sense, but as a philosophy, not as a description of the scientific process.

the superhero syndrome, driven by Darwin, Newton, Einstein and Popper is very odd. D, N and E are the objects of the syndrome, if you like, but didn't drive it. Yer mass meeja and an unthinking public drives it.

andthentheresphysics said...

William,
What do you mean by this?
Popper makes perfect sense, but as a philosophy, not as a description of the scientific process.

Victor Venema said...

Kuhn was surprised how early those normal puzzling scientists picked the right winner in a post-normal scientific revolution.

My guess would be that the situation is much less black and white and that the best studies a normal scientists do are small scientific revolutions, just too specialised to make it into the science history books.

Popper worked on the philosophical question "what is science". Kuhn worked on the sociological question "what do scientists do". They are two different questions.

There is only a conflict if you think that Popper was a naive falsificationist; most likely just some of his followers are.

Brandon R. Gates said...

"A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." ~Max Planck

One hopes that the primary mode of transportation in downtown Miami isn't bass boats before the holdouts' grandkids get it.

Russell Seitz said...

Quine, Popper and Latakos didn't have to deal with models that function as metaphysical automata.

Belief in them used to drive orthodox Marxists up the wall, as they are not material things , but idealized constructs.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

It's interesting that you bring up the string theory multiverse verses standard model war, as I was totally unfamiliar with was going on in the field until I recently succeeded in unifying all of physics.

Here is the deal. Oh, forget it, this is too difficult to explain in a blog comment, it requires a full essay. I did try to explain it here.

http://cosmic.lifeform.org/quantum-cosmology-axion-higgs-topogravitoelectromagnetism/

I will patiently await for a consensus on this concept because the math is rock solid and experiments have already been performed here.

The 750 GeV CERN LHC resonance, if it pans out, is most likely graviton related, because black holes appear to be quite easy to produce in this universe. All it takes is some gravity and the strong force. It doesn't take the entire mass of the universe to make a black hole. In fact, it takes far less than that. It's not that supersymmetry and string theory aren't valid near Planck scale, it's just that we no longer need them to start playing with gravity.

snarkrates said...

"It is characterized by coherence, consilience and consensus, the rule of the three Cs."

I like this approach--it emphasizes that scientific consensus is not about a bunch of scientists agreeing about what is true, but rather is imposed on scientists by known truths.

neverendingaudit said...

'Tis the season where Eli reconciles himself with Thomas.

***

> as I was totally unfamiliar with was going on in the field until I recently succeeded in unifying all of physics.

An extension to http://xkcd.com/793/

EliRabett said...


As to Popper changing his mind there is a great story

" Sometime in the mid 1970s I was browsing the Philosophy of Science section of Dillon’s the London University Bookstore. I pulled out Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions for a look. A professorial type appeared alongside me and glanced at what I was reading: he said: ‘Scientific revolutions, my ass’ and walked off. It was Karl Popper."

Newton also was one of science's great self promoters.

EliRabett said...

jqb put this in the wrong place http://rabett.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-wonderful-day.html?showComment=1451106060013#c4249017580708043273

"It's good to see this article. For too long, the cranks and crackpots have been allowed to get away with the nonsense claim that consensus has nothing to do with science ... and with the absurd equation of consensus to "voting". Without consensus (agreement among those whose opinions are relevant -- practitioners in the field), we would be in no position to say what is or isn't science -- which is precisely why the cranks and crackpots oppose the notion. Without consensus, science could not progress -- we would just have a bunch of competing claims, with nothing every settled and no way to settle it ... which suits the deniers and delayers just fine.

Unfortunately, far too few scientists are familiar with the philosophy of science, with what science is or how it works, or with what words such as "consensus" mean. We see the same sort of ignorance when scientists, who should know better and could know better simply by cracking a dictionary, say silly things such as that belief plays no role in science, foolishly mistaking the word "belief" for the word "faith", which is unreasoned belief. Consensus refers to shared belief among those whose beliefs rest on the available evidence and on sound logic."

Russell Seitz said...

OpenID 8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df

Should be very unafraid:

At ~ 750 times the proton mass CERN's latest whatever boson falls a billion billion times short of the Planck mass, and fiftysomething orders of magnitude below the macro black hole formation limit.

guthrie said...

Eli #8:06am - exactly. I've been saying for years, i.e. about 4 years after I left a fairly good university with a chemistry degree, but knowing nothing about philosophy of science, that it should be taught to undergraduates. So that they understand the what, why and how much better. Too much university science is about memorising old stuff and going through the magical motions that will find out new stuff, without any idea of the deeper structures or needs.

EliRabett said...

guthrie that was jqb he posted it in another thread by mistake and Eli copied it over.

neverendingaudit said...

Writing a book with "structure" and "revolution" might not have been the best way to seek the LSE Sir's appraisal. It is common knowledge that Thomas only systematized the Black Panther's doctrine.

Popper went even further than consilience with his ideas on verisimilitude. These ideas never reached consensus. I suspect they were patches after people realized that his formal ideas were not that great. However, he did have many intuitions that are still worthwhile, for instance his promotion of Cournot's principle (or at least Doob's theorem):

> Most of the Viennese philosophers who escaped to the US (Carnap, Reichenbach) never digested Cournot’s principle. The exception was Karl Popper, for whom the meaning of all science lay in testing. Yet Popper failed to articulate Cournot’s principle clearly, perhaps out of vanity:

• In the English version of The Logic of Discovery he spent his time challenging Kolmogorov’s axioms.

• Most of his later work was devoted to trying to make “propensity” a novel idea.

• In his 1983 book, he tried to make something out of Dobb’s theorem on the impossibility of a gambling strategy.


http://www.glennshafer.com/assets/downloads/disappear.pdf

The best we could say of Popper is to provide an informal rational to Fisher's stats. They did not seem to know one another very well. Not that it matters - realists are legions.

Realists do not forgive. Realists do not forget. Expect realists.

JohnMashey said...

Although for different reasons, analogs (of scientific revolution, butcwith long petiods of "consensus" on then-best ways to build things) appear in technology history. See Computer History Museum's main Exhibition, named:
R|EVOLUTION... because:
-From one view, modern computing is a Revolution, much happening in one generation, an eyeblink of history. Compare 1946 ENIAC with smartphone ~60 years later.
-But there was a long history before that, and the Revolution depended on a myriad of Evolutionary improvements.

Now and an earlier "consensus" (magnetic core memories)!gets challenged by various others, and then one (DRAM) wins, and in a few years the old one dies out. But often, some consensus (CMOS semiconductirs) has a multi-decade run of incremental improvements.

William Connolley said...

> What do you mean by this?

Just what I said. K isn't very interesting philosophically, because all his stuff is about process. P, vice versa. As others say, the falsifiability stuff, if taken too seriously, is hard to reconcile with other stuff we call science; though arguably observational astronomy, which is non-falsifiable, is just stamp collecting :-)

EliRabett said...


John and Victor are, IEHO, confusing implementation of a paradigm (engineering) with the paradigm itself. The band theory of semiconductors emerged from quantum mechanics and Russell can tell you more about the family history on that side. The rest as a physicist would say is merely uninteresting detail. As for the von Neuman machine, there were already strong hints of that in Babbage's time. See Stephan Wolfram's analysis of Ada Lovelace's letters on Medium.

neverendingaudit said...

> K isn't very interesting philosophically, because all his stuff is about process. P, vice versa

I's say it's the other way around. K has interested philosophers quite a bit more than P. The latter is mainly known for his two main blunders, i.e. his demarcation criteria and his argument (if you can call them that) against induction.

***

> chess is a game of puzzle solving

Garry Kasparov might disagree. He's known to consider chess as mental torture. Playing Chess is more related to ClimateBall than to puzzles. However, there is a thing called a chess problem:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_problem

Solving this kind of problem would incidentally approximate how Popper consider science, and perhaps all human activities, since he's known to have said that life was problem solving.



Bryson said...

The fact of consensus is a good starting point. It's closely related to our confidence in ordinary observation, where regular patterns of independent agreement build confidence in our ability to reliably make observations of a wide range of objects and events- and its absence (where others are able to achieve it) signals difficulties (such as colour blindness...) The success of science in extending and refining methods of calculation and observation that achieve increasingly precise and consistent agreement is (as I see it) the basis for our confidence in science. This pragmatic view pushes the pursuit of 'truth' (in the ideal, philosophical sense) aside. Popper. like too many others (cf. the ongoing realist/ anti-realist debate) was focused on this idealized view of truth. He also shared with most in the empiricist tradition a sharp distinction between the epistemic statuses of observervation claims, logical and mathematical claims, and claims grounded in (what is generally called) 'induction'. But if reliable independent agreement is essential to the status of all assertions we accept in science, induction is involved in all three types of claims and Popper's rejectiin of induction undermines all three.

JohnMashey said...

For Eli: the point is that engineering has paradigms, too, and our friend Ursula Martin had been curating Ada's letters at Oxford, and in showing frirnds around Museum today, as i always do, i show them the Babbage Engine we have. We also havd a big nrw Ads exhibit. So, none if this is news, but part if the long history i alluded to. Of course, Babbage never finished it.

Unknown said...

Connelly -- arguably observational astronomy, which is non-falsifiable, is just stamp collecting :-)

Uh ... observations are observations, as long as they're done competently. So an observation is only 'falsifiable' in the sense that someone might show that you screwed it up.

But even the thinnest of interpretations, far short of grant theory, are eminently falsifiable. When "luminous arcs" were discovered in clusters of galaxies, they were at first interpreted as some kind of blast wave in the cluster itself, but if I recally, they didn't show emission lines, but rather absorption spectra at redshifts much higher than the cluster, indicating that they were gravitationally lensed background galaxies.

Kevin O'Neill said...

The faster-than-light-neutrino results that were observed by OPERA were falsified. Just because something is observed doesn't mean that the observation is *true* - many observations are eventually discarded because of equipment failures/miscalibration, operator error, and/or readings later found to be contaminated by systemic errors.

Pierre-Normand said...

Very nice OP and some very good comments by Tom Curtis, Eli, Bryson and others.

Under pressure by some of his critics (including Putnam and Lakatos) Popper was led to acknowledge explicitly the essential role that auxiliary hypotheses play in the process of bringing results of experiments (and passive observations) to logically bear on theories. Popper was thus led to say that what is falsified by conflicting observation always is the conjunction of a theory and some auxiliary hypothesis, and not the theory alone. But this acknowledgment is troublesome for Popper's broad falsificationist account of scientific progress, as well as his demarcation criterion.

When scientists are enabled to retain a theory that has merely seemed to have been falsified by experience, though modifying some auxiliary hypothesis, then what really remains of the logic of falsification? It seems to me Popper may not have dealt satisfactorily with all the implications of the essential theory-ladeness of experience.

If theory-ladeness implies that experience can't be brought to bear on theories except as interpreted within some specific historically situated paradigm, as Kuhnian philosophy of science suggests, then many philosophers, Popper included, have feared that radical incommensurability, or some troublesome forms of relativism, or radical constructivism, followed. Scientific realism was threatened. I don't think this threat is quite as severe as many have feared. Only "naive-realism" is threatened. As others have noted in this thread, successful paradigms seldom are wholly incommensurable with one another, and, although they may sometimes sustain "degenerative research programs" (Lakatos) they also often come to be refined, conservatively extended to broader domains of inquiry, or they retain legitimate, although restricted, domains of application (e.g. Newtonian mechanics as a limiting case of Special Relativity).

More importantly, although the necessary generation of auxiliary hypotheses, which constitutes a large part of the process of "normal science" (the theoretically conservative activity of "puzzle solving"), always operates within a definite paradigm, it is still quite severely constrained by the partial independence of various laws and principle within the paradigm. Clark Glymour, for instance, has proposed a "bootstrap" conception of empirical confirmation that dovetails quite well about our ideas of consilience among various disciplines. Consilience also operate within individual disciplines (e.g. climate science) when the broad theory is used at once to make sense of observation (e.g. some law is assumed to hold) while at the same time testing another implication of the theory (e.g. a consequence of another law, or another independent consequence of that law).

In this way, the essential theory-ladeness of experience is acknowledged to bear on the constitution, and rationally motivated selection of, empirical data, while, at the same time allowing experience to bear on theories in a way such that it can "falsify" them through revealing lines of tension, or some degree of degeneracy of a (or part of a) research program, etc.

John said...

Popper is famous for proclaiming that theories are never proven, but they can be falsified. It a proposed theory can't be falsified, then they're not a theory. Or so says Popper.

Oh, yeah? (Says me)

Can you really say with a straight face that Darwin's theory of evolution has not been proven? My biologist friends are fond of saying that without evolution, nothing in biology makes sense.

What about Einstein's theory of special relativity (SR)? Is that also "not proven?" Modern particle accelerators, including electron synchrotrons, reliably manipulate beams of particles at 99.99999% of the speed of light. If SR were not right, it would be an amazing coincidence that particle accelerators work so well.

Popper is wrong. Theories can be proven, and are extremely unlikely to be falsified, ever

Popper is wrong on a second point, IMHO. Instead of saying that a theory must show how it would be falsified, I think it's better to say that a theory should say how it could be tested.

Example #1: String theory can't be tested, AFAIK. So string theory is not a theory.

Example #2: What about the recent discovery in cosmology, that the expansion of the universe is faster now than it was a few billion years ago? My impression is that the only real consensus is that the astronomy/cosmology community is in trouble. Cosmologists are prone to say, the acceleration of the expansion is no problem. We just discovered dark energy, which has exactly the right properties to explain our data.

Dark matter and dark energy are the modern equivalent of ether and phlogiston.





neverendingaudit said...

> Can you really say with a straight face that Darwin's theory of evolution has not been proven?

Of course I can. It's easy. There's no proof of evo, because the notion of a proof goes against the very idea that biology contains contingent knowledge. Empirical sciences don't produce the kinds of positive proofs we can find in more formal fields.

That said, I'm not even sure to what the expression "theory of evolution" refers. Is there a real set of definitive statements somewhere that we can call the theory of evolution? Suppose there is. I duly submit it contains claims that we may try to falsify.

The problem with falsificationnism is not that it's false - it can't be falsified anyway. It's that it's trivial and not that crucial. Of course empirical sciences rest on falsifiers. However, science ain't about proving things wrong, it's about understanding the world.

***

Sometimes, using a Popperian model just makes sense. For instance, here's Scott Denning telling the Heartland crowd that scientists are a skeptical bunch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GHlnjrZLUo

That said, Kuhn's notion of disciplinary matrix just wins. Here's an application of that concept to immunology:

http://qobweb.igc.gulbenkian.pt/ti/Documents/ICBAS/Material/Chapter2_961118.pdf

Tom Curtis said...

John, for any set of observations, there are an infinite number of distinct theories that predict those observations. It follows that no theory can be 'proven' in the deductive sense which Popper had in mind. Further, Popper accepted Hume's critique of induction, extending it with an analysis of probability theory. If you accept the validity of Hume's claims, no theory can even be inductively confirmed. For Popper, these two constraints justify a methodological falsificationism. Unfortunately he did not notice that Humean skepticism of induction also invalidates falsification.

With regard to terminology:
1) A theory is a set of sentences closed under implication, from which it follows that String theory, or at least some specific versions of it, are theories.

2) Science is what scientists do, from which it follows that string theory is a scientific research program (using Lakatos' terminology), at least some versions of which are scientific theories.

Based on Lakatos, again, we can say that string theory is not a progressive scientific research program, ie, it predicts no novel empirical results. From that little follows except that truth claims for string theory are not justified. It is certainly appropriate for scientists to continue to pursue non-progressive programs - so long as they keep proper score (ie, acknowledge that the program is not progressive). By doing so they may be able to turn it into a progressive program.

andthentheresphysics said...

K isn't very interesting philosophically, because all his stuff is about process. P, vice versa. As others say, the falsifiability stuff, if taken too seriously, is hard to reconcile with other stuff we call science; though arguably observational astronomy, which is non-falsifiable, is just stamp collecting :-)
Even though they let me go to the telescope every now and again, I'm technically not an observational astronomer :-) I see what you mean. Essentially what Eli was getting at with his The model has some validity at the edges,...

Greg said...

Eli,
Without disagreeing with anything you said, particularly about consensus and coherence, let me suggest there is a better analogy than chess. Science is a jigsaw puzzle (of unknown total size). Coherence = all the pieces have to fit. Consensus = the current understanding of how the pieces fit. I could elaborate, but instead I'll paste in the text of my most recent attempt to use this analogy, specifically for climate science.
----------------

I have seen climate science described as a "house of cards". Anyone who adopts that approach, explicitly or implicitly, is not to be trusted because the correct analogy (for all knowledge really, but science in particular) is a jigsaw puzzle. In science, all the pieces have to fit. Science is building a jigsaw puzzle of unknown size out from the middle. Some of the pieces at the current boundary might be in doubt, but the pieces that are locked in on all sides are scientific truth. When someone claims a new piece that doesn't fit, it must be treated with great skepticism. Every once in awhile a new piece really does radically alter our understanding of other pieces (e.g. Relativity) but they're only right because they actually make the other pieces fit even better than they did. Climate science consists of a very large number of pieces, extending from deep in the understood sections of the puzzle, where they fit perfectly with all of accepted physics, out to regions on the boundary where there is still uncertainty. But the uncertain areas are esoteric, not fundamental. Questions like "Is non-linear collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in a couple of centuries a reasonable possibility" are the topics on the edge.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that if someone claims a new single explanation (for say, observed warming) they have to also explain why all the existing understanding (in this case, of how heat transfer in the atmosphere works) is wrong, even though the existing understanding is consistent with fundamental physics.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

Dark matter and dark energy are the modern equivalent of ether and phlogiston.

Excellent, we have a perfect way to study the transition from pre to post normal science then. What I have done is given you the perfect way to proceed without spending billions of dollars and digging huge circular tunnels in the ground that won't get you there anyways.

And Russel, for something that is supposed to be so hard to get to, black holes seem to be continually popping up everywhere in this universe. It's hard to even call it a unified verse anymore. You should be impressed that even Forbes is covering this controversy.

I predict a superconducting Axion - Higgs simulator will rock your world soon. Nothing is weirder than a very large fraction of the mass of the universe floating all around you entirely unbeknownst, where the answers can be found by people in relatively small labs.

We're gonna need more helium.

hypergeometric said...

@Victor,

I found Kuhn's Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity to be quite different in tone than Revolutions. It captured more of the Planck-struggling-to-figure-it-out thing than a lightning flash of insight from the blue, and more continuity with prevailing physics.

I suspect Einstein's thought experiments pertaining to Relativity are overplayed. I was asked to read a paper by Einstein in the original German for a physics class in college, and, apart from being shocked at the notational liberties Einstein took with his mathematical notation, the impression I had was a mind having a complete mastery of all branches of classical physics, and being completely at ease marshalling any bit of it to a present argument.

EliRabett said...

Some idle comments

Greg's puzzle analogy captures Lakatos' core/periphery research program paradigm (hate that word) and some of the comments above. The core being held much more tightly and no one much worrying if parts of the periphery have to be discarded or altered. A bunny could, of course regard Kuhn as the core and Lakatos as the periphery. . .

Willard, what is the mapping between engineer, scientist, philosopher and rock, paper, scissor?

Tom, consilience and coherence are the tools used to prefer one set of theories from another. For example, in chemistry, things like valence, oxidation number, the periodic table etc were all subsumed into the atomic aufbau principle.

Finally, the motivation for this post was as Guthrie and others point out the cluelessness of educators and many scientists about what science is and how denialists and flim flamers use this to their advantage.

neverendingaudit said...

Here, Eli:

- Philosopher beats Engineer;
- Engineer beats Scientist;
- Scientist beats Philosopher.

Scientists get bamboozled by engineered overprecision (i.e. technocratism), but engineers can't win parsomatics against philosophers, while philosophers need to bow to scientific explanations (i.e. naturalism).

Russell Seitz said...

Dissing observational sciences as stamp collecting doesn't work too well .

Being stamped out , stamps are created equal, but everything natural history creates bears the complex stamp of contingency- mineralogy reminds us real solids are a far cry from ideal ones, and the end result is that they are a lot harder to model.

Things continue to be discovered in advance of their prediction from theory.

Richard S J Tol said...

Eli invited me over, perhaps because he wants me to repeat that I have no objections to consensus per se, but I do object to the way in which Cook et al. collected, analyzed and reported their data.

andthentheresphysics said...

Richard,
but I do object to the way in which Cook et al. collected, analyzed and reported their data.
And that then means that you are justified in saying things in your recently accepted paper that you know to be untrue? Is this the "two wrongs make a right" method of scientific discovery? I would take what you say about consensus studies more seriously if you didn't continually say things that you know to be untrue.

I'll also repeat the very basic point that you seem completely incapable of accepting. If you disagree with how someone else collected, analysed and reported their data, you don't go around JAQing off, you collect it, analyse it, and report it in the way in which you think is correct. Of course, we can probably guess why you'd rather not do that; you know that the result in Cook et al. is roughly correct and hence redoing in a way that you think is correct, would undermine the message you're trying to promote (for example; a 5C change in global temperature is no big deal because we warm - on average - by 8C between 6am and 12pm?????).

Hence, all that you are doing is implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) going around smearing another researcher. Not only do I find that rather unethical (given that they can't really defend themselves against you implications), it's also hard to take your claims that you're simply defending the scientific method seriously, given that the one person involved in this who continually repeats things that are untrue is you.

Tom said...

ATTP, can it. Cook et al is garbage and everyone knows it.

There is a consensus. It is faithfully reported as 66% of climate scientists practicing in the field who believe half or more of the current warming is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases. See Verheggen et al. See Bray, von Storch et al.

Why defend nonsense? This was an interesting discussion until you showed up.

andthentheresphysics said...

Tom,

ATTP, can it. Cook et al is garbage and everyone knows it.

No they don't. What an utterly bizarre thing to say. Of course, that you would ignore that those who attack Cook et al. typically say things that are untrue while doing so, is no great surprise. Also, if the consensus in the literature is 66%, you should have no trouble finding abstracts/papers that minimise the anthropogenic influence. Download 100 and you should find 30-40. Off you go, and report back once you've found them. I won't bother holding my breath.

andthentheresphysics said...

Tom,
I notice that you've managed to write another post about me, in which you misrepresent me and in which I can't defend myself either. I don't hugely care as I expect little else from you. I will point out, though, that when people refer to stablising temperatures in this context, they're referring to stablising it with respect to the anthropogenic influence only. Of course there will be variability and other factors may influence temperatures. But if we want it to - on average - stop rising, then we need to get emissions to zero, or close to zero. If we continue to emit CO2, atmospheric concentrations will continue to increase, and temperatures will continue - on average - to rise.

Bernard J. said...

ATTP.

Tom appears to have an ideology-fact barrier in the same way as there exists a blood-brain barrier. Tom's barrier is such that it only permits the crossing of those factoid nutrients that are necessary for and benign to the survival of his ideology, and that preclude entry of any facts that may threaten it - no matter how often he is exposed to those facts, or how objectively useful those facts may in fact be.

Tom said...

I've attacked Cook, ATTP, and I haven't said anything that was untrue. His work is garbage. Nor is what I've said about the real state of the consensus untrue.

As for complaining about my post, once again you are in the unfortunate position of telling us that you didn't mean what you wrote. What a surprise. Perhaps you struggle to understand why people keep calling to your attention the fact that you write things that are not so and then say it's bizarre when people point that out to you.

Bernard J, blah, blah, blah. That's all you've got.

andthentheresphysics said...

Tom,

I've attacked Cook, ATTP, and I haven't said anything that was untrue. His work is garbage. Nor is what I've said about the real state of the consensus untrue.

I know you've attacked Cook. A great deal of what you've said is untrue, about John Cook and many other things. It is your forte. Now go and find those 30-40, out of 100, abstracts/papers that minimise the anthropogenic influence.


As for complaining about my post, once again you are in the unfortunate position of telling us that you didn't mean what you wrote.

No, I'm telling you that I didn't mean what you seem to think I said. I can't help it if you simply don't understand this topic particularly well. This is not even complicated. It's also not my problem. That you would strawman people in order to make whatever case you're trying to make, reflects extremely poorly on you. I used to find it utterly bizarre, but I don't anymore.


Perhaps you struggle to understand why people keep calling to your attention the fact that you write things that are not so and then say it's bizarre when people point that out to you.

Very few people do this, and those that do appear to be dishonest hypocrites. If you struggle to understand why I regard you as a dishonest hypocrite, it's because a great deal of what you say is untrue (and you must know to be untrue) and because you complain about labelling while labelling others in utterly despicable ways. That you do not understand this is no great surprise.

Tom said...

I don't struggle to understand why you call me names. I'm on the opposite side of the fence from you and you cannot answer my arguments. Names are what's left.

As for Cook, come on over to my place and talk about him. The conversation preceding your first comment was far more interesting than your BabbleOn obfuscation here.

andthentheresphysics said...

Tom,
I don't struggle to understand why you call me names. I'm on the opposite side of the fence from you and you cannot answer my arguments. Names are what's left.

Based on this response, you clearly do not understand.


As for Cook, come on over to my place and talk about him. The conversation preceding your first comment was far more interesting than your BabbleOn obfuscation here.

Not only have I been banned from your site (and, just to be clear, I'm not complaining; you've done me a favour), I wouldn't waste my time even if I wasn't. Now, why don't you go and find all those abstracts/papers that minimise the anthopogenic influence. If the consensus really is 66%, they should be easy to find.

neverendingaudit said...

> See Verheggen et al.

Speaking of whom:

If you were to insist on including undetermined responses in calculating the level of agreement, then it’s best to only use results from Q3. Tom Fuller’s 66% becomes 83% in that case (the level of consensus for all respondents), showing the lack of robustness in this approach when applied to Q1.

https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/pbl-survey-shows-strong-scientific-consensus-that-global-warming-is-largely

***

> This was an interesting discussion until you showed up.

I was thinking the same about GW, who is now triggering GW's law: any thread with Groundskeeper Willie ends up with Groundskeeper Willie ripping off his shirt.

Eli Made RT Do It, whom in turn Made GW Do It.

neverendingaudit said...

> [Y]ou cannot answer my arguments. Names are what's left.

GW himself shows otherwise, e.g.

[B]lah, blah, blah. That's all you've got.

EliRabett said...

Now some, not Eli to be sure, object to Eli referring to his self as Eli, but of course that has the virtue of making it not all about Eli, who is simply a third person in waiting.

Bernard J. said...

"Bernard J, blah, blah, blah. That's all you've got."

See, Tom, you miss the small points as much as you do the serious scientific ones.

At least you're consistent.

Russell Seitz said...

An honest hypocrite is hard to find- Tom's performance here , pretty much recapitulates McIntyre's over at Bishop Hill

Everett F Sargent said...

RS,

Why won't you answer The Auditor's question as asked?

"Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years?"

Loaded question ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

"[T]he question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda."

Question dodging
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_dodging

"A false accusation of question dodging can sometimes be made as a disingenuous tactic in debate, in the informal fallacy of the loaded question."

IMHO, The Auditor needs to audit his own question.

Tom said...

So you have no answer to Mac's question.

Tom said...

So you have no answer to Mac's question.

cRR Kampen said...

Tom, take it to Chennai, Cumbria, Asunción, Missouri because who gives a flying f#ck for 'consensus' when reality gives!
(you won't, coward, you won't).

Tom said...

CRRKampen, *yawn*, if you want to trade weather horror stories, fine. "The 1931 China floods or the 1931 Yellow River floods were a series of floods that occurred in the Republic of China. The floods are generally considered among the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded, and almost certainly the deadliest of the 20th century (when pandemics and famines are discounted).[2] Estimates of the total death toll range from 145,000[1] to between 3.7 million and 4 million."

Russell Seitz said...

What Tom is trying to say is


"When was the third time you stopped beating your wife ?"

Kevin O'Neill said...

Tom, "More than 50,000 dams have been constructed throughout the Yangtze’s watershed, and in 2003, the world’s largest hydropower project, the Three Gorges Dam (TGD)13, began its operation."

And even with those thousands of dams being built the 1998 floods affected 180 million people with 13.3 million houses damaged or destroyed. All of this despite the improved technology and infrastructure compared to 1931.

You can't compare human death tolls or capital losses between eras - too many confounding factors. You *can* compare actual meteorological statistics. Wiki says 2 feet of rain in 1931, 1 meter of rain in 1998.

OTOH, when was the last time the north pole saw above freezing temperatures in the dead of winter? Never before in recorded history.

As Judah Cohen said back in 2012: "... if it continues to get much warmer in the fall, precipitation that currently falls as snow will fall as rain instead, eliminating the winter cooling." Not even Judah could predict we'd see that precipitation in *winter* falling as rain. Yes, it's weather - but oh what weather it is. And every sign points to *more* of it in the future.

Let's not forget to give James Hansen his kudos either. Storms of My Grandchildren? Hell, Frank is almost exactly what he was describing. They're here now - not 30 or 50 years from now.

One thing I've learned is that scientists are generally conservative. Actual climatic events happen much faster than they typically expect. 2016 is already - before it's even started - setting up to be warmer than 2015. That will be three record breaking years in a row. At some point it will be time to throw in the towel, Tom. Or you can continue to be a foolish relic.

Bernard J. said...

Tom, as is your wont, you disregard the issue of rates - rates of change, rates of extreme occurrences. These matter, greatly.

As I said at Sou's:

"Life on Earth cannot afford this rate of record-breaking to continue for any appreciable time.

It just can't.
"

Tom said...

Twice this year the mountain above my house received 990 mm of rain in a 24 hour period. yawn. It didn't even make the news.

cRR Kampen said...

Did you enjoy it, Tom.
Great. Because such 1931 floods could become like normal soon (Bangladesh, though that country already saw 20-30M flee from the coasts this century).
Do you enjoy it, Tom?

Don't trade with me. I know a bloody fucking lot about past and present weather and climate. You, as a climate revisionist, do not - trust me.

Tom said...

CRR Kampen, I won't pretend to know what you know or don't know. Hint: That's a sign of good sense.

Bernard J, You know this exactly how?

Bernard J. said...

"Bernard J, You know this exactly how?"

Science, Tom Fuller, science.

Look at it some time.

Tom said...

So should you, Bernard J.

You might be an intelligent and truly delightful human being. However, you write as someone who should be locked in a barrel and fed through the bunghole.

You claim to be an ecologist and yet you studiously ignore the factors that are causing 99% of the harm to the biota of this planet and focus maniacally on the factor causing the remaining 1%.

You write as if you are really weird.

snarkrates said...

Why are people engaging with Tom Fuller? He's already demonstrated his learning curve does not have a positive slope, and his claims are self refuting. Why not just let his stupidity echo across the Internet?

cRR Kampen said...

"I won't pretend to know what you know or don't know." means you will keep lying or never learn (pay the money, take a choice).
Since I just told you what I know.

snarkrates, two reasons.
1. Fun, amusement - bully the bullies.
2. Creation of an internet trail that will give me the right to kick back into the floods all those climate revisionists trying to clamber out crying 'wir haben es nicht gewusst'.
Use 'm. They're used to being used anyway.

Bernard J. said...

"You claim to be an ecologist and yet you studiously ignore the factors that are causing 99% of the harm to the biota of this planet and focus maniacally on the factor causing the remaining 1%."

That's complete bollocks Fuller and you know it. Jeff Harvey and I have a rather long conversation with you several years ago at Bart's about the various impacts that humans are having on the biosphere, and I most certainly did not make light of the other severe problems that humans are visiting on the environment. I certainly don't in my professional work, but that's none of your business...

The reason that I focus on human-caused global warming on these forums is that it's the subject matter here. Of course, given your demonstrated Morton's demon that vies with the chip on your shoulder, I am not surprised that the point seems to escape you entirely.

Unless of course you're simply engaging in another of your trademark straw men arguements... although I would note that such does not preclude the simultaneous operation of a Morton's demon or of an ideology/fact barrier such as I mentioned a few days ago.

As for "manic focus", how about you look beyond your fear of losing fossil energy, and consider a planet that is able to wean itself off carbon before it peaks and circumstances necessarily force humans to confront both an unreplaced energy source, and a FUBARed climate.

Just sayin'...

EliRabett said...

Tommie lad, surely you know that heavy rain from typhoons is rather common in Taiwan. Don't try and mis lead. Ok?

Tom said...

You people are really, really strange. I was advocating nuclear as the solution to climate change 10 years ago. Kampen, you're a strange duck. Not as strange as Bernard J, but considerably more unpleasant. You're just another of the blah-blah brigade.

Speaking of which, Bernard J. I well remember our interactions (almost called it a conversation, but your end was just a monologue) at Bart's. No, you didn't do more than nod your head at habitat loss, introduction of alien species, over-hunting/fishing and pollution. It was all CO2, only CO2, 24 hours a day.

Rabett, it rains alike on the just and the unjust. And it rains a lot during typhoons. But people who are used to it don't think it's Armageddon.

Bernard J. said...

"Speaking of which, Bernard J. I well remember our interactions (almost called it a conversation, but your end was just a monologue) at Bart's. No, you didn't do more than nod your head at habitat loss, introduction of alien species, over-hunting/fishing and pollution. It was all CO2, only CO2, 24 hours a day."

Fuller, you can assert it but it doesn't make it true.

As you're hard of learning I'll repeat two points for you. First, I have on many occasions discussed factors other than global warming in the context of damage to the environment. Deltoid in particular is littered with such discussions, and for real giggles you should read the Tim Curtin threads and get his take on the apparent non-damaging wonders of palm oil plantations.

Secondly, these forums are generally focussed on human-caused climate change, and that is why I focus on them here. I have spent many years working to address other impacts on biodiversity (ferals and habitat destruction in particular) but that work is not the subject on these onlime conversations.

And I'll throw in a third issue for you, just in case you're still not understanding why I speak so much about global warming. Increasing the temperature of the planet by even a degree profoundly exacerbates the other pressures on biodiversity: several degrees of warming are going to be catastrophic for many species and ecosystems, and 4-6+ degrees warming will cause profound damage to a large chunk of our biodiversity, and especially to our vertebrate biodiversity. Therefore mitigating global warming will address both the synergistic harm that it wreaks in concert with the non-climate damage to the environment, and it will address the direct effect that it will have on species and ecosystem - an effect that, if warming is not properly addressed for a few more decades, will make all other human impacts pale by comparison.

Finally, there are plenty of others online who discuss elsewhere other human impacts (even myself, in some cases), and I see no need to raise those issues here beyond the extent to which I do when the topics become germane to the climate discussion.

Yes, I focus on global warming here - for good reason. I know that you don't want the world to address fossil carbon emissions because it clashes with your ideology, but I also know the damage that those carbon emissions are causing and will continue to cause. If this shits you... well, petal, just get over yourself: global warming is a profoundly serious problem, and if the likes of you get your way and we don't address it post haste the planet will within decades be committed to a future where down the track it is screwed for human society and for a large chunk of life on Earth.

cRR Kampen said...

"But people who are used to it don't think it's Armageddon.", well ibbd, but a happy and safe 2016 wished from Gouda, The Netherlands for all the bunnies out there.

Russell Seitz said...

David B. Benson said...
" Towards the end of his life Sir Karl modified his position. Even so, what he wrote helped to see that psychoanalysis was unscientific along with phrenology. "


Could this explain the embrace of former Freudians as psychological strategists by [ insert name of movement here ]?

Tom said...

Bernard J, I went over to Bart's site to one of the threads on biodiversity and looked at our exchanges.

Just for grins, I thought I'd remind you that you never responded to sidd's attribution for species loss taken from a paper that you originally cited (Hoffman et al):

Mr. Bernard J. kindly posted a link to Hoffman et al. In the paper.From the abstract:

“…main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species. ”

To check Mr. Fuller’s guess about 1% loss to climate change:

fig S7 allow one to estimate the fraction of deteriorating species (of the IUCN list of 25780 endangered species) due to climate change or extreme weather and fire regime changes, as well as several other factors:

For birds: total number of deteriorating species=433, those due to climate change or severe weather, 8, those due to fire regime change, 1
The corresponding numbers
For mammals:: 171,3,7
For amphibians: 456, 5,1

Slightly above 1%.

Bernard J. said...

What's your point Tom Fuller?

I've already said above and elsewhere, and many times in the past, that the climatic impacts of global warming are largely yet to be realised, and the currently manifested effects are accumulating as extinction debt.

And I also said that the amount of extinction already attributed to human-caused global warming is more than I expected, especially given that extinction as a phenomenon is such that for every extinction that we detect there are many that are not detected.

Further, the non-climate-related human impacts on the planet's biodiversity have been operating for longer than has any appreciable climate change, and they operate more directly on species and ecosystems.

I am very well aware of the suite of causes of extinction to date, and if you visited the Tim Curtin threads on Deltoid you'd know this. It's also one of the reasons that I linked to Hoffman et al at Bart's in the first place...

None of this changes the fact that global warming is going to be a huge hit on planetary biodiversity further into this century, and over coming centuries, both through direct effects and through exacerbation of other non-climate-change impacts. Yes, those impacts must be addressed - I've said so repeated and it's been a part of my work for years - but if global warming is not also addressed, urgently and comprehensively, then most of the other moves to reverse human impacts on the ecology of the planet will have been for naught.

And if you have a bee in your bonnet about my focus on global warming on these threads, why should not the rest of us have a hive of bees in our respective bonnnets about your persistent indulgence in attempting to trivialise global warming, especially when doing such relies on dissemblance and misrepresentation of the scientific facts as best as they are understood?

BBD said...

What's your point Tom Fuller?

Denial. Denial is the point, Bernard.

Denial of the seriousness of the threat posed to biodiverstity later this century and beyond by AGW is Tom's default state. Denial is what Tom does, even while screeching that he doesn't and tearing his shirt off.

Tom said...

Bernard J., that's the third or fourth time you have recommended I visit Deltoid to see something you wrote there.

As I've mentioned before, I don't go there. People like BBD hang out there and occasionally escape. If there's something you want me to read, bring it over here.

I wrote about the dangers global warming poses to biodiversity 10 years ago. I believe I accurately described it as the straw that will break the camel's back for unfortunate species already over-stressed by the real problems our ecosphere faces as mentioned above--habitat destruction, hunting/fishing, pollution and introduction of alien species.

If you want to equate accuracy with trivialization, well that's what I expect from the member of a cult. You're not as stupid as BBD and BP (has anyone ever seen them in the same room?), but that's not saying much.

Bottom line--you're serving as an enabler for planners and developers destroying habitat by sucking all the eco-oxygen out of the room for your pet little obsession. You make it more likely that there will be no biome left for climate change to screw up.

neverendingaudit said...

> I went over to Bart's [...]

However, Groundskeeper Willie did not come back with a lousy T-shirt with the URL for the comment:

https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/biodiversity-extinction-climate-change/#comment-11576

He does not mention Rattus Norvegicus and Jeff Harvey.

Let's quote another comment ­a bit further:



When it makes Jeff Harvey comments like he does right now, a little bit of [shirt ripping] brings no harm to the thread.

When it makes people flame [Groundskeeper Willie], a little bit of [shirt ripping] always derails the discussion, hijacks the thread.

Which way obfuscates the absence of the defender (Jeff Id, here) the best?

How many times must this go on before people realize that the whole point of [Groundskeeper Willie] is to become the whipping-boy, to report elsewhere how the warmists are bad mouthed, have no manners, and are verging on the hysterical?

[Groundskeeper Willie] is playing Poor Me. Wake up.

neverendingaudit said...

And of course Bernard J already responded:

https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/biodiversity-extinction-climate-change/#comment-11658

And Groundskeeper Willie already commented on it at BartV's, so pleading ignorance might be a bit farfetched right now.

The audit never ends.

Bernard J. said...

"As I've mentioned before, I don't go there."

Fine, that's entirely your prerogative, but if you don't want to see examples of the fact that I actually understand the other environmental issues confronting biodiversity and even talk about them in appropriate contexts, then don't accuse me of ignoring them. Just pop your head back into the sand like that proverbial and unfortunately much-maligned ratite...

And do try to grasp the fact that I am speaking about climate change here because it's the primary subject of these types of fora, and because I think that it will subsume all other impacts over time.

"Bottom line--you're serving as an enabler for planners and developers destroying habitat by sucking all the eco-oxygen out of the room for your pet little obsession."

Really Fuller, get over yourself. Addressing climate change need not happen to the exclusion of mitigating other human impacts.

Perhaps you can't walk and chew gum at the same time but as a society we should very definitely be able to do so. I certainly do - I've variously worked on habitat destruction, wildlife diseases, water pollution, feral pests and habitat destruction in my professional life, and because I believe it to be the most serious problem of all I choose to focus on climate change in my online discourse.

The fact is that compared with other human impacts there's a much more concerted campaign to misdirect attention away from action on climate change, when it is in fact the problem that requires the greatest concerted global effort to address.

In case you're still not getting the message I'll repeat if for you yet again - climate change's profound import, and the work of people like yourself to distract attention away from addressing it, are the reasons why I focus so much on it. And what's really fascinating is your "pet little obsession" about the fact that I am a staunch supporter of getting the message across that climate change is an existential threat to a coherent global society, and to global biodiversity...

"I believe I accurately described it as the straw that will break the camel's back for unfortunate species already over-stressed by the real problems our ecosphere faces..."

No, it's not "the straw that will break the camel's back". Such a description implies that it is a small thing that will tip the weight of profoundly larger problems. In the greater scheme of things, which includes the effect of warming over the coming centuries and millennia, climate change is a monster that has the capacity to not only multiply the effects of other impacts many times, if left unaddressed it has the capacity to completely overshadow by itself those other effects.

Bernard J. said...

Dang, Willard gazzumped my ace-up-the-sleeve.

I was wondering how long Tom Fuller would persist with his preoccupation about my AGW focus before I pointed him to that post, which pretty much explained it all to him the first time 'round.

Oh well, I look forward to whatever gambit TF tries to pull now.

Tom said...

"climate change is a monster that has the capacity to not only multiply the effects of other impacts many times, if left unaddressed it has the capacity to completely overshadow by itself those other effects."

I consider that pernicious, alarmist claptrap. Perhaps you can cite the papers that the IPCC WG2 and WG3 somehow missed.

Tom said...

Rural Areas: Major future rural impacts are expected in the near term and beyond through impacts on water availability and supply, food security, and agricultural incomes, including shifts in production areas of food and non-food crops across the world (high confidence). These impacts are expected to disproportionately affect the welfare of the poor in rural areas, such as female-headed households and those with limited access to land, modern agricultural inputs, infrastructure, and education. Further adaptations for agriculture, water, forestry, and biodiversity can occur through policies taking account of rural decision-making contexts. Trade reform and investment can improve market access for small-scale farms (medium confidence).

Extinction risk is increased under all RCP scenarios, with risk increasing
with both magnitude and rate of climate change. Many species will be unable to track suitable climates under mid- and high-range rates of
climate change (i.e., RCP4.5, 6.0, and 8.5) during the 21st century (medium confidence). Lower rates of change (i.e., RCP2.6) will pose fewer
problems. See Figure SPM.5. Some species will adapt to new climates. Those that cannot adapt sufficiently fast will decrease in abundance or
go extinct in part or all of their ranges. Management actions, such as maintenance of genetic diversity, assisted species migration and dispersal,
manipulation of disturbance regimes (e.g., fires, floods), and reduction of other stressors, can reduce, but not eliminate, risks of impacts to
terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems due to climate change, as well as increase the inherent capacity of ecosystems and their species to adapt
to a changing climate (high confidence).

Marine systems: Marine systems
Due to projected climate change by the mid 21st century and beyond, global marine-species redistribution and marine-biodiversity reduction in sensitive regions will challenge the sustained provision of fisheries productivity and other ecosystem services (high confidence). Spatial shifts of marine species due to projected warming will cause high-latitude invasions and high local-extinction rates in the tropics and semi-enclosed seas (medium confidence). Species richness and fisheries catch potential are projected to increase, on average, at mid and high latitudes (high confidence) and decrease at tropical latitudes (medium confidence).

So what do they propose? A combination of Pielke and Lomborg:". Increasing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate
change imply an increasing complexity of interactions, particularly at the intersections among water, energy, land use, and biodiversity, but
tools to understand and manage these interactions remain limited. Examples of actions with co-benefits include (i) improved energy efficiency
and cleaner energy sources, leading to reduced emissions of health-damaging climate-altering air pollutants; (ii) reduced energy and water
consumption in urban areas through greening cities and recycling water; (iii) sustainable agriculture and forestry; and (iv) protection of
ecosystems for carbon storage and other ecosystem services."

https://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WG2AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

BBD said...

Tom

Extinction risk is increased under all RCP scenarios, with risk increasing with both magnitude and rate of climate change. Many species will be unable to track suitable climates under mid- and high-range rates of climate change (i.e., RCP4.5, 6.0, and 8.5) during the 21st century (medium confidence).

IPCC agrees with Bernard, not you.

Bernard J. said...

"I consider that pernicious, alarmist claptrap. Perhaps you can cite the papers that the IPCC WG2 and WG3 somehow missed.

You can consider it to be whatever you like, but it won't change reality. Personally, I prefer to go with my colleagues' work in the scientific literature.

There's plenty in the IPCC's bibliography that indicates the vulnerability of species/ecosystems to extreme temperature excursions. If you've not found anything that raises your eyebrows then perhaps you should read the literature more carefully.

A seminal work was Thomas et al. At the time it was questioned by several groups, although Thomas et al stood by their original work. Botkin et al garnered a bit of publicity several years later with a somewhat tepid challenge of the numbers of Thomas et al, but I don't place much store in the way that they employ the "Quaternary conundrum" as a get-out-of-jail card, not the least because that argument relies on a situation where the global mean temperature fluctuates from cold extremes to Holocene-like mild conditions, where the contemporary warming is going to drive temperatures from the mildness of the actual Holocene optimum to a global warmth not ever experienced by many extant species at any time during their existences. Further, the thermal tolerance/fitness curves for many species are skewed to the left, which makes Botkin's et al assumptions all the more problematic.

And there's also the small issue of the rate at which humans are warming the globe, quite apart from the actual magnitude of the temperatures involved...

Most of the work estimating extinction rates though is likely to be conservative in its conclusions because there are many confounding factors, skewed to a deleterious synergy, that are only starting to be understood. Urban et al is one example. Pimm et al touched on some other issues.

And of course there remains the issue of synergy with the main human impacts that many of us have repeated time and again, informally online (as much as you are loathe to encounter those discussions of such synergy...) and also formally in the scientific literature - for example Brook et al.

So yes, I emphatically stand my my statements, and if you find that "alarmist" it may simply be a consequence of the fact that the science indicates that the ecophysiological effects of global warming will be alarming - to put it mildly...

neverendingaudit said...

> Denial. Denial is the point [...]

Not exactly, BBD. The CAGW meme Groundskeeper Willie peddles when he ripped off all his shirts is powered by minimization.

The lukewarm gambit exploits both Skydragons and the CAGW meme to stretch the Overton window and portray its minimization as the middle ground.

Mr. T's the new Goldilock.

Not all kings of coal may admit to the unsubtlety of the manoeuver.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

Dismisaivist claptrap is so lovely when flaunted with ignorance, Mr. Fuller.

BBD said...

@ neverendingaudit

Not exactly, BBD. The CAGW meme Groundskeeper Willie peddles when he ripped off all his shirts is powered by *minimization*.

The lukewarm gambit exploits both Skydragons and the CAGW meme to stretch the Overton window and portray its minimization as the middle ground.


A subtlety that had escaped me, but I think you are right. I like the idea of the Overton Window becoming letterboxed as it is stretched between rhetorical polarities.

Russell Seitz said...

Bernard, do you recall the curve showing the annual rate of anthropogenic species extinction accelerating from ~ 1 a year in 1600, to 100 a year in 1900 , 100,000 in 1999, and going dead vertical to infinity in the year 2000?

It originally appeared in the 1992 best-selller, ,The Earth in the Balance, but was redacted from subsequent editions after a letter noting its innumeracy appeared in The Skeptical Inquirer .

I doubt Al has ever forgiven me.

BBD said...

That's interesting Russell, but it doesn't actually address what Bernard J said (and referenced).

Bernard J. said...

I think that's what's refered to as a straw man, Russell.

Russell Seitz said...

My int is that , most species being nondescript, the present rate of species discovery is better quantified ( circa 18,000 a year ) than the rate of extinction.

Bernard J. said...

Fair point Russell, although the latter can be determined in a manner similar to the way that populations are estimated by mark-recapture techniques.

neverendingaudit said...

It's more of a squirrel, Bernard. Tangential, unassuming, and mildly funny.

Squirrels may outlast ClimateBall.

Russell Seitz said...

It was McIntyre grade squireily of Al to kill the graph without a corrigendum.

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