Friday, October 19, 2012

Physics Follies Strike Again!

A year and a half ago, I mentioned on Rabett Run that the American Physical Society (APS) was thinking about establishing a Topical Group on the Physics of Climate. Well, it has happened !!!
I received an email from the APS today, announcing that the newly formed Topical Group on the Physics of Climate (GPC) is hosting a Focus Session entitled "The Physics of Climate" at the next APS General Meeting, in Baltimore on March 18-22, 2013.
An invited speaker has been selected: Geoff Vallis (Princeton Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences)
A Invited Symposium has the theme "Climate as a Complex Dynamical System,", and includes the following speakers:

In addition, contributed talks are solicited, on topics that include (but are not limited to)

1) Climate as a complex dynamical system;

2) Mechanisms, magnitudes, and timescales of processes that affect climate, including greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar variability, feedbacks involving clouds, water vapor, sea ice, hydrological and carbon cycles, and ocean-atmosphere interactions;

3) Physics of proxies used to infer past climate forcings and properties for which instrumental records are unavailable;

4) Computational and statistical analyses of climate models and measurement systems.

Specific areas underlying these topics include, but are not limited to, fluid dynamics, nonlinear and complex systems, gas, condensed and interfacial phase behavior, radiation/heat transfer, phase transitions, measurement science, computational physics, statistics, biophysics, chemical physics and geophysics.

Contributed talks should focus on climate physics, without reference to issues of policy, legislation, or society. The Focus Session may include one or more invited presentations.

The above information was extracted from an email from Jim Brasseur, Chair of the newly formed Topical Group on the Physics of Climate. The speakers are quite distinguished, and represent a spectrum of the several disciplines in climate science. Madronich is a chemist, while Shaviv is an astrophysicist who can assess the purported linkage between cosmic rays and climate. Most noteworthy is that the fringe handful who deny that the humanity is changing the climate are not included. Naturally they may see this as a conspiracy.

It is a long-standing tradition that any APS member can present a contributed paper at any meeting. So if the deniers feel excluded, they are free to submit a contributed talk. IF they dare to do so infront of an expert audience. I think the deniers won't show up.


Anonymous said...

The deniers will not feel excluded with the presence of Nir Shaviv on the list of speakers. He has hitched his wagon to the cosmic ray express.


Steve Bloom said...

"Shaviv is an astrophysicist who can assess the purported linkage between cosmic rays and climate. Most noteworthy is that the fringe handful who deny that the humanity is changing the climate are not included."

JPF is quite right. Shaviv is the token loon. It's still sort-of defensible (not wholly unrespectable, anyway) to speak in terms of a minor climate role for cosmic rays, but Shaviv insists against the evidence not only that it must be the major factor but that it's CO2 that's minor.

Also, John, on that first sentence, how can someone who lacks expertise in the latter credibly make such an assessment?

John Mashey said...

Hmm I must have lost a post.
Shaving has spoken at 2 Heartland conferences, is still a Heartlland expert.

Anonymous said...

Experts in cosmic rays and climate should show up and demonstrate that Shaviv is incompetent on the forcing influences on climate, and gullible (posted on WTFUWT about solar influence on radioactive decay rates). Einstein he ain't.

Rib Smokin' bunny

chris said...

Shaviv does seem to be making a slow realignment towards a more rational and scientifically-justified approach to physical analysis in climate-related science.

e.g. After insisting not so long ago that there was no evidence for anthropogenic contributions to 20th century warming and that the solar contribution dominates (around 0.5 oC worth)....

...he concludes in his most recent analysis that actually there is an anthropogenic component and that it is the largest contributor to 20th century warming (0.42 oC +/-). He continues to oversell the solar contribution (0.27 oC +/-), but at least he's using his rather numerological approaches with some degree of grounding in empirical realities.

Perhaps he's getting embarrassed by the associates that quite like some of his earlier papers in this area. For example, Shaviv's highly flawed 2008 paper on using ocean heat as a "calorimeter" to assess solar contributions has been cited only by Shaviv himself, Nicola Scafetta and Willie Soon in addition to one other rather mainstream citation. That's possibly a little embarrassing if one is attempting to maintain a reputation as a proper scientist with a disinterested approach to scientific evidence....

EliRabett said...

John, it's the price you pay for no captcha, with 1-200 ads for sex or pharmaceuticals and sex and pharma in the spam bucket, it gets tipped over the side without looking for the mermaids. One of these days Eli will draw up a league table.

John Mashey said...

Mermaids: one never knows.
A few of us were with some Japanese associates who worked at a big electronics firm at their HQ in Tokyo. They had a new product they were soon to introduce to US market . They asked what we thought and said it would be called "Office Mermaid."
We looked at each other and politely observed that they might possibly want to do some more market research, as that might be difficult.

John said...

It seems that the alert bunnies have spotted an oversight, by me. I glanced at the cv of Shaviv, and noticed a lot of astrophysics publications and a couple about cosmic rays and climate. I confess that I didn't read them, not even abstracts. Does Shaviv maintain that the cosmic ray flux has been fairly constant for the last 10,000 years, and has increased substantially in the last few decades??
What I *meant* to say is that the deniers had not "rounded up the usual suspects"- Fred Singer, Steve Malloy, Anthony Watts, Patrick Michaels, John Christy, Roy Spencer - to make the case that the world is not getting warmer, and CO2 is not causing it. When faced with a non-scientist audience, these gentlemen can tell a tale that looks good from the outside. But faced with an expert audience, it's a different story.

Dr. Shaviv may get an interesting reception.

EliRabett said...

John M. was that a Sony water cooler perchance.

John F. true, you need a scorecard to name the players.


John, if the usual suspects spielsmanship looks sharp. it's because of constant honing by K-Street- both sides in the climate wars are seconded by PR pros with full mastery of focus group techniques and how to apply them.

John Mashey said...

Sony water cooler: no.

EliRabett said...

You mean the Bunny can get a design patent! Wooee