Judith Curry responds … sort of

Let’s be crystal-clear what the issue is. The issue is temperature in the Arctic, not some sector of the Arctic, not some season in the Arctic, and the real issue (the point of dispute) is: temperatures since 2000 compared to temperatures in the 1930s (and/or 1940s if you wish). Don’t let anybody — not Judith Curry, not me — get away with avoiding the issue.


The IPCC AR5 (5th Assessment Report) said:


“Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s.”

It isn’t referring to “the Atlantic sector” or “the Pacific sector” of the Arctic, it isn’t referring to seasonal patterns, it simply says “the Arctic.” It says “the 1990s and 2000s.”

Judith Curry said:


“Further, Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.”

I said:


“I’ve studied the data. Not only does it fail to support the claim about 1930s Arctic temperatures, it actually contradicts that claim. By a wide margin. It ain’t even close.”

I made it clear that the claim might be true about the 1990s, but not afterward, when I said:


“Given the large year-to-year fluctuation, it’s entirely plausible that 1990s temperatures were comparable to those of the 1930s or 1940s.”

Let’s be crystal-clear what the issue is here. The issue is temperature in the Arctic, not some sector of the Arctic, not some season in the Arctic, and the real issue (the point of dispute) is: since 2000.

Judith Curry said:


I will be responding to your critiques to my testimony, the 1930’s Arctic one should be coming in a few days.

And so she did … … … sort of

When she finally got around to the issue, Judith Curry said:


Back to the topic that has Tamino in a tizzy: he says the recent temperatures are much warmer than the temperatures circa 1930, and that the IPCC is wrong (and I am wrong because I quoted the IPCC). In the literature, there are a number of different time series plots of Arctic surface temperatures:

  • Polyakov et al.: Variability and trends of air temperature and pressure in the Maritime Arctic
  • Wood and Overland: Early 20th century Arctic Warming in Retrospect
  • Yamanouchi: Early 20th century warming in the Arctic: A review
  • Fyfe et al.: One hundred years of Arctic surface temperature variation due to anthropogenic influence
  • Johannessen et al.: Arctic climate change: observed and modeled temperature and sea ice variability
  • Bekryaev et al.: Role of Polar Amplification in Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Variations and Modern Arctic Warming.

    (full manuscripts for all but Yamanouchi are available online at the links)

    Some of the plots show the recent temperatures to be comparable to the earlier temperatures; others show current temperatures to be much warmer. The discrepancies to occur owing to the spatial variability of the trends. In particular there is a strong latitudinal trend with the warmest temperature anomalies circa 1930 occurring at latitudes higher than 70N (Bekrayev et al., Yamanouchi) and also in the Atlantic sector (Overland and Wood).

    So back to the IPCC AR5 statement:

    “Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s”

    Well, average temperatures above 70 N during the 1990’s were lower than in the 1930’s. The most recent Arctic temperatures that are published (say for 2005-2010) are higher. The IPCC’s statement is not incorrect, and the citation of the IPCC statement in my Senate testimony has been defended.”

  • Just to refresh Judith’s memory, The issue is the Arctic, what’s in dispute is “since 2000.” It’s not about “the Atlantic sector” and it’s not about the 1990s. As for “above 70N,” we’ll get to that.

    Judith Curry refers to a number of papers which give “time series plots of Arctic surface temperatures.” But she didn’t show any of them. Is she afraid that readers might actually see for themselves? I’m not.


    From Polyakov et al. 2003:

    Polyakov03

    No data after 2000.


    From Wood and Overland 2010:

    Wood10

    Only during the winter season. Just the “Atlantic sector” and “Pacific sector.”

    Another from Wood and Overland 2010:

    Wood10b

    Only during the winter season. Just the “Atlantic sector” and “Pacific sector.”


    Yamanouchi 2011 shows a number of time series plots, but I’ll save you the trouble of leafing through them all and show you the only one that plots Arctic temperature after the year 2000:

    Yamanouchi11

    No data after 2002.


    From Fyfe et al. 2013:

    Fyfe13

    Here’s a closeup of the temperature part of the graph

    Fyfe13b

    The data only go up to 2005, and STILL show the 2000s warmer than the 1930s.

    One of the data sets plotted is HadCRUT4, the other (their “north polar area” series NPA) is cooler than HadCRUT4 during the 1930s/1940s and hotter since 2000. I doubt Judith Curry has even looked at the more recent data (HadCRUT4 now extend through 2013). Rest assured, I have. I’ll even show it to you (see below).


    From Johannessen et al. 2004:

    Johannessen04

    The black line shows the temperature time series.

    No data after 1997.5, and STILL hotter than the 1930s.


    From Bekryaev et al. 2010:

    Bekryaev10

    Here’s a close-up on the year-round (not seasonal) data:

    Bekryaev10b

    Way hotter in the 2000s than in the 1930s.


    Let’s recap. The issue is Arctic temperature since 2000. Judith Curry cited numerous references containing time series plots of Arctic temperatures, claiming that “Some of the plots show the recent temperatures to be comparable to the earlier temperatures; others show current temperatures to be much warmer.” When we look for ourselves, we discover that each and every one either has little or no data after 2000, or covers some sub-region of the Arctic/particular season rather than “the Arctic,” or flat-out contradicts the claim that “Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.”

    The number of papers she cites which show “recent temperatures to be comparable to the earlier temperatures” equals zero.

    The number of times she refers to analyzing actual data about the issue for herself, equals zero.

    Now, about that “latitudes higher than 70N” thing. I’d guess that she gets this idea from Yamanouchi 2010 (the graph is shown above) and from this graph from Bekryaev 2010:

    Bekryaev10c

    Both show temperature anomaly for a variety of high-northern latitude bands. Alas, Yamanouchi 2010 doesn’t go past 2002, Bekryaev et al. 2010 doesn’t go past 2000. If we want to confirm or deny the claim about “latitudes higher than 70N” then we’ll have to find more up-to-date data.

    Here, for your consideration, are graphs of Arctic temperature anomaly using data from CRUTEM4, HadCRUT4, NASA GISS, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, and Cowtan & Way (v2, updated through the end of 2013), and defining “the Arctic” as latitude 70N to 90N:

    CRUTEM4_70N

    HadCRUT4_70N

    GISS_70N

    Berk_70N

    CW_70N

    Number of data sets which support the idea that “Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies” northward of latitude 70N, not in some “sector” and not in some particular “season,” equals zero.

    UPDATE:

    Judith Curry has responded to my response to her response. Not.


    curryja | January 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm |

    I don’t see any further point to this exchange. The temperature of the entire Arctic region is unknown, owing to the lack of observations over the Arctic Ocean. The IPCC’s statements were made with regard to publications that looked at various regions in the Arctic. If you think the IPCC is incorrect in its statements regarding Arctic surface temperatures in the 1930′s, I encourage you to submit to the IPCC an error notification, and see what kind of response you get. If you think you have something publishable in your analyses, by all means try to get them published. If you think I mischaracterized what the IPCC said in my Senate testimony, write a letter to the Senate committee.

    In the mean time, Arctic climate scientists will continue to do research on this problem. And people in the climate blogosphere will continue to argue over what does ‘comparable’ really mean, what does ‘recent’ really mean, etc. Go for it.

    About these ads

    64 responses to “Judith Curry responds … sort of

    1. Well researched, Tamino. Coincidentally, WUWT had a post today from The Hockeyschtick implying that a paper showed that all of the Arctic was warmer than now during the MWP, based on a paper with a couple of temperature graphs from northern Scandinavia ending in 1980.

      That’s just deliberate disinformation, I have no other word for it. Curry is slightly more sophisticated, but it boils down to the same thing.

      I wonder if she will respond to this. Sort of.

    2. So we can now expect the Wattsies who were touting the non-record cold in Alaska a couple of years ago to be noting that Nome just broke their all-time high temperature record for
      January
      & February
      & March
      & first week of April?
      Don’t hold your breath.

      • …& December, & November, & the second half of October. IOW, yesterday’s high in Nome was the warmest temperature ever recorded there in the nearly six months between mid-October and early April.

        Nope, nothing wrong here. It’s just “cycles”…

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        It’s been warmer in Nome than here in SW Montana for a while. Seeing as we are due for a cold snap over the next week or so, I expect that to remain true.

    3. curiousaboutclimate

      Motherf’ing ouch!

    4. Excellent work, Tamino.

      So we see that not only is Curry intentionally deceptive, she’s also a coward. She may be more educated than most, but her reprehensible behavior is absolutely no different from that engaged in by the trolls I encounter in every climate-related internet forum.

      • This is not new. Read her comments in
        this RealClimate thread and particularly #168. Any beliefs that Dr. Curry was an “honest broker” trying to build bridges between the “sceptics” and the climate science community were destroyed right there.

      • OMG.

        “I don’t see any further point to this exchange. The temperature of the entire Arctic region is unknown, owing to the lack of observations over the Arctic Ocean.”

        Well, Judith, if Arctic regional temps are such an unknown then how do you sit in front of a senate committee and say Arctic temp data lower our certainty about AGW? It’s a complete and utter contradiction to what you said at the hearing!

        If this is not a picture of someone trying to wiggle out of everything they’ve said, then I don’t know what is.

    5. Hadn’t been there in quite a while, but the comments section is an even worse cesspool.

    6. I’ve been reading about climate for years now, but I am puzzled by something. REgarding the Yamanouchi 2011 graph, why are the different latitude bands temperature anomalies so far apart early in the series, yet in the 1960’s they converge and increase together?

      [Response: Probably because the choice of baseline (which defines the "zero point") is within the time period when they converge.]

      • Tamino, I had the same question as Guthrie when looking at that chart. Over at Hot Whopper, Sou is taking Bob Tisdale to task for saying that choice of baseline period would affect the anomalies. If I understand correctly, your response here only addresss why they converge near 0, not why they converge.

    7. Com’ on Tamino! Cut her some slack; she’s getting old like the rest of us…Oh wait you did. You didn’t call her names or use that banned “fluffer” term, you avoided the subjective and stuck to objective.

      Then you said:

      Let’s recap. The issue is Arctic temperature since 2000. Judith Curry cited numerous references containing time series plots of Arctic temperatures, claiming that “Some of the plots show the recent temperatures to be comparable to the earlier temperatures; others show current temperatures to be much warmer.” When we look for ourselves, we discover that each and every one either has little or no data after 2000, or covers some sub-region of the Arctic/particular season rather than “the Arctic,” or flat-out contradicts the claim that “Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.”

      The number of papers she cites which show “recent temperatures to be comparable to the earlier temperatures” equals zero.

      Too bad she responded to your post with:

      I don’t see any further point to this exchange…

      Along with the usual ‘we don’t know everything therefore we know nothing, and further evaluation of the evidence at hand is pointless’ (paraphrased from countless “skeptic” talking points).

      This discussion might have gone somewhere. I wonder why she didn’t want to continue?

    8. As a casual reader, one thing that interests me is the variance of the Artic temperature measures. Its, naturally, higher than the variance in global temperature. I guess that means we need a higher deviation (anomaly) to be confident of the move?

    9. I’m puzzled- either you can make statements about the Arctic surface temperatures as a whole or you can’t. If Professor Curry thinks there hasn’t been coverage then she shouldn’t be citing the IPCC, she should be condemning them.

      In any event, one of the missions of science is to defeat the “uncertainty monster”. When a scientist gives testimony that doesn’t (and apparently deliberately doesn’t) define terms (comparable, recent etc.) then we can only conclude that this particular person, far from wishing to defeat the monster is active in its care and feeding. The uncertainty here in what comparable and recent mean exists solely because Professor Curry declined to meet her professional obligation to be clear.

    10. Andy Lee Robinson

      Her reply looked like a pretty clear capitulation to me.
      As events in the arctic are outrunning the IPCC, intervals between updates of 6-7 years are inadequate.
      Now that the last five tomes have collected a large base of historical data and compelling evidence, I think it’s time for smaller and more digestible annual “IPCC: State of the Planet” updates.
      This is not a game anymore – Senate testimonies deserve sincere presentations from witnesses with integrity, anything less is a disservice to society. What senators then decide to do with that information then becomes their responsibility, and theirs alone.

    11. “I don’t see any further point to this exchange…”
      I agree, the IPCC is wrong, Tamino is right. LOL

      DAS

    12. Curry claims “I don’t see any further point to this exchange…”, why then did she set out to makes her claims in the first place?

      Curry started an argument (she knew full well that her assertions would be controversial, perhaps even knowing so because she knew them to be distortions of reality), she has now clearly lost and suddenly decides that the topic she thought so important to “inform” Congress about, the topic that she tried so hard to deceive people about is no longer worth discussing??? It must hurt for Curry to see that she has been shown to be wrong by work that she allegedly worked on (i.e., BEST), by the scientific literature she tried to misrepresent and by the actual data.

      Not to mention that Curry has now tried to dig herself out of the hole she made by cherry picking, distorting and misrepresentations, by engaging in yet more cherry picking, distorting and misrepresentations. This is the kind of pathetic work ethic that makes profs fail undergrad students! It is inconceivable to me that a prof would stoop so low and produce such amateurish drivel, yet Curry has done just that.

      GIT can do so much better than this, they really need to wake up.

    13. The temperature of the entire Arctic region is unknown, owing to the lack of observations over the Arctic Ocean.

      If “[t]he temperature of the entire Arctic region is unknown” why did Curry comment about it in the first place?

      Is she now saying that in her opinion about the data coverage she should not have testified on this matter before Congress?

    14. It’s interesting to see, on refreshing the page, that the same sort of comment has been repeated several times. If the inconsistency in Curry’s stance is so obvious to readers here, is it not obvious to those who frequent her blog?

    15. This is all so typical of Curry’s standard operating procedure:

      1. Make a misleading claim, often without doing her homework.

      2. When called to justify this claim, provide references that contain some of the same words as her claim but do not support (or in fact may even contradict) the original claim.

      3. If anyone points out that her claim is not in fact supported by the work cited, blame them for picking on details and say there’s no point in arguing further.

      She has become boring and predictable.

      • 4. Try to denigrate the person demonstrating that her claim is false by saying that he is “in a tizzy”.

    16. Out of interest I did a quick review of almost all articles cited by the IPCC in connection to Arctic temperatures, but not yet discussed by Tamino at SkS. One article was only available to me as an abstract, so while I can say it was not primarily interested in late twentieth/early twenty first century Arctic temperatures, I cannot be sure it has no discussion of them at all. Beyond that, not a single article cited by the IPCC supports the claim that temperatures in the thirties were warmer than those in the 2000s. Indeed, only one paper made a clear statement on the topic and it (Bronnimann et al (2012)) concluded:

      “None of the data sets alone is sufficient for addressing long-term trends in the Arctic. However, knowing the shortcomings and differences, information can be gained even on trends from analysing all data sets individually and by combining the results (see also Thorne et al. 2010 for the value of multiple tropospheric temperature data sets). For instance, all data sets agree that the last two decades are unprecedented in the 20th century in terms of the magnitude of the warm anomaly in the lower troposphere.The rate of warming between the 1980s and present is also outstanding. The vertical structure of the trend shows a clear amplification of the recent trend at the surface in autumn to spring. During the ETCW, high temperature anomalies were also found at 700 hPa and above in winter. Although the data are more uncertain for the first half of the twentieth century, they clearly point to a smaller lapse rate compared to the recent warm period.”

      (My emphasis).

    17. I’m curious can anyone provide a list of station locations north of 70 lat used for producing a temp series during the time frames in question?

      • I suspect the studies use a variety of different data sources. But you can fairly easily find lists of GHCN stations by country, specifying latitude. The “climate data links” header at the top of this page would probably be a good place to start looking.

    18. Classic case of taking scientific statements and data out context. Poor Judith, I almost feel sorry for her. Not.

      Now what we need is someone to step out on a limb RE this whole hiatus nonsense and then we can proceed to saw that one off as well.

    19. Not the first (or, likely, the last) time Dr. Curry has performed a dodge-and-weave when faced with a critical analysis of her comments. Perhaps, as a suggestion to Horatio, this could be set to the tune of Brave Sir Robin ran away?

    20. Looking at the sentence in the context of the full IPCC report, it’s quite odd. Firstly, it should be said this was not an IPCC “statement” about relative levels of warmth: It’s a loosely-worded sentence used to introduce a sub-topic. The use of the word ‘apparently’ should be a clue that this is not intended to be a strong statement and I doubt the original author of the sentence ever considered it might be used as evidence in a Congressional hearing. Doing a word search in the Chapter 10 document the only other occurrance of ‘apparently’ is in relation to variability seen in older ocean heat content datasets which subsequently turned out to be caused by time-varying biases.

      On a hunch I looked back at the Zeroth draft document for Chapter 10 and the sentence appears, though in a slightly different context, except it only talks about temperatures in relation to the 1990s, not the 2000s. The same in the Second draft. The ‘and 2000s’ part only appears in the final edition, though still without any citation.

      As Judith said, it might be worth contacting the IPCC to find out the justification for this. My suspicion is that the ‘2000s’ part was added to bring it up-to-date without anyone really checking.

      • Paul, I think you are correct–it sort of smells of a last minute addition–and perhaps that was by design.

      • On cue the IPCC review comments have been released: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/ (h/t Stoat).

        The only indication of a move to add in the ‘2000s’ is in a response from, presumably, a chapter review editor to this comment:

        ‘This again seems only very marginally related to attribution and risks substantive cross-talk issues with Chapter 4. This chapter and in particular this section needs to say what has happened in the sphere of its charge – detection and attribution. There are dedicated chapters to discussing observations, model processes and model projections and it is duplicative and inappropriate to discuss these areas within this chapter. [PeterThorne, United States of America]‘

        The response reads:

        ‘taken into account. The 1930s is often used as an argument against recent anthropogenic change. It is important to comment on 1930s versus 2000s.’

        …and they did. It reads like a message came down that they wanted to add in something about the 2000s, presumably with the intention to say how they are actually quite different from the 1990s, but the message has been lost in translation and the author took it to mean they should just add the words ‘and 2000s’ on the end.

    21. I’ve finally posted the CO2 time series data on my web site. I have figures for 1832-1958 from the Law Dome ice cores, and 1959-2012 from Mauna Loa air flask sampling.

      http://bartonpaullevenson.com/CO2.html

      See also

      http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Climatology.html

      • It’s very interesting how it flatlines from around 1937 to around 1950.

        • Indeed. I had no idea that such a “hiatus” existed – it certainly begs the question…

          And it’s going to make a few of the denialati grind their teeth to stubs.

    22. I should have added that when you present to the public in ways that leave what you mean by “Arctic”, “comparable” and “current” open to question, this is why Mike Mann was totally justified in tweeting that the testimony was unscientific.

      On reflection, I also see Professor Curry resorting to mirroring… as “climate hawks” have long challenged evasive luke-warmers to go publish in the literature, challenge the IPCC etc. The problem with this particular bit of mirroring is that the people challenging Professor Curry do in fact publish, contribute to and challenge the IPCC. It is Professor Curry who won’t assemble her blogging claims and produce something…Not Tamino, Mann, John Neilsen-Gammon. It’s a very bad bluff to make, even if it’s red meat to her devoted followers.

      • Someone over at the SkS comment section made exactly the same challenge and noted that Kevin and Robert have published. Judy, we’re waiting.

        • Judith said in a comment on her blog that she has been invited by Nature Geoscience to write a piece about this topic. Should be interesting.

    23. “Back to the topic that has Tamino in a tizzy”? More like feeling adequately smug.

      “If you think I mischaracterized what the IPCC said in my Senate testimony, write a letter to the Senate committee.” A letter? It is getting to the point of being substantially bigger than a letter.

    24. Horatio Algeranon

      “The Climate Jerk”
      — by Horatio Algeranon

      Arctic scientists will do the work
      And EtC bloggers will do the jerk,
      Debating what the wording means
      Instead of what the science gleans.

    25. I know the classic
      “ignoramus, ignorabimus” (“we don’t know, we can’t know”)
      and Hilbert’s answer to that.

      What’s Latin for “we don’t want to know”?

    26. According to what I can glean from Google Translate:
      “Scire nolumus.”

      What I suspect to be the Latin for “I don’t want to know”:
      “Scire nolo”, which has more rhyming possibilities. However, what I get from GT is:
      “Nec scire.” But I don’t trust GT that much.

      • David B. Benson

        I do not want to know: nolle scio.
        I refuse to know: nollui scio.

      • Hey Neal!

        “Scire nolo”?
        In a ditty?
        You must think that
        That’s so witty

        Some food for thought:
        Be less a dork
        And in such verse
        Best stick a fork!

        P. S. C’mon, Benson, quit egging the poor geek on! Sure it’s fun to see a doofus smarty-pants wannabe make a fool of himself–but it’s a cruel pleasure, you know. And is that sort of pleasure really worthy of you? Huh?

    27. Wow,
      this is one of the most devastating take downs I have ever seen of a climate scientist.
      Does Judith link to this post? It would seem really stupid of her if she did, but then, she has enough of a flock that would argue against anything as long as it was denying ACC.
      this actually caused me to post on her site. something I haven’t down since I commented on the possibility of a 4°c rise in avg Global temps by 2100 and she responded by saying. “Well, it may, but who knows if it will cause a problem or not”

    28. From the standpoint of communications, I think a (open) letter to the Senate committee would be a good idea.

      • Seconded Tom. She has been calling peoples’ bluff too often recently. High time someone did something about it. It will probably go nowhere, but it will at least then be on the official record.

      • I’ll sign that letter any day. Its ridiculous that Curry is allowed to stand before that committee as a scientific person and come with falsehoods like this that are so easy to see are twisted words. It’s becoming very tiresome to hear so many “skeptics” use the same procedure of pulling scientific data out of context and come to new conclusions. As Tom Curtis points towards, no scientist would cherry pick from the IPCC when making statements about what they say on the Arctic when you have passages saying: “..all data sets agree that the last two decades are unprecedented in the 20th century in terms of the magnitude of the warm anomaly in the lower troposphere.The rate of warming between the 1980s and present is also outstanding.”

        This is a classic “stalling of action” path and Curry is part of the anti-science herd that will make it increasingly difficult for us to have an effective policy to stop or at least diminish the rate of warming so it doesn’t become catastrophic for civilization. How does people like that sleep at night?

        • “How do people like that sleep at night?” I could be wrong but I think that Curry, like many other well-known contrarians, genuinely believes that she’s doing the right thing and is on the right side of this “debate.” It’s very sad seeing such dedication to such a destructive cause.

        • That could be. However, that thesis is undercut a bit by her walking away from arguments.

        • I suspect that Curry still thinks she’s in the right no matter how much she cherry picks, twists information, backtracks and walks away from arguments. I don’t think she can help it. The human capacity for self-delusion is amazing. I love the comments on climate denialist blogs screaming about the “cherry picking”,”confirmation bias” and “delusional thinking” displayed by the “warmist” scientists, usually of course after some devastatingly astute piece of analysis by Watts or someone similar. Irony is truly dead and buried.

        • “Irony is truly dead and buried.”

          That can’t be right, as it’s clearly over some heads…

    29. Horatio Algeranon

      “Robert Way’s In”
      — by Horatio Algeranon

      Robert Way’s in at Curry Place,
      Says her claim was wrong.
      To duck and dodge a jury face
      Response of Curry: non-

    30. It’s Wegman light. Challenge her to write a report!

    31. For those who may be interested, with appropriate caveats and further analysis, John Mashey points out that Judith Curry and her husband Peter Webster run Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), which according to its own webpage (archived here) is responsible for the “… innovative OmniCast suite of weather and climate forecast products for the energy sector incorporates the latest research in weather and climate dynamics, prediction and predictability, extreme weather events and their impacts, and decision support tools… OmniCast was developed by CFAN in response to the needs of a major client in the petroleum industry for extended range, better-than-market weather forecasts to support energy trading, sales and marketing.”

      • So basically Curry is the soothsayer employed to tell the king that he will be king for another day… Dunno if I’d rely too much on a weatherman paid for predicting weather that will be good for business. That sounds like a serious risk that would come back with a serious whiplash.

        • Oh, I expect that CFAN gets paid for predicting how weather will affect business, not that it will be good for business. One wonders, for instance, how they did on this year’s North American winter? (Clearly demand for heating oil was up.)

          But I feel rather cynical that long-term weather prediction is bread-and-butter, apparently–or perhaps cake?–to someone who expresses that climate prediction is just too, too hard. Given that the latter is within the realm of ‘the law of large numbers’ and the former is not, it seems a tad curious.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Kevin,

        Actually, like another time-honored profession, astrology, long-term weather prediction is within the realm of the law of large numbers…of fools.

        In fact, it banks on it.

        Even Johannes Kepler did astrology to butter his bread, so cut the meteorstrologists some slack, will you?

    32. Near as I can tell, her response is that all she was comparing is the last and the next IPCC language — not saying anything about actual world conditions.

      And people laugh at Tamino there for focusing on what’s real.

      One guy seems to argue that B.E. or JC has Russian data that isn’t available in database form, if I follow the story, and argues that would change Tamino’s results — well, ladedah, when it’s available, it’ll be used.

      I mean, damn, changing the story would be welcome. Only those who believe in the vast climate conspiracy could imagine otherwise. Oh, uh.

      I wish they were better at making a clear distinction between “hard argument” — what scientists do — and rhetorical abuse, which is what, well, everyone does.

      Every now and then I imagine a historian (or the great-grandchildren) looking back to our time from the reality — whatever it is, exactly — that comes to be.

      There will be people who were right and people who were wrong and most of us will be seen as just not well enough informed.

      But, crosswise to that — they’ll see people who sincerely tried to think about their time and their lives, and people who tried to confuse and obfuscate.

      Wrong is fine. Wrong is how science makes progress.
      Bafflegab and emo, not so much.

      [Response: Robert Way already tested Curry's contention using the NansenSAT data, and found that it too contradicts her claim.

      I do have the NansenSAT data, but what I've got is pan-Arctic and if I'm not mistaken they define the "Arctic" as the region north of latitude 58N. If my critics would read more carefully they'd note that the entire purpose of the final graphs is to test the notion that things are different if you define the Arctic as north of latitude 70N. I managed to find their gridded data so I could test that, but when I tried to unzip the file I got a checksum error so it wouldn't extract. That's as much effort as I was willing to expend.]