Consequences

It seems that Sheldon Walker’s main disagreement with the danger of global warming isn’t about whether or not it’s happening, or whether or not it’s man-made. He isn’t convinced that the consequences will be as harmful as is often claimed.

This isn’t so much a post, as a comment thread. It’s about the science, and what we can expect the consequences of global warming to be. Feel free to play rough — with ideas, with assertions, but not with people. Call an idea or claim “totally fucking stupid” if you want, but don’t call a person that. And, even when it comes to ideas, I suggest that calling them “stupid” isn’t likely to be persuasive.

This thread is also about discussing other scientific claims from Sheldon Walker — or from others who dispute the danger of global warming. But his opinion of the severity of the consequences seems to be our main point of disagreement.

There’s a lot to say on the subject. Please no “gish gallop.” When one sub-topic gets too hot, deal with it before resorting to another sub-topic. Yes, the other aspect deserves discussion too — but not as a refuge to avoid issues.

When somebody, anybody, asks a question, whether it be Sheldon asking others, or others asking Sheldon, let’s do the opposite of what most politicians do. To quote from “Braveheart,” quit changing the subject and answer the fucking question.

One last thing: if Sheldon participates in this discussion, he’s going to be outnumbered. That takes guts. Show some respect.

P.S. Other skeptics are welcome to participate too. I hope you will — I want ideas to be tested severely. But if you mention “eco-terrorists” or “leftist” your comment goes into the trash bin — and whatever valid points you have made with them.

Advertisements

403 responses to “Consequences

  1. Where can I read your claims of what harm GW/CC will do (any benefits?) so I can quote your exact words as we debate.

    [Response: Readers should regard this as a call to answer precisely this question. What harm (and what benefit) will climate change bring? Put your claims on this thread, please.]

    • I’m an infrequent commenter on this blog. I’m not a scientist, so I certainly don’t have the background that some folks have. THat being said, I’ve personally found the book Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas enlightening with regards to the consequences we face. I’d recommend that book to any layman looking for answers to the questions of what GW/CC will do.

  2. A paper that sets out reasons why a +2ºC is deemed “dangerous” is Schleussner et al (2015) ‘Differential climate impacts for policy-relevant limits to global warming:the case of 1.5 ºC and 2 ºC’:-

    Our results reveal substantial differences in impacts between 1.5 °C and 2 °C. For heat-related extremes, the additional 0.5 °C increase in global-mean temperature marks the difference between events at the upper limit of present-day natural variability and a new climate regime, particularly in tropical regions. Similarly, this warming difference is likely to be decisive for the future of tropical coral reefs. In a scenario with an end-of-century warming of 2 °C, virtually all tropical coral reefs are projected to be at risk of severe degradation due to temperature induced bleaching from 2050 onwards. This fraction is reduced to about 90 % in 2050 and projected to decline to 70 % by 2100 for a 1.5 °C scenario. Analyses of precipitation-related impacts reveal distinct regional differences and several hot-spots of change emerge. Regional reduction in median water availability for the Mediterranean is found to nearly double from 9 to 17 % between 1.5 °C and 2 °C, and the projected lengthening of regional dry spells increases from 7 % longer to 11 %. Projections for agricultural yields differ between crop types as well as world regions. While some (in particular high-latitude) regions may benefit, tropical regions like West Africa, South-East Asia, as well as Central and Northern South America are projected to face local yield reductions, particularly for wheat and maize. Best estimate sea-level rise projections based on two illustrative scenarios indicate a 50 cm rise by 2100 relative to year 2000-levels under a 2 °C warming, which is about 10 cm lower for a 1.5 °C scenario.

    While an extra four inches of SLR by 2100 may seem a bit of a niggardly reason for halving the allowable AGW ‘in-hand’, it should be noted that at 2 °C Greenland is in the zone of melt-down, a process which will be unstoppable of allowed to continue for too long. That would lead to perhaps an extra 250″ of SLR but by AD4100 or AD5100 rather than AD2100. And of course, SLR is not the only reason given for a +1.5ºC limit.

    • It is easy to dismiss each of your points in isolation.
      We are loading the climate dice towards event’s never seen before.
      On my mind at the moment for obvious reasons is tropical cyclones.
      They are getting more powerfull and shifting polewards.
      Stronger winds more rainfall bigger seas
      and a higher Ocean .
      Multiplied effects causing weather events to have much more impacts than 7%more moisture for each 1C a litle more wind 0.5m higher waves and 50mm sea level rise would suggest individually.

      Temperatures are heading towards levels not seen in millions of years.
      What does a once in a million years weather event look like?
      We are going to find out.

    • The linked paper has an interesting section on yield projections. Two things are important.
      1. The resulting yield changes will be regionally different. For example, most regions in northern Europe will see growing yields for 1.5° or 2° changes. Tropical regions in Africa or South-America will likely see shrinking yields. These projections differ for different plants
      2. The impact can be different for 1.5° and 2°. For example global soy yield will likely go up for 1.5°. This effect will not increase for 2°, in which global soy yield is expected to be stable. The transient effects could turn. The initial warning could leed to more yield, but the further heat will supercede this effect and is expected to turn it.

      Therefore, record yields are no guarantee for savety for 2° and even less for more warming.

  3. “Projections” All this comes from computer climate models? I notice that current crop yields are at all time highs. What bothers me is claims of BOTH drought AND flood, heat AND cold, less snow AND more snow. So no matter what the weather, CC must be happening, because all weather was predicted to happen. That is so transparently fake, to predict opposites and then claim you were right when you never really made a prediction at all. The polls say CC is at the bottom of the list of peoples concerns, no wonder, the catastrophes have not materialized, it is all the same old game of leftists crying wolf. Look at the ice cores for the last 800,000 years, climate is always changing, and we better hope it warms rather than cools, better for life on earth.

    [Response: Perhaps you didn’t read the postscript to the actual post. It says: “But if you mention “eco-terrorists” or “leftist” your comment goes into the trash bin — and whatever valid points you have made with them.”

    But rather than stick to rational discourse, you have to call people “lefitsts.” Political leaning has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of scientific propositions.

    I’ve let your comment through in spite of that. We’ll see whether or not you can stand the “heat” of critical thinking, which others are sure to confront you with. You can reply with counter-arguments all you want, but calling people “leftist” is not an argument, it’s a coward’s way to avoid reason.]

    • To address just one of your “criticisms”, yes there are predictions of “BOTH drought AND flood…less snow AND more snow”. You seem to find this a contradiction somehow. It is not. The prediction more accurately is that wet areas will get wetter and dry areas will get drier. This directly leads to your “criticism” in that you would EXPECT more and less of each. You see, the geographical distributions of each weather pattern on the surface of the Earth change with temperature.

      Here is one study which has already documented this trend in the climate record. https://phys.org/news/2016-12-world-regions-wetter-drier.html albei at a low level to date.

      Alternatively, you can demonstrate the effect right now in your abode: Leave your freezer door open. Notice that ice in the freezer builds up and meltwater pools on the floor near the freezer while at the same time the temperature in the room rises a bit from the excess heat pump activity. According to your “logic” this cannot happen.

    • John Bell.
      You say ” Look at the ice cores for the last 800,000 years, climate is always changing.” So let us look at the ice core data This 800ky record (It’s Fig 2 from Lüthi et al (2008)) helpfully has numbered wobbles. (Note the temperatures are Antarctic so are much bigger than the global average wobbles being considered in comments in this thread.) So looking at these ice core data, which particular wobbles were you referring to as being relevant to the present discussion. You should be aware that many of the wobbles over the last 800ky are not applicable to an inter-glacial world being to do with giant ice caps that simply do not exist today and which would take millenia to form. So could you be specific as to which wobbles you are referring to?

    • Head in sand comment. You are aware that the climate on Earth is not uniform. Why do you expect a uniformity of consequences ?? And you know it is dynamic through the seasons. Why do you expect a temporal steady state ?

    • John
      Here is a simple climate model you can play with at home.
      Get a pot full it with water to just under the brim place it on a cook top and turn on the element.
      Observe what happens.
      As the pot heats it will become agitated. More energy more turbulence thats weather.
      As it heats an increasing amount of steam will rise. More evaporation falls as more rain.
      Eventally as it heats the pot will biol over as water expands when you heat it.
      Sea leval rise.

      Two pots with just a litle water.
      Heat one.
      The one with heat under it will dry out sooner.
      Thats if it is wamer a drought will by deeper.

      Simple stuff that you have to be silly to dispute.
      Yet you just did.

    • John Bell, many people often ask those kind of questions since they seem sort of obvious at a gut level and Dan Kahneman would call that type one thinking (fast). But The answer requires type two thinking (slow). In other words, you need to dive a little deeper in the science.
      Here is a basic video that gives an overview of why attribution for extreme events requires a more complex understanding:

    • First, with scrupulous fairness to John Bell, it’s not too much IMHO to say that climate is the Earth’s most complex dynamic system, and that a deep understanding of it takes a corresponding amount of effort. On average, genuine climate experts have spent years getting that way. The rest of us must either reserve judgement, or rely on scientific metaliteracy to decide first whether there’s a genuine controversy, and then who’s more likely to be right.

      Next, the goal of climate modeling is to codify the aggregate expertise of working climate scientists. When there are poorly understood sources of year-to-year variation in the observational record, models are used to test alternate hypotheses (i.e. proposed explanations) for the variance. When all sources of year-to-year variation are identified, model output will match both past and future observed climate trajectories perfectly. I, for one, don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

      In conclusion: why would anyone expect climate models to produce all the answers already? We’re doing well to place useful confidence limits around salient outputs!

    • I don’t understand this reply at all so it’s difficult to craft a response.

      You say you don’t understand some of the every basic information in the paper cited .i.e

      >”What bothers me is claims of BOTH drought AND flood, heat AND cold, less snow AND more snow.”

      So what was the point of the rely ?

      Might I suggest the best place to start is by doing some more research ? It’s difficult to engage in discussion when someone doesn’t understand the basics. A presumed level of prior knowledge is I think a necessity.

    • [edit]

      [Response: “Faux news” has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of scientific propositions. I’m sorry, but I feel the need to be rather strict enforcing the stick-to-the-science rule, and I already know I’ll be imperfect in choosing when and how much. You did have a very good point about model predictions, so please re-submit with just that.]

      • Tamino,
        Tu casa, Tus reglas.
        The point about models is that there is no “theory” of anthropogenic global warming. There is a theory of Earth’s climate, which predicts that if you add a potent greenhouse gas to the atmosphere, the planet will retain more energy that it would otherwise. Warming is the prediction, not the model or the observation the model is trying to explain.

        That warming occurs as a result a increasing CO2 is an incontrovertible fact. Were it not so, the planet would be a big ball of ice. That warming continues to increase as we add CO2 to the atmosphere, that is evidence in support of the theory of Earth’s climate. The reason the models become more complicated is that they need to ascertain what happens to the energy retained and what effects it has.
        John Bell’s criticism is really a criticism of the fact that the models are sufficiently skilled to say that some areas on Earth will become drier, some wetter (episodically), some warmer and in some rare instances cooler due to a weakened jetstream. The problem is that he hasn’t even informed himself to the point where he is competent to judge the skills of the models.

        This brings us to the point I made with which Tamino took issue. The vast majority of people are not going to get their science news from scientific journals. Most would not have the ability to place the results in context in any case, because they view science as a collection of facts rather than a methodology for discerning truth about the natural world.

        Most people are going to attempt to get their news about science from media sources–and the quality of reporting here spans a wide range. In part, this is because most reporters also do not understand science sufficiently well to place individual results in context. In part, this is because individual scientists or their PR departments may hype a result well beyond its true significance. And then there are the news sources that have an agenda. Suffice to say, that you are probably better off not using as your primary news source a network that has claimed lies are “protected free speech”. The graph in the following article does a decent job as a first cut:
        http://aplus.com/a/fake-news-graph-imgur-user?no_monetization=true

        In addition, for science news, the short pieces in Science, Nature, etc. are fairly good at placing new results in some context–although it varies depending on the writer. National Academy and Royal Society reports are pretty good for presenting the consensus position as well as credible minority dissents.

        Best of all, learn how science works. Learn which scientists are credible in a particular field (Hint: they will often be the ones who get called on by Science and Nature to write the context pieces or to serve on NAS, etc. panels.). There are some scientists who are pretty good at setting aside their personal agendas and assessing results with a degree of perspective if not objectivity. Those guys are gold.

    • JB: What bothers me is claims of BOTH drought AND flood

      BPL: You’re thinking one-dimensionally. Earth’s surface is two-dimensional. Precipitation is slightly up with global warming, but global warming moves the rain. Continental interiors dry out, coastlines get soaked. Neither condition is good for crops. The most immediate danger from global warming is, in fact, destruction of our agriculture–and our civilization with it.

    • Another thing is that the dry areas will tend to move polewards as the Hadley cells expand.

    • Echoes of my Mind

      Tamino, [Response: Perhaps you didn’t read the postscript to the actual post. It says: “But if you mention “eco-terrorists” or “leftist” your comment goes into the trash bin — and whatever valid points you have made with them.”

      Either stick with your stated Principles and Moderation Rules or do not bother espousing them in the first place. That’s my opinion.

      There is no such a thing as half a Principle, or half Morals, or half Values, nor being Half a Moderator. Otherwise, like right now, you lose all credibility and authority Tamino. Go 100% or do not bother. Think about that would you please? Then relocate where that Trash Bin is and use it. You have made yourself look incredibly “weak” because that is what you have done. Another rational wiser option was available. You are the one who refused to honor yourself and act according to your own values. That’s a problem. Please own it.

      [Response: I make rules to encourage sane and rational discussion. I also reserve the right to use judgement; that’s what I will “own.”]

    • To be sure, leftists like me (by which I guess you mean folk who go with the IPCC & mainstream academia on the global warming issue) usually predict (if we’re sober) net mild benefits to global gdp (because crop yields etc) tailing off around mid century, then down hill from there. As far as I know that prediction is bang on track.

      The interesting bit is because of lag in the climate system and lag in how long it takes to do things – those are sunk costs/benefits. What we do today doesn’t affect whether or not we get some mild crop benefits for a few decades in the mean time; those changes are lined up and already in the bag. What we do today affects how quickly things go south post mid-century.

      If your doctor tells you to cut down on the booze today for a better chance of staying healthy in the future, it’s dumb to wait until you’ve got bowel cancer.

      • I suppose I should add that the mild net benefits to global gdp doesn’t preclude, for example, California having it’s aggricultural economy crippled with years of drought and wildfire. We’re talking a very (and increasingly) mixed picture on the regional scale sort of mild-beneift.

  4. According to the WMO, millions of people are already harmed by AGW, economically if not physically:

    Climate change is as hard on the economy as it is on society. Extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and causing upward of US$ 380 billion in economic losses – a tally that is expected to double every 12 years. But beyond the grim figures, the effects of “catastrophic convergence” are far more devastating where droughts, floods and other climate events directly correlate with violent outbreaks, political upheaval and even civil war.

    In the US, damages caused by ‘weather’ are often at least partially compensated with public money (to say nothing of our military expenditures). AGW is therefore harming every US taxpayer every year, and we’ll be paying for twice as much harm in 12 years as we will this year. Maybe that’s the framing US climate realists should adopt.

  5. Three points:

    (1) The last time CO2 was ~400ppm, sea levels were about 75 feet higher than today. That’s where we are heading. It will take a while to get there, but even 3~6 feet (expected this century) will be disastrous and unbelievably costly.

    (2) On the emissions path we are on, we are headed to +4ºC warming or more by the end of the century and certainly thereafter. Climate scientist Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre in the UK says: “There is a widespread view that a +4°C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of eco-systems and has a high probability of not being stable (i.e. +4°C would be an interim temperature on the way to a much higher equilibrium level). Consequently…+4°C should be avoided at ‘all’ costs.”

    (3) I’m not so worried about deniers. Their numbers are dwindling while the impacts of climate change become more obvious. What worries me are the people who believe in climate change and do nothing. How come the Democrats are not threatening to shut down the government unless we pass climate legislation? How come the Sierra Club opposed a carbon tax in Washington State? (The carbon tax would have been offset by lowering the sales tax, and the Sierra Club felt that lower sales tax revenues would hurt the poor!) The “Good Guys” are not raising the climate crisis to a level of importance on par with DACA, health care, etc. If the Good Guys won’t stand up and fight, the deniers have nothing to worry about.

    • Dan Miller,
      Concerning your point 2.
      The Anderson quote comes from this 2013 slide show and its basis is to be found within this 2011 Royal Academy Special Edition Journal ‘Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications’.
      (I would point out that in respect to CO2 feedbacks, the Anderson article cites Cox et al (2000) which was superceded by Friedlingstein et al (2008) (co-authored by most of the Cox et al (2000) authors), a paper which finds greatly less CO2 feedback at work. This is relevant to the “… a high probability of not being stable…” statement by Anderson.)

      • Al: Looking at the Friedlingstein paper, it says that the increase in CO2 due to warming will be 20 to 200 ppm by 2100. I did not see anything that said high levels of warming (i.e., +4ºC) will be stable. Note that the paper did not seem to consider permafrost or shallow clathrates (frozen methane) melting. I don’t believe those feedbacks are included in IPCC models (or any of the models he listed). The permafrost is melting now and contains about twice as much CO2 as the entire atmosphere holds, so even a modest release from the permafrost can have a big impact on climate. The clathrates (shallow and deep) hold enormous stores of methane and if they go (like what happened in previous +6ºC warmings, it’s “Game Over”.

      • Al: I should add that even if +4ºC warming is “stable”, if Anderson is correct about the other impacts (“incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of eco-systems”), the not being stable part is somewhat irrelevant!

      • Dan Miller,
        I certainly consider a +4ºC warming as far beyond where we should ever consider being.
        My point with the CO2 feedbacks was to point out that Friedlingstein et al (2008) put a value on extra CO2 by 2100 due to increased Airborne Fraction of +20ppm to +200ppm. This is a lot different to Cox et al (2000) who put it as +250ppm and it is Cox et al that Anderson cites as co-author in New et al (2011). (Note Friedlingstein et al uses the old IPCC A2 scenario with emissions rising to three-times today’s emissions by 2100 and without any change in Ariborne Fraction atmospheric CO2 reaching 730ppm. Cox et al use the older IS92a which is less carbon intense with 700ppm by 2100 for constant Af.)
        The CO2/methane feedback issue is often seen as an Arctic thing – the loss of permafrost and clathrates. What is perhaps noteable is the lack of attention from the likes of Friedlingstein et al on these matters. Certainly the ‘methane burp’ is often ridiculed while the proportion of methane in permafrost is set out much less within the science than sometimes claimed elsewhere. And the speed of such methane emissions, which is critical, will be slower than envisioned by many. If they happen slowly the impact is small, and ice does take time to melt.
        Of course, the plan surely must be not to risk such situations, And in my mind a bigger threat comes from aforestation due to primary/secondary climate effects (drought in the Amazon, insect devastation of temporate forests). But IPCC AR5 12.5.5 would be a useful point to set any serious discussion against.

  6. Since John Bell seems to want to be able to quote what people claim exactly, I will quote his litany of claims. We’ll start with this:


    “Projections” All this comes from computer climate models?

    Do you ever watch the weather on TV? Ever check it on the internet? The forecasts which guide choices, save tons of money, often even save lives, are computer weather models. They’re not just related to climate models, they’re far more similar than you probably understand.

    And computer climate models have proven to be remarkably correct, despite their imperfections. That’s why smearing them is such a high priority to those who want to avoid taking any action about climate change.


    I notice that current crop yields are at all time highs.

    That’s good. It’s also because of increased mechanization of agriculture, improved crops, and many other factors unrelated to climate.

    Unfortunately, climate change has prevented us from gaining as much ground as we could have. During the 2010 Russian heat wave, the wheat crop was so reduced that Russia decided to export no wheat at all — despite being one of the world’s largest exporters. The recent multi-year heat and drought in California also greatly reduced their agricultural output, despite their being the largest agricultural exporter of any U.S. state. While improved technology has made food production increase, climate change has also made it worse. Notice I said “has made,” not “will make.”


    What bothers me is claims of BOTH drought AND flood, heat AND cold, less snow AND more snow. So no matter what the weather, CC must be happening, because all weather was predicted to happen. That is so transparently fake, to predict opposites and then claim you were right when you never really made a prediction at all.

    Is it just too complicated for you to wrap your head around the truth that climate change will bring more flood to some regions and more drought to others? The idea that impacts have to go in the same direction in all places at all times, is an example of what I call the “simpleton’s view.” When it comes to flood and drought, I really should replace “will bring” with “has brought.”

    Is it just too complicated for you to wrap your head around the truth that climate change will bring more heat and more heat waves to most of the globe, but can induce cold spells when changes to the jet stream allow cold Artic air to penetrate further south? Failing to comprehend that is another example of the “simpleton’s view.” And by the way, all that talk of “amazing cold” in the eastern U.S. this winter doesn’t come from people who have looked at the historical temperature data. What folks now call “bone-chilling cold” is just what used to be average. But we’ve warmed up enough that what used to be average, now seems cold.

    Is it just too complicated for you to wrap your head around the truth that climate change can both increase and decrease snow? There’s more water vapor in the atmosphere, which can increase snowfall dramatically. Yet higher temperatures make snow melt faster, decreasing snow cover during spring and summer. Climate change also changes patterns of atmospheric flow and storm tracks, which is why the snowpack in the mountains in California — one of the most important sources of drinking water in the western U.S. — is setting new record lows. Once again, it seems the “simpleton’s view” pervades your thinking.

    Your arguments are very persusive to the naive, the simpleton, the intellectually lazy who can’t handle anything more complicated than a 5-second sound bite. Such arguments are the real example of “transparently fake.” We set a much higher standard.


    The polls say CC is at the bottom of the list of peoples concerns, no wonder, the catastrophes have not materialized, it is all the same old game of leftists crying wolf.

    What does a poll — not even of scientists — have to do with the truth or falsehood of scientific propositions? Nothing. The fact that you resort to this argument makes your case look bad. Very bad.


    Look at the ice cores for the last 800,000 years, climate is always changing, and we better hope it warms rather than cools, better for life on earth.

    I have looked at ice core data for the last 800,000 years. I’m well aware that climate changes naturally. The natural changes on a global scale tend to be very slow, in human terms. The changes happening now are happening much faster.

    Is it too complicated for you to comprehend, that climate can change for more than one reason? That it can change naturally, and can change due to human activity? More of the “simpleton’s view.” It’s rather like saying that “People have gotten lung cancer all the time — so cigarettes have nothing to do with it.”

    If you want to respond, do so with some actual reasonable arguments. Please no more of the simpleton’s simplistic simplicity. If you just can’t comprehend anything more complicated, don’t bother — because you’re not making skeptic claims look good at all, you are making them look truly idiotic.

    • “Please no more of the simpleton’s simplistic simplicity.”

      Ow. As burns go, your post was a Doomsday Machine’s worth. Marvelous.

      10/10

      [Response: Thanks for the compliment. I’m just egotistical enough not to delete it (it’s not really on-topic about the science).]

    • I didn’t add anything sciencey because you were thorough in your rebuttal. I’m particularly tired of the “ice cores” argument. As far as CO2 injections, nothing remotely similar has happened in the geologic history of the (non-molten) planet save for the Permian-Triassic era or the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Since the PETM is 56M years in the past, it’s not part of the ice cores(obviously). CO2 extinctions are particularly nasty, this one will not be any different.

      The Gish-Gallop of the SkS most popular Denialti themes deserves nothing less than complete evisceration. Well done.

      [Response: Let’s get back to the science.]

  7. About 10 years ago, a book came out called “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet” by Mark Lynas (https://www.amazon.com/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/142620213X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=). It was organized around 6 chapters, each of which described the anticipated consequences of each degree of temperature increase (i.e., chapter 1 was for 1 degree C, chapter 2 for 2 degrees C, etc., up to 6 degrees C of temperature increase).

    The writer stated that his predictions came from reading and interpreting the existing scientific literature at the time. It was favorably reviewed at Real Climate at the time (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/six-degrees/).

    Not being a climate scientist, I cannot comment on the merits of the specific forecasts, or how they look now with the passage of time. Perhaps one of the other contributors to this blog will comment on this. I read the book some years ago and found it sobering. Perhaps this would be a good place to start for someone looking for further information on possible effects of global temperature increase.

  8. So Sheldon Walker doesn’t dispute warming, just the cause? For someone who doesn’t dispute warming, he’s put a lot of effort into finding non-existent pauses in it!

    As to John Bell on crop yields being at an all time high – part of that has to be that humans have been using considerable ingenuity to improve crop yields, so it is hardly surprising that they have improved. But I would be surprised if the increased CO2 in the atmosphere has not helped at least some plants under some conditions to thrive. Any improvements due to increased CO2 do risk being lost to the more disruptive climate which results.

    [Response: I recall Sheldon saying he attributed between 50% and 90% of warming to human causes. I think it’s more than he does, but that doesn’t sound like “denying the cause” to me. He disputes the consequences.]

    • Should not the earths climate be cooling according to the milankovitch cycles and it could be claimed that more than 100 percent of the observed warming is from anthropogenic causes?

      • Per Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute (and of RealClimate),the short answer is yes. (The long answer also being ‘yes’, but with ancillary detail affixed.)

      • Mary potter,

        Yes, if not for the anthropogenic transfer of fossil carbon to the atmosphere over the past 3 centuries, the long-term trend of GMST would be downward.

        A good discussion of the various radiative forcings is here.

  9. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Tamino,

    Man: (Sheldon Walker) Ah. I’d like to have an argument, please.

    Receptionist: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?

    Man: No, this is my first time.

    Receptionist: I see. Well, do you want to have the full argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?

    Man: Well, what would be the cost?

    Receptionist: Well, It’s one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

    Man: Well, I think it’s probably best if I start with the one and then see how it goes from there, okay?

    Receptionist: Fine. I’ll see who’s free at the moment.

    (Pause)

    Receptionist: Mr Tamino’s free, but he’s feeling a bit conciliatory. Ahh yes, Try Mr Barnard; room 12.

    ==========

    Tamino, you said that you wanted to play rough. I hope that you are ready.

    Let’s see, one sceptic against 100 hostile warmists.

    Shall I ask an easy question, so that they will like me, or a tough one?

    The question that I am going to ask, may be upsetting for some of you. I think that it is important to answer it, in order to get some perspective on global warming. This question relates to issues like scaremongering, and the whole concept of global warming.

    ==========

    Is global warming all bad?

    Can you think of something good to say about global warming?

    Is global warming pure evil, with no good features?

    The impression that I get, is that warmists refuse to believe (deny) that there is anything good about global warming. They wear blinkers, so that they never have to see the other side of global warming. That means that they can concentrate on the negative.

    [Response: Easy questions can feed the ego. Hard questions can bring wisdom.]

    • No one is denying that the effects will be mixed and some will gain, at least if it does not go too far.
      The main danger is rapid change. Ecologys and economies are adapted to our current climate. There is a cost to transitioning to a different climate.
      Mass extinctions are associated with rapid large climate changes and the climate is changing more rapidly now than it does naturally. Looking at the climate end state is not enough.
      And there is reason to believe that the climate since the end of the most recent glacial is unusually favourable for civilization and it would not be a good idea to move away from it. Increased hurricane severity, more frequent heat waves and sea level rise are things with no benefit.

    • You ask whether there’s “something good” about global warming.

      Here’s one: warmer temperatures in winter will reduce heating costs. In fact, they already have (I’ve looked at data for heating degree days in the past, with this issue specifically in mind, and it’s a clear impact).

      • I’m sure this is true. Would be interesting to see the data. Temp. is 69 degrees here in Hopkinton, Mass. this afternoon. So no heating required today (although some snow is forecast in a couple of days). But what about cooling degree days in the warmer months?

      • That’s true but has there also been a corresponding increase in air conditioning costs in summer? I seem to recall seeing an article about this, that the two didn’t exactly cancel each other out but there was a significant cancellation. What is the likely long-term overall cost at, 1.5C, 2C, 3C … ?

    • The impression that I get, is that warmists refuse to believe (deny) that there is anything good about global warming.

      Off the top of my head, some good things:
      — a longer growing season in Russia
      — greening of the biosphere, decreased water needs for some pants in arid regions
      — opening of the NW passage
      — new beachfront property in Arizona ;-)

      It’s not that there are no good things about global warming. It’s that above ~1.5 or 2C, the bad solidly outweighs the good.

      The IPCC report discusses both negative and positive impacts, so.. hard to say they’re completely ignoring the positive. Look to the literature, rather than blogs.

    • If we, for a moment, assume Richard Tol knows what he’s doing with his calculations on economic impacts, he’s pointed out that warming in Europe will likely be beneficial for the economies above the line Paris – Berlin.

      Below that line, however…

      Although maybe set in a too-negative tone for Sheldon, this 2007 Atlantic piece has an interesting description of the potential winners and losers in a warming world:
      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/04/global-warming-who-loses-and-who-wins/305698/

    • I once examined an article from 2012 which proclaimed ‘Global warming has both positive and negative impacts. However, very often only the negative consequences are reported and the positive ones omitted. This article will show an example of a positive effect of warming.’ I would suggest that article exemplifies all the problems faced when setting out all the wonderful benefits of AGW (while ignoring the harm it brings).
      Writing that 2012 article should have been such an easy job. List out all those “good features” that result from AGW. Choose your prime example and wax lyrical about it. But on examination, the actual content of the paper is shown to be utter nonsense. The inevitable conclusion about the “good features” of AGW are thus “if this … is the prime example of the ‘positive impacts’ of global warming, it is no surprise that Mueller [the author] fails to list any of the others.”

    • Sheldon asks:

      1) Is global warming all bad?

      That depends upon quantitative questions, like how much warming, and on what time scales we consider the warming. As noted by commenters above, short term benefits to mild warming are expected, including by the IPCC Assessment Reports. (Easily Googled.)

      It also depends upon questions of value, some of which quickly devolve into the speculative. To clarify the latter, one could plausibly say that the KT impact was very bad for the dinosaurs, but very good for us, in that we might very well not exist without it. So if we drive H. Sap to extinction–an outcome I regard as unlikely but not impossible under very extreme warming scenarios–we may pretty reliably expect a future biosphere to be analogously ‘indebted’ to the warming we induce. It’ll probably take a few million years of recovery time, but what is that to the Earth?

      2) Can you think of something good to say about global warming?

      Tamino suggested one good above. Here’s another, more ‘cosmic’ one: global warming provides an existential challenge to humanity which, if successfully met, would see us structure our societies more rationally and sustainably, with due consideration for the real-world effects of our growing technological prowess. That’s a necessity if we are to continue as a technological society. In crisis, there is always opportunity. Face this crisis honestly, and we’ll be better able to face related issues (including, IMO, the importance of using scientific guidance constructively in setting public policy.)

      3) Is global warming pure evil, with no good features?

      Asked and answered.

      4) The impression that I get, is that warmists refuse to believe (deny) that there is anything good about global warming. They wear blinkers, so that they never have to see the other side of global warming. That means that they can concentrate on the negative.

      Not a question, obviously, but I’ll respond. In the light of response #1, above, ‘warmists’, considering probable outcomes of current trends, assess the balance of consequences to be heavily weighted toward the negative, viewed from a human perspective. It’s not that they “don’t see it.” It’s that they have weighed the positive, and found it wanting.

      And note that that is not based on a fondness for doomsaying (though some individuals may suffer from that syndrome–Guy McPherson is one name that comes to mind), or on some sort of ‘gut instinct.’ It’s based on the best available information in the scientific literature.

      That said, let me echo your ‘impression statement’ with my own ‘impressions,’ Sheldon (italicized below).

      [Note: this bit is, strictly, OT for the thread. But I’d justify it, in that it is essentially about the ‘soft science’ around the difficulties we face in mitigating
      emissions. (Albeit using primarily humanistic, not scientific, language.) If you feel it’s too far afield, Tamino, and snip it, no hard feelings.]

      The impression that I get, is that some folks refuse to believe (deny) that there is anything dangerous about global warming. They wear blinkers, so that they never have to see the dangerous side of global warming. That means that they can dismiss the need to consider changes to their lives, or to society in general, and perhaps more proximately, that they can repress any feelings of discomfort, anxiety or even responsibility for the possible dangers posed.

      That is psychological denial in a nutshell. And–in service to emphasizing that I don’t consider it an insult to say so–I’d say further that *all* of us–including warmists–use denial as a defense mechanism to some extent. Humans are structured such that we can recognize the inevitability of death, personally and for everyone that we love. It’s a profound factor, because we are also carriers of an instinctive stratum of feeling and reflex the entire purpose of which is to foster survival. So we are conflicted at a very deep level. Denial can be pathological when unchecked, but it exists in the human psyche because it can also be adaptive–cf., George Bernard Shaw:

      The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.

      Sometimes a little denial keeps us fighting when reason would combine with fatigue to have us surrender. (Of course, I’d also note that GBS himself frequently and notably wielded reason with surgical precision.)

    • Sheldon, your impression that “warmists” refuse to believe there is anything good about global warming is severely uninformed. An easy and longstanding example is the Skeptical Science post in response to the myth “It’s not bad”: https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives-intermediate.htm. After you read that Intermediate tabbed pane, read the Advanced one. Then read the sources, most of which are linked for your convenience. Then read the relevant chapter of the most recent IPCC report. And so on.

      The reason your blog posts bother me is that you make extreme, aggressive, and often insulting assertions without first doing even the most rudimentary research. Your approach is not up to even high school student standards. It would be great for you to ask questions such as “Has anyone described the good things about global warming?” Instead you accuse everyone of failing to do that, despite you not even bothering to do an internet search on that question.

    • Is there anything good about extinction?

      • And that is a good counterquestion, cutting right to the heart of the issue.

      • Michael Hauber

        Yes one less species for mankind to compete with.

        If extinction is mentioned regarding climate change we need to be clear which species. I believe there is negligible chance of human extinction. And negligible chance that we will get through CC without large numbers of other species going extinct.

      • Depends on what is going extinct. As Doc Snow pointed out above, the extinction of (most of) the dinosaurs was good for humans (or more generally, good for mammals). Few people would mind if certain pathogens go extinct, like the polio virus.

        And the earth may well breath a sigh of relief when humans go extinct…

      • How long can humanity remain extant in a world in which we have out competed many more other species to extinction? We are not independent of ecosystems. Without the buffering of complexity our habitat falls apart.

      • Michael Hauber said: “I believe there is negligible chance of human extinction.” Lots of people believe that, but that doesn’t make it a fact. I don’t think it’s a likely outcome, and certainly less likely than the end of our technology and cultural heritage. But I don’t see any way to exclude it as a possibility, based on current scientific knowledge–just too many unknown unknowns, IMO.

        Mary’s point about our dependence on functioning ecosystems is really apropos here. While humans have proven themselves able to survive in a wild variety of habitats, and at a huge diversity of levels of technological and cultural sophistication, severe warming could well place us for the first time ever in a world in which both abundant natural resources (especially food resources) and our ever-present technological supports are unavailable. And it could do it very, very fast in cultural and adaptive terms.

        In such circumstances, our very useful but also very energy-intensive brains might prove a bit of an Achilles heel.

      • Is is “acceptable” to not have a ‘human extinction event’ but to, say:
        Have 7/8 of the human population killed? Or
        Have a loss of civilization including knowledge and technological capability?

        These are more probable than extinction, however unlikely. Raising the prospect of extinction is a bit of claiming “After me, the Deluge.”

    • Sheldon walker asked:

      Is global warming pure evil, with no good features?

      As has been pointed out, some people will gain from the effects of anthropogenic global warming. Those people will say AGW is good. Some number of people greater than zero, OTOH, have already lost their lives to AGW. Let’s ask them if global warming has any good features.

      Mr. Walker seems to thinks AGW is only ‘evil’ if it directly harms him, his family and/or his friends. [Response: What evidence do you have of that? I don’t see it at all.] Until it does, he’s apparently happy to go on making poor people on the other side of the world pay for his comfort and convenience. Otherwise, he’d acknowledge that economic development can be driven with energy from any source, and that historically the energy has been obtained from fossil carbon only because the ‘free’ global energy market externalizes, i.e. socializes, the marginal climate-change costs of coal, oil and natural gas from their prices.

      In case Mr. Walker is unfamiliar with the specialized vocabulary of Economics, ‘socialize’ does not mean nobody has to pay. Whenever Mr. Walker saves a few bucks at the pump to fill his private gas tank, the cost of emitting all that fossil carbon freely out his private tailpipe is eventually paid for by involuntary third parties, seemingly at random and wholly out of proportion to their own fossil carbon emissions.

      Again, to be fair, there’s ample historical precedent for privatizing benefits and socializing costs while singing “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.

      • Tamino, the evidence for Walker’s lukewarmerism is implicit in his suggestion that AGW can be ‘good’ in some global sense when its cost, known to already be immense and mounting inexorably with GMST, must be paid with the homes, livelihoods and lives of human beings.

  10. apologies RC six degrees already posted

  11. Sheldon is uncertain that AGW will be a disaster, which is fair enough – no-one can know the future for certain. However, this uncertainty is all the more reason to take strong mitigating action now, and avoid the risk of the unknown. To do anything else, when the climate of the entire planet is at stake, would be utterly irresponsible.

    • Sheldon is uncertain that AGW will be a disaster, which is fair enough

      How can Sheldon’s uncertainty be “fair enough”? Disaster is in the eyes of the victims! AGW has already been disastrous for hundreds of thousands of people. Within all reasonable confidence limits, AGW will be a disaster for more people.

      Sheldon’s ‘uncertainty’ is contingent on his lukewarmism, a species of AGW-denial.

  12. What about coral reefs? I need to learn a lot more about this, I’m not a biologist. But the coral experts I’ve spoken to say fhat 2 C global warming likely means the extermination of most coral reefs. They suggest a few species or refuges will survive, but most of the beautiful and brilliant bounty of our reefs will be gone. If true, this is a horrendous cost.

    Secondly, sea levels. If you oppose strong action to reduce emissions, then you support levels of warming that are expected to, and have historically caused, collapse of major ice sheets with sea level rise of 30 feet or so. Total amount depends on which thresholds you pass.

    2 C is somewhere near the threshold for Greenland, as we undedstand it now. The end result is that places like Florida and Southern Louisiana end up far below sea level. Lower even then Zuidplaspolder, the Netherlands’ lowest point today, for example. The questions I have are: do opponents of the consensus from research into warming & sea level reject this idea? Do they think it’s a price worth paying? Or do they think it’ll be so slow that we can adapt?

    Maybe it’ll be slow enough that we can just naturally abandon places like S Florida, Jakarta, the Nile Delta and S Bangladesh. But even if it is relatively slow, once people realise that the land where hundreds of millions of people live is going to be under sea level because of our policies then the idea that Miami real estate is worth a trillion dollars is a joke. All of the investments linked to that have to be written down massively. The idea that it’s worth building new roads or other infrastructure there will become silly. If we decide not to cut emissions.

  13. Sheldon,

    Here’s my general view of the subject, which incorporates some of your questions. If we end of discussing things I’d like you to see my hand.

    Wee bit of context. I’m not a scientist. I’m not even good at math. But my reading comprehension is excellent. So I’ve read. And read and read and read. Much of it from the scientific literature, discovering where there is general agreement, and where there is uncertainty and disagreement. I’ve also read and investigated countless ‘skeptic’ arguments over the last 10 years, and the vast majority of my online discussion takes place where the forum owner has a view contrary to the mainstream on climate change and there are plenty of regulars trying to poke holes in various aspects of AGW and my own views..

    I don’t rely one bit on the mainstream media for my views on the science. No real skeptic should.

    The issue: human industry is adding tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per year. The concentration has increased by 40% since the industrial revolution, and that is almost entirely due to human activity. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I think the science is ‘settled’ that adding more to the atmosphere will, all else being equal, raise the average near-surface temperature of the Earth as well as the oceans to a few thousand meters. In short, human activity is causing the world to warm up.

    The degree and pace of response of the biosphere to increasing GHG concentrations is uncertain, but the range includes, and has done for many years now, as little as 1.5C and as much as 4.5 C degrees per doubling CO2.

    My starting point is this range – that topic, too, being well investigated, high and low.

    The lowest end of the range may not be too severe. For some regions it may even be beneficial, but probably not indefinitely. Maybe we could manage it for a while if not for a long time. The highest end of the range, as far as I understand it, is likely to bring severe disruption to biospheric ‘norms’, globally and regionally (rapid sea level rise, loss of potable water in some places, drought in dry areas, more severe flooding in wetter areas, harsher heat waves etc). The high end may have significantly deleterious impacts on the world’s civilizations.

    The rate of change is pertinent. Slow change is better than fast change. The faster the rate, the more costly to adapt.

    This, for me is a risk assessment/risk management issue. What makes it a pointy one is that, unlike a house or a car or a business, if things go south, we can’t start again. We’re conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment with our atmosphere and we are unable to escape the results. We can’t reset. We can’t move to a new atmosphere. We are inside the test tube.

    I won’t try to sell you that the worst will definitely happen. And I won’t buy from anyone that the least is going to come. No one knows that. Not you. Not me. Not the IPCC. Not Anthony Watts. Anyone that tells you differently IS selling something.

    We only know the scope of the risk to the best of our knowledge.That’s all we have. A prominent skeptic once said that it’s not that we know, but that we don’t know that we should be prudent. If we had a better handle on it we could plan better, plan more precisely. We’d have a better fix on whether (and where) adapting or mitigating, or some combination is the best answer.

    My view of the issue is also long-range, not just the length of my life. I have no children, so my concern is not personal in that way. I just can’t conceive an ethical outlook that doesn’t embrace future generations.

    I’m not alarmed. I’m not a ‘believer’. I’m barely an activist. I accept the scope of the risk after weighing the evidence to the best of my ability. I see the particular nature of the risk – no second chances. And at this point the answer for me is to slow down the experiment as quickly as possible until we get a better handle on it, and without so much disruption as to make the cure worse than the disease.

    The pollyannas who light upon a report of a greening world and sell me that things are looking up, and the doomsayers who try to convince me that the very worst is absolutely inevitable, they miss the point. We’re inside the experiment. There’s no getting out. We don’t know how bad (or beneficial) the outcomes will be. We can’t ignore the worst. And it’s not just me and mine that may be affected.

    Even without adding in the benefits of lessening our dependence on energy from unsavoury regimes, the economic benefits of new industries (alt energy), bringing forward in good time what will one day be necessary when fossil fuels have been mined to extinction, and potentially lower energy costs in the future, supporting mitigation of CO2 emissions is a straightforward ethical decision for me. No alarmism. No tribalism. Plenty of skepticism. A decision made with the best information to hand.

    Do you think this is a reasonable outlook?

  14. It is important for those that are concerned about the models to realize that the models do not have to be spectacularly accurate to achieve decent success.

    First, all models from the simplest to the most complicated predict warming with added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Second, we are not on a 2 degree trajectory and trying to decide whether it is 1.8 or 2.2 deg C. Currently we are on a 4 degree trajectory, assuming we have the fossil fuels, and are trying to decide if we should do something to emit less CO2.

    Also, it is important to be aware that the other anthropogenic greenhouse gases are adding significantly to the greenhouse forcing. Current total forcing is equivalent to 489 ppm CO2 (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/)

    • Whenever I see the argument that “it’s all just computer models”, I wonder just exactly what is it that they think is wrong?

      Computers are just one (very fast,very convenient) method of solving some categories of mathematical models. Is the complainant trying to say that computers can’t properly solve these mathematical models, or are they saying that mathematical models in general can’t be trusted?

      As for the “all computer code has bugs” argument – so what? The OS I am preparing my comment on has bugs, as does the web browser I am using. As does the system hosting Open Mind, and all the software that handles the communications between the two. Your word processor has bugs. Your spreadsheet has bugs. Yet somehow people often seem to actually produce good work with all that buggy code.

    • Bob Loblaw:

      Computers are just one (very fast,very convenient) method of solving some categories of mathematical models.

      Indeed, Arrhenius published the first, laboriously hand-calculated model of CO2-forced global warming in 1896. His estimate of ECS matches current consensus estimates within a factor of two.

  15. There are advantages to getting a limb cut off. A suddenly reduction in weight, for example. Added sympathy from friends, family, and even strangers. You can sit on the disabled seats in public buses. It’s not all bad! And the four-limbists refuse to acknowledge this!

  16. Since “Six Degrees” has been mentioned a couple of times–and for good reason, IMO, since it’s essentially a giant literature review on impacts–let me cite a resource on it that I created. In addition to summarizing and commenting upon the book as a whole, I provided chapter-by-chapter summaries in tabular form as a sort of ‘index’ to the whole. (With some scattershot updating here and there as a bonus.)

    Here are the links:

    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-One-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Two-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Three-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Four-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Five-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Six-Degree-World
    https://hubpages.com/literature/Six-Degrees-Choosing-Our-Future

    The overall summary review is here:

    https://letterpile.com/books/Mark-Lynass-Six-Degrees-A-Summary-Review

  17. There will be some winners and some losers when it comes to climate change. For instance, longer growing seasons nearer the poles will be a win for Scandinavia, Russia and Canada. Unfortunately, these are precisely the latitudes that have been scraped down to bedrock by past episodes of glaciation, so although it’s a win, it’s not a big win. And it will not compensate for the loss of productive areas in the Southern Great Plains, California, etc.

    The opening of polar waters to navigation will provide a significant savings of fuel on shipments between Asia and the West. At the same time, it will open up sensitive polar areas to oil drilling and other exploitation–with all the opportunity and risk that entails. It also opens up the possibility of geopolitical tensions as players in the high latitudes (China, Russia, the US and perhaps others) compete for influence and opportunity.

    The problem with this type of analysis is that we have a global human civilization that has evolved to optimize productivity in the environment that has existed since roughly the 17th century and an agricultural system that evolved entirely within the Holocene. Changes to that environment–especially rapid changes–will result in an infrastructure that is not optimal, and at a time when human population if cresting at around 10 billion people, well above the carrying capacity of the planet.

    We’ve gotten where we are by learning how to turn hydrocarbons into food crops–chiefly corn soy. That era is ending now, with a population that is too high to maintain, a planet that has been depleted in many critical and irreplacable resources and a climate that is deviating from the optimum that got us this far. And the social constructs and governments–be they capitalist or communist, democratic or authoritarian–we have may not only be inadequate for dealing with these challenges, they may be a big part of the problem.

    So please excuse our alarm.

    • snark: You are correct about farming on the Canadian Shield or muskeq for that matter. Though it can be noted that farmers here in Newfoundland have learned methods for growing carrots/parsnips/potatoes in peat. Doubt they could feed the local population let alone the world, though.

      But I do have to point out that by even answering Sheldon’s argument as if it were serious is silly. He made a complete straw man argument asserting that those knowledgeable about climate science never bother to consider both sides of the coin. That is completely untrue. Why does Sheldon give himself a pass he would never give to a scientist?

      • What jgnfld said times 2. Sheldon’s question is not asked in good faith. Can Sheldon point to a skeptical post that has more benefits listed than the IPCC report (or even the Skeptical Science post linked above)?

  18. @John Bell, @Sheldon Walker,

    There are five kinds of impacts from unmitigated climate change/global energizing which are of substantial concern.

    First, even if the likelihood of really bad effects were small, say, less than 10%, the costs, and so economic impacts, for the control reversing climate change are outrageously large. One calculation I recently did assumed the problems of identifying places to sequester and energy requirements (some high intensity zero Carbon source like Thorium-fueled modular nuclear reactors, a technology we do not have), as well as achieving zero emissions of GHGs first, were all done for zero cost. It then just looked at what it would take to drop 400 ppm (from 750 ppm to 350 ppm) of atmospheric CO2 using direct air capture (1). At US$100/metric tonne of CO2, a current low-ball estimate, that ends up about US$690 trillion and taking 2 centuries or more. Gross World Product in 2015 was about US$78 trillion. Expected value at 10% is a full annual GWP to fix this. Admittedly that’s not discounted, but it’s probably more than offset by the things I swept under the rug to set this up. (Running a global engineering project for two centuries, with continuity assured?) Don’t like 10%? 5% is still half an annual GWP. 1% is 3/8 of the 2016 GDP of the United States. Sure, you can play games like assuming the cost will drop from US$100/tonne to $10/tonne and the risk is actually 1%, but at what point are you kidding yourself?

    Second, the climate system is not only complicated, it’s one of the best examples of a non-Newtonian physical system we have. In other words, it’s not at all like a mechanical clock: It cannot be run backwards. Some changes to the climate are irreversible on any reasonable human time scale (2). Heat going into the oceans cannot be extracted by any known Physics, and will take multiples of ten thousand years to cool off. 90% of the excess heat from radiative forcing due to greenhouse gases is going into the oceans, even if the remainder is raising the global mean surface temperature. That heat drives expansion, one of the largest contributors to sea level rise, threatening pricey real estate on the east coasts of Asia and North America. No doubt, it has other consequences, such as reducing dissolved Oxygen, increasing numbers of “dead zones”, and providing an energy and moisture feed for storms, on top of the contribution from Clausius-Claperyon.

    Third, some of the measures of risk, when stated and framed, mislead in the wrong direction. There’s a tremendous ruckus about equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate sensitivity (TCS), roughly, the amount of mean global warming given a doubling of CO2 concentrations, whether long run, in the former case, or almost instantaneously in the latter case. The range for ECS is oft’ given as +1.5C to +4.5C, even if there is endless equibbling from people who don’t trust the calculations about the frame. Setting aside the fact that the distribution is long tailed, looking far more like an Gamma distribution with \kappa \ge 3 rather than a Gaussian distribution, this is a global mean. Conditional upon whether or not the density is over oceans or over land, the distribution looks far less severe for oceans, and far more severe for land. The mean temperature is composed of a linear combination of the two and, because there’s more ocean surface than land, it’s weighted down. The following is from Schmittner, et al, Figure 3A, Science, 334(9), 2011:

    I think you can see the message for the green line. Combined with the descriptions in Lynas’s Six Degrees (review of it here from RealClimate), and given we know more now than than literature Lynas drew upon, that in itself should give everyone pause. Chang, Sarnat, and Liu wrote “Projecting health impacts of climate change: Embracing an uncertain future” for Chance Magazine of the American Statistical Association in November 2017. They project the implications for Atlanta, GA. (In same issue, Gilleland, Katz, and Naveau look at “Quantifying the risk of extreme events under climate change”.) In a book which is not a projection, I recommend Klinenberg’s Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago which recounts and analyzes the fragility of urban support systems documented by the heat event there in 1995. If the +4C milestone were to be passed, it’s possible that working outdoors in summer in the U.S. South would be impossible during the day. Some high humidity regions might need to be abandoned altogether, at least by those without 24/7 air conditioning.

    Fourth, investment and financial risk is appreciable. At present, based upon testimony from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and other members of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), present corporate annual reports and 10K sheets don’t reflect the long term financial risk of impacts from climate change. The Munich Re and Swiss Re re-insurers already have long series showing steadily increasing costs from worsening weather and floods. This contributed to Moody’s recent declaration that they would begin to consider climate risk for a municipality as a factor in rating that municipality’s bonds and, so, directly upon the premiums they must charge to raise cash. Carney points out that were a convincing event to occur, whether in global markets, or niche markets like coastal real estate, and some holders of property or mortgages decided to leave, worrying losses could be appreciable, there is danger of a Minsky moment: Others might pile on and also depart because they worry that, justified or not, the market might crash. In doing so, they precipitate the event. This could happen well in advance of any direct costs or impacts, leaving assets stranded because of financial reasons, not policy weather, or other reasons.

    Fifth, there is substantial evidence (3) that important crop yields do not increase with increasing CO2, are impacted by increasing temperatures, and are growth limited even if they see improved productivity by amounts of water and other nutrients, notably Nitrogen availability. This has also been seen with heat effects upon livestock (4).

    Those are a few things to think about. There are more, e.g., ocean acidification and impacts upon human global protein supply. The strongest signal we have that climate change is happening is how the biosphere is responding, whether primary production on land or in phytoplankton. It is increasing, and temperatures of oceans and climes closer to the poles are warming. This means animals and fish are migrating, throwing timings of migration of related predators and prey off. Sure it looks good for now(5):

    But there’s no reason to suppose that will continue. These systems balance upon a knife’s edge of stability. At risk is some portion of the 55% Carbon sink which these living things provide as ecological services.

    (1) This includes taking out the CO2 that’ll come out of soils and oceans because atmospheric CO2 is now lower since these reservoirs are in equilibrium.

    (2) There’s a joke among climate scientists involved with the IPCC that “Everyone knows climate change stops in 2100.” They mean that the UNFCCC policymakers only want them to project until 2100, because that’s what they decided they’d worry about. Of course, is that really a proper thing if some policy action results in a runaway greenhouse in 2300 which kills off all humanity and more, and they know it?

    (3) Leakey, et al, 2006, “Photosynthesis, productivity, and yield of maize are not affected by open-air elevation of CO2 concentration in the absence of drought”, Plant Physiology, February 2006, 140, 779-790. Long, et al, 2006, “Food for thought: Lower-than-expected crop yield stimulation with rising CO2 concentrations”, Science, 312, 1918-1921. Schlender, Roberts, 2009, “Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15594-15598.

    (4) St-Pierre, et al, “Economic losses from heat stress by U.S. livestock industries”, Journal of Dairy Science, 2002, 86:(E. Suppl.): E52–E77.

    (5) R. Lindsey, R. Simmon, 5 June 2003, “Global garden gets greener”, NASA Earth Observatory. R. R. Nemani, C. D. Keeling, H. Hashimoto, W. M. Jolly, S. C. Piper, C. J. Tucker, R. B. Myneni, S. W. Running, “Climate-driven increases in global terrestrial net primary production from 1982 to 1999”, 6 June 2003, 300, Science, 1560-1563. F. P. Chavez, M. Messié, J. T. Pennington, “Marine Primary Production in elation to climate variability and change”, Annual Review of Marine Science, 2011, 3, 227-260.

  19. David B. Benson

    Back to the Future:

    No climate models are required, just a good understanding of the mid-Pliocene, 3.28 million years ago. For the carbon dioxide concentration was about the same as now, around 400 ppm, and the continents have not moved far enough to matter much to the climate in the interval.

    So if the carbon dioxide concentration remains above 400 ppm, similar conditions will obtain at equilibrium. The global temperature will be 2–3 °C warmer than now and the sea stand will be about 25 meters higher than now. See the Wikipedia page on Pliocene climate.

    Those interested in more detail are encouraged to read
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/561/back-future
    but please do not reply there unless you have a link to the scientific literature on the mid-Pliocene that you care to add. By all means comment here and I will attempt to answer your questions.

  20. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Everybody,

    in this post, I am going to describe a technique which might help you to communicate more effectively with non-warmists. How do I know that it works? Because it worked on me when I read your replies to my question.

    You don’t need to believe me. After all, I am just a stupid denier. What would I know about communicating more effectively with stupid deniers?

    First, let me say that you came up with most of the good things about global warming that I had thought of.

    So I was wrong when I suggested that warmists refuse to believe that there is anything good about global warming (maybe you just don’t talk about them much).

    I never thought about how warmer temperatures in winter will reduce heating costs. That may be because I live in a mild climate.

    Doc Snow. You gave a very comprehensive answer. Your comment about “short term benefits to mild warming”, made me wonder if there are short term gains, but long term pains.

    Barry. You also gave a comprehensive answer. You made the comment, “We’re conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment with our atmosphere and we are unable to escape the results.”

    That made me wonder if humans have been conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment ever since we learned to control fire, and domesticate wheat.

    Snarkrates. Yours was one of the posts that helped me to identify the technique which might help people to communicate more effectively with non-warmists. You said, “For instance, longer growing seasons nearer the poles will be a win for Scandinavia, Russia and Canada.”

    Some time in the last week, I looked at a map of the world, to see which countries would probably benefit from some global warming. I identified Canada, Russia, and Scandanavia.

    Your answer matched what I had already found. I then read the next part of your answer, “Unfortunately, these are precisely the latitudes that have been scraped down to bedrock by past episodes of glaciation, so although it’s a win, it’s not a big win.”

    I did not know whether your second statement was true, or not. I could have tried to Google it. But because you had already given me an answer which I knew was true, I felt inclined to believe that your second statement was true as well.

    The one good point about global warming that people did not mention (but I may have missed it), is that fewer people will die from the cold.

    People may see me as biased skeptic/denier (I am allowed to call myself a denier, because I know that I don’t mean it), but when I read Tamino’s point about warmer temperatures in winter reducing heating costs, I immediately thought about warmer temperatures in summer increasing cooling costs.

    Even my own point about fewer people dying from the cold, made me immediately think about more people dying from the heat.

    The technique which might help people to communicate more effectively with non-warmists, involves using a statement which creates trust. This could be something that the person already knows, like “Longer growing seasons nearer the poles will be a win for Scandinavia, Russia and Canada.”.

    It could be a simple obvious statement, “With global warming, fewer people will die from the cold”.

    A skeptic/denier hearing a positive statement about global warming from a warmist, is going to be surprised, to say the least. Instead of shutting off, they may be interested enough to listen to what you are saying.

    Now is your chance, make the point that you really want to make, “but of course, with global warming, a lot of people are going to die from the higher temperatures.

    I am not sure that the world is ready for warmists saying good things about global warming. But maybe it is exactly what is needed to get the whole story about global warming accepted.

    [Response: I suggest another technique to be more persuasive, when talking with someone who is actually listening.

    I’ve seen several comments referring to “Sheldon says” and “Sheldon will …” or “Sheldon won’t …” Folks, he’s here. This thread was born as a way to talk to him (and other skeptics, although none have arrived, just the denier Bell). Please don’t talk about him in the third person, as though he weren’t here. Talk to him.]

    • Sheldon Walker wrote: “Some time in the last week, I looked at a map of the world, to see which countries would probably benefit from some global warming. I identified Canada, Russia, and Scandanavia.”

      Speaking from Norway, I think most Norwegians would disagree with you. We like our winter, thanks. Our growing season is already long enough. Remember that, during our summer, we get two days worth of sunlight in a single day. Our crops reach harvesting maturity as it is, so to improve on that, we would need to add enough growing season length to plant a second crop, which would probably mean the current growing season would become too warm. Our homes and apartments don’t have air conditioning, so anything over about 27C starts to become uncomfortable. We might get more snow in the mountains and cities for a time, which would mean more snow removal costs on the roads. It might be good for skiing, but we already have enough snow for skiing. Eventually, we would probably get less snow in the mountains and cities, which will reduce snow removal costs but also reduce the length of the ski season. Polar bears are already starving because of reduced hunting habitat. We would probably see more flooding, which causes a lot of damage here. We might be seeing that already. Our heating costs might not reduce much, because all our electricity is hydroelectric. It isn’t a big part of our budgets.

      Sheldon Walker also wrote: “The one good point about global warming that people did not mention (but I may have missed it), is that fewer people will die from the cold.”

      I suppose that will be more than cancelled out by the increase in the number of people dying from heat. Not in Norway, maybe, but not that many people die from cold here either. We say: “There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only bad clothes.” But in places where hot spells kill people, they will kill more people.

      [Response: I have a friend whose sister married a Norwegian, and from her (through him) I heard that saying (There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only bad clothes).]

    • Thank you, Sheldon, for a good and calm comment. Here is one way to find relevant, accurate, and linked-to-peer-reviewed-literature information about global warming topics, often faster and easier than sifting through Google results: Look on SkepticalScience.com. See the list of “most used climate myths” at the top left? Click the View All Arguments link at the bottom of that list. See the Search field at the top left of every page? Use that to find not just those myth rebuttals, but also other posts. There are more resources on that site. Explore. It is so easy and fast to find answers to questions on that site, that it will take you less time than writing blog posts speculating about those answers without any real information. You can use what you learn there to follow up with Google and other resources, to find confirmation of the claims there, and to explore further. That is the purpose of that site–to provide an easy entry to global warming knowledge.

    • Hi Sheldon:

      One thing I think that is worth thinking about is the extent to which everyone’s way of life is tuned to a particular environment, in ways that are frequently quite subtle.

      Long-term water supply planning in wealthy countries, so that you have ample supplies of fresh water at your fingertips, works on multi-decade schedules. As Cape Town is discovering right now, small changes in the pattern of rainfall can quickly ramp up to devastating impacts. The same is expected to be true in California and across the West of the US. Mountains that very nicely held rainfall as snow, which then melted according to a somewhat predictable schedule, are declining to provide that service any more. Billions and billions of dollars of ‘free’ infrastructure, provided by Nature herself, are expected to vanish in the next 20 – 50 years. These impacts are within the current planning window.

      Storm water discharge infrastructure is a complex dance of expense versus risk. Replacing washed out roads is very expensive, but so is over-sizing every single culvert. Wetter places will face significant expenses in upgrading their storm water management infrastructure. Dryer places may have stranded storm water management assets, but then need to spend money to develop new supplies.

      Millions of farmers around the world do very little in the way of irrigation management. If the rains change patterns and the old crops don’t grow the way they used to, farmers will rapidly become a powerful and angry political bloc.

      Canada may be in a position to have its agricultural sector benefit from climate change. But at what cost? What will be the financial, environmental and social impacts of making these changes? Will there be enough profit to justify the cost? Can Canada allocate the benefits and burdens fairly so that the farmers are both bearing the true cost of this change / expansion while incurring the true profit? Is there a single modeling engine anywhere in the world that can accurately capture the intersection of environment, economics, finance, law and politics decision sets that Canada faces? If you have trouble with climate models, a model that purports to integrate climate with human behavior should be even more troubling.

      In my view, counting winners and losers due to climate change is missing the point. The better question is to ask what the true cost that each community will bear in adapting to the changing world.

    • Francis:

      everyone’s way of life is tuned to a particular environment, in ways that are frequently quite subtle.

      Good observation. It applies especially to the poorest of the poor, who inhabit the least-desirable margins of their environment everywhere. Those who already live on the edge of survival are most vulnerable to ‘subtle’ shifts in normal weather (e.g. a larger fraction of tropical cyclones reaching categories 3-5), and have the least wherewithal to adapt.

    • Sheldon — you write “That made me wonder if humans have been conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment ever since we learned to control fire, and domesticate wheat.” This has actually been addressed by William Ruddiman in a series of studies. Here are links to some of his books:
      https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/140-4874692-4594029?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=william+ruddiman.

      The one I read is here: https://www.amazon.com/Plows-Plagues-Petroleum-Control-Princeton/dp/0691173214/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519159363&sr=8-1&keywords=william+ruddiman. Interesting series of studies that suggests that humans have been changing the climate for some 8,000 years. However, the rate of change seems far higher now than it was in these earlier times.

      Also, see this: https://xkcd.com/1732/

  21. Sheldon,
    It may seem rational to ask questions such as:–

    Does the AGW benefit that “fewer will die form cold” exceed the resulting harm because ” a lot of people are going to die from the higher temperatures”

    But isn’t this really more Pythonesque than science? Are we not really turning the AGW debate into a balance sheet of dubious merit? “So while half a million more will die from heatstroke each year in Indonesia, we have to remember that there are more than a million poor in the former-USSR who previously would not have afforded to heat their homes adequately and thus would have succcumbed to the pre-AGW-cold each year. So by that count AGW is ‘good’.
    Such a manufactured argument is the sort of thing I expect from the GWPF, an organisation who not only promoted the Green Nazi message that prompted the previous OP to this, but I note their director sets out a very similar position to your own which he calls Climate Realism” (although he goes into more detail thus revealing the fatal flaws in his position.)
    What do you reckon?

    • I grew up in one of the coldest cities in the United States. Very few people die from the cold. When they do, they’re often drunk. There is a increased winter death rate. It tends to be way less in northern latitudes where winters are very cold and much more pronounced in lower latitudes where winters are balmy by comparison. The winter death rate is lowest of all in locations that experience very little winter variability: Hawaii is an example. Growing up in a livestock business where animals lived outside in all seasons, including severe winters, maybe I can help the scientists. When the weather is such that human beings start the day dressed for one type of weather, say t-shirts, and then have to change to clothing for another type of weather, say a coat, over several days, means you’re likely going to be paying out a lot of money for medicine for very sick cattle. Now think about winter in Florida, where a lot of people die in the winter: switching from t-shirts to jackets often takes place. Ditto for Alabama. This would mean warming could slightly increase the winter death rate as it would increase the number of people living in climates with highly variable, in terms of t-shirt to coats within a given day, winter weather.

      • My Uncle has lived in San Francisco since the 1960s. He says that no matter how you dress, there will be a period in the day when your attire is appropriate and another in the same day where you will look like an idiot. And of course Mr. Twain famously said that the coldest Winter he ever spent was one Summer in San Francisco.

  22. Hyperactive Hydrologist

    New paper looking at future impacts in Europe under high emission scenario.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aaaad3

    Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate risks due to their agglomeration of people, buildings and infrastructure. Differences in methodology, hazards considered, and climate models used limit the utility and comparability of climate studies on individual cities. Here we assess, for the first time, future changes in flood, heat-waves (HW), and drought impacts for all 571 European cities in the Urban Audit database using a consistent approach. To capture the full range of uncertainties in natural variability and climate models, we use all climate model runs from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) for the RCP8.5 emissions scenario to calculate Low, Medium and High Impact scenarios, which correspond to the 10th, 50th and 90th percentiles of each hazard for each city. We find that HW days increase across all cities, but especially in southern Europe, whilst the greatest HW temperature increases are expected in central European cities. For the low impact scenario, drought conditions intensify in southern European cities while river flooding worsens in northern European cities. However, the high impact scenario projects that most European cities will see increases in both drought and river flood risks. Over 100 cities are particularly vulnerable to two or more climate impacts. Moreover, the magnitude of impacts exceeds those previously reported highlighting the substantial challenge cities face to manage future climate risks.

  23. Thanks for the reply, Sheldon.

    Barry… You made the comment, “We’re conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment with our atmosphere and we are unable to escape the results.”

    That made me wonder if humans have been conducting a vast uncontrolled experiment ever since we learned to control fire, and domesticate wheat.

    We could view all persistent, large-scale, anthropogenic changes to the biosphere as uncontrolled experiments. Some of these anthropogenic non-GHG factors are incorporated in the IPCC reports (black carbon on snow and land use changes re global albedo, water management re sea level etc) under the general heading of forcings.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on my argument WRT accumulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the case for mitigation. Do you think it is a reasonable outlook?

  24. “Yield volatility is gonna go through the roof” – Prof David Battisti
    I’ll agree with Prof Battisti on that statement. The link below is to an interesting presentation he did. If you want to see the bit on yield volatility cut to 46:33 in the talk as this is when he presents the optimum yield and temperature charts.

    On the basis of Prof Battisti’s claims I predict famine, Hobbesian scramble and population bottleneck.

  25. As a Canadian, I feel I should mention that it’s not clear that global warming will benefit my country. Our salmon are already being killed by higher river temperatures and our forests are already being killed by warmer winters. The culture of our Inuit is also under threat. Etc, etc. Polar bears and walrus. Etc, etc.
    There’s good opportunities for polar shipping routes (for freighters flying flags of convenience). And there’s good news, I guess, for southern species that can expand northward. But those species aren’t really reflective of the Canadian identity, so inasmuch as “benefits to Canada” reinforce a current identity and ecosystemic value, global warming is bad for Canada.

    • Yes. As an ex-pat, I’d add that we don’t want to forget the hydrological changes, either. It’s not just going to get warmer in Canada, it’s going to get wetter over a lot of the country, too, if model projections are to be believed. Possibly that is better than drier, especially since the Prairies are supposed to be included in the ‘wetter’ category and they are relatively arid now.

      But there’s no guarantee that that is a zero-cost or even net-positive development, either. Another thing about the Prairies is that they are, well, kinda flat. Which means that when they get flooding, the areal extent can be really remarkable.

      No matter where you live, having your ecosystems disrupted is not comfortable. Ontario has had possums now for a couple of decades, and has seen kudzu invade, too. Some consequences expected already five years ago:

      https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/maple-trees-biodiversity-at-risk-in-ontario-watchdog-1.751618

  26. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Barry,

    You gave me some context about you, so I will do the same.

    I am not a scientist, but I specialised in science (mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology) for 4 years at high school. I selected a non-science career, but I had to do a science based intermediate year at university.

    Knowing that somebody did some science, tells you nothing about how good they were at it. I was awarded a scholarship at the end of high school, based on my mathematics, physics, and chemistry exams.

    In my last 2 years at high school, I was in classes with some very bright guys. Most of them became doctors, but like me, they had to do a science based intermediate year at university. These were the type of guys who had fancy chemistry labs at home. I didn’t have one. When these guys went to enrol at university, they decided that stage 1 chemistry would be too boring. They all enrolled in honours school chemistry stage 2. I wanted to be with my friends, so I enrolled in honours school chemistry stage 2 as well, even though chemistry was not my favourite subject (I prefer mathematics and physics).

    I also enrolled in some stage 1 physics and biology papers, but I expected these to be easy, because people said that they were mostly a repeat of what we had done in the last year of high school. That turned out to be true. I have to admit that honours school chemistry stage 2 was challenging for me. I worked hard, and was rewarded with an A+ at the end of the year. I got A+’s for all of my other papers as well.

    So although I am not a scientist, I have a good science education. I have always regarded mathematics and science to be my main hobby. I am not so hot on statistics. I know enough to get me into trouble. But what I lack in expertise, I make up for in enthusiasm.

    I have been a computer programmer for a long time, and I also do a lot of testing. I love Excel, and believe that it should be used for educational purposes in all schools (primary and secondary).

    I combined my love of Excel, my interest in global warming, and my limited knowledge of statistics, to produce colourful graphs showing warming rates. Each graph requires around 150,000 to 230,000 linear regressions. This would obviously be impossible without automation.

    If you want to see how my graphs evolved over time, then have a look at these. I was trying to find a way to show all warming rates, for all date ranges, for all trend lengths. I succeeded in the end, but some people find that my triangular graph is difficult to understand. Like many things, it takes a little practice. Other people have developed graphs similar to mine. Nick Stokes for example. I developed mine independently of anybody else.

    You can see that I have published quite a bit on WattsUpWithThat (don’t tell Tamino).

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/21/a-new-way-of-looking-at-the-pause-why-karl-et-al-got-it-wrong-about-the-pause-part-1/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/25/very-strong-graphical-evidence-for-the-pause-part-2/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/12/investigating-global-warming-using-a-new-graph-style/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/04/new-website-provides-strong-evidence-of-the-recent-warming-slowdown/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/30/is-the-recent-global-warming-slowdown-real-or-is-it-fake-news/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/09/if-it-looks-like-a-slowdown-and-walks-like-a-slowdown-and-quacks-like-a-slowdown-is-it-a-slowdown/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/10/the-global-warming-cure/

    I set up a website to showcase my graphs. It was a lot of work. Then I made the colour scheme better, but I couldn’t be bothered re-generating all of the graphs. So my website fell into disuse. It is still all there as far as I know, but it uses the old colour scheme.

    The very last link (just above here), is my first attempt at global warming science fiction. If I can’t beat warmists with science facts, then I am going to beat them with science fiction (just joking).

    Tamino doesn’t like my graphs. Quite a while ago, he did a mock-up of one of my graphs in a thread, and he said some negative things about it. I tried to make a comment in the thread, but Tamino said that I was a denier, and he wouldn’t let me comment in the thread.

    I think that Tamino and I have a much better relationship now. He actually said this about me:

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re not a denier. You’re a skeptic. I think your skepticism is flawed — but, so is mine.”

    Barry, sorry, I have rambled on so much, that I haven’t said anything about global warming. I will make another post when I have time.

    • Sheldon,
      You omit to mention an earlier WUWT post of yours from 2015. In certain respects it has some interesting implications, not least in the ‘slowdown’ department, so I’m surprised you fail to list it.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Al Rodger,

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/28/how-fast-is-the-earth-warming/

        good detective work. You are right, I should have mentioned this post from August 2015. This was the first article that I ever did for WattsUpWithThat. I didn’t mention it because it does not use my “multi trend analysis” method.

        It uses a central moving average (CMA), and a central moving slope (CMS). I modified these methods slightly by changing how they handled points near the ends of the lines. I don’t know how many other people use a central moving slope. I just took the central moving average method, and modified it.

        Because you mentioned this post, I decided to read it, and see what it was like. I expected to feel embarrassed by my first innocent attempts to write about global warming. But I didn’t. I thought that it was accurate and reasonably well written. This article is totally consistent with all of my later articles. I recommend that everybody read it.

        The article has the following features, and makes the following interesting points:

        – A careful description of my methods.

        – Clear graphs which are well labelled.

        – A comparison of GISTEMP, NOAA, UAH, and RSS (if all 4 temperature series show the same thing, is it real?).

        – No cherry-picking.

        – A warning that the first and last 5 years of each curve were uncertain (i.e. no bullshitting that my curves were exactly correct).

        – Showing that there was a significant drop in the warming rate (slowdown/pause), for all 4 temperature series, over the last 17 years (when I wrote the article).

        – Showing clearly how the GISTEMP warming rates changed when they started to use the “pause-busting” NCEI ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature reconstruction.

        – Pointing out that after GISTEMP started using the “pause-busting” temperature series, the year with the greatest warming rate changed from 1998 to 1937 (when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm).

        Question: The CO2 level is now over 400 ppm, why is the warming rate lower than it was in 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm. There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        I wish that I could always write articles that good.

        This article shows that I have been promoting the slowdown/pause consistently for at least 2.5 years now. In that time, I have presented the evidence in at least 6 different ways. I have shown that it is present in every temperature series. For some strange reason, people just keep denying it.

      • Question: The CO2 level is now over 400 ppm, why is the warming rate lower than it was in 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm. There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        This oughtn’t be any kind of mystery: Linear Lumpy systems with Lags do it all the time.

        If you want to hit a skeet do you aim where the skeet is right now?

        But, to your specific point, how long did the warming rate by your reckoning of persist? What is your uncertainty on the 1937 rate (confidence bars or any other bounds you like), and when did the warming rate drop out of that uncertainty range? What’s the likelihood of it doing that in any succeeding year? Oh, and in the set of warming rates you calculate in the 20th century, where does 1937 lay?

      • Sheldon Walker,
        So two-and-a-half years on, where have you got to in answering that question? –

        The CO2 level is now over 400 ppm, why is the warming rate lower than it was in 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm? There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        I do note it wasn’t a question you set out in that article wot you wrote so good. There you described it as “good news” that you didn’t think “some climate scientists … will want to hear.” Yet with two-and-a-half years having passed and a different audience, there must surely be some explanation for a 33% increase in atmospheric CO2 over 80 years but with “no increase in the warming rate.”

      • SW: I have been promoting the slowdown/pause consistently for at least 2.5 years now. In that time, I have presented the evidence in at least 6 different ways. I have shown that it is present in every temperature series. For some strange reason, people just keep denying it.

        BPL: Probably for the reason that it has no statistical significance, but is a meaningless bit of noise that does nothing to undermine the underlying trend. It’s the trend we have to worry about, not the noise.

    • Sheldon,
      Given that background, and your claim that you wish to be a true skeptic, you really should be able to understand why the “pause” means so little to most of us. I’d be interested to know whether you are now in a position to summarise the reasons most of us reject your interpretation of the “pause”.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Leto,

        I understand perfectly why the “pause” means so little to most of you. It is because you are deniers.

        If you don’t want to be called a denier, then have an honest, objective look at my graphs.

        There is a fairly well known saying: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

      • Fortunately, we have an expert here (Tamino) who did look at your work, Sheldon, and showed that there was no statistically significant slowdown in warming. However, since this is a “consequences” session, perhaps you’d like to say what the consequences of any alleged slowdown might be?

      • Sheldon, if we assume your graphs do reveal a real pause, what does the pause mean? You are only working with the temperature of the lower troposphere. That represents about 7% of the global warming energy, because about 93% of the energy goes into the oceans, and that process did not pause. So if we assume there was a pause in warming of the lower troposphere, you can’t say there was a pause in global warming.

      • Sheldon,
        Do you really want to trivialise your whole position in the manner you just did? I was trying to work out whether it is worth having a conversation with you. You have just demonstrated what I feared, that you have not even begin to understand why people who know more stats than you think you are wrong.

        Hint: I am not against the idea of a pause due to tribalism.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Mike Roberts,
        you said, “However, since this is a “consequences” session, perhaps you’d like to say what the consequences of any alleged slowdown might be?”

        In my opinion, the slowdown probably does not have any long-term consequences for global warming. It was a temporary slowdown. I believe that it was caused by ocean cycles.
        Why have I made such a fuss about it? Because I believe that it happened. Why do astronomers make such a fuss about black holes.
        Presumably because they believe that it adds to our knowledge of the universe.
        Slowdowns add to our knowledge of the climate.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Martin Smith,
        As I said to Mike Roberts, in my opinion, the slowdown probably does not have any long-term consequences for global warming. It was a temporary slowdown. I believe that it was caused by ocean cycles.
        Why have I made such a fuss about it? Because I believe that it happened. Why do astronomers make such a fuss about black holes.
        Presumably, because they believe that it adds to our knowledge of the universe.
        Slowdowns add to our knowledge of the climate.

        I agree with your figures of 7% and 93%. If anything, the slowdown might have caused MORE heat to go into the oceans.

        Terminology like “pause in global warming” is not well defined.

        I am a cynical skeptic. For many years warmists used land-ocean temperature series like GISTEMP to show that global warming was happening. When GISTEMP stopped warming, warmists suddenly decided that it was ocean heating that proved global warming. I am waiting to see when ocean heating stops, what warmists try to use next to prove that global warming is happening.

      • Sheldon Walker wrote: “As I said to Mike Roberts, in my opinion, the slowdown probably does not have any long-term consequences for global warming. It was a temporary slowdown. I believe that it was caused by ocean cycles.”

        Thank you, and I apologize for missing your reply to Mike Roberts. Did you see Foster and Rahmstorf 2011? http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022/meta They showed that “When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced.”

        And if you “believe that it was caused by ocean cycles,” and knowing that Foster and Rahmstorf showed that the signal is still there, and knowing that ENSO exchanges energy between the atmosphere and the ocean, why do you call it a slowdown instead of calling it noise? Calling it a slowdown means the trend changed. But the current global average temperature is where it would have been without the “slowdown,” if not a bit higher.

        Sheldon Walker wrote: “When GISTEMP stopped warming, warmists suddenly decided that it was ocean heating that proved global warming.”

        I don’t think that true. When did GISTEMP stop warming?

      • For many years warmists used land-ocean temperature series like GISTEMP to show that global warming was happening. When GISTEMP stopped warming, warmists suddenly decided that it was ocean heating that proved global warming.

        This is what deniers do; they continue to spout false news in the hope that it was really true and to pander to the denialist wish that it was. Global warming didn’t stop, even in the GISTEMP data. What scientists did was try to understand the apparent slowdown in surface warming and they discovered that it didn’t slow down, when all (or maybe more) of the biases were accounted for. But I think denialists find this hard to understand, so they simply don’t bother and continue to spout untruths about the warming.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Leto,
        I am fed up with people trying to label me with their label. When you said “your claim that you wish to be a true skeptic”, it feels like you are trying to stop me choosing my own label.
        You may think that I am over-sensitive about it. But I have been putting up with this shit for 10 years. I have had enough.
        I apologise if I over-reacted.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Leto,
        you said, “You have just demonstrated what I feared, that you have not even begun to understand why people who know more stats than you think you are wrong.”
        The problem that I have, Leto, is that all of the people who are telling me that I am wrong, are my enemies. (“enemies” is probably too strong a word, but I think that you will know what I mean.)

      • SW: For many years warmists used land-ocean temperature series like GISTEMP to show that global warming was happening. When GISTEMP stopped warming, warmists suddenly decided that it was ocean heating that proved global warming. I am waiting to see when ocean heating stops, what warmists try to use next to prove that global warming is happening.

        BPL: Does this mean you DON’T think global warming is happening? If you do think it’s happening, what is the point of an antagonistic rant like the above?

      • Sheldon,

        It’s really time you considered that the truth of a proposition (self-referential statements aside) does not depend on whether the person raising it is your friend or enemy. In the last couple of threads, you have: 1) said you will refuse to engage in rational discussion if someone calls you a denier; and then 2) promptly refused to engage in a discussion of the stats to drop the word denier in turn. It’s not cute to turn the tables like that; it’s simply tiresome argumentative fluff with no indication you have the slightest idea what Tamino and others have been trying to explain to you.

        Stats and logic are difficult enough when you try to do them properly. When you don’t even try, and deflect serious discussion with sloganeering, you simply embarrass yourself.

        As for providing insight into the contrarian mindset, you have at least achieved that, but not in the way you might have hoped.

        Yeah, I saw your graphs. And yeah, they’re nonsense. I would write an explanation of why: if 1) Tamino and others hadn’t already done so; and 2) you had showed you were in this to discuss the ideas on their own merit.

        I for one won’t waste more time on you.

      • Sheldon said: “The problem that I have, Leto, is that all of the people who are telling me that I am wrong, are my enemies.”

        Hmm. Which way does the causality work on that, Sheldon. Were they your enemies before they told you anything about warming or only after?

        Maybe you should think about that statement.

    • “But what I lack in expertise, I make up for in enthusiasm.”

      LOL. In many fields, enthusiasm simply cannot substitute for expertise. Imagine this comment coming from your surgeon, pilot, bomb disposal guy…

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Leto,

        I have booked you in, for me to remove your appendix, next Wednesday at 10:15 a.m.

        I can guarantee that you will get enthusiastic, mediocre, service.

        My rates are very reasonable, as well.

    • I will make another post when I have time.

      I look forward to that now that we’ve said hello. I’ve put my case to ‘skeptics’ before. Far as I remember it’s never received a direct reply, only diversions. I’m curious to know what an honest skeptic would make of it.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Barry,

        I would like to start by making a comment about your qualifications.

        You say that you are not a scientist. That is fine with me. Scientists are not the only people who are intelligent.

        You say that you are not even good at maths. Again, fine with me. The fact that you know your own limitations is a good sign. I hope that you consult with somebody skilled in maths, when the occasion warrants it.

        I admire people who are well read. In my opinion, being able to research a topic properly is a very valuable skill. In the internet age, being able to tell quality information from rubbish is essential. There is often no proof of quality, and a lot of the information is little more than somebody’s opinion. Even worse, there is a lot of information which is deliberately intended to deceive.

        I am willing to accept your claim that human industry is adding tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere per year. I don’t know what the exact figure is, but I know that it is a lot.

        I am slightly wary of using huge figures like that, because they tend to overwhelm people who don’t understand how big the atmosphere is.

        To give you an example, skepticalscience like to scare people by saying that our climate has already absorbed more than 2.5 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs of heat since 1998 (4 every second). Barry, every night I sit by my window looking out, waiting to see some change caused by the 2.5 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs (since 1998). It gets lonely at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, when I am still sitting by my window waiting for something to happen.

        Here are some simple facts, Barry. Most humans have trouble detecting a 1 degree Celsius temperature change when it happens instantly. They may need a 2 or 3, or even 5 degree Celsius temperature change, to be able to detect it.

        The earth has warmed by about 1 degree Celsius over the last 100 years. If you could take all of the temperature change from the last 100 years, and apply it to a human instantly, then they probably wouldn’t be able to detect it.

        skepticalscience’s claim about the Hiroshima atomic bombs, is laughable. I can’t be bothered working it out exactly, but I would estimate that 2.5 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs is probably the equivalent of 5 minutes of normal sunlight hitting the earth. And I am being generous to skepticalscience, normal sunlight is probably far more powerful. Note that you can feel the heat from sunlight on your skin.

        Am I worried Barry? Actually I am. I might wet myself laughing.

        Barry, I am much happier using the CO2 level. like 400 ppm. The percentage change is this figure is much more meaningful.

        Barry, you said, “The concentration has increased by 40% since the industrial revolution, and that is almost entirely due to human activity.”

        I am happy to accept that figure, Barry.

        CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Yes.

        I think the science is ‘settled’ that adding more to the atmosphere will, all else being equal, raise the average near-surface temperature of the Earth as well as the oceans to a few thousand meters.

        Yes, I agree with that, Barry. The only question is, is “all else” equal.

        I will accept that “all else” is equal for now, so that we can carry on. We can come back to it later on, all else being equal.

        In short, human activity is causing the world to warm up.

        Yes it is, Barry.

        Barry, have you ever considered what other human activities might cause the world to warm up?

        I read somewhere that there are about 1 billion cars in the world. The engines get hot and smelly when they are used. If you stand next to one, then you can actually feel the heat being radiated off. I still haven’t felt the heat being radiated off by 2.5 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs.

        How about 7.5 billion people cooking dinner every night. When I stand near a working oven, I can feel the heat.

        Have you heard about the greedy people mining bitcoin? They run their powerful computers 24×7 in order to get rich. And of course, if you run 2 powerful computers 24×7, then you get rich twice as fast. All of these powerful computers need electricity, and lots of it. I don’t even want to think about the people who might run 100 of these powerful computers at the same time. As long as mining for bitcoin is profitable, people will want to have more and more computers running.

        Barry, this post is already quite long. I am going to post it, and we can continue later. Feel free to reply to this post, before we continue.

        I would like to give you one last piece of information, that might indicate that “all else” is NOT equal.

        I am talking about your statement, “I think the science is ‘settled’ that adding more to the atmosphere will, all else being equal, raise the average near-surface temperature of the Earth as well as the oceans to a few thousand meters.

        Al Rodger found the first article that I ever wrote for WattsUpWithThat, from August 2015. I didn’t put it in the list of my articles that I showed everybody, because it didn’t use my “multi trend analysis” method.

        Since Al Rodger found it, I read it to see what I had said, 2.5 years ago. I found an interesting calculation that I had forgotten.

        I had worked out, for the GISTEMP temperature series, which year had the greatest warming rate. If everything worked as warmists think it does, then the greatest warming rate should be when the CO2 level was greatest (because it is the CO2 that causes the enhanced greenhouse effect). The CO2 level is now just over 400 ppm, and that happened fairly recently. So we would expect the year with the greatest warming rate to be fairly recent.

        Surprisingly, the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm.

        There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        How do you explain that?

      • Surprisingly, the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm.

        There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        (Consider this my reply, part 2, using a device for commenting better than a darn smart phone.)

        My other reply was about lags and asked a bunch of questions about uncertainty ranges and durations of a 1937 warming rate. I am still very much interested in answers to those, since no point estimate is complete without a corresponding statement of uncertainty, and, in the case of series, no characterization of an event is complete without a corresponding statement of its duration.

        Temperature is heat energy intensity, so it is a proxy for energy. To the degree to which atmosphere is connected to other things, notably oceans, to act surprised when energy intensity of a portion of a system dips without considering what happens to the energy in the remainder is thermodynamically if not physically naive, and quite possibly disingenuous. This is especially true when 90% of the warming in the last 50 years has occurred in oceans. There’s no good reason to suppose the oceans of 1937 were different than the oceans of today, apart from heat content and acidity.

        To defend the implication of your claim about 1937 and succeeding years, you would need to account for all the heat, not just what was in atmosphere.

        Any claim that 2 Watts per square meter forcing is negligible because of the small percentage it represents of solar insolation defies the results seen in the historical record. (See Crowley 2000 for a discussion. The National Academy of Science puts this in context.) It is akin to the claim that because CO2 represents such a small percentage of atmosphere by composition, it cannot have a big radiative effect.

      • Sheldon, you persist in refusing to do even the most basic research before aggressively and often insultingly posing your “questions” (really just ignorant assertions).

        Regarding the amount of heat generated by car engines, cooking, bitcoin mining, and all else, it is inconsequential as is explained at SkepticalScience which I already pointed you to. Search there for “waste heat” to find the counter to the myth “It’s waste heat” https://skepticalscience.com/waste-heat-global-warming.htm.

        You are wrong when you claim “the greatest warming rate should be when the CO2 level was greatest (because it is the CO2 that causes the enhanced greenhouse effect).” CO2 is not the only driver of warming and cooling (https://skepticalscience.com/CO2-is-not-the-only-driver-of-climate.htm, read the Basic and then Intermediate tabbed panes). You already admitted that surface temperature is affected by ocean cycles, so why are you simultaneously, explicitly disclaiming that?

      • Sheldon Walker,
        Your speculation concerning the direct impact of anthropogenic energy use is a nonsense. There may be a billion thirsty motor vehicles and every night 7½ billion cooked dinner prepared, but when totted up, these and other uses of energy do not amount to a hill of beans as this SkS graphic shows. Note that the solar value does not account for ‘albedo’ which should reduce the value by some 30%.

      • Sheldon,
        What is your aversion to actually doing the math surrounding the assumptions you make? Were you to do so, you’d find that the actual energy output of humans is puny compared to the additional heat captured by greenhouse gasses.
        If you thought about it, you might realize that the increase in trapped energy you call laughable is actually quite a large amount of energy–enough to warm an entire planet.
        If you could be bothered to crack a book, you would realize that warming scales logarithmically with the increase in CO2, not linearly. You could even plot the warming vs. log[CO2] and see it is pretty linear.

        You say: “I can’t be bothered working it out exactly,…”
        And THAT is precisely your problem. You are satisfied with remaining entirely ignorant of the phenomena you claim you want to understand–as if having knowledge would somehow destroy your creativity.

      • Gosh, where to start with your reply here, Sheldon: https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/consequences/#comment-100739

        This is a catalog of denier soundbites. As you’ve used them here, one must believe that you believe they have some significance. If so, even though I was giving you some credit elsewhere, I’m not sure you can be reasoned with now.

        The earth has warmed by about 1 degree Celsius over the last 100 years. If you could take all of the temperature change from the last 100 years, and apply it to a human instantly, then they probably wouldn’t be able to detect it.

        This statement has multiple problems but I guess it isn’t a scientific statement so perhaps I shouldn’t get so hung up. The terminology, “about 1 degree Celsius of the last 100 years” is a way to diminish the rise. I took a look at the LOTI data on GISTEMP and found that the rise is more like 1.3C. That might be an artifact of the start year (1917) and end year (2017) choices, but you didn’t give any calculations or data links, so this is simply what I found – a rise substantially greater (in percentage terms) than you suggested. Secondly, when you say “the earth”, you mean “the earth’s surface”, which isn’t quite the same thing. Thirdly, it’s irrelevant whether humans could detect an instant rise of 1C (or 1.3C). We can certainly detect the effects of a 1.3C rise on the climate and that is the point.

        is probably the equivalent of 5 minutes of normal sunlight hitting the earth

        Well, yes, I’ve never been happy with the comparison to atomic bombs either but it does convey the sheer amount of energy that is being retained due to AGW. Your “probably” suggests that you haven’t even done cursory checking of your claim with regards to sunlight. So let’s skip over it.

        I read somewhere that there are about 1 billion cars in the world. The engines get hot and smelly when they are used. If you stand next to one, then you can actually feel the heat being radiated off. I still haven’t felt the heat being radiated off by 2.5 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs.

        How about 7.5 billion people cooking dinner every night. When I stand near a working oven, I can feel the heat. …

        It seems like you’re suggesting that the world may be getting warmer because a lot of people do things that involve heat. Really? That is not even remotely true. The earth is warming because incoming heat is greater than the outgoing heat because GHG levels are increasing, trapping more of that heat. If you’re trying to say that the heat of cars and cooking is much more noticeable than the heat being retained by GHGs, then that is facile. The retained heat is spread across a huge volume on the planet, completely different from standing next to an oven.

        Surprisingly, the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm.

        A warming rate for one year? What point are you making exactly and what does a warming rate for one year mean, especially as an isolated figure? It makes sense to look at changes over 20 or 30 year periods to get a feel for what’s happening. That’s what Tamino does regularly. You might learn a few things if you read his posts.

        There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.

        How do you explain that?

        Was that a serious question? Do you really think the warming within one year is significant when talking about CO2 levels? Why do you feel it needs an explanation?

    • Sheldon, I’m no sure what you did with this:
      “I was trying to find a way to show all warming rates, for all date ranges, for all trend lengths.”
      But it certainly sounds like a recipe for multiple-testing problems!

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi MartinJB,

        I have done a bit of thinking about the multiple-testing problem, and also Tamino’s broken trend problem. I welcome your response to what I am about to say, and I hope that Tamino will respond as well.

        With respect to my graphs, where I calculate around 150,000 to 230,000 linear regressions. I plot the warming rate from the linear regression, using a colour scheme.

        The thing about these graphs is, I don’t actually do any testing.

        When you do testing you use the warming rate, and the standard error, and calculate a t-value. You then compare the t-value to a critical t-value. The critical t-value depends on the significance level. I don’t do any of that.

        I don’t do any testing for my graphs, I just plot the warming rates.

        Since there is no testing, there is no multiple-testing problem.

        Here is how I justify plotting the warming rates:

        The warming rate calculated using a normal linear regression, when there is no autocorrelation, is BLUE (best linear unbiased estimator). The value calculated is the most likely value for the warming rate. So I plot it.

        Even when autocorrelation is present, the warming rate is LUE (linear unbiased estimator – note, it is no longer “best”). The value calculated is still the most likely value for the warming rate. So I plot it.

        I believe, that when autocorrelation is present, and I calculate the warming rate using a linear regression with a correction for autocorrelation, then the warming rate is back to being BLUE (best linear unbiased estimator). The value calculated is the most likely value for the warming rate. So I plot it.

        ==========================================

        Now, Tamino’s broken trend problem.

        Tamino doesn’t like it when Sheldon starts a graph in 2002. Because it ignores the earlier data, there is a potential discontinuity.

        Have I got that correct?

        Sheldon doesn’t like it when Tamino starts a graph in 1970. Because it ignores the earlier data, there is a potential discontinuity.

        The last time that I checked, there were 90 years of good GISTEMP data before 1970.

        Why is Tamino allowed to start his graph in 1970, but Sheldon is not allowed to start his graph in 2002?

        I know why Tamino starts his graph in 1970. He thinks that global warming started seriously about then. If he starts a graph in 1970, then he gets a “good” high warming rate.

        Sheldon thinks that a slowdown started in 2002. If he starts a graph in 2002, then he gets a “good” low warming rate.

        The simple truth is, EVERY GRAPH IS A BROKEN TREND.

        Even starting a GISTEMP graph in 1880, you are “broken” from the earlier missing data.

        ===============

        The other problem is where 2 linear regressions are fitted to adjacent date ranges (say, 1970 to 2002, and 2002 to 2012). The 2 lines may not meet nicely at the common boundary (2002 in this example).

        This is really only a problem for people who think that the real world must be described by perfect straight lines. For example, a slowdown is unlikely to start suddenly at full strength. It grows gradually over some time period, maybe between 1 and 5 years. By having a reasonable curve going from just before the common boundary, to just after the common boundary (maybe 2 years in length), a nice fitting set of lines and curve will result.

        Note, you don’t really have to put the curve in. You can just use you 2 straight regression lines, and be happy that a curve COULD be fitted.

      • The thing about these graphs is, I don’t actually do any testing.

        When you do testing you use the warming rate, and the standard error, and calculate a t-value. You then compare the t-value to a critical t-value. The critical t-value depends on the significance level. I don’t do any of that.

        I don’t do any testing for my graphs, I just plot the warming rates.

        Since there is no testing, there is no multiple-testing problem.

        Here is how I justify plotting the warming rates:

        The warming rate calculated using a normal linear regression, when there is no autocorrelation, is BLUE (best linear unbiased estimator). The value calculated is the most likely value for the warming rate. So I plot it.

        First, multiple testing is just a statistical catchphrase for a look elsewhere problem, itself related to Texas sharpshooter fallacies and the like. It does not matter if a statistical test is literally involved or not. It applies to estimation of parameters, in this case, a warming rate, as well as acceptance or rejection of a null. (Sorry, the notion gives me the shudders.) Effectively, if a hundred thousand regressions are done and care isn’t exercised that their design matrices are sufficiently different, the parameter estimates can be biased simply because the procedure counts the same regression multiple times.

        Second, how does BLUE even come into the picture? The Gauss-Markov Theorem assumes the regression residuals each have the same variance. From where does the justification of that assumption come from?

      • Sheldon, you wrote that you merely plotted a large number of trends, but did no testing. That is incorrect. You tested by looking at all the trends and judging whether they were different from one another, different from zero, increasing, decreasing, and so on. It’s just like flipping a coin 150,000 times, looking at the patterns of flip results, and judging whether any of those patterns were different from the expectation due to chance.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom Dayton,
        you said, “Sheldon, you wrote that you merely plotted a large number of trends, but did no testing. That is incorrect. You tested by looking at all the trends and judging whether they were different from one another, different from zero, increasing, decreasing, and so on.”

        No Tom, I make sure that I keep my eyes closed while I am generating the trends. I only open my eyes after the graph has been produced. When did the ban on looking at things come in? I must have missed that.

        Sometimes I look at the trends a second time. Does that count as re-testing?

      • Holy crap, Sheldon! Read a textbook! Take a class!

      • hypergeometric trying to say “null hypothesis” reminds me of the Fonz trying to say “I’m sorry”!!!

        Where I differ is that frequentism isn’t all bad if you can get a real handle on frequencies and take power and effect size into account. I realize some may say that is just grasping at that last epicycle but I’m not 100% persuaded that the Bayes approach is totally Copernican. For me Bayes provides another avenue at the same goal, not a complete paradigm shift that makes the old goals not even relevant.

        I will read the (your) paper you link, however.

      • That’s (your?)

  27. It’s hard to think of possible benefits of GW without being able to see a countering negative (e.g. less cold related deaths in winter but more heat related deaths in summer, or some growing benefits in some countries but more growing problems in others – including the inability to continue growing certain crops, just as other countries may gain the ability to grow certain crops). I think Sheldon has already acknowledged this (good on him).

    When thinking of impacts, don’t lose sight of the probability that warming may continue for many decades after emissions go to zero (if they do) and temperatures may remain elevated for centuries. For sea level look at analogs from paleoclimate. Whatever the benefits may be, a hell of a lot of people will have to shift locations in a world that will be losing habitable area for mammals. That concentration of humans will likely cause other issues, as will the decrease in biodiversity.

    We are putting in place a very different planet for future generations. This needs to be kept in mind.

    • You put your finger on a big factor here, Mike. Most people don’t really seem to put any weight on the fact that the AGW problem promises to be really, really persistent. It’s not just sea level rise to 2100; SLR will be continuing for many centuries. It’s not just drought increases in, say, the Mediterranean basin to 2050; the drying will continue for… well, you get it. And so on, for most impacts.

      But for many people–people who don’t primarily focus on the issue–the mental model seems to be that if we can just get emissions levels down, all will be well in short order. Not so, unfortunately. That’s one reason why the long term is much more apt to bring ‘pain’ than ‘gain’ in this respect.

      The only sort of good news is that our choices in the next few years have a *lot* of leverage on the long term consequences… even if in too many cases the choice is now between merely ‘bad on balance’ and ‘horrific.’

      • @Mike Roberts, @Doc Snow,

        Indeed, what seems to me the most humbling aspect of this is that today, in our choices, the current generation alive is determining the fates of the next thousand generations of people. A generation doesn’t often get to do that.
        :(

      • Thanks for expanding on my comment, Doc. Yes, the choices we make now will have a big long term consequence. Sadly, there don’t appear to be enough people who agree strongly enough. Though much has been said about attempts to do something significant, not much of significance has been done.

        Many contrarians mention uncertainties but that cuts both ways. I still don’t understand why those contrarians play down the possibility they’ve underestimated the damage and play up the possibility that the damage won’t be quite as bad as is made out. Sheldon, if you think there are some beneficial consequences of warming, why do you act as though they outweigh the bad? And please take account of future generations in your answer.

  28. Hmm. Here’s an idea. I wonder if the Mercator projection could be coloring the perception of the pseudoskeptics with respect to the benefits of warming

    Oh, and Sheldon, you still have not weighed in on the term you would propose for those who deny the science. Also, I am not willing to completely let you off the hook–the scientific studies of consequences are still science.

    Accepting the science of the greenhouse effect while downplaying the consequences makes one–at best–a “luckwarmer” as Uncle Eli says.

    • “luckwarmer”–I think the penny just dropped for me on this term!

      It’s not just a misspelling, is it?

      I was going to link the relevant video, but it’s hard to tell if it will embed, so I’ll stick with the quote:

      “Do you feel lucky?”

    • Sheldon Walker

      I use a cylindrical equal area projection for all of the maps that I create.

      You seem to think that anything that YOU believe in, is science. So I would use the term “snarkrates-disbeliever” for people who don’t believe YOUR science.

      I realise that many people would classify me as a lukewarmer. The term does not appeal to me, but I don’t hate it. It sounds to me like somebody who is half-hearted about things.

      • Sheldon,
        Science is not a matter of belief. It is about evidence. I can cite evidence and peer-reviewed studies underlying what I am stating? You?

        Until you actually understand how science works, you are likely to continue to be plagued by delusions of adequacy.

  29. The immediate danger from AGW is political. Even a slight disruption or distortion in the food supply to the poor will undo political stability and set the poorest of the poor in motion. This is happening now. Not 20-30-50 years from now. Witness the large increase in refugees in the Mid-East. And witness the political firestorm they have set off. Europe has seen the largest rise in far right and fascist politics in 70 years. Only 5 million refugees did this.

    The forces behind Mid-East unrest, first manifest in the Arab Spring, were food shortages and price hikes. Small by American standards, but absolutely critical to people on the edge. And make no mistake, AGW will harm the poorest of the poor first.

  30. Sheldon,

    I might have identified the ultimate source of your confusion about “slowdown.”

    Try this: instead of computing 10-year trends, compute 1-year trends. Look at the results. Then ask yourself: do they mean anything worth paying attention to?

    Maybe you don’t even have to do the computation to know the answer. Which is: no.

    Why is that? It’s because the data are a combination of signal — which is what counts — and noise — which isn’t. The longer the time span you use, the more it emphasizes signal and de-emphasizes noise. With a time span of only 1 year, the noise so dominates the signal that what appears to be “trend” is meaningless.

    When you use 10-year “trends” you’re still dominated by noise, not signal. You ask “why is the warming rate lower than it was in 1937?” There’s no real evidence that it is — but your estimate is, because it’s a reflection of noise, not signal.

    How can you tell when you’re looking at genuine signal rather than the effect of noise? By rigorous and correct statistical analysis. That’s why you’ve tried so hard to establish statistical significance for your purported “slowdown.”

    You haven’t succeeded, you just think you have. That’s because there are complex issues involved that you weren’t aware of. Autocorrelation is just one of them. Didn’t it bother you that when you addressed that issue, you ended up reducing the “confidence level” from 99% to 90%? Did it sting when Nick Stokes asked whether you’ll just lower the confidence level until you get what you want?

    There’s also the multiple testing problem, but rather than face it you dismiss it. As for the “broken trend” issue, which I haven’t yet brought to the forefront (for you — I have in the scientific literature), your latest comment reveals that you don’t really understand it. Trends don’t have to be continuous, but when you allow a jump discontinuity you’re inserting an additional degree of freedom in your model, and that affects the statistics.

    There’s also more to do about autocorrelation, the fact that the noise in global temperature isn’t AR(1), in fact AR(1) isn’t even a close enough approximation to make answers reliable enough.

    It’s very revealing that even without even addressing the more complex autocorrelation structure, or the broken trend issue, I’ve still managed to show that your attempts to “prove” a statistically significant slowdown are in error.

    If you don’t want to be called a denier, then stop pretending these issues don’t matter.

    As for genuine expertise, it must be rewarding to shake off criticism with a clever joke. Too bad you won’t face the fact that your enthusiasm and talent are no substitute. While you impress the hell out of the naive and ignorant at WUWT, those who know what they’re doing can see that you just keep digging your hole deeper.

    You remind us that “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” I’ll ask you again: do you see the irony in that statement?

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Tamino,

      thanks for the detailed post. I obviously need some time to digest it.

      Did you see my reply to MartinJB, about the multiple-testing problem, and also your broken trend problem?

      I have decided that I am not just a skeptic, I am a cynical skeptic. We don’t recognise irony.

    • Sheldon, Tamino’s use of the term “signal” is a synonym for what he and others have been calling “the trend,” by which we all mean the “long term trend.” It is what would have happened if “all else was the same.” The existence of non-same (varying, inconsistent) “else” is “noise” that obscures the “signal.” The noise-reducing analyses that he described are methods to make all else the same, thereby more clearly revealing the signal.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom,
        I find your posts to be good value, and I hope that you won’t be upset if I disagree with you.
        How long is long-term?. Some people may say 30, or 60, or even 100 years. Others may be interested in 10 or 20 years.
        How short is short-term? Some people may say 1 or 2 years. Some may say 5 or 10 years. Others may say 20 years.
        I try to look at all possible time-frames. That is the basis of my multi-trend analysis graphs.
        The distinction between signal and noise is arbitrary. I am interested in BOTH signal AND noise. If the signal cools you to zero degrees Celsius, does it feel any different to when the noise cools you to zero degrees Celsius?
        When I look at one of my graphs, I can clearly see the effects of an El Nino, or La Nina. An effect that only lasts for 1 or 2 years.
        I can also see long-term effects, like the warming from 1910 to 1940, or the warming from 1970 to now.
        I can clearly see a 10 year slowdown in my graph. Do you expect me to ignore what my own eyes are telling me, because a group of people who have their own agenda, don’t like it?
        Some people may wish to sweep a 10 year slowdown under the carpet, and pretend that it does not exist. Especially if it doesn’t fit in with their agenda.
        It may sound corny, Tom, but I believe in the truth.

      • No, Sheldon, the distinction between signal and noise is not arbitrary. The choice of timeframe for examining trend depends on what you are interested in.

        Those of us who are interested in whether and how much the Earth’s surface is going to warm over the next several decades through hundreds of years, are uninterested in the warming and cooling effects of the cyclic changes in irradiance due to the Sun’s 11 year cycles, because the net irradiance change (forcing change) from those cycles is zero beyond 11 years. We don’t want to mistake an upward or downward portion of one of those cycles for a non-cyclic change. Therefore we must examine trends of length at least 11 years. Or we can use methods such as Foster and Rahmstorff’s to remove solar effects from the temperature record.

        For the same reason, we are not interested in surface temperature changes due to ENSO. ENSO is not cyclic (meaning it is not regularly periodic), but it is oscillatory, meaning over a period of time its ups balance its downs. What’s more, unlike solar cycles, ENSO’s effects for the very much most part merely change the proportion of energy in the subsurface oceans versus the surface (oceans, land, ice, and atmosphere), rather than changing the amount of accumulated energy in the total system; ENSO causes internal variability rather than forcing variability. Other ocean oscillations such as PDO have the same net zero effect on surface temperature, and likewise affect mostly merely the distribution of energy within the system rather than the total energy in the system, but they do so over different periods than ENSO does (e.g., https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/pdo/). Therefore we must examine trends long enough for all those oscillations to cancel themselves out. Or we can use methods such as Foster and Rahmstorff’s to to remove the effects of ENSO and other oscillations from the temperature record.

        For the same reason, we are not interested in surface temperature changes due to changes in the amount of reflective aerosols from volcanic eruptions, because although those do change the amount of energy in the total system (changing a forcing), the amount of those aerosols from eruptions does not change over some period of time. Therefore we must examine trends long enough to contain periods of both higher than average and lower than average volcanic reflective aerosols. Or we can use methods such as Foster and Rahmstorff’s to to remove those effects from the temperature record.

        To allow enough time for all the above short term effects to average themselves out, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) sets about 30 years as the approximate period for defining “climate” trends. That 30 year period is not arbitrary, it is empirically driven.

        Sophisticated statistical methods can be used to guide judgments of whether trends over shorter periods than that are due to changes in the underlying 30ish year trends, or are merely shorter term trends that were counterbalanced by previous or subsequent short trends in the opposite direction. Tamino has been showing you that those methods indicate there was no change in the underlying longer term trend during the short periods you are fixated on.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom,
        you have produced a well written post, and I agree with a lot of what you said.
        I am just going to make a couple of points.

        1) Some people believe that there is a 60 year cycle.
        It was in the “increasing” phase from 1970 to around 2000 (followed by the slowdown/pause from 2002 to 2012). The “increasing” phase lasted for about 30 years, half of the 60 year cycle.

        How would that affect the measurement of global warming?
        You are only removing cycles of less than 30 years.

        2) Some people believe that there is a 1,000 year cycle.
        The warm periods include:
        – the current warm period (~2000 A.D.)
        – the medieval warm period (1200 A.D.)
        – the roman warm period (200 A.D.)
        – and the warm period before that (1100 B.C.)

        How would this affect the measurement of global warming?
        You are only removing cycles of less than 30 years.
        This could affect the measurement of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)

      • Sheldon Walker wrote: “I am just going to make a couple of points.
        1) Some people believe that there is a 60 year cycle.

        2) Some people believe that there is a 1,000 year cycle.”

        Sheldon, some people believe earth is flat; some people believe earth is 6000 years old; some people believe; some people believe climate scientists are in it for the money; some people believe global warming stopped for several years.

        The fact that “some people believe” something doesn’t increase the credibility of what they believe, yet that’s the gambit you are trying now.
        In all the “Some people believe” examples above, the beliefs are possible only because the believers (including you) choose to ignore all the facts that render their beliefs invalid.

      • Sheldon, it is certainly true that some people ‘believe’ in 60-year and 1000-year cycles (as well as various other lengths, and based on a variety of purported causes, or indeed no cause at all). But why have these claims failed to convince anyone else? (Indeed, why have these claims failed to converge with each other?)

        In short: on what evidence does these various ‘beliefs’ rest?

      • Sheldon, I apologize for using a term that you don’t know (gish galloping). Perhaps by the 24th and a Half Century there will exist machines that let people find definitions of terms in less than a second. In the absence of that miraculous technology, I’ll briefly explain that gish galloping is related to another of your tactics–“Look! A puppy!”

        You did it again, in your reply to my concrete, specific rebuttal to your claim of the arbitrariness of the distinction between signal and noise, where the unequivocal context of “signal” versus “noise” was the choice of period over which to calculate a trend. The context of my rebuttal was the same as the context of Tamino’s gracious comment to you, asking whether 1-year trends would be meaningful to you. That context is the very one that you have asserted repeatedly (often in completely irrelevant contexts): one or more 10 year long pauses in global warming existed at various times between about 1984 and 2016. You never replied to that question by Tamino. You thanked him for his comment and said you’d need time to digest it, then in the your very next sentence switched to the two topics of multiple testing and broken trends. You never did reply to Tamino’s question about 1-year trends, nor to his other excellent points in his comment.

        I responded to your assertions of the existence of 10-year pauses, by carefully laying out specific, concrete reasons why trends of such short lengths are unreliable when you are interested in the trend that exists despite (in addition to, underlying) those ultimately neutral oscillations and other internal and external factors. You responded by changing the topic to assertions of 60-year and 1,000 year cycles. Look! A puppy!

      • @Sheldon Walker, @Tom Dayton,

        I’m assuming TomD was kidding, but, anyway, to

        Perhaps by the 24th and a Half Century there will exist machines that let people find definitions of terms in less than a second. In the absence of that miraculous technology

        I recommend this source:

        The Gish Gallop (also known as proof by verbosity[1]) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort. The Gish Gallop is a belt-fed version of the on the spot fallacy, as it’s unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop. The Gish Gallop is named after creationist Duane Gish, who often abused it.

        Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the Galloper’s part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next (especially if they cite from a pre-concocted list of Gallop arguments), a refutation of the same Gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort (per the basic principle that it’s always easier to make a mess than to clean it back up again).

        The tedium inherent in untangling a Gish Gallop typically allows for very little “creative license” or vivid rhetoric (in deliberate contrast to the exciting point-dashing central to the Galloping), which in turn risks boring the audience or readers, further loosening the refuter’s grip on the crowd.

        This is especially true in that the Galloper need only win a single one out of all his component arguments in order to be able to cast doubt on the entire refutation attempt. For this reason, the refuter must achieve a 100% success ratio (with all the yawn-inducing elaboration that goes with such precision). Thus, Gish Galloping is frequently employed (with particularly devastating results) in timed debates. The same is true for any time- or character-limited debate medium, including Twitter and newspaper editorials.

        This was originally developed by creationists and widely practiced by one Dr Duane Gish, American biochemist, hence the labeling.

        Its practice (which I’ve emphasized in bold above) is also the rhetorically technical reason why people knowledgeable about climate science tend to avoid debates on the subject, and why the EPA administrator’s suggestion that there be a Red-Blue Team debate on climate change and science is so ill-advised. Climate scientists have a large disadvantage because, in order to refute an assertion, they first need to take the time to educate a scientifically illiterate public to understand it, not to mention one which no longer has capability of properly criticizing oratory. That used to be taught in secondary school. That’s where President Abraham Lincoln learned it.

    • I feel it might be worth cutting poor Sheldon some slack here. As he fails to fathom the consequences of embarking on the use of OLS with all the resulting considerations; autocorrelation, annual cycles, confidence intervals, multiple-testing, the non-phisicality of broken trends; given all this he must feel that he is being beaten up rather badly with Ockham’s broom.
      Roll back the film a bit. There was a set of reading taken using physical instruments that found (within measuring uncertainty) average temperatures lay at some value for a particular bucket of time. That averaged value varies for different buckets. It varies beyond the measuring uncertainty. Thus how the dickens can all the folk here dismiss such variation as “noise”?
      Of coures “noise” is what it is as soon as you employ OLS. But you do not actually have to go anywhere near OLS. Here is an analysis of GISTEMP LOTI (usually two clicks to ‘download your attachment’) which is pretty-much indistinguishable from the OLS-analysis in Sheldon’s 2015 post on the planet Wattsupia.. The tolerance will be roughly +/-0.2ºC for the early part of the data and roughly +/-0.12ºC for the most recent.
      If folk are happy to accept this non-OLS method as providing wobbles that reflect an ontological reality, I would imagine a more useful discussion can result. (Mind, I don’t think Sheldon will like the outcome.)

      • Oooh boy! It’s like sharing family vacation pictures!

      • hypergeometric,
        Well it would be as banal as swapping holiday snaps except where did your trashy family go on holiday? It is evident where I went with mine. With yours, it requires an interpretation of a PDF to work out whether you even left the family house, which apparently you didn’t.

        Yes we know over longer periods how quickly the global average temperature has been rising. Over periods longer than decade, it has been actually quite remarkable how linear the rise has been! Consider HadCRUT4 (usually 2 clicks to ‘download yor attachment’) which has hardily wavered since 1975!! So your illustated “Oooooh boy!” comment actually doesn’t even say diddly-quat.

      • Alas, I was attempting to introduce some badly needed humor into an over-serious conversation. Admittedly, it’s nerdy humor, but an attempt at humor besides. Sorry it bombed for you. Sorry you are having a bad day.

        But there’s a serious side to it, and, while trends are tricky, rates are trickier still. The page where that figure first appeared is evident from the URL, but, just in case, it’s from here where I address the question in context.

        For most data series, in order to estimate rates (*), the data needs to be smoothed first. That raises the question of what size of support the smoothing function should have, and, then, dumps one squarely in the middle of a time-bandwidth product tradeoff: The rate is estimated better if the support is wide, but, then, where in the support does the rate apply? And if the support is narrow, in order to improve time resolution, the rate is going to bounce all over the place.

        The figure in question, given the context, simply offered a number of ways to estimate temperature trend data with the conclusion that the answer one got depended on these kinds of choices. The densities were not probability densities, but, rather, the full rates of instantaneous rates seen since 1950 in this, showing the result from the RTS with a picked-out-of-the-air observational variance of 0.039 (**):

        The point is none of these are the right answer. The question I have to ask is, given the sensitivity to choice of support duration, what does the notion of a temperature rate even mean? I think there’s a case to be made that someone’s in trouble, given the dataset, if they even ask the question.

        I think, but this will need to await another post in another place, part of the problem is that people have a hard time dealing with series like time series. I think, to establish science and such, it’s often better to get time out of the picture altogether, or as much as possible. So, for instance, it might be instructive to study temperature as a function of atmospheric CO2 concentrations lagged \tau years back, for varying \tau.

        (*) Yes, there’s more than one, and rates, of course, have variability themselves.

        (**) Sure, it could be calculated as a maximum likelihood or a cross-validation thing.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Al Rodger,
        from your post, it is difficult to know whether to thank you, or insult you.

        While Tamino was looking the other way, I took a quick peek over his shoulder, and I saw what he was reading. It was called “lies, damn lies, and global warming statistics”. I only saw one page briefly, and it contained some definitions.
        Trend – what you want the stupid deniers to believe.
        Noise – everything that you don’t want people to know about.
        Accuracy – don’t make me laugh.

        I have to warn you, that having posted a graph like mine, you will now be regarded as an evil, denier, bitch, demon, scum, that drinks babies blood, and fornicates with goats. Welcome to the club.

        I have fathomed the consequences of embarking on the use of OLS with all the resulting considerations; autocorrelation, annual cycles, confidence intervals, multiple-testing, the non-phisicality of broken trends.

        I have replied to Tamino about the multiple-testing problem, and the broken trend problem. He is currently trying to work out a believable excuse for why he is allowed to start a graph in 1970, but I am not allowed to start a graph in 2002. I am eagerly awaiting the answer.

        [Response: I already answered your question, inline with your comment asking it.

        You haven’t really fathomed anything, you just keep finding excuses to cling to your delusions. Rather lame excuses, at that. As for your being a skeptic rather than denier, I was wrong about that. You’re a denier. I suggest you re-join the WUWT crowd. It’s the only place you’ll have any credibility.

        I’ve spent enough time trying to reason with you, I’m done with that. I doubt I’ll spend much time refuting you either; as deniers go, you’re inconsequential.]

      • Sheldon Walker

        hypergeometric,

        5 year line slopes = bad
        10 year line slopes = good

        Now you know why I use line slopes 10 years and greater

    • Sheldon Walker

      Tamino,
      you said, “How can you tell when you’re looking at genuine signal rather than the effect of noise? By rigorous and correct statistical analysis. That’s why you’ve tried so hard to establish statistical significance for your purported “slowdown.”

      No, I tried so hard to establish statistical significance for the slowdown, because the people who deny that it exists refuse to accept any other proof.
      Other people, and that includes me, are happy with the proof that I had already provided.
      Statistics is not the only way to prove things. Statistics is a powerful way to get information, but there are other ways. Like mathematics for example.

      [Response: I said earlier I had concluded that you’re not a denier but a skeptic. I’m starting to re-consider.]

      • [Response: I said earlier I had concluded that you’re not a denier but a skeptic. I’m starting to re-consider.]

        About time.

  31. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Tamino,

    I have a simple question for you.

    I found that the greatest warming rate using GISTEMP was in 1937.

    You claim that that was caused by noise.

    If I found that the greatest warming rate using GISTEMP was in 2016, would that be caused by noise as well?

    [Response: That would depend on what evidence you supplied. If it was based only on 10-year trends, without comparing it to other 10-year trends and their uncertainty, I’d point out that the noise is so big your claim doesn’t mean much.]

    As a cynical skeptic, I have a very good bullshit detector. I get the feeling that warmists are making up the rules to suit themselves.

    Why is Tamino allowed to start a graph in 1970 (or whatever year Tamino wants to start in), but Tamino tells Sheldon that he is not allowed to start a graph in 2002.

    There appears to be a lack of fairness here. I am willing to listen to your explanation, if you have one.

    [Response: Rigorous statistical analysis shows that the trend 1950-1970 is different from the trend 1970-now. Changepoint analysis can estimate when the change occurred (and others too, see Cahill et al.). When done right, we find that you just can’t say with confidence any more than “since 1950, the trend rate changed around 1970.” And, 1970 is just an estimate. As the years pass and new data become available, the best estimate changes. That’s why I used to start around 1975 but now tend toward 1970. Also, it’s a nice round number and the timing of the change isn’t precise enough to quibble about.]

  32. Sheldon,

    Scientists have not ignored, or denied, the slowdown/pause/hiatus/whatever. Many were convinced (some still are) that it was real. So they’ve tried to understand it. That’s science.

    And that’s why there’s so much published research about it. When they try to understand why it happened, the “go-to” reference for its reality has been Fyfe et al, who not only tried to make sense of it, they claimed to have shown its reality with statistical significance. They did so by a method not that different from what you’ve done.

    They’re good scientists, good at math, but they’re not statisticians. They dealt with autocorrelation by using annual averages rather than monthly, which is pretty good but is not perfect. But they ignored the broken trend issue and the multiple testing problem. That’s why Rahmstorf et al. published research showing where and how they had gone wrong.

    The result is that the top researchers no longer buy the “slowdown” claim. They’ve been persuaded by evidence. Some haven’t; for one thing, it takes time for new results to displace old results, and for another thing, scientists are people too and it’s sometimes hard to let go of preconceived notions or even ideological motives.

    Like you, I regard a temporary slowdown as unimportant. What’s important to me is getting the science right. In my case, that means getting the statistics right.

    As for bloggers rather than scientists, on both sides of the issue there’s a tendency to exaggerate and to persuade oneself by motivated reasoning. From time to time I have rebuked “my side” by refuting some of their exaggerated claims, most notably talk about how global warming is about to “take off like a bat out of hell” (especially prominent after the 2014/2015/2016 succession of records). I keep saying that of course it’s possible, but there’s not yet enough evidence to make such claims. It usually falls on deaf ears.

    I spend a lot more time rebuking denier claims. This is for two reasons. First, many of the claims are so ludicrous and downright insulting that they beg for rebuttal, and there’s a lot more stupid nonsense coming from those who call themselves “skeptic” but don’t deserve the name. A lot — really, it’s not even close. Second, I genuinely regard global warming as an extreme threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’d rather spend my time countering inaction than reigning in exaggeration.

    One last thing: clearly it irritates you to be called “denier.” I understand that. But you should think about one of the reasons: guilt by association. When you post at WUWT, you’re joining a team of deniers, too many of whom aren’t just mistaken, they’re risible. It may not be correct, but it’s entirely natural for folks to paint you with the same brush.

    • Sheldon Walker commented:

      As a cynical skeptic, I have a very good bullshit detector. I get the feeling that warmists are making up the rules to suit themselves.

      LOL! Project much 8^D?

      Tamino responded:

      Scientists have not ignored, or denied, the slowdown/pause/hiatus/whatever. Many were convinced (some still are) that it was real. So they’ve tried to understand it. That’s science.

      Whether or not the pause was ‘real’ depends on the specific question asked about it: 1) can a ‘pause’ in the long-term (>30yr) trend of annual GMST be demonstrated with confidence? 2) if not, why does the mark I eyeball so readily see a short-term reduction (not a pause) in the slope of the long-term trend between 1998 and 2014, after which rapid warming resumed?

      As all scientists know, the mark I eyeball is easily fooled (“The first principle is you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool” -Feynman op. cit.). That’s why climate scientists use rigorous statistical methods (Tamino’s particular expertise), to detect signals in noisy weather data and quantify their confidence in their findings. Indeed, ‘climate’ is often defined simply as weather averaged over 30 years.

      The statistical fact of ‘global warming’, i.e. a long-term rising trend in global mean surface temperature, was established with statistically-justified confidence prior to 1998. ‘Pauseists’, who insist there was a subsequent cessation of warming, test (if they take the trouble) the hypothesis that the slope of the trend of GMST after 1998 is non-zero, and conveniently find it is not. Unfortunately for pauseists, even assuming they perform the test correctly, the previously-established trend renders it irrelevant. Their challenge is to show that there was a departure from the previous-established trend during the during the years following the extreme high of 1998, ending no later than 2015. No such departure has been detected with justifiable confidence!

      IOW, the people Sheldon says are ‘denying’ the pause have strong statistical justification. The DK-afflicted Sheldon’s incompetent arguments for a pause make it clear he prefers to let his eyeballs fool him; that is, he’s a statistics-denier! Tamino’s regulars may entertain our own hypotheses about why that is.

      Regardless, as Tamino points out, some scientists are intrigued by the apparent 13-year slowing (not ‘pause’) their eyes, like Sheldon’s, see in the established long-term trend of GMST. They are making progress toward resolving short-term climate ‘noise’ to physical forcings, e.g. the ENSO. coupled GCMs are thereby improved. That’s science!

      • The interest of the scientific community in the “pause” illustrates that noise can be a valid area of inquiry as much as the signal can.

      • snarkrates: Indeed! Climatologists and meteorologists and oceanologists and a whole bunch of other scientists very much want to know all they can about both weather and climate variations in atmosphere, surface, and ocean temperatures. In particular, they want to know the mechanisms.

  33. Heh. As a subscriber to Science magazine, I get email announcements from AAAS. Today’s subject line reads “Support evidence-based thinking”. I, for one, am committed to doing my part ;^)!

    “That the situation is hopeless should not prevent us from doing our best.” -Aldo Leopold

    • Mal Adapted,
      My wife is an environmental scientist and often quotes Leopold: “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”

      I think though, that he is wrong about hope. Hope is present as long as humans are alive. Hope is not the same as “probability of success”. Hope persists–indeed it may be refined and purified–and the probability for success vanishes. And sometimes, the stars align, and we discover that in a world of unending possibilities, zero probability is not the same as impossibility.

  34. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Snarkrates, Tamino, and anybody else who wants to be insulted.

    WHY WARMISTS ARE LIKE CREATIONISTS.
    ===================================

    Sh: Don’t give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings!

    T: But I came here for an argument!!

    Sh: OH! Oh! I’m sorry! This is abuse!

    ===================================

    If you think that I am joking about the topic, “WHY WARMISTS ARE LIKE CREATIONISTS”, then you are in for rude awakening.

    I want to make it clear, right from the start, that this is all Snarkrates’ fault. So if you are looking for somebody to punish, he is the man.

    Snarkrates said: “Oh, and Sheldon, you still have not weighed in on the term you would propose for those who deny the science.”

    Sheldon said: “You seem to think that anything that YOU believe in, is science. So I would use the term “snarkrates-disbeliever” for people who don’t believe YOUR science.”

    Snarkrates said, “Sheldon, Science is not a matter of belief. It is about evidence. I can cite evidence and peer-reviewed studies underlying what I am stating? You? Until you actually understand how science works, you are likely to continue to be plagued by delusions of adequacy.”

    ===================================

    At this point, I thought about what Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

    Was Snarkrates fooling himself?

    Suddenly, I realised why everybody was wrong about science.

    Everybody likes to think that science is objective.

    But humans cannot escape being subjective.

    So when a warmist thinks about what would be valid evidence to support their beliefs, they imagine a committee of experienced scientists, who can decide on what is admissible evidence. Of course, the warmist imagines that all of the experienced scientists are warmists. The warmist experienced scientists will naturally tell the warmist what he wants to hear.

    Bingo, warmist science.

    ===================================

    Now consider a creationist.

    When a creationist thinks about what would be valid evidence to support their beliefs, they imagine a committee of experienced scientists, who can decide on what is admissible evidence. Of course, the creationist imagines that all of the experienced scientists are creationists. The creationist experienced scientists will naturally tell the creationist what he wants to hear.

    Bingo, creationist science.

    ===================================

    There is only one possible solution. I have mentioned several times that I am a “cynical-skeptic”.

    cynical = Believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others

    skeptic = Someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs

    A cynical-skeptic would be the perfect scientist (most people accept that a scientist should be skeptical).

    When a cynical-skeptic thinks about what would be valid evidence to support their beliefs, they imagine a committee of experienced scientists, who can decide on what is admissible evidence. Of course, the cynical-skeptic imagines that all of the experienced scientists are cynical-skeptics. The cynical-skeptic experienced scientists will naturally tell the cynical-skeptic what he wants to hear. The cynical-skeptic will then say to the cynical-skeptic experienced scientists, “what would you know about it, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings!

    Bingo, cynical-skeptic science.

    [Response: I know some of the comments directed at you have been rude. Perhaps I haven’t been severe enough in deleting such comments before they appear. It’s a fine line between enforcing civility and encouraging free expression of all kinds, and I can’t claim to be especially good at that.

    But I have to say, in my opinion you’re not making yourself or your rationality look good with this comment.

    To others: think about some of the comments sent Sheldon’s way — after he came here ready to discuss, at a forum in which he’s so outnumbered it’s ridiculous. What did you expect?]

    • I’ve always had a fondness for parrot droppings

    • When a creationist thinks about what would be valid evidence to support their beliefs, they imagine a committee of experienced scientists, who can decide on what is admissible evidence. Of course, the creationist imagines that all of the experienced scientists are creationists. The creationist experienced scientists will naturally tell the creationist what he wants to hear.

      Bingo, creationist science.

      As far as I can tell, the creationist imagines a committee of demonically-possessed Satan-spawn, and starts lobbying the local school board.

    • Re. Sheldon’s screed on “WARMISTS”. It always utterly amazes me when deniers or near-deniers or fake skeptics or whatever wrong-headed science person we’re talking about quotes Feynman, Popper, Einstein, Galileo, etc. together with a half-assed, totally incorrect notion of how science is done usually from the perspective of some completely simplistic, elementary high school (mis)understanding of the hypothetico-deductive method as promulgated about a century ago.

      It’s like quoting Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth to a modern pro baseball player. They already are completely familiar and know pretty much everything Ty and Babe ever knew plus several hundred percent more. And they know how to operate in far more complex situations against far better opposition.

      OK my screed is done.

      • Sheldon Walker

        jgnfld,

        the thing that utterly amazes me, is that when you quote Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

        everybody nods their head wisely, and thinks about somebody else who they think it applies to (person “A”). But they know that it couldn’t possibly apply to themselves (person “B”).

        Of course, person “A” nods his head wisely, and thinks about somebody else who they think it applies to (person “B”). But they know that it couldn’t possibly apply to themselves (person “A”).

        The real issue is why Richard Feynman wasted his time coming up with a saying that doesn’t apply to anybody.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Tamino,
      I have no complaints about the comments that have been directed at me.

      I prefer freedom of speech to censorship. I agree with getting rid of the really bad ones. It is up to me whether I take offense at a comment, or not.

      You may have noticed that I enjoy vigorous intellectual discussion. I don’t set out to offend, but sometimes people take offense. I have been known to apologise when I accidentally upset someone.

      My post about why warmists are like creationists, has a serious side. Notice how I often make a joke about myself in the post.

      • Sheldon Walker wrote: “You may have noticed that I enjoy vigorous intellectual discussion.”

        I haven’t noticed that. I would say you don’t, not really. You didn’t respond to my reply to yours here. Nor did you reply to any of my replies to your post at WUWT.

  35. Sheldon:
    First cover up the area below the large whitespace or scroll to hide it.
    Now: Consider 2 series of 100 coin flips. Both are 50-50. One is the output of a random process, the other is not.
    > A
    [1] 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1
    [38] 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
    [75] 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1
    > B
    [1] 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1
    [38] 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1
    [75] 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1

    Anyone with a good stats background can tell you immediately by eye which one is the result of a random process. (It’s so easy it’s a standard first day exercise in first year stats classes where profs wow the students). Can you?

    Of course it is B. The one with MORE “pauses” (i.e., where we get runs of the same value).

    Computational stats using a standard runs test [R tseries package runs.test()] shows the series A to be HIGHLY nonrandom with a p value of <= 10^-9. Series B, on the other hand, is totally expectable as the result of a random process with a p value of <= .69.

    Suggestion: STOP doing stats by eye and learn to apply the proper math. Or learn enough stats so that your eye becomes trained.

    • Sheldon Walker

      jgnfld,
      thanks for the post, I am good at maths and probability problems. I guessed B.
      I had a book with 2 pictures. One was a picture of stars distributed in a real star pattern. The other was a picture of stars, but deliberately altered so that no stars were close together. Most people would pick the wrong picture, when asked to pick the “real” star picture. People seem to think that nature is more orderly than it really is.

      Is plotting warming rates using a colour coded scheme, “doing stats”?
      My feeling is that plotting warming rates using a colour coded scheme is NOT “doing stats”.
      What do you think?

  36. Sheldon,

    [Replying downthread to keep our tete a tete streamlined. Might be a good idea for each of your interlocutors to do the same. I’ll try to refrain from butting in to other conversations in order to make it easier for you to reply to individuals without having to scroll all over the place.]

    You didn’t reply directly to my question, but offered some points that seem to be related.

    Barry, have you ever considered what other human activities might cause the world to warm up?

    Yes, as I indicated above re ‘forcings’ – also anthropogenic influences that might have caused/be causing cooling, such as aerosols. And also looked at natural influences.

    This was my starting point in graphic form when I entered the general conversation 10 years ago. That led to reading papers on anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic factors that can influence global temps on short and long time scales.

    …1 billion cars in the world… 7.5 billion people cooking dinner every night… powerful computers 24×7…

    I’ve read up on the amount of heat directly generated from human activity, too. As I understand it, this is a fairly negligible value on a global scale. Here is one study on it. There are more I can provide if you want to review them. It’s not to hard to discover such by googling (Google Scholar is a great resource).

    the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm.

    I read your WUWT post and checked the trends from 1910 to 1937, and also to 1942. The highest trend was to 1942 – 1.2 C/century. I couldn’t corroborate your trend of 2.8 C/century using either time period. Regression model was OLS with 12-month means: not ideal, perhaps, but similar to your method.

    Ran the same regression model for the period 1985 – 2017 (same period length as your choice drove this selection), getting a result of 1.8 C/century.

    Perhaps an older GISS data set gave you the values you found? I’ll check that out when I have more time. I’d be surprised if the trend values were wildly different for 30+ year periods in data sets older than a few years (your WUWT article was posted in 2015).

    If we include the 95% CI, the uncertainty of about +/-0.5 C makes the trends overlap, so it’s fair to say (on this naive basis) that the trends are not statistically distinct.

    There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate. How do you explain that?

    I’m not sure that’s true based on the values I got – I don’t think one can say so absolutely given the uncertainty in the trends – but assuming that this is actually the case, it can be explained by considering other factors that influence global temps. As I understand it, the minimal GHG warming in the early period is supplemented by other factors, solar, volcanic, aerosols etc whereas in the latter period these factors do not supplement GHG warming, or even contribute negatively.

    I don’t know if you have the impression that I (or others here) think that only CO2 influences global temperature, but if so you would be wrong. You’d also be way off the mark if you thought the rest was noted but swept under the carpet.

    A range of influences on global temps, natural and antrhopogenic, on long and short time scales is considered in the IPCC reports (and one can read the underlying literature and papers that didn’t make it in, as I’ve done). The chapters on radiative forcing and attribution cover this line of inquiry.

    Have you investigated the IPCC reports? I started looking at the things you’ve brought up 10 years when AR4 came out and have delved back in to the topic and subtopics from time to time since.

    The question I put to you was whether, based on the range of risk per climate sensitivity, my view on mitigation was reasonable. Just wondering if our conversation is heading towards a reply to that.

    (I’ve kept links and references to a minimum to keep posts shorter, but will supply much more if you desire it. This is a fairly good resource for paper lists on various topics under the climate change heading. It’s hardly exhaustive, but a good starting point)

  37. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Barry,
    good idea replying downthread.

    Can I start by letting you know, that I believe that science is the best tool that we have, to understand the world.
    I believe in the scientific method.
    If you understand how I feel about science, then you will understand many of my opinions.

    Dispite how I feel about science, warmists have called me a denier for the past 10 years. I have to assume that they meant a science denier. If somebody can make such a monumental mistake about me, why would I ever trust their opinions about global warming.

    I have never checked up on the amount of heat generated by 1 billion cars, 7.5 billion dinner per day, etc. I was trying to think of things which generate heat that you can feel. I will accept your finding that it is negligible.

    I normally use monthly GISTEMP data. At the time that I wrote that article, GISTEMP had just changed to a new sea surface temperature series. I think that they moved from HadSST to ERSST. This is what caused to year with the greatest warming rate to move from 1998 to 1937. Note that the 2 sea surface temperature series gave 2 totally different results. If one person tells you that there are 2 apples in a bag, and another person tells you that there are 4 apples in the bag, what does that tell you about the people?

    Barry, does it sound like I don’t have much confidence in things related to global warming?

    The method that I used to calculate the warming rates is explained in the article. I used a central moving average, and a central moving slope. If you used linear regression to calculate warming rates, then you will probably get totally different results to my results.

    Temperature data is very noisy. If you use a short date range, then you are unlikely to find a significant result.

    When you do statistical testing it is very important to understand some key concepts.

    A simple example: you are walking through a field on a very foggy day. You bump into something, but it is so foggy that you can’t see what it is. Does that mean that there is nothing there, or that it is too foggy to see what is there? (Clue – a warmist would tell you that there is nothing there)

    One of the biggest problems that I have with warmists, is that they confuse “I can’t tell what is happening”, with “nothing is happening”.

    With the 10 year slowdown from 2002 to 2012, it may be so short that you can not get a statistically significant result, but that does not mean that nothing is happening.

    So when you compare 2 trends, and the result is not statistically significantly different. Does that mean there is no difference between the trends, or that the data is so noisy (foggy), that you can not tell whether there is a difference or not.

    I will give you my opinion of the IPCC reports. I have told you how I believe that science is the best tool that we have, to understand the world. The problem is that the scientific method can get corrupted.

    Problem 1.
    They knew before they started, that they wanted to find human caused global warming. Often when you go looking for something in particular, you find it.

    Problem 2.
    Many scientists contributed work. But it was bureaucrats who decided what made it into the reports.

    For me, this means that the IPCC reports COULD BE flawed. They might not be, but they might be.

    The actions of the IPCC over numerous issues, made me think that were an out of control non-scientific organisation.

    I am sure you know the story about the chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, and the “mistake” over when Himalayan glaciers would melt. I can accept a simple mistake. The IPCC should have just admitted the mistake, fixed it, and that would have been the end of the matter. But Rajendra Pachauri would not admit that the IPCC could get anything wrong. The denial (interesting word), went on for a long time. It turned into an international incident, after Indian scientists insisted that there was a mistake, and Rajendra Pachauri accused them of practising “voodoo science”. It is very important with global warming, that the best insult is used against anybody who raises questions.

    I can not have faith (or trust), in an organisation that refuses to admit an error. What else are they hiding?

    I could see from this, Barry, that the IPCC does NOT listen to scientists. Sure, they might have a few tame scientists that they bring out to look like they listen to scientists. But when it comes to real scientists, they don’t listen.

    The only people to blame for the IPCC disaster, is the IPCC itself.

    • One of the biggest problems that I have with warmists, is that they confuse “I can’t tell what is happening”, with “nothing is happening”.

      To me, that seems the very essence of a lot of denialist/lukewarmer/luckwarmer argumentation. (Eg., Dr. Judith Curry and her emphasis on uncertainties.)

    • Many scientists contributed work. But it was bureaucrats who decided what made it into the reports.

      That is verifiably incorrect, Sheldon. The reports are structured and written by the scientists. The only exception to this is that national delegations do get to vote on the wording used in some Executive Summaries–something that has consistently worked over the years to water down the original language. But the report bodies are not subject to this (if they were, we’d probably still be waiting for the first Assessment Report to come out.)

      http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/briefing-note-IPCC-report-writing-process.pdf

      “Each assessment report is produced by writing teams of lead authors, led by coordinating lead authors and supervised by review editors, who work collaboratively to review the latest research and evidence. The authors and editors, who work on a voluntary basis throughout, are chosen from lists drawn up by member governments, observer organisations and the bureau (co-chairs and vice-chairs) of the working group or task force producing the report. The bureau of the working group or task force selects the authors from these lists and from other experts known through their publications and work.”

  38. Sheldon.

    Your comment appears to suggest a conspiracy of publishing climate scientists. If you really believe that, do you think we should take any notice of scientific research? If so, which pieces of research should we take notice of and why?

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Mike,
      I only have time for a short reply.
      My suggestion is that you follow the money.
      You don’t need a conspiracy.
      I judge each piece of scientific research on its merits.

      • Sheldon Walker wrote: “My suggestion is that you follow the money. You don’t need a conspiracy. I judge each piece of scientific research on its merits.”

        What money are you talking about? If you are judging “each piece of scientific research on its merits,” What does money have to do with it?

      • My suggestion is that you follow the money.
        You don’t need a conspiracy

        Now that sounds like the authentic Sheldon Walker. Tell us, Sheldon, do you think the 1968 landing of US astronauts on the Moon was faked?

        I judge each piece of scientific research on its merits.

        Well, there’s your problem right there: you’re doing it wrong!

      • Follow the money? And which money might that be, Sheldon?

      • Oh come on snark…don’t you remember those halcyon days during your pre/postdoc years when you were just rolling in the money from the public trough?!

      • Yeah … Y’know if certainly one group justified at being paranoid are climate scientists. Whether the late Stephen Schneider or Michael Mann or Ben Santer or John Mashey or others, there have been many instances of legal and persecution tactics used against geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, and others. There is even a well-deserved legal defense fund set up. (They have awesome tee-shirts.) It’s difficult to tell because of the lack of transparency of the present administration and Congress, but I have heard first- and second-hand that U.S. field projects which are intended to get additional data are being de-prioritized in favor of purely computational ones. The speculation is that a “mere computation” can be deflected more easily, but data cannot. On the other hand, it could be just creeping cheapness, because field work tends to be pretty expensive.

        Still, one thing that has always gotten me about Deniersville is that if anyone is sincere in their feeling there isn’t enough knowledge and data to make the choices we need, then the budget for field work and assessment ought to be increased a dozenfold or more, since we aren’t going to get that by sitting around and speculating with what we have. The entire Science budget, including medical research is being cut appreciably. Science wasn’t doing well as it was.

        Here is the enacted budget for 2015, including Science. Note the entire pie is federal discretionary spending:

        Here is Obama’s proposed 2017 budget, including Science:

        Can you find Science? Of course, it did receive a proposed bump up of US$2+ billion, almost entirely for , NASA, USDA, and NIH, but done on the backs of EPA research and NOAA climate and ocean science.

        This has been a long downward trend, from the end of the Cold War. In parallel, most corporations have dropped their R&D divisions altogether (with a few notable exceptions), justifying these are not being important to their “core mission” and expecting to rely upon acquisitions to get the new technology they need. There is some R&D in Defense, but it has become more and more narrowly focussed.

        So, it’s remarkable to me that Deniersville is paranoid about fat-and-happy research scientists.

        Of course, when the Trump administration was elected, some of us got paranoid pretty quickly. There was a mood:

      • Sheldon Walker

        Hi Mal Adapted,

        thank you for proving my point.

        You said:
        “Now that sounds like the authentic Sheldon Walker.
        Tell us, Sheldon, do you think the 1968 landing
        of US astronauts on the Moon was faked?”

        I do NOT think that the moon landing was faked.

        I was in primary school at the time. My teacher brought a radio into class, and we all sat around listening to the radio broadcast of the moon landing.

        It was an exciting time.

        But warmists have this strange group-think. They want to believe that skeptics/deniers believe in a giant conspiracy theory. That the moon landing never took place.

        There is a reason why warmists want to believe this. If you think that somebody believes in a stupid conspiracy theory, then you don’t have to listen to their opinion about global warming (or anything else). You have written them off as nut-cases. You don’t need to listen to anything that they say.

        I can even give you objective evidence that the moon landing took place. The astronauts left some reflectors on the moon. I can’t remember what they are called, but they reflect any signal back along the path that it came from. So scientists on Earth, can send a signal to the moon, and the signal returns to them after a short time.

        Warmists are so desperate to believe that skeptics/deniers believe in conspiracy theories, that one warmist called Lewandowsky made up a questionnaire to prove it. He created the questionnaire, and made it available on the internet, for skeptics/deniers to fill in.

        But he was silly, or stupid, or deliberately deceitful. He put the questionnaire in places where warmists could fill it in, while pretending to be skeptics/deniers. I understand that even Mickey Mouse filled in Lewandowsky’s questionnaire, while pretending to be a skeptic/denier (Mickey Mouse is really a warmist).

        The fact that warmists would stoop so low, to fill in a fake questionnaire to try and make it look like skeptics/deniers believed that the moon landing was faked, is beneath contempt.

        One of the funny things to come out of Lewandowsky’s questionnaire, was that he also had a control group of warmists. When people checked how many fake skeptics/deniers (i.e. warmists pretending to be skeptics/deniers) believed that the moon landing was fake, compared to the warmist control group, it was found that the count of fake skeptics/deniers who believed that the moon landing was fake, was only one higher than the warmist control group.

        If warmists had not filled in the questionnaire while pretending to be skeptics/deniers, then it would have been warmists who came out as the biggest group that believes that the moon landing was fake.

    • Sheldon: “Warmists are so desperate to believe that skeptics/deniers believe in conspiracy theories, that one warmist called Lewandowsky made up a questionnaire to prove it. He created the questionnaire, and made it available on the internet, for skeptics/deniers to fill in.”

      To disprove the notion that alleged skeptics believe in conspiracy theories, your evidence is…a conspiracy theory. It’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for you.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Yail Bloor (@gonzo_in_KY)
        I don’t think that one person acting alone in a deliberately deceitful way, qualifies as a conspiracy.
        The warmists who filled in the questionnaire while pretending to be skeptics/deniers, were not part of a conspiracy, they were just being bastards.

  39. Sheldon Walker,
    Having provided you a doppleganger analysis with immunity from autocorrelytus and a bunch of other statistical afflictions, it is time to consider what it is telling us. I did ask up-thread whether you had developed your understanding of it given you have had 2½ years to think about it. You have since in-thread asked for a response to the question “Surprisingly, the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm. There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate. How do you explain that?” This suggests you have done little more than flag the seeming inconsistency.
    This, of course is one of the “interesting implications” of your 2015 Wattsupian post that I mentioned up-thread. But that was your analysis and you may wish to set out your understanding of the ‘inconsistency’ before I pile in with my understanding of it.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Al Rodger,
      since I wrote that article 2.5 years ago, I have not thought about the article. It was only after you found the article, that I read it again.

      Flagging the inconsistency is an important first step.

      There are 4 things that I try to remember:
      1) I do not know everything.
      2) Sometimes I make mistakes, or I am wrong.
      3) I try to learn from my mistakes.
      4) I listen to other people, because they might know something that I don’t.

      These 4 things remind me that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously.

      I suspect that many people see my list of 4 things as a sign of weakness.
      They believe that they know everything. They are never wrong, and they never make mistakes. They don’t need to learn from their mistakes, because they never make any. They don’t need to listen to other people, because they already know everything.

      The fact that the year with the greatest warming rate changed from 1998 to 1937, was obviously caused by GISTEMP changing from HadSST to ERSST. Why the 2 sea surface temperature series are so different, I don’t know. I could investigate it, but warmists would ignore anything that I found. So why bother.
      Simple logic suggests that either HadSST is wrong, or ERSST is wrong, or they are both wrong. It probably means that accurately measuring sea surface temperatures is difficult.

      • Sheldon Walker,
        In your 2015 Wattsupia OP you say that GISTEMP LOTI changed its use of SST data in June 2015, that being “when they switched to the new NCEI ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature reconstruction.” They actually switched in July not June. Note thaat you didn’t back in 2015 specify the SST data used prior to July 2015. This pre-July 2015 data-use was not directly HadISST1 (as you mistakenly assert above) as from 2013 GISTEMP LOTI had been using ERSST v3b. The message is, of course, that SST data is not so accurate that it will not have a significant impact on calculation of global mean warming rates when calcuated on a decadal scale.
        As SST is the largest component in global average temperature anomaly, it is no surprise to see that NOAA & NASA who both use today ERSST v5, both exbibit that curiosity of a highest peak decadal temperatrure trend appearing in the 1930s while in BEST & HadCRUT4(C&W) use HadISST do not.

      • With a second look, I did find my aged spreadsheet from 2015 and that does seem to suggest that the change to ERSSTv4 from June 2015 and not July – the July change date is set out on the GISTEMP site, but is it right? Mistakes can happen and contemporary notes do have some merit.

  40. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Tamino,

    I would like to make you an offer, which you can obviously turn down.

    I am frustrated that people will not give my graph a fair chance, to show that it is useful.

    I would like to send you detailed information about the graph, including example graphs which show how it works.

    If you would display the information and graphs on your website, then everybody who posts on your website is welcome to check the graphs out, and offer criticism or praise.

    For a limited number of people, I am willing to create one of my graphs using a temperature series that is created by that person. They can make any temperature series that they want. There are only a few rules, there is little point in having a temperature of 1,000,000 degrees Celsius. Anything that is reasonable is acceptable. The temperature series can have warming and/or cooling and/or slowdowns and/or pauses.

    If a person knows what they put into their temperature series, then they can look at the corresponding graph, and see if the graph makes sense. There is probably no better test for my graph.

    I would obviously like you to be one of the people who sends me a temperature series. You are welcome to make a temperature series which includes autocorrelation. Any kind (e.g. ARIMA). I am happy for you to try your hardest to break my graph. Including a random component is also fine.

    This is a genuine offer. You can see that I am offering to be totally open.

    Please indicate in a reply to this post, whether you are willing to do this, or not.

  41. Sheldon,
    Warmist science? Really? I think that your basic problem is not with math or even statistics, but extends much deeper to your fundamental misunderstanding of what science is and how it is done.

    Yes, scientists are subjective. They are human

    Science is not subjective. It is a collective activity in which the biases of individual scientists tend to cancel each other out. That is why scientific consensus is important. It represents the best summary of what we can say with confidence about a phenomenon

    You say that you don’t trust the IPCC. Fine. Where you err is in suggesting that their charter was to find evidence for anthropogenic warming. The evidence predated the formation of the IPCC. Their charter is not to find evidence for any particular thing, but rather to summarize the state of knowledge about the changing climate. The folks who make this summary are scientists, not bureaucrats.

    And they actually do a pretty good job with that summary. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have said so. The Royal Society has said so. Every professional organization of scientists with relevant expertise has said so. Even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists had to amend their statement to a neutral position–that ought to tell you something.

    Sheldon, I don’t know if you read it, but I defined science as theoretically guided empirical inquiry. The theory tells you the questions that are interesting. The empirical results tell you if the theory is correct. What you are missing is the theoretical understanding to guide your empirical inquiry.

    Yes, there are scientists studying “the pause”. More generally, there are scientists studying the sources of “noise” in the climate system. However, they have to start with the theory that exists about the sources of noise–ENSO, volcanic eruptions, Total Solar Irradiance… There are experienced scientists looking at all of these things. I would submit for your consideration that someone who has studied the system and the theory for 30 years might, just might have a better understanding of it than you do.

    What you are doing is simple mathturbation.

  42. Lest I leave everyone with the impression that I’m nihilistic about performing these calculations, I’m not. But I wanted to bring the discussion, which, IMO, has a lot of talking past one another, to the point of commonality. That is, if really interested in rates of temperature increase or, for that matter, sea level rise, this is inherently intertangled with the support on which it is measured, a duration, in these time series, and a spatial extend in the case of things like sea level rise or, say, Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. So, what to do?

    The answer oughtn’t be a surprise: Bring in external knowledge? How? Bayes. Put a prior on the temporal duration, and educated prior. So, >10 years is what the experts say? Great. Put most mass there. But how big of the density? I mean, should there be mass out at durations of 100 years? But that might wash out the entire industrial period …. Decisions to be made.

    Once a prior is in hand, then do the Bayes Rule thing and form posterior densities on rates. Expectations, variances, and credible intervals follow.

    [Response: Thank you for such an excellent comment.]

    • Ditto Tamino, hyperg. You’ve just enhanced my understanding of Bayesian methods for climate trend projection, by a large increment!

      That’s one reason why this blog is indispensable for me 8^D.

  43. It is long past time we stopped treating Sheldon the Denier as if he were interested in a real conversation on climate science.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Barton Paul Levenson.
      the problem is Paul, that there are very few people on this website who are interested in having a real conversation about climate science.

    • Sheldon, you are the one who consistently refuses to converse about concrete, specific, scientific topics, despite many people responding concretely, specifically, and scientifically to your claims and questions. You are gish galloping.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom,
        I don’t even know what gish galloping is.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom,
        have you counted how many posts I have been making?

        I have just about had to give up my full time job, in order to reply to all of the requests.

        I reply to as many questions as I can. Some topics interest me more than others.

        I don’t usually bother replying to people who insult me (I am making an exception in your case).

      • Gosh, Sheldon, you accuse Tom of insulting you, yet the only part of his reply that might have been regarded as insulting is the part you claim not to understand (what ‘gish galloping” is). You ignore his point that you ignore questions and issues that might refute your position, in order to attempt witticisms of superficial issues.

        I’m sure you’re not interested in considering the arguments of warmists but I’m interested in why you find such a cosy home in Watts land, given that you accept that the earth’s surface is warming and that humans play a significant part in that. As far as I can tell, most commenters in Watts land denier even those obvious truths.

  44. Just for humor: How Six Americans Changed Their Minds About Global Warming. Don’t let the blinking distract you.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Mal Adapted,
      my concern about this article, is that they don’t tell you about the 12 people who changed from being warmists, to become skeptics.
      If you only report the people who do what you approve of, then you create a false impression.
      But that doesn’t bother you, does it. That is exactly what you were trying to do.

      • Sheldon the Denier: my concern about this article, is that they don’t tell you about the 12 people who changed from being warmists, to become skeptics.

        BPL: I.e., the 12 uninformed people who became even worse informed after being subjected to denier propaganda.

      • Mal Adapted gave a link to what he said. You just produced numbers out of thin air (that is what deniers do all the time). Show us your proof that what you said is true so that true skeptics can read it for themselves to see if you have interpreted it correctly.

      • Sheldon Walker wrote: “my concern about this article, is that they don’t tell you about the 12 people who changed from being warmists, to become skeptics.”

        What 12 people, Sheldon? Give us evidence that proves your implication that for each denier who changes to believing AGW, there are 12 people who believed AGW but changed to believing it is false. And while you are at it, assuming the 12 people you report on now claim IPCC AR5 WG1 is false, show us the science they found that changed their minds.

      • If opinion polling is to be believed–and it’s about the only empirical data we have–the ’12 warmists who became skeptics’ are probably more like 2. American (and global) concern about what Wattsupia is pleased to call “AGW” is at or near historic highs, last I saw.

    • my concern about this article, is that they don’t tell you about the 12 people who changed from being warmists, to become skeptics.

      Please give us the names of 12 people who changed from accepting the consensus of climate scientists, to rejecting it. Verifiable direct quotes might be even more persuasive.

  45. my appreciation of climate science and the consequences of AGW (10 years ago now – I started from a very very mildly sceptical viewpoint) came from asking myself one simple question that I was curious about and could not easily find an explanation – and it was this

    “What exactly is a climate scientists”

    in researching this simple question the fog lifted and I also understood the simple truths that if you do go against a strong scientific consensus you have to accept either

    1. Scientists do not know what they are talking about
    2. Scientist are involved in a global conspiracy to deceive you
    3. Scientist know something you don’t

    it is nearly always 3

    • it is nearly always 3.

      Good comment from Tadaa, though I’d go so far as to leave out the ‘nearly’ for anyone who isn’t a member of the disciplinary peer community.

      And the lay AGW-denier doesn’t get to decide he’s an expert climate scientist, that’s up to the peer community of published climate specialists. They know who their peers are!

      In my humble though uncharitable opinion, the Dunning-Kruger effect arises from sheer narcissistic conceit.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Tadaaa,

      if scientists know something that I don’t, why don’t they tell me what it is?

      Once they tell me what it is, then scientists won’t know something that I don’t know.

      Problem solved.

      • Sheldon,
        We have been. Repeatedly. The problem is that you are resistant to the idea that your lack of knowledge starts at such a fundamental level–e.g. how science works.
        In actuality, there is no shame in that. There are actually a lot of scientists who don’t fully understand how science works. They have merely been trained in the basic rules they must follow for their particular narrow discipline. That is fine as long as they stay within their narrow discipline. However, it leads to physicists (my discipline) claiming that “geology isn’t a real science” as Sheldon Cooper does in The Big Bang sitcom.

        I’ve been a working physicist for over 30 years. I’ve also worked in science journalism and international development. And I have a wife who is an environmental scientist. I’ve had the opportunity to consider very carefully how science works and how the scientific method applies in different disciplines.

        I would like you to consider something. You accuse climate scientists of group think and of being unscientific. And yet the National Academy of Sciences has validated the work of the IPCC. Do you accuse the National Academy of being in on the big conspiracy? If so, what’s in it for them? Many of the scientists who served on these panels are not climate specialists and stand to lose money of we have to address climate change (fwiw, I do, too). The conclusions have been endorsed by the American Physical Society, The American Chemical Society, the American Statistical Association and on and on. These are not organizations that have a vested interest in the outcome of this argument. They have taken a position because the outcome is important and because climate science is a field where science has come under attack.

        I would also like you to consider something. How much of your reticence to accept mainstream science derives from the attention it gets you. After all, the dimwits Wattsupia lap up what you present AND you get lots of attention here. Are you perhaps concerned that people will ignore you if you simply join all the real scientists? I do not know you, Sheldon, but I have seen contrarians who were so motivated. Think about it. Reject it if you feel it doesn’t fit. You don’t even need to respond, or if you simply reject it, I won’t bring it up again. It just might be an opportunity for insight.

  46. @Malladapted

    I wrote a really long response to your excellent link on conversion stories (I find them really interesting)

    but, bugger, it was lost on posting

    I find these stories both fascinating and illuminating on the psychology of “change”

    without trying to repeat my post it seems two processes are at play

    1 . personal experience – aka “skin in the game”

    2. ego massaging personal explanation

  47. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Snarkrates,

    if you read my resume, that I posted in this thread to Barry earlier, then you should know that I have a good science education.

    Warmist science? Why not? Any group can do their own science (creationists do).

    Here is the problem, Snarkrates. If a group has made certain assumptions, then the assumptions will determine what experiments they do.

    Imagine “flat earth” scientists. They would probably NOT do experiments which try to prove that the earth is NOT flat. If they did, their peers might laugh at them, and call them “round earthers”, or “deniers”.

    Only a truly deluded person would claim that they are totally objective, and not subjective.

    Science is a human construct. As such, it can not be totally objective. It can TRY to be objective, but you cannot remove the humans from the science. To think that you can, is the height of arrogance.

    You said, “Science is not subjective. It is a collective activity in which the biases of individual scientists tend to cancel each other out. That is why scientific consensus is important. It represents the best summary of what we can say with confidence about a phenomenon.”

    I agree with a lot of what you said. But there are important parts that I disagree with.

    The people who do science ARE subjective. They try to be objective, but no human is perfect.

    It is a collective activity in which the biases of individual scientists tend to cancel each other out. YES, YES, YES, YES, YES. This is a statement that should be framed, and hung on the wall.

    The biases of individual scientists tend to cancel each other out. But ONLY if you have a good variety of scientists. If you have ALL creationist scientists, or ALL warmist scientists, then they ALL tend to have the same biases.

    This is why skeptical, and even denier, scientists are so important. They cancel out the biases of the other scientists.

    You said, “That is why scientific consensus is important. It represents the best summary of what we can say with confidence about a phenomenon.”

    Scientific consensus is both a very good thing, and a very bad thing. It allows us to try and make logical decisions about things, but it also tends to blind us to the things that are outside the consensus.

    I hope that you can see that I am NOT against science. I believe that science is the best tool that humans have for understanding the world. I believe in the scientific method.

    But, I will not be fooled into thinking that science is perfect. I can see its limitations. Many people can’t (are you one of them?).

    ==========

    You said, “I defined science as theoretically guided empirical inquiry. The theory tells you the questions that are interesting. The empirical results tell you if the theory is correct. What you are missing is the theoretical understanding to guide your empirical inquiry.”

    Do you realise what you have just said? You only look for things which confirm your theory. Your theory determines the experiments that you do. There is a danger, that if your experiment doesn’t confirm your theory, that you will design a different experiment that will.

    Scientific method.
    ==================
    1) Design an experiment based on your theory, which will prove that your theory is correct.
    2) Confirm that the experiment that you did in step 1, proves that your theory is correct.
    3) Go to step 1.

    YOU OFTEN LEARN MORE FROM EXPERIMENTS THAT DON’T CONFIRM YOUR THEORY, THAN YOU DO FROM EXPERIMENTS THAT DO CONFIRM YOUR THEORY.

    While warmists are against skeptics, then I am against warmists. Before you get too upset over that statement, remember that I agree with all basic climate science. I have gone out of my way to try and build bridges with warmists, but they are not interested in reciprocating.

    Think carefully about what I have said, without anger in your heart. I try to NOT call you names. You unfortunately do not extend the same courtesy to me. I am happy to discuss thing in a calm way. You only need to ask.

    • @Sheldon Walker,

      My personal view is that Tamino and many people here, including me, have thrown you a lifeline and are willing to teach by example or however else, and no lifeline is grabbed, there are no such things as irrational numbers, and you go on.

      You unfortunately do not extend the same courtesy to me. I am happy to discuss thing in a calm way.

      Tamino has never discussed anything excitedly, nor have I.

      Yet you persist in accusations of the group.

      Oh well. Another one bites the dust.

      • Sheldon Walker

        hypergeometric,

        thank you for your post.

        I appreciate the opportunity that Tamino has given me, allowing me to interact with the citizens of “Open Mind”. I expected an unfriendly reception when I came here, but Tamino has been very decent to me.

        I find it disturbing, that you think that learning is the only thing that I should be doing. And that teaching is the only thing that you should be doing.

        I came here to learn, AND to teach.

        There are 4 things that I try to remember:
        1) I do not know everything.
        2) Sometimes I make mistakes, or I am wrong.
        3) I try to learn from my mistakes.
        4) I listen to other people, because they might know something that I don’t.

        These 4 things remind me that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously.

        I suspect that many people see my list of 4 things as a sign of weakness.
        They believe that they know everything. They are never wrong, and they never make mistakes. They don’t need to learn from their mistakes, because they never make any. They don’t need to listen to other people, because they already know everything.

        By the way, I am a huge Queen fan.

      • @Sheldon Walker,

        If you haven’t noticed people learning here, you really haven’t been paying attention.

        A big part of the reason I hang out in commenting sections like Tamino’s (and Eli’s, and RealClimate, and Azimuth, and sometimes others) is because I love to learn. I attend lectures and meetups like the Boston Bayesians and read technical papers for the same.

        I learn from Tamino all the time. A case in point is the recent analysis where he introduced a regime discontinuity to explain (I believe?) a change in temperature in 1938. Normally, when using, for example, spline fits, you assume equality of value and the first derivative at a knot, which can be thought of as a changepoint of fitting convenience. Kalman filters assume a certain smoothness and continuity as well (*). Tamino showed that sometimes things change so much at one of these that they really need to be thought of as before and after. And, in doing so, he opened my eyes to an amazing literature and an R package which just talks about this. These are more than changepoint analysis, as I’ve mentioned here.

        Another example: I was mentioning a calculation I was doing and writing up in a comment about pricing clear air capture of CO2 a blog (possibly ATTP), and Dr Glen Peters of CICERO and The Global Carbon Project kindly came by and corrected something I was planning. I forgot that soils and oceans are in equilibrium with atmosphere and, so, if CO2 is removed from atmosphere, a big part of the 45% of CO2e we have emitted will come back out of those reservoirs. So, to do clear air capture you need to plan on removing all of that, not just the fraction in atmosphere.

        Dr Peters also pointed out that there’s evidence that, for instance, soils are diminishing in their effectiveness as a Carbon sink, that they can be overwhelmed (as can oceans; also see footnote(**)) if the rate of human CO2 emissions is high enough, and that it’s possible if things warm or under some CO2 concentrations, the soils could become a net Carbon source like soils in the tropics apparently are now. This fascinated me, and launched me off into exploring the literature on these, both at the Ecological Society of America (of which I am a member) and elsewhere, The latest installment of that adventure is available.

        The usual response that a body interested in learning has when finding out something like Tamino showed by example or Dr Peters indicated is to run to the library, or its virtual counterpart (e.g., scholar.google.com) to read and learn more, and possibly invest in a couple of books (Principles of Planetary Climate, Descriptive Physical Oceanography, Physical Hydrology, to give 3 examples in my case), not come back and be argumentative.

        Indeed, here, even the discussions are a reason for me to find and read side literature about a subject before I comment. I have learned a tremendous amount through that practice. I’m sure I have tons more to learn. And there are always new questions, as you can see in that blog post.

        I recommend the practice.

        (*) Although if you know of a reason why a discontinuity, this can be accommodated in the Kalman-Rauch-Tung-Striebel frame. It doesn’t help as much to find these, however.

        (**) Overwhelmed but not saturated. Those are two different things. It’s just that the active interfaces to these reservoirs can only accept a certain amount of CO2 per unit time.

      • Does the basics of climate science include that our civilization may be facing an existential threat?

      • @JCH,

        Civilization might be facing an existential threat, but that does not mean humanity is, nor does it mean the biosphere is. We are definitely, irreversibly exiting a climate optimum for civilization. What its implications are far from clear.

        But we are a long way away from a runaway greenhouse.

        The existential threat to civilization is, in my opinion, as much because our joint governance has not developed to the extent to which it is capable of thinking and planning sufficiently long term, and it does not know how to deal with systems having long lags between forcings and responses, whether they are linear or not.

        Indeed, while people are talking about climate engineering of one kind or another, including direct air capture of CO2, this is a monstrously large, astronomically expensive engineering project that necessarily will take a couple of centuries, and I’m not sure, for example, civilization has the collective patience to keep paying out for it without concrete evidence that it’s doing something beneficial. And that might be civilization’s fatal flaw.

    • What you fail to understand is that creationists are not scientists. Flat Earthers are not scientists. You did not read what I wrote–I said that the theory tells you what experiments are interesting. They are precisely the experiments that could disprove your theory. Your concept of the scientific method is that of a child! Hell, most children have a more sophisticated concept than you do. Until you actually learn how science works, I don’t see much hope of you actually doing it.

      • in my continuing education on this topic (I have a History degree, was rubbish at science at school – and a proud father of 5 to boot, so have been a bit busy until recently)

        I read a great book a few years ago regarding science, and like my journey of discovery it started with a simple question – like all good science

        The author (Bill Bryson – A short History of Everything) simply asked himself a question

        “how do we know what we know?” – and it turns out as the book explains, it is science and the application of the scientific method, not perfect but as Voltaire once observed

        “perfect is the enemy of the good”

    • You have provided here a very good example of the phenomenon I noted in an earlier post: You are operating with a high school knowledge of how science works. The hypothetico-deductive model you assert is most of a century out to date. The early logical positivists would have eaten it up. But especially where experimental controls are impossible the method falls terribly short. That does not mean science cannot be done, it just means you need to learn about more advanced concepts in order to do so.

      Tobacco research might be good to study in this vein. To this day there is no hypothetico-deductive “proof” that tobacco causes cancer. Yet there really is completely overwhelming proof outside that framework.

      • I learnt pretty early on in in these discussion (with climate deniers, creationist twoofers and chemtrailers etc)

        they always demand “proof” and assume science is a method of “proving” or disproving something

        it is such a fundamental misunderstanding – you simply can’t get past first base

      • Tadaa:

        [climate deniers, creationist twoofers and chemtrailers etc] always demand “proof” and assume science is a method of “proving” or disproving something

        Yep. Proof is only for mathematics and distilled beverages. Science is about accumulating a body of justified, useful knowledge of the intersubjectively-verifiable Universe, i.e. ‘reality’. Every disciplined scientist recognizes that all such knowledge is tentative and conditional, yet what’s accumulated in the 5 centuries since the scientific revolution has swollen the global human population by a factor of 15. Science works, IOW.

    • Sheldon, warmist science is just science. Creationists, in contrast, don’t do much that can really be called science. They also happen to be evolution deniers. And warmists are not against skeptics. But we do get really tired of climate change deniers. They’re not skeptics. I, personally, cut my teeth in these battles dealing with the anti-evolution crowd. Generally, I find them more pleasant to argue with than the climate change deniers. But then, their denial doesn’t risk the deaths of millions.

      Now you, well, you say you agree with all basic climate science. I could call you a warmist, I suppose. But I think you’re just confused. You certainly haven’t put forward a coherent argument.

      • Sheldon Walker

        MartinJB,
        I was talking to a creationist, and they said that creationist science is just science. They said that warmists, in contrast, don’t do much that can really be called science. Warmists also happen to be slowdown/pause deniers.

        MartinJB, you say that warmists are not against skeptics. But I have never seen a warmist call anybody a skeptic. Warmists have been calling me a denier, for the last 10 years.

        Skeptics get really tired of climate change deniers as well (but we call them warmists).

        You said, “They’re not skeptics.” (aren’t they, you should hear what they call you).

        I find it repulsive, when people try to smear skeptics, by associating them with anti-evolution, anti-vax, and various conspiracy theories. It shows just how morally bankrupt warmists are.

        You said, “But then, their denial doesn’t risk the deaths of millions.”
        That’s right, but you want to deny cheap reliable fossil fuel based energy to BILLIONS of poor people in the world (e.g. India and Africa). You are going to condemn these people to never-ending poverty, so that you can feel good about yourself.

        You said, “Now you, well, you say you agree with all basic climate science. I could call you a warmist, I suppose.”
        Don’t call me a warmist. That is an even bigger insult than being called a denier.

      • Sheldon the Denier: you want to deny cheap reliable fossil fuel based energy to BILLIONS of poor people in the world (e.g. India and Africa). You are going to condemn these people to never-ending poverty, so that you can feel good about yourself.

        BPL: If we go on using “cheap” fossil fuels, billions of people are going to die. Development of the Third World can be done with renewables. Also, the “cheap” fossil fuels cost doesn’t count the externalities–the costs innocent third parties pay for the destruction, disease, and death fossil fuels cost. Also, wind and solar are now cheaper than coal even without the externalities counted. So your argument is specious in at least three ways.

        What a surprise.

      • Oh dear. Sheldon, not all viewpoints are created equal. Creationism is not science. Unless you decide to redefine science. I’ve spoken to enough of them, often in perfectly civil settings, and read enough of their writing to know.
        And you are still confused about skeptics vs. deniers. I have every respect for skeptics, and I have met some climate skeptics. You can actually have intelligent discussions with them. With deniers, at some point you have to give up the attempt. It’s not surprising that you find relatively few of them. It’s the same reason you find relatively few round earth or gravity or evolution skeptics. All of these things are so well established that it is hard for genuine skepticism to exist. Where I have met climate skeptics (one was a close relative), it generally came from a lack of having examined the subject and from the rank disinformation spread by the denier community. In cases where were able to really discuss matters, I am happy to say that the skepticism largely evaporated.

      • Barton, the relative costs of fossil fuels vs. solar and wind is highly situational (ignoring externalities…). But as renewables become cheaper and as storage storage becomes more affordable those situations where fossil fuels are cheaper will shrink.

      • “But I have never seen a warmist call anybody a skeptic.”

        Uh, Sheldon, didn’t Tamino say that you were a ‘skeptic’, not a ‘denier?’

      • Sheldon, please take note of the current costs of renewable energy versus fossil fuels. Lazard is an independent consultancy regularly reporting on this and related issues. Their report on the “levelized cost of energy”–a widely-used (well, pretty much standard) metric–for 2017 is out:

        https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-2017/

        I know you are busy these days, what with work and replying to all these comments, but this one is *really* important, so let me highlight a couple of numbers in the report:

        Cheapest fossil LCOE: $42-78/MWh, gas combined cycle
        Cheapest renewable LCOE: $30-60
        Cheapest solar LCOE: $43-48, Thin film utility scale

        So, no, fossil fuels are no longer ‘cheaper’–even if their pollution costs in terms of both direct toxicity and and climate change are both disregarded! (This has become apparent to a great many developing nations, which is why developing countries in general are now the hottest market for renewable energy.)

    • I have read what snarkrates wrote a few times now, and it really needs a lot of stretching and ideological filters to interpret it as “You only look for things which confirm your theory.” At no point does snarkrates state that the interesting questions that are guided by your theory should *not* include those where the answer would potentially require you to revise or reject your theory.

      I also recommend you consider your own approach regarding those “there’s a pause!” analyses. I cannot get past the very, very strong suspicion that you (ironically) set out to “confirm your theory”…

      • The main clue to me about Sheldon’s approach to this came in the previous thread where he quoted a section of the IPCC scope:

        https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/the-lowest-road/#comment-100462

        What Sheldon quoted was:

        1. Scope and Approach of the Assessment
        1.1. Mandate of the Assessment
        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1988 to assess scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information that is relevant in understanding human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation.

        ..and what Sheldon interpreted this quote to mean was:

        Their mandate was only to look for human-induced climate change. This seems a little biased to me. Why not look at climate change from all possible causes?

        The key phrase in the IPCC scope is “relevant in understanding human-induced climate change“. Sheldon has translated this to “only look for human-induced climate change

        To equate “relevant in understanding” and “only look for” shows not only a complete lack of understanding as to what science does to “understand” a topic, but shows a tremendous lack of ability to understand the nuances of the English language.

        It also shows a complete lack of knowledge of what the IPCC has done. Although I own a paper copy of the 1990 IPCC report, I decided to try to find out how long it would take me to find information on it online. A google of “IPCC report 1990 table of contents” provide search results where the first item was a page with a link to the Summary for Policy Makers’ table of contents:

        https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/1992%20IPCC%20Supplement/IPCC_1990_and_1992_Assessments/English/ipcc_90_92_assessments_far_contents.pdf

        …in which we see:

        Policymaker Summary of Working Group I (Scientific Assessment of Climate Change)
        Executive Summary
        1 Introduction: What is the issue ?
        2. What factors determine global climate?
        […etc…]

        This took all of a few minutes. So, in just a few minutes, Sheldon could have found out just how wrong he is about what the IPCC has done and what science they have looked at. In short, to understand the human role, you need to look at all factors, and that is exactly what the IPCC reviewed. And this is from the late 1980s, early 1990s – 30 years ago. It is a trivial exercise to find out just how wrong Sheldon’s interpretation is. To paraphrase The Big Bang Theory, this is not wrong in the “a tomato is a vegetable” class, this is wrong in the “a tomato is a suspension bridge” class.

        If you are still reading this, Sheldon:

        1) There is so much that you “know” that has come from completely unreliable sources. That “knowledge” is something that you desperately need to unlearn before you will be able to make any progress.

        2) There is so much in basic science and the scientific method that you need to learn before you will stop making the huge number of elementary mistakes that you are making.

        3) If you think that presenting these bit of wrong information in a strong, assertive manner makes you look better, you are wrong there, too. At least, when you are speaking in an environment with people that really do have strong knowledge in these areas. (Mine is 40 years of study (to PhD), research, and working in areas of climatology and atmospheric science.)

        4) Go back in time (figuratively speaking) and find the 1990 IPCC report. Not only is it a good introduction to “warmist” climate change science, it is a good introduction to climatology in general.

        5) Stop thinking of people that have come to different conclusions than you have as “enemies”.

        A little learning is a dangerous thing;
        drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
        there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
        and drinking largely sobers us again.
        Alexander Pope, An essay on Criticism
        English poet & satirist (1688 – 1744)

      • The main clue to me about Sheldon’s approach to this came in the previous thread

        My main clue to his approach came in The Phantom Tollbooth, which I read as a teenager. IMO, Sheldon Walker bears multiple resemblances to <a href="The Terrible Trivium:

        He likes doing things that are not important. His nails are clean. He is well mannered, but wants everyone to do trivial tasks and not important ones. He made Milo move some sand with tweezers, Tock fill a well with a dropper and the Humbug make a hole in a cliff with a needle.

        Y’all go ahead and enjoy yourselves, I’m done with him.

      • Blog commenting tip: superflous html fragments that are all too apparent on Open Mind may be rendered out by RC’s instant preview feature 8^(.

  48. Richard Simons

    Sheldon:
    But scientists do not try to prove their theory correct, if for no other reason that this can’t be done. What they do is try to falsify it, then after repeated unsuccessful attempts conclude that their theory is probably correct. If you think otherwise, your science education was probably not as strong as you believe. What you described is similar to the creationist idea of doing science.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Richard,
      I agree completely with what you said.

      Some people who ask a scientist for proof, do not understand that science does not deal in proof.

      But some people who ask a scientist for proof, are really asking for evidence (but they use the wrong word).

  49. Oh..my..god
    Vacuous blather from beginning to end. No facts, no science , no logic …nothing.

    Do you now think you can reason with this denier, Tamino? You thought you had someone who might be a bit reasonable, who might show a bit of intellectual integrity…and he turns out to be denier concern troll par excellence, repeating the same ol’ crap that every run of the mill denier repeats. Well, at least you can’t say you didn’t try.

    I had my doubts from the very beginning of this thread; the way he wasn’t engaging seriously and cracking jokes but saying nothing of substance. A bit of a narcissist too; a lot of talking about himself, his feelings etc., telling us how good he is with science and maths _ everything except some science.

    If the collective effort of some of the smartest and most knowledgeable people I’ve come accross in the blogosphere can’t convince him, there’s no hope for that bloke. Same ol’ denier tactics: make a lot of unsubstantiated assertions about what the IPCC does, or doesn’t do, scientists cherry picking blahblahblah..; goes around the bush; when someone rebuts something he says he just ignores them and talks about something else. And they wonder why we call them deniers.

    According to Sheldon there are two lots of sciences: the science that the IPCC cherry picks and then there’s the inconvenient science that the IPCC leaves out because it doesn’t fit the warming narrative. So what’s stopping sciency deniers from revealing to the world that alternative non-AGW science that the IPCC is ignoring.

    (Addressing Sheldon directly) Are the the little pauses you’re working on an example of the science you accuse warmists of ignoring? Please reveal your alternative science Sheldon, which we’ll call denier science. Sheldon, you say you’re a strong believer in science but it’s not the science the IPCC follows, so please tell us what is this denier science that you think should be considered. Earlier on you pooh-poohed the 97% consensus and yet the best your side can produce is the Oregon petition? If those consensus studies are so flawed, why can’t deniers conduct a simple study of the climate science community to the very high scientific standards that the denier community holds itself to (cough…cough…) to gauge the real degree of consensus. Any ideas Sheldon?

    I’ll end on a question about what’s been keeping you busy lately _ finding little pauses. What are you trying to achieve? I don’t know any math (let alone statistics) or science so I’m a bit of a dummy in that respect, but I learn quite a bit reading what the smart people have to say, and what they say is that there’s no change in the long term trend. So when the hottest eight or nine years in the climate record have happened in the last decade (not sure the exact numbers), what significance do your litlle pauses have. Are you trying to say the climate is not warming? You could have saved yourself a lot of time and effort by just copying the Skeptical Science Escalator; it shows a lot of pauses, and yet here we are: 2016 the hottest year and 2017 hottest without El Nino.

    Hang on, one last point Sheldon. ” Follow the money”. Jeesus…for a supposedly very smart person (your self-assessment) you come up with the dumbest, oldest denier memes in the book. I didn’t realize the Koch brothers were struggling so much that they can’t afford to fund some denier science. But then you said the IPCC was ignoring the denier science, which implies there’s some out there, and yet “following the money” implies that warmist science is funded by big money, government money supposedly, and the denier science can’t compete with that. I’m all confused. Is there or is there not any denier science out there _ the science that you follow and warmists ignore? And what’s money got to do with it; does it require lots of money, more that the Kochs have? Does that mean denier science doesn’t exist because it needs a lot money and the government is not giving denier scientists any? I’m really, really confused. Please explain how it works, and even better SHOW US THE SCIENCE !!

  50. Sheldon:

    Let me calmly say that lecturing scientists about how to do science using a level of scientific research knowledge apparently gleaned from the back of a cereal box is either the height of arrogance, the abyss of ignorance, or both.

    Re. your lecture on how to gain scientific knowledge: Do you have even the least notion that whole vast areas of science oh, like, including the majority of astrophysics/astronomy, much of particle physics, much of ecology, most of paleo(_anything_), most of seismology, most of environmental health (e.g., tobacco/asbestos/lead, etc. all of which have suffered from deniers as well), lots of biology, and of course much of the various climate sciences don’t even DO experiments? And I’ve only scratched the surface of fields which do not–indeed cannot even in principle–do experiments.

    Tamino gave you a great chance and you use it up by lecturing professional scientists with decades of hard experience about how to do their profession rather than what they have found? Good Lord. I go with arrogance as the underlying cause,personally.

    • Sheldon Walker

      jgnfld,

      I am not lecturing scientists. I am discussing the philosophy of science and knowledge.

      If you read any of my comments about scientists in this thread, you will see that I an NOT disrespectful to scientists. I even considered becoming one.

      If you think that my knowledge is gleaned from the back of a cereal box, you should read about my education in these 2 posts.

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/consequences/#comment-100707

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/consequences/#comment-100871

      Do you have a science education as good as mine?

      You seem to be suffering from a severe case of “skeptic envy”.

      If you want to see arrogance, try looking in a mirror.

      • Far better education. Doctorate plus decades of professional level research stats work (though in nonphysics areas and the majority in tech report form).

        I read about your education. It’s nice. It provides you with no basis whatever to lecture professional scientists about science.

        And no you were not “discussing” the philosophy of science. You were giving a kindergarten lecture to doctoral level people here on the hypothetico-deductive (experimental) model which does not even apply to much/most of climate science since experiments are impossible in many cases in this area. [FYI, the hypothetico-deductive model actually doesn’t actually _require_ experiments, but apparently you are not aware of that.] If you are truly interested in this area of philosophy one good place to start is the entry on “induction” in the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy.

        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/

        It provides a nice introduction to many of the issues.

        Anyway, as I said, you have blown the opening tamino gave you very badly. For example, you might ask some of the people here how they work and come to conclusions. Actually you don’t have to ask, many have already given key pointers. You’ve just rejected their input. Talk about arrogance.

      • We only have your word for your so-called education.

      • OMG, Sheldon, your science education?! Many of the people replying to you have graduate degrees in the sciences, many of those plus many others have careers in the sciences, some of all the above are in climatology and closely related fields. It’s actually kind of sad how unaware you are of how little you know.

  51. Sheldon,
    I think much of what you are doing is what I and others here would call data dredging. You are trying to look at large numbers of possible relationships between variables without any hypothesis about the underlying mechanism. Now while as a method for generating hypotheses this is fine, there is always the risk of apparent patterns turning up by chance. You do not draw conclusions from this sort of analysis. What it can do is turn up things for further investigation but apparently significant things found this way often are not.
    You’ve been looking through the data searching for interesting patterns. They need to be checked and not presented as significant. What you have been doing is exploratory data analysis. It does not confirm anything.

  52. Sheldon,
    Graph the following series of ordered pairs
    1,2
    2,7
    3,1
    4,8
    5,2
    6,8
    7,1
    8,8
    9,2
    10,8
    Is this series periodic? Based on your answer, predict the next number in the series.

    The answer: 4

    The y values of this series are the digits in e, the base of Napierian logarithms. Because it is a transcendental number, the digits cannot be periodic. This is a cautionary example–it is very risky to posit periodic variation unless
    1) you have many periods
    2) you understand the forcing that is driving the periodicity.

    Periodic functions form a complete set. If you add enough in series you can reproduce any shape you want.
    “Give me 4 parameters and I will fit an elephant; 5 and I will make him wiggle his trunk.”–John Von Neumann.

  53. Also realize that what is signal and what is noise depends on what the question is that you are trying to answer. Here most most of us see the main question as what is the long term trend , the one that we can expect to continue into the future?
    Those working in the field have Clearly defined hypotheses here that are amenable to testing. Unfortunately we can only test simple approximations to what is happening but that is sufficient
    The error structure is a complicated one. Also there are processes occurring that do not have a trend but can cause large short term wobbles. Some of them are known and there are measurements available of them. Some of these are volcanic aerosols, Solar irradiation and ocean cycles such as the Southern Oscillation. We can treat them as part of the noise or we can put them in the model as auxiliary variables. Some of them can cause large wobbles around the trend. What you are doing ends u focusing on these wobbles and confusing them with the signal.
    Basically your main mistake is that you have not left the hypothesis generation stage and have not formulated testable hypotheses. Thus you have no definition of signal or noise to test.

  54. For those who might be misled by S the D’s version of science, let me point out that science never proves a theory and statistics never proves a hypothesis. Proof is for mathematics or formal logic. Science can only disprove theories. Anyone who thinks that makes science a weak way of investigating things needs to learn more about science.

  55. Sheldon Walker

    Mike Roberts,

    you have made a long reply. I will try to respond.

    You said, “This is a catalog of denier soundbites.”
    The term “soundbite” means “a very short speech; usually on radio or television”. It does not mean something that is wrong.

    I said, “The earth has warmed by about 1 degree Celsius over the last 100 years. If you could take all of the temperature change from the last 100 years, and apply it to a human instantly, then they probably wouldn’t be able to detect it.”

    You said, “This statement has multiple problems but I guess it isn’t a scientific statement so perhaps I shouldn’t get so hung up.”

    Mike, it IS a scientific statement.
    Warmists have chosen the wrong person to argue with, when they argue with me.

    I detailed elsewhere in this thread, in a reply to Barry, my good science education. I didn’t tell Barry the whole story. I told Barry about the science based intermediate year that I did, doing stage 1 physics, stage 1 biology, and honours school stage 2 chemistry.

    As part of a 4 year course, I did 3 years of psychology, up to stage 3. Psychology is a “soft” science, unlike physics and chemistry, which are “hard” sciences. It was so long ago, that I can’t remember my exact marks, but I think that I got mostly A’s and A+’s (because that is what I usually get). Not trying to brag, but to prove that I am not exaggerating, I did a Bachelor of Commerce, as a second degree more recently. It consisted of 21 papers. I got 12 A+’s, 5 A’s, and 4 A-‘s.

    Anyway, back to the main story. I got the Psychology Prize for stage 1 Psychology.

    As a holiday job, I helped a psychology professor do his thesis. It was on whether people could alter their heart rate using biofeedback. I did some of the basic work for him, analysing results, drawing graphs, etc. He mentioned me in the introduction to his thesis.

    I did psychology labs where we had to teach hooded rats to push a lever and turn a light on. I was very bad at doing this. Most people taught their first rat to push the lever It took me 3 rats to get the lever pushed. I was a slow learner, but I like to think that I learned more than the other people in the lab. I got an A+ for that paper.

    I did a number of stage 2 and stage 3 psychology papers about human perception. Especially vision and hearing. So I know quite a bit when it comes to experiments.

    Or am I just a stupid denier?

    We did one experiment (yes, a real scientific experiment) to find out what concentration of sugar solution a human could detect. We used solutions of sugar, of different concentrations. The test subject would taste a solution, and say whether they thought that it contained sugar. We plotted the concentrations of the solutions, against the probability that the test subject thought that the solution contained sugar. We got a nice curve, rather than a sharp cutoff. The higher the concentration of the sugar solution, the more likely it was that the test subject could detect the sugar.

    So when I made the statement about a human probably being unable to detect a 1 degree Celsius temperature change instantaneously, that was my professional opinion.

    Now, remember that hooded rat, that I taught to push a lever. We used a piece of wheat as the reward. If you would like to press the space bar on your keyboard, a piece of chocolate will pop out of your screen.

    ==========

    In terms of human perception, there is little difference between 1.0 degree Celsius, and 1.3 degrees Celsius. Especially when spread over 100 years.

    Yes, I should have said “the earth’s surface”, rather than “the earth”. But how much has the rest of the earth warmed?

    I said, “it is probably the equivalent of 5 minutes of normal sunlight hitting the earth.”

    You said, “Well, yes, I’ve never been happy with the comparison to atomic bombs either but it does convey the sheer amount of energy that is being retained due to AGW.

    I agree, but do YOU realise how big the atmosphere is? The energy gets spread over an enormous volume.

    Do you realise that EVERY DAY over land, the temperature rises and falls by an average of about 10 degrees Celsius? Most people don’t die from that. The difference between summer and winter can be 30 degrees Celsius. Most people don’t die from that.

    How about 1 billion cars, and 7.5 billion people cooking dinner every night. I told Barry that I accepted his research that said that these activities did not produce a significant amount of heat.

    IMPORTANT POINT: notice how I accepted what a warmist told me, and admitted that I was wrong about something.
    I have not seen warmists do this very often. Is that because they know everything?

    I said, “Surprisingly, the year with the greatest warming rate was 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm.”

    You said, “A warming rate for one year? What point are you making exactly and what does a warming rate for one year mean, especially as an isolated figure?”

    I know that this is hard for warmists to understand, but each year does have a warming rate.

    You said, “It makes sense to look at changes over 20 or 30 year periods to get a feel for what’s happening.”

    Yes, it makes sense, if you want to ignore slowdowns and pauses. It makes sense, if you want to avoid embarassing facts, like the fact that the year with the greatest warming rate is 1937.

    You said, “That’s what Tamino does regularly. You might learn a few things if you read his posts.”

    Mike, I read Tamino’s posts on a regular basis. The warmists on this website don’t realise, but I have been visiting this website regularly for over a year. I look at what is happening, and read the posts. It might surprise you to find out that I agree with many of the things that Tamino says. Not everything, but quite a bit. I am mainly motivated by mathematics and science, so I can’t disagree with everything that Tamino says.

    Here is my list of the websites that I visit regularly. You might be surprised by some of them:

    wattsupwiththat.com
    judithcurry.com
    joannenova.com.au
    drroyspencer.com
    climateaudit.org
    skepticalscience.com
    moyhu.blogspot.co.nz
    tamino.wordpress.com
    andthentheresphyics.com
    syfy.com/tags/bad-astronomy
    realclimate.org/

    You can see that I like to keep up with both sides of global warming. I look and read, more than I comment. What I am doing here at Tamino’s “Open Mind”, is unusual for me.

    I said, “There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate. How do you explain that?”

    You said,”Was that a serious question? Do you really think the warming within one year is significant when talking about CO2 levels? Why do you feel it needs an explanation?”

    There is no such thing as a stupid question. Except for a question that isn’t asked.

    I like that saying. But as Scott Adams said, “What sort of a question does a stupid person ask? A smart one?”

    Mike, if the year with the greatest warming rate was 2016, would you be so quick to dismiss it? Warmists have a habit of pretending that inconvenient facts are not important. But convenient facts are the most important thing in the world.

    And you wonder why I am skeptical.

    • @Sheldon Walker,

      I said, “The earth has warmed by about 1 degree Celsius over the last 100 years. If you could take all of the temperature change from the last 100 years, and apply it to a human instantly, then they probably wouldn’t be able to detect it.

      <>

      Or am I just a stupid denier?

      Well, this quote is not an indication of stupidity, and it may or may not be indicative of a denier (that depends upon intent), but it is not scientifically careful. I think that’s the point of much of the discussion.

      As remarked, at least in my comment, an average warmed across Earth’s surface of +1C is not an average warming of +1C over land surfaces. I don’t know what the expected value of warming conditional upon it being done on land is, but, given the ECS overall vs ECS given land, I’d estimate it to be +2C to +3C. And that is something that definitely would be noticed. +2C is about +3F.

      Anyone know what the warming contingent upon being on land is presently?

    • Sheldon said “I said, “There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate. How do you explain that?””

      Umm, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the rate of warming is not really a function of the absolute level of CO2. You could have zero warming at any CO2 concentration once you reach equilibrium. I would think the rate of warming is a function of the difference between the current temperature and the equilibrium temperature for the current CO2 concentration. Would that be right?

    • Sheldon, I don’t wonder why you regard yourself as skeptical but I do wonder why you claim to want to keep up with “both sides” of the argument and yet appear more comfortable with the non-scientific denier side although you did claim to believe that most climate science is done with an eye on the money, rather than the science (so, is there actually another “side” to the argument in your eyes?).

      When I asked if it was a “serious” question, you responded as though I inferred your question was “stupid”. This is a poor debating tactic. I made no such claim. I don’t think it was a stupid question, though I did think it wasn’t serious; instead, it was intended to deflect. And yet you still haven’t said why it needs an explanation and, indeed, haven’t (as far as I can tell) even shown that the one year rate of 1937 was the highest in the historical record. In case you’re wondering, I don’t think it’s an important question but maybe your explanation for why you think it is could change my mind.

      A lot of the websites you visit don’t surprise me at all. Some surprise me only slightly but the list is meaningless without understanding which of those sites you consider having learned most from, regarding climate change

      do YOU realise how big the atmosphere is?

      I haven’t been much impressed by such arguments for quite a long time (this, indeed, was one of my favourite arguments (turns out to be a non-argument) when I was a fervent AGW denier.. For someone who claims to have an interest in science, that you still use that argument is much more of a surprise than the fact that you visit SkepticalScience regularly. What are the impacts of the warming? is a much more important issue. We’re already seeing measureable impacts and there is a lot more warming to come.

      I have not seen warmists do this [accept what a denier says] very often. Is that because they know everything?

      No, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention or because deniers almost never have any verifiable counter to the actual science of climate. In fact, I often argue with the catstrophists about what the science shows. This is primarliy because the facts are scary enough; there is no need to exaggerate them. I’ve looked at various denier arguments too and they have never lived up to scrutiny. Mind you, the deniers can’t even get their story straight; there are multiple theories about what is causing the warming (that’s when the deniers admit that there is warming).

      So, there are many questions you still haven’t answered on this “consequences” thread. You seem to have admitted that, whether there was a slowdown or not, the long term trend is continuing. So do you think there are, or will be, overall bad consequences from that warming (and associated changes). If so, what do you think humans should do about their contribution to that warming?

    • “Do you realise that EVERY DAY over land, the temperature rises and falls by an average of about 10 degrees Celsius”

      Sheldon, an n degree C increase in average global surface temperature is simply a way of measuring how much more heat energy is in the entire global climate system. By arguments such as the above, you seem to argue that, for instance, a future 7-12 degree C increase (or even reasonably close to it) over the next couple or so centuries would be not that much of a big deal. (I speak of the next couple or so centuries because there is every reason to believe that global warming will not stop in 2100 even though various scenarios for the future go only to 2100.)

      Well, if this is what you argue, then you would be very, very wrong.

      What is your attitude towards the professionally refereed scientific literature published in reputable journals? The reason I ask is because this literature proves you very wrong. For example, this paper (which has not been refuted by the rest of the literature in question taken in its ongoing aggregate)
      An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress
      http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552
      shows that a 7-12 degree C increase in average global temperature over the next couple or so centuries would make much of the planet (much of the tropics and subtropics) uninhabitable for some modern species, specifically warm blooded species like some modern birds and land mammals, and that means humans included. It would make the typical summertime highs of what is called the wet bulb temperature in places like central and south Florida, it would kill in about 6 hours a human being. Wet bulb temperatures this extreme are roughly at least 95 degrees F (again, this is the wet bulb temp, not the dry bulb temp), which would mean that the heat index would be roughly 176-196 degrees F or even higher. (The wet bulb temperature uses a formula that combines the dry bulb temp with measures of humidity and barometric pressure.)

      Don’t forget that if this planet warms up less than but still reasonably close to 7 degrees C over the next couple or so centuries, it still means a tremendous amount of pressure on populations of mammals including human civilization, since things don’t have to get to the point where all of the population dies off to get to this amount of pressure. It would take only a small but still meaningful percentage of said population dying off each summer to make such populations in such parts of the planet nonviable, and again, this could easily happen with a less than but still reasonably close to 7 degrees C increase over the next couple or so centuries.

      And don’t forget that the literature in question shows that via increased evaporation by increased heat energy, global warming has increased the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere by about 4% between 1970 and 2010. And so over time, the wet bulb temps F will slowly at first but increasingly over time accelerate up much faster than the dry bulb temps F. And it’s the summertime wet bulb temps F – not the dry bulb temps F – that will mean the difference between viable and nonviable land mammal populations, including human populations. (With online heat index calculators like this one
      https://www.weather.gov/epz/wxcalc_heatindex
      one can observe this acceleration in question.

      For example, even while the dry bulb temp is fixed, one can see the heat index accelerate upward. Fixed at 100 F, relative humidity measures of 30, 60, and 90 percent give heat indexes of roughly 103, 130, and 175 degrees F. Here in south/central Florida, we occasionally see summertime highs as high as 95-100 F with heat indexes maybe 10 degrees higher, close to 110 degrees F. An at least occasional summertime high temperature at this location in a couple or so centuries of 105 degrees could very well happen (a dry bulb increase of only several degrees), and a relative humidity of 75 percent gives a heat index of roughly 176 degrees F. This is vastly worse than the present, and since typical summertime highs could be less but still giving heat indexes vastly worse than the present, meaningful bird and mammal populations will not be viable here. (The only viability for wild mammals in such areas of the planet would be to have cooler micro environments in the summertime like caves to retreat into. As for farm animals here: In recent years I hear more and more about farm animals in this state including chickens dying from heat stress. In the future in question, forget it.)

      (Side notes: Please don’t put forth the nonsense that humans can adapt to such. Too much work and other activities will always need to be done outdoors. Consider that human civilization becomes nonviable in such locations if every time there’s a loss of air conditioning via power failure there’s an unacceptable rate of morbidity or death from overheating, where this unacceptable rate could still be a small percentage of the population. As for not being to tell a difference from a 1 degree C increase in the average global surface temp can cause: I’m in my lower 60s. I’ve lived in Florida all but one of those years, and I can most certainly feel quite a difference over the years. What’s most noticeable to me over the past decades is the increased humidity that makes it feel hotter even if the dry bulb temperature is even a little lower. It’s more difficult to enjoy the outdoors especially during the summers. So don’t tell me I can’t feel the difference that even a 1 degree C increase in the average global surface temp can cause.)

      If you still don’t get it, consider the scientific fact that modern birds and mammals evolved over the last few tens of millions of years on a relatively cooler planet, and so did not evolve the physical capacity to lose heat via evaporation fast enough to avoid overheating if the wet bulb temp gets too high. (I note that one can kill a modern bird in a cage by heat stress even in an air conditioned environment by simply putting the cage next to a window. Yet a cat can handle the heat from the sunlight quite well, enjoying it. But again, in those environments further in the future where the summertime wet bulb temps more and more become too high, more and more we will see birds and mammals not being able to handle the heat stress eventually to the point of population nonviability.)

      Read the following article, which gives quotes by the authors of said paper.

      Researchers find future temperatures could exceed livable limits
      http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100504HuberLimits.html

      Here’s a quote by one of the authors on that roughly 95 degree wet bulb temp:
      “The wet-bulb limit is basically the point at which one would overheat even if they were naked in the shade, soaking wet and standing in front of a large fan,” Sherwood said. “Although we are very unlikely to reach such temperatures this century, they could happen in the next.”

      I repeat: Ultimately, for the future viability of some bird and mammalian populations on some of the planet, it’s about the future increase in wet bulb temps, not so much the dry bulb temps – it’s about the future increase in water vapor (which itself is a powerful greenhouse gas, don’t forget). (Again, there’s already a 4% global increase 1970-2010.)

    • Sheldon, a suggestion:

      Drop the hubris.

      Quite a few people here likely have had a science education that far surpasses yours: they’ve done a PhD, worked for years in academia, *designed* the experiments to answer research questions – not uncommonly completely from scratch -, wrote papers for scientific journals putting the data and potential new insights into a broader perspective, taught young scientists, had fierce discussions at conferences, in peer reviews, and even more commonly at the project group meetings, etc. etc.

      I myself can raise your “science education” with 20+ years of the above experience. And that experience tells me that “inconvenient facts” highlighted by pseudoskeptics usually are not “inconvenient facts”, but easily explainable facts or irrelevant facts. Year-to-year variability will *of course* be unrelated to (changing) CO2 levels, as anyone who understands the role of CO2 in the atmosphere will know. And that, Sheldon, are mostly those on the ‘warmist’ side. So, yes, you will find far fewer ‘warmists’ (in particular on the ‘warmist’ websites you read) who have to correct something, because they are less likely to make mistakes, because they already understand the science!

      Note that humans most assuredly can detect an instantaneous change in temperature of 1 degree, if we have direct contact with the object that changes temperature. This is *my* professional opinion – and I can point you to some scientific papers on what that opinion is based.

      • “Note that humans most assuredly can detect an instantaneous change in temperature of 1 degree, if we have direct contact with the object that changes temperature.”

        I haven’t done a psychophysics study since since the 70s as a research assistant, but that was my memory as well. Thanks for corroborating it.

      • With respect to detecting one degree of difference in environmental temperature, it is of course trivial to note the difference between just above freezing and just below, provided you can observe water in the environment around you. The difference between snow and rain often swings on a single degree.

      • I know that I can easily tell if my internal body temperature is one Celcius degree above normal: I feel like $#!^. If it were four degrees above normal, I probably wouldn’t feel anything, though – I’d probably be dead.

        And the earth was in the middle of a major glacial period the last time temperatures were 4-6C below current values. I”d hardly call that an insignificant difference.

        An increase of 1C is equivalent to roughly a latitude shift of 2 (angular) degrees. 4C gets you close to 10 degrees of latitude. That’s enough to shift some species well out of their zones of adaptation.

  56. It appears from Walker’s last post that he does not understand the difference between a yearly average temperature and rate of temperature change. Is his “year with the greatest warming rate was 1937” measured form January 1 of that year to December 31? What a load of rubbish.

    Walker has to learn that getting a degree in a science subject does not automatically make one a scientist. I can think of a few AGW deniers who claim to have science degrees that I would never call “scientist”.

  57. Since this is a semi-open-thread kind of place, anyone read Eli’s neat idea over at RRun? I am also intrigued by John O’Neill’s suggestion in the comments.

  58. Sheldon Walker

    #################################
    ## ##
    ## CITIZENS OF OPEN MIND ##
    ## ##
    #################################

    Hello everybody,

    I would like to offer you the opportunity to prove that I am a BIG PHONEY.

    Many of you will know, that I developed a type of graph, which I call a Global Warming Contour Map (GWCM).

    You can see one here:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/04/new-website-provides-strong-evidence-of-the-recent-warming-slowdown/

    Tamino does not seem to like my graph.

    I am frustrated that people will not give my graph a fair chance, to show that it is useful.

    I would like to give people detailed information about the graph, including example graphs which show how it works.

    – I can show you how to identify El Nino’s and La Nina’s.

    – I can show you why the 1998 El Nino does not appear to be centred on 1998.

    – I can show you a 200 year cooling trend, that I found by accident. Is it real, and what caused it?

    – I can show you the cooling trend that caused the ice-age scare in the 1970’s.

    – We can compare land-ocean contour maps (like GISTEMP), with satellite contour maps (like UAH and RSS).

    – We can look at RATPAC contour maps (Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate). Otherwise known as weather balloons. What is happening in the stratosphere?

    – We can look at Central England Temperature contour maps (CET). The longest temperature series in the world – from 1660.

    – We can look at the amount of global warming that has happened.

    – We can look at the mysterious slowdown/pause. Did I fake it, just to annoy warmists?

    – And so much more.

    I would like to do this on Tamino’s website, Open Mind. But I need Tamino’s permission to do this (and his help to create the web pages).

    I made a request to Tamino in the “Consequences” thread on February 23, 2018 at 11:37 am. He has not replied. It may be that he missed my post, or he may still be thinking about it.

    The biggest advantage of using Tamino’s website, is that everything will be in one place, and people will be able to add and see comments.

    If Tamino does not want me to use his website, then I could investigate setting up my own website. Another option would be to use email to send text and graphs to people.

    In addition, for a limited number of people, I am willing to create one of my graphs using a temperature series that is created by those people.

    – they can make any temperature series that they want.

    – there are only a few rules, for example, there is little point in having a temperature of 1,000,000 degrees Celsius.

    – anything that is reasonable is acceptable.

    – the temperature series can have warming and/or cooling and/or slowdowns and/or pauses.

    – the temperature series can include autocorrelation. Any kind (e.g. AR, ARIMA).

    – the temperature series can include a random component.

    – I am happy for people to try their hardest to break my graph.

    If a person knows what they put into their temperature series, then they can look at the corresponding graph, and see if the graph makes sense. There is probably no better test for my graph.

    This is a genuine offer.

    This is your chance to humiliate me in front of all of your friends.

    Please reply with your thoughts about this.

    If you like the idea, then please let Tamino know what you think.

    [Response: No. I will not host your graphs or your posts on my blog.]

    • Walker says: “I would like to offer you the opportunity to prove that I am a BIG PHONEY.”

      We don’t need to do anything to show you as a ” BIG PHONEY”. You are doing an excellent job showing us that by the rubbish you are posting.

  59. There comes a point when trying to discuss science with someone who willfully misunderstands the basics is just a waste of time. After all that has been said, Sheldon still wants to discuss noise instead of signal, and shows no interest in learning how to think about the difference. He’s under the impression his paltry exposure to science gives him some authority, but he reveals with every post he wouldn’t even know what a scientific debate would look like, and doesn’t recognise that, in most cases, he is replying to people with superior understanding of science. Every single comment from folks more knowledgeable than him is met with a cute retort about warmists being dumb/biased/gullible. I was hoping he would man up and discuss the issues calmly and intelligently, but I see no evidence of any desire on his part to do so. Chess and pigeons…

  60. Hyperactive Hydrologist

    Sheldon,

    Scientists don’t read blogs to learn about climate science they read papers and text books. I would recommend you start with IPCC AR5 as it is basically a review of the recent science. If you don’t agree with the IPCC’s conclusion, read the papers that it references.

  61. Sheldon: “That’s right, but you want to deny cheap reliable fossil fuel based energy to BILLIONS of poor people in the world (e.g. India and Africa).”

    So, Sheldon, why do you want to deny them a 21st century energy infrastructure and stick them instead with an unhealthy, polluted 19th/20th century infrastructure? Do you want them to light their streets with whale oil, as well?

    Out of curiosity, have you ever been to India? To Africa? I have. And you know what? The poor there don’t use fossil fuels. You can’t afford “cheap” fossil fuels on $2 a day. So yet again, you base your position on ignorance. It is as if you are afraid to learn anything about the real world. Now why is that?

    • @Sheldon Walker but just happened to be responding to @Snarkrates,

      The other thing about pushing fossil fuel energy for poor countries is that it is imposing a centralized energy infrastructure on top of them. A not-so-well-known aspect of the solar-wind-storage-microgrid energy revolution is that it democratizes energy production and, despite all the complaints about “resiliency”, is more robust in countries with unstable politics. Indeed, even in the United States, a subtext to the opposition some utilities and RTOs mount against distributed generation is that if it were to dominate, their influence would be significantly weakened. Those who control energy production wield considerable political power. Take back control of the energy supply and you take back control of democracy.

      And, if the fossil fuel devil is pursued in poor countries, then pipelines, refineries, distribution centers need to be built and can be controlled by a privileged few.

      • Don’t forget the volatility of fossil fuel prices and exchange rates. The rich, developed world has a lot more slack to deal with these ups and downs. In poorer, emerging markets an upswing in fuel prices (or a downswing in the local currency) can mean having to choose between continuing to operate powered devices and food…

  62. Sheldon Walker,
    You will recall up-thread that I provided you a ‘doppleganger’ of your 2015 graphic that was immune to autocorrelytis etc which I said held some points of interest and that I also indicated I would ‘plle in’ on the subject of that 1937 rate of warming shown in the graphic.
    And on this last point you continue to make out that your question

    “The CO2 level is now over 400 ppm, why is the warming rate lower than it was in 1937, when the CO2 level was about 300 ppm? There has been a 33% increase in the CO2 level since 1937, but no increase in the warming rate.”

    So let’s address the apparent inconsistency that you apparently see as intractable.

    It is not the level CO2 that defines the rate of global warming. It is not even the rate of change of the level of CO2. Simplistically, it is the rate of change of the net climate forcing, to which should be added the effect of unforced variations like ENSO. As has been stated more than once in the above comment thread, the average decadal rate of global warming is quite irrelevant. In other words, the 10-year while rate of global warming may have peaked at +0.48ºC/decade in May 1937 (compared with peaking at +0.45ºC/decade in recent months due to the 2016 El Nino), these peak rates of warming are not the result of AGW but due to the wobbles that are imposed on top of AGW by natural variation and natural forcings.
    So what the ‘doppleganger’ graph actually shows regarding AGW is that during the period 1890-1940 when net climate forcing was in the long-term increasing at an average rate of 0.15W/m^2/decade (as per IPCC AR5 AII), the average rate of warming was +0.06ºC/decade. And during the period 1975-2017 when the average rate of AGW was three-times faster at +0.45Wm^-2, the average rate of warming was also three-times faster at +0.175ºC/decade.
    Of course, this is all a little simplistic but you should be advised that the finding is well-founded. Your grand inconsistency is thus disappeared.

  63. Sheldon: “If you think that my knowledge is gleaned from the back of a cereal box, you should read about my education in these 2 posts…
    Do you have a science education as good as mine?”

    How absolutely, fricking adorable! Dude! You are dealing on this website with people who have PhDs in physics, chemistry, math, stats… Some of us are recognized experts in our fields with dozens of publications. And many of us have brought our scientific backgrounds to bear on the study of climate for over a decade! I have a PhD in physics with over 30 years of experience. I’ve published papers on statistical analysis of data in my field. And I would never presume that I could teach Tamino and many others here about their fields. Do you really think your little graph is going to undo 200 years of climate science?

    Some drink deep at the fountain of knowledge. Some merely gargle and spit it out.

    • Sheldon, per snarkrates’s comment: Notice that until now I have refrained from mentioning my own qualifications, for the reason snarkrates gave–“I would never presume that I could teach Tamino and many others here about their field.” But since your misunderstanding of your relative qualifications is so profound and persistent, I’ll tell you that I have a PhD. It was a multidisciplinary PhD program that I designed for myself, funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. For lack of a precisely accurate title for that program, officially the degree was in Experimental Psychology. But really I intended to (and did) become a scientific research methodologist, by studying massive amounts of quantitative methods, especially exploratory data analysis and data visualization, causal analysis, decision theory especially hypothesis generation, philosophy of science, sociology and anthropology of science. And I nestled all that inside cognitive science, in particular applied to improving human-computer interaction as a tool for scientific methodology. Subsequent decades have been a career as a methodologist but in design, development, and engineering, including 11 years at NASA. I’ve begun writing an introductory textbook to orient students to scientific methodology. Yet I bow to the expertise of Tamino and many others who have replied to you here.

      Sheldon, your detailed description of your science education indeed is “fricking adorable.”

  64. There are so many more important things I should be doing right now…

    But I looked at the “contour map” (which isn’t a contour map, but never mind) again. It’s a perfectly good way of illustrating things. Of course, it’s important to interpret it correctly, and what seems to be missing is a line (very near the top) saying “above this line is statistical significance, below this line is a whole load of weather-induced noise”. Putting the line at 30 years is fairly standard for climate science. Tamino even derived a similar timespan as the minimum necessary a few years back. Can anyone find it?

    The other interesting thing I see is that this kind of chart does not help with forecasting (projecting trends into the future).

    So, thank you, Sheldon, for providing a diagram that shows how noise on the year-to-year level averages out to a rapid, and lately quite stable, rise. It is also clear that non-significant fluctuations are common, and the fluctuation that people like to call a “pause” was more significant that any other fluctuation in the last ~30 years. A longer time series will show much bigger fluctuations in the past. (This is why just using a satellite timeseries can be misleading).

    I calculated the rise as 1.66 degrees/century, using GIS land+ocean data, and the timespan you chose. I made a graph with Excel, and I just can’t see any “slowdown”.

  65. I have a (compound) question for Tamino and anyone else with expertise in stats. Using your preferred method of analysis for assessing the statistical significance of an apparent pause seen by eye on a global surface temperature graph, how sensitive is the inferred significance of the pause to a single outlying year? That is, if some unknown factor elevated the 1998 temperature sufficiently far above the trendline, would your preferred analysis method prove to be brittle and begin to suggest a significant pause, or would it remain robust, reflecting the behaviour of the majority of recent years? How high would the 1998 temperature have to go to produce a statistically significant pause, if all other years remained unchanged?

    I would ask the same question of Sheldon, but it is, of course, already obvious that his science-by-colour approach could easily be changed by a single anomalous year.

    Of course, even if some purely mathematical method did suggest a statistically significant pause because of a single outlying year, this would be a long way from providing evidence that CO2 had changed its heat-retaining properties. And, in the case of 1998, there is already a good explanation of why the temperatures that year were above the trend.

    If an appropriate analysis found an apparent pause (and I can find no evidence that any appropriate analysis does find a pause), it would be open to debate whether this was best described as: 1) a significant slow-down in heat trapping; 2) a significant temperature excursion above the trendline near the start of the interval of interest; 3) a significant temperature excursion below the trendline later in the interval; 4) some chance combination of excursions on either side of the trendline; or 5) evidence that the trend itself was spurious.

    Would your preferred method of analysis cast any light on which of these explanations was likely to be correct? Personally, I would mistrust any conclusion that could not cope with the replacement of a single year’s data with the mean of its neighbours, but I am sure there would be more rigorous approaches to assessing sensitivity to outliers.

    • @Leto,

      Using your preferred method of analysis for assessing the statistical significance of an apparent pause seen by eye on a global surface temperature graph, how sensitive is the inferred significance of the pause to a single outlying year?

      Your question deserves more careful and longer consideration, but I don’t have cycles right now. Something that comes to mind right off is the Quenouille-Tukey jackknife resampling procedure. (I personally would add Bradley Efron to the credits, because of his Jackknife, Bootstrap, and Other Resampling Plans.) In a time series, the nice thing about jackknifes is that they don’t destroy dependency structure like bootstraps and other resamplings can, they just hide information.

      The point is, and it’s a good question, how sensitive is the inferred significance of anything to any particular year? or pair of years?

      • Thanks hypergeometric, that partially gets to what I’m thinking of, but as far as I can see, any single anomalous observation is only left out once in the jackknife procedure, so if one observation is having a strong effect on the analysis, it will still pull the average in a direction that may be spurious.

        In a situation that didn’t involve a time series, but was a more typical comparison of two groups, then a highly anomalous value would often cause the data to be non-normal, and that non-normality would guide the selection of the appropriate statistical test. (For instance, say you are comparing two groups of children by weight, and one child has a recorded weight of 1000kg, some tests would no longer be appropriate). In time series analyses, is there an equivalent? (For instance, what if the temp value for 1998 was entered as 100 degrees – we would wait forever for the pause to end.) An anomalous value might show up as an odd distribution of residuals about the trend, but the notion of residuals more or less assumes that the trend is valid, which begs the question under consideration. Some form of preprocessing such as median smoothing might reduce the effect of outliers, but would also introduce autocorrelation and distort the statistics.

        Surely this issue has come up in other contexts?

        Of course, there is simply no substitute for considering what the numbers actually mean, and applying appropriate corrections (for ENSO, etc, as Tamino has done previously for temperature series) or (in the case of the kid weighing 1000kg) rejecting the anomalous value altogether. Expecting any blind, context-free statistical procedure to be idiot-proof is to expect too much.

      • @Leto,

        No time to elaborate now, but, as you can see in the literature I cited, there’s no reason why you can’t do k-jackknife samples, for k>1. Naturally, you do these at random and interpret the ensemble result. I actually did this in this post to produce this figure:

      • Yes, thanks hypergeometric. I hadn’t followed through on all your links.

  66. Here is a possible consequence of climate change: MMEs (mass mortality events). Though climate change is not always the reason, increasingly, it seems to be a factor. Humans may be at risk from climate change (I think they are) but other species are definitely at risk.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/25/mass-mortality-events-animal-conservation-climate-change

  67. Sheldon Walker

    The day that I lost faith in the AAAS, NAS, Royal Society, etc

    Back in 2009, I read about a scientific paper that was so shocking, I almost gave up on science.

    I don’t know when I started to like science. It was some time during my childhood, and I specialised in science from my second year at high school. I regard science as the best tool that we have for understanding the world, and I have a huge respect for science, and scientists.

    So what could make me change my mind? As you read the rest of this article, I fully expect that you will not believe me. So I have included some links to web pages at the bottom, so that you can check whether I am telling the truth.

    The paper was presented at an AAAS conference. The person who presented it, was a keynote speaker. The presenter and the paper were endorsed by the head of the AAAS. The paper was generally regarded as being an example of top quality science.

    This type of science doesn’t have an official name. I like to call it “All men are bastards, science”.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090216-bikinis-women-men-objects.html

    Bikinis Make Men See Women as Objects, Scans Confirm

    Christine Dell’Amore in Chicago
    National Geographic News
    February 16, 2009

    Sexy women in bikinis really do inspire some men to see them as objects, according to a new study of male behavior.

    Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

    Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as “I push, I grasp, I handle,” said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University.

    And in a “shocking” finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another’s intentions.

    This means that these men see women “as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,” Fiske said. “The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.”

    Dehumanizing

    Fiske and colleagues asked 21 heterosexual male volunteers to first take a test that scores people based on different types of sexist attitudes. The subjects were then shown pictures of both skimpily dressed and fully clothed men and women.

    Most of the men best remembered headless photographs of women in bikinis, even if they’d only seen the image for two-tenths of a second, Fiske reported this weekend in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    And the men who scored higher as “hostile sexists”—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space—didn’t show brain activity that indicates they saw the women in bikinis as humans with thoughts and intentions.

    Scientists have seen this absence of activation only once before, in a study where people were shown off-putting photographs of homeless people and drug addicts.

    If a similar study were done with women, Fiske told National Geographic News, it would be hard to predict whether a woman shown a scantily clad male body would dehumanize him in the same way.

    Evolutionary psychologists have proposed that women tend to look for mates who have wealth and power, so some of Fiske’s colleagues have suggested running a similar test where women are shown pictures of men next to expensive cars or other affluent symbols.

    But Fiske doesn’t think such an experiment would work the same way, because women usually react to men they desire by “interpreting their minds, thinking about what they’re interested in, and then trying to please them,” she said.

    ========================================

    Some interesting points:

    1) The participants, 21 heterosexual male undergraduates at Princeton, took questionnaires to determine whether they harbor “benevolent” sexism, which includes the belief that a woman’s place is in the home, or hostile sexism, a more adversarial viewpoint which includes the belief that women attempt to dominate men.

    Note that Susan Fiske pre-selected the subjects by giving them a questionnaire, to determine whether they harbor “benevolent” sexism.

    She deliberately chose subjects who were more likely to be sexist. Remember, if you are a male, YOU have been convicted of being a bastard, based on the small number of subjects which she pre-selected.

    2) The men in this study were accused of dehumanising the women. But they were not actually woman, they were pictures of HEADLESS bikini wearing females.

    And the men who scored higher as “hostile sexists”—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space—didn’t show brain activity that indicates they saw the women in bikinis as humans with thoughts and intentions.

    I was brought up to believe that somebody had to have a head, to have thoughts and intentions. The picures of these women were HEADLESS.

    3) At the end of the media interview, a reporter asked Susan Fiske if she would do a similar experiment on women. “Oh no”, said Susan Fiske, “woman are much to nice to be like that. It would be a waste of time”.

    Susan Fiske has obviously never heard that scientists should be fair and balanced.

    ========================================

    Remember, the paper was presented at an AAAS conference. The person who presented it, was a keynote speaker. The presenter and the paper were endorsed by the head of the AAAS. The paper was generally regarded as being an example of top quality science.

    After almost giving up on science, I realised that the experiment done by Susan Fiske was not science. So I still love science, but I decided to stop taking any notice of our “august” scientific bodies (except to despise them).

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090216-bikinis-women-men-objects.html

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/19/women.bikinis.objects/

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/feb/16/sex-object-photograph

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/women-as-sex-objects-09-02-17/

    http://feministing.com/2009/02/20/national_geographic_bikinis_in/

    https://www.independent.ie/world-news/its-official-men-see-women-in-bikinis-as-sex-objects-26514494.html

    • So. You find one study which is put out there for peer review by others and can be disputed/elaborated on/etc. by subsequent workers with a single study presented at a conference that presents thousands and you have decided the whole organization is somehow tainted. You find one study you disagree with somehow the equivalent of tens of thousands of interlocking studies all pointing to global warming with a range of consequences that is quite worrisome.

      Is this good science? Is this even infinitesimally a reasonable inference? What would any Bayesian say?

      (Hint: No it is not. It is simply an excuse to believe something you want to believe.)

    • Sheldon, I’ll engage with you again only to ask this: how you know you’re not fooling yourself?

    • Sheldon,
      Sigh! OK, so let me get this straight. You decided to give up on several of the premiere scientific organizations on the fricking planet because they had a single presentation–and not even a technical presentation, but a keynote–that you found questionable? Seriously?

      Dude, allow me to let you in on a little secret: Science, as a field dominated by male nerds, has had an ongoing problem with sexism. And in some cases, there have been serious problems of sexual harassment of women post docs grad students…
      And here is another: Men when in the presence of women sometimes act stupidly.
      And here is a third: Because so many women have been exposed to so many creepy men, tend to be sensitized to behavior–even with no ill intent–that could be viewed as creepy.

      Finally, MRI’s don’t lie, and brains tend to be wired similarly. So, there is probably a tendency for a male’s brain–even a properly socialized, non-sexist male brain–to behave in a similar fashion. Did it occur to you that it might be helpful as a male researcher with female colleagues to know this so that you can recognize and stop any incipient creepy behavior before it causes a problem?

      So, instead of saying, “Hmm, maybe this is something I should keep an eye out for. Maybe it will be useful in my life,” you choose to take the research as a personal affront to the extent that it almost makes you give up on science. Maybe you should look at that.

      Again, though, Sheldon. A lot of your problems arise from the fact that you don’t have any idea about how to do science. You don’t understand how scientific conferences work–that often the keynote address is the least scientific presentation in the conference. It’s there to stimulate discussion, and I’ll bet this one did. Seriously, dude, I really wonder where you get some of your ideas.

    • Sheldon, could you give me the link to the media interview where Fiske supposedly says “woman are much to nice to be like that. It would be a waste of time”, because I could not find that statement in any of your links.

      “I was brought up to believe that somebody had to have a head, to have thoughts and intentions. The picures of these women were HEADLESS.”

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3801174/.
      The *recognition study*, which involved the headless bodies (and, notably, also bodiless faces), was *separate* from the “thoughts and intention” study.

      How could you get this so wrong?

  68. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Didactylos,

    you are one of the few people who have looked at my graph, and given me intelligent criticism.

    Thank you.

    My graph IS a contour map. On a real contour map, the lines show points of equal height. On my graph, the lines show points of equal warming rate.

    I would like to discuss some of the points that you made, with you. Because you have only looked at one graph, you will not have seen the full range of conditions that the graph can display.

    If you can spare 10 minutes, you can look at some more contour maps on my website.

    95% of my graphs show warming. Not just a little warming, but clear and undeniable warming. The people on this website seem to be too scared to look at my graphs. I suspect that they think that they are denier graphs. But the opposite is true.

    If the deniers ever found out, that I had given the warmists graphs, which could be used as a weapon against deniers, then my name would be “mud”.

    A quick warning about my website. It has fallen into disuse. It hasn’t been updated in over a year. I developed a better colour scheme, but lost the motivation to update all of the graphs. There are still parts of my website which are interesting.

    The blue rectangles are meant to be links to other pages. Many of them don’t work. If you hover the mouse pointer over a blue rectangle, and it turns into a “hand”, then the link should work. If the mouse pointer stays as an arrow, then the link will NOT work.

    You can click on the small contour maps, and get a much bigger version of the contour map.

    1) The first contour maps to look at, are the weather balloon series. This is called RATPAC (for Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate).

    These are interesting for the unusual colours. I told you that 95% of my graphs show warming. I display warming using red, orange, and yellow. So you quickly get bored with these colours.

    The weather balloon data covers lower troposphere, upper troposphere, and stratosphere. The stratosphere is cooling, so these graphs tend to be a deep blue. The upper troposphere tends to be green, and the lower troposphere tends to be yellow and orange.

    Remember, you can click on the small contour maps, and get a much bigger version of the contour map.

    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-menu-ratpac

    2) All of the rest of the contour maps, can be accessed from a single menu. Use the “back button” on your browser, to keep going back to the menu, after you look at a contour map.

    Note that all of the following contour maps cover 1980 to 2016. This means that you can directly compare the different series (e.g. GISTEMP to UAH). The RATPAC series is different, they are 1960 to 2016.

    The next contour maps to look at, are the UAH series.

    There are a lot of UAH contour maps. Most come in 3 flovours: Land and Ocean, Land Only, and Ocean Only:
    – Global
    – Northern Hemisphere
    – Southern Hemisphere
    – Northern Polar
    – Northern Extra Tropical
    – Tropics
    – Southern Extra Tropical
    – Southern Polar
    – Countries (Australia, USA 48, USA 49)

    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-1980-to-2016

    3) The next contour maps to look at, are the GISTEMP series.

    GISTEMP comes in Land and Ocean, and Land Only. Each comes in 3 flavours: Global, Northern Hemisphere, and Southern Hemisphere.

    4) The next contour maps are the RSS series.

    These are similar to the UAH series, so only look at these if you want to.

    There is RSS TMT and RSS TTT. These come in 3 flavours: Land and Ocean, Land Only, and Ocean Only.

    I hope that you enjoy the contour maps. If you are interested in discussing anything, then please post a message. I will watch for your name.

    You said, “what seems to be missing is a line (very near the top) saying “above this line is statistical significance, below this line is a whole load of weather-induced noise”.

    Didactylos, this is not always true. A slowdown or pause has a warming rate near zero. This will NEVER be statistically significant, because statistically significant means statistically significantly different from ZERO. A number near zero will NEVER be statistically significantly different from ZERO.

    To test a slowdown or pause, you need to see if it is statistically significantly different from the AVERAGE WARMING RATE. This could be below the line that you suggested.

    Contour maps can be used for general forecasting.

    • Sheldon Walker,
      You at least should be aware that your coloured triangles have featured before @Open Mind and also that Nick Stokes manitains (up-to-date) a comprehensive set of graphs similar in form to yours but with versions showing such things as the 95%CI warming rates. Even I myself have hashed out a version that would approximate the level of neutral ‘yellow’ a triangle would exhibit if it showed just those bits that were statistically significant from the average trend (this, of course, dependent on the treatment of autocorrelation), and even a format that is immune to autocorrelytis (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).
      In such circumstance, your graphs are not perhaps the grand achievement you describe here.

    • A slowdown or pause has a warming rate near zero. This will NEVER be statistically significant, because statistically significant means statistically significantly different from ZERO.

      Er, no. I am no stats expert–a drastic understatement, if there ever was one!–but I do know that statistical significance (in classical frequentist stats, anyway) is with reference to a null hypothesis. And you can certainly frame a null in such a way that a zero warming rate could reject it.

      For a relevant example, your null hypothesis might be that warming continued at the rate of, say, 0.17 C per decade. A zero warming rate, continued long enough, would reject that null with statistical significance, and you would then have actual evidence of a real ‘pause’–maybe even of a long-term change of trend.

      Speaking for myself, that’s the trend change that I’d really, really, like to see, and for which I am both hoping and working. But I don’t expect to live to see it actually happen.

  69. Sheldon Walker

    Leto,

    You said, “I would ask the same question of Sheldon, but it is, of course, already obvious that his science-by-colour approach could easily be changed by a single anomalous year.”

    I think that you have asked a very interesting question, Leto.

    You may be surprised to know that within 10 minutes of reading your question, I had thought of 4 different ways that my graph is NOT affected by an anomalous year.

    Leto, my graph is NOT a science-by-colour approach. It is a warming-rate-by-colour approach.

    You seem to regard colour as an inferior analysis tool.

    Why do you think that the human eye contains 3 types of cones (a type of light sensitive cell in the retina), which are sensitive to 3 different colours (wavelengths)? This is what gives you colour vision, and it is one of our most valuable senses.

    Why are traffic lights (red, orange, green) used all around the world to control traffic?

    Why do people use red lights as a warning signal.

    Do you like watching colour TV, Leto? Guess what the picture is made up of.

    To answer your question.

    1) My graph is based on linear regressions. It can not be more senstive than the linear regressions.

    2) I plot colour depending on bands of warming rate, e.g. 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc

    If a warming rate changes from 1.1 to 1.9, the colour on the graph does NOT change.

    3) There are normally large areas of a single colour. If a single trend in that area increases enough to change colour, e.g. a yellow pixel surrounded by green, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The user of the graph can then choose to ignore that one trend.

    4) Most of my graphs use trend length for the Y axis. Long trends are at the top, short trends are near the bottom. An anomalous year may affect short trends a lot, but will probably NOT affect long trends by much. By looking at trends which are higher on the graph, you can minimise the effect of an anomalous year.

    I hope that can see how powerful my graph is.

    • Sheldon wrote:
      “You seem to regard colour as an inferior analysis tool.”

      Um, I wouldn’t describe it as an analysis tool at all.

      “I hope that can see how powerful my graph is.”

      Well, I would be in complete awe of your graphing technique if you could produce one for me that replaced the 1998 temp with a new value that was the mean of its neighbouring years. That would begin to answer the question of whether you have illustrated a non-significant “pause” or merely illustrated that “1998 was hot”.

  70. Sheldon Walker

    Snarkrates, jgnfld, Tom, Marco,

    Snarkrates,

    I am interested to hear that you have been a working physicist for over 30 years.

    I honestly believe that your comment “Science is a collective activity in which the biases of individual scientists tend to cancel each other out.”, is one of the best definitions of science that I have ever seen.

    jgnfld,

    you said, “Far better education. Doctorate plus decades of professional level research stats work (though in nonphysics areas and the majority in tech report form).”

    It is interesting to find out about your education.

    You said, “And no you were not “discussing” the philosophy of science. You were giving a kindergarten lecture to doctoral level people here on the hypothetico-deductive (experimental) model which does not even apply to much/most of climate science since experiments are impossible in many cases in this area.”

    Pardon me for having an opinion.

    It is YOU who think that I was giving a kindergarten lecture to doctoral level people here on the hypothetico-deductive (experimental) model.

    It is YOUR interpretation, it is YOUR problem.

    Tom,

    You said, “OMG, Sheldon, your science education?! Many of the people replying to you have graduate degrees in the sciences, many of those plus many others have careers in the sciences, some of all the above are in climatology and closely related fields. It’s actually kind of sad how unaware you are of how little you know.

    Then why don’t they act like it?

    Marco,

    You said, “Drop the hubris.”

    Marco, have you seen the text that I have posted 3 or 4 times on this website:

    There are 4 things that I try to remember:
    1) I do not know everything.
    2) Sometimes I make mistakes, or I am wrong.
    3) I try to learn from my mistakes.
    4) I listen to other people, because they might know something that I don’t.

    These 4 things remind me that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously.

    I suspect that many people see my list of 4 things as a sign of weakness.

    They believe that they know everything. They are never wrong, and they never make mistakes. They don’t need to learn from their mistakes, because they never make any. They don’t need to listen to other people, because they already know everything.

    If I am showing hubris, what are all of the warmists on this website showing?

    I have NEVER heard a warmist state that they didn’t know everything.

    • Sheldon if you “have NEVER heard a warmist state that they didn’t know everything” then you haven’t been listening.

    • Sheldon, you just read a post in which I said that despite my education and background, I’d never presume to tell Tamino or other experts anything about their own discipline. Several others–many experts in their own fields–have said similar things. So, do you have a really short memory, or do you not bother to read what people write?

      As to my comment on science, presumably, you can see why it is important to understand that science is a collective activity–it’s the only way biases cancel out. What this means is that consensus is important–but consensus doesn’t mean simple voting. Not all opinions count the same. Some people are more knowledgeable than others. Others are better at putting aside biases and agendas. Over time, you get to know the experts in a field–their strengths and weaknesses. A very knowledgeable, experienced expert who is good at setting aside biases and agendas is going to prove very persuasive to his peers. And if his ideas make it possible to understand things that other Ideas fail to illuminate, people will tend to agree with him–even if he can be a bit of a jerk–so that they can understand and publish more.

      Scientific consensus is bases on the weight and consilience of the evidence. (Note that consilience means that different lines of evidence point toward the same solution.)

    • I have NEVER heard a warmist state that they didn’t know everything.

      I’m pretty sure that if you looked above on the thread, Sheldon, you could find some instances. But I might be wrong–well, except about the one that I just wrote in my previous comment. (That one, I’m quite sure about.)

      So, let me give you a ‘first’ (in the case that you happen to read this comment before that one):

      I, Doc Snow, warmist and alarmist in good standing, in the presence all assembled here virtually, now and in the future, as far as the human mind can foretell, hereby solemnly do declare and avow that:

      “I don’t know everything.”

      Which doesn’t make me shy about sharing what I do know. Or think I do.

    • “I suspect that many people see my list of 4 things as a sign of weakness.”

      I suspect you suspect incorrectly, especially regarding the people here. I suspect also that many do not see much of your list coming back in your discussions with us. It may well be that your elaborate description of your “scientific background” was just you making a fool of yourself on purpose, but I don’t think many here interpreted it that way. They interpreted it like me: someone *severely* overestimating his own scientific expertise and making a mockery of the actual time and effort it takes to become a good scientist. And from that there still is a big step to being an expert in the field.

      No one here knows everything, and I doubt there is any that have a problem admitting that. I don’t know everything. Fortunately not, or life would be boring – nothing new to learn.

      • Heh, 10 years I might have had a problem admitting that. Then I encountered the phrase “Dunning-Kruger effect”. I’ll go so far as to call it a life-changing experience 8^}. Since that day, I haven’t been an expert in anything. I feel I’m doing well if I know who the actual experts are, and whether or not a consensus exists.

        That means I have to depend on scientific meta-literacy acquired in 7 decades, beginning no later than the third grade and laboring full-time through a modest two MS degrees and 1/2 a PhD along the way:

        … there’s an important lesson here about how we decide which scientific statements to believe and which ones not to believe. Those of us who are trained scientists but who do not have enough personal literacy to independently evaluate a particular statement do not throw up our hands in despair. Instead, we evaluate the source and the context.

        We scientists rely upon a hierarchy of reliability. We know that a talking head is less reliable than a press release. We know that a press release is less reliable than a paper. We know that an ordinary peer-reviewed paper is less reliable than a review article. And so on, all the way up to a National Academy report. If we’re equipped with knowledge of this hierarchy of reliability, we can generally do a good job navigating through an unfamiliar field, even if we have very little prior technical knowledge in that field.

        30 years after James Hansen’s landmark Congressional testimony, I’ve satisfied myself that the consensus case for AGW is supported by multiple lines of evidence. Hell, it’s the simple working out of basic physics! I’m as confident as I need to be that it’s not a house of cards, even if the details are only approximate.

        My hopes, faint as they are, for the world after I’m gone depend on an effective plurality of my fellow US voters committing, well before then, to a revenue-neutral carbon tax, similar if not identical to Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Tariff Adjustment.

        I said my hopes are faint! I’m just glad I’ll leave no offspring. The buck stops here.

  71. Sheldon, are you familiar with Dunning-Kruger? It is:

    “… a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.”

    Your lack of humility and self-awareness is as obvious as your diminutive talents. I’m embarrassed for you. Nonetheless, I assume based on your rantings that you are at most 15 years old, so maybe you’ll grow up some time soon.

    I am a “warmist” (i.e. I believe mainstream science is more likely to be correct than the outliers on purely probabilistic grounds) and I don’t claim to know everything, especially about climate change. That is why this is my first comment on this blog although I have been reading it and various other climate blogs, for many years. Sometimes it is best to silently listen, think and learn.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Dylan,

      I am very familiar with Dunning-Kruger.

      Warmists like to say that skeptics/deniers suffer from Dunning-Kruger.

      But warmists don’t realise that it is the people who accuse other people of suffering from Dunning-Kruger, who actually have Dunning-Kruger.

      I will be 10 on my next birthday.

    • Sheldon Walker

      Dylan,

      Let me guess.
      You have a PhD in flower arranging, and have been a florist for 30 years.
      You are upset with me, because I said that I had a nice flower garden at home.

  72. Sheldon wrote “A slowdown or pause has a warming rate near zero. This will NEVER be statistically significant, because statistically significant means statistically significantly different from ZERO. A number near zero will NEVER be statistically significantly different from ZERO.”

    And so it came to pass that Sheldon “Yes, a Real Scientific Experiment” Walker failed high school statistics.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  73. I have NEVER heard a warmist state that they didn’t know everything.

    This is just complete bullchit. 1.5k to 4.5K.

    • Sheldon Walker

      JCH,

      ECS = 1.5 die slowly
      ECS = 4.5 die quickly

      • Sheldon: You either completely failed to understand the point of JCH’s reply to you, or as usual are trying to distract us from a clear, factual rebuttal of one of your ridiculous assertions–failing to distract us, indeed calling attention to your failure. Again.

      • The range is just one of many ways scientists openly state the large number of things they do not know about AGW, something you claimed they never do, which is a patently false claim.

  74. Sheldon the Denier once saw a poorly designed study presented at an AAAS meeting, therefore he almost lost faith in science.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Hyperactive Hydrologist

      BPL,

      Just like how he dismisses the entirety of the IPCC Assessment Reports because he believe they had a predefined conclusions and they made a mistake over the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

      He doesn’t understand that the IPCC doesn’t actually conduct any science, instead they merely review and summarise the work of 1000s of scientists from around the world. If the IPCC had a bias or agenda it would be easy to demonstrate this by reviewing the referenced works and wider body of literature.

    • It’s worse, Barton. He didn’t see the actual study being presented, but based his opinion on some media reports. One of his objections, where he even used all-capitals to stress his disbelief, is based on Sheldon not understanding what the study actually did. And based on that misunderstanding Sheldon developed a mistrust of professional scientific organizations…

    • AFAICT, when an incompetent non-expert doesn’t understand a scientific argument, accusing the actual experts of nefarious intent is concomitant with the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  75. I fear this previous comment got lost in the general metastasis of this thread–certainly Sheldon did not respond. But I think (given the fact that we are supposed to be talking about consequences here) that it’s worth reiterating, WRT to the real-world consequences of AGW and its mitigation strategies.

    So:

    Sheldon, please take note of the current costs of renewable energy versus fossil fuels. Lazard is an independent consultancy regularly reporting on this and related issues. Their report on the “levelized cost of energy”–a widely-used (well, pretty much standard) metric–for 2017 is out:

    https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-2017/

    I know you are busy these days, what with work and replying to all these comments, but this one is *really* important, so let me highlight a couple of numbers in the report:

    Cheapest fossil LCOE: $42-78/MWh, gas combined cycle
    Cheapest renewable LCOE: $30-60, onshore wind
    Cheapest solar LCOE: $43-48, Thin film utility scale

    So, no, fossil fuels are no longer ‘cheaper’–even if their pollution costs in terms of both direct toxicity and and climate change are both disregarded! (This has become apparent to a great many developing nations, which is why developing countries in general are now the hottest market for renewable energy.)

  76. Philippe Chantreau

    Sheldon Walker,
    You are entitled to your opinion. Opinions, especially about the physical world, do not have validity by virtue of their existence, and everyone is also free to say that your opinion is as interesting as a rabbit’s turd, even more so when they can back it up, which is what happened with your pause convolutions. If you throw your opinion out there, you must be willing to endure some serious scrutiny, and yes, some scorn. It’s part of internet communication, engage with that awareness or don’t. At WUWT, there has been countless occurrences of posters advocating for the detaining and harassing of scientists and other people, with a level of scorn that I have never seen on any of the reality based sites. What you’re experiencing here is rather mild in comparison to what has come from the denial side: billboards making comparison with the Unabomber, communicating publicly the addresses of scientists whose work was disliked by deniers, the organized campaign of harassment under cover of FOI, death threats, etc, etc. Hearing deniers/contrarians, whatever you want to be called whining about being victimized is almost funny. Except it’s not, it’s just another of the methods used by those who argue in bad faith. I was subjected to insult and more on a reality based site, on many occasions; I never felt that I had to whine about being mistreated, I just brought back the conversation on the physical realities that were at the core of it.

    You hold opinions on aspects of the physical world that have been thoroughly investigated by scientists and are the focus of continued investigation. You have shown to be unaware of many of the results of these investigations, the methods used, the state of the current literature, and yet you have freely thrown around accusations of bias and incompetence on the part of people whose work you’re not really familiar with.

    Nobody is interested in your back of the envelope calculations and your little graphs. If you really think you’ve got something, go hack it out in the literature. That’s where it’s at. That’s how you will acquire expertise. That’s what Tamino did, repeatedly. That’s what the people who know what they’re talking about do. Some less interesting stuff makes it through, and in fact the worst of that stuff comes from contrarians; some of them have been shown to use underhanded or fraudulent methods to get published. But even Watts (with some help) managed to publish a paper after a number of years of accusing entire groups of scientists of fraud. That paper was of no particular interest, confirmed what had already been established, and did not support all the accusations presented on his site for years. He hosted for a long time the always funny Steven Goddard, creator of the carbonic snow in Antarctica gem. Now, here you are lecturing everyone on science and touting your credentials in the same post where you mention liquid water on an Earth without atmosphere. Impressive. Perhaps it’s you who should give some slack to all the practicing people with graduate degrees in science who comment here. How much patience should they have for this kind of nonsense?

    You have already confessed the nature of your skepticism. One time, some people were rude to you on the internet. Then you got peeved and decided to accordingly pick your side. I have not yet seen any substance from you that truly goes beyond that, and certainly nothing that puts into question the current scientific understanding of Earth climate. You want to make a difference in that understanding? Stop ranting, which is exactly doing in reverse what was done to you to hurt your little feelings, and start doing some real work. Pick an area: Rossby waves, atmospheric cells, borehole data, flood/drought, sea level, glaciology, ocean currents there is plenty to choose from. Of course, if you do that, you will discover exactly how involved it gets and how much you don’t know. If you are as sincere as you claim to be about it that’s what it will take. Trying to prove wrong everything that has been done in a given field is not as easy as you think. As of now, you have not produced anything of substance that has not been much better investigated by others before.

  77. > Sheldon Walker | February 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm
    > I will be 10 on my next birthday.

    February 29th?

    > Sheldon Walker | February 26, 2018 at 7:34 pm
    > I said that I had a nice flower garden at home.

    Keeping track of your garden’s blooming dates year after year?https://www.usanpn.org/usa-national-phenology-network

  78. Up-thread, Tom Dayton was asked by Sheldon Walker “have you counted how many posts I have been making?”
    For the record Sheldon Walker has so far contributed 48 comments down this thread which amounts in total to 300 comments (36 of these comments prior to the first Sheldon Walker comment). At SkS, folk can be asked not to “dog-pile” in such circumstances. Yet it should also be noted that since appearing on this comment thread Sheldon Walker has contributed some 17,000 words of comment out of the total 49,000 words appearing in total since that time, so roughly one third. Thus in overall levels of verbage, it doesn’t appear so one-sided.

    • Philippe Chantreau

      Indeed Al Rodger. And out of these 17000 words, how much substance pertaining to the science criticized by Walker can be gleaned?

  79. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Everybody,

    I just looked at Al Rodger’s posting statistics, and I can see why I feel tired (17,000 words!).

    I think that we have wasted half of this thread with nastiness.

    I accept my share of the blame. But I am not the only culprit. I tend to reply with nastiness when I feel that somebody has been nasty to me.

    I apologise for not replying to everybody’s posts. I just don’t have the time. I know that some people have put a lot of effort into their posts, especially the long ones. The problem is, the long posts take longer to reply to.

    Because of this, I am going to try and stop being nasty, and I am not going to reply to posts that I think are nasty. Hopefully, I will then be able to reply to more people.

    I don’t mind answering just about any question. Just ask if you want to know my political views, or anything else. Do skeptic/deniers tend to belong to the political left or right? I might not be an exception.

    I will answer one question now. Do I think that some people are deniers. The answer is yes. It is hard to know how many, but I would guess that at least half of non-warmists are deniers of some type. Should you call them deniers? That is up to you, but I think that you are more likely to achieve a positive outcome with global warming, if you don’t. You don’t want to give people another excuse to oppose you.

    Before you begin to feel smug, I believe that at least half of warmists don’t know what they are talking about. They are global warming parrots, who have learnt a few phrases.

    My philosophy is that a carrot is usually more effective than a stick. If you hit a donkey with a stick, it will probably try to dump you at the first corner, and maybe kick you in the head for good measure.

    What do I think of renewables? I like the idea, but only if they are reliable and not too expensive. So don’t waste time telling me how we should move to renewables. Tell me how they will be reliable and not too expensive.

    I like to solve problems by thinking outside the square. How are we going to get cars off the road? My idea is that we make all public transport free to the public (sort of). I would fund it through general taxes, local rates, or a tax on petrol. Each car owner then faces the choice, do I take my car and pay, or do I take public transport for free. This should ease congestion on the roads.

    There may be problems with this idea. What do you think? Did you think that a denier could come up with a plan that would work?

    I also have plans to solve the worlds population problems, but I will save that for now.

    I tend to say things in a literal way.

    When I said that I have a good science education, it was a choice between saying:

    – I have a poor science education

    – I have an ok science education

    – I have a good science education

    My comment had nothing to do with YOUR education. You should not get upset.

    Now that I have found out what qualifications and experience some of you have, I am keen to get your opinions.

    For people who didn’t get the point of my post about men being sexist. The so-called science was crappy, evil, and hateful. But the worst part was that the AAAS thought that it was quality science.

    When the AAAS issues information about global warming, as far as I am concerned, they can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Why would I trust them, when they have given me evidence that they are idiots?

    If I want to discuss the philosophy of science and knowledge, then I am going to do it. Learn to live with it. I don’t want you to try and censor me. I don’t try to censor you.

    When you tell me that creationists don’t do science, I agree with you. But I was trying to make the point that THEY think that they are doing science. Your opinion is that creationists don’t do science, but THEIR opinion may be that YOU don’t do science. It is all relative.

    In my opinon, warmists tend to think more in absolute terms. But skeptics think in relative terms. That is one of the reasons that we argue so much.

    I can often see your point of view, but it pisses me off that you don’t seem to be able to see mine.

    ==============================================

    Now, I want to talk about my graphs. Go away if you don’t want to listen.

    Many of you will know, that I developed a type of graph, which I call a Global Warming Contour Map (GWCM).

    You can see one here:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/04/new-website-provides-strong-evidence-of-the-recent-warming-slowdown/

    My graph IS a contour map. On a real contour map, the lines show points of equal height. On my graph, the lines show points of equal warming rate.

    Tamino does not want to host my graphs. That is fine, I have my own website.

    If you can spare 10 minutes, then you can look at some contour maps on my website.

    95% of my graphs show warming. Not just a little warming, but clear and undeniable warming. The people on this website seem to be too scared to look at my graphs. I suspect that they think that they are denier graphs. But the opposite is true.

    If the deniers ever found out, that I had given the warmists graphs, which could be used as a weapon against deniers, then my name would be “mud”.

    A quick warning about my website. It has fallen into disuse. It hasn’t been updated in over a year. I developed a better colour scheme, but lost the motivation to update all of the graphs. There are still parts of my website which are interesting.

    The blue rectangles are meant to be links to other pages. Many of them don’t work. If you hover the mouse pointer over a blue rectangle, and it turns into a “hand”, then the link should work. If the mouse pointer stays as an arrow, then the link will NOT work.

    You can click on the small contour maps, and get a much bigger version of the contour map.

    1) The first contour maps to look at, are the weather balloon series. This is called RATPAC (for Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate).

    These are interesting for the unusual colours. I told you that 95% of my graphs show warming. I display warming using red, orange, and yellow. So you quickly get bored with these colours.

    The weather balloon data covers lower troposphere, upper troposphere, and stratosphere. The stratosphere is cooling, so these graphs tend to be a deep blue. The upper troposphere tends to be green, and the lower troposphere tends to be yellow and orange.

    Remember, you can click on the small contour maps, and get a much bigger version of the contour map.

    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-menu-ratpac

    2) All of the rest of the contour maps, can be accessed from a single menu. Use the “back button” on your browser, to keep going back to the menu, after you look at a contour map.

    Note that all of the following contour maps cover 1980 to 2016. This means that you can directly compare the different series (e.g. GISTEMP to UAH). The RATPAC series is different, they cover 1960 to 2016.

    On my contour maps, the baseline period for a temperature series is irrelevant. You can directly compare any temperature series, there is no adjustment necessary.

    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-1980-to-2016

    The next contour maps to look at, are the UAH series.

    There are a lot of UAH contour maps. Most come in 3 flovours: Land and Ocean, Land Only, and Ocean Only:
    – Global
    – Northern Hemisphere
    – Southern Hemisphere
    – Northern Polar
    – Northern Extra Tropical
    – Tropics
    – Southern Extra Tropical
    – Southern Polar
    – Countries (Australia, USA 48, USA 49)

    3) The next contour maps to look at, are the GISTEMP series.

    GISTEMP comes in Land and Ocean, and Land Only. Each comes in 3 flavours: Global, Northern Hemisphere, and Southern Hemisphere.

    4) The next contour maps are the RSS series.

    These are similar to the UAH series, so only look at these if you want to.

    There is RSS TMT and RSS TTT. These come in 3 flavours: Land and Ocean, Land Only, and Ocean Only.

    5) I just remembered another temperature series that you might be interested in.

    GISTEMP from 1880 to 2016. The whole temperature history of GISTEMP. See if you can spot when global warming started. There is Land and Ocean, and Land Only. Each has global, northern hemisphere, and southern hemisphere.

    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-1880-to-2016

    ===============================

    I am frustrated because people will not give my graph a fair chance, to show that it is useful.

    I would like to give people detailed information about the graph, including example graphs which show how it works.

    – I can show you how to identify El Nino’s and La Nina’s.

    – I can show you why the 1998 El Nino does not appear to be centred on 1998.

    – I can show you a 200 year cooling trend, that I found by accident. Is it real, and what caused it?

    – I can show you the cooling trend that caused the ice-age scare in the 1970’s.

    – We can compare land-ocean contour maps (like GISTEMP), with satellite contour maps (like UAH and RSS).

    – We can look at RATPAC contour maps (Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate). Otherwise known as weather balloons. What is happening in the stratosphere?

    – We can look at Central England Temperature contour maps (CET). The longest temperature series in the world – from 1660.

    – We can look at the amount of global warming that has happened.

    – We can look at the mysterious slowdown/pause. Did I fake it, just to annoy warmists?

    – And so much more.

    In addition, for a limited number of people, I am willing to create one of my graphs using a temperature series that is created by those people.

    – they can make any temperature series that they want.

    – there are only a few rules, for example, there is little point in having a temperature of 1,000,000 degrees Celsius.

    – anything that is reasonable is acceptable.

    – the temperature series can have warming and/or cooling and/or slowdowns and/or pauses.

    – the temperature series can include autocorrelation. Any kind (e.g. AR, ARIMA).

    – the temperature series can include a random component.

    – I am happy for people to try their hardest to break my graph.

    If a person knows what they put into their temperature series, then they can look at the corresponding graph, and see if the graph makes sense. There is probably no better test for my graph.

    If you try to tell me that there was no ice-age scare in the 1970’s, then I won’t believe you. Not only do I have strong memories of the ice-age scare, but I also have a graph which shows the cooling trend that caused it. I am happy to show you this trend.

    If anybody would like to make a temperature series, and get me to produce a contour map of it, then let me know.

    • Sheldon said:

      So don’t waste time telling me how we should move to renewables. Tell me how they will be reliable and not too expensive.

      Done. Twice, actually, with a 2017 analysis from Lazard’s, the energy consultancy, showing that the global levelized cost of wind power is lower than that of the cheapest form of fossil fuel generation, and that the cost of solar is now essentially the same. I appreciate Tamino allowing me the repost, but I won’t repeat it for a third time around.

      Instead, I’ll link to a real-world example of this:

      https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/27/wind-energy-tariffs-stabilize-%c2%a23-8-kwh-latest-india-auction/

      This auction was the fifth wind energy auction in India… India opened the competitive auctions market for wind energy exactly one year back when SECI auctioned 1 gigawatt capacity in February 2017.

      Since the first auction, the lowest wind energy tariff has declined by a whopping 29.4%…

      India has a target to have 60 gigawatts of wind energy capacity installed by March 2022… India’s current installed wind energy capacity stands at 32.8 gigawatts as of 31 January 2018.

      For context, renewables (including large hydro power) currently account for ~32% of Indian generation capacity. Total RE *excluding* large hydro stood at nearly 63 GW of grid-connected capacity. The 60 GW wind target will roughly double Indian wind power capacity if met.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_India#Renewable_energy

      And note that these are competitive auctions. The previous feed-in-tariff model was a subsidized scheme, designed to facilitate uptake of renewables. But that stage is past: in India, and increasingly around the world, we’ve achieved sufficient economies of scale to render such measures unnecessary.

      • Let me highlight the actual bid price, which is shown only in the headline (and there in indecipherable form(:

        (3.8¢/kWh)

        That’s some cheap power, folks.

      • @Doc Snow, @Sheldon Walker, on renewables, etc:

        The biggest obstacles to massive build-outs of zero Carbon energy these days in the United States are incumbents using regulatory capture to block its advance (e.g., caps on the amount of residential PV and community PV utilities have to accomodate) and NIMBY actions for placement of wind turbines, primarily land-based, and even on solar farms. While land-based wind is easily the cheapest energy in the world to be had, so people who oppose these on the costs are essentially foisting greater energy costs on the rest of us in order to preserve their precious aesthetics, I can more understand that than any opposition to solar farms, which just sit there, usually far away from any neighborhood, inverters humming quietly.

        The response of coastal people to land-based wind turbines is hilarious if you consider the risks they are taking building and living there with looming sea level rise. It’s not like the wind will do anything to stop these, but they are dependending upon an unending stream of federal bailouts to sustain their property values, and then they have the arrogance to oppose building wind because they don’t like how it looks. The wind turbines will be built, after their real estate market crashes — the sooner the better, in my book — and the property values are cheap enough to snatch up for a song and build anything anyone wants to build upon them.

    • Sheldon Walker,
      You appreciate that you have just added 2,000 words in one comment to the weight of wordage hanging from this thread. And I note you include the statement “The problem is, the long posts take longer to reply to.”

      I would pull you up on one issue you raise. The Susan Fiske presentation at the 2009 AAAS Conference you found so difficult – the research is published as Cikara et al (2010) and while you may say of it (‘It’ as described by the likes of National Geographic) “The so-called science was crappy, evil, and hateful. But the worst part was that the AAAS thought that it was quality science,.” I find such comment difficult to reconcile with the quote from that National Geographic article – “Scientists have seen this absence of activation only once before, in a study where people were shown off-putting photographs of homeless people and drug addicts. “ As an Anglo-Saxon male of privileged background (if a grammar school oik be such a one), I often find it necessary (as it is now) to remind fellow travellers that we rather fail to appreciate how slopey the playing-field we bestride is, and how much to our advantage.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Al Rodger,
        Perhaps we should set a quota, to limit the number of words that I write.

        The only problem would be if

      • Sheldon,
        OK, so let me get this straight. You read a second hand account of a talk–not a technical talk, but a keynote–at an AAAS conference. And based on your interpretation of this second-hand description, you reject everything AAAS does AND you vilify a researcher and anyone associated with her–going so far as to call her a b****. And this despite the fact that
        1) You have not read any of Susan Fiske’s work.
        2) Sexism is a known problem plaguing the sciences, and the more male-dominated the field, the bigger problem it is.
        3) The study in question does raise some interesting questions about involuntary associations that occur in our brains based on our perceptions of gender.
        4)You have had numerous people here telling you that your perception of the research is incorrect

        Now I do have some differences with Fiske, particularly as regards her position on issues of replicability and statistical significance. You, on the other hand, seem to have only blind hatred based on her research having hurt your feelings. You sure you’re going to be 10 on your next birthday. I might have guessed four.

    • “For people who didn’t get the point of my post about men being sexist. The so-called science was crappy, evil, and hateful. But the worst part was that the AAAS thought that it was quality science.”

      Sheldon, as I pointed out, you *misinterpreted* that study. You call something crappy, evil, and hateful based on your failure to do due diligence and read the actual study! You also seem to have made up a quote from Fiske, as I cannot find her say “woman are much to [sic] nice to be like that. It would be a waste of time”. I do find her predict the outcome would be markedly different, and that may well be because she has done research on “women’s hostile and benevolent prejudices and stereotypes about men” (key sentence for you to do some literature reading, Sheldon). She’s even created a scale to measure it.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Marco,
        why do you think Susan Fiske removed the heads of the women wearing bikinis?
        Was it to make them look more attractive, or to make them look inhuman?
        So that the men would treat them as if they were not human.
        So that she could then attack the men, for their predictable reaction to an inhuman object.
        It was Susan Fiske who dehumanised the woman, not the men.
        Marco, are you a man or a mouse?
        Stop protecting this evil bitch.

      • What would someone actually interested in actual science–rather than apparently men’s rights and men’s victimhood–do here if they thought the researcher got the science wrong? First a scientist would look at more studies to see if the scientific concerns were addressed in other studies. Second, a scientist might communicate with the investigator at conferences or by mail/email. Third a scientist who really thought this was wrong and important would perform their own experiments investigating the variable they think is so important here.

        What a scientist would not do is assume a hypothesis, gather not a shred of evidence around it, and make the sorts of comments using loaded emotional language you do.

        Well, actually, this does happen from time to time in science especially around times of paradigm shifts. But in retrospect, if one looks at such people, the ones employing this strategy are most often in the wrong because they do, in fact, have nothing empirical to offer.

      • Sheldon, first you ignored my request to provide evidence she said “woman are much to [sic] nice to be like that. It would be a waste of time”.

        And now you still ignore my request to read the paper.

        I’ll therefore challenge you:
        Describe the experiment involving the headless bikini-clad women – what exactly did they do, and what did they conclude from it?

        Come on, show us you are a man with a “good science education” and can read a scientific paper in the field of psychology.

    • Suggestions to Sheldon:

      * Try talking/writing less and reading more. You’ll learn more when you read than you will when you spout huge swaths of meaningless text.

      * When reading, look past the emotional triggers and focus on the substantive points being made. If a comment has nothing but emotional triggers, just ignore it instead of responding. Do not use negative emotional triggers as an excuse to ignore substance.

      * If you can’t tell the difference between emotional triggers and substance, then you are in way over your head. (Yes, that sentence is mostly an emotional trigger.)

      * If you aren’t sure of the substantive point being made, ask questions instead of running off at the mouth. (2/3 of this sentence is a substantive point.)

      Verbal diarrhea is not a character trait to be proud of. (This sentence is 50% emotional trigger, and 50% substantive point.)

      • Excellent advice, Bob, though I’m pretty sure it won’t make a dent in Sheldon’s armor. Regardless, I hope you won’t mind if I offer you a word, logorrhea, in place of “verbal diarrhea”:

        If someone’s always mouthing off and just can’t shut up, they’ve got logorrhea, a pathological inability to stop talking. Sounds better than “loudmouth”.

        As its sound suggests, logorrhea is related to diarrhea — an inability to stop something far more unpleasant from flowing.

        Ouch 8^}!

  80. Sheldon the Denier: When you tell me that creationists don’t do science, I agree with you. But I was trying to make the point that THEY think that they are doing science. Your opinion is that creationists don’t do science, but THEIR opinion may be that YOU don’t do science. It is all relative.

    BPL: Shorter Sheldon: There are no standards and there is no empirical evidence. Any idea is equally worthy, and no idea is better than any other idea.

  81. There was no SCIENTIFIC ice age scare in the 70s. You obviously did not read the scientific literature then, but rather read Newsweek. Fine, maybe Newsweek scared you. If you had read the science literature you would have become much more comforted.

    I did read the research literature then. Read Science in particular every day. If you had, you would have seen the consensus was NEVER that an ice age was coming. There were major global warming articles in Science and other major journals at the very same time as the Newsweek ice age “scare” that scarred your psyche so badly. For example, Broecker published a seminal article in Science in August 1975 as did other groups around that same time. I well remember reading it to this day and it made far more sense than the fewer aerosol groups’ data and conclusions. It just so happened that Newsweek didn’t pick those ones up.

    • Sheldon, for summaries and links to formal, rigorous studies of the peer reviewed scientific literature about the “ice age scare” to back up jfnfld’s testimony, read the Basic tabbed pane, then watch the video, then read the Intermediate tabbed pane, in the SkepticalScience post =“What Were Climate Scientists Predicting in the 1970s?”

    • I am very impressed that Sheldon can see a coming “ice age” in his fancy colored graphs. Maybe if I take off my glasses, squint, and pop a tab of acid I, too, could see it!

  82. Sheldon the denier says, “Before you begin to feel smug, I believe that at least half of warmists don’t know what they are talking about. They are global warming parrots, who have learnt a few phrases.”

    And the dumb, illogical, wrong talking points keep coming.

    It doesn’t matter how many warmists don’t know what they’re talking about, it could even be 90%, as long as they reflect the scientific consensus; it’s the opinion of the experts that matter.

    As for deniers, how many of them do you think know what they’re talking about? Very few, if any. They thoughtlessly parrot Fox News and WTFUWT talking points.

    The point is that it makes more sense to parrot the views of experts than parrot the views of dubious news outlets like Fox News and disinformation blogs like WTFUWT.

    “When you tell me that creationists don’t do science, I agree with you. But I was trying to make the point that THEY think that they are doing science. Your opinion is that creationists don’t do science, but THEIR opinion may be that YOU don’t do science. It is all relative.”

    Another pointless point. What some ignoramuses think, whether creationists or others, is totally irrelevant to anything; there is no relativity there at all. Only the views of those who understand what science is matters. Creationist, flat earthers, astrologers, AGW deniers can all claim to have science to back them up…and yet they can’t produce any.

    • *sigh*
      I have been reading about a notion called translational ecology in the journals of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). This is an effort to make Ecology suitable for policy- and decision-making and more approachable for administrators and Everyman. It’s not appropriate to talk about it a lot here, but once I learn more I’m going to write a blog post about it at my place.

      The idea is to break down walls of distrust emphasizing things like knowledge co-production, and moving away from knowledge-deficit models, the loading-dock appoach, and the trickle-down approach. See here for a glossary.

      Of particular interest is a paper I want to read,

      A.M. Meadow, D. B. Ferguson, Z. Guido, et al “Moving towards the deliberate co-production of climate science knowledge”, Weather, Climate, and Society, 7, 179-191.

      We should do a joint project with @Sheldon Walker.

    • Sheldon:

      I can call my old rusty Ford Pinto a Lamborghini Countach, but that doesn’t make it one. If you don’t accept that there is a real world out there that exists regardless of whether or not you believe in it, then there really is very little common ground in our approach to understanding.

  83. Sheldon Walker

    Philippe,

    you must live in a small warmist echo chamber. Your comments about alleged denier activities, are nothing compared to warmist activities.

    It took me less than 5 minutes to discover 5 warmist atrocities. I am including links to web pages, so that you can check them out for yourself.

    1) Photos of an environmentalist’s children were placed on the internet, along with their school’s address, and the tagline “Disgusting”. Her “crime”, was to have second thoughts about wind power, and to permit a natural gas facility. Police were involved with the case for more than a year. There was often a sheriff at the children’s school.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/16/encouraging-an-environmentalists-slow-motion-moment-of-clarity/

    2) 1010 No Pressure. Check out this video. Warmists seem to have a fascination with being violent to innocent children. This video was a multi-million dollar production, but it was never used. It got withdraw because of the outcry about young children being blown up, just because they didn’t support global warming. Their classmates get splattered in blood and guts.

    3) A real campaign from 10 years ago, to exile climate change deniers to 3 penal colonies in Kerguelen Island, South Georgia and New Zealand’s South Island.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/01/wet-dream-of-climate-dictators-skeptics-exiled-to-penal-colonies-on-antarctic-islands/

    4) The modern day equivalent of point 3. Bill Nye, the science guy, is open to criminal charges and jail time for climate change dissenters

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/14/bill-nye-open-criminal-charges-jail-time-climate-c/

    5) A play which incites violence against deniers, “Kill Climate Deniers”. The climate terrorists threaten to kill 1,700 people, if Australia doesn’t immediately cease all carbon emissions and coal exports. The climate terrorists take the audience hostage during a concert at Parliament House. I don’t understand why the 1,700 audience members are all deniers. I guess that it doesn’t matter if 1,000 innocent non-denier audience members are slaughtered for the global warming cause.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/17/kill-climate-deniers-2018-season/

    ========================================

    Philippe, if you can spare a moment from slaughtering innocent children, have a look at my graphs which show the “pause”. Until you do that, you are not qualified to have an opinion about the “pause”.

    You said, “Nobody is interested in your back of the envelope calculations and your little graphs.”

    I don’t use envelopes Philippe, I use EXCEL.

    • Which scientists do you suggest were involved here? How do these events reflect on any scientific issue? Be specific and link back to actual science.

    • I checked claim 3 of Sheldon (“A real campaign from 10 years ago, to exile climate change deniers to 3 penal colonies in Kerguelen Island, South Georgia and New Zealand’s South Island.”) because I had not heard of it before…

      …and found out it is a misrepresentation.

      The reality? A document was prepared with five potential scenarios of how societies *could* react to climate change. *One* scenario was entitled “environmental war economy” – it revolves around a highly autocratic response to reduce GHG emissions. Those preparing the scenarios included a possible timeline for each, and for *this* particular scenario putting deniers in a penal colony was indeed mentioned as a potential step that would be taken in such an “environmental war economy”.

      It was NOT a campaign in any way, and in no way endorsed such actions.

      This is the second time that I catch Sheldon relying on secondary sources, and badly mangling what the original source says.

    • Sheldon, color me unimpressed. Of your 5 examples, I would only count one as an actual ‘atrocity.’ (Number one, of course! That’s a hideous story.)

      #2–I’m quite certain that no children were harmed in the making of the video. But children ‘die’ on television all the time to sell soap, or jeans, or cars, so why would it surprise anyone that an advertising firm somewhere thought that they could treat climate change the same way? It’s a bad idea, tasteless in the extreme, but an ‘atrocity?’

      #3–A few minutes of reading your own sources would inform you that this was not a “campaign”, but rather an item picked–I might say “cherry-picked”–out of a set of *possible future scenarios*. The idea that this represented a “wet dream” for wannabe “climate dictators” was purely read into it by Joanne Nova.

      #4–Again, simply reading your own source shows that Bill Nye didn’t advocate anything. He was asked about those advocating prosecution of climate denial, and ducked the question, saying “Let’s see what happens.” He did say:

      “In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,” Mr. Nye said. “So I can see where people are very concerned about this, and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this.”

      Is that an ‘atrocity?’ Mischievously:

      “In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about the security of State Department emails is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,” Mr. Trump said. “So I can see where people are very concerned about this, and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this.”

      Seems a little namby-pamby compared with what was actually said, don’t you think?

      5) I see nothing in the description of the play that demonstrates there is any “incitement” involved. To know that, you’d have to at least read the script and preferably see an actual production, because simply based on plot you can’t tell where audience sympathies are meant to lie. (Cf., treatments of the Joan of Arc story by two English playwrights: William Shakespeare and the previously referenced George Bernard Shaw. In Shakespeare, she’s a lying adulterous witch who got what she deserved; in Shaw she’s a tragic heroine–although the major plot points are pretty much the same.)

      If I had to guess based on what is described, I’d guess that the “charismatic” leader of the terrorist faction is presented as an attractive anti-hero, a foil to the truly heroic Environment Minister, and that the dramatic tension arises from the conflict between a noble goal–addressing climate change in order to save lives–and an atrocious methodology (holding Parliament hostage), as well as an uneasy attraction/repulsion relationship between the two women. At least, that’s a pretty obvious dramaturgic strategy.

      But WUWT just jumped in and assumed, based on their fantasy about who ‘warmists’ are.

      So, no, I don’t see any ‘atrocity’ here, either (though it remains a possibility in the artistic realm!) And before you ask, nor would it be a social and ethical ‘atrocity’ if the ‘warmist’ hostage takers were stock ‘pure evil’ villains–though it would render the play propaganda and bad art.

      • Apologies for the blown ‘end blockquote’ tag that impaired the readability of the above comment. Everything from “Seems a little namby-pamby…” should have been ‘unquoted’–but I expect most everyone will have been able to figure that out, if the comment was of any interest to them.

    • @Sheldon Walker,

      I don’t know about the others, which could be cherry-picked, but the Bill Nye comment was completely taken out of context. The answer was to the question if corporate executives, say, at Exxon, orchestrated a campaign to deliberately mislead citizens and, by the way, their shareholders, on the impacts of their products, should they go to prison? Well, misleading your shareholders is a crime: It’s called fraud. And Mr Nye, in that case, is simply reiterating what the law of the land says.

      Similarly, anyone in any capacity who has concrete evidence of harm to a population, but suppresses it for protecting profits are at least ethically culpable, possibly more.

    • Sheldon Walker:

      A real campaign from 10 years ago, to exile climate change deniers to 3 penal colonies in Kerguelen Island, South Georgia and New Zealand’s South Island.

      LOL, it’s no surprise Sheldon thinks somebody’s far-fetched notion “to exile climate change deniers to 3 penal colonies” in the sub-Antarctic is “a real campaign”. That sounds like the Tea Party’s Agenda 21 nonsense. Great flights of conspiracist fantasy take wing from tiny eggs of fact 8^D!

      Sheldon has protested that he thinks the moon landing is real, but even if he doesn’t gleefully espouse every popular conspiracy theory, he evinces plenty of conspiracist ideation. Sadly, it makes him ‘cannon fodder’ for the spurious culture war that brought the Tea Party worldview to power.

    • Sheldon the Denier: Warmists seem to have a fascination with being violent to innocent children.

      BPL: Unlike, I suppose, the Deniers who threatened an Australian climate scientist that her children would be “brutally gang-raped” if she persisted in “the climate lie?” Pottle, kettle, black.

  84. Sheldon Walker

    jgnfld,

    I never thought that there was a scientific consensus on the ice age scare.

    I think that you are projecting your fears on to me.

    My theory is that there was a small group of scientists (maybe only 2 or 3), who discovered a cooling trend. Somehow the media found out, and blew it out of proportion, like the media do. I don’t believe that the media would print the story without some input from a scientist.

    I remember learning about the ice age scare in 1976 (my intermediate year at university). I can’t remember how I found out about it. It could have been TV, radio, newspaper, or somewhere else. I have a crystal clear memory of walking into a big lecture theatre, and starting to climb the steep stairs. I thought, “Should I be worried about a possible ice age”. Then I thought, “No, I will worry about it, if it happens”.

    You can see that I was a denier, way back then.

    I found some corroborating evidence when I first started developing my graph, about 2 years ago. I found a 35 year cooling trend that went from 1940 to 1975. It was not a strong trend, it was weaker than the global warming trend, but it was there.

    It puzzled me when I first found the cooling trend. When I saw that it ended in 1975, I suddenly remembered the ice age scare. It seemed to be a reasonable explanation.

    I can show you the cooling trend on a graph on my website. I can produce my graph based on start date, end date, or centre of trend date.

    To see this trend, it would be best to look on a start date, and end date graph. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of those at the moment, so we will have to look on a centre of trend graph.

    Go to this webpage:
    http://mta-graphs.com/mta-gistemp-land-and-ocean-1880

    There are 3 graphs. On the left is Global, in the middle is Northern Hemisphere, and on the right is Southern Hemisphere.

    Start with Global on the left. Look just above 1950, at the mid-green color (look at the legend for colours and colour names).

    That is the cooling trend. It goes up to a trend length of 40, and has a warming rate between zero and -1 degrees Celsius per century.

    If you compare Global to the other 2 graphs, you will see that different things happened in each hemisphere. The Global graph is more or less the average of the other 2.

    On the Global graph, note how the dominant colour changes from light-green to yellow, at about 1970. That is global warming starting. And you thought that I was a denier.

    I hope that you can appreciate how accurate my graphs are. I tried to tell people about the 1970’s cooling trend about 2 years ago. Nobody wanted to know.

    I don’t care what other people think. I had great fun developing the graph, and I enjoy learning about global warming. If you have any questions then let me know.

    • ??? …

      aerosols vs. carbon dioxide were a legitimate area of scientific study at the time. But the majority consensus was always on the carbon side. Again, Broecker 1975 is a very good source for the time. Read it and related papers rather than old Newsweeks.

      So too was the problem of acid rain and other direct and immediate effects of aerosols, so aerosols were dealt with over the objections of acid rain deniers primarily funded by the coal power industry. You can see a selection of the misleading ads using exactly the same misleading techniques and themes we see today here including some which you have used in this very comment stream: http://polluterwatch.org/category/freetagging/acid-rain .

      As for the rest, I have not a clue what you are going on about above, but it has nothing to do with actual science or what scientists were thinking now or then. I know of no scientist who denies the trends of the 70s.

    • Sheldon, you are essentially correct about the 70s cooling ‘scare’, based on the comment above. (I put ‘scare’ quotes because my recollection of that era is that not very many people were actually frightened, despite the best attempts of Newsweek et al to sensationalize the issue. Most people were enormously more concerned about Vietnam, or drugs, or police brutality, or racism, or the economy–or all of the above. My personal reaction was to note that hey, maybe Aldous Huxley (who had written, rather casually, about the warming world) was wrong.)

      That is, questions of anthropogenic influence on climate were being worked out in the literature. An important but flawed paper was Rasool and Schneider. You can read a brief summary here:

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

      But all that said, what, then, is your point? Why does it matter enough to bring up when we are talking about consequences to today’s climate change–and when we ‘warmists’ contend that they are serious, even existential?

      You also said:

      I hope that you can appreciate how accurate my graphs are. I tried to tell people about the 1970’s cooling trend about 2 years ago. Nobody wanted to know.

      I can’t speak for anyone else on this, but personally, I already knew. It was already evident in the record, as I can highlight with this graph:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:1990/mean:13/plot/gistemp/from:1960/to:1970/trend

      I haven’t looked at your graphs much, not because I’m ‘afraid’ as you imagine, but because I haven’t seen or heard much that suggests that they’d teach me something that I didn’t already know. And while I am curious about the purely scientific questions–including the arcana of such things as your ‘unknown 200-year cooling period’ (which, however, I seriously doubt is actually ‘unknown’)–I’m more focused on matters that have more promise to minimize the number of premature and unnecessary deaths coming at us.

    • Sheldon: “My theory is that there was a small group of scientists (maybe only 2 or 3), who discovered a cooling trend.”

      Sigh! Dude, this is history. You can go back and actually read what happened. There were a few scientists (a small minority) who were concerned that aerosols were causing sufficient dimming that we could tip into an Ice Age. The problem: They assumed a sensitivity to CO2 that was too low. Then, when environmental laws mandated reformulation of gasoline to be lower sulfur (so as not to gum up catalytic converters) and other environmental laws passed, voila, fewer aerosols, more warming.

      This is one of my favorite denialist “own goals”. They cite it repeatedly to make it seem the scientists don’t know what they are doing. In fact, the effect identified by the scientists (aerosol dimming) is real, it did cause temperatures to hold level from ~1945-1975, and the whole episode winds up being evidence that CO2 sensitivity is higher (>2 degrees) rather than lower (<1.5 degrees).

    • Martin Smith

      Sheldon Walker wrote: “My theory is that there was a small group of scientists (maybe only 2 or 3), who discovered a cooling trend.”

      Whether it was a trend or not, a large part of the cooling they discovered was caused by increasing industrial and automobile air pollution. Surely you can remember that air pollution was a real problem back then, as it is now in China and India. It was, effectively, an increasing “nuclear winter,” which would have caused an ice age if there had been an all-out nuclear war. That’s why there was talk about an ice age in the duscussion about cooling caused by air pollution. But, the EPA was created to stop air pollution, among other reasons, and the EPA succeeded, so the threat of increasing nuclear winter abated.

      You are ignoring all those facts and only harping on the reporting of a possible ice age, and your apparent purpose is to create doubt about current warming predictions because the cooling prediction was wrong. But the cooling prediction was not wrong. The EPA stopped the anthropogenic cause of the cooling.

      And now we have even worse air pollution in China and India, which probably means the human race is actually responsible for more than 100% of the warming we have seen.

  85. Sheldon Walker

    Leto,
    ========================================

    Sheldon wrote:
    “You seem to regard colour as an inferior analysis tool.”

    Leto wrote:
    “Um, I wouldn’t describe it as an analysis tool at all.”

    Sheldon wrote:
    “Then why are you about to investigate the effect of changing 1998 temperatures, using my colour graph?”

    ========================================

    Leto said:
    Well, I would be in complete awe of your graphing technique if you could produce one for me that replaced the 1998 temp with a new value that was the mean of its neighbouring years. That would begin to answer the question of whether you have illustrated a non-significant “pause” or merely illustrated that “1998 was hot”.

    Leto, given the comments that you have made about my graph, I don’t believe that you will ever be in awe of it. Even if I made my graph sing and dance, and make you a cup of coffee, you would still regard it as a worthless denier graph.

    Despite your comments, I am still going to help you. In fact, I am going to help you more than you expected.

    It doesn’t even bother me that you are trying to disprove the pause. If you can succeed at disproving the pause, then you deserve a medal.

    I think that I did what you are planning to do, over a year ago. I can’t remember exactly what I got, but I think the temperature change didn’t make much difference. You should repeat it, to see what you get.

    With your permission, I would like to share your graphs with other people on Tamino’s website. Is that ok with you?

    You need to send me the temperature data that you want to use. Do you have EXCEL. If you have EXCEL then things will be easy.

    Send me 4 columns of data
    Column 1 = Year
    Column 2 = Month
    Column 3 = Actual temperature series anomalies
    Column 4 = Changed temperature series anomalies

    I recommend that you go from January 1980, to some recent time, like December 2016 or 2017. I can work with other dates, but these dates would give a good graph.

    I am guessing that you have a particular temperature series in mind, like GISTEMP, or UAH, or RSS. Put those values in column 3. Copy column 3 to column 4, and then change the anomalies in column 4 to what you want them to be.

    You can do this in a word processor, but it is a lot more work.

    This bit is very important: Save the data as a .csv file (comma separated variable). If you go to the “save” or “save as” dialog, there is a field called “Save as type”. Choose “CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)

    The reason for this is that other EXCEL file types can hide viruses. A .csv file is basically plain text, and cannot hide a virus.

    I will not open your file unless it is a .csv file.

    Send the file to sheldon.climate(at)gmail.com Change (at) to @

    I only use this email address for data, so I don’t look at it very often. Communicate with me using Tamino’s website.

    When I finish generating the graphs, I will send them to the email address that you sent the file from.
    If you want a different email address, then tell me what it is.

    ========================================

    Now for the second step. You need to learn how to read my graph. It is not hard, but some people find it confusing at first. Most people are fine with a bit of practice.

    I wrote an article for WattsUpWithThat in January 2017. It was called, “A colour based comparison of the temperature series used by Hausfather et al. 2017”.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/05/a-colour-based-comparison-of-the-temperature-series-used-by-hausfather-et-al-2017/

    What I did in this article. is almost exactly what you want to do. I went a bit overboard in this article, and looked at 6 temperature series. You only need to look at 2.

    I recommend that you use ERSSTv3B, and ERSSTv4. These are the last 2 graphs in the article. These will be your before and after temperature series. It is easiest if you compare them side by side. Copy and paste, or take screenshots, and paste them into a big Paint document. You might want to copy the legend as well, to see what the colours mean.

    Then start comparing the graphs, and see if you can work out what changed. Shapes of areas, position of area, colour of areas, etc, can all change. Good luck, and you are welcome to ask me any questions.

    When I get time, I will try to write some instructions for reading my graph. I will let you know when I finish this.

  86. Sheldon Walker

    Ig,

    Ig said:
    It doesn’t matter how many warmists don’t know what they’re talking about, it could even be 90%, as long as they reflect the scientific consensus; it’s the opinion of the experts that matter.

    Sheldon said:
    What if your expert turns out to be like Adolf Hitler, or Trofim Lysenko.

    Ig said:
    Another pointless point. What some ignoramuses think, whether creationists or others, is totally irrelevant to anything; there is no relativity there at all. Only the views of those who understand what science is matters. Creationist, flat earthers, astrologers, AGW deniers can all claim to have science to back them up…and yet they can’t produce any.

    Sheldon said:
    Did you know that a recent survey found that more than 50% of scientists believe in a God or Higher Being? Is this compatible with a rational scientific view? Perhaps they also believe in Bigfoot.

    • OK, Sheldon, I’ll bite. What fields might Hitler or Lysenko be experts in. Because one can only be an expert in one’s own specialty. Likewise, whether a scientist believes in a deity or not is irrelevant, because that is NOT their field of expertise. I would contend that in reality, nobody is an expert on actual deities, because none have been studied under controlled conditions. Historians, philosophers and theologians may be experts on concepts of various deities. I’d defer to them on the history or philosophy–not on whether said deity existed or not. Same applies to Bigfoot or to invisible pink leprechauns in the trunk of my car.

      Dude, do you even have an A game?

      • Sheldon Walker

        Snarkrates,
        Let’s pretend that Adolf Hitler and Trofim Lysenko are climate scientists.
        Since they are experts, Ig says that it doesn’t matter if all warmists are stupid, they must all do what the experts say.
        In Ig’s words, “it’s the opinion of the experts that matter.”

        Ok, here is my ‘A’ game.
        Would you be happy if you found out that a top scientist was running a business selling homeopathic remedies? Science regards homeopathy as quackery. Is this scientist being a hypocrite?
        Homeopathy may not be his field of expertise, but science has a strong opinion about it.

      • Sheldon: You’ve neglected one tiny point. What has said homeopath published in the scientific literature and how respected by his peers is it?

        Many scientists have many negative even sometimes repulsive personal characteristics. But what does that have to do with the scientific worth of their research?

        At most, since you bring up the Nazis, some research should ethically be ignored/banned as forming the basis an area for further investigation and this the scientific community has regularly done. Hypothermia research, for example, can be done ethically without referencing the Nazi data nor employing any of their work.

        Lysenko’s catechism destroyed Soviet science in that area and every scientist inside and outside the country knew it. He prevented knowledge accumulation and dissemination while he could enforce his ideas through a police state apparatus, but again, scientists BOTH internally and externally were aware that that was the real issue, not the science.

        As in every other instance you’ve named, your “objections” to science are emotionally, politically, or personally based and have nothing whatever to do with science.

        It’s hard to be a scientific “skeptic” when you are clearly unable to handle scientific thinking.

  87. Sheldon Walker

    Tom Dayton,

    you said, “I am very impressed that Sheldon can see a coming “ice age” in his fancy colored graphs. Maybe if I take off my glasses, squint, and pop a tab of acid I, too, could see it!”

    I have given “jgnfld” full instructions on how to see the cooling trend that caused the ice age scare. It is in this post:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/consequences/#comment-100983

    You don’t need to take off your glasses, squint, or pop a tab of acid.

    The only question is, are you brave enough to have a look?

    • No, Sheldon, the cooling trend never was the cause of the “ice age” scare. For the few scientists who thought the next glacial period’s onset might be a bit earlier due to human influence, the key factors were a projection (not prediction) of the consequence of a scenario of accelerating emissions of reflective aerosols, with an underestimate of the warming effect of CO2. Combined with the already underway cooling from Milankovich cycles. None of those things are visible to me, in your colored graphs. Maybe you can see those. Maybe your fertile imagination can see a woolly mammoth charging at you from your graphs.

      • Sheldon Walker

        Tom,
        do you expect me to believe that scientists (possibly climate) predicted an ice age, without ever seeing a drop in temperature? They must be like the current climate scientists. Climate scientists must have big balls.
        A projection is just a poor quality prediction, there are no guarantees that it is right.
        If I thought that emissions of reflective aerosols might cause cooling, I would be looking at the temperature series.
        My graph can only show the “total” effect. You can’t see individual effects.
        The cooling trend went from about 1940 to 1975. They had 35 years to notice it. Why didn’t they have a look? It sounds like incompetence to me.

      • A projection is just a poor quality prediction, there are no guarantees that it is right.

        No, that’s not correct. A prediction, using the term properly, is assertion that something will happen. A projection is an assertion that something *could* happen, if certain conditions obtain.

        Given that our knowledge is always imperfect, it can be difficult to separate the two in some cases–but we shouldn’t therefore abandon the distinction. For instance, there’s a quote often brought up by climate denialists, skeptics and contrarians:


        Prof. WIESLAW MASLOWSKI (Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School): If the trend that we’ve seen through 2007 continues, we probably don’t need much more than five to 10 years to actually experience ice-free summers in the Arctic.

        Note the presence of the conditional. That, my friends, is a textbook projection.

        That didn’t stop folks from claiming that it was a ‘prediction’, though–it was just too tempting to characterize it thus in order crow about how it was ‘busted’. The repeated use of words like ‘projection’, ‘could be’, or ‘lower bound’ just got ignored. (So did the prevalence of much, much more conservative projections from the mainstream–but that’s another topic.)

      • Let me put one question to bed:

        J. Murray Mitchell showed as early as 1963 a multidecadal cooling since about 1940.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling#Pre-1970s

        So, yes, climate scientists were well aware of the postwar cooling trend–and also of the warming effects of CO2, as well as the cooling effects of some forms of aerosol pollution.

  88. Hyperactive Hydrologist

    Sheldon,
    If there was a pause in surface temperatures what would your conclusions be?

    And secondly, if there was a pause in surface temperatures but ice sheets, sea ice and glaciers continued to melt and the oceans continued to warm what conclusion would you draw from those findings?

    • Sheldon Walker

      Hi Hyperactive Hydrologist,
      I have answered this question in a couple of places, but I will repeat my answer here.
      In my opinion, the recent slowdown probably does not have any long-term consequences for global warming. It was a temporary slowdown. I believe that it was caused by ocean cycles.

      I have never claimed that global warming in totality stopped. There was a slowdown in the land/ocean temperature series.
      I accept all basic climate science, CO2, greenhouse effect, etc.
      I imagine that global warming will only stop when the temperature is at the equilibrium value for the CO2 level.

  89. Still waiting for Sheldon to address, or even acknowledge, the 3 responses I’ve already made to his allegations about renewable energy being “expensive” and “unreliable.” I’ve addressed the issue of cost with both analysis (from Lazard’s, the consultancy) and real-world examples (recent capacity auction bids in India).

    Fortuitously, a new study touching on the ‘reliability’ issue came across the transom this morning. A ‘simplified’ analysis of the constraints finds that 80% of current US electrical consumption could be met with just wind and solar. However, large (though not unrealistically so) investments in either a continental-scale grid OR large amounts of battery storage would be required.

    http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2018/ee/c7ee03029k#!divAbstract

    (The battery-storage case would likely fall in the ‘unrealistic’ range at today’s prices, but deployments at the sort of scale needed would also imply economies of scale that should drastically reduce those prices. To be clear, that last sentence is my comment, not part of the study’s conclusions. While I’m commenting, I’d also note that large expenditures on the grid are going to be necessary anyway, so some of the grid expense at least should be discounted.)

    The implication would be that we could shut down every single fossil fuel power plant in the country, since the current generation mix includes ~20% nuclear power and a further 6.5% of hydro.

  90. Philippe Chantreau

    Just like there was no pause in the recent temperature increase unless one carefully selects 1998 as a starting point of a time period too short to draw any conclusion, there was no ice age scare in the 70s, regardless of what Sheldon’s emotional response could have been to a couple of press articles. That he would mention this simply indicates how unfamiliar he is with the scientific literature that he feels so free to criticize.

    By now, it is painfully clear that Tamino has given too much credit to Sheldon Walker. The quality of Walker’s skepticism is basically non existent. His familiarity with the applicable science literature, on the subjects he argues everybody gets wrong, is dismal or absent altogether. He has shown this over and over again. One could say he simply had to learn, but he also has failed to comment on all the substantive information that countless posters here have offered to counter his arguments from ignorance. Not to mention this is stuff that he should already have been aware of, if his skepticism had any sincerity. Everybody has D-K except him, of course, I forgot that point, but he has to be spoon fed the basics.

    I buy into Walker’s bait game less than ever before because he is showing the unmistakable signs of those who argue in bad faith. I see no value whatsoever in Walker’s ramblings for one who is genuinely curious about the state of the science in matters of climate, and wants to better understand the physical realities at hand. Once again, the real science is the source for this.

  91. Sheldon,

    Okay, you got me. “Awe” was too strong a word. Let’s say that I’d be surprised, and would revise my opinion of you up a notch, if you actually tried to do something useful with your graphs, such as investigate the effect of removing the 1998 spike.

    But please note, I don’t need any explanation of how your graphs work. There is absolutely nothing in your graphs that is not already evident to me on inspection of the original temp-vs-time plot. Personally, I’m not curious enough in your graphing technique to spend energy preprocessing data for you, but it’s something you might want to do if you want to claw back some credibility.

    Do I deny the “pause”? Well, that depends on what the “pause” is supposed to be. If you mean a flattish bit of the graph that draws the eye, which appears to be largely due to the 1998 el nino, and which tells us nothing much about the continued accumulation of heat due to AGW, then yeah, I believe in the “pause”. But I can see it without a colour crutch. Deciding what it means is a different story, and that’s not something you have contributed to, and not something your graphing technique has illuminated so far. You could contribute something by trying the approach I suggested, but that’s up to you.

  92. Doc: Still waiting for Sheldon to address, or even acknowledge, the 3 responses I’ve already made to his allegations about renewable energy being “expensive” and “unreliable.”

    BPL: You’ll be waiting a long time. He’s not interested in debating any of the topics he brings up; he’s doing a Gish gallop. From pauses to renewables being awful to violence against children to the nonexistent cooling scare to… who knows what it will be next? His object is to baffle us with BS. He’s become a full-fledged troll, and if it were my blog, he’d be out by now. He’s wasting everybody’s time.

  93. Sheldon,

    You’ve shown yourself be child-like, gullible and lacking in nous. You are about as far removed from a skeptical mindset as it is possible to be.

    I chose to waste my time looking into one of your supposed warmist atrocities: “3) A real campaign from 10 years ago, to exile climate change deniers to 3 penal colonies in Kerguelen Island, South Georgia and New Zealand’s South Island.”, which you picked up at Jo Nova’s junk website.

    But there never was any “real campaign” to exile climate change deniers to penal colonies. You would have known this if you had spent 30 seconds following the links back to the source, which is a document that merely imagines five possible future scenarios based on responses to climate change.

    The source document is here: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/sites/default/files/project/downloads/climate-futures.pdf

    Will you apologise for spreading false and vicious rumours?

    You also said:

    “Philippe, if you can spare a moment from slaughtering innocent children, have a look at my graphs which show the “pause”.”

    So you are now making sick and defamatory accusations against those who disagree with you. It is way past time you were banned. You do not belong in the company of mature adults.

  94. So, for days, I’ve seen Sheldon trying to be witty rather than serious when answering others’ comments on what he’d written. Often, he’d ignore some points to concentrate on the points he thinks he has an answer to and, even then, often mischaracterising what was written. He’s read (presumably) very clear rebuttals of many of his opinions past and present that have molded his denial but he has not shifted any of his positions, as far as I’m aware. I would guess, though, that he’s intelligent enough to realise that outright denial of AGW is now untenable and so he doesn’t do that but does still hold enough denial to feel at home in WUWT and to play down the consequences of AGW enough to believe that no serious action is warranted (at least that’s how it seems to me).

    I think enough is enough. Tamino was right to revise his opinion of Sheldon’s state of mind.

    Shame.

  95. Sheldon Walker

    Doc Snow,

    my apologies, I am struggling to keep up with posting, as well as with reading. I will try to find some time to read your responses.

    Are you aware of the articles at joannenova.com, about Australia’s journey to renewables? Things like:
    1) Electricity prices fell for forty years in Australia, then renewables came…
    2) Mystery: Australian electricity costs rise six times faster than wages – up another 12%
    3) Who would have thought? Nations with more renewables have more expensive electricity
    4) Melbourne: 42,000 homes in dark, no fans left at Kmart. Power outages due to “secret” air conditioners?
    5) South Australia blows up cheap electricity, jobs, wealth, in ideological anti-coal quest
    6) How much do we have to pay people to NOT use electricity – up to 30 times more?
    7) Third blackout in Victoria — blame the possums
    8) Wind farm blades damaged after just a few years at sea — hundreds need repair.

    My worry is that renewables seem cheaper “in theory”, but it never works out that way “in practice”.

    What do you think?

    • Sheldon, thank you for responding to my comments on renewable energy. I know I’ve been pushy on that score, but I’ve done so only because I think the topic is incredibly important. And I do understand that you’ve been busy with responses, and that the foci of your interests may not align with mine. So I appreciate that you made some time for my hobby horse.

      I’m going to respond at some length essentially to this point:

      My worry is that renewables seem cheaper “in theory”, but it never works out that way “in practice”.

      What do you think?

      I think several things, just off the top of my head.

      1) While Ms. Nova may say things that are true, her ideological stance is so strong and marked that I feel compelled to be very careful about basing conclusions on anything she says. In general, her work would be, for me, a starting point for investigation. (With respect to the specific points you cite, I can’t respond to some because they are just too vague and diffuse–possums?–and I won’t respond to others because, well, it would get us back into Gish gallop territory, and who really wants to go there?)

      2) I’m not highly familiar with the Australian scene. But I gather that it is true that electricity prices have risen significantly–in fact, I read that that is one thing driving Australian grid defectors: it pays to go off-grid with solar as cheap as it has become, as discussed here:

      http://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-provides-48-of-south-australia-power-pushing-grid-demand-to-record-low-47695/

      But Google is my friend, so here I go. The first item up is a Federal Government ‘splainer’ from a couple of years back. Says that:

      In recent years, much of the increase in prices has been attributed to the need to invest in the network component because of previous underinvestment in maintaining the network or to increase capacity. Also important has been the impact of policies to address environmental issues.

      https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/EnergyPrices

      (Underinvestment in infrastructure? Couldn’t happen here in the good ol’ USA!) ;-)

      But that brings me to point 3.

      3) In general, there’s a confusion common to much argument about renewable energy. It is that the inherent costs of renewable energy are conflated with the cost of ‘prematurely’ retiring existing energy infrastructure.

      The clearest example is Germany, where lashings of renewable energy get blamed for the expense of an only moderately effective reduction in CO2 emissions. But the main reason is not that renewables are terribly expensive; the main reason is that it costs a lot to replace large numbers of coal plants PLUS all nuclear plants well before the ends of their economic lifetime and in relatively short order.

      4) Speaking of Germany, there’s another point here, which is that folks who are ‘agin’ renewable energy generally do not realize what the prices of RE have been doing. It’s most dramatic for solar, as this ‘first Google result’ chart illustrates:

      Summarizing: in 1977, a crystalline Si solar cell cost you $76.67 a watt. In 2013, that was $0.74. But a lot of folks are stuck, if not back in 1977, then at least in the 90s, when prices were still about 10x today’s level.

      The decline in wind power costs hasn’t been quite as dramatic, but still qualifies as pretty remarkable. I’ll let interested folks Google for themselves.

      5) One real issue here is justification. For folks like Ms. Nova, any rise in electricity prices–whether its due to inherent costs of renewables or due to ‘premature’ retirement of existing energy assets–is a Bad Thing, because it is unaccompanied by any good result. For instance, she is known for arguing that:

      …global warming is not caused by greenhouse gasses, “the world has not warmed since 2001,” and any global warming is a natural process.

      Therefore, using RE to lower emissions is pointless, in her view–a cost with no benefit.

      However, in the real world, the best evidence is that it *is* warming; that GHGs *are* responsible; and that the consequences *will be,* on balance, very bad. If that is all correct, then there is obviously a real benefit to getting carbon emissions under control; and as with most benefits in this life, it is only to be expected that one must pay something to obtain them.

      6) Finally–is that a faint cheer I hear in the distance?–let me address your comment about the ‘theoretical’ economy of RE versus its real cost. Consider again the story about rooftop solar in South Australia: do you really believe those homeowners have opted to pay for a major home reno project with all its expense and inconvenience for merely ‘theoretical’ economies? I don’t–certainly not in numbers sufficient to supply 48% of demand at midday, at least.

      Or take the previously linked story about Indian solar auctions, which brought in bid prices of 3.8 cents US per kilowatt-hour. Those bids were accepted, contracts signed, and now the companies making those bids are legally on the hook to deliver power at bid price. It’s hard for me to see what’s ‘theoretical’ about that.

      More generally, analyses by groups like Lazard’s are, as I understand it, based on actual contracts as well. So, while they are definitely more abstract as ‘number-crunching’ summaries of what’s happening around the world, they are at bottom not really ‘theoretical’ either, but are empirically based.

      I think it circles back to my point 3 above–jurisdictions which have chosen for political reasons–if you like, say ‘policy reasons’ instead–to address the climate crisis with policies favoring renewable energy have had to pay a real cost. But it’s not primarily because ‘RE is expensive’; it’s primarily because ‘transforming the energy economy to lower emissions is expensive’.

      But the data says to me that we are now at a point where rapid deployment of renewable energy is the fastest and least expensive way to do so.*

      *At least on the ‘supply side’ of the equation–energy efficiency and conservation are often much cheaper still, and even better at reducing emissions. But in practice, we need to work both sides of the energy ledger.

      • I just want to add that some of these increased costs are because utilities are in reality Stalinist cooperatives where the people who want their energy have to participate, and they are in a deadly embrace with regulators via regulatory capture where all their costs are recovered through adjudication.

        In fact, if utilities were like any other business in a relatively free and competitive market, then the horse-and-buggy makers would go out of business as the automobiles came on the scene, and That Would Be That.

        To the degree people can afford it, and to the degree people are fed up with what the grid and their regulators are doing to them, they may be willing to pay a premium to defect from the grid so they can control their own energy destinies. Alas, that leaves an increasingly creaky grid needing to be paid for by an ever smaller market. This is the crux of the utility company death spiral, since the increased costs and poorer service, and cheaper non-grid options, motivate more people to defect.

        Eventually, I have every confidence, extremely decentralized defectors will realize that scale is good, and will begin to reassemble into groups, and then groups into groups. But this reorganization will look nothing at all like today’s grid. It’ll be more like a network of microgrids, and, I expect, will sustain itself financially in the manner the backbone infrastructure of the Internet does today, not by receiving monthly bills in the mail. Participants will be generators of power as much as consumers, and they’ll also be paid if they don’t consume at certain times.

        Frankly, I can’t imagine anything more of a marketplace than that. Incumbent companies tend not to have high survival rates across such changes to industries.

      • Heh! I’m in South Carolina, as I’ve previously mentioned–and of course, we here are ringside for the biggest US nuclear bust since Three Mile Island–the failure of the Summer nuclear expansion project. I’ve been to a couple of the PSC meetings in the aftermath, and all I can say is that it is simultaneously–paradoxically!–confusing and illuminating.

        It’s confusing because, as a layperson, the real meaning and significance of what you see is not always apparent. It’s confusing because the financial consequences are so considerable, yet there is so little public awareness and participation. (Probably in part because of point #1, and probably in part because unlike many council meetings, PSC meetings are held during regular work hours.) And it’s illuminating, because it’s nevertheless highly evident that it’s a scene marked by cronyism and ‘business-as-usual’ to a very high degree.

        Now it’s also more entertaining than usual, because the failure of Westinghouse in general and the project in particular has got the ‘ants’ well and truly stirred up. The state politicos, who as far as I can tell didn’t previously take managing all this very seriously–preferring to leave it to the ‘pros’ at SCANA and Santee Cooper–are now all righteous indignation. The ‘pros’ are trying to avoid corporate bankruptcy, or at least to salvage the least-worst financial terms they can. (Currently, that means trying to sell SCANA to Dominion Energy.) The PSC members are wondering if they are going to still have jobs, now that that whole ‘rubber stamp’ thing has blown up in their faces. Rural electric cooperatives are suing Santee Cooper, the state-owned junior partner in the debacle, to stop Summer charges that the co-ops must now pay.

        And, sadly, the public is still pretty much behind the eight ball no matter which way things play out–if the Dominion sale goes through, SCANA customers will get a $1000 rebate up front, but keep on paying the Summer expansion surcharges for years to come. If not–well, it’s really not clear yet, but it’s going to cost money one way or the other.

        But maybe–if we’re very lucky, and work very hard–just maybe we’ll see a friendlier environment for clean energy in SC.

      • I worked for Westinghouse Nuclear Automation for a time as a contractor test engineer, doing nuclear test safety engineering.

        All I gotta say, is Uh boy …..

  96. Sheldon Walker

    Wouldn’t it be ironic?

    Marc Morano asked Bill Nye whether he agreed with other environmental activists, that any skeptics should be jailed. Bill Nye smirked, and said, “Well, we’ll see what happens.”

    Wouldn’t it be ironic, if that pushed some deniers over the edge?

    The deniers could storm the theatre showing “Kill Climate Deniers” (a play which incites violence against deniers), and take the writer, cast, and audience (who are mostly warmists), hostage. They could then threaten to execute one person each hour, unless climate scientists admit that global warming is a scam.

    ========================================

    We need to make sure that something like this can never happen. There are mentally unstable people on both sides of the climate debate. Plays like “Kill Climate Deniers”, feed people’s paranoia. How long will it be, before we have a climate shooting? Aren’t school shootings bad enough? The building that Dr Roy Spencer works in, has already been shot at.

    We are all people. Surely we can get along, without the threat of jailing somebody, just because they don’t believe the same things that you do.

    In the Dark Ages, “The Church” burned over 100,000 women at the stake, as witches, because they didn’t believe the teachings of the church. We don’t seem to have made much progress since then.

    • Should conscious decisions that lead to massive negative consequences be ignored legally? Should tobacco executives, for example, who marketed their product as safe in the full knowledge their product would kill large numbers of users be prosecuted criminally for fraud? Some would smile and say yes rather than we’ll see.

      I’m on the side of personal responsibility rather than feigning that some corporate not-really-person committed the frauds in that area. There will be no corporate responsibility until corporate managers and directors realize their decisions can be attributed back to them personally.

      But all this is, of course, a legal/political question not a scientific one. So why bring it up in a scientific forum? Is it part of being scientifically “skeptical”? (Hint: No.)

      • But, given that the title of this ‘post-which-is-more-like-a-comment-thread’ is “Consequence”, maybe it’s not as OT as you’re thinking?

        Either way, I agree with you that at some point misleading people with potentially lethal consequences becomes irresponsible behavior; and that, at some point it may well be criminally irresponsible, with legal liability attached.

        We hear much talk about ‘normalizing’ bad behavior today, but we hear less about bad behavior that was already normal. There was a time, as Sheldon points out, when witch-burning was normal. (I’d disagree with him, though, about how much ‘progress’ from that we’ve made, and what that progress is worth.) There was a time when chattel slavery was both normal and highly integrated with legal and political structures in the US and many other nations. There was a time when women were not considered to be ‘persons’ in the full legal sense of that term.

        Today, it is normal to use the atmosphere as a free dump for combustion byproducts, and in particular, carbon long sequestered by geological processes. It doesn’t follow that that will still be considered normal the ‘day after tomorrow.’

        In fact, I expect that at some point it will be regarded with unbelieving horror, and the justifications for it so prolifically on offer today with utter incomprehension.

        Why?

        Because ‘consequences.’

      • @Doc Snow, @jgnfld,

        In fact, I expect that at some point it will be regarded with unbelieving horror, and the justifications for it so prolifically on offer today with utter incomprehension.

        Why?

        Because ‘consequences.’

        There’s another way that this could go, and worry about this direction might explain a bunch of the pushback from Exxon on lawsuits and such. And that is the argument that they are selling a product which they know harms the public, and which, because they warm to continue selling it, they work to deemphasize, contradict, and mitigate expressions of the harm the product causes. That way, the setup is like toxic milk, or poison cherries or whatever. The difference between this view and the it’s our collective fault view, which, interestingly, fossil fuel companies also encourage by the idea that we will continue to need fossil fuels for decades, is that with this view, it is completely and entirely their responsibility and we know where to send the bill.

        Love Canal, again, except this time it’s the atmosphere.

      • Sheldon Walker

        If global warming is a serious problem, then we should look at ALL parts of it. Do you just want a half-arsed solution?

      • Sheldon Walker

        jgnfld,
        you said,”I’m on the side of personal responsibility rather than feigning that some corporate not-really-person committed the frauds in that area.”

        You want corporate managers and directors to take personal responsibility, but warmists don’t even take personal responsibility for their own fossil fuel use, it is the fault of the oil companies.

      • …warmists don’t even take personal responsibility for their own fossil fuel use…

        What does ‘take personal responsibility’ mean in this context? Does it mean ‘admit fault?’ Does it mean ‘face the relevant facts honestly?’ Or does it mean ‘mitigate personal emissions partially or completely?’

        I can’t entirely disagree that some ‘irresponsibility’ exists, as I’ve stated previously that ‘we are all to some extent in denial.’ And one of the corollaries of that is that no-one’s efforts are quite as complete as they potentially could be. For instance, personally, I’m still driving a gasmobile (albeit I’m getting the most utility possible out of the past emissions it embodies by extended usage–it was built in 2003 and is pushing a quarter of a million miles.)

        But from what I’ve seen, to the extent that anyone in our culture takes personal responsibility for emissions, it’s ‘warmists.’ For example:

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/how-to-raise-a-baby-with-a-zero-carbon-footprint-1.1354403

        Of course–and clearly Ms. Chatterjee knows this as well as anyone–the low carbon footprint the Chatterjees achieved didn’t save the world all by itself. Billions of other humans are still using carbon-emitting practices without, in many cases, a second thought. (Maybe even without a first thought.) The example of people like the Chatterjees is an important example of integrity, and shows what can be accomplished with thought and effort. And yes, even some sacrifice:

        …[Before having a baby] we had just an embarrassingly high amount of emissions from flying. We found out where a huge amount of emissions were and we stopped those emissions. But on another level, any kind of decision you make has its benefits and its cons. Really, flying with baby is very hard and it’s nice not to have had to deal with it so much.

        But it didn’t come without costs. My grandmother had said to me just before she died, “I’m going to die without seeing your baby.” And she’s in India. And you know, she was right.

        But, the slippery question of ‘responsibility’ aside, a really efficacious solution to the carbon problem requires systemic change as well.

      • @Doc Snow, @jgnfld,

        To the degree that fractiousness in discussion is an indication that its premises are not entirely sound, more and more I like the idea of putting the blame of climate change squarely upon defective and harmful products, namely, fossil fuels. And, like GE for the Hudson River in Schenectady, NY, the sellers of the defective products should be charged with cleaning up their mess.

        That’ll end up with them in bankruptcy, no doubt, and we’ll all be stuck with the remains, but it’s a start. And it would, at the same time, force the economic system to learn to do without fossil fuels. Yeah, that’ll be rough, but, if we wait and wait, the economic impact will be higher and higher when the walls come crashing down.

    • Sheldon Walker,
      The Dark Ages are (amongst other attributes) renowned for being a time short of historical record so we can make up anything we like about what went on at that time and it will be difficult to repudiate it But it also means any history of that time is difficult to establish with any useful veracity.
      However, do you really mean “the Dark Ages” or some other historical period? And do you mean “burned”? And your mention of “over 100,000 women” seems a parody of upper limits to estimates of levels of European witch executions 1500-1800, a death-toll which would have included significant numbers of men.
      But dates, numbers, gender & mode of execution aside, you seem to be saying that our persecutions (with specific consideration of persecution of aberrant AGW beliefs) are not much different today that they were in such brutish times gone-by. Maybe I missed it. Have there been executions carried out on AGW deniers or on AGW maniacs?
      (Of course, some things don’t change. When the Spanish Inquisition arrived in Portugal in 1540 – and what an unexpected surprise that was – the Portugese used to exact punisment by burning the heretics at the stake in effigy. And to this day extreme effigy-abuse is now rife all around the world.)

  97. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Doc Snow,

    you strike me as an honest person, and I have no trouble believing most of what you say.

    I agree that most people were not frightened. I remember thinking, “Should I be worried about a possible ice age”. Then I thought, “No, I will worry about it, if it happens”.

    I looked at the wikipedia article on Global cooling, that you suggested. It matched my beliefs fairly well.

    What is my point? Do you mean in general, or about the cooling trend?

    I will start with the cooling trend. Information gathered during the cooling trend, about things like reflective aerosols, and cooling rate, could lead to a full or partial solution to global warming. We need to use every bit of knowledge that we have.

    There is a quote from Michael Crichton:

    “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

    I quite like that quote, and I think that there is a lot of truth in it.

    The thing about knowledge is, you never know which bit of information is going to be useful or necessary next. So all information has potential value.

    My graphs show temperature history. In great detail. I found out about the cooling trend from my graph, without needing to go to some other source. My GISTEMP graph covers 1880 to today. I also have graphs for every other temperature series. I can compare land/ocean with satellite. I can look at weather balloon data (RATPAC – Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate).

    I can give people almost everything they need about temperature, and they can get it from one place.

    I think that I had some misguided idea that my graphs could help warmists and skeptics agree on what the temperature was doing. I see little hope of that now,

    The reality of the situation is, people don’t want it.

    That’s ok. I enjoyed developing the graph. I guess that it is time for me to move on, and try to design a better mousetrap.

  98. Sheldon says: “Are you aware of the articles at joannenova.com, about Australia’s journey to renewables? ”

    Again you beclown yourself. Jo Nova is an alarmist fruit cake who advises her followers to buy gold and prepare for doomsday.

    I’m Australian and according to most reports, including those from the current federal government, which is generally pro-coal, renewable subsidies add less than 10% to Australian electricity bills. Even without subsidies, power companies are now planning to replace coal power stations with renewables because they are cheaper. Jo Nova (real name Jo Codling) is in a lather about this for some silly reason.

  99. Sheldon the Denier’s history is almost as good as his climate science: “In the Dark Ages, “The Church” burned over 100,000 women at the stake, as witches, because they didn’t believe the teachings of the church. ”

    BPL: The Dark Ages refers to the period between the fall of western Rome (476 AD) and the beginning of the high middle ages (c. 1200 AD). Witch hunting (1450-1650) was primarily a phenomenon of the Renaissance. The church in the middle ages explicitly discouraged belief in witches. BTW, modern estimates of the casualties center around 60,000. They were burned as a result of village politics and an accusation mechanism that included no mechanism for acquittal, not because “they didn’t believe the teachings of the church.” None of the witches burned were actual witches; nearly all were perfectly devout Christians accused by their neighbors for venal reasons. They confessed not because they had really been to witches’ sabbats, but because they were tortured.

  100. Hah! “Kill Climate Deniers” just opened in Sydney, apparently:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-01/kill-climate-deniers-playwright-takes-on-bolt-breitbart/9478748

    But note:

    [Playwright] Finnigan said that despite the name, his play is not a violent call to arms but rather “a pretty joyful comedy”.

    “It’s a high-octane action adventure thriller set in Parliament House,” he said….

    The backlash to Finnigan’s original play has shaped the work in unexpected ways, leading him to engage directly with the climate deniers who criticised his play’s title.

    “I think his [Andrew Bolt’s] followers and the people that very actively wrote to me following his attacks are a really interesting group that deserve engaging with,” Finnigan said…

    [Director] Lewis believes that ultimately Kill Climate Deniers must be read as a satire and that “satire is one of our most useful forms for critiquing really difficult politics”.

    “It critiques the artist and the audience. It asks everybody to look at it through a different, lighter eye, in order to have the conversation, not the argument,” Lewis said.

    As Finnigan sees it, “the play is far from making a point about climate denial. A work of art is always more complex than [a single point], and who knows what an audience is going to take from it.”

    Kill Climate Deniers is showing at Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company until April 7.

  101. Sheldon Walker

    Leto,
    when I offered to make you some graphs, I was not volunteering to be your personal servant.
    Getting you to supply the data, was your guarantee that the data was what you wanted.
    You are arrogant and insulting.

    You said, “I would revise my opinion of you up a notch”.
    I don’t care what you think of me.

    You said, “if you actually tried to do something useful with your graphs, such as investigate the effect of removing the 1998 spike.”
    I have been doing something useful with my graphs for the last 2 years. I have been proving that whining little morons like you don’t have a clue about global warming.

    You said, “There is absolutely nothing in your graphs that is not already evident to me on inspection of the original temp-vs-time plot.”
    Then why did you ask me for one of my graphs?. Your statement does not make sense.

    You said, “it’s something you might want to do if you want to claw back some credibility.
    Leto, I have more credibility in my little toe, than you will have in your whole lifetime.

    The fact that you never gave me a simple “thank you”, for the initial work that I did for you, indicates to me that you will never appreciate anything that I do for you.
    For that reason, I will not be doing anything else for you.
    I suggest that you learn some manners.

    • Sheldon, manners are to respond to my queries regarding something you claimed Fiske said, but which I cannot find, and to read the paper Fiske wrote, as you clearly misunderstood what they did.

      Remember that you called her an evil bitch (quite the manners there, Sheldon!) based on that misunderstanding.

      After you’ve done that, you can thank me for restoring your faith in large scientific organizations, even though no one should distrust a large scientific organization because of media reports about a single presentation at a huge conference with over 100 presenters anyway.

    • Re. “I have been doing something useful with my graphs for the last 2 years. I have been proving that whining little morons like you don’t have a clue about global warming.”

      That’s funny. As has been pointed out to you scores of times by people with knowledge of stats your graphs “prove” exactly nothing. At most they are a pretty way of displaying the data.

  102. Sheldon,

    I haven’t the faintest idea what you think you have done for me apart from waste my time. There is nothing in any of your posts that warrants a “thank you”. You haven’t even bothered to engage with the arguments – it’s all about feelings and labels with you, with no substance behind your posts or your opinions. You’ve taken the opportunity Tamino gave you and thoroughly beclowned yourself.

    I suggested you experiment with your graphs because it might benefit *your* understanding. I was also vaguely curious as to whether you would be open-minded enough to take up my suggestion… but that’s all; I’m not at all surprised that you declined. It is enough to remove the spike within a thought experiment – actually doing it within one of your graphs would make the point more clearly, but it is not worth my time as I have no great interest in your graphing technique and, as I said, don’t really find that your technique provides major new insights. To be frank, the comment about removing the 1998 spike was primarily for lurkers; I gave up on having a sensible conversation with you long ago.

    The wikpedia entry on Dunning-Kruger should really have a link this thread, as I have never seen a more stark example.

    I suggest that you learn some science, some humility, and some logic.

  103. I am afraid we all bear the hoof marks from Sheldon’s gish gallop around the issues. He’s covered literal witch hunts from the Dark Ages, Lysenko, Hitler, anti-feminist screeds, “so-called” atrocities sourced from delusional denialist websites, his “scientific credibility” and much more. What he has not done is engage on the merits of his approach. He hasn’t told us what is interesting about his approach–what it allows us to do that we couldn’t do already.

    What insights does it provide?

    The reason he cannot answer this is because he doesn’t have the first clue about the science underlying Earth’s climate. And he doesn’t comprehend the importance of understanding Earth’s climate because he doesn’t understand how the scientific method works. As a result, he is stuck in a Dunning-Kruger infinite loop.

  104. If I were really, really cynical I’d be thinking that the real reason Tamino invited Sheldon Walker here is not for a genuine exchange of views and hopefully convince him of the truth of AGW, including its consequences.

    I’d be thinking that he invited him here to remind us how dumb and vacuous denier talking points really are. In Sheldon he couldn’t have pidked a better subject to demonstrate that.

    But I’m not that cynical and I don’t think Tamino would be so mean and Machiavellian. I think he really thought that Sheldon would be different to other deniers who seem to be immune to facts or reason. Alas he was wrong.

    Well, it served one purpose. For anybody who might have thought about paying a visit to those dens of stupidity, WTFUWT or JoeNova’s, to remind themselves of how..er..stupid…they are, he saved them effort of going there.

  105. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Everybody,

    About a quarter of this thread is made up of posts telling me that I am not a sceptic. And threatening me, that if I disagree with you, you will call me a denier.

    Another quarter of the thread, is made up of posts containing general nastiness.

    It is difficult for me to argue about global warming, when your posts are based on such refined science.

    In a previous post I said:
    Let me guess.
    You have a PhD in flower arranging, and have been a florist for 30 years.
    You are upset with me, because I said that I had a nice flower garden at home.

    Doc Snow:
    I mentioned several articles on the JoanneNova.com.au website to you.

    Do you remember how I said earlier in this thread, that I found that the year with the greatest warming rate using GISTEMP was 1937.

    Joanne Nova has a lovely article about how the Australian Bureau of Metoerology (BOM) announced a new greatest ever temperature record for Syndey. They had to apologise after a few hours, and admit that the all time greatest ever temperature for Sydney, was in 1939.

    “Penrith may have recorded 47.3C for at least one-second this week, but Windsor is only 23 km north-east of Penrith, and on January 13th, 1939, it recorded 122F or 50.5C with an old fashioned liquid thermometer, not a modern noisy electronic one.”

    I am not suggesting that these 2 observations, with a similar year, are conclusive. Mine uses global temperatures and is a warming rate, while Joanne Nova’s used one local temperature record. But how many of these exceptions to global warming expectations do we need, before warmists admit their theories don’t explain everything.

    Dylan:
    you said, “Again you beclown yourself. Jo Nova is an alarmist fruit cake who advises her followers to buy gold and prepare for doomsday.”

    It is interesting that you call Joanne Nova an alarmist, because that is another name for a warmist.

    On a website like JoanneNova.com.au I look for articles where I am familiar with the topic. If they seem to be reasonable, then I tend to trust the other articles. I usually do some checking to make sure that other sources agree with the articles. Jo Nova seems to be reasonable to me, but I am not so sure about her husband.

    If I had to pick between Jo Nova being a fruit cake, and Dylan being a fruit cake, then I would definitely pick Dylan as the fruit cake.

    Marco:
    you said,”Sheldon, manners are to respond to my queries regarding something you claimed Fiske said, but which I cannot find, and to read the paper Fiske wrote, as you clearly misunderstood what they did.”

    Marco, I will respond to your queries, if you will answer my questions.
    – why do you think Susan Fiske removed the heads of the women wearing bikinis?
    – Was it to make them look more attractive, or to make them look inhuman?

    In general, I have a good memory. You may have seen my crystal clear memory from 1976, about the ice age scare:
    I thought, “Should I be worried about a possible ice age”. Then I thought, “No, I will worry about it, if it happens”.
    That memory is almost 42 years old, and I can picture in my mind, the university lecture theatre that I was in, when I had it.

    I read about Susan Fiske’s experiment in 2009, not long after it was published. I remember that there were about 2 dozen major websites hosting the story, and dozens of small ones. It was a popular story, for obvious reasons. A female Scientist had proved conclusively, that half of the world’s population were bastards (guess which half).

    My memory from that time, was that Susan Fiske said something like, “woman are much to nice to be like that. It (an experiment) would be a waste of time”.

    I admit that my memory might not be perfect, but before you start calling me a liar, look at what she said in the last 3 paragraphs of the article that I quoted:

    “If a similar study were done with women, Fiske told National Geographic News, it would be hard to predict whether a woman shown a scantily clad male body would dehumanize him in the same way.”

    “Evolutionary psychologists have proposed that women tend to look for mates who have wealth and power, so some of Fiske’s colleagues have suggested running a similar test where women are shown pictures of men next to expensive cars or other affluent symbols.”

    “But Fiske doesn’t think such an experiment would work the same way, because women usually react to men they desire by “interpreting their minds, thinking about what they’re interested in, and then trying to please them,” she said.”

    Let me paraphrase that last sentence:
    Fiske thinks that women react to men by “interpreting their minds”, not treating them as dehumanised sex objects.

    Once again, Susan Fiske is NOT telling the full story. Women obviously try to “interpret men’s minds”. They are trying to work out how to steal the man’s money, and knowing what the man is thinking, helps them to do that.

    The ball is in your court, Marco. Remember the questions that I asked you.

    jgnfld:
    you said, “You’ve neglected one tiny point. What has said homeopath published in the scientific literature and how respected by his peers is it?

    Said homeopath published a paper saying that if people get the symptoms of a heart attack, then they should not see a doctor. They should simply take gelsemium, arnica, rescue remedy, and bach flowers, and get a good nights sleep.

    All of his peers (other homeopaths), said that this was excellent advice, and they were impressed by how scientific and professional he was.
    All of his peers (other scientists), said that this man is a money grabbing charlatan, who is putting peoples lives in danger.
    Which peers should we take notice of. Remember, this man is a top scientist.

    jgnfld:
    you said, “As has been pointed out to you scores of times by people with knowledge of stats your graphs “prove” exactly nothing. At most they are a pretty way of displaying the data.”

    My graphs are extremely simple. They are based on linear regressions. The same linear regressions that YOU would do, if you analysed a date range.

    You seem to be suggesting that if I do a linear regression on 1970 to 2017, then my result is worthless. But if you do a linear regression on 1970 to 2017, then your result is significant. Sorry, mathematics does not work like that.

    Would you prefer that I develop an ugly way of displaying the data?

    Leto:
    You said,”I suggested you experiment with your graphs because it might benefit *your* understanding.

    Leto, it is so nice of you to be concerned about MY understanding”. I have studied my graphs for 2 years, and made hundreds of them. You have looked at 1 graph for 5 minutes, and already you know more than I do. You are a truly wonderful human being.

    Now piss off, and stop annoying me.

    Doc Snow:
    if you want to talk about Projections, then let’s talk about James Hansen’s projections for global warming.
    He had 3 scenarios, scenarios A, B, and C.

    Scenario A assumed greenhouse gas emissions would continue to accelerate.
    Scenario B assumed a slowing and eventually constant rate of growth.
    Scenario C assumed a rapid decline in greenhouse gas emissions around the year 2000.

    In case you think that I am biased, I will use the results that are described on the skepticalscience.com webite. You can check the results here:
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-basic.htm

    The actual greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 have been closest to Scenario B.

    The actual warming has been less than Scenario B.

    There is a graph on the skepticalscience.com website, which shows all of the scenarios, and the results.

    Here is skepticalscience’s justification for why James Hansen is RIGHT, even though he was WRONG.

    As climate scientist John Christy noted, “this demonstrates that the old NASA [global climate model] was considerably more sensitive to GHGs than is the real atmosphere.” However, Dr. Christy did not investigate why the climate model was too sensitive. There are two main reasons for Hansen’s overestimate:

    1) Scenario B, which was the closest to reality, slightly overestimated how much the atmospheric greenhouse gases would increase. This isn’t just carbon dioxide. It also includes methane and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

    2) Hansen’s climate model had a rather high climate sensitivity parameter. Climate sensitivity describes how sensitive the global climate is to a change in the amount of energy reaching the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere.

    ========================================

    In other words, imagine that I bet money on horse B, in a race between horse A and horse B.

    Horse A wins, so I say to the bookie, I overestimated horse B’s top speed, so you have to give me my money back.

    We could even use skepticalsciences “advanced” reasoning.

    Horse A wins, so I say to the bookie, I overestimated horse B’s top speed, so I really won, please give me my winnings.

  106. Sheldon Walker

    Hi Everybody,

    is there anybody on this website who is “open minded” enough, to read my explanation of how my graph works?

    I am not asking for somebody who accepts my graph. The person should be “skeptical” of my graph, and ask searching questions.

    In my opinion, the people on this website may be “open minded”, but only in certain areas. The problem with blind spots is, that the people who have them, can’t see them.

    I am sure that you are all sick of me telling you about my psychology education.

    The human eye has a blind spot, where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. But the human brain “hides” the blind spot, and it can only be noticed in special circumstances.

    Let me tell you how octopus eyes are more highly evolved than human eyes. This story shows how your perception often hides things from you, without you knowing.

    The retina is the layer in the eye where all of the light sensitive cells are (cones for colour vision, and rods for monochrome vision). All of these cells need a blood supply to provide nutrients and oxygen, and take away waste products. In a human eye, the blood supply is slightly in front of the retina, so that light entering the eye casts a shadow of the blood vessels onto the retina.

    But you are not normally aware of it. In special circumstances, like an eye doctor examining your eye with an ophthalmoscope (a small hand held microscope with a bright light). Sometimes people are suprised to see an image of the eye’s entire blood system, suddenly appear in front of them.

    What happened is, that the bright light of the ophthalmoscope has made the shadows move slightly. Suddenly your brain is aware of the shadow, because it has changed. Once the bright light is taken away, the shadow goes back to its normal position, and soon your brain adapts to it again, and you are no longer aware of the shadow.

    Where do octopus eyes come into this? In an octopus eye, the blood supply is behind the retina. So there is no shadow to fall on the retina. This means that potentially an octopus can see better than a human, because humans have to see past the eyes blood supply.

    The reason for explaining that, is to show you that you may not be aware of your own “blind spots”. It takes somebody like me, to come along and point them out.

    Before you accuse me of being big-headed, I have “blind spots” just like you. I need somebody like you, to come along and point them out.

    I am no different than you. Together, we should be able to understand the world, better than we can separately.

    Please give me a chance to explain my view of the world, to you. I promise that I will listen to your view of the world.

    If necessary, at the end of the day, we can agree to disagree. But we might both end up having a better understanding of the world.

  107. It’s time for this thread to come to an end. I don’t regret the attempt to communicate, but it was not successful.