Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Climate Wars Heat-up Again

 

j9CmoiHJ_400x400The American Physical Society (APS) — of which I am a member — is looking to revise its Climate Change Statement. Many scientific societies have decided to issue statements about global warming/climate change. Don’t ask me why they feel the need to do this.

The last statement issued by the APS in 2007 was such a disaster that they had to backpedal in 2010 with a convoluted explanation of why it didn’t say what everyone thought it said. This time around, they convened a panel of experts headed up by Steve Koonin, formerly of Caltech and recently an undersecretary in the Dept. of Energy in the Obama administration. Koonin held a workshop last year to try work out the text of the new statement. Subsequently, Koonin quit the panel responsible for the new statement (Panel on Public Affairs – POPA) and published the opinion piece “Climate Science Is Not Settled” in the Wall Street Journal. Judging by that op-ed, things didn’t work out as he hoped.

Now APS is asking for comments about the new proposed statement. It’s unlikely that member comments made to APS directly will be made public, so Judy Curry — Georgia Tech climatologist and now-famous global warming apostate — is collecting comments from APS members in her blog. Mostly skeptics and contrarians are posting. The comments make for amusing reading.

Scientific opposition to global warming alarmism is growing, but this beast is proving to be hard to kill.

There are 35 comments.

  1. Randy Webster Member

    It’s the same as any other issue with money on the line: as soon as there’s a constituency, it’s well nigh impossible to eliminate.

    • #1
    • April 27, 2015, at 2:26 AM PDT
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  2. Seawriter Member

    AGW is to the 21st century what Lysekoism was to the 20th.

    Seawriter

    • #2
    • April 27, 2015, at 5:17 AM PDT
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  3. Mike H Coolidge

    Maybe I should re-up my membership.

    • #3
    • April 27, 2015, at 5:37 AM PDT
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  4. ctlaw Coolidge

    Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • #4
    • April 27, 2015, at 5:54 AM PDT
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  5. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? Just because they are scientists, doesn’t mean they can analyze any scientific subject competently if they don’t have the foundational knowledge of the particular discipline. I am a scientist, too. I just realize I don’t have anything productive to say about anything other than radiology. (some might question if I know anything about that either). I can’t just grab any study and ‘analyze’ it if I don’t understand the basics of what it’s talking about.

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    • #5
    • April 27, 2015, at 6:36 AM PDT
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  6. Mike H Coolidge

    ctlaw:Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    Earth Temperature

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    • #6
    • April 27, 2015, at 6:50 AM PDT
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  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    From the comments by Brian Buerke for Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Here are the comments I submitted to APS nearly two weeks ago. I chose to comment within the limits imposed by the original statement rather than insist on scrapping or totally rewriting it.

    “I am concerned that the APS statement contains language that is unduly alarmist and not well motivated by current science.

    Saying that changing climate is a “critical issue” suggests an urgency that hardly seems justified. Calling it an “important issue” would be sufficient. Likewise, human influence shouldn’t be called a “dominant effect.” Only climate models suggest dominance and they don’t rise to the level of “evidence.

    These climate models are not evidence.

    • #7
    • April 27, 2015, at 6:55 AM PDT
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  8. ctlaw Coolidge

    Mike H:

    ctlaw:Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    Earth Temperature

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    I think that is the terminal portion of the hockey stick. The hockey stick may have fudged the handle to hide the medieval warm period, etc. however, I thought the blade was also in dispute.

    • #8
    • April 27, 2015, at 7:12 AM PDT
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  9. Mike H Coolidge

    ctlaw:

    Mike H:

    ctlaw:Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    I think that is the terminal portion of the hockey stick. The hockey stick may have fudged the handle to hide the medieval warm period, etc. however, I thought the blade was also in dispute.

    Well, I don’t think that graph I showed is in dispute. It might have some errors in it, but it’s made from direct measurement, the latter portion using satellites, which should be the least prone to relative error.

    • #9
    • April 27, 2015, at 7:16 AM PDT
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  10. Z in MT Inactive

    I think there are very few physicists that deny the 20th century had increasing temperatures.

    A scientist’s opinion on AGW is better correlated with his politics than his professional career. (i.e. Scientists are climate alarmists because they are liberal, not because they are scientists.)

    • #10
    • April 27, 2015, at 7:43 AM PDT
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  11. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mike H:

    ctlaw:

    Mike H:

    ctlaw:Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    I think that is the terminal portion of the hockey stick. The hockey stick may have fudged the handle to hide the medieval warm period, etc. however, I thought the blade was also in dispute.

    Well, I don’t think that graph I showed is in dispute. It might have some errors in it, but it’s made from direct measurement, the latter portion using satellites, which should be the least prone to relative error.

    Mike you would like to think so , but I still get to hear them argue as to “how accurate is accurate”. There is also the “adjusting” from the earlier satellite years (which had no onboard calibration vs the period after about the late 90’s).

    • #11
    • April 27, 2015, at 7:46 AM PDT
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  12. Larry3435 Member

    So far as I can tell, legitimate scientific organizations have been using weasel-worded statements to avoid the wrath of climate alarmists and the alarmists’ political masters (masters who control most of the science funding). Thus, scientific organizations say things like “climate change is real,” or “the Earth is warming.” Climate change is real? Duh. Of course climate change is “real.” Climate always changes. Always has and always will. And the Earth has been warming for the last 400 years (no hockey stick there either – just a rebound from the last little ice age).

    These weasel worded statements are a dog whistle to the climate alarmists, who cite them as proof of a “consensus” proving the reality of their version of climate change (which involves the polar ice caps melting, Manhattan being submerged by tsunamis, and people spontaneously bursting into flames).

    This is what happens when scientists are cowed into orthodoxy by political pressure. But, eppur si muove.

    • #12
    • April 27, 2015, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  13. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mike H:Maybe I should re-up my membership.

    Oh, I dunno. I was thinking of going the other way, as Hal Lewis did, and tell ’em off in a resignation letter. I suppose it’s better to work for change from the inside.

    • #13
    • April 27, 2015, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  14. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Larry3435:So far as I can tell, legitimate scientific organizations have been using weasel-worded statements to avoid the wrath of climate alarmists and the alarmists’ political masters (masters who control most of the science funding).

    I’m afraid it’s worse than that. The statements are pretty strong, not just weasel words. My goal is to reduce them to meaningless weasel words, at least for a start. The Titanic doesn’t turn on a dime.

    Regardless of what the statements say, eppur si muove indeed.

    • #14
    • April 27, 2015, at 8:08 AM PDT
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  15. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical.

    117688f52ec2ec028bddf7516a066cfa[1]

    • #15
    • April 27, 2015, at 9:16 AM PDT
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  16. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Or better yet:

    • #16
    • April 27, 2015, at 9:22 AM PDT
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  17. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? Just because they are scientists, doesn’t mean they can analyze any scientific subject competently if they don’t have the foundational knowledge of the particular discipline.

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    Climate science is a heck of a lot closer to physics than medicine, nutrition, or radiology. Many so-called climate scientists are, in fact, physicists. The main professional organization of climate scientists is the American Geophysical Union. Indeed, there is no such discipline as climate science; there’s physics, chemistry, and biology. Climate science is a linear combination of those three, with heaviest weight given to the first two. The IPCC is full of a bunch of people from other disciplines from the social sciences too. I won’t speculate on what else they are full of.

    That said, your point about experts is well taken. Nevertheless, statements from scientific societies make the news and bolster the case in the political sphere: political ‘science.’

    • #17
    • April 27, 2015, at 9:25 AM PDT
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  18. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? …

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    Expertise does not necessarily carry over between fields, but some expertise does. Mathematical modelling of complex systems is one of those things. You would be correct to be skeptical if a physicist were to weigh in on the biological causes of breast cancer, however, having done their homework, they could be very well qualified to comment on the statistical analysis used to justify annual mammograms. We shouldn’t except their findings because they’re the APS, but neither should we dismiss those finding for the same reason. It may turn out that, as a group, they’re every bit as qualified to comment on climate modeling as are climatologists, but may be more objective because they have less to gain or lose by the result.

    • #18
    • April 27, 2015, at 9:36 AM PDT
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  19. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mark Wilson:

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical.

    117688f52ec2ec028bddf7516a066cfa[1]

    Careful there Mark, I work with a lot of those Physicists (Some climate ones no less). As devote to the BBT I also appreciate how close the parody is to the mark.

    • #19
    • April 27, 2015, at 10:18 AM PDT
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  20. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    drlorentz:

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? Just because they are scientists, doesn’t mean they can analyze any scientific subject competently if they don’t have the foundational knowledge of the particular discipline.

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    Climate science is a heck of a lot closer to physics than medicine, nutrition, or radiology. Many so-called climate scientists are, in fact, physicists. The main professional organization of climate scientists is the American Geo Union. Indeed, there is no such discipline as climate science; there’s physics, chemistry, and biology. Climate science is a linear combination of those three, with heaviest weight given to the first two. The IPCC is full of a bunch of people from other disciplines from the social sciences too. I won’t speculate on what else they are full of.

    That said, your point about experts is well taken. Nevertheless, statements from scientific societies make the news and bolster the case in the political sphere: political ‘science.’

    Special High Intensity Topsoil…… of the freshest kind.

    You know it really is an affront to the word Science when you precede it with Social

    • #20
    • April 27, 2015, at 10:22 AM PDT
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  21. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chuck Enfield:

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? …

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    Expertise does not necessarily carry over between fields, but some expertise does. Mathematical modelling of complex systems is one of those things. You would be correct to be skeptical if a physicist were to weigh in on the biological causes of breast cancer, however, having done their homework, they could be very well qualified to comment on the statistical analysis used to justify annual mammograms. We shouldn’t except their findings because they’re the APS, but neither should we dismiss those finding for the same reason. It may turn out that, as a group, they’re every bit as qualified to comment on climate modeling as are climatologists, but may be more objective because they have less to gain or lose by the result.

    I think the key there is “having done their homework.” I suspect many scientists who weigh in on climate science have done only the homework necessary that supports their political bias.

    • #21
    • April 27, 2015, at 10:44 AM PDT
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  22. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Metalheaddoc:

    Chuck Enfield:

    Metalheaddoc:I understand that physics is involved in pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that physicists are experts in everything physical. Should I care if the APS wants to release a statement about recommendations for mammograms or a position statement on the Paleo diet? …

    Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into other fields. Too bad the experts don’t know that.

    Expertise does not necessarily carry over between fields, but some expertise does. Mathematical modelling of complex systems is one of those things. You would be correct to be skeptical if a physicist were to weigh in on the biological causes of breast cancer, however, having done their homework, they could be very well qualified to comment on the statistical analysis used to justify annual mammograms. We shouldn’t except their findings because they’re the APS, but neither should we dismiss those finding for the same reason. It may turn out that, as a group, they’re every bit as qualified to comment on climate modeling as are climatologists, but may be more objective because they have less to gain or lose by the result.

    I think the key there is “having done their homework.” I suspect many scientists who weigh in on climate science have done only the homework necessary that supports their political bias.

    I am aware of some (and I mean more than three) who dare not speak ill of it for it would be an immediate career-ender even when in the bosom of GS service.

    • #22
    • April 27, 2015, at 10:55 AM PDT
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  23. SPare Member

    Mike H:

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    Earth Temperature

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    The problem with this graph is that it shows such a small period, and that the vertical scale is sized based on the data points shown. Someone only seeing these data points would almost certainly conclude that what’s happening now is unprecedented and likely to continue in linear fashion for the foreseeable future.

    The underlying problem with the chart is the datum: what are these data points compared to? How does the current maximum relate to previous maxima? Is the rate of change unprecedented? Certainly looks like it from this x/y scaling, but without any reference point outside of the current trendline, it’s impossible to say.

    The foundational problem with the datum is that recordings of actual temperatures simply don’t go back reliably before this, and so you need to compare a correlate with a direct measure. It’s my understanding that the original hockey stick suffered from exactly this problem: a correlate to temperature prior to 1880, and direct temperature after. The transition point (ie. the blade of the stick) was exactly the transition from correlate to direct.

    Of course, even if all of this is true for the reasons hypothesized, it doesn’t come close to justifying the hare brained solutions put forward to solve it.

    • #23
    • April 27, 2015, at 11:53 AM PDT
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  24. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GLDIII:You know it really is an affront to the word Science when you precede it with Social

    I think it was Tom Lehrer who once observed that any discipline that needs to append science to their name probably isn’t. As Tom sings,
    They can snow all their clients
    By calling it ‘science’
    Although it’s only sociology

    I meant it to start at about t=39s. The link says so, but the video starts at the beginning.

    • #24
    • April 27, 2015, at 12:14 PM PDT
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  25. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GLDIII:
    I am aware of some (and I mean more than three) who dare not speak ill of it for it would be an immediate career-ender even when in the bosom of GS service.

    This is why so many of the skeptics are retired. Only a few brave ones among those still working in the field care to take the risk, like Judy Curry. And she’s had to put up with plenty of Special High Intensity Topsoil. So has Steve Koonin, in spite of his impeccable Leftist credentials. Hats off to them and others like them.

    There’s a bit more backstory in this Scientific American piece: Physicists Battle over the Meaning of “Incontrovertible” in Global Warming Fight. A choice quotes from the article:

    Koonin quickly lost control of the committee, according to a June POPA meeting’s minutes. Elbows came out, and POPA members presented a series of amendments and strong-armed their way into the drafting of the review, according to the minutes.

    I just wish the APS would butt out of the political fight.

    • #25
    • April 27, 2015, at 12:45 PM PDT
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  26. RPD Member
    RPD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I keep going back this post and more specifically this graph to see temperatures yoyoing wildly over significant amounts of time. I don’t doubt the climate is changing, but I think the bigger questions are if this is necessarily bad, and is there anything worthwhile to do about.

    • #26
    • April 27, 2015, at 1:10 PM PDT
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  27. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RPD:I keep going back this post and more specifically this graph to see temperatures yoyoing wildly over significant amounts of time. I don’t doubt the climate is changing, but I think the bigger questions are if this is necessarily bad, and is there anything worthwhile to do about.

    Those are good questions that the Warmists don’t seem to want to address. As for the graph and past climate variability, don’t get too cavalier. Some of those past climate variations were pretty nasty. Another ice age (like the one that ended about 10,000 years ago in the graph) would wreak havoc. So yeah, the climate has been changing for millennia. Some of those changes would be pretty hard to take.

    I worry more about ice ages than warm periods. As you can see from the graph, warm periods are brief periods that punctuate lengthy ice ages. You can be flip about it if you don’t mind having parts of the US and all of Canada covered in ice sheets thousands of feet thick. Makes it tough to grow crops. The good news is that the sea level would drop a few hundred feet, thereby making lots of new real estate.

    • #27
    • April 27, 2015, at 3:38 PM PDT
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  28. Dietlbomb Inactive

    ctlaw:

    Mike H:

    ctlaw:Interestingly, Koonin appears to accept at least the terminal portion of the the “hockey stick graph”.

    Nah, you don’t have to buy the hockey stick, just believe this graph.

    Earth Temperature

    1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) from 1900 to 2000.

    I think that is the terminal portion of the hockey stick. The hockey stick may have fudged the handle to hide the medieval warm period, etc. however, I thought the blade was also in dispute.

    The blade was indeed in dispute. The above graph shows the thermometer-based temperature records of the 20th century. In the Hockey Stick, proxy measurements (tree rings, ice cores, etc.) were used to reconstruct historic temperatures. However, those same proxies, using the same method to reconstruct the historical records, greatly diverged from the above graph, showing much lower temperature results for the latter 1/3 of the 20th century. Basically, the method used to prove that the middle ages were cooler than the purported Medieval Warm Period also proved that the 20th century warming didn’t happen. This is called the “divergence problem”.

    The paleoclimatologists claim that the divergence is caused by some anthropological signal not present in the historic data. But they will say anything.

    One of the dirty bits in the Climategate scandal was that they truncated the proxy-based graph so that its divergence didn’t appear in the IPCC report. That way, it would be easier to hide the uncertainty inherent in the proxy-based reconstruction.

    • #28
    • April 27, 2015, at 5:15 PM PDT
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  29. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member