If you want to roll the climate dice, you should know the odds

Imagine a six-sided die with four red faces, one green face and one blue face. I am going to roll the die, and before rolling I will ask you to predict which colour it will land on: red, green or blue? If you predict correctly you will win a dollar. Which colour would you predict? Now imagine that…

Imagine a six-sided die with four red faces, one green face and one blue face.

I am going to roll the die, and before rolling I will ask you to predict which colour it will land on: red, green or blue?

If you predict correctly you will win a dollar.

Which colour would you predict?

Now imagine that I roll the die six times and you have to predict before each roll which colour will come up? To maximise your profits, what should you predict, on roll one, on roll two … on roll six?

Probability matching and maximising

The answer in both cases – the single roll and the 6 rolls – is always to predict red, the dominant colour. But I am prepared to bet that during the six-roll game, after saying red a few times, many of you would be tempted to predict a blue or a green.

If you did, then like many people you have fallen foul of a classic violation of rational choice theory known as “probability matching”. This is the well-documented tendency to “match” predictions to the probability of an event’s occurrence.

If you adopt this strategy then you can never do better than about 50% correct.

Why? Because if you “match” your predictions to the odds of each outcome then you have the probability of guessing right on the 4/6 times when you say RED (4/6 x 4/6) plus the probability of guessing right on the 1/6 times when you say BLUE (1/6 x 1/6) or GREEN (1/6 x 1/6). Giving us: (4/6 x 4/6) + (1/6 x 1/6) + (1/6 x 1/6) = approximately ½ or 50%.

In contrast, the better strategy of always saying “red”, known as “probability maximising”, will yield 66% correct predictions.

Why? Because, if you say red for every roll then you have 1 * 4/6 chance of being correct. This is roughly 66%. You have maximised your chances of getting the answer right.

The climate dice

Now imagine that sides of our die represent different climate outcomes. Specifically, the red sides are “hot” anomalies (seasonal mean temperature anomalies that exceed a given threshold), the green side is “average seasons”, and the blue side is “unusually cool” seasons.

I will roll the die; what will you bet on – “hot”, “average” or “cold”?

This “climate dice” analogy has been used in a recent paper by James Hansen and colleagues to demonstrate how over the past 30 years the dice have become “progressively loaded”. There is no longer equal chances of warm, cool, or average seasons. Hansen et al conclude that the “distribution of seasonal mean temperatures anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased” (p.1).

Their analysis shows that in June, July and August of 2010, approximately 66% of the world was covered by temperature anomalies defined as “hot”, in comparison to 20% or less for anomalies in the cold or average categories. These percentages translate – roughly – to our four red (hot) sides, one green (average) side and one blue (cold) side.

Gambling on the climate

The implication of their analysis is stark. The odds of hot seasonal anomalies now far outweigh the odds of average or unusually cool seasons.

Ignoring these odds is the same as ignoring the increased accuracy one can achieve by “maximising” instead of “matching” in the dice game.

Once the dice game is explained, most people can see the error of their ways. They understand that the die has no memory, it is not “self-correcting”, and thus every time it is rolled, “red” is the most likely outcome. Moreover, they realise that even though a “green” and a “blue” side will come up every now and then this should not deter them from maximising. Whatever outcome they see, they are still better off predicting red for each roll.

What about for the climate dice? Can an explanation of the “odds” lead to the same kind of “aha!” experience, and more importantly the required change in perception and behaviour?

The challenge for communicating the idea that the climate dice are already loaded is summed up succinctly by Hansen:

The greatest barrier to public recognition of human-made climate change is the natural variability of climate. How can a person discern long-term climate change, given the notorious variability of local weather and climate from day to day and year to year? (p.1)

The analysis offered by Hansen, along with a huge number of other sources (such as the IPCC) provides the means for helping us to discern these long term patterns.

More importantly, the loaded dice allow us to see why an occasional “unusually cold season” (rolling a “blue”) should not lead to a dismissal of the idea that the globe is warming. Four sides are still red.

Just as rolling a green or blue in the dice game should not stop you maximising on red, so the occurrence of a cold season should not stop you thinking the globe is warming.

If we want to maximise our future well-being we would do well to heed these warnings.

Ben Newell is an Associate Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate Systems Science.

Join the conversation

1. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

I'm pushing Roger Pielke's climate BS button on this post.
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/handy-bullshit-button-on-disasters-and.html

A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4 of The full IPCC Special Report on Extremes):
"There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change"
"The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic…

1. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc

Recent report from Munich Re, one of the worlds Re-Insurance companies, tallying catasstrophic events around the world over the last 3 decades here http://www.munichre.com/app_pages/www/@res/pdf/media_relations/press_releases/2012/2012_01_04_munich_re_natural-catastrophes-2011_en.pdf

The graph you should look at is on page 4. Roughly a tripling of catastrophic events due to Climate & Weather phenomena.

Of your quotes, 3 of the 4 are about losses rather than just frequency of events so any change here would be a combination of any Anthropogenic signal AND Social, Demographic and Economic changes. So not easy to pick just an Anthropogenic component. The 4th also refers to 'impacts' rather than direct measurement of frequency and scale of a phenomena

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2. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Glenn, perhaps you should look to the peer reviewed press and the IPCC rather than quote a marketing brochure from a group with vested interests.

For instance here's a recent paper on cyclone landfalls...
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00719.1

Includes these facts among others:

Over 1970 to 2010 the globe averaged about 15 TC landfalls per year
Of those 15, about 5 are intense (Category 3, 4 or 5)
1971 had the most global landfalls with 32, far exceeding the second…

3. Glenn Tamblyn

Also Marc, rather than just quoting Pielke verbatim, here is what the IPCC report actually has to say - from the SPM. Terms such as likely etc refer to how well we are able to judge what is happening from the available data, not how likely it is that it is happening.

It is very likely that there has been an overall decrease in the number of cold days and nights,3 and an overall increase in the number of warm days and nights,3 at the global scale, that is, for most land areas with sufficient data…

4. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

What of it Glenn? The climate is in continual flux. I agree.

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5. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc

See this report from Munich Re this year about the number of catastrophic natural disasters over the last 3 decades here: http://www.munichre.com/app_pages/www/@res/pdf/media_relations/press_releases/2012/2012_01_04_munich_re_natural-catastrophes-2011_en.pdf
The graph to look at is on page 4.

Climate & Weather related events have roughly tripled over the past 3 decades.

Whereas the quotes you copied from Pielke are about losses and impacts which combines any change in frequency of events with economic social and demographic reasons why an event would have a greater impact or cause greater losses. Of course it is harder to see a signal if you are looking at the data that is a result of multiple factors. Thats why thing like pure counts of frequency and intensity of events is a more useful metric than losses or impacts - lets us look at the underlying climate signal more clearly

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6. Alvin Stone

Strangely enough the reduction in tropical cyclone landfall is forecast by the models. It is other weather phenomena that is driving up insurance damage (floods, coastal storms, drought, high wind events and hail during thunderstorms...etc).

There are some suggestions that the "percentage" of intense tropical cyclones may increase even thought the total number of cyclones decrease but this is very far from clear because there have been so few over the measurement period. Much more observation…

7. Alvin Stone

Yes Mark, but flux is not a trend. We are seeing a sharp trend upwards in global temperatures, which - if it continues over a sustained period - will be the fastest global temperature increase in the fossil record.
Slower temp increases in the fossil record have led to mass extinction events, sharp rises in sea level and marked changes in local climates.
The way it stands, you will be dead before the worst of it, so essentially your attitude is one of, well I don't give a damn about what I won't experience. I really wish you would look at all the literature and not just a narrow band of scientists cherry picking to discredit some very reliable and substantial science.
Climate scientists don't admit to understanding engineering, why on Earth do you imagine you have complete command of climate science?

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8. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alvin,
I really wish you would look at all the literature and not just a narrow band of scientists cherry picking to discredit some very reliable and substantial science.

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9. Alvin Stone

Ah, I see. When I look at 97% of the literature it's cherry picking. When you turn to Roger Peilke Jr it is substantive science. Give me a break.

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10. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

You have not cited a single paper. Seems your claims are more than 97% BS.

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11. Alvin Stone

Mark, I have not cited a single paper because there are multiple papers coming to the same conclusion.

I think if you look at Andrew Glikson's comments below and refer to his web diary article at http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3170 you might find a fair amount of scientific verification to get you started.

A little bit of research on your part might go a very long way. Assuming you have an open mind about climate science of course and the idea of consensus.

By the way, do you smoke cigarettes?

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12. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Do you go to the barber?

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13. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Not cited a single paper, very lazy of you.

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14. Alvin Stone

Another zinger from Marc (sound of crickets).

My point is you don't smoke or if you do smoke you know the dangers because of medical science, which you trust.

As a geologist, you are probably going to say evolution is pretty well certain ( I hope).

But here, where you have minimal expertise you question climate scientists and paleo-climatologists like Andrew. The question is why? Why do you have so little respect for these scientists but comfortably accept the pronouncement of others in your daily life.

What is it about climate scientists that you don't trust?

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15. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Andrew's expertise is in planetary impacts. I trust him on this issue. When it comes to climate change he is guilty of confirmation bias, cherry picking only those articles that concur with his fixed alarmist position and ignoring others. He has not published any original research on climate change.

I have not seen your name on any journal articles relating to climatology or the earth sciences so where does your claim to expertise on the subject come from. It's not your mullet is it?

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16. Alvin Stone

Oh dear, grow up, Marc. And maybe answer the question. Why don't you trust climate scientists who have decades of experience in this field before it became a political hot potato?

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17. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

I trust all scientists within the limits of their expertise and research record, noting continued debate and discussion in a number of key areas (such as the veracity of climate models). I trust in the scientific method, that appears to have been unfortunately usurped by politics, vested interests and activism of late.

That institutions like the oddly named ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science now rely on media spin merchants like yourself and psychologists like the author of this piece, to sell their story is certainly telling, and says a lot about "trust". No wonder the case for alarm is falling to pieces when the equivalent of used car salesmen are writing the marketing spin and doing the selling!

However, with reliance on such out of place characters, I'm confident a return to a more rational debate is certainly not far away.

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18. Alvin Stone

Okay, let's talk spin then. It is very well established that the great majority of climate scientists (in the 90% band up or down a couple of notches depending on the survey) agree that climate change is occurring and that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is the main culprit.

Many were working in this field before it was fashionable and have pretty much been of this understanding for a few decades.

Now, a tiny minority doubt this case but none has published a single paper that undermines the fundamental science.

So, your arguments suggest that you are right and that 95-97% of climate scientists are either knowingly misrepresenting their position for whatever reason are too stupid to understand the real science.

So, how would you classify the climate scientists who support anthropogenic emissions hypothesis. In your eyes are they liars, easily misled or just plain stupid?

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19. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

You have built yourself a nice strawman, hope it has a matching straw hat to cover its straw mullet.
Yes, happening, yes CO2 a factor, I support the anthropogenic emissions hypothesis like the 95-97% of scientists you mention, other anthropogenic factors, also highly important (or do you deny it?). However the high end scenarios for global temperature are looking increasingly doubtful as models fail to match observations. Recent work (Schmitter et al 2011) has also knocked improbable high end climate sensitivities out of the park. Seems as models continue to track higher than observations the lower end of the range (within current IPCC range)-is looking more and more likely.

"how would you classify the climate scientists who support anthropogenic emissions hypothesis" I'm in agreement with them. What's your point?

Given the results of Schmitter at al any spin doctor still pushing the notion of an impending man made climate Armageddon clearly needs a new hair stylist.

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20. Alvin Stone

Your last reply, once I got past the tired joke about hairstyles (sigh) made me go back and look at the thrust of what you are actually saying to everybody here.

I made the assumption that you did not support the anthropogenic climate change theory. I now recognise that wasn't the case. I think we just wasted a lot of words over nothing. So, sorry to have wasted everyone's time here including yours.

However, now I'm really interested in what you regard as high end scenarios. I can see a very valid line of discussion around likely impacts and would genuinely be interested to get a sense of what you regard as likely and what you think is hogwash and why.

Can you talk to this for me without going to the policy response at this stage?

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21. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

The outcome of our influence on the change is more than a simple reading of global average temperature and as such the question posed is somewhat simplistic.There are winners and losers even for some of the high end scenarios, There are winners and losers in our current climate. There have always been species living within a hair's breath of extinction. The effects of climate change are writ large in every rock outcrop, you don't need a climate model to see what might be in store.

With all this agreement I think the policy response is more interesting and I have noted some things (or below as the case may be on this) in response to Nick Kermode's comments.

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22. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

First line should read: The outcome of our influence on the CLIMATE

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23. Alvin Stone

I totally get that climate change is more than an average global increase in temps.

But taking the lead from your position, you must have an idea of what is an acceptable impact as a result of climate change (ie one that is easy to adapt to) and what is not acceptable (something that might bring about an economic collapse) and at the point where you feel we would have to act in advance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So, where is that point? Under what circumstances would you consider that dramatic policy action needs to be taken?

And with that in mind, what is your expectation of the reliability of climate model forecasts before such action can be taken? Would they have to be as accurate as our current weather predictions or even more accurate?

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24. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Once disclaimers are removed from climate model outputs and modellers are prepared to take some responsibility for their forecasts they will be in a position to be relied upon. Until then they remain an interesting academic exercise and little more.

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25. Philip Dowling

IT teacher

A re-insurance company is simply a wholesale insurance company. It is motivated to increase its business and its premiums in a similar fashion.
As the world becomes wealthier its aim is to increase its market.
You would have us believe that it publishes this information for the public good. If I were running a reinsurance operation, I would consider the real figures to be commercially very sensitive.

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26. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc

Pielke is only discussing Tropical Cyclones. Not all weather related events. And an interesting observation. You seem to be describing Pielke as an expert on all sorts of things. But you use a very limited pool of experts.

My counter view is to not place much credence in anyone who has a view about everything. I am more likely to be hearing the outpourings of a large ego than anything else. That certainly seems to be the case with Pielke Snr. He seems to be suffering from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder - he isn't getting enough).

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27. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

direction: yes, magnitude: no

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28. David Arthur

n/a

Magnitude? They haven't yet factored in ice melting, or fully accounted ocean warming.

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29. Philip Dowling

IT teacher

Since when has "likely" been a scientific term.
I am so old-fashioned that I can parse sentences, and so educated that I can analyse them into logical elements that can then be inspected for intellectual rigour that was demanded by even first year pure mathematical lectures.
Oh, I admit I am old.
As I understand it, binary mathematics is now considered a university subject, and what I did in second year mathematics would qualify me for a masters.

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30. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

The cyclone and climate disaster work work is by his son Roger Pielke Jnr.

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31. Glenn Tamblyn

So does that mean you actually don't have a response?

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32. Glenn Tamblyn

Philip

Binary Mathematics - from one old IT guy to another IT guy has its limitations - I know this is deeply disturbing to us IT geek type persons.

Likely is exactly what it sounds like. A rather colloquial term for encapsulating the basic statistical idea of 'the odds'.

So 'likely' is colloquial for 'something where the probability is greater than 50%'; Perhaps greater tha 60% or 70% - this is a definition question.

For us IT types the idea that a 'bit' might just be a bit 'bitish' is disturbing. But statistical thinking is one of those fundamental ideas from mathematics that we IT guys code for. Programmers write code to carefully calculate the probabilities of various outcomes. 'Likely' is simple a colloquial description of the results of deterministic calculation by a programmer of the relative probability of diverse outcomes.

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33. Glenn Tamblyn

Wonderful!

Dispassionate, objective, peer-reviewed is now 'All In The Family'.

Next you will be quoting from the Idso Clan - 'Good Night John Boy'

The fact that critical views have such an 'All In The Family' character doesn't disturb you in the slightest Marc. Raise the odd niggling concern about objectivity, dispassion etc.

I said then my Dad said!

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34. Glenn Tamblyn

Actually Philip,

If I was running a Re-Insurer and the external events in the physical world were going to adversely impact my bottom line, my ROI to shareholders and my share price, I would want to get all the real data out there - change investor expectations, build a case for capitalisation changes etc. The profitability of my business, access to capital, risk profile etc depends on this data.

These guys don't have a motive for exaggerating this - particularly since their competitors have…

35. Glenn Tamblyn

Actually Philip, I would consider getting the real data out there the most commercially important decision a re-insurer could make - their profitability isn't based on perceptions but numbers. Because at the end of the day, they carry the can. So having their customers and competitors well informed is at the heart of their business model. Re-Insurance is one of the few businesses where marketing, sales pitches, good stats etc are bad news. They make their money from getting it right, not just putting out the right impression.

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36. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Philip, See my comments (above or below) about how diligent MRe are about getting "all the real data out there".

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37. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Let me know when you get out of the gutter.

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38. Alex Cannara

Watch it, Glen. The self-anointed 'skeptics' resort to playing victim when facts start to hurt. Don't you watch Fox News, or other Murdoch/Ailes porn?
;]

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39. Alex Cannara

Marc (with a "c", pardon my being up here and you down there, reading selectively, but we've had far more severe weather in just the USA these past few years than in prior records. So if you're going to try to IPCC & "peer-review" your way past facts, try to get it right. Suggest you also Google "journal article retractions", so you can see the proportionality between "peer-reviewed" pieces and their later retractions, as a function of journal size. "Peer review" means little, except to those…

40. Alex Cannara

I'll just add to the elucidation or confusion that all math is incomplete. That's a formal term easily illustrated by the Russell Paradox: "This statement is false".

You see the problem -- math is a human language (physicists don't like hearing that) and so, as Godel & Turing proved, it cannot be used to prove all true statements that can be made in the language. For computers & programmers, it means there's no way to prove an arbitrary computation or algorithm will ever stop with a result.

This is also called Undecidability, or The Halting Problem. It's as old as Godel driving himself nuts trying to deal with the various infinities defined by Cantor.

Pf course, it also isn't usable by climate deniers the way they try to misuse "peer review".
;]

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41. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alex don' t confuse weather for climate.

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42. Alex Cannara

You're getting desperate now. Marc. Your handlers are going to cut you off if you're not careful.
;]

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43. Alex Cannara

But see, gang, Marc (with a "c") has no obligation to "remove disclaimers" or present facts. He simply tries to hide realities anyone can verify, like sea rise, acidification, etc. It's interesting how he posts so much here and says so little of value. But, then again, what should we expect form someone who won't post the bond or take the bet that he might be wrong? Perhaps it's just that Marc has no life but this?

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Geologist

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45. Alex Cannara

Sure Marc, I'll show you mine if you show us yours. Let's see, what could a geologist be concerned about re human-induced environmental degradation?
;]

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2. Michael Shand Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

Software Tester

Great Article, thanks for posting

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3. Andrew Glikson

logged in via email @iinet.net.au

ON PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH THE CLIMATE

"Continued release of greenhouse gases is like playing "Russian Roulette with the climate, hoping that the future will hold no unpleasant surprises. No one knows what lies in the active chamber of the gun."

-- Oceangrapher, Wallace Broecker, 1987.

Wallace Broecker, (1987) "Unpleasant Surprises in the Greenhouse," Nature, vol 441, June 29, pp 1032-33.

Anthropogenic global warming is consistent with:

1. The basic law of black body radiation (Planck, Steffan-Bolzmann, Krichhauf laws).
2. Direct observations in the Earth system
3. Paleoclimate history of the atmosphere-ocean system.

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1. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Not saying it's not happening, not saying it is not an issue. The question is one of degree and at this stage it appears to be falling on the side marked "we can deal with it" rather than the side frequently promulgated here that is marked "run for the hills".

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2. Glenn Tamblyn

If catastrophic climate related natural disasters have tripled in 3 decades, and since we are asking the question 'what is it likely to be in the future?', I am intrigued at just where you draw the line at 'we can deal with it'.

Lets not forget, we are discussing what climate is likely to be in the future and thus what we should be doing today about that. So present data is still just an indicator of future events.

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Geologist

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4. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Hi Marc,
It certainly is happening and it certainly is a question of degree. I can just never understand why people propose inaction while, at this stage, "we can deal with it". Why do we have to take such a great risk? If you agree with Andrews points you must agree that it is possible for warming to continue. What other knock on effects will this have? At what point will it be beyond our control to stop? How much further warming will there be to reach even an equilibrium? How will feedbacks, positive…

5. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

I support a rational approach that takes into account a range of factors that extend beyond simply preserving our current weather. Perhaps if the current batch of climate models were more reliable there would be a nail to hang a hard hat from. But the current batch of models have proven to be most unreliable, the downscaling of global models for use in regional climate predictions is even more unreliable. Hence any second guess of the future based on these models is a leap of faith too far. I hang…

6. Alvin Stone

I grow really tired of references to shonky climate models.
The remarkable thing is that they are surprisingly accurate at continental scales as are the forecasts derived from them. Unlike denialist science around carbon dioxide which spends its time clutching at straws in an effort to say it aint so, they are actually getting better, not worse.
As you can see here, even in 1981 the predictions on global temperatures were pretty much on the money - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/evaluating-a-1981-temperature-projection/

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7. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Perhaps provide a link to something published in a journal rather than a discredited activist blog. I grow tired of references to shonky websites.

Here's how it is done:

Pielke Sr., R.A., and R.L. Wilby, 2011: Regional climate downscaling – what’s the point? EOS. January 31 2012 pages 52-53

Here's what it says:
As a necessary condition for an accurate prediction, multidecadal global climate model simulations must include all first-order climate forcings and feedbacks. However, they do not…

8. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Marc, the trouble for me with your comment is it's about 25-30 years too late. This sort of comment would have been pragmatic back then but writing a comment like that now is just blinkered. Making comments that suggest we are only dependent on models and if scientists "got out more" we would be better off is very ignorant. Do you seriously not realise there are thousands of scientists out there gathering data and contributing to our understanding in some of the most dangerous environments on earth…

9. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Thanks for the reply. Yes I am completely aware that scientists do field work. I am involved in this myself on a day to day basis. Some of this work poses physical risks, Whoopee do. I wouldn't be doing anything else because I enjoy it. There is a danger however of being captured by your subject and losing your objectivity and sight of the bigger picture.

My comments regarding the problems of academics relate to their involvement in coming up with reasonable workable practical policy.The type…

10. Fred Pribac

logged in via email @internode.on.net

You are not addressing Alvin Stones point.

He has made the point that global climate models "are" demonstrably skilful.

You argue the opposite by resorting to a paper that discusses how much credence should be given to the results of regional climate downscaling. This is a different argument and not relavent to the point.

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11. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Marc, with respect, scientists becoming captured by their subject and losing objectivity is nothing like what you said in your previous comment. Now you seem to be saying that they do get out, a lot of their science is good but they are too involved in policy. Seems a big difference to me. Seems you disagree with policy rather than research. Is the reason people disapprove of scientists making policy is that there is rarely any compromise, which we are used to and seems most fair? The obvious trouble…

12. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Unfortunately Alvin has not cited anything to back his claim, My link was to an example that highlights problems with climate models used on a regional basis. If there is no skill at this level what does it say when applied to the global models?

Here are two papers(below) that deal with some issues surrounding model skill. There are more out there (suggest also looking at Judy Curry's site-search "climate Model" for interesting discussions). I found the later paper (below) of interest as while…

13. Alvin Stone

You say "if there is no skill at this level what does it say when applied to the global models?"

Not much really. It is all a matter of computational power. The computational power required over large, coarse forecasts is far less than at regional level. As you get to smaller and smaller grid sizes there is an almost exponential increase in the amount of calculations required.

The physics, however, remains the same.

As mentioned previously, the old climate model estimates of global warming…

14. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

In regard to Hansen's 1981 forecasts- they are completely wrong.
Emissions tracking Scenario A, Global Temps below Scenario C.

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15. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Seeing as you refer to Scenario A, B and C we should take it you are unfamiliar with Hansens '81 work which is labelled 1,2 a.b.c,3

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16. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Sorry I was referring to the 1988 paper.

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17. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Here are some thoughts on this from Roger Pielke Snr. The take away message "Missed it by that much".

"If the observed surface temperature data used in the figure in which this claim is made is correct, but also so is the measurement of lower tropospheric temperatures (such as from MSU RSS and MSU UAH), than Hansen’s forecast for the surface temperatures would be correct, but for the wrong reason. If the warming were due to added CO2 and other greenhouse gases, the lower tropospheric temperatures…

18. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Marc, Mr. Pielke Snr. would have done well to actually read Hansens paper rather than just a newspaper article. Making a statement like "If the warming were due to added CO2 and other greenhouse gases, the lower tropospheric temperatures would have warmed at least as much" shows he clearly hasn't. In his paper Hansen specifically says the troposphere should not have responded yet. So his temp. predictions are pretty close and he is ALSO right about the troposphere. Have a read, amazing it was written 30 years ago!

http://thedgw.org/definitionsOut/..%5Cdocs%5CHansen_climate_impact_of_increasing_co2.pdf

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19. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Roger is pointing out a basic fact about the Green House effect. Hansen concurs at top of P. 958.
Perhaps you have confused the instantaneous response to 2X CO2 used in the model verification section (P.961-962) with the transient response used to make the "forecasts". Note Hansen states of this on page 962 "For simplicity we consider an instantaneous doubling of CO2, and hence the time dependence of the response does not represent the transient response to a steady change in CO2".

Perhaps you can point me to the specific section in the paper you refer to, To my mind it's not there and Roger's point remains valid. I'll pass on your comment to both R. Pielke and J, Hansen and if they respond I'll post here.

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20. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Marc, I should have taken the advice I was giving to Roger and read things more carefully. His article stated that the "latest available global average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly (see) is only +0.11 C above the 30 year average". Clicking on (see) I find that figure is for March, take a look yourself. At that same link it states the total trend is 0.134C per decade. Times that by three and Hansen looks very close, despite my misunderstanding (I think) of aspects of his 81 paper. Roger starts the article with "Cherrypicking...." pot/kettle, he has picked many different years to start his argument that haven't worked now he is trying to use a monthly anomaly figure. Is that good science? Would have thought someone like yourself would be all over that sort of thing....

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21. Glenn Tamblyn

Wow Marc. That comment is choice.

RealClimate is discredited??? And you wouldn't use a blog as a source, even if the multiple contributors to that site are actually climate science, and their posts are references to the scientific literature.

How then do you justify your multiple references just on this thread to a blog. Where the content is mainly from one person not a author group. Yes he is a publishing Climate Scientist but labels such as discredited would apply far more to Pielke Snr than the authors at Real Climate. The best that can be said about PS is that he isn't as discredited as the likes of Bob Carter, Ian 'Burping Volcanoes and Iron Suns' Plimer.

Care to go through all your posts here and give us count of haw many links to PS and verbatim copies of whole chunks of text from him.

Give us a tally Marc...

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22. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Roger's point is that the troposphere trend should be at least as high as the surface trend. In fact if the models are correct warming in the troposphere should be higher. But as Roger points out the observational data indicates this is NOT the case as it shows the lower troposphere is not warming as fast as the surface. So this is a major problem with Hansen's model that no one has acknowledged here (is that a sign of selective blindness or just bias?)

I think his reference to cherry picking…

23. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Perhaps you can tell us all with your indepth knowledge and many published papers on climate science why Roger is wrong?

I use the term discredited for Real Climate as (in my opinion) it was established for political and marketing purposes to promote one side of the scientific discussion. Anyone who followed the unravelling of the Steig et al paper on Antarctic, or the Hockey Stick debate with an open mind would tend to agree, (though I doubt many of those open minds would read this blog).

The manner in which Real Climate moderates (sorry censors) discussion also a reason the term discredited is applicable.

The fact that I have quoted Pielke Snr numerous times here is merely a testament to his skill in the field. Ask Andy Pitman if you disagree.

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24. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Nick,
Roger provides this response posted in full:
Hi Mr. Hendrickx

Thank you for the opportunity to add to the discussion. The troposphere clearly should not have a lag in the heating, as we discuss, for instance in our papers

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841. http://pielkeclimatesci

25. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc

See my comment further down about the report from Munich Re. They don't think its wrong.

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26. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc

In addition to Kim's comments about Pielke's data being for March, not global, what other oibvious problems appear in his piece?

He cites Ocean Heat Content data for the top 700 m of the ocean but does not show the same data for 0-2000 m that clearly shows OHC as measured for 1/2 the ocean volume has not plateaued but has continued unabated http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

Next he cites his own papers claiming that Surface Temperature Records have a warm bias without citing many others that report no warm bias.

Then, apart from just using the March data he cites results from two groups studying Tropospheric temperatures. But he fails to cite the 3rd group (Zou et al) also analyzing Sat data indicating higher trends. Neither does he make reference to other researchers (Vinnikov & Grody), (Fu & Johansen) who report Sat trends significantly higher.

Cherry-picked data, citing only himself, ignoring anything inconvenient.

Discredited or what?

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27. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Any reasonable look at the data by Munich Re finds major holes in their data. The graph suffers from severe observational bias and for this reason, along with their vested interests I don't consider Munich Re a trustworthy source.

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28. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Hi Marc, thanks for your (and Rogers) response. Despite what Roger says all three data sets of the lower troposphere agree pretty closely with each other. All agree it's warming, all agree to (as close as we can tell) a very similar rate. Couple this with what we know about CO2 and the greenhouse effect and makes even more sense. This has been a good discussion as I have looked into it more carefully because of it, trouble is the more I do the more I find how desperate and incorrect Roger was in…

29. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Thanks Nick,
The point is that the models indicate the LT should be warming faster than the surface and the current observational datasets indicate this is not happening. As you have seen there remains considerable work to be done on refining the models and claims that they have skill are only "correct" to a certain point.

You are free to interpret Roger's comments anyone you like, I disagree with your interpretation. Note that I do not consider SS, a reliable source of information of climate change information.

If James Hansen replies I'll post below.

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30. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Marc, Rogers article has some absolutely glaring errors (more pointed out by Glenn above). If you can disagree and think his march 2012 anomaly comparison was good science, and as you say "skill in the field" I really don't think we have anywhere to go. You demand the very highest standards of scientific proof, research and scepticism yet stand by Roger's mistakes in the article and scientists like Spencer and Christie who wont even consider the fact they are underestimating the raw satellite data and might be wrong (as indeed they have been and multiple sets of other data suggests). C'mon Marc apply that healthy scepticism, what if the other sets of observations that confirm many of Hansens projections are close are more accurate? With humans interpreting the raw data there is most certainly a chance the error is in the extrapolating of Spencer and Christie and the selective data use by Roger rather than the other raw data available and the models based around the physics.

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31. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Nick,
The point (again) is that the models indicate the LT should be warming faster than the surface and the current observational datasets indicate this is not happening. Hence the model in question has very little skill.

Your comments at the start of this series where you confused what Hansen wrote about expected warming in the troposphere confirm you have very little appreciation of this. You continue to dig a deeper hole for yourself with your misplaced criticism of Pielke. I guess that ends the lesson.

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32. Alvin Stone

Prof Sherwood says within the comments section following that article:

"The above comments are hopelessly naive. As I said in the article, temperature changes at these altitudes tell us nothing about climate sensitivity. Ask the authors of the cited studies will agree if you ask them. In fact, failure to warm at high altitudes would mean that greenhouse gases would exert an even stronger greenhouse effect, which is determined by the difference between the atmospheric and surface temperature…

33. Alvin Stone

Marc, just a couple of quick questions:

* Which authorities do you regard as a reliable source of information?

* Do any of these authorities include major national or international scientific bodies investigating climate change?

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34. Alvin Stone

I would not presume to speak for Prof Andy Pitman who is currently out of the country but I believe his name is being used here inappropriately to bolster Pielke's current position on many aspects of climate change.

I would refer you to his response on Pielke Senior's own blog in response to a particular paper where he says in conclusion: "I do not think other interpretations of our paper are scientifically sound."

I suspect this is not the only occasion where he would come to a similar conclusion.

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35. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alvin, I wouldn't trust a spin doctor like you as far as I could toss an anvil.

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36. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

If you Don't presume to speak for him, then perhaps it is better that you don't!

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37. Glenn Tamblyn

Well we don't need to worry about how Pielke moderates, or censors. He doesn't allow comments at all! Just the Master's voice.

As for skill in the field. As I commented elsewhere here, is it skillful to make a claim about OHC using only the 0-700 M data when the 0-2000 m data is available? Particularly in what is meant to be a critique of an opinion by others (The Atlantic). Perhaps that is skill, at least as defined by spin-doctors.

Read my other comments posted on this thread. And after all that, he is only one person. The notion that one supposedly 'skillful' individual can overturn the findings made by 10's of 1000's of other is highly improbable. Not impossible, but very improbable. And if they are to be successful in such an endeavour then their work would bring a rigour and clarity that would shine like a bright light. Pielke does none of this, cherry-picked data, sloppy arguments.

You may have a high opinion of him Marc. But that view isn't shared by many.

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38. Alvin Stone

Thanks for the ongoing abuse.

Believe it or not, I'm trying to have a civil conversation and get a genuine understanding of where you are coming from because I am actually interested now that I understand your position.

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39. Alvin Stone

Then equally, I would request that you don't bring Prof Pitman's name into the conversation as some kind of support for Pielke Senior. If someone who works with him doesn't presume to know his perspective on these questions it certainly is inappropriate for you to do so.

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40. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Happy to oblige but need a little something from you. If you organize a seminar at UNSW for Prof. Pielke Snr to talk about a topic of his choice, I'll happily answer questions over drinks after Roger's presentation. Of course you'll have to cover his airfare and accommodation.

Let me know when it's on.

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41. Alvin Stone

Okay, clearly I'm wasting my time.

I thought it was the case earlier but was willing to persist to see if I could get a reasonable answer to understand your position.

If answering a simple pair of questions asking what you regard as a reliable source of information on climate change is too much for you, then it becomes impossible to take any of your positions on science seriously.

Whatever protestations you make, it is clear that the Pielke suggestion was just another smokescreen to avoid…

42. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

It was an honest offer, one intended to build some bridges rather than to throw stones.

Again, do be sure to let me know when Roger is speaking. I'm sure he would even be gracious enough to accept your apology.

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43. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Once again your spin does not match the facts. I'm sure you are aware that Andy and Roger have collaborated on quite a number of papers, over the last decade. I'm surprised that someone who claims to know 97% of the literature was not aware of this, but then I think we have established you are more spin than substance. I doubt Dr Pitman would co-author with someone over such a long period of time whom he did not respect. Shame on you for propagating such a deception. When you see Prof. Pitman…

44. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Thanks for the lesson. Can I suggest some class rules for the benefit of your future students?:

1. Roger is always right.
2. Any scientist in any area who disagrees with him is wrong.
3. Websites and science that disagree with Roger are not reliable and should be avoided at all cost, especially if they are quoting him verbatim.
4. Very important! Disregard every major science organisation's work.
5. Only the lowest extrapolations of data are accurate.
6. All models are wrong, even those that…

45. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Oh sorry forgot....

11. Never ever forget this is a SCEPTICAL class!

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46. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Nick
Don't blame Roger for your ignorance.

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47. Glenn Tamblyn

Holes in their data!

Care to elaborate Marc. Since you are an expert on the classification of catastrophic Disasters. So give us all the benefit of your 'reasonable view' and show us the holes. Anyone can claim anything in the throw-away world of the Blogosphere...

.....Please fill in relevent details here

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48. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Glenn, I doubt you would consider my data,so here's a challenge why don't you verify MRe's data yourself. When you find the many historical natural disasters that have been overlooked perhaps, given you'll have done it yourself, you be a little more sceptical of this sort of (mis) information.

Here's an example. This Munich Re chart "Great natural catastrophes worldwide 1950 – 2010" (link below) shows NO of events for 1953. None at all!
Here's a list of headlines courtesy of the NLA newspaper…

49. Nick Kermode

logged in via email @hotmail.com

Cheers Marc. I think we already cleared up my earlier error in comprehension. Hansen does indeed explicitly say the troposphere has not responded yet (first para rhs pg 962) but you did clear me up on the context. I started it but we were both wrong. I notice no comment of his own mistakes. No mention of using a monthly anomaly in his article. No mention why he has ignored so much data that disagrees with his finding. Was the March issue deliberate? Do you agree with seemingly arbitrarily leaving out data?

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50. Alex Cannara

It' remains intriguing how hiding in climate/weather and its necessarily higher variability than properties of seas and poles, allows some to pretend to be 'skeptical' of scientists who may have no personal axe to grind and no motive or pay to ignore important facts, while kerfuffling around behind the curtain of climate variability and bureaucratic behaviors (e.g., the convenient IPCC devil).

A true skeptic, even scientist, would not care if the IPCC existed, but would see the measures of sea…

51. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alex,
I have addressed all those issues at various times, and as indicated before accept the many and varied human influences on not just the climate but on the planet as a whole. I'm not sure where you are coming from on this, or where you are going, and from your rather confused comments I doubt you know either.

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52. Alex Cannara

Gosh, Marc, the Geologist, wonder how I missed your claims to accept "the many and varied human influences on not just the climate but on the planet as a whole." It must be somewhere in all your voluminous posts here trying to misdirect others into the necessarily more variable, low specific-heat, atmospheric behaviors. Like your recent 20-line "Posted from R.Pielke..." effort to somehow besmirch models that don't predict temp data as perfectly as you seem to think they should, thus somehow incriminating…

53. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Missed it because you only see what you want to see Alex. Can't help it that you are blind to opinions other than your own. As stated above its about the magnitude of the impact.

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54. In reply to Alvin Stone

Comment removed by moderator.

55. Alex Cannara

Hilarious, Marc. You playing like a scientist to claim concern about "the magnitude of the impact", without understanding, or wanting to understand, that the impact you are so diligent to correct, is already evident beyond whatever your quibbling over modelled air temps claims to expose.

All models have been low in effects estimation, whether of sea rise, acidification, polar melting, glacial retreats and so on, yet you still play games with model bashing, IPCC damning, and picking on real scientists like Hansen for old statements.

Your writings here are so prolifically superfluous! Your handlers must be impressed. We should set a time capsule of your posts.
;]

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56. Alex Cannara

I just saw this -- Marc can speak for Pielke, but no one else can do similar.

So, not only does Marc not address straight questions, as on the defects in Pielke's rather naive analysis of data with high variance & low duration, it's a victimization when Marc gets questioned. Funny how playing victim seems to be a popular, passive-aggressive response to persistent requests for facts.

Cool.

For everyone else, here are some recent summarized facts (avert eyes, Marc): http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/2012/mar12.html

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57. Alex Cannara

Gotta love a narrow window for selecting data, eh Marc? I recall those floods in '53, but how about going back a bit further, and including relevant forces like solar activity, volcanic activity, ocean cycles (El Nino...), and even go back to the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warming, and even further. The actual facts show we should have been cooling greatly in these recent years, but have not, precisely because GHG emissions have overwhelmed both an expected weaker solar maximum.

Then too…

58. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

The point which you have missed entirely (perhaps you should lift your head out of the sand) had to do with the quality of Munich Re's analysis. The information I presented clearly demonstrates the graph in question is flawed. You can deny this all you like Alex but it will not alter the basic facts.

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59. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alex thinks he's picked a lovely basket of cherries. He's so proud of his pickings he advertises them more than once. He spreads them on the kitchen counter for all to see. But Sadly Alex's cherries are all either rotten, or riddled with fruit fly.

Alex the PORC from now on (picker of rotten cherries)

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4. Fred Pribac

logged in via email @internode.on.net

Nice simple analogy.

However, is it also worth remembering that in the case of climate change there "is" a need to make some matching guesses as here the dice are expected to become "increasingly" loaded the longer we refrain from mitigation. I guess that's what the IPCC is for!

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1. Philip Dowling

IT teacher

But there is a conundrum here. Humans are not good at making guesses when it comes to predicting the most likely outcomes.

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2. David Arthur

n/a

Which is why they resort to computation.

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3. David Arthur

n/a

"Humans are not good at making guesses when it comes to predicting the most likely outcomes."

Well done. This summarises the first 795 or so words of Ben's article in about 16.

The other 50 or so of Ben's word warrant some reflection.

"Just as rolling a green or blue in the dice game should not stop you maximising on red, so the occurrence of a cold season should not stop you thinking the globe is warming.
"If we want to maximise our future well-being we would do well to heed these warnings."

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4. Philip Dowling

IT teacher

Nor think you are correctly assigning probabilities based on a random walk.

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5. David Arthur

n/a

Random walk is used here for illustrative purposes.

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5. Andrew Glikson

logged in via email @iinet.net.au

THE GEOLOGICAL AND PALEO-CLIMATE DIMENSION OF 20-21 CENTURIES GLOBAL WARMING

1. The current atmospheric radiative forcing level has already reached over 3 Watt/m2 - about half that of the last glacial termination (20-14 kyr-ago) and thereby potential mean global temperature of ~2.3 degrees C, ~50% of which is currently mitigated by sulphur aerosols - a short term (originally unintended) geo-engineering measure.

2. Cessation of sulphur emission will expose Earth to elevated temperatures comparable to those of the Pliocene, ~2 degrees C higher than the Holocene and sea levels ~25+/-12 meters higher than the Holocene, consistent with CO2 levels of ~400 ppm,

3. Temperatures, Ice melt rates and seas level rise are lagging behind the rise in GHG forcing but Greenland and west Antarctica ice melt rates are now doubling every 5 to 10 years http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5955/984.short

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6. Gideon Polya

Sessional Lecturer in Biochemistry for Agricultural Science at La Trobe University

Great article. As a 5-decade career scientist in an area (biological chemistry) intimately related to man-made climate change I have been giving public lectures on the worsening climate emergency to community groups from Seymour to Trafalgar in Greater Melbourne as well as teaching university students (for a detailed and documented summary of a climate change mini-course I have presented to university students see "2011 Climate Change Course": http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate

1. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

With so many references to non peer reviewed work it sounds like you have become more the activist than the scientist.

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2. James Jenkin

EFL Teacher Trainer

And you have the pro-climate action cheer squad ganging up on you!

It's a bit like all the pro-Andrew Bolt gang spouting the party line on any site related to Anita Heiss.

See, I'm impartial! :) Just this doctrinaire mob mentality - on any issue and from any perspective - is dumb. And not worthy of The Conversation.

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3. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Thanks James, and the scores are actually above average today!

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4. Alex Cannara

Marc is such a victim, isn't he, James!? I mean if you don't have the facts on your side, what's left but sympathy, eh? Of course, given that Marc has written more here than any two of the rest of us, he may either enjoy victimhood, or have some other agenda than fact.

Good to see Marc has one backer. Now if IcedV would just come back, they could be the Three Amigos (in victimhood).
;]

For the rest of us, interested in facts..
http://tinyurl.com/bueq2ev
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy

7. Andrew Glikson

logged in via email @iinet.net.au

Four of the large mass extinction events in the history of Earth transpired when major shifts in state in the atmosphere/ocean system perturbed the carbon, oxygen and sulphur cycles, on which the biosphere depends, at rates to which species could not adapt. The rise of atmospheric CO2 at a rate averaging 0.43 ppm/year since 1750, an average rate of ~1.7 ppm/year since 1975-76 and a peak of 2.9 ppm/year in 1998, exceeding the fastest rates recorded in Cainozoic history, driving rapid temperature…

8. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Climate change enthusiasts in Melbourne might like to take note of the following play soon opening in Melbourne. Seems popular culture now also taking issue with the alarmist model of CAGW.

It's called The Heretic. Perhaps The Con can do a review. Here's a synopsis:

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
LONDON EVENING STANDARD AWARD FOR BEST PLAY OF 2011
‘an absolute corker, funny, provocative and touching’ - The Telegraph
‘a riotous comedy’ - The Independent

"Although far from a being a climate change sceptic, Dr Diane Cassell is nevertheless a serious scientist who likes the facts to speak for themselves. When her data contradict a key doctrine of global warming theory, her university puts pressure on her to conform. Yet she can do no other except speak her truth, even after her heresies hit the front pages and her world really heats up."

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1. David Arthur

n/a

Sounds great, Marc.

Err, it wouldn't be a work of fiction, would it?

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2. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Yes, Just like climate model outputs.

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3. Glenn Tamblyn

As distinct from basic Thermodynamics

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9. Dennis Alexander

Why does anybody engage with Marc?
He is a known troll and is utterly uninterested in the actual science except to shoot spitballs at it.
Talk among yourselves and when he enters the conversation start another one because there is absolutely no point in talking to him.

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1. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

I understand that it can be confronting to have entrenched opinions challenged Dennis but advocating an odd form of censorship as you do is not really the best way to confront your fear of being wrong.

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2. Fred Pribac

logged in via email @internode.on.net

I was wondering about that. I also noticed he resorts to mild childish personal abuse (see for instance some of his responses to Alvin Stone above). Is the aim of his trolling to shut down the discussion through sheer volume of nonsense posted?

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3. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Fred, I'm interested what does a climate change officer do? Anything useful?

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4. James Jenkin

EFL Teacher Trainer

Hi Dennis, why is Marc a troll?

I have no opinion on climate change. I'm just interested to hear different perspectives.

What sort of posts with differing opinions would be acceptable?

Isn't it good the Conversation has controversy and argy-bargy? Or should it just comprise briefings from informed and suitably qualified experts?

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5. Fred Pribac

logged in via email @internode.on.net

Your implied criticism is correct ... it's a dumb job description.

Maybe I should have referenced something broader and tagged myself as a "geophysicist". And yes, I have done and continue to do lot's of stuff of which I hope at least some is useful.

I suspect, however, that responding to disingenuous arguments in forums like this one may not be all that useful!

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6. Alex Cannara

You should know Marc, as the master of entrenching opinion (rather than science)!
;]

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10. Philip Dowling

IT teacher

The use of probability in discussion of climate change issues is, in my opinion, questionable at least and often highly misleading.
When people assign a certain probability to a particular event, and then draw conclusions based on that probability, it is imperative that the assigned probability is accurate.
Probability theory is based on the possibility of performing a series of identical experiments, that are stochastic in nature, and can be performed a large number of times to verify the assigned…

11. Jim Wright

Retired Civil/Structural Engineer, IT Consultant/Contractor

This conversation is so interesting and is an exemplar of the way discussion on climate change takes place. My only disappointment is when (as has happened occasionally in other conversations) little bits of rudeness creep in. Surely we have now got to the state where we can agree that nasty things are happening and something must be done about it. If climate deniers think everything is all right with the world, it is up to them to prove it without a reasonable doubt.
Having said that, it all comes…

12. Sean Lamb

Science Denier

Speaking of weighing the dice, did the authors (of the cited paper, Hansen et al) deliberately skew their data by choosing as their baseline period the years 1950-1980 which corresponds with the peak of Sulphur Dioxide emissions (a cooling gas)?

Or was it just a fortuitous coincidence?

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1. Andrew Glikson

logged in via email @iinet.net.au

The temperature data, or the temprature data normallized to 1951-1980, constitute an objectively measured parameter, i.e. the data can be normallized relative to any other period and remain objective.

The choice of 1951-1980 as the reference period for normallization of post-1980 data is because this period had relatively stable tempratures and even mild cooling (due to heavy aerosol release and low sun spots) whereas the mid to late 1980s saw an abrupt upward swing of the warming trend.

The interpretation of the temperature differences, i.e. the extent to which they represent the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, clouds, insolation, surface reflection/albedo and other factors, is separate from the actual measurements and normallization of values and is the subject of calculations matched by empirical observations.

Sulphur aerosols constitute particles, not "cooling gas".

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2. Sean Lamb

Science Denier

Dear Mr Gilkson.
You are correct that sulphur aersols constitute particles. However sulphur dioxide is emitted as a gas from a variety of processes and forces aerosols in the upper atmosphere.

Hence sulphur dioxide emissions are gaseous, cause cooling, ergo they are a cooling gas.

If you are going to be pedantic it is always a good look if you actually know what you are talking about.

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3. Glenn Tamblyn

Sean

Selection of a baseline period has no impact on the overall conclusion. Because every data point it given relative to a baseline. Pick a different baseline and al you are doing is applying a different offset to each data point. If what you are interested in is the relativity between data points, the baseline is unimportant.

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4. Glenn Tamblyn

Sean

There is a difference between the emission of Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphates. Sulphates (like many other 'ates such as Silicates abd Carbonates) are molecules that can act as precursors to the formation of particles. Sulphur Dioxide in contrast is a simple molecule much like Carbon Dioxide.

Simple molecules can only have cooling/warming impacts through their absorption of EM Radiation. Substances such as 'ates that can lead to the formation of significant particles can also have reflection characteristics.

So their climatic impact can be very different.

So what was your point in the comment that SO2 emissions BEING GASEOUS have a cooling effect. Please explain!

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13. Tim Scanlon

Author and Scientist

Thanks Ben.

Probabilities are always a reality in science, it is always good to have someone explain them so that we have a reference point.

The more data on climate change we get the more loaded those dice are becoming. I'm amazed at the statistics and how they aren't being taken seriously. Time for renewable energy!

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14. Alex Cannara

Wow! It's amazing to us Yanks how only articles like this, discussing the actuality of climate & global warming due to human activities bring out the our Heartland Boys, like Marc (with a "c").

Again, I apologize for our Heartland Institute's pollution of Australian science & opinion.

But, whether Nicol, Marc (with a "c") or a few others, none has had the nerve to discuss the bigger realities of sea rise or acidification -- items anyone can measure and which are clear, large, increasing, indisputable…

1. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alex, you suggest I have links with the Heartland Institute. This is a figment of your over active imagination. I suggest you retract this comment or substantiate it. They have a legitate right to present a viewpoint and make an argument, just as anyone else does. Perhaps you would like to see such alternate views suppressed? Perhaps anyone that disagrees eith your point of view should subject to censure. And this coming from someone who lives in a nation that ingrains the right to free speech into…

2. Alex Cannara

Ahhh Marc (with a "c"), you've been doing yeoman work on this topic, as you did on others in months earlier, even if you're not benefitting from Heartland's lubrication of Aussie climate-denial factories, then good, I guess. But that raises the question of your sensibility, since you're missing out on \$ you could use to post the bond or trust for benefit of your offspring, should you, by the smallest of chance, be wrong about warming, sea rise, acidification, etc..

You even pull the "peer'-review…

3. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

A little more about our Alex. He's special, paints the town white rather than red. Perhaps his tin foil hat is the same colour?

"Dr. Cannara is spearheading a push to inform the public about the benefits of reducing solar heating from buildings and concrete through adjusting their surface color."

http://www.keenforgreen.com/b/activist-profile-dr-alexander-cannara

Happy painting Alex, Not sure however that your work will hang in the Lourve.

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4. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Alex,
Putting aside your rather odd behaviour, I do congratulate you on your efforts with thorium nuclear. it's a pity that nuclear has been demonized in Austalia to the extent that it is currently off the table. Perhaps The Con would consider a post on this from you?

Normal hostilities may now recommence.

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5. Alex Cannara

Marc (with a "c")! You can use the Internet to find people's old links! Wow. But why put up something that's not "peer reviewed"? Tsssk, tssk.

And "our Alex"? Do some Aussies have slaves? What's your bidding, oh truthless master of the peers?

It's indeed impressive that you strive so hard on climate articles to post in the majority, as here. But numbers don't count as much when the posts are without weight.
;]
By the way, painting roofs reflectively turns out to be worth quite a few \$ in the end, which is why businesses don't complain about such regulations.

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15. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Posted from R.Pielke Snr's blog (perhaps its time The editors of The Conversation requested an article from him)

John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center of the Univeristy of Alabama in Huntsville, has provided us with his perspective on the Conversation post.

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/john-christys-comment-on-if-you-want-to-roll-the-climate-dice-you-should-know-the-odds/

Following is John’s insightful…

16. Andrew Glikson

logged in via email @iinet.net.au

A GEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Alex,

For some reason I am still receiving blog comments on this post and, since geological factors are mentioned, I append the summary below:

1. The release to date of over 500 billion tons of carbon (GtC) through emissions and land clearing (original atmospheric CO2 inventory - 590 GtC) is shifting the Earth’s climate toward ice-free conditions such as existed pre-34 million years ago, within a few centuries - a geological blink of an eye…

1. Alex Cannara

Thanks Andrew. In fact, the fastest rise in CO2 & temp since he Permian Extinction, occurred about 54 million years ago, and the rise then was 1/100 of what we've been able to achieve per year. Ma Nature is no competition for Peabody Coal, BP, etc! There was a good article for Scientific American readers on the subject in July last year.

As you know, Earth's orbital variations create the ~95,000-year Milankovitch Cycles, which had us heading for an ice age quite soon now, but again, a Nature was no match!

Welcome to the Anthropocene!

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17. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Andrew, how smug of you to think that your thoughts are the final word, the discussion goes on without you, pal.

A GEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The circum Antarctic current will play an important continuing role in mediating future global temperature rises due to anthropogenic and natural influences. It was the main reason for the transition to global ice age conditions about 30 million years ago in the middle to late Oligiocene. While the current remains, there is little chance…

1. Alex Cannara

There you go again, Marc. Dropping terms like Dryas & Oligocene without actually appearing to know ice ages occurred quite regularly every ~95,000 years over the last many millions, due to Earth's orbital motions as well as solar cycles.

So,if you were actually to look at the long core data sets into the past that we now have, you'd see that the ice age we were scheduled to enter shortly has been defanged, particularly by CO2 we've produced. You do understand isotopic analyses, as a geologist, right?

We see you understand chaffing a forum with bloated text. Do you know how far an SUV can go on all the network, PC & server watt-hours your massive postings have consumed? Very impressive. Your handlers are happy. Who are they again?
;]

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2. Glenn Tamblyn

Marc.

The Antarctic Circum-Polar current sure is an important factor in worl climte. Currently it, along with similar currents in the atmosphere, tends to isolate Antarctica and all the reflective ice. So lets look at what past history can tell us.

30-35 MYr ago the separation betwen South America and Antarctica had proceeded far enough to allow the current to form. This enhanced to cooling of Antarctica which shifted from a seasonallay frozen state complete with perma-frost to its current…

3. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Antarctica's ice sheets provide a significant buffer that will buy time. Andrew's highly misleading claim of ice free conditions in a few hundred years is pure alarmist nonsense.

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18. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

Yet another non scientist talking climate science!

"There is no longer equal chances of warm, cool, or average seasons"

Says who? The "secret squirrel" computer models that's who! These are the computer models which have failed the prediction test EVERY TIME!

The reason they have failed is because they break every cardinal rule for solving sets of ID equations:

1: we don't know the initial conditions

2: we don't know the boundary conditions

3: we do not have all the processes modelled (i.e. clouds, sun, solar dynamics, ocean currents, El Nino etc etc ad infinitum)

4: we do not have computers capable of modelling at temporal and spatial grid spacings where such things as turbulence is encountered (i.e. storms, hurricanes, cyclones etc etc etc etc ad infinitum) i.e. huge energy transfers of GW are just simply ignored!

Which is why people like Hansen et al always try to turn the conversation/debate away from the science as this article does!

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1. Alex Cannara

Ok, Ok, Iced whatever, we can help cool off the righteous indignation. This should give you something to calm you...

b) We'll all chip in & buy you a waterproof pad, pen, meter stick, and a pH meter
c) You can go out and fill up the pad with high-tide sea levels and pH readings from all over your continent.

Sounds like a restful, even scientific endeavor? You can even go to nice places, like the Great Barrier Reef or the Nordic fishing grounds, to fill up your pad with true scientific observations. No more worrying about straw-man arguments against "models" or "Hansens", just the facts. Report back in a few years.

Ciao

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2. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

Typical AGW response! But here's some facts for you!

Yao and Del Genio are the NASA clouds/storms gurus, they along with Schmidt, WRITE the manual and code for the models that predict all these harem scarem scenarios and here is a direct quote from them in 2011:

"Not every model agrees with the “consensus” result, and until and unless the conceptual basis for a shift to fewer but stronger storms is firmly established, the projections of global climate models should be regarded as educated guesses."

Yeah I think we should completely rearrange the whole world based on "educated guesses"!

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3. Alex Cannara

Is this really an Iced MarcH? I mean some of his choice comments below have been removed, and suddenly we have a similar poster ignoring specific questions, just as did Marc. Hmmmmm.

In any case, still hiding in the 'model' straw-man world, eh Iced? You don't realize even our Koch brothers funded "peer-reviewed" work at UC that showed how accurate all the estimates/measurements of just world temps alone are?...
www.berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Averaging_Process

Then too, we…

4. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

Attack me with the personal vitriol you like it makes no difference to the facts:

1: no temperature rise currently being experienced (and there are significant scientific issues regarding the veracity of land based station data) is unusual in the geological context.

2: no current sea level rise is unusual, in fact in geological terms any current rate of sea level rise is quite trivial.

3: The Arctic and other northern ice has melted, some COMPLETELY, numerous times before even in our piddling human history.

4: the incidence of storms and/or severe storms is actually quite low (corals, sediments etc) tell us that we are living in relatively quite period in earth's weather!

In precis' the only thing that is telling us a scary story is the computer models and they are mathematically provably broken!

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5. Alvin Stone

Dear Mr or Mrs Volvo,

A couple of the things you said are plain wrong

1. Actually the speed of the increase is significant in geological time and is confirmed by both satellite and land measurements. And you can see here that warming is still occurring rapidly in the ocean - at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/04/scienceshot-no-letup-in-worlds.html?ref=em

3. Simply not true - the Arctic has never melted completely during recorded human history.

4. Tropical storm incidence numbers decline under global warming.

I won't comment on sea level without first referring to original sources or chatting to some climate scientists.

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6. Alex Cannara

Marc/Iced (makes no difference).! You show quite the desperation now -- violating your own Golden Rule of "peer reviewed" statements.

So for the others who care about facts, here's a brief summary from USGS (OMG what's that G for?)...
http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/2012/mar12.html
www.berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Averaging_Process

Wonder when your handlers will suggest ending their embarrassment?

Remember, the offer of pad, pen, ruler & pH meter remains, as does the offer of the bet Monckton wisely refused in 2010.

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7. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

I wont bother with the other respondent any more, he is not interested in the science. But you on other hand are worth responding to but I have to go out: watch this space if they don't close the topic in the next few hours!!

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8. Alex Cannara

The discriminating and indignant victim play, eh Iced/Marc?

Still nary an answer to the tough questions. Not impressive.

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9. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

1.
a) Land based temps: the vast majority of the data is, in my opinion (and that of others!) very dubious. Disregarding the data collected by universities etc and pre 1970s data, the overwhelming bulk of surface data comes from manual recording on sparsely located un - calibrated back yard equipment (e.g. police or post offices etc.). I will just mention briefly the key issues:
- secret UHI algorithms
- secret/non existent RAW data
- corrupt data from local heating
- un calibrated equipment…

10. Alex Cannara

Iced/Marc (hard to tell you apart), "the vast majority of the data is, in my opinion (and that of others!) very dubious" -- "opinion"? What, no list of names & "peer reviewed" pieces.

Remember, you were offered a free notebook, pen ruler & pH meter to go out and get you away from your "calibrated back yard equipment".

But also, please take to heart that no one cares what your opinion is, since you never answer direct questions. Maybe you do just want the attention your voluminous posts create? Maybe posting is your job?

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11. Iced Volvo

Phsycian

I thought I would rebut the comment about peer review not because the comment deserved it but because it demonstrates to others who might read this the deception that is a hallmark of AGW fundamentalists.

The dispute over the veracity of the early surface based instrumental has existed since the AGW debate began. However access to the RAW IPCC data has always been refused by the likes of Jones et al from Hadley CRU. Whenever data has been obtained it has been shown that the data has been fudged…

12. Alex Cannara

Still hiding in the IPCC & conspiracies, eh Iced/Marc? Remember, you can take the bet Monckton wisely refused, or you can easily go out and measure yourself, or you can easily find reams of non-IPCC data, like the ones I gave all a while back (which you made clear you haven't checked).

But keep on filling this server with kerfluffles of a victimized 'trueth teller'. If you can't con any believers, at least your handlers see you're trying.!\

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19. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

Roger Pielke Snr adds further to the discussion...

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/an-example-of-the-mistatement-of-fact-on-climate-change/

An Example Of The Misstatement of Fact On Climate Change
Alvin Stone of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales [h/t to Marc Hendrickx] made the following comment [highlight added] in the discussion at The Conversation in the post

See Roger's post for the comment in question.

This statement by Mr. Stone is not an isolated example, unfortunately, but is a view that is erroneously communicated. This is why I and a group of Fellows of the American Geophysical Union published the following article....

Ps I don't drive a Volvo, but understand why some people do: they are among the most trustworthy cars on the road.

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1. Alvin Stone

Having read Roger Pielke's Snr's piece and the article he references, there is little if any evidence of a misstatement. He doesn't deny carbon dioxide is the primary driver but suggests that we look at other anthropogenic drivers, which is exactly what is being done.
A Centre of Excellence researcher is producing a research paper at this moment which addresses these very questions. And he is not the only one either within our centre or internationally to have examined this.
There is indeed an influence from aerosols and the like at regional levels but in every case, over time, the influence of CO2 dominates. I have yet to see any paper that disputes this.
While there may have been some fringe papers that have tried to dispute CO2's leading role as a driver of global warming, none has held up under scrutiny.
I respectfully disagree with both the statement and its conclusion.

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2. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

"Centre of excellence" did you come up with that one. When I went to uni we just had faculties. Reliable, trustworthy, independent. Sad to see that universities have become beholden to BS spinners like you.

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3. Alvin Stone

What a totally unnecessary response to my comment. There are many Centres of Excellence funded by the Australian Research Council. Many have communocations officers of one form or another.

The Centres exist across multiple university sites - in our case five - and link up with international and national partner organisations. They do advanced research that couldn't be easily done at one university and my job is to help communicate between the hubs and to assist with any media engagements. None…

4. Marc Hendrickx

Geologist

My note to your director dealt directly with your deceptive and deliberately misleading comments regarding Roger Pielke Snr. You say you are prepared to admit your mistakes but I have not seen an apology to Prof. Pielke yet. Perhaps you have sent a personal note?

While it has become a trend to re-label university departments with names born from marrying marketing spin with the thoughts of focus groups, the end results do not appear to be providing any real benefit in terms of the quality of the…