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This is for JM and PKD

The issue at hand is whether the observational record could, in principle, be used to test a climate model’s assumption that the climate has high sensitivity to forcings such asCO2 increases. By using compensating parameters for forcing and sensitivity, climate modelers guarantee that such testing against the observational record cannot happen: models are effectively immunized from empirical challenge. More precisely, as Retto Knutti, a contributing author to the IPCC’s 2007 AR112 explained in a paper published after that report’s publication, “models with high sensitivity (strong feedbacks) avoid simulating too much warming by using a small net forcing (large negative aerosol forcing), and models with weak feedbacks can still simulate the observed warming with a larger forcing (weak aerosol forcing)…”113 Put slightly differently, the reason why the major climate models can all reproduce the late 20th century warming pretty well even though they don’t agree at all on the fundamental question of how climate responds to various forcings (the parameter S in equation (1)) is because they make whatever assumption about aerosols is necessary to adjust the radiative forcing ΔQ so as to be able to reproduce temperature changes ΔT observed during the late 20th century.114 But these assumptions are far from innocuous. As recent work has shown, if the (negative) aerosol forcing turns out to be much smaller than assumed, then the ensemble of GCM’s used by the IPCC would have to have a much larger climate sensitivity (with the mean moved up a full 2 degrees centigrade) in order to remain consistent with observations. On the other hand, if the negative aerosol forcing is even larger (more negative), then the ensemble GCM’s would fail on the other side, simulating too little warming. This “mismatch” between observed and simulated 20th century warming would mean that “current agreement between simulated and observed warming trends would be partly spurious, and indicate that we are missing something in the picture of causes and effects of large scale 20th century surface warming.”115

Hat tip to Graham Young from Online Opinion who says:

The arguments are not new, but put together with exhaustive documentation. Also puts the lie to the claim that there is nothing to challenge the IPCC in the peer reviewed literature.

Read it and get back to us 😉  Its a long PDF  but most illuminating.

Cheers Comrades

😉

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63 Comments

  1. Len says:

    Here we go again. I iterate again, figures can be twisted to say almost anything. Causes for AGW damage are certainly not new, but differ locationally. All these supposed experts always try to lump it all together, under one umbrella.
    It doesn’t wash, at least to those who know better. That population is growing substantially, day by day, as well, we all attempt to study, analyse and understand the science for ourselves, to make up our own minds. I note in the quote above, this was never mentioned. I read the first ten pages, at least until the eyes glazed over, and again my major point is that you cannot compare the skies above say Indonesia, with those above perhaps Dresden ? The cause for the co2 are from totally different causes. Perhaps, at a push, just say industrialisation and you may get away with it, but that doesn’t wash with anyone who is educated to know better.

    I wish these supposed experts, (and I am not including myself in this category !), would just bang their heads together, then maybe, they may give themselves a bit of credibility. Until then, we should all treat these fools, with all the contempt, and skepticism they deserve.

    Our job in this scenario ? Keep questioning these supposed experts. Make them prove their, irrational and and at most instances, improvable hypotheses.

  2. JM says:

    This paper comes from the University of Pennsylvania Law School

    It is written by Jason Scott Johnston, the current “Robert G. Fuller Jr Professor” there, who appears to be an expert in contract law (you can find his CV here)

    So now we’re expected to take science advice from a f****** law professor?????

    What are you guys smoking?

  3. JM says:

    Oh, and just to really put the boot in.

    This is not peer reviewed. It’s published by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which is essentially an open-slather website for pre-prints of things that might get published one day.

    It’s also “social science” aka economics, legal and policy focussed. Nothing to do with climate science at all. You have to publish in credible places to be credible.

    Look up the Sokal affair where a bogus “Quantum Gravity” article was published in an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies, ie completely the wrong topic in an otherwise serious journal.

    The whole thing was a hoax.

    Iain, you and Graham are grasping at straws, you’re drowning men.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Did you read the document JM and did you check the references? The entire thing draws upon your precious Peer reviewed science for every fact and every argument.
    I bet that you read the introduction and that was as far as you got.

  5. JM says:

    Iain, the guy is not qualified to make that assessment. He has no idea what he’s saying.

    Let’s take the first sentence you quote:

    The issue at hand is whether the observational record could, in principle, be used to test a climate model’s assumption

    This is just nonsense. He’s saying that it is questionable whether any real-world observations are capable of validating anything at all. That’s like saying that I can’t validate the theory of gravity by dropping an apple (or in your case a brick) on someones head.

    In fact it’s bone-headed. Of course observations can validate models of the physical world “in principle”. To say otherwise is monumentally ignorant, and a sign that here we have someone “who has been educated beyond their capacity for rational thought”.

    Secondly, the references in the little section you quote are all to a paper by Reto Knutti in 2005/8. That paper comes to precisely the opposite conclusion – namely that models are broadly accurate and not at all problematic (but could be improved if better account were taken of aerosols).

    Johnston is quote mining to give a false impression in other words.

    Moving on.

    The abstract to Johnston’s paper starts out:


    Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists – what may be called the climate establishment – is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases.

    This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the
    picture of climate science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other global warming scientist advocates with the peer-edited scientific
    literature on climate change.

    And that’s just the opening.

    That is in no way a scientific argument – it’s a political one.

    Sorry Iain, the guy is not to be taken seriously in any way. He has an agenda and he’s twisting selected quotes to advance it.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain, the guy is not qualified to make that assessment. He has no idea what he’s saying.

    Well tell us please precisely what in your opinion qualifies anyone to comment on this issue???? And please cite just how you yourself meet that benchmark.

    The issue at hand is whether the observational record could, in principle, be used to test a climate model’s assumption

    This is just nonsense. He’s saying that it is questionable whether any real-world observations are capable of validating anything at all. That’s like saying that I can’t validate the theory of gravity by dropping an apple (or in your case a brick) on someones head.

    You are reading it wrong because the issue with all climate models is just how they can be validated (or invalided for that matter) by comparing them to the observational data. and that is just what he is saying in the sentence you quote.
    Why pray tell do you have violent fantasies about yours truly??

    In fact it’s bone-headed. Of course observations can validate models of the physical world “in principle”. To say otherwise is monumentally ignorant, and a sign that here we have someone “who has been educated beyond their capacity for rational thought”.

    You are nit picking to cover up the fact that you have not read the whole document. obviously

    Secondly, the references in the little section you quote are all to a paper by Reto Knutti in 2005/8. That paper comes to precisely the opposite conclusion – namely that models are broadly accurate and not at all problematic (but could be improved if better account were taken of aerosols).

    Johnston is quote mining to give a false impression in other words.

    Just how much of the paper have you read?

    And that’s just the opening.

    That is in no way a scientific argument – it’s a political one.

    Sorry Iain, the guy is not to be taken seriously in any way. He has an agenda and he’s twisting selected quotes to advance it.

    Everything is political JM, even science, and that means that it is amenable to a political argument, but The thesis of this paper is that the IPCC papers have over claimed on the certainties and underplayed the big uncertainties and it has used the Peer Reviewed research of your beloved “climate scientists” to do it. can you prove that this contention is wrong?

  7. JM says:

    Iain: You are reading it wrong …

    No I’m not. You just don’t understand English, my interpretation is the clear meaning of the phrase “in principle”.

    because the issue with all climate models is just how they can be validated (or invalided for that matter) by comparing them to the observational data.
    How else would you validate them? What would you compare them with? The stories of Lewis Carrol?

    Just how much of the paper have you read?

    The whole thing. It’s such trash it’s difficult to know where to start so I concentrated on stuff you’d quoted.

    I’ve also read Knutti’s paper in its entirety. Which I doubt you have:

    a.) because it’s fairly dense and I know you – like Prof. Johnston – don’t have the background to make the slightest sense of it, and

    b.) because it’s hard to find without paying for it (unless you know where to look)

    The thesis of this paper is that the IPCC papers have over claimed on the certainties and underplayed the big uncertainties

    Then the thesis is completely, utterly wrong. This is mostly a discussion about the value of climate uncertainty, which the IPCC quotes as between 2C and 4.5C with a most probable value of 3C.

    That’s quite some uncertainty there. I don’t see the IPCC downplaying it. Further Knutti’s paper (and others he’s written, including a very good one published last year in Nature) confirm that the IPCC’s assessment is valid.

    Johnston is a hack.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Care to answer my other questions JM?
    and when you do I will respond to your last commment

  9. JM says:

    Iain: Well tell us please precisely what in your opinion qualifies anyone to comment on this issue????

    To comment? Anyone can comment. To make a rough assessment of whether Prof. Johnston has a prima facie case? Probably qualifications in the physical sciences. Prof. Johnston doesn’t have those, and neither do you. I do. Lacking formal qualifications, a layperson with considerable familiarity with the field could probably do a reasonable job.

    You definitely don’t fit that criteria.

    To make a valid critique of Dr. Knutti’s work (and the work of other climate scientists) you would have to be a practitioner in the field, ie. someone who could genuinely peer review the work. Neither, you nor I nor Prof. Johnston have that.

    Yet that is exactly what Prof. Johnston pretends to do.

    Sorry, political hackery is not a substitute for scientific debate.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    And precisely how do you meet those criteria?

  11. JM says:

    Iain, I’ve explained this often enough. I am professionally qualified in the physical sciences and many years ago at the start of my career worked in them.

    I’ve since gone on to other things, but retain an interest.

  12. JM says:

    Oh, and could I point out the title of Johnston’s “paper”? A Cross-examination.

    He’s approaching this like preparation for the cross-examination of an expert witness in a trial. He says as much in the body of the paper.

    But there are several things here:-

    a.) preparation is not the cross-examination itself, his strategy would need to be tested in the “real world” of the court,

    b.) since his preparation largely relies on those well known denialists like Christy and McIntryre & McIttrick, it’s not likely to get very far let alone succeed

    c.) a court is not the place to resolve a scientific argument (if one even exists, which in this case it doesn’t)

    Lastly, I note from his “abstract” that his premise is that a small group of climate science conspirators are misrepresenting the mainstream of climate science.

    Horseshit. They aren’t. They are the mainstream.

    The man is deluded.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain, I’ve explained this often enough. I am professionally qualified in the physical sciences and many years ago at the start of my career worked in them.

    I’ve since gone on to other things, but retain an interest.

    Frankly I don’t believe you because you won’t even nominate the are of expertise that you claim here yet you continue to suggest that those unnamed qualifications are some sort of trump card. Prove that your qualifications exist or stop alluding to them.

    Oh, and could I point out the title of Johnston’s “paper”? A Cross-examination.

    He’s approaching this like preparation for the cross-examination of an expert witness in a trial. He says as much in the body of the paper.

    And you think that this is a bad thing? I think that it is an entirely reasonable way to consider the evidence for the AGW proposition

    a.) preparation is not the cross-examination itself, his strategy would need to be tested in the “real world” of the court,

    Strangely none of your beloved climate scientists have dared to have their arguments tested in a court now have they?

    b.) since his preparation largely relies on those well known denialists like Christy and McIntryre & McIttrick, it’s not likely to get very far let alone succeed

    You are so narrow minded JM

    c.) a court is not the place to resolve a scientific argument (if one even exists, which in this case it doesn’t)

    Why not?

    Lastly, I note from his “abstract” that his premise is that a small group of climate science conspirators are misrepresenting the mainstream of climate science.

    Horseshit. They aren’t. They are the mainstream.

    Well compared to the total number of people in the sciences those involved in “climate research” are in fact a a rather small minority and as the “climate gate scandal demonstrated they have tried very hard to keep a closed shop….

    The man is deluded.

    No JM it is you his deluded if you think that the AGW proposition has as much credibility now as it did say twelve months ago, support for the alarmism has seriously declined and rather like that boy who cried wolf it will take an awful lot of work for anyone to believe that the world it going to fry us.

  14. PKD says:

    I think the interesting thing here is Iain’s carte blanche acceptance of a law schools paper without any checking of its merit. It just happens to fit in with his ideologies and so instantly must be correct.

    Hey Iain how does this explain (aprt from via AGW) the now wafer thin arctic ice thickness, and the extent, both of which are looking like a decent bet to hit record lows (especially the volume).

    Don’t forget solar activity is currently at a low point and the PDO is in its cooling phase, soooo something else obviously?

  15. PKD says:

    PS – I’ve been ill recovering from a nasty bug in case you were wondering…

  16. PKD says:

    Prove that your qualifications exist or stop alluding to them.

    Considering the number of times you used to defend Shawn Whelan and insist he didn’t have to prove his Geology qualifications when we asked him the same question, I find your comment a hypocrisy of the highest double-standard Iain… 😐

  17. Iain Hall says:

    PKD
    sorry to hear that you have been crook mate, there is a lot of that about at present. Hope that your recovery is both swift and complete.
    RE
    JM’s qualification compared to Shawn’s the former has often referenced his while the latter did only when asked. JM seems overly keen to hide his light under a bushel, he does not respond to emails, posts from a proxy server and has a very antagonistic attitude to your’s truly. (the comment about wanting to drop a brick on my head is a good example above) So perhaps you will appreciate why that I treat him with some suspicion and disdain.

    I knew very well that this paper was prepared by a lawyer and I thought that the premise that the evidence should be considered as if it was being presented by expert witnesses seems reasonable. All That JM give in return is to suggest that only the initiated are sanctified enough to consider the matter.
    That is just a bollocks argument much of what is contentious in this issue is down to some rather convoluted methodology of the (computer) model makers which certainly can be properly scrutinized by those from outside the faith.

  18. PKD says:

    JM’s qualification compared to Shawn’s the former has often referenced his while the latter did only when asked.

    Bollox Iain – i was there. Whelan often attempted to justify his opinion based on the Geology ‘qualification’ making him an expert. He volunteered it.
    He then got called on it by us from then on.

    Anyway even if was asked thats a complete irrelevance, if it was ok by you for Shawn not to give details of his qualification, then you have zero grounds do demand JM do so.

    I see you offer no explanation about the low ice levels – how utterly unsurprising…

  19. PKD says:

    Oh and thanks for the well wishes!

  20. Iain Hall says:

    PKD
    I have no desire to argue about the merits of Shawn on this topic as he has not commented here for ages, Nor is the topic the ice sheets of the arctic. But as I say repeatedly if you want to write about it your self then send me the copy and I’ll post it.
    You do realise that it has been more than three years I have been waiting for your pro AGW piece don’t you?

  21. PKD says:

    Ooh, nice deflection there!
    But I take it as conceded then that you admit you have no right to demand proof of JM’s qualifications when you were ok for Shawn not to. Thanks.

  22. Iain Hall says:

    I concede nothing but I tend to think that had I asked for them then Shawn would have had no trouble citing what his degree was in and where he had earned it. JM on the other hand won’t even tell us what his speciality is/was. JM’s evasiveness is just suspicious as far as I’m concerned especially as he posts via a proxy.

  23. PKD says:

    had I asked for them then Shawn would have had no trouble citing what his degree was in and where he had earned it.

    Hahaha – yeah, right – how many times was he asked that very question? You delude yourself if you reckon he would have magically turned over the proof just because you were asking. And for you knew Shawn Whelan was a proxy sock suppet too…

  24. Iain Hall says:

    I still get the occasional email from Shawn PKD he is more real and genuine than JM is

  25. PKD says:

    I still get the occasional email from Shawn PKD he is more real and genuine than JM is

    That has to be the biggest delusion of them all!

    Heck, if you still email with him then ask him for his Geology qualification details. We’d *love* to see them given you think you can get hold of them when no one else could.

    Bet you don’t!

  26. JM says:

    Iain if you don’t understand that a court is not an appropriate place to settle a scientific point, I can’t help you. Civil courts are for resolution of civil disputes in a fair and balanced manner on the balance of evidence – ie. it’s a 50/50 deal to bring finality to an otherwise irresolvable fight. Criminal courts are for criminal offences beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The “court of science” on the other hand, is to discover the truth. The courts just aren’t equipped, intellectually or procedurally, to handle that.

    Further, most of the people Johnston relies on – Cristy, M&M, Lindzen (and Watts whose weather stations arguments are outlined in detail without him being quoted directly) – are pretty discredited.

    This entire “paper” is just a rewarming of the same old, same old denialist junk.

    As to credentials, I don’t really believe in them. Your arguments should stand and fall on their merits. Johnston’s fall. Just like Shawn’s did.

    Sorry, you’ll have to do better.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m not sure which issue has caused the most uninformed debate and wasted the most cyber space – global warming or the Israel/Palestine conflict? Riveting stuff.

  28. lynot says:

    Iain their’s nothing illuminating about your post, it is just more denialist clap trap.You are no more qualified to make statements about G.W. than anyone else.As each day, month, year passes, it is becoming quite evident this planet for what ever reason is warming up, and I like your good self, hasn’t got a clue as to why.The truth is, everything concerning a science in what ever field that we have absolutely no expertise in ourselves, we have to rely on experts to inform us.These are the very same experts who will at the end of the day formulate a policy, through the government of the day, as to what future action will be taken.

    It is not a stretch that the very same people that are driving the uninformed denialist camp are, the very same people that believe that, we are all about to be interned in government run gulags, black helicopters are going to descend on us and whisk us away to God knows where, the Aids virus was man made,the holocaust was a myth, Nessie is alive and well in Scotland, and the Yeti lives in the forests of Alaska.I have no doubt Sarah Palin has probably seen one.

    This whole issue is about taking a side in what has become an idealogical debate, the fact the planet is in terminal melt down is no longer the issue.If it was the left saying the world was just going through a natural progression of warming and cooling, and G.W. by CO2 was bunkum.The right would be telling us our garden shrubs would soon be bursting into flames.

  29. PKD says:

    Iain’s gone quiet I see – obviously he’s waiting from Shawn to mail him back a copy of his Geology qualification! 🙂

  30. Iain Hall says:

    NO PKD I have been out running errands and doing some shopping, you know that running a household does need such things done from time to time.

  31. PKD says:

    Sure, I appreciate you can also be busy doing other things while you wait for Shawn to email his qualifications back to you…

  32. Iain Hall says:

    Lynot

    Iain their’s nothing illuminating about your post, it is just more denialist clap trap.You are no more qualified to make statements about G.W. than anyone else.As each day, month, year passes, it is becoming quite evident this planet for what ever reason is warming up, and I like your good self, hasn’t got a clue as to why.The truth is, everything concerning a science in what ever field that we have absolutely no expertise in ourselves, we have to rely on experts to inform us.These are the very same experts who will at the end of the day formulate a policy, through the government of the day, as to what future action will be taken.

    Look the question is not “is the planet warming up” but “what is the cause of that warming” and there in lies the problem for the AGW enthusiasts, there has not been anything that is truly and incontrovertibly definitive to prove the cause of that warming is human activity. Frankly being a chap who has spent a life time at DIY I just don’t genuflect at the door aof anyone who says “trust me I’m and expert” nor do I think saying that we must rust them because we are not worthy do it either.

    It is not a stretch that the very same people that are driving the uninformed denialist camp are, the very same people that believe that, we are all about to be interned in government run gulags, black helicopters are going to descend on us and whisk us away to God knows where, the Aids virus was man made,the holocaust was a myth, Nessie is alive and well in Scotland, and the Yeti lives in the forests of Alaska.I have no doubt Sarah Palin has probably seen one.

    I don’t subscribe to such conspiracy theories Lynot and I never have but if that is the card you want to play here I’ll see it with an Al Gore and Raise you a Robin Williams (who claimed the seas would rise by 100m within a century!) There have been people on both sides of the argument who have shall we say “over egged the pudding” and the alarmist side have been rather more guilty of that than those who are sceptical of the AGW proposition

    This whole issue is about taking a side in what has become an idealogical debate, the fact the planet is in terminal melt down is no longer the issue.If it was the left saying the world was just going through a natural progression of warming and cooling, and G.W. by CO2 was bunkum.The right would be telling us our garden shrubs would soon be bursting into flames.

    There have been end of the world cults for a very long time and for many the AGW thing is perfect because it enables them to critique modern industrial society and claim that only root and branch changes will save the world and although the left have been making much of the running on this issue there are elements of the right who just love the possibilities that such change offers to make money (the support for the worthless ETS is a good example)

  33. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    I’m not sure which issue has caused the most uninformed debate and wasted the most cyber space – global warming or the Israel/Palestine conflict? Riveting stuff.

    Frankly I feel the same about discussions about Footy and I see that you have a rollicking good time discussing that with those who have the same faith as you do. I have been interested in the Middle east for a very long time and I have gone through periods at this blog when I like to write about it, just as I do at present.
    Cheer up I may just write about the state of origin game tomorrow just to add a bit of sporting content

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you’ve made that comparison between my weekly AFL posts and these AGW & Middle East posts before and I give you the same answer: The AFL topics change from week to week as do the many & varied issues discussed, mostly in a light-hearted manner I might add. Whereas the AGW & Israel/Palestine topics never, ever change – you take one side, the others take the other. It goes nowhere. Footy, on the other hand, is a pleasure, an outlet and a joyful thing. Chalk & cheese, Iain.

  35. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain if you don’t understand that a court is not an appropriate place to settle a scientific point, I can’t help you.

    Sadly for you I don’t need your help.

    Civil courts are for resolution of civil disputes in a fair and balanced manner on the balance of evidence – ie. it’s a 50/50 deal to bring finality to an otherwise irresolvable fight. Criminal courts are for criminal offences beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The “court of science” on the other hand, is to discover the truth. The courts just aren’t equipped, intellectually or procedurally, to handle that.

    What rot you sprout JM while I am more than familiar with the standard of proof required in a court case but you must also be aware of just how hard pressed the AGW proposition would be to even meet the standard of a civil court there is simply not enough solid empirical evidence that has not been massaged by lots of fancy statistical methods to prove the claim that either the planet has warmed significantly in terms of geological time or that humanity is responsible fro such warming.

    Further, most of the people Johnston relies on – Cristy, M&M, Lindzen (and Watts whose weather stations arguments are outlined in detail without him being quoted directly) – are pretty discredited.

    Only in the eyes of the true believers like you JM, Just tell me why you want so much to believe in AGW? Why does it matter so much that you put so much effort into attacking what I write about it?

    This entire “paper” is just a rewarming of the same old, same old denialist junk.

    You see this is where you fall down instead of answering specifics you just make broad sweeping claims as if they are self evident, and they are not.

    As to credentials, I don’t really believe in them. Your arguments should stand and fall on their merits. Johnston’s fall. Just like Shawn’s did.

    Sorry, you’ll have to do better.

    I really don’t believe that you have just said this after opening your argument here in this thread by denouncing the author because he is a lawyer rather than a “climate scientist” and telling me that because I am not one of the anointed then I don’t know what I am talking about.
    😆

  36. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I find these topics interesting on a sociological level neither the Israel/Palestine nor the Climate change issue are likely to be resolved anytime soon but both impinge on to so many other issues so I really don’t think that they can just be dismissed with your “plague on both of your houses” approach. For me the argument is as much a sport as the footy is for you.

  37. Ray Dixon says:

    Each to their own, Iain. If you regard banging your head against a brick wall over & over again, while your opponent does likewise*, as a “sport” then so be it.

    (*Is the one who passes out first the winner or the loser?)

  38. Iain Hall says:

    Well the secret is to let them do the head banging and you just stand back and enjoy the show 😉

  39. PKD says:

    Considering the amount of head banging you get through on here with others Ray, you’re probably the last person to complain about head banging.
    Although to an extent you are right – JM and I take up a pro AGW science position, Iaintakes up the denialist position, and nobody gets anywhere fast…

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m not “complaining” about it, PKD, I’m just observing that the AGW & Israel/Palestine debates here are so polarised and politicised and have been going on for so long that it is truly two sides banging their heads on brick walls and there is no point to them. As for my “head-banging”, if you mean the exchanges with the likes of HJ, well it’s not my head that’s getting banged.

  41. Iain Hall says:

    PKD

    Although to an extent you are right – JM and I take up a pro AGW science (religious) position, Iain takes up the denialist(sceptical) position, and nobody gets anywhere fast…

    But we have fun in the process don’t we PKD and isn’t that the point?

  42. Ray Dixon says:

    Correction, we both attempt to bang each other’s heads. At least it’s not self harm and can be mildly entertaining.

  43. Ray Dixon says:

    Arguing about AGW & Israel/Palestine ad infinitum is “fun”????

  44. Ray Dixon says:

    Here’s my take on the 2 issues:

    AGW: Neither side has a clue. Leave it up to those charged with the responsibility.

    Israel/Palestine: Neither side is right. Ignore it.

  45. Iain Hall says:

    T’is for me 🙂

  46. JM says:

    Iain, I disagree with Ray (and you). Israel is a political question and subject to political debate.

    GW on the other hand is a scientific question and is not subject to your feelings in the matter.

    So let me ask you again, do you agree with Johnston that it is not possible – even in principle – to determine the validity of a model (also known as a hypothesis) by reference to observational data?

  47. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    So let me ask you again, do you agree with Johnston that it is not possible – even in principle – to determine the validity of a model (also known as a hypothesis) by reference to observational data?

    I don’t think that is what Johnston is saying JM . I think that he is posing a rhetorical question and that you are deliberately misreading it as a statement of fact. When it clearly is not that at all.

  48. PKD says:

    Doesn’t sound like a rhetorical question to me Iain. It just looks like your ducking the science again. Nothing unusual in that I guess 😐

  49. Iain Hall says:

    You haven’t read the whole paper have you PKD?

  50. JM says:

    What on earth is rhetorical about:

    The issue at hand is whether the observational record could, in principle, be used to test a climate model’s assumption that the climate has high sensitivity to forcings such asCO2 increases.

    Unless of course you believe that the observational record cannot, even in principle be used to validate a model. That would be the only way that question could be in the service of rhetoric.

    Face it Iain. Johnston is an idiot who doesn’t understand what he’s saying, and you have failed to understand the implications of what he’s saying.

  51. Iain Hall says:

    JM
    Its rhetorical because its in the introduction and then he goes onto look at the way that the computer models try to validate themselves in relation to the observational data and more importantly how they shape the data to fit their models.
    You are nit picking !

  52. JM says:

    then he goes onto look at the way that the computer models try to validate themselves in relation to the observational data

    He does absolutely no such thing. What he does is misquote a research paper that does carry out that examination, but comes to precisely the opposite conclusion.

    He doesn’t tell you that, now does he?

  53. Iain Hall says:

    Well the piece I quote seems quite damning for the AGW proponents

  54. JM says:

    Well the piece I quote seems quite damning for the AGW proponents

    So I’m to accept incoherent, illogical gibberish if it’s expressed in apparently grammatical form am I?

    What about this famous sentence – which is grammatical, but gibberish nonetheless:

    “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously”

  55. PKD says:

    Well the piece I quote seems quite damning for the AGW proponents

    Oh no Iain – I am sure the bit you are quoting is rhetorical too – sheesh!

  56. Iain Hall says:

    More precisely, as Retto Knutti, a contributing author to the IPCC’s 2007 AR112 explained in a paper published after that report’s publication, “models with high sensitivity (strong feedbacks) avoid simulating too much warming by using a small net forcing (large negative aerosol forcing), and models with weak feedbacks can still simulate the observed warming with a larger forcing (weak aerosol forcing)…”113 Put slightly differently, the reason why the major climate models can all reproduce the late 20th century warming pretty well even though they don’t agree at all on the fundamental question of how climate responds to various forcings (the parameter S in equation (1)) is because they make whatever assumption about aerosols is necessary to adjust the radiative forcing ΔQ so as to be able to reproduce temperature changes ΔT observed during the late 20th century.

    Its all in the bold
    The actual strength of atmospheric forcings are unknown so they are assumed anyway that suits the desired results; what is so hard about that?

  57. JM says:

    Because Iain, this is the danger of not actually reading the original research.

    The words you bold belong to Johnston, not Dr. Knutti. They are an outrageous representation of his actual conclusion.

    From conclusion of the abstract:


    It is argued that parameter correlations across models are neither unexpected nor problematic if the models are interpreted as conditional on observations.

    In other words – apart from the often simplistic approach taken to aerosols – he sees no problem with the models if they are calibrated to observations.*

    Exactly the opposite of how Prof. Johnston (mis)represents his work. You know what directly contradicting the abstract like this is called? It’s pretty close to lying.

    Just in case you have any doubt about Dr. Knutti’s views, let me quote from his home page where he describes the conclusions of a paper he co-authored in Nature last year (they don’t come any more authorative or peer-reviewed than Nature):


    How much more carbon for the two degree warming target?

    A new study shows that only a small fraction of the fossil fuel reserves can be burnt if a warming of two degrees above preindustrial should be avoided. Peak and equilibrium warming are determined by the total emitted carbon; a tonne of carbon is a tonne of carbon, whether today or in fifty years. Emissions must peak soon and be reduced be at least 50% globally in 2050 to avoid two degree warming.

    Sorry Iain, Johnston is a hack.

    * Or, to take it further – observational data can and should be used to calibrate models, quite the opposite of Prof. Johnstons “in principle” nonsense.

  58. PKD says:

    Iain, got hold of the wrong end of the stick again hey?
    That’s become quite a habit for you on AGW, no?

  59. Iain Hall says:

    PKD
    No I have been busy today and I have not had the time to respond to JM which I am doing now 😉
    JM

    It is argued that parameter correlations across models are neither unexpected nor problematic if the models are interpreted as conditional on observations.

    In other words – apart from the often simplistic approach taken to aerosols – he sees no problem with the models if they are calibrated to observations.** Or, to take it further – observational data can and should be used to calibrate models, quite the opposite of Prof. Johnstons “in principle” nonsense.

    But the point that Johnston makes about the aerosols is that they can not just be blithely ignored or down played as you and Knutti are seeking to do

    Exactly the opposite of how Prof. Johnston (mis)represents his work. You know what directly contradicting the abstract like this is called? It’s pretty close to lying.

    Bollocks! there are is no problem that I can see in taking a look at what is being argued in a paper and disagreeing with the conclusion drawn by the author of that paper. You seem to be arguing that the only conclusion that is valid is the one made by the original author. This seems to me to be a rather silly line to take on this topic when there are so many unknown parameters in a chaotic climate system.

    No JM
    this is the work of a hack:


    How much more carbon for the two degree warming target?

    A new study shows that only a small fraction of the fossil fuel reserves can be burnt if a warming of two degrees above preindustrial should be avoided. Peak and equilibrium warming are determined by the total emitted carbon; a tonne of carbon is a tonne of carbon, whether today or in fifty years. Emissions must peak soon and be reduced be at least 50% globally in 2050 to avoid two degree warming.

    Some seriously unprovable assumptions here that you accept without question, but that is not unusual for you.

  60. JM says:

    Iain, I agree there is no problem with disagreeing with an author.

    However, that is not what Johnston does. He draws on Knutti for support by totally reversing Knutti’s conclusions. That is misrepresentation, flat out.

    If Johnston wants to disagree with Knutti he’s welcome to – provided he explains how and why – he’s not entitled to claim support from someone who profoundly disagrees with him.

    this is the work of a hack:

    This is an excellent, peer reviewed paper in Nature (for heavens sake), by the author who Johnston claims as an authority for his argument (by totally distorting the author’s views)

    Do you even know what rational argument is? We established a few months ago that simple Aristotelean logic is beyond you, now you’re departing reality completely.

  61. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    However, that is not what Johnston does. He draws on Knutti for support by totally reversing Knutti’s conclusions. That is misrepresentation, flat out.

    So you are insisting that everyone has to agree with the conclusion before they can draw on any aspect of a scientific paper? 🙄

    If Johnston wants to disagree with Knutti he’s welcome to – provided he explains how and why – he’s not entitled to claim support from someone who profoundly disagrees with him.

    So its all or nothing in your view is it? That is not how science works as far as I can tell.

    This is an excellent, peer reviewed paper in Nature (for heavens sake), by the author who Johnston claims as an authority for his argument (by totally distorting the author’s views)

    Always with the appeal to authority with you isn’t it?

    Do you even know what rational argument is? We established a few months ago that simple Aristotelean logic is beyond you, now you’re departing reality completely.

    Its crap like this that convinces me that you are not what you claim to be JM.

  62. JM says:

    So you are insisting that everyone has to agree with the conclusion before they can draw on any aspect of a scientific paper?

    Do you understand what the word “misrepresentation” means? Show me how Johnston has fairly represented Knutti’s views and then how they support Johnston’s argument.

    So its all or nothing in your view is it? That is not how science works as far as I can tell.

    Do you understand what my words provided he explains how and why [he disagrees] mean?

    Always with the appeal to authority with you isn’t it?

    Johnston appeals to an authority (Knutti) who he distorts and who clearly doesn’t agree with him.

  63. PKD says:

    And you Iain are appealing to Johnston’s authority – becuase it agrees with your ideology. So can you drop the ‘appeal to authority’ nonsense cause its your most hypocritical (and tired) line on this…

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