Pseudointellectuals 00

I must give thanx to tamino at tamino.wordpress.com.   His pretentiously intellectual “Open Mind”, found it necessary to censor me when I showed him up a bit when he called me a liar.   This inspired me to finally get off my duff and start my own blog. 

Here is the post he censored:

Tamino,

“This is the type of stuff I should censor, and just might, because your snide insult of Gavin Schmidt is an unjustified detestable lie. ”

If you can get somekind of public agreement from Gavin & Co. not to censor my posts, I will be happy to discuss these model failings and their implications there. I recently tried again at the behest of knockgoats @ the pharyngula site. He too had a high opinion of them, an image that is easier for them to maintain if they can avoid being confronted with certain issues. You are jumping to conclusions regarding the facts of the matter. Unfortunately just one uncensored post at realclimate.org would not be enough, lets get them to agree to respond in good faith, so that they can be pinned down rather than spin and censor.

I will accept even a private assurance they give to you, if you will then let me complete any discourse with them by posting here anything they censor. Don’t worry,  I don’t engage name calling or ad hominem.   I don’t make general characterizations that I can’t back up.    I don’t see them as valid arguments.

“Your “scientific” nonsense is babble.”

This is the sort of characterization that is difficult to respond to unless you can be more specific? I try not to say things I can’t back up.   I have been assuming some familiarity with the literature.

The post and thread that this is in regard to is http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/old-news/#comment-33560

I have noticed that true believers in the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis have the impression realclimate.org is open and intellectually fearless.   Evidently, some that know what realclimate.org really is, think it is  important to suppress and deny the truth.   What might their motives be?

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16 responses to “Pseudointellectuals 00

  • africangenesis

    Ray Ladbury,

    “I know full well that YOU are not capable of constructing a model. You run screaming at the slightest suggestion of nonlinearity.”

    You apparently know me better than I know myself. I am humbled by non-linearity, at least to the extent that I am skeptical of simplisticly linear interpretations of such systems.

    “A climate scientist could–and would be more than happy to do so if it were possible. Models with low CO2 forcing would be very interesting, regardless of whether they were correct.”

    I assume you mean models with low levels of sensitivity to CO2 forcing. Such a model might be produced by coupling CO2 at the ocean atmosphere interface more realistically. An interesting experiment, that might be closer to correct than current models would be to use all the incident CO2 radiative forcing to vaporize water.

    “Unfortunately, they don’t work. You don’t get anything that looks remotely like Earth. That ought to tell you something–it certainly suggests something to a scientist.”

    You sound like you have evidence that it has been tried. Do you have some citations?

  • Craig Allen

    I didn’t find anywhere on Tamins’s blog where he called you a liar. What did you assert that you think caused him to call you a liar?

    • africangenesis

      I am replying for the first time to a comment, so hopefully this will work. Technically, he just stated that one of my comments was a “detestable lie”. I quoted it in the censored post above, and it is still on his blog. Search for those terms. BTW, is there a way to allow comments without moderation? I’d hate to think people would have to wait until I got back to the blog all the time. — regards

  • Craig Allen

    So what did you say about Gavin Schmidt?

  • Craig Allen

    Ah OK, you said that Gavin censors posts like yours.

    What you said before that comes across as a confused rave against the GCM models. I guess that you are claiming that the models are incompetently constructed or the scientists are deliberately not constructing them in ways that would allow the forcing agents you favour to generate a realistic simulacrum of the Earths climate.

    The real issue for denialists though is that they (you) are so against the very idea of using GCMs as a tool in climate research, that they are not even attempting to create their own alternative versions.

    The Goddard institute has actually made its climate model publicly available with full code along with a number of tools for visualising the data – http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE

    It would be great to see someone among the denialists have a go at creating their own climate simulations, rather than winging from the sidelines. They could do it with using modelE, with a modified version of it, or with one of their own construction. But it will never happen because to engage in real research in this way would confer legitimacy to the use of such models, which is exactly the obverse of what denialist are attempting to do through posts in fora such as WUWT.

  • africangenesis

    Craig Allen,

    You over generalize. Yes, many scientists think projecting a non-linear dynamic system like the climate is not possible. I just view the current models as inadequate to the task, and given the confusion I see in response to my posts at Tamino, I just made the mistake of assuming that more of the principle contributers there were familiar with the literature, or more capable of looking it up, than is apparently the case. Yes, projecting the particular track of a non-linear dynamic system is not possible, but I am optimistic that the climate is the attractor of the chaotic climate system and that shapes and shifts in that attractor can be understood and perhaps projected.

    Given the issues raised in the diagnostic literature, and the 3 to 4 year development and diagnostic cycles, I think the models are a nearly a decade away, and that is with a dozen or more Full Time Equivilents (FTEs) working on each one. Your, “do your own model defense”, also neglects the fact that the critical part of the case for the AGW hypothesis is already the models, so pointing out the magnitude of the documented weaknesses is valid.

  • Craig Allen

    I haven’t seen the weeknessess documented in any convincing manner. Much of what I see from the denialist side is gut assertions of the belief that the climate is too complicated to understand or model, or that the very concept of models is worthy of little more than ridicule. And over at WUWT I see this from the supposed leading thinkers on the denialist side.

    What are your criteria for determining the worth of a model, or the worth of an investigation the uses models?

    As I understand it, the basic prediction that increased CO2 will cause the Earth to warm is based on understanding of the physics of infrared absobing chemicals in the atmosphere. The models are necessary because the climate is complex and there are many interacting forcings and feedbacks, so the actual amount of warming that we can expect given a certain increase in CO2 cannot be calculated with a set of formulas. It has to be done by putting the relevant formulas together in simulations of the climate system. The fact that we don’t have a very narrow prediction of what we are in for is due to the stochastic nature of the system, uncertainty about what exactly will eventuate as far as forcings are concerned, and the fact that we do not understand the physics perfectly.

    The climate modellers are quite open about this. They acknowledge that their models are not perfect and continue to work to improve them. And much of the work being conducted is testing the models against historical and paleological data in order to work out where they are week and to determine what needs to be improved.

    But in the end it comes down to the fact that CO2 is an infrared absober, so increasing it will cause us to warm to a greater or lesser degree. I live in south-east Australia. If the current climate regime continues we are in deep shit. We are in our 13th year of drought. Australia’s biggest river system the Murray-Darling has dried up and is going acid. We have been hammered by a serious of disastrous years of wildfire and with another year of El Nino on the way the authorities are predicting that this summer will be worse than last year’s holocaust.

    I desperately wish that global temperatures were cooling like the twits over at WUWT like to pretend. But unfortunately I don’t live in their fantasy land.

  • africangenesis

    More Tamino censorship, evidently he thought Ray Ladbury was too busy to read this:

    Ray Ladbury,

    “African Genesis, As noted above, I am afraid my schedule precludes venturing into the blogosphere unless it’s to a site

    that can teach me something.”

    Perhaps it could teach you something about jumping to conclusions.

    The Solanki work you mention was purely correlative, didn’t consider the lags that could be introduced by aerosol events,

    and was published before the key climate commitment works.

    So, if you are familiar with the diagnostic literature documenting the solar response, precipitation, black carbon, and

    surface albedo feedback issues, perhaps you can explain how the models can have any credibility attributing a 0.75W/m^2

    energy imbalance. Tut, tut, tut, no IPCC crutch here, three of these were not published until after the AR4.

  • africangenesis

    Craig Allen,

    “What are your criteria for determining the worth of a model, or the worth of an investigation the uses models?”

    Don’t worry, my criteria are far from perfection. CO2 is a warming influence, whether it willl cause the globe to warm depends on the other influences. We already know its uniformly rising forcing can be overwelmed, at least temporarily by natural variation. The models are needed to eastablish whether the net feedbacks are positive or negative and the magnitude of those feedbacks.

    Particularly problematic for the models is correlated error, because with so many groups working on the models, it was hoped that by combining their independent work, the errors would be uncorrelated and could be argued to cancel out.

    I need to prepare a new post where it will be easier for me to assemble al the peer review citations i rely up that document that ALL of the models under represent the precipitation increase associated with the recent warming, NONE reproduce the amplitude of the response to the solar cycle seen in the modern observations, NONE have the the levels of black carbon forcing now thought to be the case, and NONE reproduce the level of surface albedo feedback seen in the observations. I have peer review citations for each. Combine that with solar activity that has been described as a “grand maximum” in the literature, and you should be able to see why attribution between the competing hypotheses is still unresolved. BTW, the black carbon result, is bad news for the models and their projections, it should be good news for those fearing global warming overall, because black carbon can be much more affordably reduced.

  • Craig Allen

    Regarding the black carbon, I would have thought that any improvement in understanding of the forcing is good news for climate scientists. The idea of models after all is to put together everything that is known about the system to see if it fits together well enough to be able to make meaningful predictions. So the better any particular aspect of the system can be nailed down, the more readily others can be pursued.

    What is the mechanism that you think links variation in solar activity with climate variability?

  • africangenesis

    Craig,

    The correlation with solar activity in the historical and paleo records is better than can be currently explained, so there is some mystery there in the coupling. Part of it is that solar variation itself is poorly understood, we only have high quality data for three cycles when the sun was in a high activity mode. Even over those three cycles, sunspots and bright areas account for only 80% of the variation.

    The advances in understanding of the levels of black carbon are good news for the science, but bad news for the past projections and attribution work based upon the models. The modelers do years of work to produce data, which other climate scientists then perform diagnostic analyses upon. Unfortunately, modelers and others continue to publish work based upon those models, often without also discussing the diagnostic literature. Would regional modelers still get funded to analyzed the drought implications of AGW, if they disclosed the huge caveat that their more detailed regional work started with global models that were able to reproduce only one third, to one half of the precipitation increase associated with the recent warming in the observations? The funders would certainly ask, which models did you use, the ones with one third or one half, or somewhere in between? I’ve yet to read a regional study which references the work of Wentz published in the journal Science, or discloses any of the other diagnostic issues with the models.

  • Craig Allen

    “Even over those three cycles, sunspots and bright areas account for only 80% of the variation.”

    Variation in what?

    I’ve looked at that paper. Interesting questions raised. I don’t see that it means that the models are useless though. I posted a question about it on Tamino’s blog.

    That the models are not yet spot on certainly gives me no comfort as we approach our next hot summer and fire season here in Melbourne.

  • africangenesis

    Craig Allen,

    The variation is in irradiance. See the review paper by Foukal, et al in Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7108/full/nature05072.html

  • Craig Allen

    You speak about a solar grand maximum. Over at WUWT they are sure we are entering a grand minumum.

    So 80% of the variation in solar irradiance can be predicted from the sunspot data. Which is pretty good really. But the real problem is that the total variation in irradiance within and between sunspot cycles is a tiny fraction of the total irradiance, so the associated forcing is small compared to the forcing that is calculated to be imparted by CO2.

  • africangenesis

    The grand maximum was over the cycles 18 through 23. Cycle 24 continues to be as interesting as its start, we will learn a lot about solar variation. The possibility of a Dalton type minimum is being considered based upon multiple approaches.

    Explaining 80% of the varation in solar irradiance is pretty good. What is unknown is whether the model can explain that much variation in other solar activity modes. Certainly, a Dalton type minimum in the modern instrumentation era would do much for the science.

    You might be interested in a discussion I had with Leif Svalgaard over at WUWT. He argues for a tepid solar variation as well, citing this paper:

    ftp://ftp.pmodwrc.ch/pub/Claus/TSI_longterm/reconstr_TSI_grl_rev_submitted.pdf

    Search on “singularity” at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/21/gavin-schmidt-on-solar-trends-and-global-warming/ to see my response. However, I mention it here to temper my enthusiasim for a possible upcoming minimum. The paper notes that the maunder minimum was stepped into gradually, not all at once. We may need two or more cycles in a row to reach an ultimate minimum.

    Unfortunately, you don’t appear to be able to link to specific comments at WUWT. Apologies for the inconvenient manner of reference.

  • africangenesis

    Craig,

    I noticed you get no response at tamino. It is tough to defend the models. That’s why the “response” is usually to censor ala realclimate.org or counter attack: “why haven’t you written your own model, I bet you can’t na, na, na, na!”. The models have been falsified for this fine a purpose, and while the AGW hypothesis itself hasn’t been falsified, and is at least partially true, the IPCC case for their statement has been falsified because of the very great extent it is dependent upon models.

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