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Comments 1001 to 1050:

  1. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    Thanks, bigoilbob.

    That PubPeer thread is difficult to read. The obstinance by Pat Frank is painful to watch.

    One classic comment from Pat Frank:

    Everyone understands the 1/sqrt(N) rule for random error, Joshua.

    Except, apparently, Pat Frank, who in the paper reviewed above seems to have messed up square rooting the N when propagating the standard deviation into the error of the mean. Unless he actually thinks that non-randomness in errors can be handled by simply dropping the sqrt.

    Pat Frank is also quite insistent in that comment thread that summing up a year's worth of a measurement (e.g. temperature) and dividing by the number of measurements to get an annual average gives a value of [original units] per year.

    Gavin Cawley sums it up in this comment:

    I had a look at your responses to reviewers on the previous submissions, which seem also to contain this very poor attitude to criticism. It tells me there is no point in me explaining to you what is wrong with your paper, because you have made it very clear that you are not prepared to listen to anybody that disagrees with you.


  2. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    And here's the twiter thread I began with.


    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated

  3. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    "Do you have any link to specific statements from Carl Wunsch? Curiosity arises."


    Specifically, this is what I found.  Old news, but not to me.  I hope that I did not mischaracterize Dr. Wunsch earlier, and my apologies to both him and readers if aI did so.

    "#5 Carl Wunsch
    I am listed as a reviewer, but that should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the paper. In the version that I finally agreed to, there were some interesting and useful descriptions of the behavior of climate models run in predictive mode. That is not a justification for concluding the climate signals cannot be detected! In particular, I do not recall the sentence "The unavoidable conclusion is that a temperature signal from anthropogenic CO2 emissions (if any) cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables." which I regard as a complete non sequitur and with which I disagree totally.

    The published version had numerous additions that did not appear in the last version I saw.

    I thought the version I did see raised important questions, rarely discussed, of the presence of both systematic and random walk errors in models run in predictive mode and that some discussion of these issues might be worthwhile."


    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated.

    The web software here does not automatically create links. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box.

  4. At a glance - Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth correct?

    OPOF #8 - that was my impression and it was why I responded sharply: however, if I have miscalled comment #5 then I apologise for that.

  5. One Planet Only Forever at 01:23 AM on 20 August 2023
    At a glance - Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth correct?

    Bob Loblaw @7,

    I agree more with John Mason's approach. But I would go further and ask J4zonian to explain how they are more qualified today regarding the awareness and understanding of climate science than Al Gore was when he developed An Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore was a very aware individual at the time with a significant understanding of the science. And he knows far more today.

    I am more inclined towards the perception that J4zonian is unjustifiably disrespecting Al Gore. And I sense that the disrespect is due to a dislike for the understanding that Al Gore shared.

    The understanding that Al Gore 'shared' increased the common sense awareness and understanding of the issue, especially the need for harmful inconsiderate over-consuming Americans, and others like them, to change how they live to be less harmful and more helpful to others (contrary to the untruthful declarations by both 'Bush' Presidents of the Neoliberal mantra that harmfully over-developed Americans are 'the winners' and did not have to change how they lived or make amends for the harm done by 'their success' - Many Republicans and Some Democrats still chant versions of that untruth).

  6. At a glance - Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth correct?

    John @ 6:

    I don't think J4zonian is saying "don't believe Al Gore because he's just a delivery man". I think J4zonian is saying that Al Gore is a messenger of the science, so even if he gets a little bit wrong here and there, the original diagnosis and medicine is largely correct.

    I think.

  7. At a glance - Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth correct?

    And your qualifications are?

  8. At a glance - Is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth correct?

    "because a single doctor misdiagnoses a condition, medicine should be abolished in its entirety."

    It's Al Gore. It's more like a delivery guy misdiagnosed a condition. 

  9. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don Williams :

    Since you seem reluctant to engage in rational discussion ~ may I suggest you instead join the comments columns of WattsUpWithThat  blog?

    There at WUWT  one will find scores of commenters brimming with anger at the world  ( and at themselves, inwardly ).    Plenty of disingenuousness and deliberate ignorance there . . . enough to satisfy any like-minded spirit.   You might well be pleased!

    At WUWT  blog, the ice age has never ended.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] This really isn't constructive....

  10. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    MA Rodger @ 138:

    Yes, this discussion is wandering off the blog post's topic. There is no way to determine Don Williamson's motives unless he explains them, but it appears that he is trying to do two things:

    1. Take Oreskes' paper out of context to make it look like the 1970s "cooling" story was an indicator of a huge shift in climate science [it wasn't] - I presume to discredit climatology as a science [he hasn't].
    2. Bootstrap the idea that "they don't know what they are talking about - they'll just make stuff up" by using the hiatus as an indicator that warming isn't linked to CO2 increases [he's wrong] and we might flip back into decades or centuries of cooling even if we burn every last bit of fossil fuels [we won't].

    I have an off-topic challenge to Don that he has not yet responded to (review one example of the many "hiatus" papers he insinuates support him). I need to let him respond, if he is willing or able.

    If the off-topic sound bites continue without responding to that challenge, I will probably need to bow out of the conversation and take on a moderator role.

  11. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    bigoilbob @ 24:

    Do you have any link to specific statements from Carl Wunsch? Curiosity arises.

    I agree that science will simply ignore the paper. But the target is probably not the science community: it's the "we'll believe ABC [Anything But Carbon]" community, which unfortunately includes large blocks of politicians with significant power. All they need is a thick paper that has enough weight (physical mass, not significance) to survive being tossed down the stairwell, with a sound bite that says "mainstream science has it all wrong". It doesn't matter that the paper isn't worth putting at the bottom of a budgie cage.

  12. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    Bigoilbob @24 , as a side-note :-  Many thanks for your numerous very sensible comments in "contrarian" blogsites, over the years.  Gracias.

  13. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    "Did anyone ever see what the reviewers (including Carl Wunsch and
    Davide Zanchettin) said about Frank's similar 2019 paper in Frontiers in Science?"

    Carl Wunsch has since disavowed his support for the contents.  I'm not sure whether he would have rejected it upon closer reading.  Many reviewers want alt.material to be published.  If it's good stuff, it will be cited.  The 2019 Pat Frank paper and this one have essentially not been...

  14. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don Williams:

    The "hiatus" papers do not show what you are claiming.  Yes, Mann et al claimed that the "pause" was statistically significant.  You can quote that paper.  But in science it is not individual papers that count, it is the conclusions that count.

    Foster and Ramsdorf replied to the Mann et al paper and claimed that the Mann et al paper had made calculation errors that invalidated their result.  Foster et al claimed that there was no statistical significance.  The scientific method is to exchange peer reviewed papers to debate facts.  After several papers were exchanged, Mann et al conceded that they had made a mistake in their calculations and the "pause" was not statistically significant.  It was magnificent to watch top scientists debate a fact and reach a consensus on what the true result was.

    The scientific consensus is that the "pause" was simply random variation and not a change in the warmng pattern.  Data collected since then have conclusively confirmed that the climate did not stop warming as demonstrated by the escalator.  The Mann et al scientists agree with the consensus.

    Mann and his collaborators are great scientists.  Sometimes everyone makes mistakes.  The difference between scientists and deniers is that when data shows that a scientist made a mistake they learn from the experience and move on.  Deniers just regurgitate the same old debunked "pause" claims after everyone informed has moved on.

  15. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don Williamson @133 & others,
    Discussion of the early 21st century SAT/SST record is hardily on-topic for this comment thread. The handful of years showing a reduced rate of warming surface tempertures did not lead to a reversal of warming but to an increased rate of warming, so any linkage to 1970's ideas of a coming ice age is entirely absent, despite an attempted linkage @108 up-thread. (And for the record, the take-away from the SciAm article referenced @133 is the ascribed response fro 'researchers' to all the 'hiatus' nonsense:-

    "Picking a period of a decade or so where one part of the Earth's climate system fails to warm and using it to discredit all of climate science is a fallacious argument, and one driven by those with an agenda to discredit climate scientists."

    Don Williamson, you have up-thread referenced Oreskes in the discussion of the 1970's idea of a coming ice age and insist there is some missing argument that gives continuing credibility to this 1970's idea (which are also ideas of earlier times according to Oreskes. "Throughout most of the history of science, geologists and geophysicists believed that Earth history was characterized by progressive, steady, cooling.") Do note the referenced pre-print conference paper does not constitute proof of a 'missing argument'. And were one sought, perhaps Oreskes (2007) 'The scientific consensus on climate change: How do we know we're not wrong?' can provide it.

  16. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    Old time readers of this website will remember when climate deniers derided "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change" or CAGW.  Scientists insisted that was not their message.  Was that only 10 years ago?  Now I often hear climate scientists discussing catastrophic effects of global warming and I don't see the deniers using CAGW any more.

    Eclectic: you read WUWT, do they still discredit CAGW?

    I like the term catastrophic climate change.  What else would describe the fires, droughts and floods worldwide?

  17. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    "The 'warming' was taking place where there's little to no measuring devices?

    Is that sound science?"

    Don... If heat energy is moving into realms that have little or no measuring devices, it's absolutely science. Researchers don't get to pick and choose how the physics operate. They can only devise methods to better account for the physics. This is precisely what science is about.

    If you look at the animated escalator graphic, this is exactly what it's telling you. Heat energy is moving into and out of other systems which are coupled to the atmosphere. This has been understood for many decades, regardless of whether you're just catching on. Your only mistake would be to become so ideologically entrenched so as to be unable to grasp such a simple concept.

    It's honestly okay to just say, "Hm, I hadn't thought about that."

  18. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Also note that the article in Scientific American that Don has pointed us to is phrased in the form of a question: "Has global warming paused?"

    Also note that the subtitle is "Climate scientists know the answer is no, but have trouble communicating that".

    Don needs to read up on Betteridge's law of headlines.

    Seriously, is that the best you can do, Don?

  19. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    As a further part of the challenge to Don:

    You have referred to "the hiatus". I will repeat the graphic of the Escalator:

    The Escalator

    Since the topic of the OP here is "cooling in the 1970s", and The Escalator shows seven periods of "no warming", please be specific as to which of those seven periods represents "the hiatus" you are talking about. Or a different period, if you have found an eighth.

  20. Ice age predicted in the 70s


    Just as I thought. You have not actually read any of the papers - you only have a link to something with selected quotes. And the "multiple papers" you claim are available just lead to Michael Mann mentioning a "temporary slowdown"?

    I repeat my challenge:

    Pick one - just one - of those papers, and provide us with a thorough review of that paper and how it supports your argument that the hiatus represents a serious challenge to the consensus position on anthropogenic increases in global temperature.

    You're just blowing smoke.

  21. Don Williamson at 23:06 PM on 18 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Eclectic 

    Use Google Scholar as well as a couple of search engines reading peer-reviewed paper on the 'hiatus' 'wsrming slowdown'

    If you jot down the various reasons that were used in the multiple papers you'll understand why Dr Michael E Mann said, "The problem isn't that we cannot explain the temporary slowdown in warming — ???????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????? ???????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ????????"

    Dr Kevin Trenberth Trenberth was a co-author on a paper published in Nature Climate Change that used models to show that pauses in surface temperature warming correspond to additional heat being stored deep in the ocean, ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????.

    The 'warming' was taking place where there's little to no measuring devices?

    Is that sound science?

    link to quotes above:


    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Link activated.

  22. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    I rather liked 'Climate destabilisation' and used it a lot years ago....

  23. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    BaerbelW @6 ,

    For sure, Dr Hayhoe's "global weirding" is a great phrase, and fits nicely with her own slightly humorous style of presentation.

    For everyday use ~ probably not a winner.  It would appeal to the more intellectual end of the spectrum, who already are well-acquainted with the subject of AGW . . . but maybe not conveying the problem for the man-in-the-street.   Too poetical.

  24. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    To add to Nigelj's list of possible terms: what about "global weirding" as used by Katharine Hayhoe for her video series?

  25. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    This issue of colourful terms to describe the climate problem comes down to the exact meanings of the terms. and how the general public would be likely to react.

    For example the term global boiling seems acceptable. it is obviously hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration not to be taken literally) that nobody in the right mind would take literally, and it gets the point across. Its like the term "Im boiling hot". Nobody would say bad use of language, you are exaggerating. Ubrew 12 made the same sort of point. Only a small cadre of denialists are making a fuss about global boiling. I think the phrase is unlikely to be alienating the general public.

    The term climate chaos seems appropriate. It has an element of hyperbole and yet has a foundation of accuracy.

    Climate crisis or catastrope isn't hyperbole. People really are suggesting we are in a crisis or catastrophe. So its a question of whether thay are accurate terms, and thats tricky because they are open to interpretation and hard to precisely define. Although catastrophe and crisis is generally understood to be something immediate and overwhelming like a massive bridge collapsing. Whether the climate problem fits the criteria seems very open to interpretation althought IMO we are certainly already seeeing serious problems due to climate change.

    The trouble is the use of terms like crisis and exaggeration are open to interpretation, so this gives the denialists an opportunity to claim they are exaggerations and to mock use of the terms. I dont believe in handing denialists ammunition, but it does leave me floundering for an appropriate word that sums things up better than "serious climate change problem."

    Another word being more frequently used these days is that climate change is an extinction level threat. Generally this is boldy stated without much if any qualification. The evidence we have suggests climate change is an extinction level threat for at least some animal and plant species and human populations in the tropical climate regions. Its important these qualifiers are added when using the term extinction level threat. Otherwise by leaving things open and implying the human race could become extinct its just begging people to become sceptical.

    I hate making comments like this because theres a risk I get labelled a luke warmer by those who cant seeem to read. And this has happened.  But the point Im trying to make is its important to get across that the climate problem is very serious, but also avoid making wild claims that don't stand scrutiny.

  26. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don, I think you are reading an awful lot into the Oreskes MS that simply isn't there. The piece is a whistle-stop and thus by definition incomplete tour through the history of science in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Just to cite one example in the MS: "the most recent glacial maximum was temporally located only ten to twelve thousand years ago."

    That's a snapshot of the thinking in the mid 1950s. In fact it was known by 2004 - widely known - that the LGM was more like 25,000 years ago - so well known that Oreskes probably didn't see fit to point it out!

    There's a lot more intermingling these days between Earth Science disciplines than there was in the 1950s or 70s, as the planet is considered more holistically now and the tremendous importance of palaeoclimate has become widely accepted.

  27. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    One more challenge for Don, which I predict will be ignored or deflected:

    In comment #125 you mention that there are 100s of papers on the hiatus and claim:

    ...but I've done a lot of research into the hiatus - peer-reviewed papers 'research'

    To demonstrate the level of "research" that you have done, here is the challenge:

    Pick one - just one - of those papers, and provide us with a thorough review of that paper and how it supports your argument that the hiatus represents a serious challenge to the consensus position on anthropogenic increases in global temperature.

    Don't forget to include a link to the paper.

  28. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Frankly, Don, you are now reaching the point where you are just spouting bull$#!^.

    I challenged you in comment #113 to provide two things:

    1. State clearly what you think the "both sides" are.
    2. State clearly who you think was a well-known climate scientist that was on "both sides".

    You have not done this. You have just engaged in a game of "Look! Squirrel!" to jump to some other rhetorical talking point. You are playing games of "maybe this, maybe that" with no actual demonstration of understanding the physics of climate and what is likely or even reasonable possible. You have done selective quoting, and taking those quotes out of context, in order to try to show some grand disagreement or lack of understanding that does not exist.

    The "abrupt about-face/reversal of opinion" that you are hanging your hat on is only "abrupt" if you refuse to look at the actual history of climate science and refuse to learn about the well-understood physics that explains the different observed trends and supports our understanding/interpretation. There is a term for that sort of refusal to look at the information available.

    As Rob Honeycutt explains in #122, there has been no "reversal" in our understanding of orbital mechanics and long-term trends related to glacial/interglacial cycles. There has been no "reversal" in our understanding that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that greenhouse gases have a significant effect on global temperatures. There has been no "reversal" in our understanding that atmospheric aerosols (dust, soot, etc.) cause reductions in global surface temperatures.

    What has changed is which of these factors is playing a dominant role in current temperature trends. CO2 is "winning", and it is winning rapidly.

    You will probably come back with some sort of quip about "Oreskes said this". Well, the anti-evolution crowd is fond of claiming that Darwin said that evolution could not produce the eye. No, he didn't, and you are using the same rhetorical ploy in quoting Oreskes out of context.

    You have now switched to shouting "hiatus!" from the treetops. Guess what? Climate science is interested in what factors affect these short-term variations in global temperatures. So, they study them in greater and greater detail (because instrumentation improves) each time they happen. And they happen on fairly regular intervals. So regular that you can track them by how often the contrarians need to update their "no warming since..." myths. Pretty soon, we're going to have to start to rebut "no warming since 2023", since 1998 2016 won't work any more:

    Search/replace 1998


    We even have a term for these "hiatus" events: we call it The Escalator. The graphic is in the right-hand margin of every SkS page, but here it is in full glory:

    The Escalator

    You keep saying "isn't this interesting?". No it is not interesting, it is tiresome. This site exists because some people refuse to learn the science and understand it. The "hiatus" was yet another temporary pause in one metric of global climate, and does nothing to reverse our expectations of future warming as CO2 continues to increase.

    Your continued use of ":)" at the end of your comments suggests that you are now just trolling. (Gee. Isn't speculation without evidence just so much fun?)

  29. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    Thinking of whsettle's remarks, it astounds me that we'll readily and acceptedly describe such prosaic matters as getting children ready to go to school as "chaos" or "chaotic" but describing the presently emerging features of our changing the climate with the same terms fills us with qualms over hyperbole. 

    Same for "catastrophe." Fallen souffle? A dinner-time catastrophe! Multiple massively costly climate-driven extreme events? Don't say they're catastrophe, or catastrophic climate change— that's just too heated. 

  30. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don @125...

    "The last time I checked, which was a few years ago, he was expecting to top 300 papers on the subject. That's a lot of papers trying to explain a 'talking point'"

    I'm very curious if you bothered to read any of these papers, or could quote the conclusions drawn from any of them.

    For my own part, based on the research I've read, whenever there's an extended period of little or no warming... what I'm assuming is that means the oceans are taking up a lot of heat energy and all that eventually has to come back into equilibrium with the atmosphere.

    "Contrarians" seem to only think, "Ha! No warming! Take that you eco-socialist!"

  31. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don Williamson @125 :

    Agreed ~  100s of peer-reviewed papers on the Hiatus subject of atmospheric pauses in [surface] temperature rise . . . but as Rob Honeycutt says:  these pauses occur after every El Nino.   Yet these are not actual pauses in modern global warming.

    Do you understand the difference?  And do you understand that none of us today should get too exercised about the topic?

    Don , if the Hiatus is your own hobbyhorse, and you've done a lot of (internet?) research into the Hiatus . . . then you should be able to summarize its important points and place it in scientific context in today's perspective.

  32. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    "I think I understand why people are interested in finding out why the abrupt about-face more than 'just accept the consensus because it's a consensus and we really mean it this time'"

    Don... Just to put a fine point on this one:

    There was and is a concensus on orbitally forced cooling over the past 5-6000 years.

    There was and is a concensus on mid-20th century cooling due to industrial aerosols.

    There was and is a concensus that doubling CO2 concentrations would produce about 3°C of warming.

    None of these are inconsistent.

  33. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Phillippe Chantreau,

    This thread is now 328 posts long.  I maintain that nuclear electricity is too expensive, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium to build more than a handful of plants. 

    The plants in Georgia cost over $30 billion to build and billions of dollars additional were charged to customers while the plants were being built.  They will each generate 1117 MW of power.  With a 90% cacpacity factor that will be about $15,000 per megawatt of power source.  In 2020 in the USA capacity weighted solar cost was about $1655 source. (It is less now).  You can build 10 times as much solar than nuclear for a billion dollars.  If you want the nuclear plant to be able to load follow you dramatically decrease the amount of power generated and increase the capacity adjusted cost.

    It takes 10-14 years to build a nuclear plant.  During that entire time you have to generate your power using fossil fuels.  Solar plants take only 2-4 years to build and often start generating when they are half built.  The CO2 pollution during constructiion of nuclear is more than the total CO2 cost of solar farms.

    The supply of uranium is limited.  There is not enough uranium to generate more than about 5% of world power.

    Informed people can disagree on what they think about nuclear.  I think that since nuclear is uneconomic, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium that it is a waste of resources building any new plants.  The time and costs are already sunk for existing plants so if they can conpete economically they can stay (most existing  nuclear plants cannot compete economically). 

    If you think it is worth investing in expensive, slow, unsafe nuclear plants go for it.  It is a free country. 

    I don't bother to discuss nuclear waste, the safety of nuclear plants, hot water pollution and vulnerability to natural disasters because the economics of nuclear plants are so bad.  

  34. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don @123...

    "One of the main thrusts of Ms Oresekes' article was the reversal of the dominant view - whether contrarians picked up on it or not."

    And as I've attempted to explain repeatedly, there was a "reversal" because there was a "reversal" in the temperature trend. When it was cooling, the dominant position was that it was cooling. When the trend changed to warming, the dominant position "reversed" to warming.

    I'm not sure why this fact escapes you.

    "Why wouldn't 'this abrupt about-face—from cooling to warming' create doubt?"

    Because it has nothing to do with any changes in the scientific understanding of forcings on the climate system that produce warming or cooling.

    "A few years after the new consensus was formed - the hiatus made it's unfortunate debut."

    Which was much ado about nothing. There's a "hiatus" after every major el nino event.

    "I think I understand why people are interested in finding out why the abrupt about-face more than 'just accept the consensus because it's a consensus and we really mean it this time'"

    Think about this: 

    We've known since the mid-1800's that CO2 is the primary radiatively active gas in the atmosphere. We've known since the early 1900's pretty much the amount of warming we'd see from a doubling of CO2 concentratations. Nothing has changed about that concensus, in fact it's only become vastly better understood since then.

    The consensus that doubling CO2 would significantly warm the planet hasn't altered a bit. What Dr. Oreskes is speaking about is what was known about the temperature trend at the time, not the underlying physics of what was and is occurring.

  35. Don Williamson at 10:56 AM on 17 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Eclectic

    The pause or slowdown was real, 100s of peer-reviewed papers on the subject so I don't think it was just someone's fantasy. There was a contributor to this website, he was cataloguing the papers. The last time I checked, which was a few years ago, he was expecting to top 300 papers on the subject. That's a lot of papers trying to explain a "talking point"

    I can see that we'll have to agree to disagree but I've done a lot of research into the hiatus - peer-reviewed papers 'research'


  36. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don Williamson @123 and prior :

    To put things in a more realistic perspective : the Ocean Heat Content continued to rise during the so-called Hiatus of atmospheric temperatures.  So there was actually no real Hiatus ~ it was just an interesting talking-point.  The globe was continuing to warm.

    Yes, we can discuss "the hiatus" as an abstract concept or as a propaganda topic  ~  but we are wasting our time if we tie ourselves into a pretzel trying to argue about consensus or scientific opinion regarding a physical non-event in overall global warming.

    Propaganda point: Yes . . . a real scientific point: No

    However, the 1945-1975 "cooling pause" was definitely real.

  37. Don Williamson at 08:21 AM on 17 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    One of the main thrusts of Ms Oresekes' article was the reversal of the dominant view - whether contrarians picked up on it or not.

    Why wouldn't "this abrupt about-face—from cooling to warming" create doubt?

    It seems logical to question the reversal especially when the climate scientists themselves reversed their opinion.

    A few years after the new consensus was formed - the hiatus made it's unfortunate debut.

    I think I understand why people are interested in finding out why the abrupt about-face more than 'just accept the consensus because it's a consensus and we really mean it this time''


  38. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don @120... The "dominant view" changed precisely because it became clear the planet had moved from a cooling period into a warming period.

    You're clearly not grasping there is no inconsistency here. What Oreskes is discussing is how "contrarians" might pick up on this fact and utilize it to create doubt in the minds of the general public related to the critical nature of CO2 driven climate change.

    It's not like before 1970 researchers thought CO2 played no role in climate. It's not like they didn't know atmospheric aerosols would cool the planet. 

    I think the difference here is related to changes in the earth's mean temperature and the cause of changes in the earth's mean temperature.

  39. It's not bad

    Also Bob Loblaw, I was writing too quickly before when composing the above response, but I'll add that I completely respect this particular area is in some ways harder to address than other areas, and that I may have myself, in my wording above, reflected some errors.  Always the site should stick to the science and reality, and so if I made any errors in the above, then they should not be heeded.  Perhaps it can be said that a challenge here is to state what the myths actually are, and then to have really good scientists help with composing a rebuttal that is strictly correct (even if it's nuanced and not pithy or easy to understand).

    With all of that said, when I as a non-scientist (though with a bit of physical and social sciences coursework decades ago) went to look around to see what I could find on some aspects of these myths to do with how many people have died attributable to AGCC, it seemed to me that it has been many years that denialists have been largely succeeding in avoiding all discussions of a body count estimate (or range estimate) for AGCC leading up to this point.  And how have they done this?  I think a big part of it is they're successfully relying on the high bar of difficulty that there is in science for attributing deaths to this or that cause.

  40. Don Williamson at 00:34 AM on 17 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Bob Loblaw

    "unless we can give a convincing account of the empirical reasons behind that reversal"

    I think we can agree the reversal was real. It needs to be explained by convincing arguments (rather that dismissing it out-of-hand) ~ but was that directed to the contrarians or to the "new consensus"?

    The contrarians won't be convinced - they pounced on the flip flop as Ms Oreskes feared.

    I think her article is a valuable insight into the innate complexities of climate science. The warming can taper off or cool. Maybe natural variability plates a bigger role that we might think?

    Natural variability was a common refrain used in the hiatus discussions.

  41. Don Williamson at 00:23 AM on 17 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    What "change" took place in the "dominant view"?

    "change" - as in reversal from "cooling to waming"?

    The "abrupt about-face"?

  42. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    "You appear to want to make a mountain out of a molehill."

    But that would fall under geology, wouldn't it, Bob? ;-)

  43. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Also, Don... It was around the 1970's when there was some disagreement in the climate science community regarding whether the cooling effects of industrial aerosols or the underlying CO2 driven warming would dominate. At that point in time, there wasn't a strong consensus. It took additional study to convince the leading experts that CO2 was the larger, longer term problem.

    The good news was that we, as a species, were able to substantively address the issue of industrial aerosols through the clean air acts in the US and similar regulations in other countries. 

  44. It's not bad

    Hello Bob Loblaw,

    Thanks for the explanation, it makes some sense.  I have to say though that the consequences are looming large for all of us of not responding to denialists relying on the myths of
    "nobody has died from this". 
    "you can't attribute the deaths accurately"
    "causality is hard to establish, and amateurs misuse the word"

    I do think it would be useful to memorialize your own response into part of a new myth rebuttal.  Perhaps it would be useful to break the response down to bite-sized chunks like this:

    Myth: It is impossible for scientists to attribute any increase in deaths to anthropogenic global climate change, or to its related phenomena.

    Reality: Epidemiological science has these tools which allow for analysis of such problems in thus-and-such a way.  They do not allow for saying "x" but they do allow for saying "y".  Thus, while scientists have struggled to provide an accurate body count that can be attributed credibly to the change in climate, peer-reviewed papers over the last 20 years provide us with this range of estimates."

    In the rebuttal composition a place could also be made for helping readers understand what the difficulties are in the science (lack of controlled experiments, various complicating factors, etc.) but how it is a myth (I am thinking it is anyway) that these difficulties mean that science is powerless to help us understand anything about developing a body count estimate.

    I also think the tobacco industry point seems useful, but somehow that was overcome, right? 

  45. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    "What Oreskes stated about undermining the consensus with the reversal from cooling to warming..."

    Once again, the earth was cooling mid-century. The earth had been cooling for the past 5-6000 years. When CO2 forcing came to dominate the trend shifted to rapid warming. 

    I believe what Dr. Oreskes is saying is, that change in the dominant view could be used by "contrariants" to cast doubt on the science. It's a rather precient statement since they subsequently did exactly that.

  46. Ice age predicted in the 70s



    You have not specified what you think are the two sides implied by your "both sides" quip.

    If  you are going to be condescending about throwing out Michael Mann's name, your credibility is going to go to zero. Without a statement explaining what you think "both sides" means, then providing names is meaningless.

    It is not the label "Geology" on Mann's PhD that makes him a climatologist. It is the nature of the work that he did (paleoclimatology) and what he has done since. It appears that you would rather obfuscate, than clarify.

    @ 115:

    Let's look at Oreskes' exact words in the last paragraph of her introduction:

    If scientific knowledge can be characterized as the convergence of expert opinion, then this kind of abrupt reversal of opinion might undermine our confidence in that knowledge, unless we can give a convincing account of the empirical reasons behind that reversal, and the historical context in which those reasons became persuasive.

    Since sarcasm and condescension seem to be the kind of discussion you want to have, please note Oreskes' use of the word "might". In case you are unfamiliar with the word, it means "possibility". It is a conditional statement, and the condition is "unless we can give a convincing account".

    The simple fact is that we do have information about why old viewpoints regarding the cooling of the earth on geological time scales transformed into an expectation that CO2 would lead to warming. And Oreskes' paper discusses this.

    You appear to want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  47. Don Williamson at 22:27 PM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Bob Loblaw

    I apologize for misspelling your name, it was unintentional.

    What Oreskes stated about undermining the consensus with the reversal from cooling to warming is her pov as a professor of science history and I can't dispute it. She has much more background to draw on for her conclusions and opinions than I would. I would defer to her as the expert.

    I specifically use her terms throughout the discussion to try limit any inference that it's my opinion or my interpretation. I hope this clarifies the situation.

  48. Don Williamson at 22:18 PM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    WRT "both sides"

    Micheal E Mann for one - You are familiar with that name or would you like some background on his achievements?

    He has a geology PhD so I'm not sure if that meets everyone's definition of *climate scientist*

  49. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    One more for tonight.

    Don, you state in #108:

    Some well known climate scientists were on both sides and that wasn't very helpful.

    My challenge to you is to do two things:

    1. State clearly what you think the "both sides" are.
    2. State clearly who you think was a well-known climate scientist that was on "both sides".
  50. Ice age predicted in the 70s


    Please first do me the courtesy of getting my name right. It's Bob, not Rob. You have repeated this several times, and it makes me think you are not reading carefully.

    Not all geologists are the same. I am a physical geographer, and my specialty was climate (and more specifically, microclimate). You can read more about my background in the "Team" menu option under "About" (beneath the main masthead).

    Other physical geographers specialized in topics such as geomorphology, hydrology, etc., and within those sub-disciplines they may have specialized in coastal geomorphology, glacial geomorphology, etc. And after they finish PhDs, they spend years continuing to learn (I would hope) that would allow them to become specialists in areas peripheral from their early studies. Although I am very familiar with many of these other sides of physical geography (which overlaps with geology in many cases), it does not mean that I am an expert in coastal geomorphology.

    Unfortunately, your position in #105 that Michael Mann has a background in geology means that all geologists can be considered to be "climatologists" only demonstrates your lack of understanding of the discipline. Only a very small subset of geologists learn the processes that drive climate and can be considered to be climatologists.

    As the saying goes, cats have four legs, and dogs have four legs, but cats are not dogs.

    Your comment in #106 about Oreskes using awkward wording is only evidence of your desire to read something into it that isn't there. And your devolution into "undermine the consensus argument" only demonstrates where your true bias rests. You are seeing this as a battle between two camps, rather than a scientific discussion.

    Most of the rest of your posts are exposing your bias: you have your talking points that represent "our side" (that is, your side). You think that your misrepresentations expose some nefarious intent on the part of a group you think of as your opponents. This is most unfortunate, as it makes it very difficult to have a constructive discussion with you.

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