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Climate Hustle

The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

Posted on 25 September 2017 by dana1981

Back in February, the conservative UK tabloid Mail on Sunday ran an error-riddled piece by David Rose attacking Noaa climate scientists, who had published data and a paper showing that there was never a global warming pause. The attack was based on an interview with former Noaa scientist John Bates, who subsequently admitted about his comments:

I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people.

The UK press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organization (Ipso) has now upheld a complaint submitted by Bob Ward of the London School of Economics. Ipso ruled that the Mail piece “failed to take care over the accuracy of the article” and “had then failed to correct these significantly misleading statements,” and the Mail on Sunday was required to publish the Ipso adjudication.

The Mail’s manufactured controversy

Essentially, Bates had expressed displeasure in the way the data from a Noaa paper had been archived at the organization. Rose and the Mail blew this minor complaint into the sensationalist claim that “world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.” It would be hard to find a better example of fake news than this one. The piece included a grossly misleading chart that Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt described as a "hilarious screw up."  In fact, the Noaa data and paper in question had already been independently verified by other researchers, and are in close agreement with global temperature data from other scientific groups.

And of course the paper itself had undergone rigorous peer-review prior to its publication in one of the world’s most highly-regarded scientific journals, Science. All signs pointed to the Noaa data and paper being based on sound science that had been reproduced and verified. But that didn’t fit the preferred denialist narrative of Rose and the Mail on Sunday, so they weaved a conspiracy theory that then reverberated through the right-wing media echo chamber.

Misinformation spread through right-wing media outlets

Rose’s story seemed to have all the climate denial components that biased conservative media outlets crave. A lone wolf scientist whistleblowing his former colleagues with accusations of data manipulation for political purposes? Despite the glaring errors in the story that were immediately called out by climate scientists and reputable science journalists, this narrative proved irresistible to the conservative media: Breitbart, Fox News, Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, and more ran with Rose’s story. Meanwhile, legitimate news outlets like The GuardianThe Washington PostCarbon BriefE&E NewsArs TechnicaScience InsiderRealClimate, and numerous other science blogs quickly debunked Rose’s falsehoods.

The errors really aren’t surprising. Rose and the Mail have a long history of climate denial, including error-riddled stories on Arctic sea iceAntarctic sea icehuman-caused global warming, even the very existence of global warming. And the Mail has such a long history of inaccuracies in general that Wikipedia editors consider it an unreliable source and banned its use. But Breitbart, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other right-wing media outlets have no qualms with publishing inaccuracies from unreliable sources, as long as the story advances their climate denial agenda.

House (anti-)science committee echoed the Mail falsehoods

Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has been attacking the Noaa scientists since they published their ‘pausebuster’ paper in 2015. Rose’s piece was almost perfectly timed for one of Smith’s frequent anti-climate science congressional hearings just two days later, but alas, by then reputable journalists had already soundly debunked the story. Smith could only plead with attendees to believe that the story “may be more serious than you think.”

As Ipso has verified, it wasn’t.

Click here to read the rest

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 54:

  1. As I understand it there is no financial penalty for The Mail (or any of the CopyCats). And it does not seem that the Mail Retraction/Correction will have to be Front Page News or be reported as many days and ways the original Fake News was reported. (And the CopyCats will not be required to Copy the Retraction)

    This deliberate damaging decelption by 'people who undeniably put self-interest above the interests of others' will continue as long as participants in News Media and Political/Business Marketing are not constrained by the responsibility to "Act Professionally" to properly raise awareness and promote better understanding of what is going on.

    Like all other Professions the responsibility of Informaton Providers needs to be the Public Interest, which is undeniably the interests of Humanity, which are probably best presented in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

    In a Profession, anyone found to be lacking in the proper perfomance of their duties and obligations can be denied recognition and be denied the 'priviledge' to perform as a professional. There is no 'Freedom to beleive whatever you want and claim and do whatever you please' in Professions like Engineering or Medicine or even Accounting (though this last one is questionable). Those professions are intended to protect the from the potential harmful consequences of pursuers of profit who would abuse unjustified marketing and claim-making for personal benefit.

    Maybe global legal changes are needed, maybe embedded in Free Trade Agreements, so that anyone in Business or Politics trying to Market or Promote any interests that are contrary to achieving the SDGs is able to be legally denied the 'permission to continue doing so until they prove they have changed their minds and decided to become Helpful rather than Harmful'.

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  2. Well done to Bob Ward and Ipso.  The Daily Mails behaviour has been appalling on this climate issue, among many other things. Freedom of speech and of the press does not equal avoidable mistakes, or telling only half the important facts, leaving out things that don't fit a narrative.

    Agree with comment by OPOF that lack of genuine penalties and fines doesn't help. Things wont improve unless it hurts a bit. 

    The Daily Mail has a history of blunders and dont seem to learn. They claimed in 1912 that the Titanic had sunk, no lives lost.

    www.paperlessarchives.com/titanic_newspaper_archive.html

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  3. I don't anything about the Daily Mail's reporting but freedom of speech does include the freedom to publih half-truths. If not, the entire MSM in the US, including the NYTs and Washington Post, MSNBC and the major networks would be illegal. They actually publish fabrications at times.

    Probably the same with the British media.

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  4. Randman @3

    I agree no media are perfect, but the Daily Mail has a well known record for publishing complete nonsense. They stand out from the crowd imho.

    The point is its not an imposition on free speech to ask media to tell both sides of stories, not half the facts, and to be accurate with basic facts. The rules need to be tighter on accuracy and balance, and applied to all obviously, maybe with fines or something because unless it hurts a bit nothing will change.

    The media  are still always free to come down and support one side of a debate if they wish, in their "opinion editorials" . However they will make themselves look silly if they support pseudo scientific nonsense, and the Daily Mail have a record of this.

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  5. Who decides those rules? That's an important question. I suspect what I would deem honest and what you would are very different. People believe very different sets of facts as far as what they think is reality.

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  6. Randman @3 and @5, in this thread we are of course talking about factual matters determined objectively (for example, as determined by scientific methods) — not talking about what people opine as "facts" / "factoids" / "Alternative Facts" / or deluded fantasies e.g. Flat-Earthism.

    My first response (my gut feeling) is to agree with you [in #3] about the so-called "MSM" : in that they float & promote too many part-truths.  But really, here we shouldn't be talking about the usual scattered low-incidence of accidental misreporting, but rather the deliberate reporting of untruths e.g. the infamous Breitbart.  There always has been and always will be no real accountability or punishment of "sins" of reportage committed by the MSM in the liberal democracies of the world.  (The MSM in totalitarian or dictator-lead nations, being a quite different matter!)

    However, on reflection, your statement is much too vague and "hand-wave-y".

    To validate your point, please supply a number of typical examples representative of the range of "sins" committted by the MSM (and not just a few cherry-picked examples to suit a particular bias).

    It almost goes without saying — but please don't bother to select any examples from the "rubbish" end of the MSM spectrum (such as FoxNews*, Daily Mail, and similar), for the list would be unending!   Please choose from what is usually considered the "Quality" end of the MSM spectrum.

    I am interested to hear your detailed views on the censure/accountability of media outlets.  The topic is worth some analysis!

    [ * the Murdoch media being a fine/egregious example of poor reportage — not that their efforts are enormously more sloppy than most, when it comes to random "accidental" bits of misinformation — but I am talking of their long-term deliberate policy of deceiving the public by telling 99% lies about global warming subjects. ]

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  7. Randman @5

    "Who decides those rules? "

    First the question here is accuracy and balance ( telling both sides of the story fully and withount manipulation). To repat I have no problem with media backing some particular point of view if they wish. 

    My country already has a voluntary code of practice on accuracy and balance, made in consultation with various media and government. This is how many laws and codes are decided, so nothing novel there.

    But because its voluntary it lacks many teeth and punishments are light. I think it should be a mandatory code for all with tougher penalties, ideally.

    But I'm a strong advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, so its a balancing act. Such codes need to be implemented in practical and non trivial ways where theres a genuine avoidable error or clear missrepresentation, but I think it could be done. I acknowledge Eclectics comments about a lack of accountability historically, but I think things need to change a bit without going to the other extreme either.

    As to what are the facts? You would need a panel to enforce a media code and decide what the facts are. There are well recognised ways of establishing facts such as verifiable evidence, logic. etc. Courts of law do it, the world of science does it, people who write text books do it. I'm not sure why the media are that much different. Just the threat of some real accountability will help clean things up.

    As to your comment about lack of quality in the mainstream media, so convenient that you left out fox news, now why did you do that? I don't want to get into a competition of who is worse, but I think we could at least  improve the situation as I have outlined.

    However Breitbart and comparable fringe media are just laughable and wouldn't know a thing about facts or balance. They genuinely live in a fantasy world, where they routinely print fake news and conspiracies of their own making. The internet has given every nutter a platform to make a noise. 

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  8. Nigelj @7 , I suspect things won't change regarding untruthful reportage by our "Free Press".   Big business interest groups pay and control the editors of papers and the producers of radio/television programs.  Politicians are reluctant (for many selfish reasons) to push real punitive measures against MSM that tells lies about climate science / vaccination science / or other important issues.  (Lies by omission, lies by commission, and lies by severe "spin".)

    In a very recent cause celebre, a certain well-nourished young Australian actress was awarded USD$3.6 million by the courts, as damages [and punitive damages] in compensation for lies told by an Australian print magazine.  Ouch!  (Though the decision may still be appealed, to reduce the quantum.)  The previous capped legal award limit, I gather, was only USD$200 thousand . . . and thus not at all bothersome to a big company.   So the courts can sometimes punish lies — but that sort of accountability is not going to happen with say the lies told by any MSM company about global warming.   There's no clearcut individual or company that can point to an indisputable "loss" resulting from those particular  lies/misrepresentations . . . and the whole thing would get bogged down in legal technicalities & wrangling about ambiguities of interpretation etc etc.    Plus, Murdoch Press (et alia) are working a long game of innuendo uncertainty & doubt.

    It won't happen : but (in my dreams) I see the only punitive accountability being visited upon newspapers, as an enforced requirement to print the corrigendum/correction/retraction on the entire lower-half of the front page of the [daily?] paper in large print (and for 3 consecutive days!).  Yeah, As If !!    The current system of corrections, if they occur at all, are typically limited to fine print covering two square inches on the bottom of Page 2 or Page 38, and published weeks later . . . completely under the radar of 99.9% of readers.

    I don't even bother to dream of corrections/apologies being mandated for 30 or 60 seconds of prime time radio/television — for that would fly under the radar of 98% of the total potential audience.

    Rearding the MSM, in practical terms our most likely success will come passively, with the natural attrition of the already very elderly [and very wealthy] individual Dinosaurs who are fighting such a strong rear-guard action against the interests of younger generations.  And in the case of Oil and MSM corporations, will come from an increasing level of shareholder revolt by the (currently) younger generations.

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  9. Here is John Bates original statement which he posted at Judith curry's website. 

    judithcurry.com/2017/02/04/climate-scientists-versus-climate-data/

    His post is a 3,100 word statement.  Bates is later quoted with the following statement "I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people."

    With the quote cited above, some are arguing that Bates essentially repudiated his prior 3100 statement.  I find it doubltful that Bates actually repudiated his carefully crafted statement.

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  10. For a more detailed look (dissection) of Bate's actual maliciously contrived complaint, might I suggest - 

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/search?q=bates

    March 24, 2017
    ¶1 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/03/1-behind-curtain-of-bates-facade.html

    ¶2 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

    ¶3 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

    Looking at how Lamar Smith used Bates:

    BatesMotel#4 - US Rep Lamar Smith - Feb 5th Press Release, his NOAA smear campaign dissected.http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/02/4usrep-smith-karl15-noaa-dissection.html

    BatesMotel#4B - US Rep Lamar Smith - Feb 5th Press Release, his NOAA smear campaign dissected - APPENDIX

    The real question is how to expose and shame the GOP's dependence on out and out lies and libel and slander to continue their outrageous denial of geophysical reality.  There the real question is how to wake up all those rational liberal minded folks, who continue sitting mum on the sides lines.

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  11. Expanding on my original comment, and responding to the discussions regarding Free Speech:

    More advanced societies develop Regulation or Professionalization of activity that is 'learned/discovered' to have significant potential for 'Harm because of a less/improperly informed Public'. Some people may see the potential to get away with personal benefit from behaviour that is not in the Public Interest. It becomes understood that the Public Interest is served by having constraints on those activities.

    As John Stuart Mill warned in “On Liberty” ... “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”

    It is now undeniable that the 'easy to make popular and profitable (easy ways to Win, at least temporarily) development and delivery of misleading information' has massive potential to harm the Public Interests, especially if Public Interest is understood to include the sustainable improvement of the future of all humanity as it should be (Tabloid Rags are no longer restricted to the 'relatively inconsequential to the future of humanity' invading the privacy of, and damaging the lives of, selected/targeted Celebrities who now have some legal power in some nations to penalize such callous pursuits of advertising revenue).

    My preference would be for the Independent Press Standards Organization to be the self regulating body overseeing the actions of Professional Press. The Government would be an observer with the responsibility and power to remove members of IPSO who can be proven to not have been responsibly overseeing the actions of the IPSO members, not properly protecting the public interest.

    The Canadian Professional Engineers are an example of how this would work. Individual engineers can be permitted to practice as well as organizations of multiple engineers and their related support staff. The individuals and the organizations have the responsibility to self-regulate their activity to Protect the Public Interest. The overseeing body has the power to remove the 'permission' of any of its members or organizations to act as engineers or engineering organizations if they are discovered to have deliberately acted contrary to the Public Interest. If what was done by The Mail was discovered to have been done by a Permitted to Practice Engineering Organization the overseeing body would like have censured all of the Professional Engineers involved and removed the Permit to Practice from the Organization for failing to properly monitor and control what happened in their organization. A Professional IPSO would have shut down The Mail.

    However, even professional self-regulation can be imperfect, especially in place where private interests gain significant power in public institutions. Like political elections, it is possible for the leadership of a self-regulating profession to be taken over by private interests. At one time the association that oversees engineering in Alberta ended up with a President who declared that the public interest was served by engineers defending and maximizing the profitability of their clients. That individual was swiftly censured by the Responsible Membership, but such actions by responsible membership may not occur. And if the government has been taken over by private interests it would fail to act responsibly. That is when the power of public legal actions exposing unacceptable behaviour could be required.

    So the popularity and profitability of unethical unjustified Free Speech in pursuit of personal benefit contrary to the Public Interest is what needs to be restricted. People cannot be allowed to 'believe whatever they want to excuse what they want to get away with doing'.

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  12. #11 - One planet - 

    So the popularity and profitability of unethical unjustified Free Speech in pursuit of personal benefit contrary to the Public Interest is what needs to be restricted. People cannot be allowed to 'believe whatever they want to excuse what they want to get away with doing'.

    This is supposed to be a science blog - are you stating the there should be a repeal of the first amendment  - Are you saying there should be a "ministry of Truth"?

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  13. #3 Randman

    Well, one source I've found when talking about media reporting is the Media Bias/Fact Check site.  Compare and contrast the London Daily Mail and the NY Times:

    Media Bias Fact Check - Daily Mail

    Media Bias Fact Check - NY Times

    As can be seen, the Mail is right biased and has a mixed record on its facts, while the NY Times and Wash. Post are center-left and get high marks for their facts.  Big difference.

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  14. Tom13,
    This is a blog about increasing the awareness and understanding of climate science. It includes many OPs related to the challenge of doing hat because of how easy it is for misrepresentation of information to be 'popular' and how that misleading promotion of the popularity of unjustified beliefs is motivated by Private Interest in maximizing personal benefit any way that can be gotten away with. This specific item is exactly that type of item.

    "So the popularity and profitability of unethical unjustified Free Speech in pursuit of personal benefit contrary to the Public Interest is what needs to be restricted. People cannot be allowed to 'believe whatever they want to excuse what they want to get away with doing'."

    That is how I ended my comment, For Good Reason.

    The unethical pursuit of personal benefit from unrestricted pursuits of unjustified popularity and profitability (and unjustified making up of laws or selective distorted enforcement of laws by unethical Winners of the power to do such things) must not be able to be successfully excused. Claiming that such restrictions are contrary to 'Free Speech' is a Poor Excuse.

    All Science is about increasing awareness and better understanding what is going on. The ability to propagandize dogma based beliefs that are harmful to the public interests are undeniably a threat to the Public Interest, a threat to the future of humanity. That should be a new Amendment clarification of the First Amendment in the USA with similar changes made to clarify the Fundamental Proper Ethical Basis of Rule of Law everywhere.

    If that better understanding had been globally clarified earlier there would be little need for a website like this one.

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  15. Way to use words Tom13. This thread is about the use, or abuse, of information, and dissemination of information that concerns an area of science, so OPOF comment is not inappropriate. Some nations have had a ministry of propaganda, using the same methods as the Mail, which have been found to be condemnable. Would that be better?

    Talking about that, I like Robert Lustig's definitions: Putting forth favorable descriptions of anything using actual facts would qualify as marketing. Doing so with false information, or in blatant disregard of actual facts, is called propaganda. The ability to spew propaganda without any adverse consequence is a far cry from free speech. We're talking about lies, misinformation, misrepresentation, deception, dissimulation, all used for the purpose of advancing one's short term financial interest at the expense of pretty much everything else. That kind of propaganda does not deserve the protection of free speech. Free speech is intended to protect people from tyranny, not screw them with lies.

    Of course, in the US, the very definition of facts and what is a lie has been wringed to death, and one can have an endless argument over what fact is out of context, what constitutes a lie, etc, etc. So lies could take center stage, boosted by the enormous financial means of their backers, under the full protection of free speech, and the liers laughed all the way to the bank. That's a perverted system.

    There is a valid argument to be made that the liers deprived others of their right to free speech by drowning the entire scene with their message; that left no room and no attention span from the masses for anything else.

    It's not free speech that we had. It was for pay speech, and it quickly got expensive, allowing only a certain class to be heard on a large scale. The right to free speech became the right to shout louder than everybody else. The whole enterprise was made easier by the dismal state of education, which does very little to teach the functioning of institutions, and even less to train citizens to recognize mind manipulation methods. 

    I'm talking in the past because now everything has been thrown into a whole new world by the internet and social media. Anything goes, there is no absolute value of information, and no relative value either. The disconnection from reality is almost complete; the noise and frantic turnover drown virtually anything. A good system of troll farms can make it look like a great number of people adhere to some ideas, even if that is a complete fabrication. The emotional impact of internet bursts is always far above any correction realized afterwards, just like people remember the headlines but never see the errata in the papers. This is well understood by the clever users of the system, who have fostered the collapse of journalistic standards.

    The risk/benefit analysis of well protected free speech was not even given time to pan out on the long term, it has now entered a phase that none the thinkers who crafted it could have imagined. We'll see what happens next. Don't be too confident that you'll enjoy it.

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  16. knaugle, if the NYTs and Washington Post get high marks on their facts, something is wrong with the rating group, at least if that concerns politics. On global warming, I think they generally just report what the various agencies put out. So maybe they are better on that.

    But there should be more reporting on skeptic's arguments, some of whom like Judith Curry were proponents of AGW and maybe still are for AGW-lite or somehing.

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  17. Eclectic @8, I suspect you are right about all of that sadly to say. I spent a year as a quality assurance manager for a corporate, so you can see where I'm coming from. We can dream and idealise a bit, its healthy and nothing will change without that.

    My country actually came close to a really good media code with some teeth, it just fell a couple of votes short in parliament. They probably caved in to the lobbyists. Lobbying has overtaken and wrecked politics, its out of control with a disproportionate influence now.

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  18. Tom13 @12

    "This is supposed to be a science blog - are you stating the there should be a repeal of the first amendment - Are you saying there should be a "ministry of Truth"?

    Yes this is a science blog, but from time to time science intersects with politics and media or economics etc, and these things are worthy of discussion. This is such a case obviously.

    Regarding the first amendment on free speech,this only applies to America. Many people commenting here are not Americans.  

    Anyway the american constitution only says that governments may not pass laws restricting free speech. Private organisations however are allowed to have whatever rules they like.

    The supreme court in america has also historically recognised many exceptions to constitutional free speech eg time and place restrictions, defamation law, restrictions on pornography etc. However its fair to say legal restrictions requiring media balance would be unlikely in America.

    In my view free speech is very important but principally related to the right to have an opinion, and particularly without government censorship or the like and threats of violence or intimidation, just for expressing a view. It is not a right to shout whatever rubbish we want in any context at all and obviously there are unspoken cultural rules about whats acceptable.

    In that respect I dont think the media have the right to print blatant factual inaccuracies, and to be be totally unbalanced especially in smaller countries with just one main media outlet or only a couple. There needs to be a code of practice with some teeth. In america this would have to be self regulating, and not law as such given their constitution, but in other countries there are often legal provisions. It's obviously a balancing act between freedom of  expression, and commonsense limits. Websites usually have some form of sensible moderation with a few limited rules against personal abuse, off topic political ranting, threats etc. They do need to be just a few rules, and not excessive. This reduces clutter, and issues becoming clouded with emotion. Only morons and angry people have a problem with this. Its not rocket science.

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  19. Randman @16

    "knaugle, if the NYTs and Washington Post get high marks on their facts, something is wrong with the rating group, at least if that concerns politics. '

    Can you please provide something specific to back up your vague rhetorical allegations. Nothing is wrong. Several reviews by various groups find these publications more accurate than others. This should be telling you something, namely they just are more accurate and so get their basic facts right better.

    "On global warming, I think they generally just report what the various agencies put out. So maybe they are better on that."

    Thats their job, to report on what the agencies say.

    "But there should be more reporting on skeptic's arguments, some of whom like Judith Curry were proponents of AGW and maybe still are for AGW-lite or somehing."

    Why? I dont think more reporting is required. The mainstream media already report sceptics arguments and in my view give them too much and disproportionate attention sometimes in a fake 50 / 50 balance. Numerous polls like the Cook study show over 90% of climate scientists think we are warming the climate, so the media should devote most attention to the 90% not the few dissenting voices many of which are funded by vested interests. And some of their claims are just nonsensical in the realms of flat earthers, so why report on that? Just having a view is not a reason for media being obliged to report it.

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  20. Randman @16 , you are very wrong if you think that Judith Curry is a proponent* of AGW.

    Judith Curry receives considerable benefits from slush funds (from Oil corporations) as a separate matter from her regular retirement income.  She is, in effect, a paid opponent of mainstream science.   Please read her blog more carefully (as well as her other public comments) and you will see that she bends over backwards to give people the impression that AGW does not exist or only exists to a negligible degree.

    She was a climate scientist in the 1990's , but in more recent years she has slid into an anti-science role.  So, it's more accurate to consider her an "ex-scientist".

     

    [ * here you convey your meaning adequately, but your actual use of the word "proponent" is incorrect IMO.  There have been no proponents of AGW for about 20 years now (since AGW became a well-accepted & well-proven part of mainstream physical science).

    ~ An analogous case is the Round Earth situation : for several centuries now, there have been no "proponents" of the Round Earth, because the Round Earth is accepted & proven mainstream physical science.  Yes, there are "opponents" (called Flat-Earthers) but there are no "proponents", since the Round Earth is well past the stage of being a "proposed" matter.

    Randman : sloppy use of words tends to produce sloppy thinking.  Please aim for precision! 

    The concept AGW is distinct from the concept of "proposing" action to tackle the AGW problem. ]

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  21. Philippe Chantreau @15 , please accept my vote of admiration for your well-expressed comments in post #15.

    ~ I have also printed off a copy of your similarly excellent post #20 in the "Al Gore got it wrong" thread.  (Not yet gotten around to framing it and hanging it on the living room wall, though!)

    Who says that Science and the Literary Arts cannot be combined !

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  22. Eclectic, she was. Please cite your source for your defamation of her character in claiming her scientific reasoning is dishonest, biased and she is funded by the oil companies.

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  23. Randman @22

    "Eclectic, she was. Please cite your source for your defamation of her character in claiming her scientific reasoning is dishonest, biased and she is funded by the oil companies."

    I'm sure Eclectic can answer for himself, but I just cannot see where he claimed or implied Curry was dishonest or biased as such. I just wonder where you get off thinking you can really blatantly shove words in peoples mouths like that? 

    Judith Currie has actually recieved funding from fossil fuel companies according to these sources, including scientific american:

    www.desmogblog.com/judith-curry

    www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Judith_Curry#Fossil_fuel_industry_funding

    Currie claims it hasn't influenced her. Yeah well ha ha I draw my own conclusions.

    Curry is more climate sceptic than anything these days, constantly expressing somewhat vague doubts about the IPCC and whether we can be sure of anything. Its all utterly confusing, not really backed up with anything specific,  and thus unhelpful. Refer her wikipedia entry. People can join the dots and reach their own conclusions.

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  24. Randman @22 , about your quote: "she was" (unquote)

    She was . . . what?  What are you talking about?  Please be precise!  Readers here don't wish to bother second-guessing what you intend to mean.

    Regarding Judith Curry :- the sources are her own comments :

    (A) in April 2015 : "Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change" (unquote)

    (B) also in 2015 at a Congressional hearing, she stated about the global warming [of the past 200 years] : "And that's not human" (unquote)

    (C) in 2014 speaking at the National Press Club : "We just don't know [what's going to happen].  I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales." (unquote)

    (D) in November 2015 [please specially note this very recent date, Randman] she supported the existence of the so-called hiatus or pause : "global average surface temperature ... has shown little or no warming during the 21st century" (unquote)

    (E) in 2011, she supported Murry Salby's crazy/nonsensical "hypothesis" that oceanic-origin CO2 is the real cause of our modern rapid Global Warming.

    Now, Randman, consider each of the above 5 statements.  If you yourself had issued them, then it would be evidence that you were grossly ignorant about climate science.  If they had been made by a scientist (a scientist not specializing in climate related matters), then that would count as intellectual dishonesty.  Issued by a climatologist, that would rise to the level of gross intellectual dishonesty. 

    Individually, each of the above statements cannot be justified, for they are individually & severally false and/or misleading.   Randman, I could add others to the list . . . but (to paraphrase an Einstein quote) :- "It only takes one" !

     

    $$$$$$$

    Randman, I do not in any way suggest that Curry receives money illegally from the Oil industry & other anti-science propagandists.   Arguably, what money or other benefits she receives from such groups is immoral but not illegal.

    ~ In 2006, Judith Curry [climatologist] and Peter Webster [meteorologist] set up a private company "Climate Forecast Applications Network".  Judith Curry is President (not an unpaid job, I gather!).  Curry herself said (in an interview with Scientific American) : "I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry ... [per my company] since 2007." (unquote).   Please note, Randman, that that sort of thing is not illegal — it is simply one of the many ways that the Oil industry slush funds operate.

    Perhaps you are innocently unaware, Randman, that the fossil fuel industry slush fund money percolates all around the place.  [Though I had to laugh when I saw that Peabody Energy's filing for bankruptcy in 2016 had "stiffed" the prominent science-denier Richard Lindzen, for a USD$25,000 "consultancy fee" that they owed him — though I don't know whether that $25,000 was a one-off or an annual stipend.]    Stipends, expenses, etc are paid in various ways — sometimes by "sinecure" payments, sometimes by propaganda "fronts" like Heartland or GWPF, sometimes by other under-the-counter indirect methods e.g. payments to a company (not to the individual).

    As to other benefits [in non-monetary form, not in cash] there are the examples of Curry appearing at least three times in front of Congressional-level hearings.   I am sure that even you, Randman, are not so naive as to believe that Curry paid for travel accommodation & incidental expenses, out of her own purse — if you act as a prominent stooge for Big Corporations, then they look after you in the premium style.   That's just the way the business world is, Randman.  (But it's not in any way illegal for her to be on the Big Oil teat.)   And then there's the purely psychological benefits she receives — definitely an ego boost for a mediocre climate scientist, to appear (and often) in the national Congressional limelight (etc).

    Then there are other benefits in cash e.g. in January and February this year [her academic retirement onto a teacher's pension, being at the end of December 2016] Judith Curry authored two reports, one for Koch Brothers and one for the British propaganda machine GWPF.  I don't know whether she was paid directly into her personal account or indirectly via her CFAN company, or by other means — but it would have been a generous*-sized benefit.  Again, not illegal — but of doubtful morality.   ( *Randman, it is extremely difficult for denialism-pushing Big Corporations to find any scientist with more than a shred of repectability/reputation who can be relied on as a stooge who will play the "Doubt & Uncertainty" game, in the face of all the overwhelming evidence that proves "D&U" is unjustified/dishonest.)

     

    In Summary :

    So, all in all, Randman, your own phrasing: "her scientific reasoning is dishonest, biased and she is funded by the oil companies" . . . is a fairly good summation of the situation.

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  25. #24 eclectic

    (A) in April 2015 : "Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change" (unquote)

    A reasonable acknowledgement that natural causes play a significant role (perhaps dominant role ) in climate change - to deny otherwise is anti science.

    (B) also in 2015 at a Congressional hearing, she stated about the global warming [of the past 200 years] : "And that's not human" (unquote)

    Do you have a citation and the full statement - the 4 word quote ilacks the full context of her statement.  

    (C) in 2014 speaking at the National Press Club : "We just don't know [what's going to happen]. I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales." (unquote)

     A reasonable acknowledgement that Co2 may not play the dominant role which is consistent with the earth's past history.  Note that not once does her statement say that CO2 is not a factor.

    (D) in November 2015 [please specially note this very recent date, Randman] she supported the existence of the so-called hiatus or pause : "global average surface temperature ... has shown little or no warming during the 21st century" (unquote)

    Based on the scientific data available at that time, this is a reasonably accurate statement.  While the 2015/2016 el nino started in early summer of 2015, the data showing showing a more than a little warming since 1998 wasnt strong until very early 2016.

    (E) in 2011, she supported Murry Salby's crazy/nonsensical "hypothesis" that oceanic-origin CO2 is the real cause of our modern rapid Global Warming.

    Ths statement seems completely out of context with her other statements and writings.  J curry has repeatedly stated that the oceans play a key role in climate change and has repeatedly stated that OHC will play a huge role future climate change, including the build up of ohc.

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  26. Curry's quote goes: "I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales."

    Tom13 reads that as " A reasonable acknowledgement that Co2 may not play the dominant role which is consistent with the earth's past history. Note that not once does her statement say that CO2 is not a factor."

    That's really the kind of problem we're facing these days. Tom13 uses empty rethoric to minimize the enormity of Curry's nonsense, even managing to convince himself that it is reasonable. The pronouncement that a minor role for CO2 is consistent with Earth history is unsupported in Tom13 post. It certainly is, at best, highly debatable.

    There is a huge body of scientific litterature supporting the idea that CO2 has been a dominant control knob over the past 1.5 million years or so, which for us humans really means for ever. It is because of the fact that there is all this scientific litterature that the idea now pervades the field. The idea did not come out of the blue just because someone liked it or wanted to take down the fossil fuel industries. Fossil fuel industry researchers themselves came to the same conclusion early on.

    Curry's statement goes beyond saying that it's not a factor, so even so she technically does not say that, what she says is even worse.

    Curry does not have any of her own research to back her statements, nor does she attempts to invalidate even a little of the research supporting the CO2 control knob concept, soe her big pronouncement is just opinion. As the sayng goes, everybody has one.

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  27. By the way thank you for the compliment Eclectic, and feel free to copy and distribute as much as you want, so long as there is attribution. You can also correct typos...

    I see as well that your statements on Curry are justified and that you were able to back them up. I thought that your words were a little too strong, but as it turns out, they seem appropriate in light of the supporting documentation you provided.

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  28. #27 -


    There is a huge body of scientific litterature supporting the idea that CO2 has been a dominant control knob over the past 1.5 million years or so, which for us humans really means for ever. It is because of the fact that there is all this scientific litterature that the idea now pervades the field. 


    There is a huge body of scientific research showing CO2 has been a trailing indicator of climate change over the last 1.5m years, not the leading indicator.  It has only been the last 50 or so years that co2 has been a leading indicator, which makes your statement that CO2 is the dominant control knob highly unlikely.  Curry, along with most everyone with knowledge of climate science agrees with that CO2 plays a role, with the open question as to how much of a role vs natural varibility.  


    Curry's statement goes beyond saying that it's not a factor, so even so she technically does not say that, what she says is even worse.


    Curry has made numerous public statements, etc.  None of which even remotely claims what you just stated.  At least make an attempt to be factually accurate.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Inflamatory statement snipped. 

    BTW, you are are responding to Philippe Chantreau #26, not #27.

  29. Tom13 @25.

    The 8th December 2015 Senate Committee hearing quote (B) "And that's not human" is probably taken from DeSmogBlog and (having hit upon the segment in the hearing video) it isn't a word-perfect quote from the hearing. The actual quote is:-

    "Yes, I do believe that we have overall been warming, but we have been warming for 200, maybe even 400 years, OK? And that is not caused by humans. OK. There is natural variability involved. And this is exactly what has not been sorted out. "

    But the hearing (nicely described as four denialists & one admiral by one of the senators) is more a deniers' revialist meet than enquiry. The hand-wringing from ex-climatologist-now-BlogMom Judy does require wider viewing/listening to fully appreciate the context of the quote which appears @2:26. A transcript is available here (with quote @pdf page 109).

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  30. #29 - thanks for the more complete quote - Quite obvious that Eclectric was using an intentionally incomplete quote to imply she said something she did not say.

    Not a good way to establish credibilty.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Inflamatory statements and charege of dishonesty snipped.

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  31. Philippe Chantreau, I wish to spare you further blushes, so I will go no further than saying it is a pleasure to read your excellent posts.  Alas, in this Vale of Sorrows known as the internet, infested by angry illogical and semi-literate "deniers" . . . even posts of basic mental competence look quite good!

     

    Tom13 @25 , for readers' convenience, I have aimed to keep points (A) to (E) as reasonably brief as possible, and I have taken care to present these excerpts [from Curry's own blog, and elsewhere as indicated] in a manner consonant with their context.  All for your convenience.  There is no deception / quote-mining / or "verballing" involved here.

    if you wish to waste your own time verifying these quotes, then you are welcome to google away.  If you knew Curry's modus operandi as well as I do, then you will see how all these statements hang together — even where she shows some self-contradiction!

    Yes, Tom13, her comments present an ugly picture.  And if you didn't really know her before, then I can understand if you experience some shock & revulsion at her grossly unscientific statements.  The denial of fundamental physics (especially the radiational properties of CO2).  The denial of mainstream observations & research.  The lack of any coherent "contrarian" science (even if by plausible hypothesis only).  The coy flirting with crazy rubbish e.g. Salby's ideas.  The continual sophisms combined with intentional vagueness & evasiveness.

    Use your common sense, Tom13, and look at the big picture — Curry is obviously a shill (but not near as poor a case as the blogger who calls herself JoNova).   Sorry Tom, but your goddess has feet made of clay . . . extending up to her eyebrows.

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  32. Tom13 @28

    "There is a huge body of scientific research showing CO2 has been a trailing indicator of climate change over the last 1.5m years, not the leading indicator.

    This trailing indicator phrasing of yours is unclear. The ice core samples show a strong correlation of CO2 and temperature and remember we have good causation as well given CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The samples show CO2 peaks lag temperature peaks, but the published research demonstrates with good certainty that while solar changes  caused the initial temperature peaks, CO2 was the dominant factor in the warming and amplified the warming as below:

    skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    And more recent published evidence shows CO2 may well not have lagged temperature as below. So you are wrong on both counts. Just as Judith Curry is wrong to claim CO2 is not the main control knob.  

    www.scientificamerican.com/article/ice-core-data-help-solve/

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  33. Just reading the above discussion various things come through. Judith Curry is clearly promoting sceptical arguments sometimes over even basic accepted physics, and encouraging doubt about climate change. She is clearly irrational in her thinking. Tom says she has said other things less sceptical, but its the doubt that comes through strongly.

    The interesting thing is she is not specific on her reasoning. Theres a lack of clarity and detail about why she thinks what she thinks, which is frustrating everyone, and just plays into the hands of the denialists.

    Perhaps she is filled with doubts, but unwilling to be open in specific ways, or perhaps she enjoys the attention. Or perhaps she is just a schill for commercial interests and this looks very likely.

    I wish she would be specific, or shut up. I think as a scientist payed out of public funds to some extent (as well as fossil fuel money) she owes us all a duty to be precise and stop in effect spreading nonsense, doubt, climate rumours and vague suspicions.

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  34. Nigelj @33 and prior ,

    The Mail is a fine example of "corporate insanity" ( I almost said "institutional insanity" — but that might be misconstrued! ).    Insane in the Latinic sense of being unsound of mind or body.

    Of course, corporate insanity derives from individual insanity (at the leadership level).    The English language lacks the terminology to label the type of insanity demonstrable in climate-denialists / anti-vaxxers / Flat-Earthers etc.     "Legal insanity" is defined over a narrow range, which only partly overlaps with the "medical insanity" (which is primarily a psychosis-based diagnosis/definition).   Yet every day around us, we notice examples of degrees of insanity : exhibiting as poor decision-making and a partial denial of reality — and all at a much higher intensity than in the average mature sane person.    But the insanity of climate-science-denialism is the prime type being of interest here at SkS.

    Which leads us back to J. Curry and her motivations.  I am sure, Nigelj, that she is moved by many considerations (but lacking what Mr OPOF calls the rational consideration of distant motives).

    In my post #24 above, I sieved out 5 examples of Curry's "position".   I started with wikipedia and desmogblog, and jumped back and forth between Curry's own blog and those sources (plus a few others).   Desmogblog had a number of its links broken (or not easily available) so I didn't verify everything on them — nor did I think it warranted the waste of time to pursue them. ( Though I am half-puzzled by Tom13's violent contention that the quote: "And that's not human" has any real difference from the quote: "And that is not caused by humans".   I will have to give a shrug about that one ! )

    Fortunately I had a considerable amount of prior experience of Curry's blog, so I was able to quickly judge/assess the concordance of the selected quotes with Curry's historical position (or rather more accurately : her range of self-contradictory positions plural ).

    For my sins, I had (from some years ago) chosen to examine parts of Curry's blog extending up to now [but skipping sections randomly, of course].   Two motives for that examination ~ (A) I knew that Curry was one of the trio [Curry, Christy, Spencer] of "contrarians" who were academically active & knowledgeably up-to-date climatologists, and well above the likes of those denialist minds in their twilight years [Lindzen, Singer and suchlike].   And despite reading the mainstream's damning indictment of the trio, I hoped I might find some scientifically logically valid points that Curry had put forward.   But I found none whatsoever.

    ~ (B) I was interested to learn something of her psychology (or perhaps psycho-pathology is the better term).   Why would a nominally-rational person take up a denialist stance?   Putting aside all questions of corruption & financial inducement, there remains the "strange peculiarity of the human mind".    As I had mentioned to Rbrooks502 (on another thread) , there is the actually remarkably widespread condition of Encapsulated Paranoia, where the individual is sane in most areas but psychotic [psychotic = out of touch with reality] in one particular area — the textbook case being the man with paranoid jealousy re his wife/girlfriend.

    However, other types of encapsulated insanity exist, and the scientific-minded readers here will be well aware of the Conspiracy Theorism and other insanities underlying AGW denialism.  Including the pathological resistance to accepting the plain logical evidence produced by the totality of climate scientists.   (A resistance which is multi-factorial, of course.)

    But I am drifting off-topic — yet excusing myself by pointing to the whole basic purpose of SkS being the combination of general information/education plus the countering of (some of) the climate "madness".    Nigelj , please forgive my overly-long post here, but I thought that you, as a wide reader, would find some points of interest in it.   Finishing in a humorous vein — doubtless you are aware of Douglas Adams' classic Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where some [alien] inspector has given a one-line descriptor/assessment of Planet Earth . . . comprising just two words: "Mostly harmless".   I imagine that if the Inspector were to return to this solar system to assess the human race . . . he would use a 3-word descriptor: "Brilliant but mad".

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  35. Eclectic @34, definitely interesting thanks. I hear you.

    I read The Hitchhikers Guide when quite young. He has written several other similar books all well worth a read,  just in case you haven't come across them, easily enough googled, especially So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.

    I'm a little bit interested in human motivation. I did some clinical psychology  at varsity just a couple of introductory papers, (I needed some extra credits) so hence my interest in climate scepticism and its driving causes. People are a bit complex and unique in their psychology and mix of motivations, and this makes climate denial a bit challenging to deal with, but there are a few main things of course noted from time to time on this website. I'm convinced theres no one thing you can boil climate scepticism down to, its a complex combination of vested interests, poor science knowledge,  political reasons, resentment of rules, psychological factors, personal ambitions, ego, and sense of entitlement etc.

    The human race. Brilliant but mad as you say. That's evolution for you, complex and untidy.

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  36. Eclectic @34,
    You say you have examined the history of Judy's little asteroid Climateetc but that was not the start of her journey to the dark side. A lot of stuff preceded the creation of Climateetc in Sept 2010 but, as with much else, Judy has her own take on the journey she took. Her version of it is set out at the start of her 2015 Senate testimony:- (PDFp39)

    "Prior to 2009, I felt that supporting the IPCC consensus on climate change was a responsible thing to do. I bought into the argument don’t trust what one scientist says, trust what an international team of 1,000 scientists have said after years of careful deliberation.
    "That all changed for me in November 2009, following the leaked ‘‘Climategate’’ e-mails that illustrated the sausage-making and even bullying that went into building the consensus. I started speaking out, saying that scientists needed to do better at making the data and supporting information publicly available, being more transparent about how they reach conclusions, doing a better job of assessing uncertainties, and actively engaging with scientists having minority perspectives.
    "The response of my colleagues to this is summed up by the title of a 2010 article in the Scientific American, ‘Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues.' I came to the growing realization that I had fallen into the trap of group think. I had accepted the consensus based on second-order evidence, the assertion that a consensus existed."

    This seems to suggest that in the two days following Climategate, Judy went from happy-bunny climatologist to happily posting on denialist websites like Wattsupia (a re-post from ThinkProgress but Wattsupia is the version she links to here) and denialist Climate Audit, the place she tells us "became my blog of choice, because I found the discussions very interesting and I thought, ‘Well, these are the people I want to reach rather than preaching to the converted over at [the mainstream climate science blog] RealClimate.’” That's a big big shift in just two days, Judy! Almost as abrupt as the next leap to full denialist in the following year, assuming you go along with Judy's timeline.

    The story actually begins in 2005 with Webster et al (2005) 'Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment'  which was published just as the 2005 hurricane season was making hurricane studies highly political. So the paper drew a lot of denialist flack from contrarians to which Judy found herself responding (being a co-author) and was still providing expert hurricane testimony in July 2006.  She was also the lead-author on a paper addressing the scientific argumentation of hurricane studies (although note that while the article is described here as "unapologetic in advancing their particular point of view", the article is actually setting out its scientific position as being no more than "the central hypothesis."
    But there are then the first signs in 2006 of Judy falling out with her scientific colleagues but over the narrow issue of how to treat with denialists. We find Judy commenting at what would become her "blog of choise" ( eg. about halfway down this 2006 thread where she would soon earn her posting rights). Also in 2006, she was talking on the need for engaging with denialism which heavily hints at her future path. This 2006 talk was tellingly titled "Falling Out of the Ivory Tower" and bullet points included ♠ inadequate assessment and communication of uncertainty ♠ turf battles and appeal to authority ♠muddy relationship between climate research and policy. It can thus be seen that Judy was already engaging with her "group think" monster by 2006, years before 'climategate'.
    Her immediate response to 'climategate' (in web-pages linked above) was to advocate openness so denialists can spot any errors allowing (apparently) corrections to be made with minimum fuss. "Doing this would keep molehills from growing into mountains that involve congressional hearings, lawyers, etc." while she says she isn't implying "climate researchers need to keep defending against the same arguments over and over again." (I would agree with this last point as they would instead have to 'keep defending against the same arguments over and over & over & over & over & over again, ad nauseam.')
    And by mid-2010 our Judy had become one of her own "scientists having minority perspectives" becoming an uncritical conduit for denialst argument and thus unable to connect with her peers (as her input into this July 2010 RealClimate comment-thread well demonstrates).
    Two months afterwards she had her little un-worldly asteroid Climateetc to retreat to, where she could cultivate her persona as The Daily Mail climate scientist of choice.

     


    Tapping this out, I was surprised to read in that article critical of Judy which she cited in her testimony that:-

    "Curry asserts that scientists haven’t adequately dealt with the uncertainty in their calculations and don’t even know with precision what’s arguably the most basic number in the field: the climate forcing from CO2 —that is, the amount of warming a doubling of CO2 alone would cause without any amplifying or mitigating effects from melting ice, increased water vapor or any of a dozen other factors."

    Question- Is that right? Has she fallen that far into the denialistic pit to consider this a substantive issue. Answer - She certainly had back in Dec 2010.

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  37. Judith Currie is not making a lot of sense to me. She makes a lot of criticisms of the IPCC and climategate and climate science in general. These criticisms are largely quite petty criticisms, or related to isolated problems any professional body will have, or they are idealistic suggestions. She blurts all this out in public forums, and its potentially undermining public confidence in the IPCC. Maybe she is grandstanding, because it just doesn't make sense otherwise.

    Some things are best done in private and by all means forcefully done if required with backup from other colleagues. Not everything has to be in the public domain. And some of her suggestions are good, like putting costs to a range of temperature scenarios.

    If there was a big systemic problem, or many problems, of course blow the whistle, but there just isn't. Climategate comprised leaks (actually theft)  of thousands of emails and you have a couple of small things and numerous reviews done finding no problems. IPCC reports thousands of pages long and about one single mistake on some glacier. Many reviews have already been done of the IPCC. Currie is making the perfect the enemy of the good, time and time again. She is tearing herself and climate science to pieces, and what good has come of it?

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  38. NigelJ @37,
    Judith Curry's objections are indeed quite petty, numerous and overtly used in feeding the denial machine. Their petty nature generally means she gets away without too much detailed criticisms. Mind, she makes out she doesn't like being called a denier. In her Dec 2015 Senate testimony (PDFp104) she describes this badge-of-courage and counters it by describing three things the IPCC assessments allegedly cannot explain, the least petty of which was the early 20th century warming.

    "Are you aware that temperatures have been warming for more than 200 years and that in the 20th century, 40 percent of the warming occurred before 1950, when carbon dioxide was not a factor in the warming. OK. And I could go on and on. Many of these issues are raised in my written testimony. " (My bold)

    This, of course, is intemperate nonsense from Judy-the-BlogMom and not the words that any serious climatologist would ever utter. To be fair we should examine her written testimony to check she didn't mis-speak. He written testimony tells us:-

    "If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910—1945? The period 1910–1945 comprises over 40 percent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 percent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900. Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming."

    Here we meet a cherry-picked period 1910-1940 which is then associated with "warming since 1900" so I would be inclined to take 1900 as the start-point of any analysis.
    Checking Curry's bold assertions - Using 10-year averages to prevent annual fluctuations causing problems (as per the data in the graph presented in Curry's testimony, although here I use GISS, not HadCRUT) and CO2 forcing from IPCC AR5 AII, the warming 1900-40 is 37% of the 1900-2000 rise and the "associated carbon dioxide increase", ΔF(CO2) 21%. It appears Curry's testimony is seriously flawed.

    Mind, this method of comparison that Curry attempts is overly simplistic and needs checking. We could instead compare the 40-year period 1900-1940 with the period 1970-2010 and note that the global increase in temperature 1900-40 was 42% the 1970-2010 increase. And the anthropogenic climate forcings increase (for both periods a pretty-linear increase) with the 1900-40 increase 26% that of the later period. (We should also perhaps note in passing that in comparison to 1970-2010, 1900-40 was preceded by decades of relatively high ΔF(anthro) that would have still been in action thro' the respective periods and also relatively high negative natural forcings, Both these would have boosted temperatures 1900-40 relative to the later period.) These percentages 42% & 26% would compare to Curry's unfounded asssertion of 40:60=67% & 10:90=11%.

    Thus it can be seen that Curry identifies an allegedly unexplained discrepancy to refute the accusation made against her - "I was basically called a denier." But she then unable to grasp the problem in more-than-trebling the size of this discrepancy within her testimony to a Senate Hearing. So it basically sounds like her accusers called it right.

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  39. MA Rodger @38, I agree that makes sense. I'm not a climate scientist, just have some background from physical geography etc, so I can't say much about the calculations, without digging out a textbook or something.

    But here's my take on the issue, and I'm very certain about it. Firstly her assertions on CO2 not being a factor in warming early last century. One glance at a graph of CO2 and its obvious CO2 emissions were still  actually very significant early last century, so must have been a significant factor. Unless she is saying much of the heating from these would be delayed a couple of decades? But clearly CO2 must have played at least "some" role during early last century, and likely more than 10% maybe 30%, is my instinct just thinking about it all.

    But her main point seems to be there wasn't much CO2 early last century so what other factor caused the warming? Surely as a scientist she is well aware that records show solar activity was quite high, and volcanic activity quite low? They certainly contributed to the warming. Its really hard to know the proportions that CO2 contributed, solar contributed, and reduced volcanic activity because records are poor, but its clearly some combination. The quite strong warming is easily explained by a combination of factors. Various different research papers come up with different proportions. But theres no great mystery on what caused the warming, just the exact proportions. 

    By asking a silly rhetorical question already at least partly answered about what caused the warming, she spreads doubt, and suggests either unwittingly or deliberatety  that something else could be causing warming like solar changes, and this could be causing warming now. Thats my take on it, and how uneducated people would perceive it, tell me if I'm wrong.

    Overall her testimony is so flawed, rhetorical, and missing pieces of the puzzle, that it just creates confusion, and every sceptical thing she says gets cherry picked by other sceptics.

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  40. nigelJ @39,
    Note that within her spreading of doubt and denial about AGW, Curry is even happy to trash the temperature record. (This is perhaps odd as the temperature record is about the only thing she has to base her grand theory of there being a humongous natural climate wobble which has amplified the recent AGW over 1970-98 to create the present climate 'hysteria' with Wyatt's Unified Wave Theory being Judy's candidate for such an oscillation back in 2015.)

    Her stance in the temperature record is basically that 'there has been warming, but...' with the 'but' being followed by the buckets of doubt and denial. In many ways her comments about the temperature-record exemplifies her highly unscientific method. She will raises issues but almost always fails to set out clearly what she concludes from such issues. If she did, she would be slammed for promulgating serious denial with sky-high Monckton-ratings.

    Consider her testemony about the temperature record in front of this 2015 Senate Committee:-
    ♠ Her citing of the hockeystick graph as showing "overall warming may have occurred for the past 300–400 years. Humans contributed little if anything to this early global warming," rather misrepresents the hockeystick. She is strongly suggesting that the possible 0.2ºC warming over a recent 300-year period (1600-1900) somehow brings into serious doubt the IPCC's attribution of the 1.2ºC warming since 1900.
    ♠ Her evidence on the relevance of the 'hiatus' never concludes. Rather it rambles on about "The growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations", the raging debates over the recent Karl et al (2015), the 'hiatus' "clearly revealed" by satellite data (helpfully plotted by denialist Roy Spencer so the graph shows the now-superceded RSSv3.3 and the then-yet-to-be-released UAHv6.0 and with the RSS data re-based and curiously shorn of some of its maxs&mins and for good measure the graph stops short of the latest 2015 warmth), scientific disagreement over discrepancies between TLT & SAT records (and note where she stands on that with her oral testimony "we need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have and is global"), convoluted statistical probability of 2015 becoming warmest-year-on-record, discrepancies amongst temperature data sets, a five years requirement to be sure the 'hiatus' has actually ended. It rambles on but the relevance of the 'hiatus', the message  she is meant to be delivering, is never set out.
    ♠ Beyond her written testimony, Curry also expounds on SAT record adjustments, spreading yet more doubt:-

    "... And the adjustments, as you can see, are rather huge, OK?
    So should we—so, to me, the error bars should really be much bigger if they are making such a large adjustment. So we really don’t know too much about what is going on in terms of, you know, it is a great deal of uncertainty. Yes, I do believe that we have overall been warming, but we have been warming for 200, maybe even 400 years, OK? And that is not caused by humans."

    After the digression onto the pet "warming for even 400 years,OK" Curry returns to adjustments but specifically ocean adjustments stating "I mean, the land datasets are sort of starting to agree, but there is a great deal of controversy and uncertainty right now in the treatment of the ocean temperatures." Poor Judy has failed to note that Chariman Cruz was asking for comment on USCHN data adjustments and her comment relevant to that data solely comprises "the land datasets are sort of starting to agree" and thus that the adjustments Cruz is complaining about are perfectly appropriate. Yet that is certainly not the take-away message she provides.

    Curry gets away with talking this rubbish, even in written reports presented to a Senate Committe. She really should be taken to task for it.

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  41. MA Rodger @ 40

    "She is strongly suggesting that the possible 0.2ºC warming over a recent 300-year period (1600-1900) somehow brings into serious doubt the IPCC's attribution of the 1.2ºC warming since 1900."

    There does not seem to even be agreement amongst climate scientists on what actual global average surface air temperature increases have taken place since "pre-industrial times" (ie 1800) or since 1900.

    My understanding from everything that I have had read up to now was that from 1900 to 2015, we had about a .8C rise with about .3C to .4C  being attributed to about 1940 and then from 1975 to 2015 about .4 to .5C.  I honestly cannot remember whether it was .3/.5C or .4C/.4C.  Then, owing to the hot 2015-2016 years attributable to the hottest El Nino on record, the temperature rise exceeded 1C.  This last statement is directly from the Millar et al paper recently published in Nature Geoscience (I actually bought a copy of it).

    But then the Millar et al paper begins its discussion by stating that "human induced warming reached an estimated 0.93C (+/-.13C) above mid-19th century conditions in 2015 and is currently increasing at .2C per decade" and cites an Otto et al paper in 2015 in support of this.

    The above statement by MA Rodger references the IPCC suggesting that there has been a 1.2C rise since 1900.  I assume this comes from the 2013 IPCC Assessment because I assume they do not make "statements" outside of their assessments.

    Added to this, somewhere else I read that temperature rise had now fallen back to the pre-2015-2016 El Nino level.  I think the comment referenced  .8C but I am not sure.  

    Can someone make sense of all these conflicting statements about actual warming?

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  42. NorrisM says "I read that temperature rise had now fallen back to the pre-2015-2016 El Nino level"

    Why would that not be an entirely normal expectation? Said level was already above that of the mammoth 1998 El Nino, an extraordinary outlier, although it did not remain so for long at all. 

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  43. MA Rodger @40

    "She will raises issues but almost always fails to set out clearly what she concludes from such issues."

    This has also been my exact same impression of various things she has said. Its very frustrating and it creates enormous doubts, exactly what climate denialists deliberately set out to do, so she plays right into their hands, either deliberately or unwittingly.

    I think going back to your previous post all the trouble started when she was heavily criticised over her research paper on weather systems. It appears she lost confidence in herself, or something, and started to side with the sceptics and perhaps their was some genuine desire to respect their point of view, or at least listen to it, at least at first. But its a slippery slope, and she is a full scale denialist now whether she realises it or not, and  admits it or not. Her rhetoric speaks for itself. It reminds me of the theme expressed in the book Animal Farm by Orwell.

    "Her evidence on the relevance of the 'hiatus' never concludes. Rather it rambles on about "The growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations".

    Exactly. Now at that point in time of her testimony it was fair to say temperatures were falling towards the lower  boundary of error bars, but they were not outside these and as far as I'm aware its always been predicted you could have approx. 10 year periods of slow temperature growth, or even falling temperatures due to a variety of natural cycles. Curry must know that so why didn't she say so in her testimony? If she thinks natural causes could not have been responsible for the "pause", then why does she not say so? By saying nothing, she is unbalanced and not fulsome in her testimony, and can only be seen as a full on climate denialist whether she intends this or not.

    "and for good measure the graph stops short of the latest 2015 warmth),'

    Again Curry must have know this, and it puts her testimony into the frankly misleading category. This is not good enough.

    "we need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have and is global")". 

    I'm just gobsmacked by this, as again she must know the limitations of this data. Its certainly not the best data. Again it puts her fully in the Watts Up denialist camp, and is the exact sort of rhetoric they use. She is copying and pasting what they say.

    You dont need to have a degree in atmospheric physics to know that none of the data sets are 100% perfect, and the sane and sensible thing to do would be to take an average of them all. Curry is qualified and obviously very intelligent, so something has become unhinged somewhere, to be saying the things she is saying.

    I have no problem with scepticism as its natural, and I dont take things at face value, but I think we have a duty to be balanced and tell things in full context, and explain a full conclusion, and Curry does neither of these things.

    "Yes, I do believe that we have overall been warming, but we have been warming for 200, maybe even 400 years, OK? And that is not caused by humans."

    This just feeds right into the denialist machine. She has been suckered in. And clearly theres a big acceleration in warming form 1920 so why doesn't she see the significance of that?

    "the land datasets are sort of starting to agree"

    She is thinking aloud. You do this in private with colleagues not when testifying to politicians! She doesnt know when to shut up.

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  44. Norris M @41

    "There does not seem to even be agreement amongst climate scientists on what actual global average surface air temperature increases have taken place since "pre-industrial times" (ie 1800) or since 1900."

    This is true, but what is your real point here? The disagreement between the main temperature datasets is quite small. You will probably never get perfect agreement because histoorical data collection is not inherently perfect. We certainly have a good idea of global temperatures plus or minus a small discrepency. This is as good as it gets (like the movie) and is  enough for intelligent understanding of the general situation we are in. You seldom get 100% agreement and certainty in anything in any measurements of any past historical phenomena. That doesnt matter as long as trends clearly stand out.This is enough for me to see theres clearly been approx "x" quantity of temperature increase.

    Are you saying you want 100% certainty and agreement before you can take climate change seriously?

    A simple question Norris. Do you really have 100% certainty in other areas of your personal and business life? Think about it hard there are mostly always some doubts and unknowns even if we sometimes say we are "sure".

    "I read that temperature rise had now fallen back to the pre-2015-2016 El Nino level"

    Again so what is your point? It's to be expected that temperatures fall after an el nino but its highly probable they will rise again after a few years. Its really longer term trends that count, and approx. temperature increases over a time frame, not exact temperatues 1.65382 degrees over x time frame.

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  45. nigelj @ 44

    Here is my point.  If you do not have a "base" upon which you can agree as to where the temperature has been, then how can you make judgments about the predictions of future temperature rises? How can you compare where you are if you do not know where you have started from?

    The GSM (or ESM) models have to be judged on their ability to predict the future by how successful they have been in predicting in the past.  This is the very basis of the scientific method.  Come up with a theory which is "falsifiable" and then see what happens. 

    If you have a large range on what the past was then this becomes very difficult.

    If you say that the "disagreement between the main temperature data sets is quite small" then can you provide me with the following:

    1.  Range for the period 1800 - 1900;

    2.  Range for the period 1900 - 1950

    3.  Range for the period 1950-Present

     The problem with "longer term" predictions is that we have to undertake significant changes in order to move our society from fossil fuels to other sources of energy.  We know that the temperature is going up and that clearly a significant portion is man-made.  But how fast this is going to happen is clearly material.   At the present time, my understanding is that oceans are rising at a level of 2 mm/yr (recently down from 3 mm/yr).  It has to be models predicting much higher temperatures to cause the oceans to rise at massively faster rates to get to 2-3 feet by 2100.

    Moderator:  Perhaps we should move this to the thread on climate models.  It is amazing how easy it is to move from one thing to the other because they are so related.

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  46. NorrisM @45

    "Here is my point". 

    No Norris. Please go back and answer the points I raised in detail.

    You show people no basic respect, by ignoring what they say, then have arrogance to expect to be taken seriously. Its starting to really annoy me because I dont do this.

    However I will address your points:

    "If you do not have a "base" upon which you can agree as to where the temperature has been, then how can you make judgments about the predictions of future temperature rises? How can you compare where you are if you do not know where you have started from?"

    Thats empty rhetoric. We know the historical temperature record accurately enough. Anyone with any commonsense can see this, and certainly any scientist can. Im not interested in discussing it further. You pretend to be a reasonable man, but your rhetoric shows you are most unreasonable, and with respect are a likely climate denying shill for the fossil fuel industry, and legal profession, and spend a lot of time reading websites like The Heartland Institute. It will rot your brain reading that material.

    "The GSM (or ESM) models have to be judged on their ability to predict the future by how successful they have been in predicting in the past. This is the very basis of the scientific method. Come up with a theory which is "falsifiable" and then see what happens. "

    What are you getting at? Models are absolutely not judged just on how they predict the past, its a combination of the past and future. Models have predicted the past rather well, and models run in the 1990s have predicted subsequent temperatures until 2017 quite well. Its not perfect but is certainly predicted them well. That's all any model in any field of science can do. You have been given this data before several times.

    The model is valid until someone can prove the terms in the model are wrong, or alternatively the real world proves the model wrong. Neither has happened. Temperatures from 1900 right through to 2017 are very close to the middle of model predictions. The only outlier from this is the hadcrut dataset, which is not a great dataset. This is all a  fact whether you like it or not.

    "If you say that the "disagreement between the main temperature data sets is quite small" then can you provide me with the following"

    No I wont provide it. With respect, please google the information yourself. All you do is come on this website ask people to do your homework and provide information, then when we do you "claim" links dont work, ignore the information, or dispute the information. Data for nasa, noaa temperatures etc is pretty similar. I'm not interested in nit picking.

    "The problem with "longer term" predictions is that we have to undertake significant changes in order to move our society from fossil fuels to other sources of energy. We know that the temperature is going up and that clearly a significant portion is man-made. But how fast this is going to happen is clearly material. "

    Obviously yes its material, and models give certain results and if you ignore them then its on your conscience. It's the best scientific guide to the future we have. Im not sure what else you expect. A miracle?

    "At the present time, my understanding is that oceans are rising at a level of 2 mm/yr "

    What do you mean by present time? This year, last five years, what?

    Short trends less than about five years mean nothing because natural variation makes levels fluctuate over very short periods. The ten year plus trend is more like 3.5mm and this is what counts, as has been pointed out to you about a dozen times before. A simple google search of the jason topex satellite data on sea level rise will show you this, something more for you to ignore and claim you cannot find. But once you look at a graph like this its all obvious and easier than using words.

    "It has to be models predicting much higher temperatures to cause the oceans to rise at massively faster rates to get to 2-3 feet by 2100."

    Yes models predict accelerating temperatures. And? Until you provide substantial physical and / or mathematical evidence the models are wrong, why should I take you seriously?

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  47. NorrisM @45 , (A) you do not need to await a moderation opinion, before choosing to discuss things on a fitter thread.

    (B) You are making the Denialist error of looking at various models and  failing to look at the physical reality.    Ice is melting, sea levels are rising ever faster, etcetera . . . the global warming is occurring very obviously — so it doesn't need to be "falsified" !

    MA Rodger @40 , @38 , @36 : thank you for that further background on Judith Curry.  It is in complete accordance with what I have seen in studying her blog.  ( I haven't bothered with any detailed study of Lindzen Christy & Spencer — since a large slice of their illogical thinking derives from their fundamentalist religious fixed ideas.  But Curry is interesting because she is something stranger & more peculiar ! )

    Currie makes a nauseating display of persistent intellectual dishonesty — because she flies in the face of clear logical thinking & well-proven scientific fact.   Made doubly nauseating by her attempts at a tone of self-righteous martyrdom.

    Her blog's support for Salby's nonsense is far from the only denialist craziness that she chooses to espouse slightly indirectly.   She has a tendency to put other denialists' scientifically-wacky stuff in her blog (in effect, they are "guest authors") and she keeps a few inches back from 100% endorsing this stuff, in that she delicately says she is including it for the readers' "interest" ).   ~ Again, an example of her intellectual dishonesty.

    She is indulging in plain denialism of the most unscientific sort — and the extremist politicians (senatorial and congressional) & the extremist press enjoy lapping it up. 

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  48. nigelj @ 46

    I see that the thrust of the one question you asked that I did not answer relates to how much certainty do we need before we make significant decisions.  You state:

    " We certainly have a good idea of global temperatures plus or minus a small discrepency (sic)"

    After me commenting on the Millar et al paper that has recently been published, one of the other participants suggested that I read the blog following the McKitrick article on the Judith Curry website.  In fact, I found the discussion very interesting and civil between McKitrick and Hausfather but it was too technical for me to come to any conclusions on where they ended up.

    But reading further, I came to an answer to your question regarding how much "certainty" I need or, more to the point, how much uncertainty there is there with the models? 

    First, Benjamin Webster came up with what I thought was a reasonable explanation for the differences in what the observations show and what the models have predicted and how they have been "adjusted" to correspond with actual observations so that they are very close:

    "With regard to forcing, this is apples-to-apples.
    For the past, we generally know the real-world forcings that went into the hindcasts.
    For the present simulations, they can get off if we don’t use the real-world forcings.
    That’s part of the cause of the 1998-2014 temperature “slowdown”. Solar and volcanic forcings were a little cooler than expected. But running a hindcast with the real-world forcings still gives pretty good estimate of the resulting surface temperatures."

    Just at a point when I thought, "gee" is that all there is in differences, David Springer highlighted exactly what Steve Koonin said in the APS panel that I have reference before:

    "Sorry Benjamin but estimated ECS is still 1.5C – 4.5C @ 95% confidence. By definition that’s a constant forcing. That range hasn’t been improved in 60 years of climate “science”. The low end of that range is yawn-worthy and the high side is alarming. Observed ECS is near or below the low number."

    I will not add the balance of his remark. 

    If we are still at this range, we are not talking 100% certainty, are we?  We are no where near the certainty we require before we undertake massive changes in our society. 

    This is not the place to discuss the massive changes required. 

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  49. NorrisM , you have already been shown to be wrong about "your" version of requirement of "massive changes".

    And your wildly irresponsible approach to major risk management is also clearly wrong.

    It would be a pleasant change if you put forward some valid criticisms !

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  50. NorrisM @41.

    It may be correct to say that there is differing opinion as to when is appropriate to define "pre-industrial" and thus at what level to set as the "pre-industrial" temperature, but I'm not aware of any disagreement over the temperature rise since 1900. Consider the SAT records, ((HadCRUT, GISS, NOAA, BEST) they each present a temperature anomaly for the late 1800s (perhaps the average for the 1890s would suit as a pre-1900 value) and an anomaly for the most recent calender year 2016, yielding the following temperature rises:  1.13ºC, 1.25ºC, 0.93ºC, 1.33ºC. This shows a spread of results but given the differing methods employed this is to be expected. The average is 1.16ºC which to 2dp is 1.2ºC. The WMO (who define "pre-industrial" as late 1800s) provide the following graph which demonstrates this rise.

    WMO graph

    My use of the value 1.2ºC @40 was not intended to carry much weight. Rather it was demonstrating the way in which Curry was mis-representing the hockey-stick analysis. I mention the rise since 1900, the IPCC has passed attribution on the rise since 1950 which is the majority of the rise since 1900. It is this IPCC attribution that lies at the heart of Curry's denialism, a subject on which she has blogged at length many times.

    Concerning the El Nino, I would suggest that the El Nino is now behind us and the rise since 1900 to the last 12 months comes out as 1.06ºC.

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