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« New Scientist on the AR5 leak | Main | Propaganda Bureau in print »

The calm after the storm

After the leak of the AR5 Second Order Draft, initial attention was directed at the IPCC's partial retreat on the solar influence on climate. However, the focus seems to have shifted overnight to weather extremes, with Pielke Jr tweeting up a storm.

1/2 Draft IPCC Ch2 bottom line on extremes: "generally low confidence that there have been discernable changes over the observed record"

2/2 con't ...on lack of trends in extremes, exceptions are trends seen in temperature extremes and regional precipitation (but not floods)

As Ryan Maue responded, the IPCC might have better expressed this as "we have high confidence that natural variability dominates any AGW influence in observed/historical TC records". Pielke continues...

IPCC AR5 draft shows almost complete reversal from AR4 on trends in drought, hurricanes, floods and is now consistent with scientific lit

Of course IPCC AR5 is a draft but the scientific literature it is reporting is available for all to see, and AR5 has it presented accurately

I have been critical of past IPCC assessments on the science of extremes. But after SREX and now IPCC AR5 SOD the IPCC is 2 for 2. Nice job!

So what happens now to those whose views on extremes run counter to IPCC? Are they now the new "deniers"? Somehow I doubt it ;-)

However, it's not all good news. Richard Tol notes that the WG2 first order draft was "unreconstituted alarmism". We will be kept busy.

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Reader Comments (65)

does anybody know what an "extreme" is?

Dec 15, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Now we know why the IPCC were 'not invited to COP18'

The Kyoto Treaty can now be cited as invalid.

see Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Article 47 Error
Article 48 Fraud
Article 49 Corruption of a representative of a State
Article 50 Coercion of a representative of a State

Oh Hum

Dec 15, 2012 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Actually, a lot of things are starting to come out of the woodwork:

1 - admission about increased role for solar
2 - admission that the models' predictions have failed and that temperature is flatlining
3 - the strange case of the missing water vapour paper
4 - the extreme lack of extremes
5 - ...?

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

"However, it's not all good news."

Bish your proclivity for understatement is noted.

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

But, alas, this spill is without a Harry_read_me file...

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

Or did the IPCC just float this out there, so they would find out what holes skeptics would pick, and move to plug them?

From the Sydney Moonbat Herald:

Mr Rawls claimed the report contained an ”admission” that galactic cosmic rays were having a strong influence on the Earth’s climate.

But a lead author of the relevant section of the report, Professor Steve Sherwood of the University of NSW, said the theory had been rejected later in the report after a review of peer-reviewed research.

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

IPCC theme song?

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

"Richard Tol notes that the WG2 first order draft was "unreconstituted alarmism". "

'So will be the rest of it, once we do our final ‘edit’ of the report and triumphantly release it. The fanfares and shrouds to wave to an admiring press and planet saving politicians are already booked. The BBC is already having training days in the beneficial application of extreme hyperbole.'

Dec 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

What really matters is the impact this process will have on the politics and the measures previously imposed on us (Climate Change Act, Climate Change Committee, RoCs etc) and on future scientific advice to government. When challenged, politicians hide behind the scientific advice from successive Chief Scientists. What will the new Chief Scientist now advise? Will he change the mood music? If the next IPCC Report does indeed reflect the the doubts and uncertainties expressed in the draft it could provide both the scientific establishment and the politicians a means to unhook themselves from the hook on which they are presently impaled. That is a big "if" given the strength of the lobby against such a change. But it does suggest that the potential is there, provided by new "evidence", if they choose to take it.

Two points may be relevant here. First, when authorising the resumption of drilling for shale gas, the minister`s recent statement was very careful to rely on the advice of the RS and the Royal College of Engineering. In between the many ifs, buts and qualifications, it also rejected many objections (eg tap water being set on fire) as being without foundation. This approach of getting new advice from the Chief Scientist would also provide a means for politicians to extricate themselves if they choose to take it. As they hold the purse strings I have no doubt they could secure such advice if they put their minds to it. They would still have to fight the propaganda battle - not easy after years of BBCs brainwashing of the public.

The second is an apparent change in mood in Germany. Having dumped their future nuclear programme, German politicians have woken up to their own energy crisis and have authorised the building of several coal fired stations. This article in Spiegel Online:
indicates a growing disenchantment with the COP jamborees and even calls to drop the 2 degree C temperature target. Even the die hard global warmists are looking for alternatives. No dounbt the leaking of the draft IPPC report will only reinforce the disenchantment.

Dec 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Anoneumouse said: "Now we know why the IPCC were 'not invited to COP18'"

Unfortunately they were there. When they were invited I don't know but they are listed on the provisional list of participants (page 21) dated 26th November 2012 and the final list of participants (page 144) dated 7th December 2012.

Dec 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

What's alarming is that despite this release showing that current weather effects are not linked or caused by CAGW, there appears to be a massive PR campaign of disinformation in the MSM at the moment to the exact opposite view. The 'dirty/wierd' wether meme.

Just today all the MSM outlets are gleefully reporting a new poll that shows that even skeptics are being convinced that the current 'extreme' weather is directly linked to CAGW.

It's curious that their pretence to scientific authority is being abandoned and the end of the world crowd revert to their true position of hand-waving and hysterical screaming.

Are the warmist crowd doubling down?

Dec 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record


Unfortunately the CSA's selection process ensures that candidates possess appropriate "sensitivity to the wider policy environment", as recommended of course by the Royal Society.

'31. The significance of the standing of a CSA is twofold: first, it enables a CSA to benefit from the expertise of the national and global scientific community (external influence) and, secondly, it may bear upon a CSA's capacity to exercise influence within the department (internal influence) (an issue which we consider further in Chapter 4). With regard to external influence, the Royal Society commented: "CSAs ... draw significantly on national and international networks of experts in providing specific advice. This requires the CSA to command the respect and support of the domestic and global scientific communities".[52] The Royal Society described a CSA as being a "convenor of experts".[53] Lord May of Oxford, former GCSA, also said that CSAs had to be able to access a wide range of expertise, and the Institute of Physics (IoP) said that CSAs had to be able to evaluate this information.[54] Professor John Pethica, Physical Secretary and Vice President of the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), made similar points.[55]

34. Dr Richardson (HMT CSA) and Carole Willis (DfE CSA), both CSAs appointed from within the civil service, identified understanding and working within the policy landscape and familiarity with departmental structures as important for CSAs.[63] The Royal Society argued that CSAs require a "sensitivity to the wider policy environment" if they are to provide independent advice and challenge effectively.[64] We note, for example, that Professor Sir Robert Watson, Defra CSA, had had previous experience of the policy process whilst working at the White House, where he was responsible for "ensuring that science underpinned policy making".[65] '

Dec 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

The same issues are carried forward to the Summary for Policymakers.

Page 3 Lines 46-48

Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed, but the level of confidence in these changes varies widely depending on type of extreme and regions considered. Overall the most robust global changes are seen in measures of temperature {FAQ 2.2, 2.6} (see Table SPM.1).

Translated, the IPCC are saying that there is no strong evidence that extreme weather is due to anything other than naturally changing climate.

Page 4 Lines 14 to 16.

Tropical cyclone data provides low confidence that any reported long-term changes are robust, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. This is a revision from previous IPCC Assessments Reports, but consistent with the SREX.

Translated, the IPCC are saying that in the last report they were wrong and Roger Pielke Jnr was right.

There are other elements that are significant in the SPM that I picked up.
- Sea level rise is trivial and not accelerating - due to lack of accelerating ice melt.
- There is an admission of grossly overestimating the impact of aerosols in AR4. But the IPCC is are very confident that they have found Trenberth's missing heat in the deep oceans, despite "sparse sampling".

Dec 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

No one should even listen to what the IPCC says anymore, much less accept that they are pursuing a legal or authoritative process.

Dec 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

Nice to see the recommendations for Geoff Chamber's reasoned comment outscoring all the resident hysterics on this over at Graun CIF -

Dec 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Gareth - Yes but this is the IPCC we are talking about, that doesn't mean they were there.

Dec 15, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

I can't yet find where the absence of the predicted "Tropospheric Hot-Spot" is discussed, or even mentioned, in the document. Can anyone else help me out or suggest which chapter it is in?

Dec 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

oldtimer said: "The second is an apparent change in mood in Germany. Having dumped their future nuclear programme, German politicians have woken up to their own energy crisis and have authorised the building of several coal fired stations."

The planning to build many new coal power stations came before Germany jettisoned nuclear power from their plans.

From 2008 comes this Telegraph article: 'UK should call for freeze on the 75 new coal -fired power stations planned for Europe'

An undated Friends of the Earth page claims credit for blocking 15 of 30 in Germany. Lately it has been said there will be 23.

The numbers dipped due to green pressure and grew again after the Fukushima knee-jerk but Germany had planned to build new coal power anyway.

Dec 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Meanwhile, the best the Guardian come up with is this ...

AP poll shows that events like superstorm Sandy are succeeding with climate sceptics where scientists have been failing

Polls now prove that climate change causes extreme weather. Science at its best...

Dec 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Australian Andrew Bolt:

"So who are the sceptics and “deniers” now? The draft of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has been leaked - and it dumps many of the alarmist claims once made about the effects of man-made warming.

Professor Roger Pielke Jr sums up via tweets

IPCC AR5 draft shows almost complete reversal from AR4 on trends in drought, hurricanes, floods and is now consistent with scientific literature

IPCC AR5 Draft: “we have high confidence that natural variability dominates any AGW influence in observed/historical TC records”

Draft IPCC Ch2 bottom line on extremes: “generally low confidence that there have been discernable changes over the observed record”
on lack of trends in extremes, exceptions are trends seen in temperature extremes and regional precipitation (but not floods)

On XTCs “unlike in AR4, it is assessed here..there is low confidence of regional changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones”

Bottom line IPCC trop cyclones same as SREX: “low confidence that any reported long term increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust”

More IPCC draft Ch2 on trop cyclones: “current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency”

IPCC on trop cyclones “AR4 assessment needs to be somewhat revised with respect to the confidence levels associated with observed trends”

IPCC draft Ch2 on drought: “The current assessment does not support the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts”

More IPCC Ch2: “low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”

More IPCC draft report: Ch2: “there is currently no clear and widespread evidence for observed changes in flooding” except timing of snowmelt

And, of course, there is an admission the world isn’t warming as predicted - which may come as news to the Press Council.

Dec 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

In view of the FACT that there has been no warming for over 12 years, here is something from my "Collection". It is titled "Cooling alarmists 1970s and I picked it up somewhere several years ago.

Just goes to show nothing really changes!!!

The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population.
—Reid Bryson, “Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man”, (1971)
The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
—Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (1968)
I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1969)
In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
—Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1976)
This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.
—Peter Gwynne, Newsweek 1976
There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon… The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologist are hard-pressed to keep up with it.
—Newsweek, April 28, (1975)
This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000.
—Lowell Ponte in “The Cooling”, 1976
If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. … This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.
—Kenneth E.F. Watt on air pollution and global cooling, Earth Day (1970)

Dec 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

My congratulations to Geoff Chambers for his astonishing patience with many of the Guardian comments referred to by Foxgoose.

Peter Walsh,
Do you know if any of today's premier alarmists has contended with this bit of alarmist past? Doesn't it seem a bit like counterpoint where the phrase is inverted and repeated?

Dec 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Thanks for the clarification on German coal fired power stations. Nevertheless I detect a change of tone in the articles posted by Spiegel -not least because of the damage, both real and potential, caused to German industry by current energy policies.

Dec 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Thanks Foxgoose and jferguson for the kind words. However, there is no way of knowing whether the gchambers currently commenting on Guardian articles is me. Another member of my family has a name begining with g.
No-one’s noted how strange it is to put out a draft Summary for Policy Makers at the same time as a draft WG1. How can you start drafting a summary of something before you’ve finished writing it? Any change in the main document has to be reflected in the summary (unless you accidentally forget, of course).
Since this is the bit journalists and politicians will read, this is what needs analysing if we want to know the likely effect of AR5, as manicbeancounter has been doing, very usefully.

Dec 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Presumably you know whether it's you or not in the Guardian. Is it a secret?

Dec 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Michael Hart, Dec 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM;

Regarding the missing hotspot - check Chapter 9 - page 26 ( Upper tropospheric temperature trends).

Dec 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterFergalR

yep .. obvious answer innit? - an extreme is "whatever we say it is" - I'm more curious about climate weirding a la Harrabin

I've noticed that at the moment any mention of rain in the UK triggers a flurry of MSM extreme weather warnings and if there aren't any handy local floods there's a tiered reference system of global floods and then historical floods and eventually we end up at Noah and Bob Ballard.

Dec 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commentertomo

Geoff - I agree about the SPM. From the quick skim I had it looks to be full of highlight boxes with very confident statements. This seems at odds with the message from elsewhere - maybe they have been highlighted as in need of revision?

Dec 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

For those who know: In earlier(ex. TAR, AR4) IPCC assessments were there major changes between the 1st and 2nd drafts and the final versions? Perhaps this public leak might tend to curtail wholesale changes.

Dec 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlej08

Does anyone know if the Gergis et al paper is cited anywhere in the AR5 draft?

Given that it was intended, so I understand, to be the major Australasian contribution to AR5, conclusively demonstrating no SH MWP, and was then more or less instantly shown to be tripe from start to finish, I am intrigued to know if some zealous IPCC place-seeker has nonetheless contrived a way to smuggle it in as further evidence of peer-reviewed (oh, give me strength!) CAGW.

Dec 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

"I can't yet find where the absence of the predicted "Tropospheric Hot-Spot" is discussed, or even mentioned, in the document. Can anyone else help me out or suggest which chapter it is in?"

Chapter 10 figure 10.7, mentioned on page 10-96 table entry 5 right hand column, also discussed page 10-22 lines 12-20, also alluded to page 10-23 lines around 32-41.

"Chapter 2 concludes that it is virtually certain that globally the troposphere has warmed since the mid-
twentieth century with only medium to low confidence in the rate and vertical structure of these changes. Evidence is robust that during the satellite era CMIP3 and CMIP5 models warm faster than observations specifically in the tropics (Fu et al., 2011; McKitrick et al., 2010; Santer et al., 2012) (see also Chapter 9). The likely causes for this inconsistency between observed and simulated free troposphere warming are not understood and include factors like errors in observations, specific manifestation of natural variability in observed coupled atmosphere-ocean system, forcing errors included in the historical simulations, and model response errors (Santer et al., 2012) (Chapter 9)."

There may be more, but that was what I found after a quick look.

Dec 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

The SPM and the WG1 science are two different things. I believe that the body of WG1 was a fair effort at trying to get the science together to give the policy makers something to base policy on. This appears to have changed after the TAR, when the reasonable, moderate and modest tones that we expect from scientists changed dramatically.The climategate emails gave us a glimpse at the behind the scenes activities to keep out papers that didn't support the required answer. If that failed these gangsters ( I don't use that word lightly, they're gangsters, maybe small time, stupid, gangsters working , probably unwittingly, because they are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame for the odious people who run the NGOs, but gangsters nontheless) either dismissed the relevant papers or simply ignored them in the SPM.

The SPM is a political document, it has only one intention, and that is nothing to do with science. It is intended to frighten the bejasus out of the people so that the "green solutions" and concomitant financial pains associated with them, are accepted by the people as necessary.

I hear from some very genuine climate scientists that what they want to get from their communications strategies is respect for scientists. From my perspective there is already widespread respect for scientists, far too much if you ask me. Enough for the establishment to arrange 3 separate investigations of the climategate emails so that the "scientists" were exonerated and, we are led to believe, despite the clear evidence of wrongdoing, blameless.

I note that two of the reviewers have leaked the documents related to what is in WG1, presumably because they can see important papers challenging the "science of global warming" are going to be ignored and have tried to make this public.

Won't work I'm afraid, there is blanket censorship in the MSM of anyone expressing views contrary to the, what I now believe, ludicrous suggestion that variations in CO2 in the atmosphere can cause temperatures to rise by up to 6C.

Dec 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I don't know if I have posted this before, but here is the blueprint of the post-USSR lefts views on the movements way forward, dated 1995. This article if from the Fourth International.

Dec 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

This should be overstamped in red across every page of the Summary for Policymakers.

'The extreme overconfidence of many of their conclusions is bewildering' - Judith Curry'

(Dr Judith A Curry-
Climatologist- Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Member of the National Research Council's Climate Research Committee, co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society)

Dec 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Is there an anthropogenic signal in any observations of key indicators anywhere?
Accelerating sea-level increase: no.
Accelerating global ice loss: no.
Average global temperature: no.
Extreme weather events: no.

Irrespective of the science being 'settled' on CO2 in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, it is clear that the hypothesised feedback via water vapour is low to non-existent. Climate science in its well-funded diligence has therefore proved that there is no alarming effect from increasing atmospheric CO2. We should thank those scientists for being so thorough and then move on.

Dec 15, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

You''ll probably find that public perception of links between extreme weather events and the warming trend will run ahead of the ability to link them statistically (witness the Bloomberg Business Week headline after superstorm Sandy "It's Global Warming Stupid" and the poll results referred to in this thread). One reason for that is that people's memories are generally shorter than the relevant instrumental records, and they can only compare present day events with what they can remember.

The key is whether or not there is in fact a link. If there is a link, there will be more extreme events (as predicted) and those public perceptions will strengthen and eventually science will catch up and report statistically significant connections. If there is no link, the number of perceived extreme events will fall and peoples' concerns about climate change will likely also weaken.

However, because the model physics indicate that there is a link and provide various mechanisms for it, it seems reasonable to adopt that as the null hypothesis, at least until it can be shown that the number and intensity of extreme events are not increasing

Dec 15, 2012 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Butler

This specific debate is unlikely to capture the public's, or most journalists' imagination, due to its technicality. But there are plenty of other interesting and clear cut conclusions in the draft AR5 document. For example:

"there is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to
human influence"
I seem to have managed to wind up a few of the AGW-faithful, by quoting AR5.

Thus all those who try to link Hurricane Sandy (a tropical cyclone because it started in the tropics) are contradicted by the IPCC.

Of course, some will say I've cherry-picked. But that's only in response to all those who have cherry-picked Sandy as an example of man-made global warming. A cherry-pick that finally got Obama to mention climate change in his acceptance speech.


Yes, I have cherry picked, but its a typical example of many. How about: "It is very likely that the overall number of cold days and nights has decreased and the overall number of 2 warm days and nights has increased on the global scale between 1951 and 2010". Only 'very likely'? I'd be happy to say 'pretty well certain' given that the world did warm during that period. But the 'very likely's' are generally no more exciting than that.

With regard to Sandy, this is not the tired old caveat of saying 'you can't link individual events to global warming, but.....'. Instead, the IPCC is saying it has trouble finding ANY association between cyclones (and various other extremes of weather).

If this is the worst they can find BEFORE its watered down by the politics of those more sceptical countries, I think we can all feel some relief.

(I seem to be getting away without being moderated recently.)

Dec 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Paul Butler - putting aside "model physics" for the moment. How does the historical temperature record correlate with extreme weather events? As the global avg. temp clearly has yearly peaks troughs do we find that these extreme events correlate with temperature? Do you have any good references which support a link? And do they offer comment on which is the leader? Event or temperature? Thanks.

Dec 15, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Yes, this is much more significant than that one sentence about the sun and cosmic rays.

Read the summary at the start of Chapter 2. It backtracks on several claims made in AR4 regarding droughts, floods and storms. The difference is that the relevant chapter of AR4 (ch 3) was written by Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth, whereas Ch 2 of AR5 seems to have been written by scientists.

Dec 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

geoffchambers writes:

"No-one’s noted how strange it is to put out a draft Summary for Policy Makers at the same time as a draft WG1. How can you start drafting a summary of something before you’ve finished writing it? Any change in the main document has to be reflected in the summary (unless you accidentally forget, of course)."

Pardon me for stating the obvious answer to your question. When the science cannot guide you then you need something to guide you. Hence, the Summary for Policy Makers.

Dec 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Paul Butler (5:37 PM): "However, because the model physics indicate that there is a link and provide various mechanisms for it, it seems reasonable to adopt that as the null hypothesis".

I disagree. The model contains the conjecture. It would be unusual to make the conjecture the null hypothesis. That ought to be a synonym for 'nothing has changed'. That is what puts the 'null' into the 'null hypothesis'.

Now, in general we know that 'someting has changed' when testing a null hypothesis. For example that the mean diamater of the hairs on the left-hand side of your head is different from the mean diameter on the right. It almost certainly is. But our null will be that it isn't, and we shall use our test procedure first of all to see if our sample data can reliably detect a difference, and if so, then to note the direction and likely magnitude of that difference.

I note that Trenberth once wanted to make 'climate change' the null (presumably with a little bit more definition of what he meant). Which was a clever wheeze for an activist since it would put the burden of disproof on to what many call the sceptics.

Dec 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade

I was puzzled by that at first. Then I looked back at his previous sentence, and assumed he meant the null referred to that.

Dec 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Dec 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Agouts

Does anyone know if the Gergis et al paper is cited anywhere in the AR5 draft?

yeah I was curious too - Look in Chapter 5 paleo there are references to Gergis. And the PAGES 2K consortium. Which has been fully identified as the back up plan to get their crap passed as science if the first attempt fails ;)

Yeah I thought the same about Gergis after that recent travesty where they couldn't account for the missing credibility in paleo ;)

The Gergis attempt to be a de facto climate God is one of the most delightful episodes of climate bollox that I have seen. And you should know I have seen a lot;)

I fully recommend to any newcomer to investigate.

My personal memories start with a guy called Frank on this site berating commenters (including me) for being dumb enough to be too early to slag the paper off for being an exercise in cherry picking a la Mann. No, it turns out they thought better and they actually covered their asses by making sure they "detrended" their proxy series.

The rest is history.

Start here:

Dec 15, 2012 at 7:39 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

John Shade

In my definition (and perhaps for Trenberth as well) 'nothing has changed' means that the outcome of he physics will be as predicted - ie that a warming climate will result in more extreme events. The hypothesis can be falsified if the climate warms and there are not more extreme events.

But I think the point of my posting is that (whichever way you put it) it won't be testable until quite a lot more data has come in, and that if the hypothesis is in fact correct, the public will be aware of it well before it can be statistically verified.

IPCC is correct to be cautious, but saying the link can't be made is a long way from saying that it has been falsified.

Dec 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Butler

By that reasoning, all these things are presumably scientifically hypothecated, and stand until falsified.

Dec 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I like "Pielke Jr tweeting up a storm." :)

Pielke Jr is a damn fine documenter of the prevalent alarmist assholery today

Yeah, I see the detachment from a basic statements of rationality is getting further on the "non-denier" side. It seems ever more surreal that the "mainstream" narrative doesn't correct this. We hear that temperature rise is accelerating, hurricanes are on the increase, weather is "weirder", all without any decent evidence offered or with clear evidence to the opposite being available. The only acceleration is the shrillness of the rhetoric and the extent of detachment from reality; yet the so called rational, evidenced based mainstream talking heads on science smile on in evident approval, wittering on about anything else whilst maintaining the claim to be bastions of rationality.

Keep it up I say. I think we just need to document these smug assholes tacit approval and make sure they are buried along with the rest when the inevitable correction comes.

Dec 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Agouts and Leopard--

Yes, the Gergis hockey stick for "Australasia" made it in to a Figure showing similar hockey sticks for 8 other areas with the reference being to the PAGES consortium. Unfortunately, I can't give a page reference, having (figuratively) thrown the book across the room at that stage.

Dec 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterLance Wallace

Paul Butler
Your reasoning is so perverted my simple-minded common sense interprets it as being just plain wrong.

Dec 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Alej08, one of the weaknesses of the IPCC process is that there is nothing to stop the more unscrupulous IPCC authors adding anything they like into the final report, after the second round of expert review. There were several instances of this in the last IPCC report. In particular, the IPCC employed a 'science communicator' Susan Hassol, to 'sex up' some sections of the report (the FAQ parts which are less technical) leading to greatly exaggerated claims. This was discussed here at BH somewhere.

The Gergis paper is not explicitly cited I think, but the results of it are presented apparently unchanged, in a 'Pages consortium' paper. Steve Mc spotted this and discussed it back in October (it appears that somebody leaked the SoD report to Steve).

Dec 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

John Shade writes:

"I disagree. The model contains the conjecture. It would be unusual to make the conjecture the null hypothesis. That ought to be a synonym for 'nothing has changed'. That is what puts the 'null' into the 'null hypothesis'."

Very well said. It amounts to saying that "the future will resemble the past" where "the past" means the conjecture in the model. Since the conjecture is a creature of the model then the future will necessarily resemble the past. There is no null hypothesis given these bizarre assumptions. The null hypothesis must be specifiable apart from the model.

Dec 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

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