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« The Crazy Gang | Main | Nordhaus and the sixteen »
Wednesday
Apr042012

Another rebuttal

Richard Betts points us to this paper by a group of climatologists who seek to rebut Richard Lindzen's talk at the House of Commons the other day. The authors are, in the main, familiar names. John Mitchell and Brian Hoskins featured regularly in the Climategate emails and both were involved in the coverups too; Eric Wolff made a couple of brief visits to BH in the wake of the Cambridge Conference last year, but was put off by the over-hostile reaction from commenters; Tim Palmer has been mentioned on the pages of BH a couple of times. Keith Shine is less familiar to me although he too has been mentioned before as one of the members of the Royal Society's advisory panel on climate change (as indeed are most of the others).

With my current focus on climate models, here's an interesting excerpt:

At every stage models should be evaluated by exhaustive comparison with observations. The models encapsulate our understanding of the basic science of the climate system, including for example, Newton’s laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics and the quantum theory of radiation. When deficiencies are found at one level then improvements are sought and the lessons learnt should cascade to models at other levels. This is, of course, the ideal: the actual development of the science is rather more irregular but very definitely in this direction. Even the models at the more complete and complex end contain many uncertainties and deficiencies, which are widely recognised within the modelling community, but they are the best guide we have as to how the climate system may change in the future. Their results are not to be accepted in an unquestioning manner; they should be analysed in detail, with the dominant processes behind any climate variability and change thoroughly investigated using observations and simpler models in the hierarchy.

I think the words "out of sample" need inserting in a couple of places in that paragraph. I think it would also have helped if Hoskins had reiterated his earlier clarification about the limitations of climate models - namely that they are "lousy".

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    Response: lock picking guide
    [...]- Bishop Hill blog - Another rebuttal[...]

Reader Comments (212)

Bish

Thanks for highlighting this response.

Your description of the authors is odd but I guess I shouldn't be surprised!

Brian Hoskins and Tim Palmer are two of the world's leading experts on atmospheric dynamics, John Mitchell was one of the very first people to model the climate with numerical models, Eric Wolff is one of the leading experts on ice, and Keith Shine is a leading expert in radiative forcing (he was also one of my advisors for my PhD in Meteorology at Reading University).

I am confident that this is a very sound, solid article.

It will be interesting to see the discussion that follows here. Will people focus on the scientific content, or on your remarks about the authors?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

"they are the best guide we have as to how the climate system may change in the future"

That phrase struck me. I am sure they are the best guide and that they are improving. But are they good enough to justify massive distortion of economies with all the risks that that brings?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

I posted about this on unthreaded:

I was unhappy with the statement that

Contemporary science suggests unambiguously that there is a substantial risk that these feedbacks will lead to human-induced surface temperature change considerably larger than 1oC in global average this century and beyond


then I begin to think these people have an agenda and it isn't based on science. They present no evidence, just assertions and models, to support the use of positive feedbacks.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Richard

I know what you mean - as you know I try not to be snide. But it seems to me that if people have behaved badly - as Mitchell and Hoskins have - then one should say so. I'm considering a posting on some of the principles involved here.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Phillip Bratby

Hi Philip

I can categorically assure you that Brian, John, Keith, Tim and Eric (who I all know well) do not have an agenda, other than simply explaining what contemporary climate science suggests regarding the magnitude of future warming.

The evidence behind their article is here

Note that they don't talk about future impacts, either "dangerous" or otherwise, and also they specifically say:

It is up to policy makers, not scientists, to decide whether governments should take concerted mitigating action to try to reduce this risk. On this we do not comment.

Cheers

Richard

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

What do the models say about the Trenberth energy budget? Do they embody its assumptions as code or parameters, or do they, working from physical principles, produce data from which a budget in the Trenberth form may be constructed?

Oh, and has anybody ever modelled a square metre and compared the result with observations? Or would that be a stupid thing to do, and if so why?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

What I find fascinating is the belief that models do 'science' and are therefore evidence for the AGW belief system. Because the models have cost the tax payer £30 million and counting, they have become self-justifying: they have to be shown to be worth it! The models ignore day and night, ignore the fact that the earth is a spinning sphere - they average sun's input over day and night, they have to treat the earth as in effect a spinning disc (ie they are true flat earth models), When mountains were introduced, the atmospheric flow in the models broke the sound barrier going over these mountains.

'Models are always wrong but are sometimes useful'.
The current crop of GCMs are useful insofar as they show that the assumptions programmed in are wrong - in particular the assumption that increasing CO2 has positive feedbacks (rendering the whole atmosphere fundamentally unstable - which is obviously false seeing as the earth has had orders of magnitude greater amounts of CO2 yet the climate has never crashed). None the less this is a useful result, albeit a very expensive one: that the assumptions about CO2 are wrong.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

All UNEP/IPCC "climate" projections are based on the politically established UNFCCC.

How too scientifically validate something that is mostly based on ideology/politics?

In other words people that defend the UNFCCC climate projection are defending ideology/politics against the scrutiny of science.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

They saved the best bit to last...

The scientific method has served society well for many hundreds of years, and we see no reason to doubt its validity for trying to quantify the risk of climate change and its impacts on society this century.

Has the "scientific method" really been used before to "quantify future impacts on society" ?

I must have missed that bit in my studies. Real scientists try to predict the physical world.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

@Philip Bratby (and Richard B)

"suggests unambiguously"

What impression am I supposed to be left with from the use of this near meaningless and virtually tautological phrase?

If it merely suggests, how do I then conclude with a straight face that it's also unambiguous?

And then we have "substantial". What is that supposed to mean qualitatively?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

... suggests ...

Is this science ?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Richard

So when Hoskins, as a member of the "independent" Committee on Climate Change, advises the UK Government on setting and meeting carbon budgets and on preparing for the impacts of climate change, he actually tells them ("suggets") that everything is based on "lousy" climate models?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Oops not "tautological" of course, quite the reverse, self-contradictory. My vocabulary has abandoned me after this mornings early shovelling.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Unaware of this thread, I posted this on "Unthreaded":

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM | Richard Betts

Thanks, Richard: as you suggested, I’ve read the Hoskins et al note in detail. And I did so keeping in mind Lindzen’s introductory comment (Slide 2):

The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such.

Although the paper may contain some valid criticism of Lindzen (I leave that to those who are better qualified than I), the test of its validity must be whether or not it demonstrates that he is wrong to state that “the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is … minimal”. That, I suggest, is the key issue: if evidence for such connection is weak, what basis is there for the global economic and political upheaval we’re told is essential?

And, as Phillip Bratby has shown, the paper fails the test in its first paragraph – repeated BTW in the “Concluding Comments”. (How incidentally can you “suggest” something “unambiguously”? And what does “substantial risk” mean?) I can find nothing elsewhere that demonstrates a strong warming/catastrophe connection. Indeed, in places the authors seem to agree with Lindzen. For example, in the section entitled “Models”, they say:

Even the models at the more complete and complex end contain many uncertainties and deficiencies, which are widely recognised within the modelling community, but they are the best guide we have as to how the climate system may change in the future.

That “the best guide we have” contains “many uncertainties and deficiencies”, surely demonstrates precisely the weakness of the connection?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

So how does, "Their results are not to be accepted in an unquestioning manner;" tally with the same scientist's briefings and activism that the models should be accepted in an unquestioning manner. Unquestioning to the point of changing global energy, taxation and economic policies, and calling for the re-education of those who do question the models.

Funny that.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Can someone point me to the model which predicted no statistically significant warming over the last 15 years?

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

"Suggests unambiguously"
There is a possibility that it is clear.
We are certain that this might be the case.
If nothing else, this is an abuse of the language.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Best ≠ Sufficient

for some values of sufficient.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Richard

If scientists are passing the buck to policymakers as they say

It is up to policy makers, not scientists, to decide whether governments should take concerted mitigating action to try to reduce this risk

then I suggest that you scientists at the Met Office and academia come out of your cosy world at Exeter and other locations and see what the effect of passing the buck is.

Travel to North Devon and ask the people whose lives have been made a misery by the noise and visual intrusion of England's largest onshore wind farm at Fullabrook Down. Ask them how their health is. Go to other areas of North Devon and you wll find hundreds or thousands of desperate people who are under the threat from wind farms and from single, huge wind turbines being applied for by greedy developers. The whole of the countryside, the economy and people's lives are under threat from the policy makers to whom you scientists have passed the buck.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

With reference to the dodgy accelerated warming IPCC graph, much tweeting about yesterday.

I note that hoskins was all for the 25,50,100 year trend lines that give a highly inapropiate acceleration of gw. thus I question his judgement.

Thanks to Paul Matthews with this, Tamsin agreed yesterday that Paul was right.
DougMcneall said hey, we knew all about that before Paul did. And told ne to 'calm down, dear'

In that statement I see differences of opinion and assertion, between then And Lindzen. Not evidence if who is right or wrong..

I wonder how long they were all working in that in the tax payers dime?
Meanwhile, real world China and India will grow their emission for decades on the back if coal.
It would be rational political descision, even if agw were real and even dangerous, for the UK to do nithing, with respect to decarbonisation. And to just concentrate on adaption

Thus these scientists are attempting to influence worlds policy and the UK. Which is beyond their remit


There are not just 'limitations' to computer models and the physics involved. The issue us that the climate us a complex chaotic non linear system, and you just cannot do what they are attempting to do with Gcm's however big or fast the computer is

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Richard if all of the UK's CO2 was stopped tomorrow, what is the models estimate of the reduction in world temperature? Do not come back with the answer that it will lead the rest of the world to do something, just answer that question.

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

I think we're at risk of the Xmas Day football match in the trenches petering out here.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

With respect, my Lord Bishop, I don't think your excerpt is quite fair.
The paragraph begins with the following:

Models
RSL generally uses the term models to refer to coupled ocean-land-atmosphere general circulation models7. He contrasts these general circulation models with reasoning involving “physical processes that can be independently assessed by both observations and basic theory”. We prefer to think of a hierarchy of models from the basic theory and those models designed to focus on a limited range of processes, to the most complex general circulation models which represent many components of the climate system (the atmosphere, the oceans, the land surface, and the cryosphere). At every stage models should be evaluated by exhaustive comparison with observations.

This plus your citation is surely what we should be discussing in its entirety.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Bish:

John Mitchell and Brian Hoskins featured regularly in the Climategate emails and both were involved in the coverups too

100% accurate and 100% fair comment. What this means is that these men have badly tarnished their reputations for being 'one of the very first people to model the climate with numerical models' and 'one of the world's leading experts on atmospheric dynamics, respectively - and much more importantly have brought science itself into disrepute. Climategate and the corruption of science as someone once wrote.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

"the earth has had orders of magnitude greater amounts of CO2 yet the climate has never crashed"

That does seem to be unanswerable and implies that whatever feedbacks exist, they are negative. The reconstructions of prehistoric climate I've seen also indicate that there is a ceiling for global temperature of around 25C, or about 12C more than now.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

On this we do not comment.

Well bully for them! The problem is that so many climate scientists are not only commenting but trying to force governments into drastic, expensive and maybe (?) unnecessary action. Also bullying those not convinced by their recommendations.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Those of you who have read Dan Gardner's book 'Future Babble' will know that the more 'expert' an 'expert' is, the more probable it is that their predictions will be wrong.
Also, as I have said before on here; beware of people with strongly held views, they are usually wrong.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered Commentermunroad

Peter Whale

"if all of the UK's CO2 was stopped tomorrow, what is the models estimate of the reduction in world temperature"

The reduction in temperature inside my house would be very noticeable! The rest of the world, less so...

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"Richard Betts points us to..." The "stars"?

It is said that the fool looks at the finger that points to the stars, but dogs do this too: they know there's no threat from the stars.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSleepalot

[Could you try to be a bit more respectful]

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Buck -

http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf
is the article from which the following quote comes:

Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Registered Commentermatthu

Which of the models predicted no warming for the last 15 years?

What does that model say is likely to happen over the next 15 years?

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeide De Klein

At every stage models should be evaluated by exhaustive comparison with observations.

BH I think they need to add the word 'Honest' in there somewhere

Apr 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Richard Betts: does Keith Shine believe the IR flux from the Earth's surface equals that predicted by the S-B equation for a black body in a vacuum? And does he agree that this is because the measured IR flux has added to it 'back radiation' from the atmosphere acting as an energy source?

If so then he's absolutely wrong and if you ask any other process engineer who has actually measured coupled convection and radiation, they will confirm this. The upshot is that according to Trenberth et. al. 2009, the energy put into the atmosphere is 2.7 times higher than reality thus showing the positive feedback claimed by the IPCC is an artefact of incorrect physics.

Add in Hansen's false assumption in 1981 that all the '33 K' is GHG warming when ~24 K is lapse rate warming, and the IPCC models apparently exaggerate GHG-AGW by a factor of 10. As for the claim that this 'heating' is hidden by cooling from polluted clouds, that is equally barmy because there's a second optical effect missed by Sagan which reverses the sign of the effect. More on that later.

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Richard Betts quotes his colleagues:

"It is up to policy makers, not scientists, to decide whether governments should take concerted mitigating action to try to reduce this risk. On this we do not comment."

While I applaud your efforts, Richard, to engage with "skeptics", this quote illustrates your blind spot when it comes to propaganda. The above is clearly a loaded statement which betrays an alarmist perspective; it is far from neutral and objective, as the authors would have us believe. Why say "concerted", which implies that the risk is significant and alarming? Why the implication that mitigation is a reasonable course of action, when there is ample evidence that it is not?

Sometimes "niceness" can be a product of naivete. Not a bad way to get through life, but in the case of the green/elites climate change agenda the economic and potential social consequences are much too dire for naivete. Please keep visiting this blog Richard; I hold out hopes that you will one day see the light and become an agent for change in your organization, and more widely.

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

This paper should be the start a debate... Not the end of one, as they intend it to be

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Are they being disingenuous? OK they don't comment on policy. But they know as well as we do that the politicians first line of defence when it (any 'it' you like) all goes wrong, costs 5x budget, doesn't work, whatever, is "we took the best scientific advice", ie not us, please carry on on voting for us, they made us do it. So for science to say, hardly our fault if the politicians took our knowledge and turned it into policy, doesn't seem to be a quite accurate representation of what actually happens. In this context, it seems clear the science community is saying, 'this is what is going to happen'; they hardly need to explicitly add, 'so you better do xyz'. When things fail to turn out as per predictions, for once the shifty blame dodging politicians will be right, they were made to do it, by a community which wilfully overstated its thin knowledge.

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Chris M: the problem with that ending is they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. What they've written here is right. On Twitter yesterday Roddy Campbell pointed to this rebuttal and commended the last four sentences. I understand the frustration and anger of Dr Bratby and others very well, given all that's happening in North Devon and all over the country, but I've got to say I agree with Roddy on this narrow point.

And I've not got time for the rest of it, not today. So consider this a limited agreement with Dr Betts only, for the moment :)

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

RSL notes that high sensitivities are possible only by “invoking unknown additional negative forcings from aerosols and solar variability as arbitrary adjustments”.

It is indeed true, as is made clear in successive assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that there are considerable uncertainties in estimating the impact of aerosols on climate...“Uncertain” does not imply “unknown” which in turn does not justify the assumption that their effects are, therefore, zero.


So...we'll stick them in as high.

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Richard - I agree that BAS have been much less overtly alarmist than some of your colleagues in the Met Office, but the idea that they have no agenda, when big research projects need funding, is a little far fetched. This is from the BAS website:

"Whilst at Rothera the Minister met biologists who are studying how marine life is responding to environmental change. He had an opportunity to talk with glaciologists about what’s happening to the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the likely consequences for future sea level rise."
Source: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_bas/news/news_story.php?id=1756

BAS scientist Prof Vaughan, and former head of BAS Prof Chris Rapley (now UCL) contributed to this alarmist Science and Media Centre scaremongering fest just last November:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-melting-polar-regions-faster-than-ever-before-6259145.html

“The melting of the cryosphere is such a clear, visibly graphic signal of climate change. Almost every aspect is changing and, if you take the global average, it is all in one direction,” said Professor David Vaughan, a geologist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge.

Every now and again bits fall off glaciers and ice sheets, irrespective of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and average global temperatures. To my knowledge no BAS scientist has been quick to point this out, and instead have gone with the rest of the groupthinkers. We know much less about the Antarctic, but we do know that the Arctic has experienced significant warming periods and loss of ice in the early Holocene Optima, and in more recent times, e.g.

Arctic has survived previous warm periods - summary of 14 papers

Historic Variation in Arctic Ice - essay by Tony Brown

So other than the output of deeply flawed models, there is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with polar warming. Indeed, as the CO2 AGW thesis suggests that the poles should warm the most, and the Antarctic hasn't warmed at all, this suggests if not proves that CO2 has feck all to do with it.

To me it seems only reasonable to conclude that it is the decadal oceanic cycles in both the Pacific and Atlantic which are much more likely to have been the reason for the recent (and relatively insignificant) loss of ice. Changes to global cloud cover (and latitudinal variations) and insolation rates are also highly likely to be a key factor.

Scientists have a responsibility to point out the uncertainties in the models, and Slingo's statement to Ministers that "Models have been used that take into account all the factors that influence climate" is factually incorrect and blatantly dishonest. She should resign. Tallbloke summed the situation up brilliantly yesterday, and I think it is worth repeating here:

The error on our measurement of the top of atmosphere energy balance is three times the signal we hope to find for the increased CO2 effect.


We have no reliable long term records for cloud cover variability, sea surface temperature, ocean heat content or rainfall.

We don't understand most of the carbon cycle or how we can parameterize it.

The biggest factor influencing oceanic heat loss is wind, and we can't measure it reliably.

Our models can't tell us what will happen next week, let alone in 100 years.
Apart from that we're doing great, send more money and a bigger computer.

Apr 3, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenter Rog Tallbloke

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

When I do a Google search on ["suggests unambiguously"] there are only 517 instances.
When I do a Google search on ["suggests unambiguously" climate] there are 239 instances.

So fully 46% of the instances of this peculiar construct are apparently attributable to climate science!

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Registered Commentermatthu

Richard:

You stress that the authors of the paper don't talk about future impacts, quoting this extract:

It is up to policy makers, not scientists, to decide whether governments should take concerted mitigating action to try to reduce this risk. On this we do not comment.

But that merely confirms my point above that their paper does not rebut Lindzen's basic position: that “the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is … minimal”. That's his key test. But nowhere does the paper demonstrate a strong warming/catastrophe connection - indeed it confirms considerable uncertainty.

In any case, the above statement is hard to believe. For example before Copenhagen, Gordon Brown, having warned that the world was on the brink of a "catastrophic" future of killer heatwaves, floods and droughts, said "we cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change ". Such statements must be based on advice from scientists. Or do you think he just made it up? And, if he did, why haven't scientists reassured us that his fears were not based on good science?

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Apr 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM | Philip Foster

The models ignore day and night, ignore the fact that the earth is a spinning sphere - they average sun's input over day and night, they have to treat the earth as in effect a spinning disc (ie they are true flat earth models),

Hi Philip

That is completely and utterly wrong, the models do treat the Earth as spinning sphere!!!! Where did you get the idea from that they are flat earth models???

Cheers

Richard

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Robin -

For example before Copenhagen, Gordon Brown, having warned that the world was on the brink of a "catastrophic" future of killer heatwaves, floods and droughts, said "we cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change ". Such statements must be based on advice from scientists. Or do you think he just made it up? And, if he did, why haven't scientists reassured us that his fears were not based on good science?

Exactly. It is the silence from the majority of scientists which concerns me more than the shrill voices from the alarmist minority. They don't all have to come out and state that the CAGW/DAGW is bollocks, but I doubt they would be risking their career prospects if they highlighted the problems with the models and the uncertainties therein.

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

I think we're now at the watershed.

The Met office (as part of Climate Science in general) have been asked for their "best guess". They admit their best guess is not as good as they would like it to be, but assure us it's still the best they have (which I think we'd all agree it is the best they have, despite its shortcomings).

The whole 'climate war' is whether you believe that "guess" is good enough to start enacting draconian expensive, possibly catastrophic, measures or it isn't. At the end of the day it's a value call - which is why there's a 'debate' at all - nobody argues about the mass of the electron. If AGW was 'proven' in the way other scientific facts are, there would be no debate, the science would be settled, and the only 'deniers' WOULD be swivel-eyed loons.

Although tempting, I don't think the previous behaviour of the scientists involved in this rebuttal should be brought into it. Play the ball, not the man.

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Exactly, in that speech Brown warned of glaciers being lost in 30 years in the himslayas, and a billion people depending on that water. Even Peter Gleick wrote that this was to paraphrase 'bollocks' and that this water issue was hyperbole not supported by science.. ie the water issue was being used to scare..

Did Brown just make that all up, no just look who was advicing him at the time..

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Apr 4, 2012 at 11:01 AM | mydogsgotnonose

I'm very sorry, and this honestly is not meant to be rude, but the very idea of you telling Keith Shine that he is "absolutely wrong" about atmospheric physics and radiative forcing actually made me laugh out loud!

Now everybody in my office is looking at me...... :-)

Best wishes,

Richard

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Their previous judgements should brought in.. ie. if wrong a lot..

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM | TheBigYinJames

Well said - I competely agree.

Richard

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard .. the accelerated Ippc warming graph..martyrdom after, the reviewers saw a different graph!! hoskins wanted it.. mathematicians say very inappropiate (for delicacy I'm not using a Stronger word..)

That was to convey a message not scientifically justifiable. As was 50 year, 100 year rate conpatioson, Gain extremely 'questionable' you hsversponded to mydog..

How about a response to Paul Matthews criticisms, of what hoskins supported.

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

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