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Sensitive dialogue

Climate Dialogue, the Dutch website that seeks to bring scientists from different ends of the climate debate together in a meaningful discussion, is looking at climate sensitivity today. Contributions have come from James Annan, Nic Lewis and John Fasullo.

Nic has made this comment:

May I start by thanking John Fasullo for taking part in this discussion of climate sensitivity at Climate Dialogue. I can see from the title of his guest blog that we are in for an interesting debate.


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Reader Comments (12)


May 12, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

suggest post to Unthreaded.

May 12, 2014 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Meaningful clearly means different things to different people: Head-in-the-clouds Fasullo rejects any estimate that is not farcically high and rejects any climate model that has no ability for clouds or radiation while ignoring that the remainder have no ability for anything at all. Annan seems determined to find a mathematical cloak to validate the original guesswork of a 1.5 to 4.5 K range. If it's not in that range it's not any good for policy and therefore no good at all. Lewis just waffles.

The only point everyone can agree on is that all methods are bad. Well indeed - as every skeptic told them! Climate model inputs downplay natural variation, paleo methods are pure conjecture and statistical methods can only provide an upper bound but since that bound is too low for policy then it is summarily rejected by the zealots - which is the rump of climate science: Turkeys don't vote for xmas.

The truth is that they assumed CO2 was a climate driver when Petits ice cores came in showing a correlation. They just ignored the cooling part of the curve because they had no explanation for it beyond a sudden and massive carbon sink. It was only ever half a theory! They then had a clubby show of hands to decide climate sensitivity. It couldn't be too low because nobody would ever be alarmed enough. They then stuck their baseless assumptions about natural variability being in decline, CO2 being dominant and high climate sensitivity in climate models that were never validated and predicted the planet would warm. Little did they realise they'd become the new rock stars and all this money would come flooding in. There was no money in finding no problem so claims became ever more bizarre and ever more baseless. Fossil fuels were bizarrely given the role of cooling agent as well as warming agent - to explain the otherwise inexplicable variations. No mechanism for nature to do it: Just ignore that nature brought on ice ages and reterns from ice ages all by itself. Pessimistic opinions became facts in the blink of an eye. Real facts became 'fodder for skeptics'.

Well now that we have injected a large amount of CO2 and received only a large slowdown in warming, any other field of science would have the decency to admit their baseless assumptions were clearly wrong and go and find something useful to do with their lives but not this crowd. Too much time invested presenting half-truths and opinions as facts, too much funding to lose.

May 12, 2014 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Every now and then I start to try to write up a list of the reasons why the estimation of 'climate sensitivity' seems to me to be based on things that are inherently doubtful or incapable of being verified by observation or experiment.

One assumption high on the list is that atmospheric CO2 is "The Thermostat that Controls Earth's Temperature".

After I have added a number of items to my list, with the reasons why the things in it are doubtful, it begins to look like the rant of a loony, since these things seem to be treated in all seriousness by earnest and acknowledged experts in their field.

May 12, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

[This thread is about Climate Dialogue's discussion of ECS]

May 12, 2014 at 7:46 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The introduction starts

Climate sensitivity is at the heart of the scientific debate on anthropogenic climate change. In the fifth assessment report of the IPCC (AR5) the different lines of evidence were combined to conclude that the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) is likely in the range from 1.5°C to 4.5°C. Unfortunately this range has not narrowed since the first assessment report in 1990.

So, despite billions of pounds spent over a generation, there has been no improvement in the measurement quality of a core component of climatology. Hardly what one would call a successful scientific research program is it?

May 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

JamesG on May 12, 2014 at 6:38 PM

"Little did they realise they'd become the new rock stars ..."

They thought they had a nice little earner, out of the limelight, in academia - and then BANG!

They were in it BIG TIME and being quizzed by people who knew what they were talking about.

And the hanger-oners could only hang on even more, with their house built on sand, quicksand ! :)

May 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

I think the original climos - like Phil Jones - had found a nice little backwater where they could play at being scientists and while their time away. An occupational therapy scheme. Nothing really mattered in the same way that Golf Psychology does not matter and Gender Studiz does not matter.

Suddenly they hit the big time and were totally out of their depth. Their science has less substance than a dandelion clock but it was needed to provide intellectual covering fire for the green power grab.

May 12, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

an improvement, hopefully, on bartje veregghead?

May 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

CO2 climate sensitivity is near zero, empirically and theoretically.

May 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpartacusisfree

It might be a good forum Certainly better than that dead end promoted awhile back by Dr. N-G.

May 13, 2014 at 2:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Annan TCR estimate was 2 to 3. Lewis TCR estimate was 1 to 2, best estimate was 1.35. Wonderful stuff to read.

May 13, 2014 at 2:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve koch

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