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« Pope Francis and Ben Tre | Main | Barker takes the rotating door »
Friday
May152015

Lewandowsky and Oreskes: normal service resumed

For those who have been following the unfolding saga of the latest Lew paper, the said work of art has now been published at Global Environmental Change. There is little that will cause anyone any great surprise - it's all out of the standard Lewandowsky playbook: strawman following nonsense following outright falsehood. Take the case he outlines for why there is no pause:

Claims about a “pause” typically invoke a period commencing in 1998; the top panel of the figure shows that that year saw particularly high temperatures owing to an extreme El Niño event. When this single outlying year is omitted (as illustrated in the bottom panel), the purported pause in warming is no longer apparent. Statistically, what one observes is a decrease in the rate of warming—a slowdown, if you will—but this slowdown is at most modest: during the last 15 years (1999–2013) the linear trend is .13 °C/decade, compared to the trend for the overall period (1970–2013) which is .18 °C/decade. It is only when 1998 is arbitrarily used as the starting point to define the “pause” that the recent rate of global warming has been appreciably lower (.10 °C/decade) than the long-term trend.

...

Thus, arguments about a “hiatus” or “pause” can only be sustained by ignoring the fact that the most recent trend is statistically nearly identical to that of other decades unless a single particular year is used as a starting point—in other words, only by cherry-picking.

I love the way the reviewers of the paper have turned a blind eye to Lew's failure to actually cite any examples of people picking 1998 as their start point, instead letting him set about this straw man with all of the rhetorical tools at his disposal, quickly beating him a pulp.

Then there are the outright falsehoods, for example this one:

Likewise, the positive fluctuation from the long-term trend leading up to 2007 was not used to re-assess (transient) climate sensitivity, in contrast to endeavours that have used the current departure from the long-term trend for that purpose (e.g., Lewis, 2013, Lewis and Curry, 2014, Otto et al., 2013 and Stott et al., 2013).

That statement is so completely divorced from the truth that it's hard to know where to begin. The whole point of the Lewis studies, and Otto et al as well, was to consider the changing climate from preindustrial up to the present day. Here is an extract from Lewis and Curry 2014, the main results of which put TCR in the range 1.22-1.33. I've bolded two alternative sets of results presented by the authors, based on periods that exclude the pause:

Although final periods with end dates considerably before 2011 provide less well constrained
ECS and TCR estimates, it is worthwhile investigating to what extent the low increase in GMST in the 21st century affects ECS and TCR best estimates. Accordingly, we estimated ECS and TCR using final periods from 1987 and 1971 to each of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. As volcanic forcing is much higher than when 2011 is used as the end date, 1850–1900 is used as the best-matching base period. With a 1987 start date, the resulting ECS best estimates vary between 1.58 K and 1.70 K; those for TCR vary between 1.35 K and 1.37 K. With a 1971 start date, ECS best estimates vary between 1.45 K and 1.53 K; those for TCR vary between 1.20 K and 1.22 K. With a volcanic efficacy of 0.55 assumed, the ECS and TCR best estimates are all slightly lower.

Extending the final year to 2012, and estimating changes from 2011 in radiative forcings and in
energy accumulation where necessary, has a negligible effect on ECS and TCR estimates.

So the Lewis and Curry results are almost entirely impervious to short-term fluctuations in surface temperatures. Yet here we have Lewandowsky and Oreskes and their motley band of co-authors telling their readers the exact opposite.

What kind of a journal lets this sort of thing get published?

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Reader Comments (64)

On his blog Lewandowsky writes this...

"This matters because political momentum for mitigative action is difficult to sustain or mount while the public believes that there is a “pause” in global warming. Talk of a “pause”, when there is none, therefore has political consequences and, by implication, also carries ethical risks. "

http://shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskySeepageII.html


which should concern Every scientist..

May 15, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Climate Science is relying on this paper to carry the message in Paris.

Oh dear.

May 15, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Could we hire Nuremberg around 2025. I have a dream.

May 15, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Ref Barry Woods quote.

Political momentum is always difficult to sustain, when the public realise that all the fear, is based on lies, false prophecies and truthless anklebiters.

May 15, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What kind of a journal lets this sort of thing get published?

any that has 'climate ' or 'Environmental Change' in its title , after all their very existence require dCAGW to be a 'reality ' so anything that supports that idea is 'good with them '
Although to be fair to Lewandowsky and Oreskes: crap science, lies and poor behaviour are the norm for climate 'science' so they are merely working to the accepted 'standard ' .

And if I was student at Bristol , I would ask why I could not be judge to a similar 'standard ' as then I know I could but any old rubbish in and still get good marks .

May 15, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Has he told the Met Office that they are wrong about the pause?

May 15, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

This is what climate "science" is all about - pure religious propaganda - move along no real science here.

Keep the gravy train running as real science would be too much of a shock to the climate "scientists"! What else would they do?

May 15, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

"It is only when 1998 is arbitrarily used as the starting point to define the “pause” that the recent rate of global warming has been appreciably lower (.10 °C/decade) than the long-term trend".

***************

Surely he has that the wrong way around? Doesn't the 'pause' start from the most recently available data and go backwards for as long as it needs until a warming trend, (or statistically significant warming) is found in that data? 1998 is therefore not a 'starting date' so much as an end date.

May 15, 2015 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Lew is so out of date. The 1998 start "problem" was sorted out years ago.

May 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterceed

More work for poor old Richard Betts. :)

May 15, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Lew & Oreskes are now weighing in to silence even the terms of discussion of a science they are neither at all qualified to discuss. They are not really very different from the bloviating televangelists who not only preach gospel from the pulpit but then start preaching about medicine, diet, psychology, cars and other things they have decided they are expert on.

May 15, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Claims about a “pause” typically invoke a period commencing in 1998; the top panel of the figure shows that that year saw particularly high temperatures owing to an extreme El Niño event. When this single outlying year is omitted (as illustrated in the bottom panel), the purported pause in warming is no longer apparent.

Apart form the obvious misunderstanding that the start of the Pause is now and then we count back...

His argument is basically "If this hadn't happened it wouldn't have happened".
Or,
"If our models had been able to simulate what happened they would have simulated what happened".
Which is the same as,
"If the world wasn't round we would live on a Flat Earth".

But the first part isn't so thus the second part doesn't;'t matter.
Anyone who adopts this fantasising is opening themselves to believe in anything.
That's the problem with throwing away reality.

May 15, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

This paper has so many things wrong it is hard to know where to begin.

Lew and Oreskes begin by faulting the IPCC for having a special section on the pause. They place great stock in how the the IPCC calculated trends in describing the pause.

The IPCC, per usual, calculated two linear trends in describing/estimating the pause:

In summary, the observed recent warming hiatus, defined as the reduction in GMST trend during 1998–2012 as compared to the trend during 1951–2012 ...

This is already a wrong method of defining or estimating a change in trend:
(i) the time periods in question are not independent, one is contained within the other. A absurdly wrong step if the metric has a sinusoidal/repeating component with different phases
(ii) Why 1951? The global average cooled from 1940 to ~1978. There is no one long-term trend during 1951-2012, there are two trends. If you want to estimate linear trends you must estimate them over periods where the line encompasses all the trend over each period.

The IPCC is not new to this nonsense. It performed the same trick in its AR4 synthesis report. BBD used to argue using the same technique.

As Betts commented on ATTP's prison blog, the trends are quite simply evident. There is warming from 1910 to 1940, cooling from 1940 to 1979, and warming from 1979 - 1998. Climate science offers, or attempts to offer specific reasons for each of these warm and cool episodes.

The pause is therefore in relation to the warming seen from 1979 to 1998. It is now evident that the rate of warming from 1998 onward is considerably lower. *Of course this will be evident the further out you are from 1998*. That is the property of a quasi-rhythmic long-running process. You never know which phase you are in, until afterwards.

It takes a long time to realise that warming has not continued at the same pace since 1998. *Because there is nothing preventing you from drawing straight trend-lines (from '79 to present) during the entire duration* when you don't see it. If the pause continues, there will come a time when a straight-line drawn from 1979 will visibly fail to encompass the course of temperature. Unless, you pull the 'feet backwards', i.e, move the starting point back in time.

This is exactly what climate alarmists have already started to do - start in 1970 instead of 1979.

In effect, Lew, Oreskes, Tamino etc are attempting sleight of hand to define the pause out of existence. They are in denial.

May 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Registered Commentershub

So, any bets how long before someone from the Met Office throttles this guy shouting "FFS stop being on our side!"?

May 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Figure 2 is comedy gold. They cherry-pick the most warm-massaged data set they can find, Cowtan & Way (2013). They then plot it with cherry-picked start-stop dates of 1992 and 2007. They then wonder, in the text of of sec 6.2, why climate scientists, in 2007, were not looking at the Cowtan and Way (2013) graph and saying that warming appeared to be accelerating. Hilarious. As you say, how did this drivel get published?

Tiny, yes, as Jaime Jessop says on twitter, the real seepage is "the intrusion of politically motivated psychobabble into the scientific debate on #climatechange". The charlatans on their own side, like Lewandowsky, Oreskes, Cook etc, are doing far more damage to climate science than the sceptics are.

May 15, 2015 at 12:00 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I, for one, am grateful for the extremely low quality of their work.

May 15, 2015 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Lew wonders why climate science didn't make a big deal out of 2007. But they did. Today it is quite clear there has been minimal warming since 1998. But climate activism carried on with the same momentum, through the TAR, Katrina, AR4 and the Nobel prize, essentially drawing straight-lines with slightly decreasing trends, every year.

How to measure linear trends, LEWTEMP 2100

May 15, 2015 at 12:23 PM | Registered Commentershub

Ah pause denial...how anti-science....how anti-consensus!

And another thing. If you are going to remove 1998 due to el nino then you have to remove 2005 and 2010 as well - and probably 2015 too. Otherwise it is 'cherry-picking' to get a higher trend. Then you may have to consider the la nina years. And since that is the pdo cycle sorted, what about the amo? Pretty soon you end up at a trend that is indistinguishable from that caused by natural variation at the start of the century - per Swanson & Tsonis. At no time do you ever get the parabolic temperature rise that models were predicting. In fact, at no time can you get away from a 'slowdown' when everyone was expecting a speed-up. It all still means they cannot identify a manmade warming signal from the natural noise.

May 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Shub, good point, yes, of course, climate scientists were, misleadingly, claiming that warming was accelerating in 2007, in this notorious misleading figure from AR4 from chapter 3 authors Jones and Trenberth, ("Note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is greater, indicating accelerated warming"), debunked here.
So the claim in sec 6.2 that climate scientists weren't writing about accelerating warming in 2007, is another "outright falsehood".

May 15, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Do you suffer from embarrassing pause seepage?

Use Climate Ultra Max by Tena as recommended by Lewandowsky, Oreskes et al. Disclaimer, offensive odour guaranteed.

May 15, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Lew should be encouraged. I am thinking of setting up a fund to keep him publishing papers. Every time he publishes, the sceptic cause is noticeably enriched.

Could we get him to apply for an Australian Government grant to set up a think-tank at the UWA? I hear that there's some money going begging...

May 15, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

We could call it 'The Australian Consensus Centre'. Start it off with a fund of $4 million.

May 15, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Registered Commentershub

Back in '98, I don't remember anyone censoring the 'hot' '98 data because it was an El Nino year. On the contrary ...

May 15, 2015 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Excellent to the see the appalling Sou running to form in Lew's comments by telling Richard Betts he doesn't know what he's talking about.

He comes here for that, surely?

These people are SO third rate it's amazing that they ever get taken seriously or published, especially that big old floater Lew.

Those listed for attribution as endorsing this latest magnum opus POS - alongside those who creepily address Lew as 'Steve' - will undoubtedly be trying to wash their involvement away in the not too distant future.

May 15, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

Opponents of the scientific consensus on climate change—defined here broadly as the agreement that (a) the Earth is warming and (b) most of that warming has been due to human greenhouse gas emissions (Anderegg et al., 2010, Doran and Zimmerman, 2009 and Oreskes, 2004)—


but of course those cited reference do NOT support Most

May 15, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Excellent to the see the appalling Sou running to form in Lew's comments by telling Richard Betts he doesn't know what he's talking about.

It's kinda funny the way the klimate krazies are flocking, publishing and spouting together. Almost as if there is some fundamental force driving it.

May 15, 2015 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It's kinda funny the way the klimate krazies are flocking, publishing and spouting together. Almost as if there is some fundamental force driving it.

May 15, 2015 at 2:11 PM | michael hart
=======================================================

"Fundamental", as in speaking out of their fundaments.

May 15, 2015 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

JamesG on May 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM

+1

May 15, 2015 at 3:08 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

May 15, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Regarding the role of ENSO and other drivers, Paul Homewood tells us of a study last year by Ben Santer et al where they filtered for ENSO and volcanic eruptions ending with a pause of about 20 years. Lew obviously needs to put them right. :)

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/no-underlying-global-temperature-increase-for-20-years/

May 15, 2015 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

"It ain't over, 'til the fat lady sings"

I don't know who she is, but the fat lady of climate science, is warming up her vocal chords for Paris.

Lewandowsky and Oreskes are the "warm UP" act, but may get a cool reception.

May 15, 2015 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This 'work' - what a stretch on imagination it begs, for it assumes too much, the first wild presumption is that we believe in the original premise - we don't.


That's too presumptive and thus, it follows that all else is BS.

You cannot further fabricate speculative analysis based wholly on a foundational and false supposition, therefore no one not least the realist community should not lend it (Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community) credence.

Lewandowsky, be not drawn into his web, and entangle thyself in printed gossamer strands of conjecture.

It will pass the public by. As will Paris, because the climate alarmists have cried wolf innumerable times and too often, not even Obama exhorting all the media demons and summoning incantations from hell Penn State, NOAA, GISS, the Met Office, PIK, UEA, will be able raise and animate this climate corpse back from the dead.

May 15, 2015 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"It is only when 1998 is arbitrarily used as the starting point to define the “pause” that the recent rate of global warming has been appreciably lower (.10 °C/decade) than the long-term trend"

I happen to have the Hadcrut4 data I did some research. Running a simple linear model in R I found a yearly trend of 0.006245 degC per year. That is 0.06245 degC per decade which you could reasonably round to 0.06. But Lewandowski rounds it out to 0.1 and then he adds a zero 0.10. The audacity of the man is staggering.

As for "during the last 15 years (1999–2013) the linear trend is .13 °C/decade" I could not get anything like this from Hadcrut4 (about 0.08).

Do people like Lewandowski and Oreskes matter?

May 15, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Mott

Peter Mott "Do people like Lewandowsky and Oreskes matter?"

They do to global warming alarmists. Their paper was the best hope for Paris, as they had run out of validated science.

Are legal wrangles over the Holy Hockey Stick now postponed until after Paris? Wlarmists seem very keen not to talk about the Sacred Relic from a bygone era

May 15, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

yes they matter, Oreskes and co have the ears of the politicians/media/academia - USA

May 15, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I should not have taken your bait, Bish. I could not keep quiet with that odious little man, and have submitted a rather unpleasant diatribe against him. I am now curious to note how long it will remain visible.

May 15, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Still there RR: And well said."Wealth creators vs wealth absorbers." The Lew sponge - and now I have the image of what the Romans used a sponge on a stick for.....

May 15, 2015 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I read this comment by Richard Betts at Shaping-etc:

[that] reads to me as if you are suggesting that the processes that influenced the recent trajectory of global surface temperatures are not something that should receive much research focus, even though temperatures did something a bit surprising. (Not surprising enough to overturn conventional wisdom, but surprising enough to show that we have much more to do in improving skill of inter-annual and decadal forecasting)
And it seems to me that Betts cannot bring himself to go against Lew and the 'pause' without at least accepting the 'conventioanl wisdom' - Is there such a thing in science??? And he wants us to accept him as an objective scientist (not bothered about Lew, we know he isn't).

May 15, 2015 at 8:19 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Comment of the decade, RR.

"Get your bank account off the tax-payers’ teat, and go out and get yourself a proper job."

BOOM!

May 15, 2015 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

And Richard Tol's comment has got to hurt (my bold):

I've now read the paper. It does not offer any data or analysis, just opinion and a few anecdotes.

May 15, 2015 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Lewandowsky has answered Betts' question. Take a look at this.

Per Lew:

The fact that you have not found any reference to "catastrophic" in the context of 1992-2007 is precisely our point. That period saw a greater acceleration than the deceleration observed during the "pause" (relative to long-term trend) and no one jumped to explain the "catastrophe" then. So why the focus on a (smaller) fluctuation now?

This shows the utter ignorance of this scientist:

The IPCC released the AR4 in 2007. The IPCC did exactly what he says no one did. The IPCC very much 'jumped at the catastrophe.'

As Paul points out above, the IPCC released an FAQ in the WG1 report that had a graph comparing the short-term 1981-2005 trend to the long-term 1956 to 2005 and 1906 to 2005.

It concluded, just as Lewadowsky claims no one did, and wrongly, that the temperature trend was 'accelerating'.

The IPCC, which is the starting point for Lew's paper, did exactly the thing he says no one did, and Lew's entire seepage stuff is based on claiming no one did it, i.e, no one cried 'catastrophe' with a sharp upward trend.

The modern global warming movement has run wholly on the momentum afforded by the 1979-1998 period of warming. There was no *need* to cry alarm over specific sharp upward trends as the *entire trend* had been attributed to man-made CO2.

What an waste of time with this guy.

This is the not the first time. I engaged in a discussion with William Connolley on the Himalayan Glacier gone in 35 years fiasco and he didn't know the IPCC had employed the figure in more than one place in their reports. Likewise the EPA used the IPCC's 'acceleration' graph in their Technical Support Document', as recounted by Monckton here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/04/monckton-asks-ipcc-for-correction-to-ar4/

May 15, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Registered Commentershub

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/15/are-climate-scientists-cowed-by-sceptics

Well the Guardian has picked up Dr Lew's sly little work. Ah, before you know it the whole Met Office will be being audited for those guilty of apostasy. Nadie cuenta con la inquisición climático.

May 15, 2015 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Bit of advice. If serious climate scientists don't shut this down quickly and officially, it will become a fact. After all, it IS peer reviewed.

May 15, 2015 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Peer reviewed scientific journals seem to have pretty low standards. For instance, how did this comment get through?

Although the expertise of climatologists provides an ample reservoir for the refutation of overt falsehoods—such as the long-debunked “zombie arguments” that are levelled at climate science..

Or what does seepage mean, apart from a belief about being in possession of a higher truth, so any deviation must be through the malign influence of blinkered or malicious deviants? This from the highlights
• We highlight psychological reasons for scientists’ susceptibility to seepage.
• We use the global warming “hiatus” as an example of the consequences of seepage.
• We offer ways in which the scientific community can detect and avoid such seepage.

May 15, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

According to this site linked below..there is a pause..but its not a real pause..its a pretend pause..
It uses the usual "denier' language so its on Team $CAGW$.
The pause is hidden in the oceans..and other hand waving..
http://www.remss.com/blog/recent-slowing-rise-global-temperatures
My favourite pause not pause was by Schmidt with his mind boggling coincidence hypothesis which the Bish lampooned quite well here..

May 15, 2015 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrapetomania

Harry Passfield: eeeewwwww… I now need to give my brain a good washing to try and get that image out of it!

Thank you, JerryM. I don’t normally like to rip into people like that, but he seriously winds me up. What grieves me is that, as like as not, people like him would not know which way to hold the broom if they were street cleaners; their heads are shoved so far up their own fundaments that they make Trigger seem an intellectual giant. Yet they command such respectful obeisance from such idolaters in politics and the mainstream media, and seem to have unbridled access to funds and facilities that few of us could even dream of. In the words of Robert Heinlein, “TANJ – there ain’t no justice.”

May 15, 2015 at 10:58 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

TinyCO2 et al - "If serious climate scientists don't shut this down quickly and officially, it will become a fact"; don't ignore evil; Lew is a psychologist whose research is related to the cognitive processes involved in decision-making. He (and his grad student John Cook) are well aware that people recall the first information they encounter, and that it's difficult for them to update that information when they encounter new information that invalidates the original. If one's goal is perception manipulation/propaganda/disinfo, IT MAKES SENSE TO LIE, while acknowledging that one's deception will be exposed.
I'm a chemist, not a psychologist, but it seems to me that emphasizing the fact that Lew is intentionally manipulating opinion and has no respect for his audience is a better approach than other means of attack on his (lack of) ethics.

May 16, 2015 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMollie

"Or what does seepage mean, apart from a belief about being in possession of a higher truth, so any deviation must be through the malign influence of blinkered or malicious deviants?" - Kevin Marshall

I think you've captured Lewandowsky's argument correctly. But that's his argument. What he's actually detailing however is something else.

He argues 'seepage' to denote pollution.

But what he's detailing is 'percolation'.

Skeptics of consensus climate science were the first to identify the 'pause'. They are not ideologically devoted to the 0.2 degrees per decade linear temp increase theory run by the consensus. That theory is entirely built on modelling, not observations. Skeptics prefer obs. And recorded history. For the past 15 or so years modelled temps have run more and more obviously hotter than observations. Skeptics noticed and talked about it a lot. The alarmist climate scientists couldn't ignore the obs any longer. Hence they started turning their minds to the 'pause'. How many papers explaining the 'pause' now? More than 60?

In criticising alarmists for permitting 'seepage' Lewandowsky has acknowledged the chronology of 'pause' science and the fact the consensus guys were late to the party.

He is describing percolation.

That's why Richard Betts felt so moved to write in response, trying to claim, with no evidence, that consensus scientists always knew about the pause, were never surprised, were always working on it, blah blah. Absolute historical revisionism by Betts.

May 16, 2015 at 2:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterHide the Decline

Exactly, hide the decline.

How long does it take to realise temperatures are not going up year after year? One year? Two years? As a Climategate climate newbie I remember asking about the lack of temperature rise only a few months later. The simple fact is they sat on the lack of temperature rise for years.

Look at the Paul Hudson emails in Climategate. They were planning to sit on it for as long as possible, throwing out one ridiculous explanation after another, postponing real research.

May 16, 2015 at 3:16 AM | Registered Commentershub

Hide the Decline May 16, 2015 at 2:36 AM
Thank you for the thoughtful response. You are quite right about the chronology. I think the first to highlight the pause was Bob Carter around 2006. The consensus only acknowledged this later. Who can forget the email of Kevin Trenberth on Mon, 12 Oct 2009 to Micheal Mann and copied to most of the notable climate academics?

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

THE HOCKEY SCHTICK blog list the excuses. This post lists 66. One of these is another paper where Lewandowsky was a co-author. Whereas this paper with Oreskes explains away the pause by means of the strong El Nino of 1998, Risbey at al. 2014 used data manipulation to show that warming was still continuing at the rate of 2C per century. In my post The Lewandowsky Smooth I modeled this impact by using Lew's notes on his blog, assuming that from 2005-2013 there was a cooling rate at nearly 1C per century.

May 16, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I know most people will have lost the will to live long before they reach the Appendix detailing exactly how each of these grave psychological threats is to be countered, but it's worth a look. "Stereotype Threat", for example, can be countered by climate scientists taking comfort in the fact that they use exactly the same scientific method as other scientists. Plainly Lewandowsky et al don't do irony. Thankfully,"Pluralistic Ignorance" (which sounds really bad) can also be countered: climate scientists should inform themselves as to what their colleagues think. I rather doubt they will welcome the advice. And the "Third-person Effect"? Sorry - there's no known cure. That's it.

What really worries the good professor and his colleagues is that "uncertainty is effective as a strategy to delay action." And they can't see that for most people this is a statement of the bleeding obvious. They want action now. Unspecific as to what action, just that they want it; and we should want it too, if only. Sad really..

May 16, 2015 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kennedy

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