Rising seas alert! Watch how science becomes a sensational news story.

Summary: Another day, another interesting study about our changing climate misreported by journalists to ignite fear in their readers. The subject is rising seas from the melting of Antarctica. First we look at the science, then at journalists’ hype. You decide how this news should influence the public policy debate about the best response to climate change.

Greenpeace artwork about sea levels
Example of Greenpeace at work.

Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise

Robert M. DeConto & David Pollard in Nature, 31 March 2016

Abstract

“Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (LIG, 130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability.

“Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics — including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs — that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.”

About the study

Their predictions of rising sea levels

Here is the core of the study’s forecast. Red highlight added to their key finding.

“The RCP scenarios produce a wide range of future Antarctic contributions to sea level with RCP2.6 producing almost no net change by 2100 … In RCP4.5, GMSL {global mean sea level} rise is only 32 cm {12″} by 2100 … In RCP8.5 …Antarctica contributes 77 cm {12”} of GMSL rise by 2100 …

“The CCSM4 simulations providing the models sub-ice-shelf melt ratios underestimate the penetration of warm Circum-Antarctica Deep Water into the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas observed in recent decades. Correcting for the ocean-model cool bias …relative to observations …increases the GMSL rise by 9 cm {4”} …

“To better utilize Pilocene and LIG geological constraints on model performance, we perform a Large Ensemble analysis (Methods) to explore the uncertainty associated with the primary parameter values controlling relationships between …and the combinations are scored by their ability to simulate target ranges of Pliocene and LIG Antarctic sea-level contributions. The filtered subsets of parameter values capable of reproducing both targets are then used in ensembles of future RCP scenarios, providing both an envelope of possible outcomes and an estimate of the model’s parametric uncertainty.

… the Large Ensemble analysis substantially increases our RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 2100 sea-level projections to 49 ± 20 cm {19″ ± 8″} and 105 ± 30 cm {41″ ± 12”}, if higher (>10m instead of >5m) Pilocene sea-level targets are used.

“Adding the ocean temperature correction in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas further increases the 2100 projections in RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 to 16 ± 16 cm {6″ ± 6″}, 58 ± 28 cm {23″ ± 11″} and 114 ± 36 cm {45″ ± 14”}, respectively.

“Given uncertainties in model initial conditions, simplified hybrid ice dynamics, parameterized sub-ice melt, calving, structural ice-margin failure, and the ancient sea level estimates used in our Large Ensemble analysis, the rates of ice loss simulated here should not be viewed as actual predictions, but rather as possible envelopes of behaviour that include processes not previously considered at the continental scale.

“… When applied to future scenarios with high greenhouse gas emissions, our palaeo-filtered model ensembles show the potential for Antarctica to contribute >1m of GMSL rise by the end of the century…”

The authors mention that their code and results are freely available, an important change from the standard practice of two decades ago which sowed so much mistrust.

Tuning the Model

Validating and “tuning” of computer models

This study provides useful speculation — it is a bold work to advance science — but lacks the methodological safeguards necessary to be an input to public policy. How do we know if this model accurately predicts the future? What validates a computer model other than time and successful forecasts? For more about this vital subject see these posts.

All research has weaknesses. For example, the science (and climate science) literature warns about the danger of “tuning” models so that they fit historical data. This paper provides some classic examples…

“Antarctic contributions to Pliocene and LIG see lea level are in much better agreement with geological estimates than previous versions of our model, which lacked these new treatments of meltwater-enhanced calving and ice-margin dynamics, suggesting that the new model is better suited to simulations of future ice response.

… and the combinations are scored by their ability to simulate target ranges of Pliocene and LIG Antarctic sea-level contributions. The filtered subsets of parameter values capable of reproducing both targets are then used in ensembles of future RCP scenarios …”

Polluted skies

A vital but often unmentioned detail: our coal-burning future

Equally important, their model’s high-end projection comes from running the RCP8.5, the worst of the IPCC’s four scenarios (RCP: Representative Concentration Pathways). RCP8.5 describes a 21st of slow technological progress and rapid population growth (i.e., fertility in Africa does not drop as it has in all other regions). It’s a future in which people in the late 21st century rely mostly on coal — just as peo0le did the late 19thC. See details about RCP8.5 here. It’s the opposite of a business as usual scenario.

Is this possible? Yes, of course. Is it likely? Nobody has a crystal ball; everyone must decide for himself.

News

Journalists’ exaggerations: turning science into sensational stories

In the grand tradition of journalism — such as The Sun’s “Great Moon Hoax” (1835) — science becomes sensational headlines. Such as “With a collapsing West Antarctica, sea level rise may be twice as high as we thought” by Andrew Freedman at Mashable.

“The viability of coastal megacities from Miami to Manila to Dhaka are intertwined with the fate of the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and new, unnerving evidence shows that the ice loss from that ice sheet may raise global sea levels by twice the rate previously estimated for this century. For example, Boston could see more than 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet, of sea-level rise in the next 100 years.

…The study offers a stark warning that the so-called “consensus” view of sea level rise provided in a U.N. panel’s report three years ago may already be both outdated and far too optimistic.”

This is wildly misleading. Obviously, model findings are not “evidence.” The unlikely assumptions of RCP8.5 are unmentioned.

As usual in fear-mongering journalism, the IPCC — formerly the “gold-standard” for climate research — is described as giving the “so-called ‘consensus'” (got to love the fear quotes), that “may already be both outdated and far too optimistic”. Research contrary to the new study’s findings is minimized.

Freedman ignores the many assumptions the authors describe, especially their statement that their findings “should not be viewed as actual predictions”.

The article appears designed to produce fear in its readers. Like this new research (not yet validated by other papers), fear provides a poor basis for making public policy on such an important subject.

A better example of reporting is “Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly” by Justin Gillis in the NYT. It has most of the same flaws as the Mashable article, but to a smaller degree. Gillis mentions some of the uncertainties, although with no details.

“’We are not saying this is definitely going to happen,’ said David Pollard, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University and a co-author of the new paper … they acknowledged that they do not yet have an answer that could be called definitive. …those same scientists emphasized that it was a single paper, and unlikely to be the last word on the fate of West Antarctica. “

The NYT also carefully avoids mentioning that the IPCC’s findings radically disagree with those of this new paper. They coyly mention only an unnamed UN “panel”. How many people know that the “P” in “IPCC” is “panel”?

This is my favorite line in the article, which nicely illustrates the absurdly static world view of climate activists.

“New York City is nearly 400 years old; in the worst-case scenario conjured by the research, chances of surviving another 400 years in anything like its present form would appear to be remote.”

NYC, like the climate, has been changing since its creation. NYC in 2425 will resemble today’s NYC no more than today’s resembles the NYC of 1625 — no matter what the climate does. Everything changes. We need to understand the likely changes, the possible changes — and prepare as best we can.

For More Information

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28 thoughts on “Rising seas alert! Watch how science becomes a sensational news story.

  1. In my opinion, you are letting DeConto and Pollard off the hook far too easily. They know exactly what they are doing and how their findings would be seen. Self Interest afflicts us all. It is most insidious when it masquerades as “Noble Cause Corruption” – think Lysenko.

    Like

    1. bernie,

      I don’t draw conclusions on the basis of guesses about the internal workings of people’s minds. On the other hand, some of the authors’ quotes in both news articles support your theory.

      I hate to say this, but the narrative I’ve constructed is highly defensible — although yours might better meet the available facts.

      Like

  2. One needs to study what Pollard did more closely.

    1. Uses a regionally downscaled GCM. The hindcast to 1957 (first Antarctica data) is a T increase to now of about 2.5C, while observation is 0 to maybe 0.25C. Model runs ~10x hot.

    2. Claim validated against LIG. That is the Eemian. Review paper by Kopp et. al. In Nature 2009 covers what happened. GAST about 1-2C higher globally, 8C higher in Greenland (Neem core). Sea level high stand 6.6-7 meters above present, took about 3 millennia to reach, and 4 millennia to get back to present level. That is a SLR of 23cm/century, NOT the ‘validated’ 1 meter to 2100.

    3. Import Greenland’s summer meltwater iceberg calving mechanism to Antarctica. That is nonsense. The average summer high at McMurdo is -5C. Further proof: Mawsons 1903 expedition huts (other side of Antarctica) were dug out of the snow recently. They were not dug out of ice, which would have been the case if there was even one year of serious summer coastline melt.

    WUWT has guest posts on points 1 and 2. Google takes you quickly to McMurdo monthly aberage temperature profiles, and to pictures of Mawson’s expedition encampment.

    So, use a regional downscaled model that knowingly runs way too hot, run impossible RCP8.5 to pour in max CO2 (>1100ppm by 2100!!), add a Greenland ice loss mechanism to Antarctica which is inapplicable at least to 2100, then tout probably impossible ‘modelled’ conclusions in PR to get the desired scary MSM headlines. Junk science. Serious lack of media due diligence. Par for the course.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ristvan,

      Thanks for some pointers critiquing the science of DeConto and Pollard! Note that this post was about a different aspect: its public policy implications (e.g., validation needed) and its distortion by journalists.

      “Junk science. Serious lack of media due diligence. Par for the course.”

      Yes. Marketing is not everything, but it’s almost everything. That’s why the alarmists will win if they get a break from the weather (e.g., some big extreme weather they can blame on CO2).

      Like

  3. This has always struck me as an odd blog. The postings rarely provide a cohesive line of thinking; typically an informative article would present one with information that would lead to conclusions that allowed for informed discussion leading to solutions to the problems presented with in the body of the article.

    On this site, we see disinformation presented as a way to allow mindless regurgitation as a venue to spout a lower level of intelligence (ill-breads) to prove they can recite the information without actually havening the capacity to arrive at cognitive understandings of the information they are reciting.

    Global pollution is a immediate and detrimental issue that only the most intelligent can understand; it deals with principals that are typically dealt with at elementary levels of education (USA Excluded due to stupidity and poor breeding (rebellious peasants trying to climb the ladder) who feel exceptional).

    All environmental regulations should be left to the U.N. and the European Union that have succeeded in maintaining exceptional blood lines (Rothschild) who have the intelligence to insure the continued success and progress of the human species, which the U.S.A has totally ignored believing that ill-bread trolls are “equal” to those with elite blood lines ” Elite” to be superior in genetic, intellectual, and conciseness then those whom we seek to govern!

    Get a grip peasants; you don’t need to worship a patchwork blanket (AKA American Flag) to feel special. Just try educating yourselves…if at all possible!

    Like

    1. Kristine,

      What a fascinating comment! It makes no sense, of course. You give no evidence of having read the article, let alone presenting any sort of rebuttal. Your mentions of eugenics are just strange.

      But it is something different. Even if you are trolling, thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  4. Of course the catch is that in my country, the sea level rise is still stuck at 1.7mm per year which it has been since records began. “An updated analysis of long-term sea level change in New Zealand”by J. Hannah in Geophysical Research Letters, Jan 2004.

    In spite of this people still seriously warn me that the (EPA) of the US Government seems to think that sea level has risen 10 inches since 1880.!! Mia Culpa! Climate Change Indicators: Sea Level. 1880 to 2016 = 136 years. Times 1.7 mm per year is 231.2 mm. This is, strangely, 9.102 inches. Well, not quite 10 inches, but within a bull’s roar of being right.

    I live in the south pacific. Never heard of the islands disappearing that you mentioned and no refugees have turned up here yet. An individual from Kiribati once tried to become one but got sent home. Strangely enough the quota for imigration from Kiribati is generally not filled it seems.

    Its worth looking at the UN who has an interest in sea level rise one would think. Try here, well documented: “UN Headquarters and USD$1.2 Billion upgrade (And Rising)“.

    Cheers

    Roger
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. Roger,

      Thank you for the comment, but I have no idea what you are attempting to say. Do you agree with the paper cited here? With the news reports about the paper? With my comments about the news coverage? Did you read this post?

      Here are a few notes about your comment.

      (1) “Of course the catch is that in my country, the sea level rise is still stuck at 1.7mm per year…”

      Why is this a “catch”? The paper cited discusses future sea levels, not the past.

      (2) “Well, not quite 10 inches, but within a bull’s roar of being right.”

      First you mock the EPA graph, then you agree with it. Also, the sea level rises in the GRL article & EPA graph are not comparable. The former is before adjustment for glacial-isostatic effects; the latter shows adjusted numbers.

      (3) “Never heard of the islands disappearing that you mentioned”

      I see no mention of “islands disappearing” in this post.

      (4) What’s the relevance of the article about the UN HQ?

      Like

  5. Dear editor, in reply to your reply.

    Thanks for your comment.

    1. Of course the catch is that in my country, the sea level rise is still stuck at 1.7mm per year…”

    This is a catch mainly because in order to attain the often predicted catestrophic sea level rises that we hear about, one would reasonably expect to see at least some acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. The empirical evidence shows no such acceleration.

    2. “Well, not quite 10 inches, but within a bull’s roar of being right.”

    In reply to the above, the figure of 10″ of sea level rise since 1880 is often cited to show that the above facts must be wrong. Interesting that it is the EPA who give this statistic.
    In fact the rate (which shows no acceleration) is consistant with the 1.7mm annually since records began.

    3 “Never heard of the islands disappearing that you mentioned”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/10/world/pacific-solomon-islands-disappear/
    This has caught the news lately.
    However there has been only one application for sea level rise refugee status in the world that I know of which is described above.
    I admit the relevance with your article is a little stretched, but this is what global warming is all about.

    4 What’s the relevance of the article about the UN HQ?

    Didnt realize that this was so hard to see the relevance here.

    Who has the best scientific advice on AGW etc in the world?
    Well arguably the UN, although I dont give it a great deal of credit. But they do have the most influence on sea level rise propaganda etc to be sure.
    So if they truely expect a catestrophic sea level rise, do you think it is likely that they would spend some US$Billions to renovate their headquarters, seeing as they are perched on the East River? (which is tidal by the way).
    Maybe it is irrelevant. Perhaps their donated money is so easily come by, they welcome being flooded within the next 10 years or so.
    However I think not. Hence the crack about the jettys and helicopter pad which appear to be missing.

    Hope you can see the relevance with your post now.

    Cheers

    Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      Thank you for the explanation. Your comment is clear now. Still, I have some questions.

      (1) “This is a catch mainly because in order to attain the often predicted catestrophic sea level rises that we hear about, one would reasonably expect to see at least some acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.”

      Why? The sea level data is very noisy due to the complex assembly of data sources and the large adjustments needed. Is there acceleration in the rising seas? It’s being fought out in the p-r literature (citing only one paper proves nothing).

      (2) “In fact the rate (which shows no acceleration) is consistant with the 1.7mm annually since records began.”

      As I said, that’s not correct. The GRL number is before adjustment for glacial-isostatic effects; the EPA graph shows adjusted numbers.

      (3) “I admit the relevance with your article is a little stretched”

      You said “Never heard of the islands disappearing that you mentioned.” Be a man and admit you were wrong. I didn’t mention any such thing.

      (4) “So if they truely expect a catestrophic sea level rise, do you think it is likely that they would spend some US$Billions to renovate their headquarters, seeing as they are perched on the East River?”

      What’s the assumed lifetime of a commercial building when doing renovations? The UN building is 64 years old. The worst-case forecast in the IPCC’s AR5 for 2045 is 0.1 ~0.2 meter. Even for 2075 it is only 0.2 ~0.4 meters. See the graph on p4 p10. Easily handled, including storm surge, with walls.

      Except for public buildings, we don’t build things to last forever. The economics don’t make sense.

      Like

  6. “The worst-case forecast in the IPCC’s AR5 for 2045 is 0.1 meter. Even for 2075 it is only 0.2 meters”

    You know that and so do I. Who pretends not know that, for instance, is my city council who are taking precautions for a 1 meter rise or worse, which involves squeezing people off the coastal areas by scheduling their properties as being prone to inundation. 18,000 properties actually. (What we are seeing here is society being bullied around not only using sea level projections as an excuse but using our recent earthquakes as an excuse to embrace the Agenda 21 sustainability model which once again ended up with at least 20,000 households having to sell their properties, damaged or not to the government.)

    Maybe you may find other articles in my blog interesting. In fact people are suffering from AGW induced sea level rise before its even begun! http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    There are several papers about the historic sea level rise in NZ – all based on the same empirical data.

    However bear in mind what the public are being told. e.g. from NOAA’s “Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment“.

    “The lowest sea level change scenario (8 inch rise) is based on historic rates of observed sea level change. This scenario should be considered where there is a high tolerance for risk (e.g. projects with a short lifespan or flexibility to adapt within the near-term) The intermediate-low scenario (1.6 feet) is based on projected ocean warming. The intermediate-high scenario (3.9 feet) is based on projected ocean warming and recent ice sheet loss. The highest sea level change scenario (6.6 foot rise) reflects ocean warming and the maximum plausible contribution of ice sheet loss and glacial melting. This highest scenario should be considered in situations where there is little tolerance for risk.”

    Climate guru James Hansen warns of much worse than expected sea level rise” in The Guardian, 22 March 2016.

    Although these don’t come from the IPCC we don’t see the UN taking any effort to calm everyone down with their truth.

    As far as the link to the EPA is concerned, I am only refering to the information therein. I see no mention of glacial-isostatic effects there.

    OK the islands were aimed some other blogs who were claiming that Sea level rise was taking them away. Still interesting to know about anyway right?

    Good conversation. Cheers, Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      (1) “Who pretends not know that, for instance, is my city council who are taking precautions for a 1 meter rise or worse,”

      I find that comment puzzling. The point of this post (which you appear to have missed) is that activists and journalists misrepresent the science. Your city council probably relies on the media for information, so they are misinformed about climate change. Why do you believe they “pretend”? Do you know that they read the IPCC reports or peer-reviewed literature?

      (2) NOAA’s forecast of sea level rise by 2100

      You appear to disagree with NOAA, who appears to have a somewhat higher max estimate than the IPCC for 2100. I don’t know why you disagree. You seem to believe, if I understand what you’re saying, that because there has probably been no acceleration of sea level rise then there will be no acceleration. I doubt you have the technical knowledge to have a valid opinion on the matter. The IPCC’s AR5 says it is “very likely that the 21st-century mean rate of GMSLR will exceed that of 1971-2010 under all RCPs.” That’s the consensus opinion. I suggest you have some strong evidence before disagreeing.

      (3) “we don’t see the UN taking any effort to calm everyone down with their truth.”

      The UN is a political agency. That’s not their job. They created the IPCC to handle such matters. The IPCC, and more broadly, climate scientists, have made little effort to correct the exaggerations of alarmists. I’ve documented a few of their attempts to do so, although I believe this is quite inadequate. It’s something I’ve often written about.

      (4) “I see no mention of glacial-isostatic effects there.”

      The EPA wrote this page (graph and paragraph of text) for a general audience. They show numbers adjusted for g-i effects, as indicated by this: “This figure shows average absolute sea level change, which refers to the height of the ocean surface, regardless of whether nearby land is rising or falling.” For a technical explanation see this.

      Like

  7. My city council spends rate payers money on slap dash technical reports who use very poor referencing of the facts and when they do reference for instance RSNZ, 2010 and J Hannah (the two most reliable papers who write on the empirical sea level rises around here), they are ignored in the script.

    Of course the City Council people are not idiots, they can read as well as I can. However they have embraced UN Agenda 21 and all this is a means to force this doctrine upon us. And believe me its real. Why dont you take a read of my blog from the top down. Everything is referenced and you can draw your own conclusions from it. http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    “You seem to believe, if I understand what you’re saying, that because there has probably been no acceleration of sea level rise then there will be no acceleration.”

    Not quite right, Predictions are about as useful as the weather reports around here. You remember this dont you? “UN Embarrassed by Forecast on Climate Refugees“, Der Spiegel, 18 April 2011.

    Any sea level rise is not going to appear in a large permanent tsunami, we will see the acceleration in the empirical data if and when it comes.

    My best advice is to wait until that time before injecting tax payers and rate payers money into anything that maybe foolish. Its not as if sea level rise is going to chase us up the beach.

    Cheers, Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      “Predictions are about as useful as the weather reports around here.”

      On that I strongly disagree. First, weather reports are quite accurate over horizons of ~5-7 days — with diminishing reliability as one looks further into the future (I don’t recall the specific numbers). That makes them extremely useful in a wide range of applications (I’m doing marketing for a private weather forecasting firm; it’s a growing market as the science improves).

      Second, there’s a deep error in your statement. What matters is the source of the prediction. Poorly sourced predictions from govt and ngo’s are trash. But there are reliable sources of information. Reports from the ngo’s like the National Academy of Sciences and major US govt agencies have a good record. Not perfect (absence of perfection is how you know you haven’t died and gone to Heaven).

      The IPCC’s WGI forecast are esp well done. They give a wide range of scenarios, and give their descriptions of fact and forecast along with estimates of probability — which reminds readers that few things are certain in science.

      Apply this to the Der Spiegel article. A little-known UN agency gives a big prediction, made with vague sources. Most scientists in the relevant field disagree. At the end of the article they mention another big forecast — by an Adjunct Associate Professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health (her bio lists no p-r publications). A good source of headlines (media need clickbait to boost ad revenue), but not worth reading.

      Which brings me back to the point of this post.

      Like

  8. “Predictions are about as useful as the weather reports around here.”

    Well this is where we must agree to disagree.

    Any prediction, worth the paper it is written on, must stand up to future observations which is where and how the value of any predictions may be assessed. Sea level rise predictions are certainly no exception.

    So far with observations currently showing an unaccelerated sea level rise, there simply cannot be any significant predictions that are verifiable

    I can be generous and say “time will tell”, but until we start seeing empirical data supporting past predictions it is absolutely pointless spending huge world resources on something that is the result of a number of unproven hypothesis’.

    Al Gore dosn’t mention any figures in his movie but the implication is clear

    Empirical data and proof appears to be especially foreign to him.

    First, weather reports are quite accurate over horizons of ~5-7 days

    Good for you.

    I am a sailor and a snow skier. Therefore I am used to predicting the weather. The weather office here has all sorts of gadgets but I can tell you that I am better at predicting weather than they are. Do you know my secret? Well I simply look out the window and check the weather and then observe the sensitiveness of the leg I broke twice when I was younger.

    I watch the predictions though, and do you know Fridays forecast on Friday, looks nothing like Fridays forecast on Monday. The predictions are adjusted hourly and on the eve of every day, it appears that the rain radar, (which is an observation), is the major source at that time. And still they usually get it wrong.
    If your meteorologist can get it right, well tell them to come here! We could use people like that in this country.

    The IPCC scenarios, although moderate compared with Al Gore are somewhat unhelpful. Once again they have no firm results because there is nothing to check them by right now.

    All they can say are woolly platitudes such as “Sea level will continue to rise for centuries, even if GHG concentrations are stabilized, with the amount of rise dependent on future GHG
    emissions. For higher emission scenarios and warmer temperatures,surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet is projected to exceed accumulation, leading to its long-term decay and a sea level rise of metres, consistent with paleo sea level data.” (AR5))

    Which is bascally meaningless. No indication of time line or magnitude. In earlier publications they described the time line as “millennia “which is more than 2,000 years.

    How about that?

    Cheers

    Like

    1. Roger,

      This is my last reply. Your comment is quite delusional.

      “The weather office here has all sorts of gadgets but I can tell you that I am better at predicting weather than they are.”

      Businesses pay millions of dollars to private meteorologists for accurate weather predictions. You are missing a big business opportunity if you can outperform them.

      “Al Gore dosn’t mention any figures in his movie”

      You are misinformed because you are watching the circus instead of paying attention to scientists.

      “The IPCC scenarios, although moderate compared with Al Gore are somewhat unhelpful. Once again they have no firm results because there is nothing to check them by right now.”

      That’s too confused to even be wrong. They produce “firm results”, i.e., definite predictions. In science theories often produce difficult-to-test predictions. That doesn’t make them “unhelpful”. There is a large literature, described in many posts here, about ways to validate these without waiting for 2050.

      “All they can say are woolly platitudes such as ”

      That’s quite false. You are quoting a summary statement about highly specific model outputs.

      “Which is bascally meaningless. No indication of time line or magnitude.”

      How sad that they didn’t compress multi-thousand word chapters into one sentence for you. That’s the difference between children’s books and scientific reports.

      “So far with observations currently showing an unaccelerated sea level rise, there simply cannot be any significant predictions that are verifiable”

      You appear to have no idea how models are validated. Both business and science use methods other than “watch and wait for a long time”.

      “How about that?”

      Good-bye. I’ve lost interest in replying.

      Like

  9. I am very familliar with the way models are validated, thank you very much.

    The only way to scientifically validate a model or theory is to compare the results with empirical data.

    You cannot validate a model by devising another model to prove it correct which appears is effectively what you are saying.

    If you dont know that then you are the delusional one my friend.

    On the other hand I understand that my statement is a fairly serious comment considering the reliance the IPCC has on models.

    But its not my statement, its how real serious science works.

    Here is a little video by Richard Feynman, one of the worlds leading physicists in his time.

    who explains it better and much more authority than myself.

    However there is no reason to get angry just because we disagree.

    Cheers

    Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      “Once again they have no firm results because there is nothing to check them by right now.”

      Wow. Not only do you claim superiority to the entire corps of professional meteorologists, but you think you know more than the climate science community! You should write to these scientists and explain their errors. Or publish and wait for the Nobel!

      (1) Any discussion of climate science should start with what the IPCC says. See AR5, WGI, Chapter 9: “Evaluation of Climate Models” for a long detailed analysis.

      2. Perhaps the best known attempt at model validation is “Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model” by Hansen et el, Journal of Geophysical Research, 20 August 1988. Its skill is evaluated in “Skill and uncertainty in climate models” by Julia C. Hargreaves, WIREs: Climate Change, July/Aug 2010 (ungated copy).

      3. An evaluation of forecast in the IPCC’s First Assessment Report “Assessment of the first consensus prediction on climate change“, David J. Frame and Dáithí A. Stone, Nature Climate Change, April 2013.

      4. “Test of a decadal climate forecast“, Myles R. Allen et al, Nature Geoscience, April 2013 — Gated. A follow-up to “Quantifying the uncertainty in forecasts of anthropogenic climate change” (Allen et al, Nature, October 2000).

      1. Potential climate impact of Mount Pinatubo eruption“, James Hansen et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 24 January 1992. Ungated copy. Nice validation of long-standing theory, including the early 1980s “nuclear winter” simulations.
      2. How Well Do Coupled Models Simulate Today’s Climate?“, BAMS, March 2008 — Comparing models with the present, but defining “present” as the past (1979-1999).
      3. Similar proposal to mine, but more complete: “Climate predictions and observations“, Roger Pielke Jr., Nature Geoscience, April 2008.
      4. Should we believe model predictions of future climate change?”, Reto Knutti, Philosophical Transactions A, December 2008.
      5. Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models“, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Philosophy of Science, December 2010. Ungated copy.
      6. Should we assess climate model predictions in light of severe tests?”, Joel Katzav, Eros, 7 June 2011.
      7. Skillful predictions of decadal trends in global mean surface temperature“, J. C. Fyfe et al, Geophysical Research Letters, November 2011. Gated; open draft here. Comments by Pielke Sr here.
      8. The Reproducibility of Observational Estimates of Surface and Atmospheric Temperature Change” by B. D. Santer, T. M. L. Wigley, and K. E. Taylor in Science, 2 December 2011.
      9. Reliability of multi-model and structurally different single-model ensembles“, Tokuta Yokohata et al, Climate Dynamics, August 2012. Uses the rank histogram approach.
      10. The Elusive Basis of Inferential Robustness“, James Justus, Philosophy of Science, December 2012. A creative look at a commonly given reason to trust GCMs.
      11. Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years” by John C. Fyfe et al, Nature Climate Change, Sept 2013.
      12. Can we trust climate models?” J. C. Hargreaves and J. D. Annan, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, July/August 2013.
      13. Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming?“, H. Von Storch et al, 2013 — unpublished. Hindcast of models used in AR4 and AR5 vs. two scenarios.
      14. Reconciling warming trends” by Gavin A. Schmidt et al, Nature Geoscience, March 2014 — Ungated copy here.
      15. Recent observed and simulated warming“, John C. Fyfe and Nathan P. Gillett, Nature Climate Change, March 2014 — Gated. “Fyfe et al.
      16. CMIP5 historical simulations (1850–2012) with GISS ModelE2“, RL Miller, Gavin Schmidt, et al, Journal of Advances Modeling Earth Systems, June 2014.
      17. Well-estimated global surface warming in climate projections selected for ENSO phase“, James S. Risbey et al, Nature Climate Change, September 2014. Hindcasting of CMIP5. Reported as “Study vindicates climate models accused of ‘missing the pause’“.
      18. The Robustness of the Climate Modeling Paradigm“, Alexander Bakker, Ph.D. thesis, VU University (2015).
      19. Comparing the model-simulated global warming signal to observations using empirical estimates of unforced noise“, Patrick T. Brown et al, Scientific Reports, April 2015.
      20. Uncertainties, Plurality, and Robustness in Climate Research and Modeling: On the Reliability of Climate Prognoses“, Anna Leuschner, Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 21 July 2015. Typical cheerleading; proof by bold assertion.
      21. Robust comparison of climate models with observations using blended land air and ocean sea surface temperatures“, Kevin Cowtan et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 15 August 2015. Open copy here.

      Like

  10. The IPCC shoots itself in the foot in its statement of principles.

    “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the
    scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of
    risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

    Can you see what that is saying? They are presuming that “Human induced climate change” exists. No ifs or buts, they are going to only take note of and publish papers that assume the same or deal with ancillary subjects such as the non existant sea level rise.

    Don’t you wonder about the growing pessimism of the United Nations in general?

    Here is another document, it is really part of Agenda 21 but take a look at what it is saying?

    https://thedemiseofchristchurch.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/unitednations-conference-on-human-settlements_habitat1.pdf
    Check page 8 Section D “Land”. The emphasis is mine.

    Do you really think the IPCC and the UN etc are a benevolent organization existing entirely for our welfare? Maybe it was meant to be early on but now it is a bureaucratic monster with ambitions of its own.
    I notice you quote a paper by James Hansen. Well he most certainly does not share in the IPCC’s restraint we have talked about earlier. Why then would you include such a writer in your list? https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/22/sea-level-rise-james-hansen-climate-change-scientist
    Perhaps sea level rise will come as a permanent tsunami because one thing is sure – it will most certainly take a huge and prominent acceleration of sea level rises to meet Hansen’s predictions!

    Oh well – good luck with your beliefs, even the cold snap of the winters of 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 in the american east is global warming.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JD025116/full

    “How many fingers am I holding up Winston?”

    Cheers

    Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      Your criticism will have more effect once you’ve established yourself as the world’s greatest weather forecaster AND a top expert on validation of quantitative models! Otherwise your claims of personal greatness will seems just …strange.

      “Do you really think the IPCC and the UN etc are a benevolent organization existing entirely for our welfare?”

      That’s a sophomoric view, an absurd question to ask about any group – chruch, state, charity, or business. The IPCC is an organization, like all the others that run the world. It has no life of their own; they’re not alive. They are staffed by people like you and me, with the usual complex of motives. No angels, no devils. Determining the IPCC’s effect requires looking at the beliefs and actions of the groups that run it.

      “They are presuming that “Human induced climate change” exists.”

      Human induced climate change has existed on a regional basis for millennia as we re-shaped the land. No great leap required for global effects. That you disagree with scientists on this simple fact is sad, but probably incurable. Scientists ask “how much influence?”

      Like

  11. Oh gosh and I suppose you are too proud to watch the Richard Feynman video.

    So you think the Minoan Warm period, the Roman warming and the Medieval warm period, just to mention a few warmings within human history, (all of which real science records as being warmer than the present), were caused by human industry? If they were not, then think about the ramifications for the unproven “Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis.

    “Determining the IPCC’s effect requires looking at the beliefs and actions of the groups that run it.”
    Yes well I gave you some examples of which you seem to have ignored
    People first thought that Hitler was benevolent as well.

    We have a democratic system that is designed to prevent that human failing of hunger after wealth and power. Note there are no such restraints on the UN that are effective.

    Do I disagree with scientists? Yes I do when I see them ignoring science fundimentals. You are no better because you claim these fundimentals do not exist.
    I read relevant academic papers to assess the writings of many academics. For instance Cook et al did not make sense, and after a lot of pressure where he was compelled to publish his data and methods I found that his whole paper and conclusions were junk. I even have his data here. Would you like a copy? So I agree with sound scientific analysis, and I am quite capable of distinguishing the pseudo scientific from the truely scientific.

    For your information there is and always has been, a large body of real scientists who think exactly as I do. Its just the publishers tend to ignore them and according to Dr Tim Ball who lost a new job because he wanted to include the “null hypothesis” in his area of study, there is pressure on institutions to follow the official UN line.

    As to the weather predictions here. for all of last week it rained when it said fine and was fine when it said rain. How bad do you want it?

    Why dont you watch the Feynman video? Are you afraid that your beliefs may be under too much attack?
    We are not talking religion here are we?

    Cheers

    Roger

    Like

    1. Roger,

      “So you think the Minoan Warm period, the Roman warming and the Medieval warm period…”

      This is #2 on my 2008 list of their favorite tactics: “Pro-AGW comments often invent assertions which they can easily refute.” I’ve noticed how the extremists laypeople on both sides have come to sound like each other. You’ve provided yet another example.

      You also provide examples of #1, #3, #5, an #8. Impressive, in a way.

      “Oh gosh and I suppose you are too proud to watch the Richard Feynman video.”

      Oh, gosh! Wrong again! You’re a festival of errors. I saw that long. I’ve also posted about the relevance of Feynman’s work to climate science. Especially note this excerpt I posted from his essay “Cargo Cult Science” (based on his 1974 Caltech commencement address).

      I recommend you read it. You’ll learn a lot more from it than from a 10 minute undergrad-level speech about the scientific method. The little except you gave is from “The Character of Physical Law”, Feynman’s November 1964 lectures at Cornell, part of the “The Messenger Series of Physics Lectures”. It was recorded and broadcast by the BBC. You can read the full text here, or see the webpages about it at the Cornell website.

      Like

  12. “Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can – if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong – to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem”

    Hate to tell you this old cock, but I have listened to Feynmans lecture on cargo cults, and what is incredible to me – is that you think it is pointed elsewhere and does not include you.

    Why dont you put down all the facts that contradict AGW and see if you can reconcile them.
    Why dont you put the excerpt that I sent you, which you pompously dismiss because it is an undergraduate class, and apply it to all the theories we read about regarding global warming.

    He is talking about the same thing in the quote above.

    Are you blind or something?

    You are the guys with the theories, Im just waiting until all the doubts on AGW are cleared up. Unfortunately the facts, as I have mentioned some number of times before, do not support any of the theories because the empirical data does not match with the results of the AGW hypothesis.

    Maybe one day they will, and then I will come and lend a hand, but so far all I see are far too many facts that disagree with the Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming hypothesis and we are simply being told to ruin our economies fighting some wacky theory that cannot even gain approval from an undergraduate from Feynmans class.

    Like

    1. Roger,

      “Why dont you put down all the facts that contradict AGW and see if you can reconcile them.”

      There is a large literature by scientists that do that. In fact, that’s the IPCC reports do.

      I’ve given you a long time to spout your content-free nonsense. Congrats on your self-esteem. Good-bye.

      Like

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