Open thread Summer 2014

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For all climate-related discussions that don’t fit under a recent thread.

32 Responses to “Open thread Summer 2014”

  1. citizenschallenge Says:

    I’ve finally gotten a day to concentrate on K’s challenge and doing some research. In the process I came across this article that’s worth sharing since it does a good job of describing some misconceptions many promulgate when challenging the validity of climate science using Popperian mythology.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Human Knowledge, Reliability and Fallibilism
    Mariano Artigas | Napoli, 1992 (5,150 words)

    http://www.unav.es/cryf/english/conocimientofiablidadyfalibilismo.html


    ¶9 “So far, fallibilism is not an entire theory of knowledge. It is a metholodogical proposal in order to correctly evaluate knowledge claims. This proposal is closely related to falsificationism, and therefore to the logical impossibility of establishing the truth of any theory through the positive corroboration of its consequences. As a methodological caveat, fallibilism is a healthy advice. The troubles begin when fallibilism is expanded into an entire epistemology, as this involves two extrapolations.

    The first consists of extrapolating a methodological attitude as if it were a full description of the scientific procedure. The second consists of extrapolating this image of science into an entire theory of human knowledge. I will briefly consider both issues now.

    ¶10 With respect to the first issue, scientific method can hardly be described mainly in negative terms. Eugene Freeman and Henryk Skolimowski have regretted “that the methodologies of both Peirce and Popper should be called by so inapt a term as ‘fallibilism'”, because this term suggests “the human propensity to make mistakes” and usually means “liable to err” or “liable to be erroneous or inaccurate”; in this sense, “the term is singularly inapt, almost to the point of caricature, as a name for the method of science”, because “this misses the main point about what science is doing when it is making its mistakes –

    and that is, not that it makes them, but that (a) it recognizes them, and (b) it eliminates them, and (c) it advances beyond them, and thus, asymptotically, gets closer and closer to the truth”.

    Freeman and Skolimowski suggest that “a much happier designation for identifying the methodology of both Peirce and Popper is found in Popper’s inspired phrase, ‘conjectures and refutations’, which comes much closer to capturing the essence of Scientific Method” [Freeman-Skolimowski 1974, pp. 514-515].

    ¶11 To recognize and to eliminate errors imply positive capacities and achievements that should be reflected in any theory of scientific method. Of course, Popper’s methodology includes this, but then we may conclude that fallibilism is not an adequate label for it. Nevertheless, I think that there is more, because actually we obtain true knowledge and we know that we obtain it. A complete clarification of this problem depends on our ideas about certitude.

    ¶12 With respect to the second issue, although Popper obviously distinguishes ordinary, scientific and philosophical knowledge, he claims nevertheless that “scientific knowledge can be more easily studied than common-sense knowledge. For it is common-sense knowledge writ large, as it were. Its very problems are enlargements of the problems of common-sense knowledge. For example, it replaces the Humean problem of ‘reasonable belief’ by the problem of the reasons for accepting or rejecting scientific theories” [Popper 1935, p. 22].

    ¶13 I disagree with this. I do not deny that empirical science and ordinary knowledge share some important methodological features, nor I deny that the method of conjectures and refutations is widely applied in ordinary life.

    However, I think that ordinary knowledge includes some capacities which are used by science as presuppositions and constitute necessary conditions for the very existence and progress of the scientific enterprise; such are, among others, the capacity for self-reflection and the sense of evidence (a term rarely used in fallibilist contexts), which are presupposed by the argumentative capacity.

    There is a feedback of scientific progress in these presuppositions: it retro-justifies and enlarges them, and sometimes it corrects them.

    Therefore, we can use the method and achievements of empirical science in order to know better how ordinary knowledge works, but I think that it would be a mistake to forget those special characteristics that ordinary knowledge possesses and that are related to the very basis of all our knowledge. …”

    Mariano Artigas from
    “Human Knowledge, Reliability and Fallibilism”

  2. citizenschallenge Says:

    ¶15 “By ‘fallibilism’ I mean here the view, or the acceptance of the fact, that we may err, and that the quest for certainty (or even the quest for high probability) is a mistaken quest.

    But this does not imply that the quest for truth is mistaken. On the contrary, the idea of error implies that of truth as the standard of which we may fall short.

    It implies that, though we may seek for truth, and though we may even find truth (as I believe we do in very many cases), we can never be quite certain that we have found it.”
    ~ ~ ~

    Mariano Artigas from
    “Human Knowledge, Reliability and Fallibilism”
    http://www.unav.es/cryf/english/conocimientofiablidadyfalibilismo.html


  3. citizenschallenge Says:

    For what it’s worth. Later I’ll share some key quotes

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Falsify This – what contrarians ignore (#5)
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/08/falsify-this-what-contrarians-ignore.html

    cheers, and good night.

  4. citizenschallenge Says:

    K writes:

    “citizenschallenge – the trick is that trivial falsifications do not automatically add up to a falsifiable hypothesis.  
    “You need to have a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis statement. 

    1) a list of observations, which if observed, mean your hypothesis is false;
    2) a logical argument that the lack of those falsifications means that your hypothesis must be favored over all others (including the null).

    The null hypothesis, is of course, natural climate change explains all observed climate change.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    To begin with this “null hypothesis” doesn’t make any sense because if we look at the situation from a geophysical perspective there is nothing unnatural about today’s increasing greenhouse gas levels causing our atmosphere’s insulation ability to increase, in turn causing our planet to warm.

    It is only the source, human burning of fossil fuels, that is unique in the long varied history of our planet. 

    It would be interesting if K or any other science contrarian can suggest a more meaningful null hypothesis, since his is broken.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “1) a list of observations, which if observed, mean your hypothesis is false;” 

    At OurChangingClimate Hans Custers suggested a list that was glibly rejected with excuses that basically boil down to “it happened before” and “other things could cause that” to “possibility of some major unknown factor” along with a total lack of curiosity to explore the evidence at hand.
    ~ ~ ~

    Considering the complexity of our planet’s climate system it seems to me it would make more sense to break down the question and evaluate it’s components, which I suggest can be summarized:

    Does increasing CO2 cause global warming?  [4, 5, 8, 9, 10]
    Are atmospheric CO2 levels increasing?  [3]
    What is the source of this CO2?  [-]
    Is our global heat distribution engine warming up?  [1, 2, 6, 7]

    The numbers refer to Hans Custers’ list.
    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/is-climate-science-falsifiable/
    ~ ~ ~ 

  5. citizenschallenge Says:

    K’s #2) “a logical argument that the lack of those falsifications means that your hypothesis must be favored over all others (including the null).”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It seems to me the above list of questions provides a logical framework for evaluating the question “is climate science falsifiable” and thus a reliable source of learning and a valid foundation for basing life changing decisions on.  

    Beyond that we should consider how contrarians communicate their basic premise and how well do they actually represent what philosopher’s of science are saying… or for that matter how honestly do they represent what climatologists are writing.  

    I came across a most interesting article by Mariano Artigas titled “Human Knowledge, Reliability and Fallibilism” and I’ve reprinted the full text in my previous post, I share more telling highlights at:

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/08/falsify-this-what-contrarians-ignore.html
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

    ¶2 ” It is well known that fallibilism is one of the main ideas of the Popperian philosophy and that it implies the negation of any kind of reliability.” 

    {I can see where some might find this justification for rejecting anything unwelcome that any scientist might have to say.}
    ~ ~ ~

    ¶24  “Fallibilism emphasizes that absolute and perfect knowledge is beyond our reach. I agree with this. But we cannot conclude from this that any kind of certitude is beyond our reach.”  

    {This seems to explain K’s shoot from the hip contrarian responses: since we can’t know anything without certitude, we don’t know anything.  Thus all attempts at defining some agreed upon criterial for what is a necessary and sufficient falsification hypothesis statement are doomed to failure from the outset.}
    ~ ~ ~

    ¶30  “… We do not have absolute and perfect knowledge. Nevertheless, we can obtain a knowledge that is contextual and partial but, at the same time, authentically true.”
    ~ ~ ~

    ¶43  “I think that these views are compatible with some central fallibilist ideas, provided fallibilism is not understood in a too rigid way and is not inflated into an entire epistemology.”  

    { Here’s another one underlined for K to consider – The sad point is that contrarians use “fallibilism” as a bludgeon in order to keep the conversation away from the meat and potatoes of the problem we need to learn about, so it’s a handy tool to twist into whatever form needed in order to dismiss whatever line of scientific evidence is being presenting.  

    Nothing is ever complete or accurate enough for certitude, so if one wishes it hard enough, nothing needs to be learned… thus no changes need to be considered.  What a cheap way out.}
    ~ ~ ~

    “¶43(c) “The validity of claims about truth depends on our goals, so that we can often reach a degree of certainty that is sufficient for our purposes;”
     
    { So simple, “sufficient for our purposes”, that being anticipating the direction Earth’s climate is going – Not pretending that we need to accurately predict every twist and turn to know we’re in trouble and need to act!

    So easy to ignore, we live on a real physical planet, with a living biosphere that moves forward regardless of any human beliefs.

    Libertarian/Republicans would be well advised to take Earth’s geophysical systems more seriously than they do their own desires and faith-based head-games. }  
    ~ ~ ~

    ¶43(d) “Although empirical science shares many logical features with ordinary knowledge and other cognitive claims, assertions about truth and certainty should always be interpreted according to the different goals and the corresponding standards of every human enterprise.”

    { Or put another way, uncertainty doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s going on.}

    Link to original article: University of Navarra 
    http://www.unav.es/cryf/english/conocimientofiablidadyfalibilismo.html

  6. citizenschallenge Says:

    Back to K’s basic challenge, “You need to have a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis statement.” considering the complexity of AGW it seems that a good faith effort would split the challenge into at least two components, here’s another try – 

    A) is our planet warming?
    B) are humans the cause of this warming?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

    Regarding the question of our planet experiencing a unique warming over the past century, 
    NASA offers the following information at
    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    All of the following points are open to verification, meaning they are falsifiable, based on accumulating evidence.  No one, not even K, has offered serious challenges to this information, instead a lot of arm waving and faith that the slightest flaw nullifies what’s been learned.  [for those links check my blog article]

    B) Are humans the cause of this warming?
    Should also be broken into two parts:

    Is CO2 responsible for the warming?
    Are humans responsible for this increase in our planet’s CO2 levels?
    – – – 
    There is plenty of falsifiable evidence available, some of which I share at WUWTW…
    ~ ~ ~
    Then we get to:
    Are humans responsible for dramatically elevating our atmosphere’s CO2 levels?  

    Does coal and oil produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases when burned?  
    Falsify that!

    Does human fossil fuel burning add up to geophysically major numbers?
    Falsify that!

    Here too I provide sources of information at http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/08/falsify-this-what-contrarians-ignore.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bart thank you for your patience and this opportunity.

    Peter

  7. citizenschallenge Says:

    Thinking of the crazy makers – any of you folks around here familiar with the “Gallic Gadfly”, one Pascal Bruckner who seems to have found a lucrative market niche in attacking science with high brow ‘philosophy’ born within the fertile mind of someone who’s words betray an utter cluelessness when it comes to climate science or the people who do it – {not that this fact slows down right wing media outlets in reprinting his nonsense}?

    I just can’t help believing it’s time to stop giving such folks a free ride. :- |

    Watching Flames, Pascal Bruckner Fiddles
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/08/watching-flames-bruckner-fiddles.html

  8. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Hartog van den Berg asked on another thread this Q, which really belongs on the open thread:

    Bart,

    Kun jij met echte nummers en droge feiten aantonen dat mensen de hoofd schuldigen zijn van ‘klimaatverandering’ ? Bewezen and bevestigd met waarnemingen?

    Translated as “can you proof to me that humans are the cause of AGW?”

    There is no proof in natural science; only in mathematics.

    Based on a combination of

    – the basic physics of greenhouse gases and the earth’s energy balance
    – a myriad of observations, including e.g. direct observations of the enhanced greenhouse effect and many other relevant parameters
    – climate changes in the past (paleoclimate) and their likely causes
    – physics-based climate modeling
    – regression analyses of global avg temperature to a linear combination of different factors

    the conclusion that human activity is the dominant driver of current climate change is true with a very high degree of confidence.

    For more information I refer you to the scientific literature, the IPCC reports or various textbooks (e.g. http://www.climate.be/textbook/ freely available on-line).

  9. Gorgon Zola Says:

    Dag Bart,

    Two questions: considering other factors like increased sun activity, volcanoes, natural variability and what not, what percentage of warming, if any, can be maximally attributed to these other factors?

    And my other question would be: I came across the term ‘runner up’ in this context in the survey article. Is there a single runner up to point to?

    regards,

    G.

  10. citizenschallenge Says:

    What increased sun activity?
    What increased volcanoes?
    you speak nonsense…

    CO2 In Atmosphere Reaches Highest Levels In Nearly A Million(s) Years

    Time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide, by CIRES & NOAA

  11. cjaneway Says:

    Do you mind addressing posts with a bit more respect/maturity?

    The current estimate of human influence on GW isn’t 100% across the board. The ranges of relative attribution vary depending on who you ask.

    My question simply addresses that gap.I’d like to know what other factors in lieu of increased sun activity and the other usual suspects that have been discarded, are responsible for the warming that isn’t caused by altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

  12. citizenschallenge Says:

    Excuse me Cjaneway but you are playing a game of avoiding the obvious. So sorry my civility is running short with such disingenuous word games.*

    By what right do you expect a prefect detailed exact number for every detail??? Why do the tiny error margins give you the confidence to treat the KNOWN facts with such disregard… (if not contempt) ?

    And why not respect the learned opinions of the experts who really do understand all these details light-years better than you or me, or the McIntyres or the Wattzers.?
    ~ ~ ~

    * On a similar note, I invite you to consider the following:
    Surely you’re joking Mr. Weingarten – updated with invite
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/09/youre-joking-mr-weingarten.html

  13. Bart Verheggen Says:

    cjaneway, GorgonZola,

    The potential natural sources of warming on timescales of multiple decades are basically the sun or volcanism (where the latter actually causes cooling due to reflecting aerosols, so a decrease in volcanism would cause warming).

    However, both the sun and volcanism show no sign of a warming trend over the past ~50 years. The sun shows a small upward trend in the beginning of the 20th century, and so contributed somewhat to the warming over that time period. See e.g. AR5 FAQ 5.1 (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/figures/WGI_AR5_FigFAQ5.1-1.jpg) or figure 10.6 (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/figures/WGI_AR5_Fig10-6.jpg) how these natural and anthropogenic forcings compare.

    Internal (unforced) variability is bounded over longer timescales by conservation of energy, which would push the Earth’s climate back to its equilibrium value. It basically comes down to moving energy around within the climate system, causing one place to temporarily warm up a little whereas another one cools down. However, wherever we look it’s warming, so this is not what’s driving the surface warming. In the abovementioned figures two modes of variability are specifically noted: ENSO and AMO (incl other ocean oscillations). They don’t exhibit a long-term trend (logically so, since that would violate conservation of energy).

    Basically, by chance or within the uncertainties which are obviously a part of science, natural factors could have contributed somewhat to the warming, but it probably isn’t much, if anything. See e.g. the figure here which translates the AR5 attribution statement in a probability density function regarding the human contribution to recent (post-1950) warming.

  14. cjaneway Says:

    Thank you Bart for your response.

    Unfortunately your reply didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know so maybe my confusion lies in in the way attribution is sometimes formulated or presented in different media and/or different contexts.

    I know (and agree with) that the general agreement leans towards the idea that most if not all of the warming can and should be attributed to an increase in human produced atmospheric CO2 and other GHG. But the gap between 100% (or higher if one counts aerosols) and lower percentages (<90%) does seem to exist. I'm fairly sure, though failed to retrieve the sources, that some reputable scientists give a significant lower attribution figure. Because I subsequently couldn't find the explanation for these lower figures, I thought I'd go ahead and ask for an explanation here since I couldn't find one on RC.

    I assume I'm looking for answers like deforestation or a reduced albedo due to a shift in land use or some other (significant) shift in the climate dynamics which can only be filed under NV and not under the influence of AGW itself.

    Analogously (shamelessly flawed, I know): Curry gives a much lower GW attribution factor for the reduced ice volume in the arctic than many of her colleagues. However, she provides clear explanations for her stance.

    I realize it would be helpful to provide some names, but I hoped my question would ring a few bells.I guess it didn't.

    Again, thanks for your reply.

    P.s. There seems to be a troll on this forum. Either that or citizenschallenge needs to take a refresher course in comprehensive reading.

  15. Marco Says:

    cjaneway, why would land-use changes and deforestation be filed under “NV”? Those are anthropogenic factors, too.

  16. cjaneway Says:

    You simply misread my sentence, which seems to be the theme in this forum. ‘Which’ refers to the latter part of the sentence and not the whole, quite obviously.

  17. citizenschallenge Says:

    If we misread your sentences, please compose some more explanatory and succinct sentences. There is an intelligent constructive conversation to be had over here.

    Please excuse me for being a bit harsh (you know grumpy old guy syndrome), but I am curious about the point you were trying to make. Please try explaining it again.

    Also I’m curious what is your feeling about “expert” opinion?

    By “expert” I mean coming from people who have been educated within a specific field of study and work full time in that field, and are recognized within the community of other experts who understand the details of said field of study. …

    cheers

  18. cjaneway Says:

    So many mistakes and misapprehensions in what you write. Seriously.

    – I’m not here to make a point, I raised a question.

    – I’m not here to have a conversation for conversation’s sake, see point 1.

    – A concise way of expression oneself doesn’t magically add beneficially to someone else’s reading abilities.

    – I actually was concise in my reply to you, yet you called it a game of avoiding the obvious, which was completely uncalled for. Apology accepted.

    – To question someone about their feeling towards ‘expert opinion’ is nonsensical. You need to be more specific.

    If I were to make a point, it would be something like this:

    I just take a general interest in the topic of climate change and I try to get as much of complete picture of it as I can with my limited scientific background. My ‘feelings’ towards our current understanding of climate dynamics in regard to a changing chemical composition of oceans and atmosphere is that we’ve gained enough knowledge to let it inform our policy. This was, in my opinion, already true many decades ago.

    This means we need to acknowledge that given the most likely scenarios that have been put forth, acting 30 years ago in stead of now or in couple of years, is what was actually needed to avoid a rise of 2 degrees C of global mean temperature above baseline.

    The pathological procrastination towards changing the way we treat everything on this planet, including ourselves, as commodities to be squandered with impunity, to me, suggest we are on a path of self annihilation and the subsequent destruction of much of the flora and fauna in existence today. The latter extends far beyond the dire implications of climate change. That is to say, even if we somehow manage to curb our current climate trajectory, we would have all our work still ahead of us.

  19. Bart Verheggen Says:

    cjaneway,

    It wasn’t clear to me (and others apparently) what exactly you meant. If you have specific people or studies in mind, best to mention them. You probably know http://www.skepticalscience.com. On that website most high profile studies that found smaller anthropogenic contributions have been discussed, with reference to other primary literature in many cases.

    You mention Judith Curry as having provided a clear explanation for her stance. I beg to differ. Her explanation as why she comes to a roughly 50-50 anthropogenic-natural split is still clear as mud, but of course that may just be me (or not). It often seems to come down to an elaborate form of curve fitting to some preferred modes of natural variability (e.g. ocean circulation patterns or stadium waves for Judith Curry or solar variations for Nicola Scafetta). Not the least bit convincing from a physics point of view. Or in Curry’s case various types of argument from ignorance, e.g. we don’t know what caused the 1910-1940 warming, therefore (some magical thinking occurring at this stage) recent post-1975 warming also partly natural.

    The AR5 attribution statement is by and large more conservative in its uncertainty estimate than the collection of individual studies. That is, as gavin Schmidt has explained several times at RC, in order to account for the sorts of unknown unknowns that Judith Curry places a lot of weight on. And that’s the proper approach: this type of structural uncertainty means widening the error bars; it does not logically translate into a very different best estimate, as Judith Curry seems to imply.

  20. cjaneway Says:

    Thank you Bart,

    Funny that my question is deemed ambiguous when you have now addressed exactly what I asked already twice. Apparently It was indeed clear to you. For whatever reason, it was just not clear to the other two gentlemen. But if a question is so readily mistaken for a point, then we need not dwell on it. The Grumpy Old Man Syndrome suffices as an hypothesis and theory alike.

    Anyway, I feel your last response sufficiently answers my question and I’m glad I brought up the analogy of Curry’s attribution of GW to the decrease of Arctic sea ice volume. To address what you specifically said about it: the point wasn’t really whether hers was a convincing breakdown, but that she provided explanations, flawed as they may be, period. I agree it is in part an unknown unknown attribution and that such in general is fallacious. I now take it this applies equally to the <90% of CO2 attribution to GW when posited, even by learned men. It's not unexpected, but I thought there was perhaps more to it.

    Thanks; another question answered and a picture more complete.

    Keep up the good work.

    Catherine.

  21. citizenschallenge Says:

    OK, it appears a bit of clarification is in order. This is what was written.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    cjaneway Says:
    September 24, 2014 at 10:36
    {…}

    My question simply addresses that gap. I’d like to know what other factors in lieu of increased sun activity and the other usual suspects that have been discarded, are responsible for the warming that isn’t caused by altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

    citizenschallenge Says:
    September 25, 2014 at 04:00
    Excuse me Cjaneway but you are playing a game of avoiding the obvious. So sorry my civility is running short with such disingenuous word games.*
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Without parsing the semantics of point vs. question –
    My reason for being a bit harsh and shooting from hip is that one of the denialist movement’s main tactics is to focus on such tiny details (that incidentally, learned scientists have been looking at much closer for much longer) to the exclusion of taking into account the well established five ton gorilla in the room.

    Though I see from one of your responses that you have a fairly clear understanding of the mess we’ve made of our biosphere, and where those errors will take us, even if the timeline and details are unclear.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    cjaneway Says: “I actually was concise in my reply to you”
    ~ ~ ~
    Actually, none of us are competent judges of our own success, or lack thereof, at communicating. Best leave that to others.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Catherine as for your “troll” remark, I hope that was just to ‘even the score’ and not an indication of your serious assessment. I may come on a bit strong and harsh – but a troll I most certainly am not, since I am more than willing to engage you* in a rational and hopefully constructive manner.
    ~ ~ ~

    * Or any of the many vocal denialists (which I certainly appreciate you are not !) who spout their nonsense then duck and run.

    PS. Come on down for a chat if you like http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com

    Happy trails, Peter

  22. citizenschallenge Says:

    cjaneway Says:
    September 26, 2014 at 14:55
    – “To question someone about their feeling towards ‘expert opinion’ is nonsensical. You need to be more specific.”
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Yea, one should ask that in a more subtle manner. I’ll work on it.

    But, my point with that question – is that one’s basic attitude towards the experts who convey unwelcomed information is important.

    It is very important because so much of the public’s doubt about the science behind global warming is the direct product of a cynical strategic PR campaign aimed at maligning all the experts who are presenting information contrary to what the faith-based financially-focused Republican/libertarian crowd wants to hear.

    Worse all the verbose folks who actually believe they can better judge these questions, than the experts who study them.
    ~ ~ ~

    Not that I’m claiming you fall into that category (though it seems to me you do play into it some, even if unintentionally) I’m just trying to explain myself.

  23. Bob Brand Says:

    Hi Cjaneway,

    I assume I’m looking for answers like deforestation or a reduced albedo due to a shift in land use or some other (significant) shift in the climate dynamics which can only be filed under NV and not under the influence of AGW itself.

    Deforestation actually tends to increase the suface albedo, which is a cooling influence (a negative radiative forcing). Please have a look at the bottom of this graph:

    Figure 8.17 in IPCC AR5

    Of course, deforestation also has an effect on the carbon cycle which means it contributes to the increasing CO2-concentration in the atmosphere. This contribution by land use (including deforestation) to the CO2-emissions has been quite considerable during the 18th – early 20th century, but fossil fuel use + cement has eclipsed it:

    The bottom green portion of the graph shows the raw emissions in ppm CO2 per year due to deforestation (‘ontbossing’ in Dutch). The grey bars show the contribution by fossil fuels. These emissions are ‘pre-uptake’ i.e. not yet considering the natural uptake of a bit more than 50% every year by the carbon cycle (on average).

    Bottom line: deforestation is actually a cooling influence on the climate. Any warming effect it has… is via the increase in CO2 it contributes to.

  24. cjaneway Says:

    Hi all,

    My question was sufficiently answered already by Bart’s in his last reply, but thank you for the kind elaboration.

    To recap:

    The (few) experts that give a lower (<90%) attribution for CO2 to GW rely most probably on fallacious reasoning as Bart pointed out. These people are probably still considering a hiatus in knowledge which renders it an argument from ignorance which is neither helpful nor honest.

    @CC
    ..one’s basic attitude towards the experts who convey unwelcomed (sic) information is important.

    I take it that by 'unwelcome' you mean 'dissenting'? In general I must disagree with this label but regarding climate change I do agree because of the simple fact that dissenting claims are shown to be either fabricated or based on flawed science, time and time again.

    @Bob
    -Deforestation actually tends to increase the suface albedo, which is a cooling influence (a negative radiative forcing).-

    Indeed, that's why I mentioned it?

    @CC
    -Not that I’m claiming you fall into that category (though it seems to me you do play into it some, even if unintentionally)-

    You again don't seem to understand the difference between a question (and complimentary elaboration) and a point. This is not because of ambiguous writing on my part, it's because people have a tendency to read presupposed motivation and claims into the writing of others they don't know. Which in your case is demonstrated in your first replies to me. Again, I can appreciate the frustration one experiences when dealing with denial of AGW, but you are barking up the wrong tree here. I have no tendency to lean towards the <90% attribution figure nor can you make that claim about me based on what I have written here. I challenge you to show me wrong.

    By the way, did you mean 'drop by' when you welcomed me to a chat? I couldn't find an actual chat applet on your blog (which I will surely check out).

    @CC

    -Catherine as for your “troll” remark, I hope that was just to ‘even the score.-

    You bet it was.. :)

    @CC
    -My reason for being a bit harsh and shooting from hip is that one of the denialist movement’s main tactics is to focus on such tiny details (that incidentally, learned scientists have been looking at much closer for much longer) to the exclusion of taking into account the well established five ton gorilla in the room.-

    I wasn't aware those movements made appearances on blogs like this. That would seem like a total waste of time from their perspective unless the point is to frustrate the scientific and activist movements.

    By the way, is everyone Dutch here?

  25. Bart Verheggen Says:

    This little episode shows an interesting and somewhat disturbing -even if at the same time very understandable- dynamic:

    A relatively open question is misinterpreted as a “skeptical” point, which invokes a defensive reaction. This leads to heightened emotions on both sides, which gladly have been cleared up now it seems. I’ve seen this dynamic multiple time, and probably in response to this dynamic, I’ve also seen people exclaim that “skeptics are much nicer [than activists/mainstreamers]”. Mainstream scientists and their supporters should imho be careful in not being overly defensive, even if hearing a question which understandably sets of alarm bells.

    The risk of a false positive (interpreting it as skeptical point scoring whereas in reality it’s a sincere question) is higher and should thus be prevented with more effort than the risk of a false negative (interpreting it as a sincere question whereas in reality it’s skeptical point scoring). It may not provide the same level of personal satisfaction, but I believe it’s better in terms of spreading a pro-science attitude rather than pushing people to distrust science even more.

    Mind you, I don’t mean this as scolding people for reacting in a very understandable way. I’ve been told numerous times that I’m way too nice towards skeptical point scoring, so it may just be a difference in perspective.

    PS cjaneway: There have been plenty of skeptical comments on this blog. Not everyone is Dutch here (less than half of the blog views come from the Netherlands)

  26. cjaneway Says:

    Thanks for this little elaboration. I agree with the general sentiment, though still fail to see how my question or its formulation would instigate the sounding of alarm bells.

    As I wrote:

    “..what percentage of warming, if any, can be maximally attributed to these other factors?”

    It clearly states “if any”, which makes it a completely open question.

    Short time ago, this little nugget was posted on RC:

    “With respect, maybe it’s the sun, or all the underwater volcanos?
    Neither are insignificant or constant.
    But please stop defending what are patently wrong, ie that the models predicting warming based on co2 concentrations.
    Science is never settled, if it was then it is not science.
    Someone wise once said, correlation does not prove causality.
    The more I read on this topic, the more confusing it gets.”

    Now this is obviously the produce of some troll who, for whatever reason, thinks this acceptable online behaviour.
    Note that this is not an open question and that it’s crammed with innuendo.Note also that this person is very probably Dutch :) , but I digress.

    I would seem to me if a question is suspicious, one would pose a few questions in their reply first to check what stance the original poster takes. It would be the ‘scientific’ thing to do :)

    -Catherine

  27. Bob Brand Says:

    Catherine,

    I can’t say I interpreted your wording as either ‘sceptical’ or ‘mainstream’. I only wanted to address — factually — this particular aspect of your question: “I assume I’m looking for answers like deforestation or a reduced albedo due to a shift in land use ..

    Again – deforestation (by itself) actually tends to increase albedo. Any indirect effect it has through increased CO2 obviously supports an attribution to greenhouse gases.

    You are perfectly aware of this, which is fine. It still seemed useful to me to mention this, possibly for the benefit of other readers. :)

  28. citizenschallenge Says:

    Bart Verheggen Says:
    September 27, 2014 at 15:23
    “This little episode shows an interesting and somewhat disturbing -even if at the same time very understandable- dynamic:

    A relatively open question is misinterpreted as a “skeptical” point, which invokes a defensive reaction. This leads to heightened emotions on both sides, which gladly have been cleared up now it seems. I’ve seen this dynamic multiple time, and probably in response to this dynamic, I’ve also seen people exclaim that “skeptics are much nicer [than activists/mainstreamers]“. Mainstream scientists and their supporters should imho be careful in not being overly defensive, even if hearing a question which understandably sets of alarm bells.”
    ~ ~ ~
    I recognize my guilt on that count.

    Guess the reality of the way we are destroying this fantastic planet we inherited, contrasted to the endlessly non-constructive dog-chasing-tail AGW dialogue – non-constructive because it slams right up against the brick wall of faith-based thinking, backed by lawyerly knit-picking, rather than constructive scientific learning. – is getting to me.

    I will endeavor to emulate your more respectful dialogue style.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    cjaneway Says:
    September 27, 2014 at 14:06
    I wasn’t aware those movements made appearances on blogs like this.
    ~ ~ ~
    But, they sure do from time to time.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    cjaneway Says:
    September 27, 2014 at 14:06
    By the way, did you mean ‘drop by’ when you welcomed me to a chat? I couldn’t find an actual chat applet on your blog (which I will surely check out).
    ~ ~ ~
    Chat applet, hmmm. Don’t even know if “Blogspot” has such a thing. I do have a comments section and will post serious comments.

    In truth, I’m more a skilled labor type, outdoorzie like person and have learned enough to sort of know my way around a computer, but there is much I haven’t learned about. If you’re wondering why a skilled labor type would feel competent to blog about this global warming education dialogue, this might interest you:
    Saturday, February 1, 2014
    ClimateAudit. . .“Citizenschallenge” has no CV
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/02/climateaudit-citizenschallenge-cv.html

  29. cjaneway Says:

    Bob,

    Fair enough :)

    Peter,

    No, I don’t think such an applet exists on BS. You would have to host one externally. Like I said, I’ll be dropping by your blog. Thanks for putting one up.

  30. cjaneway Says:

    A question for Bart and other Dutch representatives here,

    I’ll try to be as concise and translucent as humanly possible :)

    I’m frequently appalled by the lack of media coverage concerning global warming/climate change in Dutch newspapers (I’m Dutch as well). Though there seems to be a slight upturn in coverage in the past half year, I get the distinct impression the issue is, at least to some extent, avoided.

    When I do see GW/CC addressed, the articles often confuse terminology and show a lack of proper understanding of even the basics of climatology. For instance, recently I read the claim that CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas, discounting water vapour, due to a translation error. There are more grating examples, but you get the idea.

    My question is: what are your views on the (quality of) reporting in Dutch newspapers concerning global warming/climate change.

    Catherine.

  31. cjaneway Says:

    @Peter,

    You wrote: “I Guess the reality of the way we are destroying this fantastic planet we inherited..”

    Isn’t it the other way around in that it is actually this poor planet that inherited this peculiar, soon to be called on its immaturity, species of hominid?

  32. citizenschallenge Says:

    Interesting thought,
    but considering humans are products of this Earth (as are all other life forms.), I’m not sure how the mother can inherit her child. ;- )

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