Wednesday, March 05, 2014

WUWT, Physics-Deprived

Pity the poor souls at WUWT, physics-deprived, innocent of the concept of absolute temperatures, unable to understand the concept of an anomaly, led around by a scientific weakling:

A few more months like that, and we'll be down in the domain of Kamerlingh Onnes.

Looks like someone got though the thick WUWT skull -- his headline has been changed to
Note that the post's URL still shows the basic error:

My bet is that he still doesn't understand the difference.


Frank1123581321 said...

Speaking of stupid mistakes, at Judith's you wrote:

"Real scientists don’t seem to have any problem getting such things published:

“Energy budget constraints on climate response,”
Alexander Otto et al,
Nature Geoscience 6, 415–416 (2013)

Only fake scientists have to resort to a vanity press."

If you look at this reference, Nic Lewis IS one of the authors of this paper! By your standards, you should regard him as a real scientist. (Or are scientists not scientists when they reach scientific conclusions you don't agree with?) Add a second paper from Nic, which he asserts is an improvement on Otto et al. His Otto et al co-authors insisted on using a uniform prior for their analysis, an arbitrary choice that introduces a bias toward higher climate sensitivity.

Lewis, N., 2013: An objective Bayesian, improved approach for applying optimal fingerprint techniques to estimate climate sensitivity. J. Climate. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00473.1.

Another skeptical blogger working independently, Troy Masters, has also published on the same subject:

"Observational estimate of climate sensitivity from changes in the rate of ocean heat uptake and comparison to CMIP5 models"

Nic (and presumably Judith) believe this real science hasn't being fairly presented to the public and policymakers by the authors of AR5. Parliament has already conduct a hearing on AR5. I suspect this will prompt a Congressional hearing here in the US.

David Appell said...

Frank -- thank you for making my point: contrarian papers do get published.

So why did Lewis & Crok avoid peer review?

Frank1123581321 said...

And you make my point - contrarians can be scientists. I don't think it makes sense to lump those contrarians that do get published (McIntyre, Lewis, McMasters, Lucia, etc.) with those who don't (and usually aren't likely to).

Lewis and Crok wrote an article about how the IPCC didn't properly report on the growing discrepancy between estimates of climate sensitivity from "observations" (energy balance models) and from AOGCMs. Criticizing the IPCC report isn't science. The IPCC's expert review is supposed to correct such problems, but Lewis obviously thinks the process failed.

Perhaps Lewis could or should have tried to publish a critical review of estimates of climate sensitivity and he may attempt to do so in the future. Since he criticizes the use of uniform priors - which are used by most of the rest of the field - and many other problems, chances are that his paper would be peer-reviewed by the same people he is criticizing and who controlled what went into AR5. There could be a second paper discussing the relative merits and weaknesses of estimating climate sensitivity from AOGCMs and from observations. Since Lewis hasn't subject this work to true peer review before attracting a lot of attention, he is out on a limb. IF he has made serious mistakes, the consensus will have a field day. He did subject himself to "pal review", which is all many science papers get anyway.

"The authors are very grateful for the help and comments they have received from Dr James Annan, Professor Judith Curry, Professor David Henderson, Professor Ross McKitrick and Andrew Montford."

David Appell said...

Frank: Lewis & Crok were afraid to submit their work to peer review.

They knew it wouldn't measure up, just as you know it and I know it.

No use pretending otherwise.

This paper is a fart in the wind. It won't mean anything.

Frank1123581321 said...

David wrote: "Lewis & Crok were afraid to submit their work to peer review. They knew it wouldn't measure up, just as you know it and I know it."

You may have talked to the authors and learned that they don't currently have any scientific papers on this subject currently undergoing peer review and they were afraid to submit their work to peer review - but I haven't heard this. Their safest course would have been to submit articles to peer review, see the best counterarguments, and then judge whether or not to make a big public splash - whether or not their papers were rejected. That might take a year or more; meanwhile WGII and WGIII reports are proceeding under the assumption WGI is correct and government policy is being made. Rather than appearing afraid, the authors appear bold and perhaps over-confident they understand the counterarguments that will be coming their way. Time will tell if they have judge the accuracy of their work and the strength of counterarguments correctly.

As for the work "not meaning anything", Lewis has already testified at a Parliamentary inquiry. Will a House (or even Senate?) Congressional hearing be next? Allegations that policymakers aren't getting an accurate report on the current state of the science are serious business.

Of course, if you take it as settled science that ECS is around 3.0 rather than 1.5, this will blow over. However, the IPCC SAYS that both values are in the likely range and that a best estimate could not be made. IF you accept the IPCC's judgment, this is NOT SETTLED SCIENCE. It's not denial. However, the implications of this difference are huge - 50% less future warming.