Go visit; its at climatedialogue.org. And Bart is involved, so it is at least promising. On the other hand the About Page says it exists because the Dutch Parliament... asked the government ‘to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change’. That's pol-speak, therefore stupid. Any scientists with anything valuable to say, via the peer-reviewed literature or, I suppose, in other ways, is or can be already involved. However, don't let me be too negative too soon.
The first topic up is Melting of the Arctic sea ice and that's not a bad idea for a start. Inevitably, the discussion focusses almost immeadiately on "woz it us wot dun it?" I skimmed Walt Meier's stuff, and Ron Lindsay, because they're giving the std line I believe fundamentally the main process causing the decline in Arctic sea ice is increasing greenhouse gases (that's Ron's take, Walt's isn't too different). Since I agree with that, its a bit dull. The interesting bit, of course, is how Curry is going to wriggle out of agreeing, whilst not sounding too wild-eyed.
The answer of course begins with obfustication (we don't have a great long-term record, etc; a long list of possible processes, carefully qualifying radiative forcing by claiming dominance from clouds; an "explanation" for the recent decline that carefully "attributes" most of it to mysterious "circulation changes" and so on). But eventually there's no avoiding some kind of assessment, and Curry opts for
My assessment is that it is likely (>66% likelihood) that there is 50-50 split between natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, with +/-20% range.
So... what does this mean, if anything? There is a 66% (or more) likelihood that is 50-50 (or so) anthro/var. So the remaining 33% is filled up by, errm, what? 100% anthro? 100% var?
Marcel Crok (who I don't think I have much time for) does perceptively home in on this asking "Now what exactly does this mean?". Her answer seems, to me, to shift meaning, by rephrasing it as "I think it [sic] a simpler way to look at this would be to attempt to put bounds on the AGW contribution to the recent sea ice melt. I propose a range of 30-70%". So now I think she is 100% confident that the recent melt is at least 30% anthro, and not more than 70%.
Does this matter? Weeeell yes: you'd expect Curry to have got her thoughts into order on this; after all she starts off her posting by listing 4 previous blog postings she's done. And surely she gets quite a lot of comments on her blog; at least some of those must be signal rather than noise, and there must of been some debate, which she must have listened to, about her rather odd notions of probability. She has form, as James Annan has had cause to complain before.
For myself, I wouldn't rule out anthro as causing 100% of the decline (this essentially means that I'm saying I don't trust at least the GCM ensemble very much, which I don't). Walt wimps out of offering a number; Ron is vague but goes for about 50%. How useful is this as a question? We don't really have the tools, at the moment, to pin down the exact number, and we know that full well.
How does the discussion then fare? That, after all, is the point of this stuff. The first CAGW nutter turns up as comment 3. Nutter then keeps turning up, says that even Curry "routinely chooses topics for discussion which assume CAGW is correct", when asked to propose a "skeptic" scientist who should have been involved suggests "Anthony Watts, Richard Courtney, Christopher Monkton...". Then nutter #2 turns up, and I stopped counting at nutter #3 a little later.
Rob Dekker makes the first comment that really attempts to discuss the science. After that it gets better, with four or five comments actually about science. Those comments really deserve answer from the three guess bloggers, to make this actually work as a dialogue. And they're going to have to work out how to suppress the nutters, if they don't want to drown in noise (update: I see they've moved some to "Off-topic comments" - that's a good start).
Update: well, I commented there, but my fine comment got moved into the "off topic" section with all the nutters (webcite). So, I'm not exactly impressed by their quality control. Indeed, I'm offended. Perhaps they don't really want a dialogue with the likes of me at all?
Uupdate: I'm back, it would appear (webcite), as though I'd never been away (I think it would be more honest of them to keep the to-and-fro history of the comments available, though that may be hard).
There are some interesting ironies here. First off, Curry's initial attribution statement:
My assessment is that it is likely (>66% likelihood) that there is 50-50 split between natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, with +/-20% range.
is actually meaningless. Likelihood statements about a continuous variable need to refer to the area under the curve - not a point value, and here description consists of no area under the curve that I can picture (maybe my imagination is at fault?). Secondly, this is just pulled out of thin air, so the justification for the mean or the uncertainty - at best - is 'expert' judgement, not a traceable calculation.
The irony is that this is of course what Curry falsely accused Hegerl et al of in IPCC on the temperature trend attribution statement.
The second irony is that later on she attempts to corral the other two into agreeing that 50%-70% is the likely range (again without any traceable calculation) - committing the 'sin' of attempting to manufacture a consensus. Something that she again falsely accuses the IPCC of doing in her new paper.
This might be a fun project.
Oddly, my comment (critical of Curry's cyclonic storm attribution for 2012) which seemed to have been posted this afternoon, now seems to have disappeared.
And they’re going to have to work out how to suppress the nutters, if they don’t want to drown in noise.
Given that the number of nutters at Curry's blog seems to outnumber those at WUWT these days ... that's going to be difficult. They'll soon be all over it like a swarm of mormon crickets, with no gulls around to save the site ...
Well, one outright denialist, Jim Cripwell, has already stated his terms of engagement:
I sincerely hope that in the future, Marcel will take this blog so that it truly lies between Climate Etc and WUWT. Should this fail to happen, I wont be around at all.
The response could be interesting ...
Lindsay and Meier are way too friendly, but what can they do, given the uncertainties? Still, they have to find some way to cut some meat.
And how about discussing potential consequences of disappearing sea ice? Off-limits as well? Maybe they should get Jennifer Francis in there. Wadhams would be nice as well, just to get things rolling.
It's noticeable that JC's entry has (virtually) no references.
Gavin hits the nail on the head - not only is the statement meaningless, it's also baseless. Where did she get those numbers from? Roll 2D10?
Dunno who this Marcel Krok is that you don't have much time for, but by a strange coincidence the Climate Dialogue editorial staff is listed as Rob van Dorland, KNMI, Bart Strengers, PBL, and Marcel Crok, freelance science writer.
No doubt a common name in the Netherlands, but could this be the chap whose long story in the Feb. 1, 2005 edition of Natuurwetenschap & Techniek was translated into Canadian?
Installment 1 is available online at
[Oops I mean Crok; corrected invisibly. Yes, you have the right one -W]
Have a look at Crok's article as linked, in the context that this seems to have been the first news item on McIntyre and McKitrick 2005, appearing in the National Review a fortnight before the paper was published and presumably earlier in Natuurwetenschap & Techniek.
He certainly gave credence to M&M, but perhaps no more so then Pearce.
Nice Post William, and I can't say I disagree.
I interpreted Judith Curry's statement as meaning that she assigns >66% probability to the anthro contribution being between 30 and 70%. She didn't state how she assesses the probabilities outside of those bounds (but since that's less than 33%, it's not as interesting perhaps and I doubt she has an opinion on that besides "approx 50-50")
Much more of an issue with her assessment is that it's unclear what kind of evidence or argument it's based on, something also stated here by William, Gavin and by James on ClimDial (if you post a comment over there, more chance that it will be put forward to the invited discussants of course, hint, hint. Plus, as experts in the area under consideration, you may ask the editors to enter the invited expert discussion - making use of that possibility would only make the discussion better!)
I left the following comment:
Both WMeier and RLindsay attribute most of the decline in Arctic sea ice to anthropogenic activities and cite Day et al (2012) and Kay et al (2011) in support of their assessment. These studies estimate between 5 and 30% and approx 50% of the decline to natural causes. Reasons for a dominant anthropogenic role is that the current decline is unique in probably thousands of years, Arctic-wide, correlates with the global warming trend (which is predominantly anthropogenic) and is quantitatively inexplicable if anthropogenic contributions are excluded. JCurry thinks it’s about 50-50 natural-anthropogenic, but it is not clear to me what she bases her assessment on: Her post lists many uncertain factors, but these would merely mean that the error bars are very large; uncertainty itself does not translate automatically into a 50-50 split (or any other particular split).
So my question to Judith Curry would be: What is your basis for assessing a 50-50 split?
In a more general sense, could natural variability not also have contributed to cooling, thus having masked some of the anthropogenic warming (as e.g. solar trends may have over recent decades)? What is the evidence that natural unforced variability has actually contributed to warming?
[Good comment. I'll check back over there to see how the discussion is going, and maybe add a comment if it looks helpful. So if you have any influence, I'd say that the "debate" will only make sense as a debate if people start interacting. Because of what's become of interest, I think that should be people pushing Curry (as you have) to defend her numbers, and her producing a plausible defence, or at least an intelligent discussion. Rather than just sliding off with a non-answer. Meanwhile I think I'd like to see Walt / Ron defend their lack of numbers, in a way, although I agree with them -W]
What happened to Curry's blog??
"curryja.wordpress.com is no longer available.
This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service."
The weight of internal contradictions proved too much?
[I noticed, curiously enough via a wiki edit from someone (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Judith_Curry&curid=26549298&d…). I assume that she's forgotten to pay her bills and it will be back; if there's some amusing backstory I don't know it -W]
JC isn't bad at avoiding not providing non-answers.
Do you rule out > 100% ?
[I wouldn't rule it out, but I've not seen any reason to think it likely -W]
And my comment there is up again. I guess there's a moderation queue though it didn't seem to be there at first.
I do wonder if Curry will try to really justify any of her claims or just add more (latest seems to be an argument form authority! - " I have a fairly deep understanding of the dynamics and thermodynamics of sea ice, the radiative environment of the Arctic, and the regional climate dynamics of the Arctic and how it interacts with the global climate. The depth of my understanding is relative to other people").
"The depth of my understanding is relative to other people." She has a deeper understanding of it than Watts? Than some of the idiots commenting on her blog? Nothing to brag about.
Her blog was gone last night when I checked, roughly 11 hours ago
I think the whole project is a Crok.
Marcel Crok started his career as a so-called "science journalist" with a 2006 paean to Steve McIntyre and his supposed breaking of the MBH "hockey stick". That article was a key element of Tom Harris's (APCO Worldwide) promotion of M&M., and led to the Wall Street Journal breaktrough, the second Marshall Institute-CEI sponsored M&M visit to Washington, the attack from Joe Barton attacks and so on.
So, yes, you should not have much time for Crok.
Crok: see PDF @ SSWR.
Wegman Report cited Crok article, See p.182:
Crok, Marcel (2005) ―Proof that mankind causes climate change is refuted: Kyoto protocol based on flawed statistics,‖ Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, February 2005.
Crok had studied chemistry, but from Google Scholar had never published any peer-reviewed papers. He was Editor-in-Chief of a tennis magazine, and (2003-2009) a science writer for NWT, a Dutch popular science magazine, not a per-reviewed journal. He was in contact with McIntyre by 1Q05, hosted him on one trip and the article‘s title speaks for itself.
Did MM provide this, either directly or through P.Spencer? The reference is not to the original Dutch version, but to an English translation, hosted at McKitrick‘s website mentioned by McIntyre,
Two of the three invited scientists are specialists in Arctic sea ice. If the purpose of the new blog is to explore the range of views on various topics, and the blog hopes to be scientifically informative and useful, then why invite non specialists?
[There's a pragmatic answer to that: that "skeptics" are thin on the ground. Where would you find a "skeptic" who actually knew anything about sea ice? So they are, inevitably, going to have to invite generalists -W]
As for why not bother, visit
Like Bart, it seems reasonable to interpret Prof. Curry's statement as meaning that the probability that the anthropogenic contribution is outside the range [70:30, 30:70] is less than 34%. So the statement is fine as a representation of her personal belief. The ironic thing is that this is exactly the form of statement of uncertainty for which she has criticised the IPCC!
However the thing she really deserves criticism for is for complaining of James Annan's, shall we say, forthright questioning of her position, but then going on to accuse those interested in decadal prediction of sea ice of deliberately misleading "Pretending that extrapolating an observed trend or that CMIP5 simulations will produce a useful decadal prediction of sea ice is pointless (well there is a potential point but it is to mislead)." This is sheer hypocrisy, and if climatedialog allows this sort of rhetorical partisan attack, then they will get nowhere. For the dialog to be of any value it needs to keep strictly to the science.
It is also worth noting that Prof. Curry clearly did not answer James' question. I suspect climatedialog would be of much greater value if the moderators required the experts to give direct answers to direct questions. It doesn't take a great deal of reading on climate blogs to realise that evasion of this nature goes on all the time.
> I suspect climatedialog would be of much greater value if the moderators required the experts to give direct answers to direct questions.
We should bear in mind that prefacing a tough question with a rude comment provides an easy way out for the person questioned.
To have an idea how difficult a simple terminological point can become, take a look at this discussion between BBD, Nullius, and kdk33:
Considering the kind of psychological fortitude it takes to become a scientific talking head, we should let go of shame as a negociation device.
Gavin's basically summed up my view with his last statement regarding "fun". Nonsensical statements become evident under this format (at least if somebody calls such out, which so far they have fairly well IMO). The forum therefore serves a potentially very useful purpose that doesn't currently exist, i.e the wiggle room is minimized with this format, and it becomes correspondingly more clear what people do and do not actually know and believe. A number of RealClimate commenters, are not recognizing this.
> The first CAGW nutter turns up as comment 3.
(still there as I read it)
> Then nutter #2 turns up, and I stopped
> counting at nutter #3 a little later.
One can only guess who exactly -- oh, I lie.
They need some old, old regulars to help moderate -- old enough to recognize the old, old nutters (the latter get to be familiar by having practiced a writing style that a naive new reader (or moderator) might mistake for sensible content.
> the “off topic” section with all the nutters
You mean except for #1, or is my count off?
I'm sure you'll be delighted to note that Brandon Shollenberger has taken objection to your comment:
> Apparently their strategy is to mock people by intentionally misreading simple sentences. That, or they are just really bad at reading simple sentences. I’m not sure which is worse.
Please beware to spell Brandon's name properly. That's one of the reasons why I prefer to call him Chewbacca. It suits his style quite well, and he's quite fond of the Chewbaccattack, i.e. prefacing one's comment with "You make no sense!"
I'm sure you will appreciate the reading lessons he's providing us in that sub-thread.
Look at the silly monkey!
[Um well I'm sure I appreciate your efforts over there, but the general tenor in the comments reminds me why I gave up reading Curry's blog -W]
So, who's keeping the canonical list?
Here's one guy's effort -- it's a bit shorter than that Oregon list but has a bit more info and links: denierlist.wordpress.com
Nonsensical statements become evident under this format (at least if somebody calls such out, which so far they have fairly well IMO).
No, the false balance will be used by conservatives in the Dutch parliament to justify winding back action.
This blog was put forward because of Dutch conservative policital action. The mandate says "include skeptics". Not "so we can understand they're nonsensical". No special action was required to understand that. It was mandated to give them government-backed legitimacy that they don't deserve.
I do not see why you don't understand this,
For proper balance, every 581st dialogue should include a sceptic.
> the general tenor in the comments ...
Maybe they _wanted_ a roach motel?
(septics can check in, but you can't check them out)
Your comment is spot on re what ClimDial could achieve:
"Nonsensical statements become evident under this format (at least if somebody calls such out, which so far they have fairly well IMO). The forum therefore serves a potentially very useful purpose that doesn’t currently exist, i.e the wiggle room is minimized with this format, and it becomes correspondingly more clear what people do and do not actually know and believe."
You've already stuck your neck out at RC, for which I thank you, but this comment deserves wider airing imnsho.
The big qustion of course is whether CD will deliver on making the distinction clearer between well informed argumentation and guestimates. Since it should be perceived as neutral by all involved, stating what is right or wrong (or wel or badly informed/argued) is not something that the editors can do; the only hope is that it will become clear enough for those who are willing to see it, to see it. Ideally that would not only include climate blog nerds, but also policymakers and other more distant parties.
Another issue that is connected with this, is that it can only succeed if good scientists with good debating skills participate.
Hmmm, instead of answering a relatively easy question I posed yesterday concerning her seemingly contradictory remarks wrt models (they're really bad at projecting what the sea ice will do, but they're great when they project there's no tipping point), and an explanation how a negative PDO slows down the decline, she decided to elevate some on the surface logical denialist grasping-at-straws.So I'm asking about that too.
After a promising start (AGW is contributing significantly to climate change in the Arctic) it seems that Curry has managed to squeeze in her Gish Gallop+. Have Rob Dekker's questions been answered properly yet?
The more I learn the less I like this.
It's Curry who has ruined this so far. Now maybe, as Jim and Bart imply, the emptiness of her words will expose her untenable position on the science but at the moment you have to read carefully through the comments to realise this, if you are not already familiar with the arguments, and these are already too bespattered with the usual excretions for anyone not inured to them to persevere. I hope Meier and Lindsay will step up to the mark but so far it looks like they don't share Curry's fervour.
[I was thinking that - Meier and Lindsay aren't really doing their job - its all too polite. They need to actually bother examine Curry's arguments and point out the flaws -W]
Bart wrote: "Another issue that is connected with this, is that it can only succeed if good scientists with good debating skills participate."
I think good debating skills (i.e. rhetoric) is likely to be what prevents the dialogue from being productive just as it prevents productive discussion on most blogs. Strong moderation is needed to prevent gish gallops, verbose and diffuse answers that evade the point etc. The experts need to be asked very direct questions that result in answers that unequivocally establish their position.
The problem is that as soon as the moderator takes any action against a skeptic, there will be immediate complaints that the dialog is being manipulated by alarmist gatekeepers etc.
So far, I believe that Douglas J. Keenan's second comment wins the thread:
> Not only is the model of Stroeve et al. unjustified, it is unjustifiable. Moreover, this is easily seen.
Then follows a "Yes But Milankovitch".
Auditors might wonder if he snickered when he wrote it.
Muller once called this kind of performance statistical pedantry:
> He can and will criticize every paper published in the past and the future on the same grounds. We might as well give up in our attempts to evaluate global warming until we find a “model” that Keenan will approve — but he [the very same Keenan] offers no help in doing that.
The discussion at Curry's blog immediately following the comment you linked to, ie about Curry's "mislead" remark, is absolutely hilarious. I particularly love Brandon's argument that her silly insinuation somehow doesn't count because she put it in parentheses.
I think he is applying a very charitable reading to Judith's comment (or maybe he is an idiot).
Indeed, from now on all juvenile remarks shall be put in parentheses.
Suppose someone takes offense with your parenthesis that underlines the possibility that Chewbacca is an idiot. Now imagine Chewbacca's defense
It’s fascinating how people can find ways to misread simple sentences if they disagree with them. In this case, any criticism of Andrew's alledged claim rests entirely upon a parenthetical aside, not anything within the sentence itself. Since parentheticals are extra, existing to clarify a sentence rather than alter it, that’s peculiar. To see this, imagine if the parenthetical didn’t exist:
I think Chewbacca is applying a very charitable reading to Judith’s comment
Is there any accusation of idiocy? Of course not. Andrew says he's perhaps a bit too charitable of Judy. That’s all. Some people might disagree with his statement, but there is clearly no insinuation of anything in it.
Next time someone asks you to defend some words, simply omit them.
Have you noticed mike's piling on, by the way? mike's a favorite of mine. Sometimes, I simply go at judy's and search for "mike" on her posts.
@Andrew, Your interpretation of my position, given here
was spot on. The response pretty much demonstrates how partisan Judith's blog actually is, it doesn't seem to have ocurred to Steve that I could respect somebodies opinion without actually agreeing with it myself, or assigning ill-intentions to anyone who disagreed with me.
"Either way, Judith’s claim that the only point of trying to make such forcasts would be to mislead is factually incorrect and is a totally unnecessary insinuation which needlessly lowers the tone of the debate."
Says it all. I am not particularly upset by what Judith said (even though I have been known to produce the occasional statistical projection of sea ice extent myself), the point is that it is unnecessary, and gets in the way of discussion of the science. Sadly that is *exactly* why I suspect ClimateDialogue is likely to prove unsuccessful, the discussion of the science will be secondary to the rhetoric coming from those with inadequate support from the science.
I did notice that mike had piled on but I have to say that I'm not nearly so fond of his comments as you are and tend to skip past them. Having had a quick glance I can see he was playing similar games to Chewbacca. Perhaps we could say he is potentially an idiot.
I don't know if CD will be unsuccessful, I hope not, but IMHO it should try to rise above the "skeptic" v "alarmist" thing and just aim to get to the heart the of genuine scientific questions surrounding climate change. Robust discussion is fine - one criticism I have seen is that Meier and Lindsay should have been harder on some of Curry's comments, but the participants should not resort to the kind of partisan sniping which characterises so much of the debate in the blogosphere.
P.S. Given my other comments above I should make it clear that I am in no way above partisan sniping myself.
"Since it should be perceived as neutral by all involved, stating what is right or wrong (or well or badly informed/argued) is not something that the editors can do"
So even if CD editors knows something obviously false is being said, or an argument is of poor quality, CD will not correct or comment on it.
That is pathetic. Providing a platform for the spread of misinformation, and claiming it isnt CDs fault if other ppl are not there to shoot it down.
Im not questioning ur intentions, but unless you change the approach (see Dikrans comment above for starters), you will just confuse the public and give excuses to the poli's.
Speaking of editing, Marcel Crok has a wrap-up comment that ends by a question about this:
> Recently Roger Pielke sr. presented an analysis on his blog that suggests the warming of the troposphere is rather modest [...]
It does seem like an interesting question (which might prove to be another instance of Pielke-all-the-way-down).
Perhaps readers here do not visit Eli's, so here's a bit about Marcel Crok:
Speaking of Crok:
> A late report on my visit to Holland. I don’t think that I’ve talked as much in a month as I did in 36 hours in Holland. I had two main presentations -one at KNMI in the morning; one at the Free University in the afternoon. I also had two long newspaper interviews and a long meeting on Friday morning with a Dutch mathematician. After the KNMI presentation, I had lunch with Rob van Dorland, Nanne Weber, Jos de Laat of KJNMI, all of whom were very cordial, and spent much of the afternoon talking with them. Throughout I was very cordially entertained and guided by Marcel Crok of NWT (and his charming wife) Any success that I had was largely due to Marcel’s initiative.
The discussion in the comment thread is interesting.
You're being played, folks.
PS: You forgot your parenthesis, Andrew.
Ah, but I said "potentially" which (according to mike) has the same effect.
Curry's assessment reminds me of The Naked Gun: "Doctors say that Nordberg has a 50/50 chance of living, though there's only a 10 percent chance of that."
@Bart - if the moderators are going to allow the expert participants to get away with overstating claims, saying things that are factually incorrect and making unfounded accusations, there is no hope for ClimateDialog. The reason we have peer-reviewed journals is to prevent scientists from doing that sort of thing, and for good reason.
"the only hope is that it will become clear enough for those who are willing to see it, to see it"
The problem is that there are too many out there that are not willing to see the truth, and will instead uncritically use any evidence they can get that supports their position. Thus if you don't make sure errrors in the dialog are identified and corrected, CD will merely be providing more fodder for those who have already made up their minds.,