Solar, Space, and Terrestrial Weather: Some Reflections – by Stephanie Osborn

Solar, Space, and Terrestrial Weather: Some Reflections

By Stephanie Osborn

Our gracious hostess, Sarah Hoyt, has kindly asked me to write a bit about this subject, because, she told me, I was the most expert, most knowledgeable in the subject, of everyone she knew. For myself, I make no claim to expertise on certain of the topics, but my background and training does, perhaps, position me well for understanding the matter, and explaining it to others.

For those who don’t know me, or who know me only by my books, I suppose a bit of introduction is in order. I’m a bit of a Johnny-come-lately with respect to professional writing. I started off as a scientist. Specifically, I’m a polymath. I have graduate and undergraduate degrees in astronomy, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. The astronomy specialized in spotted variable stars. The mathematics included a crap-load of probability and statistics. Also got an undergraduate minor and graduate sub-concentration in geology. And since I walked out with those particular sheepskins, I haven’t stopped; I’ve gotten various advanced studies and certifications in additional subjects. That includes being a NWS-certified storm spotter.

I begin with all this not to brag, but so you will know me better. So you will know that I have verified the things I am about to say.

There are some…issues…with anthropogenic global warming.

Please note that I specified “anthropogenic.” Human-caused. Why? Because there has always been global warming…and global cooling. Earth’s climate has cycles. It was warmer than it is now, 600 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period. It was warmer than it is now 2300 years ago during the Roman Warm Period. It was warmer 3400 years ago during the Minoan period; 4250 years ago during the Old Kingdom period; 10,000 years ago at the beginning of the Holocene epoch; and 350 million years ago at the beginning of the Carboniferous period. And many of these periods ended colder than they started. Given that there weren’t even any humans of any variety during the Carboniferous, it cannot be said that the climate change at that time had anything to do with humans. Nor can it be said that humans made any significant changes in their actions to cause the shift during any of the other historic and prehistoric shifts. So we know that climate has changed…naturally…in the past, but there’s NO evidence that humans had anything to do with it.

And when you start looking at the modern data, things get really squirrelly.

Different satellite systems show different things, and they all show different things from the ground-based data. One satellite system looking at sea level variations has internal errors so large that they exceed the amount of change they are supposedly recording. Another satellite system shows sea levels FALLING, and it takes a substantial, manually applied “correction factor” — which has no legitimate antecedent — to get it to show a rising sea level at all. And most of the glaciers which are supposed to be melting, to provide all of this, are in Antarctica and Greenland, and are not monitored at all. Translated: we have no clue if those glaciers are advancing or receding.[1]

And then there’s the ground-based data.

You see, there are at least three different official databases on global temperatures: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN); the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) database; and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) database. And they do not agree.

How so? Well, for instance: the GHCN says that 2014 was the hottest year on record. The RSS and UAH databases don’t show anything of the kind. Further, to quote Christopher Booker writing for The Telegraph in April of this year, “Careful analysts have come up with hundreds of examples of how the original data recorded by 3,000-odd weather stations has been ‘adjusted’, to exaggerate the degree to which the Earth has actually been warming. Figures from earlier decades have repeatedly been adjusted downwards and more recent data adjusted upwards, to show the Earth having warmed much more dramatically than the original data justified.”[2]

The situation is so bad that the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has initiated an independent investigation. The investigators are — get this: experts only in climatology, because only climate experts can understand? No. The chairman of the investigatory team is a physician/biochemist. There’s TWO physicists, a statistician, a climatologist specializing in applied environmental physics, and a meteorologist/climatologist.[3] Surprise.

The concern is not just in the adjustments, but in the fidelity of the data versus the model predictions. A model, in scientific terms, is an algorithm (usually programmed into a computer) which takes the data and cranks out a prediction. Properly done, the model is developed by initially using data with a known result, and tweaking the algorithm until you get the known result. When you can produce known results for several different database sets, you know you have a good model. It probably isn’t perfect, but it should be reliable.

The problem here is that not only do we NOT get known results, previous predictions have been drastically wrong. Moreover, there’s a little matter of significant figures[4] to consider. Dr. James K. Woosley is an old friend of mine, going back to graduate school. He has a doctorate in particle physics, which is a field in which huge quantities of data must be analyzed using probability and statistics. In private communiques, he and I have discussed the problems, he having originated the discussion, so the idea, while yet-unpublished, is his.

You see, significant figures, in scientific data, pertains to accuracy and error bars. If, for example, you have a measurement that is accurate down to a tenth of a unit, you cannot then present results that are accurate to finer than a tenth of a unit. If you have data of mixed accuracy, some of it being accurate to a whole unit, some to a tenth, and some to a hundredth, your result can only be accurate to a whole unit; that is to say, it is accurate only to the largest error bar in the data. (It is possible, if there is only one data point accurate to a whole unit, to do some statistical computations and get final accuracy to, say, half a unit.) It is NOT possible to have a legitimate result that purports to show changes (“deltas,” in scientific terms) of less than the error bars of the data, i.e. you cannot state that there is a change occurring of 0.02 units per second, if the data is only accurate to 0.1 units.

Yet this is consistently what the climate models are producing. They are producing deltas to the worldwide average temperature with so many significant figures that, according to Dr. Woosley, “predicting the type of warming that the models claim requires 10 ppb data or better, based simply on error propagation of dQ = CpMdT, with dT/dt = 1 degree C/century with 0.3 degree C error. That is an oversimplification…but the claim… is that they can detect a trend in that temperature that the negative feedback doesn’t compensate for.”[5] (NOTE: “ppb” stands for “parts per billion,” and is accurate to 0.000000001 units. Moment-by-moment fluctuations in temperature caused by breezes, cloud cover, etc. is MUCH larger than this.) He goes on to say, “One contention [against his argument] which I can’t per se disagree with, is that the climate includes a number of feedback mechanisms, such that with appropriately accurate models (which we lack), we could with reasonable confidence say that in the absence of perturbations the temperature would be stable to within about 1 degree Celsius…My 10 ppb accuracy is based more or less on the idea of an initial value problem.”[6]

More, there are problems with the monitoring stations themselves. As we build, we often incorporate areas that were once rural, surrounding older stations with structures and pavement. The reflected radiation skews the results from that station, causing it to read hotter than it should (there are rules regarding how far away from a building, road, or paved area the station must be placed, but these are often ignored, especially where construction is going on around established stations). This has even happened in Death Valley, where an extant station had a welcome center, parking lot, and road built next to it. Unfortunately, the additional station that was installed to help compensate…was set up with a wraparound bluff face (within the distance limits) on two sides, and a paved road (within the distance limit) on a third side — so that didn’t help provide more accurate data.

The notion that the last couple of decades has continued a purported warming trend is patently false. Temperature deltas have flatlined for nearly two decades now. And this is demonstrated by examples of unusually severe winter weather (sometimes NOT in winter) all over the world. Here are a few headlines as examples.

May 2015: Antarctic snow and ice storm blankets parts of New Zealand![7] This is a huge storm, folks. “A storm blasting Antarctic weather over New Zealand is currently the biggest storm on earth according to WeatherWatch. The low stretches from just south of Fiji to Antarctica’s ice shelf, but only 20 per cent of the storm is affecting New Zealand. said the forecast air pressure at its centre over the next 24 hours would be greater than that of Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall in 2005.”[8] Do note that winter will not officially begin in the Southern Hemisphere until June. This would be something like a monster blizzard hitting the Southeastern USA in mid-November. I live in the Southeastern USA and I’m often out in shirtsleeves on Thanksgiving weekend.

February 2015: Rare snowstorm blankets Jerusalem, Israeli desert![9] They do well to get 4” of snow a year.

November 2014: Biggest Snowfall of the Year in Patagonia![10] During the Southern Hemisphere Spring!

December 2013: Antarctica ship passengers prepare ice helipad after latest rescue bid fails![11] A research vessel — ironically, studying global warming effects on the Antarctic, among other things — gets stuck in the ice off the Antarctic coast — during their SUMMER — and three attempts by at least two different icebreakers to reach the stranded ship failed.

July 2011: Rare Snow in Atacama Desert, Chile![12]

August 2013: It happens again! A rare snow falls in Atacama desert of Chile![13]

And let us not forget the nasty polar vortex weather of the Northern Hemisphere winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15.

So if the data is fiddled-with, and the models are wrong, what’s going on? Why DOES the climate go up and down over centuries and millennia? Well, let’s look at something else for a few minutes.

The Sun is a spotted star. It has a known spot cycle. Actually, it has two: the 11-year cycle, and the 22-year cycle, because sunspots are magnetic in nature, and at the end of 11 years, the polarity of the fields has reversed; it takes two 11-year cycles for the fields to return to their original configuration. Hence, a 22-year cycle. But there is also evidence for longer cycles, because there are things called “extended minima,” when solar activity bottoms out for decades at a time. And a recent study[14] indicates that in general, other stars (stars that aren’t considered to be variable stars) don’t show such periodicities. This points strongly in the direction of our Sun being a variable star, even if only slight.


The Roman Warm Period ran from roughly ~250BC-400AD. This was followed by a cool period, and then the Medieval Warm Period, ~950-1250AD. Then came the Little Ice Age, ~1350-1850AD, during which time we had the Year Without A Summer in 1816. In the late 1800s it began to warm up again, reaching a peak roughly in the 1960s. The last two decades (roughly) have seen moderating to cooling temperatures again.


The Oort extended solar minimum ran roughly ~1010-~1080AD, followed by a period of high solar activity called the Medieval Maximum from about 1100-1250AD. That ended with back-to-back-to-back extended minima:

  • Wolf minimum 1280-1350AD
  • Spörer minimum 1460-1550AD
  • Maunder minimum 1645-1715AD
  • Dalton minimum 1790-1820AD

And the Modern Maximum started ~1900AD.

So we have a very interesting correlation here. Active Sun and Warm Periods seem to go hand in hand. Extended Minima and Cold Periods also seem to go hand in hand. And the Little Ice Age seems to correlate very nicely to the extended inactivity of the closely sequential Wolf, Spörer, Maunder, and Dalton extended minima. If we throw in a decade or so of lag time for the energy differential to work its way through Earth’s equilibrium systems, it matches very nicely, actually.

AND the last 3 solar cycles have been weak and getting weaker, with the current cycle the weakest since the Dalton minimum. “I would say it is the weakest in 200 years,” said David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala[15] back in 2013. And lo and behold, we’ve entered a flattening to cooling phase climatically.

More, the clues that the sunspots for the NEXT cycle have started forming…are more than half a cycle late in showing up, and still haven’t shown yet. This means that the next sunspot cycle will likely lag by just as long as it takes for the new spots to show up. These clues include observations of the solar polar “jet streams” through helioseismology, and structures and movements within the corona. More, the magnetic fields of each cycle’s sunspots have been decreasing in strength for the last couple of cycles. We’re running around 2000 Gauss now. At the point where the spot field strength drops below 1500 Gauss, they’re predicted to go away entirely. All of these clues[16], and more[17], are some 5-7 years behind schedule in showing up. And there is no sign they are imminent even now. Many astronomers are predicting the Sun to produce the barest bump for the next cycle, or possibly flatline.

A further complication is that this lessened activity then reduces the solar wind, allowing cosmic rays entry into the solar system. Cosmic rays impinging on the atmosphere generate condensation nuclei, which tends to increase cloud formation. Cloud formation in turn regulates nighttime radiative cooling. But we don’t have a good cloud formation model, because we don’t understand cloud formation well enough. So there is a possible feedback loop/equilibrium cycle (of which Earth has an abundance) that would affect the situation.

Now, correlation does not necessarily imply causation. This is an old axiom in science and especially statistics. However, when the correlation becomes strong enough, a wise scientist starts looking for possible causation. And I, personally, see high correlation, far higher correlation for a solar-climate connection than I do for a civilization-climate connection.




[4] provides a quick tutorial.

[5] Private communique, Dr. James K. Woosley

[6] Additional private communique with Dr. Woosley.












258 responses to “Solar, Space, and Terrestrial Weather: Some Reflections – by Stephanie Osborn

  1. Data and models always come down to Boss Tweed in the end: “Y’all can do the votin’ as long as I do the nominatin’.”

    In modern terms, “Let’s cherry-pick the data until the model delivers the output we want.”

    • even then they now hide their models because when you test them, they never work.

      • As I’ve said here before, several of the older models (ones that mere mortals can access) predict warming when given a table of random numbers.

        • Burt Rutan is so violently anti-AGW because he hadn’t really looked at things, thought he could maybe come up with a solution to help with AGW, and got some models and the numbers then realized what a garbage scam it was. He said if he used math like that to build airplanes they’d not fly at all.

      • The older models are highly delicate and subject to breakage in untrained hands, so they must be kept hidden away to protect the data. The only reason they don’t work is because contemporary scientists don’t know how to massage them properly.

    • In this case Boss Tweed is doing the counting.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    But Stephanie, you’re not a Real Scientist! Real Scientists *Know* Anthropogenic Climate Change is Real! [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    Seriously, just watch the true believers say things like that. [Frown]

  3. I remember saying, way back in internets time, when the AlGore panic started “Wait? Are you saying it has Never been warmer? How do you figure that?”
    and never getting a good answer from those foisting this and its “obvious cure” of an elite controlled socialistic/marxist takeover of everything.
    Said then as now. the numbers they were giving for our carbon (a silly idea that plant food was the cause, anyhow) were within the deviation of the planet’s own production (then some one decided that not all CO2 is created equal so it is the man-made stuff that is the cause). I think it was the old Keenspot Elflife forum where I had a long post with links, math, etc that spelled out why I was not concerned over any warming, and heck, who said being warmer than we are now was even a bad thing? Cold Kills.
    But I was pooh poohed, because what did any of my sources know about climatology??? (except knowing that the numbers they were tossing about were bad, the math NEVER worked, and everything needed adjustment to fit the models etc etc)

    So here I am, again, so many years later with another online acquaintance who I find out is in big numbers related sciences who says “Hold on now” and tells me again that my initial thoughts are correct (You mean that big fusion furnace in the sky might have more to do with our temps than pretty much anything else? this is my shocked face) and, of course we will be told you are either A: not really qualified to even speculate on AGW/AGCC/AGCWeirding (Weirding? Really?) or whatever they now decide to call whatever it is they need to fix by going marx on us (because marx fixes everything … that’s why it is so successful and the most prosperous nations are all marx all the time!)
    or B: on someones payroll (yet the fact all the AGW proponents HAVE to get their money from the fact AGW exists, or they are leftoid marxists who want power and marxism no matter what)
    or C: You are not a “real” climatologist because you are not paid to study AGW and its effects etc
    Funny … ever notice that those who are in the fields who do not agree with the whole deal are not qualified to say so, but Bill Nye, and AlGore are … even though they are not even close to qualified. What Gore’s degree again? Oh yeah … dropped out of a totally non-science school.

    And I’m up at this fine hour to post this because the Texas rains woke me up again with a flash flood warning (and these same folks were just telling us the Texas Drought was going to last and last unless were taxed carbon or something)

    • wandered off to find this:
      Leona Woods Marshall Libby predicted that we were warming when the “The Planet is going to FREEZE” panic set in and that we were actually warming, it’d last 20 or so years, and then cooling again.
      But she didn’t count back when to the AGW folks either, what did she know?
      her name slipped my mind.
      So far she seems a bit more accurate than those making running changes to their data so it fits their ever changing models to “prove” their agenda driven warming.
      I actually hope she is not fully correct. 50 years of cooling is not appealing … like I saaid, Cold Kills. My hope is we don’t cool to her high side prediction, or worse, further than her prediction. 4-5 degrees is far enough, thank you.
      And I’ll be moving north, so please not more than that!

    • > cold kills

      There’s no place on Earth hot enough to kill an unprotected human. But about half the planet gets cold enough to freeze you to death.

      • I’ve also always asked “Who says warmer is worse?” most of our better periods of expansion came during the warmer times.

        • Joe in PNG

          “Who says warmer is worse?”
          Why, wealthy Democrats with “Green” energy businesses.

        • wanderingmuses

          “I’ve also always asked ‘Who says warmer is worse?'”

          I don’t know but I wish they’d shut up. Down here in North Central Texas we only had *two* 100+ days all last summer and hardly any 90s. That’s not summer, y’all! That’s spring. I want my hot summer back this year!

          • Earlier this year when we got our annual “Last Year Was The Warmenest Year Evar” I asked “Where?” because yeah, we were mild as can be,Those 100 degree days were only in August, (just a few years back the first one was in April!) iirc much of June was below 90. I knew places they were complaining about unseasonal cold (north and south hemispheres), and although our winter months were not as bad as I’ve seen, we were below average here in Texas and well, elsewhere there were jokes the snow wouldn’t ever end, still Ice in June and July on Lake Superior, but still they claimed many of these places were never warmer. Lasted until they gave us the annual revision of their previous claim. Thing that seems odd is the Anual Warmenst Evar is always Front Page 72 point bold font … the revisions are always A5 or A6 maybe.

            • naah, the revisions are buried on their website and aren’t considered newsworthy enough for their print edition.

              • coincidently I got followed on the Twitters by an AGW geek this morning. Others I know follow him …more for the “watching the Opposition” than because they actually believe the nonsense he tweets.
                I’ll leave them to it.

      • Depends on your definition of “hot enough.” Hot enough to cook you, no. Hot enough to dehydrate you to mummy status, yes.

        But yeah, there’s plenty of places on Earth cold enough to turn you into a peoplesicle.

      • Yes, but building a microclimate warmed by your own body heat is trivial. One can only get so naked (and for some of us that is more clothed than others).

        • *snort* I always joke that I prefer cool to warm because I can always add a layer. At a certain point the other way, people start screaming “put it back on! Put it back on!”

    • Algore was, ahem, a divinity student at Vanderbilt, so he is like TOTALLY qualified to opine on man caused climate modulation.

      • No, he never attended Vandy. *I* did, though. So did his mother. Gore attended Harvard, where he started off as an English major, then switched to government studies.

        He was Tommy Lee Jones’ roommate there. Jones has told the story that he came home from classes one day to find Gore playing music on the new touch-tone phones. He took it out of Gore’s hands and hung up, and was known to remark words to the effect of, “Who knows where the hell on the planet he’d been calling?”

        • LOL. Or off planet. That explains a lot about Jones ability to do disciplinarians dealing with children in all of his characters.

        • On one thing we disagree — put “al gore vanderbilt divinity school” into a search engine and the first three references are Wiki, a Washington Times article on the education of Al Gore and this Snopes article:

          “In 1971, Gore enrolled in Vanderbilt Divinity School where, according to Bill Turque, author of ‘Inventing Al Gore,’ he received F’s in five of the eight classes he took over the course of three semesters. Not surprisingly, Gore did not receive a degree from the divinity school,” reported the Boston Globe Thursday.

          The vice president next enrolled in Vanderbilt Law School, where his mother was the first woman to earn a law degree. But after a brief and lackluster law school career, young Gore dropped out.

          From a discussion board, not a Snopes “ruling” so discount accordingly. But the Washington Times article (03/25/2000) advises that:

          Last Sunday, The Washington Post reproduced Mr. Gore’s Harvard transcript as well as his grades and scores at the elite St. Albans high school and later at Vanderbilt University’s divinity and law schools. In a word, the transcripts reveal that Mr. Gore’s post-secondary academic performance was rather dismal, particularly in the field of science.

          while Wiki asserts:

          Although his parents wanted him to go to law school, Gore first attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School from 1971 to 1972 on Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for people planning secular careers. He later said he went there in order to explore “spiritual issues”, and that “he had hoped to make sense of the social injustices that seemed to challenge his religious beliefs.”

          Gore also began to work the night shift for The Tennessean as an investigative reporter in 1971.[40] His investigations of corruption among members of Nashville’s Metro Council resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two councilmen for separate offenses.

          He took a leave of absence from The Tennessean to attend Vanderbilt University Law School in 1974. His decision to become an attorney was a partial result of his time as a journalist, as he realized that while he could expose corruption, he could not change it. Gore did not complete law school, deciding abruptly in 1976 to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives when he found out that his father’s former seat in the House was about to be vacated.

          Thus I think we can conclude Al attended Vanderbilt and that Vandy, to its credit, granted him few academic credits.

          • That’s as may be. I know that Vandy doesn’t claim him, and his Wikipedia article doesn’t mention it: “Gore attended the all-boys St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. from 1956 to 1965, a prestigious feeder school for the Ivy League. He was the captain of the football team, threw discus for the track and field team, and participated in basketball, art, and government. He graduated 25th in his class of 51, applied to only one college, Harvard, and was accepted.” (
            And I’ve never heard Tommy mention it either. I suppose he may not have known — but surely found out in later years.
            (Yes, I do know Mr. Jones and his wife. Yes, we are on a first-name basis. Been a few years since I saw ’em though.)

            • …of course, with that kind of record, I’d probably be ashamed to admit it too…

            • As I said, it is to Vandy’s credit it doesn’t claim Al, and it isn’t as if he graduated from there, but if you had scrolled down a little further at Wiki — — to item 3.1 you would have seen the item cited.

              While Wiki is a far from impeccable source, some basic facts they generally manage to get right.

              It seems to me likely that Jones spends no more time thinking about his ex-room-mate than do many of the rest of us, and especially little time on what Gore did between Harvard and Congress.

            • If you talk to Mr. Jones, tell him his alien commercials from Japan are all great:

              • OMG you got me rolling in the floor.

                Yeah, he comes across as really reserved and stand-offish and cool, but he actually has this great, dry sense of humor, and a perfect deadpan delivery. And when some fan is being overly, uh, fannish (you know. fawning and stuff, hands all over) he pulls out the Deputy Gerard/Agent Kay persona. I saw this one guy just fairly teleport a good 10-15 feet away when he did that.

          • Aha. I got it. And yes, it IS in the wiki entry, but farther on down. This was well after he graduated Harvard, and evidently was his attempt at graduate work. After flunking out of the Divinity School, he worked at the Tennessean awhile, then tried again at Vandy Law School, and dropped out to run for office.

            I beg pardon. I was unaware of any connection there.

            • Well shucks — responded at first reflex and missed your follow-up posts. The critical point remains: rigorous intellect was not apparently young Al Gore’s strongest point.

              • At least Algor’s college transcripts are available to examine. Tommy Lee Jones admits to being his roommate at Harvard. Have we found anyone from Occidental College that even remembers seeing Obama? Do we know any of his grades?

  4. Thank you.

  5. A Denier! BURN the witch!!! BURN her for denial!

    Sorry, I was channeling an SJW there for a second.

    If you add up all the cash involved in ethanol production, windmills, automobile CAFE regulations, scientific grants from foundations, government grants to universities, solar, all the horse shit foisted upon us since the 1960s because CLIMATE CHANGE OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEEEE!!! you’ll find it adds up to a fantastic amount of money. Fantastic in the sense of “your wildest fantasies and dreams of avarice”.

    The people making this money are not going to let it go without a fight. We are now witness to that fight. Scientific rigor was the very first casualty, it probably took a bullet made of money back in the early days of the war.

    This edifice of ill gotten wealth gets torn down the same way it was put up. One stick at a time.

    • Precisely so. Climate change is an incredible cash cow for far too many of the usual suspects. Add too that it makes a perfect excuse for expansion of government power and control, transfer of wealth from the wrong people to those more deserving, and feeds the need of greenie marxists for a cause to champion.
      Perhaps the worst of it is that this religion of AGW/Climate Change obliterates any and all real scientific study of legitimate climate change. Something that might actually prove of benefit to people.

      • There’s another factor to consider in addition to the money. Controlling carbon means telling people: they can only have vehicles capable of X range; they can only use certain means of travel, for x amount of time; they can only do certain things; hold certain jobs; et cetera.

        And what effect does this have on the populace? Think about it for a bit.

        • If man is not causing the climate to change there is no justification for a priesthood to manage human contributions to climate fluctuation, leaving that priesthood totally flucked.

        • Perhaps they will be forced to use all that ‘light rail’ Progs are so enthusiastic about. Point to point transportation? That is for the elites. The unwashed masses need to be forced into routes that allow easy observation.

          • Easy observation? My, you’re an optimist.

            Light rail and other forms of mass transit enable lock-down’s and isolation of disruptive regions. Not that our enlightened rulers guidance counselors would ever have need of such drastic measures.

      • Joe in PNG

        It really gets amusing when this same lot starts suggesting that any data or research against Sacred Climate Change is based upon the base financial interest of Eeee-vil Big Business.

    • Never mind the money. A ban on coal and oil, which they are working on now, will kill a lot of people each winter. And as Bill Ayers recently pointed out, it took millions of people murdered to produce even the current relatively socialist governments in Europe, and we haven’t had our share yet. He never got to see for himself if the summer sun of the US Western Desert would kill the 25 million people he intended to die in the camps there, so they’ll just have to find another way.

      • Don’t worry about a ban on coal and oil — there will always be plenty of those for essential activities, such as powering the A/C in bureaucracies and the homes of those responsible for managing the economy to prevent the global economy overheating.

        • Joe in PNG

          With this batch, expect more of the same- greenwashing, grandstanding, and Solindra type sweetheart deals for admin cronies.
          We like to think that these guys are committed to the cause. They ain’t. They’re only in it for the money.

          • Money. Lining their pockets with money is ‘the cause’. Otherwise, how would so many Congresscritters and Senators be so wealthy on their Federal salaries? Why did they write themselves an exception to insider trading?

            • Nah, nothing so crude as cash. That’s for the proles. Instead an aide carries a debit card with unlimited draw against an account administered by a tax exempt charitable trust. Essentially unlimited wealth with no direct tie backs to sources that might raise ethical questions.
              Heck, these grifters have it all down to a science.

  6. I had to add a disclaimer to my dissertation and other work because of the revisions to the North American climate data sets, warning that my results may not reproduce exactly if people use the “updated” data. I looked only at precipitation, but I suspect that might have been tweaked along with the temperature records. Grrrrrrrr,

    • But you willingly disclosed the ‘data set’ you used, so that others could examine your theory/findings for error or insight. You are honest.
      I would believe that the measurement of precipitation is fairly non-controversial. Of course, so is the measurement of temperature. The true horror of your dissertation, and many others now and in the future is how much effort is being expended analyzing bogus data? AGW and its rabid followers are eating the seed corn for the next generation to base future advances upon.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Technically speaking, the category of scientist is rather broad. Thanks to a tiny bit of training, I count, despite never publishing.

        It is not my responsibility to believe another scientist, it is their responsibility to convince me.

        I don’t sign a conclusion as my work just because my boss wants it, I don’t sign a conclusion because an expert said it was so, I don’t sign because my professional organization wants me to.

        This expectation that one must believe rumors about experts, or what celebrities say, or what the media says is pernicious.

        Yeah, I have a weak background in the life sciences. Yeah, my conclusions there are not that important. Yeah, I should not speak to the media about that, because they would mistake me for an expert and present me as such.

        • The sad and ironic thing is so many of the studies in the life sciences (and likely others) are so poorly done you don’t even really need any knowledge of the field. Any layman can educate themselves about the scientific method, research methods, and basic statistical analysis to call fraud on so many of these “studies”. And then there is the topic I mentioned elsewhere, if they aren’t willing to be absolutely transparent then they have absolutely nothing of value to tell you.

          It’s astounding how seriously people will take the results of a study that is based on self-reporting with no controls whatsoever. Sometimes that’s all you can do, but you really need to understand it’s a very vague finding due to the conditions you had available.

      • So willingly that I set up a special e-mail account (which I check weekly) so that if people want my charts and the original data set, all they have to do is ask and I’ll send the files.

        • Speaking as an expert in my profession, corporate accounting, I can state with authority that refusing to provide support of my assertions to financial auditors would be grounds for criminal prosecution — and yet any possible financial fraud would be infinitesimal in comparison to what the advocates of AGW are perpetrating.

  7. This was a great article that I appreciate very much. One of the things that doesn’t get talked about near enough goes to the basics of scientific research. It seems to me that any “scientist” that proposes some “findings” should be able and willing to release all of their data, both raw and adjusted. The should release their measurement tools. Any algorithms that are used to interpret the data. In short, all of the conditions of their research should be _completely_ transparent. Anyone who pretends to be practicing science that is not willing to do so should be summarily dismissed until such time as they do comply. Anything else is listening to snake oil salesmen. All the other questions of correct interpretation of data, conclusions, integrity of measurement instruments are all secondary and beyond. Why even seriously discuss them until the first, fundamental condition is met?

    • sabrinachase

      I have published scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. I have been a reviewer for scientific journals. The idea that *anyone* calling themselves a scientist would refuse to release data after publishing is completely mind-boggling. Mann should have been ridden out of town on a rail for even suggesting such a thing. Of course other scientists are going to “poke holes in it”. That’s how science WORKS. This isn’t Special Snowflake Land where everyone gets a trophy.

      Look, if I published a paper I had already wargamed possible challenges and criticisms with my colleagues and co-writers. I expected people to try to poke holes in my work. Because we *all* wanted the same thing, the advancement of science and human knowledge.

      • A fine example of this is the Italian group that measured the speed of the neutrino to be ‘faster than light’. Their data was immediately dispersed to the community with the plea; “Help us find our mistake”. Honest Science? Yes. Political Agenda? No.

        • Which the science journalists (“journalist” come from a Sanskrit word meaning “person who knows nothing about everything”) turned into “Scientists break speed of light!”

        • Yeah, that’s the way to do it. *sigh*

      • And when the emails surfaced from East Anglia where one of them said, “we can’t release the data, it will confuse people and they’ll use it against us”. How could anyone read that and not shout at their display, “that’s what they are supposed to do…Science”.

      • I *mostly* agree with you. When working towards my Ph.D. in Software Engineering, I needed to try out my static analysis tools on large (multi-million-line) real-world fielded programs. Some of the code I analyzed was open source, but most of the *big* programs are proprietary. Gaining access to proprietary code requires non-disclosure agreements. As a consequence, I was able to release full data for the analysis of open-source code, but only summary data for the analysis of proprietary code. Further, the the NDA-d stuff had to be described more or less like this: “Large proprietary web server/e-commerce framework; Company A; ~5MLoC.” Anyone in the industry can narrow this down to one of a handful of possibilities, but the limited ID was a condition of access.

        Thus, I could provide full access to everything that’s not covered by NDA, summary access to NDA-d material, and copies of NDAs on request (redacted to avoid identifying specific companies or programs, as required by the NDAs). Sometimes the data really is proprietary!

        When working with a mix of open and proprietary data, you have to be able to make your *main* point fully with the open data, and use the proprietary data only to make important-but-secondary claims. In my case, those claims were things like “Yes, the analysis really does scale to multi-million line programs” or “Issues discovered in the proprietary code were essentially similar to those found in the open source code” (for example).

        That said, Mann’s refusal to provide data and algorithms is absolutely inexcusable. As is the claim from some of his pals at Univ. of East Anglia that their data is proprietary (but note that they can’t actually show even a single NDA. Not even redacted!). I smell a rat.

        • Understood. I have worked on government contracts and on civilian contracts, for contractors. I do know the difference between company proprietary/confidential and government stuff. Thing is, most of the groups that are doing this work are on gov’t staff, gov’t contracts, or public universities.

        • On the other hand you publish everything you legally can and can make the legitimate statement that you are under NDA and restricted from publishing content affected by the NDA. These jokers are public employees spending tax dollars. The tax payers own that data, not them, nor their organizations.

          • Government R&D generates many patents. I was involved in one that was a purge procedure for Navy LOX tanks. The co-worker that devised the process filed the patent in behalf of the Government so no private concerns could demand royalties. Our guys also patented the bomb thermal coating that replaced the asbestos-laden one originally used.

            The patents are solely to protect the Taxpayer’s intellectual property. The statistical model Los Alamos uses for predicting the reliability of our Nuclear weapons is available for inspection. Their data, of course, is not. In my final years of employment, we were working with them by providing AMRAAM data to validate their model. The Air Force and Navy routinely test AMRAAMs for reliability purposes, but (fortunately) Los Alamos is constrained from test-fires of the weapons they manage. Admittedly, their model is not very ‘transparent’ to the average person to understand; however, they are quite open to ‘outsiders-knowledgeable-in-the-field’ criticism.

            Wal-Mart’s inventory and Google’s search algorithms are understandably proprietary, and the data they collect/use is likewise. The software used for Air Traffic Control should not be. Hacking Boeing’s engine control through the entertainment system and Toyotas tendency to accelerate without pressing the gas pedal are examples of proprietary gone bad. Likewise, every American car now has a ‘black box’ recording events, and so far the only use I know of was for GM to win a lawsuit against the owner of the car.

        • After posting my first reply it occurred to me that you also have the advantage of mentioning to the company you signed the NDA with that another researcher was interested and would they contact or allow you to point the researcher to them so they could sign an NDA too. The non-scientists related to these AGW claims just don’t want to play nice and refuse every request.

  8. I work with a number of climatologist and others doing 6.1 research in a number of these areas and they echo what you’ve explained in very plain language! Thanks!

  9. Jeff Gauch

    Science may or may not discover Truth – that’s a debate for the philosophers – but it does produce knowledge that is useful. When a scientific theory is mature it can be used by engineers to answer the question “How do I do X?” Science is all about predictions, something the warmists have a great deal of difficulty with. The only scientifically valid answer to the question of how much impact humans have on the climate is “I don’t know.” But climatology is now more of a cult than a science.

    • reddragonhawk

      Cult is exactly it.

    • When true scientists hears “I don’t know” they develop a theory, test it, accept or reject its validity, and hopefully add a bit of knowledge to our understanding of the world. Right now the AGW cult has made that difficult nie onto impossible, as the wrong theories developing the wrong demonstrable results simply cannot be allowed to challenge settled belief. And thus we see a religion masquerading as science.

      • The thing is, “true Scientists” have always been surrounded by bean counters, job holders, empire builders, and the other scaff and raff of any social enterprise. My Father was a Historian of Science, so I grew up hearing about this stuff. “Global Warming” is only the latest. The posthumous hagiography of Lavoisier is an example. So is the bitter, vicious fight over Continental Drift.

        None of which changes that, in the wake of so much exposed fraud, anyone who pushes the Global Warming agenda is either a dolt or a scoundrel. And anyone who, like Al Gore, makes a living off it while maintaining the “Carbon Footprint” of a small Central American country is a lamppost dangly in need of assembly.

        • *seventeen* average homes for his state…..

        • As the puppy-blending professor Reynolds says, he’ll believe the warmenists are serious when they start living in accordance with what they claim to believe. Which they haven’t, and show no likelihood of so doing.

      • And they defend their beliefs as many of the most militant ideologists. At times it can be scary as they go on their witch hunts.

  10. reddragonhawk

    I always suspected that the huge ball of flaming hydrogen in the sky had more to do with the temperature of the globe than whether or not I ran the AC. For the alarmists it is all about power, probably more so than money (though of course they like the money too). These seems to be a certain kind of mind that absolutely craves absolute power over other people. Global warming hysteria gives people an excuse to get and keep that kind of power, the power to tell you what to do in even the smallest aspects of your day-to-day lives.

  11. Absolutely. If the raw data doesn’t support the “AGW” conclusions, the cooked data doesn’t either.

    Anyone else notice that there’s a powerful correlation between “periods when humans had relative peace and prosperity” and “warm periods” ?? The reason is obvious: famines happen during cold periods, because on a lot of the planet the growing season is just too short. Famines make starving peoples migrate and attack other peoples who happen to live in milder climes. No one does well under such a, uh, climate. And contrary to popular notion, evidence is that deserts expand during cool periods; the Sahara greens during warm periods.

    The ones who really scare me are those who want to actively “cool the planet”. Half a degree cooler means hard times ahead; as little as two degrees means a permanent ice age. I’ve concluded that this faction is actually in cahoots, wittingly or not, with the extremists who advocate human extinction.

    Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog presents a balanced view of all things climate:

    Judith Curry’s blog pulls together a lot of climate news:

    • “Anyone else notice that there’s a powerful correlation between “periods when humans had relative peace and prosperity” and “warm periods” ??”

      There’s also a strong correlation between periods of peace and prosperity and periods when would-be Aristocrats are (for whatever reason) keeping their goddamned heads down and wearing their mouths shut.

      • William O. B'Livion

        I would **LOVE** to see documentation on this, as frequently in the Western World “Aristocrat” == “Expert” and vice versa.

    • I recommend the book _Global Crisis_ by Geoffrey Parker about climate and trouble in the 17th century. Skim/skip the Global Warming bits and stick with the history, which he does a magnificent job with (as usual).

  12. The ‘international community’ that routinely rakes Israel over the coals for ‘human rights violations’ while their next door neighbors are beheading people left and right without a single mention is the same ‘international community’ that informs us of the dangers of AGW, and the requirements of the first world to pay damages to the third world.
    I question their credibility.
    Science is the open, honest study of nature, with observations and results definable, and more importantly reproducible by others when following the original scientist’s methodology. Chemistry and Newtonian Mechanics contain the most obvious examples, biology, meteorology, economics are all ‘messy’ in that statistical inference must be made to control thousands of ‘unknown’ variables and details.
    Theories, are algorithms for converting the chaos around us into order. As such, theories should provide ‘predictions’ of observations not yet observed. Relativity had several such predictions, with only the existence of ‘gravitational waves’ yet to be observed to be correct. Likewise, the rest mass of the Higgs Boson matching quantum mechanical predictions will tell particle physicists how closely ‘theory’ matches reality.
    When entering the ‘messy’ fields, predictions have a little more trouble. ‘Origins of the Species’ is a biological theory. A single monk provided the first observation predicted by the theory, the mechanism by which survival traits are inherited. Save for a single bacterial mutation, studied for decades, and unfortunately not yet duplicated, the rub of Darwinism is that the time frame it operates under is so long that we have yet to see the origin of a new species.
    For AGW models, the ‘predictions’ of two-three decades ago versus the observations shows the models to be less than 5% likely to accurately reflect the observations. In any other field of science, this translates to ‘find a new theory’. Chemistry once proposed the ‘phlogiston theory’ of combustion. Physics once proposed an ‘ether’ as the medium of light propagation. The difference between Chemists/Physicists and ‘Climatologists’ is the first group, when observation showed the theories to be sadly lacking congruence to reality, the theories were discarded and new ones developed. For Climatologists, when the theory deviates from reality, we are told the ‘science is settled’.

    • Funny isn’t it how that international community’s solution to so many of our current problems consists of crippling western industry and the massive transfer of wealth from us to them. Where they will make much better use of it naturally.

      • Well, the international community is a lot like two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner. All the dictators and tyrants of the international community have pretty much stolen all their country’s wealth already, so to them, stealing the US and Western Europe’s is the next best thing.
        The UN is so broken and corrupt, I doubt it can ever be fixed. Stop funding it and let it die an unnatural death.

        • And of course the popular solution to the two wolves and a sheep problem is arm the sheep. Or since we are after all a fiction group, the wolves to their horror find that what they thought was a sheep is actually a saber tooth tiger in disguise.

        • To be fair to the dictators, they aren’t really a serious part of the “International Community”. The “International Community” is composed of a free-floating scum of Intellectuals, Artists, Commentators, and other work-shy bums living off the largess of the various Ruling Classes (whom they flatter for a living). The dictators may belong to those Ruling Classes (though they frequently don’t), but they mostly aren’t part of this kulturesmog amoeba, they just make use of it.

          • Joe Wooten

            Don’t forget the NGO’s, or Tranzis as some like to call them….

            • The NGOs are what the self-nominated elite use since they decided it was infra dig to actually soil one’s hands with working at any job in a government lower than, say, cabinet level.

              Also, a lot f governments have pesky Constitutions and such, and they haven’t forgotten the lesson of salvador Allende, which is rather different from the one they push on others; if you get yourself elected and then grossly overstep your authority, you may end up dyng in inauspicious circumstances.

              • Yeah, more often than not dictators tend to wind up strung up by their figgin in the public market.

          • That way you get to go to all the BEST parties at all those great places. They never seem to hold climate conferences in anyplace that isn’t a luxury resort and tourist trap.

            • You’ve doubtless noticed they never pay their own freight for thos conferences.

              • Of COURSE not. Paying is what proles are for.

                • When that monster tsunami hit Southeast Asia a few years back US military was on site within 24 hours and in 48 a carrier group had arrived with fresh water, supplies, medical aid, and a host of other resources. As I understand it the UN crisis team showed up five days later and spent most of a week either bitching about the lack of five star accommodations or filing complaints because the US Navy refused to allow them to commandeer helicopters for their inspections. Said helicopters being fully committed to ferrying wounded or delivering life saving supplies to isolated survivors.

                  • Joe Wooten

                    They also bitched (with a chorus from domestic lefties) about Bush admin folks bragging how they were able to get that carrier loaded up with food, medical supplies and helicopters to Indonesia faster than the UN could even start thinking about it.

                    There was a chorus of disapproval worldwide from the usual suspects about the “group of five” doing this themselves, instead of giving the money to the UN to do it. I was disappointed that a few weeks later that Bush did turn it over to the UN to mis-manage.

      • More graft that way.

    • It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
      Richard P. Feynman

  13. It’s all the Cold War’s fault.


    It’s all Bush’s fault.

    Still Later:

    It’s all Obamacare’s fault.


    It’s all caused by biker gangs.


    • Yes, but it is Lesbian Bikers wearing ‘Bikes for Dikes’ T-Shirts, so they are socially acceptable to the SJWs.

      • William O. B'Livion

        When the lesbian bikers are running methaphetamines and getting into turf wars, then I’ll worry about them.

      • My guess is the lesbian bikers would kick the stuffing out of the SJWs and laugh while they watch them bleed. No bikers of any sort much need anybody else’s “help”, and especially not their approval. 😉

    • wanderingmuses

      Good grief! Don’t even mention such a thing. I live in Waco where that nonsense happened. I don’t want the Moron Brigade down here causing trouble. They probably wouldn’t like their reception anyway.

      • I’m beginning to wonder if anybody at all is going to get prosecuted for those killings, as the cops barged in and arrested everyone in colors apparently on the assumption that everyone in biker costume would be convicted without any evidence to prove any individual guilty.

        • There is some speculation that the police did most if not all of the shooting, and that the number of weapons was wildly exaggerated.

          • wanderingmuses

            For now, I’m going to trust our PD. They’ve got over a 20 year record of complete honesty with the community. Also, the couple of times they’ve screwed up they’ve owned it immediately with no excuse. You don’t see that often. This is a very quiet community and we don’t take to folks acting the fool kindly. We’ll rather go out of our way to bring it to a screeching halt. Like I say, I’ll wait for it all to come out in the wash but for now, I’m back my PD.

            The district attorney, however, is another matter. He’s an absolute idiot and I campaigned heavily for his write-in opposition, to no avail. I suspect next time he might have a legitimate opponent on the ballot and will be waving bye-bye. One can only hope!

  14. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I don’t see any mention of mechanical engineers on that audit committee. 1) Mechanical engineering is one of the disciplines that studies thermodynamic modeling. 2) A full review of the work would seem to include the tight coupling with decisions having an impact on human welfare. Engineering has notions of matching quality demanded of models to impact on human welfare. These ideas may be validated by engineering’s record on fatal accidents.

    Regarding significant figures, those can be more of an issue if you measure indirectly than directly. For example, measuring the length of your table by measuring to the walls, then measuring between the walls versus just measuring it. I suspect that as a general rule you need to be much more careful about errors and significant figures with the roundabout way. Climate scientists measure, talk about and sometimes give results in temperature, yet the problem is heat transfer.

    I had a climate scientist essentially tell me that they were strictly modeling the atmosphere. I suspect the higher heat capacity of ground and water might mean that these volumes have non-trivial significance and variability.

    Two favorite jokes: I have questions about the use of global warming/cooling. Global implies the full volume, and my understanding is that we have huge error bars for the interior. Secondly, for crude enough measurements, we can absolutely say that the earth has cooled, and humans had nothing to do with it. Humans were not around when the surface was molten.

    • Jeff Gauch

      “I had a climate scientist essentially tell me that they were strictly modeling the atmosphere. I suspect the higher heat capacity of ground and water might mean that these volumes have non-trivial significance and variability.”

      One of the epicycles the cultists have bolted onto their models to explain the current hiatus in warming is that the increased heat they know is there is being transported to the deep ocean, where it doesn’t affect surface temperature. Questions about the specific mechanism for this heat transfer and what it was doing during the two decades of warming (maybe it needed a bit of a lie-down) are usually left unanswered.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        In my eyes, that makes the ocean part of the system volume, which makes adequate measurements over the whole volume and enough time significantly more challenging.

        There might be a way to get good surface and atmospheric measurements over enough points by satellite. But I doubt we’ve had the tech for more than forty-sixty years, which means we haven’t been recording for long enough.

        Getting similar for bottom of the ocean or deep underground seems significantly more technically challenging.

        Enough measurements would be a significantly different matter if the simplifying assumption wasn’t that we needed to capture the impact of humanity.

  15. One small detail that Ms. Osborn neglected to mention in her cv was that she also writes damn good science fiction books. Very action adventure oriented and oddly enough seem to get the science correct. I wonder just how that happens.
    Full disclosure: I’ve been knowing Stephanie for something like 25 years. We used to work together babysitting Principal Investigators, coddling cranky astronauts, and doing experiment payload operations on shuttle missions a couple of years ago (shaddup, OK more like 20)

    • Ooh. I just one-clicked 2 of her SF titles, but I am intrigued and interested in the mystery books. Are they SF mysteries? The last formal mysteries I read were ‘Trixie Belden’. The real old ones. But a little mystery in your SF/F is the spice of life.

      • Yes, Donald, my books tend to combine mystery and science fiction. And I generally write what’s known as “hard” science fiction. Scientist and all that. I hope you enjoy them.

        Thanks, Lar. Those were the good old days, huh? And FWIW I deliberately skimmed over that part of my CV because it wasn’t really pertinent to the discussion in question.

        • Bovine excrement young lady. Modesty does not become you.
          And we spent too many long nights together (in the open under live camera feeds, get your minds out of the gutter) for me to pass on the opportunity to brag on an old friend. Besides, what I’ve read of your stuff, it’s exactly the sort of thing folks around these parts crave in mass quantities, so pointing them at you does them a favor.

          • Well, thank you, hon. I appreciate that, and I try really hard with the writing. I’m glad you like it, and it probably is the sort of thing folks here would like, but Sarah didn’t invite me to blog in order to brag on my books, but to talk about climate change and solar variability and stuff. Which I did. If anybody wants to have a look at what I have out there, you can pop by my website, Which is the closest to a commercial you’re gonna see here.

            • It isn’t necessary for you to brag on your books, there are plenty of us here to enthusiastically endorse your Displace Detective books as well as other of your work.

              • Hmph. Displaced Detective. Whatever happened to that “d” thing?

                • *snort* My current keyboard has a tendency to stutter, so I’m apt to mention the Displacedddd Detectivve series. I think that probably makes up in some cosmic fashion, for yours dropping a letter now and again.

                  And thank you both for your compliments. FWIW I will have a new book coming out soon with a different publisher that is connected to the Displaced Detective books. The publisher in question is a fan, and thus contracted me to do some books for him, chronicling a young Holmes — the same one, from Continuum 114 — and his Watson, in his own continuum, before the displacement. The series will be Gentleman Aegis and I just turned in the completed manuscript middle of last week. First book of the series is called Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse, and is a bit more of a Victorian romp. I use more Victorian science, which means that it may or may not have held up to the ravages of time, but it’s kinda fun.

                  • I look forward to it. Beloved Spouse is more the Holmes fan than am I, so this offers me succor from the various perils of gift-choosing.

                    • Indeed, while I’m happy to come here and provide my opinion on everything, see how annoying you can be without getting carp fired at you… The real draw of this site is the group of authors toiling endlessly through unimaginable conditions to provide me, the reader, with outstanding leads to SF/F novels written to a standard more rigorous than the one used for “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” in its ascension to Nebula Award Winner.

                  • Oh Happy Day! (Doing closest approximation one can do to a happy dance while sitting down.)

                    I am looking forward to it.

  16. Professor Badness

    I feel both enlightened and vindicated.
    That was an excellent post! I find it telling that people who argue for climate change don’t have nearly as many links to reputable sources.
    Many of those who argue the case bring in the confusing numbers, but don’t offer a viable alternative to explain natural climate change. That we could possibly attribute varying temperatures to the very source of all of our heat makes a lot of sense.

    • Thank you very much. When Sarah asked me to write this, I spent some time just thinking about what to say, how to structure it, etc. before ever setting down a word to file. So I decided to come at it from the standpoint of a science paper for a popular science type journal, because I wanted to supply as much information as I could possibly cram into the article. Which means sourcing my info, hence footnotes. I did check with Sarah that footnotes were ok, and she approved.

      That still doesn’t mean I said everything I COULD have said, or even WANTED to say. There’s way more here than would ever fit into a single article.

  17. c4c

    • If you had remembered to check the box on your 6.1? post, it wouldn’t leave you wide open to the trollish behavior of the c4c android and whatnot.
      I too would like to know 6.1. I would assume it is a surround sound setup with left-center-right in front, left and right mid-rear, far rear center and subwoofer. Exactly how climate change affects speaker placement is certainly an area desperately in need of research.

  18. I was not a climate scientist, but I could play one on TV (my degree included work on planetary atmospheres. Somethign about the adiabatic lapse rate of Jupiter’s atmosphere.)

    Someone outside the field is better able to see what happened. When i was in school, we were rightly concerned that atmospheric CO2 was increasing to levels not seen in recent history, and that since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, research into possible warming made sense. So that got funded, and the models started to be built. To get more political attention and more funding, results tended to assert more doom and gloom about warming. Those who didn’t come up with results justifying policy moves tended to get their funding yanked (“not getting what we want to hear”) and so it went.

    Early on in the policy community, there were reasonable proposals I would have gone along with, like very low carbon taxes to be rebated to consumers, set to rise gradually so as to motivate investment in lower-carbon energy. These proposals, as Instapundit would say, left “insufficient opportunities for graft,” and so the Do Something people started to work on complicated cap-and-trade schemes, World Government treaties requiring wealthy countries to pay poor ones, etc. The political people schemed to build a coalition to overcome resistance, and did so by buying off interest groups. The coalition became too big to turn, and so articles of faith — a Conventional Wsidom that makes scheming self-interest a righteous crusade — become entrenched.

    Now we have the obvious failure of the models and a community of climate scientists who, with a few courageous exceptions, can’t disagree with the CW without losing their paychecks. The turn is here, and part of the solution to getting a more accurate climate science is defunding the climate scientists who aren’t working on the real issues — effects of water vapor and clouds, other gases, solar activity, cosmic rays, etc etc — so that those dollars fund nonpoliticized climate research.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Modern climate science is perfectly compatible with creation science.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        That’s an insult to creation science. [Wink]

        • Don’t get me started on “creation science.” 🙂

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Jep, my “joke” was that climate science is worse than creation science. I don’t defend creation science.

            • I know you were, creation science is just another pseudoscience motivated by politics, so the suggestion that it’s like current AGW climate science is actually pretty apt. One of the deepest books on evolution I’ve ever read (DC Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”) plus all that evolutionary artifical life simulation work I did left me unable to even be polite to creation science types. One of the few areas I’m intolerant…

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                My key comparison is the time issue. Young earth creationism is substantially more compatible with AWG, because you can explain away or ignore most of your evidence for stability or temperature changes having nothing to do with humanity.

      • They are close.
        Creation ‘Science’:
        1) Organic stuff
        2) A miracle happens
        3) Human kind
        Problem is step 2 isn’t science. Suggesting that when I put a bunch of stuff in a beaker and it doesn’t make a human because I have ‘insufficient faith’ also isn’t science.

        Climate ‘Science’:
        1) Temperature and CO2 records
        2) Adjust data to match desired outcome
        3) The ‘science’ is settled
        Step 2 isn’t ‘science’ it is fraud. For step 3, suggesting I do not have enough ‘faith’ in the scientists isn’t science either. Science is rational, no ‘faith’ is required.

        Pantie Gnome Science:
        1) Steal panties
        2) ???
        3) Profit!
        Far more credible than the first two. Clearly a little more work is required in step 2, but at least it is honest.

        • I would quibble with you, sir. While the enumeration of “Creation Science” you use is pretty accurate for some part of that movement, it doesn’t touch on others at all. There are people who believe in “Creationism” or “Intelligent Design” on that level. But, ket’s face it, there are people – a lot of people – who believe in evolution on that level. That is the level of evolutionary science that is taught in the public schools, after all.

          There are also people who suggest that evolution exists, and is the tool used by an intelligent creator to make the species. I like this ides, though I am not convinced of it. For one thing, if you accept it, it implies a creator who might have made the giraffe by saying “I wonder what will happen if I push the sliders all the way this way?”. It implies a creator with a sense of fun, and possibly a sense of humor.

          • A creator with a sense of fun and humor would be just great…if said creator thought of mankind as it’s children and not it’s toys.

            • Well, if most religions are to be believed, he (or she) does. It’s a pretty common theme.

              Of course it’s debatable whether being, say, Woton’s child is an advantage…..

              • IIRC, god-as-the-father-or-at-least-protector (except in cases where it’s a literal ancestor) is rather rare. Modern big religions are a lot more benevolent on average, though.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I intended the comparison to be specifically with the sort of young earthers who insist they have a better understanding of, say, Wyrdbard’s work than Wyrdbard, despite having put much less work into understanding same.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Young Earthers deserve everything they get. Mind you, there’s one major difference between them and AGW types. The AGW types have the support of the News Media. The Young Earthers don’t.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I think young eartherism might also be less profitable.

                • I don’t think that one’s normally associated with large-scale policy recommendations to make it older.

          • I still consider ‘Intelligent Design’ to involve ‘miracle happened’ and thus not reproducible by your white smocked near sighted scientist in the lab. Now, the Physics version of Intelligent Design, where in the first femto-second of the big bang, God tweaked the universal constants of nature to be those exactly needed to result in intelligent life, said, “Let their be Light, and let the science start here” does work; however, like the rest of Intelligent Design, it requires a supernatural agent to make it happen. Supernatural, by definition is ‘above science’ or ‘above nature’. Now, as an ordained minister of the Church of Sub-genius ($5.00 offering, and you get a free ‘get-out-of-hell’ card), I have no problem supporting ID as a part of my Faith. I still do not consider it Science. It must not be taught as Science.

            • If we are to limit what is “taught as science” to science and only to science there will be great unemployment amongst the teachers of science, most of whom have not taught actual science in years.

              What, sir, is next on your list of modest proposals? Restricting popularizers of science to popularizing science and clearly distinguishing that from popularization of fads, fashions and fallacies?

              Extremist cur!!!!!!

            • I think that Intelligent Design should be discussed in Science, but, when done, two things need to be emphasized:

              First, why Intelligent Design is not science. (Namely, it fails falsifiability, unless you can demonstrate proof that certain miracles occurred to bring life to the state it is today…but when such miracles could literally be saving a proto-chicken from a crocodile so it could survive to become the father of all chickens, and genetic manipulation to make sure that the proto-chicken becomes a chicken, and not a goose, there probably isn’t going to be any specific evidence, one way or the other…)

              Second, how Intelligent Design can be used to bridge faith and science: thus, you do not have to abandon your faith, because some white-smocked near-sighted scientist in the lab doesn’t believe in miracles.

              Now, having said that, I oppose teaching Intelligent Design in public schools…but then, I also oppose teaching evolution in public schools, or teaching anything in public schools (to the extent that teaching actually occurs there). I’m a stanch supporter of Separation of School and State. (How the heck did we ever get to the point where we decided it’s ok for the State to tell us how to think?!?)

    • In most scientific revolutions, the turning point comes when the old establised scientists who will not COUNTENANCE the shift start dropping dead, and the necessity of publshing “new” material drives you g, hungry scientists to posit the unthinkable. This is always, of course, affected by prevailing political orthodoxy.

      It will be interesting to see how this play out. Of course in this case we may see a shift because Mother Nature doesn’t read all the best scientific journals, and does something hard to ignore, like a mimi ice age.

    • Way back in my university days, I did an in-depth study of Martian aeolian geophysics. So I’m not unfamiliar with atmosphere-to-ground coupling mechanisms.

  19. Curt Thomson

    Excellent post. However, CO2 was not mentioned, so I’d like to add 4 points:
    1) We know atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been much higher, and much lower in the past.
    2) We know historically increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been preceded by temperature increases, not the other way around.
    3) CO2 is a plant food. Earth being an enclosed biome, one would expect an increased greening to be a result of increased CO2 concentrations, and indeed that is being observed. Thus the planet can be expected to adapt to increases in CO2, which would act as a negative feedback. Something that scares the sh*t out of catastrophists.
    4) Last but not least, to date no one has been able to prove that the increasing concentrations we’ve been seeing since dedicated measurement began are being contributed to by burning of so-called fossil fuels. Yes, humans are putting XX11!!11 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, but we can’t say for certain that concentration levels wouldn’t be exactly what they are now in the absence of human activity. And significantly, the catastrophists have been trying very hard for decades to do just that. If or when that happens, whoever does it can probably expect a call from the Nobel committee the next morning. The fact that so much (very well funded) work has gone into this with nothing definitive resulting speaks volumes.

    • Re. #3. Would y’all mind not exhaling for a while? Between the rain, the cool weather, and the CO2, the grass is growing so fast that it’s taller than the neighborhood cats (and our Community Cats seem to be at least 80th Percentile for size).

      • We really need to mow our lawn but it keeps raining. Eventually, we may need machetes to trim it down.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I’ll let you folks worry about mowing the grass. For me, the apartment manager makes sure that gets done. [Evil Grin While Watching The Rain Come Down]

        • sigh Rained today. Heavily. Which may mean that we a quarter of our normal May rain.

          Watch me lugging about the watering can every day and being unsympathetic.

      • Bob Compono

        I feel your pain, seriously. All y’all down there got slugged pretty hard. In Colorado Springs it rained steadily for most of the month of May. My grass was taller than my dog (little terrier mutt from the pound). Basement flooded several times, which it hadn’t done since the last 30 year rain stint in the mid 90’s (dammit, I was promised 30 years). We had about a 36 hour period of very light rain long about week 3 that I ran out, in the rain, to cut the grass.

        • I’ve been really fortunate. I got flooded in the May-June rains last year (leak between wall and foundation. Oh joy.) so everything got re-worked, patched, trenched, diverted, and drained last summer-fall. All I had was a bit of bother due to road detours, dealing with a leak at my Other Job (glad it wasn’t “my” classroom), and water up to the edge of the sidewalk after one especially memorable downpour.

    • That’s one of the things that there just wasn’t room to get to. Besides, a discussion of outgassing, greenhouse gas efficiencies, chemical solutions and supersaturation, etc. would easily become a whole ‘nother article.

      • Curt Thomson

        A whole ‘nother article that would be very much appreciated 🙂

        • Ask Sarah. If she’s game, I’ll take a look at it. But it will take much gathering of information to do it the way I’d want to do it, and I have another book I kinda need to be finishing. So it might be a little while.

        • I did ask Sarah, and she did approve. But it will likely take awhile, as I work it in around other stuff. I’ve been discussing it all with Dr. Woosley, my particle physicist friend, and he and I might end up co-authoring said blog article. Which would also have the effect of enabling it to come out a bit faster, I hope.

          • While I’d never want to discourage the writing of good quality science for the non-specialist, wasn’t it Robert Heinlein that commented on the questionable ethics of asking a professional writer for copy to be printed without compensation?

            • Yes, but these days publicity demands some of that.

              • Publicity = Compensation

                Especially if you crumb-bums go and buy The Weather Outside Is Frightful or the excellent (five-book) Displaced Detective series.

                • I’m perfectly happy to do something like this; I have done teaching at various levels in the past, and to me, part of being a scientist is ensuring that non-scientists have an understanding of what I do and such like. It’s why, on social media, I have a distinct tendency to “correct” bad science posts. I’m considered a stick in the mud by some for that. But if I come away with someone saying, “OH! I get it now!” then it will be worth it.

                  And yes, RES is right; if you wanna compensate me for my time writing the article, and making all the comments, go check out my books. (I am currently between books, taking a breather; my plan is to dive back in this next week on the fourth Cresperian Saga book, then — finally, hopefully — finish the sequel to Burnout.) There are a few other projects in my to-do list, including the radio play of a short story I just finished, in which a radio theatre has expressed interest, but if I can get those two books done and out the door this year — and maybe get well into the 6th Displaced Detective book — I will be one happy author dancing a jig.

                  (Yes, there are more Displaced Detective books planned. I have detailed outlines and some stuff written for books out to 8 or 9, and brainstorming more past that. If you like it and want to see more, keep buying ’em.)

                  Okay, danged third commercial, that I didn’t plan to do, ended.

  20. Rob Crawford

    So, um… throw another log on the fire?

    • I’m playing a wait and see game myself, at this point. If we get a solar activity flatline for a year or better, I’ll be looking into it.

      • I’m reminded of the start of Cycle 24. A friend and I noticed a picture of the ISS transiting the sun. It was an unblemished sun, uniform and spot free. We thought ‘Wow!’. I’ve been checking activity at:

        Since then (disclosure: NOAA has changed the link, I actually have been checking the old link, and will start to use this one if I can ever find out where the pathetic bookmark feature of Chrome sticks them).

        • Yes, but the real delay for the start of 24 was actually only about 6 months. That’s why I said, “a year or more.”

          Where matters get even MORE interesting is that we have had multiple days DURING SOLAR MAX where the number of sunspots on the Earth-facing side was…zero. Doesn’t mean there were none; STEREO documented a tiny handful on the farside.

          Right now we’re getting a ridiculously low level of activity, and STEREO is passing behind the Sun so we can’t get telemetry from it. So if it ain’t on the solar nearside, we got no idea what’s going on. Oh, we can see a CME issued from the farside, once it gets out past the solar disk, but that’s about it.

      • Bonus, a lot of the stuff for “throwing a log on the fire” has already been considered because of Fallen Angels. Probably needs serious updates, it is decades old…..

    • Darn it, if you’re going to start an earworm in my head I will share it with you.

  21. Reblogged this on Quasi Renaissance Man and commented:
    Great rundown of evidence that indicates solar weather has a greater impact on terrestrial climate than people do…and that much of the evidence about anthropogenic climate change/global warming may be tampered with or otherwise unreliable.

    • Tampered with is one way of putting it. I’ve started coming out flat footed and calling it fraud.

      • They never tampered with any data! They merely adjusted it to what it would be if it were right, a necessary scientific process employed by such scientific greats as Trofim Lysenko, Teruji Cho, Yoshitaka Fujii, John Darsee, Eric Poehlman, Albert Steinschneider, H. Zhong, T. Liu, Joachim Boldt, Jan Hendrik Schön and Viktor von Doom..

        • I beg to differ, Viktor did nothing with his data. That fool Richards tampered with his experiment.

  22. As nobody else has seen fit to say it:

    Heretic!!!! You want us all to drown in a tsunami of man-caused global ice melt!!! Come clean: What is the source of your funding? You’re just a tool of the carbon energy lobby, doing there work whether they pay you or not!

  23. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    There are some issues with the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the woman says. Yes, there are a LOT of issues with AGW. The problem with the “consensus” take on AGW is that it falls apart so easily and the bad science is so obvious.

  24. One problem I have is that no matter how many actual facts you have when debating climate change it all comes down to that 97% consensus “fact” and the fact that any source that you find that has a contrary view is automatically discredited. Quote something from Watts and Watts is some sort of devil paid by the oil companies. On the other hand if your on the other side of the argument, pulling total nonsense from the likes of desmog is just fine. Yet none of the evidence for AGW is supportable.
    I haven’t tried to actually work out what the numbers might actually be, but looking at almost all the climate model results, I suspect that they violate the first law of thermodynamics. In any case they make the classic mistake of using an linear equation in a linear region, which in computer modeling you have to do to keep your machine cycle down to something that can actually be computed before the heat death of the universe and extrapolated into a region where the coefficient is no longer valid. That’s why all the models run off the rails. Which is why they need a mechanical engineer with more than a little experience with computer models to audit them.
    Add to that the fact of the climategate emails, the obvious scientific malfeasance and the herculean resistance to releasing ANY proxy data and you get a strong feeling of “there’s something rotten here.” The massive investment by the likes of the UN and The Club Of Rome sort of tells you the source of the rot. After all they have a long history of trying to create a world rationing economy based on shaky computer models. I learned all about how computers are NOT oracles by playing with the “Limits To Growth” model in high school in the 1970’s and I’ve been more than a little skeptical of them ever since.

  25. wanderingmuses

    Thank you so much, Ms Osborn for writing such a wonderful piece (with sources, thankyouverymuch) and written clearly enough so that someone like me, with zero science background, can plainly understand. I’ll be sharing this. Wonder which of my “friends” will pick a fight with me? 😉

    I don’t mind of the things that have come out of the Save the Planet movement. I like cleaner air, water and reusing what we can. But there are limits. Seems like things that always start out as a good idea just seem to blow up into nonsense.

    • Some people don’t quite understand that there is a difference between stewardship and stupidity. I’m 100% in favor of good stewardship of our home planet’s resources. Stupidity, on the other hand . . .

    • Thank YOU for telling me this. It means I really did accomplish what I set out to do with this article. I’m glad I was able to explain on a level where it doesn’t take an advanced STEM degree to understand. I was aiming for that.

  26. So, in essence, it’s all just DAMNED complicated, and proposed “solutions to climate change” tend to be somewhat simple (kill the SUVs) and really expensive.

    • Yes. And the complexities are one of the major reasons why we don’t have models for so much of it. We don’t even know how cloud formation factors in, for instance, as I mentioned in the article. But we do know that cloud formation is a major factor in nighttime radiational cooling. And then there are the various equilibrium cycles, such as the ocean salinity cycle, etc.

      Earth as a whole is a very complex system. Kinda neat, really. But at this level, pretty much impossible to model accurately.

  27. So,winter is coming?

    • At some point, yes. Ice ages are cyclic in nature. If not now, with the decrease in solar activity, then at some point.

      • We’re going to feel pretty stupid for hobbling the world economy when the Sweet Meteor Of Death strikes. Or the Yellowstone Caldera erupts. Or the Earth’s magnetic poles shift —

        Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal.

        Frankly, I expect all three to occur at once.

        After the oncologist declared beloved Spouse “clean” of cancer we were warned that cancer would still be the likely cause of death. Beloved & I immediately decided there was no point looking both ways before crossing a street.

        • Should the Meteor of Death strike, then it might trigger the others, yes. But I doubt that, on their own, any one of the others could do so.

          • Magnetic realignment might trigger Yellowstone. We don’t actually know what its effects might be, nor even how to recognize its knock on Heaven’s Door, do we? Nor even how long we might have between “Huh – mu compass is acting funny” and “Holy Mary, Mother of G-D, all the electro-magnetics are failed!”

            All we really know about the MagReA event is that no human civilization has yet survived one.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Maybe because there was no human civilization around the last time it happened? [Wink]

            • I see more of a cosmic ray/CME/solar wind problem from a mag realign than I do tectonic/seismic issues. When the thing goes down for however long, we’ll not have a mag field until it re-establishes. Think Mars with nontoxic soil.

              On the other hand, IIRC there isn’t anything in the fossil record to indicate that it was terribly disastrous the previous times it happened. But I’m not a paleontologist, just moderately knowledgeable in the subject. And that tends most toward astropaleo. So I am open to correction on that matter.

        • “decided there was no point looking both ways before crossing a street” – that sounds reminiscent of the joke about the physicist who tried to carry a bomb on board an airliner – on the theory that it was extremely unlikely there would be two independent bombs on any airliners, so it made him safer!

      • Sunspot count lately is not encouraging.

        • My only hope is that Pravda has declared the ice age has begun and as we all know there is not truth in Pravda.

          • Jerry Boyd

            More power to you, but that is a thin hope.

          • Yeah, because I don’t want to have to mine the northern border to keep the Canadians from storming the Dakotas as the glaciers advance. ;P

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Well the likely Canadian fighters are IMO welcome in, the others can freeze on the glaciers. [Wink]

            • Why would mines all along the Northern border stop Canadians from storming the Dakotas? Wouldn’t more natural resources only encourage travel, particularly if they are already wont to flee the cold and the advancing glaciers?

        • This is true. There were flatline days during the actual Solar Max, which was only about a year ago.

  28. Just for reference. Jim Steele deal with climate in an orderly process of observation, hypothesis, examination.:

    Another true scientist.

  29. Clark E Myers

    As noted The Club of Rome was kind enough to give their model and inputs allowing the general population to play with it. And the general population did.

    One of the many things that infuriate me is that now that I individually have the processing power and the tools (mostly R for my interests) to play with many things I can’t get the data. My processing power is dedicated to the user interface and my storage is dedicated to entertainment.

    As I recall a plurality of all the high powered computers in the world were dedicated to meteorology when the forecasting industry world wide standardized on the AS400 – and that was just for 5 and 10 day forecasts. I’d like to see some discussion of weather – chaotic – and climate not chaotic?

    In the long ago days of turning in your cards and picking up your printout the next day a friend of mine lamented that he couldn’t do some of the work at home because his mainframe use was rationed to single precision so his calculator carried things out to twice the digits – and the results would have been as useful on a slide rule to 3 digits but in the world of publication these were all different things.

    Denver weather data changed when the observations moved from Stapleton to DIA but it seems unlikely that move changed the weather very much. Devils advocate: there may have been a major change in the clouds from flight path changes and more international flights – Miami, Florida was notorious for reporting high hazy clouds that were really fuel dumps from reserves for long over water flights.

    Notice if your default is creationism and your null hypothesis for testing is Darwin then you’re stuck with special creationism because Darwin’s expressed theories (but not evolution as Darwin described it finches and all) are very easily refuted.

    But sadly my own take away from what I’ll describe as the lack of professionalism in climate science is that I see much the same thing across scientific publication expressly including refereed journals across the board. Maybe enough bad science will postpone the singularity and save humankind as human – story idea?

  30. BobtheRegisterredFool

    OT: Is the recently dead Biden the one that just got kicked out of the armed services for being a druggie?

  31.         Back in 1989, a statistics professor at the U of MN made the same point about error bars.  The uncertainty in the temperature data made the whole “rising temperature” claim worthless, he told us.

            Of course, the idea of an “average” temperature over day and night, winter and summer, and the entire surface of the globe is hard to take seriously too.  In HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS, there’s a great graph showing the daily record high and low for the entire year in some western U.S. town, along with the “average” temperature.  The temperature range in the readings was something like ninety degrees F.

  32. For any who are interested, I have a short radio segment airing on various webradio stations. The stations that tend to pick it up, currently and unfortunately, tend to be somewhat of the tin foil hat brigade sorts. But I do have the episodes archived on my website. Each episode is 5 minutes long, and it airs once a week, starting on Wednesdays. The archives are here:

  33. *snicker snicker* At worship this weekend, it was announced that the rain downstate was NOT because the Most High is punishing Texas for [insert thing here.] Nope: the Most High is weeping because the Blue Bell ice cream plants are closed.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Somebody’s having too much fun. [Wink]

    • Blue Bell makes the best ice cream anywhere! Has there been any talk of when they will re-open?

      • They closed? Oh, no. they make the best low carb rocky road. What will I do now?

        • They closed an East Texas plant because of contamination. They are supposed to reopen it, and that is not the only plant they have but the potential was there for contamination across the product line so they shut down and are undergoing repairs. Last news I heard was layoffs of staff.

          • egad, that was slightly incoherent.
            They found Listeria in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, then in the Scoops. Because it was found in multiple places they stopp all plants and pulled all products. as Listeria grows almost anywhere they basically got to disinfect or destroy to get rid of it and start anew with nearly everything like packaging and what not. So All plants are closed, but iirc it all originated at the Brenham plant and Listeria travels well so it might be in all their plants as Brenham is the home plant, and some stuff gets shipped out from there to the others.Clear? I hope so, my brain still is not working right.

        • Hopefully temporarily.

  34. gary23902003

    Great post, Stephanie. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am having read this. I wish there could be more real stuff like this to feast on, it digests so much better than that other junk we’re fed lately. You further strengthen my conviction that climate change alarmists are all a bunch of wackos, or they really think we’re stupid. Could be both, who knows. Anyway, thank you, and I’m really looking forward to that “whole ‘nother post. You’re busy writing a book, I know. I also know it will be worth the wait.

    Jeff ID, who publishes on “The Air Vent” is a physics guy. He writes some good articles, and puts it right in their faces [what I like about him]. This is one of my favorites:

    • Thank you, Gary. I try. Some folks think I am very pessimistic, because I am constantly shooting down this or that thing (like someone mentioned the “FTL neutrinos,” and there was a whole hullaballoo of people who were all, “YAY! We have to redo physics! Warp drive!” and who called me a stick inna mud for saying 1) that is NOT a good thing, 2) just wait until they get the final results and it will go away.

      This is not pessimism. This is the learned skepticism of an experienced scientist. I have a really good idea by now of what is and is not possible with current tech/theories, and a reasonably sensitive and accurate internal bullshit meter. I am actually an eternal optimist — because I DO believe we’ll have a warp drive (or something that achieves the same objective) one of these days. I just know when I’m NOT looking at it.

  35. Thanks, Stephanie. A better compilation of the status of the investigation than I’ve seen before.
    One (very rough) correlation not in your list, probably because in terms of timescale it is so rough: (from my unreliable memory) – the long term temperature record from Greenland ice-cores shows a number of warm time/ice-age cycles – and a visual estimate of the periodicity of those cycles suggests we’re a bit overdue for the next ice age. Given the noise in the data, the inflection could come anytime in the next -20 to +1000 years, as I recall.

    • Yes, that one sort of fell into the other warm/cold cycles mentioned — or rather, I chose to let it. Again, too much info to cram into one blog post. But Dr. Woosley, and Jerry Pournelle, and I have had that discussion several times, going off on different tangents. We’ll see what crops up in future blogs.

  36. FlyingMike

    Excellent article. Very good in depth explanation that even the VPs and above at my prior place of employment would have been able to understand. OK, maybe not all the way above, but, hey, C-suite…

    The Cosmic Ray thingee is where I first got into the link between the solar cycle, sea level neutron count, and warmer/cooler climate phases, via another impact of the increase in high energy particles getting through the Solar and planetary magnetic fields – basically when more high energy particles make it to the surface, they disrupt more electronics.

    Originally this was though to be an aerospace application problem, with all the various energy levels of radiation zapping around in orbit, the satellite folks had had to test for radiation tolerance and figure out what would work long ago, and, led by the military worries about other radiation sources, the avionics manufacturers had at least heard of the problem. But terrestrial designers knew they never had to worry about that radiation effect stuff.

    The first folks who noticed terrestrial reliability problems were the support people at the big internet router manufacturers, who noticed upticks in problem reports for the massive arrays of router racks that route the intertubes when solar activity was low. Eventually the support folks convinced management they weren’t just being whiny support engineers with creative excuses, and management hired some device physicists to look into this whole crazy “particles from space” failure root cause idea.

    Upon investigating the manufacturers current designs the physicists discovered that over the prior ten years or so the big-throughput router blades had shifted to almost exclusivley use SRAM-flash-based reprogrammable semiconductors (Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or FPGAs for short) to manage and switch the flow of high speed data. This was a good choice on the surface, making the previously-hardwired-circuitry itself as easy to reconfigure in the field as the software was, but it also stacked lots and lots of absolutely the most high-energy-particle-impact-event susceptible devices, that is SRAM-based FPGAs, all in relatively compact spaces. By lots and lots, I mean, on some blade designs, 50-100 chips squeezed onto both sides of every single board, with 75 or so of these single-board routers in each rack, and hundreds of racks in each CONEX-container-sized modular routing unit, and hundreds upon hundred of units stacked three high in giant warehouse-sized facilities. This was a really bad thing, as the stacks and stacks of densely packed boards were actually a relatively efficient high energy particle detector array – and they indicated detection by randomly changing the circuity controlling how packets got routed. Which generally results in a massive immediate failure in the board, and if the rack took a couple hits as the particle cascade passed through, in the entire rack.

    And the charged article counts vary by lattitude (you get more as you head away from the equator) and altitude (more as you get higher). And some aircraft electronics manufacturers had designed in some of these same SRAM FPGA devices. They thought they had designed in enough redundancy, but a few years ago airliners stared having unexplained control system events, mostly at high altitude, where the plane would suddenly jump off autopilot and start doing something other than what the pilots had requested.

    The term for these “uh-oh” events in the chip word is “Single Event Upset”.

    Needless to say lots of electronics manufacturers quickly converted the consulting contracts for their device physicists to long term employment contracts, and assigned them to their design groups to try and mitigate these effects.

    And the same effects apply if a high energy particle hits your cell phone or tablet or PC or automotive onboard computers – all of them use SRAM-based FPGAs in some application or the other these days. But if your phone has to reboot, it does not interrupt internet service between banks, or connectivity for the military, or suddenly cause your car to go stupid, etc.

    And now they’re going to driverless cars. Yay.

    So, if we do get a new solar minimum as it now appears we might, we not only have colder weather and whinier, more desperately hostile greenies to look forward to, we also have pretty widespread degraded reliability of many if not all electronic devices.

    Again, Yay.

    • Yeah – I remember years ago when they were worried about ‘alpha particle hits’ in DRAM, trying to harden RAMs, mostly just adding error correction code – then it all faded from discussion.

      • Mostly because consumer systems aren’t considered to be sensitive enough to need them, and servers and workstations use ECC. But yeah, certain things do warrant ECC RAM. both of my desktops have it just because i bought off-lease workstations as a cheap upgrade, but anything mission critical you might need it.

  37. Just got the chance to read this one today. Regarding the badly-sited weather stations: I had been pointing them out to one of my friends who is a stoic AGW-defender. One day I brought them up and he replied that those stations showed the same temperature rise as the others.

    For some reason, he never responded when I pointed out that if what he claimed was true, then NONE of the data was worth the electrons it was recorded on.

  38. For the best on the AGW junk check out Briggs at

    He and Soon and others have just recently done a paper on why the models run hot.

    Check thou it out.

  39. Heh.

    From the New Scientist magazine on Tuesday:

    Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise
    Rising seas are eating away at small islands and will eventually turn their inhabitants into climate refugees, right? Not so for some of the world’s most threatened islands, which have grown despite experiencing dramatic sea level rise.

    Funafuti atoll, which includes the capital of Tuvalu, is an islet archipelago in the tropical Pacific Ocean made from coral debriswashed up from an underlying reef by waves, winds and currents. Over the past 60 years the sea has risen by around 30 centimetres locally,sparking warnings that the atoll is set to disappear.

    But Paul Kench of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues found no evidence of heightened erosion. After poring over more than a century’s worth of data, including old maps and aerial and satellite imagery, they conclude that 18 out of 29 islands have actually grown.

    As a whole, the group grew by more than 18 hectares, while many islands changed shape or shifted sideways.


  40. karllembke

    Hi, Stephanie,

    I have a question about significant figures and the use of statistics.
    You (and Jerry Pournelle) point out the difficulties in plotting changes down to a thousandth of a degree when your measuring devices are accurate to one degree, and in the past subject to any number of systematic errors. When it comes to the number of significant figures, I’ve dealt with situations where multiple readings can and do make for smaller error bars.

    In particular, my degree is in radiological and health physics. In measuring radioactivity, the error in a count of radioactive events is equal to the square root of the number of events. Thus, if your Geiger counter racks up 100 counts in a minute of counting, the standard deviation of the number is 10, so your count rate is 100 ± 10, or ± 10%. If you count for four minutes, you’re looking at 400 counts ± 20 counts, for a 5% error. Measurements of radioactive decay events follow Poisson statistics, so this bit of statistical manipulation is valid.

    I don’t believe this is the only field where this, or something similar, works. I’m thinking of the use of statistical legerdemain in obtaining images through the Hubble scope with a higher resolution than is allowed by the imaging system component sizes.

    So while I understand the issue with respect to significant figures, it seems to me professionals in the climate research community may be aware of it as well. They may know how to use massive amounts of data to shrink the error bars, and may be using them.

    What methods might those be? Possibly ones similar to what was used for the Hubble scope. Look for (or create) situations where the quantity being measured “dithers” over the edges of discrete boxes, and observe how this “dithering” changes the odds of extreme observations showing up in particular boxes. This will, of course, be very sensitive to the statistical distribution of individual data points, and this will in turn depend heavily on the processes that generate these data points in the first place. But I assume the climate scientists who support AGW have ready and detailed responses to this point.


    • karllembke

      And since people have mentioned Jerry Pournelle, one of the things he often says (to the point where some people are tired of hearing it) is, one way to test the climate models is to plug in the environmental data for the planet as of the year 1900 and run it forward. In this case, you’d have the advantage of knowing the changing composition of the atmosphere over the following 115 years, and could even plug in data for events such as volcanic eruptions and the like. Then see which models accurately predict the temperature changes we’ve already recorded.

      I’m sure researchers have done this and have published papers and press releases where they’re crowing about the match between these “retro-dictions” and actual data.