Friday follies – what happened to the “official AGW hypothesis?”

Now that the potty Peer, Christopher Monckton, is packing his bag to depart our shores, the band of climate change deniers/contrarians/pseudosceptics who micro-managed his “Freedom Tour” might be looking around for a new project.

richard1

Richard Treadgold

Richard Treadgold, whose blog Climate Conversation Group is one of the echo chamber nodes local climate change deniers/contrarians/pseudosceptics gather at, may have let slip details of a possible project. In a blog comment today he revealed:

“I referred earlier to the “AGW hypothesis” and its falsification. Astute readers will note there is officially no such hypothesis. No paper has been located (to my knowledge) which proposes one and sets it out in scientific terms. So, of course, no falsification has been possible. The entire AGW “debate” is built on shifting sand, as protagonists on all sides are at liberty to describe the theory as they please. No falsification is possible.”

Notice the word “officially” – that reminds me of the argument these character used in their attempt to get NIWA to give up their findings on the temperature record in New Zealand. They based this on a claim that NIWA did not use the “official” methodology in correcting temperatures for site changes at the weather stations.

Can’t you see it – a new case to the high court (or perhaps the International Court of Justice) demanding that climate scientists around the world stop advising their governments about climate issues because there is “no official AGW hypothesis.”

Mind you, Richard is not the only one entertaining the little group there. One of his other commenters claimed recently:

“It was in ca 1980 that James Hansen gave his famous talk to Congressmen on global warming. He picked the day of the year with the warmest average temperature and snuck into the building the night before to disable the air conditioning.”

Without these honourable gentleman to keep scientists in check just imagine what we would get up to. Sneaking into the US House of Representatives, disabling air conditionaing and gerrymandering their meeting days would be the least of it. Crikey, we might even start considering unofficial hypotheses! Ones that Richard knows nothing about!

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41 responses to “Friday follies – what happened to the “official AGW hypothesis?”

  1. “I referred earlier to the “AGW hypothesis” and its falsification. Astute readers will note there is officially no such hypothesis. No paper has been located (to my knowledge) which proposes one and sets it out in scientific terms. So, of course, no falsification has been possible. The entire AGW “debate” is built on shifting sand, as protagonists on all sides are at liberty to describe the theory as they please. No falsification is possible.”

    Science denialism: Only the labels change.

    Claim CA211:
    Any fact can be fit into the theory of evolution. Therefore, evolution is not falsifiable and is not a proper scientific theory.

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  2. Very funny. Very unscientific. Now, never mind the hand waving — which is the paper describing the mechanism/s behind dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

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  3. Cedric,

    I ask for a scientific paper, and you accuse me of “science denialism”? You idiot.

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  4. Richard, have you now dropped your claim that there is no “official” hypothesis? Do you also withdraw your claim to the High Court that there is an “official” methodology for correcting weather station data too?

    WTF does “official” mean in this context? Only something you can understand and endorse, perhaps? Clearly you don’t understand scientific research.

    Or if I suggest you read a good review of climate science and human effects – something like the IPCC reviews, reviews of published literature, you will then deny the validity of that review but deny that you are in denial?

    Or are we just going to put in that little word “dangerous” so there is another issue to deny?

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  5. have you now dropped your claim that there is no “official” hypothesis?

    No. What makes you ask, when I specifically say “which is the paper?”

    Our claim in the High Court that NIWA failed to use any recognised method of correction was denied, but is in fact undeniable. If you disagree, please name the recognised method that they used.

    Official simply means recognised. What else could it mean?

    The “little” word dangerous is significant, because if the warming is not dangerous, why would there be any anxiety about it? I have never denied anthropogenic warming, only its magnitude.

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

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  6. Richard – you are of course wrong about NIWA’s methodology – and as the High Court decided you don’t have sufficient expertise in these matters to judge the validity of methodology. That’s up to scientific experts. The concept of “official” methodology or hypotheses is just silly. It’s a matter of appropriate – not decision by edict.

    Of course you added “dangerous” to provide a point of denial – because that is a subjective judgement based on hypothetical possible scenarios – as you would realise if you read the IPCC reviews.

    However, it is good that you accept that “anthropogenic warming” occurs – there is hope for you yet. As for magnitude – exactly what qualifications and information do you have to determine the magnitude of future effects? The experts have given scenarios but even they don’t predict specific magnitudes – how could they except for hypothetical scenarios. This is science not religion or biblical predictions. Scientists are doing the work, not theologians.

    Given your acceptance of the mechanisms of “anthropogenic warming” do you deny that some scenarios where we continue business as usual will lead to relatively large global temperature increases, 4 or even 6 degrees, which will have quite dramatic influences on our weather and sea levels? What the experts are telling us? And there will be consequent dramatic social impacts?

    Or do you deny that by careful management we can possibly restrict global temperature increases to a level which has minimum drastic effects? Again, what the experts are telling us?

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  7. I should add that NIWA told the court they didn’t have to use ANY recognised method, even though they had been telling the NZ public for months which method they would use (and which they failed to use). It must have been a big disappointment to their supporters to hear them say that. They also said, you might remember, that they do not maintain any “official” NZ temperature record, nor do they have any obligation to do so. Nitwits.

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  8. So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of evolution?
    (shrug)

    It’s creationist thinking. If you don’t want to be compared to them then you shouldn’t use their talking points.

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  9. As I said, Richard, you clearly don’t understand scientific research. A good scientist uses appropriate methodology – not “official” or “recognised.” Here’s an example form my own research. We were investigating biological and biochemical changes over time in a number of NZ pastoral soils. The “standard” or “recognised” methods for several of the enzyme activity measurements we wanted to make were not suitable – basically because of the high organic matter content of many of our pastoral soils, compared with overseas soils. So we developed our own alternative methods.

    Now only an idiot would have criticised our work because we did not use the “standard,” “official,” “recognised” enzyme activity methods. There is not, nor should there be, in research a requirement for scientists to use inappropriate methods.

    Now the Judge understood that, you appear not to.

    NIWA’s statement that they did not maintain an “official” NZ temperature record and were not obliged to do so is simply a fact. You have done nothing to indicate otherwise.

    Again the Judge understood that.

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  10. The activism of scientists was well established when the UNFCCC was written in 1992 — even earlier, when the WMO and the UNEP set up the IPCC in 1988. Who could deny that their very purpose was climate activism, when the IPCC was prevented by its founding principles from investigating the truth of anthropogenic climate change. They were forced to take it as gospel and simply find evidence for it. Which is not normally considered a scientific approach.

    Claim CA611:
    Evolutionary theory, for a variety of nonscientific reasons, has obtained the status of sacred revelation. To express doubts by bringing up the counterevidence to the theory is to brand oneself an intellectual infidel.

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  11. Cedric,
    What? I never mentioned evolution!

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  12. Ken,
    I understand the importance of innovation in science and any other field. But NIWA said they would use a particular method. Without explanation, they didn’t use that method. That’s a failure of credibility, not the scientific method. To add to that failure, the method they used was not published or recognised. They ignored the method they themselves recognise (Rhodes & Salinger). But nobody seems to criticise them for failing to keep their word.

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  13. Ken,

    One might expect the “official” NZ temperature record to be kept by the most prestigious climate research agency. It’s a big shock to hear them say, not us. And you’re a dupe for believing them.

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  14. Yeah Ken, it’s not an official record. It has to be a scarequotes official record.
    With a proper stamp on it.

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  15. Richard, I think you are in denial of the fact that you guys lost in the High Court and had to cough up NIWA’s expenses. These are just twisted versions of the court record to try and justify the silliness of taking that case.

    The Judge could see through you guys, as can most New Zealanders.

    But just as few criminals will admit their crimes, very few plaintiffs in such cases will acknowledge their errors.

    It’s a pointless argument – but I guess it’s diverted you from the question of human caused climate change.

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  16. Cedric,
    What? I never mentioned evolution!

    Huh?
    I never said you did. I said it’s creationist thinking. Science denialism. If you don’t want to be compared to them then you shouldn’t use their talking points. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of evolution? Well, it’s right next to the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.
    (shrug)

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  17. @Cedric:
    ON
    THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
    BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION,

    OR THE
    PRESERVATION OF FAVOURED RACES IN THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE.

    BY CHARLES DARWIN, M.A.,

    FELLOW OF THE ROYAL, GEOLOGICAL, LINNÆAN, ETC., SOCIETIES ;
    AUTHOR OF ‘JOURNAL OF RESEARCHES DURING H.M.S. BEAGLE’S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD.’

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F373&viewtype=side&pageseq=1

    LONDON:

    JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

    1859.

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  18. English comprehension fail.
    Pay attention. Richard is asking for the paper.

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    See?

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  19. Argument fail. Darwin set out the tenets of the theory of evolution in the book cited. The book fundamentally changed the science of biology. Whether it was a ‘paper’ or not is simply semantics. Similar to Ken’s semantics regarding the word ‘official’.

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  20. Mike, there’s a bit of silly game playing here.

    Modern evolutionary science or hypotheses cannot be simply ascribed to one book or paper – it is now far more complex and you certainly couldn’t understand it if your reading was restricted to Darwin. Similarly you cannot understand complex climate change and human contribution simply from the writings of Arrhenius.

    [Mind you, as an aside, you have to be pretty naive, even idiotic, to "disprove" Arrhenius by referring to the relative lack of global land surface temperature increases over the last 15 years as Richard Cumming does at the Climate Conversation Group blog. He would be bloody cold now irrespective of human contributions if he was correct. All he has shown to everyone is that he is a fool - one of "Treadgold's science team" who should be kept "anonymous" for obvious reasons]

    Now do you or Treadgold really believe that Cumming is correct? Do you believe that the so-called “greenhouse effect” due to CO2 is false? If so, how do explain the surface temperature of the earth – irrespective of human inputs?

    Treadgold is just being silly to ask for single specific papers when he has some excellent reviews around which would clarify issues for him – if he is at all really interested. But don’t forget, he has no scientific understanding or interests – purely political.

    On the use of “official” and similar adjectives which occurred in the plaintiff’s High Court case – the Judge certainly did not think it semantic as he pointed out that the plaintiffs did not have the expertise to make such decisions. And I notice you don’t critique my explanation of why scientists will not be fooled by such terms.

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  21. Hi Ken,
    I believe Richard C is correct in noting that global mean surface temperatures have plateaued for the past 15 to 20 years.

    I believe Richard T is quite right to note with respect to the “AGW hypothesis” that “No paper has been located (to my knowledge) which proposes one and sets it out in scientific terms.” Do you know of a paper which proposes the hypothesis? Such a paper might propose that if CO2 levels increase then there will be a corresponding rise in temperature. And if such a paper proposed this, it could be falsified by the current temperature stasis in the face of rising CO2 levels. But such a paper does not exist (to my knowledge) and so the hypothesis cannot be falsified. Which, I believe, was Richard T’s point.

    Regards,
    Mike

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  22. What’s with declarations of belief, Mike? Do you look on this as a religion?

    Cumming only “noted” the recent decadal plateau of surface temperatures because he thinks it fits his story. If it didn’t he would ignore it. But of course the world is not a simple as Richard Cumming thinks it is. Poor soul.

    In fact the paper of Arrhenius did postulate the possibility of human influences on global temperature via CO2 inputs, and made quite a good quantitative prediction which has been broadly confirmed. If that is all you want you should be satisfied with that paper. I bet Treadgold has not even read it – he is simply being silly attempting a diversion.

    But your concept of “falsification” is really naive given the complexity of our weather and climate system:

    1: Cherry picking a decadal record of land surface temperature (and clumsily ignoring longer term trends) tells you nothing about the energy balance of the planet. There is plenty of noise due to weather effects. Long term temperature records are actually consistent with the role of CO2 and human inputs from fossil fuel. But of course, scientists do also look at things like ice melt and storage of heat in the ocean.

    Bugger me even if the temperature were not increasing over the longer term the fact that it is about 35 degrees hotter than a simple energy balance would suggest confirms the greenhouse gas effect. (Don’t quote me on the specific value – I have yet to check it, but that’s the region).

    2: Climate and global temperature is determined by a number of things, not just CO2, or human inputs of CO2. There are other human inputs such as particulates, and of course a number of natural, non-human inputs, which can lead to temperature changes. Cumming is extremely naïve to argue that there should be a correlation between land surface temperature and single factors like changes in atmospheric CO2 or sun brightness. Extremely naive. So naive as to be an embarrassment to his mates.

    3: Scientists of course recognise the complexity and have attempted to model temperature changes based on existing knowledge of mechanisms and parameters. A large number of models produce the same conclusion – recent global temperature changes cannot be explained by purely natural effects. Its only when we include human inputs, including burning of fossil fuels and emissions of particulates that we can explain the observed effects.

    4: That is why the over all conclusion is that the observed temperature changes over the last century are, in part, most probably explained by human inputs. It’s a conclusion which has a degree of uncertainty involved – as do most things in science. But being a conclusion arrived at by experts, reviewing credible published literature, its one that governments must put a lot of trust in.

    Let me stress, Mike, these conclusions are not a matter of belief. Nor are they political.

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  23. That is why the over all conclusion is that the observed temperature changes over the last century are, in part, most probably explained by human inoputs.It’s a conclusion which has a degree of uncertainty involved

    It is the uncertainty that is the main issue, i.e the sensitivity of the climate to CO2. There have been papers that suggest that CO2 is the main climate driver, i.e the “control knob”. It would say this is a highly contentious issue.
    Whether the greenhouse effect exists or whether CO2 causes some warming is a side issue in my view (even Monckton assumes the latter to be true)

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  24. Well, Andy, I guess you and Monckton have more intelligence than Cumming. He goes as far as saying that the recent decadal plateau of land surface temperature disproves our fundamental understanding of molecules like CO2. Poor soul!

    The sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is of course an issue on which there is uncertainty and disagreement. But that is the normal situation in science and why we invest in scientific research to solve such problems. It is issues like this in which climate scientists carry out research. Perfectly normal and only idiots would deny their important role in doing this – or attack them for being activists in such research.

    Now, could you go and tell Cumming and Treadgold to stop being childish? The so-called “greenhouse effect” obviously exists and CO2 does have a role in global temperature (an extremely important role for us) and climate change. Treadgold’s demand for papers is stupid – as is Cumming’s blinkered obsessive view of recent land surface temperature trends.

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  25. There are those that disagree with aspects of the GHE. (The so-called “Slayers”) I haven’t had time to read and understand their arguments.

    I do agree that a decade of no warming doesn’t “disprove” AGW, although I think it might point towards lower sensitivity to CO2 than originally thought. Time will tell, I suppose

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  26. It might point to a lot of things, like particulates, ocean heating, ice melting, etc. And it is hardly unusual. But isn’t that what climate scientists are employed to research? And isn’t it malicious to attack them for doing so?

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  27. Ken,

    The so-called “greenhouse effect” obviously exists and CO2 does have a role in global temperature (an extremely important role for us) and climate change. Treadgold’s demand for papers is stupid

    Please notice that I didn’t ask for papers on the GHE, nor have I ever argued that such an effect exists, because I think that it probably does. There’s a little doubt, but no falsification that I’ve heard of. I certainly did not, and never have, question scientific understanding of the CO2 molecule, but I do question the magnitude of its effect on the global temperature. I don’t believe that is known or agreed, in fact, it’s tremendously controversial.

    What I did, and do, ask for is some disciplined, scientifically accepted description (must I really repeat this?!) of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW). I know that such a phenomenon, if it exists, will be complex, because the climate is chaotic and unpredictable, so the DAGW hypothesis will not describe only physics from first principles.

    So far nobody has informed me of such a description. Actually, most people laugh at the very question and mock me for asking it. Not that mockery worries me — I’m more interested in the answer.

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  28. So, I guess you also are out of step with Cumming on the fundamental properties of these molecules, too, Richard. He is a deluded character, isn’t he?

    DAGW seems to be your own acronym, but I suggest your should not go past the IPCC reviews to understand the science of climate change, the role of human inputs, and for explanations which are well accepted scientifically. These reviews suffer from being somewhat conservative and, naturally, a bit behind current findings, but they are probably the best to provide an overall picture.

    They also consider a range of scenarios which we may possibly face in the future with some idea of the likely outcomes. Some scenarios are more benign than others some are very concerning.

    I have a actually informed you before of that source (several times I think) – perhaps people laugh because you actually don’t seem to want one – even denying that such sources exist. That is something to laugh at.

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  29. Hi Ken.
    When I speak about what other people are noting, it is my custom to say “I believe” rather than arrogantly assume that my interpretation of their point is absolute. It is a mark of humility, Ken. Juxtaposed by your remark about religion.

    As for your comment about “cherry-picking” (point 1), MET Office scientists seem to disagree with you Ken, as recently reported by the Daily Times here:
    “…the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html#ixzz2RdKksuDy

    It’s a very interesting article – I believe you may find it of interest Ken. (Not a religious belief, Ken).

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  30. Mike, you hardly considered my last comment did you?

    Big problem for you is confusing the Met Office with the Daily Mail article by David Rose. Are you not aware that the Met Office had to complain about misrepresentation in this article and correct it?

    Bit disingenuous to quote the article as representing the Met Office, isn’t it?

    However, I understand that anything like that article gets circulated avidly in the climate change denier echo chamber. You should really get out more.

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  31. Are you not aware that the Met Office had to complain about misrepresentation in this article and correct it?

    There wasn’t much of substance that the Met Office actually complained about.

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  32. I guess that’s a matter of opinion and ideological bias, Andy.

    Nevertheless it is disingenuous for Mike to imply I disagreed with the Met Office when he quoted a biased article (related to the Office’s modelling predictions, not the last few decades anyway).

    Mike would have contributed more by responding to my points in good faith. Telling me where he thought I was wrong, etc.

    That’s the way discussion works.

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  33. By the way, I also use the term “I believe” as a form of deference, as does Mike

    This doesn’t imply any kind of religious type of belief

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  34. I interpreted the use of “I believe” in the case if Mikes reference to Cumming’s and Treadgold’s stupid ideas as acceptance if them.

    I think that was quite reasonable – but I am happy to hear from him if in fact he does not accept their rubbish. That would be an improvement.

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  35. I don’t consider anyone’s ideas as rubbish unless they can be conclusively disproved as such

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  36. Those particular ideas have been.

    Anyway, strange to use “belief” as “deference” rather than acceptance. Does seem to imply a reliance on authority or religious sacredness of these pronouncements.

    “Deference” implies to me unquestioning acceptance or perhaps even “faith.”

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  37. Darwin set out the tenets of the theory of evolution in the book cited. The book fundamentally changed the science of biology. Whether it was a ‘paper’ or not is simply semantics.

    This is you admitting that there`s no paper. The goalposts are too heavy to shift.

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    This is Richard asking for a paper. He didn`t ask for “a book”.

    Modern evolutionary science or hypotheses cannot be simply ascribed to one book or paper – it is now far more complex and you certainly couldn’t understand it if your reading was restricted to Darwin. Similarly you cannot understand complex climate change and human contribution simply from the writings of Arrhenius.

    True is that. Our understanding of the theory of Evolution has greatly expanded since Darwin`s time. The man has been dead for quite a while.
    Science moves on.
    There is no paper and never will be.
    Same goes for a lot of important theories. Gravity,for instance.

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    It`s a game that Richard is playing. A creationist game.
    If you don’t want to be compared to them then you shouldn’t use their talking points. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of evolution? Well, it’s right next to the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.
    (shrug)

    What I did, and do, ask for is some disciplined, scientifically accepted description (must I really repeat this?!) of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW).

    Not according to Richard Treadgold. This is the internet. His own words have not conveniently vanished. They are still available. Must I really cut-and-paste them?
    Ok.

    So. What is the paper setting out the hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming?

    See?
    And as Ken points out, “DAGW” or whatever seems to be Richard`s special made own acronym that he just made up to suit himself.

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  38. I don’t consider anyone’s ideas as rubbish unless they can be conclusively disproved as such.

    Any science denier could say the same.
    If you don’t want to be compared to them then you shouldn’t use their talking points.
    Science is evidence-based. The burden of proof does not shift.

    Claims have to be backed up. If someone on the internet claims that they know that “it`s a hoax” and they are referring to something in the scientific mainstream then a Nobel Prize awaits them….or not.

    Evolution is a hoax?
    The link between tobacco and cancer is a hoax?
    HIV doesn`t really cause AIDS?
    The Americans never made it to the moon?
    The safety of vaccines is a hoax?

    Rubbish. Total bullshit.
    Either collect your Nobel Prize or shut your pie hole.
    Talk is cheap.

    The burden of proof

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  39. Pingback: Another Week of Anthropocene Antics, April 28, 2013 – A Few Things Ill Considered

  40. Brandoch Daha

    Great video, Cedric, thanks for the link

    Like

  41. You are most welcome. All of the videos from that guy are excellent. Never seen a bad one. He really knows how to cover all the bases on some thorny issues.

    Like

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