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TeaPotty

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Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« on: October 30, 2014, 05:02:41 PM »
Most people who understand the nature of our Climate crisis, and the rate at which we are pushing ourselves deeper into an extinction threat, understand that the public must be informed. The question is not about "scaring" the public or not, but rather how can we educate the public about our Climate Crisis, while hastily mobilizing people to save our future.

How many people are even remotely aware of our looming extinction crisis and what this means for our way of life? I doubt even 10%. Some Scientists still congratulate themselves for standing up to deniers nearly every day, an increasingly pointless waste of time, as reality is already revealing obvious climate change even to the least educated. How about we instead start a public discussion of how many people this planet will be even capable of supporting in 50 years?

Unfortunately, it seems most mainstream Scientists are beholden to the bourgeois upper-class academic environment. They often open their mouth to show their loyalty to the current conservative corporate culture, and then arrogantly proclaim that this conservatism is inherent to Science. This of course boosts their credibility with the "Very Serious People", and they get bonus points for attacking "alarmism". Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred. Of course, their never is any credibility loss or career damage if one is wrong on the conservative side, even if extremely wrong (2C by 2100 anyone?).

So here we are, playing Russian Roulette on our planet with an increasingly loaded gun, with mainstream Scientists seemingly content with measuring our chances for survival (so the 1% can decide how many they are willing to let die), instead of focusing their efforts on sounding the alarm for the now obviously necessary radical emissions reductions (@7:40 Professor Kevin Anderson).

I'd like this thread to be a collection of opinions and articles on this subject. The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

Climate Scientists Aren’t Too Alarmist. They’re Too Conservative: (Chris Mooney)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/

Scientist David Spratt recently gave a great lecture on our crisis: Dangerous Climate Change: Myths & Realities

Scientific reticence and sea level rise (James Hansen)
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/fulltext/
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 08:25:46 PM by TeaPotty »

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 09:15:51 PM »
Very well put, TeaPotty. Thank you.

I think it can be argued philosophically that you have a greater ethical responsibility to be absolutely sure your facts are correct, if you choose to publish a "this is going great" or "this isn't really so dramatic" work or conclusion. For when it is within the scope of the available climate scenarios to quite simply "kill us all", the consequences of being wrong in your lax conclusions are so vast.

I once took a bio ethics course at University, in my youth, but I'm not skilled enough to make this philosophical argument myself, I think. Yet I could perhaps ask my old professor to give it a try?

For most other things in life, the Consequences of Being Wrong are not that serious.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 08:55:45 AM »
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 09:30:48 AM »
Michael Hauber,
The pope may be infallible, but the scientific process?

Laurent

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 10:47:50 AM »
The question is not about "scaring" the public or not, but rather how can we educate the public about our Climate Crisis, while hastily mobilizing people to save our future.

I (we)have to advertise in front of my (our) house(s) about climate...I am thinking of it for a long time...it has to be done, internet is not enough we have to gently wake up or fellow citizens. (I am afraid of the reaction, perhaps I should not...)

The question of the failure of science was already discuss with the ipcc thread created by Viddaloo so I don't think it is necessary to add some more. We need the Ipcc to have a common base even though it is conservative...well once you know it (it has to be explained), you read between the line and try to look for some more accurate information.

How about we instead start a public discussion of how many people this planet will be even capable of supporting in 50 years?
That was already discussed by JimD some times ago. I do think the question is not how many people can the earth stand but how to adjust locally (nation, region, town) the demography. because each part of world cannot and will not be able to stand the same amount of people.



« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 10:53:07 AM by Laurent »

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 09:59:27 PM »
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

You have a reading comprehension problem as well I see. I literally wrote:

The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

The problem is not the Scientific Process, but how and for what objective this tool is used.

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 10:06:41 PM »
Michael Mann has given an amazing interview with Leftist blogger Gaius Publius. In this interview they not only cover up-to-date research on Climate Change, but also highlighted the topic of this thread.

Join their discussion on the consistently conservative projections failing, and how our window for meaningful action is closing faster than we can learn to measure it:
http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/10/michael-mann-on-climate-theres-very.html

jai mitchell

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 11:21:52 PM »
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

Michael, this post doesn't belong here, in fact, the trollish nature of this post indicates that YOU don't belong here.

Either put up some arguments, with scientific backing, or bug out.
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 11:22:10 PM »
Thanks again, TeaPotty! You're putting the "interesting" back in "interesting discussions" :)
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 11:50:37 PM »
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

Michael, this post doesn't belong here, in fact, the trollish nature of this post indicates that YOU don't belong here.

Either put up some arguments, with scientific backing, or bug out.

Back at you.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 11:52:41 PM »
Michael Hauber,
The pope may be infallible, but the scientific process?

Is of course flawed.  Does anyone have any meaningful suggestions on how it can be improved?
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 12:06:12 AM »
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 12:14:00 AM »
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

You have a reading comprehension problem as well I see. I literally wrote:

The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

The problem is not the Scientific Process, but how and for what objective this tool is used.

I read the rest of your article, and some of the articles you linked to. 

'Unfortunately, it seems most mainstream Scientists are beholden to the bourgeois upper-class academic environment'

'they get bonus points for attacking "alarmism"'

From the links:

' IPCC's reports, they say, often underestimate the severity of global warming'

'Climate research has conservative systematic bias'

'scientific reticence is is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise.....Scientific reticence may be a consequence of the scientific method'

Looks like an attack on science to me, and tacking a disclaimer that its not about the scientists who are good guys but the evil people trying to control and shape science for maximum profit at the end does not change my mind.
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TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2014, 12:56:52 AM »
Neven, sorry to drag you into this. I consider Michael Hauber's posts to be trolling. He is flooding this thread with posts intended to slander and derail, and generally not make much sense as usual. Please delete his posts if you can. Thank you.

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2014, 03:05:18 AM »
I dont reckon you will attract much meaningful debate if you alienate all 'conservative' people by slinging mud at them. If you want to whip up alarmist fervour there are plenty who will answer the call - but make a difference, persuade those conservatives - no chance. Michaels obviously offended, I certainly am, now you want to drag Neven in to pour water on the flames you lit. Its your thread and your first post - read it again with a conservative mind and see if it would spur you to read further!

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2014, 09:48:17 AM »
I'm having a complaint to the BBC processed. (It's abouth their constant implication that economic growth is the only way to create jobs - and economic growth usually causes more pollution)

I'm preparing to make another complaint on their coverage of global warming. One aspect is that they choose rather conservative climate scientists to argue with a climate deniers.  This avoids the more significant debate between conservative official leaning scientists and those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line.

I want to produce a league table of climate scientists who are willing to comment (and climate-aware commentators). Just as a convention I am putting the most question at the top of the league. My own starter:

Kevin Anderson
MichaelMann
James Hansen
Sir Bob Watson
David Mackay
Sir Brian Hoskinson

Should this be on a points basis?




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Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2014, 10:33:26 AM »
Neven, sorry to drag you into this. I consider Michael Hauber's posts to be trolling. He is flooding this thread with posts intended to slander and derail, and generally not make much sense as usual. Please delete his posts if you can. Thank you.

Next time send me a PM. :)

If I thought Michael Hauber is a fake skeptic trying to hide his true identity, I'd have warned him already. That is something I won't tolerate on this forum. But I don't believe he is one. In my opinion he is someone who believes AGW is real and potentially (very) problematic, just not as much as others here. So then we get disagreements and some misunderstandings. This is all normal in a forum environment. Everyone blows off some steam, doesn't get offended too much, and we all move on. Don't take things too personal, everyone!

When it comes to this subject, I'm a bit torn. Yes, there is such a thing as scientific reticence, and a lot of scientists are erring on the side of least drama. I try to counterbalance that a bit when blogging. At the same time I find it difficult to make confident statements about what is going to happen, when there is so much I don't know and/or understand.

But I always stress the risks, and I'm also annoyed when scientists don't do that. A lot of them don't do that enough.
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2014, 10:42:27 AM »
Well, good luck on that endeavor, Geoff! I think The Guardian wrote recently about the real debate being between conservative scientists/polluticians on the one side, and what you call «those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line».

Of course they will try to make it seem like the debate is *still* with deniers about *whether* humans cause warming for at least another decade. While I hope your complaint can have a fair amount of success, the BBC to me seems so in line with state and corporate powers these days, so TBH I don't see much hope for anything resembling real quality journalism from that corner.

Our Norwegian NRK told us in September that more growth and sustained growth would be the best way to solve the climate crisis. Am I mad for thinking it's no coincidence that they are in line with the BBC on this issue?
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TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2014, 05:35:55 PM »
Awareness of Both Type 1 and 2 Errors in Climate Science and Assessment
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1


Selected Quotes

While different decision rules are necessarily appropriate for different circumstances, we highlight that false-negative errors also have consequences, including impaired communication of the risks of climate change. We present recommendations for better accounting for both types of errors in the scientific process and scientific assessments.


Type 1 errors are a false positive: a researcher states that a specific relationship exists when in fact it does not... has become scientific convention in many fields of the natural sciences

Type 2 errors are the reverse: a null hypothesis would not be rejected despite being false—a false negative on the hypothesis that no relationship exists.A scientist says no relationship exists when, in fact, one exists; but again, the p (probability) value threshold for making such a claim is, in fact, arbitrary.

In scientific assessments such as the IPCC, scientists synthesize and weight multiple lines of evidence from diverse tools. Thus, the relative avoidance of type 1 versus type 2 errors can shape this synthesis process and the findings produced. In this case, an overestimation of a given climate impact is analogous to type 1 errors (i.e., a false positive in the magnitude of an impact), while an underestimation of the impact corresponds to type 2 errors.


Recent research has suggested in a number of key attributes in climate change that scientists have “erred on the side of least drama” by underestimating changes in climate assessments (Brysse et al. 2013), effectively favoring the risk of type 2 errors to lower the chances of type 1 errors.

Yet, careful treatment of type 2 errors can fall outside current uncertainty characterizations and it has particular relevance to climate impacts (Trenberth 2005). Failure to account for both type 1 and type 2 errors leaves a discipline or assessment processes in danger of irrelevancy, misrepresentation, and unnecessary damages to society and human well-being.


Because ice sheet melting was accelerating quickly and in unpredictable ways, “quantitative projections of how much it would add [to sea level rise] cannot be made with confidence” (Bindoff et al. 2007, p. 409). The authors decided, given these realities, to remove sea level rise driven by ice melt from their future estimates—not because the ice was not melting but because future rates could not be projected.

More specifically, Working Group I of the Fourth Assessment Report dealt with this insufficient understanding by removing the acceleration of ice sheet melt out of its quantitative projections of the future. The summary for policymakers' table 3 of sea level rise projections includes sea level contributions from ice sheet flow held steady at the rates observed from 1993 to 2003, but they do not include a continuation of the observed acceleration of melt.


Several scientists pointed out this potential type 2 error in the peer-reviewed literature is a consequence of “scientific reticence” (Hansen 2007), which includes a strong focus on avoiding type 1 errors. The limitations of consensus and dynamics of the IPCC assessment process, however, may have instead influenced this range (Oppenheimer et al. 2007; Solomon et al. 2008), as the process of determining upper and lower bounds involves integrating and weighting different sources of information and model simulations.

We analyzed a dataset of major U.S. and U.K. media outlet news coverage of the IPCC WGI report to examine whether media outlets reported the critical caveat regarding the upper bounds of sea level rise. A lack of reporting this caveat suggests that this potential type 2 error impaired effective communication of climate risks.


While recent research has in fact shown that the majority of Himalayan glaciers are melting and at a rate on par with glaciers around the world (Fujita and Nuimura 2011; Kaab et al. 2012; Kargel et al. 2011), the 2035 melt date is almost certainly an overstating of melt rates (Bolch et al. 2012) and thus provides an example of a possible type 1 error.

In contrast to the sea level rise, the scientific community and media response to this potential error was substantial. In the peer-reviewed literature, the melt date was described as incorrect (Cogley et al. 2010) and some suggested that “this error . . . shredded the reputation of a large and usually rigorous international virtual institution”.

Did the overestimation actually damage scientific credibility of the IPCC? It is hard to know the true impact, but polling data since the incident indicates likely not. A poll conducted in June 2010 found that 14% of Americans heard in the news recently about errors in the IPCC report (Leiserowitz et al. 2013). About 5% said that these errors had decreased their trust in climate scientists, though these were largely concentrated in the “doubtful” and “dismissive” categories of respondents with relatively low trust in climate scientists prior (Leiserowitz et al. 2013).


A retrospective analyses of several key attributes of global warming concluded that the IPCC as an institution has tended to be generally conservative and often underestimate key characteristics of climate (Brysse et al. 2013). This arguably has led to larger (though unknown) type 2 error rates, particularly in presenting the upper bounds of climate changes and impacts that might not capture the full tails of the probability density function distribution.

Concluding Remarks

We suggest that assessment can further institutionalize the aversion to type 1 errors and attendant risk of committing type 2 errors. Both in paradigm and procedure, the scientific method and culture prioritize type 1 error aversion (Hansson 2013) and “erring on the side of least drama” (O'Reilly et al. 2011) or “scientific reticence” (Hansen 2007), and this can be amplified by both publication bias and scientific assessment (Freudenburg and Muselli 2010; Lemons et al. 1997; O'Reilly et al. 2011). Thus, the high consequence and tails of the distribution of climate impacts, where experts may disagree on likelihood or where understanding is still limited, can often be left out or understated in the assessment process (Oppenheimer et al. 2007; Socolow 2011). As participants in the IPCC assessments, we have observed the excessive focus on avoiding type 1 errors at various stages in the assessment process, which may have worsened following the Himalayan glacier event.

Growing evidence suggests that, partly owing to this treatment of error as well as other processes, consensus scientific assessments to date are likely to underestimate climate disruptions (Brysse et al. 2013; Freudenburg and Muselli 2010; O'Reilly et al. 2011). A recent paper reviewed the suite of studies that compared past predictions with recent observations of sea level rise, surface temperature increase, melting of Arctic sea ice, permafrost thaw, and hurricane intensity and frequency. The study found that IPCC assessments of projections were on the whole largely correct or even underestimates (possible type 2 errors), and that there was little to no evidence of “alarmism” or widespread overestimates (Brysse et al. 2013). Thus, while a full accounting of the relative prevalence of type 1 versus type 2 errors is not possible (as what determines an “error” is a difficult question and future projections cannot be assessed currently), the balance of evidence indicates that potential type 2 errors may be more prevalent in assessments, such as the IPCC.

This asymmetry of treatment of error has unintended consequences. Type 2 errors can hinder communication of the full range of possible climate risks to the media, the public, and decision makers who have to justify the basis of their analyses. Thus, such errors have the potential to lead to unnecessary loss of lives, livelihoods, or economic damages.

Uncertainty must be recognized as multifaceted and textured. As such, Brian Wynne described four kinds of uncertainty:
1) “risk”—where we know the odds, system behavior, and outcomes can be defined as well as quantified through probabilities;
2) “uncertainty”—where system parameters are known, but not the odds or probability distributions;
3) “ignorance”—risks that escape recognition; and
4) “indeterminacy”—which captures elements of the conditionality of knowledge and contextual scientific, social, and political factors (Wynne 1992).
Thus, the risks through uncertainty in these conditions of postnormal science have material implications. Incomplete presentation of the full possibilities of outcomes (likelihood compounded by consequence) can lead to a lack of preparedness, loss of livelihoods or lives, and economic damage
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jai mitchell

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2014, 06:31:01 PM »
Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/]
[url]http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/
[/url]

The tendency to underplay climate impacts needs to be recognized, conclude the authors of a recent paper exploring this bias. Failure to do so, they wrote in their study published last month in the journal Global Environmental Change, "could prevent the full recognition, articulation and acknowledgement of dramatic natural phenomena that may in fact be occurring."

Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215

In particular, we discuss recent studies showing that at least some of the key attributes of global warming from increased atmospheric greenhouse gases have been under-predicted, particularly in IPCC assessments of the physical science, by Working Group I. We also note the less frequent manifestation of over-prediction of key characteristics of climate in such assessments. We suggest, therefore, that scientists are biased not toward alarmism but rather the reverse: toward cautious estimates, where we define caution as erring on the side of less rather than more alarming predictions. We call this tendency “erring on the side of least drama (ESLD).”


IPCC Vice-Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele countered that "the mandate of IPCC is to assess where there is consensus, and to reflect the full diversity of views that are scientifically valid where there is not."* He conceded that by requiring teams of authors to agree upon a report’s text, the IPCC process is inherently conservative. Getting the balance right, he said in an e-mail, is "not always easy."

--I'll Say

The inability to adequately address uncertainty in a realm of "consensus" obfuscates risk. 

as this graphic from a 2011 paper shows what happens to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation if the model is forced to tip. paper here:  http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n4/full/nclimate1143.html

Graph at top left shows that once a tipping point is reached (about 35% reduction from average) then a collapse ensues.  We simply don't know if arctic sea ice declines will produce this effect already, but it is very likely to happen in a +4C world.

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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2014, 10:56:09 PM »
Well, good luck on that endeavor, Geoff! I think The Guardian wrote recently about the real debate being between conservative scientists/polluticians on the one side, and what you call «those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line».


Here's that Guardian quote and source:

«There was recently a contentious dispute at a Royal Society Arctic Sea Ice meeting, in which Wadhams felt that his views were being disrespected by some of those mainstream climate scientists. Those scientists argued that Wadhams was misinterpreting their comments, but this dispute illustrates where the climate debate really lies.

Normally the ‘debate’ is depicted as being between climate ‘sceptics’ on one side and mainstream climate scientists on the other. Many bystanders assume that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle. However, in reality it’s the mainstream scientists who fall into the middle of the spectrum, with climate contrarians on one extreme, and those who believe climate scientists are underestimating the impacts of global warming on the other extreme.»
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2014, 08:36:18 AM »

When it comes to this subject, I'm a bit torn. Yes, there is such a thing as scientific reticence, and a lot of scientists are erring on the side of least drama. I try to counterbalance that a bit when blogging. At the same time I find it difficult to make confident statements about what is going to happen, when there is so much I don't know and/or understand.

So are more erring on the side of least drama then are erring on the side of more drama?  Are there good examples?

Personally I think the scientists do about as good as could be expected given all the factors of uncertainty, imperfect humans who can't be perfectly free of error and bias etc etc.  I'm sure that the scientists are 'wrong'.  But in which way?  Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?  What better method do we have of predicting what will happen than listening to what the scientists say?  Do we pick a side based on ideology and then hold up the science that agrees with our side as proof and ignore the science that does not?  Do we trust the Blog Scientists?  Or perhaps the media?

Where I would have a concern is in the understanding of risks and uncertainty.  I feel the IPCC message for the average case of temperature projections, and even sea ice projections is about right (and yes I left sea level rise out there lol).  My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

However the possibility of upper range consequences is a serious concern.  I don't think we can totally rule out possibilities were the majority of the earth becomes uninhabitable to man.  I think such a possibility is unlikely, and that no one has shown a scenario I find convincing where things go really haywire and something along the lines of a runaway clathrate melt down happens.  But I haven't seen anything that nicely rules it out either.  As the IPCC says - it is 'likely' that climate sensitivity is 1.5-4.5.  Which means a 15% chance that sensitivity is above 4.5.  I don't like those odds at all when we are talking about the future habitability of planet earth.

But how do you discuss such a belief in a reasonable way with anyone?  Some people are convinced that global warming will be much less than the IPCC project.  Others seem to be convinced that the warming will be in the upper range.  The idea that warming could be anywhere between 'not particularly scary' and 'horrendous' seems to be one of the least popular beliefs out there.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2014, 09:07:25 AM »
Michael Hauber,
I think your assessment is one fair interpretation of the science. My interpretation is that mainstream projections are serious enough, but the really ugly risks are in the under-reported fat tails. Scientists are in the best position to recognize these risks before others, and therefore have a special responsibility to stress them. For a while it seems they were afraid to do this, since they were and are indeed under attack, but not by the likes of James Hansen, but by the pseudo-sceptic denial machine. Just see the case of Mike Mann, or Hansen himself. By now scientists seem to better understand in what kind of epic fight they have been accidentily drawn, and have better organized to stress the risks, as for example in the AAAS-publication What We Know.

To me it all comes down to this question: Is the science alarmist of alarming? It think it is very alarming, which seems a fair assessment, according to this paper by Risbey (2008):
http://www.marine.csiro.au/~ris009/pubfiles/gec_alarming.pdf

The papers by Brysse et al (2013) and Anderegg et al (2014) above show that often/sometimes this alarming nature of the science seems to not have been stressed enough in the past. If you know examples of alarmist science, it would be good to know about them too.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 11:49:26 AM by Lennart van der Linde »

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2014, 09:46:11 AM »
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?

Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.
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Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2014, 12:43:29 PM »
My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

Excuse me, but how does dramatic ecological disruption not impact human welfare?
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werther

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2014, 01:14:54 PM »
The process within the IPCC to deliver the climate reports is in itself enough to dilute concern about the consequences of human greenhouse gas emissions. A lot of scientists are aware of that and have criticised the working process. As it is, the IPCC is the only organisation that combines scientific efforts on a large scale basis. And it has at least serious attention within the political sphere. So I feel I have to accept the outcome of each report, even though I get increasingly weary by the cautious and time-consuming path.

To criticise the process is not the same as calling the science flawed. An assessment report is not a sort of monumental, unified piece of work. There’s no point in discussing it like the Bible or the Quran. Like when I don’t literally accept one paragraph I’d criticise the Word, and thereby would cease to be a religious person.

A lot of scientific work on climate is top-of-the-bill. Usually beyond my intellectual capacities. But I think I understand the general direction. I also have great respect for the intricate and complex structure of our biosphere. From what is my perception of the scientific method, I guess it is awfully hard to make progress toward complete insight. In the scientific method, for any projection into the future, the basis lies within the past. The respect for the complexity of the system is expressed in probability. A statistical approach. Any projection, to me, looks like a sort of risk analysis.

When the IPCC reports are criticised, the critics can be seen as an expression of a different concern about the risk. That concern cannot generally be dismissed as a claim that ‘the whole scientific process’ is flawed.

PS I listened to the interview that Gaius Publius had with Dr. Mann. It touches well on the risk assessment.

On the opening of this thread; I agree with TeaPotty that time is running out. There’s a strong incentive on maintaining business-as-usual. That incentive has driven and financed mainstream science ever since the beginning of the modern industrial society. I often wonder why someone would deny the obvious consequences of such behaviour. But then, I think my own perception of beauty in this world is probably not mainstream…

BTW that was a good reply Neven. Ecological disruption is going on everywhere, beauty is turned foul. And it does impact human welfare, even though it is just a part of the welfare of all living beings.

P-maker

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2014, 01:54:41 PM »
Excerpts from the IPCC AR5 SYR released today in Copenhagen – with a focus on more recent cryospheric issues, and with a bias towards higher confidence statements.

“Over the period 1992 to 2011, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass (high confidence), likely at a larger rate over 2002 to 2011. Glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide (high confidence). Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover has continued to decrease in extent (high confidence). There is high confidence that permafrost temperatures have increased in most regions since the early 1980s in response to increased surface temperature and changing snow cover. {1.1.3}

The annual mean Arctic sea-ice extent decreased over the period 1979 to 2012, with a rate that was very likely in the range 3.5 to 4.1% per decade. Arctic sea-ice extent has decreased in every season and in every successive decade since 1979, with the most rapid decrease in decadal mean extent in summer (high confidence).

Anthropogenic influences have likely affected the global water cycle since 1960 and contributed to the retreat of glaciers since the 1960s and to the increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet since 1993. Anthropogenic influences have very likely contributed to Arctic sea-ice loss since 1979 and have very likely made a substantial contribution to increases in global upper ocean heat content (0–700 m) and to global mean sea-level rise observed since the 1970s. {1.3.1; Figure 1.10}

The global mean surface temperature change for the  period 2016-2035 relative to 1986-2005 is similar for the four RCPs and will likely be in the range 0.3°C-0.7°C (medium confidence). This assumes that there will be no major volcanic eruptions or changes in some natural sources (e.g., CH4 and N2O), or unexpected changes in total solar irradiance.

Year-round reductions in Arctic sea ice are projected for all RCP scenarios. A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean (When sea-ice extent is less than one million km2 for at least five consecutive years. ) in the summer sea-ice minimum in September before mid-century is likely for RCP8.512 (medium confidence). {2.2.3, Figure 2.1}

It is virtually certain that near-surface permafrost extent at high northern latitudes will be reduced as global mean surface temperature increases, with the area of permafrost near the surface (upper 3.5 m) projected to decrease by 37% (RCP2.6) to 81% (RCP8.5)for the multi-model average (medium confidence). {2.2.3}

The risks associated with temperatures at or above 4°C include substantial species extinction, global and regional food insecurity, consequential constraints on common human activities, and limited potential for adaptation in some cases (high confidence).

It is virtually certain that global mean sea-level rise will continue for many centuries beyond 2100, with the amount of rise dependent on future emissions. The threshold for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet over a millennium or more, and an associated sea-level rise of up to 7 m, is greater than about 1°C (low confidence) but less than about 4°C (medium confidence) of global warming with respect to pre-industrial temperatures.

For mitigation scenarios that stabilize concentrations (without overshoot) in the range of 430-530 ppm CO2-eq by 2100, annual investments in low carbon electricity supply and energy efficiency in key sectors (transport, industry and buildings) are projected in the scenarios to rise by several hundred billion dollars per year before 2030.”

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2014, 08:08:15 PM »
The trouble I have with that P Maker is it is a model driven possible scenario. Thats ok for the readers of forums such as this as we wouldnt be here if we werent interested in trying to work out with greater certainty what the future holds and therefore we have a belief in the warming scenario. The difficulty is putting it to the rest of the world when they have nowhere near the comforts we do. Once the rest of the world has a reasonable energy supply/standard of living and more time to educate themselves then they are more likely to show some concern for the rest of humanity and the problems associated with AGW. Until that point they will strive to burn fossil fuels to supply themselves with a small proportion of the comfort we enjoy - I cant blame them for that and I stand up for their right to do so. 80% of the globes population lives in substandard accommodation and less than 1% owns a computer - a good population analogy is the world represented as a village of 100 people -  http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/populate.asp

Perhaps educating the western world that they need to share their energy resources more equally with the rest of the world would be a better way of spending money. However would you give up your car/television/phones/computer/......lifestyle in general so that the third world can have a greater share, or are we going to suppress 80% of the worlds population and keep them in energy poverty so that we can carry on as we are.

This is why I will not move on to the 'drastic action is needed' side - it wont happen without a massive change in attitude or population or both. If however we as a scientifice forward looking society can bring forward energy parity for the rest of the world - only then will you get the rest of the world to come along for the ride.

If I thought this process was already in place then I would follow the 'drastic action' plan. If not I will still prefer to see the poor in the world take action to improve their lot - if that means we are doomed then we are doomed as an entire species and not just the underpriveleged majority.

That is why I prefer to look for balance in forcings and feedbacks so I can sleep at night, which is why I enjoy the depth of information available on this site. I dont want to believe in catastrophe and all it means for my children when the action needed to change the hypothetical situation IMO is even more catastrophic. I think thats why the skeptical side of the debate wont budge, the mainstream side says we will all suffer if we dont do something, which may or may not prove to be true but if it involves a massive change in the way we all live and further disadvantages the majority of the worlds population, then there will always be huge resistance to it until the s**t hits the fan and they become involved by events.

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2014, 11:20:12 PM »
Are Scientists Too Conservative About Climate? (Peter Sinclair)
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/11/02/are-scientists-too-conservative-about-climate/

Interview with Stefan Rahmstorf: Is the IPCC too Conservative?


"The most important thing is that you know its conservative, so you understand the IPCC reports in the correct way"
-Stefan Rahmstorf
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 05:59:02 AM by TeaPotty »

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2014, 01:58:32 AM »
Why the IPCC synthesis report is necessary but not sufficient to secure a response to climate change (Skeptical Science)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter

The combination of the IPCC working group and synthesis reports will almost certainly be used by some to argue for action and by others to say do we know enough to act now.


Lets see what the media is reporting, shall we?

[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC... In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be "phased out almost entirely by 2100
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884

[CNN]: According to the IPCC, to stay below a 2-degree C increase, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall as much as 70% around the world by 2050 and to zero by 2100
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/

[AP]: UN Climate Report Offers Stark Warnings, Hope... Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous... the word "dangerous" disappeared from the summary altogether. It appeared only twice in a longer underlying report compared to seven times in a draft produced before the Copenhagen session. The less loaded word "risk" was mentioned 65 times in the final 40-page summary

NPR: U.N.: End Greenhouse Emissions By 2100 Or Risk 'Irreversible' Damage... the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage

[TIME]: U.N.: Phase Out Fossil Fuels By 2100 Or Face ‘Irreversible’ Climate Impact
http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/


Phew... So the party can keep going till 2100, right?
Please, tell us more about how we really should stop "alarming" the public who is barely even paying attention.

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2014, 02:12:29 AM »
IPCC is stern on climate change – but it still underestimates the situation (Bill McKibben)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/ipcc-climate-change-carbon-emissions-underestimates-situation-fossil-fuels

this new document – actually a synthesis of three big working group reports released over the last year – almost certainly underestimates the actual severity of the situation

the current IPCC document does not even include the finding in May that the great Antarctic ice sheets have begun to melt

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2014, 09:45:06 AM »
[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC...

OMG, do I need to wake up my 'Suicide Pact' thread?

The IPCC — the best climate panel money can buy.
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werther

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2014, 09:52:59 AM »
Some introduce ‘we’ to suggest that most of the blog fellows find themselves part of their assumptions. Please leave me out. Speak for yourself. I don’t have to ‘work out’ anymore to have a strong sense where this is going. I have no ‘belief’ in a warming scenario. The Rubicon has been crossed, so to say…

BTW I have enjoyed the comforts mentioned, but I don’t want to hold on to them at the cost they bring. I try not to put blame on others, and certainly not on the less fortunate. Because the Rubicon has been crossed, there’s no time to achieve equality whatsoever. It is a noble idea, but also a perfect strawman argument to not address the consequences of AGW and the finality of resources.
I do wish anyone those good nights sleep. I do sleep well, at least, most of the times. Because I think there’s a distinction between personal and general providence. It is within my personal providence to accept what’s to come and act with compassion.
What happens in the realm of general providence is not for me to fathom. But the Universe is large and possibilities infinite.

werther

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2014, 09:59:21 AM »
Thanks for the info on the IPCC report, guys. This 'FF-phase-out-trajectory' as you took them from the media are, well... let's say they don't seem to fit well with what Dr. Michael Mann supposed in the interview mentioned up in the thread.

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2014, 10:50:28 AM »
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?


Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.


Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4.  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2014, 10:53:34 AM »
Why the IPCC synthesis report is necessary but not sufficient to secure a response to climate change (Skeptical Science)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter

The combination of the IPCC working group and synthesis reports will almost certainly be used by some to argue for action and by others to say do we know enough to act now.


Lets see what the media is reporting, shall we?

[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC... In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be "phased out almost entirely by 2100
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884

[CNN]: According to the IPCC, to stay below a 2-degree C increase, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall as much as 70% around the world by 2050 and to zero by 2100
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/

[AP]: UN Climate Report Offers Stark Warnings, Hope... Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous... the word "dangerous" disappeared from the summary altogether. It appeared only twice in a longer underlying report compared to seven times in a draft produced before the Copenhagen session. The less loaded word "risk" was mentioned 65 times in the final 40-page summary

NPR: U.N.: End Greenhouse Emissions By 2100 Or Risk 'Irreversible' Damage... the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage

[TIME]: U.N.: Phase Out Fossil Fuels By 2100 Or Face ‘Irreversible’ Climate Impact
http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/


Phew... So the party can keep going till 2100, right?
Please, tell us more about how we really should stop "alarming" the public who is barely even paying attention.


The media will always report all sorts of nonsense whether the scientists are being reasonable or not.  The report I heard every hour on the Australian national radio network (ABC) was that the IPCC had said that emissions must stop immediately.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2014, 10:54:32 AM »
My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

Excuse me, but how does dramatic ecological disruption not impact human welfare?

Thats worth a new thread in my opinion.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2014, 11:07:25 AM »
I read through my post Werther and dont see the 'we' as inclusive on any assumption that is unfair on anybody who lives in the western world and is affluent enough to be able to read this blog - anywhere else I used 'I' which is fair I think. I speak for noone other than myself - its my opinion based on my accumulation of knowledge. To speak for anybody else is arrogant and really just somantics - so if I have been taken that wayand caused offence I apologise

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2014, 11:40:14 AM »
What would have been the consequences if scientists had been less conservative 30 or 40 years ago? 

In the late 70s we saw the Charney report, which is one of a number of reports at about the same time that first marked the emergence of a consensus on climate change.  In this report climate sensitivity was estimated to be between 1.5 and 4.5, which is about the same that it is estimated by many today.  The logic?  Charney had two major modelling efforts to judge by.  The more primitive Manabe which did not include seasonal effects, did model clouds in one of the three models but found no positive cloud feedback and found a climate sensitivity of 2 degrees.  The other model was Hansen which included seasonal effects, a more sophisticated cloud simulation and found a sensitivity of 4.  Charney decided that Hansen was the upper bound, Manabe the lower bound, added a further error of 0.5 and decreed climate sensitivity was 1.5-4.5 and most likely 3.

Since that time a large amount of research has found a similar sensitivity.  Climate projections have been made which have been mostly pretty close, but we are currently a little on the cool side of many projections.

I feel that many arguing here that the IPCC are too conservative would also have argued that Charney was too conservative for similar reasons - that positive feedbacks such as due to clouds were being downplayed and that not enough weight was being given to the latest and greatest research.  But Charney's conservatism has stood the test of time rather well.

Back to Hansen.  One of the favourite targets of the deniers is Hansen's 88 projection.  In this paper Hansen notes that the models that best predict temperature increases up to 88 are those with a high sensitivity of over 4.2 degrees.  He then provides a projection based on this sensitivity, which overestimates global warming by about 30% as at 2011 according to   Skeptical Science.  However if the projection is scaled down to be equivelant to a sensitivity of 3 degrees then the projection is pretty good.



This is one prediction that would have stood the test of time better with a somewhat more conservative approach.  To be fair I'll also point out Hansen's projection in 1981 was almost spot on SkS  Another side point is that luke warmers should pay close attention to Hansen's error of reading too much into recent short term temperature trends when predicting future trends so as not too fall into the same error (but in opposing direction).

Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2014, 01:04:10 PM »
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?


Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.


Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4.  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.


Again, please answer the question, Michael.
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2014, 01:33:34 PM »
Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred.

Neven, do we have to have that kind of creeps on this forum? People who "don't know" whether a mass extinction event would be bad or not are bad for my blood pressure.
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2014, 03:38:13 PM »
Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred.

Neven, do we have to have that kind of creeps on this forum?

I don't know if there are, but there is room for that. Some, not a lot.

When your blood pressure gets too high, it's time to step away from the computer and relax or do something useful. An Internet forum is not worth getting upset about.
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TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2014, 04:20:36 PM »
A well-written article by Joe Romm. He is more optimistic than I though, especially of Capitalism's ability to change for the greater good, and our ability to get out of this through "economic growth".

Can Progressives, Enviros, And Scientists Save Capitalism From The Pro-Collapse Polluters?
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/14/3568601/pro-collapse-capitalism-polluters/



Highlighted Quotes

Our prolonged inaction in the face of the growing threat of collapse that has limited out choices, forcing drastic action now.

Unchecked capitalism is a Ponzi scheme that must collapse.

Can catastrophe and collapse be avoided if we keep doing what we’re doing? No. As the Guardian reported this month, eleven “Nobel laureates call for a revolutionary shift in how humans use resources” based on “new figures highlighting that humanity is living absurdly beyond its means.” Duh.

Our current do-nothing policy is de-growth in that it must lead to catastrophe and collapse.

I think that our continued dawdling means ultimately we will need a World War II style (and scale) effort to avert catastrophe.

I agree with the three essential points Klein makes in her book:
  • Because we have ignored the increasingly urgent warnings and pleas for action from climate scientists for a quarter century (!) now, the incremental or evolutionary paths to avert catastrophic global warming that we might have been able to take in the past are closed to us.
  • Humanity faces a stark choice as a result: The end of civilization as we know it or the end of capitalism as we know it.
  • Choosing “unregulated capitalism” over human civilization would be a “morally monstrous” choice — and so the winning message for the climate movement is a moral one.

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2014, 10:27:56 PM »
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?


Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.


Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4.  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.


Again, please answer the question, Michael.


There are other factors besides Arctic permafrost methane.  We need to know the total of all factors before we know whether IPCC are overestimating or underestimating climate change.  Unless of course you believe that Arctic permafrost methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2014, 10:35:53 PM »
Fine, Mike. After asking you twice I then assume you do not seriously ask whether they are overestimating or underestimating climate change. I think you know. Welcome to the club.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2014, 10:41:12 PM »
Another example of scientific conservatism and its consequences:

Consider the extreme Kelvin wave at the start of the year and the speculation of a super el nino.  Didn't happen.  At the time I was surprised at the conservatism of the experts and climate models and suspected they were underestimating the likelihood of an extreme el nino.  In discussions on another forum I talked about the possibility of an extreme event, and included the caveat that we couldn't be certain as we had a sample size of 1 (97/98 event) to compare to.  I felt the caveat was a bit silly as it seemed obvious to me that we would see a major event, but I couldn't see any clear way to get rid of the caveat.  And then surprise surprise there was a significant temporary reversal of the ENSO warming trend and those who had been conservative found they had avoided getting egg on their face.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2014, 10:50:27 PM »
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.
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TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2014, 11:29:10 PM »
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.

In the Conservative's reality, this is equivalent to the collapse of Western Antarctica missing from the IPCC report. Never mind that ocean temps are practically at El Niño levels, or that an El Niño is still brewing. Never mind the irreversible several meters of sea level rise locked in from W Antarctica's collapse. Facts just don't compare to the warm fuzzy feeling False Balance gives conservatives in their bowels.

It must truly be terrible to ascribe to an ideology responsible for most of past and future human suffering, and worse when your reactionary defense of disproven ideas gives away that it's more about cult identity and money than what is ultimately true.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 11:36:50 PM by TeaPotty »

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2014, 12:03:27 AM »
Michael Hauber,

How about Russian Roulette or fat tail risks?

If you play Russian Roulette there's a good chance, about 83%, that you will survive and not get egg on your face. But would you take the risk?

And what about the fat tails of climate risk? There may be some negative feedbacks that could limit future warming, but the risks of positive feedbacks that could increase future warming seem assymetrically and significantly greater.

What is worse: erring on the side of least drama or erring on the side of most drama? Even IPCC now says that the risks of mitigating too little are much greater than mitigating too much. In the 9 degrees thread Anderegg et al 2014 on type 1 and 2 errors was referred to. What's your view on this?

TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2014, 12:30:09 AM »
What is worse: erring on the side of least drama or erring on the side of most drama? Even IPCC now says that the risks of mitigating too little are much greater than mitigating too much. In the 9 degrees thread Anderegg et al 2014 on type 1 and 2 errors was referred to. What's your view on this?


I extensively quoted that paper just above (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39197.html#msg39197).


Michael Hauber's response:

I feel the IPCC message for the average case of temperature projections, and even sea ice projections is about right (and yes I left sea level rise out there lol).  My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

However the possibility of upper range consequences is a serious concern.  I don't think we can totally rule out possibilities were the majority of the earth becomes uninhabitable to man.  I think such a possibility is unlikely, and that no one has shown a scenario I find convincing where things go really haywire and something along the lines of a runaway clathrate melt down happens.  But I haven't seen anything that nicely rules it out either.  As the IPCC says - it is 'likely' that climate sensitivity is 1.5-4.5.  Which means a 15% chance that sensitivity is above 4.5.  I don't like those odds at all when we are talking about the future habitability of planet earth.

But how do you discuss such a belief in a reasonable way with anyone?  Some people are convinced that global warming will be much less than the IPCC project.  Others seem to be convinced that the warming will be in the upper range.  The idea that warming could be anywhere between 'not particularly scary' and 'horrendous' seems to be one of the least popular beliefs out there.



If this isn't trollish, I don't know what is. The False Equivalency here stinks. Especially if you have "strong conservation ethics", like not killing millions of people.