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Battle of the Blogs: Do Observations Falsify IPCC Projections?

In the blue corner we have Roger Pielke Jr (Prometheus) and Lucia Liljegren (The Blackboard). In the red corner we have James Annan (James’ Empty Blog) and Gavin Schmidt (RealClimate).

Interestingly, all four of the contenders accept the the IPCC consensus view on climate change, but Pielke Jr/Liljegren show that IPCC projections are currently falsified by observations, whereas Annan/Schmidt have the opposite view. Read the various blog posts and make up your own minds.

Lucia Concludes:

The IPCC projections remain falsified. Comparison to data suggest they are biased. The statistical tests accounts for the actual weather noise in data on earth.

The argument that this falsification is somehow inapplicable because the earth data falls inside the full range of possibilities for models is flawed. We know why the full range of climate models is huge: It contains a large amount of “climate model noise” due to models that are individually biased relative to the system of interest: the earth.

It will continue to admit what I have always admitted: When applying hypothesis tests to a confidence limit of 5%, one does expect to be wrong 5% of the time. It is entirely possible that the current falsification fall in the category of 5% incorrect falsifications. If this is so, the “falsified” diagnosis will reverse, and not we won’t see another one anytime soon.

However, for now, the IPCC projections remain falsified, and will do so until the temperatures pick up. Given the current statistical state ( a period when large “type 2″ error is expected) it is quite likely we will soon see “fail to falsify” even if the current falsification is a true one. But if the falsification is a “true” falsification, as is most likely, we will see “falsifications” resume. In that case, the falsification will ultimately stick.

For now, all we can do is watch the temperature trends of the real earth.


113 Responses to “Battle of the Blogs: Do Observations Falsify IPCC Projections?”

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  1. Comment from: Luke

    Answer: Both ! But not in the short term. Can you turn the Queen Mary on a dime.

  2. Comment from: CoRev

    Luke, I expected that answer. I do not see how we can effect climate without first effecting weather. No matter what is proposed, it will show up in changes in weather.

    Of course the first part of the question was: “What do you propose to do?” Then we can discuss the merits of said proposal, but we have yet to hear from Creepy for a proposal.

  3. Comment from: Luke

    Reduce growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    “show up in changes in weather” yes of course

  4. Comment from: Luke

    Now you’ve asked enough. Your turn.

    What causes years with different weather patterns.

    What does science tell us. I know – let’s use Australia as an interesting case study.

  5. Comment from: gavin

    Luke: What does science tell us? Our kids are the future!

    Some interesting comments on ABC talkback from Dr Alan Finkel in Canberra today re our science education and programs for generating future students for global warming studies / remedies long term.

    “Finkel received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Monash University in 1981. After
    two years of postdoctoral research at the Australian National University in Canberra he went on to establish and lead Axon Instruments Inc, a world-class supplier of electronic and robotic instruments and software for use in cellular neuroscience, genomics and drug discovery both in the university and pharmaceutical company research sectors.

    He recently invented a device that was successfully commercialised to speed drug research, and has also co-founded the award-winning science magazine COSMOS, managed the merger of several prominent research institutes, represented the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in a program to foster appreciation of science in secondary school students, and co-founded a company distributing educational toys and books for children”

  6. Comment from: SJT

    “Creepy, you really are scary. Did you read what i said? Nope. Translated my rant about weather/climate into some private universe, where Australian farming is central to the issue.”

    Rev, he made perfect sense. He’s trying to tell you where you tiny mind is incapable of understanding science and the big picture, and he did quite an good job of it too. You need to ask yourself why you need to seek comfort in little corners from which you are afraid to venture.

  7. Comment from: CoRev

    SJT, OK. I suspect my little corners are more open than yours, but it is just my perception.

    I have learned in my doddering old age that passion almost always trumps logic because of the energy levels associated with it. The best lesson I have learned is when to say “Yes, Dear!” So, consider it said.

  8. Comment from: Alarmist Creep

    CoRev seems to have gone very quiet when asked a question back.

    Interestingly in the Wiki definition of weather it says:

    “Surface temperature differences in turn cause pressure differences. A hot surface heats the air above it and the air expands, lowering the air pressure. The resulting horizontal pressure gradient accelerates the air from high to low pressure, creating wind, and Earth’s rotation then causes curvature of the flow via the Coriolis effect. The simple systems thus formed can then display emergent behaviour to produce more complex systems and thus other weather phenomena.”

    Complex systems and emergent behaviour eh? mmmmm

    sort of like I’ve been saying. And some of these phenomena even lock in for a season or more too.

    It also said about climate …. “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”

  9. Comment from: CoRev

    Creepy, sometimes we have other duties and/or things to do than respond to blog questions. Regardless, my answer would have been related to atmospheric and ocean/sea currents effecting conditions locales, sometimes for extended periods. Since we were talking about Australia, just some examples of these phenomena are the NAM, PDO, ENSO, and La Ninas. But none of these make sense without including the Sun and Geothermal heat sources, and their effect on them. Happy?

    Notice neither of us mentioned GHGs nor CO2 in our answers. Unlike Luke, we seem to have centered on the conditions and natural causes.

    So now you claim after defining weather:
    “Complex systems and emergent behaviour eh? mmmmm

    sort of like I’ve been saying.” you were talking about weather all along? Isn’t that what I have been saying? Just asking.

    Gonna go update my Blog, and thanks for the links. G’Day!

  10. Comment from: Alarmist Creep

    Just joshing ya.

    Well NAM might be a little way from Aussie. Perhaps SAM might be better. And maybe the southern ozone hole size too.

    For Aussie you could have added in Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO – if it exists and isn’t just the PDO in disguise)

    But all that would be being picky.

    Geothermal eh …. screws up face.

    Oh yes agree with the Sun as an energy source – THE energy source. And what do you think the temperature of the Earth would be with a greenhouse effect, or what might happen at night without one. Is the climate of Earth similar to the Moon?

    But are these phenomena triggered by solar variations or volcanoes – reckon not. (Notwithstanding that the Sun is the energy source of weather and climate).

    And global warming can change the energy balance.

    And what variations in sea temperatures give an El Nino event? Just for some sense of proportion.

    Could changes in energy balance push the Pacific into an “El Nino like mean state”. Has the Walker circulation already weakened?

    If ozone depletion and greenhouse forcing already affecting SAM?

    The “complex systems” quip was merely that local “weather” gives rise to larger phenomena which I was talking about. In other words these oscillations (SAM, IOD, ENSO, anti-ENSO (La Nina)) are emergent properties of all the meteorological circulations going on. i.e. episodic oscillations originate and propagate.

    But moreover – why don’t you summarise where you think we’re at. Coz I’m not sure after all the excitement whether it was 5 shots or 6.

  11. Comment from: CoRev

    ONE! You don’t remember? And the first time I’ve been out in 2 decades. I don’t remember the length, but 2 decades and a “ONE”, well you had to ask. I reckon, now your envious aren’t you? You, of course, do remember our wager?

    Well, enough frivolity, off to find another windmill.

  12. Comment from: gavin

    Hey, blow all this weather stuff.

    Your not off the hook till you had done with the ever rising sea!

  13. Comment from: SJT


    I can get a good idea of what the average height is for a population. But if I was to ask a group of people to come through a door, one by one, I could not predict what the height of the next individual would be. That’s the difference between climate and weather.

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