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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Judith Curry ejects herself from a tribe that exists only in her own mind

by ...and then there's physics, November 26, 2015

David Rose has a new article about Judith Curry called I was tossed out of the tribe. Well, here’s problem number one. There is no tribe. If you’re a scientist/researcher, then you should be aiming to do research that is honest and objective, the results of which should not depend on who you regard as being your contemporaries. If you think there’s some kind of tribe to which you need to belong, then you’re doing it wrong.
Apparently, also, Judith Curry’s record of peer-reviewed publication in the best climate-science journals is second to none. Sorry, but this is simply not true. It’s pretty decent, but it’s not second to none. The article also says: Warming alarmists are fond of proclaiming how 97 per cent of scientists agree that the world is getting hotter, and human beings are to blame. Ignoring the term Warming alarmists, the reason people say this is because it is essentially true.
Judith Curry apparently also says
‘…..A sensitivity of 2.5 ˚C makes it much less likely we will see 2 ˚C warming during the 21st century. There are so many uncertainties, but the policy people say the target is fixed. And if you question this, you will be slagged off as a denier.’
Firstly, a sensitivity (ECS, I assume) of 2.5 oC does not make it much less likely that we will see 2 oC during the 21st century. Not only do the ranges of projected warming already include the possibility that the sensitivity might be 2.5 oC, but what we will see depends largely on how much we emit. Also, the target is fixed in the sense that it is defined according to giving us some chance of keeping warming below 2 oC; normally a 66% chance. It already includes the uncertainty about climate sensitivity and uncertainty about carbon cycle feedbacks. Maybe when Judith questions this, she gets slagged off for appearing to not understand this basic concept; something a scientist with a record that is apparently second to none should be able to understand.
Judith Curry also added that
her own work, conducted with the British independent scientist Nic Lewis, suggests that the sensitivity value may still lower, in which case the date when the world would be 2˚C warmer would be even further into the future.
Well, yes, but there are many reasons why their ECS estimate is probably too low. Just because you’re proud of your own work, doesn’t mean you get to dismiss everything else. That climate sensitivity could be lower than we currently think is likely, does not mean that it probably will be.
There are numerous other examples of nonsense, such as
Meanwhile, the obsessive focus on CO2 as the driver of climate change means other research on natural climate variability is being neglected.
No, it’s not.
solar experts believe we could be heading towards a ‘grand solar minimum’ — a reduction in solar output (and, ergo, a period of global cooling) similar to that which once saw ice fairs on the Thames. ‘The work to establish the solar-climate connection is lagging.’
Firstly, there isn’t some lag in work on the solar-climate connection, and the solar experts were rather clueless about climate.
The article finishes with
She remains optimistic that science will recover its equilibrium, and that the quasi-McCarthyite tide will recede:
Rather than it receding, Judith Curry appears to be helping it to start.
So, as far as I can tell, Judith Curry gets criticised because she says things that – for a senior scientist who has a record that is apparently second to none – are embarrassingly wrong. She also appears to have ejected herself from a tribe that only exists in her imagination. Good thing there are credulous journalists, like David Rose, who are willing to write supportive articles.

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