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Judith Curry Hits The Nail On The Head

September 23, 2013

By Paul Homewood



Judith Curry has had a lengthy op-ed published in The Australian, called “Consensus Distorts The Climate Picture”.


She summarises it on her blog, Climate Etc, and it is well worth a read.

For me though, this observation of hers rather says it all.


But there is another more vexing dilemma facing the IPCC.  Since publication of the AR4, nature has thrown the IPCC a ‘curveball’ — there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature for the past 15+ years………………..

Nevertheless, the IPCC appears to be set to conclude that warming in the near future will resume in accord with climate model predictions.

Why is my own reasoning about the implications of the pause, in terms of attribution of the late 20th century warming and implications for future warming, so different from the conclusions drawn by the IPCC? The disagreement arises from different assessments of the value and importance of particular classes of evidence as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence – my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.

Scientists do not need to be consensual to be authoritative. Authority rests in the credibility of the arguments, which must include explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance and more openness for dissent. I have recommended that the scientific consensus seeking process be abandoned in favor of a more traditional review that presents arguments for and against, discusses the uncertainties, and speculates on the known and unknown unknowns.


Thank you, Judith, for a bit of common sense.

  1. September 23, 2013 11:00 am

    What I find interesting is that as the observational evidence appears to be declining, the IPCC claim to be ever more certain of human influence on the climate.
    As the evidence from atmospheric temperature data becomes less convincing they have to switch to ocean heat content instead, but as the BBC surprisingly points out in this article, even the heat content evidence is now less convincing.

  2. zentgraf2 permalink
    September 23, 2013 11:38 am

    Dr Curry’s approach to science is rational and time tested. In 1988 Climate Scientists left this mature process and invented their own approach to science. They added a political overlay which constrains open debate and respectful counter evidentiary argument. It has left them grasping for any untested explanation to justify their positions. They care not that their previous conclusions become invalid. Rather than go back and seek the basis for failure, they simply repackage the message (global warming is now climate change for example), and add more strident words to their rhetoric. Their careers are cemented in a system approaching total corruption.

  3. September 23, 2013 1:04 pm

    I love hearing debate from both sides, as each contain persuasive elements.

    Historically, science and politics have had many disagreements.

    Toss in some religious and business pressure, and anything can evolve (or not).

    “Only listen to advice which assists the cause”.

    Anyhow, it always gives me plenty of material for my cartoons.

    This is my latest . . . .



  4. September 23, 2013 3:10 pm

    Rajendra Pachauri says that:

    “There’s definitely an increase in our belief that climate change is taking place and that human beings are responsible,”

    How can he come to this conclusion?

    Of course, he denies there has been any slowdown in “global warming”, saying:

    “I don’t think there is a slowdown (in the rate of temperature increase). I would like to draw your attention to the World Meteorological Organization which clearly stated on the basis of observations that the first decade of this century has been the warmest in recorded history.”

    So he is basing his contention that warming hasn’t slowed, on the false argument that the first 10 years of the century were the warmest on record, ignoring that fact that the most recent 10 years have been cooler. Otherwise, only decades ending in zero count.

    I don’t really think that Pachauri really believes this, but maybe he is hoping that others will believe him.

  5. September 26, 2013 2:10 pm

    I see the Marcott graph has been spotlighted again. In spite of Marcott’s own admission that the upswing at the end was not “robust”.

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