Dear God Above: What the fuck are the climate scientists playing at now?

This seriously astonishes me.

Just a little bit of background.

So, we\’ve two things we want to know about climate change.

1) What are the effects of emissions?

2) How many emissions will there be?

Obviously, we can get more complex than that but that\’s the basic couple of questions at the root of it all.

The answers to 2) that we have all been working to came from the SRES, the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. A report I\’ve had great fun with as it shows that globalisation reduces emissions for any given level of population or wealth. Entirely contrary to the bleatings of every damn greenie on the planet.

The SRES families and scenarios were based on a pretty obvious methodology. Work out how many people there are going to be, how rich they\’re going to be and which technologies they\’re going to use and this will tell you what emissions are going to be. You can then plug those numbers into your climate models and Bob\’s your parental sibling of choice.

The SRES was getting a bit old, probably is/was right to update it.

But do note one thing about the method used to prepare the SRES. It started with the economics. As it has to. Wealth to a large extent determines population, technology to some/a large extent determines wealth and so on. So to decide upon emissions levels you\’ve got to start with the economics of how many people will there be doing what which which machines?

Now look at page iv here.

The next IPCC report will be based upon the updates to the SRES. Great, that\’s fine. But note how they\’re updating the SRES. They\’re not starting with the economics. Ooooooh no, that would be far too sensible. What they\’ve actually done is made up some emissions levels.

No, really, they have. They\’ve simply plucked numbers from nowhere to give emissions levels. It\’s in the future that they\’re going to go back and work out the economics of how those emissions are produced.

Which is, of course, entirely insane.

Now, of course, it\’s possible that I\’ve got this completely wrong. If so please do tell me. But if I haven\’t, if I\’m actually correct, then the entire IPCC process becomes an entire heap of steaming donkey\’s bollocks.

They have, quite literally, just made up the numbers that the whole thing\’s based upon.

 

No, seriously, this is insane:

The socioeconomic scenarios underlying the RCPs cannot be treated as a set with an
overarching internal logic. While each individual RCP was developed from its own
internally consistent socioeconomic foundation, the four RCPs as a group were selected
on the basis of their concentration and forcing outcomes to be compatible with the full
range of emissions scenarios available in the literature. Therefore, there is no overarching
logic or consistency to the set of socioeconomic assumptions or storylines associated with
the set of RCPs. In particular, the socioeconomic scenario underlying one RCP should
not be used in conjunction with that of another RCP, and cannot be freely used
interchangeably with the assumptions underlying other RCPs. Furthermore, the set of
underlying socioeconomic scenarios is not intended to span the range of plausible
assumptions for any particular socioeconomic element (population, gross domestic
product growth, rates of technological change, land use, etc.).

The only thing we\’re bloody interested in is the socioeconomic policies that we can use to avoid boiling Flipper. And they\’re going to base the entire edifice on socioeconomic scenarios that aren\’t even logically consistent with each other?

What crazed lunacy is this?

And worse. I think this is the paper that is used to underpin the high estimate. And they deliberately, explicitly, ignore the A1 scenarios from the SRES. They offer adaptations only of A2, B1 and B2.

That is, they entirely ignore the best explored of the earlier families. The one where we all get rich through globalised capitalism and either don\’t stop using fossils (A1F1) or do (A1T).

Err, A1T being the one where we all get rich, we abolish poverty globally, we don\’t boil the planet because renewables get cheap enough to use and we do this all through globalised capitalism.

It\’s an interesting model to leave out really, isn\’t it?

Somebody, please, tell me they\’re not trying to base the future of the world on this analysis?

20 comments on “Dear God Above: What the fuck are the climate scientists playing at now?

  1. I don’t think you understand. The point seems to be that once you have determined an emission profile you can then calculate the effects on climate. If you change the model that generates the emission profile (let’s say you have new data), you need to re-compute. But if the changes in the model don’t alter the emission profile much and you did similar simulation in the past, you don’t need to redo the entire process and you can interpolate the outcome from the previous runs of the model.

    I think this is a standard approach in numerical problems, I wouldn’t consider it controversial. It’s just splitting the problem in more manageable chuncks…

  2. ‘entire heap of steaming donkey’s bollocks’ ??

    ‘donkey’s turds’, Tim, ‘turds’.

    At least, my bollocks don’t steam, do yours?

    There, I claim my pendant’s badge!

  3. Anything these so called “scientists” say must be taken as pure crap. The models have consistenly been “gerrymandered” by individuals and groups to provide the results they want. Its been proved numerous times but of course the politicos who rely on the green lobby for their information do not understand this.

  4. Someday the penny will drop for you Tim: it’s all bollocks. It started, I suspect, as mere incompetence by a bunch who were, by the standards of the physical sciences, a bunch of dims. It degenerated into crookedness, presumably to hide the incompetence and to keep up the flow of research grants, research students, jollies, consultancy fees, and political influence.

  5. The operative words in the description are that the IPCC analysis will be about the full range of emissions scenarios that are available and “not intended to span the range of plausible assumptions for any particular socioeconomic element (population, gross domestic product growth, rates of technological change, land use, etc.).”

    This is really an example of the failure in the conception of the IPCC project with its reliance on published academic research. There is no coordination to that research and any overlap between plausible emissions and emission scenarios in the published literature is jsut a happy coincidence.

    The IPCC project is of world importance and that there is no coordination in this effort is a very bad thing. The race to the moon was handled as an engineering project that linked the science with the engineering. It was organized like a big important vastly expensive project should be and succeeded. The IPCC is organized like an academic effort and has no fixed objectiveness that can be marked as achieved or failed. There are people and groups who know how to create and manage large projects even projects in which basic science is being researched. The Manhattan Project was vast. It was organized by General Groves and Robert Oppenheimer. it succeed in its objectives in contrast to the abject failure of the bomb project that preceded it led by world leading physicists assembled at the University of Chicago.

    The IPCC should be completely reorganized with the current management replaced by people who know how to run large projects.

  6. > maybe the supercilious stoat can enlighten us

    I already have. You can try this if you want more.

    > The IPCC should be completely reorganized with the current management replaced by people who know how to run large projects.

    You’re suffering from the common delusion that the IPCC actually organises climate science. It doesn’t; it has no resources to. The IPCC just produces the reports, and a little bit more. What science is done is up to the scientists in the various countries. Often, particularly in recent years, they’ll choose (because their national plans will be written as such) to do stuff that looks like it will fit into the next IPCC report. But that’s different.

    BTW, did anyone else notice that the report Timmy is talking about is 5 years old? It makes the “now” in his headline look rather odd, no?

  7. Sorry to disagree, but I don’t think this particular pile of asinine detritus matters very much.
    CO2 emissions started going up in a straight line roughly at the moment that we started measuring them accurately. Whether they reach a given level in 2060 or in 2100 matters little to any of us, whether we believe that we are condemning our grandchildren to burn in hell, or believe in humanity. They will go up, (thank Gaia) as long as there is coal and oil and gas to burn.
    One day our leaders, whoever they are, will look at the hockeystick-like rise in CO2 emissions, and the limp wonky wobbly zigzagging progress of global temperatures, and realise that they have been sold a pup.
    Until then, keep on trucking (though better to avoid vulgarity on a serious site like yours. Leave that to us footbloggers in the climate wars).

  8. William Connolley writes:

    ==========================
    You’re suffering from the common delusion that the IPCC actually organises climate science. It doesn’t; it has no resources to. The IPCC just produces the reports, and a little bit more
    ==================

    That the IPCC or anyone or anything else organizes the global AGW effort is the bad thing that I was writing about. I agree that AGW is a serious issue that must be considered. i suppsoe that the difference between us is that I am of the opinion that teh current effort is so badly organized and executed that it is worse than useless. it is wasting time. AGW could be a problem with very serious and potentially catastrophic consequences. The curretn state of the science as I have been able to assess in my own limited way is of no help for us in truly assessing the problem or in devising solutions. Right now, the only recommendations are to reduce emissions but we have no useful knowledge as to by how much and how fast.

    We are faced with a potentially serious problem with no science useful enough to be of real help in making policy or is setting engineering requirements. That is the problem.

  9. Another reason for an IPCC organized like the Manhattan project is that it will use far fewer people than now engaged. Very importantly, people can be fired. Researchers who create no useful results can be separated from the effort and not act as the hindrance that they do know. Ego, zealotry, and carreerism can be identified and those parties removed before they can do harm to the project. It is easy to see this and even juvenile behavior among climate scientists now.

    The effort will be focused with the workers concentrating on their part in achieving the goal of project.

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  11. The race to the moon was handled as an engineering project that linked the science with the engineering.

    There is a very good reason why, when oil companies execute large projects, the scientific part is established first and then handed over to a project team and from that point on the scientists allowed nowhere near it. You really don’t want your geologists and geophysicists running engineering and construction projects, any more than you’d want me analysing seismic data.

  12. Let’s examine this in regards to one detail that the IPCC has gotten wrong in their reports.

    The high damage estimates come from estimates of high amount of warming. However, the high levels of warming assume high levels of emissions which come high levels of economic growth, particularly in the developing world. If you have high levels of growth in the developing world, then the high damage forecasts are not feasible, as they are now better able to adapt.

  13. The IPCC, like every other gravy-train NGO, whose mission in the world is to save us feckless taxpayers from ourselves, makes it up as they go along.
    As witness the dreamed-up ‘units of alcohol’ it is safe for individual men & women to drink, the nanny-ish ‘five whatevers of fruit and veg every day’ and so on.
    A veritable cornucopia of careers built on scientific-sounding humbug.
    All based on the desire to profit from having control. Over everyone.

  14. >>the entire IPCC process becomes an entire heap of steaming donkey’s bollocks.<<

    The entire IPCC process has been an entire heap of steaming donkey’s bollocks fir sime time now, I think you'll find.

    To the extent that even the UN gas noticed, which is why Pachauri and Co. have, for the first time, failed to receive an invitation to the COP18 shindig (the President of which was recently enthusing over the 300 years worth of shale gas that we seem to have acquired recently) at Doha this year.

    You know Tim, if your continue to advance your powers of comprehension at this rate, you are in serious danger of achieving enlightenment some time soon!

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  16. “Somebody, please, tell me they’re not trying to base the future of the world on this analysis?”

    No can do – you’re right, and there’s no mechanism (they think none is needed) for modifying the RCPs in the light of reality diverging from those RCPs. There’s also no mechanism or process I can see for modifying the whole non-modelling process in the light of climate divergence from the “predicted outcomes”. Reality and science has been dumped in favour of a non-scientific political “heap of steaming donkey’s bollocks”. They don’t need to know whether climate warming will actually cause the donkey’s bollocks to steam. The RCP’s replace reality and the end result will always be the same, no matter what happens to emissions or the climate along the way. This is “post-normal science” at its best (and worst)

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