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Fyfe et al. 2016: stamp collecting vs informing and clarifying. Examining a failure to communicate

Well, if I wanted to become friends with climate scientists guess I've killed my chances.  Still it is something that needs saying.  Even if no one want to hear it, so of course, no one will hear it.  Not that it would make any difference, as the kabuki theater continues 

It all gets so depressing from every direction inane stuff and general apathy and hopelessness and thin skins.      And to think half century ago we were filled with such conceit, look at our future now, . . . . .
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... and a question of perspective.
Alternately, Behold Seepage in Action.   (This really is a sincerely constructive effort)

In working on my review of Lamar Smith’s press release I distractedly glanced at Fyfe et al. 2016 a couple times.  Then since John Bates’ singled it out in his ClimateEtc attack piece I took the time to read it carefully.  It was written by some of the foremost experts in the field, I’ve listened to their talks on YouTube, I’ve exchanged emails with some.  A couple have endured malicious and vicious attacks based on pure fabricated deception, yet they continue doing world class science.  These are the real deal, heck some are among my heroes.  I don't presume to second-guess such experts about their science.  

Yet, I was stunned reading their treatment of the so-called “global warming hiatus” - it’s not their facts I question, but their presentation.  Can’t help it, I take climate science communication very seriously and their wording hit me like an atrocity, knocked me right off my pins.  I've felt compelled to explain my reaction ever since, if only to myself.  I've been spending days wrestling with this and I admit I hope some of the authors and a few others will give me a chance to make my case - I've striven to keep my comments as concise as possible.  Give it a skim.  You decide if I succeed.


NATURE opinion & comment
Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown

Nature Climate Change | Vol 6 | March 2016 | Pages 224 to 228
www.nature.com/natureclimatechange © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

I am reprinting the full text of this paper by right of the Fair Use doctrine - 
for the purpose of doing the following detailed critique.
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co-authors
John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka and Neil C. Swart
____________________________________________________________
The introduction:
It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming (b) slowdown or hiatus (a)(e), characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming (c), has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims (d).
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Why the labyrinthian phrasing?  Simplify wording. Clarify meaning.  

(a)  Creates a false equivalence between “slowdown” and “hiatus” - hiatus means STOPPED!  But, Global Warming never stopped!

(b)  Creates a false equivalence between “global warming” and “global mean surface warming.”  

(c)   Furthermore: “early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming” -  implies “surface” warming slowdown (or faux hiatus) is a symptom of a “global” warming slowdown.

(d)  “Evidence presented here contradicts these claims.”  Given the paragraph's convoluted wording one could easily conclude this is saying: the “hiatus” (that is global warming stopping) is not contradicted

… which is exactly what the contrarian PR machine was hoping they could twist any science into.  Why make it so easy?

(e)  Why even use the politically charged term “hiatus” beyond a footnote?  What possible purpose does it serve other than to fatally wound clarity and invite gross misinterpretation?

This paper seems a textbook example of “seepage” in action.  Or as I would phrase it, unconsciously adapting the contrarian’s script.  Please keep this in mind as you continue.

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Comments


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    ¶1  A large body of scientific evidence — amassed before and since the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5)1 — indicates that the so-called surface warming slowdown, also sometimes referred to in the literature as the hiatus, 
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    “sometimes referred to...” ?  What purpose is there in reinforcing the faux “hiatus” meme?
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    was due to the combined effects of internal decadal variability and natural forcing (volcanic and solar) superimposed on human-caused warming2. 
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    “internal decadal variabilities” - that would be heat transport?  

    Why not get explicit and point out that Atmospheric Physics are what's causing Global Warming - not Heat Transport between the oceans and the surface?
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    Continued at http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2017/03/fyfe2016-stampcollecting-vs-informing.html



  • At the link you'll find it formatted better.  If anyone has any comments have at it.  Don't worry about hurting my feeling, it's honestly more than ego I'm concerned with.  And if nothing else, this is My Learning Project.
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