Alan H wrote:h. A typo. I meant to say the opposite: " isn't 'doing science'".
In which case, I disagree ... IMO it almost
fits a classic definition of pseudoscientific "protection" (as outlined by Popper) of a pet hypothesis.
we can then worry about the best way to present them to different sections/factions of the audience. But that is inevitably tricky, isn't it?
Yes. But it is still no reason to bandy meaningless phrases like "95% certainty" (or whatever the latest jargon is) around -- of course, if someone can show me how the value 95% was calculated, I'll gladly eat my hat and go and whimper in self-pity somewhere...
Has the climate (I assume you mean global mean temperature?) been 'unusually' stable for the past 8,000 years?
Well, look at the following graph, compare the last 8 000 to the preceding 92 000 and tell me what you think (this is from Greenland Ice cores, but it's pretty much the same, which ever proxies you use):
Relatively, yes, but absolutely, we know a variation of a fraction of a degree can have huge effects on us and other animals. The fact that the temperatures swung more widely in the past is almost irrelevant,...
I disagree. Given that, for the last 400 000 years at least, the wild fluctuations have been the norm except for the recent 8 000 years of stability (which has been sufficiently stable to permit us to "invent" agriculture and settle down and hence evolve the societies and civilisations that we have), I suggest that, if things reverted to that norm, we would be in considerably
deeper poo than the relatively small (at present) human induced variations are predicted
projected to cause. Unless we know why the change to stability has occurred, we cannot know what conditions are likely to result in a reversion and so cannot take measures to deal with it if/when it happens. If, for example, over the next 100 years, the temperature dropped to its 12 000 yrs BP value, we're screwed (and might be glad of a little anthropogenic warming!
I also find it very interesting that, over the last few millennia, many of the major European "disasters" (e.g. Fall of Rome, Black Death) took place during relatively cold periods and that civilisations seemed to flourish in comparatively warm periods (e.g. Egypt in the HCO, Rome in the RWP, the great cathedral-building spurt in the MWP -- which, incidentally, we are now assured didn't exist...).
Can you say what you see as secretive behaviour?
I haven't looked at this for a few years but, from what I knew then (things may have changed): A reluctance to release details of, for example raw data used, statistical methods used. The excuse given was that the detractors would misuse it, but a tenet of science is that all
relevant stuff is published. Does anyone know, for example, how the subsets of dendrochronological data used for proxies were selected? Was the selection randomised? Or was it cherry-picked? Unless this is published, it almost seems designed to breed suspicion that there is something to hide.
I can see that no matter how it is presented, there will always be vehement detractors, but how would you suggest it was communicated?
Openly, completely, addressing questions and criticisms directly. The AR5 press conference seemed to be conducted with a prime motive of not to let the detractors find anything to get a handle on. For example: It's easy to forget: when the IPCC predi
ojections for Himalayan glacier melt in AR4 were initially challenged, climate-scientist-in-the-same-way-as-Nancy-Malik-is-a-doctor Pachauri's reaction was not to produce data that would support the projection but just to claim it was a "zombie argument" (i.e one that's been killed off but just won't die). Eventually, he had to retract. I really don't think that sort of behaviour is in any way acceptable.