Hypocrisy alert: Lewandowsky’s a climate scientist now?

Models fail

Models fail

Is there no end to this man’s talents? One minute an ‘expert’ on the conspiracy theories of ‘deniers’, the next, a climate scientist published in Nature!

Psycho-logist Stephan Lewandowsky has broken cover as second-listed author of a paper in Nature Climate Change entitled “Well-estimated global surface warming in climate projections selected for ENSO phase”, the abstract of which reads:

The question of how climate model projections have tracked the actual evolution of global mean surface air temperature is important in establishing the credibility of their projections. Some studies and the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report suggest that the recent 15-year period (1998–2012) provides evidence that models are overestimating current temperature evolution. Such comparisons are not evidence against model trends because they represent only one realization where the decadal natural variability component of the model climate is generally not in phase with observations. We present a more appropriate test of models where only those models with natural variability (represented by El Niño/Southern Oscillation) largely in phase with observations are selected from multi-model ensembles for comparison with observations. These tests show that climate models have provided good estimates of 15-year trends, including for recent periods and for Pacific spatial trend patterns.

All that guff translates as basically yet another desperate attempt to cover up the utterly woeful performance of climate models (see image). Lew also writes a lengthy post on Shaping Tomorrow’s World on the subject.

Just one tiny question, however, if I may: what the freaking hell is going on?

Surely Lewandowsky cannot have forgotten the golden rule of alarmists, oft repeated by his mates over at Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science? Never take any notice of anything written by anyone unless they are properly qualified to write on the subject. That’s the reason they can continue to ridicule and ignore the views of dissenting commentators (who are not climate scientists) without having to deal with their arguments.

Or maybe he’s just a massive hypocrite. You decide.

Lew has no qualifications in climate or meteorology or anything relevant at all.  The abstract has nothing related to the psychology of climate science communication, conspiracy theories or consensus. So what was Lew’s role on the paper? Why is Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt which discredited anyone who dared question the ‘consensus’, listed as an author as well?

Applying the same standards to this paper that Lew and his mates apply to others with which he disagrees, his and Oreskes’ presence on the list of authors means we can all safely disregard this paper as the ignorant rantings of unqualified commentators with a vested interest and an agenda to plug.

Bin it.


  1. Cue alarmists claiming Lew *is* qualified, somehow; would not surprise me in the least.

  2. thingadonta says:

    “These tests show that climate models have provided good estimates of 15-year trends,”.

    This is how you show black is white and white is black. Its easy in current academia. You just say that when you take the white component out, its black, and when you add enough white to black it becomes white, then ‘the climate models have provided good estimates of 15 year trends’, despite the fact that 95% of them don’t.

    But make you sure you are also deliberately ambiguous about what you mean by which ‘models’, as you can then be easily misquoted by others who will say that the models are ok, when in fact what you meant was that you were referring only to those models which were preselected to fit, not those that weren’t.

    The abstract is deliberately misleading and wouldn’t pass muster in a normal world.

  3. You are forgetting that Lew is a highly qualified statistics researcher, specializing in spurious correlation and novel application of methods.

  4. Old Ranga says:

    Couldn’t ask for anyone better to represent the Great Scam. Junk science personified.

  5. Very unethical to use CO2 scare to push a social agenda.

  6. Does this fool draw a paycheck on the taxpayer? If so, that makes me his boss. Lew, dude, you’re fired!!

  7. Boyfromtottenham says:

    Looks like he has proved that with his illustrious help, Nature Climate Change has changed from being a glossy journal to just loo paper.

  8. Boyfromtottenham says:

    Sorry, I meant to say “Lew” paper.

  9. manicbeancounter says:

    So this month Professor Lewandowsky is a “climate scientist”? Just 3 months ago he was publishing as an expert in the “mathematics of uncertainty”. In a couple of papers, using computer models, Lewandowsky and Dr James Risbey of Australia’s CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research claimed that the greater the uncertainty the greater the need for policy. They failed to allow for the possibility that the growing discrepancy between climate models and reality could be down to the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis being wrong.

  10. manicbeancounter says:

    Lewandowsky concludes the “Shaping Tomorrow’s World” article with the comment:-

    “From another perspective, however, the models’ power is quite distressing. To understand why, just have a look at where the projections are heading.”

    This directs us to the following temperature projections in Nature Climate Change, that formed the basis of the UNIPCC AR5 projections.

    The implication is that once the dampening effect of natural variability is replaced by an accelerating impact, there will be a catch-up. Warming will be faster in the next 15 years as a consequence. If we assume (like SkS and UNIPCC AR4) a doubling of CO2 leads to 3 degrees of warming. I estimate that in 2030, CO2 levels will be 438ppm compared to 368ppm in 2000. That implies a 0.75 degree temperature rise. If we further assume that in 2000-2030 natural variability will be net neutral, zero warming from 2001-2015, and a resumption of warming in 2016, from 2016-2030 the earth will experience temperatures rising at the rate of 0.5 degrees per decade.

    As this will not happen, we need some new excuses for a lack of warming. First it was aerosols, now it is warming of the oceans. Give me $1m a year, and by the end of the decade I will have come up with something just as credible to stem the tide of skepticism.

  11. You guys are totally superficial. An expert knowledge of is about the best qualification to have if you want to determine whether models and reality actually correspond.

    If you knew anything at all about the subject you would know that El Nino / La Nina affects temperatures and that the combination is pretty much a random stochastic process (chaotic process to you maybe). To exaggerate but get the point across that means that the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in Europe potentially affects the El Nino conditions for the next few years (as well as the weather in Australia)!!!

    To reproduce random stochastic processes it you need to start off multiple runs of a single climate model with slightly different randomised initial conditions (all within the range of actual measurements). The models produce El Nino / La Nina conditions through the inbuilt physics, but very small changes to initial conditions produce large changes in El Nino / La Nina over the course of a few simulated years. The same thing of course is true of the real El Nino / La Nina processes.

    Some of these model runs will reproduce the future El Nino conditions that actually occur, but what happens at the end of the period will vary model run by model run

    It would be stupid to include model runs with different El Nino outcomes to what actually happened when averaging ensembles of runs to see how well the models do – we know that neither the models nor anyone else can predict El Nino more than a few months ahead yet (and maybe never). The correct thing to do is see what happens with the random set of models which do reproduce the correct El Nino conditions.

    At last someone has done this and it clearly shows the models with the correct El Nino also correctly forecast global temperatures – i.e. a slowdown but not a pause (stop) between 1997 and the current date (unless you cherry pick just the RSS temperature data set and ignore the rest).

    In other words this paper pretty much validates that the climate models are correct and that the El Nino conditions (or more strictly neutral and La Nina conditions) have been the decisive factor in reducing the rise in temperature recently.

  12. Yep… every picture tells a story. And this chart says it all about catastrophic man-made global warming!

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