Confirmation bias in climate predictions: El Niño and Arctic temperatures

Source: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

Source: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.

Wikipedia

 

This is one of the chief culprits of predictive failures in climate science.

Luckily, someone is more resistant to this bias than others.

SHAPIRO: OK. So El Nino plays a role. The Arctic oscillation plays a role. What about climate change? Is that playing a role?

HALPERT [Mike Halpert, NOAA’s deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center]: If it is, it’s probably fairly insignificant at this point. If it were to play a role, it would be more likely if, somehow, climate change is impacting either the Arctic oscillation or El Nino, and we’re not really aware that it is at this point. If you think about, maybe – the high temperature over the weekend was 70, so maybe without climate change, it would’ve been 69. I think it’s a fairly insignificant role, if any role at all.

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/15/459871063/climate-change-plays-fairly-insignificant-role-in-current-warm-weather?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=environment

Meteorologists have blamed El Niño and the polar vortex for record-breaking warm temperatures across the US this week, saying the pair of weather systems will likely keep 2015 warm enough to be the hottest year on record.

Climate scientists caution that the fluctuations of the weather – including systems like El Niño and the polar vortex – should not be conflated with climate change, which is the related but separate, long-term warming of the planet.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/15/temperatures-polar-vortex-el-nino-climate-winter-weather

ARCTIC TEMPERATURES: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE?

The Arctic Atlantic reconstruction features temperatures during the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Climate Anomaly that are comparable or even warmer than those of the twentieth century

Sami Hanhijärvi, Martin P. Tingley, Atte Korhola, Pairwise comparisons to reconstruct mean temperature in the Arctic Atlantic Region over the last 2,000 years, Climate Dynamics, October 2013, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 2039-2060

Graphs of the actual and reconstructed Arctic temperatures over the past millennia, showing that today’s temperatures are no warmer than in the past and certainly not outside the range of natural variation:

Rinne et al, 2014: http://ars.els-cdn.com/…/1-s2.0-S0921818114000253-gr4.jpg

Von Gunten et al., 2012: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep00609/figures/2

Cook et al., 2008: http://www.geo.umass.edu/grads/cook/images/lml_temps.jpg

Gajewski, 2015: http://ars.els-cdn.com/…/1-s2.0-S0921818115000417-gr3.jpg

Divine et al., 2011: http://www.polarresearch.net/…/view…/7379/html_187/26749

Arctic temperatures satellitetemperatures reconstruction Arctic 1temperatures reconstruction Arctic 2temperatures reconstruction Arctic 3temperatures reconstruction Arctic 4temperatures reconstruction Arctic 5doi:10.3402/polar.v30i0.7379

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The West is dying, literally

Teodors_Ūders_-_Death_-_Google_Art_Project

Death by Teodors Ūders (1868 – 1915)


USA

Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling…An epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/health/death-rates-rising-for-middle-aged-white-americans-study-finds.html?_r=0

“A marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This change reversed decades of progress in mortality
http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078

FRANCE

French winter mortality has exceeded by 19% the expected figure, calculated from the previous eight years…This figure, which includes the excess mortality from all causes and not only the flu, has set a new record since the mid-2000s. It is notably higher than the level seen during winters 2008-2009 and 2012-2013, with about 10,000 additional deaths.

sante.lefigaro.fr/actualite/2015/03/18/23525-grippe-cause-nombre-record-deces

ITALY

This is an increase of no less than 68,000 units which appear to be largely concentrated in the female component (+ 41 thousand)…This figure is astonishing. But what makes it quite unusual is the fact that to find a similar surge in mortality, with comparable orders of magnitude, you have to go back to 1943 and, prior to that, to the years between 1915 and 1918: two periods marked by wars that largely explain the dynamics of this type. Conversely, in our peaceful and relatively affluent present…how do we account for such a sizable increase in mortality?

http://www.neodemos.info/68-mila-morti-in-piu-nel-2015/

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Where do we go from here? An interview with Anthony (Tony) Hodgson

Anthony Hodgson & Stefano Fait

Anthony Hodgson & Stefano Fait

These are very turbulent and, in so many ways, unprecedented, pivotal times, when old paradigms sink and new paradigms emerge, when new pathways become available, new horizons open up and we are faced with strategic choices. Some paths will bear fruits and others will be dead-ends; others may be disastrous.

Where do we go from here? To which paradigm do we hitch our wagon? How do we decide amidst all the spin, clichés and uncertainties? Or rather, how do we switch from a reactive mode to a reflective mode? And, finally, the most crucial question of all, which he has added to his LinkedIn profile: where is humanity at on a pathway of conscious evolution?

With decades of experience in strategy development and scenario planning for private businesses and public administrations under his belt, Anthony Hodgson, Director of Research and World Modelling Coordinator for the International Futures Forum, a think tank based in Scotland’s Fife, holds that we must have several futures in mind and cultivate future consciousness in people if our aim to be resilient.
This is because tomorrow won’t be like today and those who think otherwise produce foresight with little action and even less insight.

During his talk at the First International Conference on Anticipation, held in Trento in November 2015, Hodgson quoted a piece of advice from none other than David Bohm: “you must think faster than the horse or else you will go where the horse wants to go”.
The key is mindful anticipation: a system is resilient when it is capable of being ahead of itself.

While in Trento, he has been so kind as to share with us some of his insights and views.

Mr. Hodgson, would you like to explain to us what you mean by “anticipation”?
Authentic anticipation is something more intelligent than what we are doing right now. There is no established anticipatory governance whatsoever, and some traces of anticipation can only be found in commercial trading and the military which also raises the issue of the ethicality of its use

What is the systemic nature of anticipation?

In my model it is the capacity to discriminate information coming from the past from the information coming from the future and to act upon it in a way that privileges the move towards a desired future.

What do you mean by “information coming from the future”? Are you implying time travelling?

What I have in mind is illustrated by what was occurring at the time that Mendeleev was assembling his periodic table of the elements. He shut himself in a room for three days during which he reshuffled the elements with their symbols until the chart took a coherent shape. He was then able to predict that the missing pieces would be discovered in the following years. Those gaps were signals from the future of chemistry and atomic physics.
In point of fact, anticipation applied to scientific research would be a promising field of research. It could include more fringe investigations like Dean Radin’s “Entangled minds”.

He is definitely onto something.

Indeed, he is, and we should also mention physicist Richard Feynman’s concept of waves coming from the future, as well as anticipatory phenomena being revealed by quantum biology. For example, consider the recently identified protein in the cells of migratory birds (as for instance the European robin) which enables them to sense the inclinations of Earth’s magnetic field, guiding them like a compass needle on their lengthy migrations. Perhaps mindfulness, in human beings, serves to discriminate a kind of signal from the future and to translate it into action.

Aren’t you afraid that they will label you “new-agey”?

My research relies on the solid work of Robert Rosen. That is a stepping-stone, but I’ve been connecting the dots from other people’s work. The scientific literature on which I base my research is impressive. For example, it is not widely known that there is valid research on remote viewing of the future.

Are we on a mission to save the future?
If anything, we are on a mission to save a future and, as far as I am concerned, my aim is to create something in this field that it is useful and intelligible, especially for the younger generations, who are unavoidably bound to live through the turbulences of inevitable change us aging people are leaving them with.
I wish to be of assistance to their creating a future that I tend to summarize as “one planet living with social justice”.

Would that be the most desirable future?
There are many futures, but I want this, instead of the one in which we are plundering the planet of its resources.
It’s about values.
There are values and, consequently, such a thing as an underlying ethical motivation in my being interested in this perspective. We need to realise that ethics is not abstract. There are consequences.
It is a vital necessity.

Established institutions and vested interests are struggling to preserve the status quo: are anticipators inherently subversive?
They are subversive because systemically intelligent. It’s important not to be constrained by established orthodoxies imposed by people who simply don’t get it.
Our approach would appear to be unorthodox and iconoclastic, but only from the point of view of the establishment.

In the movie Tomorrowland, a projector of “gloom and doom” visions entrenched humanity into a suicidal state of fatalism, nihilism and cynicism, acting as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is this what is going on today?
To some extent.

What is resilience?
Plasticity equals resilience

Is there a direct link between resilience and anticipation?
I distinguish between adaptive resilience – e.g. the recovery from a disaster, such as a flooding – and resilience 2.0, or transformative resilience.
So if you ask me about resilience, I will first need to ask you what kind of resilience you are referring to.

What sort of resilience do we need the most?
In the Anthropocene adaptive resilience is not enough.
It is no longer a question of getting back to normal. Transformative resilience is the means by which we can ‘wormhole’ our way through a pocket of the future in the present and emerge at a higher stage of human civilization, after a positive shock and the reframing of our mindset.
What we need to learn is to help the old civilization to die and midwife the birth of the new one.

How do we do that?
Technological innovation alone won’t be enough to achieve that harmlessly, without a shock.
If you go with resilience 2.0 then you also need the more “spooky” kind of anticipation, that is, the one centred on retrocausality (unconventional assumptions about time), future consciousness (undivided universe or field of consciousness; internal visualisation), and future making, which assumes that the future can arise from authentic origination.

That is subversive on so many levels!
Sure. At that point you will be thought of as a subversive or a saviour depending on who is affected by your actions. After all, for those managing the current power structure, even anticipation 1.0 is too subversive!.

Why do experts fail in their predictions? What distinguishes an impressive prognosticator/anticipator?
We need the sort of moral courage mentioned by Ruth Levitas in her talk at Anticipation 2015. Impressive prognosticators are courageous and are also good at applying their skills to themselves in the first place.

Is a stoic predisposition – beyond fear and desire – the key to reliable anticipations?
It’s the gentle art of reperception: you can’t teach it through confrontation.
For in that way you would compress someone else’s consciousness instead of assisting in its expansion, which is really what the capacity of anticipation is all about.
At the end of the day, if you are not curious and demonstrate no yearning for knowledge, you will never become an impressive anticipator.

So why not call it wisdom and urge the establishment of a institution of councils of wise anticipators?
Wisdom is indeed ethical anticipation.

In order to deepen your understanding of this perspective you can contact Anthony (Tony) Hodgson by email at tony@decisionintegrity.co.uk or Roberto Poli (who has been his external examiner for his Ph.D. viva at Hull University) at roberto.poli@skopia.it

Elusive Nemesis

washingtonpost-scientists_claimed_they_found_elusive_planetx_doubting_astronomers_uproar

ENGLISH
One other proposal that has been put forward is that the sun has a companion star, called Nemesis. Nemesis is a hypothetical, faint red/brown dwarf star orbiting the sun at a distance of about 1.5 light years. Every 25m years or so, it makes a pass closer to the sun, which could result in enhanced comet activity, because of its gravitational pull. This is not an unreasonable hypothesis, since the majority of stars belong to systems with multiple stars. However, brown dwarfs are relatively uncommon and Nemesis has not been observed (YET).
http://phys.org/n…/2015-12-dark-star-nemesis-dinosaurs.html…

*****
ITALIANO
Un’altra proposta che è stata avanzata è che il sole abbia una stella compagna, chiamata Nemesi. Nemesis è un’ipotetica nana rossa o bruna che orbita attorno al sole ad una distanza di circa 1,5 anni luce.
Ogni 25m anni o giù di lì compie un passaggio più vicino al sole, che potrebbe tradursi in una maggiore attività cometaria, a causa della sua attrazione gravitazionale.
Questa non è un’ipotesi irragionevole, poiché la maggior parte delle stelle appartengono a sistemi con più stelle. Tuttavia, le nane brune sono relativamente rare e Nemesis non è stata (ANCORA) osservata.
http://phys.org/ne…/2015-12-dark-star-nemesis-dinosaurs.html

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China not worried about the future of its artificial islands in the South China Sea

global_energy_use_by_source_2015

[In China], an astounding 155 planned projects received a permit this year [2015] alone, with total capacity equal to nearly 40 percent of operational coal power plants in the United States.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/world/asia/china-coal-power-energy-policy.html?_r=1

China has been consuming as much as 17 percent more coal each year than reported, according to the new government figures. By some initial estimates, that could translate to almost a billion more tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually in recent years, more than all of Germany emits from fossil fuels.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/04/world/asia/china-burns-much-more-coal-than-reported-complicating-climate-talks.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

More than 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction or being planned around the world, a study has revealed two weeks after Britain pledged to stop burning coal.

The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803, according to the study by four climate change research bodies, including Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. India is building 297 and planning 149.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4629455.ece

china-island-building2
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James Hansen: Paris climate talks are “a fraud”

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ENGLISH
The 2°C scenario would require emissions in 2030 to be 40 gigatonnes or less, whereas the forecast (with policies duly implemented) is for 55 gigatonnes. The target won’t be reached. This “agreement” is pointless (phony?) even within the logic of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming models.

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MEANWHILE: The cold weather death toll this winter is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years. 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11382808/Winter-death-toll-to-exceed-40000.html

ITALIANO
A dispetto dei proclami roboanti, la soglia di emissioni auspicata non può essere raggiunta nei termini sottoscritti anche se tutti i paesi vi si attenessero. I trionfalismi sono completamente ingiustificati. Non è neppure un accordo al ribasso, è un accordo inutile anche dal punto di vista dell’ortodossia CAGW (cambiamento climatico catastrofico causato da emissioni umane di anidride carbonica).

INTANTO: quest’inverno ci saranno DECINE DI MIGLIAIA DI MORTI per il FREDDO nel Regno Unito, mentre la gente pensa alla tropicalizzazione del pianeta

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House of Saud – The sacrifice of a major piece on the Middle Eastern chessboard

file-16-Saudi-Russia-ties

Maxim Oreshkin, the deputy finance minister, said the country is drawing up plans based on a price band fluctuating between $40 to $60 as far out as 2022, a scenario that would have devastating implications for Opec

(Russia plans $40 a barrel oil for next seven years as Saudi showdown intensifies, Telegraph, 11 Dec 2015)

Such a scenario would be devastating (deadly?) for the Saudi economy, already battered by the disastrous military intervention in the Yemeni civil war (A Saudi Afghanistan – the chickens will come home to roost in Yemen).

Are the Saudi royals really willing to risk domestic instability only to keep the oil price down?
To what end?

Only to save the US economy from collapsing?

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Se uno dei più brillanti eredi della famiglia reale saudita è stato inviato in Russia a stringere buoni rapporti con Mosca forse è perché i sauditi non sono più disposti a sottostare alle imposizioni di Wall Street e del Pentagono?

Mosca sta facendo la voce grossa con turchi e sauditi per costringerli a schierarsi una volta per tutte?

Sotto sotto qualcuno DEVE aver sospettato che c’è qualcosa di stranissimo nel comportamento di turchi e sauditi: prima pappa e ciccia con Mosca (con multiple visite reciproce, investimenti ingenti anche in settori ultra-strategici) e poi ai ferri corti.

Forse i sauditi sono sotto ricatto? Sono costretti a suicidare la propria economia per sostenere quella americana e danneggiare quella russa?
Per quanto a lungo tollereranno questo stato di cose che li mette a rischio di ghigliottina?
E i turchi? L’establishment turco, messo alle strette da Mosca (o con noi o contro di noi) e con la costante minaccia del separatismo curdo (fomentato dai soliti noti: guardate le “principesse curde” della famiglia Barzani dove vanno a fare shopping e che tipo di celebrity-style hanno adottato), andrà fino in fondo? Fino alla jugoslavizzazione della Turchia?

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