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  1. “no-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct”

    Not true. Many have already concluded so. Before climate-gate, in fact.

    The self-examination disguised as investigation will, unfortunately, reach the expected self exoneration (sigh).

    But I’m guessing that the game is up.

    [Response: I should have made clear, that no-one will conclude these things actually based on any evidence. People jumping to conclusions on the basis of their existing prejudices is not news. - gavin]

    Comment by skeptic — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:19 PM

  2. Unfortunately, I think the only thing that will turn the public back towards reality is a few globally really hot years. Scientifically not very meaningful, but in the public’s percption the only thing that convinces!

    That should not take too long though…

    Comment by coby — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:35 PM

  3. Have you seen the sad state of affairs at CJR in the comment threads? Good grief. Like most newspapers with articles on AGW, the comment threads are inundated by man-on-the-street sceptics repeating these wild assertions. Wisely, and I wish I could say the same for me, Curtis Brainard doesn’t do comment threads. It’s a good thing for him, but shows a lack of responsibility that Andy Revkin doesn’t shy from. Never let the false messengers win by gang comment is my view. I wish I was on the payroll so it would be worth the effort. As it is, thankless task is more the case.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:36 PM

  4. In a progressively destabilizing climate, it is inevitable that a stance that rejects science will necessarily become more shrill and increasingly desperate.

    Any conglomerate-owned mass media outlet seeks comfortable news stories that supports their advertising revenue model. They are quite happy to report on a manufactured controversy rather than the horrifying unknown of colossal changes of adaptation and mitigation.

    We are witnessing the decline of responsible mass media, but readers here – and “People Formerly Known as the Audience” now prefer to get information directly. http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html

    Real Climate is a great and important resource on this issue. The physics of climate change will unfold as it must; an informed audience will learn what it can and must, all others are finding their necessary endgame entertainment.

    Comment by Richard Pauli — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:44 PM

  5. While it may be a media frenzy there is certainly plenty of fuel for the fire. It started with leaked (no evidence they were stolen) emails but with the major enquiries still pending the interest has quickly moved on to IPCC errors and the referencing of non-peer reviewed literature published by special interest groups.

    I read this post expecting a serious rebutal maybe even the waving of the tired flag – we still have the consensus – but no. I’ll give you the media is uneven perfomer sometimes on the money often missing the point but its hard to argue this issue doesn’t deserve the attention it has received. This is a trillion dollar issue and greater examination of the issue is warranted.

    There is also little doubt that the cold snap experienced by the nothern hemisphere (and some of the southern one at least where I live) has further challenged the publics belief in global warming. I know it was warm other places and generally warm across the planet but Joe Six Pack judges issues based on what is happening on his porch. In this case it was snowing, a lot. Joe isn’t entirely wrong to judge AGW based on this measure after all predictions were made that snow would reduce and now it is back in force. A theory is validated based on observations and Joe has observed a lot of snow. What is the lessen here? Dont make cataclysmic predictions the world will not end because of AGW and life (including human life) will go on. It just might be a bit warmer and for where I live that would be a good thing!

    Comment by elliot — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:47 PM

  6. As usual, a fascinating series of observations. One reason the US media has perhaps not followed the email story so closely is due in part to an exhaustive analysis by the AP’s Seth Borenstein published late last year (http://bit.ly/aFpWtA).

    But just because the US media hasn’t covered this story as rabidly doesn’t mean the Overton window hasn’t shifted stateside. As snow buried the East Coast this month we saw a rash of stories questioning the science and mocking Al Gore, most of it every bit as erroneous and unfounded as the email ruckus. Questioning the science was a dead end politically six months ago; that’s no longer the case.

    You’re correct, though, in your final assessment: Public attention does come and go on this topic. The pendulum is swinging. I suspect, however, a graph of that might look rather similar to that plot showing global land-ocean temperature increases over time.

    Douglas Fischer
    Editor
    DailyClimate.org

    Comment by Douglas Fischer — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 PM

  7. I’m a student at UEA. I’m sorry, but this post does not represent what the “climate” is like in these parts. I see Prof Jones almost daily and have had the opportunity to talk with him some.

    I would follow his lead if I were you – stick to the science, come clean, and stop with all this twee fluff.

    - HSANZ

    Comment by Horatio Sanz — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:52 PM

  8. “Who knows?” I do: supply and demand.

    Comment by Benjamin Seghers — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:57 PM

  9. Three Major Firms Pull Out of Climate Change Alliance

    ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.

    The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill.

    and this:

    Texas Takes Legal Action Against Federal Government Over EPA CO2 Mandates

    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced that the state is taking legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

    “With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science – so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy.”

    Comment by windansea — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:02 AM

  10. I tried to comment on your last post, to say how much your cool heads are appreciated (just in case there was any doubt :-), but your website hiccoughed and the comment was lost, so again today I am prompted to say, “thank goodness for your continued efforts”

    what IS being accomplished by these knuckleheads is delay, at a time when concerted action is most required – if it is not indeed too late already

    but I think that you should maybe have another look at your “who knows?” around the motivations of reporters and deniers, from reading Hoggan’s ‘Climate Cover-Up’ there is a case to be made for conspiracy but even if there is a conspiracy I don’t think it ends there

    here’s a question for you – are the Exxon/Mobils and Dows and Cargills and Duponts and Halliburtons of this world, who have made such huge amounts of money (and damage of course) on the backs of scientists, really foolish enough to consciously undermine the future of humanity? by ignoring science? if so, how so? Joseph Tainter in his ‘The Collapse of Complex Societies’ casts some doubt on the notion that civilizations fail simply through incompetent elites – there is a disconnect in there somewhere – and I think the question of why the deniers are sooo stubborn needs to be closely looked at – since we cannot afford delay

    for example – there are still lots and lots of smokers out there and not all of them are complete idiots, maybe W was right when he called oil an ‘addiction’ in more ways than by simple analogy

    thanks again, be well, David Wilson.

    Comment by David Wilson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:08 AM

  11. sorry … forgot to mention, if you are interested in Overton windows, you might also enjoy looking at Charles Taylor’s ‘Modern Social Imaginaries’

    Comment by David Wilson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:13 AM

  12. I don’t think the press coverage is going to die off.

    As long as the pause in the warming lasts, or switches to outright cooling – the press coverage will stay on the story.

    The press coverage will increase if the trend line departs further from the model mean trend line and decrease if the trend line approaches the model mean trend line.

    Comment by RickA — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  13. The Canadian newspapers have gone bananas too, with exaggerations of the significance of errors and misrepresentations of scientific misconduct. Not a single error has been found in the ~1000 pages of the WG1 AR4 report, yet commentators who have never even cracked the spine on this volume confidently declare climate science and the IPCC process bankrupt. I hear otherwise intelligent and well-informed people uncritically echo these views in discussion forums and conversations.

    Globe and Mail Op Ed example

    I am quite honestly dumbfounded by this whole affair, there’s some undercurrent here that I simply don’t understand. And, with respect, I don’t think that an exoneration of the principals in the CRU affair will lead people to start coming to their senses, on the contrary, this will provide yet more evidence to the crazies that there’s a cover-up.

    Comment by Andy S — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  14. Depressing, isn’t it….

    Comment by Mike — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:23 AM

  15. Is there some reason you refer to the CRU email incident as a hack? Would it not be just as likely (or perhaps more so, given the evidence in the email headers) that it ws a leak? In the absence of any evidence (unless you know something you have not mentioned) would it not be more appropriate to refer to it in less certain terms?

    Also repeated use of hoaxers, cranks and other pejorative terms certainly isn’t going to win over minds of of those on the fence in this discussion.

    [Response: Someone who thinks that GW is a hoax is a crank. And stealing people's emails from a central server and publishing them is a hack regardless of where you do it from. Pretending that any and all commentary on this topic is 'reasonable' just to appear open to fence sitters is just hypocritical. - gavin]

    Comment by Bulldust — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:27 AM

  16. I’m still reeling at claims Monckton is a mathematician.

    He’s not. He’s got no published articles in the *mathematics* literature, he’s only qualification is , afaik, an undergraduate *journalism* degree, and never worked in the field. In fact the closest he’s come to it is inventing a jigsaw puzzle that turned out to have some interesting mathematical properties (But not that interesting when you understand permutation)

    But the local press have been going on about the “mathematician monckton”.

    Comment by shayne — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:42 AM

  17. There’s a lot to talk about in your post. I don’t think there are that many people saying climate science has been discredited–and that includes the newspapers you cite above. It’s clear that various institutions are going to face more questioning in future, and I think that’s probably a good thing.

    Monckton is taking advantage of this and is certainly enjoying his moment in the sun. But I don’t think it’s going to last–Tim Lambert exposed some fundamental weaknesses in Monckton’s arguments that will get followed up on fairly soon.

    Obviously I disagree with your characterization of the Climategate emails. There is evidence of wrong-doing without a doubt, and enough prima facie evidence to call into question some scientific issues, such as Briffa saying he thought temperatures were warmer than today 1,000 years ago, Wrigley criticizing Mann’s work and also Jones’ co-author on the 1990 UHI paper.

    The fact that you call Lomborg a skeptic is symptomatic of what is behind all this media furor. It is you people, and your more excitable fellow-bloggers, that are actually driving this story. Calling what happened at Albany with Keenan a settled dispute is another symptom, especially after Jones’ remarks yesterday. You all seem incapable of understanding that you have created an image of yourself, rightly or wrongly, that is perceived as tone-deaf to the quality of your messages and blind to both error and perceptions of unfairness.

    Brainard and Yulsman are right to call for more U.S. coverage of this. I think you are at best premature in declaring that there has been no fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct. If that is the same decision-making process you use in evaluating scientific data, you’re in more trouble than you think.

    [Response: I've made a prediction, and we will see if it plays out. Feel free to email to acknowledge I'm correct if this actually comes to pass. Finding that people argued about the MWP 10 years ago might be evidence of wrong-doing to you, but I don't quite see it myself. As to this 'image' I'm supposed to have created, I'm curious as to how you think I've managed that? Writing essays about the uncertainties in climate modeling, discussing the difference between weather and climate, discussing the uncertainties in aerosols or solar forcing or paleo-data, the difficulty of attributing single events, criticising exaggerations of media coverage, etc. etc. That people ignore what scientists say, and fill the media with garbage that you apparently take seriously is exactly the problem, and not the fault of the scientists. Find some single example where I've done anything to mislead or deceive the public about the nature of the science. Just one. And then rethink your rather offensive "You people" comment. - gavin]

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:52 AM

  18. I never did understand how Monckton was brought up as a expert on climate or any science for that matter. I doubt he could differentiate e^x, but maybe I’m wrong.

    From my understanding, his degree is in journalism.

    Comment by EL — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:59 AM

  19. Pendulum is swinging. Those scientist, who are outraged by the current media distortions now, should have spoken up when Al Gore released “Inconvenient Truth”. Those IPCC scientists, who enjoyed the limelight three years ago as Nobel prize laureates, have to bite the bullet that the tide is turning. The public was told for years that the science was settled and supported Al Gore’s depiction of the imminent global warming disaster. All the mistakes and errors brought up now point to the direction that the looming disasters are not coming nearly at the speed that was anticipated. Besides, the IPCC reports are nowhere near as one sided as Al Gore. The “scientific community” made a colossal mistake pushing for actions prematurely. I have argued this for years (including at AGU meetings and special events held by the Union of Concerned Scientists) that ultimately there will be a back slash and chances are that by the time science will be truly ready to offer solutions the climate science will loose its credibility. Perhaps, a better strategy would be to admit mistakes and exaggeration (e.g. drowning polar bears, and malaria outbreaks in developed world, etc.) and propose a plan, how we can sort out uncertainties. When I read so called “deniers” to question GISS’s recent finding that 2009 was exceptionally warm and blame GHCN to purposely eliminate high altitude and high latitude meteorological stations, I can’t stop thinking how could the scientific community let the monitoring network decline so rapidly in the last thirty years. Sometimes, I am under the impression that we purposely abandoned monitoring so modelers don’t have to face observations. I work with various global data every day and I can’t believe how little progress we made in the last 20 years in terms of Earth observations. We have extremely high resolution satellite images of land cover changes. Most of the major cities were digitized so we have amazing maps in our GPS, Google sending camera crews to to provide street view. At the same time, we have to deal with declining meteorological stations, discharge gauges. In return, we have rotation of mutually incompatible “research” satellites just to make it more difficult to establish consistent climate records. It is unbelievable that almost twenty years after the first IPCC report, there is still room to debate if a particular year was warm or cold. I personally don’t trust our models to tell the weather in the next century, but they are certainly good enough to tell us, where we have model uncertainties. Perhaps, we could design observation strategies for the next twenty years (we should have done this thirty years ago) and carry out those observation so at least our grand children can narrow down the uncertainties. I can’t stop thinking what our grand children will say when they will have to deal with the leaking underground CO2 storages (that we pumped as our solution to clean coal power plants), when they crank through petabytes of climate simulations and find no reliable temperature records. They must say, our generation was insane wasting so much resources and ignoring what would have been the most important: to take an accurate record of what happening to us.

    Comment by Balazs Fekete — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:01 AM

  20. Two years ago most of my intelligent independent thinking friends and associates were convinced AGW exists. Today all of them bar none say either that GW has existed since the LIA but it isn’t largely due to humans or they say the climate scientists have manipulated the data to show dramatic warming when common sense says there hasn’t been any significant warming. What do you think has gone wrong for the advocates of AGW?

    Comment by james allison — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:05 AM

  21. Under your final paragraph: So what is likely to happen now? I would offer the observation that nothing that has happened in the past several months seemed likely before it happened. If the whole system of coming to a consensus that leads to meaningful actions is looked at from a chaos theory perspective, I think this so called “bump” may lead to a more chaotic and unpredictable state of affairs for a while longer…i.e., we can’t predict what is “likely” to happen in the court of public/policy maker opinion for a more extended period before settling down. That settling down into a more stable and truely predictable state will only ocme about by the overwhelming obviousness of the first hand experiences and events as they unfold and are once more creating louder headlines in the media than the so called scandals are now…i.e. new record lows in sea ice, record highs in global temps, and other extremes predicted by AGW models.

    Comment by R. Gates — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:05 AM

  22. In my experience people who take time and effort to read generally begin to appreciate science and the philosophy behind it. That is how scientists become scientists after all.

    Who cannot remember being fascinated when first observing the beauty of a dragonfly’s wingbeat or learning about the orbits of planets or the timing of ocean tides or the elegant idea of a sample standard deviation?

    I agree with those who have argued that recent misinformation in the media largely accrues from a failure in scientific literacy among journalists. How do we, as scientists (and well-intentioned voters) begin to bring back that simple childhood impression that — gee whiz, learning about science is pretty mind-expanding?

    I can’t offer an answer. But I will suggest that is why I consider this website to be so useful. Please keep at it.
    Andrew from Canada

    Comment by wanderers2 — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:10 AM

  23. We may not be having quite the IPCC feeding frenzy that the UK has right now, but “skeptical” blogs are coming out hard against cap and trade, EPA regulation of CO2 via the Clean Air Act, even the results of the Penn State inquiry of Michael Mann (a member here), accusing PSU of a cover-up.

    I looked into the cover up accusations and asked a number of experts (including another RC member, Dr. Rahmstorf) about the accusations. All of the experts said that there was no way that PSU would risk its reputation for anyone and the suggestion that PSU was being corrupted by Mann’s research money was pretty much laughable.

    Link: http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2010/02/15/psu-cover-up-extremely-unlikely/

    Comment by Brian Angliss — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 AM

  24. Ah, but we have the Wall St.Journal’s editorial page on this side of the pond. In the Feb. 16 edition, we have “The Continuing Climate Meltdown”, with the recycling of Jonathan Leake of the Sunday Times, the misquoting of Phil Jones, and not a word on anything from WG1. So we are not lacking for fishwrap.

    Comment by David Graves — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:24 AM

  25. “… I actually expect that it is the environmental beat reporters prior experience with the forces of disinformation that prevents the contagion crossing the pond…”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Washington post had a few doozys the other day in the middle of “Snowpocalypse.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/climate-change/

    and

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/12/AR2010021203908.html

    Comment by Matthew — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:24 AM

  26. Monckton may now frame the Overton window, but in shifting, the window is now on other figures who don’t deserve the legitimacy. Some of the more sensible UK media now seem to be giving respectful consideration to the views of the “sceptics” derided in the hacked emails. The feeling seems to be that the climate science community behaved badly to these sceptics, the climate science community is promising to be more open to critics rather that block them out, so the “sceptics” mentioned in the emails must be allowed to give their side of the argument. Hence the recent Harrabin Q&A session giving prominence to past temperature change and and the Guardian series on the CRU hack leading with a profile of Steve McIntyre and going on to discuss the supposed suppression of sceptical science by climate scientists.
    My view is that the sceptics derided in the emails deserved that derision- for trying to undermine good science and impede the work of scientists, and for publishing work based on flawed methodology.
    Harrabin has a new story titles “Climate ‘Armistice’” which the BBC website advertised with the link “Can two sides of climate debate be reconciled?”
    This is the sort of phoney two sided debate that the “sceptics” have always wanted in the media, and they used the hacked CRU emails to portray themselves as abused sceptics stifled by the mainstream climate science community.
    Climate scientists need to stress to the serious media that these critics are just as wrong as Monckton and the other characters who are now in the Window, and that they got angry in those emails for a damn good reason.

    Comment by Donald — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:26 AM

  27. Oops. MS-Word mis-post. Would you please revise my last paragraph to? Thank you Andrew. It should have read:

    I can’t offer an answer. But I will suggest that furnishing access to and discussion of the recent primary literature is why I consider this website to be so useful. Please keep at it.

    Comment by wanderers2 — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:27 AM

  28. Thanks for the term “Overton Window.” The surest way to close/narrow it would be to have a populace that was smart enough and educated in science enough to understand the subject. That will happen after some more evolution takes place. AGW gone wild WILL cause evolution.

    Meanwhile, back at the newsdesk, there sits an innumerate humanitologist. Your job, Professor, is to convince the Journalism professors and English professors that journalism students and English majors should be required to take the Engineering and Science Core Curriculum.

    Another possible way to close/narrow the Overton Window is to point out some effects of AGW that already really irk, inconvenience or cost the general public. To do that, you will have to accredit AGW with effects that “could be weather” but probably aren’t. Rain on Olympic Snow, snow in Florida, food prices, desertification of various places, fires, etc.. Sure, I know, they could be weather. Individually. But all together? “There is a pattern” of stuff that is at least irksome to Joe Sixpack even though he doesn’t care about glaciers, the Arctic ocean, etc.. You, RC, need to make a presentation of this stuff and send it to newspapers, Nightline, etc.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:29 AM

  29. Wishful thinking. It takes years to build a reputation, days to destroy it.

    More worryingly, I note that you are set in your way: Ridicule those that do not agree with you. That worked, sort of, until November. Not any more.

    If you care about climate policy, it is time to change your tune.

    [Response: Some of the people who do not agree with us are ridiculous - treating their arguments as if they are reasonable is pointless. In your economics classes, do you spend all of your Q&A discussing going back to the gold standard when the class was on efficient market theory? However, because some arguments are dumb, does not imply that all arguments are dumb, and I'm more than happy to argue intelligently with people who have real issues to discuss - but right now those people are being drowned out by the idiots, or the people who are using this to push their own personal agendas. We are not going to get better climate policy by agreeing that the smearing, misquoting and misrepresentation of scientists is 'ok'. It's not and pretending it is, is pointless. - gavin]

    Comment by Richard Tol — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:34 AM

  30. Quantum res abeo quantum subsisto idem eadem idem

    In the mainstream peer-reviewed, juried world-wide science literature since 1824, the basics of human-caused climate change are as strong as five years ago.

    -The peer reviewed literature and IPCC 2007- unanomously approved by 130 countries- while literally every single word was unanimously approved word for word in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers by 130 countires.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press/ipcc-statement-principles-procedures-02-2010.pdf

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:41 AM

  31. Excuse me, but those journalists are doing just their job – something they apparently forgot to do for the past couple of years. With print media going through their own nightmare, maybe they realize now that focusing on real stories (instead of senselessly parroting what comes out of alarmist institutions like the IPCC) will retain existing and attract new readers. And they are right to do so since the proposed legislation to fight “gloabl warming” will cost the taxpayers of the west trillions of Dollars.

    [Response: I doubt any journalism school teaches that 'doing their job' involves making up quotes, misrepresentating scientists and presenting innuendo as fact. But what do I know? - gavin]

    Comment by A. Reader — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:41 AM

  32. It is also instructive to look at the Guardian link, since I had missed their “Special Report”–and oh how special it is. Fred Pearce, leader of the Guardian’s Special Report band of sleths, seems to ignore your observations about the many other papers on UHI effects, or your observation that whatever influence UHI effects may or may not have on temperature records, they can’t cause earlier springs, melting of glaciers or warming of the oceans. Keenan gets the Black Knight Award (think Monty Python and the Holy Grail)–your dismemberment of his arguments is dismissed as “a flesh wound”.

    Comment by David Graves — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:56 AM

  33. I have long been skeptical, not so much of the science but of the ability of its proponents to meaningfully affect policy. I now have to recognize that I may have been too pessimistic. I take the current level of hostility to science in the media is as a sign that you may actually be on the right track with the IPCC and all.

    This isn’t about stupidity Gavin. The media has routinely been putting out worse propaganda on issues that impinge more directly on the interests of its owners and of the state.
    If they’re so stupid, why are they so rich and powerful while those of us that even have a home to our name are struggling to pay for it? Wake up and smell the coffee. You’re going to need it if you intend to make a difference.

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:59 AM

  34. As the various panels and reports on the CRU affair conclude, it is highly likely (almost certain in fact) that no-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct (since there hasn’t been).

    Call that a prediction. I’ll add two more:

    2) The usual suspects will nevertheless claim (based on some out-of-context sentence from the undoubtedly copious investigation report that can be tortured to so confess) that, in reality, proof of scientific misconduct was found — and, at the same time,

    3) that the whole inquiry was a stitch-up job anyway.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:02 AM

  35. “It won’t have escaped many of our readers’ notice that there has been what can only be described as a media frenzy (mostly in the UK) with regards to climate change in recent weeks. The coverage has contained more bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion on the subject than we have seen in such a short time anywhere. ”

    Are you sure this happened only in recent “weeks”? not “years”?

    Comment by Gilles — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 AM

  36. I was particularly fed up with the Guardian for going over to the dark side (incompetent reporting, not their spin on the subject which is why I set up my petition so we could let everyone out there know a lot of people haven’t gone barmy.

    To put this into perspective, a lot of what not only Monckton but even the mainstream right opposition in Australia is saying 6 months ago would have been dismissed as crank La Rouchite babble. Unfortunately, it still is crank La Rouchite babble.

    Politics may have an “Overton window” but science doesn’t. Either what we are working with stacks up or it doesn’t applying sound principles of scientific investigation.

    For anyone getting discouraged, the question I put to a confused audience is:

    if climate science was really junk, why is it necessary to oppose it with vaudeville acts, personal attacks, stealing email and clear and obvious lies?

    The fossil fuel industry has a massive incentive to show conclusively that the science is flawed. To do so would cost them maybe 1% of the cost of one “clean coal” power plant. So why don’t they do this? Sure, such a study would be tainted by the funding source but if the science was good, it would stand up. So why don’t they do it? Answer: they have. I have no direct evidence of this, but oil companies in particular have a world-class internal science capacity; finding new oil is really hard stuff requiring supercomputer models. It would be truly stupid if they had not set their internal scientists the task of determining if there were cracks in the science. What would you do if you were an oil exec and your best scientists told you climate science was solid, and emissions cuts were the only option? Option A: Tell your shareholders you were changing your line of business, and tell the world why? Or Option B: bluff it out as long as you can, pay lobbyists and think tanks to confuse the public debate and hope like hell you don’t get your ass sued off when everyone gets wise to you?

    Does Option B seem too stupid to be real? Ask the tobacco and asbestos industries and their victims …

    Don’t give up. We won eventually on tobacco and asbestos, and people like those running RealClimate are playing a vital role.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 AM

  37. As a Brit, I’ve been appalled by this new spate of nonsense, especially by the Guardian who have been relatively sound on Climate Change to this point (it was they, you recall, who drafted the joint editorial on the eve of Copenhagen).

    I am happy, however, to discover, this it has apparently been an isolated oubreak of insanity which has not (yet?) spread across the pond.

    Comment by Alex — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:22 AM

  38. I’m not sure if you’re taking the threat seriously enough. Enormously wealthy conservatives like Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife are spending millions to absolutely put you guys out of business. They aren’t playing games. And they aren’t going to stop having the lies published in their media outlets until they do serious damage to science itself.

    Comment by Rob Zuber — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 AM

  39. Unformtunately, the UK is not the only country where the media are reporting
    about climate science in this manner. In the Netherlands, a similar race to report
    unfounded claims is being run. In all fairness, there certainly are newspapers and
    other media who do take the time to look more deeply into the subject, but at the
    moment they are a minority.

    More worisome is that a member of the PVV, a political party here, is making the
    same (and worse) unfounded claims in the political arena. Calling climate
    scientists names I dare not translate or repeat. And he is very very loud.

    Other parties have shifted their statements on climate towards the sceptical side,
    seemingly in an effort to keep up with the attention the PVV is getting in the
    Dutch media. Even our minister of environment and spatial planning, a scientist
    herself and knowledgeable on environmental matters, is not immune to this effect.

    All in all, I think these are worrisome developements. So I hope that you are
    right and the current misinformed media coverage is just a bump in the road to
    public (and political) understanding of climate science. So that we can once
    again focus on mitigating climate change, without having to explain why we should
    at every turn.

    Comment by Willem — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 AM

  40. Gavin,
    Have you noticed this in the annotations battle you’re having with Keenan over on the Guardian article concerning the Jones & Wang 1990 China paper:
    “Douglas J. Keenan (in reply): The term “findings” here refers to findings derived from the Chinese data: the article makes that obvious. The more recent analysis of available Chinese data by Jones et al. (2008) showed, as the article states, that “far from being negligible [as claimed in the 1990 work], the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004″. Schmidt’s criticism is thus based on a misunderstanding of what the article says.”

    I don’t have access to JGR myself so I can’t check properly, but everything I can see on the Jones et al 2009 findings again confirms that UHI does *not* play a significant role in the observed warming trend. The abstract to this 2010 paper, including Jones, http://www.springerlink.com/content/kr5w2616551w7810/ explicitly states: “Although impacts of UHIs on the absolute annual and seasonal temperature are identified, UHI contributions to the long-term trends are less than 10% of the regional total warming during the period.”

    So what the heck is Keenan on about? A rather ironic assertion as to who exactly is misunderstanding the article. Or does he mean some other article?

    I also note with frustration that Pearce has not really been challenged on his statement that Energy & Environment is a peer-reviewed journal — which it patently is not, in any meaningful sense of the term.

    Comment by Justin Wood — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:36 AM

  41. The UK print media is a national embarrassment. It comes as no surprise that they’re at the vanguard of this particular fiasco. The worst part is that none of these papers or reported will get any kind of comeuppance for their sloppiness after this dies down (the toothless PCC seems only capable of issuing wrist-slaps). They’ll just shrug their shoulders and move onto the Next Big Thing to focus their quixotic brand of non-journalism on.

    Comment by James Allan — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:54 AM

  42. You have to see this also from the other side. It was (and is) not uncommon that the media reports all sorts of nonsense “in favor” of climate change (like an increase in kidney stones, increase in bear prices, increase in shark attacks).

    And don’t forget the weather: a few years ago you could read in every media that the summer is so hot because of the climate change. That the skiing resorts have no snow because of the climate change (I am Austrian, that was a constant theme). So it’s just consequent that the media now reports that because of the cold winter there has to be something wrong with climate change.

    Comment by Michael — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:56 AM

  43. Across the road from me is a school. In the school car parks I can see a pile of gas guzzling 4 wheel drives: staff and students alike.

    I am part of the fat white cosy elite (though I don’t have a car), but the poor brown non-elites of this country also like their 4 wheel drives: white and brown,rich and poor unite on climate/environment destroying way of life.

    As you Americans enjoy yours, and as the Chinese and Indians seek to emulate you. The SUV is a human right, f…voting.

    The argument is not lost, it is not winnable. The denialists are not just the cranks, the crackpots and those representing vested interests. They are all those people, globally, who either do not want to change their cosy way of life or who, from the industrialising countries, wish to emulate that way of life.

    Here’s a mathematical equation for you scientists:

    If US consumers wish to continue their way of life

    And Chinese and Indian (not to forget Brazilian and Mexican)consumers

    With to reach a similar living standard as US consumers

    Then what are the odds on us saving the world

    From being wrecked by AGW?

    Please send correct answers to the political leaders of the world.

    Yeah, right.

    Comment by Paul Harris — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:00 AM

  44. It’s not only the US and Great Britain – I have been following the discussion in Germany, and it is really looking bleak, too. Just today I was looking at Spiegel online, the internet platform of one of Germany’s most influential weekly magazins, and I found mostly distorted reporting on the Phil Jones’ interview. Especially disheartening were the comments – almost everyone heaping scorn on GW because “warming has not been significant since 1995″ (sigh).
    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,678261,00.html

    Comment by is(de) — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  45. This is spinning out of control. What hope has a layman like myself got in gaining a reasonable understanding. Please don’t tell me that I have no business in trying to understand something that only scientists can understand. It is this singular failing that has lead to this current situation. Exaggerations made by both sides have damaged scientific credibility. It is no good being right on this issue, you must gain the confidence of the voters of the countries of the world that your case is reasonable if you expect appropriate action.

    I think real Science has missed a great opportunity to re-establish credibility and trust here by trying to defend some poor scientific behaviour. In their understandable defence of friends they are themselves stained by association.

    If you think that the general public are not important here then you have already lost the debate. You are not selling your message properly or effectively and it is only going to get worse.

    Comment by Roger — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  46. Gavin, I know you are incredibly busy and I cannot imagine how you manage to cope with so many issues at the same time, but I hope you find the chance to answer Keenan’s answers on The Guardian, more specifically, this one:

    “Jones et al. (2008) showed, as the article states, that “far from being negligible [as claimed in the 1990 work], the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004″. Schmidt’s criticism is thus based on a misunderstanding of what the article says.”

    The author of the paper (Jones) says the same as Gavin:

    “Professor Phil Jones [...] said a 20-year-old study questioned by sceptics “stands up to scrutiny” and was corroborated by more recent work”

    “a study he published in 2008, using improved data from the China Meteorological Administration from sites used in the 1990 research adjusted to take into account any movements of stations, had almost exactly the same results as the original, he said.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/02/phil-jones-climate-scientist-hacked-email

    The co-author of the 1990 paper (Wang) says it as well:

    comparing the 42‐rural station data used in the 1990 GRL and Nature papers with those adjusted for homogeneity of a 728‐station network yield very much the same results, implying that the station moves, if any, really did not matter when a representative set of stations (here 42‐stations) was used.
    http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5620/b080222.pdf

    The University also says the same:

    “The accuracy of the data and results was confirmed in a later paper [...]
    much of the urbanization trend was likely due to the rapid economic development in China since the 1980s, after the period analysed in the 1990 paper
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/guardianstatement

    But Keenan’s point is still that expert climatologists don’t understand their own works, and he himself, an amateur, understands it better.

    It makes me very sad that climate scientists has to waste their time in fruitless discussions with amateurs just because a journalist decides that nonsense has the right to the same coverage than science.

    Comment by Jesús Rosino — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 AM

  47. Oops, garbled the syntax on my punch line. Should be:

    if climate science really was junk, why is it necessary to oppose it with vaudeville acts, personal attacks, stealing email and clear and obvious lies?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:39 AM

  48. Kopernicus comes to my mind. Specifically, the ancient greek already knew about his discovery. But this knowledge was successfully destroyed, and dark ages on a disk world followed. Dark ages, usually defined as time of massive loss of knowledge.

    What is sinful about the fall of man? Eating, gaining knowledge? What about the idea in itself, eating and gaining knowledge being related to each other? A religous ritual comes to mind, from an archaic past…

    (Where is my overton window?)

    Comment by Undertone — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:43 AM

  49. Excellent post, thanks.

    My fear is that public opinion is naturally weighted towards denialism. Persuading folks that AGW is worth worrying about is like pushing a proverbial rock uphill whilst persuading people that AGW is a hoax is like pushing the rock downhill.

    I hope the recent dip in public acceptance of AGW is just a bump.

    Comment by jack kelly — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:58 AM

  50. As the various panels and reports on the CRU affair conclude, it is highly likely (almost certain in fact) that no-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct (since there hasn’t been). Eventually, people will realise (again) that the GW hoaxers are indeed cranks…

    Unfortunately, it is not the case that people pay more attention to the report than the debate. For example, the Hutton report didn’t seem to change anyone’s mind at all. It’s taken a long time to build up political momentum to reduce emissions and it’ll take a long time to recover from the current setback. I don’t see the point in pretending otherwise.

    I’m particularly alarmed that the latest spate of stories in the UK press is traceable back to a BBC interview that asked some very unhelpful questions (which maybe Phil Jones shouldn’t have given straight answers to).

    If it’s any consolation, I suspect that the upcoming General Election in the UK has something to do with the ongoing media storm. For reasons I don’t quite grasp, the chattering classes (and Murdoch’s Times newspapers as well as the traditionally right-wing Express and Mail) seem to think it would be a good idea to elect Cameron’s Conservatives. Cameron has claimed to be “green” – he’s been known to cycle to work, albeit with his chauffeur-driven car following behind with his briefcase – but his is the only mainstream party with a strong sceptic caucus.

    Comment by Tim Joslin — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:08 AM

  51. Crazy!

    Something similar (climate sceptics media bubble) could be observed in Slovakia and Czech Republic…

    maybe the record hot 2010 would change the climate debate “window”?

    best,

    Comment by Alexander Ač — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 AM

  52. With respect to your statement:

    “As the various panels and reports on the CRU affair conclude, it is highly likely (almost certain in fact) that no-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct (since there hasn’t been).”

    You have have missed this, but the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has recently concluded that Phil Jones’ CRU at the University of East Anglia broke the law with respect to the Freedom of Information Act. There will be no prosecution because the case is more than six months old. But that does not change the fact that misconduct has been observed. Link:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8484385.stm

    Comment by wilt — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:21 AM

  53. Would you like a little wager with respect to your final summary paragraph?

    I bet you £5 that the US news MSM pick up on the case, and that you will have to deal with the same issues as the UK. Any takers?

    In the case of the organs like the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times, pre emailgate, there was virtually no credence given to the sceptic point of view prior to November 09 – quite the reverse.

    I know a respected BBC journalist and towards the end of last year she was happy to tell me the BBC’s position, which was the “science is settled”. The policy makers at the BBC had removed the requirement for 50/50 balance on reporting issues regarding MMGW and there was no requirement to present a “sceptic” perspective alongside the “warmer” stories.

    This has clearly changed. We know that the BBC is “reviewing” their position and we know that the nature of the coverage has changed beyond recognition in the last 3 months. Roger Harrabin’s (BBC’s environment correspondent) reputation is undergoing a sea change. He has moved from someone perceived as being an unimpeachable source of expert analysis to someone running around trying to defend his reputation and restating the way he will report in the future (because of the power of the blogosphere). He is in contact with the sceptic blogs and, it would appear, putting their questions to Phil Jones.

    BBC’s Newsnight, Today and Andrew Neil are now creating a situation where scientists are being questioned and being asked to explain themselves, the conduct of organisations, etc. T

    You cannot dismiss newspapers as The Guardian (image: liberal tree huggers) , The Times (image: Right based, serious power house) and the Daily Telegraph (right based, middle class serious) as tabloid sensationalists. Yes, The Daily Mail and the Daily Express are populist dailies that enjoy a bit of muck – but not the others.

    Coverage from the BBC and these newspapers is now being offered daily and, forgive the pun, the snowball is rolling, and in my humble opinion, you will find it washing up on your shores soon.

    Please do not make the mistake of assuming it will all just die down and go away.

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 AM

  54. “Perhaps this is driven by edit or demanding that reporters come up with something new (to them) that fits into an anti-climate science theme that they are attempting to stoke. Or perhaps it is driven by the journalists desperate to maintain their scoop by pretending to their editors that this nonsense hasn’t been debunked a hundred times already? Who knows? All of these bad decisions made easier when all of the actually sensible people, or people who know anything about the subject at all, are being assailed on all sides, and aren’t necessarily keen to find the time to explain, once again, that yes, the world is warming.”

    “but that kind of reporting is something very different from regurgitating disinformation, or repeating baseless accusations as fact.”

    How the media deals with climate change is probably the clearest example of the propaganda model I have ever seen.

    They are unusually eager to jump at any opportunities to discredit climate science, while when presented with facts, very reluctant to accept them. There really couldn’t be a more obvious example of systemic bias against a critical issue as there is against climate change.

    Comment by Wynand Dednam — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 AM

  55. You say at the end, Gavin, that “public attention to climate change comes and goes,” and you propose that the current mis- and disinformation are “likely to be seen as the latest bump on that ride.” Maybe. But what I see tells me that the word “bump” might be wishful understatement. It seems to me that Spencer Weart is right that there’s a new element this time. In Andrew Revkin’s New York Times blog, Weart was quoted the other day saying that now is “the first time the media reported that an entire community of scientists had been accused of actual dishonesty” in a world in which “the repetition of allegations is sufficient to make them stick in the public’s mind.” And it appears to me that the Republicans are indeed repeating such allegations, and that they mean to continue. As shown, for example, by the comments of their Ed Rogers in Sunday’s “Topic A” discussion in the Washington Post, they see in the allegations a chance for electoral advantage in November. And they’re already pressing that perceived chance, as shown by that online video clip that they’re famously circulating in Virginia — the one that uses blatantly dishonest weather-and-climate conflation to mock two electorally vulnerable Democratic congressmen. Just a “bump”? Not if those guys can help it. At the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto’s online column “Best of the Web” asserts: “The global warmists are the real deniers.” He means postings like this one from you, Gavin. It appears to me that he and they mean to send you and us on a ride that’s bumpy indeed, and that in fact is completely unlike anything so far.

    Comment by Steven T. Corneliussen — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 AM

  56. excellent article…you’ve got it spot on. As a Brit I’m a little embarrassed by the febrile elements of our press, and especially the astonishing acceptance of the antics of Mr. Monkton.

    oh well… as you say reality will intervene again at some point….

    Comment by chris — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:08 AM

  57. Henry Kissinger famously joked that, when contacting Europe, he didn’t have a single number to call. So far as the sceptic point of view in the UK is concerned, newspaper and TV editors do now have a number to call: The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Lord Lawson and Benny Peiser are all over our TV screens and opinion pages of late. Their manner is reasonable though their words are often absurd, so most people will assume that there must be some wheat among the mountain of chaff.

    Comment by Iain Inglis — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:12 AM

  58. You are correct that UK newsrooms have been gripped by hysteria over recent controversies, and a number of editors (most of whom have little insight into science let alone climate change) now believe that their science and environment reporters have been duped.

    This is nonsense of course and reflects the lack of understanding among UK editorial staff, who feel that they have a greater duty to report different points of views than to report factual accuracies. It seems that many editors have had exposure to the material on ‘sceptic’ blogs and seem to believe it. This vitriolic opinion piece by the science writer Matt Ridley is, I think, pretty indicative of many views being expressed currently within UK newsrooms: http://www.spectator.co.uk/spectator/thisweek/5749853/the-global-warming-guerrillas.thtml

    Of course, Ridley’s article appears in ‘The Spectator’, a right-wing magazine that promotes complacency and denial about climate change. And it is ironic that Ridley, who was chairman of the UK bank Northern Rock which was taken over by the UK Government because of its over-exposure to financial risks, should complain that the risks of climate change have been exaggerated. Nevertheless, his views seem to be reflected in many UK newsrooms now.

    In addition, the UK research community has generally made a pretty feeble response, with many researchers deciding to keep their heads down in the hope that they won’t be targetted by the bloggers. In my view, the biggest scandal has been the lack of leadership within the UK research community in response to the ongoing controversies.

    Comment by Bob Ward — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:24 AM

  59. The wingnuts are building the biggest snowman they can before the spring melt of returning media indifference.

    Comment by Nick — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:25 AM

  60. Indeed, Gavin: here in the UK there seems to have been a “silly season” in the media of late on all things climate-related. It is remarkable who has been interviewed “in the interests of balance”. One really starts to wonder whether somebody who insisted that 2+2=5 would get airtime in the interests of balance against the orthodoxy of 2+2=4….

    Luckily we should have a General Election coming up fairly soon, which ought to provide at least a temporary distraction away from such regurgitated fact-free ramblings. In the meantime, congratulations to Tim Lambert and friends over at Deltoid for working hard to unravel some of these stories and expose them for what they are – pure, weapons-grade BS!

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:28 AM

  61. So you should not be kicking us doomsayers. Explain why we are wrong, absolutely. Explain, that we are putting too much emphasis on the slow feedbacks.

    If you extrapolate the increase in melt days, winter sea ice will be in trouble mid century. Why is this the wrong way of looking at the problem?

    You need to move the Overton window. No global warming is not a tenable proposition.

    Comment by Tony O'Brien — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:37 AM

  62. Good summary, and thanks for all you continue to do – most people would fed up of repeating themselves by now!

    I haven’t heard of the Overton window before, but certainly in the UK we talk a lot about the “media narrative”, which most journalists in this country follow pretty slavishly. It’s most obvious in politics, when a particular party or politician is seen to be doing well (according to the “narrative” anyway), any small success they have is talked up and any mistakes they make are ignored. Then when they fall out of favour, the reverse is true. It’s some kind of pack mentality.

    But don’t underestimate the importance of the recent UK weather in setting the narrative. Thanks to the negative AO we’ve had the longest, coldest and snowiest winter here for a long time. In a country where we’re not used to so much snow we had school closures, train cancellations, other transport problems and general chaos. The snow and its effects were the top news story for several weeks.

    A recent UK poll showed public acceptance of the science of global warming had significantly decreased, but when asked why most people in the survey blamed the weather not the email hacks. The CRU story hadn’t even registered with most of them, and of those who had followed it at all most said it hadn’t changed their opinion one way or the other. (In fact more people said it had made them more confident in the science than less.)

    I expect the next hot summer will see both the media narrative and public opinion flip back. Not that that’s any more scientific than the current situation…

    To his credit, Richard Black (climate correspondent at the BBC) is still doing a decent job.

    Comment by cer — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 AM

  63. The sad fact is is that if you removed the identifying text from your linked plot and removed the superimposed trend line and then placed that plot amongst a number of similarly denuded plots of varying positive, zero and negative trends of different variables against time and then asked a representative cross-section of the population to indicate which plots had which trend, we all know what the outcome would be.

    And no, I don’t think you’d get a counterintuitive result … though it would be interesting if you did.

    It would also be interesting to take that same population cross-section and quiz them about various aspects of climate change (and perhaps other matters relating to the other denuded plots) and then to place the two sets of results side by side and ask those surveyed if they’d change their minds about anything.

    And the result would be … pseudosceptics would still be railing against anthropogenic-induced climate change when Arctic ice is just a 12-14 week annual event and hacks would still be pandering to those delusionals.

    It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the most intelligent of this planet’s species are exceedingly brainless at times.

    Comment by P. Lewis — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:48 AM

  64. All true, interesting that you should report it of the UK. I would guess that most people here think of denialism as having its permanent home in the US. (Maybe partly because of the Senate.)

    I’m afraid it’s not really news that the Mail or Express should breathlessly proclaim a “climate con” by the way. They’re far-right hate papers which do not really even market themselves as mainstream or all that credible; it’s more like they unapologetically try to appeal to a faithful niche market, like a Fox News. The Mail just published a cartoon showing a man marrying a sheep with a caption comparing it to accepting black people into society.

    Comment by Warwick Dumas — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:54 AM

  65. The effect this media coverage is having is already noticable just talking to friends. This poll reflects the kind of thing I’m seeing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8500443.stm

    It’s depressing.

    “Eventually, people will realise (again) that the GW hoaxers are indeed cranks, and the mainstream window on their rants will close.”

    I hope that happens sooner rather than later.

    Comment by Guest — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:56 AM

  66. It’s not only the UK or America, I’m afraid. It’s been very, very bad in The Netherlands as well, and not only in the ‘usual suspects’ papers De Telegraaf en Elsevier, but also in ‘quality’ newspapers such as De Volkskrant, De Pers and even NRC Handelsblad. Not to mention Dutch television, of course.

    Comment by rapa — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:10 AM

  67. The very sad thing is that while a great deal of human energy is spent arguing over whether classic AGW theory is true or false, attention is directed away from the effort to be cautious and to mitigate global warming, potentially taking us past the grand tipping point where runaway global warming will be irreversible. Last month, NASA’s GISS reported that 2009 is the equal second hottest year in the instrumental record and yet this seems to have escaped much global news media attention. My suspicion is that because 2008 was reported about thirteen months ago as the coolest year this young century, some ignorant crank denialists, who have made claims that our Earth is in a cooling phase, have been brought to an ecstatic crescendo of denial that still echoes. Perhaps if 2010 is the hottest year since 1880, which Jim Hansen has said is likely if the El Nino phase of the ENSO continues throughout this year, many ignorant mouths may close on this subject for good and urgent global action may get emergency status.

    Comment by Mark Andrews — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:27 AM

  68. Gavin, quite contrary to what you think the events in the last months may be a turning point of historical significance. It is not that critics and cranks are having their voices heard. Just as you say most of what is being discussed in the media is of little significance. The real thing is the new role of the press. For decades historian and social scientists in the future will try to understand how the media could fail so totally in their role of critically reviewing politically correct trends as the climate change story has been. Now they have suddenly understood that their tactic had been wrong and they have started to assume their normal role. Since media are what they are most of what you will see will neither be correct nor of any major significance. But I think it has started a process that may become very important. Finally it seems that we will have a chance with a serious debate over the climate and its very difficult mixture of science, politics and values. Hopefully this will also spill over into the general environmental area.

    [Response: Discussing what to do about climate change should be the discussion of the decade. Time spent discussing whether there is a global conspiracy of scientists is simply wasted. There is plenty of real substance to discuss, and yet the media is retreating to the first grade play room. If this makes you optimistic, I'm amazed. - gavin]

    Eppur si scalda (and yet she warms) – in the models perhaps – in reality very little at the moment.

    [Response: Sure... whatever you say. - gavin]

    Comment by Steven Jörsäter — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:31 AM

  69. Many years ago one of my sons was watching a ‘become a millionaire’ game in which there was a question – what is 4/5 as a percentage. Four suggested answers were given including 80%. The celebrity doing the quiz could not answer. This week on UK TV I saw part of a program about mathematics in primary schools. One 10 year old could not answer – what is 10 x 10.
    I know these are extreme but they illustrate how far most people are from any grasp of the huge complexity of climate models, and after all we are having a cold winter in the UK. Also worth looking up is the Dunning-Kruger effect. Those of us who acccept the evidence of global warming just have to keep on track as best we can.

    Comment by Robert Dyson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:33 AM

  70. I think that the competition between new and old media is another factor driving this media S*** storm. Newspapers and print journalists feel threatened by the bloggosphere and it’s amateur contributors. In a desperate effort to remain relevant and prove their superiority old media has begun to regurgitate (where is the added value?) what the bloggosphere has already mangled. Your right it’s the nature of news that whatevergate will become yesterdays news but old media coverage of whatevernextgate will be heavily contaminated by the bloggosphere. I don’t think this flood of misinformation will cease any time soon.

    Comment by Tim — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:37 AM

  71. Media frenzy swings both ways ! For years the press and TV have jumped on every scientific press release about climate change and have over-hyped the ‘alarmist’ and ‘armageddon’ scenarios of warming. Everyone knows that,and the storylines have now run out. They have now embarked on another ‘headline-grabbing ‘course on the opposite tack.
    All the years when some have condoned and even encouraged the over-statement, you know who they are. What goes around ,comes around !

    [Response: Where have any scientists on this site, or any of the people being targeted, condoned or encouraged overstatement? Show me an actual quote (and not one that was just made up). - gavin]

    Comment by Bill — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:55 AM

  72. The first round of media mangling of the stolen emails certainly got a lot of play on TV in the U.S. – CNN interviewed Steve McIntyre AND Chris Horner up against Michael Oppenheimer (not even false balance!) while Fox News repeated alound and splashed across the screen “hide the decline in temperatures” — adding the words ‘in temperature’ that were not in the email, which were already on the internet for anyone to check for themselves, and not what the email was actually saying. (If only it had been worded ‘hide the divergence’… so much harder to spin, as you’d have to (mis)define ‘divergence’ first.)
    But I think Gavin has a point that most of the recent multi-gates have run in papers outside the U.S. The headlines get picked up and repeated online over here, but this round is much more a UK thing.
    The people who want the IPCC to go away are still running with the ‘gate’ memes as ammunition for their latest counterattacks against policy action. Utah cited them in their non-binding resolution against cutting CO2, and today Texas is asking a Federal court to block the EPA endangerment finding because it relied on the IPCC, and they’re now pretty sure the IPCC is wrong about everything. They point to the latest-gates.

    [Response: That's just a delaying tactic, it will be tossed in pretty short order. - gavin]

    Comment by Jim Prall — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:58 AM

  73. I kind of get the wibe that someone wants to shut the Overton window ;-)

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:07 AM

  74. So, what has the GW community learned from this? Perhaps that talking down to their scientific inferiors as if they were village idiots does little to help sell your message. Or that pushing the end of human civilization as a given outcome wins few converts. The GW debate was hijacked by elites who live in exclusive mansions and own private aircraft but advocate living in caves for the rest of us – it is only natural that there be a rebellion from the other side.

    [Response: None of those things are true. Read the IPCC reports and point me to one such statement. Instead, you are guilty of making up strawman debating points to push back against. I can't argue that this isn't a useful political tactic but don't confuse it with the truth. - gavin]

    Comment by NJ Tom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:10 AM

  75. I have been patiently waiting and watching for deniers to get dizzy from screaming and bashing and finally bash their own big toe. That appears to have finally happened yesterday during a press conference called by Texas’ biggest denier, Governor Rick Perry. The governor announced the state was suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent it from exercising wider authority in controlling, among other things, greenhouse gases. (Texas alone produces more than a third of the nation’s greenhouse gases.) Perry defended these gases as generally harmless, and got so wound up that he stuck his big toe in his mouth and claimed the world’s temperatures have not risen at all since 1995. If nothing else, Texans are unusually weather savvy and observed the summer of 2009 was far and away the hottest ever known in our state capital, Austin. It broke a record set in 2008 (and shared with 1998). In blogs and newspapers, and on radio and televisions statewide, Texans quickly connected the dots and motives linking Governor Perry and the state’s biggest polluters of air, water and soil. The dots also made straight lines to the horrific cancer hot spots and rates of unspeakable birth defects that have touched more families than anyone realized until they began to speak up.

    Comment by A face in the crowd — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:10 AM

  76. Re: Richard Pauli@4
    “In a progressively destabilizing climate, it is inevitable that a stance that rejects science will necessarily become more shrill and increasingly desperate.”

    I don’t think the desperation is to do with a destabilizing climate. The desperation is caused by the fact that the science and the environmental campaigning are resulting in a change of policy and businesses are required to change.

    In the past, the issues were discussed but not much was done. Now people are having to do something, they are resisting change.

    Comment by The Ville — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  77. R Gates@21 said
    >I would offer the observation that nothing that has happened in the past several months seemed likely before it happened.

    Can’t agree with that.
    The ‘counter attack’ was predictable, given the relative success of raising climate change science and environmental campaigning to record highs in the political agenda across the world.
    It was inevitable that greater levels of desperation would set in from opposing ‘forces’. The attack on science is effectively a flanking manoeuvre designed to undermine politicians and environmental campaigners.

    Instead of attacking the front, they have manoeuvred around the sides and attacked the rear.

    Comment by The Ville — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:22 AM

  78. I blame John Edwards. The tabloids exposed his tawdry affair, thus, junk news sources gained credibility. That, and the fact that scientists are too timid about publicizing and linking current effects of AGW.

    Scientists should be on the teevee news every night with pictures of cow carcasses from the drought in Argentina, bleached coral reefs and dead sea beds, wildfires in Australia and California, collapsing ice shelves, melting ice caps with stranded walruses and penguins, shrinking glaciers and pictures of the people that need them for water, record breaking precipitation events like blizzards, droughts, and tornadoes in cities. Throw in some footage of scalped mountain tops in Appalachia.

    THAT should be the news, not made-up controversies. Forget your rectitude, scientists, step up to the plate! A habitable climate for YOUR children is at stake!

    Comment by Gail — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:24 AM

  79. The post #71 was an observation, that we should not be surprised by the media any more.I was not suggesting that scientists on here are complicit in the ‘over-egging’ of storylines , but you only have to go back over the TV and press coverage of the last years to see what has gone on. Take an objective look and you can see why the media are now ‘swinging’ to the other extreme….Dont be so defensive in your immediate comments

    Comment by Bill — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:48 AM

  80. Skeptic is demanded by one who needs it and supported by one who hopes it.
    As the political decision time comes near by, those who hope “AGW is not true” increase. Then parties who support “skeptic” are supported even if they have few scientific knowledge.

    All the scientist can do is to continue presenting the facts and evidences through all possible options.

    I am worried the worst case: public opinion does not realise the scientific cautions until they appear.

    Comment by MR SH — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 AM

  81. You have only got yourselves to blame (climate scientists). For the last decade we have been told of impending disaster. When the media was running in your direction you were happy to go with the flow and ignore the hyperbole. The problem in the UK is since the record breaking hot summer of 2003, which of course was soon going to become a 1 in 3 year event, we have had a run of miserable summers, a cold winter last year and recently the coldest December and January on record in parts of the UK, it is still cold here. To make matters worse the UK MET Office, world experts on climate change, forecast a ‘Barbeque summer’ last year and a ‘mild winter’ – they look like idiots. If 2010 turns out to be a scorching hot summer in the UK the tide will probably turn again but at the moment everything is against you, here at least.

    [Response: It may well be that public sentiment goes with the weather, in which case nothing I or any other scientist say or do will make the least bit of difference. The confusion between seasonal forecasting and climate projections and the UK Met Office's PR department does not help, but they aren't the same thing. Seasonal forecasts for Europe do have some skill, though not much, and since people don't experience 'mean seasonal conditions', they are easily undone in the public mind by the vagaries of individual weather events. Whether they do any good is a question that the UKMO needs to address. - gavin]

    Comment by Paul Gosling — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:02 AM

  82. Richard Tol wrote:

    “More worryingly, I note that you are set in your way: Ridicule those that do not agree with you. That worked, sort of, until November. Not any more.”

    I’m surprised at the simplistic thinking here. Is it not fair to ridicule people who call climate scientists “frauds” and horrible journalists like Jonathan Leake and David Rose? Honestly, you concern trolling this post is quite bizarre given that I have not seen Richard Tol write anything pointing out the open dishonesty of the climate “skeptic” gang in recent weeks? Do you not agree that so called “skeptics” pollute the discourse? Why do you give them a free pass?

    Moreover, why do you ridicule climate scientists? If ridicule is so bad a strategy, then why do find such sentences as:

    “The emails show an intolerance of views and facts that do not support the received wisdom of the people involved.”

    Isn’t the phrase “received wisdom” meant as ridicule? How else can one read it?

    And your own column is contradictory:

    “Nothing has changed in our understanding of the seriousness of the problem.”

    versus

    “The CRU may have had us fooled for a while.”

    But I won’t ridicule you for your hypocrisy or for being inconsistent to the point of dishonesty. That’s serious business.

    Comment by Boris — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:03 AM

  83. In a recent interview with The Times (London) professor R. Watson, who served as chairman of the IPCC from 1997-2002, said that all the errors exposed so far in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem. For me, both prof. Watson and the London Times are respectable sources of information. Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026932.ece

    Here is what he said about the errors in the IPCC report, and about the sceptics:
    “The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact. That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened.”
    He said that the IPCC should employ graduate science students to check the sources of each claim made in its next report, due in 2013. “Graduate students would love to be involved and they could really dig into the references and see if they really do support what is being said.”
    He said that the next report should acknowledge that some scientists believed the planet was warming at a much slower rate than has been claimed by the majority of scientists.
    “We should always be challenged by sceptics,” he said. “The IPCC’s job is to weigh up the evidence. If it can’t be dismissed, it should be included in the report. Point out it’s in the minority and, if you can’t say why it’s wrong, just say it’s a different view.”

    It seems to me that such an attitude will be more helpful to restore public support for climate measures than calling anyone who formulates a critical remark or question a ‘crank’.

    [Response: The demonstrated existence of cranks does not imply that anyone who asks a question is a crank. Why did you conclude that I said otherwise? - gavin]

    Comment by wilt — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:10 AM

  84. Gavin #17

    Why do you continue to claim that global temperature is a physical rather than a statistical concept?

    Why do you continue to denigrate the work of statistical analysts even though Wegman brought this to our attention 10 years ago?

    “Better to have them inside -issing out than outside -issing in”

    john peter

    [Response: What are you talking about? - gavin]

    Comment by John Peter — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:12 AM

  85. Response to Gavin’s response in #31 “but what do I know?”. The answer seems to be less than you think.

    Comment by Leonard Weinstein — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:19 AM

  86. There needs to be a general expose’ of the British press, focusing on science reporting but not necessary limited to science. Most Americans just assume the Times of London is the British equivalent of the NYT or Wash Post. These two articles are a start:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201001/british-newspapers-make-things

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-vine/why-the-british-press-so-sloppy-climate-issues

    Comment by Mike — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  87. Possibly pompous, patronizing, pontificating climate scientists who dwell in ivory towers sre now finding the boot is, if not on the other foot, migrating in that direction, Comments such as this

    “But the GW hoaxers were generally derided, or used as punchlines for jokes. This is not because they didn’t exist and weren’t continually making baseless accusations against scientists (they did and they were), but rather that their claims were self-evidently ridiculous and therefore not worth airing”.

    Whose opinion is it that these claims were self evidently ridiculous etc’?

    Yours? Why are they “self-evidently ridiculous”? Because you say they are?

    With any luck Gavin, sooner or later, you are going to have to defend your position in the MSM. Your colleague Prof Jones, who is not making a very good attempt at this, may give you some pointers because you are sure going to need them. I don’t expect this is likely to hit the screen but maybe you’ll give it a bit of thought.

    [Response: The idea that thousands of scientists have conspired over decades, roping in all the National Academies and the relevant societies, to impose their vegetarian/socialist/eco-fascist dystopia on the world is self-evidently ridiculous. If you disagree, I think the prospect for any dialog between us is dim. - gavin]

    Comment by Ian — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  88. Having read this article as well as recent postings in Bishop Hill, CA, Climate Depot, DeSmogBlog, Deep Climate, WUWT and others I forget, the main difference I find is the color of your hats. Fortunately there are scientists out there on both sides of the divide who keep ploughing at it without making much splash.

    Comment by Charly Cadou — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:31 AM

  89. I doubt any journalism school teaches that ‘doing their job’ involves making up quotes, misrepresentating scientists and presenting innuendo as fact. But what do I know? – gavin

    I’m sorry, but I think this is a rare example of our genial host being factually incorrect, especially as regards innuendo… :)

    James Allan says:
    The UK print media is a national embarrassment. It comes as no surprise that they’re at the vanguard of this particular fiasco. The worst part is that none of these papers or reported will get any kind of comeuppance for their sloppiness after this dies down (the toothless PCC seems only capable of issuing wrist-slaps). They’ll just shrug their shoulders and move onto the Next Big Thing to focus their quixotic brand of non-journalism on.

    Spot on. Just take the MMR-autism fiasco – after years of the media hyping Wakefield’s research despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that it was baseless, the Lancet has finally withdrawn the paper and Wakefield was recently censured by the General Medical Council for breach of ethics. Any hints of apology from the relevant sections of the media for the drop in vaccination and resultant rise in measles cases? Not a murmur. Not to mention OfCom’s ridiculous ruling that The Great Global Warming Swindle wasn’t required to be factually accurate because it wasn’t a documentary.

    Sadly, I think the only way to improve the accuracy of the media’s reporting of all kinds of scientific topics is if scientists who get misrepresented start following celebrities’ examples and sue for libel. But I doubt that’s the kind of thing many scientists will have the time or money for…

    Bob Ward says:
    In addition, the UK research community has generally made a pretty feeble response, with many researchers deciding to keep their heads down in the hope that they won’t be targetted by the bloggers. In my view, the biggest scandal has been the lack of leadership within the UK research community in response to the ongoing controversies.

    Agreed, though you are an honourable exception to this. I read that a PR professor says he’s going to teach UK scientists’ response to this episode in his class as an example of how not to do it. Recent poorly worded quotes from Bob Watson haven’t helped matters (and John Beddington, though his were probably taken out of context).

    Comment by cer — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:34 AM

  90. Richard Pauli says

    “Any conglomerate-owned mass media outlet seeks comfortable news stories”

    To quote a well known liberal: On which planet do you spend most of your time!

    Think SENSATIONAL.

    Comment by skeptic — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  91. Denialists have failed to learn the lessons of history.

    What they’re doing to global warming is no different from what they did to tobacco — even some of the cast of characters is the same. It worked for a while, but how do tobacco companies fare today? Joe sixpack is not just willing, but eager to approve record-setting punitive legal settlements against them. Their advocates, like Seitz and Singer, escaped public wrath because of their relative obscurity. No more; Monckton and his cadre will suffer mightily at the hands of a very fickle and very angry public.

    When global warming becomes so obvious that Joe sixpack can no longer deny it — which will happen before this decade is out — the backlash will be ugly. I hope it doesn’t reach the heights of abusiveness that struck the nobility class after the French revolution — but I wouldn’t bet on it. Even pacifists like myself will probably be unable to stem the thirst for revenge.

    My advice to Monckton: prepare to flee the pitchfork-and-torch-carrying mob.

    Comment by tamino — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  92. @Boris
    >Isn’t the phrase “received wisdom” meant as ridicule?

    I certainly did not mean to ridicule. I double checked, and it a neutral term.

    And your own column is contradictory:

    “Nothing has changed in our understanding of the seriousness of the problem.”

    versus

    “The CRU may have had us fooled for a while.”

    There is no contradiction in this at all. The CRU had a large number of people fooled into believing that they are impartial, quality researchers, while they are in fact quite sloppy and convinced that climate change is dangerous (an opinion that is far removed from their expertise). That does not change the literature on climate change.

    [Response: You are entitled to your opinion of the CRU scientists, but you are completely wrong in your assessment. They did not 'fool' anyone, and they are some of the most conscientious and careful scientists around. I have had strong discussions and disagreements with many of them over many years and have found them nothing but honest, scrupulous and sceptical. I have never detected any sign that their work has been affected by any political considerations at all. Your desire to defame other people, based on I know not what, does you no credit whatsoever. Instead, it simply adds to the poisonous personalized atmosphere in the debate that is the largest stumbling block to actual discussions of science and solutions. - gavin]

    Comment by Richard Tol — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:41 AM

  93. Richard Tol,

    Those who offer ridiculous comments (along the lines of yelling “fraud!”, “hoax!”) deserve to be ridiculed or ignored. The latter is unfortunately not possible anymore because the mainstream press (at least in the UK< but also de Telegraaf in Holland for example) gives them a huge platform.

    Of course there is also constructive criticism (though as Gavin said, much of that is drowned out by the nonsense, or packaged in an offensive way so as get the scientists’ defenses up).

    The challenge for scientists (or everyone, for that matter) is to separate the wheat from the chaff in all the noise being made. You could help by calling out nonsense for what it is, and highlighting the constructive criticism. If you do too little of the former, chances are that efforts at the latter are not as easily accepted. Especially in the current climate, where scientists are pushed into the defense. We're only human after all.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:43 AM

  94. So, what has the GW community learned from this? Perhaps that talking down to their scientific inferiors as if they were village idiots does little to help sell your message. Or that pushing the end of human civilization as a given outcome wins few converts. The GW debate was hijacked by elites who live in exclusive mansions and own private aircraft but advocate living in caves for the rest of us – it is only natural that there be a rebellion from the other side.

    [Response: None of those things are true. Read the IPCC reports and point me to one such statement. Instead, you are guilty of making up strawman debating points to push back against. I can't argue that this isn't a useful political tactic but don't confuse it with the truth. - gavin]

    priceless. absolutely priceless.

    Comment by skeptic — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:50 AM

  95. Why is it expected that the path of the climate change issue, an issue completely analogous to those listed below, should be any different from the trajectories that these have followed? I think each of these can be correctly characterized to be science-based, quite possibly to the consensus level. Many have even progressed to the stage of viable implementation by means of practical engineering studies.
    1. Nuclear irradiation of all organic food would save lives and at the same time reduce the resources needed to produce foodstuffs by the significant reduction in food wastes. With a bonus of needing less hydrocarbon-based supplements for crop production.
    2. Nuclear power is at present the best alternative fuel source to fossil fueled base-loaded electricity production.
    3. Genetically modified food crops have the same benefits as listed in 1 above.
    4. Use of biomass crops to reduce consumption of oil for transportation has very significant adverse impacts on the environment and more importantly on human populations through higher costs for food necessary for health and safety.
    5. The proper use of DDT can very significantly reduce unnecessary deaths in less-developed countries.
    6. Development of lesser-developed countries through easy access to abundant electricity will very significantly reduce unnecessary deaths while at the same time reduce unnecessary use and destruction of natural resources.
    7. Low levels of EMR from electricity power lines are harmless.
    8. High-level radioactive by-products from electricity production can be safely stored for later retrieval and utilization. These same by-products can also be utilized for electricity production in the form of MOX fuel. Re-processing of spent nuclear fuel can be accomplished without adverse consequences. And, finally, breeder reactors can produce additional nuclear fuel at the same time they produce electricity.

    And others.

    Plus, what Richard Tol said at #30. Simple, complete, declarative sentences, providing direct response to questions, and completely devoid of any references to unnecessary perpendicular (much more than tangental) labeling, presumptive motives, PR campaigns by Big Anything, in-the-pay-of Big Anything, and a host of other very destructive distractions. These are plainly evident here, even in this post, and are characteristics of the ‘dialogue’ at several climate-change blogs.

    Comment by Dan Hughes — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:50 AM

  96. Gavin’s response #83

    My remark about calling opponents in the scientific debate cranks was not directed against you personally, but against a general attitude of disrespect that I often observe when people are replying at this blog (or some other blogs that strongly defend AGW). Two recent examples: Guest at #63 used the word “brainless” and again Guest at #65 used “cranks”. I am pretty sure that similar qualifications would not pass moderation if they came from someone who has doubts about several claims relating to AGW.

    Apart from this: I think the most important part of my post were the citations from Robert Watson.

    Comment by wilt — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:55 AM

  97. The “problem” is that the reporting has revealed the substantive flaws in the IPCC’s processes and in the data they use.

    The scandal, and it is absolutely a scandal, has been under-reported in the US mainstream media.

    The problem for AGW proponents ISN’T that people don’t understand the science. The problem is that now too many people do.

    [Response: You are simply projecting your wishes on the public. Public understanding of the problem is onion-skin deep and I guarantee that understanding has decreased in the last few months. - gavin]

    Comment by tom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:59 AM

  98. I hope the current UK media feeding frenzy is temporary and will subside once the CRU investigation is over and maybe we get some headlines generated by genuine climate-related events (Artic Sea ice this summer?). If I were being pessimistic and thought that some UK-based organisation had been pulling some strings I would single out the Global Warming Policy Foundation – a sham organization that claims only to campaign on policy responses to climate change but mostly devotes itself to denying the science. They have only been going since November and seem to be well-funded and highly effective. They aren’t going to go away and may yet become accepted into the political mainstream. If that happens it is going to become hard to persuade the public that they only represent crank science.

    Comment by Paul A — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:09 AM

  99. Good concept, but perhaps a larger window allows better discussion. I am a concerned sceptic and I think the current scientific view is shortsighted with regard to how long the science will take to ‘settle’(or almost)
    Most of us accept some warming and a rising C02 but simply question to what degree it is cause and effect and of course that makes one hugely anxious about the plans for mitigation when there are so many other global issues obviously causing excess morbidity and mortality.
    I have to say my experience of academics is that they are commonly guilty of this and for that reason I hope Gavin allows some of the non academic sceptics to be involved in your discussions however tedious it may be to help revisit some issues.
    One thing is certain the good science will prevail. The bad science and there is plenty of it in peer review literature will not(maybe climate science is different). So I dont understand the fear of this clamour. More and better science may well be the result
    I do believe as Im sure you do equally poor reporting of the warming scenarios has not helped anyone and the interaction between academics mainstream media, politicians and bodies like the IPCC is confusing the public.

    Comment by PKerr — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:16 AM

  100. I’ve seen no mention of the latest from “Old Reliable” John Christy:

    World may not be warming, say scientists
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026317.ece

    [edit]

    [Response: But you should be smart enough to know that this headline is crap. Even Christy's data shows warming. As does the ocean heat content, and the shift in the onset of spring, as does the worldwide retreat of mountain glaciers. Yet you think this nonsense article is worth discussing? Really? - gavin]

    Comment by Walt Bennett — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:18 AM

  101. Some of these comments are simply stunning. Global warming is losing advocates because of the snow? People have a hard time believing in global warming because it’s so cold outside?

    Come to Montana, folks. Missoula, Montana, which should have significant snow-cover has none. The rest of the state is only slightly better. None of the areas in the state has over 80% of average snow cover. And that is AFTER a record-wet February.

    So which means more, the snows in the East or the snows in the West? How about looking at it globally. Novel concept!

    Comment by Steve E — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:26 AM

  102. This is an interesting post by David Hone of Shell:

    http://blogs.shell.com/climatechange/2010/02/we-all-love-technology-but-not-so-sure-about-science/

    “….Technology such as the iPad is built on the back of fundamental scientific research in many fields, from theoretical physics to materials science – even particle mechanics and other esoteric sciences creep into the picture. Years of research in universities, private laboratories and government agencies, leading to literally thousands of scientific papers have led the way to the products that we speculate about, eagerly await announcements of and then buy in the million.

    But somewhere along the line we seem to have lost our appetite for science, in fact some even look on it with disdain. In developed countries, far less students today engage in science or science based subjects in schools and universities than twenty or thirty years ago. Yet those same people crave the products that a science based education system can ultimately deliver.

    On a newscast I was watching last week an excited correspondent was telling us about the iPad. Not two minutes later the same person was salivating at the prospect of “the whole global warming story collapsing like a house of cards because of the bogus science”. But the approach to this science is no different to that behind the iPad, the scientists no less diligent, the papers they produce no less reviewed, yet because we either don’t want to know about or can’t accept the findings we choose to attack the science and the scientists – not with any intellectual rigour or scientific discipline, but with slander and sometimes even abuse. I doubt the correspondent had even the remotest idea as to the years of research in atmospheric chemistry that have led to the concern about the rising levels of carbon dioxide or the detailed measurements done in laboratories for the past century on the behaviour of carbon dioxide and infra red radiation. But he loved the iPad!!…”

    Pretty much sums it up: science is great when it produces things that folk like; science is the most evil thing on Earth bwhen it produces things that folk don’t like!

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:27 AM

  103. You correctly wonder where climate scientists have exaggerated the impact of climate science in the past. Now you sense that this exaggeration is the core of the problem of climate science. While in the past -when the media was asking few questions and repeated what was said to be “settled science”- the media support came as welcome amplifier of the alarmist messages, for the good cause, you know, this train has actually derailed now.

    Have a look at the Copenhagen Diagnosis, written up by 26 cliamte scientists. http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/

    The front cover sets the scene, even without any further digging into the content: We see a tree in Dead Vlei in Namibia (top left), our beautiful planet from space with Asia taking up the majority of the image (top center), the end of a glacier (top right), and a stormy sea under a dark grey sky. This is alarmist style. This could also be the cover for a brochure from Greenpeace or the WWF.

    Then take a look at page 9, the Executive Summary. Every item is written up in an alarmist style, trying to convince the reader that something needs to be done, that any “delay” will cause further harm to the planet. And so it goes on and on and on, alarmist box, alarmist photo, alarmist graph, no end in sight.

    And now journalists discover that there has been an alarmist tendency (by some!), and that the real story is about the cost for the average Joe and the lifestyle changes required. What is a degree or two against having to give up your SUV? Not being able to pay the energy for your home? Not being able to go on vacation?

    And it turns out that even the alarmist community seems to show cracks in the wall, with Prof. Jones answering questions in ways that can be mis-interpreted (and easily so) by journos.

    And you wonder why the tide is turning?

    [Response: You are confusing alarming with alarmist. And I note that your entire argument is based on your perception of the presentation, and not any actual statement of fact. - gavin]

    Comment by A. Reader — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:28 AM

  104. tom, (#97)
    The hypothesis that contemporary journalists could find a bona fide flaw in a scientific process is laughable. The function of the media in this era of Rupert Murdoch is to whomp up controversy by any means necessary to sell advertizing.

    The “news” provides great comfort to mentally lazy and self-involved who are too invested in the rightness of their lives to ever think about the nature of life today and the impact of their actions.

    The rhetoric reminds me of the level of argument amongst 10 year-olds at recess, rife with the defensiveness of children uncertain of their self-worth.

    Comment by bo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:29 AM

  105. My opinion: Stupid as it is, all it will take to shift things back, in the US, will be “breaking the record” on annual global temperatures. (Well, that or another Dust Bowl.)

    Doesn’t matter that a single year is essentially irrelevant, doesn’t matter that the difference among the top N years is not statistically significant, we’re Americans, we’re culturally trained to pay attention to #1. That GISS found 2009 to be the 2nd hottest year in the instrumental record was completely ignored by the popular press. (Who is America’s favorite Olympic silver medalist? As if.) But if your modest prediction for 2010 comes true, most Americans will simply absorb that “we set a new record”. Sure, the usual guano-brains will accuse NASA GISS staff of stacking the deck (apparently incompetently, because they haven’t managed to engineer a new record since 2005), but that just won’t matter if its a new record.

    Comment by Christopher Hogan — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:34 AM

  106. Gavin: You misrepresent my views on this subject, and what you say about the issue of coverage in the United States demonstrates a breathtaking naiveté of the role of the press, and how public opinion forms.

    You twist the body of my work to suggest that I (and Curtis Brainard too) are calling for sensationalist U.K.-style coverage of the issues, while ignoring so much of what I’ve written about them in recent weeks. Yes, I have called for the U.S. press to pay more attention to the issues — because right now what’s being said in the British press and by the nattering nabobs of negativity on U.S. television are the only things Americans are hearing on the issues. Are you suggesting that we ignore it all and simply let it stand? As a result of the absence of responsible coverage of the issues here, public opinion is probably swinging far away from where you would like it to be.

    When the U.S. press does weigh in, it seems to screw up the story. And here again, you ignore the context of my comments. In my post about John Broder’s embarrassment of a story on page one of the New York Times the other day, for example, I took the former newspaper of record to task for publishing something that is the quintessence of false balance — merely because it made for a provocative front-page piece.

    So Gavin, please tell me: Why do you cherry pick what I say?

    Whether you like it or not, our job as reporters is to report the news. And right now, whether we all like it or not, the political controversy is the news. Unfortunately, politics is masquerading as science in coverage, and what I’m calling for is for journalists to start disentangling the two to get at some semblance of the truth. Readers currently are missing responsible coverage of the issue right now. That is what I’m calling for.

    [Response: I think you are overreacting here. I have no problem with your body of work and appreciate the articles you've put up on problems with the NYT's recent coverage. But both your and Curtis's contention that the US MSM is somehow missing some huge story about the IPCC is off the mark. That is my only point of contention with your recent statements. I may be a scientist, but I am not 'breathtakingly naive' about US journalism. I too would love to see some more responsible coverage and I explicitly state that above. This is not what is happening in the UK, and to date, the US reflection of that has not distinguished itself either. I would hope that we could agree on what is required. - gavin]

    Comment by Tom Yulsman — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:49 AM

  107. [Response: Where have any scientists on this site, or any of the people being targeted, condoned or encouraged overstatement? Show me an actual quote (and not one that was just made up). - gavin

    Sure, you just sat back and let Al Gore et al do it for you with a smug ends justifies the means attitude, all the while endorsing his movie.

    [Response: We critiqued the movie at the time, and found it to be a very good summary of the science with a few things that we would have done differently. No-one has endorsed an ends-justifies-the-means strategy. - gavin]

    Comment by joe — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:58 AM

  108. Gavin, In light of current world wide warming reports, I find this ongoing UK “researchers confession” media debate frenzy a farce. A ploy, a nullification effect of what should be rather a slate of news events confirming the good works done by now the same assailed scientists. Winter Olympics without winter should be more a news story than it is. Goes to show that the media can literally manufacture stories designed for one media mogul owner or another. To counter this , it would seem obvious to bring out the facts. If its been cooling “since 98″ , why are we getting temperatures as warm as or warmer than 98 (upper air of January 2010)? The contrarian media build “house cards” easily blown away, RC needs to be windier, with satire ridiculizing propaganda from climate knowledge defficient pundits. RC use to show warming reports more often, dont be caught up in only exposing garbage without divulging true climate news stories, at present , severely unrepresented.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:58 AM

  109. Regarding the reference to the number of climate deniers in comment threads (#3, etc):

    We do not know whether anonymous comments are genuine – indeed any comments. It is suspected, and plausible that organized denialist campaigns are targeting major comment sections. We should suspect every big newspaper and news outlet, every major blog to be monitored and targeted with opinion shapers – of course, this is possible on either side of the issue. But given the know budgets of Exxon in influencing PR, it is a plausible supposition. Not easy to reveal.

    Comment by Richard Pauli — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:01 AM

  110. To John Mason and tom, (#97)
    Science produces nothing! The developers of iPods, iPads, and iEverything don’t use and don’t even know “particle mechanics” and other esoteric sciences. General knowledge is sufficient to advance technology and nobody does or can theoretically model and computationally simulate performance of a transistor. So stop these nonsense statements that “sciences creep into the picture”. The knowledge base for all electronics gadgets invented so far was developed by hand full of scientists. All the rest thousands are just pretending and flooding the journals with your insignificant ideas in order to get tenure. And the most successful of those thousands of pretenders get opportunity to further deceiving layman by exaggerating their achievements and predicting inevitable catastrophes. That is for getting the topping on the tenure cake – having meeting with Bono on his yacht, taking a private plane ride to talk to Gates and have dinner with the “royal” couple. In the mean time, you, untalented pretenders, try to screw us, real scientists by denying our tenure, preventing from publications and “judging” unfavorably our proposals to the finding agencies for the lacking “greater impact”.

    [Response: Tell us how you really feel. - gavin]

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  111. RE: Post 9 windansea: The Texas appeal to the D.C. Circuit says little more than “we appeal,” which is about all it is required to say at this stage; the Virginia and other challenges likely will join together in the appeal.

    The Texas petition for reconsideration to the EPA sets forth the apparent Texas argument to date, and may be viewed here: http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/Petition_for_Reconsideration_of_Endangerment_Cause.pdf The piece isn’t a paragon of administrative appeal, and it probably would be a surprise if it goes anywhere. Frankly, it reminds me of former Texas Attorney General, later governor, Mark White’s claim that “I’m gonna sue the state of Montana” over the coal slurry pipeline matter. More a PR/political statement than jurisprudence, but it gave a talking point in White’s campaign for governor. The Texas attack on the EPA’s GG endangerment rule relies on EPA’s alleged reliance on the IPCC to support the endangerment rule (“THE IPCC’s MANIPULATION OF ITS CLIMATE CHANGE DATA” . . . In one notable email, a CRU staff member discuss a “trick” to “hide the decline” in CRU temperature data sets from 1981-2O0O. . . .”) Oddly, the statements about Texas’s low-carbon energy initiatives would appear to diminish the allegation of harm from the endangerment rule. The petition appears to be as good a summary of blogosphere denial propaganda as one is likely to find.

    Departing from windansea’s comment to general aside, much is said stateside about the cold winter’s rebuttal to GW, let alone AGW, but little is said about the summer heat in Rio de Janeiro, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hNQaqAMnwvIsEmuWYAZG1aDYtHZw , and Australia. The today’s-weather-is-climate crowd might get their chance to reconsider this summer, but will they change directions if the US summer approaches Rio’s? I’d expect a ‘well, the winter was climate, but the summer is just weather’ sort of din.

    Comment by ghost — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  112. @Christopher Hogan:
    Possibly no need to invoke GISS. Both satellite records (nicely promoted by Watts and company in their highly flawed attack on GISTEMP) are running mightily hot these last few months. UAH even hotter than RSS!

    Comment by Marco — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  113. When I was younger, my brother-in-law would adamantly deny that there was any scientific evidence for a smoking/lung cancer link. He was a chain smoker addicted to nicotine. His lifestyle was intricately linked to smoking. In spite of his denial of a smoking/lung cancer link, he died of lung cancer at a relatively young age. Unfortunately my sister was a casualty of his smoking as well.

    The lifestyle of most Americans and those of other developed nations is based upon burning large quantities of fossil fuels. Also, the incomes of many industries are based upon selling fossil fuels. People whose lifestyle is based upon burning large quantities of fossil fuels may prefer to believe that climate science is a hoax.

    As I remember it, scientists and the science associated with smoking/lung cancer were aggressively attacked during the 1960s-1980s period. The science of global warming is just as solid as the smoking/lung cancer science even if some people prefer it to be otherwise

    Comment by Roger Blanchard — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:09 AM

  114. One thing I keep hearing from people saying that this AGW mitigation stuff is worthless is that “the elephant in the room” is the population.

    All the time, this turns up from some member of the public.

    But Utah has passed a resolution that climate change is wrong and part of the report of proceedings was:

    “In the heat of the debate, the representative Mike Noel said environmentalists were part of a vast conspiracy to destroy the American way of life and control world population through forced sterilisation and abortion.”

    Would that not be what so many “elephanters” are saying should be done?

    Don’t the rightwing often go on about young girls getting pregnant to get government handouts and that this is why $MY_COUNTRY is overpopulated and in debt?

    Yet the same rightwingnuts proceed to pass off the sterilisation of populations as a leftwing conspiracy.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  115. Gavin, you sound like a man whose sore was touched. Sorry for that.

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:14 AM

  116. #78 Gail took the words right out of my mouth.

    The ice is speaking, the oceans are speaking, the reefs are speaking, the birds, frogs, trees, insects, etc. all are speaking. It is a shame that their voices are going unheard outside the journals.

    I implore you all to read Mooney & Kirshenbaum’s Unscientific America if you wish to understand why there is such a disconnect between the science and the public here in America.

    In America, isn’t it sad that the following conversation routinely takes place:

    “What? I cannot do math, LOL, I barely know how to add 2 + 2.”

    Everybody in the room nods their heads and laughs along.

    Can you imagine the next conversation ever happening:

    “What? I cannot read or write, LOL, I can barely spell my own name!”

    I assure you that few would publicly admit this and nobody else in that room would be laughing.

    Why is math/science illiteracy OK?

    To drive my point home:

    My Earth & Space Sciences faculty have been in a two year battle trying to raise the mathematics pre-requisite for our non-majors lab science elective courses from 7th grade algebra to 10th grade high school algebra. Strangely enough, the biology faculty at my campus oppose such a standard and the science faculty at the two other campuses do also. If our science faculty oppose a minimum math proficiency at the high school level, is it any wonder that our press cannot get the science correct much of the time?

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:26 AM

  117. Good news fellas! Utah has democratically decided there is no global warming problem:

    http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillamd/hjr012.htm

    Comment by Dick Veldkamp — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  118. “5
    elliot says:
    16 February 2010 at 11:47 PM

    While it may be a media frenzy there is certainly plenty of fuel for the fire. It started with leaked (no evidence they were stolen) ”

    The experts in intrusion beg to differ:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/series/climate-wars-hacked-emails

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  119. I keep wondering: how in the world the scientists with 60+ peer reviewed publications keep presenting temperature measurement data without error bars? When I was a student at my elite physics school we had as much discussion of the measurement errors as the data interpretation. In the not so elite place I work now the physics major students are actually taught about errors and only few of them put error bars on the data graphs. What’s up with the climate researchers? Do you know the concept of the measurement error? If you do, how come you don’t use it?

    [Response: Do you know the concept of reading the references? Or the related concept of looking at the figures? How come you don't use it? - gavin]

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  120. “15
    Bulldust says:
    17 February 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Is there some reason you refer to the CRU email incident as a hack? ”

    Yes.

    Because it was a hack. And rather more one than Sarah Palin’s “hack” on her email account that many RWNJ’s complained long and bitterly and proclaimed an unconscionable and illegal computer hacking case.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:33 AM

  121. RE: 5 elliot says: 16 February 2010 at 11:47 PM
    “Dont make cataclysmic predictions the world will not end because of AGW and life (including human life) will go on. It just might be a bit warmer and for where I live that would be a good thing!”

    Elliot should try to think outside the box he lives in.

    Where we own property in Central Texas I’ve lived through three summers and more of “exceptional drought,” the worst it gets, and whole summer months of temperatures over 100º and almost no rain at all. I’ve very well seen that just the beginning of a barely discernable warming trend has had cataclysmic effects, whether the drought is merely coincident or not.

    By effects I mean the base of the food chain being wiped out.

    Flowering plants wilt and die. Thereby insects that depend on host plants don’t survive. Thereby birds and mammals depending on seeds and insects migrate away or die off.
    Hummingbirds become totally dependent on their human feeders then only to migrate on. Old oak and cedar elm trees dependent on certain levels of rainfall suddenly wilt and die. Creeks and rivers dry up so aquatic life dies out. The aquifers aren’t recharged so springs and seeps dry up and wells silt up and then go dry as well.

    With the grass short and sparse and brown the cattle industry goes belly up. With no rain the corn and cotton fields wilt away if they get started at all. In the cities, as the reservoirs dry up drought stage alerts make for water rationing. The heat makes summertime electric bills skyrocket and the poor suffer even more for that.

    Since the movement of the subtropical zone northward is forecast to be a consequence of global warming these tastes of drought are indicators of what’s to come, if it hasn’t already started. The whole American Southwest is subject to this, and it’s not just there.

    Believe me, desertification is a serious matter. The predictions of impending catastrophe need to be made loud and clear.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:33 AM

  122. “20
    james allison says:
    17 February 2010 at 1:05 AM
    What do you think has gone wrong for the advocates of AGW?”

    Nothing.

    What’s gone wrong with your friends intelligence?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:36 AM

  123. The point made several times here, that this is at least partly a result of recent weather conditions in the UK and US, is I think the most relevant one. That and the global temperature. The UK print media will get excited about global warming again when we next get a hot summer like 2003 or 2006.

    It is very difficult to worry about runaway warming when the weather outside is unusually cold, regardless of of what the global temperature anomaly might be. Quite why scepticism seems to rife in Australia is a bit off a mystery considering its recent weather record, but maybe that’s the exception that proves the rule.

    Comment by Tim S — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  124. I’m horrified at what’s happening; I also wonder if the people doing all this have any real idea of the knock-on effects for undermining evidence-based thinking and science more generally?

    I’m wondering if, as summer approaches, we should all be getting out to town centres to try and get the simple elements of the science across? It wouldn’t take very much at all to equip people with the tools to be able to tell nonsense from sense in this debate. There needs to be an education drive. I’d be happy to get stuck into that, but I’m wondering how such a drive might get momentum behind it? Some kind of website with template experiments and presentations? E.g. “Is summer coming or is it just hotter this week? Intro to trends” would help anyone faced with that insulting Daily Mail headline realise what nonsense it was.

    Comment by Dan Olner — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  125. “42
    Michael says:
    17 February 2010 at 2:56 AM
    It was (and is) not uncommon that the media reports all sorts of nonsense “in favor” of climate change (like an increase in kidney stones, increase in bear prices, increase in shark attacks).”

    However, that is only ever in the headlines THEY produce.

    If you ever read the content of such, if it ever had a climatologist quote and that quote was verbatim, then such nonsense was NEVER seen.

    It was only seen by the media sexing up the story (cf “barbecue summer”: marketing must have said that because I remember going to the Met Office forecast site and it didn’t mention that, just “it’ll be dryer than last year”).

    However, in this case, the media are either misquoting (recent Daily Mail) or making up (Latif and The Times) the climate scientists to make it look like a scam, or quoting directly from the ditto figureheads who specifically state such nonsense.

    So in the (very few) instances of pro-AGW nonsense, it’s been the media.

    In the (very many) instances of anti-AGW nonsense, it’s been the anti-AGW crowd themselves.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:45 AM

  126. Gavin, this crystal from your answer in 87 is useful for those of us who
    are surrounded by questioners who think that GW is a hoax: “The idea
    that thousands of scientists have conspired over decades, roping in all
    the National Academies and the relevant societies, to impose their
    vegetarian/socialist/eco-fascist dystopia on the world is self-evidently
    ridiculous.” Ha! Great compression of thought. As someone surrounded
    here in Virginia by questioners who think that GW is a hoax, I can use
    it. And that’s why it’s also important to note an answer to your own
    question in 83, where you wrote, “The demonstrated existence of cranks
    does not imply that anyone who asks a question is a crank. Why did you
    conclude that I said otherwise?” Why indeed. Before I had even reached
    that comment, and because of the questioners surrounding me here who
    think that GW is a hoax, I had already made a note of what you had said
    in your answer in 15. There you wrote: “Someone who thinks that GW is a
    hoax is a crank.” The problem is that they’re not always cranks. And as
    I know you know too, the problem out here is worsened when such
    questioners — whether or not you and I believe they have questioned
    sharply, sensibly, and well — perceive themselves being disdained.

    Comment by Steven T. Corneliussen — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:45 AM

  127. gavin #84

    “[Response: Somebody else who thinks that statistics triumphs over physics. Or in other words, someone who thinks that the planet has to respond in some neat statistical way to a forcing. It doesn't. Since this appears to be a working paper, I would advise that they do some more work - for instance with the AR4 archive to demonstrate that their methodology is able to distinguish causes in much simpler (though realistic) cases. - gavin]”

    As far as I know, global temperature can can only be calculated using a particular statistically “correct” formula. It is not measured directly like most physical objects, rather a statistical selection of proxy measurements are used as inputs for the formulae.

    OTOH, Joe six-pack uses his personal insight on weather and some local thermometer readings and so finds your process arcane at best. Perhaps this is most of your difficulties with them and, by extension – with the MSM.

    As far as my speculation regarding -issing is concerned. from Wikipedia updates to the hockey stick controversy:

    Wegman (a statistician) reported on the 2001 hockey stick controversy.
    “…(Mann) has further suggested that the criticisms directed at his statistical methodology are purely political and add nothing new to the scientific debate.”

    It is noted that there is no evidence that Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

    Gavin, you do some excellent work. I wouldn’t try to post here if I didn’t believe that.

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:45 AM

  128. “That the skiing resorts have no snow because of the climate change (I am Austrian, that was a constant theme)”

    PS that’s true: the STORY (rather than your reappraisal ^W revision) was that they’d have less and less snow because of GW.

    This is true.

    Any one year, isn’t attributed to GW, but several bad years are.

    Trend. Climate. Not weather.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:47 AM

  129. “45
    Roger says:
    17 February 2010 at 3:15 AM
    Please don’t tell me that I have no business in trying to understand something that only scientists can understand. ”

    Why not?

    You SHOULD be glad that people have no business trying to understand how to do keyhole surgery on human hearts which only surgeons can understand.

    What hasn’t been told to you is that the AGW science is 100% made from stuff that only a scientist can understand.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  130. “52
    wilt says:
    17 February 2010 at 4:21 AM

    You have have missed this, but the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has recently concluded that Phil Jones’ CRU at the University of East Anglia broke the law with respect to the Freedom of Information Act. ”

    With respect to that comment, the ICO hasn’t said what law or how. Just said that it’s too late because of the statute of limitations.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:52 AM

  131. > Forget your rectitude, scientists, step up to the plate!

    Gail, that works only once. Our rectitude is our only weapon. Sigh.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 AM

  132. “61
    Tony O’Brien says:
    17 February 2010 at 5:37 AM

    So you should not be kicking us doomsayers. Explain why we are wrong, absolutely.”

    You’re wrong because you have nothing to replace the science that leads to AGW being a natural consequence of the natural world we’re naturally changing by burning fossil fuels at an unnatural rate.

    “Explain, that we are putting too much emphasis on the slow feedbacks.”

    What slow feedbacks?

    Have you even tried to find out what they are and whether they can combat the known natural effect of CO2?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:55 AM

  133. elliot wrote: “… It started with leaked (no evidence they were stolen) emails …”

    That is exactly the opposite of the facts. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the emails were “leaked”. There is evidence that they emails were stolen and the relevant law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident on that basis.

    elliot wrote: “… after all predictions were made that snow would reduce and now it is back in force.”

    That is exactly the opposite of the facts. Models predict that global warming will lead to more “extreme precipitation events”, including heavy snow storms during winter. And weather records show that in fact, the snowiest winters tend to be the warmer winters.

    You exemplify the arrogant, ignorant, gullible Ditto-Head who slavishly repeats whatever idiotic, ExxonMobil-scripted drivel is spoon-fed to him by the phony “right wing” media … and calls himself a “skeptic” for doing so.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:56 AM

  134. “2. Nuclear power is at present the best alternative fuel source to fossil fueled base-loaded electricity production.”

    Really?

    How long will the proven power stations last? The fuel they can manage won’t last 50 years. Taking 15 years to build…

    Of course you could try an unproven advanced design, but Russia tried that in Chernobyl. The engineers knew it was safer, but it got handed to another cheaper group to operate.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  135. Re: #100

    Gavin,

    No!

    I thought the point of this post was to show how much noise there still is, and in this case Christy has (or had) more “street cred” in the climate community.

    I don’t think any of this nonsense is worth discussing.

    [Response: Sorry! My misunderstanding. - gavin]

    Comment by Walt Bennett — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  136. “96
    wilt says:
    17 February 2010 at 8:55 AM

    Gavin’s response #83

    My remark about calling opponents in the scientific debate cranks was not directed against you personally, but against a general attitude of disrespect that I often observe ”

    from people like Pielke Jr and Monckton and Beck…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:08 AM

  137. Walt the “physicist” says: “…nobody does or can theoretically model and computationally simulate performance of a transistor.”

    See, Walt, that right there tells me you don’t know what you are talking about. Many of my colleagues make their living doing just that. Many other colleagues pay hundreds of thousands a year for software that does just what you are saying is impossible.

    I presume the “information” in the rest of your post is of similar quality.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  138. “107
    joe says:
    17 February 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Sure, you just sat back and let Al Gore et al do it for you with a smug ends justifies the means attitude, all the while endorsing his movie.”

    The judge presiding over the case against AIT endorsed it.

    The only changes were in respect of it being used as a primary teaching aid for children about the science. And the changes needed were along the lines of “the science does not yet predict that WAIS and Greenland will melt by 2050, but that it will eventually melt”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:14 AM

  139. Marco@112 I think it is a mistake to oversell satellite data during an El Nino or a La Nina year. The satellites seem to be even more affected by these phenomena than ground temps. Given the difficulties of turning satellite measurements into temperatures even under normal circumatances, I don’t attach much weight to them during off-normal periods.

    ATTENTION: SKEPTICS, ETC. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS DOWNPLAYING A MEASUREMENT THAT INDICATES ANOMALOUS WARMING. I just wanted to make sure that you do see that we do point out potential exaggerations on both sides.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:18 AM

  140. It’s a common problem that initial accusations get far more coverage than later findings that nothing wrong was done. The fundamental inequity here is that of building vs destroying. It is far easier to destroy something than to build it, whether you’re talking about a building, an organizations, or the case for something.

    In this case, the climate science community is building the case for AGW and a broader political movement is trying to build a case to do something about it.

    Those attacking it aren’t trying to build anything and it is far easier to destroy the case if you don’t need to build an alternative case. Given the scope of the case that is being built, and that in the end it has to go through the ridiculously dysfunctional US Congress, there will always be a weak link somewhere that they can find, tack the word ‘gate’ onto the end and call a scandal. No institution of this scope can ever be 100% free of errors. And when they are having trouble destroying the case, they break into a computer, steal thousands of emails, and publicize 10 or 20 that are years old that say something embarassing or nasty. If only we had emails between Wegman and the deniers. But of course, they aren’t in the public pay and so their correspondence isn’t subject to the FOI. More inequity in this debate.

    On top of all of this is a public (at least in the US) with plenty of other short-term concerns that is happy to be told that they really don’t have to have this additional worry.

    Proving the case is so much harder than destroying it that even if all the “messaging” pleas from supporters were followed, it’s hard to imagine success in this endeavor until the physical impacts are such that deniers become the joke, by which time we will be well past the tipping points.

    Comment by Dean — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:29 AM

  141. #110 Walt the Physicist:

    Gordon Bennett! (onetime popular UK expression of incredulity)

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:36 AM

  142. re81 Paul Gosling says:

    “”"”You have only got yourselves to blame (climate scientists). For the last decade we have been told of impending disaster.”"”"

    Try attacking the Department of Defense, please. I am expecting you to attack the agency that protects you, and I expect you to do do it soon too: DOD’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report.

    I expect a polite response to this post, too, sir.

    http://www.defense.gov/QDR/QDR%20as%20of%2026JAN10%200700.pdf

    The following are quotes from their 2010 document for more reference. They are in effect taking action on their own and spending tax payers’ money to “manage” the effects of climate change. In their words.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    “Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.” p. 84

    “Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments.” P. 84

    “Although the United States has significant capacity to adapt to climate change, it will pose challenges for civil society and DoD alike, particularly in light of the nation’s extensive coastal infrastructure.” p. 85

    “In 2008, the National Intelligence Council judged that more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.” p. 85

    “Climate change … will play significant roles in the future security environment.” P. xv

    “The Department is developing policies and plans to manage the effects of climate change on its operating environment, missions, and facilities.” P. XV

    “The QDR focused on four specific issues where reform is imperative:
    … climate change.” P. 7

    “Climate change will affect DoD in two broad ways. First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that we undertake. “ p. 84

    “The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters.” p. 84

    “Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.” P. 84

    “The opening of the Arctic waters in the decades ahead which will permit seasonal commerce and transit presents a unique opportunity to work collaboratively in multilateral forums to promote a balanced approach to improving human and environmental security
    in the region.” p. 86 (Again note the DOD uses the word “will” here instead of “could.”)

    “The Department is increasing its use of renewable energy supplies and reducing energy demand to …reduce greenhouse gas emissions…” p. 87

    http://www.defense.gov/QDR/QDR%20as%20of%2026JAN10%200700.pdf

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:41 AM

  143. I think the science/public interaction got off on the wrong foot by the emphasis on the historical record instead of the physics. I can understand the thinking: the process of warming is a long one caused by subtle forces that can be calculated but not felt. Unfortunately, the historical record is going to “wiggle” exactly because the forces involved are subtle and can only be calculated rather than felt. The “other forces” that the con-men claim scientists don’t consider step in and make themselves felt all too easily.

    The problem is much like the problem of living in California. We all know that California is prone to earthquakes, but since the threat is spread over a huge expanse of land the likelihood of you being affected by a quake over your lifetime is, in fact, extremely small. Same with wildfires or landslides. California has those all the time, but the odds are, even if you live smack up against the San Gabriel Mountains, you won’t be affected by either threat. And AGW is spread over hundreds of years. There’s no consequence to someone for being wrong, wrong-headed, or even malicious. Meanwhile, there’s cold to be warmed, heat to be cooled, distances to be driven, profits to be made, and elections to be won. We’re monkeys with SUVs not monks.

    I long ago came to the conclusion that we were going to experience the brunt of AGW in as full a measure as possible. I just hope that the full measure is at the low end of estimates.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:49 AM

  144. > Ray Ladbury
    > … it is a mistake to oversell satellite data during an El Nino or a La
    > Nina year. The satellites seem to be even more affected by these phenomena
    > than ground temps …

    Important point made at 17 February 2010 at 11:18 AM, worth propagating widely.
    The temptation is always there to cherrypick, and always worth flagging.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  145. You reap what you sow. During the past 15 years or so, the UK media sensationalized every extreme weather event by making sure that they included AGW as a possible cause for said weather. I may have missed it but I don’t recall the climate community being all upset about the media’s confusion between weather and climate when it was aiding in the tenfold increase in funding for climate research.

    [Response: Then you weren't paying attention. - gavin]

    Comment by Windy — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:54 AM

  146. Re:103 A. Reader says: 17 February 2010 at 9:28 AM
    “And you wonder why the tide is turning?”

    The tide turns twice a day.

    The collective mind is like the sea. When the winds blow
    waves arise with crests and troughs. What we’re seeing now
    is a media primed public trough, the pun intended.

    Indeed unkind waves tower over climate scientists. The turning
    tide piles up the bones of some’s mistakes and then carries them out to sea.

    In time the floating carcass of email & IPCC furies will be
    picked clean. The bones will sink into the abyss and the bottom
    feeders will feast awhile longer.

    Then winter storms become Spring and Summer storms and
    the news reflects a new kind of energy. Early storms,
    the floods, the tornadoes fulfill predictions of violent weather
    and alarm will come of sirens warning, warning, warning.

    In summer heat waves and drought ensue and we’ll wonder
    at waves of sweat and dust in dry winds.
    And the warning.

    And then Autumn hurricanes and wet winds and storm surge
    will be a new kind of tide and will we wonder as we ride
    our roofs into the sea if the tide has turned for the able
    scientist?

    And his warning?

    Warning.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:01 PM

  147. I apologize in advance for one more comment on the Texas petition for reconsideration to the EPA ( http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/Petition_for_Reconsideration_of_Endangerment_Cause.pdf ) (the immediate thrust appears to be to deter/delay new ground-level ozone initiatives by attacking the broader rule on which the initiatives would be based). The position Texas asserts apparently would forbid the EPA from using research or data from NASA, the Department of Energy, the Pentagon, and indeed any institution, governmental department, or resource outside of the EPA. For scientists this might evoke an image of a guy jousting with a windmill. The petition states in pertinent part:

    “And although the Administrator is legally required to undertake a scientific assessment before reaching a decision that is supposed to be based on scientific conclusions, the Administrator outsourced the actual scientific study, as well as her required review of the scientific literature necessary to make that assessment. In doing so, EPA relied primarily on the conclusions of outside organizations, particularly the
    United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”).”

    A plain reading leads to the conclusion that Texas would require the EPA to conduct the basic research internally. Elsewhere, the governor demands efficiency and financial austerity in Washington, which appears contradictory considering he is demanding here that the EPA do something requiring a multiplication of its budget. (Perhaps the implied message is to avoid the issue by requiring the EPA to re-start decades of research that the EPA could not fund if it wanted to.) It’s not hard to imagine the yelling that would ensue if the EPA sought to become as large, diverse, and capable as NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, the Pentagon, the IPCC, all of the world’s universities and research institutions working on climate issues, Superman, Batman, and Bicycle Repairman in order to comply with Texas’s demand. One imagines that the Texas position would switch if NASA supported it, but the EPA’s internal work (on which the state demands the rulemaking be based) contradicted it. They claim to be having a tea party in Texas, but it must be peyote tea.

    On the hogwash petition in general, it even has something for the Dutch: “Similarly, Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of climate reports that she relies upon to develop public policy. This decision was made shortly after it was learned that the IPCC had incorrectly reported that 55% of the Netherlands is under sea level; a claim which is simply not true.”

    The way this is worded sort of suggests that policymakers don’t know their own countries very well and must rely on someone beyond the borders to explain; for Texas state politicians, that would be “pot, meet kettle.”

    Comment by ghost — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 PM

  148. The UK press should pay more attention to science that affects their local region. Here’s something interesting along those lines:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216163339.htm
    Feb. 14 2010 Nature Geosciences:

    “This is the first extensive survey of one of these fjords that shows us how these warm waters circulate and how vigorous the circulation is,” says Straneo. “Changes in the large-scale ocean circulation of the North Atlantic are propagating to the glaciers very quickly — not in a matter of years, but a matter of months. It’s a very rapid communication.”

    Straneo adds that the study highlights how little is known about ocean-glacier interactions, which is a connection not currently included in climate models.

    To be fair to the British press, some sectors have had some pretty good reporting, try the Financial Times / Sam Knight piece on the Cumbria flooding, Feb 5 2010:

    It is hard to know what to make of last November’s floods in Cumbria. During the disaster, which cost one life, caused around £100m in damage, and flooded 1,500 homes – 885 of them in Cockermouth – public officials were quick to emphasise its extreme rarity…

    ….And yet, at the same time, for all their drama, the floods should not have come as much of a surprise. Twenty years ago, Britain’s first climate change predictions told us we should prepare for drier summers and wetter winters, with more intense rainfall and flooding the likely consequences. While climate change does not create disasters out of nothing, Paul Davies, the chief forecaster at the Flood Forecasting Centre, told me that the Cumbrian floods were “entirely consistent with the climate change predictions for the UK”. Warmer temperatures allow the atmosphere to hold more water vapour – 6 per cent more for every 1°C increase – and give it more energy, amplifying existing weather patterns.

    That’s more accurate than most news reports, U.S. or British. Take the heavy snow across the mid-Atlantic states – despite Senator Jim ‘Perfect Score’ Inhofe’s claims to the contrary, that is indeed consistent with global warming projections, well within the range imposed by natural variability. So are the above-freezing slushy conditions in Vancouver.

    The difficulty for local policy makers is that the regional variability is all over the place for projections of rainfall and snowfall changes – do you have to plan for flooding, or for drought, or for both?

    Funny thing, isn’t it – if they had simply invested a few hundred million dollars in shoring up the New Orleans levees, billions in property and thousands of lives would have been saved… of course, to justify those funds, you’d likely have to get everyone to admit that climate destabilization is a reality…. and yet undoubtedly Inhofe et al. would claim there was no need for such an effort.

    Why? If the general public sees major efforts being made to prepare for climate change, then they’re more likely to accept that climate change is real. Also, since such large-scale adaptation projects create jobs and stimulate economies, they might see that taking action has economic as well as ecological benefits – and then, the Orwellian window has opened a bit wider, and people are more willing to start thinking outside the box – which is not in the interest of Inhofe’s sponsors.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:26 PM

  149. re 237Edward Greisch (a reader) says:
    19 January 2010 at 4:03 AM

    “”" 1. Famine. Because the rain moves. 2. Methane fuel-air explosions from melting tundra peat bogs 3. H2S made by sulfur bacteria that take over anoxic hot oceans.

    Why doesn’t RealClimate have a special page on this stuff? I have posted the details too many times already.”"”

    Doesn’t anyone get it???? RealClimate IS REPRESENTATIVE, CONSERVATIVE AND NOT ALARMIST!!!!!

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/2009-temperatures-by-jim-hansen/comment-page-5/#comments

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:26 PM

  150. I hear the distinct creak of a new “gate” opening ina piece by Christopher Horner:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-2-0-%E2%80%94-the-nasa-files-u-s-climate-science-as-corrupt-as-cru-pjm-exclusive-%E2%80%94-part-one/?singlepage=true

    [Response: Horner's a funny guy. The 'Brazilian connection' would make a great movie (fiction rather than documentary though). - gavin]

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:29 PM

  151. Gavin: As a friend just said in an email message to me, what a straw man you set up in your post — and a flimsy one at that. You say Curtis and I advocate that the U.S. press follow “pell-mell into the fact-free abyss.”

    Oh yeah, that’s what most well-respected journalists and scholars of journalism advocate. In fact, you’ve given me an idea for a new course that I can teach here at the University of Colorado: “Fact-Free Abyss Journalism.” It would be so much fun! Because we could just make stuff up! Just like the Brits!

    [Response: If you advocate following the Brits on this story, that is exactly what you would be doing. I'm pretty sure that isn't what you are actually trying to achieve, so that is why I found your suggestion rather odd. How about we agree that journalism shouldn't be based on manufactured controversies and the airing of baseless accusations? I'm for it if you are. - gavin]

    Comment by Tom Yulsman — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  152. Interestingly there is some very poor reporting from more usually reliable UK media outlets (e.g. Guardian, BBC, in fact the Telegraph was quite good until they got rid of their science correspondent a couple of years ago)

    Roger Pielke was on BBC Newsnight, accepted, quite uncritically as an ‘honest broker’

    Roger Harrabin (BBC Environment Correspondent) suggests

    “But the bloggers who have persuaded so many people to question manmade warming do not trust the IPCC, which they consider a politically motivated body – as my colleague Richard Black reports.But could the bloggers and the IPCC be reconciled? Some bloggers spin facts to make a political point. But some well-informed bloggers claim an impressively broad knowledge of climate science despite their lack of formal credentials.”

    hmm – I’m not arguing that some don’t have quite good knowledge, but if he is seriously suggesting that these bloggers should be part of some ‘replacement’ for IPCC, I am sceptical, based on observing past experience of scientists that have tried to engage. I think a lot of mainstream scientists will have great difficulty working collaboratively, assuming good faith after having being bitten repeatedly.

    There was this rather strange article, from the Guardian

    “Nonetheless, the paper raised important questions about the quality of CRU’s Siberian data, and was a rare example of someone trying to replicate Jones’s analysis. On those grounds alone, some would have recommended its publication.”

    which seems to be making the rather bizzare suggestion that peer review shouldn’t apply to contrarian articles. Unfortunately the CA post in question said the author had lost the reviews, so we can’t judge the validity of them

    I think there is some naivety by some journalists here, they are either going to have to learn for themselves the hard way or do a bit more critical investigation into their new found sources.

    Comment by PeteB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  153. “You exemplify the arrogant, ignorant, gullible Ditto-Head who slavishly repeats whatever idiotic, ExxonMobil-scripted drivel is spoon-fed to him by the phony “right wing” media … and calls himself a “skeptic” for doing so.”

    And that’s when I leave……….

    Comment by observer — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:32 PM

  154. Thanks, Gavin, for a most illuminating post. After the recent season of climate “scandals” beginning with “Climategate” itself, it seems that the dam really did burst, letting loose a flood of misdirected populist anger at home and abroad at the perceived “hoax” of global warming. The chilliness of the weather didn’t help. The U.K. media obviously took opportunity to boost ratings by seizing on just about any tidbit of nonsense that could be twisted to suit the perceived appetite of the masses for anything offering further “proof” that so-called “global warming” was a con game all along.

    On the whole, though, the phenomenon of entrenched global-warming denial seems to be stronger in the U.S. than just about anywhere else on Earth except possibly within the isolated enclaves of a couple of oil-rich desert Sheikdoms. Most of the reasons for that are obvious—ranging from the obscenely high per-capita carbon footprint of Americans relative to the rest of the world to the fact that the U.S. has historically been the world’s major carbon polluter/emitter (and therefore the nation most responsible for global warming) to the well-known “dumbing-down of America” which Carl Sagan lamented. I won’t dwell on it except to say that, at this moment early in the climatically-disrupted year of 2010 (with its parade of costly, paralyzing, and certainly mind-numbing “snowpocalypses”—to judge from the confused, angry tenor of blogs and public comments in general) the Country as a whole seems not merely to have taken leave of its senses, but literally to have lost its brains. The difference from the U.K., as you point out, is that the U.S. media, having been stung in the past by disinformation campaigns masquerading as fact, hasn’t been deliberately feeding populist anger to anything like the same degree.

    One obvious reason for media caution in the U.S., at least in more responsible quarters, is that the unprecedented “snowpocalypses,” however much they appear to ordinary people to shoot down the theory of global warming, actually offer (as all of you at RealClimate know) confirmation of the theory as well as an indication of warming’s rate of progression and likely effects in the future, helping to show how well we understand the phenomenon. The match between expectation and reality in this case is excellent. As last year’s report of the U.S. Global Change Research Program stated [], “Heavy snowfall and snowstorm frequency have increased in many northern parts of the United States” (p. 44), adding, “Storm tracks have shifted northward over the last 50 years as evidenced by a decrease in the frequency of storms in mid-latitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere, while high-latitude activity has increased. There is also evidence of an increase in the intensity of storms in both the mid- and high-latitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere, with greater confidence in the increases occurring in high latitudes. The northward shift is projected to continue, and strong cold season storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent, with greater wind speeds and more extreme wave heights.” (p. 38)

    Much of this is basic climatic physics. As the ocean-atmosphere system heats up due to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, the atmosphere holds more moisture, favoring precipitation events that on average are heavier. In addition, the extra charge of atmospheric latent heat provides more power to drive storms of all kinds. Under suitably cold wintertime conditions, where super humid air turns to heavy snow rather than rain, the result is an increased incidence and potency of winter storms, including monster blizzards and even “Arctic hurricanes,” at least until the earth heats up so much that the high Arctic is essentially ice-free over most of the year. El Nino, of course, makes it worse.

    For that and other reasons, it seems quite likely that 2010 will turn out to be the globally hottest year ever recorded, as well as one of the worst ever for weird, wild, destructive weather, including a high incidence of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms over the Midwest, Plains, and southern tier of states during the spring months followed by record summer heat in many areas and finally by an autumn during which Atlantic hurricanes come roaring back to terrorize the Atlantic and Gulf coastal states with a high volume of deadly hits. And then there’s the question of how the remaining sea ice in the Arctic will fare during such a hot year. The Arctic sea ice could decline to the lowest level ever recorded. Maybe all of that won’t happen in the year 2010, but on the longer time scale, it’s a climate projection that becomes increasingly likely to be fulfilled in any given year as the decade unfolds. Call it thermodynamic destiny. Eventually, under the relentless impact of that destiny, the bastion of global warming denial will crumble—one lost brick, flattened neighborhood, devastated city, flooded region, ruined crop, wrecked livelihood, maimed life, shattered family, and broken mind at a time. It’s very painful that our civilization is probably going to be taken apart in this way, but thermodynamic destiny is thermodynamic destiny. Once past the key tipping points, there won’t be anything we can do about it.

    Comment by David Ferrell — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 PM

  155. Re #145 Windy.

    The UK media works a bit like a pendulum – always aiming for a sensationalist extreme one way or the other as we have seen of late.

    I’ve come across what you describe though my voluntary work with TORRO – the UK Tornado & Storm Research Organisation. We undertake site investigations following reports of what might be tornado events. A few years back there was quite a nasty one just up the road from here – F2 with quite a bad mess as a consequence and the media crawling around everywhere.

    Did lots of live interviews with various TV channels and the same question kept coming back – “will we see more of these here due to global warming”? The answer was always a confident “no” – low-topped tornadic supercells can form in low-CAPE but high-shear scenarios which the UK sees on a regular basis – but it’s the low level shear that is often critical. On each occasion, the face of my interviewer said “disappointed”!

    But at the same time I see tremendous trouble up ahead as a consequence of AGW – not due to tornadoes, but due to a whole spectrum of other issues – depending where one happens to be geographically.

    Don’t confuse what the media want with what the science reports. That’s the best advice I can offer.

    Cheers – john

    Comment by John Mason — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  156. [Response: Then you weren't paying attention. - gavin]

    And Gavin, respectfully you are still not getting it. You are losing the PR war, because the same tactics that were used to promote AGW are now being used to attack it. When Windy makes a point about media sensationalizing weather events over the past 15 years and your response is a scientific article that
    .001% of the population read, then you don’t get it. When you have a blowhard politician take point for
    AGW and do not see the problem with that, you still don’t get it. When arrogant attitudes and statements of
    “the science is settled”, you still don’t get it. If you are 100% correct with the science then you have failed us all in your inability to communicate that to the public.

    [Response: Well that may be the case. But please feel free to suggest which scientific body we should have worked harder to convert, or how much more peer review we should have undertaken, or how much less research we should have done to take media classes and make videos instead. Perhaps you could also tell me exactly who's job it was to inform and teach every member of the public so that we can publicly chastise them for not doing a good enough job. I fail to see how you can correctly identify a big part of the problem (the media's penchant for sensationalism over substance), and then blame the people who provide the substance and who have little or no media skills for the problem. Aren't you getting it a little backwards? - gavin]

    Comment by Jon P — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:46 PM

  157. Gavin, Tom Fuller (whom you met in comment #17 above) is declaring:

    Global warming: A weblog’s suicide note

    and yes, the blog he is talking about, is RealClimate.

    Tom Fuller, who proclaims himself to be a man of the middle on this subject, has swallowed every “GATE” lie in the media, over the past couple of weeks. (even the completely bizarre amazon forests one)

    there is no surprise, that he is now proclaiming the death of this blog. (he also proclaimed “just global warming in ruins” a few weeks ago..) he is trying to sell his CRU book, before the story falls apart…

    Comment by sod — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  158. Hi Gavin, in reply to “Walt the Physicist” at 119 (where he makes certain to say he went to an elite physics school)you provide two links. The first seems broken.

    [Response: Fixed. thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by blueshift — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  159. re 81 Paul Gosling says:

    “”””You have only got yourselves to blame (climate scientists). For the last decade we have been told of impending disaster.””””

    I need proof of what you are saying. Show me the money. Give me some proof or evidence, please.

    Science is done in peer reviewed literature (of which the IPCC is too). Where is it alarmist? I don’t believe you. Please back up what you are saying with sources, or I will have to conclude that you are trying to delude the American public and policy makers.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:54 PM

  160. Windy, just a question: who sowed what?

    The UK media may have sensationalised every extreme weather event, but the climate scientists never did.

    So you must mean the media.

    But what are they reaping? Complaints from the left wing? Complaints from people who want to see Truth, Justice etc prevail? They can be ignored.

    But Beck et al on the RWNJ side complains and there’s a sudden shift (cf Sarah Palin complaining about the Dem leader using the word “retarded” got lots of headlines, whereas check out the media response when the progressives complained about being *called* retarded: nil).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 PM

  161. “And, with respect, I don’t think that an exoneration of the principals in the CRU affair will lead people to start coming to their senses, on the contrary, this will provide yet more evidence to the crazies that there’s a cover-up.”

    If such delusion is confined to the crazies, that’s probably fine, unless the crazies expand in influence. Not a lot rational discourse at this time.

    Comment by MarkB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:17 PM

  162. What can a complete non-scientist Brit offer this blog?
    First, thanks for a welcome and essential hit of sanity when British media pursues its insane agenda. Keep up the excellent work.
    Second, and a few posters have mentioned this, do not overestimate Joe Public’s interest in ‘climategate’ etc. I casually mentioned to a (well educated) friend recently that I thought it a shame that a few errors in the IPCC’s reports were making such waves in the media. The reply – ‘what’s the IPCC?’ – genuinely surprised me.
    Last,a radio quiz show enlightened me to the fact that the name Greenland has nothing to do with the colour of the country in years gone by (as trumped by many a skeptic blog)and is derived from the Danish meaning ‘land of the free’.
    Now, back to the science!

    Comment by MIke Dade — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  163. Anonymous Coward:
    “If they’re so stupid, why are they so rich and powerful”
    If they’re so rich and powerful why are they going bankrupt and desperately scrambling for ad revenues?

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  164. Re: Harrabin’s Notes: ‘Climate ‘Armistice’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8516905.stm

    This new article has some correct points and some less so

    ” Professor Jones himself is candid about the uncertainties. He stands by the view that humans are most likely to be warming the planet but admits there have been two similar periods of recent warming”

    This is creating some uncertainty in my mind about whether Harrabin has read up the subject upon which he is supposed to comment. I just don’t know.

    What uncertainty is Harrabin attributing to Jones here? the estimates of the forcing? the aerosols? or is Harrabin suggesting that these three phases of warming throw doubt on the whole CO2 theory?

    Also:

    What a relief it would be if the extremists in the warring factions would lay down the Weapons of Mass Vilification like “denier”, “flat-earther”, “climate scam” and “climate con”.

    He doesn’t get it. What a relief it would be if any development could occur in this important subject without being totally misrepresented in the majority of the media>

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:28 PM

  165. Roger@45 – The hope laymen like we have of understanding is to watch RC here and pay attention to the world of our senses over time, not just “this winter”. The exaggerations I see are on one side, science has been telling us that human behavior can have, and has been having, an infleunce on climate and the environment and that there could be catastrophic consequences if these influences aren’t moderated – the “skeptics” have been screaming that change will bankrupt us and require reverting to medievel lifestyles and the science is a scam to institute government control [ie: a couple posts in this thread, like 74] – who’s exaggerating? I’ve seen no exaggerations on the part of mainstream science, although certainly there has been some media distortion and public misperception of the science in that direction, just like now. I think the fact that RC is here on the web is proof they feel the general public are important, and the best chance of reaching them [us] is directly rather than through the filter of corporate media.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  166. #139 Ray “Marco@112 I think it is a mistake to oversell satellite data during an El Nino or a La Nina year. The satellites seem to be even more affected by these phenomena than ground temps. Given the difficulties of turning satellite measurements into temperatures even under normal circumatances, I don’t attach much weight to them during off-normal periods.”

    I agree, now compare El-Nino peak to peak data, and the all time high tempertures measured in the Upper Atmosphere during the same peak period becomes less than trivial. So El-Nino 1998 all time Upper Air warm temperatures was exceeded by a moderate El-Nino of 2010. For me its the AGW signal itself partly responsible for this record. In the Arctic, incredible all time high temperatures abound, surely beating again 1998. Peak to peak, properly weighed comparisons show a relentless warming, you dont see this much in the media, rather we read about Groundhogs more than what is going on in the Arctic.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:33 PM

  167. Not all polls agree. This was a poll of U.S. citizens from December:

    “I’m going to read you two statements. Please tell me whether the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. Statement A: Global warming is caused more by human actions than by naturally occurring forces. Statement B: Global warming is caused more by naturally occurring forces than by human actions.”

    Human actions: 74%

    Natural forces: 20%

    http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm

    Could be a statistical blip, but 74% is the highest number recorded in the NBC/WSJ poll.

    Comment by MarkB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  168. So what is your solution? Technocracy? Censorship? One year of climate science training for all journalist writing on the issue? Climate journalist licens given to correct journalists by the IPCC?

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  169. Wow, so science is losing the battle in the British tabloids?

    We are lost! Forever lost!

    I’m just glad to know that the US has no monopoly on ignorant trash.

    Comment by JM — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:37 PM

  170. @Ray Ladbury 139:
    Oh, I agree that the satellites have their problems. It’s just so amusing to see the deniocrowd attack the land-base measurements in an all-out attack, promote the satellite record, and then get slammed right in the face with (much) more warming in the satellite record than in the land-based measurements.

    Comment by Marco — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  171. #130

    Completely Fed Up, you asked for details about the law broken by Phil Jones’ CRU.

    The link to the BBC item (given in # 52) contains the following paragraph:

    “In a statement, Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith said it was an offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information act “to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information”.
    He said the requests were made by a climate change sceptic in the 2007-2008 period and as the case was more than six months old “the opportunity to consider a prosecution was long gone” under existing legislation.”

    In case you want to read more about this subject, see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7004936.ece

    And with respect to your contribution #136, it is unfair and a bit childish to intentionally misquote me. I was hoping the discussion here could be a bit more respectful. For that very reason I brought up the point that calling names is not really getting us any further.

    Comment by wilt — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:47 PM

  172. A. Reader says: 17 February 2010 at 9:28 AM

    “What is a degree or two against having to give up your SUV? Not being able to pay the energy for your home? Not being able to go on vacation?”

    Now that’s alarmism, heh! Who’s pushing hysteria? Might be worth considering.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:58 PM

  173. to Ray Ladbury #137. It would be great to omit references to the experience of your colleagues. You have no idea how much they are paid and for what. Do you do ant modeling of ant physical phenomenon? Do you have experience in modeling of complex quantum mechanical systems? Or weather system? Or anything of similar complexity? If you do, you would be a little bit more humble. Also, bragging the about compensation amounts is strange. People pay hundreds of thousands to Kim Kardashian. Does she do anything of value? To my elitist taste she does not. The point you are ignoring is the accuracy of modeling of any complex phenomenon. My previous post regarding accuracy of measurements and the absence of error bars in the temperature plots was ignored by Mr. Gavin (but of course!).

    [Response: No it wasn't. I pointed you to a thorough discussion of those error bars, and to a whole page of plots that showed them. Do try to keep up. - gavin]

    It would be interesting here to listen to the opinions on the modeling accuracy. Especially from those of us who make 100gs.

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  174. Ian@87 Gavin has been “defending” his position for some time in the MSM, unless you don’t count the internet, and book publishing, and peer reviewed scientific journals as “mainstream”.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:00 PM

  175. Odd, isn’t it? I didn’t see you post a thread here when the UK media was being alarmist and getting things incorrect in FAVOUR of warming. Odd, that – that you didn’t bother to post a thread on it, isn’t it?

    [Response: Not true. We have loads of posts on the errors in the UK media on hyping the 'Gulf Stream reversal' story, generic pieces on the problems of regional prediction, or the errors in attributing single weather events to climate. I'm afraid that there is no way we can keep up with every single mistake in the UK press though. - gavin]

    Comment by Steve — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:01 PM

  176. >>No-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct

    Untrue. Conspiracy and FOIA dodging are two things that Phil Jones has admitted to, and been found guilty of. Perhaps not fraud or fabrication, but definite misconduct. It was right of him to step down.

    Climategate revealed a number of actual problems in Climate Science. Not the ones the press harps endlessly on “hiding the decline”, but serious problems nonetheless.

    Right now, I’d say the biggest problem is the one with surface stations, which you dismissively write off as not a problem. There’s a huge problem with them, and the statistical approaches used to correct for them are obviously insufficient to the problem. Fortunately now that we have satellites we’ll have a much more reliable temperature record going forward.

    Comment by Foobear — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  177. This is a shame… I did see these emails and even the most “questionable ones” do not dismiss AGW, but they are just frank disucssions hammering out details and speaking in the common language instead of technical. We have always known that there are uncertainties in the paleoclimate data and one can see this in the research of the climatologists here and Gavin’s interviews some time ago in Scientific American. No one denies that making predictions is also difficult though improving. I suspect if any series of personal emails were hijacked in a large workplace or academic institution we would find similar kinds of emails. I know I have received and sent emails I would not want the world to read as well.

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  178. Wayne Davidson – “Winter Olympics without winter should be more a news story than it is”
    Only if one hasn’t been paying attention [like the Olympic committee, who've wised up NOW] – historically, the south coast of B.C. has what locals call “pre-spring” mid-February, sunny shirtsleeve weather, time to clean up the garden and get ready for early planting. Years ago the International Ski Assoc dropped Whistler as an event venue because of the erratic nature of spring conditions, if it’s not raining it’s foggy, or [like a couple days ago] there’s too much snow – and the 2nd Olympic venue is on a lower hill that regularly gets skunked. Current conditions may be indicative of climate change, like the effects of El Nino [the "immediate" cause this year], and are quite in line with the long term trend, but the only reason for it to be a real news story is the monetary effects.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:08 PM

  179. To #141 John Mason. Thanks for your acknowledgement and fascination. However, what do you think?

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  180. Again I’m amazed at how protective “skeptics” become when the fruit of their PR campaign is attacked. Quite a response, like hitting a hornet nest with a stick.

    Also, wouldn’t real skeptics subject faulty news coverage to the same withering criticism they apply to citation bobbles and the like? When did skepticism become a partisan approach?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  181. That’s it guys – keep banging the same old drum.

    Let me guess – for example, I suppose this paper about Surface Temperature Records at http://www.tinyurl.com/y8ghyrr by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts has not been peer reviewed and therefore is full of errors and has no merit.

    Thought not.

    [Response: You got it right first time. It is full of errors and of no merit. - gavin]

    Comment by Scottie — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:27 PM

  182. #119 Gavin, thanks for the reference. I saw it before and I wonder if there is some solid reasoning behind suggestion that the average global temperature during 1850 – 1940 was measured with accuracy of 0.1C? It would be great to have references to the discussions of the sources of errors for these measurements.

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:34 PM

  183. More than a few years ago I predicted that a right wing mob would mindlessly pursue a campaign of disinformation concerning AGW and for the most part would be successful. The right wing is driven more by their lizard brains and they are vicious (Believe I know, I grew up in a right wing family) protecting their religion of unfettered capitalism. They know in their hearts that it’s as pure as the white driven snow even though they could never prove it.

    One of the main catalysts that turned me away from rightwingism was when aids victim Ryan White was driven out of his Kokomo high school by a vicious right wing reactionary mob. In that case the science had been “Settled” as to whether aids could be casually transmitted but the anti science/anti intellectual mob would hear none of it. Science is wrong more times than it’s right was the old refrain.

    Comment by Dale — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:50 PM

  184. Walt Bennett
    more “street cred” in the climate community.

    To RL:
    So, some people can use terms like “street cred” and be understood, but others cannot?

    Regards
    Anand

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:51 PM

  185. Re: #91 Tamino: “Denialists have failed to learn the lessons of history…… prepare to flee the pitchfork-and-torch-carrying mob.”

    What lessons of history, the French revolution, the Bolchevik revolution or similar? This sort of comparison is silly to say the least, somewhat like comparing contrarians as holocausts deniers. That doesn’t win any convert.

    Comment by Charly Cadou — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  186. Since global warming will not be decided by public opinion, and there are enough serious scientists to keep the facts in focus, things will turn back again.

    However, real damage has been done. People who had only a slim understanding of the science, but who agreed on the substance, are now wavering. The result is not to turn to the other side, but to turn off completely. However, I suppose that amounts to the same thing because they will be more easily swayed against unpopular measures.

    I guess the only way forward is to stick to the truth with firmness and determination, and not fall into the trap of mimicking the opposition.

    Comment by Toby — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  187. Friends, let me propose for your discussion a “layman funding criterion”, i.e. only this science endeavor should be funded that an average person (or majority of population if you wish) would like to fund. It such criterion by some magical power were to be implemented a lot of scientists drawing in excess of 100k would be out of jobs. I suspect that, judging by what lots of people around me say, all those who insist on reality of AGW would lose funding and jobs. Funny is that the public funding of science is not actually based on the “layman funding criterion”. Majority of public expenditures are controlled by layman via elections. Science – no(?!). Instead, either few individuals or some scientific expert panels decide on how to spend public money best. I submit to you, that those fellas drawing 100gs and referred to in #137 by Ray Ladbury are funded from public sources. It would be fantastically beneficial for our society to direct all the scientists with controversial or extremely innovative proposals to solicit private funding from the philanthropists. Gavin, do you think you would be funded by layman?

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  188. SkepticalScience iPhone app drives contrarians apoplectic. Contriann Commanders reach high alert, order “Caps Lock” keys activated:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/17/iphone-app-climate-change

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:23 PM

  189. “In a statement, Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith said it was an offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information act “to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information”.

    Indeed it is.

    But there are several sections where it says where you ARE allowed to intentionally prevent disclosure of requested information.

    I can get the links for you if you like.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:26 PM

  190. Just curious. I realize I have as sharp a tongue as anyone. However, it occurs to me that perhaps it might be more constructive to focus on facts, evidence and issues rather than character assasination, ad hominem attacks and acusations.

    How about we establish some groundrules.

    1)No accusations of fraud of limited intelligence.

    2)No pretences to greater expertise than we really possess.

    3)Focus on the evidence. If you think there are problems with a piece of evidence, substantiate your allegation with analysis or facts from a credible source.

    4)If you don’t understand something (including another poster’s logic), phrase your lack of understanding as a question rather than an assertion.

    5)Start with an assumption of good will until the poster makes it clear the assumption is wrong.

    6)Folks who remain within these bounds merit courtesy. Those who transgress are still eligible to be told so with both barrells.

    Anyone interested in actual dialogue?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:28 PM

  191. “168
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    17 February 2010 at 1:36 PM

    So what is your solution? Technocracy? Censorship?”

    Well who would you want tinkering around in YOUR body when you’re under the knife?

    Bob The Builder?

    Or a surgeon?

    And censorship is on all the time. If someone posts you a threatening letter, you’ll find that you WANT them censored.

    So what do you mean by “censored”?

    “One year of climate science training for all journalist writing on the issue? Climate journalist licens given to correct journalists by the IPCC?”

    Noting in there about what you’re on about.

    And the answer is no. All the investigative journalists have to do is, oh, INVESTIGATE and not pander to false balance to make their job easier.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:31 PM

  192. Gavin, the link on error bars works now. Thanks, I’m reading.

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:32 PM

  193. Foobear: “Right now, I’d say the biggest problem is the one with surface stations, which you dismissively write off as not a problem.”

    Uh, you’re nearly a year out of date. Surfacestations.org has been and gone. The data described as “good” has shown the same trend. The stations Watts described as “bad” showed that, if anything, they had been overcorrected for UHI and showed less warming than the good stations.

    But you dismiss the surface stations record with *what*?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:34 PM

  194. “Untrue. Conspiracy and FOIA dodging are two things that Phil Jones has admitted to,”

    PS, please show where he’s admitted to it.

    Hint: you’ll need to go to the source, not the Times for selected quotes.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:35 PM

  195. Walt, I am quite familiar with modeling, both statistical and dynamical, thank you very much. My reference to money was the yearly cost of the analysis package to do the modeling of transistors.

    You are evidently a bit behind the times in terms of what one can model. We can model the collapse of a supernova, the birth of the Universe, the dynamics of a transistor being struck by a Xenon ion, etc. How do I know these things. See, unlike you, Walt, I really am a physicist.

    Accuracy of modeling is determined mainly by limitations on computer time for most computational physics problems.

    Now perhaps you really are a physicist, Walt, but to convince me, you are going to have to say something a lot more intelligent than you have so far.

    What is your research specialty?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:37 PM

  196. Ray, I’ll give it a shot, but the first time someone breaks any one of them, the old game continues.

    I figure the denialists will explode with frustration, and that’s a worthy reason too.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:43 PM

  197. Anand,
    Didn’t see the post. However, “street cred” just sounds like we’reall heading down to the railroad tracks with spray paint, switchblades and bottles of Mad Dog. Not my scene.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  198. Even if the warming of the earth was true, taxation would not make a dent in it.

    Comment by erol — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:46 PM

  199. “187
    Walt The Physicist says:
    17 February 2010 at 3:19 PM
    …I suspect that, judging by what lots of people around me say, all those who insist on reality of AGW would lose funding and jobs.”

    Why only here?

    As I’m not a powerful name, I get nothing from the police. I shouldn’t have to pay.

    I don’t think that a Ministry of *DEFENCE* needs an agressive force. So I won’t have to pay for that.

    Copyrights? Well, do as Radiohead did and offer your stuff out for nothing and ask people to pay what it’s worth.

    And so on.

    These work for the exact same reasons your idea does.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:46 PM

  200. Walt, take your meds.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:47 PM

  201. Gavin,

    You did not seem to take much issue when the media was sensationalizing the “warm” news. And you seem a bit surprised at how the media sensationalizes.

    [Response: Neither of these statements are true. I am on record dozens of times decrying pop-attributions of weather events to climate change, and have written many posts explaining how the Gulf Stream is not going to collapse and what the uncertainties in climate models are. I ceased to be surprised that the media value sensationalism over fact sometime in high school. - gavin]

    I would have thought that a coming climate disaster would motivate those that see it coming to take a more proactive approach in getting the message out. The years of silence when the media reported weather events as proving AGW, the years of insisting that the science is settled, the years of having blogs tell new-comers they are stupid and some not posting comments at all, have to come to an end.

    To your point of what you part of the science should you or anyone give up to “train” in PR. You seem to find the time for this blog. I am sure there is someone, somewhere that could invest time into this, I mean it is rather important.

    Comment by Jon P — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  202. Back in 1987, Michael Fish, a then well known BBC TV weather reporter, famously commented on a fairly deep looking mid-latitude depression approaching southern England, describing it as nothing much to worry about. 48 hours later, scores of people wered dead, hundreds of cars crushed, tens of thousands of trees uprooted, swathes of forest devastated, perhaps thousands of roofs ripped from houses, roads blocked by fallen telegraph posts and power lines, etc etc etc: it was the famous “hurricane” of 1987 that the British Met Office forecasters comletely failed to see coming. Last winter, the British Met Office, after the UK had suffered two grey, dreary, damp, rainswept summers of floods and gales, promised a “barbecue summer” – and no doubt anticipated hosepipe bans and dried up reservoirs. It didn’t happen. We suffered a third grey, dreary, damp,rainswept summer of floods and gales. The fact is that Britain’s weather is highly unpredictable, due to the island’s location where it may get air masses from the continent, or ocean, from the poles or the sub tropics, with winters sometimes of Siberian coldness, summers perhaps as hot as Cairo, Arctic gales, Saharan dustfalls, long months of more equable weather, anticyclones for weeks on end, or endless successions of mid-latitude depressions, sometimes benign and gentle, sometimes of ferocious intensity. It is a standing joke that when two Brits meet, especially Englishmen, they talk about the weather. And inevitably, they mock the weather forecasts emanating from the Met Office. I think it is this unpredictable weather and the apparent failure of the Met Office to forecast accurately future weather patterns, that creates a general scepticism in the mass of the UK population who dismiss the weather forecasters as incompetent false prophets with not the slightest idea of how the weather is likely to behave. Most lay people make no distinction between weather and climate, and so the scepticism about weather forecasters spills over to affect climate scientists too. If “they” can’t get it right about the 1987 “hurricane” and dream of a 2009 “barbecue summer”, why should their prognoses of long term global warming and climate change be credible? The rabidly right wing British national press, almost entirely , with honourable exceptions (the lefty Guardian is normally wholly reliable on climate change, and the centrist Independent) have a fertile soil in which to scatter their seeds of denialism and doubt, and of suspicion and derision of scientists and experts. And furthermore, these “news”papers are addicted to the national habit of pulling down and ridiculing any renowned public figure, expert, hero, leader, personality, scientist, artist, politician, leader of industry etc. In the UK, if a man or woman achieve some sort of eminence, necessarily the feet of clay have to be found. This, I suggest, is the explanation of the especially rabid newslines coming from the British media.

    Comment by Mike G — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  203. There is a record high Arctic Ice coverage today!

    Look at these plots from DMI;

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    Yes, I know, a small coincidence, but for DMI plots, it still is a record!

    Cause for celebration, me thinks!

    Comment by kenneth — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:58 PM

  204. Ray Ladbury:

    Accuracy of modeling is determined mainly by limitations on computer time for most computational physics problems.

    Modeling of the Earth’s climate systems is not an exercise in computational physics. Accuracy of modeling Earth’s climate systems is not limited by computer time. There are instead a host of fundamental physical phenomena and processes that are not yet even started to be approached from a fundamental physics level. These are currently addressed by use of parameterizations and modeling of sub-grid processes, for examples.

    Additionally, while the statement is an accurate characterization of some problems, for other problems it is less than a complete characterization. Some problems being worked on today would require hundreds of years of computer time based on the performance level of today’s most powerful machines. This is a little more than a computer time limitation.

    Comment by Dan Hughes — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:01 PM

  205. re: 150 and Christopher Horner

    It looks like Horner confuses US and world temps in his discussion. The reference to 1934 (a very hot year in the US) means, I think, that US temps were under discussion (Horner is sketchy in his details) but Horner uses that to cast doubt on global rise.

    And throughout Horner seems to think that one scientist’s comments, if they agree with Horner, are sufficient to establish a fact.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:15 PM

  206. @190 Ray Ladbury

    Yes, rules are much needed. You are not following your own rules, as you acknowledge in the 190 post, but you break them again a couple of times at 195.

    “Anyone interested in actual dialogue?”

    I am, but it feels kind of lonely …

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  207. It might be worth reviewing what C.S. Lewis had to say about manipulation of the British in his novel “That Hideous Strength.”

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:19 PM

  208. Gavin,

    As a former advocate of global warming I must say that your reference to anyone who does not believe as you do as a “crank” offensive to say the least.

    [Response: Well, if I'd said that, you might have a point. But you have a serious logic fail if you think that the following statements make logical sense "Cranks exist. Cranks disagrees with me. Therefore everyone who disagrees with me is Crank". If you want to discuss something I actually said, please try again. If you want to tilt at strawmen, do so somewhere else. - gavin]

    It would seem to me that one of the tennants of science is to constantly approach “truths” from different angles to ensure they can always stand up to scrutiny. Surely you understand that not all skeptics are earth hating, energy wasting, fools. When you start talking about taking large ammounts of peoples money away and giving it to other people, they tend to get upset. Otherwise I doubt people would pay attention. That is why there must be a very rigorous and intensive study of both the methodology and the people behind the numbers. I
    am sure that you are in a vulnerable position and are being hounded. But you have to understand the fear that is out there. Doomesday scenarios tend to get people worked up. Those same media who you say are hyping up the controversy have done the same for global warming.
    I hope that you weather through this and the science comes out the better for it. Remember, a rollercoaster gets put through lots of testing before letting the public get on. If the science is flawed, only by public scrutiny and open methodology can you be above reproach.

    Comment by Jay — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  209. If you keep on doing the same thing you will get the same result. If you keep on with the condecending (you got to stop the sigh thing), ridiculing and shouting down you will only encourage and stir up dissent.
    Stick to the science people.

    Comment by David C — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:25 PM

  210. To #195 Ray Ladbury. I beg to differ. We can generate nice pictures from the models. However, except for very few instances (and those guys are getting crazy money working for private sector) this is pretty much it. Collapse of supernova and birth of the Universe? Give me a break this is for History channel. No one in serious science would insist that these nice pictures generated by the computer are accurately reflecting reality. They might give insight into contributions of certain physical phenomena. What is the reason of modeling dynamics of transistor struck by a Xe atom? What is the application of this model results? Now regarding my “non-physicistness” and you being a real physicist. Seriously, are you so confident? I hope you are bluffing that you are a physicist. The simulation accuracy is not a monotonous and increasing function of computation time. Students know this. If the explicit computational scheme is used the delta time can’t be lesser than a value determined by the square of delta space. And more, if ever thought of this, you should conclude that, one can’t decrease computational space interval indefinitely because the physics should be changed – from classical to quantum to string to nobody knows what. So, here is a philosophical statement: even providing infinitely high computing speed, the infinitely high accuracy can’t be achieved since we don’t have infinite knowledge of universe. There is less glamorous constriction. Do you know what rounding error is and how it affects computations? Because of the rounding error the decrease of the time and space step the increase of accuracy at certain point changes to decrease of accuracy. Now, although students are taught that implicit schemes and some more advanced variations allow independent change of time and space intervals, in practice, however, there is the same old limitation. I am an experimentalist and theoretician and I do a lot of modeling and computer simulation using my own codes. Saying all that, let me ask you do you really have ok gut feeling if one tells you that the accuracy of average GLOBAL temperature measured in 1850 was 0.2C? And with all your experience in modeling of the complex systems can you really say with complete honesty to you layman neighbor: man made global warming is accurately predicted by our climate models?

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  211. Further to my last comment I just hope that we don’t get a new kind of alarmist – that of “new ice age”. I’d be sceptical about that too as I require observational evidence not shrill warmings and hype.

    “It’s two months into the winter, and much of Europe has become mantled in unusually deep snow cover.”
    http://www.accuweather.com/news-story.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&article=8

    Also note that the Northern Hemisphere snow extent is second highest on record.
    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_daily.php?ui_year=2010&ui_day=44&ui_set=

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:30 PM

  212. # 15
    [Response: Someone who thinks that GW is a hoax is a crank. And stealing people's emails from a central server and publishing them is a hack regardless of where you do it from....]

    Gavin, are you sure you are on solid ground here? Are you sure about UK laws, public and private servers, privacy laws? I don’t know much but you should check carefully first before making such a sweeping pronouncement about email and data ownership, hacking and leaking.

    [Response: You think it is legal in any western democracy to hack into your officemate's computer and put their emails on a public server? No way Jose. Unauthorized access to a computer and unauthorised use of any data you find there is a crime almost everywhere. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:37 PM

  213. Let us look at it from another angle, Many people say/quote the supposed fact that during The Roman Occupation of Britain that they grew vineyards in the north of England around about the 3rd Century, and this is something we can’t do today.

    [Response: Except that isn't true. There are commercial vineyards in Yorkshire, while the most northerly known Roman vineyard is near Lincoln (Selley, 2nd edition). - gavin]

    Another supposed fact is that there was a so-called Medieval Warm Period in about the 12thC, which is supposed to have been much warmer that today, (but I cannot recall the proof of this supposed fact). However, if those 2 facts were actually true and could be proved as true, then that would presume that the climate back in those periods was warmer than today and simply could not have been caused by human activity and therefore, perhaps any climate warming supposedly happening today might also not be caused by human activity.
    I just wondered…

    [Response: Attribution of today's change is independent of whether it was hotter in the past. No one disagrees that the Pliocene was warmer for instance. But just like the existence of natural forest fires in the past is not proof that arson cannot happen now, the fingerprints of current changes are the only thing relevant for attribution of present day trends. - gavin]

    Comment by David Saxton — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:38 PM

  214. Walt, I want to add to Ray’s comment to you.

    When I am reading comments on a blog, I immediately discount the opinions of people who are anonymous, but claim titles like PhD, physicist, etc. Such a claim is an appeal to authority among the uninitiated. Such an anonymous claim would get you laughed out of any meeting of scientists. If you are going to imply special knowledge in support of your opinions, you need to at least back it up with your complete name. Google, you know…

    I wish RC had some rule about this.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:40 PM

  215. Also remember that in the UK there is legislation that protects whistleblowers. Would you call someone in the UK who leaks information from a file in an office (whether private or public) a thief – if it is in the public interest? You are on shaky ground Gavin and should stick to the science and keep away from UK laws and interpretations thereof.

    [Response: Sorry, but I will continue to call a theft a theft, and you can continue to cling to the comforting thought that the theft was by a modern day Robin Hood. Whistleblowing only works if you are revealing illegal activity. Arguments about paleo-reconstructions don't count. This is now OT. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:42 PM

  216. “198
    erol says:
    17 February 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Even if the warming of the earth was true, taxation would not make a dent in it.”

    True.

    However, you tax people to get them to stop speeding their cars and putting children at risk (speed fines). You tax people for selling dodgy goods to other people (criminal fines). You tax people for throwing their sewage into the municipal water (fines for dumping).

    Yet taxing doesn’t slow cars down, make dodgy goods disappear, or make sewage jump back out of the water and into the oildrums.

    So why are people fined for speeding? Or selling goods that are inherently dangerous? Or any other reason that people are fined rather than made to undo the act?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  217. Jon P, you are clueless about this blog and the time, energy and expertise that Gavin and his colleagues put into it. Its major purpose is to counter the false and misleading information in the media on either side of the issue. Instead of throwing out irresponsible accusations, why not take a little time to go through the index above, for example. You will find that you are quite wrong.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:46 PM

  218. “204
    Dan Hughes says:
    17 February 2010 at 4:01 PM
    Modeling of the Earth’s climate systems is not an exercise in computational physics.”

    Yes it is.

    “Accuracy of modeling Earth’s climate systems is not limited by computer time.”

    Yes it is. A forecast that turns up 1 day after the validation period is no forecast.

    “There are instead a host of fundamental physical phenomena and processes that are not yet even started to be approached from a fundamental physics level.”

    And diodes haven’t? So I take it you’ve solved the whole problem with Quantum Physics, then?

    Where’s your paper?

    “These are currently addressed by use of parameterizations and modeling of sub-grid processes, for examples.”

    Well, one reason for sub-grid processes is because a grid small enough not to need them would take too long to run. See your assertion above about computer time limits.

    “Some problems being worked on today would require hundreds of years of computer time based on the performance level of today’s most powerful machines. This is a little more than a computer time limitation.”

    No, that’s EXACTLY a time limitation.

    Why else would your assertion that it would require hundreds of years of computer time be relevant if it weren’t merely a time problem? You’d be saying “it would be impossible under ANY currently available computer”.

    Can I ask: do you read your posts?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:49 PM

  219. “211
    Jimbo says:
    17 February 2010 at 4:30 PM
    “It’s two months into the winter, and much of Europe has become mantled in unusually deep snow cover.””

    Yes. How unusual?

    Not seen for decades.

    Ah.

    So it USED to be colder.

    See where I’m going..?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  220. @196 Completely Fed Up,
    “Ray, I’ll give it a shot” … and in the next sentence you break the rule: “I figure the denialists will explode with frustration, and that’s a worthy reason too.”

    Give it a try again ;-D

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:58 PM

  221. One thing that would be interesting would be a statistical analysis of global warming pro/con articles in newspapers broken down by the season/month. I would predict that the “controversy” has now run on long enough to have a reasonable chance of a statistically significant trend of more “hoax” style articles in winter and less in summer (based Northern Hemisphere seasons/news sources).

    Comment by Stuart — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:00 PM

  222. “215
    Jimbo says:
    17 February 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Also remember that in the UK there is legislation that protects whistleblowers”

    Then why doesn’t the whistleblower reveal themselves?

    They’re protected by law if they’re a whistleblower.

    It seems like even they don’t believe they are a whistleblower, jimbo.

    Why do you?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  223. Other than the emails, I think the various ‘gates’ refer to statements in the IPCC WG2 report ‘Impacts, Adaptability and Vulnerability’.

    What I consider the ‘real’ science (DON’T ALL SHOUT AT ONCE)is contained in WG1 report ‘Physical Science Basis’.

    The reason the report is constructed this way (in theory at least) is that the impacts should be assessed in the light of, and as a natural follow on from, the best Physical Science we have available (WG1).

    However, future impacts are harder to quantify ‘categorically’ than the physical science and seem to have relied, at least in part, on ‘Grey Literature’. WG2 is therefore a softer target for sceptics. I don’t think it is a coincidence the various ‘gates’ refer to this part of report.

    The problem is, the public do not distinguish between these two distinct challenges:

    A claim is made, they are told, supported by the science. If the claim is demonstrated to be wrong – the simplistic view is that AGW science must be wrong – no distinction.

    Trying to communicate otherwise does not make a good sound bite.

    Ideally, “the science” and “the impacts” (some refer to it as “the alarmism”) could be debated separately, but this does not appear to be possible. Richard Lindzen gives an insight on this in his “Deconstructing Global Warming” video.

    If I can find a clean link to this I’ll post it later.

    Comment by GSW — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  224. AB: nah, that’s not breaking any of them. At least not by any realm which doesn’t also have you hauled over for them.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:04 PM

  225. Ron Taylor
    Please explain your post. I have no idea what you are arguing against as my initial post had nothing to do with the Realclimate blog but the Public Relations disaster the scientific community has had with AGW.

    Comment by Jon P — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 PM

  226. Media coverage of AGW and the community of climate scientists since Nov.09 has been impoverished and misleading in the US as well as the UK. The NYT and Washington Post coverage has focused on discussing the situation “arguments between warring camps”. I agree that this is a bogus framing of what’s truly going on. There are no legitimate arguments in this sense. The denialist attacks are political ones dressed up with language that seeks to mimic science.

    It is worth noting that the goal of many traditional news orgs these days is simple survival. Their means of achieving this goal continues to be what has worked best in the past: blow by blow narratives of visceral, heated dispute and conflict that the general public loves to follow in the same manner they do with soap operas, football matches, and public melt-downs of celebrities.

    There unquestionably has been a decline in the quality and comprehensiveness of print-based journalism (just ask any environmental journalist working for a US newspaper) as the developed world shifts to electronic/WWW media. The proliferation of television channels and networks and internet-based news sources has also stimulated conflict-driven, low-cost journalism.

    nevertheless, I am worried but not discouraged by the current dismaying state of MSM debate regarding AGW. Americans (and Europeans)live in information-saturated societies. We learn early to distinguish between hyped and credible information. Our distrust of commercial news media has increased recently and our confusion about where to find credible information on important public issues has increased correspondingly. When confused we tend to turn away from learning and debating difficult public issues from AGW to ‘peak water’ to Afghanistan. It is however a rapdily evolving dynamic. Tangible impacts such as changes in ecological phenology and hydrology are being noticed by many folks from birdwatchers to skiers to garden clubs. MSM discussions rarely ever tie such observations to the what I generally see as highly contrived debates about the UEA emails, surface temp. networks, scientific “tribalism”, etc.

    (BTW, could someone please articulate credibly for us on this blog the details of Dr. J. Curry’s hypothesis about tribalism in climatology? How is this apparent phenomena any different from how most scientific disciplines work? Dr. Curry???)

    Finally, the international, and US federal and state executive agencies that will utlimately have to take action to mitigate and adapt to AGW are not able to so turn away and are generally not affected by poor or defamatory media coverage. They can’t move into this kind of work very far without legislative action and funding of course. But at this juncture, perhaps they should step forward collectively to affirm the science, condemn the denialism of some, and in general act as a credible info source on AGW to the public. Easier said than done, but I suggest that their potential, generally, to so aid the scientific community is insufficiently appreciated. In fact, we as executive agencies have done the scientific community a disservice by not doing so already. In the US at least this relative silence can indisputedly be tied to the policies and internal instructions of the GW Bush Administration.

    Comment by Sloop — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:06 PM

  227. Comment by tamino — 17 February 2010 @ 8:40 AM

    “What they’re doing to global warming is no different from what they did to tobacco”

    RJ Reynolds profits are up 71%

    What the anti-smoking lobby did for big tobacco was to line their pockets with gold.

    Comment by harrywr2 — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:09 PM

  228. “213
    David Saxton says:
    17 February 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Let us look at it from another angle, Many people say/quote the supposed fact that during The Roman Occupation…
    [Response: Except that isn’t true…”

    Which makes me wonder why David Sexton here put it down as “supposed fact” yet continued on as if it WERE fact.

    Maybe David is trying to say that people believe supposed facts, but then he fails to hypothesise why the supposed fact of Roman vinyards (where you couldn’t go to the nearest Threshers to buy New Zealand Chardonay and the only alternative was the water… eeew) is accepted when even to the most devout denialist, they would accede that the warming trend is at least a *supposed* fact and yet isn’t believed.

    But the simplest explanation is that Dai here was going for the weasel words so that he couldn’t be considered one of them in case he got caught out. He believes that this is an irrefutable smoking gun against AGW and the IPCC, but doesn’t want to associate with a statement that is precise and open to actual refutation or acceptance.

    A passive voice version of “I’m not saying anything, I’m just asking the questions”, as it were.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  229. elliot: Joe isn’t entirely wrong to judge AGW based on this measure after all predictions were made that snow would reduce

    BPL: WHAT predictions? Care to cite any?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:12 PM

  230. “Find some single example where I’ve done anything to mislead or deceive the public about the nature of the science. Just one. And then rethink your rather offensive “You people” comment. – gavin”

    Before I consider providing my own answer to the challenge in the response to 17 (reproduced just above), I’ve got some reading to do first, at this web site:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/business/foia/GISS.html

    Comment by Tom Wiita — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:14 PM

  231. Gavin, here in the UK you can whistleblow if it is in the public interest. Illegal doesn’t come in to it. These things have to be tested in court here though. The drugs industry is a classic example. If a whistleblower from a drugs company reveals information that his company is charging the National Health Service extortionate amounts (even if he gets this info illegally) then he wouldn’t face prosecution. Not only are you on dodgy ground with what you are saying, Jimbo is correct, and you should stick to dodgy science!

    The pro-AGW past ridiculous stance is reaping what it sowed with regard to the UK media. If you had cut the pro-warming nonsense back then…

    Comment by Steve — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  232. Balasz Fekete: I am under the impression that we purposely abandoned monitoring so modelers don’t have to face observations.

    BPL: A very reasonable impression–if you’re a conspiracy-theory lunatic.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  233. Walt The Physicist (210) — The answer to your final question is yes, with great confidence. Here are some resources on climate modeling:
    “A Climate Modelling Primer” by Henderson-Sellers
    Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling 2nd Edition
    Warren M. Washington and Claire Parkinson
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/faq-on-climate-models-part-ii/langswitch_lang/tk
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-1/final-report/sap3-1-final-all.pdf
    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html
    not to mention the historical views in “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    Comment by David B. Benson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:18 PM

  234. # 36
    “The fossil fuel industry has a massive incentive to show conclusively that the science is flawed.”

    But some of them as well as nuclear fund the CRU (University of East Anglia)

    British Petroleum (Oil, LNG)
    Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre (Food to Ethanol)
    Central Electricity Generating Board
    Eastern Electricity
    KFA Germany (Nuclear)
    Irish Electricity Supply Board (LNG, Nuclear)
    National Power
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (Nuclear)
    Shell (Oil, LNG)
    Sultanate of Oman (LNG)
    Tate and Lyle. (Food to Ethanol)
    UK Nirex Ltd. (Nuclear)
    Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  235. Completely Fed Up, you miss the point! We were told (here in the UK) that we would be getting, and I quote, “Hotter, drier summers and wetter winters”. This hasn’t happened. In fact, the reverse has happened (check the online info from the Met Office). In 2006 we were told by the Met Office to plant drought-loving plants that “…are more likely to grow in hotter conditions”. So we did…I did. Guess what happened to them this winter? This is the point you are missing; the temperatures haven’t got warmer, and this year they’ve got a whole lot colder. We used to get cold weather…and we still do! See where I’m going?

    Comment by Steve — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:23 PM

  236. Well on CNN David Gergen just pronounced a climate bill this year, dead. The whole argument is fueled by the Himalayan mistake and other charges from climate skeptics. Never mind that the skeptics are completely wrong. Apparently the mission worked and the doubt has taken over the president’s advisory staff. Isn’t that the idea with the BS attacks? Of course it is.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  237. To quote gavin directly:

    “the GW hoaxers are indeed cranks”

    Yes, I agree with that.

    Comment by oakwood — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  238. Undertone, I recommend reading Genesis in French. The French are smart enough to have two words for “to know”–savoir and connaitre. The former means to know intellectually, the second to know by experience. Adam and Eve already knew what obedience was, who God was, and what he had told them. They knew they were doing the wrong thing. The knowledge they gained by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was knowledge of evil gained by committing evil.

    Do you have to rape a woman to understand that rape is wrong? I don’t think so. That kind of “knowledge” isn’t worth having.

    And look how wise Adam and Eve became as a result of eating the fruit–they became ashamed that they were naked, and thought they could avoid God by hiding behind trees.

    Read carefully. Even if you don’t believe the story is literal history (and I don’t), try to figure out what the author was actually saying before commenting on it.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  239. to #214 Ron Taylor. Ron, I guess this discussion is on substance not on our credentials. I actually never paid attention to the names. Second, there is no requirement by RC to post real name, affiliation, SSN, etc. Third, how do I know that Ron Taylor is your real name? Fourth, have you ever published? Where you upset that the reviews of your work were anonymous? Did you write prickly notes to the reviewers asking to “back up their opinion by real name”? Sometimes I do feel like that about my reviewers – who are you? I guess you didn’t if you are publishing scientist or you are unfamiliar with system of anonymity accepted in science reviews. Or all this exercise is just to make you feel better knowing that your PhD is bigger than mine?

    Comment by Walt The Physicst — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:37 PM

  240. “235
    Steve says:
    17 February 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Completely Fed Up, you miss the point! We were told (here in the UK) that we would be getting, and I quote, “Hotter, drier summers and wetter winters”. ”

    And we’ve got them.

    It never said we’d ONLY get hotter drier summers and wetter winters.

    PS snow is like, water. Wet. Water. Make the connection.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:53 PM

  241. Jimbo says:

    “”"”Further to my last comment I just hope that we don’t get a new kind of alarmist – that of “new ice age”.”"”"

    Give it to me…give me a few examples of where the science literature was alarmist about the “1970s ice age”?

    Give it to me…give me a few examples of where the science literature is alarmist about the current human-caused warming.

    ….So why should the scientific literature get alarmist about a cooling which does not even exist in the global average record?

    Your words are extremely scary.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:57 PM

  242. The AR4 Summary For Policymakers contains this item:

    Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show interannual variability and localised changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region. {3.2, 4.4}

    The reference is Comiso, J.C., 2003: Large scale characteristics and variability of the global sea ice cover. In: Sea Ice – An Introduction to its Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Geology [Thomas, D. and G.S. Dieckmann (eds.)]. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK, pp. 112–142., a non peer reviewed book chapter.
    They could have used peer reviewed literature such as
    Zwally et al., 2002, which found that:

    The derived 20 year trend in sea ice extent from the monthly deviations is 11.18 ± 4.19 x 103 km2yr-1 or 0.98 ± 0.37% (decade)-1 for the entire Antarctic sea ice cover, which is significantly positive.

    A recent 2009 paper by Turner et al. (on which Comiso was a co-author), concluded that:
    Based on a new analysis of passive microwave satellite data, we demonstrate that the annual mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.97% dec-1 since the late 1970s.

    This rate of increase is nearly twice as great as the value given in the AR4 (from its non-peer-reviewed source).

    The peer reviewed literature, both existing at the time of the AR4 as well as published since the release of the AR4, shows that there has been a significant increase in the extent of sea ice around Antarctica since the time of the first satellite observations observed in the late 1970s. And yet the AR4 somehow “assessed” the evidence and determined not only that the increase was only half the rate established in the peer-reviewed literature, but also that it was statistically insignificant as well.

    This plus the other errors in the IPCC report show that the UN and the IPCC are beyond recovery from corruption. Any thinking person (who is not making money on this) will have to conclude the same.

    [edit]

    Comment by Eve — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:21 PM

  243. “”"but claim titles like PhD, physicist, etc. Such a claim is an appeal to authority among the uninitiated. Such an anonymous claim would get you laughed out of any meeting of scientists.”"”

    The literally world’s most published climate publishing PHDs at NCAR go to pains to be informal and not mention the words “doctor” or “PhD.”

    You would indeed be laughed out of the room.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:26 PM

  244. 213 David Saxton and gavin

    Come on guys. It is not worth the wear and tear on our $9 keyboards to talk about the Mediaeval Warming Period. But it is amusing.

    Gavin answers one irrelevancy with another. The Romans had grown nice but tired of life in England, a hundred years later the Anglo-Saxons came and spent another hundred years butchering or enslaving everyone left behind. They got tired of doing that and let St. Augustine restart religion. That was 600 AD. 600 years later the temperature record of uncertain accuracy hit its peak a little after the Norman invasion. Now maybe the Normans were getting a little hot in France and wanted to cool down in England. But in the ups and downs of English weather, it is hard to imagine anyone noticing a 1 to 2 degree Celsius, if that, rise in temperature; let alone planning a wine industry. Planting grapes in Yorkshire would have been off and on an iffy proposition since it would have indicated influence of some religion or other; which might have led to being “examined” by the authorities. So it is most likely that grapes in Yorkshire today do not indicate much of anything about anything. (I remind also that wind is produced in upstate New York as well.) Get a grip guys.

    We started with discussion of this warming period stuff in the IPCC which was not a good indication of the veracity of that study, and from there on it has been a continuum of absurdity. A lengthy discussion of a generally irrelevant non-event made it sound like a snow-job rather than the important study – - that it was.

    We haven’t even touched on the ‘fact’ that the Vikings ‘farmed’ Greenland. One would get the impression that it rivaled the Ukraine or the Midwest USA in productivity. Lets have a go at that one!!!

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:33 PM

  245. Response to #214
    Jimbo says:
    “Further to my last comment I just hope that we don’t get a new kind of alarmist – that of “new ice age”.”

    Give it to me…give me a few examples of where the science literature was alarmist about the “1970s ice age”?

    Give it to me…give me a few examples of where the science literature is alarmist about the current human-caused warming.

    You asked for it, and please don’t attack the messenger, attack the message and source of the report:

    [edit]

    [Response: Try again. The *science* literature does not include Time magazine or Newsweek. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:33 PM

  246. Gavin et. al., there are some fairly significant accusations leveled at you in Horner’s latest piece. As they are based on a FOIA request and the subsequent released emails and not on hacked emails or speculation, I was wondering if Real Climate will release a response?

    I can only imagine that if Part 1 was that bad, parts 2 and 3 might be worse for NASA and you.

    Is your response going to be to let the blogosphere and right-wing media outlets frame this debate, or do you all have a plan to get out in front of this latest assault?

    [Response: Perhaps you'd care to translate what I've been accused of? The worst seems to be that I know Jim Hansen and that other people I know have talked to Brazilian journalists. To both crimes I plead guilty. Indeed, I have even spoken to Brazilian journalists myself. There is nothing else there. - gavin]

    Comment by J. Warner — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:34 PM

  247. That was an interesting slip in my last of 6:33 PM: I meant wine, not wind, but on further thought, for this nonsense it really does not matter.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:37 PM

  248. Response to # 241

    “Give it to me…give me a few examples of where the science literature is alarmist about the current human-caused warming.”

    There are two ways to answer your challenge. The first is to type in “global warming” in google along with either the words “floods”, “drought”, “sea level”, “hunger”, “water wars”, etc., et.,
    [edit]

    [Response: You still aren't getting it. Google is not the scientific literature. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:38 PM

  249. As opposed to Mike G’s rendition of ’87, the forecast Michael Fish gave was, in his own words:

    “My forecast, which was quite a long time beforehand, earlier in the morning, actually said ‘Batten down the hatches there’s some extremely stormy weather on the way’.”

    But it’s very British to remember the times when the Busses FAILED to turn up, never when they do.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:41 PM

  250. Response to #241 [Completely Fed Up] to Jimbo
    “So why should the scientific literature get alarmist about a cooling which does not even exist in the global average record?”

    RESPONSE: Here are a few:
    http://www.almanac.com/content/case-cool-climate
    http://www.iceagenow.com/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/28/the-arctic-oscillation-index-goes-strongly-negative/
    Mojib Latif (Author at IPCC) says:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/6965342/Big-freeze-could-signal-global-warming-pause.html

    Do you have any more ‘challenges’ Completely Fed Up

    Comment by Jimbo — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:46 PM

  251. … an unproven advanced design, but Russia tried that in Chernobyl. The engineers knew it was safer …

    What’s your source for that? Outside the former USSR, nuclear power engineering had advanced beyond any possibility of risking a Chernobyl by 1955.

    (How fire can be domesticated)

    Comment by G.R.L. Cowan, H2 energy fan until ~1996 — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:48 PM

  252. 241: Richard here’s an “alarmist piece about the 70′s ice age”. NOT.

    George Will (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/31/AR2006033101707.html ) wrote

    “While worrying about Montana’s receding glaciers, Schweitzer, who is 50, should also worry about the fact that when he was 20 he was told to be worried, very worried, about global cooling. Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

    Somehow the Post goofed and a year later the Will column was briefly open for comments so I wrote: ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/comments/display?contentID=AR2006033101707 )

    Here is the full quote from the 1976 Science article that Mr Will cited. The paper was Variations in the Earths Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages J. D. Hays 1, John Imbrie 2, and N. J. Shackleton 3 7

    “A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next sevem thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation. You get a little different flavor when you read the whole quote compared to Georges little snippet in which he said they were proven spectacularly wrong.”

    I can’t understand why the post pays a clown like George Will to write such lies.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:01 PM

  253. Barton Paul Levenson wrote: “Undertone, I recommend reading Genesis in French.”

    I much prefer the original Klingon.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:07 PM

  254. > … an unproven advanced design, but Russia tried that in Chernobyl.
    > The engineers knew it was safer …

    Yeah, I’d also like to know where you got that idea and why you trust the source, whether it’s your own work or someone else’s.

    You can look this stuff up. Example, from
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/NucEne/cherno2.html

    “… The four RBMK-1000 reactors at Chernobyl represented crude technology that was 30 years old at the time of the accident. They are in fact similar to that used by Enrico Fermi at University of Chicago’s Stagg Field in 1942 to create world’s first chain reaction…. About half of soviet reactors use graphite moderators. Edwards says there are 15 RBMKs operating in USSR but that the other 40 reactors are similar to US reactors…..”

    Seriously, you should use believing the RBMK was an advanced untested design as an index measuring your own credulity, and adjust for gullibility.

    Don’t get fooled by people’s claims. Ask their source and check it yourself.

    [Response: This thread is not going to get hijacked by a nuclear discussion. Anything further is OT. - gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:08 PM

  255. I love how one “skeptic” says “You need to do better PR – control the media spin!” and another “skeptic” says “Leave media spin alone. Keep to doing science.”

    I really think humans are just designed to repeat the Easter Island situation over and over and over. We will use all resources, regardless of any warning about how it will affect the future, to the limit. Then, the last dregs of humanity will be left on a burnt-out planet, cowering in caves, cursing their ancestors.

    Comment by Ha Nguyen — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:15 PM

  256. Ray Ladbury says: 17 February 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Further to your suggestion, how about if somebody wants to level an accusation of fraud they have to name a specific persons committing that fraud and the accuser has to also publish his/her own name, address etc. along with the charge. That alone would be a refreshing change. At least the term “fraud” would not end up debased.

    With regard to “Jimbo” and his romantic wish for brave whistleblowers, there’s yet another example of the uncritical and guileless nature of “skeptics” being seduced by elliptical explanations for simple things. Leaving aside what seems most appealing to our sense of drama, a cursory examination of laws concerning “whistleblower” status seems to leave Jimbo’s hope with the status of “highly unlikely.”

    A genuine whistleblower– one who could claim status– would have left organizational tracks and would almost undoubtedly already be known to any authorities investigating the CRU matter. In fact it appears that in most cases a whistleblower needs to actively claim status within a certain period of time to gain protection, so it’s unlikely such a person would remain in hiding and thus unknown. The requirement to seek status is not surprising because otherwise these laws could be abused to justify employee misbehavior.

    In sum, if a disgruntled employee of CRU or EAU simply copied and disseminated notionally private files without further ado that’s just another case of dull old theft, not heroic behavior. I suppose while there is probably no paladin whistleblower for contrarians to fete, they could just possibly end up with a foolish martyr who did not think carefully or well, a gullible chump suborned, used, then discarded by fossil fuel interests.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  257. As promised earlier, link to Deconstructing Global Warming video,.

    http://freaquewaves.blogspot.com/2009/12/deconstructing-global-warming.html

    Comment by GSW — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:34 PM

  258. Well, JonP, here are quotes from your post 201:

    “You did not seem to take much issue when the media was sensationalizing the “warm” news. And you seem a bit surprised at how the media sensationalizes.”

    “The years of silence when the media reported weather events as proving AGW, the years of insisting that the science is settled, the years of having blogs tell new-comers they are stupid and some not posting comments at all, have to come to an end.”

    “To your point of what you part of the science should you or anyone give up to “train” in PR. You seem to find the time for this blog. I am sure there is someone, somewhere that could invest time into this, I mean it is rather important.”

    All three statements demonstrate your ignorance of this blog, what it stands for, what its history is, and what it requires to maintain it.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:43 PM

  259. RE- Comment by wilt — 17 February 2010 @ 1:47 PM:

    The news item you quote at the BBC regarding the statement by Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith is part of a news item. Smith is quoted as saying:

    “In a statement, Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith said it was an offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information act ‘to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.’”

    Note this is the beginning of a paragraph following a quote by Prof. Jones. It is a factual statement explaining what the law is, not an accusation. If you think this is an accusation, then you should consider the following. If Smith is not in the chain of authority for judging Freedom of Information violations, this would just be an opinion. If Smith is in the chain of authority it would still be an opinion, but in addition a severe breach in ethics. There has not been any inquiry or judgment regarding this affair and any responsible official that made a judgment (accusation) prior to any investigation would probably loose his position. The article also mentions ongoing investigations.

    Further, the UK Freedom of Information Act specifically states in the exemptions section that a FOI request can be denied if the requested information is already available in the public domain. All of the requested information was already available, so any ruling would very likely have been/will be not considered as an offense.

    You should consider not believing everything you read in the popular press without checking. This is what this topic thread is all about.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:53 PM

  260. Jimbo @t 250. Priceless! The irony, it burns. In a post about how reporters misquote, misrepresent and lie regarding scientists your comment has a link that misquotes and misrepresents Dr. Latif’s statements.

    climateprogress.org/2010/01/14/science-dr-mojib-latif-global-warming-cooling/

    Look up what Dr. Latif said for yourself if you don’t believe the link above. I’m sure someone will be happy to send you a copy of the journal article if you can’t access it.

    btw, are you pulling a Poe? First the ironic link, and then linking to Watts, who regularly produces schoolboy errors, seems designed to let readers know you’re are not to be taken seriously.

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:54 PM

  261. Hello Gavin,

    I can understand the frustration you display in your post, and I agree that journalists often do misquote, often do not understand the subject matter they report on, and sometimes do a terrible disservice to the facts. On a few occasions I have been personally involved in a story which was covered by the MSM, and I was shocked how poorly they did their most basic job of factual accuracy. There has been too much exaggeration and outright false reporting about the content of the UEA emails. Whatever else is in the emails, there is no evidence of falsification of data, as is (unfortunately) often reported.

    That being said, I do think that well known climate scientist like you and others at RealClimate could help your credibility with many people by being tougher on those who exaggerate the expected negative consequences of global warming to advance their political agenda. A huge amount of non-sense that seems designed mainly to frighten people has been pushed by activists, and broadly reported in the MSM for many years. Outright dismissal of gross exaggerations would be very good PR for climate science.

    Comment by Steve Fitzpatrick — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:00 PM

  262. The pendulum tends to swing to far to one side or the other. From alarmists views of impending disaster to denial there is any warming.

    There is warming of course, especially from 1979-1998, from 1910-1940 and from 1850-1889, and since the beginning of the end of the last ice age 20,000 years ago. Man is partly responsible for recent warming,
    but much of it is natural, and there is little evidence future warming will be catastrophic,
    or that man could do anything about it anyways. While it is generally agreed CO2 doubling will cause
    warming without feedbacks, of about 1.2 deg C, it is not agreed on what kind of feedbacks or their
    magnitude (negative or positive), or that any doubling would be due entirely to man and not due in part to natural causes like natural warming of the oceans causing the oceans to vent CO2.

    History has shown periods warmer than today and sea levels higher than today, and suggests another ice age is is looming. When that will be, nobody can say. It might get warmer before it gets colder, or it might not.

    Climate change is the norm. Species adapt or they are extinguished. Man should prepare for climate change in all of it’s forms, colder, warmer, drier, wetter, etc. That is done by diversifying the food and water supplies, and storing it for days when food production drops due to droughts, floods, warmth or cold.

    Science is never settled, consensus is a political term, and scientists are no more open than other disciplines. Careers are made and grants are received by pleasing those who are in charge of granting tenure and awarding grants, and those who give their universities large endowments. Much of science is funded by governments, so there is a political component.

    The days when a Swiss patent officer can get a paper on special theory of relativity or quantum physics published are over. Peer review by anonymous reviewers whose careers are based on defending the existing paradigm will reject such papers. Those scientists wanting grants to disprove the CO2 hypothesis will be rejected by peers who seek to protect the hypothesis and their own reputations based on promoting the hypothesis. Peer review can be used to censor new ideas.

    Most scientists are good people, but the system has gone bad and corrupted it, and it was never all that great in the first place. It is not just climate, it goes to genetically modified food, vaccine safety,
    back to the days when scientists said asbestos, lead or tobacco was as not harmful to please those corporations or governments funding their science. British scientists in the 17th century said children could work 12 hr days in hot environments without harm. Scientists who claimed the continents drifted on plates were ridiculed. Doctors claiming bacteria were a source of ulcers were ignored for 40 years. Tesla was thought to be on to a source of free energy and JP Morgan refused to finance him since energy without being able to meter it would not be profitable. In fact, even our monetary system is based on a false paradigm, governments should be able to issue debt free money in a time of less than full employment without causing inflation. But the experts who are paid by private banks and educated in the false paradigm say impossible
    and that governments can only spend money collected from taxes or which is borrowed and paid back at
    interest.

    Science is based on skepticism. Skepticism promotes good science. Thats the lesson of the day. Those who say otherwise and claim that scientists operate on consensus and the consensus should be trusted are not to be trusted.

    Comment by pft — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:04 PM

  263. It has been with great patience and due diligence that I have followed, and read, and researched climate science for some time now. Those in favor of global warming being induced and aggravated by CO2 and mans involvement in it, has been a general consensus for some time now, and up until Climategate broke, skeptics have been the butt of jokes over and over and over.
    Now Gavin suggests, “The coverage(regarding Climategate) has contained more bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion on the subject than we have seen in such a short time anywhere.”
    I strongly disagree Gavin.
    Isn’t it about time that the science that supports AGW and those involved be examined closer. Shouldn’t there be transparency?
    For how long has it just been assumed that the I.P.C.C. reports were just taken for granted for being actual peer-reviewed assessments?
    While you may consider it just bad reporting,I think its bad form to dismiss anything thats contrary to the current beliefs about Climate Change.
    If the science is strong enough to bear scrutiny, then let the scrutiny begin and if the science wins out, then all the alarmists of the past 30 years or so may then feel justified.
    Until that time, why not just let “The coverage has contained more bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion on the subject than we have seen in such a short time anywhere.”, go on for just a short time longer.
    Unless of course the science has something to hide , eh?

    [Response: The IPCC is the most peer-reviewed document in the world. It is still not perfect. But even you could have reviewed it if you wanted to. Transparency is great, but even if the data was all locked up and the analyses secret (which it is not), the nonsense passing for journalism in the last few weeks would still be nonsense. But if you want transparency (and why not?), start downloading the data, or the code, or the papers (all of which are readily available), and point out where it is exactly that you think we are hiding anything. - gavin]

    Comment by David Alan — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  264. I rarely visit this blog – the censorship is disturbing. But today I was curious.,,

    If I had tried as long and as hard as you guys to convince the public of a looming catastrophe and had failed, I would consider the possiblity that I was wrong.

    BTW, most skeptics don’t dispute some warming. It’s the cause and the consequences and the appropriate policy that’s disputed.

    It’s been warming for ~200 years. Pleaes plot human prosperity versus temperature and give that plot some thought.

    Comment by skeptic — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:06 PM

  265. “I doubt any journalism school teaches that ‘doing their job’ involves making up quotes, misrepresentating scientists and presenting innuendo as fact. But what do I know? – gavin”

    This is a straw man, as you well know. It seems to me that journalists are simply conduits for science marketing these days, simply publishing press releases. The more catastrophic or concerning the press release, the more print it gets (it shifts copy).

    There’s an awful lot of unmitigated rubbish out there, masquerading as unassailable fact, not just in the reporting of Environmental issue. It would be better if environment reporters actually started to take on board the counter-arguments, many of which are legitimate and worthy of public debate. But I don’t see this happening to any great degree.

    There’s a lot of institutional bias out there in the media. You’ve got to lean towards the ideology of Environmentalism to study Environmental Sciences in the first place. Therefore of course you’re already more inclined to see a problem where none exists, or where the evidence is tenuous. Coupled with grant hungry institutions and PHD’s seeking tenure, I would say we have something approaching an unfortunte feedback mechanism.

    Comment by Robinson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:12 PM

  266. > Steve Fitzpatrick
    > … a huge amount …
    [citation needed]
    This is often claimed but rarely are actual examples cited. Got one in mind that nobody has tackled? Pointer always welcome to absurdity worth refuting.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:12 PM

  267. I’m hearing a lot of moaning about biased reporting, with Joe Six Pack just gobbling up the 3-second sound bites. Well, not so long ago MSM printed nothing about the skeptical view. Not a word. The science was settled, Joe was told. Overwhelming consensus, he believed. The persistent voices of skeptical scientists were completely drowned out by he who could holler the loudest – namely those with the grants and the well-padded careers who could attribute anything and everything (from drowned polar bears to forest fires in Australia) to AGW. And MSM loved it. The headlines were marvelous, screaming about Armageddon and a Martian-like future. If someone quietly asked to see the empirical data, there was none (it had been deleted or the weather stations had been moved). Computer models. Tree rings. Consensus. Hockey stick. Science settled. Certainly no headlines questioning the validity. Just 3-second sound bites.

    And in every AGW-hyped article in MSM there was no balance view. Nobody asked the scientists and meteorologists who had adopted a more reserved position for their take on why the Arctic sea ice was diminishing. Just pictures of ‘stranded’ polar bears, and plenty of scare stories about what will happen if this trend continues. Further, the was a simplistic implication through all these stories that AGW was the cause, CO2 was the problem, the science was established as fact.

    As a lay observer of this phenomenon over the last 5+ years, it makes me laugh when I now see the protagonists of the theory loudly bemoaning the very same MSM for throwing a few simplistic headlines about. A media storm, is it? A feeding frenzy? No – this is just a realisation that maybe the skeptics have a point or two. Maybe the few objective journalists aren’t laughed at with total derision any more when they suggest investigating some of the skeptic’s claims. Maybe MSM editors realise that they have pandered to one side only for the past decade, and now it might be time to get some realistic perspective in the matter.

    Face it guys, you’ve had it your way for a long time. Now is the time to get serious about the science. Use reasoned debate instead of hyperbole and answer the questions which your Theory of Anthroprogenic Global Warming raises. Have honest, balanced and transparent debate. Keep an open mind. Maybe, just maybe Co2 is not the infallible trigger you thought it was. Maybe, just maybe, something else is at play here. Let’s investigate. Let’s admit that the science is not settled, and that a consensus (if there is any) is no validation of a theory. I hope that in the end, rather than the ‘warmists’ or the ‘deniers’ winning, Science will be the winner.

    Comment by Mike J — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:32 PM

  268. I’ve pretty much given up, so now I am just waiting for the world to fall apart. Maybe it’s too much to expect that we could escape the fate of any other animal that overruns it’s environment, but it did seem that it might have been possible.

    Comment by Dave E — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:37 PM

  269. pft – excellent points you make. I thoroughly concur. Nice to see Tesla get a mention!

    Comment by Mike J — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:43 PM

  270. J. Warner, You are a contemptible little gnome. To come on here and make vague insinuations about the contributors to this blog is beneath contempt. You don’t even have the courage to state your accusations clearly.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:48 PM

  271. Robinson says “You’ve got to lean towards the ideology of Environmentalism to study Environmental Sciences in the first place. ”

    Uh, actually, no you don’t. And in any case, climate science is not an environmental discipline, but rather a geo-science. Straw men are a bore. Maybe if you actually looked into the science, you address issues instead of straw men.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:52 PM

  272. @pft #262

    Thank you – well said.

    Live well and prosper.

    Comment by Mike Flynn — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  273. Andreas, Sorry, but there is no amnesty for trolls. If someone comes on here claiming to be a physicist, they damn well better be or at least better know some physics.

    Walt was a troll, and not a very bright one at that.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:01 PM

  274. Mike J asserts:

    “Maybe the few objective journalists aren’t laughed at with total derision any more when they suggest investigating some of the skeptic’s claims.”

    Wouldn’t that be wonderful if most journalists actually did investigate “skeptic” claims publicly, like here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/17/iphone-app-climate-change

    rather than uncritically accepting them and giving equal or greater weight to a small minority of vocal individuals versus the balance of evidence in the scientific community.

    Note how “skeptics” react to this:

    “WARNING! There is an iphone app trying to put down what we have to say under the heading of ‘Skeptical Science’. We need as many of you as possible to promote that this iphone app is yet another attempt to discredit ‘Climate Realists’. We can only hope the general public can see through this as a cheap trick to prop up the FAILED SCIENCE OF MAN MADE CLIMATE CHANGE”

    Sounds more like a cult movement than honest skepticism.

    The public has long given “skeptics” a free pass, rarely challenging their dubious assertions. If you’ve ever been to a scientific conference or are familiar with academic journals, you’ll note that such arguments are examined critically, explicitly or implicitly through presentations, review, and publication. It doesn’t usually contain the same shrill accusatory political tone that you and other “skeptics” have engaged in, nor does it obsessively focus on “anything-but-CO2″ arguments, similar to that of a lawyer pursuing a given case.

    The rest of your comments are littered with rhetoric and a stunning quantity of strawman arguments.

    Comment by MarkB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:03 PM

  275. Mike J says: 17 February 2010 at 8:32 PM

    “Now is the time to get serious about the science. Use reasoned debate instead of hyperbole and answer the questions which your Theory of Anthroprogenic Global Warming raises. Have honest, balanced and transparent debate. Keep an open mind. Maybe, just maybe Co2 is not the infallible trigger you thought it was. Maybe, just maybe, something else is at play here. Let’s investigate. Let’s admit that the science is not settled, and that a consensus (if there is any) is no validation of a theory. I hope that in the end, rather than the ‘warmists’ or the ‘deniers’ winning, Science will be the winner.”

    Mike, that would be turning the clock back at least 20 years, for some of what you mention fully 30.

    Here’s a great place to see how far we’ve come over the past 200 years:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    The whole enchilada, pretty much, including the roaches in the refritos such as they are. Check it out.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:05 PM

  276. Gavin,

    I admire and respect you as a climate scientists; leave economics to economists, where fairy tales rule, and where truth is stranger than the political propaganda that pours forth from many corners.

    For example, you cannot possible blame the recent world financial crisis on “the gold standard” but you could certainly blame it on poorly-applied economic theory.

    When translating climate science into public policy, I’m afraid we have the wrong bunch of “economists” advising Congress, which is one of the reasons climate legislation is going no where, for the present.

    Comment by Geno Canto del Halcon — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:07 PM

  277. #264 sceptic:

    I rarely visit this blog – the censorship is disturbing. But today I was curious…

    Curiosity is the foundation of science so good for you. BTW, I think the amount of venom that does get through here is quite amazing. Gavin and the Team are far more diplomatic than he should be.

    If I had tried as long and as hard as you guys to convince the public of a looming catastrophe and had failed, I would consider the possiblity that I was wrong.

    Did you ever think that these folks are trying to save you so that is why they do not give up? Even those of you that are trying to bury these same scientists for ideological reasons?

    BTW, most skeptics don’t dispute some warming. It’s the cause and the consequences and the appropriate policy that’s disputed.

    There are VERY FEW of that kind. Most are accurately called denialists because they truly deny the science and never use the scientific method.

    It’s been warming for ~200 years. Pleaes plot human prosperity versus temperature and give that plot some thought.

    It is precisely because of SCIENTISTS that humans have prospered over that time frame yet, with climate change, scientists are being attacked. How do you think human prosperity will be in the year 2100 with a business as usual approach to GHG emissions? I bet you do not live in Bangladesh nor use water from glaciers to drink nor have your home built on permafrost nor farm in the US, etc., etc., etc.

    Climate is changing faster than humans can adapt and the change will accelerate. And you will pay for it one way or another. The cheapest and most humane solution is to mitigate the source of the problem – increased GHGs.

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:07 PM

  278. Mike J says: “Now is the time to get serious about the science. Use reasoned debate instead of hyperbole and answer the questions which your Theory of Anthroprogenic Global Warming raises. Have honest, balanced and transparent debate. Keep an open mind.”

    Mike, how about going through the index above, read any or all posts, then come back with anything, anything at all written by the scientists who operate this site that does not satisfy your criteria.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:08 PM

  279. Tom Wiita@230.

    I just spent some time reading through the FOI released emails from 2007 that you provided a link to. My reaction is that they provide clear evidence of

    A) no malfeasance or fraud on the part of GISS and NASA scientists regarding the surface station temp data processing adjustment for USHCN/GHCN databases;

    B) self-promoting, obsessive, and uninformed actions and rhetoric by Steve McIntyre; and

    C) that despite coming across some interesting tidbits on tracking and analyzing surface temp data globally, I just wasted an hour of time at home

    I’m not an enviro-ideologue or an “alarmist” and I find your accusations/implications of scientific malfeasance on the part of GISS to be simply and profoundly without merit.

    Comment by Sloop — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:09 PM

  280. Walt, you claim to be a physicist. Yet, you have made absolutely no statments that give any indication of technical expertise. None. You haven’t even said what your field of interest is. Anyone who knows physicists knows that the love to talk about their own research.

    And if you had ever done scientific modeling, you would know that the whole point of modeling is to elucidate the physics. So, yes, Walt, we can model all those things. I myself have modeled cratering on icy satellites of Jupiter. I’ve modeled Neutrino oscillations. And transistors–inverters, even.

    And yes, Walt, we can model climate. There is a lot we don’t know. Lots to learn. However, when it comes to a well-mixed, long-lived (>1000 years) greenhouse gas, the results stand out like a sore thumb. So I can tell my neighbor that just as this decade was warmer than the last, and that was warmer than the one before it, so the next decade will be warmer than this. If you bothered to look at the science, Walt, you’d know this…or at least a real physicist would.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:10 PM

  281. Folks, it’s time for another denialist doublespeak lesson. Evidently it is arrogant for a scientist to expect that the 30 years he has devoted to studying a subject will give him more understanding of it than someone who has devoted, say, 30 minutes to the same subject. However, it is not arrogant for the person who has devoted 30 minutes to lecure the 30 year veteran on the minutiae of the subject.

    Next time, we’ll learn how black is the new white and how freedom is the new slavery!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:13 PM

  282. pft (262) — You have it wrong at almost every point. As for the next stade (massive ice sheets), from the references in
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_forcing
    on finds that the earliest possiblity is at least 20,000 years from now.

    I’ll leave the rest of your misimpressions for others to correct.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:16 PM

  283. Ha Nguyen says: 17 February 2010 at 7:15 PM

    You make a good point. In any case, technically speaking real skeptics don’t believe anything, so my conclusion is that we see very few skeptics here. Of course, we also see the word fraud loosely used all too often of late, so I suppose we must accept that we’re to be generally degraded as collateral damage from PR flacks.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:22 PM

  284. pft (#262),

    You write riveting fiction. Very articulate.

    “Those scientists wanting grants to disprove the CO2 hypothesis will be rejected by peers who seek to protect the hypothesis and their own reputations based on promoting the hypothesis.”

    Those seeking to disprove the “Moon Landing” hypothesis or claim the Earth is flat might say the same thing, and unlike your argument, they wouldn’t have much evidence to the contrary rejecting it. Richard Lindzen, a notable contrarian, has received about $3 million in NSF grants, on top of his industry funding.

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/piSearch.do;jsessionid=4342016799271FFA0A06A9D10F3380BB?SearchType=piSearch&page=1&QueryText=&PIFirstName=&PILastName=lindzen&PIInstitution=&PIState=&PIZip=&PICountry=&Search=Search#results

    William Gray, a rather shrill contrarian who pushes “hoax” rhetoric, has received even more.

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/piSearch.do?SearchType=piSearch&page=1&QueryText=&PIFirstName=william&PILastName=gray&PIInstitution=&PIState=&PIZip=&PICountry=&Search=Search#results

    Researches have even examined this specific hypothesis, rejecting it.

    http://people.oregonstate.edu/~stonedan/climate.pdf

    As for some of your other assertions, I strongly suggest you examine the multiple lines of evidence regarding climate sensitivity.

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

    I do agree that consensus is not fact. Once there was a general consensus that human activities weren’t warming the planet. It was through many observations over decades that the evidence for it began piling up. Scientists reached a virtual consensus based on this evidence. Some further reading material:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    “Science is based on skepticism. Skepticism promotes good science. Thats the lesson of the day. ”

    This is genuine skepticism:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    What we see in the public debate is usually not genuine skepticism, but advocacy – individuals arguing like lawyers trying to convince a jury, selectively promoting misleading or fatally flawed arguments while ignoring the mountain of evidence to the contrary. I personally hope such behavior doesn’t taint the word “skeptics” forever, as there’s always a need for genuine skepticism.

    Comment by MarkB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:24 PM

  285. Several genuine questions arise from all of this:

    How much time do we – scientists, science communicators and advocates of action (not three distinct groups necessarily) – put into countering the recent ‘putsch’ by the denialist contingent? Is this just another flash in the pan after which common sense will once more prevail? The genuine sceptics will see sense and all will come clear to the generally perplexed? Is it a storm in a tea cup? Or are we seeing an irreversible (at least without concerted intervention) unravelling of the last strands of public confidence in the scientific community, not to mention NGOs? How intractable is the left-right polarisation of opinion on the issue? (Is it any different in the UK to the US and Australia, for instance, and if so, why?) Am I just plain paranoid, or is it safe to say that part of their (the cranks, hacks, right-wing thinktanks, et al.) strategy to tie up our time and leave us with less to work on the many still unresolved scientific and policy problems?

    Just verbalising.

    For your part, you’re doing a darn good job folks.

    Corey Watts

    Comment by Corey Watts — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:28 PM

  286. @Ray Ladbury

    I made no insinuations. I didn’t even link to the piece. I’m simply wondering if the piece is going to be allowed to blow up in NASA’s and GISS’s face, much as the BBC interview with Jones has done.

    Gavin’s response hints that he feels he is removed from the controversy. Fair enough.

    However, If I were Hansen, I think I’d be thinking about how to get out in front of the same/similar illegal blocking of FOIA requests, as that is exactly what has caused the major problem for Jones.

    Right now Horner’s piece is on a little-known conservative blog. If Drudge or another large site picks it up, look out. The American people, the Tea Parties, the Populists, etc. are out to get anything that appears elitist. Not only does this appear elitist, it is fairly easy to make the argument (however unfounded) that NASA has wasted millions of tax payer dollars by fudging research, being unorganized, losing data, etc.

    Ray, step out of your usual bulldog mentality and look at this from the view point of damage control.

    Comment by J. Warner — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:29 PM

  287. “…lead or tobacco was as not harmful to please those corporations or governments funding their science.”

    Oddly enough, some of the same folks disputing the consensus on global warming disputed the consensus on tobacco’s effect on health.

    Lindzen:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Richard_S._Lindzen#On_Tobacco

    Fred Singer:

    http://www.tobaccoscam.ucsf.edu/pdf/9.6-JunkScience-Yach.pdf

    Steven Milloy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Milloy#Links_to_tobacco_industry

    There are always a few bad apples in the bunch. I wouldn’t villify the entire scientific community because of this. Lindzen, Singer, and other industry-funded scientists, who have had a clear conflict of interest, do not represent the scientific community on the whole.

    Comment by MarkB — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:38 PM

  288. 178
    flxible:
    “Wayne Davidson – “Winter Olympics without winter should be more a news story than it is”
    Only if one hasn’t been paying attention [like the Olympic committee, who've wised up NOW] – historically, the south coast of B.C. has what locals call “pre-spring” mid-February, sunny shirtsleeve weather, time to clean up the garden and get ready for early planting. Years ago the International Ski Assoc dropped Whistler as an event venue because of the erratic nature of spring conditions, if it’s not raining it’s foggy, or [like a couple days ago] there’s too much snow – and the 2nd Olympic venue is on a lower hill that regularly gets skunked. Current conditions may be indicative of climate change, like the effects of El Nino [the "immediate" cause this year], and are quite in line with the long term trend, but the only reason for it to be a real news story is the monetary effects.”

    Good insights, I would add, in particular focus to contrarian press, the Telegraphs and Daily Mangles Tabloids of the world, they likely will cover very little NW North American coast being all time warmest winter, even with the winter Olympics media Juggernaut. Because it will expose the flaw in their propaganda;

    All time lower atmosphere temperature highs = warmer air right where some lower ski slopes need snow.
    All time lower atmosphere temperature highs .not equal. to globe cooling since 1998

    and of course antifact tabloids equate great snowfall in Europe and East coast of US with all time global temperature lows which are not happening. Since Olympics proves otherwise, they will misquote climate scientists as a nice buffer against the reality which they evade for the sake of pleasing their Carbon loving bosses.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:42 PM

  289. pft@262 states:

    “Science is never settled, consensus is a political term, and scientists are no more open than other disciplines. Careers are made and grants are received by pleasing those who are in charge of granting tenure and awarding grants, and those who give their universities large endowments. Much of science is funded by governments, so there is a political component.”

    First, to repeat what is stated it seems dozens of time per week on this blog, scientific consensus is entirely different from political or normative consensus.

    Second, the above quote exemplifies a common error made frequently by Americans regarding how the science community works. Namely, the erroneous assumption that scientists, like much of American society, compete primarily for material wealth and employment security; and thus they are pre-disposed to ‘promoting’ AGW in order to turn on the spigots of government research funding, etc.

    This is an example of “economism”, the tendency to view all aspects of culture and society in primarily economic terms. Economism is arguably a serious blind spot in American culture and politics, a myopia we ignore at our peril, especially relative to other nations and cultures in both the developed and developing worlds who are preparing for our warmer future utilizing different social norms.

    Scientists are highly competitive, but they compete on distinct terms-namely the pursuit of scientific truth (of which scientific consensus can be viewed as the best possible mortal approximation) in all its socio-economic, biophysical, medical, anthropological, and countless other extraordinary manifestations.

    For many folks, such description of scientific endeavor sounds idealistic, even absurd. Why? . . . . See above.

    Comment by Sloop — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:42 PM

  290. As always it is a pleasure in reading your posts Ray Ladbury and I am not sure if I said this already but: welcome back.

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:47 PM

  291. I’m not sure if you’re taking the threat seriously enough. Enormously wealthy conservatives like Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife are spending millions to absolutely put you guys out of business. They aren’t playing games. And they aren’t going to stop having the lies published in their media outlets until they do serious damage to science itself.

    This is really hard to believe. I’ve followed this issue for the last five years or more and for around four and a half of those years, the Murdoch press, indeed all media outlets, have been willingly publishing any AGW press release or public pronouncements of doom and gloom from scientists, without questioning it. Now you aren’t getting blanket coverage and a little balance has been restored, you’re having a hissy fit over corporate bias!

    Comment by Robinson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:55 PM

  292. The MSM is just doing what it always does, generating compelling headlines in order to boost sales.

    From where I’m sitting, this has served the AGW agenda well up until very recently (I’m amazed to hear that some people here have the notion that AGW has been under represented in the news, especially UK news. What would the BBC be without its daily dose of AGW alarmism? Unrecognisable, I bet.)

    Anyway, if those following the GW debate in and outside the MSM have learned anything (they should have learned something), it’s that you can’t take any of these articles (either pro or anti AGW) at face value. If anything they will at best serve as leaping off points in which discussion of the various issues can take place in greater detail outside of the media’s demand for simplification and sensationalism. And this is where the various blogs come in…

    I think it’s true that the sceptical blogs have had a better run currently at deconstructing these reports in the media than the pro AGW blogs- and I wonder- is this due to the fact that the reports up until now have been mostly sympathetic to AGW concerns, or is it because the AGW blogs are largely unconcerned about what is being presented in the mainstream news? (prefering to stick to the science?)

    Certainly, with AGW now under attack, blogs such as Realclimate have an opportunity (and I would hope, desire) to set things straight from the perspective of concerned scientists, to provide the kinds of detailed analysis of the issues that the public has come to demand on such an important issue as GW. Strangely though, thought perhaps not surprisingly, it’s been Climate Audit which has provided most of the depth and detail on ‘climategate’ so far. I’m not sure what this says about AGW blogs… there doesn’t seem to be a lot of meat to this particular post as an example- it seems more like an opportunity to call those who disagree with you names. It’s not doing much to set records straight.

    Do your best at putting the information out there and the public will make up its own mind. That’s all you or anyone else can do.

    Comment by Stu — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:57 PM

  293. 272 Mike Flynn, 269 Mike J., and of course #262 pft

    There is a point here about consensus, but I am looking for a word that would carry the day as far as getting something to happen about this, or any other problem. No matter what the word might be, skepticism is appropriate and action needs to be planned with some comprehension of technological and economic reality factored into the decision making process.

    Usually in business situations there would be a much stronger engineering presence, which seems to have been short circuited in the IPCC planning process. Not to say that engineers can’t seriously mess things up as well.

    In business situations the science folks play important roles but are not so much a part of the grubby hashing out the trade-offs process. This is a blessing for the science folks who would much prefer to be doing higher order thinking. Engineers are sometimes better at putting up with the attempts by management to put order into the process by simplifying any task down to something that they can put on a plan. For example, in the auto industry the capability to plan and schedule new fashion designs every year or so has long trumped any interest in hard to schedule, real technical development. All we are left with is the general, empty claim that innovation has happened.

    What seems to have happened is that scientists have called for sweeping action by government on the assumption that the need for urgency would result in unquestioning funding like in war time. It seemed that every possible action was to be undertaken, regardless of cost. We have to notice that there is indeed some kickback happening.

    So now it is time for some serious work.

    By the way, how did Tesla get a mention for that free energy stuff. If it really amounted to anything would he have given up just because J.P. Morgan wouldn’t kick in the big bucks? I have never been all that excited about Tesla; he is not even mentioned in my E-M Fundamentals text book (I just checked)? As near as I can tell he was a capable engineer who helped Westinghouse set us on a disastrous course of hugely wasteful power plants, where power was distributed by high voltage AC lines made possible by his ideas. Not exactly something that involved a lot of thought about efficiency, huh? And now we get to pick up the mess on that. And guess what we do? We build a “smart” grid, where the only thing smart about it is that it will perpetuate large central power plants, located out in nowhere where only a third of the heat actually gets turned into electric energy. Nobody important really seems to care much about global warming.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:11 PM

  294. @ MarkB #274

    Your reference to a very recent article simply underscores my point.

    You contend:
    “The public has long given “skeptics” a free pass, rarely challenging their dubious assertions. ”
    I disagree.

    “If you’ve ever been to a scientific conference or are familiar with academic journals, you’ll note that such arguments are examined critically, explicitly or implicitly through presentations, review, and publication. ”
    I agree.

    “It doesn’t usually contain the same shrill accusatory political tone that you and other “skeptics” have engaged in, nor does it obsessively focus on “anything-but-CO2″ arguments, similar to that of a lawyer pursuing a given case. The rest of your comments are littered with rhetoric and a stunning quantity of strawman arguments.”
    Sounds a wee bit shrill and accusatory to me, Mark. Never mind. Thanks for your feedback.

    Comment by Mike J — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:12 PM

  295. @ Doug Bostrom #275
    Thanks for the link Doug – very interesting. However, my point was predominantly regards the reaction of the warmists to a recent upsurge in coverage of skeptical argument.

    Comment by Mike J — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:15 PM

  296. RE- Comment by Robinson — 17 February 2010 @ 9:55 PM:

    So, from what you have argued you must think that balance should also be restored to the evolution/creation debate so that the anti science crowd should be given an equal voice on school curriculum.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:18 PM

  297. Re #264 skeptic says:
    If I had tried as long and as hard as you guys to convince the public of a looming catastrophe and had failed, I would consider the possiblity that I was wrong.

    Not really since it’s human nature to be shortsighted and live for today. We are not good at accepting bad news in the future, especially when it might inconvenience us today.

    Comment by jonesy — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:19 PM

  298. John E. Pearson says:

    “”"241: Richard here’s an “alarmist piece about the 70’s ice age”. NOT.

    George Will (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/31/AR2006033101707.html ) wrote

    “While worrying about Montana’s receding glaciers, Schweitzer, who is 50, should also worry about the fact that when he was 20 he was told to be worried, very worried, about global cooling. Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

    Somehow the Post goofed and a year later the Will column was briefly open for comments so I wrote: ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/comments/display?contentID=AR2006033101707 )

    Here is the full quote from the 1976 Science article that Mr Will cited. The paper was Variations in the Earths Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages J. D. Hays 1, John Imbrie 2, and N. J. Shackleton 3 7

    “A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next sevem thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation. You get a little different flavor when you read the whole quote compared to Georges little snippet in which he said they were proven spectacularly wrong.”

    I can’t understand why the post pays a clown like George Will to write such lies.”"”
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    -G- I was *trying* to be polite and not point fingers at *who really was* telling the public about the “coming 70s ice age” AND the 2000s “we’re all going to die tomorrow because of global warming” statements. *They* are just sooooooo sensitive when you say who it was.

    Anyway here is one world-wide peer reviewed study (with more than the usual references) showing “the 1970s coming ice age” was not alarmist and not immininent in the science publications…as any ed _ _ _ _ _ d person would know (*They* too are just soooooo sensitive about that word).

    Peterson, Connolley, Fleck, 2008, BAMS.

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/2009Q1/111/Readings/Peterson2008_Myth_global_cooling_consensus.pdf

    http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2008/08047peterson/peterson.pdf

    Following is Peterson, Connolley, Fleck’s bibiliography for a little better investigation into the “1970s ice age” situation.

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    —, 1976: Whence global climate: Hot or cold? An essay review. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 57, 441–443.
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    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:19 PM

  299. @ Jim Bullis #293
    “So now it is time for some serious work.”
    Exactly.

    I suggest that serious work might be best undertaken by an independent group of qualified scientists. Not a political organisation such as IPCC or UN. Such an independent group would have to be totally transparent in their funding sources, deductive reasoning, empirical data and methodology, at the highest standards of the scientific process. Reviews of their work would be done by scientists across many different disciplines, not just environmental sciences (too avoid ‘pal-review’ situations). I think the internet could provide a technological framework for this process, but some formalised structures would need to be engineered.

    Thinking aloud… my 2 cents.

    Comment by Mike J — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:40 PM

  300. @Ron #258

    Ron no matter how bad you want to build that straw man of my comments being a direct critique of RealClimate I state now, as I have before, my words are to be read in the overall context of those who are convinced of AGW and how they handle the PR part of it. Quite a sentence, no? So please spare me the condescending “go read the index” crap. Gavin has responded and I have accepted his response as fair, accurate and honest. Note in the first quote of mine you used, I said it “seemed” iow, my impression was and Gavin directly responded to it.

    Let me ask you a question, Do you think proponents of the AGW theory could do a better job of communicating the message?

    Oh let me ask a second, How many, to borrow a phrase “Joe sixpacks” do you think read RealClimate?

    Would you like to converse or just label me, stick me in box and put your foot on it and pound your chest like Tarzan?

    oops thats three ;-)

    Comment by Jon P — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:40 PM

  301. Corey Watts, I think that once the sun gets back from its vacation _and_ we get a strong el Nino, the position of the anti-intellectuals will get much weaker. We are truly in a race between the melting of the permafrost and the awakening of the public.

    Comment by Tim McDermott — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 PM

  302. I’m afraid that there is no way we can keep up with every single mistake in the UK press though. – gavin
    Is there anyone who can keep up with IPCC mistakes? Answer – no mistakes, just small problems. That shows true confidence and robustness-gavin

    Comment by Richard K — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:03 PM

  303. Mike J says: 17 February 2010 at 10:40 PM

    “I suggest that serious work might be best undertaken by an independent group of qualified scientists. Not a political organisation such as IPCC or UN. Such an independent group would have to be totally transparent in their funding sources, deductive reasoning, empirical data and methodology, at the highest standards of the scientific process. Reviews of their work would be done by scientists across many different disciplines, not just environmental sciences (too avoid ‘pal-review’ situations). I think the internet could provide a technological framework for this process, but some formalised structures would need to be engineered.”

    Mike, you just described the IPCC’s main features, with the sole exception that it is organized as the “IPCC”.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:04 PM

  304. Jonesy, take the time to read up on public health and ecology. I can find you example after example of scientists warning of trouble in time to avoid it and being ignored. I can’t find any of scientists warning mistakenly that something was going to happen. So no, being ignored isn’t a sign of being mistaken, when scientists speak up about policy in huge numbers in consistent agreement.

    Scientists have been speaking up and participating as citizens in democracies for a couple of centuries. That’s a very short time. They’ve consistently been right, and consistently been fought by short term commercial interests that are extracting more than nature provides and wrecking a resource that could have lasted effectively forever.

    Just one contemporary example of the many:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13346-tuna-fisheries-facing-a-codlike-collapse.html
    http://endoftheline.com/blog/archives/1092

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:08 PM

  305. Stu says:

    “”" Anyway, if those following the GW debate…”"”

    Urrrr, ummm, cough, cough, hem, hem… I take umbrage at this statement. And yes, …only uned _ _ _ _ _ d people would say this, not meaning to be demeaning if you know what I mean.

    Below shows there is *no* debate among legitiimate climate scientists whose work holds up over time in the juried, published world-wide peer reviewed literature over whether human made global warming is going on…only among delusional or ahem uned _ _ _ _ _ d people.

    If you mean mainstream scientific debate as to how fast it will fully manifest itself, when, exactly where, and what to do about it, then you have hit a home run…yes, that is where debate exists.

    The world wide juried peer reviewed published work that has held up over time strongly disagrees with you if you say it is a debate of whether it is happening or what is causing it.

    And you have utterly, absolutely, totally, extremely, entirely, wholly, outright, unreservedly, downright, fully, no evidence whatsoever to back up your statement in the scientific literature that stands up over time to the contrary…only the “people who do not like to be named” are saying it.

    Orestes 2004, Science (183 citations) It has survived strenuous review, to put it mildly.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    Additionally, several scientific organizations have explicitly used the term “consensus” in their statements:

    American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006: “The conclusions in this statement reflect the scientific consensus represented by, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Joint National Academies’ statement.”

    US National Academy of Science: “In the judgment of most climate scientists, Earth’s warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. … On climate change, [the National Academies’ reports] have assessed consensus findings on the science…”

    Joint Science Academies’ statement, 2005: “We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

    Joint Science Academies’ statement, 2001: “The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus.”

    American Meteorological Society, 2003: “The nature of science is such that there is rarely total agreement among scientists. Individual scientific statements and papers—the validity of some of which has yet to be assessed adequately—can be exploited in the policy debate and can leave the impression that the scientific community is sharply divided on issues where there is, in reality, a strong scientific consensus…. IPCC assessment reports are prepared at approximately five-year intervals by a large international group of experts who represent the broad range of expertise and perspectives relevant to the issues. The reports strive to reflect a consensus evaluation of the results of the full body of peer-reviewed research…. They provide an analysis of what is known and not known, the degree of consensus, and some indication of the degree of confidence that can be placed on the various statements and conclusions.”

    Network of African Science Academies: “A consensus, based on current evidence, now exists within the global scientific community that human activities are the main source of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible for driving this change.” [21]
    International Union for Quaternary Research, 2008: “INQUA recognizes the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

    Australian Coral Reef Society, 2006: “There is almost total consensus among experts that the earth’s climate is changing as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases…. There is broad scientific consensus that coral reefs are heavily affected by the activities of man and there are significant global influences that can make reefs more vulnerable such as global warming….”

    ————————————————————————-

    The following world-wide established scientifically-oriented
    bodies have all issued verifiable written statements that human
    caused-global warming/human-caused climate change is now
    happening:

    They are all risking their hard-earned reputations, which is all-
    important in science, (and risking funding and ridicule if they are
    wrong), to issue statements that human-caused climate change
    is currently happening:

    1) European Academy of Sciences and Arts- 2007

    2) InterAcademy Council- 2007

    3) International Council of Academies of Engineering and
    Technological Sciences-2007

    4) 32 national science academies (Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
    Cameroon, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Ghana,
    Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Kenya,
    Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Russia,
    Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda,
    United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).-2001

    5) The national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a
    joint statement declaring- 2009

    6) Network of African Science Academies- (Cameroon, Ghana,
    Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan,
    Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as the African
    Academy of Sciences).- 2007

    7) Royal Society of New Zealand- 2008

    8) Polish Academy of Sciences- 2007

    9) US National Research Council -2001

    10) American Association for the Advancement of Science- 2006

    11) European Science Foundation- 2007

    12) Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological
    Societies- 2008

    13) American Geophysical Union- 2007

    14) European Federation of Geologists- 2008

    15) European Geosciences Union- 2005

    16) Geological Society of America- 2006

    17) Geological Society of Australia- 2009

    18) International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics- 2007

    19) National Association of Geoscience Teachers- 2009

    20) American Meteorological Society- 2003

    21) Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society- (As
    of 2009)

    22) Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric
    Sciences- 2005

    23) Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society- 2007

    24) English Royal Meteorological Society- 2007

    25) World Meteorological Organization- 2006

    26) American Quaternary Association- (from at least 2009)

    27) American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians- (from at
    least 2009)

    28) American Society for Microbiology- 2003

    29) Australian Coral Reef Society- 2006

    30) UK’s Institute of Biology- (from at least 2009)

    31) Society of American Foresters- 2008

    32) American Academy of Pediatrics- 2007

    33) American College of Preventive Medicine- 2006

    34) American Medical Association- 2008

    35) American Public Health Association- 2007

    36) Australian Medical Association- 2004

    37) World Federation of Public Health Associations- 2001

    38) World Health Organization- 2008

    39) American Astronomical Society- (from at least 2009)

    40) American Chemical Society- (from at least 2009)

    41) American Institute of Physics- (from at least 2009)

    42) American Physical Society- 2007

    43) American Statistical Association- 2007

    44) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Not one, I repeat, not one scientific body of national or
    international standing, (to the best of my knowledge) is known to *reject* (but three out of four American geological scientific bodies are issuing neutral statements- some dating from 1999) about the basic findings of
    human influence on recent climate change on the entire planet
    Earth *currently as of 2009*)…

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 PM

  306. Jonesy says,

    “it’s human nature to be shortsighted and live for today. We are not good at accepting bad news in the future, especially when it might inconvenience us today.”

    Why should humans necessarily need to adopt any belief about the future? The long history of predictions, especially of the apocalyptic type, has not generated a good track record.

    Imagine yourself in the year 1900. Now imagine yourself making a complex prediction about what would be going on in the year 2000. Would you honestly feel confident that you’d be right? Be honest.

    Not believing is simply being reasonable and realistic. We can plan, and we should plan! But nowhere is it guaranteed that we’re going to get things right. This is applicable even to the short term. 100 years from now, who’s to say?

    Appreciation of uncertainty should be a critical first step in dealing with any future risks. Many people sympathetic to AGW understand this. Many seem to forget.

    Comment by Stu — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:39 PM

  307. i have to say that i’m amazed at the traffic on this site over the past week. i’ve been coming to this site for about 6 months now to learn and occasionally post and those whom i’ve had conversations with know i’m an AGW skeptic and while i’ve at times posted caustic messages (which i’ve apologised for) i learned that most of the regulars on here have a genuine desire to educate those who want that and will respond to these requests when the post is done in a scientific manner. of all the AGW sites, this one is the best hands down and i’ll come here to gain knowledge as long as it is here.

    and as a skeptic and one who frequently visits this site i must admit that when i read the entire interview of dr. jones i viewed that as a big nothing burger. he didn’t say anything that i haven’t heard on here numerous times and the news articles were a distortion of his intent (imho). and that is coming from someone who watches fox news and reads george will’s column!

    gavin et. al. that run this site – keep up the good work and i’ll return to debating the science on another day when this calms down and i have a question or issue worth raising.

    ot – i’ve been looking on the GISS site for information on the weather stations – i.e. design of the stations, type of thermocouples used, calibration frequencies, etc. i couldn’t find it on the site and if anyone can point me to a link i’d appreciate it.

    Comment by gary thompson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:41 PM

  308. Re; 291 Robinson says: 17 February 2010 at 9:55 PM

    “…the Murdoch press, indeed all media outlets, have been willingly publishing any AGW press release or public pronouncements of doom and gloom from scientists, without questioning it.”

    You must take us for fools. Rupert Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. These are two of the most right wing anti AGW media around. And have been for years.

    “Now you aren’t getting blanket coverage and a little balance has been restored, you’re having a hissy fit over corporate bias!”

    Glenn Beck: ‘There aren’t enough knives’ for ‘dishonored’ climate scientists to kill themselves.
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/11/glenn-beck-sarah-palin-climate-science/

    This is balanced?

    You are what’s hard to believe. No, not hard, impossible.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:06 AM

  309. Forgive me, but Eli thinks he said this better three years ago

    ——————————
    Eli is not comparing Tobis, Nisbet and Mooney to our favored pinati, for one thing, and it is a very important thing, when confronted by climate nuttery, they call it spinach and they don’t like it. Still, the tactics they recommend start by condemning what might loosely be called the Hansen-Gore position as way far out, and if not their science, saying that it enrages too many people.

    This is the classic case of slamming the Overton Window shut on your own position. This is the

    “window” in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on an issue. Overton described a method for moving that window, thereby including previously excluded ideas, while excluding previously acceptable ideas. The technique relies on people promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous “outer fringe” ideas. That makes those old fringe ideas look less extreme, and thereby acceptable…..

    So what should be done. The important point which the Mooney’s, Nisbet’s and Tobis’ are missing, is that they should not define the middle excluding those far to either side of their position. If you try that the Inhofes will define the window for you as including them, you on the other side and Hansen shut out in the cold. If those who think climate change is an important issue try to find the “middle” position as an accommodation, the denialists will leave the middle as the extreme.
    ————————

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:09 AM

  310. Well, it looks like most of you have completely missed the boat when it comes to what the public will or will not do.

    It matters not one whit if “not a single error has been found in the ~1000 pages of the WG1 AR4 report,” to the public if global warming / climate change has no disasterous impact. Those sections on the impact of global warming in the IPCC have been trashed because they were exaggerated, came from biased sources, and had material misstatements.

    Because of perceived bias in the peer-review process I fully expect an effort to publish papers that detail the possible BENEFITS of global warming, just to prove that a journal is ‘fair and balanced’. Afterall, a warmer, wetter world with a carbon dioxide enriched atmosphere is great for the plant kingdom, and will translate to many benefits of the animal kingdom in general, and Man, specifically.

    This one-two punch of the disasters having been hyped plus the publication of the advantages of GW will result in the public dismissing this subject completely.

    The skeptics will declare victory, but those who really defeated AGW will have been the Al Gores and Pachouris of the world.

    Comment by jtom — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 AM

  311. Another for Jonesy, this from Aldo Leopold:

    “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:40 AM

  312. I suggest that serious work might be best undertaken by an independent group of qualified scientists. Not a political organisation such as IPCC or UN

    One more person who doesn’t understand that the IPCC or UN doesn’t do research, that the research surveyed by those organizations are all done by independent, qualified scientists in many different countries.

    Rather than speak ignorance, LEARN.

    Comment by dhogaza — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:47 AM

  313. Walt The Physicist #110: “nobody does or can theoretically model and computationally simulate performance of a transistor”. Why does talking rubbish about one subject qualify you to know better than experts on another subject?

    Here is some reading for you:

    [1>/a>]
    [2
    ]
    [3]
    [4]
    [5]

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:50 AM

  314. Walt The Physicist #110: “nobody does or can theoretically model and computationally simulate performance of a transistor”. Why does talking rubbish about one subject qualify you to know better than experts on another subject?

    Here is some reading for you (oops, URL glitch last time around):

    [1]
    [2]
    [3]
    [4]
    [5]

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 AM

  315. However, If I were Hansen, I think I’d be thinking about how to get out in front of the same/similar illegal blocking of FOIA requests, as that is exactly what has caused the major problem for Jones.

    Crap. There’s been no determination that Jones caused any illegal blocking of FOIA requests, in fact, they’ve all gone through proper channels.

    All the denialists have is a statement that the statute of limitations has passed (in US terms), by a junior member of the ICO commission.

    There’s been no formal determination whatsoever.

    What happened to the “innocent until proven guilty bit”?

    You’re essentially proclaiming that he’s guilty regardless of the facts, because of a newspaper quote that’s been widely misinterpreted.

    Comment by dhogaza — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 AM

  316. So many excellent post here, and a very healthy discussion. One observation/question: Suppose we’d NOT had the extreme solar mimimum we’d seen in 2008-2009 combined with La Nina…and suppose the trends in the late 90′s and early 2000′s had continued. I posit these two events caused no small amount of the temporary cooling we’ve seen. I suspect the AGW doubters would have a far less ground to stand on, with our without the “climate-gate” and other so-called media disasters. The AGW science is sound, and truly, within a few years, as new higher global temp records are struck, and lower sea ice records, and higher sea levels, and all the rest of it, this period will become a “blip” in the debate, and hopefully one that can be learned from. The future climate will set the climate for the future of the debate.

    Comment by R. Gates — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 AM

  317. Re: Wilt #52 Says

    “You have have missed this, but the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has recently concluded that Phil Jones’ CRU at the University of East Anglia broke the law with respect to the Freedom of Information Act. There will be no prosecution because the case is more than six months old. But that does not change the fact that misconduct has been observed.”

    Actually the ICO won’t confirm this. This claim has apparently been made up out of thin air by the BBC. Just add that to the pile of BS rapidly accumulating on the Island. I guess those wellington boots the Brits are famous for are going to be put to good use. As Gavin has said we are still waiting for evidence of any act of wrong doing or made up data, etc. This is all cold fusion.

    In regards to Texas. Man if you are hanging your hat on this story you’d best just walk away. Our good guvner Perry also recently told the EPA that the state would meet Clean Air Act requirements for visibility in 2150. I guess this was supposed to be some sort of a funny joke. If Texas could be hit up for pursuing a frivolous lawsuit, it would have been with AG Abbot’s latest mad hatter antics.

    Comment by Andy — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:30 AM

  318. Never mind skeptics vs science , the reality is there is NO leadership from the wealthy or the political to do anything about this. Do humans prefer cold or hot?

    Comment by ziff house — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:58 AM

  319. #93/gavin’s response
    You may want to reread the CRU emails or the recent interviews with Phil Jones: Data and meta-data gone missing; algorithms that are incomprehensible. That’s sloppy.

    The fact that you agree with someone’s viewpoint does not make that person unbiased. Rather, it means that you share the same bias.

    [Response: The fact that you don't have any idea about the context or history of what you seeing doesn't make them sloppy. That you are willing to believe the worst possible interpretations without any further investigation just reveals your bias. The fact is that weather station data are not clean - they are imperfect in many ways and many relevant issues to us now were not recorded by the authorities back in the day. Jones et al have worked long and hard to bring these records into shape, and yes, they are still not perfect. No data is 'missing', and while many pieces of legacy code can appear incomprehensible at first sight, they generally aren't - and if you are referring to 'Harry', all of the problems were resolved and the new version of the data set he was working on is publicly available (CRU TS 3.0). To condemn a whole institution because a programmer found bugs in a new project seems a little harsh, don't you think? - gavin]

    Comment by Richard Tol — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:00 AM

  320. 299Mike J says:

    @ Jim Bullis #293
    “”"“So now it is time for some serious work.”
    Exactly.

    I suggest that serious work might be best undertaken by an independent group of qualified scientists.”"”

    Hey I agree…I suggest these independent people whose work does not stand up over time under world-wide published scrutiny and can’t prove their case with written evidence that stands up over time who seem to disagree with the IPCC, the consensus (IPCC, Orestes, 2004) and the published, juried peer review since 1824 and can’t prove it should start their own independent review free of all that nasty, awful restricting oversight and need to prove evidence that holds up over time.

    Then we would get a real independent review of people whose work does not hold up under published scrutiny but whose work agrees with climate experts such as Rush, Beck, and Inhofe who have not published and and had work hold up over time under the peer review published system used since the 1600s. I trust experts like that, don’t you?

    Wow, I think Easter Island listened to such experts as well and look at what happened to them (Collapse, Diamond 1283 citations)

    A review states: “In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism.”

    And no, people, I am *not* being “alarmist” and saying that “science” thinks this “will” happen to “us”…hey…stop eyeing your neighbor like that…

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961959-0/fulltext?_eventId=login

    IPCC 2007

    http://www.cbe.wwu.edu/dunn/rprnts.eastersend.pdf

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 AM

  321. When Utah passed House Joint Resolution 12 declaring AGW a fraud, I sent a pointed letter to Mike Noel, the chairman of the committee. He had invited Roy Spencer to speak to the House of Representatives as an expert witness. One has come to expect a certain level of false statement and exaggeration from journalists, but when the majority of your state legislators do the same thing …

    Mike Noel responded with “…I have not been persuaded by Al Gore who has absolutely no science background whatsoever and the D he received in his life science class at Havard may have been a gift considering that he believes that the earths core is millions of degrees C which would make our planet a star … My research of the literature from literally thousands of other scientists across the globe is the anthropogenic caused global warming is not occurring … you may want to look up some information on John Holdren, President Obama’s Science Advisor and his co-Authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich (Standford University Scientists) and their position on Global Warming and it’s relationship to world wide population control. As a student of UC Berkeley in the 1970′s, their book on Population, Resources, and Environment was required reading for one of my courses. The lengths to which they would go to obtain ecosystem balance is beyond anything you or I would ever support.”

    Kind of a Twilight Zone sort of thing.

    Comment by dlharman — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  322. As another example, there is Mona Charen’s recent column http://www.creators.com/opinion/mona-charen/liberals-and-scientific-method.html .
    Responding to these various PR pieces is like playing Whack-a-Mole, but needs to be done. Guess I need to spend a couple hours researching some of these claims enough to rebut them in a Letter to the Editor of our local paper.

    Comment by AlC — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:42 AM

  323. “Let me ask you a question, Do you think proponents of the AGW theory could do a better job of communicating the message?”

    Jon, seeing as what “arguments” from denialists are “winning” and are considered to be good by some posters, I don’t see how you can say that the arguments from the pro-science side could be better.

    It seems for some people, any old explanation is fine.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:00 AM

  324. Andreas, So far, CFU and you are the only ones who have responded to my offer of safe haven for reasoned debate. I do not think it is reasonable to let those who insist on playing Calvinball (read these, they’re great):
    http://www.bartel.org/calvinball/

    off easily. I will try to conform to the rules I’ve laid out in regards to exchanges with you and will ask CFU to do the same. This does not mean that I will give you a free pass if I think you are posting nonsense. I will tell you I think it’s nonsense and tell you why. To do less would be an insult to you, IMHO.

    Deal?

    CFU?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:11 AM

  325. Jon P. and Ron,

    Are you interested in the truce I offered under conditions of post #190 on this thread?

    Personally, I would love to see less vitriol, but it has to be a two-way street. For instance, in respect to your post, I think that it is fair to point out that several posts on this blog have done just what you asked. What is more, several commenters (including myself) have pointed out several times when individual commenters or news reports confused weather with climate or went a bit hysterical on predictions. I do not see how you can hold this blog responsible for what others choose to do beyond its confines.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:18 AM

  326. “262
    pft says:
    17 February 2010 at 8:04 PM

    The pendulum tends to swing to far to one side or the other. From alarmists views of impending disaster to denial there is any warming.”

    Care to prove that melting ice caps is both impossible if we continue BAU and that it won’t be a catastrophe?

    Since the flooding would be 20ft easily for greenland melting and the New Orleans flooding was a mere 3ft, why all the catastrophe work and international aid to the US when this absolute non-catastrophe (by your estimations) occurred?

    New Orleans, by the way, would be less of the US than would be flooded if the Greenland ice cap melted.

    Now, if you’re going to say “but we can move”, then are you going to start moving now, are you making plans about how to move and where? For which you’ll need to know something about how the climate changes.

    Which requires climate models.

    And such moves are a catastrophe, as the much smaller temporary resettlement of the New Orleans populace shows.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 AM

  327. Mike, What “independent group of qualified scientists” did you have in mind. Fully 97% of the experts (those actively publishing in climate science) already agree with the proposition that we are warming the planet.

    How about the National Academies? Oh, they’ve already weighed in.

    Physicists? AGU, APS AIP, IOP–all weighed in

    Chemists? ACS on the side of warming

    Meteorologists? AMS, done.

    Scientists in general? AAAS and Sigma Xi both weiged in on the side of climate science.

    Gee, Mike, it looks like the entire scientific community has beaten you to your idea. Do you accept their conclusions?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  328. “265
    Robinson says:
    17 February 2010 at 8:12 PM

    “I doubt any journalism school teaches that ‘doing their job’ involves making up quotes, misrepresentating scientists and presenting innuendo as fact. But what do I know? – gavin”
    This is a straw man, as you well know.”

    No, this isn’t a straw man.

    It’s a rhetorical question.

    You may not know the difference.

    As Andy would tell Two-Ton Tony: READ A BOOK!

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  329. I suggest that serious work might be best undertaken by an independent group of qualified scientists. Not a political organisation such as IPCC or UN. Such an independent group would have to be totally transparent in their funding sources, deductive reasoning, empirical data and methodology, at the highest standards of the scientific process.

    You’re trying to square the circle.

    How long do you think the perception of independence, non-politicalness, transparency and scientific validity and quality would survive against the powers threatened by their results? Do you remember how Bob Watson was replaced by Pachauri, and how Pachauri is now under the same attack?

    My old pal Joe Dzhugashvili used to say “it doesn’t matter who votes, but who counts the votes.” He was very popular at 99.8% or so. It doesn’t matter who controls the science, but who controls the perception of the science. That‘s the problem.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:25 AM

  330. “And in every AGW-hyped article in MSM there was no balance view.”

    Your idea of balance has been noted:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance

    We don’t have balance to flat earthers when the round-the-world-yacht-race completes.

    But creationists would LOVE to see more of the sort of balance you profess is missing. Well it is missing, but there’s a reason for it: it isn’t balance.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:26 AM

  331. “Not really since it’s human nature to be shortsighted and live for today.”

    Humans are Genus Homo, subspecies sapiens sapiens (I think I got the boundary right).

    Seriously wise man.

    Shortsightedness and living for today is what animals do.

    Shortsightedness and living for today is not wise.

    If there are large sections of hominids in society who do so, they are not humans, since they are not seriously wise men.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:34 AM

  332. Do you have any more ‘challenges’ Completely Fed Up

    Uh, you’re reading comprehension (That was not me who said it) is as bad as your selection of quotes.

    The times made up what Latif said.

    Watts is no scientist and makes many mistakes and cares not a whit for them because he’s paid to muddy the waters, not produce science.

    You fail.

    Epically.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:37 AM

  333. As we are now suffering the affects of the el nino, there haven’t been any noticable increase in skepticism in Sabah. Most people are comment on how weird the weather is – floods in December, drought and fires in Feb.

    Comment by Sepilok — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  334. pft,
    Mike J,

    Well reasoned and balanced observations. Sound counsel for RC.

    Good to see some long range views.

    John

    Comment by John Whitman — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:33 AM

  335. J. Warner, I detest insinuation and character assassination. You have simply alluded to irresponsible claims by an irresponsible hack, leaving people’s imaginations to run rampant. And to what purpose?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:34 AM

  336. Gavin

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this media storm, at least from the UK side. I think it’s helpful to put things into perspective.

    The British media are what they are— a good dramatic ‘narrative’ is what sells copy and the sniff of a good ‘scandal’, in whatever context, is irresistible. Copenhagen, the cold weather, and the excesses of previous reporting in the other direction (gulf stream shutting down etc) have probably contributed to this.

    On balance I don’t think public perceptions have greatly changed; at most it’s hardened pre-existing opinions. Those with contrarian inclinations may have become more outspoken, while few (if any) advocates for climate change action will have changed their minds. Interestingly, it has revealed an unexpected lack of understanding of the way science is practised among some commentators, such as George Monbiot.

    But that’s by-the-by. There’s no real talk on the streets about any of this. Generally well informed family and friends aren’t discussing the ‘-gates’, or climate change at all very much- they didn’t before and they don’t now. I’m lucky to meet a broad cross-section of people through work, and it’s the same there. It’s just not an immediate concern for most people- jobs, health, wars in central Asia all take precedence.

    If any of this frenzy were to greatly influence policy, than it might mean something- but I don’t think it will do that, either. The main parties all take nominally ‘green’ positions and- for what it’s worth- none seem ready to abandon them.

    My opinion, FWIW, is that it’ll take much more than the current spate of so-called scandals, and certainly more than the longstanding sterile climate blog debates, to get the public fired up. When policies addressing more immediate, growing concerns— such as energy supply issues, global security, and health— start to align more fully with proposals addressing climate change, then there’ll be a real need to promote effective presentation of the relevant climate science and, of course, the accurate reporting of it.

    In the meantime keep up the good work addressing the scientific issues in such a clear, insightful way. Let the current frenzy burn itself out.

    Comment by geodoc — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:38 AM

  337. Dave E.@268, I’m sorry. Did somebody mislead you and tell you this was going to be easy? Did you expect Ex-Mob and the coal interests to just fold when there are hundreds of billions of dollars on the table? And for you, the stakes are the futures of your progeny. I guess it’s just a matter of how much that is worth to you.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 AM

  338. Robinson says “…the Murdoch press, indeed all media outlets, have been willingly publishing any AGW press release or public pronouncements of doom and gloom from scientists, without questioning it.”

    So, ever hear of Fox News? The Wall Street Urinal? The National Post…

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:49 AM

  339. Gavin has previously referred to the “stolen personal emails” and “data” from the CRU.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/

    Definition of Theft in the UK
    A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.
    Reference: Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968.
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1968/cukpga_19680060_en_1

    So let us assume for a moment that CRU was hacked from whatever geographical location and the files downloaded onto the hacker’s computer but they left the original on the server. Is this theft bearing in mind that they did not permanently deprive the other of it?

    “University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked…”
    IF an administrator of the Wemailserver at CRU / UEA had proper access rights onto the server along with username and password and downloaded and disseminated the information for people to view on the Internet, then it cannot be that the Webmail was hacked.

    [Response: This would clearly be an unauthorised release of data and would breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws. - gavin]

    “stolen personal emails”
    This is up in the air as far as I’m concerned. When you work at an organisation in the UK are the emails you send and receive personal / private? Are your emails protected from other’s eyes if they are subject to a Freedom of Information request. We know at least they are not protected for NASA.
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/business/foia/GISS.html

    [Response: On this you are absolutely wrong. The only emails and documents that are FOIA-able are 'agency documents', for which there are a number of tests which need to be applied. Personal email sent to a US Govt. email address or personal documents in your office or desktop computer are not automatically agency docments (see Bloomberg vs SEC, DDC 2004, or this related case from a State court). The emails in the FOIA request above were discussions of agency business and so qualify, but this is determined on an email by email basis. - gavin]

    I don’t know whether the emails and data was leaked, hacked or stolen and much remains to be seen. :o)

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:56 AM

  340. Ladies and Gentlemen

    Whilst you all carry on your highly intellectual debating society, I would like to take a moment of your time to remind you that tomorrow (19th February), is the day that the Corus Steel Works in the UK closes with the loss of over 1600 jobs in a northern English town that it is already under huge pressure with increased unemployment.

    This closure is the direct result of the acceptance of the AGW proposition and the subsequent creation of Cap and Trade.

    [Response: No it isn't. - gavin]

    Tata, is closing one of Europe’s biggest steel works and can transfer the very same production to India.

    In the process, Tata will be able to benefit from millions of pounds/dollars of carbon credits created through the reduced steel production in the UK and Europe – whilst there is no balancing cost in carbon debits (so to speak) – as the production is moved to India.

    To summarise –

     No reduction in total steel production

     No reduction in total CO2 production

     100s of millions of pounds to Tata from carbon trading

     1600 British workers thrown out of work in the middle of the worst economic environment experienced for generations.

    You people better be damn sure you know what you are doing because this is the result – and it stinks!

    In my opinion, it is a devastating example of what happens when serious, well-meaning and committed people allow themselves to be associated with the likes of Al Gore.

    Al Gore picks up your flag, waves it like it has never been waved before and is instrumental in bringing about the changes that result in the creation of a completely false market that directly ends the economic security of 1600 British workers.

    Gavin, do you condemn this Cap and Trade market?

    Comment by Curmudgeon Cynic — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:08 AM

  341. #316 R. Gates, Tamino, and as others have said:

    Yes, the second half of the 2000s would likely have been warmer without the low TSI and the La Nina and yes, it is quite likely that in the next decade, AGW will become much more apparent and the few true skeptics and the many denialists will literally be standing on thin ice.

    But can the world afford to wait for the final nail in the coffin?

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”
    – Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland (regarding ozone depletion)

    And as the US, Canada, and Australia wait and wait, and oil gets more and more scarce, these countries will be very poorly positioned in the green technology revolution. To deny the science is to essentially be un-American (or un-Canadian, etc.)

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:14 AM

  342. #324: “To do less would be an insult to you, IMHO.

    Deal? ”

    Arrr.

    To do less would also be an insult to WHY those points are desired. It’s not good playing by the queensbury rules when you’re up against a bottle cove.

    The Amazing Gaspode knows this.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:24 AM

  343. Walt the P: I wonder if there is some solid reasoning behind suggestion that the average global temperature during 1850 – 1940 was measured with accuracy of 0.1C?

    BPL: You might want to take an introductory course in statistics. What happens to the accuracy of a mean as the number of observations increases? Are the error bars on a mean the same as the error bars on a single observation? Which is greater?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:49 AM

  344. eroi: Even if the warming of the earth was true, taxation would not make a dent in it.

    BPL: It would if the tax was on units of carbon emitted.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:51 AM

  345. Look guys , I cannot find the time to read the torrent of reactions to this post. Gavin , you sure have hit a nerve here! And this has probably been stated already by some , but here in Oz the national newspaper The Australian ,is also printing a lot of rubbish imo re GW.
    And people lined up in droves and paid $100 + to hear Monckton spruik on . It is fascinating and at the same time a bit scary to think how gullible people can be .Perhaps a guest post by a psychologist about group wishfull thinking is called for :)

    Comment by Uncle pete — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:59 AM

  346. JB: They got tired of doing that and let St. Augustine restart religion. That was 600 AD.

    BPL: Augustine was more like 400 AD.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:02 AM

  347. pft: While it is generally agreed CO2 doubling will cause warming without feedbacks, of about 1.2 deg C, it is not agreed on what kind of feedbacks or their magnitude (negative or positive), or that any doubling would be due entirely to man and not due in part to natural causes like natural warming of the oceans causing the oceans to vent CO2.

    BPL: We know the new CO2 is coming mainly from burning fossil fuels and not from the ocean by its radioisotope signal. Read:

    Suess, H.E. 1955. “Radiocarbon Concentration in Modern Wood.” Sci. 122, 415-417.

    Revelle, R. and H.E. Suess 1957. “Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2 During the Past Decades.” Tellus 9, 18-27.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:09 AM

  348. Mike J: Let’s admit that the science is not settled, and that a consensus (if there is any) is no validation of a theory.

    BPL: Why “admit” something that isn’t true? The science may not have all the details perfect yet–no science does–but the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, CO2 is increasing, we’re doing it, and it’s a serious threat–those are so well established at this point that only those completely ignorant of the relevant science don’t accept it.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:12 AM

  349. PEER REVIEWED ALARMISM exemple to be published on march 15 in “Nature Geoscience”

    “Jianjun Yin, a climate modeler at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) at Florida State, said there is a better than 90 percent chance that the sea level rise along this heavily populated coast will exceed the mean global sea level rise by the year 2100. The rising waters in this region — perhaps by as much as 18 inches or more — can be attributed to thermal expansion and the slowing of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation because of warmer ocean surface temperatures.

    Yin and colleagues Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ronald Stouffer of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University are the first to reach that conclusion after analyzing data from 10 state-of-the-art climate models, which have been used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. Yin’s study, “Model Projections of Rapid Sea Level Rise on the Northeast Coast of the United States,” will be published online March 15 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    “The northeast coast of the United States is among the most vulnerable regions to future changes in sea level and ocean circulation, especially when considering its population density and the potential socioeconomic consequences of such changes,” Yin said. “The most populous states and cities of the United States and centers of economy, politics, culture and education are located along that coast.”

    The researchers found that the rapid sea-level rise occurred in all climate models whether they depicted low, medium or high rates of greenhouse-gas emissions. In a

    medium greenhouse-gas emission scenario, the New York City coastal area would see an additional rise of about 8.3 inches above the mean sea level rise that is expected around the globe because of human-induced climate change.

    Thermal expansion and the melting of land ice, such as the Greenland ice sheet, are expected to cause the global sea-level rise. The researchers projected the global sea-level rise of 10.2 inches based on thermal expansion alone. The contribution from the land ice melting was not assessed in this study due to uncertainty.

    Considering that much of the metropolitan region of New York City is less than 16 feet above the mean sea level, with some parts of lower Manhattan only about 5 feet above the mean sea level, a rise of 8.3 inches in addition to the global mean rise would pose a threat to this region, especially if a hurricane or winter storm surge occurs, Yin said.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news156182801.html

    [edit]

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:17 AM

  350. 305
    Richard Ordway says:
    17 February 2010 at 11:12 PM

    “The following world-wide established scientifically-oriented
    bodies have all issued verifiable written statements that human
    caused-global warming/human-caused climate change is now
    happening:

    They are all risking their hard-earned reputations, which is all-
    important in science, (and risking funding and ridicule if they are
    wrong), to issue statements that human-caused climate change
    is currently happening:”

    8) Polish Academy of Sciences- 2007

    You might want to have a look at: http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/06/polish-academy-of-sciences-report-slams-global-warming-spin/

    before you become so emphatic about institutions commitment to AGW.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:20 AM

  351. #213
    [Response: Except that isn't true. There are commercial vineyards in Yorkshire, while the most northerly known Roman vineyard is near Lincoln (Selley, 2nd edition). - gavin]

    Hey Gavin don’t be so sceptical. It might have been possible to grow grapes as far as Hadrian’s wall you know. If currently wines can be produced in places like Ontario, Canada, then why is it inconceivable during the Roman WARM Period?

    http://www.canadianvintners.com/
    http://www.winesofcanada.com/her_wineries.html
    Vineyards of Ontario!!!
    http://www.ontariograpes.com/home.html

    Vineyard in Canada, Nova Scotia!
    http://www.canada-photos.com/grape-vineyard-nova-scotia-3169-pictures.htm

    [Response: So let me get this straight. The Roman 'Warm' period is definitely warmer than today because it has 'warm' in its name and they grow wine in Ontario? Got it. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:42 AM

  352. Curmugeon: “To summarise –

     No reduction in total steel production

     No reduction in total CO2 production

     100s of millions of pounds to Tata from carbon trading

     1600 British workers thrown out of work in the middle of the worst economic environment experienced for generations.”

    1: the idea isn’t to reduce steel production but CO2 production.

    Fe != CO2

    2: Can you tell?

    3: 1000′s millions spent by Oil/coal on PR and lobbying still hasn’t proven the IPCC or AGW wrong

    4: An economic recession started by the richest, paid for by the poorest. Rather like AGW problems. (NOTE: the poorest USian on less than 12k a year has an unemployment rate of 30%. The richest 10% have an unemployement of 3%, where you expect to have the floor since people move jobs, take leave, etc). It also doesn’t have anything to do with the science.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 AM

  353. RS:
    In December 2007, the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) issued a statement endorsing the IPCC conclusions, and states:

    it is the duty of Polish science and the national government to, in a thoughtful, organized and active manner, become involved in realisation of these ideas.

    Problems of global warming, climate change, and their various negative impacts on human life and on the functioning of entire societies are one of the most dramatic challenges of modern times.

    PAS General Assembly calls on the national scientific communities and the national government to actively support Polish participation in this important endeavor

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:52 AM

  354. “medium greenhouse-gas emission scenario, the New York City coastal area would see an additional rise of about 8.3 inches above the mean sea level rise that is expected around the globe because of human-induced climate change.”

    But what happens when the ice at the edge of the greenland glacier melts?

    And when it gets warmer globally, the edge of the glacier on greenland will move north, making the glacier smaller.

    What happens to the sea level rise then?

    What happens when you hold your hand with ice cubes in it over a full-to-the-brim glass of water?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:55 AM

  355. PS on Climatedepot’s coverage of the Polish academy, they state:

    “Shock Call To Action: ‘At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers’ — ‘Shouldn’t we start punishing them now? …”

    I don’t see much thrown Morano’s way for that sort of hate.

    Do you?

    PPS Ask Uncle Vinny. He’s talked to the President of the Committee of Geological Sciemces, PAS

    http://unclevinny.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/global-warming-denialism/

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 AM

  356. I think we should distinguish between two kinds of Overton window.

    The scientific one is defined by estimates of warming produced by doubling of CO2 (climate sensitivity). All such windows have to lie within the range zero at the super skeptical end to the “climate runaway” or similar at the other end.

    Another kind of Overton window describes the way the discussion is conducted. These windows must lie in the ranges which stretch from the careful,thoughtful, rigorous , cautious, rational, honest , hard working,intelligent at one end to the misinforming, misunderstanding, lazy, censoring , manipulating,bullying, corrupting, in-your-face lying at the other end.

    The effect of all this misinformation has been to shift this second type of window. If you are a journalist, your behaviour is now encouraged to be even more irresponsible and lazy than before. Work has become easier. All that you need to do is to help pump up the bubble and follow the pack.

    Censorship is a most important factor. Although the media have, in the past, given publicity to many of the conclusions of the science , they have been systematically bad at providing any analysis*. The pseudo-experts, who step in to fill this void can then pretend that this analysis does not exist. Another problem is that so much of the information has to be filtered by editors and gate-keepers such as environmental correspondents like Roger Harrabin. Why not invite the experts to prepare some in depth programmes?
    ————————————————
    *. BBC TV, Radio 4 and Channel 4 should be leading the way with education. I don’t mind if they include arguments against the consensus , provided they also include a proper analysis explaining why most climatologists disagree with such arguments.

    All that they have provided over many years is “Global Dimming” (muddled and open to misunderstanding), The “Moral Maze” which is largely hostile to the scientific position and the Great Global Warming Swindle which provided a garbled version of the missing analysis, and the non analytical “Climate Wars” by the non climatologist Iain Stewart. In contrast, the BBC have proudly prepared numerous excellent programmes about Darwin and evolution. Why such a huge difference?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 AM

  357. Response to #339 Jimbo
    [Response: This would clearly be an unauthorised release of data and would breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws. - gavin]

    Maybe, but not hacked as I questioned. You are correct on the “unauthorised release of data” (which I did not put into question) and as for “breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws” I’m not so sure what the implication would be if the “whistleblower” used the Public interest defence for Whistleblowers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Would this override the breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws? I don’t know as I’m not a lawyer.
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980023_en_1

    At the Freedom of Information section of the Information Commissioner’s Office there are excemptions and I can’t see emails being covered so are they “personal emails” / private?
    http://www.ico.gov.uk/home/what_we_cover/freedom_of_information/guidance.aspx#exeguidance

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:00 AM

  358. jimbo : “Maybe, but not hacked as I questioned. ”

    how do you know it’s not hacked?

    If I break in to the mail system at work, I have no authorisation to access the mail server and definitely none to access emails I do not own.

    To view them, I have to === Hack === the server.

    Even though I work for my company.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:13 AM

  359. To clarify my last post on “personal emails” my question is do emails stored on a server in a public organisation belong to those named on the emails or the organisation. From what I recall emails in companies are the property of the company and not employees. I might be wrong on this though.

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:16 AM

  360. [Response: So let me get this straight. The Roman 'Warm' period is definitely warmer than today because it has 'warm' in its name and they grow wine in Ontario? Got it. - gavin]

    Additionally, these Romans would be Romans during the Catholic rather than Classical phase of roman beliefs.

    Isn’t the communion rather important for Roman Catholics?

    This requires wine, doesn’t it?

    And, since there’s no handy offlicense to buy vino de plonk and they’re not really drinking it to DRINK it (what’s it have to compete with anyway? New Zealand don’t have their cheeky chardonay yet) and, given they were a lot further north than York, one wonders why they didn’t have vinyards as far north as they’re growing today?

    Roman Catholicism today can choose imported wines from much more appropriate wine growing countries and water treatment makes water much more potable.

    It’s also not the state religion, making it rather less important.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:17 AM

  361. 350
    Richard Steckis

    Actually that statement is from the Committee of Geological Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences. One of 95 scientific committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

    It is not the official position of PAN – their last official statement can be found here:
    http://www.aktualnosci.pan.pl/images/stories/pliki/stanowiska_opinie/2008/stanowisko_pan_131207.pdf

    Comment by Sepilok — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:24 AM

  362. People who have not been trained as scientists do not know what the word “truth” means. They think that courts of law determine truth. They think that voting determines truth. Neither could be farther from the truth. Only experiments determine truth. Humans should never be trusted or believed because telling the truth is just impossible in ordinary language, and the human animal did not evolve to tell the truth. Most people can’t tell the truth even if they want to.

    Journalists, in general, are NOT trained scientists. You can’t expect journalists to have any idea of what they are talking about if the subject is science. You can’t expect journalists to understand that the source of truth is experiments. Journalists, like most people, actually believe that human witnesses can be believed.

    When journalists were reporting what scientists said, they were doing the same thing that they are doing now: reporting what some human said. IN NO CASE did the journalists actually understand what was going on. Understanding isn’t what journalism is all about. Telling stories is. Don’t expect miracles.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:31 AM

  363. completely fed up :
    1) It’s a computer simulation could be GIGO if initial hypothesis and theories are (even partially) false or incomplete.

    2) 18 inches in a century, there’s plenty of time for “Netherlands” coastal construction and/or moving gradually elsewhere.

    3)Global Ice coverage seems ok; Antarctica’s ice extent (more than 90% of world’s ice) is up decade after decade. Around A.D. 1000 there was much less ice on Greenland than today and look! Humans survived!

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:37 AM

  364. RO — You’ve got Inhofe and Crichton mixed in with the peer-reviewed articles in that last list.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:49 AM

  365. #178: Winter Olympics 2014

    The next meet in Sotchi, Russia. A nice little town on the Black Sea, palms and everything.

    The main events will be located in a nearby mountain resort, current weather forecast to be seen at
    http://www.foreca.com/Russia/Krasnaya_Polyana?tenday

    Comment by Pekka Kostamo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 AM

  366. jtom: It matters not one whit if “not a single error has been found in the ~1000 pages of the WG1 AR4 report,” to the public if global warming / climate change has no disasterous impact.

    BPL: “Disastrous.” And what part of “complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years” do you not regard as disastrous?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 AM

  367. Several people including Steve Fish (#259) and Completely Fed Up (#189) have attacked my remark (# 52 and #171) about Phil Jones breaching the British law on Freedom of Information. They suggested that there has been no verdict from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    You may not believe me, or The Times (London), or the BBC – which as most of you will know is not really biased towards the climate sceptics – After all this could be one big conspiracy isn’t it ??

    But I suppose that an official reaction to the ICO’s decision from the University of East Anglia where Phil Jones and his CRU unit are employed is above suspicion:
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/vcstatement

    Comment by wilt — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 AM

  368. “1) It’s a computer simulation could be GIGO if initial hypothesis and theories are (even partially) false or incomplete.”

    Nope, it’s incomplete but not garbage.

    Pi is NOT 3.142 (and is unrepresentable as a number) so ANY use of pi is incomplete.

    Yet it is used an awful lot in modelling engines, gadgets and so forth.

    They appear to be working still.

    “2) 18 inches in a century, there’s plenty of time for “Netherlands” coastal construction and/or moving gradually elsewhere.”

    Unless Greenland melts.

    Solids have this funny thing called “phase change”. As they warm up, they remain steadfastly solid and do not deform readily. Then, all of a sudden, they change state and melt. At this point they are a liquid and move like crazy.

    “3)Global Ice coverage seems ok; Antarctica’s ice extent (more than 90% of world’s ice) is up decade after decade.”

    And a spot of butter covering 1cm of the knife can be spread on a slice of bread 100x bigger.

    This doesn’t mean you’ve created more butter.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  369. “359
    Jimbo says:
    18 February 2010 at 8:16 AM

    To clarify my last post on “personal emails” my question is do emails stored on a server in a public organisation belong to those named on the emails or the organisation.”

    Does the recording of “Hit me baby, one more time” belong to the label, the singer, the songwriter or the public to whom all public works and culture belongs?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:25 AM

  370. O.K., JonP, I will take you at your word if that is what you really meant. So I assume you realize that RC weighs in against misleading information on either side, that it takes the science quite seriously, that it does not confuse weather with climate and frequently corrects this error, etc.

    Can communication be better? Of course, but first people have to be willing to listen. In the U.S., at least, people tend to glaze over when the subject of science comes up.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:30 AM

  371. # 358 Completely Fed Up to jimbo :
    “Maybe, but not hacked as I questioned.”
    how do you know it’s not hacked?
    ——
    Sorry if those words mislead you I should have phrased it better.
    If you look back at my comments and Gavin’s responses I’m proposing alternative possibilities. The “not hacked” was in response to Gavin – but was not meant as a fact. I have said a couple of times that I don’t know whether they were leaked, hacked or stolen.

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:40 AM

  372. Sepilok, do you have an english translation? I ran it through a polish to english translator, but it’s a bit rough.

    I did minimal clean-up, only stripping out character codes that didn’t translate for fear of being accused of distortion. Even so, it is clear they consider climate change to be a significant threat:

    “Problem of global warming, changes of climates and negative influence (income) & person ycie and there is one of most dramatic challenge of contemporaneousness on whole functioning society.

    Current research indicate most, it has grown in atmosphere in last two hundred about near 25% lats (summers; years) contents oxide carbon (charcoal; coal) e. If add for this similar incrementation of (growth of) presence in atmosphere other, by activity of person harmful gasses generated, it holistic, effective incrementation of (growth of) amount of this gas totals (take away; amount to) in treated period 40% near, but it has swindled particular acceleration in last decades. These facts cause situation become extremely worrying e.

    Everything emission of harmful gas starts up whole range of natural process in atmosphere ( ) nade CO2, biosphere, hydrosphere, leading global warming. Then it evokes negative results in agriculture, hydrologii, demography is valued (, for examplecan strip access to water in undistant future change climatic near population of world ).

    At the end of november declared in questions of development (evolution) against (versus) climatic changes year report special program UNO ( ) entitled „ ącego UNDP; it calls for solidarity in divided world cooperation international onej. Similar head count leads (drive) international panel for community of world in questions of climatic changes ( ) – this year’s laureate nobel prize IPCC. There is duty of polish science and state authorities, in order to to manner thought over, organized and active include (switch on) to realization this idea. It requires it enforcement of priority extensive (wide) and area investigative norodnym, in this over physical research and biochemical mechanisms of climatic changes and mathematical modeling . So elaborate proper (suitable) center (means) technical and principles of their and regulations economically in all areas of economic activities of states -legal limiting emission so called gas greenhouse.

    It is essential plane have to inform society taking of information operation scale and meaning of taken (undertaken) remedial center (means).

    You are returned general assembly for national (local) scientific environments and for state authorities about active support of polish participation (quota) in venture nym. We judge, creation would be in direction of counteraction under auspices of polish academies of special sciences of programs of counteractions results of global warming proper (suitable) step climatic eniom and results . There would be task sponsored and coordinating of research and any (every) other forms of legal operations and economic concerning aspect change climatic norodnych.”

    Interesting: when you google PAS and climate statement all you get is the denialist sites quoting the CGS. And only one of them actually gets the fact that it came from the CGS right. Wonder why that is!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:43 AM

  373. To #313, and #280
    I looked through refs [1,2] and stopped there. The experimental data for model verification are plotted without error bars. This is disgrace and it is shame that these works were published in such form. However, it seems to be a modern trend… Second, the referenced works depicting triumph of the transistor modeling are just what electrical engineers do – chewed up and modified Ohm’s law with a little sprinkle of empirical correlations between the current and drain-to source voltage and similar stuff. These models might work very accurately and, thus, be of very high value to the application engineers. But, this is not what the physicists would call a physical model. Ray Ladbury, saying that all physicists like talking about their work is unsubstantiated generalization. And proposing criterion of true “physicistness” as those who like to talk about their work is strange (saying that politely). Not all physicists like to talk about their work to the general public. Actually my experience is opposite – few physicists like that. Majority of those who do, as I noticed, have ulterior motives that are typically money or fame. There is also a cohort of physicists who do entertainment science – like modeling of meteor impact. They like talking about that too. There is one such a model shown on History TV channel – a fella from Sandia modeled meteor impact with Earth to raise awareness of the danger from the sky. If you noticed, the material ejected separates into multiple pieces with random-like distributed shapes. I reproduced this model (on my free time, i.e. not charging public for my entertainment) and got similar beautiful pictures. What I failed to see that, every time you run the code the ejection dynamics repeats exactly the same. I though may be some instability in the rounding or some fluctuation in the electron current through transistor (just kidding!) would result in some variations of the chaotic melt ejection… No! Then, conclusion is that the model does not accurately predict the ejecta distributions of size and velocity. However, the SNL fella was talking about the effect of the ejecta on surrounding population centers. I call this nature’s trick, if youk now what I’m talking about. It seems to me that the GW modelers make similar attempt to propose that they predict accurately “noisy” part of the solution, i.e. variations within couple degrees range. Perhaps majority of them make honest mistake. What do you think about that?

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:50 AM

  374. Ref 352 Completely Fed Up

    Of all of the responses that I anticipated, yours was certainly way beyond anything that I imagined.

    In answer to my comments – you choose to argue the case – and promote the very outcome that is happening!

    1. The point I was making is that the same amount of steel will be produced (by the same company) – leading to ……….

    2. The same amount of CO2 being produced! (by the same company – although you seem to be suggesting that the Indian plant might be more efficient!)

    3. In response to my point 3 about Tata making 100s of millions from the carbon credits, you say “1000’s millions spent by Oil/coal on PR and lobbying still hasn’t proven the IPCC or AGW wrong”.

    What on earth has that got to do with anything?

    Tata will claim the carbon credits and make millions out of them without any possible benefit to the planet – and who pays and who receives the millions? The western tax payer will pay and Tata will take the profit (i.e. the very same company making the steel in India instead of England) as well as the carbon traders!

    Your point about big oil is lost on me – and the 1600 workers at the Corus plant in England.

    4. In response to my point that “1600 British workers thrown out of work in the middle of the worst economic environment experienced for generations”, you say:

    “An economic recession started by the richest, paid for by the poorest. Rather like AGW problems. (NOTE: the poorest USian on less than 12k a year has an unemployment rate of 30%. The richest 10% have an unemployement of 3%, where you expect to have the floor since people move jobs, take leave, etc). It also doesn’t have anything to do with the science”.

    … which I read as you saying: tough s***, serves ‘em right.

    You demonstrate not one jot of sympathy or empathy for the plight of the 1600 workers and their families (notwithstanding the effects on all of the other businesses in the town that served the plant and its workforce (ex-workforce).

    You don’t criticise or condemn a market that encourages these outcomes and which offer absolutely no contribution to reducing AGW.

    You appear to be suggesting that it is “just” that the Corus workers suffer because of the antics of Bankers and Hedge Fund managers around the globe.

    Just so I know, do I read you correctly in that you are saying that Cap and Trade has got nothing to do with reducing CO2 – and has everything to do with wealth redistribution and punishment of workers for the banking crisis?

    Comment by Curmudgeon Cynic — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  375. Re #357
    [Response: This would clearly be an unauthorised release of data and would breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws. - gavin]

    Maybe, but not hacked as I questioned. You are correct on the “unauthorised release of data” (which I did not put into question) and as for “breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws” I’m not so sure what the implication would be if the “whistleblower” used the Public interest defence for Whistleblowers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Would this override the breach all of the relevant Data Protection Laws? I don’t know as I’m not a lawyer.
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980023_en_1

    Firstly, to be a ‘Whistleblower’ as covered by the act one has to disclose information to an “employer or other responsible person”, “legal advisor”, “Minister of the Crown” etc., it doesn’t cover distributing information all over the blogosphere.
    Secondly, note the following:
    “(3)A disclosure of information is not a qualifying disclosure if the person making the disclosure commits an offence by making it.”

    So a ‘whistleblower’ is protected against employer retaliation etc. if they make a disclosure within the terms of the act, but are not protected from the law.
    Did you actually read this Act before linking it?

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  376. Completely Fed Up
    A computer simulation is NOT an observation.
    Greenland had had less ice than today in the past and life went on. Phase change in such a large quantity of ice takes centuries.

    Antarctica is cooling (except for the peninsula which is 15% of the total) can’t see it melting in even such a long time (for human beings that is) as a decade.
    I move from my home in less than a month in full otder; in few days/hours if needed more hastily.
    I didn’t say it was garbage I said they could be wrong-they can be right too, and if sea rise occurs , humans will have time to adapt. Humans adapted to 4 Ice Ages in 400 000 years (they adapted to the melt of the interglacial periods too)
    Simulation is not a fact.
    You can test the validity of PI via experiment. You can’t test the validity of the climate paradigms and theories otherwise than to predict , wait and observe.

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:06 AM

  377. “367
    wilt says:
    18 February 2010 at 8:54 AM

    Several people including Steve Fish (#259) and Completely Fed Up (#189) have attacked my remark (# 52 and #171) about Phil Jones breaching the British law on Freedom of Information. ”

    A strange complaint from someone who attacked Phil Jones.

    “You may not believe me, or The Times (London), or the BBC ”

    No, it’s not that we don’t believe you, the times or the BBC but that the Times and the BBC aren’t saying that Phil Jones broke the law.

    They’re reporting that the ICO have stated that it’s against the law to break the FOIA (law). Tautology city.

    Wilt, it’s illegal to speed in a residential area. We do not have any speed camera footage left that shows you speeding, so it’s too late to prosecute you.

    This does mean you’ve broken the law by speeding in a residential area, however.

    It is, however, true.

    It IS illegal to speed.

    And they don’t have any footage.

    And they cannot prosecute you without proof.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  378. To #343 Barton Paul Levenson BPL: You might want to take an introductory course in statistics. What happens to the accuracy of a mean as the number of observations increases? Are the error bars on a mean the same as the error bars on a single observation? Which is greater?
    The measurement error includes random and systematic errors. The random error can be decreased by increasing number of observations; however, systematic error does not depend on number of observations. For s mercury thermometer or any such type devise used in 1800s the systematic error, I suppose, is large. Now, you have to assume random distribution of systematic errors of the multiple stations providing temperature readings in the same vicinity in order to decrease effect of systematic error. Is this the case? Are there more than one station readings for a single local area? How you define “local area”? Those are the simple questions. More difficult is related to the measurement of fluctuating process, such as air temperature. Then, one must figure if the timing between the measurements varied in such a way that the Gaussian distribution can be implied. And another one difficult: are there sufficient data from the ocean surface to imply 0.1 degree accuracy of average global temperature? I would assume answer to the last question – no, and thus, clamed accuracy derived as 0.2C /SQRT(N) is overestimation. Do you think this is well beyond the introductory course in statistics? Accuracy of measurement of physical parameters is even more complex science than they teach in advanced statistics courses.

    [Response: Instead of arguing about issues you are not very familiar with, why not read the references I gave you and answer the questions yourself? - gavin]

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:34 AM

  379. You know, I can’t help thinking that even when the temperature rises another one or two degrees and there is more widespread drought in some parts and more flooding in others, there will still be people who say that it’s not happening, or that we have to wait a bit longer, or that it’s all natural and we cannot do anything about it.

    My view is to work to make sure the opinion leaders have the story right. The Australian Government Minister for Climate Change and Water made a speech yesterday which seemed reasonably up to date. Wong speech at climate change forum

    The SMH couldn’t resist a catchy headline.

    Some have pointed out the inconsistency between the Australian government’s words and the Queensland government’s actions of endorsing the digging up of a heap more coal and shipping it off to China. So the next step at least here in Australia, is to convince policy makers that digging up and burning lots more coal is not a good idea.

    Comment by Sou — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:47 AM

  380. We know about all the horrible journalism these days, but the blog comments and letters to the editor from what Gavin calls the peanut gallery (I like that description) are worth noting. People like Monckton and Milloy are pretty obvious to any news consumer outside of Fox and WSJ. Blog commenters, on the other hand, loudly insist that they are brave private citizens who have uncovered the climate conspiracy. They have taken over Dot Earth, and are increasingly peppering even this blog and ClimateProgress.

    Some of them have been hopelessly manipulated, but the pattern is strong enough that it looks orchestrated to me. This is also evidenced by the commenters’ ability to push emotional buttons, and the fact that they never, ever, concede even a single point in an argument.

    This faux people’s uprising, which also includes letters to the editor and other forms of media pressure, comes from the fossil fuel industry, in my opinion. As deranged as they often sound, the outrage and bad grammar communicate authenticity to a bewildered public. When they talk about arrogant scientists, a notion reinforced by scientists’ often impenetrable language, this resonates with a big chunk of the public. And a loud and substantial minority is all that they need to stall change.

    Comment by mike roddy — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:47 AM

  381. Walt, the only technical subjects to which you have referred so far are those you watch on the History Channel. This makes your rants indistinguishable from those of an ignorant troll.

    Oh, and if you don’t like Phil’s modeling examples, try
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=4662200

    http://www.ecs.umass.edu/~sjin/TED5572R.pdf

    Also, perhaps you should contact the folks at Synopsis
    http://www.synopsys.com/home.aspx

    I’m sure they would be very interested to know that what they are doing is impossible.

    [edit - calm down]

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  382. Rich Lowry (King Features), a goon in my book, wrote in today’s paper that “Climate alarmists conjured a world where nothing was certain but death, taxes and catastrophic global warming.”

    But, I think he really stuck his foot in it when he wrote the following: “The other main organ of climate “consensus” is the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It won the Nobel Peace Prize for its 2007 report, which turns out to have been so riddled with errors it could have been researched on Wikipedia.”

    The American media just seems to be taking longer to get going. Lowry only named one error ,the Himalayan glaciers, without pointing out the report had it correct elsewhere. Lowry needs to be challenged on ‘riddled with errors’ “.

    Comment by William Geoghegan — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  383. CC: Gavin, do you condemn this Cap and Trade market?

    BPL: Cap and Trade HASN’T PASSED YET. If your plant closed, cap and trade was not the reason. Causes can’t reach back in time.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  384. arthur wrote: “Humans adapted to 4 Ice Ages in 400 000 years (they adapted to the melt of the interglacial periods too)”

    Please tell us all about how humans of those times evacuated hundreds of millions of people from flooded coastal cities while at the same time they dealt with the complete collapse of agriculture that feeds billions of people.

    Oh, right — during the ice ages there were no cities and there was no agriculture.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  385. Arthur,

    You say that you “can’t see it [Antarctic] melting in even such a long time (for human beings that is) as a decade.”

    Perhaps because you haven’tbeen looking?

    Others have, even in such a short time (for these kind of processes that is) as 7 years:

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/increasing-rates-of-ice-mass-loss-from-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets-revealed-by-grace.pdf

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  386. Jimbo –

    Do you work, or have you ever worked, in a job where e-mail is a primary form of communication? If so, how would you feel about having every single word you’ve ever typed into an e-mail, in any context or mood or frame of mind, shown to other people, or better yet, everyone on the planet… especially when it is only a piece of the communication which really needs to be taken in context, and combined with hallway conversations, phone conversations, meetings, reports, and publications?

    This sort of thing never existed before 1995. e-mail has created a whole social conundrum for everyone. Everyone has accidentally sent an e-mail to someone they didn’t intend, and then been embarrassed. Everyone has misinterpreted e-mails because there can be an assumed emotion behind them that really was never there, with the end result that it creates bad feelings which would never have happened face to face. And a lot of people put a lot of emotion and venom into e-mails (and posts) that they would never, ever hit someone with in a face to face conversation.

    Worse than that, e-mails are like a permanent record of part but not all of everything ever said. Can you imagine working in a company where they have microphones most everywhere, and most but not all conversations are recorded and stored for later recall… so you can be damned by pieces of what was said, outside of the context, without having access to the other parts of the conversation that exonerate you?

    Imagine that… imagine having most of your communications recorded. Does this sound democratic and American to you? Sounds Orwellian to me.

    You clearly want the e-mails to be public domain, so you can make use of them now. But is it really what you want? Is it really right to do so? Can you imagine any scenario where these e-mails would have been accessed and released without an illegal and immoral effort to do so?

    What do you think the Founding Fathers might have said about this, if it were the British trying to seize e-mails implicating the patriots in acts of subversion?

    The right to privacy was created for a reason, and the wants, needs and rights of the individual cannot be considered completely subordinate to the needs of the state, or the people.

    [As an aside, sorry to all you Brits for bringing up the whole colonies/revolution thing. We didn't really mean anything by it. It just sort of happened. Bad day and all. You know how it goes. Hey, maybe we can get together and agree to tax stamps to pay for CO2 mitigation...]

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  387. Re: Wilt #367

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/vcstatement

    You’re interpretation of this news release is mistaken. What it means is that someone quoted the ICO as having made a decision re Dr. Jones’ actions. The ICO has so far (almost one month has passed) hidden under their desk. What that likely means is that someone at ICO really screwed up to put it mildly and the UEA is severly pissed. It may come to pass that the ICO is simply taking their time to carefully craft a ruling. But after a month, I doubt it since Dr. Jones and his employer have stated that emails were not deleted. I think the only one likely to lose their head over this is either someone at ICO or whomever first misquoted or completely made up statements regarding the ICO’s findings.

    Comment by Andy — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  388. My prediction:

    The press will soon realize that they made up a bunch of stuff. This will then become the story meme. In a couple months or less we will see stories written about how the media basically made up this “gate” stuff though they will blame skeptics. We will then see lots of piling on where the media will blame each other and will do exposes on various skeptics. Monckton with those crazy googly goldfish eyes will be a favorite target.

    Comment by Andy — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  389. arthur: “PEER REVIEWED ALARMISM”

    Only alarmism if you happen to be an American living on the northeast coast, in which case you might take it into your considerations about purchasing property. If the populated area is low, what’s the altitude of all the infrastructure, like sewers and subways? Where does your government live? To those of us living elsewhere it’s rather comforting news, can’t think of a better area to be on the leading edge of reality.

    Also, “around AD 1000″ the seat of the most powerful (supposedly) nation on earth wasn’t concentrated on the US northeast coast.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  390. Question: Is anyone aware of a site or database which cross references various scientific papers, in particular citations and more importantly refutations (or supporting follow ups) of those original papers?

    I’ve been trying to sort through some pro/con arguments, and various papers are referenced, but obviously just because it was published doesn’t mean that it’s correct and valid. I’ve already found obvious flaws in many of the papers, or places in arguments where parts of the paper were pulled and presented out of context, but in cases where I don’t have access to the original paper, or where I’m in over my head on the details of the topic… I’m stuck.

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:25 AM

  391. Richard Steckis – I can see where your source might love to jump on it as meaning the entire Polish Society is “retracting”, even though it’s but one of many subcommitees, and even they didn’t actually dispute climate change. So score 0.001 for the denialists. Now quit hanging around those anti-science watering holes and get out there and do some science.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:30 AM

  392. Jimbo – There have been grapes in various areas of Canada for decades, and have even gotten to the point now that the climate has warmed up where they can make wine without importing concentrates from California to bump up the sugar levels – but if you like wine don’t waste your money on a taste test.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:35 AM

  393. Delicious: Piers Akerman is Being Victimized

    It’s so unfair.

    Malicious bullets fired by the global warmists’ guns

    In response to accusations he had misquoted John Houghton, Piers Akerman did the right thing and made a call to International Rescue. It worked:

    “Unfortunately for The Independent, Crikey and the ABC, my call to international scientists has borne fruit.

    Yesterday I was forwarded an article published in The Sunday Telegraph (UK) on September 10, 1995, in which Houghton told writer Frances Welch: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.””

    This is indeed unfortunate for the Independent. It’s tragic in fact. Here we have a different quote with different meaning to the one Houghton never made. But if we really want to – if we close our eyes and really wish – we can imagine that perhaps the misquote was just a paraphrase of this quote. A slight paraphrase in fact.

    “How that remark came to be slightly paraphrased in the quotation sent to me we shall probably never know. It’s possible that someone, somewhere in cyberspace tidied up Houghton’s original remark before including it in the material which was sent to me. That sort of thing occurs in the blogosphere.”

    Akerman gives the blogosphere the credit it deserves, but strangely he claims we will never know how the quotation was paraphrased. If he consulted a Blog Scientist such as myself he could have found out.

    The Blog Science technique of “tidying up” quotes – an example…

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:37 AM

  394. RE: Phil Jones breaking the law (Freedom of Information Act)

    A final word on this to Completely Fed Up (#377):
    Apparently it was to much trouble for you to read the response of University of East Anglia (relevant link is in my previous post #367). So now I quote from that response:
    “The ICO’s opinion that we had breached the terms of Section 77 is a source of grave concern to the University as we would always seek to comply with the terms of the Act.”

    I hope this clarifies things sufficiently.

    And for the record: I have never attacked Phil Jones. I have only observed that others have done so, and judging from the ICO decision they had good grounds for it.

    Comment by wilt — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  395. RE- Comment by wilt — 18 February 2010 @ 8:54 AM:

    Neither of your quoted sources reveal that the UK Freedom of Information Act has been violated. Concern has been expressed and investigations are being made. In my first response to you I explained why it is very unlikely that any wrongdoing will be found. If you think that there has been some kind of official finding, provide the evidence of the decision, not just a highly edited interview with a Deputy Information officer that doesn’t really say anything except that the agency was looking into it.

    You are just contributing to all the illogical misinformation regarding this situation.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  396. “376
    arthur says:
    18 February 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Completely Fed Up
    A computer simulation is NOT an observation.”

    Why do you tell me this as if I don’t know?

    Are you reading words that don’t exist? ‘cos I never said they were.

    “Antarctica is cooling (except for the peninsula which is 15% of the total)”

    Is it? How strange. Measurements from GISS station records say otherwise:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    These are observations.

    Do you work at McMurdo, arthur?

    “I move from my home in less than a month in full otder; in few days/hours if needed more hastily.”

    And I can walk 30-40 miles in a day. Yet the Roman Legion couldn’t manage more than about 15 miles a day when marching as an army. They were a lot fitter than I was.

    And why was NO not a mere day holiday if it’s so easy to move?

    “Humans adapted to 4 Ice Ages in 400 000 years (they adapted to the melt of the interglacial periods too)”

    They did this by abandoning their cities and cars and stock exchanges and wealth.

    You want us back in the ***ICE AGES*** ???

    “You can test the validity of PI via experiment”

    No you can’t. Well not in any sense that you can’t also check the validity of computer climate models.

    There’s a thread on this site about it.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    Turns out it’s not only possible to verify climate models, they’ve also passed the validation.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:47 AM

  397. Re: 97

    I’m projecting any wishes on to the public. The public already knows.

    This damage control is a waste of time. Game’s over.

    Nothing of any substance will be done about climate change by the US Governement any time soon.

    It would be nice if everybody researching this subject followed a simple rule :
    ” Believe what you see, don’t see what you believe”

    Comment by tom — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  398. Curmugeon:

    “1. The point I was making is that the same amount of steel will be produced (by the same company) – leading to ”

    But that’s nothing to do with climate change or the changes. Neither was the closure due to AGW or mitigation of it.

    As a point, it’s nonexistent.

    And you know that the same amount will be produced through WHAT means?

    Hope?

    Computer model?

    We’re in a recession if you didn’t notice. Companies close during recessions because demand isn’t there. When demand picks up, supply will too, but that isn’t proof of anything other than closing steelworks means they’re closed and unlikely to open again.

    “2. The same amount of CO2 being produced!”

    So you know the same amount of CO2 is being produced because you say the same amount is being produced.

    This is not normally considered “evidence”.

    “3. In response to my point 3 about Tata making 100s of millions from the carbon credits, you say “1000’s millions spent by Oil/coal on PR and lobbying still hasn’t proven the IPCC or AGW wrong”.

    What on earth has that got to do with anything? ”

    Rather what I’d like you to answer about all six points you posted and your return fire.

    What does it have to do with anything?

    It’s a recession.

    AGW didn’t do it. Bankers and rich people who risked other people’s money (skimming off a little slice on the up and the down).

    “You demonstrate not one jot of sympathy or empathy for the plight of the 1600 workers”

    Neither do you show one jot of sympathy. In fact you rub their noses in it because the only value you see in their plight is one to make up a stick to beat AGW science with.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:54 AM

  399. CFU #323

    Another label, another box, another Tarzan shout.. Boring

    Ray 325

    Agreed (you may want to have a chat with CFU) however please read my #300 I addressed the context of my posts, they are not specific to RC.

    In media relations Al Gore has done more damage in shaping public opinion then all the skeptical blogs combined. He says the dumbest things and “Joe Sixpack” still believes he is the spokesperson for AGW, whether that is true or not is irrelevant.

    The public’s perception; two crazy groups shouting at each other and I would wager that less than 1% understand what “doubling of CO2″ and “feedbacks” mean. I’d start there and leave all the apocalyptic predictions out of it, teach the science first and build it from there.

    Comment by Jon P — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:00 PM

  400. “390
    Bob says:
    18 February 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Question: Is anyone aware of a site or database which cross references various scientific papers, in particular citations and more importantly refutations (or supporting follow ups) of those original papers?”

    Bob, science hasn’t worked like that.

    It has been coopted by RWNJs and their money. The paper produced by G&T for example DO NOT have to be rebutted under the science process. That they are a waste of ink means they won’t lead anywhere and there’s no point wasting more ink and limited publishing in rebutting a science paper that is so errant.

    MM’s paper had some points to make and in so far as those points had some validity in contention with MBH98 were appropriate. Later papers took those concerns raised on and checked to see what the effect of those weaknesses in the 98 paper was.

    These papers showed the effect of these problems were minimal if existent at all.

    That is the way science works.

    What it didn’t expect to happen next was M&M and their fanbase to continue to use that paper to “prove” that MBH98 is wrong.

    What it didn’t expect to have to counter were journals so venal that they would print a paper of so little worth a schoolkid could counter it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:12 PM

  401. Re #367
    Several people including Steve Fish (#259) and Completely Fed Up (#189) have attacked my remark (# 52 and #171) about Phil Jones breaching the British law on Freedom of Information. They suggested that there has been no verdict from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

    Indeed there has not been, a search on the ICO website for a Decision Notice concerning the University of East Anglia reveals that there hasn’t been one, nor a press release. A full search of their website failed to produce any reference to UEA on this matter.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:13 PM

  402. bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion

    It’s my impression that those problems are not new. Al Gore’s talks, movie, and tv appearances (to take one famous case) have had all three and he received some prestigious awards. Some of my friends had acquired the belief that that the DC, Philadelphia and Baltimore area and England really would have snow-free winters, and have been surprised to learn that extra snowfalls have been predicted instead.

    The only thing new is a run of stories that have these features on the anti-AGW side. It’s just the latest swing of the media pendulum. If the scientists focus on the science, rewrite and update the offending portions of the IPCC reports (complete with caveats about the sources of imprecision and incompleteness of knowledge) then the pendulum will swing back your way again.

    Right now “cap and trade” is stalled in Congress, but the strongest promoter is Henry Waxman, and he is neither ignorant nor a fool. President Obama is a believer in AGW and so are the Democratic leaders in both Houses of Congress. They’ll ride out this storm as they have ridden out so many others in their careers, and they’ll pass something that mitigates CO2 accumulation and can be expanded in the future when the evidence is clearer.

    Meanwhile, you have to remember to clarify all the exaggerations in the public discourse, such as the claim that the Maldive Islands will go under water imminently, or that Hurricane Katrina is the warning of worse to come imminently, or that a particularly well-documented snow anomaly in Vancouver is proof of AGW.

    The best forecast of the science is that, even in the next 50 years, AGW is likely to cause much less damage and havoc that the routine fires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Indonesians and Haitians, to pick just two examples, will never (at least not in the next three centuries) suffer as much from AGW as from the recent earthquake and the Boxing Day Tsunami.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:18 PM

  403. It’s very interesting for the U.S. media, which have long taken the “silent treatment” tact — just ignore the GW topic and people won’t know it’s an issue. So they’re sort of caught between reporting it — even as a hoax — and maintaining their silence.

    And now it’s increasingly presented in the blogophere (after the “cap & trade” bill was brought up in Congress) as GW = “increasing taxes and harming the economy.” It’s almost as if the science should be decided based on these taxes and how they will harm the economy — if taxes are perceived as too high, then GW isn’t happening. The snow storm only adds fuel to the hoaxers fuel.

    It’s getting very very vicious out there, but I’d predict that this is nothing compared to our future of vicious, killer musical chairs as we fight over ever-diminishing life supporting resources being harmed by GW and other serious enviro problems.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:46 PM

  404. Richard Steckis (350),
    Why link to an op-ed piece that references another op-ed piece, rather than link to what the actual Polish Academy of Sciences says? If you read either their latest 2009 annual report or their 2007 position statement (released after IPCC), you’d see that they clearly are on-board with the other Academies in accepting that AGW is a significant concern.
    Their annual report (English version) is here:
    http://www.english.pan.pl/images/stories/pliki/publikacje/annual_report/annual2009-net.pdf
    Their position statement (you’ll need to use a translator) is here:
    http://www.aktualnosci.pan.pl/images/stories/pliki/stanowiska_opinie/2008/stanowisko_pan_131207.pdf

    Comment by Ken W — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  405. #362
    People who have not been trained as scientists do not know what the word
    “truth” means. They think that courts of law determine truth. They think that voting determines truth. Neither could be farther from the truth. Only experiments determine truth. Humans should never be trusted or believed because telling the truth is just impossible in ordinary language, and the human animal did not evolve to tell the truth. Most people can’t tell the truth even if they want to.

    I only agree with a part of this. Yes courts and voting are inadequate. But the public do have a useful idea of ‘truthful’ as applied to an accurate report of what a person has done or said. They just don’t realise how little of it they are getting from the media on this topic. The next stage will be when they say “I don’t know who to believe” and some people are already saying that “they are all at it” (i.e lying). The final stage is when people stop caring. That is just what this campaign is all about.

    [If you are interested in the morality involved see "Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life" by Sissela Bok. I wish BBC's Radio 4 would discuss this issue on its Moral Maze programme but with Melanie Phillips, from the Daily Mail, on the team, no one else would get a look in. ]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  406. Somebody said: “Global Ice coverage seems ok; Antarctica’s ice extent (more than 90% of world’s ice) is up decade after decade.””

    This is a classic error. Sea ice (the wafer thin floaty stuff around the edge) makes a very small proportion of the world’s ice – and won’t contribute to sea level rise because it is floating. Arctic sea ice shows a strong downward trend. Antarctic sea ice shows a negligible long-term trend, which doesn’t surprise anyone (except deniers, for some reason).

    Continental ice, the land based ice sheets, kilometers thick and accounting for a huge proportion of the world’s ice – that is definitely melting. Mass is added from snowfall, but the rate of melting is so high that overall Antarctica is losing mass. It is losing so much mass that it alters gravity in the region, and can be detected from space.

    Because Antarctica is so big and inaccessible, we don’t have really exact figures for melting. But the rate is so significant (and is arguably accelerating) that we have to be very, very worried.

    So, whoever originally made that quote above: wrong on all counts.

    Comment by Didactylos — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:56 PM

  407. Re #333
    Ackerman and his ilk still can’t resist the urge to ‘adjust’ quotations, in his justification for misrepresenting Houghton he still trims the quotation to suit his purposes, the full quotation is:

    “If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident.”

    Which is a succinct description of environmental laws, the UK Clean Air act arose from public outcry following the great London smog for example. The Titanic sinking had a profound effect of maritime safety regulation, seems like a perfectly reasonable statement to me (the Radio Act,1912, the International Ice Patrol, international legislation re lifeboat provision and ship construction)

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:02 PM

  408. wilt #394: no this does not clarify things sufficiently. What you do is ‘quote mining’, and is frowned upon. You missed:

    We have not received any further information
    from the ICO although we are urgently trying to contact them.

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/vcstatement

    Sounds like somebody at ICO spoke before his turn, and went mouse quiet.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:09 PM

  409. 398 CFU

    You say:
    “But that’s nothing to do with climate change or the changes. Neither was the closure due to AGW or mitigation of it”.

    How do you work that out? You don’t think a boss can see a way of making 100s of millions just by switching production to a different place i.e. make the same amount at a lesser cost (Indian wages) and, here’s the kicker, get a few 100 million in the process for reducing UK carbon production? You dont think that a company might do that? And the reason that they can do that is because of carbon trading – and the reason carbon trading exists is purely, entirely because of the AGW proposition – what part of this are you struggling to understand? Naive doesn’t even get close!

    You say: “And you know that the same amount will be produced through WHAT means”?

    Do you think Tata are not gonna bother fulfilling orders and contracts, or pitching for the new business to be fulfilled via India? You is greener than than the greenest green thing!

    You say: “We’re in a recession if you didn’t notice. Companies close during recessions because demand isn’t there. When demand picks up, supply will too, but that isn’t proof of anything other than closing steelworks means they’re closed and unlikely to open again”

    Nah, you still not getting it are you. I’ll try again. Its the same company making the same amount of steel, producing the same amount of C02 (whatever that is – or was going to be) – but in a different place – for which they get the 100s million carbon credit kicker.

    Let me try an analogy on you. You work at say, a bakery where you grow the wheat out back for the bakers to use. The government says we want to reduce baking because growing wheat is a bad thing and the planet is burning up. So the government says it will give you a few million dollars to stop growing wheat. So you stop growing wheat, pocket the few million dollars and say thank you very much – and then import the wheat from Canada! Same amount of wheat used, same issues, USA and UK taxpayer has paid you for not growing the wheat that you now import. Have you spotted the problem yet?

    You say “So you know the same amount of CO2 is being produced because you say the same amount is being produced”.

    Unless the Indians have come up with a way of making steel without producing C02 – Yes, the same amount of CO2 will be produced!

    Damn this is hard work. Have you considered that it is your incredulity at the ridiculousness of the situation that might be the problem here? You can’t believe that this is what is happening so you make ridiculous comments?

    You say “This is not normally considered “evidence”.

    Which part do you not believe to be true or lacking evidence? Is it that the people aren’t loosing their jobs? Is it that you don’t think Tata will pocket the cash from the sale fo the carbon credits? Is it that you think Tata are gonna tell the customers they are not going to fulfill orders and contracts. Is it that you don’t think anyone in the UK wants steel anymore.

    What is it?

    You say “It’s a recession”

    Ok lets go with that then. So, in the recession, the requirement for wheat for the bakery has gone down say 30% The comapany closes its USA bakery and lays of all of the employees.

    And as a result of closing the bakery, in the middle of a recession, for reasons no one can fathom, the government then gives the bakery a few 100 million dollars for not producing wheat in the USA.

    Have you spotted the problem yet?

    You say: “AGW didn’t do it. Bankers and rich people who risked other people’s money (skimming off a little slice on the up and the down)”

    Carbon trading exists only because of the AGW proposition – or can you give me another reason?
    .
    You say “Neither do you show one jot of sympathy. In fact you rub their noses in it because the only value you see in their plight is one to make up a stick to beat AGW science with”

    Its all about you isn’t it! This situation is indefensibly outrageous and all you can do is revert to type.

    Let me ask you a simple question.

    Do you think that Tata should get a few 100 million dollars from the western taxpayers for closing their Corus Plant and not producing steel at Corus (whilst producing the steel that Corus would have produced, elsewhere).

    Give me a Yes or No because them’s the only options. Forget the arguments and forget the science, just answer the question – cause carbon trading, as I have demonstrated, aint got nothing to do with either.

    Come on, Yes or NO?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 February 2010 @ 11:54 AM

    Comment by Curmudgeon Cynic — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  410. Re #306. Stu says:
    Jonesy says,
    Why should humans necessarily need to adopt any belief about the future? The long history of predictions, especially of the apocalyptic type, has not generated a good track record.

    You can’t be talking about well established, widely supported scientific predictions.

    Stu says: Imagine yourself in the year 1900. Now imagine yourself making a complex prediction about what would be going on in the year 2000. Would you honestly feel confident that you’d be right? Be honest.

    At increasing levels of complexity, of course there is more uncertainty, but that’s a strawman of the issue here. It is not reasonably uncertain that CO2 is rising nor that this rise is causing and will cause future increased temps. It may be uncertain what the exact climate sensitivity is beyond a certain range, but not that there is any sensitivity. What would have much more uncertainty would be a prediction that said the increasing CO2 won’t lead to rising temps because of some other potential but unstated and undescribed forcing or dynamic.

    Stu says: Not believing is simply being reasonable and realistic. We can plan, and we should plan! But nowhere is it guaranteed that we’re going to get things right. This is applicable even to the short term. 100 years from now, who’s to say?

    Appreciation of uncertainty should be a critical first step in dealing with any future risks. Many people sympathetic to AGW understand this. Many seem to forget.

    The point is whether they are disbelieving for good reasons. The people not believing most commonly disbelieve that AGW is scientifically valid for such reasons as: that it snowed a lot yesterday in their hometown or that an email had the word “trick” in it or because “climate has always changed” or because “it’s ridiculous that humans can have any affect on the climate” or that “the temperature record uses adjusted data and obviously unadjusted raw data is best” or because “Al Gore is not a scientist and he’s making money off of it” or because “in the 70s they said we’re headed for another ice age” or because “CO2 is insignificant compared to water vapor” or because “there is no consensus for it since there is a list of 650 scientists who refute it” or because someone on Fox News or from their political party told them to.

    How many are well informed on the issue and are disbelieving for good reasons?

    Comment by jonesy — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  411. #345, “Perhaps a guest post by a psychologist about group wishfull thinking is called for”. Sounds to me like a case of the “sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander”. It applies to both sides of the divide.

    Comment by Charly Cadou — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:23 PM

  412. @382 I love this bit: “so riddled with errors it could have been researched on Wikipedia.”

    Now this is as opposed to Conservipedia, which for the first 6 months of its existence actually had an article that complained that reality had a “liberal bias”. They are now rewriting the Bible to purge that book of it’s liberal bias. Comedy Gold, I tell you!!!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:27 PM

  413. It’s certainly true the MSM have swung with a vengeance. But the whinging about it I find extraordinary. The same MSM you quote – New York Times; The Guardian; The Sunday Times; – and over here all UK TV channels – have all uncritically for ten or twenty years parroted the consensus, and publicised every exaggeration from polar bears to malaria to Bangladesh under water. I bet you didn’t point out their exaggerations quite so incredulously then. Why expect them to be more accurate now?

    Climategate is a big deal. Of course it doesn’t change the science, any more than Einstein being a paedo would cause an issue with e = mc2. That’s not the point. Nor does a NYT story.

    I applaud posts 17 and 19 – sensible.

    I think the public backlash, as in lower poll figures, is more due to the policies we are being asked to adopt in mitigation than any hard views on the science, and that any questioning of facts, theories, policies, precautionary principle had become unthinkable, anti-social.

    Comment by HotRod — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:29 PM

  414. For Gary Thompson (your question back at 307)
    GISS doesn’t operate the weather stations. Start at this link and poke around and you’ll be in the right ballpark, I’m sure you’ll find documentation about them:
    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/stationlocator.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  415. 406, Didctylos:

    Interesting reading on the subject of Antarctic ice loss, courtesy of NASA, which gives some figures for the rate of mass loss (more than 100 km^3/year):

    Is Antarctica Melting?

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:37 PM

  416. > 390, Bob
    > Question: Is anyone aware of a site or database which cross references various
    > scientific papers, in particular citations and more importantly refutations (or
    > supporting follow ups) of those original papers?

    Sure. Take the information you have, whatever it is, and start here:
    http://scholar.google.com/

    Look through the results or refine your search until you find the actual paper you’re interested in.

    Look right below that for colored text “Cited by” and a number. Click that link to see the citing papers as indexed by Google Scholar.

    And, follow the original hit to the page at the publisher. Usually you’ll find one.
    Then look on that page for a link called “citations” or “cited by” — there are several other services besides Scholar that also list citing papers; their updates and criteria differ a bit (for example Scholar considers ‘Energy and Environment’ and some of the PR anti-science blogs to be citations).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:44 PM

  417. Lynn Vincentnathan says:
    18 February 2010 at 12:46 PM
    It’s very interesting for the U.S. media, which have long taken the “silent treatment” tact — just ignore the GW topic and people won’t know it’s an issue
    I guess that depends on your media market. Our local metropolitan newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, has run dozens if not hundreds of articles about climate change, including an award-winning series on the impact of global warming on the Sierra mountain range: http://www.sacbee.com/sierrawarming/index.html
    My impression is that most print media coverage is “favorable” to the concept of AGW. What you see on cable news is a different matter, of course. Any science topic is likely to be covered in a very facile way on television, due to the constraints of time and the fact that news editors are not generally very science literate. That is why it is important for them to have articulate scientists in their rolodexes.

    Comment by Don Shor — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:46 PM

  418. Septic Matthew – If your “particularly well-documented snow anomaly in Vancouver” refers to the Olympic situation, I can assure you it is NOT an anomoly and here it hasn’t been reported as such, the Vancouver area regularly has totally snow free winters, and the actual main venue area [Whistler, further north] has had rather average snow this year. OTOH, the Olympic comittee apparently failed to take the possibility of an El Nino event into consideration 7 years ago, which is what may actually be proof of the results of ignoring climate science in terms of effects on “the bottom line”.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  419. I got to hand it to the skeptics who never (try to) publish any valid arguments against AGW but post on blogs, www sites etc and continually harass the media to allow them to put their ill informed and mostly incorrect ideas into print.

    I mean the chances of AGW being incorrect as about as likely as someone finding out that the copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics is. Its not going to happen. Skeptics being angry at peer review calling it elitist I suppose! Well of course it is, we only want our best scientists reading other best scientists work dont we ?

    Comment by pete best — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:02 PM

  420. Two comments.

    1.Here in the southwest of the UK, the Great British Public – by reference to letters to the local newspaper – has learned that weather is not climate. Despite the seriously cold and disrupting weather we have been having, there were _no_ letters to the paper saying the cold “disproved global warming”.

    2. But there is a steady flow of letters saying that warming has stopped. Now,please don’t talk about “trends” – the reality is ordinary people(like me) don’t see the trend – they see a flatish line.

    So happens that the region that the regional newspaper (Western Morning News)covers includes Exeter – and Exeter is where the Met Office has its HQ. Prior to Copenhagen the newspaper ran for and against op-eds on climate change. And one of the two on the warming side was right from the Met office. :-)

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  421. To #381. Ray Ladbury. No, I discussed the accuracy of temperature measurements, random and systematic errors and I have suggested that the analysis that was provided in the refs given by Gavin is based on assumptions that can be challenged. These are the technical issues. Regarding my non-technical statements, I said that your research (meteor impact, Universe birth) are of the History Channel kind.
    RL:
    I am not an ignorant troll and I hope you know it. Since you are uncivilized, please do not communicate to my posts. I would appreciate if you just ignore me.
    RL:
    I like his modeling very much. Impressive and accurate; however, to certain extent. To what extent is the topic of discussion.
    RL: I don’t like this one: folks befor me Used Maxwell distribution ,but I will use Fermi Dirac! Uh, such a step for IEEE Life Fellow!
    RL:
    You don’t know what people do in private companies.

    Comment by Walt The Physicist — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:17 PM

  422. “Unless the Indians have come up with a way of making steel without producing C02 – Yes, the same amount of CO2 will be produced! ”

    Since this is in the future, how do you know that have done this?

    You don’t.

    It also has eff all to do with AGW or mitigation or climate or anything.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  423. Thanks, Hank. Your response is useful, but problematic when I don’t have access to the citing papers, which have to be completely read to determine if they are supporting, refuting, building on or simply referencing the original paper (the latter seems to make up the bulk of citations, things like “as discussed by Havlchuk, 2002, Bias, 2001, and Nevermind, 1983″).

    I would still gladly do the work, and actually enjoy it… but reading fifteen papers to determine the validity of one to determine its correct application in a silly skeptic argument… that’s past the point of diminishing returns for me. For some reason I haven’t gotten my share of the gobs of Grant money that our whole climate hoax is supposedly making.

    It’s actually a little strange to me that we’ve created and continue to create a wealth of lies on the Internet, with no good mechanism for retracting or updating or identifying them. This works within a narrow field, I think, because competent scientists stay up to date, know what’s real, what’s not, what’s been refuted, etc. The lies can stand, because people in the field know them for what they are. The lies are part of the permanent record, and are useful in themselves in science, even if they’ve been refuted.

    But now we have blogs and articles that get put out there with lies and misunderstandings and distortions and misquotes, and people outside of science are reading abstracts for journal articles and saying “wow, that’s impressive, hey, look at this! This guy proved…” . . . even if it’s a paper that was laughed out of the room. And these things are all just left there, floating in cyberspace, as if carved in cyberstone, for anyone to wander across and read and believe (look at how long it takes hoax e-mails to finally fade away).

    Ten years from now we’ll still have people telling us that Lindzen proved in 2009 that global climate models foolishly have their feedbacks reversed, or that in 2007 Miskolczi proved that the greenhouse effect is basically irrelevant in climate.

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  424. “402
    Septic Matthew says:
    18 February 2010 at 12:18 PM

    bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion

    It’s my impression that those problems are not new. Al Gore’s talks, movie, and tv appearances”

    Have nothing to do with bad reporting, misrepresentation or confusion.

    Except it pisses denialist dittos right off. Because it’s easy to understand.

    See, they want confusion.

    And they sow confusion.

    And if they can’t make it stick, they complain about confusion that doesn’t exist.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  425. With regard to the “Overton Window” –

    I would very much like the scientists who run RealClimate to write an article about the scientifically plausible worst-case scenario for unmitigated anthropogenic global warming, which would describe what that worst case scenario would look like, and would also summarize the empirical observations that support the view that the worst case scenario is already under way.

    I don’t think RealClimate will write such an article — because of the “Overton Window”.

    While lunatic fringe conspiracy theories about a supposed global climate science hoax are permitted — including on the comments pages of this blog — science-based discussions of possible worst-case outcomes are outside the bounds of acceptable discourse.

    Am I wrong?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:31 PM

  426. 1) I’m very supportive of a scientist proposing a hypothesis – then seeking to prove or disprove that hypothesis. After all that is what moves knowledge forward, even for “settled science” (e.g., what causes stomach ulcers).
    2) For me the key questions of AGW supporters are not: Why do you believe that mankind is warming the planet? or What evidence do you have?. The key questions are: How is it now possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s global climate works? What scientific breakthroughs occurred – and when did they occur?.
    I would really like to see a reporter/ author publish the story of how it became possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s climate works. After all, that would have to rank as one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements and the story should be told – if there is a story to tell.
    3) There are objectives that both those who support the AGW theory and those who do not can agree on, so let’s start with those first. And let’s also continue to support the effort to understand how our planet’s global climate works.

    Comment by lucky dog — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:41 PM

  427. At least Steven Chu, the US Energy Secretary and a Nobel Prize winner is pushing back against the way journalists are selling science short. His claims of a double standard (“Its very asymmetric. Denialists can say anything they want”).

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/scienceenergy-secretary-steven-chu-interview-financial-times-ipcc-climategate/

    Comment by Toby — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  428. 406, 415 Didactylos:

    Increasing Rate of Ice Mass Loss from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets Revealed by GRACE (Velicogna, 2009)

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  429. Climate Change:
    The problem with elevated CO2 levels is its effect on Ocean Chemistry. Put aside the cause of Global Warming and focus on CO2 emissions. The Oceans are in dire straights more dead zones pop up every year. The Oceans are becoming oxygen depleted, phytoplankton is disappearing as the Ocean becomes more acidic. The acidity is directing correlated to dissolved CO2 entering solution as carbonic acid.
    I would like to share our interest as one of the principals of Royal Wind we have designed an Ocean Temperature Regulatory System using our revolutionary turbines to power cold water pumps. Our system is designed to pump large amounts of cold water to the surface of the ocean to create cold water thermoclines. We believe that widespread use of our system worldwide would result in a much desired global temperature regulation and reduction. The health of our oceans and the increased carbon sequestration are linked to global sustainability. We feel that without intervention the oceans are in danger of collapse. The health of our oceans is crucial to the maintenance of oxygen levels in the atmosphere. If the oceans die, we will struggle to survive. It?s all connected: ocean health, carbon sequestration, and global temperatures. Here’s the plan: To install our ocean-current powered cold water pumps in strategic locations worldwide, creating cold water thermoclines, increasing the sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Our system will also be used to build the polar icecap back to a more acceptable year-round base level which will also ensure the continued function of the thermohaline and of the North Atlantic drift. Our system will also be used to create cold water barriers to hurricanes. We can solve the Earth’s problems with the right effort. We must if we plan to continue living on this Earth.

    Comment by Laura Bailey — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  430. Is the United States already carbon-negative? Some reports in the journal Science answered “Yes”, but here is a site that reports “No”:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/

    According to that site, the US forests absorb about 30% of US CO2 emissions. According to a post by Gavin a few days ago, the target for CO2 reductions is 65%, so the US could become carbon-negative by a reduction of 40% of current CO2 emissions, assuming that the US is not already carbon-negative. The 40% reduction could be achieved in about 20 years if the current rate of CO2 reduction is maintained or slightly accelerated (figures differ about what the actual decline of fossil fuel has been lately.) The ongoing development of non-hydro renewable energy supplies, accelerated under Bush and accelerated again under Obama, will probably achieve this goal if maintained.

    There is no real need to complain about the recent media coverage. Continue to hammer home the points that fossil fuels have large external costs (mining deaths, mercury, and radioactivity for coal, military expenditures for oil), and that American industrial and military power need plentiful fuel supplies, preferably domestic, in the future.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:48 PM

  431. CFU (326)

    Care to prove that melting ice caps is both impossible if we discontinue BAU and that it won’t be a catastrophe?

    cheerio

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:58 PM

  432. Phil. Felton says: 18 February 2010 at 1:02 PM

    “…the UK Clean Air act arose from public outcry following the great London smog for example.”

    Here where I live local governments finally became serious about dealing with under-managed sewage when our enormous lake became unsuitable for swimming as it was too saturated with fecal coliform bacteria. Photos of kids standing next to a “no swimming” sign on the shore of this huge body of water catalyzed public outrage, public policy was changed.

    Our C02 pollution problem is nicely analogous. Sewage does not actually vanish when it is dumped into a river, nor does C02 when it is dumped into the air. We can ignore either up to a certain point, then we have to manage the problem instead of pretending it does not exist.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:01 PM

  433. arthur — I doubt very much that Greenland had less ice around 1000 CE than now. Provide a reliable reference, please.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  434. Curmudgeon Cynic: the UK steel industry has been in decline for many years. Decades, even. This is all very sad for people working in the steel industry, but doesn’t necessarily damage the UK economy as a whole. It most certainly has nothing in any way to do with climate change.

    The recession has merely been the last straw for an industry that was almost gone anyway.

    See? It doesn’t take dozens of paragraphs. Simple.

    Comment by Didactylos — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:14 PM

  435. “2. But there is a steady flow of letters saying that warming has stopped. Now,please don’t talk about “trends” – the reality is ordinary people(like me) don’t see the trend – they see a flatish line.”

    No they don’t.

    They ONLY see a flattish line if you select

    a) one of three datasets
    b) only from 1998 to 2008.

    Show them a line from 1999 to 2009 and there ain’t no more flattish line.

    But what they get TOLD is that they should see a flattish line. And what they get shown is the cherry.

    They don’t get shown the line, they get a cherry.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  436. Matt had it right:

    Meanwhile, you have to remember to clarify all the exaggerations in the public discourse, such as the claim that the Maldive Islands will go under water imminently, or that Hurricane Katrina is the warning of worse to come imminently, or that a particularly well-documented snow anomaly in Vancouver is proof of AGW.

    Bear in mind that I’m one of the alledged “skeptics” who is less than thrilled at the political mechanisms being forwarded to reduce emissions. I came to the site by recommendation of a very pro-AGW fellow who had the good sense not to call me vicious names; rather he invited me to look at the science and not summaries (or summaries of summaries).

    Most of my skepticism came from outrageous claims by pro-AGW activists and politicians that were relayed in the press without any balance from scientists.

    RealClimate is outside of the debate, really, since it is real scientists talking science….which means caveats and corrections.

    There is some “pendulum” effect going on. I think we underestimate the ego of newsmen, though. For quite awhile there has been plenty of nonsensical alarmism they swollowed due to poor vetting on their part, and they feel wronged by it. So now they switch sides and make the same mistake in reverse.

    Much of the skepticism is far shallower than many here think it is. Ask most people and they’ll admit that the climate is changing, and in principle emissions should be curbed whenever possible. Ask them if the answer is sending money by the truckload to the Third World (particularly Africa) and raising the price of gasoline artificially, and you’ll get a different answer.

    Tobacco is an interesting parallel, one often brought up. We learn a lot about how solutions to a problem can play out. Huge sums of money were paid to the states here in the USA by the tobacco industry on the grounds that it burdened them with medical costs. The states then took the money and rather than addressing the effect of tobacco (on which the legal case was based) plowed it into the General Fund, where it literally disappeared. Today we see states decrying a lack of money for medical care.

    That’s the “rest of the story” in the tobacco history, and one that people know very well. When a politician or activist starts talking about dangers to the general public and the need to drain huge sums of money from the economy in order to protect it, senseable people protectively put their hands on their wallets and question motives.

    Climate change isn’t going to be some “And then one day…” affair, if I read things right. It is far more sinister than that. Planting season moving a few days one way or another over the course of several years, and harvesting doing the same. Yields becoming static instead of improving despite improvements in the crops or processes.

    Is it “sexy?” Nope. Farmers understand it, and city folks do too, once it is explained why it’s important.

    So long as the extremists on both sides have megaphones, however, we’re going to be stuck with the swinging press.

    One other note:

    Science doesn’t discover “truth.” It finds facts. Truths are self evident as they are based on beliefs, facts aren’t. This might seem like semantics, but it is really important semantics.

    If one is searching for truth in religion, consult a clergyman. If one is looking for facts in religion, consult an archeologist. Any correlation between the two can be considered coincidental.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  437. > 423, Bob
    > I don’t have access to the citing papers, which have to be completely read

    Sure you do. Make up the list of material you want to read.
    Ask your librarian to get them for you.

    If you can’t get to your local library, most areas have a disablity access program in which they’ll come to you or send you material.

    Interlibrary l-o-a-n makes almost everything available to anyone who asks.

    (hyphenation to defeat the suspicious s-p-a-m checker)

    Aside — for those whose handicaps prevent them from going to the library, the Library of Congress used to have a wonderful program providing scanned images electronically. That has been terminated. One wonders why.
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/l-o-a-n/illscanhome.html (remove the hyphens)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  438. What self-frottaging tripe
    “I would really like to see a reporter/ author publish the story of how it became possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s climate works”

    Certainty that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? That happened in 1894.

    Certainty that the saturated gassy argument was false? Variable 1934 to 1956.

    Certainty that There are climate zones on the earth? About 400BC.

    What you would REALLY like to see is that science is abandoned because it never says it is CERTAINLY right, unlike The Good Book, which says it is the inerrant word.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  439. Lucky Dog, if you want certainty (as opposed to reliable knowledge), then perhaps the Church is more your style. If you want to understand the progress of climate change:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    I think you will actually enjoy it. It is a good read.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:45 PM

  440. Frank Giger:

    Acid rain.

    Ozone hole.

    Proof that despite the screams from lobbyists, humanity as a whole is quite capable of acting on planet-sized problem (and incidentally proof that cap and trade schemes work perfectly well, if not quite as well as direct regulation).

    We haven’t solved either problem completely, but we have turned potential disaster into something that we have time to address.

    Comment by Didactylos — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  441. lucky dog says: 18 February 2010 at 2:41 PM

    “I would really like to see a reporter/ author publish the story of how it became possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s climate works. After all, that would have to rank as one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements and the story should be told – if there is a story to tell.”

    Voila:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    Written by an honest-to-goodness historian of science, a fellow well equipped to tell the story. “Certainty” you won’t find, but probability is there for your reading pleasure.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:54 PM

  442. “I applaud posts 17 and 19 – sensible.”

    For those who posted #17 and #19, I hope you feel this way:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  443. Can I be picky and point out that Galileo said “Eppur si muove” (and yet it moves, with the “si” being the reflexive meaning that it itself moves rather than it is moving something else). Your “Eppur riscalda” needs a little “si” to avoid the suggestion that, no doubt your friend Monckton will soon suggest, that it is warming something else……
    Eppur si riscalda (and yet it is getting warmer) rumorosamente (noisily).

    Comment by Andrea Sella — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:58 PM

  444. Some (ivory tower folk?) seem to believe that emails are private communications like, e.g. letters. Forget it.

    Privacy, Are You Kidding?

    Stop right where you are and set aside a couple of brain cells for the following statement: there is no such thing as a private e-mail. I don’t care what anybody says, states, swears or whatever, there is just no such thing as private e-mail. The reason? Keep reading.” http://iwillfollow.com/email.htm

    Who “owns” a particular email is unclear and,if in dispute, is determined by a court. A safe rule is to assume that it is owned not by the person who wrote it, but by whoever funded that person or provided the email server. A safer rule is to address the topic specifically in the contract – with the funding agency – or employee instructions, communicated in writing.

    Disclaimers are sometimes provided to avoid these ownership/use details and will help your case in court, should the need arise.

    For instance, the administrator of the East Hadley servers – or other servers along the way – had the right to access the content of any email that server handled.

    If Phil was not being very careful with the cataloging of some of the climate data in the computers, it is very likely that he was paying even less attention to the privacy of his emails handled by those same computers.

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:15 PM

  445. Ray’s point about not overselling satellite measures in a Nino/Nina period is well-taken, as Hank said. But then again, the NCDC January anomaly is pretty warm, too, at .60 C.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:24 PM

  446. Theo “And one of the two on the warming side was right from the Met office. :-)”

    Ok, help me through the conspiracy theory trail here.

    UK.

    Met Office UK

    It is in Exeter.

    They are one of only two WMO centres.

    And the paper is in Exeter.

    UK.

    And the Met Office have a climate group.

    In the UK.

    And the UK paper in Exeter, where the Met Office of UK, a WMO centre and major climate research centre have their basis, have asked the Met Office of the UK who are in the same town who study climate to talk about one climate report the paper runs.

    And this is a conspiracy because they should have asked the Latvian Met Office comissioned cleaners to pop over on an expenses paid trip to Exeter to talk about climate instead.

    That they didn’t shows that there is a conspiracy.

    Yes?

    This is moronic ;-)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:29 PM

  447. David B. Benson : Vikings were living there with crops and animals seems sufficent proof to me that there was less ice then than today-I agree apon doubting (skepticism is essential in science) , do YOU have any reliable proof that Greenland had MORE ice in AD 1000 than today?

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:36 PM

  448. Short perl program for you on how you can see a flattish line.

    perl
    for ($i=0; $i<10;$i++) {
    print int(rand()*20+$i),"\n";
    }

    The output I got:

    4
    8
    14
    20
    12
    23
    20
    16
    22
    20

    Plot it.

    It is a flattish line, isn't it?

    This is a plot where the variation is 20x the positive trend increment.

    In the climate, 0.5C variation up or down. The trend is 0.017C.

    That's a 1-in-30 trend.

    It's a 10 value spread. Just like the "flattish line" of annual temperature anomalies.

    Just did that trend, for S&Gs:

    for ($i=0; $i<10;$i++) {
    print int(rand()*30+$i),"\n";
    }
    18
    1
    25
    20
    25
    29
    19
    19
    22
    20

    Except for the 1 there, you'd call that a cooling trend, really.

    Wouldn't you?

    But we KNOW there's a positive trend of +1.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:39 PM

  449. #20 James Allison said “Two years ago most of my intelligent independent thinking friends and associates were convinced AGW exists. Today all of them bar none say either that GW has existed since the LIA but it isn’t largely due to humans or they say the climate scientists have manipulated the data to show dramatic warming when common sense says there hasn’t been any significant warming. What do you think has gone wrong for the advocates of AGW?”

    I would have thought a better question would have been “What do you think has gone wrong for humanity?”

    Comment by calyptorhynchus — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:40 PM

  450. The elephant in the room is DENIALGATE!

    I remember the late 60s when one wouldn’t be caught dead being a conservative.

    That’s also the time in U.S. history when the difference between the rich and poor as the least. Since then the gap has increased exponentially — and pretty much all you have left is rich people with vested interests, and poor, not-well educated people who would believe anything the rich people say in the off chance they too might strike it rich (when actually for the vast majority of the poor (read “middle class”) the train left the station 40 years ago). And for both sections….anthropogenic global warming does not exist…

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:45 PM

  451. Antarctica can’t TOTALY melt in some decades , but in centuries / millenia

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  452. “In media relations Al Gore has done more damage in shaping public opinion then all the skeptical blogs combined. He says the dumbest things…”

    Funny, plimer says that the Sun is made of iron and he’s not damaging the denialist cause.

    Funny, Beck is saying that climate scientists should kill themselves and he’s not damaging the denialist cause.

    But Al Gore has done damage by explaining to people in terms they understand the science.

    Yeah.

    Right.

    You prattle on about tarzan.

    Me tarzan?

    You cheeta.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:56 PM

  453. SecularAnimist (425) — Already done. Read Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees” and Peter D. Ward’s “Under a Green Sky”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  454. Frank Giger, #436:

    You confuse me. You seem to recognize the difference between facts and hysteria, yet you say that your “skepticism came from outrageous claims by pro-AGW activists and politicians.” So… you had an emotional reaction to people saying things you didn’t want to hear? And that froze your brain up so that facts no longer mattered?

    First, why don’t you have that same emotional reaction to the idiocy you see from the anti-AGW activists and politicians, which to me looks rather more nefarious and transparently self-serving (i.e. oil money)?

    Second, why does it matter at all? Facts are facts. How can you be skeptical if you understand the facts, no matter what other people are saying around you?

    I myself am frustrated beyond belief at the number of people that have come in here swinging baseball bats in anger, as if the people here, or Gavin, or anyone else committed some heinous crime by doing science.

    The facts are very clear for anyone that bothers to learn.

    The facts are also very easy to muddle for anyone that doesn’t bother to learn, and there are lots of people eager to do the muddling.

    You do not get a free pass in saying what amounts to “I’m skeptical because Al Gore made me that way.” That’s a cop out.

    And on tobacco… well, you expose your roots by, once again, watering an issue down to dollars. Everything is “my wallet” and money in modern America. What about the millions of people that needlessly died painful deaths of cancer, because an entire industry was able to fool the public and control the politics for decades, when they knew that what they were doing was downright evil? And in the end, if you want to talk dollars and cents, it cost us all small fortunes in health care costs for those people.

    Isn’t there an important lesson somewhere in there?

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  455. Laura Bailey (429)

    Congratulations, you have identified an anthropogenic effect of CO2 for which there are no skeptics or deniers. And more importantly you are trying to do something real about it. Your Ocean Temperature Regulatory System sounds like an anthropogenic reversal project we can believe in. Much more likely to affect the climate in a positive direction than all the cap-and-trade nonsense and unworkable legislation.

    You are climate scientists who are actually taking direct action. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, one of climate science’s giants, will devote the rest of his career to Project Surya – his attempt to distribute 3 Billion clean burning cooking stoves to Indian mothers and, perhaps some day, to Chinese users also. This brown cloud pollution abatement projectshould be clear to the most skeptical Joe public and will collect real climate data that should make climate statisticians blush with its accuracy.

    Lots of luck and hope that some of our more active posters would also become active doers.

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:09 PM

  456. “447
    arthur says:
    18 February 2010 at 4:36 PM

    David B. Benson : Vikings were living there with crops and animals seems sufficent proof to me that there was less ice then than today”

    How come that is so convincing when you weren’t there?

    Read up. Actually, here’s someone doing the reading for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/u/22/vrKfz8NjEzU

    PS they adapted to the climate by dying of…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:13 PM

  457. “444
    John Peter says:
    18 February 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Stop right where you are and set aside a couple of brain cells for the following statement: there is no such thing as a private e-mail.”

    Yes there is.

    Privacy is a social and legal construct.

    I can just walk into your home while your wife and you are getting it on.

    No privacy whatsoever.

    But you’ll still have me arrested as an intruder or at least a peeping tom (hey, your wife reflected those photons out into the street where there’s NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY!).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  458. 426: Lucky Dog wrote: “For me the key questions of AGW supporters are not: Why do you believe that mankind is warming the planet? or What evidence do you have?. The key questions are: How is it now possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s global climate works? What scientific breakthroughs occurred – and when did they occur?.
    I would really like to see a reporter/ author publish the story of how it became possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s climate works. After all, that would have to rank as one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements and the story should be told – if there is a story to tell.”

    The story has been told over and over and over.

    Read Spencer Weart’s web page http://www.aip.org/history/climate/ on the Discovery of Global Warming, or his book of the same name. If you want something slightly more mathematical than Weart try Bob Archer’s http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/ .
    Read the books mentioned in the sidebar. Go to the “start here” link above and read. There are literally thousands and thousands of articles that led to the current understanding of climate. This work began in the early 19 Century and continues to this day.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:20 PM

  459. “450
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:
    18 February 2010 at 4:45 PM

    That’s also the time in U.S. history when the difference between the rich and poor as the least.”

    You’ll also notice that the messiest and least efficient countries have a tendency to be the ones with the greatest disparity between rich and poor.

    They also tend to have the worst human rights, the lowest standard of living (adjusted to mean wealth), lower education standards than their peers and poorer general health (except amongst the few rich who get THE BEST care).

    They also have the loudest voices complaining about rights etc being trampled on by attempts to solve a global problem globally.

    PS The US are now downwind of China and now are experiencing acid rain and its’ deleterious effects on lumber woods.

    They’re now complaining about pollution.

    Green eco nazis that they are!

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:25 PM

  460. “447.David B. Benson : Vikings were living there with crops and animals seems sufficent proof to me that there was less ice then than today-I agree apon doubting (skepticism is essential in science) , do YOU have any reliable proof that Greenland had MORE ice in AD 1000 than today?”

    No, the Norse didn’t settle in areas that were glaciated, then or now. Their eastern and western settlements, near present-day Narsarsuaq and Nuuk respectively, are in low coastal areas that were vegetated and glacier-free at the time, as they are today. The ice sheet lies inland from their settlements.

    When the Norse first arrived they chose valleys with good grazing and some wood. Over the following centuries, grazing reduced vegetation and soil particularly on more marginal upland terrain, making the settlements less resilient when the climate was harsh.

    Sea ice was of more direct concern to the Norse than the ice sheet. The Viking Age expansion that created the Greenland colonies was facilitated by years with relatively little sea ice; the abandonment of Norse settlements in 14th and 15th centuries occurred as sea ice was making travel and other aspects of their life more difficult.

    It’s all a grand story, with other chapters on the Thule Eskimo expansion. But no one ever lived on the ice sheet.

    Comment by Larry Hamilton — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  461. #386 Bob reply to Jimbo

    “Jimbo –
    Do you work, or have you ever worked, in a job where e-mail is a primary form of communication? If so, how would you feel about having every single word you’ve ever typed into an e-mail, in any context or mood … shown to other people, or better yet, everyone on the planet…”
    ———
    I have worked where e-mail (after talking) is the secondary form of communication (you should get out more more).

    What I feel should not come into it. If I commit a crime and am caught by the police I will feel bad, but my feelings should not get me off the hook. The public interest demands that I am caught and put on trial to face punishment. Don’t you agree Bob?

    Example: Nigerian 419 email scammers get caught and are punished by the Nigerian authorities. Would you defend them as having their privacy invaded because the authorities hacked into their email account and prosecuted them? Would you complain if the hacker was a concerned citizen hacker who leaked the scammers private correspondence?

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:27 PM

  462. CFU #452 Excusing bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior. Alex I’ll take adolescent arguements for $800. Double-Jeopardy – category – Straw Man !

    Sweet..

    Comment by Jon P — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:31 PM

  463. Well, now I’ve seen it all. Richard ‘global warming will reduce mortality on balance’ Tol has accused a real scientist of sloppy work. I have a request for you Richard: should your work-related private correspondence ever be subpoenaed, FOIA’d or otherwise requested at the point of a gun, please wantonly delete and plead fat finger. If it’s hacked/stolen, investigate the possibility of a ransom.

    I think I speak for most admirers of economics when I say we just don’t want to know what currently passes for thought in the field.

    Comment by Majorajam — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:31 PM

  464. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2454318/posts
    …………another Weather Channel veteran, says NASA exhibits “a clear bias toward removing higher-latitude, high-altitude, and rural locations” from its sample. Andean weather gauges, for instance, are overlooked, while regional temperatures now are “determined by interpolation from stations hundreds of miles away on the coast or in the Amazon,” D’Aleo says. He compares this to calculating Minneapolis’s average temperature by reading thermometers in St. Louis and Kansas City.

    [Response: This is nonsense. - gavin]

    Comment by Kate7 — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:33 PM

  465. If I commit a crime and am caught by the police I will feel bad, but my feelings should not get me off the hook. The public interest demands that I am caught and put on trial to face punishment. Don’t you agree Bob?

    Don’t know about Bob, but yeah, I really hope those asshats who stole the CRU mail are caught by the police (who are working on it), and put on trial to face punishment.

    Meanwhile, everyone knows where Jones is, and he hasn’t been charged with any crime.

    Comment by dhogaza — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  466. PS read up on the definition of straw man.

    Like most denial dittos you get it wrong.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:42 PM

  467. Kate7 says:
    “…………another Weather Channel veteran, says NASA exhibits “a clear bias toward removing higher-latitude, high-altitude, and rural locations” from its sample.”

    Which tells you how little D’Aleo knows about how the temp series is constructed. Removing stations in high latitudes (cold places) will NOT make it look warmer; what gets used is the anomalies. Since the poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet, removing stations from those regions will make the anomaly smaller, not larger.

    Comment by RobM — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  468. CFU (457) You are very much in error. There is no expectation of privacy in emails. Many, many courts have so found.

    Besides how is the server to process spam without looking at each and every one. How do I check for viruses on my systems.

    If you expect privacy in your emails, you are a fool. Read the link (if you have time) You might learn something.

    no hard feelings, just calling a spade a spade.

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:47 PM

  469. Jimbo on law: “What I feel should not come into it.”

    But what *society* feels should.

    Or are the only laws those that get carved on stone blocks in remote mountains?

    “If I commit a crime and am caught by the police I will feel bad, but my feelings should not get me off the hook.”

    OK.

    But the logical disconnect here you’re hoping nobody will point out is that

    a) The CRU emails show no crime committed
    b) The hacker broke the law unless someone has proof of who it was and that their actions were deliberate
    c) Just because you CAN break the law doesn’t mean you must prove you haven’t

    Jimbo, it is illegal to speed past a schoolyard in 1989 except that the statute of limitations for such a crime has now passed and we don’t have any cam footage.

    Therefore Jimbo is guilty of speeding in a residential area.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:49 PM

  470. It is indeed unfortunate that the science of climate study has come to be so politicised. There is much at stake. However much of this damage also falls to a group of leading climate scientists that chose to drag it into the political realm to begin with. To resort to rhetorical tactics of advocacy and name calling places them dead square in the sites of politics. It diminishes science. What were you expecting to happen?

    Sad to say but the saying that comes to mind is “what goes around, comes around”

    stickery

    [Response: Care to substantiate that? - gavin]

    Comment by stickery — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:52 PM

  471. CFU (457)

    There is no expectation of privacy in emails

    None, even lawyer/client. Courts have spoken.

    System administrators need access to handle virus’s, spam etc.

    If you expect privacy in that environment you are either foolishly taking risks or, more likely, uneducated

    sorry, the real world is tough

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:57 PM

  472. Hi,

    I realise that this may not be the best thread for this, so apologies.

    I’m involved in a discussion with an acquaintance about the surface temperature data. The question we’ve got is regarding how new or old stations are integrated into the dataset. I’ve tried to look through the web for info but found googling and searching realclimate to be of little use. Any relevant references, preferably to peer-reviewed papers or other detailed sources would be much appreciated.

    Here’s my understanding: Temperature anomalies are what is interesting to climate science. We take a baseline period (this is done for each station, correct?) and then measure the temperature anomalies from the station. The anomalies are then collated, averaged out with different weightings and form the global temperature anomaly graphs that we see.

    But how are new stations put in line with older stations? For example, let’s say we have a new station in a fairly remote location, where there haven’t previously been any temperature measurements. A set of measurements are taken over a few years and averaged out to form a baseline (right?) and then anomalies can be measured. But we surely can’t simply add a 0 anomaly for the baseline period into the global temperature network? Wouldn’t that serve to pull the average anomaly down? As would all future anomalies, as they would be less than the global anomaly, unless there was massive warming in that one place. And how would we relate this to the standard baseline used for the global anomaly graph (say 1979-1990)?

    Or what if we found an old data set, that seemed fairly reliable but was truncated in 1950. Would this be integrated? And how?

    Thanks for your time.

    Comment by Chris Brown — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:02 PM

  473. I can’t understand why so many climate scientists come off as being arrogant.
    After all, they’re only getting their honesty, integrity and motives challenged 24/7 by the opposition.
    No reason to be so touchy.
    Jeez!

    Comment by Sufferin' Succotash — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:02 PM

  474. arthur — There is good evidence for less ice right now in Greenland that at any time in several millenia. However, it would take some effort to relocate on the web, so fear you will have to do so yoourself if you doubt it.

    By the way, those settlers were Norse, not Vikings. There are many resources available to read about the two Greenland settlements. Jared Diamond has a chapter about those colonies in his “Collapse”, but there are much more thorough accounts.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:05 PM

  475. No, the emails are expected to be private.

    They are private communication.

    Just as your telephone conversation or your bedroom.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:07 PM

  476. “468
    John Peter says:
    18 February 2010 at 5:47 PM

    CFU (457) You are very much in error. There is no expectation of privacy in emails. Many, many courts have so found.”

    Yes there is expectation of privacy.

    In the US, I believe it’s the fourth Ammendment.

    In the EU, you’ll find it in the declaration of rights.

    In USSR (!) you’ll find it in their declaration of rights.

    And in China.

    Yes, even in China.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  477. @ 446 Comletely Fed Up.

    I can’t make head nor tail of your post.

    Perhaps I misunderstand. Perhaps your humour escapes me.

    Or perhaps I was not clear in what I posted.

    Meanwhile, while I wait your reply, a measure of the skills of the Met Office, was that they recently located. Given the choice of Aberdeen on the east cost of drizzly Scotland, or sunny Exeter in the south-west, they chose Exeter.

    Can you

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:20 PM

  478. re 404 Ken W says:

    Re. All world-wide national academy of sciences agree that human-caused climate change is happening.

    Richard Steckis (350),
    Why link to an op-ed piece that references another op-ed piece, rather than link to what the actual Polish Academy of Sciences says? If you read either their latest 2009 annual report or their 2007 position statement (released after IPCC), you’d see that they clearly are on-board with the other Academies in accepting that AGW is a significant concern.
    Their annual report (English version) is here:
    http://www.english.pan.pl/images/stories/pliki/publikacje/annual_report/annual2009-net.pdf
    Their position statement (you’ll need to use a translator) is here:
    http://www.aktualnosci.pan.pl/images/stories/pliki/stanowiska_opinie/2008/stanowisko_pan_131207.pdf

    Thanks Ken W, I was looking for this. It would have indeed been weird, if not bizarre for a national academy of sciences to not acknowlege proven reviewed, peer-reviewed juried published science since 1824 that has stood the review test of time. I will add this reference to my list…great job, thanks.

    On another note…a few years ago, I was talking to a Cuban scientist at the place I use to be. We compared notes. Then he said something shocking.

    He said…”you know…you and I have somthing in common…and something different too.”

    I said, “okay…what?”

    He said, “both of us are not allowed to talk politics when we are publicly presenting science to the public.”…I said, “yes”. (I would have been called in by higher ups real fast if I had…and, yes, it did indeed happen to me on several occasions while I was there, not to mention lots of personal warnings).

    Then he said, “but we are different, too. I personally can talk science in public in Cuba…but you cannot in the United States.”

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:29 PM

  479. [edit - please stop spamming the thread with off-topic links]

    Comment by arthur — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:33 PM

  480. 470stickery,
    That is a simplictic explanation to why climate science has become politicised. I think the true explanation is elsewhere, since most climate scientists try hard to not be political. The explanation, I think, is that the focus is too much on the basic science and that climate politics needs basic science to be legitimized. As a concequence, sceptics attack the science due to political reasons. So yes, climate scientists are a cause to the politication, but it is not their intention to politicise. politics is of course crucial as cause, climate change is tied to the energý system, a very political issue, so there is really no way to avoid politication of science.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:49 PM

  481. John Peter — there’s this little law called The Electronic Communications Privacy Act that you might want to know about.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:04 PM

  482. Jimbo, 461, and John Peter, 468:

    We have serious laws, and social foundations, that go back to the origins of this country, concerning rights and privacy. As much as today’s neocons would like you to believe that we should abandon all rights in favor of the strict and unfettered enforcement of the law, there are still limits on search and seizure, intrusion, due process, self incrimination, and the like.

    You can’t make me incriminate myself. You cannot make my wife testify against me. You cannot tap phones just because you think you might find me committing a crime (you need strong evidence, and then a court order, first).

    Yes, if someone can show due cause, the police can come in, confiscate my computer and my papers and what not. If they have other a priori evidence that a crime has been committed they have a wedge with which they can violate my privacy.

    But until then, no, my e-mails are mine, no matter where I sent them from. This is basic privacy rights. Period. It’s not arguable. If you do argue for it, you should go live in the old Soviet Union.

    Now, as far as CRU… if someone had strong evidence of a crime, and followed due process, they could possibly have gotten hold of the e-mails.

    Seeing as how, even with the e-mails, there is no such evidence, how can you possibly justify having someone steal them?

    It was an invasion of privacy, period. My e-mails are mine. Their e-mails are theirs. You can’t just say that because it’s a new medium, or because you personally wanted to see them because you don’t like their position on an issue, that it is not subject to two hundred year old conventions of social and legal contracts.

    Comment by Bob — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:27 PM

  483. #469 reply to Jimbo from Completely Fed Up
    _____________

    But the logical disconnect here you’re hoping nobody will point out is that

    a) The CRU emails show no crime committed

    REPLY: They do; the good Dr. Jones was only saved because of the statute of limitations on the FOI requests. As for the rest of the emails I am amazed you have come to conclusions before the outcome of the inquiry.

    b) The hacker broke the law unless someone has proof of who it was and that their actions were deliberate

    REPLY: I don’t quite understand your sentence but I’ll give it a try. How do you know it was a “hacker”? Proof of who it was remains to be seen. “and that their actions were deliberate” – !!!!???? What do you mean here?

    c) Just because you CAN break the law doesn’t mean you must prove you haven’t
    Sorry Completely Fed Up but you have me stumped on (C); can someone help?

    And finally we have:

    Jimbo, it is illegal to speed past a schoolyard in 1989 except that the statute of limitations for such a crime has now passed and we don’t have any cam footage.

    Therefore Jimbo is guilty of speeding in a residential area.

    REPLY: NO COMMENT
    ___________________

    Completely FedUp please take a long cold shower and try to come up with something a little stronger and stay off the beer.

    Comment by Jimbo — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:42 PM

  484. Bob said:

    “You confuse me. You seem to recognize the difference between facts and hysteria, yet you say that your “skepticism came from outrageous claims by pro-AGW activists and politicians.” So… you had an emotional reaction to people saying things you didn’t want to hear? And that froze your brain up so that facts no longer mattered?”

    When EVERYTHING is blamed on Global Warming, yes, my brain “freezes up.” Add in a nice dose of Marxist rhetoric to go with the solution (Capitalism is to blame! We need less Capitalism and redistribute the wealth! Less products for sale! Ban the SUV!) by activists and yeah, I’m highly skeptical of the whole shebang. I knew German Environmental Minister Tritton was lying when he blamed Hurricane Katrina on Global Warming in general and President Bush in particular (with a nice rounding of anti-American sentiment to top it off). Yet he was cheered until people died. Then a lukewarm statement saying he was correct in his words but inappropriate in timing.

    Remember the IPCC got a Nobel Prize for Peace, not Science. Think about that.

    I am likewise skeptical of anyone who says the climate isn’t changing and we shouldn’t plan for squat.

    Do I have my hand on my wallet? You betcha. Call me any name you desire, but I like my standard of living, and will not apologize for it. Plastics rule, as does modern medicine, electricity, transportation systems that bring me food from around the world, and a host of services and goods that are the rival of any time in history.

    Good grief, read a blog or two on the pro-AGW site. “Eat only locally produced foods.” Really? Wow, thanks for the malnutrition, eco-warrior! Hey you guys in Kansas, hope you took pictures of citrus, as you won’t be allowed anymore up there!

    On tobacco, education is effective in curbing tobacco use. Taking huge sums of money and throwing it away does squat. Where tobacco prices are the highest in the nation, so are grey and black market cigarettes.

    So explain to me how throwing a couple hundred million USD to Mugabe is saving the environment? It will make for great emails when the Carbon Credit money swamps Nigeria – I grow tired of the dead petro-dollar executive. How many trillions of USD worth of aid do we have to throw at Africa before we realize that the governments there are just going to blow it on themselves and hardly a darned thing is going to change?

    On the Ozone hole, let’s remember who was pretty much producing CFC’s exclusively: the West. China still makes them, and will continue to so long as the USA continues to bribe them to reduce production. Also remember that there was a ready made substitute to CFC’s that was plentiful, easy to implement, and didn’t cost any more to manufacture.

    On acid rain, a very limited, specific region of the USA was effected, and yes, cap and trade worked. Because it was limited to a very tiny, targeted part of the economy. Coal plants were not allowed to swap emissions with a non-existent plant in the Congo or the Sudan. Nor was a huge open market developed overnight with the primary companies dealing with commissions of sales the very people that were behind the cap and trade.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:36 PM

  485. Lindzen takes it to the Global Warmers. A fine lecture that gets to the truth of the matter.

    http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/100210Lindzen/index.htm

    Comment by Vince — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 PM

  486. 418, flxible: If your “particularly well-documented snow anomaly in Vancouver” refers to the Olympic situation, I can assure you it is NOT an anomoly and here it hasn’t been reported as such, … .

    Quite right, and I wish that I had put the word “anomaly” in quotes. However, particular events have often been claimed to be results of global warming in some media or another (Hurricane Katrina was followed by some academic meteorologists predicting that the next two years would be even worse because of Global Warming). A few years of below average snowfall on the east coast and in England led to predictions that snow would be a thing of the past.

    We just get these swings in politics and reporting all the time. Here at RealClimate I have read posts claiming that civilization will crash and agriculture will be devastated by 2030 — but the science does not justify such a claim. AGW predicts about a 0.2C rise by 2030, and about 40mm sea level rise, each of which is much less than the normal random variation.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  487. #293 – Jim, if you think Nikola Tesla “did a little work for Westinghouse” you have a lot to learn about the man.

    He invented just about all the major parts of AC electricity – the generators, motors, transformers, control systems, etc.

    He had radio controlled boats decades ahead of commercial radio use. He researched extremely high voltages with the famous “tesla coil”. A “tesla” is a basic unit of magnetic field strength. He demonstrated unwired power distribution through the earth.

    Edison was a cheap hack given to theatrics. For example, while he tried to commercialize a DC system he convinced authorities to put a convict to death by electrocution. With AC power, to prove how dangerous it was.

    Tesla was a true scientist and inventor. Pity he didn’t care any more for money – he’d have received far more credit in his day, and had more research funds to put to use if he had.

    Comment by David Miller — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:10 PM

  488. #474 “There is good evidence for less ice right now in Greenland that at any time in several millenia.” Any idea of the depth and age of the Greenland ice sheets David?

    Comment by David Horton — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  489. 384
    SecularAnimist says:
    18 February 2010 at 10:58 AM

    “Please tell us all about how humans of those times evacuated hundreds of millions of people from flooded coastal cities while at the same time they dealt with the complete collapse of agriculture that feeds billions of people.”

    Evacuate? It is going to happen that quickly? Don’t be silly. Populations move as and when appropriate. Your comment about agriculture is similarly non-sensical.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:25 PM

  490. 391
    flxible says:
    18 February 2010 at 11:30 AM

    “Richard Steckis – I can see where your source might love to jump on it as meaning the entire Polish Society is “retracting”, even though it’s but one of many subcommitees, and even they didn’t actually dispute climate change. ”

    That is not the point. No on in their right mind would dispute climate change. Climate always has and always will change. The PAS report gives some balance to the argument as to the agents of change. Specifically they state that ignoring the influences of the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere as interacting forces along with human influences gives a biased and wrong interpretation of climate.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:35 PM

  491. #450 Lynn Vincentnathan is wrong on history and wrong about the present. There were lots of conservatives in the late 60′s–that’s how Nixon became President. Since then, more millionaires (more billionaires for that matter) have been created that at any other time in US history. As for the present, a big chunk of the rich seem to be on the AGW side. The sociology of this debate is complex. Every time one side or the other tries to oversimplify or to stereotype their opposition they lose ground

    Comment by two moon — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:39 PM

  492. Stickery re. 470 “”"However much of this damage also falls to a group of leading climate scientists that chose to drag it into the political realm to begin with”"”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Why don’t you ask any US climate change reporter what happened to their scientist sources (publishing climate scientists whose work held up over time) about six years ago when the scientists were asked to comment on science issues… (much less politics- which they would not publicly have done anyway-except perhaps lightly for two senior scientists who had effective immunity due to their positions in my opinion)…I was there.

    The sources effectively dried up like leaves in the hot autumn wind. Ask yourself why…and this was for scientific subjects, forget politics.

    This situation is like putting a black plastic bag over the public’s head…and then slowly tying it shut.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:40 PM

  493. CFU (457)

    Stay OT, I’m addressing expectations of privacy in email. Other forms of private communication are protected (lawyer, wife,etc.,) but not email. So wife can whisper to you and you can expect privacy but once she puts it in an email it is no longer private/privileged. If you want to spend $100K to contest it in court, you might win – but then again you might lose not only your expectations but also the $100K.

    BTW. Finally nowhere in the US constitution does the word privacy appear. Specific 1st and 4th amendment case law have established what rights we enjoy. E-mail privacy is not one of them.

    Rattus Nonvegicus (481) Same problem, ECPA applies to government spying, not email communication. You might try to use it to protect yourself by not allowing email evidence to be used against you but again at great expense to you and you might lose.

    This is not about legal, it is about expectations. I find it surprising that not just one, but two technologists would expect the impossible. Expectation of privacy means no one is supposed to know. Well you can’t send an unencrypted email and expect that it might not be read by others. Too much nitty-gritty of reliable computer communication requires human intervention, copies of your emails are stored in heaven knows where, in order to deliver messages – yours included. So I repeat, if you want privacy – encrypt.

    From a good discussion of internet privacy at http://www.netatty.com/privacy/privacy.html

    “The right to privacy in Internet activity is a serious issue facing society…Since no formal law exists within cyberspace, Internet users can find recourse only through the applicable laws of their own government…Avoiding the seizure of communication in transit is less a legal problem than a technological one. There is software that can provide privacy protection for the individual Internet user. Hardware exists that can prevent very sophisticated industrial espionage. Of most concern to the common Internet user is protection of email. The most famous encryption software is PGP, created by Phil Zimmerman…”

    Comment by John Peter — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:58 PM

  494. @413 Hotrod:
    A lot of people say they have been put off by exaggerations. Maybe it’s just they cannot conceive of climate having an effect on the world. For example, using the threats you’ve given, are you saying that you don’t agree that a hotter climate isn’t already threatening polar bear populations, or that malaria could extend its boundaries with increasing heat and humidity, or that the deltas in Bangladesh might not have more frequent and worse flooding as sea levels rise?

    I don’t know if or how these threats have been exaggerated in the popular press you follow, but it makes logical sense for a warmer earth to pose such risks, and we have barely started to see the effects of warming yet.

    Why do you think most of the world is concerned and taking action? What sort of things do you expect to happen as our earth heats up more and more?

    Comment by Sou — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:21 PM

  495. While the last three RC posts have been very useful, I hope the group can get back to discussing the science, as opposed to dealing with the trash. I’d kind of like to read RC’s take on the following research:

    New research announced:

    “Warmer Planet Temperatures Could Cause Longer-Lasting Weather Patterns

    “It is anticipated that in a warmer world, blocking events will be more numerous, weaker and longer-lived,” Lupo said. “This could result in an environment with more storms. We also anticipate the variability of weather patterns will change dramatically over some parts of the world, such as North America, Europe and Asia, but not in others.””

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218125535.htm

    and a study (I think it’s “in press”):

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~tingley/mean_variance.pdf

    The primary focus of the paper appears to be showing a link between warmer temperatures and greater variation. The conclusion for recent warmth:

    “According to the proxy records, the 1906-1990 period is warmer than the medieval period, but the spatial variability is not significantly different within the two periods.”

    I found the following line to be quite interesting:

    “If, as expected, surface temperatures continue to rise in the future, we expect, based on past trends, that the spatial dispersion of the surface temperature distribution will likely increase as well.”

    Figure 1 caption:

    “Bottom panel: an increase in both the mean and the standard deviation leads to much larger areas of high temperatures, with a small (relative to the upper panel) reduction in the areas of low temperatures.”

    Comment by MarkB — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:35 PM

  496. RE #417, Don, you are so lucky! I’ve been somewhat following http://www.ClimateArk.org and the Sacramento Bee is one of the few U.S. newspapers that has done well in its consistently good reporting on climate change. The NYT and Christian Science Monitor are also pretty good.

    Other than that, there aren’t many other good news sources. But it might not only be that newspapers are funded by ads (big biz), but also having to cut back on reporters — the science reporters going first. Here’s an interesting article about the problem:

    Covering Climate Change (note, the author quotes Gavin): http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6373

    I’m trying to establish an Environmental Studies Program at my Univ (they have an Env Sci Program, but one needs some 12 courses in sciences to even take their courses). It would be a broadly interdisciplinary program (a minor) for non-science majors, and my wish list includes a course on “Environmental Journalism.”

    When Larry King said re the Haiti Earthquake that he thought is very strange for an earthquake to occur in a tropical area, I though OMG this is very basic grammar school science… sliding tectonic plates (tho I’m from Calif, so I guess we get that with mother’s milk). Then when he said the same thing some 4 days later, I thought OMG OMG, no one corrected him. BTW, I looked up on my old atlas and there is the edge of a tectonic plate edge near Haiti, and also one near Indonesia.

    The situation is very dire here in the U.S. — and conservatives politicos want to reduce funds to higher ed — why? Bec people might become educated and vote them out. And as for the students — well, they seem just fine with dumbied down edu; they seem more into into Senior Prom than classes.

    It’s bad, very bad.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 PM

  497. 29. when they crank through petabytes of climate simulations and find no reliable temperature records.-
    Balasz

    Exactly!

    Comment by Kate7 — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:54 PM

  498. #474 David, The Norse are a good reference for some parts of mainly West Greenland, there is not very much evidence of them further to the West. Paleo Inuit are far more interesting, their settlements, what is left of them, lie exactly where ecosystems are livable today, none on the tougher to live NW coast of the Canadian Archipelago, none to my knowledge. This is extremely significant, in this case archeology reveals an arctic climate mainly unchanged for at least 5000 years. Vast swats of new Arctic lands are becoming climatically milder, livable for those who can stand the long night.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 PM

  499. Lynn Vincentnathan (450)

    Oversimplified perhaps, but a succinct statement of the demographic economic structure of the developed world.

    Where I hang up is your link between AGW and your description. As you say, in our world the disadvantaged will follow the lead of the advantaged, so if the advantaged embrace AGW, the disadvantaged should also.

    I fail to see why any of advantaged would deny AGW? Many of them see lots of self interested opportunities in the ravages of Climate Change. Just as the disadvantaged suffered the most in New Orleans after Katrina, the global disadvantaged will be hit the hardest by Climate Change as we now see it.
    The advantaged decide the degree of mitigation of AGW, Copenhagen “decisions” are projected to cost upwards of a billion African lives. The advantaged paid (and will pay) very little for whatever degree og AGW mitigation they decide to support.

    Seems like a good deal for them following right along your demographics model.

    I’m reminded of a 60′s story about a starving hunter and his dog. The hunter whacked off the dog’s tail, roasted it, and threw the bones to his hungry dog – who licked his hand in gratitude.

    keep up the good work

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:31 AM

  500. Let’s clarify this debate. The most important claim of the AGW theory is actually a subset of the theory: let’s call it *Tipping Point Theory.* This is the theory advanced by scientists like Hansen, bloggers like Romm, and celebrities like Gore.

    If there was no TPT, there would be no passionate discussion of AGW theory. So let’s proceed from this obvious point.

    It is not a “distraction” to want to know how good the evidence is for TPT. Indeed, if TPT is wrong or exaggerated, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about with respect to increasing temperatures due to carbon dioxide.

    Here is my challenge to the –less prolix– climate scientists here: tell us why we should believe that TPT is a good theory, and why the catastrophic outcomes of that theory are highly likely. Explain and persuade.

    If you cannot explain why Tipping Point Theory is the best, most necessary and most evidence-backed part of AGW theory, then we should not be having this discussion.

    Start justifying TPT now.–

    Gavin, you should do a post on TPT and invite all experts to weigh in. After all, if there is no really good evidence for TPT, then there is nothing to worry about. So let’s roll with this: it focuses the discussion.

    Comment by Sere — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 AM

  501. BPL: “Disastrous.” And what part of “complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years” do you not regard as disastrous?

    JT: And what would the original source of THAT be? Greenpeace? WFF? This is exactly what I mean. When these positively absurd statements are shown to be what they are, people won’t believe in the actual science.

    Face it. The chances of getting public support has been lost by not refuting the ignorant statements of people like Gore and the deception of Pachauri (what else can you call it, when he calls something ‘voodoo science’ when he knows it’s correct). Confounding science with ‘gray literature’ from biased sources such as Greenpeace and WFF speculating on the consequences of GW has destroyed the credibility of the IPCC.

    There is no choice but to start over with a different cast of characters. Right now people are saying, “If the situation is so dire, why did the IPCC MAKE THINGS UP?” And you can’t blame them. The Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035; the rainforests are not extremely sensitive to draught; the Arctic isn’t going to melt in the next couple of years; hurricanes are not getting stronger. The story was strong enough without exaggeration and misstatements. Perception is EVERYTHING, and the public now perceives the ENTIRE IPCC report to be sloppy at best. Congratulations for completely screwing this up.

    And those who knew better when Gore started misrepresenting the effect of GW but remained silent should be taken to the woodshed for not insisting on an honest presentation of the situation.

    Comment by jtom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:05 AM

  502. Rattus Norvegicus (841)

    I did some more research on your little (ugh) ECPA law. It seems that “The Stored Communications Act” part of EPCA is the section that comes closest to email privacy. It is quite deficient in protecting your email from the government – the thrust of ECPA – or from private parties (ISPs) which pretty much avoid 4th amendment protection anyway.

    A privacy oriented 2004 “User’s Guide” from GWU Law School can be downloaded from : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=421860. In addition to trying to explain this confusing arcane legislation, the author recommends three areas where additional legislation would be desirable. The third area for improvement would seem to be most applicable to “climate gate” :

    “…The third reason that the Fourth Amendment generally offers weak privacy protections online is that most ISPs are private actors. Most are commercial service providers, not government entities. Under the private search doctrine, the Fourth Amendment is wholly inapplicable to a search or seizure, even an unreasonable one, effected by a private individual not
    acting as an agent of the Government or with the participation or knowledge of any governmental official. As a result, even if the Fourth Amendment protects files stored with an ISP, the ISP can search through all of the stored files on its server and disclose them to the government without violating the Fourth Amendment.
    Taken together, these three reasons make it difficult for robust Fourth Amendment protections to apply online. Because private files are held remotely by private ISPs, current doctrine does not protect remotely stored non-content files and leaves the protection of stored content files unclear. And even if those files are protected, they likely can be subpoenaed by the government without probable cause. And even if the files cannot be subpoenaed, private ISPs can search through the files and disclose the fruits to law enforcement under the Fourth Amendment’s private search doctrine.
    As I have written elsewhere, these details of how the Internet works make it almost “custom designed” to frustrate claims of strong Fourth Amendment protection in remotely stored files under current Fourth Amendment doctrine…”

    Enjoy

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:17 AM

  503. I took a little survey at lunch today. I asked several people “What does Global Warming mean to you.” The most popular answer was “Duh .”
    Then there was “Ozone.”
    You can safely assume that the student has not read the assignment. That includes the journalists. I wouldn’t assume that they ever read anything, or ever will read anything. Better start with radio or television. For journalists who ask for interviews, require them to watch some PBS TV at least, prior to the interview. There was at least one PBS TV show on GW. Make the interview into an oral exam of THEM on the PBS TV show. The journalists won’t be interested in doing that. Their agenda is to find something wrong and controversial, to sell newspapers. You should NEVER assume that a journalist has the best interest of the public or the truth as a goal.

    As one clown said: “Don’t take life seriously. It isn’t permanent.”

    That is our problem: WE take life seriously. And WE CAN do math. Most people lack a math co-processor. I doubt that you could force the journalists into a situation in which they have to be the students, but it seems like a good idea.

    “Start here” leads to things that have to be read. Instead, or in addition at the top, put in things that can be downloaded into an iPod or viewed as a downloadable movie. Keep It Simple. You are not dealing with physical science graduate students.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 AM

  504. lucky dog: I would really like to see a reporter/ author publish the story of how it became possible for mankind to understand with certainty how this planet’s climate works.

    BPL: Ignoring the “with certainty” straw man, try here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:44 AM

  505. John Peter @ 455: Congratulations, you have identified an anthropogenic effect of CO2 for which there are no skeptics or deniers

    BPL: On the amazon.com “science” forums I find many people saying ocean acidification isn’t happening, isn’t a problem, or is happening too slow to matter.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  506. John Peter: Copenhagen “decisions” are projected to cost upwards of a billion African lives.

    BPL: What decisions would those be, specifically?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:08 AM

  507. BPL: “Disastrous.” And what part of “complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years” do you not regard as disastrous?

    JT: And what would the original source of THAT be? Greenpeace? WFF?

    BPL: No. Peer-reviewed scientific investigation:

    Battisti, D. S., and R. L. Naylor. 2009. “Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat.” Science 323: 240-244.

    Dai, A., K.E. Trenberth, and T. Qian 2004. “A Global Dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: Relationship with Soil Moisture and Effects of Surface Warming.” J. Hydrometeorol. 1, 1117-1130.

    12% of Earth land surface “severely dry” by Palmer Drought Severity Index 1970. 2002 figure 30%.

    UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025
    Published by Jim on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Drought could parch close to 70 percent of the planet’s soil by 2025 unless countries implement policies to slow desertification, a senior United Nations official has warned.
    “If we cannot find a solution to this problem… in 2025, close to 70 percent could be affected,” Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said Friday.
    Drought currently affects at least 41 percent of the planet and environmental degradation has caused it to spike by 15 to 25 percent since 1990, according to a global climate report.
    “There will not be global security without food security” in dry regions, Gnacadja said at the start of the ninth UN conference on the convention in the Argentine capital.

    jt: This is exactly what I mean. When these positively absurd statements are shown to be what they are, people won’t believe in the actual science.

    BPL: People like you ALREADY don’t believe in the actual science.

    Read my lips: In 40 years, you will no longer be able to waltz into a grocery store and buy food just because you have the money. You’ll be lucky to be shooting it out with your neighbors over who gets the scraggly, greenish tomatoes growing next to an outhouse. You’ll be luckier still if you can get rations from a food line once a week.

    It’s already happening, dude. Just not in the first world… yet. Although Argentina, Africa, and Australia are hurting pretty badly due to drought.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:12 AM

  508. “As one clown said: “Don’t take life seriously. It isn’t permanent.”

    That is our problem: WE take life seriously.”

    I have NO PROBLEM with someone saying that. Live isn’t permanent.

    Now, is he taking AGW seriously and arguing against it?

    Well, that’s taking it seriously. That’s actually interfering with other people who DO care about life. That’s actually not doing what they state they’re doing. This is called lying. Mendacity. Porkies.

    If life isn’t permanent, the ONLY way you can survive in a society of more other people than yourself is by agreeing “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    If life isn’t permanent, then your life isn’t all that important. So why should 99.9999999999999% of the rest of the world put up with your actions that harm them?

    That guy is only a clown if they say that but don’t act that.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:31 AM

  509. JT: And what would the original source of THAT be? Greenpeace? WFF?

    CFU: I think you’ll find it was said by BPL. WTF? Do you think that ANYTHING you personally off nothing more than your “gut feeling” (the greeks used to think that was the center of reasoning and the brain was just an organ for cooling the blood) think is ridiculous must be from Greenpeace???

    Have you done ANY work to see if it’s actually ridiculous? Or do you think that maybe it’s possible, even if unlikely?

    Don’t you insure against your home being flooded?

    It’s unlikely to happen, but you buy the insurance.

    Why? Does Greenpeace make you???

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:34 AM

  510. “500
    Sere says:
    19 February 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Let’s clarify this debate. The most important claim of the AGW theory is actually a subset of the theory: let’s call it *Tipping Point Theory.* ”

    Why is that the most important claim?

    The MOST IMPORTANT CLAIM is that human actions are causing a climate problem.

    Being human caused, it can be avoided by NOT DOING IT ANY MORE.

    TPT is important because we have unbounded risk. That is NOTHING to do with AGW theory. It’s a worrying consequence.

    CONSEQUENCE.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:36 AM

  511. “Kate7 says:
    18 February 2010 at 10:54 PM

    29. when they crank through petabytes of climate simulations and find no reliable temperature records.-
    Balasz

    Exactly”

    wrong!

    There aren’t petabytes of MWP era temperature information.

    This is hard to make it even merely wrong.

    But Kate never lets facts get in the way.

    Gruff.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 AM

  512. “493
    John Peter says:
    18 February 2010 at 9:58 PM

    This is not about legal, it is about expectations”

    Yes it is.

    Both the idea that there is an expectation of privacy in general and that this case, in particular, where someone downloaded reams of information that didn’t belong to them and spread selected quotes around to smear (libel) some people, this is MOST DEFINITELY a legal thing.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:41 AM

  513. “two moon says:
    18 February 2010 at 9:39 PM
    Since then, more millionaires (more billionaires for that matter) have been created that at any other time in US history”

    And many more people in jail, in the army (because they don’t have a chance of work elsewhere), many more people poorer.

    Wealth disparity is not made less by concentrating wealth in more billionaires.

    Have a look at Saudi Arabia.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:43 AM

  514. Jimbo, it is illegal to speed past a schoolyard in 1989 except that the statute of limitations for such a crime has now passed and we don’t have any cam footage.

    Therefore Jimbo is guilty of speeding in a residential area.

    This is EXACTLY the stance you’re taking to justify whisltblowing and accuse Dr Jones of criminal acts.

    Are you REFUTING that it’s illegal to speed past a schoolyard in 1989 in your home town?

    Are you refuting that the prosecution of you for doing this would go nowhere now?

    If you don’t, then you too are guilty of speeding in a residential area.

    BTW: NO COMMENT is how all politicians weasel out of admitting guilt.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:50 AM

  515. “484
    Frank Giger says:
    18 February 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Remember the IPCC got a Nobel Prize for Peace, not Science. Think about that.”

    Yes, I’ve thought.

    And myu thought now is “so what?” The work is centuries old (millenia, even) and is hardly breathrhough science, so would not give reason for a Nobel prize for Science.

    But what have many wars been about?

    Someone else has land with resources you lack.

    And when the world gets hotter, wetter, we will have more drought and more desert. What do you think was a major contributing factor to the Dust Bowl? An extremely HOT US temperature for years.

    Now when it comes down to it, if your country no longer supports food production for your family, do you sit around and starve, or do you move north and take the land that isn’t devastated?

    If you’re invaded by a foreign country, what would you do?

    War?

    You betcha.

    And an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:58 AM

  516. Sere, Although tipping points are an important aspect of the theory, they are by far only one type of risk of inaction. The climate, as self-proclaimed skeptics keep telling us is complex. Solomon et al.’s PNAS study showed that even without any sort of tipping point, we could wind up irreversibly altering the climate
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/02/irreversible-does-not-mean-unstoppable/

    The climate achieves equilibrium again only very slowly, so every ton of CO2 we put into the atmosphere moves us further from a stable climate.

    Moreover, keep in mind that we have no effective way to mitigate climate change effects. Developing such strategies will take time–and we have already squandered 20 years arguing about established science.

    We also know with 100% certainty that the climate has tipping points–not only from the physics, but also from the paleoclimate. The loss of Arctic Sea ice is one such tipping point. This greatly decreases the albedo in the arctic and will accelerate warming in that region significantly in Summer, Fall and Spring. We also know that the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 is not unlimited–at some point they become a source, rather than a sink of CO2. This would accelerate warming and slow down recovery even if we somehow managed to invent Dyson’s magic carbon-gobbling trees. What is more, using the ocean as a dumping ground for our CO2 is a bad idea, since it acidifies the oceans. Not only does this degrade reefs, which are crucial to global fisheries (already under severe strain), at some point it begins to favor micro-organisms that produce H2S, rather then O2. Paleoclimate gives us ample evidence of what happens then–the PETM saw one of the largest mass extinctions of all time.

    Paleoclimate also gives us evidence of other tipping points. The lag of CO2 behind temperature in glacial/interglacial cycles that denialists (and sorry, these guys are in denial) love to cite is actually evidence of a tipping point: Temperatures began to rise due to increased insolation, melting polar ice and exposing permafrost. The permafrost then gave a pulse of CO2 over an extended period of time, further warming and prolonging the warm temperature.

    There is plenty of evidence that there are tipping points, and we have no idea how close they are. This is an area where uncertainty is definitely not your friend.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:02 AM

  517. Steckis says, “Specifically they state that ignoring the influences of the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere as interacting forces along with human influences gives a biased and wrong interpretation of climate.”

    And since climate studies quite specifically do consider these effects, that makes the subcommittee statement a straw man, which I suspect is why the rest of the academy ignored it.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:14 AM

  518. News is always more interesting when it’s local. The story is bigger in the UK because the CRU is in the UK. Al Gore is a US “local” so he is still getting the attention of the US media during their cold snap.

    The thing that scares me more than ignorant/malevolent press reports is that anti-science is an organised political movement in the US. The latest bit of craziness from the UTAH state government is just the tip of an iceberg of ignorance, ideological dogma and vested interest.

    As an Aussie I don’t get off scott free either. I unreservedly apologise for unleashing Rupert on the world but that’s not to say he’s stupid or ignorant. Like the US think tanks that produce the bulk of the anti-science propoganda for his media empire, he knows exactly what he is doing.

    Since the 70′s I have often wondered how the Easter Islander’s could have been so breathtakingly stupid as to cut down the last tree and thus ensure their own extinction. Over the last few years I have come to see how it’s not only possible but actually very probable that a “sophisticated” civilization would behave in such a self destructive manner.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:53 AM

  519. 500 Sere,
    I am not a climate scientist (in the narrow sense) but would like to say 1) that you have a point – yes, tipping points is an important issue, whether they exist, where they are, how certain we can be (factual) and also political (the notion of tipping points are increasingly an important tool for climate advocates)
    2) the point is only partly valid. Whether climate change is important or not does not stand and fall with tipping points. Climate change is very complex, there is hundreds of issues. We have to consider ALL of these.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:05 AM

  520. Sou says: (thanks for measured reply btw) in post 494

    “@413 Hotrod:
    A lot of people say they have been put off by exaggerations. Maybe it’s just they cannot conceive of climate having an effect on the world. For example, using the threats you’ve given, are you saying that you don’t agree that a hotter climate isn’t already threatening polar bear populations, or that malaria could extend its boundaries with increasing heat and humidity, or that the deltas in Bangladesh might not have more frequent and worse flooding as sea levels rise?”

    Sou, my post was really expressing surprise at the awful outrage that Gavin expresses at the MSM for recent news flow, when so far as I am aware no such outrage has been expressed by the community at a (imho) supine media over last couple of decades repeating exaggerations.

    On your specific points re polar bears etc, which I picked as typical past headline exaggerations:

    Polar bears – no, I don’t agree that a hotter climate is already threatening polar bear populations

    Malaria – no I don’t think materially correlated to increasing heat (does AGW theory predict greater humidity, I can’t recall?). Insectologists or whatever they’re called dismiss increased malaria as an effect of GW.

    Bangladeshi flooding (I take your point to exclude extreme weather events) – Bangladesh has been expanding (silt) at c 20 square km pa for last 30 years (from memory) during a period of historically normal sea level rises. Clearly unusually rapid sea level rises will have a flooding effect on low countries everywhere, if we have them.

    Comment by HotRod — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:16 AM

  521. Sorry Chaps,

    I have a bit of a complaint. This is a thread about ‘Whatevergate’. Reasonable things to discuss are:

    The robustness of the WG2 part of the IPCC report.
    Coverage of the various ‘gates’ in the media.
    How this plays to public opinion.
    How should/could we respond to these issues, as they arise, better.
    If we have learned anything, the proper way to prepare WG2 in the future.
    The Overton window(?)

    Unreasonable things to discuss:

    Grapes.
    The science of Nuclear Energy.
    The science of Pendulums.
    Privacy laws.
    Long listings of scientific papers, one way or another.
    Acrimonius abuse, because someone doesn’t see it your way.

    As of writing this there are 503 responses, Mostly OT.

    Please!

    Comment by GSW — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:25 AM

  522. #501 jton

    jtom’s post is a good example of why exagerated predictions of doom do more harm than good. The hysterical claim that 8 billion will die in the next 30 years is just that: Hysterial.

    OTOH, hurricanes ARE geting stronger, rainforests ARE extremelely sensittive to dry conditions and the arctic sea ice and glaciers in Greenland, the Antarctic Peninusula, the Andes, etc ARE melting at an alarming rate.

    When the already brainwashed like jtom (correctly) reject hysterical claims, they reject substantiated claims at the same time.

    Comment by Jiminmpls — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:29 AM

  523. Here is my challenge to the –less prolix– climate scientists here: tell us why we should believe that TPT is a good theory, and why the catastrophic outcomes of that theory are highly likely.

    They don’t need to be highly likely to be taken seriously. ‘Somewhat likely’ is bad enough; it’s called risk management for a reason. Do your own homework, starting with PETM. We don’t owe you an education — you do.

    …and by the way, “Tipping Point Theory” is just as silly a term as “Falling-Down Theory” or “Geosphericity Theory” or Apes-to-Humans Theory”.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  524. Re #500
    If there was no TPT, there would be no passionate discussion of AGW theory.

    Really? Its odd then that I can’t find the terms ‘tipping point’ or ‘runaway’ in the index or glossary of the book ‘Dire Predictions’ by Mann and Kump. Notice that, ‘dire’ even without TPT.

    So why is most of the propaganda focussed on people like Mann and Jones? Where has the latter written about TPT? What have the hockey stick papers got to do with TPT?

    I think the propagandist strategy may have been to direct their fury on those whose writings fall into the centre or moderate end of the Overton window for climate sensitivity.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  525. If there was no TPT, there would be no passionate discussion of AGW theory.

    You haven’t been paying attention.

    So let’s proceed from this obvious point.

    Let’s not.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:51 AM

  526. Sere #500,

    After all, if there is no really good evidence for TPT, then there is nothing to worry about.

    No, there is no need for there to be a “tipping point” in order for us to be seriously concerned about the AGW and its likely consequences.
    The kind of temperature increases we could see even without a tipping point would be serious enough in themselves.

    Comment by andrew adams — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:00 AM

  527. Great points in this post.

    I think that the main problem is the correct communication of the science behind climate change. It is so complex and main stream media love simple stories. Their editors are lazy and do not like to verify facts. They have pressure to write an article, and they take what they can get. If we can get this right, in a scientific, facts-based, yet easy-to-understand fashion, we’ll win! (Good example: iPhone application)

    Comment by Gustav G. — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:06 AM

  528. 513 Completely Fed Up: There are more poor people and more people in jail because there are more people, period. The army is smaller now than it was in the 50′s & 60′s. Disparity in wealth distribution waxes and wanes with the tempo of economic and social change. Our present era is notable mainly for the unprecedented broad base of wealth creation.

    Comment by two moon — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  529. John Peter has been posting a huge diversion here …

    Expectation of privacy of e-mail is not the issue.

    Illegally breaking into someone else’s computer – not just the UEA mail server, but the server that hosts Real Climate – is the issue, and it is a crime.

    Just ignore the rest of his crap.

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:02 AM

  530. Can someone help with the Phil Jones/BBC interview, please?

    (Or point me to where I can find the answers)

    The BBC interviewer wrote that some of the questions that he asked of Phil Jones had been suggested by sceptics.

    Has anyone, or could anyone, go through the questions and attempt to tease out those that were probably suggested by sceptics? The sceptics, if they know their stuff, and I assume in this case they are “credible” sceptics, would have put questions deliberately to probe any weaknesses in Phil Jones’ replies. So which questions show the fingerprint of sceptics?

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:22 AM

  531. BPL (506)

    The projection was made by one of the more progressive one of the MSM writers. She was very disappointed that the developed nation’s and China were unwilling to commit to bigger targets for CO2 reduction.

    I have no way of knowing if her article and numbers were correct. I would put them in the class of non-scientific write-ups that we have been complaining about in this thread. However they were supporting, not denying AGW.

    I would be delighted to withdraw the number if someone has a more scientific estimate. I believe she was referring to famine and disease.

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:36 AM

  532. BPL (505) That may be true, I’m not a biological scientist. I do see references in Science to negative effects on ocean species due to ocean acidification , if you care to look.

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:42 AM

  533. twomoon, This is OT, but your post is misleading. In 1976, the richest 1% owned 22% of the nations wealth. In 2004, they owned 34%. The median income of the top 1% is nearly 200 times the US median income. One man, Bill Gates, owns as much wealth as the bottom 40% of US households. The top 1% control more wealth than the bottom 90%. Distribution of wealth in the US is roughly equivalent to that in third world economies like Guatemala or Malaysia.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:47 AM

  534. OK, in keeping with my “kinder, gentler” approach, let’s give Sere some credit for at least trying to find a way to move the debate to a factual basis rather than a personal basis.

    Sere, do you see, especially given the account of the Solomon article I cited and the Mann and Kump Geoff cited and Andreas argument, why your concentration on tipping points might be considered a straw man?

    However, I also think that there is good evidence of tipping points (of varying degrees) in climate, and the Arctic is the place to look for them.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:00 AM

  535. Bob (482)

    I detest invasion of privacy by anyone, anytime, period.

    It’s just that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has figured out how to write a meaningful statute protecting non-government browsing of other people’s email. Until they do, you will have to encrypt any information you wish to conceal from prying eyes.

    Actually encrypting is much easier than wording a good email privacy law. Maybe that’s why we don’t have one.

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  536. With admirable concision, GSW in 521 lists a few “reasonable things to discuss” in this thread. In 55, I should have listed two explicit phrases of the same sort. This thread should engage two things that are new:
    * The new and metastasizing contempt for an entire subfield of science.
    * Politicians’ dishonest but snowballing efforts to use this new cancer to electoral advantage in this year’s congressional election.

    Comment by Steven T. Corneliussen — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:07 AM

  537. #357. It is bizarre to see this legalistic argumentation over the word “hack,” a term which has no precise legal meaning. Among the computer literate, the usage of “hack” is at least as broad as the usage of “trick” among scientists (a roughly synonymous term for which there have also recently been some foolish attempts to assign an overly narrow definition). Like “trick,” “hack” is frequently used to refer to benign activities, such as clever or rapid programming, but it can also refer to illegal data access by methods ranging from sophisticated remote computer intrusions to trivial unauthorized access by deception or gaining access to another user’s password (e.g. a “social engineering” hack). Many academic servers are not really well secured against data intrusion by somebody who is able to gain physical access to the server, although the fact that there was a presumably remote intrusion into RealClimate’s computers raises the possibility of a more sophisticated external attack

    Comment by trrll — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:20 AM

  538. Here’s a study concluding that there has been less ice in Greenland than today between 400 and 1014 AD by analysing organic remains found +-3km from the historic ice cap retreat line.
    “Organic Remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap, Liverpool Land, East Greenland: A Record of Late Holocene Climate Change” American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2007 Lowell, Kelly et al.

    Antarctica has 20Million km3 Ice; 150km3 loss per year is really a very small amount. I’d like to understand how ice can melt in a place where temperatures never get above 0 C°

    Comment by arthur — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:24 AM

  539. trrll (537)

    I agree.

    If all that was done to RealClimate server was an unauthorized upload of a bunch of emails and data, it will be very hard for RealClimate to prove damage to their (blog) server. Proven “Damage”, in addition to unauthorized access, seems to be a requirement of the computer hacking laws.

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  540. If we are to clean up the cooling elements of AGW (black carbon and sulphur dioxide) then would warming double per decade from 0.18C to 0.36C as is stated in this New Scientist article.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527481.400-smoke-bomb-the-other-climate-culprits.html

    lots of good stuff in here about the nature of anthroprogenic cooling agents

    Comment by pete best — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:43 AM

  541. David Benson wrote: “SecularAnimist (425) — Already done. Read Mark Lynas’s ‘Six Degrees’ and Peter D. Ward’s ‘Under a Green Sky’.”

    And how often are those books addressed and discussed by the moderators of this site — let alone the discussion pages — compared to the number of posts that address ExxonMobil-scripted denialist BS?

    For every dozen articles explaining in thorough and respectful detail why liars and frauds like Monckton or Morano are wrong, is there even ONE that discusses why the worst-case scenarios may well be correct?

    Again, my point is that even for this site, discussion of phony-baloney denialist pseudoscience is within the bounds of acceptable discourse (the “Overton window”), but discussion of plausible, science-based, worst-case scenarios seems to be out of bounds.

    Consider Lynas’s book. It was published three years ago. Would it not be appropriate for the RealClimate moderators to give us an update, with a review of the ongoing empirical observations of CO2 emission rates, cumulative CO2 levels, the ongoing effects of same, and the plausibility in light of those observations of leveling off at 2 degrees vs. skyrocketing to 6 degrees of warming? I think such a review would be, to put it mildly, sobering.

    Is that not at least as important as writing one rebuttal after another to the deliberately dishonest and deceptive denialist trash?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  542. Gavin did a piece on the use of the phrase “tipping points” some time ago -
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/runaway-tipping-points-of-no-return/
    Catchy phrases tend to have a life of their own, “quantum leap” being another example. The media, of course, love them.

    Comment by Moira Kemp — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  543. Arthur, use Google Scholar, not blog science, if you want reliable information about what’s in a published paper.

    Scholar gives you the subsequent work referring to the same paper and by the same authors.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.008

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  544. “If all that was done to RealClimate server was an unauthorized upload of a bunch of emails and data, it will be very hard for RealClimate to prove damage to their (blog) server”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

    And, since possession of illegal items can get you into trouble

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barratry

    Plus illegal entry, illegal access and computer trespass.

    No need to show damages (in money). Just ask RIAA.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  545. “528
    two moon says:
    19 February 2010 at 8:36 AM

    513 Completely Fed Up: There are more poor people and more people in jail because there are more people, period.”

    Our survey said:

    Brrr Bwrrr.

    Nope, as a percentage (which scales with the number of people in the population), those trends are true.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:26 AM

  546. PS two moons, wouldn’t that argument be one destroying your idea that the US is more prosperous because you have more billionaires?

    Isn’t that because you have more people, period.

    ?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:27 AM

  547. 526, Andrew Adams: No, there is no need for there to be a “tipping point” in order for us to be seriously concerned about the AGW and its likely consequences.
    The kind of temperature increases we could see even without a tipping point would be serious enough in themselves.

    On that I think that you are wrong.

    Without tipping points, the changes will be slow in coming, and most likely sufficiently reduced as the people of the world create replacements for the diminishing fossil fuels. The US and EU already have in place programs that will create renewable energy sufficient to reduce their CO2 output persistently over the next few decades (and may be reducing their CO2 output already), and China and India have programs that will begin to reduce CO2 output sometime in 2030-2060, and AGW will begin to recede. Only the threat of tipping points creates the urgency to act more intensely than we are acting now.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  548. GSW (521)

    I am looking at the organization of IPCC WGII. It would seem to me to have a sensible organization, given its mission and a reasonable size given that the WGI activity is improved.

    I rescanned the Pachauri interview in the Economist. It seems to me the interviewer pulled no punches and Pachauri tried to respond. For IPCC #5 the exchange was:

    “The Economist: Are you hoping to have the working groups working closer together this time?

    Dr Pachauri: Absolutely. I think there is outstanding teamwork this time around, not that there wasn’t the previous time. But I also know, I mean I was learning on the job at that time, I feel I can really bring about much greater consistency across the working groups this time around.

    That said what are you looking to influence in WGII? Aren’t we shooting at a moving target?

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  549. CFU (544)

    Let’s agree to disagree.

    I am trying to show reality, real case law as I can find it. You want to discuss ideals and unenforceable statutes.

    Legality on the internet is very difficult. Problems have yet to find workable solutions. Write your congressperson.

    To repeat the advice of the GW Law professor, encrypt your emails and beef up your firewalls. Currently the justice system is really not going to be of much help.

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  550. 515, Completely Fed Up: And an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

    It might be worthwhile to have a thread devoted to estimates of monetary costs and benefits of prevention versus mitigation. What if every dollar for prevention saves two cents of mitigation? Or is money irrelevant because the people who benefit from AGW (through their increased prosperity from fuel use) are not those who suffer from it (because their land is flooded or drought destroys their agriculture)?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:03 PM

  551. David Horton – Edison may have been a bit over the top, but he didn’t “convince” anyone to use AC for electrocution, rather he siezed on an offered opportunity for a marketing advantage – it’s a shame tho’ that DC lost it’s momentum, we might be much better off today if battery development and electric vehicles had “kept up” – I agree about Tesla, a real giant mind, but also a very odd person :)

    Comment by flxible — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:06 PM

  552. One last attempt, then you can go back to losing the climate debate.

    You must stop making specific predictions on what will happen.

    First, the weather/climate is very complex. For every study that postulates that it will cause droughts and destroy agriculture, there will be another study that says it will be a warm, wet world ideal for plantlife. You will get nowhere with doomsday predictions.

    Secondly, because of the complexities, there’s a significant probablity that any specific prediction will be proved demonstrably wrong. The Arctic will melt by 2008 – no, it didn’t. The Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035; no, impossible. Hurricanes will become stronger; no, they have become weaker. Snow in London/Washington will only exist in our memories; wrong again. The credibility of GW supporters is very low now because of this. So when UNPREDICTED consequences of GW happen, no one is going to believe you when claim it is the result GW.

    Guys, you have got the science to back up the theory of global warming, but you are losing the fight. Use the argument that we are making the world warmer; there will be changes in climate; we don’t know exactly what or where the changes will be, but with almost 7 billion people in the world to feed and care for, any changes that could affect agriculture, living conditions, the spread of disease, extinctions, etc. could have catastrophic results. I can’t guarantee this will win the debate, but it can’t do worse than the losing position you’ve adopted.

    We exist because of a strange combination of very specific conditions. There are several universal constants that, if changed just a minor amount, would have prevented the creation of the universe. Life on this planet is possible because of many seemingly trivial events. (Did you know that advanced life forms would likely not exist if ice did not float? And that water, bismuth, and gallium seem to be the only substances with the property of being less dense in solid form than liquid?). Point out how tenuous the parameters for supporting life are, and how we must do what we can to not change those parameters.

    But I know this diatribe will fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes, as the case may be). Go ahead and make predictions of doom, doomed to fail, lose the debate, and watch as the end comes from a completely unexpected direction. Ah, well, Mankind had a good run.

    Comment by jtom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  553. Re: post on 470
    [Response: Care to substantiate that? - gavin]

    No problem…. but i won’t waste my time on a compendium – and yes it is all free speech to which you are entitled. As for whether politics diminishes science, I hope this is not a request to substantiate. From your post, I thought we were already in agreement. – stickery

    http://www.dailykos.com/search?offset=0&old_count=30&string=RealClimate&type=comment_by&sortby=relevance&search=Search&count=30&wayback=3679200&wayfront=0

    [Response: 16 collective comments over 4 years on a blog? We've given interviews to the Wall Street Journal and CNN too. This is too trivial to even think about. - gavin]

    Comment by stickery — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:08 PM

  554. Steckis says, “Specifically they state that ignoring the influences of the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere as interacting forces along with human influences gives a biased and wrong interpretation of climate.”
    My reading is that they call for more study of what they consider worth studying [eg: their specialties], not that there’s any thing wrong with the existing science.

    Comment by flxible — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:08 PM

  555. “547
    Septic Matthew says:
    19 February 2010 at 11:50 AM

    526, Andrew Adams: No, there is no need for there to be a “tipping point” in order for us to be seriously concerned about the AGW and its likely consequences.
    The kind of temperature increases we could see even without a tipping point would be serious enough in themselves.

    On that I think that you are wrong.”

    This is your prerogative.

    Do you have anything to back that thought up, or just thinking it is sufficient for you?

    “Without tipping points, the changes will be slow in coming”

    Please prove this assertion.

    See, for example, the changes already seen and consider accelerated warming. Also consider that we’ve not really learned anything new in the past 20 years that we didn’t know (if to less certainty) then and we STILL have lots saying that there’s nothing to worry about.

    “Only the threat of tipping points creates the urgency to act more intensely than we are acting now.”

    The evidence seems against you: no tipping point has been used to argue the urgency. Except one brought up by those wanting to divert the discussion into the weeds.

    “What if every dollar for prevention saves two cents of mitigation? ”

    Well preventing CO2 production IS mitigation.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  556. “let’s agree to disagree”.

    No.

    If someone is wrong, there’s no point letting them accept their wrong conclusion or supposition.

    You don’t add 4 to 3 and get 9 and say “let’s agree to disagree” when your accountant tells you this is wrong.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  557. “Or is money irrelevant because the people who benefit from AGW (through their increased prosperity from fuel use) ”

    I think you have the wrong side. Oil industry benefits from increased prosperity from fuel use.

    That you get such a simple thing so extremely wrong shows a lot about the way you approach things.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:23 PM

  558. > 550, S. Matthew
    > monetary costs and benefits

    Right sidebar, between Rabett and Grumbine:
    RealClimateEconomics

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:29 PM

  559. Andrew Adams wrote: “The kind of temperature increases we could see even without a tipping point would be serious enough in themselves.”

    Septic Matthew replied: “On that I think that you are wrong. Without tipping points, the changes will be slow in coming …”

    Andrew Adams is right and Septic Matthew is wrong.

    Why? Because the changes that are already occurring from the CO2 emissions that have already occurred and the temperature increases that have already occurred as a result of those emissions, are already “faster in coming” than was expected, and are already “serious enough in themselves”.

    Denialists like to pretend that we have not yet experienced any “serious” changes as a result of AGW and that all the discussion is about what might or might not happen in the future. That is false.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:35 PM

  560. 533, 545, 546: Well, I’m glad that we agree that the army is smaller. Wealth concentration is a tricky subject not necessarily well treated by simple snapshot percentages. Inside those numbers a lot is going on. Two very important things about wealth creation in recent decades have been the number of newly wealthy individuals (top 5%) and the fact that so many individuals at the very top (top 1%) are newly wealthy. In other words, there has been more, not less, upward mobility. As for incarceration rates and percentage of the population classed as poor, we’d need to define terms at a level of detail inappropriate in this forum. I’ll simply close by saying that sentencing guidelines and generational demographics have more impact than trends in income equality/disparity.

    Comment by two moon — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:16 PM

  561. There are still some credible journalists out there who get what is going on here– This by Jeffrey Sachs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science#start-of-comments

    After reading that I felt better about the world, then I made the mistake of reading some of the comments. OMG. He must have hit the nail on the head b/c those in denial are fuming.

    Jeffrey needs our support.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  562. Gavin,

    If you haven’t yet heard, the esteemed Texas State Climatologist, Dr. John Nielson-Gammon, is making his case on the Texas Governor’s Perry’s lawsuit against the EPA over at The Wonk Room:

    Texas State Climatologist Disputes State’s Denier Petition: Greenhouse Gases ‘Clearly Present A Danger To The Public Welfare’.

    and at Joe Romm’s Climate Progress:

    Texas state climatologist disputes state’s anti-science petition: Greenhouse gases “clearly present a danger to the public welfare.”

    Now those are some headlines we can all live by.

    All you science savvy, biodiversity loving, intelligent citizens of planet Earth, bring friends, lots of ‘em.

    –IANVS

    Comment by The Devil's Chaplain — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  563. BPL (506)

    My face is red, I misremembered the numbers in my 531 post.

    I have found Naomi Klein’s report here on the web. What she wrote was

    “That means, according to the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, “an additional 55 million people could be at risk from hunger” and “water stress could affect between 350 and 600 million more people.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts the stakes like this: “We are facing impending disaster on a monstrous scale…. A global goal of about 2 degrees C is to condemn Africa to incineration and no modern development.”

    You can find Naomi’s report here:
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100104/klein

    Comment by John Peter — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:46 PM

  564. Hank Roberts , I don’t understand: the link you provide with google scholar is a different paper (and quite interesting too) than the one I (poorly) summarized. I’m French.
    Here’s the link to what I was referring to:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFM.C13A..04L
    Regards

    Comment by arthur — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:47 PM

  565. jtom wrote: “But I know this diatribe will fall on deaf ears …”

    Likely it will, when you support your argument with blatant falsehoods like “Hurricanes will become stronger; no, they have become weaker” and ridicule “predictions” that no one ever made about “The Arctic will melt by 2008″. Nor did anyone ever predict that by the winter of 2009-2010 there would never again be snow in Washington, DC.

    If you are here to argue that no one should make predictions that no one has ever made, fine, but I don’t know why you bother.

    And if you want to argue that predictions (e.g. about increasing intensity of hurricanes) have been proved false when that is not in fact the case, then you are simply too ill-informed to have much credibility.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  566. The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board has finally expressed what it is that has caused journalists to act so horribly. Journalists want to shout in the faces of scientists – We’re just as smart as you and until you admit it, we’re going to stick it to you. -

    It’s all about ego. I’m trying hard not to vomit. When I think of all of the consequences of global warming, I can honestly say I’ve never seen such selfishness exposed.

    This is disgusting.

    The last sentence of this Chicago Tribune editorial says it all.

    “One climate expert, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote in Nature: “The truth, and this is frustrating for policymakers, is that scientists’ ignorance of the climate system is enormous. There is still much messy, contentious, snail-paced and now, hopefully, transparent work to do.”

    Hmm. Humility. How refreshing. And scientific.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-climate-20100216,0,2980279.story

    Comment by Andy — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  567. David Horton — You can check the dating for the bottoms of the GISP2 and NGISP ice cores; better than relying on my memory. However, the melting is around the edges, not the tops. The evidence is there.

    SecularAnimist — Yes indeed. This would, I opine, finding knowledgable people to do guest posts; I would dearly like to see one on the Eemian, for which there is now a fair amount of evidence.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  568. jtom:

    Your list of predictions are notable only in that scientists never made them.

    For example, there was a prediction that there was a 50% chance that the north pole (but not the entire Arctic) would be briefly ice free in 2008. That is completely different to what you seem to think was forecast.

    Your other “predictions” are equally flawed, but I think you will learn more by looking them up yourself. Or, just blame the media. You evidently got these mistaken ideas from somewhere – and unfortunately so did many other people. The sad reality is that some media outlets are quite happy to simply lie.

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  569. @5, Elliot,

    I could not agree more. Let me add this, to paraphrase a famous saying: living by the media, dying by the media. Climate science has thrived under uncanny (for a science) media attention, has gained importance in awareness (and funding) compared to other scientific area, and, i feel, has chosen to turn a blind eye (or even a benevolent eye) to some alarmist making claims in the same cranky ballpark as the most extreme deniers (the conspiracy theory type, or god will not let the CO2 warm us variant). Earth will become a second Venus if you do not act NOW! Your children will never see snow again!! 60 m sea rise, half the world is going to drown!!! Serious scientist never made such predictions,

    [Response: They never did. Please take the strawman arguments somewhere else. - gavin]

    at least not for short term, but many considered that as a valid vulgarisation in that it helped the public to support CO2 control schemes (Al Gore even won a nobel price for this)…Sorry, but this is not an acceptable behavior for a scientist, when speaking as a scientist (activism is ok, but then let your labcoat in the drawer).

    So, as a moderate denier or skeptic, I have a lot of trouble finding sympathy for the AGW-crowd now that the media wind is starting to turn. Sorry for those that had tried to correct those errors, but for all that said nothing, som na naa (which mean “well deserved”)!

    Comment by kai — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  570. I have a question relating to the D’Aleo charges. I’ve been trying to understand the GISS “bias method” from Hansen 87 and how this handles the gaps in station records as to producing their temperature anomaly plots. I don’t understand the formulas exactly, but is it correct to say for the recent years when they have less station data available, that those discontinuous stations are still taken into account for those recent year anomaly numbers because the bias method ‘extrapolates’ more or less their prior data into the calculation for their subbox or grid anomaly value (the T1,N(t) number?) for those recent years as well? Am I close or way off? If close, does that also mean stations are similarly extrapolated back to 1880 too?

    Also in relation, I have a basic question on what an anomaly calculation means relative to an average temperature calculation. I understand that the GISS/HADCRU/NCDC plots are showing anomalies relative to some baseline. What is the usefulness to understanding a temperature trend using an anomaly plot compared to a plot that was produced by giving the average of the stations temperature readings instead and showing that value for each year. Isn’t the yearly anomaly number an kind of average of all the anomalies for that year? I can see an average temperature trend wouldn’t mean much if the station representation changed over the years, but what if you controlled for the changes the way they do in calculating the anomalies?

    [Response: See this explanation from John Nielsen-Gammon. - gavin]

    Comment by jonesy — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  571. 507 Barton Paul Levenson
    1. UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025
Published by Jim on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 4:15 PM
    BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Drought could parch close to 70 percent of the planet’s soil by 2025 unless countries implement policies to slow desertification, a senior United Nations official has warned.

    You keep posting this. It is a statement by a UN official, with no scientific basis.

    2 Battisti, D. S., and R. L. Naylor. 2009. “Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat.” Science 323: 240-244.

    This article doesn’t even remotely support your exaggerated, repeated statement about the “complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years.”
    Nothing you have ever posted even comes close to supporting that statement.

    Comment by Don Shor — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:59 PM

  572. kai:

    The media weren’t interested in moderating their scare stories then any more than they are interested in applying a sense of proportion to their whatevergates now.

    Thanks to Murdoch, most of the media is only interested in shouting loudly enough to make money. We should treasure those rare exceptions, and not waste time blaming scientists for whatever things you mistakenly think they did or didn’t do.

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  573. The North Pole will be ice free in 2008:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-north-pole.html
    “North Pole May Be Ice-Free for First Time This Summer”

    And this is how the’gray’ literature presented it:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/arctic-ice-cap-gone.php
    “Arctic Ice Cap Could be Gone by the Summer”

    Hurricane Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE, the measurement of the amount of energy in hurricanes)
    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/global_running_ace.jpg
    That was easy. If you have charts indicating an increasing trend, check the end-date of the data. For personal reasons, I know EXACTLY what the hurricane seasons have been like for the last several years.

    No more snow in D.C.: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/RFK-79834057.html
    RFK, Jr.

    Yeah,some of these predictions were not made by scientists. THAT’S THE PROBLEM. Just like the other examples (Hamalayan glaciers gone by 2035, etc.) but you keep repeating speculative gray literature predictions that prove to be absurdly wrong. KNOCK IT OFF UNLESS IT IS YOUR INTENT TO DEFEAT THIS ISSUE.

    [Response: First off, you have backed down from your first assertions, second, you demonstrate exactly that scientists are not saying things that are exaggerated, third you miss the context that scientists (here and elsewhere) have tried to give some of the soundbites that get out there, and fourth, you still blame scientists for this state of affairs? Give me a break. Your beef is with the media and with advocates, and instead of blaming scientists for doing their job, you should be encouraging us to speak out and continue to add the context that is so often missing in media coverage..... (now where have I heard that before?). - gavin]

    Comment by jtom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:15 PM

  574. 555, Completely Fed Up: “Without tipping points, the changes will be slow in coming”
    &&&
    Please prove this assertion.

    Are you denying that: (a) climate change has entailed a 0.75C mean rise over the last century, or that (b) the forecast for the next century, absent tipping points, is another 1C or(c) that the sea level rose 20cm over the last century or that (d) the forecast for the next century is about 30cm, or that (e) the effect of doubling the CO2 concentration is 2C-4C rise (and the increase since about 1850 is from about 280ppm to 380ppm, so doubling from pre-industrial revolution times won’t have occurred for a few more decades)? Are you asking me to prove that 1C/century is “slow”? That temp increase is a logarithmic function of CO2 increase?

    To reuse some examples, these are slower changes than the changes in 20th century agricultural productivity, nuclear power growth, current non-hydro renewable energy growth, 20th century growth in hydropower and aluminum production, or the growth of commercial and military aviation.

    As for costly changes that have already occurred (Secular Animist), they are barely perceptible among the natural variability. Nothing in the periphery of the Bay of Bengal has changed to match the disaster of the 2004 Tsunami; polar bear and seal populations fluctuate; Japan and the west coast of America have suffered more from earthquakes than from the 20cm sea surface rise, and agricultural productivity almost everywhere increased over the last 100 years, and the last 30 years. Today, Northern Hemisphere snow cover is nearly equal to what it was 100 years ago. Winter cold continues year-in-and-year-out to kill more people than summer heat.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 PM

  575. Ray Ladbury says, “Distribution of wealth in the US is roughly equivalent to that in third world economies like Guatemala or Malaysia.”

    Down, boy! Down!

    Comment by Rod B — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:31 PM

  576. jtom, I see two problems with your strategy recommendation #552.

    First, scientists are not losing the fight. There is temporary public confusion created by a systematic campaign of disinformation. But the national science academies and the professional scientific societies are not confused, and the scientific evidence for AGW continues to pile up by the day.

    Second, you are asking scientists to abandon what they do know. They don’t know everything, but they do know quite a lot. They can predict what is going to happen within error bars that provide useful information. What you are suggesting is to abandon science in favor of mushy, intuition-based commentary. Not gonna happen.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  577. As long as the topic is bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion …

    here is an item in the popular press that you’ll want to debunk:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/7263568/Penguins-in-Antarctica-to-be-replaced-by-jellyfish-due-to-global-warming.html

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  578. jtom:

    You fail to distinguish between “may” and “will”. These two words are not alike.

    If you want to take on the fringe alarmists who keep trying to push doom and gloom apocalyptic scenarios without putting them in the proper time context, then you will have to go elsewhere. Yes, there are a couple of commenters here who stoop to those tricks – but if you read carefully, you will see that errors by “warmists” and “deniers” are squashed with equal rigour. If you see a bias, it is because deniers make so very many errors.

    Scientists and informed individuals are perfectly well aware that overstating the case can be as damaging to our future as underplaying the risk, since public trust depends on honesty, and action is linked to public feeling.

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:27 PM

  579. Septic Matthew said: “(b) the forecast for the next century, absent tipping points, is another 1C”

    This is just wrong. Possibly you are trying to quote the figure for temperature rise without feedbacks, but that’s not the same as the rise without “tipping points” such as the clathrate gun, sudden changes in ocean circulation, or a precipitous ice collapse.

    Most of these events could lead to sea level rise or temperature rise much more than forecast, but they have nothing to do with the normal climate feedbacks that we understand and have allowed for. Note also that we generally have a low expectation that these “tipping points” will occur (although this may change as we understand them better).

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:36 PM

  580. Here we have a case where the GCMs are not just off the mark, but reality is showing the trend to be opposite of what they predicted. Again, why is this not triggering some sort of fundamental rethink?

    This is great, Septic Matthew …

    Penguins in Antarctica to be replaced by jellyfish due to global warming

    Rising temperatures in the oceans around Antarctica could lead to the continent’s penguins being replaced by jellyfish, scientists have warned.

    The headline and the subhead contradict each other. That’s cool.

    What does the scientist actually say?

    Huw Griffiths, a marine biologist, said the shifting food web, coupled with shrinking ice sheet breeding grounds, could seriously affect the world’s favourite Antarctic animal.

    Mr Griffiths, of British Antarctic Survey (BAS), said: ”Marine animals spent millions of years adapting to the freezing, stable conditions of the Antarctic waters and they are highly sensitive to change.
    ”The polar oceans are rich in biodiversity. But if species are unable to move or adapt to new conditions they could ultimately die out.

    Nothing wrong here. Nor in the summary given in the article, actually. Reading the article, I’d say the reporter did a decent job.

    However whoever wrote the headline was far off the mark. The subhead was better, but still sensationalist.

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  581. dhogaza says: 19 February 2010 at 5:39 PM

    “However whoever wrote the headline was far off the mark.”

    Two or three years from now there will be a wave of demands for scientists to explain why penguins have not yet vanished from the face of the Earth. Intricate parsing of expired press coverage will ensue, thousands of posts on dozens of websites will be generated, after which it will be concluded that scientists did a poor job of communicating their research findings.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:14 PM

  582. I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland. The science was – and is – clear. We’re way above the CO2 ppm that we should be, and to bring it down to a safe level will require a colossal collective endeavour on the part of mankind. The big chance to do this has come and gone in Copenhagen. But rather than increase the sense of urgency, the opposite appears to have happened.

    This was a good RC article in terms of content, but something about its tone greatly disturbs me. The notion that this relentlessly stupid media coverage is a blip is optimistic – I have zero faith in the media to spot a fact if it hits them right in the presses. All the press does is sell itself – to prey on people’s fears and prejudices, and feed them relentlessly. Science has no grounds to influence their agenda. The attitude of The Guardian in the UK is the most depressing of all – by all means call for openness and criticise where appropriate, but the misleading headlines could be taken straight from The Daily Mail.

    Meanwhile the consensus among the vast majority of politicians seems to be fragmenting, faced with electorates who can’t see future climate beyond a local snowstorm. And climate politics on the world stage appears to have almost collapsed. All under the relentless and highly successful campaigning by the fossil fuel industry. Science simply can’t compete.

    I have to admit I’ve given up believing that mankind can respond to this. No-one has managed to come up with a workable way forward – given this current mudslide of opinion backwards and the mountain yet to climb, those who DO listen to science and care about what it says need to hear something credible in terms of a workable response to the challenge. There appears to be none. It’s not the job of scientists to do this, I appreciate – and calling attention to the absurdities that are printed is no bad thing. But how many times can climate scientists answer the same old questions, that seem to be merely growing in volume? There’s a lot of petulance on display from scientists (often perceived as arrogance) that’s more than understandable. But RC and scientists who care about the real-world consequences of their research do need to look long and hard about engagement with the public. I feel we need a reason to believe again.

    Comment by Guy — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:25 PM

  583. Didactylos,

    fine that you also wish for rectification of errors in both way, and for the scientist to speak up when gross simplification and errors are made by the media, leading to either “nothing happen, it’s a conspiracy by communist scientists” or “poor baby bear will drown if you drive your SUV”.
    My complaints was that I did not hear much scientists from mainstream climate science speeking up for debunking the scare stories till the mediatic wind change.
    I am willing to consider that the media simply did not let them speak out (the record of the media for full and honest coverage is poor, as is it foe getting their fact right, i have verified it almost everytime a news for which i was direct witness was related).

    However, AFAIK the iconic vulgarisation of climate warming is still “an inconvenient truth”. And this was not really devoid of scare mongering and innacuracies, if not plain wrongness. So why a Nobel, why a seemingly unanimous endorsement of this by mainstream climate science? One-sided coverage by the media? or looking the other way for the “good cause”?

    Comment by kai — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:47 PM

  584. “Are you denying that:… or that (b) the forecast for the next century, absent tipping points, is another 1C ”

    Yes.

    The forecast is for significantly over 1.7C for the next century.

    Please also show that that 1C you propose is not a problem, anyway.

    I won’t hold my breath

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  585. “560
    two moon says:
    19 February 2010 at 1:16 PM
    Wealth concentration is a tricky subject not necessarily well treated by simple snapshot percentages.”

    Yes it is.

    Quite easy.

    %money held by %of people.

    Simples.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:58 PM

  586. I appear to have been ‘moderated’ for some previous post that I, natch, thought v intelligent. Oh well. In which case I might as well say that I enjoy RC EXCEPT for the bizarre Completely Fed Up comments – do they add anything at all to the thread? Relentless attack dog?

    Comment by HotRod — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:17 PM

  587. CFU: Please also show that that 1C you propose is not a problem, anyway.

    What I said was that it was slow.

    If the last century’s rise was 0.7C (from Gavin’s American Scientist commentary on Gilbert Plass), and if the CO2 rise was about 100 ppm from abouty 280 ppm (same source), and if human CO2 output is growing exponentially (I believe that Gavin wrote us a figure of 2% or 3%), then the forecast temp rise is about 1C, absent tipping points, and less than that if EU, US, China, Japan, and India renewable energy industries grow at current rates.

    580, dhogaza: The headline and the subhead contradict each other. That’s cool.

    Hence, “confusion”. Scientists are always misquoted. In the last few months AGW scientists have suffered an unusual run of bad luck, but I am sure that by summer time (another stranded polar bear or an unusually early spring somewhere) we’ll be back to our regular climate alarmism.

    Did anybody in the AGW camp complain when the press first reported that the melting of Himalayan glaciers would cause agricultural disasters downstream? If they did, I missed it — only global warming deniers alerted the press and the rest of us to the fact that glaciers contribute little to the flows of the rivers.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  588. Re global agriculture:

    A child’s treasury of grim agriculture news

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:41 PM

  589. Rod B., Don’t believe me:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_Coefficient_World_CIA_Report_2009.png

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_Coefficient_World_CIA_Report_2009.png

    Russia, where we hear of oligarchs owning the entire country has a more equitable distribution of wealth. We are about equal with Mexico or the Peoples Republic of China.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:44 PM

  590. Septic Matthew, Warming is likely to be 3 degrees per doubling or slightly more–the question is how rapidly it will occur. We could perhaps triple the atmosphere’s CO2 content, leading to up to 4.8 degrees warming on top of what we are already likely committed to, which is likely another half degree even if we stopped emitting CO2 right now.

    CO2 sensitivity is probably of the numbers over which we have the least uncertainty.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  591. Andy says, “The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board has finally expressed what it is that has caused journalists to act so horribly. Journalists want to shout in the faces of scientists – We’re just as smart as you and until you admit it, we’re going to stick it to you. -”

    I believe that this is what Roy Schwitters used to refer to as “the revenge of the C students,” though in some cases that might be called grade inflation.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:57 PM

  592. HotRod (586) — The internet is but best effort and sometimes comments just go into the great bit bucket in the sky.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:35 PM

  593. Septic Matthew says: 19 February 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Just to clarify, glaciers and ice sheets connected to drainage systems do actually contribute to stream flow to the extent they cover ground that otherwise would be occupied by snow, particularly those areas of a glacier or ice sheet in positive mass balance, and while so doing they regulate the delivery rate of water to a considerable extent. So while a particular glacier or ice sheet’s proportional contribution to stream flow may or may not be large depending on context, they all play a noticeable role in the function of drainage systems to which they are connected. Those glaciers and ice sheets which may vanish will be noticed in their absence.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:45 PM

  594. Septic Matthew,
    First, your estimate of climate sensitivity presumes we have already reached equilibrium. We haven’t. (This is the same mistake Steve Schwarz keeps making.) We are likely due another half degree or so of warming just based on current CO2 levels.

    Second, it is likely that melting of Himmalayan glaciers will cause severe hardship–just not by 2035. I do not think most climate scientists were aware of this typo until the whole typogate debacle. Those who were aware of it likely didn’t have much experience of the Himmalayas. If I had been aware of it, I would probably have raised an eyebrow, as I’ve treked in the Himmalayas before and know the demise of the glaciers is unlikely to be imminent. Would I have said anything? Probably not, as I am not a climate scientist and it was not a central claim of the field. I do not think it is fair to hold climate scientists accountable for exaggeration when most of them did not even know about this error.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:50 PM

  595. “Response: First off, you have backed down from your first assertions, second, you demonstrate exactly that scientists are not saying things that are exaggerated, third you miss the context that scientists (here and elsewhere) have tried to give some of the soundbites that get out there, and fourth, you still blame scientists for this state of affairs? Give me a break. Your beef is with the media and with advocates, and instead of blaming scientists for doing their job, you should be encouraging us to speak out and continue to add the context that is so often missing in media coverage….. (now where have I heard that before?). – gavin]”

    Ok, Gavin, here’s the pertinent statements I have made in my posts. I’ll assume you missed one and didn’t understand the context:

    Post 310: It matters not one whit if “not a single error has been found in the ~1000 pages of the WG1 AR4 report,” to the public if global warming / climate change has no disastrous impact. Those sections on the impact of global warming in the IPCC have been trashed because they were exaggerated, came from biased sources, and had material misstatements.

    Post 501: Face it. The chances of getting public support has been lost by not refuting the ignorant statements of people
    [edit]

    Confounding science with ‘gray literature’ from biased sources such as Greenpeace and WFF speculating on the consequences of GW has destroyed the credibility of the IPCC.

    Post 512: You must stop making specific predictions on what will happen. First, the weather/climate is very complex. For every study that postulates that it will cause droughts and destroy agriculture, there will be another study that says it will be a warm, wet world ideal for plant life. You will get nowhere with doomsday predictions. Secondly, because of the complexities, there’s a significant probability that any specific prediction will be proved demonstrably wrong. The Arctic will melt by 2008 – no, it didn’t. The Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035; no, impossible. Hurricanes will become stronger; no, they have become weaker. Snow in London/Washington will only exist in our memories; wrong again. The credibility of GW supporters is very low now because of this. So when UNPREDICTED consequences of GW happen, no one is going to believe you when claim it is the result GW.

    [Response: Again, this is a strawman. I can find any number of people making stupid statements about anything. You are equating the most stupid statements (for which I still don't see any evidence that anyone made) with what the 'leading' spokespeople have said. This is a complete distortion and in fact is a non-argument. Whenever the IPCC says something very conservative, you find someone who says something dumb, and thus the IPCC is tainted regardless of their actions or statements. Thus your argument simply designed to delegitimise the scientists regardless of their actual actions or how often they condemn exaggerations and distortions. - gavin]

    Post 573: Yeah,some of these predictions were not made by scientists. THAT’S THE PROBLEM. Just like the other examples (Hamalayan glaciers gone by 2035, etc.) but you keep repeating speculative gray literature predictions that prove to be absurdly wrong. KNOCK IT OFF UNLESS IT IS YOUR INTENT TO DEFEAT THIS ISSUE
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Given that all my posts have specifically referred to the statements of NON-SCIENTISTS, and I have not addressed the scientific community whatsoever, your response is nothing short of bizarre. And I never backed down on my first assertions: “Those sections on the impact of global warming in the IPCC have been trashed because they were exaggerated, came from biased sources, and had material misstatements.” Which they were.

    Any chance of remediation of global warming has been lost because of the gross mismanagement of those leading effort. The refusal of those leading the scientific community to disassociate from the gloryhounds and advocacy groups has played no small role in the failure.

    Comment by jtom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:05 PM

  596. United States of Whatever

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:22 PM

  597. 585 Completely Fed Up: You are confusing simple with simplistic.

    Comment by two moon — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:23 PM

  598. kai:

    I imagine (although you don’t say so) that you are targeting Al Gore when you speak of Nobels and “iconic vulgarisation”.

    However, Gore makes remarkably few factual errors for a non-scientist (you can find a discussion of the few errors he has really made [distinguished from those that people mistakenly think he has made] on this very site, and other places where “An Inconvenient Truth” has been reviewed by actual scientists). I believe this is because Gore goes to the trouble of getting his information largely directly from scientists, rather than grabbing it third or fourth hand from some source that agrees with him.

    The conclusions of Gore’s movie were upheld by a UK court when the deniers tried to block it from being shown in UK schools. Needless to say, the denier spin focussed only on the minor errors that the judge confirmed, and not the overall conclusion, which was that it was appropriate that the film be shown in schools.

    Does he overstate the case? Is it “vulgarisation”? Given the incredibly anti-science attitudes during the Bush years, and the unending campaign to deny that global warming even exists, then I think our response should be to speak out as loudly as we can. Gore had a megaphone, and he used it.

    He was successful, too. Now it’s up to all of us to act, and to continue speaking out.

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:30 PM

  599. Richard Holle (15:57:22) : http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/19/lindzen-on-climate-science-advocacy-and-modeling-at-this-point-the-models-seem-to-be-failing/#more-16551

    Close to 18 years ago I had the chance to visit M.I.T. and got to talk to Dr. Lindzen, for a few minutes, and Peter Stone for about an hour about the Lunar declinational tidal studies I was working on. After looking through the satellite photo archives there in Building 54, and was able to further define the global circulation, into four repeating patterns of the 27.32 day lunar declinational tidal cycle.

    Peter Stone encouraged me to go ahead and work on my project, as see if it ever produced any thing worthwhile, well here its.

    With the dismal failure of the AGW climate models due to their concentration on the wrong driving forces of the weather and climate, I thought you might like to look at what a model derived from the “Natural Variability Patterns” could do at predicting the next 4 years of daily weather for the continental USA.

    It has several differences from the “Business as usual” NOAA NWS forecast models, in that it uses all raw data from any stations found, considers the periodic influences from the Moon, and is based on past patterns of global circulation, to produce a “Natural Analog Weather Forecast” that works better than “their models.”

    I put this forecast together back in 2007, posted it to web site in December of 2007, has remained there unchanged since, still has maps posted until beginning of January of 2014.

    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    I post it here again to expose an idea to those who say models don’t work, they do if they consider all of the important influences driving the weather and hence the long term patterns, the climate.

    The patterns it produces do not have a solar activity level component figured into the method, so the decrease in solar activity from the reference periods, shows the decrease in temperatures, that could then be insinuated as due to the solar changes, notable as the more southern movement of the Jet streams, although the daily timing of the arrival of the fronts stays sound, and the precipitation patterns stay about the same as forecast, there is a shift to more snow than rain, as noted in the Southeast USA.

    Feel free to look at the daily maps from the past two years, or for the next 4 years. I am currently getting a lot of hits from the AGW team servers in England, it seems they are learning something.

    I thought you might like to keep up with the current forward edge of research in this area.

    Comment by Kate7 — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 PM

  600. > 587, S.Matthew
    This?
    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Melting_glaciers_threaten_Nepal_tsunami_999.html
    If this isn’t what your’e talking about, please cite your source.
    If it is, what’s your objection to the story? Headline writers, well, they’re a whole order of magnitude further removed from reality, we all know that.
    The water is there; the results are predictable from past similar situation.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:11 PM

  601. 590, Ray Ladbury: Septic Matthew, Warming is likely to be 3 degrees per doubling or slightly more–the question is how rapidly it will occur.

    I said that warming to date is 0.7 per century and the current trends in warming and CO2 forecast a 1C warming in the next century. And I said that was “slow” compared (in a later post of mine) to humans’ ability to adapt, as represented by, among other things, the growth of the air transportation industry and the growth of agricultural productivity (e.g. the Green Revolution.) I don’t think the quoted passage from you disputes that.

    Later: First, your estimate of climate sensitivity presumes we have already reached equilibrium. We haven’t. (This is the same mistake Steve Schwarz keeps making.) We are likely due another half degree or so of warming just based on current CO2 levels.

    CO2 levels are about 1.3 times what they were 150 years ago. How does that predict another 0.5C increase based on current levels alone? I did not write about equilibrium, but about speed of warming.

    Second, it is likely that melting of Himmalayan glaciers will cause severe hardship–just not by 2035.

    The water flow from the glaciers is a tiny fraction of the total.

    I do not think it is fair to hold climate scientists accountable for exaggeration when most of them did not even know about this error.

    I agree with that, but AGW proponents mostly or entirely complain about the press only when it mangles the news in an anti-AGW direction, and “mangle” is the topic of the thread.

    This reminds me: have AGW proponents been really clear and forceful in publicizing that Global Warming is predicted to occur mostly at the poles, mostly in winter, and mostly at night? This winter the Arctic has fluctuated up and down above the mean by 5C, after being really close to the mean all of last summer. Since it takes a lot more energy to melt the ice in summer than to warm it in winter, why do we care if winter ice is a few C warmer on the average in the winter and especially at night? Was the Arctic Ice Melt of summer 2007 actually caused by the 0.2C – 0.3C global average warming that occurred after 1979? You know that’s been mangled by the press into a harbinger of imminent doom.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:58 PM

  602. OOPS, sorry, “mangle” was the theme of a parallel thread. This one was “bad reporting”, “misrepresentation” and “confusion”.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:00 PM

  603. Needless to say, the denier spin focussed only on the minor errors that the judge confirmed

    Most of which weren’t actually errors, in the view of science. The non-scientist judge tried his best, made some mistakes …

    Comment by dhogaza — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:27 AM

  604. This is all a fascinating insight into human nature.

    Those same “intelligent” people who were AGW believers some years ago believed it because they read it in the newspaper. Now they think it’s all a con – because they read it in a newspaper. And those exact same people, if they disagree with something in a newspaper will say “oh you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper”.

    I’m finding increasingly that there are degrees of intelligence, most of which do not extend to going to the source and researching the information for oneself, but rather getting it second or third-hand and being entirely uncritical of it as long as it “sounds OK”. Perhaps because it just takes too much time – I don’t know. But I’m amazed by the sheer number of otherwise intelligent friends and colleagues of mine who now have a contrary opinion on AGW, yet have no real idea why they hold that opinion. That is, when you ask them specific questions on where they got the information from, they don’t have a clue. When you ask them specific questions on the science, they don’t have a clue either.

    It’s so bizarre. We might be able to build rocketships, bridges, and planes, but we are possibly also the most naive species on the planet.

    [Response: In defense of the majority of the human race, I think the issue here is that most people have very busy lives and only have a certain amount of intellectual energy to devote to questions that come up. People can (correctly) realise that what they are seeing in newspapers is incomplete, biased and obviously oversimplified, but still not find the energy to look into the background or what the real story is (which is generally hard). Thus most knowledge that most people have about a whole range of issues is thus very shallow and not strongly grounded in anything factual - but this is not because people are dumb, just busy. While we can certainly make it easier to find the real background, I don't see this general picture changing anytime soon. - gavin]

    Comment by Mike of Oz — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:42 AM

  605. BPL Read my lips: In 40 years, you will no longer be able to waltz into a grocery store and buy food just because you have the money. You’ll be lucky to be shooting it out with your neighbors over who gets the scraggly, greenish tomatoes growing next to an outhouse. You’ll be luckier still if you can get rations from a food line once a week.

    You know I didn’t know what to think of your posts (Richard Feynman was a womanizer being a typical example) till this one and then it struck me. You’re the climate equalivant of a Left Behind wacko. Just you wait non-believer till I’m proven right and the world goes to hell.

    Comment by BlogReader — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:39 AM

  606. Winner of this thread’s Paul Ehrlich Apocalypse Award:

    “Complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years”

    Comment by J — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:13 AM

  607. Ray Ladbury,

    Thanks for your reply. I’d like to answer your most important points in detail.

    “Solomon et al.’s PNAS study showed that even without any sort of tipping point, we could wind up irreversibly altering the climate
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/02/irreversible-does-not-mean-unstoppable/
    The climate achieves equilibrium again only very slowly, so every ton of CO2 we put into the atmosphere moves us further from a stable climate.”

    I’m familiar with the paper you’ve cited. Solomon et al.’s paper uses the Bern 2.5 model, a coupled carbon-cycle model. The paper bases its conclusions on this model. Is there any reason to suspect that this coupled carbon-cycle model and others like it are problematic? You claim:

    “We also know that the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 is not unlimited–at some point they become a source, rather than a sink of CO2. This would accelerate warming and slow down recovery…”

    This is a striking claim. And, indeed, recent studies suggest the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started losing some of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. These studies, like Solomon et al., rely on coupled carbon-cycle models to make the claim that the oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems are likely to become a source, rather than a sink of CO2. What does the data actually say with regards to this absolutely crucial claim of the CC models?

    Let’s consider Knorr’s recent paper in GRL:

    http://radioviceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/knorr2009_co2_sequestration.pdf

    Knorr’s paper is based on measurements and statistical data, not coupled carbon-cycle models, and it shows that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now. An extraordinarily interesting and important result. It is especially important to note that Knorr states unequivocally: “despite the predictions of coupled carbon-cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found.”

    I know RC has glanced at this paper. But that post dealt mainly with the ridiculous way in which this paper was presented by the media, as if it suggested that *total emissions had not risen,* which is of course not the case. However, not enough has been made of the fact that the CC based literature predicts results which are not justified by the evidence.

    Since you correctly claimed that the ocean becoming a “source” of CO2 would accelerate warming, it is crucial to see the hard evidence in Knorr’s paper that makes clear that this has not come to pass. It also requires that we carefully reconsider claims based on the current crop of coupled carbon-cycle models, since these models are clearly in error with respect to such an important matter as this.

    Now, as far as paleo data is concerned. Paleoclimatic data as a source of TPT speculations largely derives from a single paper:

    http://rivernet.ncsu.edu/courselocker/PaleoClimate/Kennet%20&%20Stott%201991.PDF

    It is instructive to read the entire text. See esp. the paragraph beginning: “During the early Palaeogene…” which pointedly ends with the exemplary and modest statement: “The nature of the triggering remains unknown.” The scientific literature often shows us an entire field of conjecture derived from a decidedly modest initial source. Few people bother to locate and carefully read that first source. A great deal of the contemporary discourse regarding the “PETM” derives from the paper cited above. However, a close reading shows us that the authors’ conclusions were very modest indeed.

    When you say:

    “There is plenty of evidence that there are tipping points, and we have no idea how close they are. This is an area where uncertainty is definitely not your friend.”

    I cannot agree. My reading in the primary literature leads me to conclude that the evidence for TPT is sparse and that the contemporary discourse regarding TPT is basically an enthusiastic speculation derived from interpretations of CC models which are clearly problematic.

    [Response: You have it completely backwards. Most of the evidence for dramatic and rapid changes in the climate come from the paleo-climate record - the collapse of the Green Sahara, mega-droughts in the American Southwest, Heinrich events, D/O oscillations, the PETM, the 8.2 kyr event etc. None of these things arose from examinations of GCMs - and given that most GCMs don't include dynamic ice sheets, or dynamic vegetation, they still don't capture much of this behaviour. It is precisely *because* the GCMs are not complete that the paleo record is examined with such attention. Another example of a climate 'surprise' is the polar ozone hole which was not predicted by models (because of the lack of understanding of heterogeneous chemistry on PSCs at the time). The existence of future surprises will not be surprising. - gavin]

    Comment by Sere — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:17 AM

  608. Ray (594)

    You are correct, melting of Himalayan glaciers will cause severe hardship, and it has already started.

    Glacier man is adapting by moving some of the critical glaciers as Thomas Schelling describes (in a peer reviewed journal, Science!):

    “The News Focus story “Glacier man” (G. Vince, 30 October 2009, p. 659) is an extraordinary example of innovative adaptation to climate change and should be an inspiration to all concerned about such adaptation. What happens above 3000 meters in snowfall, rain, early melt, and the possibility of water capture and release is crucial to irrigation in Chile, Peru, Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Burma, and California and Colorado in the United States. That a low-tech, inexpensive adaptation could be conceived and implemented so successfully by a local person with meager financial resources, even if only on a small scale—but large in relation to the resources available—is nothing less than fantastic. Let’s have more examples, if there are any! “The News Focus story “Glacier man” (G. Vince, 30 October 2009, p. 659) is an extraordinary example of innovative adaptation to climate change and should be an inspiration to all concerned about such adaptation. What happens above 3000 meters in snowfall, rain, early melt, and the possibility of water capture and release is crucial to irrigation in Chile, Peru, Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Burma, and California and Colorado in the United States. That a low-tech, inexpensive adaptation could be conceived and implemented so successfully by a local person with meager financial resources, even if only on a small scale—but large in relation to the resources available—is nothing less than fantastic. Let’s have more examples, if there are any! “

    How should we score this, MSM-wise?

    Comment by John Peter — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:49 AM

  609. 597
    Didactylos says:
    19 February 2010 at 9:30 PM

    “The conclusions of Gore’s movie were upheld by a UK court when the deniers tried to block it from being shown in UK schools. Needless to say, the denier spin focussed only on the minor errors that the judge confirmed, and not the overall conclusion, which was that it was appropriate that the film be shown in schools.”

    You must be a trainee spin doctor. That was not the conclusion that came out of the High Court decision. The stated that there was at least nine major errors in the film and that the film could NOT be shown as an educational video as part of a school curriculum unless a guidance pack also accompanied the movie to outline those nine scientific errors.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:09 AM

  610. Completely Fed Up — 19 February 2010
    “Jimbo, it is illegal to speed past a schoolyard in 1989 except that the statute of limitations for such a crime has now passed and we don’t have any cam footage.”
    ———
    OK fine Paul Jones is legally NOT GUILTY, but he was found to have breached the Freedom of Information Act by his non-compliance in a timely manner. Does that make is actions OK with you? Please stop trying to excuse the inexcusable.

    Comment by Jimbo — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:01 AM

  611. “596
    two moon says:
    19 February 2010 at 9:23 PM

    585 Completely Fed Up: You are confusing simple with simplistic.”

    You’re confusing me with someone who is simple.

    No, that is simple and accurate.

    Rank people by income and then either add from the bottom up or from the top down.

    You then calculate the %money in the top %earners and the %money in the bottom %earners.

    This gives you the wealth disparity.

    Now, are you going to try that jedi trick again and just say “it can’t be done like that” and hope nobody notices?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:32 AM

  612. “587
    Septic Matthew says:
    19 February 2010 at 7:23 PM

    CFU: Please also show that that 1C you propose is not a problem, anyway.

    What I said was that it was slow.”

    So what?

    Just because it’s slow means it’s not a problem now?

    I can see where you get it from: the CEOs and killer investors think that if it is fine this quater, it’s fine full stop. Someone else can pick up the pieces after they’ve cashed in.

    In fact, that’s the same attitude that caused the recent recession.

    And guess what? The rich cashed in (3% unemployment) while the poor picked up the pieces (30% unemployment) (for the US).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:36 AM

  613. Jim Galasyn, that was great. Live version here.

    Comment by Deech56 — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:36 AM

  614. From the Crock of the Week comment section, we have this gem
    “bfpccbm
    Al gore scaring and brainwashing our children with his doom and gloom……he ranks right in there with the pedophiles ……”

    I don’t see this making denial of AGW false.

    The privilege of being nasty and making shit up is reserved for the denial crowd. And they like it that way.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 AM

  615. Theo Hopkins (530): I am afraid I can not directly answer your question. But isn’t it more important what Phil Jones answered to the questions, no matter whether they were inspired by sceptics or not? I suppose you will agree that the questions asked were relevant (otherwise mr. Jones would have said so, or the journalist would not even have asked them). For me, the answers to question A and B were very revealing (Yes, there have been two recent episodes with similar warming as 1975-1998 and Yes, since 1995 to the present the temperatures are flat, no significant temperature increase). For a scientist that is so closely linked to the IPCC panel those are remarkable statements and actually I do not understand why the US newspapers have more or less ignored this.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:14 AM

  616. Jimbo “OK fine Paul Jones is legally NOT GUILTY, ”

    That’s the only form of Guilty there is.

    Unless you’re on a witch hunt.

    “but he was found to have breached the Freedom of Information Act by his non-compliance”

    No, he hasn’t.

    How can this be found before the investigation ends? Do you always jump to the conclusion before the evidence?

    And there’s nothing wrong in not complying with FOI requests if they are under the aegis of several clauses where the act doesn’t cover.

    There’s also nothing wrong in not replying quickly. How long would it take to answer? How much free time is there for doing this work?

    It will take AT LEAST that long to answer.

    If that’s wrong, then you’ll have to invent a time machine or change to 100-minute hours, 25-hour days and 10 day weeks.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  617. RS: “You must be a trainee spin doctor. That was not the conclusion that came out of the High Court decision”

    Yes it was.

    Didn’t you read the court decision or did you just read what Hannity said it said?

    This is why the film IS part of the education curricula in the UK.

    The points that the judge wanted added were PURELY as clarifications to simplifications of the science to make it easier to understand (a central tenet of EDUCATION) that could, possibly, be overstating the certainties.

    POSSIBLY.

    The judge was fine with it and as a factual documentary, NOT ONE THING had to change (compare with TGGWS). As primary material for education, it warranted some modifications to the certainties expressed in the simplified language.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:33 AM

  618. “606
    J says:
    20 February 2010 at 3:13 AM

    Winner of this thread’s Paul Ehrlich Apocalypse Award:

    “Complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years””

    Are you saying that is IMPOSSIBLE?

    If so, please prove it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:35 AM

  619. Sere, I think that the appropriate way to look at tipping points is from a risk management perspective. The paleoclimate certainly establishes their existence, and also demonstrates that their consequences in terms of mass extinction, environmental degradation, etc. qualify as catastrophic. Indeed, in conjunction with the strains already put on the environment by trying to support 9-10 billion people, they could result in the end of human civilization (though likely not extinction.

    The dynamical models demonstrate that the probability of such events being realized is not negligible. There is good reason to trust these dynamical models more than statistical models, the conclusions of which can only be considered reasonable if the data used to calibrate them are representative of the conditions we are extrapolating to. Since we are talking about conditions that have not been extant in hundreds of thousands of years, such extrapolation is problematic.

    You criticize the CC models. OK, since these are based on the best physics we know, and since we are extrapolating beyond the likely range of validity for statistical models, on what would you have us base our extrapolations? Clearly, given the potential consequences of such events, we cannot simply ignore them.

    Also, note that the paper by Solomon et al. assumes no tipping points–merely extrapolates to higher CO2 concentrations using known physics. There is absolutely no reason to distrust the conclusions, as they are merely based on the known very long lifetime of CO2. Permanently altering the climate of the only habitable planet we know of–anywhere–is not something we should take lightly.

    And even if the oceans had unlimited ability to absorb CO2, increased acidity is already causing severe stress in many marine habitats.

    I find it odd that you see the peer-reviewed literature to support your sanguinity regarding the current health of the planet’s ecology and even odder that you find nothing in it to cause you concern as we elevate CO2 to levels not seen in at least tens of millions of years. As Gavin’s brief list of paleo-events indicates, it would seem that your reading has been selective.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  620. Mind you, it’s not all doom and gloom.

    Captcha’s will always give us the giggles (from the Denial Depot):

    “Gail said…

    I for one welcome our obsolete aristocratic overlord!

    Why is my captcha dykfib? I resent that!”

    Still giggling like a little girl at a E17 reunion band…

    (PS I feel really sorry for George there. He’s trying so hard.)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:55 AM

  621. Septic Matthew,
    A doubling of CO2 is 3 degrees, right? ln(2)=.693, right? ln(1.3)=.26, so a 30% increase in CO2 represents .26/.693 x 3=1.15 degrees of warming. So there’s still likely about half a degree in the pipeline.

    Regarding glacial melt in the Himmalayas
    Septic: “The water flow from the glaciers is a tiny fraction of the total.”

    It is water that comes at a critical time though and makes irrigated agriculture possible in a very heavily populated area. After all, there is a reason why the Indus civilizations sprung up where they did.

    WRT what environmental partisans say: How am I responsible for what other people say. On this blog, I and others with any scientific training have been fairly scrupulous to emphasize the distinction between weather and climate regardless of whether that distinction worked in our favor. It is perfectly valid to point out that some research suggests an increase in Hurricane strength on the heels of Katrina. It is not reasonable to attribute Katrina to climate change. It would be meaningful to point to a trend of 30 years of no warming. It is not meaningful to point to trends of 15 years, 10 years, 5 years of one day.

    Also, I think it is clearly a qualitatively different situation when the press making errors of fact (e.g. confusing weather with climate) and when the press is making baseless allegations against the integrity of scientists and indeed the scientific process.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:20 AM

  622. Re: 190. Sorry, too late.

    Comment by Eric (skeptic) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:38 AM

  623. jtom (552): For every study that postulates that it will cause droughts and destroy agriculture, there will be another study that says it will be a warm, wet world ideal for plantlife.

    BPL: Then cite them.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  624. kai: som na naa (which mean “well deserved”)!

    BPL: As they say in Haiti, “Mo manze!”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  625. Don Shor (571): This article doesn’t even remotely support your exaggerated, repeated statement about the “complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years.”
    Nothing you have ever posted even comes close to supporting that statement.

    BPL: Well, let’s extrapolate. In 1970, 12% of Earth’s land surface was “severely dry” by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI < 3.0). In 2002, that figure was 30%. That's an increase of a factor of 2.5 in 32 years. If it keeps up (a big if, I admit, with huge error bars, I'm sure), the next figure would be 75% by 2034. That leaves… Antarctica, mostly.

    How do we grow crops without agricultural land?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:00 AM

  626. HotRod (586): I enjoy RC EXCEPT for the bizarre Completely Fed Up comments – do they add anything at all to the thread? Relentless attack dog?

    BPL: CFU can be abrasive, but he has a big advantage over a lot of the people who post here–he actually knows what he’s talking about.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:39 AM

  627. Wilt says: ” For a scientist that is so closely linked to the IPCC panel those are remarkable statements and actually I do not understand why the US newspapers have more or less ignored this.”

    No, Jones statements are not at all remarkable. It is only your straw-man misinterpretation of climate science that makes them appear so! Since you have ignored repeated corrections in the past, allow me to repeat:

    NO RESPONSIBLE CLIMATE SCIENTIST CLAIMS THAT CO2 IS THE ONLY DRIVER OF CLIMATE.

    Both previous periods 1860-1880 and 1910 to 1940 had other drivers that were important, namely increasing insolation and low levels of volcanism. In addition, you need to remember that forcing to CO2 increases logarithmically rather than linearly with CO2 concentration. Thus the increased warming due to increased CO2 in the 1910-1940 period was about half that for the period 1975-1998.

    Likewise, Jones statements on the MWP. The data available do not support a global MWP. The studies that have claimed a positive signal show warm periods that were not contemporaneous with the North Atlantic MWP. The only reason that the idea of a global MWP is not dead and in its coffin is because of the lack of good proxy data with sufficient resolution in the Southern Hemisphere.

    None of this is at all controversial. Nor is it particularly relevant. The existence of a global MWP would not invalidate the known physics of greenhouse gasses. Nor would it negate the very rapid warming we have experienced since mid 20th century. If you want to discuss the validity of the evidence, that is great, but at least learn what the scientists are saying about the evidence rather than constructing straw men based on what you read in the blogosphere or the nontechnical media.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:40 AM

  628. Dear Gavin,

    Thank you for all the time you devote to this site. I have never posted before, since I am not a scientist, but a mere mother and housewife. I also am an observer of nature. We are watching nature change around us every day, but few are paying attention. I feel we are living in a Twilight Zone episode, where the scientists are trying to alert the world about an impending disaster, but everyone is out partying and too busy to listen.

    I have children and would love to have grandchildren one day to spoil, but I pray that my kids do not have their own kids. Why bring a child into this world?

    The deniers are winning in the public debate. I talk to people in my daily life about climate change, but the responses are almost always filled with doubt and dismissal. I can’t get my friends or neighbors interested in talking about climate change. As I learn more about the melting Arctic and Antarctic, I feel there is nothing that can be done to stop it. I truly feel we have gone beyond the tipping point and are headed into unknown territory. Will it just be rising seas and heavier precipitation to worry about, or will mankind be wiped off the earth?

    Nobody has a crystal ball, but with the efforts of the denialist camp spreading like wildfire and the lack of political will in the US and around the globe, I don’t have much hope for our children’s futures.

    Keep up your good work, Gavin. It is needed.

    Comment by TwilightZone — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  629. John Peter@608 – maybe we score the “headline” as “garbling”? ["moving some of the critical glaciers"]
    Aside from Science not really being MSM, your quote was actually of a letter comment, the article [abstract] was about “artificial glaciers” created by impoundment of rain/snow/ice melt water

    Seems to me it points up that glacier loss will indeed get to be more of a problem as time continues to get wasted – good to see some “grass roots” action.

    Comment by flxible — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:42 AM

  630. BlogReader (605): You know I didn’t know what to think of your posts (Richard Feynman was a womanizer being a typical example)

    BPL: Well, that’s what the man wrote in his book. Was he lying? Have you actually read him?

    BR: till this one and then it struck me. You’re the climate equalivant of a Left Behind wacko. Just you wait non-believer till I’m proven right and the world goes to hell.

    BPL: “Equivalent.” Except that I’m a wacko with a physics degrees who has been writing atmosphere models for twelve years. What are your qualifications?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:46 AM

  631. #507 BPL UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025

    Wrong! The UN warned of 70% of desertification OF DRYLANDS by 2025. About 40% of global land area are drylands, so this would be about 25% of global land area.

    Desertification is a serious problem, but global warming is not the sole or even primary cause of desertification. The primary cause is land (ab)use – overgrazing, unsustainable irrigation and agriculture practices, slash and burn, deforestation, etc. Even if there were no global warming, desertification of dryland areas would still be a threat. Your misrepresenation serves to trivialize the real problems and challenges related to desertfication.

    Comment by Jiminmpls — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:48 AM

  632. Jimbo (610): OK fine Paul Jones is legally NOT GUILTY,

    BPL: What’s more, he captured HMS Serapis!

    J: but he was found to have breached the Freedom of Information Act by his non-compliance in a timely manner.

    BPL: How does one respond “in a timely manner” to 40 FOI requests, each requiring 18 hours of paperwork, delivered over the course of a weekend?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  633. Kate7, Can you post a peer-reviewed journal article covering your modeling efforts? The website is interesting, but light on details. Based on what I’ve read from the website to date, I would give the following critique. I cannot comment on the viability of the mechansim being proposed as there is insufficient detail on the webpage.

    My main critique based on what I see on the webpage is that what you are really doing fits more into the realm of weather and short-term variability than it does climate. Moreover, to call Global Climat Models “AGW models” suggests that you are not that familiar with them. There is a lot more to them than the anthropogenic component. And to say that they have failed dismally is an interpretation that is “creative” to be charitable. It is certainly unclear how you would produce a 30-year warming trend with your model unless you took into account anthropogenic ghg. And what is more, your model has no bearing on the fact that CO2 sensitivity is one of the better constrained properties in climate models.
    If you have a valid mechanism and your model is as good as you claim, it would seem to have more promise in explaining short-term variability rather than long-term climate trends.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:55 AM

  634. jtom,
    I think that you are misunderstanding the purposes of the various working groups. I’ve posted this before, so I’ll apologize to others in advance for the repetition.

    First, WG1 is charged with elucidating the actual science of Earth’s climate and what that implies given large-scale anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses. They do that exceptionally well. Over 90% of scientists were satisfied to very satisfied with the summary–quite an achievement. This tells us that we are likely to get 3 degrees warming per doubling and that this will affect ice caps, sea level, precipitation, seasonal and temperature conditions. There are even some projections for regional effects. That is as far as it goes.

    WGs 2 and 3 have a much more difficult task. WG2 is looking at the effects of warming. There is much less peer-reviewed research here, and no real journal of record for the subject. Their role is two-fold: First they have to decide whether a threat is significant–in terms of either its probability, its consequences or both. Then they have to bound the risk (probability times loss) conservatively. The bound need not be accurate as long as 1)it is finite and 2)it doesn’t drive the entire risk budget. The grey literature is just fine for this. If we find it violates condition 2, we can refine the bound. The problem we have here is that there are many threats that arise from climate change that cannot at present be bounded. Thus, even if a threat has significant consequences, it may not be refined adequately just because there are so many risks in need of attention. The Himmalayan glacier error falls into this category. It should have been caught because it posed unreasonable risk. The problem was that it did not stand out significantly from other unbounded risks except in terms of the date by which it would occur. Since there are many risks that cannot be bounded at present, risk management would dictate that risk avoidance is the only viable strategy at this point until we can get a better handle on the risk calculus.

    WG3 is even more at sea. There are no viable, validated mitigation schemes at present except risk avoidance, and there is even less peer-reviewed literature.

    In no way does this invalidate the process. It is about where you would expect it to be.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 AM

  635. gavin in response to 569:

    I could not agree more. Let me add this, to paraphrase a famous saying: living by the media, dying by the media. Climate science has thrived under uncanny (for a science) media attention, has gained importance in awareness (and funding) compared to other scientific area, and, i feel, has chosen to turn a blind eye (or even a benevolent eye) to some alarmist making claims in the same cranky ballpark as the most extreme deniers (the conspiracy theory type, or god will not let the CO2 warm us variant). Earth will become a second Venus if you do not act NOW! Your children will never see snow again!! 60 m sea rise, half the world is going to drown!!! Serious scientist never made such predictions,

    [Response: They never did. Please take the strawman arguments somewhere else. - gavin]

    No, but that’s not how I read his comment. I read his comment to say that if someone publishes something far =worse= than what’s supported by the science, they are given a free pass. But if someone publishes something far =better= than what’s supported by the science, they are immediately branded a “denialist”, attacked, discredited, and so forth.

    The way I read that comment, it’s that climate scientists are =complicit= in the negative media attention that’s now being focused because they allow “alarmism” to hang out in the blogosphere and beyond, while smacking down anyone who disagrees with them on the other side. That, to me, is the real story.

    Sure, reducing CO2 emissions =benefits= from everyone who buys the alarmist nonsense. I think anyone would be hard pressed to disagree with that statement. Statistics such as this — http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/maue_2009.php — are hard to reconcile with the claims being made ON THIS BLOG in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season. By fuzzy memory, I offered real folding money wagers that “The Katrinas Are Coming!” was alarmist nonsense and that was one of the instances in which I was branded a “denialist”.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:27 AM

  636. 621, Ray Ladbury: WRT what environmental partisans say: How am I responsible for what other people say.

    You personally, probably not, but “bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion” is the topic of this thread. I expect that by summertime the “bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion” will again be predominantly on the pro-AGW side (so to speak: scientists try to deny that they have “sides”, but they are as fallible in this way as the rest of mankind.)

    It is water that comes at a critical time though and makes irrigated agriculture possible in a very heavily populated area.

    Glacier melt is even a small fraction of water flow in the dry season. Agriculture is made possible by the monsoon rains of summer, and by regular snow melt.

    A doubling of CO2 is 3 degrees, right? ln(2)=.693, right? ln(1.3)=.26, so a 30% increase in CO2 represents .26/.693 x 3=1.15 degrees of warming. So there’s still likely about half a degree in the pipeline.

    Oh, you are correct. I worked it in my head with too much rounding off (0.7 approximately 1, …), a lifelong habit that gets me into trouble sometimes. It could be worse than you wrote: according to Latif (in the 2008 Nature article that someone linked), it is possible that only half (about 0.4C)of the observed rise to date is caused by CO2, which would imply that a 2.6C future increase is already built in to the system. That would also imply that the system impulse response to CO2 forcing is really slow, which would give humans more time to respond, but more pressure to respond quickly and largely when we do respond.

    Occasionally my optimism is near Panglossian, except that it is based on reports of work. With continuation and expansion of projects underway now, at a steady rate motivated mostly by the desire to reduce dependence on declining oil supplies, I expect CO2 to start declining sometime between 2030 and 2060. Add to the the reforestation efforts (the UN program plants millions of trees per year, and the US and EU finance millions more to offset CO2 [I contribute to one of the US-financed reforestations]), and the continuing developments and reductions in prices of all of the “stabilization wedges”, I expect to see great changes in this whole debate over the next 10 years.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 PM

  637. Twilight Zone: Nobody ever said this would be easy. Fossil fuel interests have trillions of dollars at stake in this. Libertarians evidently feel that their ideology is too feeble to cope with a global threat. They will fight tooth and nail even if it means divorcing themselves from physical reality to do so.

    Nature, though, has a way of answering questions consistently and turning up the volume if we ignore the answers. Unless anti-scientists succeed in outlawing science, they will keep getting answers they don’t like until at last even they will have to pay attention. The question is whether we will act in time to preserve 1)civilization, 2) a healthy environment, 3)a reasonable standard of living, and 4)something resembling democratic governance. If you consider these worth fighting for, then it does not pay to get discouraged. If you succeed, you can regale your grandchildren with the tales; if we do not, you can console them with the fact that your fought for them to the end. That is what it is to be human.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:11 PM

  638. FCH, since Gavin and many others on here have been quite vocal in emphasizing that extreme weather events (e.g. Katrina) are weather and have hardly been alarmist in their pronouncements, I am wondering how you justify their facing criticism.

    I’m also wondering whether you equate the seriousness of errors of fact or interpretation with erroneous and baseless accusations fraud. I would contend that there is a significant difference.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  639. Jiminmpls says: Wrong! The UN warned of 70% of desertification OF DRYLANDS by 2025. About 40% of global land area are drylands, so this would be about 25% of global land area.

    Distinction without a difference — those drylands are where we grow crops.

    For more on desertification and climate change, check out the UNCCD site.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:19 PM

  640. WIlt:

    Yes, since 1995 to the present the temperatures are flat, no significant temperature increase

    No, Jones said that the HadCRUT temperature data showed a +0.12C/decade rise. That is not “flat”.

    The time period’s too short for that to establish a statistically significant trend at the conventional 95% confidence level. That is not the same as saying “temperatures are flat”. The actual trend is as likely to higher than lower than the observed rise of +0.12C/decade.

    The lies about Jones Q&A session are getting tiresome.

    Comment by dhogaza — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  641. 612, Completely Fed Up: In fact, that’s the same attitude that caused the recent recession.

    Recessions happen all the time, and they are as natural as tides, seasons, climate cycles, species extinctions, algal blooms, EEG rhythms, hearbeats, and circadian rhythms. Economies provide strong rewards to people who act quickly to take advantage of new opportunities, but economies also contain some very slow negative feedbacks so that people can be trapped into a huge delayed loss after a huge quick gain. And that’s just the beginning of a response to your comment.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  642. BPL (626)

    Not abrasive, more a generalist knowing less and less about more and more, e.g. legally innocent until proven guilty.

    Comment by John Peter — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:42 PM

  643. “Complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years””
    >>>>”Are you saying that is IMPOSSIBLE? If so, please prove it.”

    Au contraire, I’m giving it the Ehrlich Award it because it is, like the apocalypse, possible, wondrously ominous and, like Ehrlich’s worldwide famines of the 70s, impossible to disprove while believable enough to be hoisted aloft by apocalyptic types which are always in abundance.

    Heck, put enough of these together and you could write a best seller. Forty years is a long time. When it doesn’t happen, write another one.

    Comment by J — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  644. fixible (629)

    Agree emphatically (or at least twice)

    Comment by John Peter — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  645. this is not about stupidity and if you keep having to insult people to make them believe in what you believe than you don’t have much of a case. for me it has nothing do do with the science. I will give you that the scientist are correct in their findings; I just don’t believe that any of this matters. I have tried to believe that it does but the actions of the people from very ordinary to the famous show me that it’s just a cause for now to jump on the bandwagon and yes get all the money you can out of taxpayers.

    for me there are too many outs, everyone has a reason for doing what they say we should not be doing. nearly everyone I spoke to who were trying to get people to join the Denmark summit, were flying or driving. they had to be there it was important they were there but they had to get back to work soon after. all the news stations keep doing reports on how are carbon footprint is changing the world icecaps melting, the rain forest being cut back and trees down, but they keep going sending people flying up there, the same with the reports by the experts, the people who really believe the earths in trouble. I met someone recently who as apart of his job is on and off planes 2-3 times a week setting up medical clinics around the world checking on things he needs to do this, he works for WHO. so the world will heat-up and than it will cool down; it has done it before. I do believe that things will work out.will I KEEP DOING MY SMALL BIT, YES and I think that the world over that people have changed the way the do things from the way the eat to the way they take a holiday.now you will say that we cannot afford not to believe and change,but most of us cannot afford to keep paying out of pocket for something that will come to nothing in the long run. the gas company,electric and phone will not pay itself and just because you believe doesn’t mean they will let you off, ask any nurse. life is to live and enjoy and for me life is now. you do not know what is going to happen in 100 years nor do all the scientists in the world. is man the cause more than likely. man destroys what God creates,man destroys what man creates.

    Comment by Dee — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  646. Wilt in 615 says (allegedly speaking for Jones),

    “Yes, since 1995 to the present the temperatures are flat, no significant temperature increase”

    That’s not at all what Jones said. He said that from 1995 to 2009 the ten year trend was an increase of .12 degrees C, but that the time frame is too small to claim statistical significance at the 95% level. It was very close to rising to that level, and will undoubtedly do so with more years of data. That’s very different from saying that temps were flat. He said no such thing.

    Here is the actual interview with Jones so you can read it and not make any more errors misquoting him:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Comment by RobM — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  647. CFU (616)

    Agree, Paul Jones was pretty rough on his workers, but he was never found guilty AFAIK.

    Comment by John Peter — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:09 PM

  648. Ray Ladbury (#627), are you seriously suggesting that during 1910-1940 increasing CO2 was an important contributor to warming? You must be kidding. Yearly increase of CO2 in that period was about 0.2 ppmv, so for instance from 1910 to 1911 it may have changed from 293.1 to 293.3 ppmv.
    Now we are only human, so everyone can make a mistake and if you admit that you did, I will not hold it against you.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:56 PM

  649. I think it’s time we address It’sgate, the shameless promulgation of an apostrophe in the possessive form of “its”. Gavin has been proselytizing on behalf of this superfluous apostrophe for years now (even in Climate Change, Picturing the Science, which turns out to be a much more thorough and engrossing book than I had anticipated, suffering only from its lack of an English-speaking editor). Now we have Jim propagating the error (without proper attribution) in, for example, his reply at comment 156 of the iPhone thread. What more proof do we need of the in-cestuous relationships among the AGW crowd?

    Comment by S. Molnar — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:51 PM

  650. RobM (#646) you are right that my words were not an exact citation (otherwise I would have used citation marks), so here is the question directed at Phil Jones’ and the exact words of his answer:

    “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

    Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

    I really don’t see how the short description I used previously (#615) is ‘not at all what Jones said’. When there is no statistical significance you have to accept the zero hypothesis, that is temperatures were flat during that period. The term ‘flattening’, by the way, is also the word used by S. Solomon in her recent Science article.

    And can we please focus on the issues themselves, rather than playing these childish games?

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:05 PM

  651. The print media are in crisis with rising costs, decreasing revenues and diminishing subscriptions. I cannot help but think that at least part of this media frenzy is a desperate sensationalistic ploy a la National Enquirer in the hopes of increasing readership. If average reader intelligence is sufficiently high, then said ploy will inevitably backfire, hastening the demise of the irresponsible media outlets. If average reader intelligence is not sufficiently high, the ploy may work – for a while – as society goes into a black fantasy fugue of increasing ignorance. In a free society where schools have done their job of instilling the value of free nad independent thought, the latter is unlikely.

    Canada’s media situation is particularly interesting. Canadian author and publisher Mel Hurtig in his 2008 book “The Truth about Canada: Some Important, Some Astonishing, And Some Truly Appalling Things All Canadians Should Know About”, based largely on analysis of Canadian statistical data, revealed that nearly 80% of all Canadian media sources are owned by wealthy right-wing conservative interests, who also happen to be deeply involved in the Alberta oil sands development and strong supporters the highly controversial conservative Stephen Harper government. It might also help explain the extent of the anti-AGW sentiment which is seemingly rampant in Canadian media posts.

    Of course, there may also be the element that most of Canada will actually benefit during the first couple of centuries from global warming (albeit from a purely nationalistic and selfish point of view), at least until hundreds of millions of armed, starving climate refugees assail the borders.

    Comment by criordon — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  652. wilt (648) — Forcing from CO2 proportional to the logarithm of the concentration, to good approximation.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  653. Wilt, the thing you have to realize is that the increase in CO2 forcing is not linear in CO2 concentration but logarighmic. Thus if we look at the increase from 1910-1940, from roughly 295-395, that’s a factor of 1.03. Take the log, and we get 0.0333. Now look at the increase from 1974-1998 from roughly 330 to 360 ppmv, a factor of ~1.09, the log of which is .087. Thus the increase in forcing from 1910 to 1940 was less than a factor of 3 less than that from 1974 to 1998. Do the math.

    The additional factors of increasing insolation (not present from 1974-1998) and low levels of volcanism (same) are probably sufficient to account for the difference.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  654. search – site:realclimate.org “The Katrinas Are Coming!” – did not match any documents.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+Katrina+%2Bfurry

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  655. Dee, Wow, so you are just going to give up. I’m sorry that you think that preserving the advantages of civilization for your children is of so little value.

    Look, Dee, the fact is that this matters. It matters because we are talking about coming up with a sustainable economy which will ensure that our progeny can continue to progress. It matters because the truth matters. It matters because science offers us the best hope of an institution that can force us to listen to the things we don’t want to hear.

    My guess is that you are not an old woman. Your life will be awfully boring if you give up raising hell now. This is a cause that is worth raising some hell over. It would be a pity to have no good stories to tell your grandchildren.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  656. Septic Matthew: “…I expect CO2 to start declining sometime between 2030 and 2060.”

    I agree for petroleum, maybe even sooner. The question is whether we dig up much of China, India, the Appalachians and the US West to burn the coal. Coal is a much bigger problem than petroleum. Then there’s natural gas, tar sands, oil shale. My calculations show we have more than enough fossil fuels to reach over 1000 ppmv, and if the rest of the developing world reaches economic take-off (a prerequisite for population stabilization), we could reach that by 2100. If on the other hand, we go with renewables (probably supported by nukes), we could stabilize below 600 ppmv. Maybe we’ll have developed effective sequestration techniques by then–but remember, all that CO2 in the oceans will start going into the atmosphere as we start decreasing atmospheric concentrations. Recovery if it happens at all, will be long and slow.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  657. RE- Comment by Jimbo — 20 February 2010 @ 6:01 AM:

    There have only been opinions expressed about the Freedom of Information Act requests for data from the CRU. A judgment would be by a deliberation and finding expressed in a document. Please show evidence of this.

    Further, if you would actually read the UK Freedom of Information Act you would immediately see why the refusal was legal. You are showing irrational bias.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  658. Wilt, flattening does not mean flat. The trend is positive over the interval regardless of which temperature dataset you choose to use.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  659. wilt (650) — Look with some care at the decadal averages from the GISTEMP global temperature anomaly product:
    1960s -0.01
    1970s +0.00
    1980s +0.18
    1990s +0.32
    2000s +0.51
    I, at least, wouldn’t call that “recent flattening”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:50 PM

  660. Wilt – you actually said “temperatures are flat” in #615, and claimed that he said “Yes, since 1995 to the present the temperatures are flat“. The question was “are they significant”, the response was “not quite, but the trend is positive” – that is NOT “flat”, nor is it even “flattening” which would be interpreted as “a lessening of the trend”. You’re right, precision in science isn’t childs play.

    Comment by flxible — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  661. @654:

    The name is “FurryCatHerder”. Not “furry”.

    It’s winter, I’ve not shaved my legs in a few weeks, but my name is still “FurryCatHerder”.

    If you’d like to see the “official” RealClimate stance on GHG, AGW and the (non-existent) increasing Northern Hemisphere ACE value, you may wish to review this posting –

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/tropical-ssts-natural-variations-or-global-warming/

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:00 PM

  662. >654, 661, still looking for whatever it was you said about Katrinas
    Try this one: http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+FCH

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  663. Wilt:

    I really don’t see how the short description I used previously (#615) is ‘not at all what Jones said’.

    Others have pointed out why this is a “misrepresentation”.

    When there is no statistical significance you have to accept the zero hypothesis, that is temperatures were flat during that period.

    No, you don’t have to accept the zero hypothesis.

    You can’t *reject* it at that level of confidence. Not the same thing at all.

    The fact that it can be rejected at, say, a 93% or 94% confidence level is … suggestive, to say the least. Suggestive enough to consider, oh, going back a few more years and re-running your test. Hint: it won’t come out “no trend”.

    And, of course, there are other hypotheses you can’t reject as a result, such as the possibility that the trend is actually higher than the observed trend.

    “reject” is too strong a word, anyway, we’re talking probabilities, not certainties.

    Comment by dhogaza — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:38 PM

  664. 653, 656, Ray Ladbury, Well said.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 PM

  665. Hank @ 661:

    Try using my screen name — not your idea of what my screen name might be. There’s also a distinct possibility that “Katrina” isn’t in the posting since “Katrina” would have been a past-tense storm, and the discussions would have been about future-tense storms.

    Regardless, I did post a link from 2007 where the forecast was being made, and people “piled on”, about how we’re going to be having Katrinas on alternating Tuesdays from now until we’re back to living in mud huts and chewing on grass.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:08 PM

  666. @604, thanks for your response Gavin. You are of course quite correct and perhaps I’m being a little harsh on the human race, though sometimes I wonder!

    Part of the frustration in that post was due to my recent experience with a blogger who made wildly incorrect assertions about the conclusions of a reasonably easy-to-understand study which is freely available on the web, but who didn’t even bother to read it before he made them. Sound familiar? ;)

    Naturally the situation will resolve itself eventually, but at what cost I’m not sure.

    Comment by Mike of Oz — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:14 PM

  667. Hank @ 661:

    Here’s one of my “experience not matching rhetoric” posts from 2007, along with a prediction (!) that what we’re seeing now with “The Ice Age Is Coming!” (or whatever was forecast and didn’t occur) would be a result –

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/friday-roundup-2/comment-page-3/#comment-51871

    Remember — I’m one of the good gals. I’m completely down with the entire “Let’s cut CO2 emissions!” biz. I’m just an extra annoying cynic.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:30 PM

  668. Speaking of bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion

    Pres. Obama has said that the snowfall in Dallas is evidence of global warming. Wouldn’t it be fairer to say that this snowfall, and the snowfalls in Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, “rare events” rather than “unprecedented events”? That they last happened 100+ years ago hardly makes them evidence of anything. Isn’t this meat for the anti-intellectual denialists like Rush Limbaugh (or so I have read, I never listen), and doesn’t it make Obama look foolish?

    [Response: He didn't quite say that. He said " I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn't mean that every place is getting warmer; it means the planet as a whole is getting warmer. But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees, and Dallas suddenly is getting seven inches of snow. The idea is, is that as the planet as a whole gets warmer, you start seeing changing weather patterns, and that creates more violent storm systems, more unpredictable weather. So any single place might end up being warmer; another place might end up being a little bit cooler; there might end up being more precipitation in the air, more monsoons, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more drought in some places, floods in other places." This isn't what I would have written, but most of this is fine - more intense precipitation and more water vapour in the air are both already being seen and are forecast to continue. The variance over region of climate change impacts in general is a good point to make. I wouldn't endorse "more unpredictable weather" - that is more of an urban myth than a scientific finding, and the "more hurricanes" and "more tornadoes" are conclusions too far. "More monsoons" doesn't really make sense. Compared to other politicians pronouncements (i.e. Sarah Palin or John Boehner) it's at least grounded in some reality. - gavin]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:31 PM

  669. If we were to remove all human contributions to global warming, would the world still be warming?

    I have asked this question on many forums and as yet never received an answer that was not just based on opinion.

    [Response: How are we supposed to demonstrate this to you then given that we don't get to run the 20th Century over again? The best estimates (second panel) that we have made indicate that, yes, the last half of the 20th Century would have cooled in the absence of human factors. - gavin]

    Comment by benG — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:21 AM

  670. dhogaza (663)

    FWIW I agree, the 95% stuff seems to me to be splitting hairs. The data/graph seems to trend and I guess I’m not smart enough to choose between 90% and 95% when I don’t really know much about the “real” distribution anyway.

    However, I have been curious for a long time about a similar situation in the MWP debate. As I understand it, there may have been a warming in the NH but there is no good data for the SH. In that case, why don’t we assume (with little certainty) that an MWP happened rather than not.

    I am screwed up or missing something because many have looked at/debated MWP and I’m unaware of anyone bringing this up. Can you tell me an answer or point me to something to study?

    TIA

    Comment by John Peter — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:43 AM

  671. [Response: In defense of the majority of the human race, I think the issue here is that most people have very busy lives and only have a certain amount of intellectual energy to devote to questions that come up. People can (correctly) realise that what they are seeing in newspapers is incomplete, biased and obviously oversimplified, but still not find the energy to look into the background or what the real story is (which is generally hard). Thus most knowledge that most people have about a whole range of issues is thus very shallow and not strongly grounded in anything factual - but this is not because people are dumb, just busy. While we can certainly make it easier to find the real background, I don't see this general picture changing anytime soon. - gavin]

    Gavin,

    I think you just made a very well reasoned argument. But the million dollar question is where do we go from here? The mistake in the IPCC report is so frustrating.

    Comment by EL — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:17 AM

  672. It’s not just the ‘GW Hoaxers’ who are talking about conspiracies, some of the respectable AGW types are coming up with similar crank views:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm

    Comment by Martin — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:52 AM

  673. Re #665, Coal is the most likely to go. As climateprogress keep on telling us over and over CSP, Nuclear Wind and new large scale pan continental grids (Desertec etc) can replace coal much easier than anyrthing else due to its base load nature.

    Oil means everythng and represents 40% of global energy usage. Gas usage will increase to due to its liquified and gasfied ability and nature. Gas makes good power stations to with its instant on demand nature. All of the recent mayhem about the USA and shale gas that can be extracted with new techniques might just raise gas reserves to dangerous CO2 levels even though its a better fuel than coal for AGW.

    Humankind has plenty of options, its all down to the political and economic will along with perhaps some serious cultural change. Its a 50/50 bet I reckon.

    Comment by pete best — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:54 AM

  674. #499, John & “I fail to see why any of advantaged would deny AGW?” I’m sort of rethinking my ideas. It is “FrankenCorp” (that nonhuman entity that’s given all the rights and privileges of humans, more even) that denies AGW — or at least fund orgs & politicos to deny it. And the people that work for Frankencorp — the CEOs and PR people might actually KNOW AGW is real, but they also know who’s buttering their bread. (I’m reminded of THE INSIDER — the protag, who knew the harms, would never have outted them, except he was fired for some other reason.) And the poor (middle and working class) pretty much go along, bec they also hope to get their bread well buttered. When I did my thesis on ENVIRONMENTAL VICTIMOLOGY, I came across an article — “The Sweet Smell of Money” — about a small company town I think in Michigan where the industrial odor was so horrible no one could stand it, except the whole economy was tied into that company, so they didn’t complain.

    RE #491 & “#450 Lynn Vincentnathan is wrong on history and wrong about the present. There were lots of conservatives in the late 60′s–that’s how Nixon became President.”

    I was one of those conservatives back then (I think the only one in my age set, ostracized) — I was for Nixon in 1968. Then, esp after Watergate — THE original “gate” — I gradually became more “liberal.” However, it sort of seems to me I didn’t shift so much, as something else happened; the conservatives shifted more and more to the radical right (and have taken “conversative” right out of the word “conservative”), and the Republican party changed somewhat from including small business interests to basically stomping on them.

    And come to find out Nixon was our best environmental president of all time (except perhaps for Teddy Roosevelt, another Republican) — that’s actually in the Environmental Crime & Justice textbook I use. Maybe his heart wasn’t really in it, but he did establish the EPA. And perhaps Carter would have been even better, bec I think his heart was in it, except for the economic downturn at the time.

    So, let me rephrase my 450 statement: “I remember the late 60s when no one in their wildest sci fi imagination could have imagined how weird, anti-conservative, destructionist, and radical the Republicans would have become. And we had some very good sci fi writers back then.”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  675. “643
    J says:
    20 February 2010 at 12:43 PM

    “Complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years””
    >>>>”Are you saying that is IMPOSSIBLE? If so, please prove it.”

    Au contraire, I’m giving it the Ehrlich Award it because it is, like the apocalypse, possible, wondrously ominous and…”

    you don’t like the message.

    However an Erlich Award Winning staple of delayers is that mitigation will cause massive collapse of the civilised world and its economies.

    But you like that message.

    So it doesn’t get a snark.

    I notice that you haven’t actually addressed it either. It is a possible liable outcome of CO2 production under the currently desired increased rapine of natural resources.

    When your mum tells you not to stand close to the edge, is she earning an Erlich award because the chance of you losing footing and falling to your death is small and the outcome scary and threatening and, when you walk away from the edge like your mum told you to, also impossible to prove would have happened.

    Do you tell your mum she’s won an Erlich award?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  676. “641
    Septic Matthew says:
    20 February 2010 at 12:25 PM

    612, Completely Fed Up: In fact, that’s the same attitude that caused the recent recession.

    Recessions happen all the time, and they are as natural as tides”

    Really? So squirrels have a NYSE that collapses? That Spider Monkeys have banking systems that lend out toxic assets and then bet that they are toxic?

    Really?

    And natural doesn’t mean unavoidable. It’s natural for someone to fall down dead when shot in the head by several bullets.

    This is still not considered unavoidable.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:06 AM

  677. Furry: “I read his comment to say that if someone publishes something far =worse= than what’s supported by the science, they are given a free pass. But if someone publishes something far =better= than what’s supported by the science, they are immediately branded a “denialist”, attacked, discredited, and so forth.”

    Which is complete bollocks.

    It’s the other way around.

    And the denialist headpieces don’t counter alarmism about teh ebils of AGW science. They PRODUCE it.

    But I suspect you’re not really here to be educated, just to get your voice out in anger against those “elite scientists”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:11 AM

  678. A realization came to me yesterday, along the lines as “there’s no such thing as an economically rational man.” For denialists AGW = taxes, or -taxes = -AGW. This is such a strong chemical bond (this tax/AGW thing), that there is absolutely no concern about rising prices — it’s perfectly all right to give $2 more on some product, than a 5 cent tax that would actually translate (somehow by mitigating AGW) into lowering (not raising) the product’s price. Because it’s just fine to give one’s extra money to frankencorps out rampaging the earth — in fact, it’s the moral thing to do, make the rich richer and destroy the environment — but heaven forbid giving a penny to help (or make) those corps become energy/resource efficient, and thereby lower prices of their products.

    So that’s why there are all these “gates.” It the pathological fear and hatred of taxes. Skip taxes even for public roads, goes the hue and cry, and just put up a lot of “toll-gates” on private roads.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:14 AM

  679. Pete Best @673,
    I agree that petroleum is unlikely to suffer greatly as a result of efforts to mitigate climate change (which is one reason why Exx-Mob’s support of denialists is self-defeating). However, I would contend that petroleum is also to valuable a resource to burn! It’s irreplacable as a feed stock for organic chemicals, for fertilizer…

    Our progeny will look back on us and simply shake their heads that we could have been so stupid to simply piss away such a valuable resource.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:19 AM

  680. “631
    Jiminmpls says:
    20 February 2010 at 10:48 AM

    #507 BPL UN warns of 70 percent desertification by 2025

    Wrong! The UN warned of 70% of desertification OF DRYLANDS by 2025. About 40% of global land area are drylands, so this would be about 25% of global land area.

    Desertification is a serious problem, but global warming is not the sole or even primary cause of desertification. The primary cause is land (ab)use ”

    I’m getting a feeling of Deja Vu all over again.

    That precent thingy has turned up before and it led to an argument I’m going to have to have with you again.

    Why is the land being (ab)used? Because it is the only land they have.

    All the other bits are taken by someone else.

    So since the only real change causing that destruction of verdanity is that heat stresses are causing the land to be unable to provide as they used to, the (ab)use of that land causing desertification IS from AGW results.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:42 AM

  681. Manky Matthew: “I said that warming to date is 0.7 per century and the current trends in warming and CO2 forecast a 1C warming in the next century.”

    And what about that third source of warming?

    The one which is the result of us not currently being in equilibrium?

    “CO2 levels are about 1.3 times what they were 150 years ago. How does that predict another 0.5C increase based on current levels alone?”

    This may help:
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/

    “The water flow from the glaciers is a tiny fraction of the total.”

    But there’s a reason why towns flood: pavements are impermiable.

    There’s a reason why you get damaging flash floods: it takes so long for water to percolate through baked soil.

    The rain falls on ice and slows down because instead of running freely it has to squoosh through cracks with many surfaces to slow travel.

    Ice melts: Bare rock is impermiable to rainfall.

    Rain or snowmelt now run freely.

    So instead of taking a month to flow, it takes a day to flash flood.

    Total water flow: same. Or near enough.

    Peak water flow: MASSIVE.

    Minimum water flow: longer lasting.

    You really don’t understand much, do you?

    “I agree with that, but AGW proponents mostly or entirely complain about the press only when it mangles the news in an anti-AGW direction, and “mangle” is the topic of the thread.”

    How many times has that been shown to be false?

    It’s not like you’re even weaselly right. You said “only”.

    Proven wrong several times on this thread alone. If you’d actually read rather than repeated what you’ve been told is true, you would have known this.

    “have AGW proponents been really clear and forceful in publicizing that Global Warming is predicted to occur mostly at the poles, mostly in winter, and mostly at night?”

    Check for yourself:

    http:/www.ipcc.ch

    Not that this will change anything for you. You’re not here to learn, you’re hear to stop someone else learning.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:55 AM

  682. One think I realised but didn’t connect until recently.

    All the Anonymous posts on Denial Depot supporting AGW and calling Al Gore “The Goracle” and therefore lamely aping the comments of the posters there are done because if they used the same handle on that site as elsewhere their words could be sent back to haunt them.

    George is genuine and he’s also the only supporter of science that’s given himself a handle.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:00 AM

  683. > no one in their wildest sci fi imagination could have imagined
    Er. no: Nehemiah Scudder, 2012
    http://www.google.com/search?q=“Nehemiah+Scudder”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  684. Here is the exact type of alarmist stuff the AGW movement needs to rid itself of, this recently in the NYT. There are numerous responses of a “scientist never actually said this” in some replies, but layman don’t read science, they read newspapers. This is the face of AGW, like it or not.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/business/economy/21view.html?scp=1&sq=small%20price%20for%20large%20benfit&st=cse

    A Small Price for a Large Benefit
    By ROBERT H. FRANK

    “…But even an increase that small (3.6F) would cause deadly harm”

    “Scientists say that even the 3.6-degree increase would spell widespread loss of life,”

    “The M.I.T. model estimates a zero probability of the temperature rising by less than 3.6 degrees by 2100″

    “the cost of preventing catastrophic climate change is astonishingly small”

    Here is one of the craziest statements on AGW EVER:

    “If climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.”

    “we face “only” a 10 percent chance of a catastrophic 12-degree climb”

    “…certainly, than the modest cost of a carbon tax — to avoid having someone pull the trigger on a gun pointed at their head with one bullet and nine empty chambers…”

    The reasonable reader would come to the conclusion that the article states a certain catastrophe will occur unless a carbon tax is implemented. This is alarmism, and it does AGW a disservice.

    Comment by Tom Scharf — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  685. CFU – I think you meant verdancy, but there’s a lot more than AGW that has been driving it’s loss via desertification or depletion, particularly chemically based industrial monoculture aimed at the export market. It’s as much or more a lack of good stewardship on the part of economic powrhouses than on the part of the poor subsistance goat herders.

    Comment by flxible — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:43 AM

  686. On desertification and climate change:

    Desertification driving mass migrations – up to 700,000 migrate from Mexico drylands every year

    By Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary

    …So, land use has an impact on climate change, but on the other hand, climate change has a negative effect on land. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported, with a very high degree of certainty, that climate change would lead to longer and more intense droughts in drought-prone areas. It also predicted that droughts would emerge in new areas, especially in the warmer tropical areas.

    These expectations are already evident. Critical sources of water such as Lake Chad in Africa are drying up and the water levels of major rivers such as the Euphrates, the Tigris and the Nile have fallen below what local populations are used to, compared to similar periods in the recent past. Intense and longer droughts are also already evident in parts of Southern Africa, as well as in North America, Australia and southern Europe where forest fires have caused great devastation.

    The experts tell us that drought-related effects can be minimized through sustainable land management. Investments to improve water management and assure it is available in the long-term combined with efforts to improve soil quality have immediate and spill-over rewards. In the short term, the impact of extreme weather conditions can be reduced and land fertility enhanced. …

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:44 PM

  687. Ray Ladbury (#653) has challenged me to do the proper math with respect to the relative contribution of CO2 during 1910-1940 compared to the warming in recent years. Initially (#627) he claimed that the contribution of CO2 to warming during 1910-1940 was about half that for the period 1975-1998, later (#653) he wrote that the log values for those periods would be 0.033 and 0.087 respectively. In that case CO2 contribution in 1910-1940 would be 38% when compared to 1975-1998. (There was by the way an obvious typing error with respect to the CO2 value that Ray Ladbury mentioned for 1940).

    Well, here is my calculation. For a fair comparison the length of the periods should of course be the same, so I compare the most recent years 1980-2009 with a similar 29-year period 1910-1939.
    For 1910-1939 I use the ice core data (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.combined.dat) and for recent years the Mauna Loa data.
    1910-1939 CO2: 300-310 ratio 1.03 and the log value is 0.033
    1980-2009 CO2: 339-387 ratio 1.14 and the log value is 0.132

    Therefore the contribution of CO2 to warming during the period 1910-1939 is less than 25% compared to the period 1980-2009. When one chooses the period 1970-1999 instead of 1980-2009, the outcome is about the same (CO2 326-368, ratio 1.13, log value is 0.121 therefore CO2 contribution about 27% during 1910-1939 compared to 1970-1999).

    Two conclusions:
    - relative contribution of CO2 during the 1910-1939 warming compared to warming in recent years is about 25%, and therefore much lower than “about half” or 38% as Ray Ladbury suggested
    - the problem of course is not so much that there was a typing error, or a miscalculation, but that even in every little detail presented by the AGW proponents there seems so often to be an exaggeration in the direction of more support for the CO2 hypothesis.

    And don’t misunderstand me: I realize that increasing CO2 probably will have a contribution, but I am trying to find the truth or at least the best approximation of the truth: how much will CO2 affect temperature and climate, and when, and how.

    Comment by wilt — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:53 PM

  688. John Peter:

    However, I have been curious for a long time about a similar situation in the MWP debate. As I understand it, there may have been a warming in the NH but there is no good data for the SH. In that case, why don’t we assume (with little certainty) that an MWP happened rather than not.

    I don’t believe that the statement that “there is no good data for the SH” is correct. What’s correct is that there’s a relative lack of good data. The data that does exist doesn’t support the notion that there was a global, synchronous MWP.

    I highly recommend the skeptical science piece on the MWP, which examines Mann’s 2009 paper on the subject.

    Comment by dhogaza — 21 Feb 2010 @ 1:07 PM

  689. 668, Gavin I like your comments.

    However, consider the following: But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees, and Dallas suddenly is getting seven inches of snow.

    They have “suddenly” experienced events like those that they have experienced in the past. That’s not evidence for anything. As described, it isn’t even a problem. Somebody else, in a previous post, established that the weather in Vancouver isn’t even unusual.

    However, I take your point that I had misquoted Obama.

    I hope that you noted the exchange between Ray Ladbury and me. He corrected my misperception of the projected effects of the CO2 accumulation to date. What is your estimate of the time that will be taken for the earth system to respond to the CO2 accumulation to date?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 21 Feb 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  690. 676, Completely Fed Up: So squirrels have a NYSE that collapses? That Spider Monkeys have banking systems that lend out toxic assets and then bet that they are toxic?

    Like every other species, they suffer dramatic population swings; they overproduce every year, and nearly all of the offspring die before attaining reproductive age. Now and again in favorable conditions an unusual number grow and reproduce, but then they suffer massive population declines. The first serious attempt to model this natural population fluctuation was the Lottka-Volterra equations.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 21 Feb 2010 @ 1:29 PM

  691. Re #679 Its valuable in making plastics, pesticides and fertilisers but motion is everything to humans and hence not only do we need to replace coal but we also are reqired to electrify our transport except aircraft which will require some sustainable biofuel instead. That doubles the problem as oil is let us suggest peaking around 2010 to 2020 or maybe it already has as that is possible to!

    Comment by pete best — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:00 PM

  692. RE 679 Pt 2# Its all down to growth (log 2) which is the number 70 which you divide by your annual growth rate to get a doubling of something. So lets try out CO2 in terms of global economic growth year on year. Its between 2-3% (2.5% mean). Divide 2,3 in to 70 and you get the doubling time. 3%=23 years and 2%=35 years. Total Co2 output in doubling time is doubled to 60 billion tonnes per annum. Add it all up accumulative from 2010 through to doubling time and beyond to 2050 with differing percentage rises and you get between 1.8 to 2.3 trillion tonnes of additional Co2 into the atmosphere!

    In terms of ppmv it goes to around 480 – 530. 2050 through 2100 adds an additional 5 through 11 trillion tonnes. I doubt we have the ability to go beyond 2050 with BAU fossil fuel usage but a doubling in around 23-35 years is potentially plausable.

    Comment by pete best — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  693. gavin wrote in regard to Obama’s comments: “I wouldn’t endorse ‘more unpredictable weather’ – that is more of an urban myth than a scientific finding”

    It does seem intuitive to me that during the current period of (1) rapidly increasing GHG levels, driving (2) rapid warming, driving (3) rapid climate change, that weather would indeed become “more unpredictable” — for the simple reason that the whole Earth system, including weather patterns, is rapidly changing, in ways that we know are not (entirely) predictable even with our best scientific understanding.

    How could the question of the “predictability” of weather be examined scientifically? Has it been? If not, why not?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  694. The GISS web site used to have a graph comparing land and ocean temperatures. It seems to no longer be there. Is this feature expected back soon or has it just moved to a new location?

    Comment by stevenc — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  695. I wrote to Septic Matthew in #559:

    … the changes that are already occurring from the CO2 emissions that have already occurred and the temperature increases that have already occurred as a result of those emissions, are already “faster in coming” than was expected, and are already “serious enough in themselves”.

    Denialists like to pretend that we have not yet experienced any “serious” changes as a result of AGW and that all the discussion is about what might or might not happen in the future. That is false.

    Septic Matthew replied: “As for costly changes that have already occurred (Secular Animist), they are barely perceptible among the natural variability.”

    Thanks for giving a perfect example of what I was talking about.

    Did I write anything about “costly changes that have already occurred”?

    No, I did not. You made that up. You then proceeded to argue about what you pretended I wrote.

    Regardless of whether they have yet impacted your pocketbook or anybody else’s, there are in fact plenty of very serious AGW-driven changes that are already occurring, that are occurring faster than was anticipated, and that are very clearly “perceptible among the natural variability.”

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:38 PM

  696. Gavin’s response (#668), quoting Pres. Obama: ‘But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees’
    I suppose it’s not the president’s fault but rather of his scientific advisors, but in view of the fact that for Vancouver the average low for February is 34 degrees Fahrenheit (plus 1 degree Celsius) and the average high 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) I do not think one should expect to have snow during the Olympics when it’s in February. One can hope for it, of course but that’s something else. So there is not much remarkable about the present weather in Vancouver.
    And yes, we all know that weather is not climate so I think no one not even the president should try to link them directly, no matter of the direction (pro or con AGW).

    Comment by wilt — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:45 PM

  697. CFU @ 667 –

    Furry: “I read his comment to say that if someone publishes something far =worse= than what’s supported by the science, they are given a free pass. But if someone publishes something far =better= than what’s supported by the science, they are immediately branded a “denialist”, attacked, discredited, and so forth.”

    Which is complete bollocks.

    It’s the other way around.

    And the denialist headpieces don’t counter alarmism about teh ebils of AGW science. They PRODUCE it.

    But I suspect you’re not really here to be educated, just to get your voice out in anger against those “elite scientists”.

    The other way around?

    I don’t have time to point to instances where doom-and-gloom predictions that haven’t come true — regardless of the scientists, politicians or media spokepeople making them — have been used against the =legitimate= issues, but they are out there. And the current “No warming in 5 / 10 / 12 years!” crowd is a fine instance of that — because someone drew a line and called it a “projection”. Likewise, I did provide an instance from 3 or so years ago where people were talking about “more intense hurricanes!” without observing first that we were on the down-leg of whatever Atlantic cycle we were on.

    Am I upset at “elite scientists”? No. Most of them are no better (or worse) than other scientists and engineers at Public Relations. And as someone who’s worked in four different engineering fields, that includes me — though I’m keenly aware that I need to “language” my message more carefully for audiences outside of whatever field I’m working in at the moment.

    Are there things where I =am= angry? Yes. But I also know that venting my personal paranoid feelings is a bad idea and would tend to make me look like a crackpot.

    But thanks for a perfect example of “If you aren’t toeing the party line, you’re a denialist!” I’m heading out to the Texas Hill Country to go preach Renewable Energy to the Masses. Something I’m sure that all climate denialists engage in on a regular basis. And twice on Sunday!

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:19 PM

  698. 681, Completely Fed Up: Check for yourself:

    During my walk today I determined to download the 4 reports of the IPCC (AR4), so your prompt was most timely.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:06 PM

  699. Ray Ladbury, it might have already been caught, but you slipped a decimal in #653.

    Comment by Rod B — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  700. Septic Matthew, “well said” indeed, other than Ray’s #653 being wrong.

    Comment by Rod B — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:03 PM

  701. Did you guys hear about Swedengate? It’s real dynamite!

    http://obehindrad.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/swedengate/

    Greetings!

    Comment by Otto — 21 Feb 2010 @ 9:45 PM

  702. The Guardian strikes again:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level-geoscience-retract-siddall

    Comment by J. Warner — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  703. Re J. Warner’s post on Siddall, that’s the self-correcting feature of science in action. This would never be observed in “blog science,” where the paleoclimate record is both “unreliable” and also shows that “the Medieval Warm Period was hotter than today.”

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:54 AM

  704. Otto provides some comic relief:

    The Climategate e-mails proved that these ”researchers” were manipulating data, that they secretly were discussing scientific issues and conspiring to intentionally keep bad research out of the IPCC.

    You’ve captured the denialist tone perfectly. You should post at Denial Depot — viva Poe’s Law!

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:59 AM

  705. wilt@696 – Part of everyones problem concerning the “Vancouver” Olympics is the nominal location – the outdoor events are actually mostly at Whistler where Feb weather is quite different – in fact the problem at Whistler is usually too much snow all at once or fog. The lower elevation, south facing venue [Cypress], closer to Vancouver, has suffered a bit more than usual this year and that’s what makes for the headlines. Obama just didn’t consider that a balmy temperature in Vancouver proper, where all the events are indoors, is great for the tourists to enjoy the city, but his Veep should have reported on that, having been there. :)

    Comment by flxible — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:07 AM

  706. I think I am “normal”. I think I am reasonably intelligent and I know that I am not in the pay of big oil (or anything similar). I have taken an above average level of interest in the AGW (i.e. I read the press and both sides of AGW blogosphere) than Joe Soap – and I am a sceptic.

    Why? Well its hard to put my finger on it. Maybe its the inbuilt reactionery in me. Maybe its tired cynism as a result of the “establishment” getting it wrong so many times on so many subjects. Maybe its alarmism per se or being subject to cries of “wolf” so often by the establishment. I don’t really know to be honest.

    As was discussed in other threads, the MSM likes to deal in soundbytes and sensationalism. Whilst RealClimate doesn’t do this and does often temper overstated headlnes in the MSM – many in the alarmist camp are quite happy to allow overhyped stories and statements to go uncommented upon (a new phrase that I have just invented).

    The sceptics have their poster boys and the alarmists have theirs. Unfortunately, and not by design, the likes of Al Gore and Pachauri have become the alarmist poster boys and they don’t, rightly or wrongly, hold up to scrutiny very well and have both been savaged in the MSM recently. In their cases it is “live by the sword (i.e rise on a wave of pro publicity) die by the sword (fall by the same MSM going in the oposite direction). Other leading experts such as Michael Mann and Phil Jones have suffered, rightly or wrongly, a change of perceived reputation which is not helpful to their cases.

    To try and get to the bottom of my sceptiism, I guess its things like CRUgate, Himalaya, Amazon, hurricanes, cost of natural disasters, etc “gates”. Whilst Gavin will always indicate and illustrate that these are issues to do with genuine mistakes or presentation around the “fringes” and doesn’t change the science – it “feels” like the science has changed.

    In summary, I “feel” that

    i) that the Hockey stick is just plain wrong

    ii) that the temeprature records appear too subjective (i.e. they are created using proxies that are, at best, “indicators” rather than accurate records) and that there appears to be a whole lot of adjustments and homoginisation of other record sets.

    iii) The raw data doesn’t seem to show much happening other than a gradual warming where nothing exceptional seems to be happening – it “feels” like it is only adjusted data that shows scary outcomes.

    iv) I work in IT and have been involved in computer modelling and I of course know that models will produce outcomes based upon the informaion entered. I believe, although I don’t know this, that none of the modelling that has been around for any length of time has acually been close to predicting what has actually happened over the last 10 to 15 years in global temperatures. As discussed elsewhere, Phil Jones recently said something to the effect that there hasn’t been any statistically significant warming since 1995 (or was it 1998?).

    I read conflicting articles on sea levels, sea temperatures, sea ice, Greenland farming, average temperatures, etc and they appear (wrongly you would say) to cancel each other out.

    Somehow, I have ended up forming the following views without any scientific capability!:

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick is wrong

    Sea levels are only rising by a couple of mm per year if at all – nothing than cannot be adapted to overtime.

    There is reasonable doubt about the global temperature records (re adjustments for UHI for instance) and lots of errors in when, where and how these adjustments are made.

    And then there is the establishment thing. In the UK, our Prime Minister told us we would have a referendum on the EU Constitution), ho told us he had ended “boom and bust” economics. He told us we were best placed to deal with a recession. He told us we would be the first western country out of recession. He also told us lots of other things where, with the benefit of hindsight, he was completely wrong – or he lied.

    He (Gordon Brown), is currently telling me that there is a consensus, the debate is over, if I don’t believe him I am a “flat earther” or a “denier” (with all of the undertones that that carries).

    Sorry, I don’t believe him and maybe I am just too plain stubborn to believe the rest of it – or dont want to.

    I am aided by the MSM climate in the UK which seems to now be in attack mode and I am seeing scientists failing to put across convincing arguments and being called to account in ways that we have not seen before.

    I witness the ineptitude of very, very clever people displaying virtually no common sense. As an example, the inquiry into the UEA and its “Independent panel”. An “independent panel” that included Campbell and Boulton? Didn’t they see it comming? Didn’t they stop to think what the MSM and the blogosphere would have to say about the alleged independence of the panel? They demonstrate crushing naivety in this area – maybe they are just as dumb in some of their other assumptions – maybe like UHI adjustments or the integrity of tree ring data?

    I have taken enough of your time and than you, in advance, for allowing this platform for my musings.

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 AM

  707. Charlie Chutney says: the likes of Al Gore and Pachauri have become the alarmist poster boys and they don’t, rightly or wrongly, hold up to scrutiny very well…

    In what ways, specifically, do Gore and Pachauri not hold up to scrutiny?

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:42 AM

  708. Rod, exactly whare did I slip a decimal in #653?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  709. maybe I am just too plain stubborn to believe the rest of it – or dont want to. – Charlie Chutney

    Exactly right, Charlie, exactly right. Some would say this is too important a matter to let your personality characteristics, or wishful thinking, get in the way of an objective assessment of the evidence.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  710. Charlie Chutney says: 22 February 2010 at 11:12 AM

    That’s a remarkable litany of peripheral matters you mention.

    What about the physics?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  711. 699, 700 Rod B, commenting on:

    653, Ray Ladbury: Thus if we look at the increase from 1910-1940, from roughly 295-395, that’s a factor of 1.03.

    There’s a typo: what is written as “395″ ought to be “305″. Even now CO2 is not 395ppm.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:02 PM

  712. Charlie Chutney@708,
    You know, I’ve read through your post twice and I’ve not found anything to indicate that you really understand the science. I understand that you are a layman, but the posts on this site are written for laymen like you. I’m wondering why, if you are a skeptic as you claim, you haven’t tried to understand the science, rather than relying on the media or politicians, who can pretty much always be relied upon to get the science wrong.

    Really, your post looks like you are trying to convince yourself that there is nothing to worry about. If that is really your goal, that’s up to you, but at least have the decency not to gird the mantle of skepticism.

    First, I wonder if you could tell me how all of your -gates have changed any of the science.

    Has it cast doubt whether it’s warming? No. There are 4 independent temperature datasets–2 terrestrial and two satellite, and all 4 show consistent warming. If this wasn’t enough, you have a couple of trillion tons of ice that has gone missing over the last 5 years or so, along with tons of phenological data going back hundreds of years in some cases. So it certainly is not reasonable to doubt that it is warming.

    Has it cast doubt that the cause of the warming is a greenhouse mechanism? Again, no. We have seen simultaneous stratospheric cooling along with the tropospheric warming–a trait that is diagnostic of greenhouse warming. There are also other traits–polar amplification, seasonal effects, etc.–all of which point to a greenhouse mechanism.

    Has it cast doubt on the fact that the extra CO2 is from human activity? No way. The isotopic and other evidence is overwhelming here.

    Has it cast doubt on whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas? No.

    How about CO2 sensitivity of the climate? No. There are still over a dozen independent lines of evidence that all favor a CO2 sensitivity of 3 degrees per doubling and preclude a sensitivity as low as 2 degrees per doubling.

    So, none of the basic science has changed.

    You contend:
    i) that the Hockey stick is just plain wrong
    OK, fine. Don’t like Mann et al.’98. There are a couple dozen other reconstructions that look pretty much the same.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/progress-in-millennial-reconstructions/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructions/

    Even borehole records all by themselves show a hockeystick.

    You contend:
    “ii) that the temeprature records appear too subjective (i.e. they are created using proxies that are, at best, “indicators” rather than accurate records) and that there appears to be a whole lot of adjustments and homoginisation of other record sets.”

    OK. There are, as I said, 4 independent temperature records. constructed with very different measurements and algorithms. What do you suppose the chances are that all of these records would yield the same trends if they were all wrong? And even then, there’s all that melting ice, earlier springs. There are even very picturesque examples:

    http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1893.pdf

    You say:
    “iii) The raw data doesn’t seem to show much happening other than a gradual warming where nothing exceptional seems to be happening – it “feels” like it is only adjusted data that shows scary outcomes.”

    Clearly this is not true, since the melting ice and phenological data also support rapid warming.

    iv….
    OK, why not actually look into what the models say.

    Try as I might, I can’t find any evidentiary basis for your “skepticism” and I don’t understand how you can be a skeptic if you don’t look at the evidence.

    You say: “I have taken enough of your time and than you, in advance, for allowing this platform for my musings.”

    This site is so much more than a “platform for … musings”. It is a tremendous resource to learn about the science. I am hoping the skeptic in you will prevail and you will actuall start trying to learn the science–there are plenty of people here willing to help.
    You say

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:09 PM

  713. Charlie Chutney inadvertently makes the problem we face crystal clear:

    Somehow, I have ended up forming the following views without any scientific capability!

    It really sums things up … and then

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick is wrong

    You have no scientific capability. Yet you declare Mann’s work to be wrong. How D-K of you.

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:13 PM

  714. dhogaza (688)

    Thank you for your most complete answer.

    The Skeptic Science article and comments are quite good. I have downloaded Mann’s paper which I intend to study after I have worked my way further through the excellent SS comments.

    Not only do I already have a different and more correct view of the MWP/Hockey Stick bruhaha, but I expect to learn much about Climate Science data.

    Thank you very much.

    Comment by John Peter — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  715. 706: Charlie, rather than relying the media and blogosphere I recommend that you read some books on the subject. Science books. I recommend Spencer Weart’s book “The Discovery of Global Warming” as a starting point, then move on to David Archer’s Global Warming: UNderstanding the Forecast. After having read those two books you’ll begin to have rudimentary knowledge of the science.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:31 PM

  716. > Charlie Chutney
    > both sides
    > feel
    > IT

    Charlie, this may help:
    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2009/10/rant-about-stupidity-and-coming-civil.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  717. “706
    Charlie Chutney says:
    22 February 2010 at 11:12 AM

    I think I am “normal”. I think I am reasonably intelligent and I know that I am not in the pay of big oil (or anything similar)… and I am a sceptic.”

    Well, as long as you have a reason.

    “Why? Well its hard to put my finger on it. Maybe its the inbuilt reactionery in me. Maybe its tired cynism as a result of the “establishment” getting it wrong so many times on so many subjects. Maybe its alarmism per se or being subject to cries of “wolf” so often by the establishment. I don’t really know to be honest.”

    Ah, so you don’t.

    Unfortunately, this DOES seem to be “normal”, however this is hardly intelligent.

    “I witness the ineptitude of very, very clever people displaying virtually no common sense. ”

    Like yourself.

    Where is the common sense in saying “I don’t think the science is right, I don’t know why”?

    “Somehow, I have ended up forming the following views without any scientific capability!:

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick is wrong

    Sea levels are only rising by a couple of mm per year if at all – nothing than cannot be adapted to overtime.”

    Yes, you would require no scientific ability to come to those conclusions.

    Again, this is not considered intelligent thought.

    “iv) I work in IT and have been involved in computer modelling and I of course know that models will produce outcomes based upon the informaion entered.”

    Did you know about this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langton's_ant

    Did you put in that it would attain a stepwise pattern that moves and repeats?

    You’ve been in computer modelling and you don’t know the first thing about it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  718. “698
    Septic Matthew says:
    21 February 2010 at 6:06 PM

    681, Completely Fed Up: Check for yourself:

    During my walk today I determined to download the 4 reports of the IPCC (AR4), so your prompt was most timely.”

    And..?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:54 PM

  719. FCH “The other way around?”

    Yes, the other way round.

    As in “not the way round you had it”.

    You posit that when someone against AGW “gets it wrong” then they get called a denier.

    WRONG.

    100%.

    Then you say that the press jumps on it, whereas the AGW gets something wrong and they’re proposed as truth in MSM.

    WRONG and the OTHER WAY ROUND.

    200%.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:58 PM

  720. “690
    Septic Matthew says:
    21 February 2010 at 1:29 PM

    676, Completely Fed Up: So squirrels have a NYSE that collapses? That Spider Monkeys have banking systems that lend out toxic assets and then bet that they are toxic?

    Like every other species, they suffer dramatic population swings; ”

    This is not an economic recession, however.

    So they aren’t natural.

    Humans create them.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  721. flxible, no verdanity.

    “Other trees were just sticks with greenery on compared to the sylvanic verdanity of this tree”

    From T Pratchett in “Science of Discworld 2″, though I knew the word before I read that.

    http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/catalog/extract.htm?command=search&db=main.txt&eqisbndata=0091888050

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  722. 706 Charlie Chutney (great name!): thanks for an excellent summary of the unease that many thinking people feel as they try to follow AGW issues.

    In summary, I “feel” that
    i) that the Hockey stick is just plain wrong

    Then don’t worry about the Hockey Stick. Look at the temperatures since the mid-1800’s. There is a clear trend upward over that time period.

    ii) that the temeprature records appear too subjective (i.e. they are created using proxies that are, at best, “indicators” rather than accurate records) and that there appears to be a whole lot of adjustments and homoginisation of other record sets.

    Yes, but separate record sets tend to show the same trends.

    iii) The raw data doesn’t seem to show much happening other than a gradual warming where nothing exceptional seems to be happening – it “feels” like it is only adjusted data that shows scary outcomes.

    It is true that much of the concern about AGW is what will happen if current trends continue, versus what is observed today. I would prefer to see more effort expended on current environmental problems, many of which require multi-state and non-governmental solutions. If I were emperor of the world, we’d be working more on adaptation than on mitigation. But many of the current environmental problems that will lead to greater human misery will be exacerbated by temperature increases. And those problems are inextricably linked to climate change: land use patterns are a factor in global temperatures and in carbon emissions, and vice versa.

    iv) I work in IT and have been involved in computer modelling and I of course know that models will produce outcomes based upon the informaion entered. I believe, although I don’t know this, that none of the modelling that has been around for any length of time has acually been close to predicting what has actually happened over the last 10 to 15 years in global temperatures. As discussed elsewhere, Phil Jones recently said something to the effect that there hasn’t been any statistically significant warming since 1995 (or was it 1998?).

    Others here can answer this better, but my impression is that the temperature trends over the last 10 – 15 years are within the range of possible model outcomes, though trending toward the low end. As variables get better understood, the models are adjusted and their predictive abilities increase. It will be useful to see more regional and decadal applications of the models, as those will help policy-makers develop adaptation strategies.

    Comment by Don Shor — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  723. Don, sorry if this comes out condescending, but that was a better statement than I expected of you.

    I disagree with several things there but they are merely disagreements.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:48 PM

  724. > 680, 685, 721

    You absolutely sure you knew that word even before Pratchett made it up?
    You may have a documented case of anticipatory neologism.

    Google’s dictionary search tool will tell you what the rest of the world thinks. Consensus reality can sometimes be a useful reference.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Averdanity

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:54 PM

  725. I’d say that most people are profoundly ignorant and are most likely to remain so until the earth has been transformed into a tortilla chip.

    Comment by Susan — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:56 PM

  726. Charlie Chutney wrote: “… I am a sceptic.”

    That’s funny because there is not a single word in your entire comment that suggests you are the least bit skeptical.

    Rather, you seem ready and willing to embrace and believe in any pseudoscience or sophistry that comforts your self-described “inbuilt reactionery” bias. That’s not a foundation for “skepticism” — it’s a foundation for gullibility. The kind of gullibility that is easy prey for deliberate deceit.

    A person who says as frequently as you do in your comment, “I feel that such and such is true” to precede assertions about climate science that a relatively effortless and quick investigation would show to be simply and plainly false, may be many things, but a “skeptic” is not one of them.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  727. I know this won’t get published and that is not my intention.
    I’m quite sure that you hear this several times per day but I still have to throw my penny’s worth in.
    Muzzle CFU! He may be right but he is also a complete ass and is doing the board more harm than good.
    The science challenged among us do not need to be derided and ridiculed at every step of our attempt to understand and learn.
    Do yourself a favor and either tone him down or completely block his ability to respond.

    Wes Van Bramer

    Comment by Wes — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  728. @727 Wes, I confess I usually skip over CFU’s comments. I know that sometimes he or she has useful information buried in there, but the way it’s expressed is too offputting, and I’m not sure it’s always that reliable in any case.

    Toning down would be a good option, thinking (and checking) before posting would be another good option. Resisting the impulse to respond to every post would be another good option.

    Just my view.

    Comment by Sou — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  729. “725
    Susan says:
    22 February 2010 at 2:56 PM

    I’d say that most people are profoundly ignorant ”

    I have no problem with that. There’s SO MUCH to know.

    But I would call Charlie a great example of “proudly ignorant”. Ros the same.

    PROUD of the ignorance, and unwilling to change it.

    This would be depressing if this were all, but it isn’t.

    They’re not worried about telling people what they don’t know about.

    Look, if you don’t know, or don’t want to know, keep out of the discussion.

    You’re pissing in the pool. What’s worse, you’re saying you HAVE to be allowed to.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  730. PS Hank, TP didn’t make it up.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:23 PM

  731. “You may have a documented case of anticipatory neologism.”

    If so (I doubt you, Hank), this wouldn’t be the first time.

    1) Beat Boxing. 1982. UK. Wales. School. Me. Beat Boxing. NEVER heard of it as that, this was something I made up

    2) Adaptive binned audio compression. 1991. UK. University. Someone asked how I’d do that. Some years later, Sony ATRAC recording uses that same method

    But verdanity is a word from before TP wrote it.

    Unless he wrote about it in the early 80′s.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  732. CFU (729)
    More and more about less and less

    Comment by John Peter — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  733. CFU (729)
    Or less and less about more and more

    Your choice

    Comment by John Peter — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  734. Ray, re #653, 395/295 = 1.34, not 1.03. So the ln should be 0.32, not 0.033. Or am I missing the whole thing?

    Comment by Rod B — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  735. Ray, re your reply to Charlie Chutney in #712: this is just pro forma to keep it on the table. While your choice of words is probably correct, viz a sensitivity of 3 degrees per doubling is favored, “favored” is indicative but not substantial evidence. My position is and has been that the sensitivity at higher concentration values is as much conjecture as evidentiary.

    Comment by Rod B — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:30 PM

  736. 718, Completely Fed Up: And?

    The summary contains some bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion.

    It might be worthwhile for some AGW promoters to rewrite it to adhere more closely to the science in the other 3 parts.

    About projections, I’ll leave them to your imagination. Some day you might want to investigate the evidence for them.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  737. 708, Ray Ladbury: Rod, exactly whare did I slip a decimal in #653?

    I think I fixed this in my 711: ln(395/295) = 1.34.

    Check and see if I am right. Thanks.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  738. “The summary contains some bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion. ”

    Which are..?

    Now compare with your #668 post?

    Or The Daily Mail (http://deepclimate.org/2010/01/11/mojib-latif-slams-daily-mail/) ?

    PS don’t include the already worn out Himalaya one, m’kay.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  739. @ 727 & 728

    I don’t agree. CFU is simply calling a spade a spade. The most blatantly ignorant deniers and trolls should be kept on a short leash. What good can possibly come from letting them repeat the same old tired nonsense over and over and over? There are other arenas for that… So IMO, keep it up CFU, though try to be as civil as possible.

    Comment by Stefan N — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:50 PM

  740. It’s hard for me to keep civil. I expect more from people. If they’re interested enough to complain about AGW science, why are they uninterested in understanding it? I *know* they can think clearer than is evidenced by their postings. They’d just rather not. In case they can’t complain about AGW science.

    And the “noob” postings are far too often now people who later turn out to be here to deny AGW and one new poster recently left thanking the RC team and the posters here trying to educate them (the carrot) for giving them lots of data that can be viewed in multiple ways.

    “Multiple ways”. Quote.

    Strange phraseology.

    It’s not good of me to wallop so freely, but then again, those complaining never complain on WUWT or on timesonline blogs about abuse there “ruining their argument”. I cannot therefore take it as real criticism since it’s applied with fear and favour. Such criticism should be equally applicable.

    When someone comes along with a question that doesn’t seem to be in the Start Here list, if I know the answer and nobody else has done so yet, I will answer the question straight.

    But these events are often forgotten, because sarcasm at the idiocy of others is more attention-worthy.

    And it’s both why I use it and why denialists hate it.

    You’re ALLOWED not to know the science. That’s PERFECTLY fine.

    Work on how it could be countered then, what mitigations are politically valid. Etc.

    Or learn the science. “Start Here” has a few links. Heck, read the IPCC reports (so many complaints about how they don’t have anything other than CO2 there, where if they HAD read it, they’d know that was not true. They’re just parroting).

    But don’t expect to have some marvelous new insight that tears it all down. Ain’t gonna happen.

    But when someone DOES come along to frighten you with either “we’ll be put in the stone age!” or “we will be fried to a crisp!” you’ll then know both are hyperbole.

    And if politicians try to subvert the climate mitigation for pork barrels for their friends you’ll know enough to spot the most egregious examples. Likewise when a politician over-eggs the uncertainties, you’ll likewise know when he’s pulling something.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:28 PM

  741. Excellent and reasonable question posted at comment 669 by benG. Pity about the poor response.

    Comment by Jimmy Cranium — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:52 PM

  742. CFU: >>>”Do you tell your mum she’s won an Erlich award?”

    No, no, no, good grief, no. Our mums never come close to real apocalyptic or doomsayer predictions. You have to doom much bigger than one child, hundreds of millions at least, and it has to be inevitable or very nearly so to approach Ehrlich’s highest doom or the “Complete collapse of global agriculture in no more than 40 years.”

    Comment by J — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  743. benG (669) — If there were but at most a handful of humans, then the globe would continue to slowly cool, on average, towards the next attempt at a stade about 20,000 years from now. There still would be various decadal and centennenial minor ups and downs in one region or another. Please do read, in this regard, climatologist W.F. Ruddiman’s popular “Plows, Plagues and Petroleum”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:16 PM

  744. (741)Jimmy Cranium says,
    “Excellent and reasonable question posted at comment 669 by benG. Pity about the poor response.”

    It was answered in the inline response by Gavin: “The best estimates (second panel) that we have made indicate that, yes, the last half of the 20th Century would have cooled in the absence of human factors”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/fig-9-5.jpg

    Comment by RobM — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:18 PM

  745. Rod B. @735–yes, I made a typo. SM is correct–it was 305 rather than 395.

    WRT the definition of “favored”–I mean the most probable value. The remarkable thing is that ALL the different lines of evidence favor (roughly) this same value.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:19 PM

  746. CFU, would you be opposed to maybe reserving the venomous strikes for those who deserve it–e.g. trolls, those who raise unsubstantiated allegations of fraud against working scientists or those who REPEATEDLY raise long-since slain zombie arguments.

    I find most others can be helped at least somewhat.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  747. 741 Jimmy Cranium said, “Excellent and reasonable question posted at comment 669 by benG. Pity about the poor response.”

    The response that it is likely, but not certain that it would have cooled seems like a reasonable response. Please explain your comment, or (and I can’t resist this) are you just a talking head?

    Comment by RichardC — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:32 PM

  748. >Jimmy Cranium
    > pity

    Look again. Responses often come after some time passes and are posted inline, as was done there. What more could anyone say to that kind of question? Think of any comparable situation and ask how better it could be answered without being able to mount a scratch planet and rerun the experiment?
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2806#comment-161913

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:34 PM

  749. Rod B. @735–yes, I made a typo. SM is correct–it was 305 rather than 395.

    (Ray Ladbury, card-carrying member of the IPCC WG2-led worldwide conspiracy to grind humanity under the iron boots of soclalist-warmist-alarmist-ism)

    CFU, would you be opposed to maybe reserving the venomous strikes for those who deserve it–e.g. trolls, those who raise unsubstantiated allegations of fraud against working scientists or those who REPEATEDLY raise long-since slain zombie arguments.

    I find most others can be helped at least somewhat.

    I second this. It’s also a pity about the friendly-fire casualties, CFU. I no longer read your posts, the tone is tiresome.

    Comment by dhogaza — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:08 PM

  750. Tiresome, I know. But Canadian columnist Lorne Gunter has just upped the stakes in the anti-science WhateverGate libel contest.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/22/lorne-gunter-again-and-again/


    The headline and deck from Lorne Gunter’s op-ed piece in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal say it all.

    Climate alarmists feeling more heat
    But discredited data-fudgers have too much at stake to give up now

    Once again, columnist Lorne Gunter, Canada’s answer to George Will, has launched an outrageous, libelous attack on climate science and climate scientists. And, once again, his diatribe is remarkably free of any actual facts, and contains several clearly erroneous assertions and accusations. Gunter does manage to maintain balance in one way, however; he gets off a number of whoppers about each of the two most cited global temperature repositories, the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia (CRU), and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA.

    The only surprise is that this tripe has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, rather than Gunter’s usual haven in the anti-science newspaper of record, the National Post.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:29 PM

  751. CFU @ 719:

    You had to work pretty hard to completely reverse what I wrote.

    I think I’m going to follow the rest of the crowd here and just ignore you.

    And just so I’m clear, my POINT was very simple –

    1). Daniel Denialist says “Global Cooling!”
    2). Daniel Denialist is immediately dismissed by Climate Scientists as a crackpot.
    3). Fran Fanatic says “Record hurricanes next week!”
    4). Fifteen people are motivated to action because they hate hurricanes.
    5). Silence from Climate Scientists.
    6). No record hurricanes next week.
    7). Daniel Denialist says “See, they are wrong! Wrong I tell you!”
    8). Thirty seven more people become denialists.
    9). Climate Scientists shake their heads.
    10). False predictions of 187 hurricanes next week are held up as “Bad Climate Science”.
    11). Climate Scientists finally get around to saying “But Fran is a fanatic, not a Climate Scientist!”
    12). FCH says “And why didn’t you brand Fran a fanatic as quickly as you branded Dan a denialist?”
    13). CFU twists FCH’s words out of whack.
    14). FCH writes one act play “Dan and Fran due Global Warming”
    15). Fin.

    (Names and numbers change to protect the guilty =and= the innocent.)

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 PM

  752. 744 RobM, 747 RichardC & 748 Hank Roberts (could it be the three Amigos or should I say amoebae, the parallel programmers)

    What if I showed you some graphs with no details or explanation(s) attached. How anyone can say that it is a REASONABLE response is beyond me.

    The response states, “…we don’t get to run the 20th Century over again…”, which baffles me as I thought you guys based quite a lot of your evidence on computer modelling and therefore should be able to reconstruct the 20th century quite easily.

    [Response: Deliberate obtuseness is not cute, it's just juvenile. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimmy Cranium — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:24 PM

  753. David B (743) I did follow up on Gavin’s response but really I am still none the wiser. Looking at the charts that Gavin alluded to is puzzling. On the (b) curve the temp is slowly trending up and then in 1960 we have a turn. Why?? What would happen to make the temp change like that? You would expect over the short time frame for the trend to more or less follow the previous 50 yrs or so, but it does not. It is almost too convenient that the 2 curves deviate from each other at that period in time.

    [Response: Huh? Why is it 'too convenient'? Convenient for who? As for the overall structure, it's determined by the changes in solar and volcanic effects - the natural forcings - and they peaked in the late 50s. That's just the way it was. - gavin]

    Comment by benG — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:34 PM

  754. 738, Completely Fed Up: Which are..?

    I take back what I said. Overall, it’s well written. I think that table 2.5 only shows the limitations of models that were tried, but that would be a slightly different claim from “bad reporting, etc.” I see that they used the word “adaptation” where I used the word “mitigation” (meaning actions to reduce the impact), and they used “mitigation” where I used phrases like “reductions in CO2 emissions. That’s a point that you, or someone, raised before.

    Wasn’t this assertion just disconfirmed?

    Warming reduces terrestrial and ocean uptake of atmospheric
    CO2, increasing the fraction of anthropogenic emissions remaining
    in the atmosphere. This positive carbon cycle feedback leads to
    larger atmospheric CO2 increases and greater climate change for
    given emissions scenario, but the strength of this feedback effect
    varies markedly among models. {WGI 7.3, TS.5.4, SPM; WGII 4.4}

    The authors don’t seem to have considered that if surface temperatures stabilize, then the long-term transfer of heat to the deep oceans will have a cooling effect at the surface. That’s a small oversight, and negligible if GHG concentrations are not stabilized.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:27 PM

  755. Ray (745) says, “The remarkable thing is that ALL the different lines of evidence favor (roughly) this same value.”

    I would say it is interesting, but hardly remarkable.

    Comment by Rod B — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:45 PM

  756. 720, Completely Fed Up: This is not an economic recession, however.
    &
    So they aren’t natural.
    &
    Humans create them.

    I thought that I might try this one more time. The analogy between selection in the market and selection in nature was made by Darwin. One of the mechanisms that they have in common is the quick reward for rapid expansion in good times, with slow negative feedback mechanisms. That humans have cognitive abilities (to exploit opportunities) and limits (so they can’t tell exactly when a previously winning strategy will fail) whereas squirrels just have more offspring than can survive (except in rare occasions, when squirrels experience rapid population growth), does not make the former unnatural. It just makes for easier criticism post hoc. Most people who can see clearly where Enron went wrong (to pick an old example), could not have seen clearly how to build it up in the first place — the most costly errors are made by the most successful people. We have market panics and recessions when a bunch of them make mistakes at the same time, which is roughly a Poisson process in the market; it’s perfectly natural.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:35 PM

  757. @740 CFU
    I think it’s clear what you’re trying to achieve and I fully understand and agree with your points. That’s why I, as a lurker on RC, value your posts in general and when dealing with obvious trolls and denialists.

    However, I think it’s important that RC, being a highly important scientific resource and outlet, distances and differentiates itself from the average denialist websites. For these reasons I also think it’s important that all parties on the scientific side of the debate use a more nuanced range of tones so to speak. =)

    All the best

    Comment by Stefan N — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:37 PM

  758. > graphs with no details or explanations

    Wups. Gavin, let’s assume this visitor is younger than we all thought (if not the next visitor along may be). I thought of that when I looked at the two images you pointed him to and wondered if he’d be able to find the captions himself and figure out what they showed from what was given; now I wish I’d followed up the other people’s posts to help him out finding the caption.

    It’s always hard to guess how much help someone needs, and we get a _lot_ more people in here pretending to be uneducated than we get young folks who actually need a little extra help figuring out how to find stuff like this.

    So — here’s how:

    That picture from the AR4 WG1 is explained at the site it came from.

    You’d have had to work back from the image link to find the associated text by going to the top level of the IPCC site and looking for it.

    But you can do that; go to the IPCC home page and find the text associated with that figure; the figures have a numbering system that matches the chapters. Can you find that on your own? If not do ask. We don’t mean to be terrible old cranky ogres here chewing up children and picking our teeth with their bones. It just seems like that sometimes.

    Well, maybe some of us are ogres. But we pretend to be nicer, just to stay in practice, you know.

    As to the picture with two charts that Gavin pointed you to — basically that shows you two pictures — the black line is the same in both, it’s the actual temperatures observed. The orange fuzz in the upper picture is multiple runs of the model including human influence — those taken as a group pretty much match what was observed so far. The blue fuzz in the lower pictuer is multiple runs of the model done without the factors humans add — those taken as a group did not match the observed temperature increase.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:54 PM

  759. Hm, just to nail this down lest the thread be lost –
    original question from BenG, way back in #669, answered by Gavin, and commented on by Cranium and several of us; Gavin replied:

    “[... The best estimates (second panel) that we have made indicate that, yes, the last half of the 20th Century would have cooled in the absence of human factors. - gavin]”

    The link goes to this:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/fig-9-5.jpg

    Backing up the directory tree gets us to
    http://www.ipcc.ch

    From there, go down the tree in the outline to Chapter 9, Figure 5. How? Well there’s a search box at the top.

    I try “fig-9-5″ and that fails, but gives a clue, so I next try “fig9-5″ and that fails too, so I cheat, since I know it’s from WG1 (you’d have had to ask, probably) and I try searching for “WG1 9-5″ and that gets me among many other results this, which I recognize is what I was looking for.

    Hell, we did leave you a rather scavenger-hunt problem there with that pointer.

    I’m sorry. I should have done better with my first answer.

    ANYhow, this is where that is explained:

    AR4 WGI Chapter 9: Understanding and Attributing Climate Change …
    Figure 9.5. Comparison between global mean surface temperature anomalies (°C) from observations (black) and AOGCM simulations forced with (a) both …

    The link there is:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-5.html

    Okay, and if you click that you will see the full explanation.

    I’m sorry. This should not be made any harder than it already is for new folks, and this was way too hard for anyone who hasn’t gone over the material even once before.

    This is the page with the picture and the caption:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-5.html

    This is the picture:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/figure-9-5-l.png
    This is the caption:
    Figure 9.5. Comparison between global mean surface temperature anomalies (°C) from observations (black) and AOGCM simulations forced with (a) both anthropogenic and natural forcings and (b) natural forcings only. All data are shown as global mean temperature anomalies relative to the period 1901 to 1950, as observed (black, Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit gridded surface temperature data set (HadCRUT3); Brohan et al., 2006) and, in (a) as obtained from 58 simulations produced by 14 models with both anthropogenic and natural forcings. The multi-model ensemble mean is shown as a thick red curve and individual simulations are shown as thin yellow curves. Vertical grey lines indicate the timing of major volcanic events. Those simulations that ended before 2005 were extended to 2005 by using the first few years of the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) A1B scenario simulations that continued from the respective 20th-century simulations, where available. The simulated global mean temperature anomalies in (b) are from 19 simulations produced by five models with natural forcings only. The multi-model ensemble mean is shown as a thick blue curve and individual simulations are shown as thin blue curves. Simulations are selected that do not exhibit excessive drift in their control simulations (no more than 0.2°C per century). Each simulation was sampled so that coverage corresponds to that of the observations. Further details of the models included and the methodology for producing this figure are given in the Supplementary Material, Appendix 9.C. After Stott et al. (2006b).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:12 AM

  760. DeepClimate – Not suprising since the Edmonton Journal is part and parcel of the National Post media conglomerate, CanWest Global

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:47 AM

  761. That humans have cognitive abilities (to exploit opportunities) and limits (so they can’t tell exactly when a previously winning strategy will fail)

    Have you thought about how this might relate to your skepticism regarding atmospheric physics, etc?

    BTW, you’re perhaps the most thoughtful skeptic to ever post here. To the point that this snippet is more or less a shot in the foot :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:48 AM

  762. Ref comments from various assorted above including, but not limited to, CFU, Ray Ladbury & Jim Galasyn.

    Firstly, whilst RealClimate exists to discuss the science of climate change, this particular thread was entitled “Whatevergate” which is why I thought I would write.

    Secondly, I have read books (written by both camps) and I do follow the blogs on both sides. But, as declared, I am not a scientist and therefore you can dismiss my views as irrelevant if you wish.

    Just a thought for you though. There are incredibly wise, qualified, well read, incredibly intelligent people that have reached the top of their chosen professions – and they are completely, utterly, totally wrong on, perhaps, the very biggest issue that is relevant to us all. There is no God.

    On this site there will be contributors that inevitably hold a whole range of views from devout religiousness through to being agnostic and on to atheism. At the extremes (believers and atheists) there are 2 sets of people faced with the very same education and evidence and end up with 2 very different, totally contradictory, conclusions.

    To suggest to an atheist that he is unqualified to hold an opinion on the existance of God because he doesn’t have a theology degree is just plain silly. As it happens, I am happy to declare my atheism and, as I understand it, this means that many people on this site believe that I am destined to exist in hell and damnation for eternity.

    How do I know that there is no God? I just do. Why don’t I believe the evidence i.e. the books written by the experts who gave first (maybe not) hand witness of who said what to whom and when, that water was turned into wine, that 5000 people were fed with a couple of loaves and a few fish? I just don’t.

    If CFU and Ray Ladbury are suggesting that all of the learned literature written on GW only points to one possible, undeniable conclusion then, I am sorry, you are wrong.

    Go and have a look at WUWT and Climate Audit. As far as I can make out, these sites are created by “normal” people that in many cases, raise reasonable doubts and issues with respect to the settled science. There may be commenters that contribute to their sites that have dubious agendas (big oil type agendas) but I don’t think that there is any evidence that the site authors are anything but people that have serious and genuine doubts about what is purported to be settled science.

    As an example, there were comments above that I should look at the various temperature data sets to check the validity of the Hockey Stick. A quick visit to WUWT for example will point to lots of posts and comments show why, in their view, the temperature sets maybe wrong.

    As I read elsewhere on this site, I do not need to be a scientist to know (beyond reasonable doubt)that the planet has been warmer (and cooler) than it is today. By this I mean that the highly qualified and learned archeologists have convinced me that there is overwhelming evidence of a significant MWP. The Hockey Stick therefore cannot be correct. If Michael Mann has missed the MWP, what else has he got wrong?

    With respect to Al Gore and Pachauri, as I understand it, neither of these individuals have the academic qualifications to justify their perceived leadership of the pro AGW argument. Understandably, neither of these 2 individuals are confident enough in their subject to debate it openly with peple that might wish to question their science or their views. And yet, when I declare my lack of qualificatons, I am ridiculed by some.

    In summary, I thank you for not giving me too much of a mauling (other than CFUs somewhat typical “you don’t agree with me therefore you are an idiot” approach.

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 AM

  763. Septic Matthew #754,

    > Wasn’t this assertion just disconfirmed?
    [i. e. AR4 Synthesis Report sec. 2.3, paragraph on warming reducing terrestrial/ocean CO2 uptake]

    No, not disconfirmed. The SYR states what the models say about a positive carbon-cycle feedback increasing the airborne fraction of CO2 and enhancing global warming for a given emissions scenario.

    It does not claim (despite the use of present tense) that there has already been a significant observable rise in airborne fraction. If you read it as doing so, you might have thought it disconfirmed by a recent study (Knorr 2009) which found the airborne fraction of CO2 has remained fairly constant since 1850. (There’s some helpful discussion of this paper, and others with different results, here and at <a href="http://www.skepticalscience.com/Is-the-airborne-fraction-of-anthropogenic-CO2-emissions-increasing.html"Skepticalscience).

    Fig. 7.13 in AR4 shows that most of the coupled climate-carbon cycle models did not expect the airborne fraction to go (much) outside historical bounds by 2000 anyway.

    Just a couple of weeks ago there was another post here discussing a ‘macro’ empirical assessment of carbon-cycle feedback based on data for the past thousand years:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/good-news-for-the-earths-climate-system/

    This help?

    Comment by CM — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  764. FCH@751, I think your characterization is unfair. The moderators of this blog have been quite consistent in pointing out irresponsible predictions on either side–it’s just that there is a whole lot more on the denialist side. The fact of the matter is that we simply cannot preclude many of the more extreme scenarios. We can preclude with very high confidence that the globe is cooling

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:01 AM

  765. “If it were not known for a fact that greenhouse gases had increased during the past century, it woud still have been possible to blame any climate change on long-term solar variability. After all, there really are no definitive measurements of potential solar luminosity changes earlier then several decades ago. But there is a a clear record of documented GHG increases, and the radiative consequences of these GHG changes (together with some inferred aerosol changes) fully account for the observed trends of global temperature increase.”

    This was an expert reviewer comment by Andrew Lacis. It is a fair indication that we really don’t know what the long term impacts of solar changes besides those associated with just the solar cycle itself are. I assume he is indicating those sorts of changes which we may or may not be observing as indicated in the study by Richard Willson: “Total Solar Irradiance Trend During Solar Cycles 21 and 22
    Richard C. Willson

    Results from Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM) experiments show an upward trend in total solar irradiance of 0.036 percent per decade between the minima of solar cycles 21 and 22. The trend follows the increasing solar activity of recent decades and, if sustained, could raise global temperatures. Trends of total solar irradiance near this rate have been implicated as causal factors in climate change on century to millennial time scales.”
    Then one would have to take into account the long term climate sensitivity of earlier forcings and a lag time of several decades from heat in the pipeline if you wish to argue these features of global warming. It is quite unclear what warmth is coming from where. I would have to say that it is possible that natural forcings may or may not have contributed to warming after 1950 depending upon who is correct on several different issues.

    Comment by stevenc — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:01 AM

  766. SM : “I thought that I might try this one more time. The analogy between selection in the market and selection in nature was made by Darwin.”

    Proof please.

    And remember, we’re supposed to be humans with a nearly unique ability to project possible futures because our brains are so huge.

    A fox doesn’t know if the chicken population can survive more fox predation, it’s just hungry.

    But neither does the fox go out to eat all the hens so that no other fox can get a meal.

    So either we’re not using our brains, or we are and some people are deliberately taking actions that kill the ecosystem they are working in.

    Given the selling of Toxic Assets and then the betting on these toxic assets that they made up and sold on being, unsurprisingly enough, toxic and a bad buy, I can quite see that this is human ingenuity at work, DELIBERATELY killing the market because the consequences for the ones doing it are nonexistent.

    Therefore not a natural phenomenon.

    Unless humans are naturally and irredeemably destructive.

    Is that your thesis?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:21 AM

  767. Rod B “I would say it is interesting, but hardly remarkable.”

    Well you would deny it, wouldn’t you?

    Take a simple calculation of the values that COULD be found. We have all the way down to 0.1.

    if that indicates some sort of quanta for CO2 sensitivity, then the chances of the sensitivity of one study being in any one value is 1/10x the sensitivity.

    There are 45 quanta and 15 are occupied by the sensitivity range. 5 would be somewhat indistinguishable from each other.

    So the chance of any one wrong answer getting a value the same as another is 1/9.

    The chance of 12 getting the same answer is 1 in 3.6×10^12.

    The chance of getting the same broad range with the peak within the range of the one model run is 1/3. The chance of 12 of them happening: 1 in 2 million.

    The number that get the 0.1 that some have posited as the real value?

    Nil.

    Not one.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:28 AM

  768. 754: OK, so you agree you jumped to an erroneous conclusion.

    Do please try a lot more carefully in future. You post assertions with such apparent certitude.

    As to your quote, it isn’t wrong.

    I’ll read the rest of it, but the CO2 absorbed by the out-of-equilibrium sea will return with interest when equilibrium is attained.

    The warmer the air, the warmer the sea, the less CO2 it can hold and so it releases CO2.

    This IS a positive feedback.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 AM

  769. benG, yes, when someone is telling the truth, evidence DOES seem to suggest they are telling the truth.

    This is an inevitable consequence.

    This is not serendipity.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:33 AM

  770. “And just so I’m clear, my POINT was very simple –”

    So simple it didn’t finish in 15 steps.

    Yeah.

    Now, how about, say:

    1) Cold winds cause snow in the UK and south US.
    2) Dennis Denialist yells gleefully “See! No such thing as Global Warming”
    3) Media hype this up
    4) FYI, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDTUuckNHgc

    or,

    1) Dennis Denialisy yells gelefully “It used to be the consensus that we were heading for an ice age in the 70′s”
    2) Media hype this up
    3) FYI, watch http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/u/3/XB3S0fnOr0M

    or

    1) Dennis Denialist Publishing make up statements by a scientist
    2) FYI, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khikoh3sJg8

    or

    1) We have a record 1998
    2) Dennis Denialist says that this is just weather and using this as proof of warming is wrong
    3) 8 years later, it’s still a record in some reconstructions
    4) Dennis Denialist says that it has been cooling since 1998
    5) Media hype it up

    or

    1) Emails are hacked, edited highlights produced and seeded
    2) Media pundits state they have read all 1.5GB of email data and it’s proof of AGW falsity and malpractice
    3) In a week
    4) Media ignore the emails and just quote the quotes of the filtered emails along with the pundit interpretation

    or much, much more.

    PS look at the IPCC members when asked about whether, for example, the NO flooding was due to global warming, and you’ll hear every one of them saying “no, this is weather, though this sort of event will get more common under AGW”.

    The media are guilty of ignoring that and continuing to ask until they find a scientist willing to say “yes”, because that gives them a headline.

    But you hardly ever hear the other scientists asked.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:44 AM

  771. CC: In summary, I “feel” that
    i) that the Hockey stick is just plain wrong

    BPL: On the basis of any evidence? Or you just “feel” it’s wrong? The National Academy of Sciences seems to disagree with you:

    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309102251

    CC: ii) that the temeprature records appear too subjective (i.e. they are created using proxies that are, at best, “indicators” rather than accurate records) and that there appears to be a whole lot of adjustments and homoginisation of other record sets.

    BPL: The ones for the last 160 years are direct measurements, and adjustments are needed to compensate for things like the urban heat island effect and taking readings at different times of day.

    CC: iii) The raw data doesn’t seem to show much happening other than a gradual warming where nothing exceptional seems to be happening – it “feels” like it is only adjusted data that shows scary outcomes.

    BPL: What part of “complete collapse of human agriculture within 40 years” did you not understand?

    CC: iv) I work in IT and have been involved in computer modelling and I of course know that models will produce outcomes based upon the informaion entered. I believe, although I don’t know this, that none of the modelling that has been around for any length of time has acually been close to predicting what has actually happened over the last 10 to 15 years in global temperatures. As discussed elsewhere, Phil Jones recently said something to the effect that there hasn’t been any statistically significant warming since 1995 (or was it 1998?).

    BPL: True, because you need at least 30 years to show a climate trend–not 15. Read:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/30Years.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:44 AM

  772. “It is quite unclear what warmth is coming from where. I would have to say that it is possible that natural forcings may or may not have contributed to warming after 1950 depending upon who is correct on several different issues.”

    May I introduce you to a helpful implement:

    Occam’s Razor.

    You have a lot of “IF”‘s there. Each one reduces the possibility of being correct.

    And none of them make CO2 benign. In fact, since the power of CO2 is roughly proportional to the solar output under equilibrium, this would make AGW a WORSE event. Maybe going back to 280ppm is even more necessary.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:49 AM

  773. “working scientists or those who REPEATEDLY raise long-since slain zombie arguments.”

    But all that is then needed is a procession of 10,000 sockpuppets to raise the long-since slain zombie arguments.

    No, when someone turns up and says “T Rex lived as a vegetarian in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve”, they are raising a zombie argument and they don’t have to say it twice to show their idiocy.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:57 AM

  774. “No, no, no, good grief, no. Our mums never come close to real apocalyptic or doomsayer predictions. ”

    “You’ll have someone’s eye out with that”

    ?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 AM

  775. “746
    Ray Ladbury says:
    22 February 2010 at 7:23 PM

    CFU, would you be opposed to maybe reserving the venomous strikes for those who deserve it”

    Ray, would this be a definition of irony?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/daily-mangle/comment-page-8/#comment-162240

    :-P

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:18 AM

  776. CC (762): Go and have a look at WUWT and Climate Audit. As far as I can make out, these sites are created by “normal” people that in many cases, raise reasonable doubts and issues with respect to the settled science.

    BPL: You are not competent to say that the doubts they raise are “reasonable.” You haven’t studied the relevant science. You haven’t even taken one introductory statistics course (if you had, you’d see some of the grossly obvious mistakes Watts keeps making).

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:30 AM

  777. @762Charlie Chutney,
    You make a number of valid statements, yet you are being attacked.
    My reaction to this site was similar, but I´m not a sceptic, I believe in climate change and advocate “green policy”. Í think that:
    1) “Believers” here are frustrated by continous sceptical attacks, thas is why they often react so frustrerad.
    2) They are physisal scientists and tend to see everything that is outside the discipline as irrelevant or self-evident. This is clearly the case in the reaction to your first comment. The minds of laypeople are simply irrelevant to physics. Fine. But the problem is, this site is also about the media and communication with lay-people. Therefore it is a problem. Moreover, the narrow framing of climate change by the physical science create a kind of gridlock for sound climate policy. The sceptical debate only function as to increase this gridlock. But this is irrelevant for physicists (we had this discussion before, they are simply not interested in effective communication with media and laypeople). They only want to get the basic physics right (but then again, they advocate policy and hold green believs, but it is outside their professional frames and identity).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  778. Charlie Chutney@762,
    OK, so as nearly as I can tell, you agree that your dismissal of anthropogenic climate change is not evidence based. “I just don’t believe it,” is not a scientific argument.

    You say, “By this I mean that the highly qualified and learned archeologists have convinced me that there is overwhelming evidence of a significant MWP.”

    Whoa! Would you like some onions and mustard to go with all that red herring? The existence of a Medieval Warm Period in Europe and parts of N. America is not disputed. The question is whether it was GLOBAL. If you look at the evidence, there is simply no indication of a contemporaneous global period of warming in the period in question. That is the evidence, and it has nothing to do with Mike Mann.

    I also wonder why you choose to listen to nonscientists for your info–be they Pachauri, Gore, McIntyre or Watts. McIntyre and Watts have but a single peer-reviewed publication between them. And what passes for “science” on Watts’ site is risible (or do you believe that the snow in Antartica is frozen CO2?). If you are getting your science from such sources, no wonder you are confused. Just curious: What do you have against getting your information from the experts–you know the guys who actually publish peer-reviewed papers on climate?

    There’s an old saying, Charlie: You’re entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts. It’s clear you’ve gotten around this by simply refusing to look at the facts.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  779. stevenc #765, re: solar irradiance trend in recent solar cycles,

    see: http://www.skepticalscience.com/acrim-pmod-sun-getting-hotter.htm

    Comment by CM — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:44 AM

  780. “You have a lot of “IF”’s there. Each one reduces the possibility of being correct”

    Finally we agree on something.

    Comment by stevenc — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:03 AM

  781. Ray Ladbury says:

    “Whoa! Would you like some onions and mustard to go with all that red herring? The existence of a Medieval Warm Period in Europe and parts of N. America is not disputed. The question is whether it was GLOBAL.”

    So the MWP could be of less significance because it could be local phenomenon?. Let me then pursue the following line of questioning:

    What is the geographical distribution of tree ring data – is that truly global in its coverage. And what is the equivalent of a tree ring in oceans that cover 72% of the surface?. How reasonable it is to use tree rings obtained from a fraction of the solid surface (which itself covers only 28% of the earth’s surface) as global representative of climate?

    [Response: People are using a wide variety of data - cave records, corals, ocean sediments etc. precisely for those reasons. Look at Mann et al 2009 for more details. - gavin]

    Comment by medieval warmer — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:13 AM

  782. 777: Andreas saves time by building up two strawmen in one post.

    Well we WERE looking for efficiency gains.

    The only faith I have is in the humans. But people like you and Watts and so on up the chain of command keep interfering with them.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:14 AM

  783. Re 776 BPL “You are not competent to say that the doubts they raise are “reasonable.” You haven’t studied the relevant science.”

    Well thank you for that! You display contemptable arrogance and absolutely no class.

    I do need to have to have a degree to determine what I think is reasonable. What I think is what I think and I don’t need yours, or anyone else’s permission to think it (unless I end up living in world of totalitarianism with someone like you in charge).

    Most people on this site clearly disagree with my logic and assumptions but manage to be civil when communicating with a complete stranger. You on the other hand are there in the CFU camp. You think that you will pursuade – by insulting people. Its the old “empty vessel make the most noise” thing.

    I note that you had nothing to say with respect to the religion analogy.

    [Response: 'Religion' analogies are OT. They provide no insight whatsoever except into the prejudices of the people making the arguments. Please stick to the science. It is legitimate for you to think whatever you like, but so is asking you what the basis of that thinking is, and why you think that your reasons for thinking something trump the scientific literature. - gavin]

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  784. CM, that pretty much confirm what I was saying “To put things into perspective, the ACRIM vs PMOD debate is essentially arguing over whether the sun is showing a slight upwards trend or a slight downwards trend or if there’s even a trend at all.” The fact that there was a break down between temperature and TSI in the 70s is important but we don’t know how important if we don’t know how much heat was already in the pipeline and not yet realised from ocean lag, and we are unclear on how much warming is due to long term climate sensitivity from earlier forcings. Don’t get me wrong. I am not arguing that CO2 does not contribute to the warming and it is all solar. I am arguing there are fairly important uncertainties to be resolved.

    Comment by stevenc — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:33 AM

  785. reference 778 Ray Ladbury

    I am on very dangerous ground here given my background but hey, in for a penny in for a pound and all that.

    You appear to be suggesting that the MWP is accepted for USA and Northern Europe. I did not know this.

    Given that MM’s Hockey Stick is a global graph that looks pretty straight for the relevant period then, logically, the southern hemisphere must have had a mini ice age at the same time to produce the straight line? Is there evidence for that?

    If you are saying that the UK and the USA have been warmer in the past, and today’s temperatures are not
    unprecedented, and the last decade was not the warmest ever – then you have my attention.

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:34 AM

  786. 777 Andreas Bjurström says: “physicists (…) are simply not interested in effective communication with media and laypeople.

    Wrong. Physicists are not uninterested in this. The difficulty is that there is an enormous amount of pure nonsense making the rounds and physicists are not particularly good at dealing with it. Moreover there is a fundamental asymmetry in the “debate.” It is far easier to spout pure nonsense than it is to explain why a particular piece of nonsense is nonsensical. It takes 1 second and no knowledge at all to speak the words “The hockey stick is wrong.” It takes far longer to explain that multiple groups have done reconstructions using various proxies and they all result in similar temperature reconstructions.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:56 AM

  787. Andreas, you claim that physical scientists are framing climate change in terms of physical science, but:
    1)physical science is our expertise, and to take official positions on subjects outside that arena would be inappropriate
    2)Surely, questions of the mechanism, the likely amount of warming and its effects and the likely efficacy and side effects of proposed mitigation schem are questions apropriately answered in terms of physics and the other hard sciences.

    That is the extent of the charter of the IPCC. When it comes to how to tackle climate change, that’s everybody’s business–psychologists, economists, politicians, sociologists and even physicals scientists (in their role as private citizens). It is not that physical scientists do not understand this. All we are saying is that first people have to accept the hard science of climate change, and we can begin from that point considering all aspects of the problem.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  788. RodB:”Ray (745) says, “The remarkable thing is that ALL the different lines of evidence favor (roughly) this same value.”

    I would say it is interesting, but hardly remarkable.”

    A scientist would say it is compelling. What is interesting is why you don’t find it so. An unscientific and poor choice of a Bayesian prior, I suspect.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:07 AM

  789. This may be off topic, anyone care to review these comments:

    “There are numerous possible mechanisms, not the least of which is displacement of cosmic rays by solar wind. There is now an extensive literature on this, recently reviewed by my distinguished colleague Jerry Marsh, formerly of the Argonne National Laboratory. I’m traveling and don’t have the data with me: but you will find it on arXiv, I think.

    You may also like to look at Pinker (2005) on the impact of naturally-occurring changes in cloud cover. These, too, have nothing to do with our emissions of CO2, and may be modulated by solar changes. It is not just the minuscule peak-to-trough change of around 0.15% in total solar irradiance that one must take into account. We know from Herschel’s observation of fluctuations in grain prices, published in 1801, that the Sun does have a disproportionate influence on terrestrial climate: the great man noticed an anti-correlation between sunspot number and grain prices as published in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

    And the bottom line remains: the IAU got its predictions right, and the IPCC got them wrong. – ”

    [Response: They are wrong, misleading and very incomplete. Please provide a cite for some context. - gavin]

    Comment by Adam — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:09 AM

  790. Ref 778 Ray Ladbury – again!

    I have just re-read your paragraph:

    “I also wonder why you choose to listen to nonscientists for your info–be they Pachauri, Gore, McIntyre or Watts. McIntyre and Watts have but a single peer-reviewed publication between them. And what passes for “science” on Watts’ site is risible (or do you believe that the snow in Antartica is frozen CO2?). If you are getting your science from such sources, no wonder you are confused. Just curious: What do you have against getting your information from the experts–you know the guys who actually publish peer-reviewed papers on climate?

    Why do I listen to Gore and Pachauri? Simple. Because these guys are put forward or put themselves forward as the standard bearers. They got Nobel prizes for representing the movement (whether you wanted to be represented or not). As far as I understand (understood) Gore and Pachauri are supposed to be serious people presenting a serious case of the catastrophe that is AGW. If they do not represent your case then why on earth the Nobel Prize?

    If you are saying that Gore and Pachauri are unqualified to talk about the subject, and I should ignore their views, then, again, you have my attention.

    I don’t think either Watts or McIntyre

    [Response: Pachauri accepted the Nobel for the IPCC organisation not for his personal insights. The IPCC reports are what you should be reading, not the personal opinons of people who work for them. - gavin]

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:28 AM

  791. “Given that MM’s Hockey Stick is a global graph that looks pretty straight for the relevant period then, logically, the southern hemisphere must have had a mini ice age at the same time to produce the straight line? Is there evidence for that? ”

    Yes, there is.

    However, there’s another thing you missed: There’s nothing saying that the MWP (which lasted several hundred years) occurred in Northern Europe at the same time as it did in the US.

    E.g.

    Four places have normal values of 1 and high values of 10 during 20 decades and there was one place with a 10 at all times.

    What is the “peak” for all of them? 10.

    Was there ever a time when none of the regions have a 10? No.

    What is the average? Very much less than 10. If they are uncorrelated, 3.5.

    If today we score a 11+/-2 in all our places at the same time, we have likely but not solid proof that today is warmer than any period during the previous peak in any one region.

    But when you graph averages for all four regions, you have

    9 to 13 today.

    3.5 in the past.

    ABSOLUTELY higher today than in the past.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:37 AM

  792. “ALL the different lines of evidence favor (roughly) this same value…
    A scientist would say it is compelling.”

    A critical scientist would say that it may also be due to shared preconceived ideas.

    [Response: Because all science is just opinion you know.... People seem to have converged on a value for the charge of an electron. Obvious groupthink, wouldn't you agree? - gavin]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  793. Charlie Chutney wrote: “I do need to have to have a degree to determine what I think is reasonable.”

    It is entirely “reasonable” to think that the Earth is stationary, and the Sun and stars orbit the Earth. It certainly appears that way, doesn’t it? And it’s a perfectly serviceable notion as far as ordinary day-to-day experience.

    It happens not to be true, though.

    Unless you believe that the heliocentric model of the solar system is a hoax perpetrated by a global conspiracy of “liberal” astronomers in order to destroy liberty, raise taxes and install Al Gore as dictator of the world.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  794. Charlie Chutney wrote: “To suggest to an atheist that he is unqualified to hold an opinion on the existance of God because he doesn’t have a theology degree is just plain silly.”

    That’s an absurd analogy that does not accurately characterize the criticisms from those who have patiently responded to your ill-informed comments.

    Tell me, would you agree with this statement:

    “To suggest to an auto mechanic that he is unqualified to diagnose and treat cancer because he doesn’t have a medical degree is just plain silly.”

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  795. Gavin, your choice to be narrow-minded (please do not project stupid ideas on me). Ever hard about paradigm? A primer for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm

    [Response: One for you. - gavin]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:10 AM

  796. FurryCatHerder wrote: “3). Fran Fanatic says “Record hurricanes next week!”

    With all due respect, FCH, your claims of wild exaggeration by climate scientists and/or climate change activists are themselves wildly exaggerated.

    It is entirely reasonable to point to Hurricane Katrina as an example of the sort of extreme weather events that unmitigated global warming has in store.

    It is entirely reasonable to point out that after crossing over Florida and significantly decreasing in intensity, Hurricane Katrina regenerated into a destructive monster as it drew energy from the anomalously warm waters of the Gulf, thereby illustrating the mechanism through which AGW contributes to more powerful hurricanes.

    It is entirely reasonable to point out that the science supporting a causal link between AGW and more powerful hurricanes is strong.

    Of course, anyone who cried “Record hurricanes next week!” when Katrina struck New Orleans was wrong.

    It was longer than a week before Hurricane Rita struck Houston.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  797. 783: Charlie Chutney says:

    “I do need to have to have a degree to determine what I think is reasonable. ”

    speaking to Barton:

    “Well thank you for that! You display contemptable arrogance and absolutely no class.”

    I don’t agree with you that you need a degree to determine what is reasonable. You do need to actually read either books on the subject or the primary literature. I believe that you are correct that you probably need a degree to read the primary literature. I have a degree and find the primary literature tough going. I don’t think that Barton meant to be arrogant. He was stating what ought to be self-evident to you. if someone cracks your network and installs naughty screen savers on everybody’s machine and I keep insisting that the new printer is the problem you would be justified in telling me that I’m not competent to diagnose the problem. Similarly without having bothered to read anything other than blog-”science” you do not have an informed opinion and are therefore not competent to judge the merits of the science.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:14 AM

  798. 762 Charlie Chutney: Thank you. Well thought and well said. I too am a non-scientist but I know a little something about the history of science. Because scientists are people and not merely sophisticated laboratory equipment they are not immune to the foibles of the human race. The scientific method and peer review are meant to guard against the influence of those foibles but they also signal that the potential for wrong turns is not trivial. And that brings us to the current state of the AGW discussion. The episode captured under the label “Climategate” is fundamentally about whether a certain set of results reflects science or the foibles of scientists. That’s an important question that deserves discussion. It does no one any good to invoke Ring Lardner’s famous line: “Shut up! he explained.”

    Comment by two moon — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  799. Gavin, given that you know all these things, I do not understand why you comment with such ignorance and hostility. It does not hurt to have an open mind, or does it, for you? No, I think it is the sceptics that have given you headache.

    [Response: Not at all. But if you think that I need to be reminded about what a paradigm is, or how complicated the climate is or that climate has changed in the past, forgive me if I don't see that as an opening for an informed conversation. If you want serious discussion about real issues, then stick to serious points about real issues and leave the sophmoric rhetorical florishes at home. Respect is very much a two way street. - gavin]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:23 AM

  800. Charlie Chutney says: With respect to Al Gore and Pachauri, as I understand it, neither of these individuals have the academic qualifications to justify their perceived leadership of the pro AGW argument.

    That’s a long way from your earlier calumny, calling them: “alarmist poster boys [who] don’t, rightly or wrongly, hold up to scrutiny very well.”

    Crucially, Gore and Pachauri accept the results of climate science and are bringing those results to the public. When you compare yourself to them by saying, “When I declare my lack of qualifications, I am ridiculed by some,” you are taking the anti-science position, which deserves ridicule.

    The situation is exactly analogous to that of the creationist attacking the fossil record, with you on the side of Duane Gish. When you say, “the Hockey stick is just plain wrong,” this is just as ignorant as saying “Humans rode dinosaurs,” a claim that deserves equal ridicule.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:49 AM

  801. @786 John E. Pearson,
    Not all are uninterested (of course), yet some physical scientists at this site are hostile, attacking any suggestion that communication may be improved and tend to view such knowledge as irrelevant quack science. Some were explicit about this and none argued against it.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:03 PM

  802. ref 797 Mr John E Pearson

    What’s the point of RealClimate then if I shouldn’t read the blog science it delivers?

    Your final sentence takes the biscuit. I am not as informed as you, or as you want me to be, and therefore not competent to have an opinion!

    You actually mean because I disagree with you I am incompetent.

    As a member of the huge majority of people on the planet that are, in your ever so humble opinion, not “competant” to judge – maybe you should just take away our right to vote and/or have an opinion – and leave it all to you and your fellow members of the master race. Lets not bother with that democracy crap eh!

    There are some very, very odd characters on this site.

    [Response: You are way overreaching. You started off this conversation indicating that you 'felt' certain scientific results were wrong while you were not able to dig into all the details. In doing so, you showed a commendable honesty and I'm sure you are typical of how many other people feel about these issues. But that leads almost automatically to the question of why you feel that some science is somehow wrong. What is the basis of that opinion? Scientists like myself can point out that this opinion is not shared by the people that know most about the subject, but that does not make you incompetent. I was hoping that you would expand on what it is about some science that makes you 'feel' it is wrong. That would be an interesting addition to the conversation because most people in your position are not as open about their emotional attachment/distance to scientific results. - gavin]

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 PM

  803. @787 Ray Ladbury,
    Yes, that is true, and perhaps the only choice for a physical scientist? This is also the charter of the IPCC as you guys have enough power to control the initial framing of climate change. However, the IPCC do have a choice to frame climate change in more policy constructive ways that sidestep the non-constructive and superficial debate with sceptics.

    It is not the best approach to start with only the hard sciences and to reach the “physical science concensus” among scientists, laypeople and politicians and then take it from there. First, decisions must be made despite uncertainty on the physical system and inadequate knowledge of laypeople and politicians. Second, climate change is much broader than the physics (here I refer only to causes, mechanisms, etc. not, responses). Third, things matters differently for these groups.

    Why not start with all the things that matters and separate them to avoid confusion? That way, the sceptics would not be forced into the debate on basic science (yes, they are forced to some extent, as you guys are very powerful in framing the issue and legitimating policy). To conform most sceptics to the mainstream view (physical science + mainstreem policy advocacy) are futile, as things matters differently for them. Given that the physical scientists have no choice, the gridlock will continue, or dissolve if other scientific communities gain in power and find more constructive ways forward together with politicians and laypeople …

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:26 PM

  804. Gavin: “We are not going to get better climate policy by agreeing that the smearing, misquoting and misrepresentation of scientists is ‘ok’.”

    Policy? I thought this was “Climate Science from Climate Scientists”? I thought you guys were objective scientists and wanted to leave policy to the policy-makers? It’s comments like this that convince readers that this is less about science and more about ideology, policy and activism.

    Might I suggest that the problems you guys are running into have a great deal to do with the fact that you have demonstrated behavior inconsistent with objective science and more consistent with wanting “policy”.

    Comment by Randy Magruder — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  805. Gavin’s primer for Andreas (#795): priceless!
    :)

    Comment by CM — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  806. two moon says: 23 February 2010 at 11:20 AM

    “The episode captured under the label “Climategate” is fundamentally about whether a certain set of results reflects science or the foibles of scientists. That’s an important question that deserves discussion.”

    Yes, and once that episode’s importance has been exaggerated beyond all reason, neurotically scrutinized, discussed endlessly and ultimately redundantly, determined to be insignificant and in sum found entirely irrelevant to actual research findings it’s high time to consider the matter settled and get back to the world of facts.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 PM

  807. “It does no one any good to invoke Ring Lardner’s famous line: “Shut up! he explained.”” (#798)

    Then why invoke it?

    Personally, the climate debate today reminds me more of Richard Lupoff’s “With The Bentfin Boomer Boys On Little Old New Alabama”–specifically, the little bit of dialog where one unnamed stalwart keeps insisting, in the face of mounting hysteria and denial, “Face facts!” He ends up getting lynched for his trouble.

    Hopefully the resonance will decrease with time. (Though that appears unlikely as long as Limbaugh–who called for the “drawing and quartering” of climate scientists back in November–and his ilk continue with BAU.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  808. stevenc: “…there are fairly important uncertainties to be resolved.”

    I’m fine with that conclusion. As with your conclusion at #765 (“it is possible that natural forcings may or may not have contributed to warming after 1950 depending upon who is correct on several different issues”) — it’s logically impossible to disagree with that.
    :)

    Comment by CM — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  809. Andreas – ““ALL the different lines of evidence favor (roughly) this same value…
    A scientist would say it is compelling.”

    A critical scientist would say that it may also be due to shared preconceived ideas.”
    A social scientist might focus on “preconceptions”, a physical scientist might examine the facts, methods, and science behind them. Sounds to me like Andreas is the one with the “shared preconceived ideas”. Which I’d expect from a sociologist, imputing motivations rather than being interested in the empirical science.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  810. 789, Adam: And the bottom line remains: the IAU got its predictions right, and the IPCC got them wrong. – ”

    Do you have a citation for the correct predictions?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  811. 783, gavin: ‘Religion’ analogies are OT. They provide no insight whatsoever except into the prejudices of the people making the arguments. Please stick to the science.

    It’s your site, and I make the following recommendation most humbly, but I think you might reconsider allowing people to make religious and motivational assessments of “denialists” and “sceptics”, if you are going to criticise religious and motivational assessments of “warmists”. On AGW you and others here are deep and well-informed. On psychoanalysis, politics, and economics, not so much — I invented the phrase “as dumb as Inhofe”, but a more common word would be “sophomoric”.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  812. 693, Secular Animist: How could the question of the “predictability” of weather be examined scientifically? Has it been? If not, why not?

    One approach is to look at the mean square error across a bunch of predictions, for example, across the range of whole earth average temperatures from 1980-2010; or the range of rainfalls across regions of the US on a particular date, such as tomorrow. Another approach is to look at the mean aboslute error.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:35 PM

  813. Charlie Chutney, pots and kettles. Is it “arrogance” when a person who’s put in years of hard work to learn something, presumes to lecture a person who hasn’t? I think it’s the reverse. As to complaining that others have “no class”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z_LquKo-ow

    Comment by CM — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:58 PM

  814. 687, Wilt: Therefore the contribution of CO2 to warming during the period 1910-1939 is less than 25% compared to the period 1980-2009. When one chooses the period 1970-1999 instead of 1980-2009, the outcome is about the same (CO2 326-368, ratio 1.13, log value is 0.121 therefore CO2 contribution about 27% during 1910-1939 compared to 1970-1999).

    The warmings that occurred from 1855-1885, 1910-1939, and 1980-2100 are much more nearly equal than are the logs of the ratios of CO2 across the same intervals. This leaves open the possibility that that the 1980-2100 temp increase was caused by the same mechanism that caused the earlier rises, and that CO2 was not involved at all. As far as I have been able to tell so far, mechanisms other than CO2 can’t be ruled out by extant evidence. Two rather contradictory possibilities (and maybe more) follow: (1) CO2 accumulation is unrelated to temp increases; (2) the entire temp increase resulting from CO2 accumulation since 1855 has yet to occur. Option 2, if true, gives us more time to adjust/mitigate, but also implies that the long-term consequences will be worse if we do not do so.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  815. Gavin, I do appreciate your letting me post here. The interchanges are mostly good, for me at least. Thank you very much.

    Matt

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  816. > 783: Charlie Chutney says:
    > “I do need to have to have a degree to determine what I think is reasonable.”

    Illustrated version:

    http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/archive/322.jpg

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  817. Andreas Bjurstrom: “A critical scientist would say that it may also be due to shared preconceived ideas.”

    Perhaps you can suggest how preconceived ideas change the results of a mathematical analysis. That sounds to me a lot like alleging astounding incompetence or fraud. Perhaps if you clarify your contention you might be received with less hostility.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  818. “798
    two moon says:
    23 February 2010 at 11:20 AM

    I too am a non-scientist but I know a little something about the history of science. Because scientists are people and not merely sophisticated laboratory equipment they are not immune to the foibles of the human race.”

    Neither are you.

    For either “I know a little something” or the “immune to the foibles”.

    You’ve exhibited none of the former and a propensity to exhibit the foibles most strongly.

    But let’s see if you can prove me wrong on one part.

    Please let me know what you see as the history that you know of climate science.

    It may be that the little you know has been polluted by who has been telling you the history. This is not irremediable.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:31 PM

  819. CFO, No, I would not deny it and didn’t; just averred that it is not “remarkable.” Its irrelevance, though, stems from the marginal sensitivity that results from concentration levels that have not (ever) been measured or observed.

    It sounds like you’re relating similar scientific analyses to multiple dice rolls. I don’t get it.

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:05 PM

  820. benG (753) — Wiser now? Reading IPCC AR4 WG1 chapter 9 may help. So will reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link in the science section of the sidebar.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  821. Andreas #799,

    You’ve just had a lesson in how to ease your way onto a blog. I lurked here for months before my first comment, so I could know what level of understanding prevails, and what common topics are. I also noticed how the individual bloggers responded to comments coming from diverse perspectives. Above all, I learned not to assume that anything I said would be original, and that just about any question I had would have been answered already — sometimes repeatedly, to the limits of patience on the blogger’s part.

    I spent two years in a PhD program, and worked on radiative transfer models at NASA, before opting for an easier way to make a living. I think I’ve got a good grounding in the basics of climate science, and it has mostly served to make me aware of how little I actually know. Beware the Dunning-Kruger effect!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:28 PM

  822. @786 John E. Pearson,
    Not all are uninterested (of course), yet some physical scientists at this site are hostile, attacking any suggestion that communication may be improved and tend to view such knowledge as irrelevant quack science. Some were explicit about this and none argued against it.

    @787 Ray Ladbury,
    Yes, that is true, and perhaps the only choice for a physical scientist? This is also the charter of the IPCC as you guys have enough power to control the initial framing of climate change. However, the IPCC do have a choice to frame climate change in more policy constructive ways that sidestep the non-constructive and superficial debate with sceptics.

    It is not the best approach to start with only the hard sciences and to reach the “physical science concensus” among scientists, laypeople and politicians and then take it from there. First, decisions must be made despite uncertainty on the physical system and inadequate knowledge of laypeople and politicians. Second, climate change is much broader than the physics (here I refer only to causes, mechanisms, etc. not, responses). Third, things matters differently for these groups.

    Why not start with all the things that matters and separate them to avoid confusion? That way, the sceptics would not be forced into the debate on basic science (yes, they are forced to some extent, as you guys are very powerful in framing the issue and legitimating policy). To conform most sceptics to the mainstream view (physical science + mainstreem policy advocacy) are futile, as things matters differently for them. Given that the physical scientists have no choice, the gridlock will continue, or dissolve if other scientific communities gain in power and find more constructive ways forward together with politicians and laypeople ….

    Gavin, sorry, but you drive far too often on a one way street. it was you that initially gave me an ignorant comment. I responded in the same manner.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  823. SecularAnimist, No, but it is totally logical for the normal simple driver to accurately declare the fully trained mechanic didn’t fix the problem in the least and was totally wrong in his diagnosis. Also, it’s perfectly O.K (even suggested by the profession) for a lay person to get a diagnosis from the fully trained medical doctor and go immediately to another doctor to confirm the diagnosis (which occasionally it is not).

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:35 PM

  824. CFU (766)

    Your toxic assets example

    “…Given the selling of Toxic Assets and then the betting on these toxic assets that they made up and sold on being, unsurprisingly enough, toxic and a bad buy, I can quite see that this is human ingenuity at work, DELIBERATELY killing the market because the consequences for the ones doing it are nonexistent…”

    has the selling confused with the buying 8<(

    …less and less about more and more…

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:06 PM

  825. BPL: You are not competent to say that the doubts they raise are “reasonable.” You haven’t studied the relevant science.

    CC: Well thank you for that! You display contemptable arrogance and absolutely no class.

    BPL: Doesn’t matter. Either you’ve studied the science or you haven’t. If you think Watts is competent, you haven’t studied the science–period. It’s like saying you think some creationist site has reasonable arguments against evolution. No, sorry, a biologist would see that as evidence that you simply don’t know biology. I know enough climatology to know that Watts is not just wrong, he’s wildly and hilariously wrong, and your being impressed by him is prima facie evidence that you just don’t understand the subject. Sorry, pal, but anyone’s opinion is NOT equally good on every subject. If you haven’t studied something, you don’t know anything about it.

    What would you think of a person who never put two pieces of stone together in his life going up to a 20-year union stonemason building a wall and saying, “You’re doing that all wrong?” The mason would either ignore him, laugh, or tell him to get lost. You come off like that guy talking to the mason. Believing Watts has good points to make about climate science is like believing Erich von Daniken has good points to make about archaeology.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:08 PM

  826. CFG (769)

    not for a counter-intuitive climate science

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  827. CFU (770)

    Is that nothing about everything?

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:19 PM

  828. BPL (771)
    Shouldn’t you cut CC a little slack here. North’s task
    <…with the group carefully composed to include the breadth and depth of expertise and perspectives needed to analyze all aspects of how surface temperatures are estimated and interpreted and to comment generally on climate science… had only a short time to produce a report, and now Mann claims climate science reported temperature was counter-intuitive in that time frame.

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:32 PM

  829. “has the selling confused with the buying 8<("

    I don't think so.

    From what I've assimilated (I'll use an example company):

    1) Gartner makes some loa-ns, some bad. The marketer makes a % profit of the total loa-n, whether it pays off or not.
    2) Gartner finds out this loa-n is never going to get paid.
    3) Gartner wraps that up with a few other bad deb-ts and a couple of good ones and sells this large de-bt (which for a bank is an asset: they make money from de-bt) to a bank. Gartner make money off the sale.
    4) Gartner then bets with AIG that this asset grouping that they sold will not make its value back.
    5) The asset group goes down and Gartner asks AIG to pay up on the bet. Gartner make money on the bet.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:37 PM

  830. A. Bjurstrom:”Yes, that is true, and perhaps the only choice for a physical scientist? This is also the charter of the IPCC as you guys have enough power to control the initial framing of climate change.”

    Since climate change is caused by physical phenomena, should not the physical scientists be the ones to says what is known and top what certainty, as in working group I? I don’t understand the use of the term framing here.

    A Bjurstrom again:”Gavin, sorry, but you drive far too often on a one way street. it was you that initially gave me an ignorant comment. I responded in the same manner.”

    Actually Gavin responded exactly as he should have. Gavin gave a counterexample that fit YOUR “argument” (assertion of preconceived ideas by the establishment) and you say that it was ignorant. Well spotted!

    Your response was FURTHER ignorant comments?

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:37 PM

  831. PS it may not have been clear what I meant in the post you were responding to, John.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:38 PM

  832. Rod B “Also, it’s perfectly O.K (even suggested by the profession) for a lay person to get a diagnosis from the fully trained medical doctor and go immediately to another doctor to confirm the diagnosis (which occasionally it is not).”

    Is it OK, when the second doctor says the first to go to another doctor and keep going to a different doctor until you find one that says something different you like the sound of?

    Or would this be like Margaret Dumont in “Horse Feathers”?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:40 PM

  833. “819
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 3:05 PM
    It sounds like you’re relating similar scientific analyses to multiple dice rolls. I don’t get it.”

    No, indeed you don’t.

    Is this because you do not WISH to get it?

    I take it that a one-in-two-million chance is not surprising for you.

    I don’t get it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:42 PM

  834. SM: “The warmings that occurred from 1855-1885, 1910-1939, and 1980-2100 are much more nearly equal than are the logs of the ratios of CO2 across the same intervals.”

    But why are those dates chosen?

    They are not the same intervals.

    So why were they chosen?

    And is your result unsurprising because you’ve been given dates hand-picked to be surprising?

    Why not be a little skeptical.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:44 PM

  835. Septic Matthew (814) — GLobal temperature responds to all forcings and also exhibits internal variations due to interaction with the oceans, the main heat resevoir. I thnk you are trying to read the record in too much detail.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  836. #832 should have said “…the second doctor says the same as the first…”

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:04 PM

  837. > S.Matthew, 756, Darwin, CFU

    Here ya go:

    Google Scholar, search for author “Charles Darwin” +market

    “Hard cash paid down, over and over again, is an excellent test of inherited superiority.” — Charles Darwin, in “The variation of animals and plants under domestication, Volume 2″

    Don’t make the common mistake, upon reading that, of thinking Darwin said that _having_ lots of spendable cash is proof of superior inheritance.

    Darwin is there describing the superiority of the _pig_, and other prize animals, evidenced by the cash money paid down to farmers who patiently selected for better traits, and made money selling piglets.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  838. 802 : Charlie Chutney says: Mr John E Pearson You actually mean because I disagree with you I am incompetent.

    No. i mean that you aren’t competent to gauge the science because by your own admission you haven’t read anything but blogs and media reports. If you want to be competent to judge the science on your own you’ll have to actually learn some of it. It’s not easy stuff. I have a Ph.D. in physics and on some aspects I am competent to judge the science while on most aspects I am not competent to judge. It is an enormous field requiring an enormous breadth It doesn’t bother me at all to admit that I don’t know anywhere near all of the science. If you want to have an informed opinion you should inform it by reading science books, not blogs.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  839. 818 Completely Fed Up: Why the hostility? I deliberately did NOT claim to know “a little something” about climate science in particular because I visit this site mainly to observe and learn, not to cause trouble. I wrote that I know a little something about the history of science because I was fortunate enough to have a good education and I have kept up my reading over the years. “From Eternity to Here” is next up on my list. I have tried to read up on climate science from Arrhenius forward, but if I were to provoke an argument here I would be bringing a knife to a gunfight. If pressed I would have to call my own climate views lukewarmist: there is warming but the case for AGW has not persuaded me. My hopes are minimalist. It would be welcome if AGW proponents would acknowledge that I and others like me hold our views in good faith, are not paid creatures of presumed corporate malefactors, and are not in thrall of religion.

    Comment by two moon — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  840. dhogaza (688,714)

    Again let me thank you for the reference to Mann’s paper on Global Signatures. While I’m still working through Mann’s paper, I found his interview with Robert Frederick quite enlightening. About half way through the interview:
    “…Interviewer – Robert Frederick
    When are those periods? And, according to your team’s model, what happened?
    Interviewee – Michael Mann
    So, the complication sometimes in defining those periods is that, unlike the recent warming of the past century, past periods of warming or cooling tend to be very heterogenous regionally. That means that if one region was relatively warm, there’s a good chance that other regions were cold, and vise-versa. Because of that, it means that it’s actually somewhat of a challenge to define, in a global sense, the Little Ice Age or the
    Medieval Climate Anomaly. What used to be called the “Medieval Warm Period,” most scientists favor now the use of the term the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” for the reason that I just cited, that it wasn’t warm everywhere, and that’s very clear in our own reconstructions. So, these intervals are a challenge to define because they are so spatially, they’re variable regionally. The warming and cooling happens in different
    places and different times, but if you look at, say, the average temperature over the Northern Hemisphere, there is a period of somewhere between the 9th century and the 13th century where temperatures were relatively warm compared to subsequent centuries, and, in fact, a period during the, roughly the, say, the 17th century to the 19th century, or
    somewhere about there, where temperatures averaged over the Northern Hemisphere were relatively cool in comparison with that Medieval Period. But if you look at the Medieval Period, even though it was relatively warm compared to that Little Ice Age, it compares, in a global sense, at most with the level of warming that we saw in the mid-20th century. It doesn’t reach the levels of warmth that we’ve seen in the most recent decades, at least globally. So we used those two intervals characterizing overall when it was relatively cool and relatively mild averaged over the Northern Hemisphere to define the intervals that we would call the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the subsequent Little Ice Age, and then we looked at the spatial patterns of those time intervals…”

    which seems interesting wrt the current hockey stick discussion.

    It’s not intuitive that most of the past 2000 years had the NH and SH oscillating in temperature max/min values possibly somewhat greater than overall global values. Also our climate models are very likely designed, back-tested, and interpreted without such considerations. So, even if Ram and Susan are correct and climate sensitivities are much smaller than we have assumed, it would seem perhaps that there is a fresh new source of inconvenient tipping points, whatever, for us all to consider.

    Skipping to the end of the interview:

    Interviewer – Robert Frederick
    So is it your team’s intention, then, to try to get your model included in the next assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC?
    Interviewee – Michael Mann
    Well, the two models…
    Interviewer – Robert Frederick
    The NCAR and NASA ones are already in there.
    Interviewee – Michael Mann
    Yeah, exactly. So the – yeah, I think that it’s useful, and in the next IPCC assessment, it may very well be the case that there will be a new section that deals with the question of how paleoclimate data can inform our understanding of some of these fairly complex, dynamical responses of the climate. So, while I don’t see our results as being made
    explicitly part of an IPCC projection, I do see them as potentially informing our assessment of the extent to which we think the current generation models are, or are not, capturing some of the regional mechanisms that may be important in making regional climate change assessments.”

    I’m sure Ray (and I) would agree with Michael’s answer from the point of view of science (only one paper, etc., etc.). However, it would seem to be a bit of a problem for the IPCC editors for the next WG1 and WG2.

    Do you know if the climate programs are well interfaced? Will it be possible to change their designs and calibrations with reasonable effort? As an experienced computer consultant, how would you advise IPCC?

    8-(

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:04 PM

  841. Charlie Chutney@802 – RealClimate isn’t “blog science” it’s science research reporting by scientists, well supported with extensive references to actual research, “blog science” is found at the denialist sites that offer opinion unsupported by peer reviewed publications and primarily referencing other opinion pieces or MSM.

    Having an “opinion” doesn’t make you competent or incompetent, but if that opinion is totally uneducated, it does make you an unacceptable judge of an important question – democracy requires the effort to actually learn the facts of issues, not just follow the lead of the loudest, best funded PR.
    Try the Start Here link at the top of the page.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:20 PM

  842. Andreas – “Why not start with all the things that matters and separate them to avoid confusion? That way, the sceptics would not be forced into the debate on basic science

    Maybe you could enlighten us on these confusing “things that matter” that are more [less?] basic than the science?
    Maybe the world economy? Agriculture? Politics?
    The ‘sceptics’ are not debating the basic science, and no one is forcing them into a debate, they’re simply denying it matters.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  843. SA @ 796:

    You are aware that we’re at a multi-decade ACE low right now and that Katrina happened during a cyclical high. I’m heading out to dinner, and peak in ACE this last go round wasn’t even a record.

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/climo.php

    I’m late for dinner, but if someone could turn this into a meaningful chart, I’d be appreciative –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy#Atlantic_hurricane_seasons_1950.E2.80.932009_by_ACE_index

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:32 PM

  844. CFU (829)

    This is way, way OT. However, to be helpful, I believe

    Steps 1 to 3 don’t happen that way. You need to specify other actions by other players.

    Step 4 If Gartner buys policy from AIG for assets it holds on to them.. Neither AIG or Gartner knows the future of the asset.

    I don’t want to post more on this. I can’t spell check l-oan…

    Comment by John Peter — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:39 PM

  845. As long as we’re quoting Darwin:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

    The Descent of Man, 1871

    A succinct expression of the Dunning-Kruger effect, 118 years before it was named.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  846. Make that 128 years. Time flies when you’re getting old 8^}.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:53 PM

  847. John Peter

    Do you know if the climate programs are well interfaced? Will it be possible to change their designs and calibrations with reasonable effort? As an experienced computer consultant, how would you advise IPCC?

    Wanting seriously to avoid becoming another example for Dunning and Kruger to study, I’d tell them “ask someone else!”.

    Seriously. Scientific computing isn’t my gig.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:30 PM

  848. Two Moon,
    If you are serious about reading up on climate science, allow me to add my name to those who recommend Spencer Weart’s History. It is excellent scholarship, very well written and quite thorough.

    Look, we play rough here (climate science has become a blood sport), but most of us will try to help out if you have a sincere question.

    I would caution though. In reading, you learn about science in the same way you learn about sports by reading about it. Until you have had the experience of tackling a problem, bringing it to ground and then trying to communicate to your peers in a way that is meaningful to them, you can’t really know what it is to do science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:07 PM

  849. 834, Completely Fed Up. I wrote:The warmings that occurred from 1855-1885, 1910-1939, and 1980-2100 are much more nearly equal than are the logs of the ratios of CO2 across the same intervals

    I meant 1980-2010. It looks to me like an incompleteness in the AGW model that the rise in temperature has the oscillatory pattern that it has, and that the rises in the three rising periods have about the same magnitude whereas the logs of the ratios are much more distinct. One possibility is that the three rises (and the non-rises) are caused by something other than the CO2 rise, and that the predicted CO2-induced temperature rise will occur in the future, to be added to whatever natural processes have produced the trend since 1855. By itself that does not imply that we do not have to act now, prudently. It does imply, if true, that several more decades will pass before we have accurate models, and probably that any mitigation we carry out will take longer to have effect.

    Unless we know for certain what caused the warming from 1855-1885, and we know that it hasn’t happened since 1980; and similarly for the warming from 1910-1940. The intervals are approximate. The oscillatory pattern is not perfectly periodic.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 PM

  850. @817 Ray Ladbury,
    I intended to state that scientific closures can be and often are due to facts AND social processes. I am skeptical to the IPCC assertion that facts alone conclude that we have a climate problem. One may presuppose that something must be true because many agree for good reasons and a big pile of facts, but this is not imperative as a general rule, as I intended to state. It does not hurt to also search for preconceived ideas. Environmental consciousness is one obvious candidate that I assure are important for the IPCC consensus.

    @821 Mal Adapted,
    That is a good point, certainly partly true regarding myself, yet you miss the boundaries of scientific disciplines. I do not discuss climate science (defined narrowly) but climate scientists here discuss issues outside of their disciplinary expertise. In fact, I think that distuinguished researchers are more at risk for the Dunning-Kruger effect, as there egos tend to be more inflated than their awareness of the limits of their competence.

    @830 t_p_hamilton,
    “climate change is caused by physical phenomena”
    I thought that human induced climate change was caused by humans 
    My point was that I think it is appropriate to view humans as part of the climate system in the Anthropocene (or better, as part of the “earth system”). WG1 oppose this.
    “Actually Gavin responded exactly as he should have. Gavin gave a counterexample that fit YOUR “argument” (assertion of preconceived ideas by the establishment).”
    I don´t see how distortion can be the right way to respond. Gavin made some false statements such as “science is just opinion”. I did not say that, not even close.
    @842 flxible,
    Things that matters includes the basic science, economy, environmental consciousness, globalization, political ideology and self-interest. Sceptics diverge from the mainstreem (that this site advocate for) on most of these issues. However, as the climate problem is framed as “only basic science matters” and this is how policy is legitimated (by the IPCC, by this site, et cetera) sceptics are “forced” to superficial debate on the basic science.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 PM

  851. Amdreas says, “Why not start with all the things that matters and separate them to avoid confusion?”

    I would say that one must start with the science because the policy must be predicated on the best science and the acceptance thereof. It is probably even a mistake to have WG 2 and WG 3 be part of the same IPCC process. WG1 is not only able to cite peer-reviewed research for its summary, it really must do so to maintain credibility. It is natural for people to become confused and think WG2 and WG3 must as well. However, they operate under different rules and constraints. Given their charter, it is fine for them to cite un-peer-reviewed literature as long as the result does not wind up driving the overall risk calculus. At the same time, even though the conclusions of WG1 are more certain, they are usually phrased more carefully. Meanwhile WG2 is merely trying to identify credible threats, and WG3 to come up with meahnigful responses.

    Now, Andreas, can you imagine if they threw in policy and politics and psychology along with climate science, impacts and mitigation? No one would believe any of it.

    The basic problem is that people don’t like the message and the consequences will affect their children and grandchildren rather than them. The result is that they are gunning for the messenger, and it doesn’t matter who the messenger is

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:23 PM

  852. 848 Ray Ladbury: Thank you. I’ll get the book. Although my own direct engagement in science ended as an undergraduate, I count among my good friends of several decades two chemists and two geologists, all Ph.D.’s. I respect the intensity of the enterprise.

    Comment by two moon — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:35 PM

  853. Andreas – climate skeptics have only “superficial” debate to offer on any aspect of the climate question – they deny the basic science, deny any human involvement in climate, accuse scientists [and everyone else] of trying to destroy the economy, call it all an “environmentalist conspiracy”, or an attempt to create a “one world government” and claim everyone [except them] is just out to get grants or protect their job. Doesn’t that about cover what you say “matters”? The purpose of the IPCC was supposed to be to collect and collate the science to be used as a basis for policy decisions, how can that be accomplished in a way that the “opposition” won’t/can’t attack, when they’re opposed to any change in anything that touches on economics or governance? Of course “only basic science matters” when basic science is what can effect educated policy making.

    I strongly disagree that WG1 denies human involvement, it in fact discusses the rapid recent increased atmospheric CO2 as emissions induced, one of the points that skeptics most strongly object to. It also contains studies relating to deforestation and land use. If you’re saying that any/many/most scientists have an “emotional” concern about their planet’s future viability, I fail to see how that negates the science, particularly when you appear to say that those who profess a concern for their own socio-economic status quo should be given a priori consideration.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:48 PM

  854. > S.Matthew
    > It looks to me like an incompleteness in the AGW model that the rise
    > in temperature has the oscillatory pattern that it has …

    It may look, eyeballing the charts, like the rise in temperature has an oscillatory pattern, but that isn’t really there. How can you test this?

    You can look this one up. Give it a try, it’s good practice.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:21 PM

  855. Sorry to be off topic, but what I find amazing is the deniers arguments. I recently discussed AGW, and tried to explain the best I could and think I made some progress. Problem and the oxymoron was that he felt that technology would be able to save us even if AGW was true. Somehow people have a disconnect between science and technology. I don’t know maybe I’m wrong but without science there is no technology. For me, they are synonymous. Okay maybe not. Technology is the application of working science. Yet in America today we love technology yet there is a disdain for science. I have to say that the chicken and the egg argument is clear in that science came before technology as it is the definition of technology.

    Comment by JRC — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 PM

  856. S.Matthew:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Afourier+analysis
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/cyclical-probably-not/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 AM

  857. Andreas Bjurström,

    If you want to move forward with the discussion you want to have here, could you perhaps state the problem you see more clearly? If you’ll excuse me saying so, for someone who is concerned with the framing and communication of climate change, you are not communicating very well with your present audience. (Perhaps you are relying on tacit knowledge in your own field and what you’re saying is immediately obvious to a sociologist of knowledge — but I doubt it).

    So what is wrong with framing climate change as a matter of physical science? If you want to “start with all the things that matters and separate them to avoid confusion”, isn’t it a good thing that the physical science basis is handled in a separate IPCC working group from the working groups that consider economic issues and policy instruments? On what basis do you claim the climate problem has been framed as if “only basic science matters”? And what on earth has the IPCC, or this site, done to “force” the poor sceptics to debate the basic science, rather than engage in more productive debates on all the other “things that matter” in defining policy?

    Perhaps a good start would be if you could sketch an alternative, so we could have something to contrast the present system with. How should the IPCC (or an alternative body if you prefer, or a supplementary one) organize its work, from what fields should it recruit, and how should it frame the issue of man-made climate change? Why would this be better? – Give it a shot. It would make it easier to discuss. And you might be able to use it in your thesis.
    :)

    Comment by CM — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:09 AM

  858. 841 – Fixible.

    You said:

    “RealClimate isn’t “blog science” it’s science research reporting by scientists, well supported with extensive references to actual research, “blog science” is found at the denialist sites that offer opinion unsupported by peer reviewed publications and primarily referencing other opinion pieces or MSM”

    Re-read this and then try and empathise with say, an AGW “neutral”. The neutral will read your paragraph something like “blog science is rubbish unless it comes from the RealClimate blog and contributers to other blogs sites are either big oil or charlatan denialists.

    As an aside, in an earlier comment in response to someone telling me that unless I agreed with them then my opinion is irrelevant or incompetent, I likened this to some sort of master race thinking. This provoked a response from Gavin that I was overreaching – which is fair, and I apologise for that – but why does this site continue with the highly “loaded” adjective “denialist” when referring to someone like me? If Realclimate wants serious contributions from serious people (albeit less knowledeable) then I suggest you ban the word “denialist”. It is not used as a description of someone, it is meant as an insult isn’t it.

    Getting back to the “feel” issue, I accept that you see a huge difference between say, Michael Mann and Steve McIntyre in terms of their climate knowledge. From my observations, Mr McIntyre claims to be a statistician rather than a climate scientist and much of what he writes are attempts to highlight things that are, in his opinion, false representation of statistics.

    The Hockey Stick, to me, appears to be about the interpretation, adjustment and weighting of various pieces of data.

    As a layman, albeit a reasonably intelligent, experienced and worldly layman, I observe that the integrity of the Hockey Stick graph is highy dependent upon interpretation and subjectivity of the creator.

    As far as I can see, Mr McIntyre has, and is, for instance, questioning the interpretation and weighting of the data – which is about statistics – and is therefore an area which he can rightly claim some considerable experience. Maybe even more than Mr Mann? On the other hand, it is equally clear that Mr Mann’s qualifications and experience demonstrate that there are lots of areas where few people can match his knowledge.

    Sticking with the Hockey Stick, and as I said previously, this graph is key to the AGW debate in my view. Put simply, if one believes the graph, then the uptick is a killer argument for AGW. If however, the earlier IPCC graph showing the wavy line MWP and LIA is nearer the mark then that is a completely different story i.e. it has been warmer in the past, current warming isn’t unprecedented and the last decade is not the warmest in history.

    [Response: This is your main mistake. Read what would happen if the hockey stick were wrong. - gavin]

    Rightly or wrongly, I have read what has been written by both sides with respect to say, the tree ring data and, at best, I cannot give it the weighting (which is subjective) that it carries in the Hockey Stick graph and the resultant scary graph.

    Maybe because we all love a bit of scandal, we are predisposed to over-emphasise the importance or relevance of mistakes or failures in proper procedure, or subjective adjustments.

    For instance, I have read much about UHI and what each camp has to say about the subject. Personally, I find it shocking that there doesn’t seem to be any definitive research into the effects of UHI. You do not need to be a climate scientist to know about the impact of UHI – you just need to be a motor cyclist! I live in an area of countryside and regularly ride my bike into towns and cities at night. It often feels like someone has turned a heater on as you enter a town. Without any data to back this up, I would suggest that UHI in the towns and cities that I have experienced on my bike often accounts for an increase of up to 5 degrees, maybe more – and, as far as I can see, this is not represented appropriately in the adjustments – at least I don’t think so.

    In a similar vein, but so it doesn’t get lost in this post, I have a science question in the following post.

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:10 AM

  859. Have just found your web site and it is great to read. I have just been reading Richard Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker” and found a quotation on oposition to Darwinian evolution that, with a few changes (eg evolution to anthropmorphic global warming)could apply to the climate change sceptics. It reads
    “There are people who desperately want not to have to believe in Darwinism. They seem to fall into thre main classes. First, there are those who, for religious reasons, want evolution itself to be untrue. (For religion, here read self-interest). Second, there are those who have no reason to deny that evolution has happened but who, often for political or ideological reasons, find Darwin’s theory—-distasteful. —Third, there are people, including many working in what they often call, ‘the media’, who just like seeing applecarts upset, perhaps because it makes good journalistic copy—”

    It seems to me that much of the opposition to global warming comes not from a scientific assessment as often this opposition is constructed on comments that have been well researched and demonstrated to be most probably erroneous but from a psychological position that we (ie the sceptics) cannot be to blame for anything. Good luck in trying to convince them, though.

    Comment by Brian Milton — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:22 AM

  860. Question with respect to UHI -

    I understand that UHI exists and is subjectively taken into account in temperature records.

    Bear with me here.

    I understand that this means a particular temperature reading is adjusted to take into account its location. I get that.

    Now, apologies if this has been discussed before or that I am being extremely naive, but what relevance or contribution is apportioned to the absolute heat generated by UHIs in their contribution to global warming?

    UHIs must be created by 2 forces. Firstly, it must be the release of heat generated by roads, car parks, buildings etc that have been warmed by the sun or air.

    Secondly though, there must be a contribution to UHIs by the heat generated by all of the hot air and gasses generated by everything from light bulbs, air conditioning outlets, car exhausts, cookers, factories, etc.

    Each village, town and city has thousands and millions of heat sources (other than the released heat from the fabric of roads and buildings) generating heat. On a global scale, these billions of heat sources are adding this heat to the atmosphere aren’t they?

    At what point is all this heat generation material to a contribution of the earth’s temperatures?

    Is this not a potential reason why global temperatures may rise as a result of human activity – rather than CO2 per se?

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:31 AM

  861. Andreas (850)

    The IPCC concept of “policy based science” always seemed to me to be fatally flawed.

    Science depended on skepticism for progress while policy required consensus to be effective. Much of the “warmer/denier” acrimony stemmed from attempts to require consensus in science that could not really be achieved. Instead, “science based policy” became more and more the IPCC requirement.

    You are right, the problem is much more the failure to consider scientific boundaries. Specialization has always been recognized as important within a scientific discipline. It has always been difficult to comprehend and/or communicate externally. Climate science, like software or computer science is so new that the specializations, let alone the boundaries, have yet to be established.

    We may have to continue to use policy based science as a foil in the struggles for our divided planet.

    [Response: I don't recognise this at all. IPCC is policy relevant, but policy neutral - not 'policy based'. I have no idea what 'policy based science' even means. There is some ways that the IPCC could go to become more policy relevant, but this seems completely orthogonal to your point. - gavin]

    Comment by John Peter — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:41 AM

  862. SM: “I meant 1980-2010. It looks to me like an incompleteness in the AGW model that the rise in temperature has the oscillatory pattern that it has”

    Ah, so you made a mistake. Quite a big one. And in such a short message too.

    Ergo you have no science and you’re wrong.

    Or at least this is what Climategate/Himalayagate/*gate has told us and you’ve never really admitted this is complete claptrap.

    And your problem with “looks like” is that you’re matching a pattern you WANT to be there. You have concluded a priori that the temperature rise has an oscillatory component.

    This is either technically true but pointless (each winter it’s cooler in the north than in summer and that reoccurs, etc), or completely unsupported by anything other than a mathematical only analysis that takes as its axiomatic base that you MUST fit this temperature trend to a minimum number of oscillatory components.

    You can do that sorf of fft to a noise.

    That noise may be a soft hiss like “ffffff”. Your mathematical model would then say “this noise is a continuing soft nonsilibant hiss like ‘fffff’ and it will continue to do so”.

    However that is the first fraction of a second of me saying “fraud”.

    When your model breaks so easily, it is no model.

    And such FFTs are not done to predict where speech will go but as to what in the past has happened and is the basis not of predicting the next word, but interpreting speech to text.

    It is a post-hoc process, not a predictive one.

    Oddly enough, the exact same “issue” denialists attribute to physical GCM models and thereby dismiss out of hand any prediction.

    Funny how the same people who MISTAKENLY ascribe post-hoc process with a potentially predictive one of the physical GCM models and proclaim such models can NEVER predict the future push a “model” that has inextricably linked into its very procedures no capability to predict, and yet ascribe to that non-predictability model a prediction that would turn up “any year now, just you wait and see”.

    Don’t you find it remarkable too?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:00 AM

  863. JP: “Step 4 If Gartner buys policy from AIG for assets it holds on to them.. Neither AIG or Gartner knows the future of the asset.”

    Gartner knows the contents and made them up.

    If I mix up some arsenic and some almonds and sugar and so on to make some lovely marzipan to put on a battenburg cake, when I bet on my significant other’s life with a life insurance policy whether my S.O. will survive to 50, one of us DOES know the future of the “asset” being bet on.

    Because I know what toxic means.

    Gartner knows what a bad debt looks like. They’re *supposed* to avoid them. But they found a way to make money off them whichever way they go.

    The reason why this is even vaguely OT is because it shows that there are players in the human-created game of “economics” that WILL (unlike foxes) deliberately destroy the game if they can make short term gain for themselves and are innured by those gains from reaping the results of the game plan devised.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:08 AM

  864. two moon,
    Not that I want to deprive Spencer of royalties, but the text is available here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    Give it a read.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:33 AM

  865. SM@849
    Our brains are excellent tools for picking out oscillatory behavior. In fact studies show that out of 5 systems we’re shown with oscillatory behavior, we’ll identify 20 out of them. (Sarcasm off)

    There are actually many different ways to get behavior that looks cyclic, mainly because most systems do fluctuate about a mean. For instance, graph the series:

    1,2
    2,7
    3,1
    4,8
    5,2
    6,8
    7,1
    8,8
    9,2
    10,8

    Sure looks oscillatory, doesn’t it? It’s the first 10 digits in e, the base of Napierian logarithms, a transcendental number, so you know it’s digits must be random. There’s a lot more to “cyclic” than just going up and down.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 AM

  866. Ray Ladbury and flxible,

    It is an intellectual paradox that the IPCC (largely) exclude humans from the climate system at the same time as they rightly address the problem of human induced climate change in the Anthropocene.

    I have a forthcoming publication in the journal Climatic Change where I demonstrate (with bibliometric methods) the disciplinary emphasis in the IPCC different working groups (and chapters) and the separation of different disciplines and their respective domains of research (lack of interdisciplinarity). I suggest reasons for this (historical trajectories, academic organization, political strategy) and argue why the IPCC approach (exclusion of many bodies of knowledge and separation of climate and humans) is in adequate for addressing climate change. The reviewer writes among others “Well-designed research … A solid contribution to the question of bias … The paper offers solid explanatory material”. Let us discuss in the peer review literature. I look forward to a reply!

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:58 AM

  867. Andreas,
    First, have you ever read Dunning and Kruger’s paper? See here:
    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:3gtWwaN9-k0J:www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperDownload.aspx%3FpaperID%3D883%26fileName%3DPsych.20090100004_39584049.pdf+%22Unskilled+and+Unaware+of+It:+How+Difficulties+in+Recognizing+One%27s+Own+Incompetence+Lead+to+Inflated+Self-Assessments%22&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    They actually found the opposite of what you assert. We are most vulnerable to overestimating our ability before we acquire skill. Now a researcher may well be overconfident in applying his expertise outside of his discipline. He may not even know the limits of his expertise. However, it is fairly safe to assume that a climate scientist will be more circumspect about climate science than some ignorant food tube on the internet.

    You talk of preconceived ideas as if 1)their existence would be a revelation to scientists; and 2)as if climate science were only being performed by a small, tightly knit group rather than a highly competitive network of organizations competing for grants, recognition fame and glory. If one of my colleagues manages to delude himself into a false theory, I’m going to point it out to both him and the community, because 1)it’s my job as a scientist; and 2)discovering an error enhances one’s own prestiege.

    Andreas, for all your talk about observing scientist, you don’t really seem to understand much about how they work. I’m not saying this to put you down. Your picture of how science is done is unrecognizable to working scientists. I think you need to talk to some scientists and find out why they do the things they do. I realize that might not be as easy as it sounds. A lot of scientists don’t give it a lot of thought. Some do, though, and you will get a ton more insight talking to some of these guys than you will by “observing” or reading crap by Feyerabend and other charlatans.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:58 AM

  868. > 866, Andreas, need for interdisciplinary climate work

    Gavin and others have been saying much the same thing for years. Here:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+interdisciplinary

    Congratulations on getting the idea published. I know there are programs working to educate a new generation of students in this way. It’s good to see the idea becoming more widely accepted. I can remember talking to people about this in the late 1960s, working on the first Earth Day program.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:25 AM

  869. CC: “Each village, town and city has thousands and millions of heat sources (other than the released heat from the fabric of roads and buildings) generating heat. On a global scale, these billions of heat sources are adding this heat to the atmosphere aren’t they?

    At what point is all this heat generation material to a contribution of the earth’s temperatures? ”

    The number of humans in the DENSELY populated UK is 250 people per km2.

    Average power usage is 300W per person worldwide average.

    Therefore each square meter gets 300×250/10^6 watts from humanity.

    0.075W.

    compare with the average power density of insolation of 250W/m2.

    Humanity is not as densely populous and it is not on any of the oceans which occupy most of the surface area of the earth.

    Humanity would have to grow a millionfold in number to get within spitting distance of solar power.

    [edit]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:33 AM

  870. > C.Chutney,
    > I have read much about UHI and what each camp has to say about the subject.

    Oops. Did you actually search for the science? The “camp” stuff is probably blog science, which is to science as military music … you know.

    > Personally, I find it shocking that there doesn’t seem to be any definitive
    > research into the effects of UHI.

    Oh. There’s your problem. You didn’t find the research. This is shocking, but hardly surprising.

    You’re using Firefox? add Google Scholar to your search engine choices using the “Manage Search Engines” link at the bottom of the search box menu:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search?q=scholar&cat=all&advancedsearch=1&as=1&appid=1&lver=3.6&atype=0&pp=20&pid=3&sort=&lup=

    Or bookmark this: http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&as_sdt=2001

    Once you start looking in the science instead of the blog science, you’ll have better luck finding the science. Funny how that works. You know the story about the guy who goes looking for an argument, but ends up finding abuse? That’s likely to happen to anyone looking for science at blog science sites. You end up in the PR/opinion/denial universe easily.

    Here’s the kind of thing you’ll find easily using Scholar. I’m picking an example here off the first page of results, NOT telling you this is authoritative or up to date or correct. The “Wisdom” search tool didn’t work out, you still have to think about what Scholar finds you.

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/environment/voogt.html

    So you read through that and note the relevant footnotes, which are:
    17 Böhm, R. 1998. Urban bias in temperature time series: A case study for the city of Vienna, Austria. Climatic Change 38: 113–128.
    18 Kalnay, E., and M. Cai. 2003. Impact of urbanization and land-use change on climate. Nature 423: 528–531.
    19 Changnon, S.A. 1999. A rare long record of deep soil temperatures defines temporal temperature changes and an urban heat island. Climatic Change 42: 531–538.

    You put _those_ into the Scholar searchbox, find them at their original publication sources, look at the “citing papers” link, look to see if they were properly cited in the first paper (does the actual paper he footnoted say what he says it says on the exact single point for which it’s cited?).

    This becomes a routine and gets to be something you can do really quickly; I’m only a third of the way through my first morning cup of coffee, so ….

    Hey, my coffee’s stone cold. Gotta go. That should help.

    Aside: youcaneffingooglescholarit doesn’t have a proper picture or URL link, but it really should be done by someone

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  871. Charlie Chutney – Gavin has responded to your weighting of the “hockey stick problem”, I’ll just add that your focus on it as “interpretation, adjustment and weighting of various pieces of data” thereby being amenable to Steve McIntyres attempt to discredit it as a “false representation of statistics” ignores the fact that it’s not an “opinion piece”, it’s science. If McIntyres starting position is that current/recent temperature changes aren’t important and the Mann study is “opinion”, it’s his statistics that are the “false representation”.

    And that’s what I said about the difference between “blog science” [although McIntyre isn't necessaily the worst of them] and the real deal, which doesn’t have to be “only RC”, but includes many other actual science blogs, including the “Other Opinions” list and “Science Links” on the right sidebar. RC is an exceptional factual resource. Blog science IS “rubbish” if it comes from blog sites of “either big oil or charlatan denialists” or folks who’s starting point is to deny the facts of climate science. As initially a “neutral” myself, I wound up reading a lot of what’s been posted at RC [the articles much more than comments], and easily discerned the difference. You seem to be reading a lot of responses you’re getting here very defensively and narrowly, and that may be a function of your need to study the science more. Use of McIntyre to question Mann indicates to me you haven’t actually thought about the science enough yourself, but maybe I’m wrong. I do know that science isn’t opinion or your judgement or democracy.

    Comment by flxible — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:59 AM

  872. Charlie Chutney said: “On a global scale, these billions of heat sources are adding this heat to the atmosphere aren’t they?”

    Yes they do add to it. Just like a kid peeing in the swimming pool raises the water level.

    “At what point is all this heat generation material to a contribution of the earth’s temperatures?”

    At the point when it becomes a significant fraction of the total heat flux. I don’t have time to dig up the numbers but I just finished reading David Archer’s book GLobal Warming: UNderstanding the Forecast) which is a good starting place if you want to actually learn the science.

    From memory the total solar radiation is 173,000 TW (TW=terrawatts). I believe Archer said mankind uses 13TW, although I thought we used more, maybe 20TW. It doesn’t matter at this level of approximation, so say we use 10-20 TW.
    CO2 forcing is a few watts/square meter. I got 5 x 10^14 square meters for the earth’s surface if I calculated correctly. If you take 1W/sq meter as the scale of CO2 forcing you get 500TW. I believe a more accurate number for CO2 forcing is 2-3W/m^2 so that the CO2 forcing totals at perhaps 1,000TW, which is a small fraction of the 173,000TW incident upon the planet and which dwarfs the 10-20 TW which is mankind’s rate of energy consumption.

    Is this not a potential reason why global temperatures may rise as a result of human activity – rather than CO2 per se?”

    I guess it depends on what you mean by “potential”. We (mankind) would have to increase our rate of energy consumption 100 fold to get into the ballpark of CO2 forcing. Realistically the answer is simply no.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  873. For CC:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=heat+from+human+activity

    finds quite a few answers to this, all in the same ballpark. One from the first page of hits is:

    “… total human energy production was 13.5 TW in 2001. Since total Earth surface is 510,100,000 km2, the extra heat works out to be some 0.02 W/m²”

    The question has been answered at RC several times before, but at the moment I can’t recall the right search terms to find it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 11:48 AM

  874. Throbgoblins nails it again:

    http://throbgoblins.blogspot.com/2010/02/rigorous-scientific-debate.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 11:52 AM

  875. Andreas, my perception is similar to Ray’s @867. From your comments here, it appears you have a limited acquaintance with how the earth sciences are actually done. If you are arguing for an interdisciplinary perspective, it behooves you to become familiar with the distinct perspectives of each of the disciplines. You’ll be taking on a huge task by doing so, and you’ll want to hold off making judgements until you’re much farther along than you evidently are. Otherwise, you’ll simply confirm Dunning-Kruger.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:21 PM

  876. That may have been 8,333 rather than 833,333 mind.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:42 PM

  877. 865, Ray Ladbury: Sure looks oscillatory, doesn’t it? It’s the first 10 digits in e, the base of Napierian logarithms, a transcendental number, so you know it’s digits must be random. There’s a lot more to “cyclic” than just going up and down.

    The temperature of the earth has been nicely fit to sum of a linear and a sinusoidal function, with the linear having constant slope and the sinusoidal having a period of about 60 years, so there is more than just an “appearance” of oscillatory behavior in the record. Any GCM, to be believable, has to model that record about as well as that. Other oscillatory models include those of Latif and Tsonis.

    I don’t think credentials matter much on a blog, but I do have a PhD in statistics, and experience modeling oscillatory multivariate biological systems, such as circadian rhythms. I have experience with dynamic models, vector autoregressive models, and Fourier models.

    Way back in the days of Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, a dynamic model for planetary movement replaced the simply descriptive epicycles model, but the extrapolations of the epicycles were accurate over many future periods of the several systems (mercury, earth, venus, mars.) By analogy, extrapolating the linear plus sinusoidal trend in average earth temperature might be good or bad idea, but the dynamic models have not yet been shown to be more accurate, so the extrapolations from them have not been shown to be more reliable — and they certainly are not more parsimonious. Latif’s and Tsonis’ models are roughly similar over the next few decades to the linear plus sinusoid, Tsongis’ more similar than Latif’s.

    Ray, this comment from 852 was addressed to me, but it applies as well to your 305/395 typo: Ah, so you made a mistake. Quite a big one. And in such a short message too. . CFU seems to be trying to reinforce the meme that real Menschen never make mistakes, not even in casual typing.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  878. Gavin @ 858:

    [Response: This is your main mistake. Read what would happen if the hockey stick were wrong. - gavin]

    That’s a most excellent link.

    While I have personal issues with the “Hockey Stick”, most of them involve the influence of the solar cycle on decadal weather. Since the sun appears to have woken up (and to me, at least, validated my beliefs about sunspot cycle influences), we’re now entering the other half of the denialist argument — okay, so we didn’t warm so much while the sun was asleep. The next few years as we climb to Solar Max aren’t going to be so kind, and the Hockey Stick may well turn into a Stairway to Hell. Let’s hope the denialist brigade isn’t so insistent it’s wrong when we — G-d forbid — add the next step on that stairway.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:05 PM

  879. Hank Roberts @ 873:

    “… total human energy production was 13.5 TW in 2001. Since total Earth surface is 510,100,000 km2, the extra heat works out to be some 0.02 W/m²”

    The question has been answered at RC several times before, but at the moment I can’t recall the right search terms to find it.

    There might be a bit of an amplification from land use changes, but as I had to point out to a client, UHI from Dallas/Fort Worth =does=not= reach all the way to Waco. Heck, UHI from Austin doesn’t reach to where I live in Far North Austin.

    One of the things my company is starting to work on is multi-purpose solar that has the potential to reduce some UHI effects by using solar to create shading for large heat sources. It turns out that the commercial value of solar-PV-produced shade exceeds the energy value. Instead of carparks being sources of UHI, they can become more comfortable places to park a car … that also offsets the energy usage of nearby businesses.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  880. @857 CM,
    The rationale for the IPCC working groups are basically: Cause (WG1), Concequence (WG2) and Response (WG3). My argument:
    A physical scientist would say that human induced climate change is caused by the physical properties of CO2. I would say that it is caused by humans. Thus, I want humans and the social sciences to be incuded in the study of causes to climate change.

    WG1 (to examplify and substantiate what is lacking):

    One chapter on human causes to climate change (population increase, production, consumption, material and energy flows, etc.).

    One chapter that contextualise the climate change problem (the history of climate research, written not only by physical scientists, but also historians of science among others, the rise of environmentalism, globalization, how the discussion of climate change has been altered throught the 20th century, e.g. from military over technocracy to environmentalism). Contextualisation is usually on the top of the wish list of policymakers. They need the context to be able to comprehend and use the knowledge.

    WG2:
    This working group is the only broadly interdisciplinary working group. What is lacking:
    One chapter on the evolution of mankind and societies and how this is related to a changing climate (i.e. the broad long term historical overview of adaptation to climate chagne and creative interaction of humans and climate. This would be very valuable as we all know that climate has been changed radically in the past, yet we ignore how this relates to human societies).

    WG3: Strong focus on technological and economic quick fixes. What is lacking:
    Analysis of social institutions, power, social structure, culture, politics, behaviour…

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  881. SM,Come on. You’ve done Fourier series before. You know that you can fit any function to a sum of sinusoidal functions. Matthew, many, many cycles in nature are not truly periodic. That includes pole flips for the geomagnetic field–although this is quasi-periodic, the “solar cycle”, and on and on. There are many different physical systems that exhibit quasiperiodic behavior. Really, Matthew, I very strongly suggest that you look at Tamino’s analysis.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/cyclical-probably-not/

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  882. > furrycatherder
    > solar shaded parking

    Yes, this is a brilliant one; the panels will be slanted so heat doesn’t collect underneath and snow doesn’t collapse the structure, as I’ve seen them done elsewhere.

    This kind of setup can also capture the rainfall/snowmelt off these acres of material before it falls onto the oil and coal tar asphalt parking lot, diverting the ‘first flush’ of each precipitation event to filter out the dust, you’ll have a water source as well as a power and shade source.

    Kind of like trees, without the root problems, I guess.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  883. 864 Ray Ladbury: Not to worry. I already ordered it from Amazon. I like having the book in my hands.

    Comment by two moon — 24 Feb 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  884. “880
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    24 February 2010 at 1:22 PM
    My argument:
    A physical scientist would say that human induced climate change is caused by the physical properties of CO2. I would say that it is caused by humans”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Sorry.

    No, it’s caused by CO2.

    It’s because humans are burning fossil fuels that CO2 is increasing.

    [edit]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:14 PM

  885. “877
    Septic Matthew says:
    24 February 2010 at 12:52 PM
    The temperature of the earth has been nicely fit to sum of a linear and a sinusoidal function, ”

    This is true of ANY single-valued line.

    This doesn’t mean that the line is predicted by a sum of sinusoids. however.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:16 PM

  886. Septic Matthew (877) — Please read
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/cyclical-probably-not/
    Careful analysis of many climtological time series demonstrates there is just
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_noise
    (approximaely) on decadal to centennial scales with the miunor exception of the sunspot cycle, of course. Certainly nothing wth a period of 60 years; you’re seeing bears which aren’t there.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:25 PM

  887. Andreas:” One chapter on human causes to climate change (population increase, production, consumption, material and energy flows, etc.). ”

    Ah. now we see Andreas’ motive. It’s the old “elephant in the room” request. Too many people and anything other than just letting things be and waiting for people to stop bonking so often.

    It takes 2 generations (50 years) for population control to ***START*** unless you try it the same way Hitler did.

    But his point is that we shouldn’t do anything other than complain about all the third world people having too many kids.

    Oh, and the trailer trash in the first world too.

    Leave it for the nice upper middle classes.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  888. “IPCC is policy relevant, but policy neutral” (Gavin).

    To quote the objective of the IPCC in this manner is not a valid statement. The statement does not refer to any peer review literature. There is no empirical backing. Your mere turn an objective into wishful thinking. As researcher, you need to examine the facts. To refer to authority that is substantially void in this particular issue is deception (similar to how religious leaders invoke gods and Holy Writ).

    Sorry Gavin, CFU, Ladbury, Flxible, Mal Adapted and others,

    I rest my case, since I know it is futile to discuss such issues with you guys. You have reasons for your point of view and it is not based in expertise from the right domain of knowledge (just like the sceptics).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  889. Andreas Bjurstrom, I’m sorry but I see no pacticality behind what you recommend. What you are suggesting would fill a small library. What policy makers want to know is: what is the threat, how sure are we, what can we do about it, how long do we have to decide, and what will different actions accomplish.

    Comment by stevenc — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:48 PM

  890. Andreas – responses to your “inclusions” to WG1 by the “opposition”:
    population increase, Those freakin scientists/politicians are calling for forced sterilization and birth control! [fundamentalist Christians, large American representation, see Utah]
    production, They want to ruin our economy!! [see current grousing by middle America about corporate shift of jobs offshore]
    consumption, They’re trying to deny us the god-given right to a comfortable life, want to send us back to the stome age!
    material and energy flows, It’s the government trying to control us!
    etc. ETC!! ETC!!

    Those things are all items that may be appropriate to WG2 or 3 as interpretation of why the science is important, but understanding of the climate does not require understanding human use/interpretation/effects of it, and effects on it by human activity should be rather “self-evident” to policy advisors with a bit of intelligence.

    I think you’re trying to make the entire IPCC into a socialogical document ["deniers" would say a political document], when it’s meant to provide a scientific basis for each individual country to design the social policy they feel appropriate to their situation, which is why it’s so far been a futile exercise to get any real agreement on a global level. Maybe what’s needed is an additional separate organization to elaborate on the reasons for the global failure of concern for the global environment. I might agree that human motivations of self and own-group interest [tribalism] are at root of the objections, but they won’t be countered by trying to incorporate them into the physical science. Nor by turning a 3000 page document into a 6000 page one!

    Comment by flxible — 24 Feb 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  891. Andreas Bjurstrom uses a different meaning of cause: “A physical scientist would say that human induced climate change is caused by the physical properties of CO2. I would say that it is caused by humans. Thus, I want humans and the social sciences to be included in the study of causes to climate change.”

    You are mixing up proximate cause with ultimate cause. Policy makers know about the ultimate causes (humans and their specific activities such as land use, emissions, etc.). However, to do risk analysis policy makers need to know the physical effects, which is based on physical science. Including various -isms and social sciences will mislead some people (who policy makers have to listen to in democracies) into thinking the science is determined by these considerations (and those people will tell the policy makers to ignore exactly those facts which policy makers need to consider). Some people are going to be susceptible to false claims that science is just opinion. This is what the current denier PR push is lately. The best defense is exposing the false accusations and innuendo for what they are, and by keeping rigor in the physical science literature. People will eventually catch on, particularly the young.

    We must also get people (including Rod B and A. Bjurstrom) to understand how scientists make decisions on how how likely something is to be correct. Let us say experiment A says with 90% confidence ( 1.0 – 0.1) that sensitivity of temperature to doubling of CO2 is 3 degrees C. Let there be a later independent experiment B (based on a completely different method) that says the same thing. The likelihood goes up to 1.0 – 0.1*0.1 = 99%. Rod B had the rather poor Bayesian prior that the experiments were not independent when this issue came up, showing that his estimation of what is correct or incorrect in AGW is based on facts that aren’t. A. Bjurstrom’s prior was that all the scientists had a preconceived ideas that blinded them to alternatives. Again, a poor choice of a prior, given the actual existence of scientists who explicitly reject these ideas. Bjurstrom then decided to throw out the word paradigm to a physicist! Anybody who has studied the history of physics knows how Einstein changed just two assumptions, preconceived ideas if you will, and got crazy results. The response of the physics community was not to reject them out of prejudice, but acceptance because he had the goods. The deniers are rejected because their work is crap. All one has to do as a non-expert is follow the publication and citation trail.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 24 Feb 2010 @ 3:54 PM

  892. Andreas #880,

    Thanks for outlining what you’d like to see changed in the IPCC reports, as I asked. You have some interesting ideas, and as a dabbler in history, I’d sympathize with some of them. It was a nice touch that AR4 introduced a chapter on the history of climate science, and I think it could do with some more attention to the historical and social context, including shifts in the public role and perception of science over the 20th century. I also like the idea of taking some space in WG2 or 3 to look at how human societies have adapted to climate change (or bitten the dust) in history — there should be some valuable lessons to be learned, and a lot of myths to pop. Regarding what you miss in WG3, perhaps a useful suggestion would be to include a discussion along the same lines as is found in WG2 sections 17.3 and 17.4?

    But what purpose would it serve to add “human causes” to WG1? WG1 does a good, necessary, and clearly delineated job explaining how human emissions are changing the climate. Why blur the focus of WG1 with more human geography material? Isn’t it more useful to discuss why humans cause climate change in the context of how to stop them causing it, i. e. in WG3? In any case, the “human causes of climate change” do somewhat enter into the existing WG1 report in form of the emission scenarios (discussed in detail elsewhere) underlying the projections.

    Comment by CM — 24 Feb 2010 @ 4:02 PM

  893. Septic Matthew – with your background, you will probably enjoy
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/dangerous-curves/ and
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/cyclical-not/
    then on the question as to whether the fit of sinusoid has any physical meaning.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 24 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 PM

  894. “”"Monckton being quoted as a ‘prominent climate sceptic’ on the front page of the New York Times this week (Wow!); “”"

    How can anyone be qualified to be a skeptic unless they publish in peer reviewed mainstream scientific literature that holds up over time and/or quote the peer reviewed literature that holds up over time. These guys are ignorant phonies who are misleading the public to possible disaster.

    This is most likely how ancient civilizations failed -Easter Island, Norse colonies, Pitcairn Islands (Collapse, Diamond, 2006 -1283 citations).

    Comment by richard ordway — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:00 PM

  895. CrumblingCoralGate.

    Also, StudyInExaggeratedLedesGate:

    “All of the tropical coral reefs in the world will be disintegrating by the end of the century because of the rising acidity of the oceans caused by a build-up of man-made carbondioxide in the atmosphere, a study has found.

    Coral reefs start to disintegrate when the acidity of the oceans rises beyond a certain threshold, and this point is likely to be reached before 2100, said Jacob Silverman of the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington.”

    (bold mine to illustrate editor’s inability to resist spicing things up even when reality is only few words away…)

    More:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-in-danger-of-being-destroyed-1908544.html

    Of course it’s all done with models, which any blog-scientist knows are fraudulent. Go ahead, lower Michelangelo’s “David” into water and then gradually add hydrochloric acid with confidence, because you know calculations predicting the statue will vanish are just a model.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:01 PM

  896. flxible (871), as an aside, questioning Mann’s hockey stick is not so much questioning science as it is statistics.

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:28 PM

  897. > S.M.

    Well, you came in not long ago acting like a youngster who needed a lot of help finding the basics. Now you’re claiming a PhD and extensive knowledge about the same material you’ve acted clueless about.

    If you’re just making stuff up or copypasting stuff that looks clever, you won’t be able to cite sources. Show us you’re real, eh? Build some trust if you want conversation.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:13 PM

  898. Dr. Judith Curry of Georgia Tech has today posted to a number of climate blogs an essay that is germane to this discussion.

    Comment by two moon — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:29 PM

  899. Andreas@880,
    OK, I see a wee bit better what you are advocating. I’ll agree that perhaps a history chapter could frame the issue, and there is a need (albeit, I’m not sure there’s a place in the IPCC process) for some review of the forces driving exponential increase in fossil fuel consumption (population, energy-intensive economic growth, international development). These could perhaps be used to motivate the various scenarios. As to the history section, a condensation of Spencer Weart’s work would do nicely. I do not agree, however that climate change as far as WG1 is concerned has anything to do with the modern environmental movement. The first prediction of anthropogenic warming came from Arrhenius, and subsequent developments all played out as part of atmospheric physics and chemistry out of which climate science grew. And really the only role the military played was as a funder of some atmospheric research.

    The WG2 idea might also be implemented on a somewhat less ambitious scale–a chapter (brief) essentially outlining why climate change is a concern in the context of the history of human civilization.

    The WG3 stuff, probably isn’t ready for anything like this.

    If you are at all serious, Andreas, you would have to stress brevity. The less you alter the current structure, and the more you make use of existing resources e.g. Spencer’s history, the better your odds.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:30 PM

  900. http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:55 PM

  901. http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html

    It begins:
    I am trying something new, a blogospheric experiment, if you
    will.  I have been a fairly active participant in the blogosphere
    since 2006, and recently posted two essays on climategate, one at climateaudit.org  
    and the other at climateprogress.org
    Both essays were subsequently picked up by other blogs, and the
    diversity of opinions expressed at the different blogs was quite
    interesting.  Hence I am distributing this essay to a number of
    different blogs simultaneously with the hope of demonstrating the
    collective power of the blogosphere to generate ideas and debate
    them.  I look forward to a stimulating discussion on this
    important topic.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 PM

  902. Gavin (861)

    Blame me, policy based science is a term I invented to describe science that was performed to support some predetermined political agenda, i.e., science based on policy. Think Jim Hanson’s plea to glaciologists a few years back to go with what they knew was right, even if they did not have scientific facts.

    I was reacting to a claim that IPCC’s objective was to build environmental policy based on science, which they labeled science based policy.

    I know that science requires funding, sometimes a lot. I don’t know just where it starts, but if there seems to be a lot of cherry-picking for what sponsors want to hear – I call that policy based science. Warmers accuse deniers of it all the time.

    Comment by John Peter — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  903. I’m still in high school, but I would love to study physical climatology (especially radiative balance and attribution) after I graduate. So what I want to know is…..how do you stay sane as a climatologist?! I can handle terrifying predictions (I’ve gotten good at turning off the emotional part of my brain when necessary) but the smearing of scientists, scientific organizations, and science itself, as well as the abandonment of facts in the media that has fallen prey to repeating these smears, makes me really worry about what kind of career I’m getting myself in for.

    [Response: Actually most scientists don't have to deal with this at all. The smear campaigns 'work' precisely because they only pick on a few individuals who are supposed to represent the entire community. Obviously it is no fun being one of these people. But most of what gets said has very little to do with who you are, what you really think or what you really do. And so you find that there has been a doppelgänger created online - someone who might look like you, with your name and place of work, but who holds opinions you would find abhorrent, has no ethical standards and is probably overweight. The way to cope is to realise that this is not you. People who have no idea what you are like find themselves compelled to dwell on your online doppelgänger's imagined faults, but again they are not really talking about you. Imagine you are at school and someone comes up to you and calls you a baldy when in fact you have a full head of hair. Is the right reaction to be upset? Or simply realise that the person doesn't actually have a clue, and should rather be pitied than contradicted? Same thing online. People do manage to continue to be productive and to do good science, and that is ultimately the best revenge. - gavin]

    Comment by Kate — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:16 PM

  904. Kate,
    Look for research that interests you and don’t listen to ignorant food tubes. After all, there is something to be said for having the right enemies as well as the right friends.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 8:59 PM

  905. I have already read tamino’s web pages.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 24 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 PM

  906. > John Peter
    > cherry-picking for what sponsors want to hear

    That’s cherrypicking, and it’s explicitly NOT science

    > – I call that policy based science.

    Nope. If you do, you confuse cherrypicking with science, throwing out the meaning of “science” by asserting that it can still be “science” while dishonestly done intentionally to advocate a predetermined point of view.

    The term you’re probably trying for is “advocacy science” — this is well documented, studied quite a bit. It’s usually referring to “science” designed to serve the interests of “advocates” (lawyers). Look up the “Daubert” decision.

    E.g.: “Evidence shows that research funded by the tobacco industry was designed as advocacy science.” http://www.defendingscience.org/upload/The-Funding-Effect-in-Science-and-its-Implications-for-the-Judiciary.pdf

    or
    http://www.ssrc.org/workspace/images/crm/new_publication_3/%7Beee91c8f-ac35-de11-afac-001cc477ec70%7D.pdf
    “THE SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL JULY 2008
    The Rise of the Dedicated Natural
    Science Think Tank — By Philip Mirowski
    “While most of work on think tanks takes if for granted that their mandate would encompass the social sciences as part of their political orientation, it has been much less common to focus on the growth of think tanks dedicated to the natural sciences. This has been unfortunate, because it is one thing to generate policy-relevant knowledge to bolster your side in the political arena, it is quite another to have the ambition to change the very nature of knowledge production about both the natural and social worlds….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  907. Gavin, impressive response to Kate in #903

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:56 PM

  908. Kate (#903) “…makes me really worry about what kind of career I’m getting myself in for.”

    Don’t for a minute let this stuff deter you from your interests. Believe me, the rewards of doing scientific research – the deep appreciation of the magnificence of the physical world, the joy of discovery, the opportunity to contribute to beneficial knowledge, and the support and respect of colleagues who value honesty and integrity – far outweigh the burdens imposed by those who might feel threatened by your work.

    Take heart from those who shine in the midst of the fray. While Gavin et al. are here dealing with dirt bombs, check out Jane Lubchenco (head of NOAA) dealing with congressional dinosaurs:
    http://http://globalwarming.house.gov/pubs?id=0014
    She is a class act, a great role model.

    And if, by any chance, you are the Kate of ClimateSight.org, you are ‘way ahead of the game already. If you’re not, well, you have good company over there.

    Comment by Pat Cassen — 25 Feb 2010 @ 12:39 AM

  909. Hank Roberts (906)

    Thanks for listening.

    I found your first reference interesting and helpful – though perhaps not in the manner you intended. The author is a professor of medicine, all his examples and processes are from the health and drug sciences, and he very clearly outlines the similarities and differences between scientists and lawyers which is where I suspect he drew his term advocacy.

    I did not understand why tobacco companies seemed to be the example of corporate malfeasance used to project problems for climate scientists. Having read the link which you so kindly provided I now think I understand – almost all Krimshi’s examples dealt with tobacco companies (and alluded to drug testing).

    While the second reference uses term advocacy science, as a synonym for contrarian, it only does so once and in a transient and negative. However it doesn’t really matter much because social science is way beyond me and I’ve had too much difficulty with programmer scheduling to warm up to a term like computer science.

    Climate science differs from most physical science in that experiments can not repeated to examine a hypothesis. The heavy requirements for proxies and models in good climate science – whatever that may be – put it in a class by itself. Needless to say double-blind testing, so important to advocacy science, is also quite out of the question.

    I hope that I’m not just being stubborn but I’d like to continue with my use of the term policy based science, at least until until IPCC drops its science based policy terminology.

    BTW, I continue to believe that science and policy don’t mix well. Good science depends on skepticism, while good policy depends on consensus. The two are incompatible – at least that’s what I believe.

    Comment by John Peter — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:35 AM

  910. Maybe it’s as simple as Andreas has a hammer labelled “Sociological sciences” and everything is a nail that responds only to that hammer.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 7:25 AM

  911. “889
    stevenc says:
    24 February 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Andreas Bjurstrom, I’m sorry but I see no pacticality behind what you recommend.”

    And Andreas will now consign you to “whatever”-bin. He’s unwilling to accept that science isn’t sociology, however much his single paper wants to make it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 7:27 AM

  912. As declared previously on other threads, I am a non-scientific, Joe Soap “sceptic”.

    The question most often asked of me on sites like RealClimate is why, given the overwhelming evidence and the scientific consensus, do I choose to ignore the science produced by 1000s of learned and dedicated scientists – in favour of my own uneducated “feel” or personal opinion? – which, frankly, is not a bad question.

    To start with, I am probably anti-authoritarian in general attitude and am instinctively mistrustful of people in positions of power telling me something is beyond debate. Secondly, I instinctively react by entrenching if I am then insulted (denier, flat earther, loony, big oil, etc) for holding my views.

    More importantly though, as someone that has been in sales for 30 years (big ticket IT sales at a senior level – but absolutely no qualifications) I think know when I am being sold to, or at the very least, when I am being oversold.

    My personal epiphany was a 2 or 3 years ago when ITN News in the UK broadcast the evening news each night for a week from the Antarctic (during the summer down there). There were lots of stories about various aspect of change in the Antarctic and many of them included some thing along the lines of “this could disappear”, “this may lead to”, “if that happens then it might result in”.

    In one particular piece, the Anchor Man, Mark Austin, was in a rib (or small boat) showing us hugely impressive close-to images of enormous ice bergs. Without warning, a huge wall of ice slipped from a close iceberg causing the driver of the little boat to power away to avoid getting hit or swamped. Once Mr Austin had gathered himself, he solemnly reported something along the lines of “evidence, if ever more evidence were needed, of the impact of global warming”. What?!? He’s in the Antarctic, in the summer, and as far as he is concerned, the break up of an ice berg is evidence of a forthcoming global catastrophe?

    I know that you guys on RealClimate would not support what he said and therefore you might ask “so what”? The issue is that this story is symptomatic of what the general public has been subjected to for years now. It isn’t your fault and most of you didn’t do it. However, rightly or wrongly, you are now suffering the consequences of all of the ridiculous scare stories (not agreed by you) where seemingly everything that happens is presented as evidence of global warming.

    When my Prime Minister tells me I am a flat earther, or denialist, because the science is settled and the scientific consensus is clear, he is, in effect, quoting you. He is saying that you (i.e. all you learned scientists) say that there is no debate and there is no doubt.

    There are lots of other issues but then, most recently, we get the Q & A between Phil Jones and Roger Harrabin of the BBC.

    I have no doubt that Phil Jones is a very nice, dedicated and learned man and is obviously an expert in these matters. He is one of the people that are at the very centre of the debate and is one of the very people, that I have been led to believe by the press, the IPCC and my government, that “knows” what is happening with our climate – to the extent that the science is “settled” and there is no debate left to be had.

    However, when given “sceptic based” questions to answer, he supplies the following messages to me and the MSM. Remember, he did not give these answers under time pressure or under the spotlight. He had all the time he needed to carefully craft responses that said exactly what he wanted them to say. I assume (or at least I hope), that every word in his responses was poured over and triple checked with others before he gave them. The result of his efforts was to transmit the following messages to the layman:

    Message 1.
    Phil Jones confirms that there hasn’t been any statistically significant increase in global temperatures since 1995 (i.e. the message is that there hasn’t been any warming for 15 years).

    Message 2.
    Phil Jones says “So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other” (i.e. the message is that the increasing temperatures of the type being experienced are not unprecedented)

    Message 3.
    Phil Jones says “It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view.(i.e.. the message is that I, (Phil Jones) don’t think that the science is settled and most scientists don’t think it is either.

    Please don’t expend effort picking apart, justifying or questioning the paraphrased quotes/statements. That is not my point. The point that I am trying to make is that these are now the headlines that the public, including me, is seeing. You may not think that they are right or even fair – but they are the headlines.

    If one is a Joe Soap voter (and I am), and the TV news presents you with these headlines and one compares them with the statements being made (still) by Gordon Brown (our Prime mnister), Ed Miliband (our Climate Change Minister), Dr Pachauri and Al Gore (all non-experts) – then there is clearly a gap – a yawning gap!

    If GB, EM, RP and AG have “misunderstood” Phil Jones’ position in the past then who else, and what else, have they also “misunderstood”?

    Throw in the CRU emails and the other various “gates” as well as the stories about the “alleged” billion dollars of carbon credits to be received by Tata for closing the UK’s last major steel works and the story of the British Civil Service “buying” £60m of carbon credits from India so that they can continue to heat and light their offices at current levels, and Joe Soap would need to have a pretty thick skin to conclude that “there is nothing here”.

    So, because I am instinctively cynical and mistrustful of politicians and authority – I have no alternative but to come to the conclusion that I am being “sold” to – and I am being sold to, big time, by some very important and powerful people.

    The frustration of the many contributors to RealClimate is palpable and I can only imagine what it feels like to believe or “know” something as a result of years of study – and to have your work increasingly dismissed or mistrusted by Joe Soap. This is clearly totally unfair and unjustified.

    But how do I square the circle? I have concluded, logically in my view, for reasons that I can only guess at, that Gordon Brown et al have been lying to me (or, at the very least, they are guilty of gross overselling of the scientific “consensus”). My instinctive feelings that a consensus didn’t exist as previously portrayed is proven by the words of Phil Jones.

    On the other hand, why on earth would GB, EM, RP and AG lie to me? Take the easy ones first. Al Gore might lie to me because he is a politician and he has another agenda and sees a way of keeping himself in the public eye and making money from writing, speaking and carbon trading. It’s hard to believe – but possible. Dr Pachauri might be the same or he might just “believe”. Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband are more difficult. Most “global warming policies” result in the voters loosing something, paying more or paying more taxes – none of which are obvious vote winners. Maybe it’s the “emperor’s clothes” thing. Maybe they have so much personal credibility invested in the government policies of the last 12 years that they just can’t take a single backward step for fear of the consequences.

    If nothing else, I hope that this diatribe gives you an insight into the slow and cumbersome workings of the “lay” mind.

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 25 Feb 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  913. 911Completely Fed Up,
    Sociology is a scientific discipline, didn´t you know that? Actually, there are quite many different sciences, hundreds of disciplines, and thousands of specialities….
    By the way, I am not an sociologist :-)
    and almost all my suggestions was historical, history is not sociology :-)

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 25 Feb 2010 @ 9:19 AM

  914. CC “do I choose to ignore the science produced by 1000s of learned and dedicated scientists – in favour of my own uneducated “feel” or personal opinion? – which, frankly, is not a bad question.”

    Yes it is a bad question.

    It’s like the question “Should I have thought about the consequences of stealing this car before I lost control and slammed into that busload of people?”.

    It is not a good question because you shouldn’t have been in the position of asking it.

    “More importantly though, as someone that has been in sales for 30 years (big ticket IT sales at a senior level – but absolutely no qualifications) I think know when I am being sold to, or at the very least, when I am being oversold.”

    Projection.

    And when someone is selling you life insurance you go “I’m NEVER going to die!!!”?

    “The frustration of the many contributors to RealClimate is palpable and I can only imagine what it feels like to believe or “know” something as a result of years of study”

    Other way round (you’re projecting again!):

    “… what it feels like to “believe” or know something …”

    “If nothing else, I hope that this diatribe gives you an insight into the slow and cumbersome workings of the “lay” mind.”

    No, it’s given us all too great an insight into yours.

    It was not a good journey.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:15 AM

  915. t_p_hamilton (891), How is it that someone can run an experiment that indicates doubling CO2 increases temp 2 degrees and come up with a 90% confidence in his result? Why not 100%? Did he only do 90% of one step in his experiment so assumed he is probably only 90% correct in his results? Or did part of his experiment require something that he wasn’t sure exactly how much to add but had a good idea — maybe 90% close? Or does some Bayesian genie pop up from one of his lab test tubes and pronounce, “n_i_n_e_t_y … p_e_r … c_e_n_t”?

    ps this was inadverntantly first put in a wrong thread.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:33 AM

  916. 914 CFU: “you shouldn’t have been in the position of asking it.”

    This is not your first strongly anti-democratic statement. I guess your are just politically naive, but it does not hurt to ask: Do you believe that democracy should be abandoned fully or just for environmental issues? Are you arguing for technocracy (that experts rule and write policy without political involvement?). Som sort of communism or fascism? An elite rule society like classic Greece? Please clarify the basis of your anti-democratic attitude.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:37 AM

  917. 914: CFU blathered “…”

    CC’s post (912) was perfectly reasonable and your response totally unwarranted. I seem to recall Gavin raising the question that CC was answered w/ post 912, namely why would anyone think they knew the science was wrong when they hadn’t actually read it? There are a large number of people out there who fit that bill. If it’s important that they be convinced in order for changes to happen (and I’m not sure it is) then it is better to understand where they’re coming from than to insult them.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  918. Charlie, #912,
    Issuing disclaimers such as that you are “non-scientific,” “anti-authoritarian,” “instinctively cynical and mistrustful of people in positions of power,” shows excellent self-awareness, but is entirely unhelpful if your goal is actually to make a rational decision or come to a reasonable conclusion when the topic is science-related. For some reason, you have no problem evaulating the motives of Al Gore, Climate Scientists, etc., but leave out Coporate England, America, Gas and Coal, companies, they are certainly not in positions of power and surely do not have any $ at stake? You have decided to ignore the evidence precedented by the experts b/c you don’t believe other people (Gordon Brown) who happen to believe the experts. I recommend that you do the same thing with all professions. No reason to believe the medical expert who tells you that you have cancer, since Gordon Brown believes in cancer and listening to doctor’s advice (and doctors obviously make money when you have cancer).
    You could save yourself the trouble of typing 10000 words and instead say, “I don’t understand the science of the issue. I don’t believe what certain people say to me, especially those that are in-line with the experts. This allows me to believe or not believe whatever I want and there is no way to convince myself otherwise.”
    It appears that all you need is an anti-Gordon Brown person off the street to tell you that the Lochness Monster exists and you will believe in it (I am assuming Brown does not believe in the Monster, my apologies if he does). I would recommend not using the word “logically” again when describing your thought process. It does not appear that there is any scientific reason for you to change your mind, so it appears your goal is to waste other people’s time and/or answer rhetorical questions.

    Comment by Cfox — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  919. CFU @914 – that post was uncalled for and impolite.

    Charlie Chutney may be mistaken (as I believe he is), but he has taken the time to compose a lengthy post outlining how he came to his current position that is entirely devoid of the sort of invective and namecalling which is the typical approach of those ‘sceptics’ who usually drive-by from the various deniospher outposts.

    If you can’t muster the energy or wit to engage CC with a similar level of consideration then at least have the grace and good sense to say nothing.

    Several other people have commented recently on how your aggressive posting style can be counterproductive and I have to say that in this example at least, I would have to agree with them.

    Regards
    Luke

    Comment by Luke Silburn — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:43 AM

  920. “and almost all my suggestions was historical, history is not sociology”

    So what does population have to do with history that it doesn’t have to do with sociology?

    I think your posts have been more histrionic than history ;-)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  921. Completely Fed Up: What do you think of Dr. Judith Curry’s essay about rebuilding trust?

    Comment by two moon — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:56 AM

  922. Charlie Chutney, OK, you’re gonna have to help me out with the logic here, ’cause I’m just not following it.

    Some ignorant food tube TV journalist whose sole credentials are probably good hair and better than average British dental work broadcasts some BS from Antartica and so you give up on the science without ever reading it?

    I’m sorry, Charlie, but I don’t think that sort of argument is covered in any logic text I’ve seen.

    And for the record, Jones did not say there had been no statistically significant warming in 15 years. Rather, he said the trend was not statistically different from zero–meaning that the mean slope was within 2 standard deviations of zero. That is not unexpected for a 15 year trend given a noisy system like climate. See:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/

    Likewise your point 2.

    Your point 3–the whole “science is settled” issue is a canard. Some science is settled. We know with certainty that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We know with 95% confidence that doubling CO2 gives you at least 2.1 degrees of warming. We don’t know in detail every little feedback that contributes to that. We don’t know the source of all the short-term variability in the system. What we know is sufficient to establish that we’re warming the climate with very high confidence.

    Charlie, I think you need to re-examine that step where you say A lies, therefore I won’t believe B. Might be a weak link in the logical argument.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  923. Hey CFU

    I pour my heart out to you and that’s all I get?

    I thought I was being self effacing, empathetic (don’t shorten it – that would be beneath you), and fully recognising some of the obvious flaws and illogicality in how we have arrived at this intercourse.

    On point of pedantry, if I say “I can’t imagine…. ” then I don’t think that can be a projection can it?

    Your journey may not have been good – but it was long wasn’t it!

    Comment by Charlie Chutney — 25 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  924. Charlie Chutney followed by CFU followed by John E. Pearson
    What’s missing from the Chutney is the ingredient found in the mirror, a salesman who only evaluates the sales pitch without reference to his own evaluation of the “product”. Why does Charlie focus on the belief that he’s being “sold”? What are his feelings about “the price” and “value”? I note Charlie concludes “Most “global warming policies” result in the voters loosing something, paying more or paying more taxes”. Do you really think that Al would choose such a bizarre way to enhance his wealth rather than just continuing to aggrandize it by the usual entrepreneural/investment strategies? Will he gain by paying a carbon tax on his “profiligate ways”? Do you disagree that humanity has been passing on the cost of past energy BAU to the future environment and generations? Do you want more assurance that beginning to pay for past debts soon is desireable/necessary? Why focus your analysis on motivations of the “salesmen” with no explicit examination of your own stake in the “transaction”?

    Maybe they have so much personal credibility invested in the government policies of the last 12 years that they just can’t take a single backward step for fear of the consequences.” Maybe you can’t consider re-evaluating your lifestyle for fear of the consequences to yourself, irrespective of the consequences to the future of the planet? Would it really cost you? Would it really be a wasted investment? Are you concerned that as a salesman your livilihood will be adversely affected by shifts in the econmy?

    Comment by flxible — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  925. “I pour my heart out to you and that’s all I get?”

    That didn’t seem to be coming from the *heart*.

    PS “if I say “I can’t imagine…. ” then I don’t think that can be a projection can it? ”

    Depends. But you didn’t say just that.

    Luke: “CFU @914 – that post was uncalled for and impolite.”

    Not uncalled for. Charlies forays into “I’m just an ordin’ry guy, guv’nor” is self aggrandizement.

    His statements include nothing of any consistent intelligent discourse.

    And your comment was uncalled for.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  926. #780:

    “Finally we agree on something.

    Comment by stevenc”

    What? We agree you’re very unlikely to be right???

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  927. “This is not your first strongly anti-democratic statement.
    .

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström”

    1) Democracy is said by its supporters to be the worst way of organising a society.

    2) McCarthy died a long time ago.

    3) Please explain how that statement is anti-democratic

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:24 PM

  928. J E Pearson: Wrong.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  929. Ray: “We know with 95% confidence that doubling CO2 gives you at least 2.1 degrees of warming.”

    Isn’t it 97.5%, since half of that 5% not within the limit is higher than 4.5 which is still at least 2.1.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:27 PM

  930. two moons, ever seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkau6m3Eb1U

    No, when there’s no way they will ever work with you, what is there to fix or burn?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:33 PM

  931. 881, Ray Ladbury: Matthew, many, many cycles in nature are not truly periodic. That includes pole flips for the geomagnetic field–although this is quasi-periodic, the “solar cycle”, and on and on. There are many different physical systems that exhibit quasiperiodic behavior. Really, Matthew, I very strongly suggest that you look at Tamino’s analysis.

    My point is not that an alternative theory to AGW has been convincingly established. My point is that the alternatives have not been ruled out, that the holes in the theory are non-ignorable. For an interesting read, let me recommend: S. Wiggins, “Introduction to Applied Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Chaos”; Crauel and Gundlach (eds.) “Stochastic Dynamics”; and Izhikevich, “Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience”. I mean, if we are going to accuse people of being ignorant, let’s go all the way.

    To me, tamino always seem to be very naive.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  932. Charlie Chutney and everyone else here,
    CFU is an internet troll, please don´t feed the trolls ….

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 25 Feb 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  933. flxible (924), you are making a normal response to CC, but it seems you don’t understand the realities of his sales analogy and therefore might no get his central point. Simply: a salesman makes a call trying to sell and deliver a big ticket product/system that in reality is very good and would probably provide a big enhancement to the client’s business. But the salesman starts off with a fancy song and dance and a line of bs that he probably learned at some sales correspondence school. The chance a sale will be made is virtually nil. (In big ticket sales credibility is the number one requisite.) CC is saying that the salesman shares the blame ( and probably most if not all of it) for the sales loss. You’re saying it’s the client’s fault; he should have dug it out himself. Either way the sale was not made. The client was not convinced. Mainly because the salesman started with a load of bs like the iceberg shedding a pile and blew any chance of being believed. Happens that way almost every time. If one is trying to convince someone else of something, success depends a lot on understanding this.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  934. It’s not worth asking Andy a question. He either ignores it or changes the accusation.

    You’d've thought someone who tried so hard to write a paper would be a better thinker…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  935. “My point is that the alternatives have not been ruled out,”

    Yes they have by virtue of being unable to explain reality.

    When you’ve managed to make one that explains reality, let us know.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:58 PM

  936. More to the point is the edited volume by P. Lahiri called “Model Selection”, volume 38 in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Lecture Notes-Monograph Series, 2001. For a historical perspective on duelling models, I recommend “Inward Bound” by Abraham Pais, a history of particle physics after Roentgen and Becquerel. Pais is more famous for his biographies of Einstein and Bohr.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  937. CC (858): I find it shocking that there doesn’t seem to be any definitive research into the effects of UHI.

    BPL: I find it shocking that you assume your ignorance is shared by the scientific community. Read and learn:

    Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., Imhoff, M., Lawrence, W., Easterling, D., Peterson, T., and Karl, T. 2001. “A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change.” J. Geophys. Res. 106, 23947–23963.

    Jones, P.D., et al. 1990. “Assessment of urbanization effects in time series of surface air temperature over land.” Nature, 347, 169–172.

    Karl, T.R., H.F. Diaz, and G. Kukla 1988. “Urbanization: Its detection and effect in the United States climate record.” J. Clim. 1, 1099–1123.

    Parker, DE. 2004. “Large-scale warming is not urban.” Nature 432, 290.

    Parker, DE. 2006. “A Demonstration That Large-Scale Warming Is Not Urban.” Journal of Climate 19, 2882-2895.

    Peterson, Thomas C. 2003. “Assessment of Urban Versus Rural In Situ Surface Temperatures in the Contiguous United States: No Difference Found.” J. Clim. 16(18), 2941-2959.

    Peterson T., Gallo K., Lawrimore J., Owen T., Huang A., McKittrick D. 1999. “Global rural temperature trends.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 26(3), 329.

    Pa04: “Controversy has persisted over the influence of urban warming on reported large-scale surface-air temperature trends. Urban heat islands occur mainly at night and are reduced in windy conditions3. Here we show that, globally, temperatures over land have risen as much on windy nights as on calm nights, indicating that the observed overall warming is not a consequence of urban development.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:40 PM

  938. Lets just get something straight. If the CRU is funded by the UK Government (public money) there should be absolutely no discussion behind closed doors. Period. Defending the privacy of the leaked emails is as ridiculous as you are implying the global warming deniers are.

    GW science and discussion regarding it belongs to the human race, not to a select few as it affects every single human being on the planet.

    [Response: I suggest webcams in every bathroom in every govt. facility around the world because you just can't have enough transparency you know.... - gavin]

    Comment by Dan — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:41 PM

  939. SM (877),

    What’s the physical mechanism behind your 60-year cycle?

    I’m suspicious of simply Fourier-analyzing a noisy data set. That was essentially how Aristotle and then Ptolemy developed their epicycle schemes.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  940. AB (888): I rest my case, since I know it is futile to discuss such issues with you guys.

    BPL: No, you can discuss them with us. You just can’t expect us to validate your post-modernist, anti-science point of view. There’s a difference between not listening and disagreeing. We’ve listened to your crackpot notions at great length. We just think you’re hopelessly wrong.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:57 PM

  941. “a history of particle physics after Roentgen and Becquerel.”

    Particle physics

    a) is not climate modelling

    b) is younger than climate science

    please try again.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  942. Septic Matthew wrote: “My point is that the alternatives have not been ruled out, that the holes in the theory are non-ignorable.”

    Your point is just plain wrong, on both counts, period.

    What else have you got? Anything other than more ignorance?

    Comment by SecularAnimism — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:37 PM

  943. 938 Gavin’s response: I’m new here but I think that you’re being unfair. Dan made a reasonable point about the expectation of transparency in activities funded by public money. You responded with bathroom humor. Not your best.

    [Response: The argument that everything done by government funded people must be instantly accessible to the wider world is ridiculous. They do not forfeit their right to privacy, nor their rights to have open, frank and constructive discussions with whomever they please, simply because the government has funded them to do something. These absolutist claims that somehow a civil servant is public property - and whatever they say, do, breathe, as well - has no basis in law or in morality. I thought the reductio ad absurdum argument would make that point succinctly. - gavin ]

    Comment by two moon — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  944. Charlie Chutney wrote: “As declared previously on other threads, I am a non-scientific, Joe Soap ‘sceptic’.”

    Yes, you keep “declaring” that you are a skeptic.

    And then you follow up with one example after another which clearly demonstrate that you are NOT a skeptic at all, but instead a gullible “true believer” of whatever you are told by those who appeal to your acknowledged ideological biases.

    Someone who unquestioningly believes anything and everything they are told by the so-called “right wing” media, and obstinately rejects and reviles any information that contradicts that, is NOT a skeptic.

    Comment by SecularAnimism — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  945. two moon, do you pay Soviet State Taxes?

    If not, why should the Soviet taxpayer put good money into work done by their government on climate research and then let you have it merely for the asking?

    Does your government know you’re paying taxes in Soviet Russia?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:55 PM

  946. And, since two moon thinks there’s a real need to open up anything under the taxpayer dollar, maybe he’d like to get us the plans for the Apache Helicopter.

    And, since there’s a $7bn a year tax subsidy to nuclear, we should have all the nuclear industry emails.

    Oh, don’t forget: Bank Bailouts.

    All those emails are open now.

    Goodie.

    Not to mention, all those tax breaks to religious places, businesses and so forth: payment in kind has been used as payment (else P2P sharing becomes impossible to persue: no money changes hands), so all those emails are out in the open.

    Since two moon is already here and thinks that government money = give us your emails, maybe he’d like to upload all the emails of the company he works for.

    I hope he isn’t expecting any privacy.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:59 PM

  947. 943: Sorry, but I’ve been a civil servant for 33 years and you are wrong in principle. Everything done by a civil servant in pursuit of his/her public endeavor is public property. Civil servants obviously have a right to privacy in their private lives, but that’s not what was under discussion here.

    [Response: Not everything a civil servant does is 'agency business' (at least in the US). Not every email is an agency record. Not every conversation, note, diary entry, scrap of paper, are either. Incidental and de minimis use of government resources for non-agency business is permitted as long as it does not affect agency functioning. All of this has extensive case law behind it associated with the FOIA. And if something isn't releasable under FOIA, it is by definition not able to be public domain. You do not forfeit your rights as a private citizen because you work for a govt. entity, and even less so if all you do is receive a contract from the government for specific services or research. Thus the idea that continual public monitoring of everything civil servants or grantees do is somehow ok, is anathema. - gavin]

    Comment by two moon — 25 Feb 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  948. BPL caused me to consider global temperautes via decadal averages. I wrote a short program which uses the avera