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  1. Sorry, but you chaps still aren’t getting “it”. I am on your side and I see that you still aren’t getting “it”. The problem is the defensiveness and obfuscation of the Team (as they call you). I see it and I am on your side. Let the “deniers” have what they want – data; code; public debate. Surely you all will “win” in that process with the facts. Only then will they relent.

    [Response: Maybe on a different planet. There is more data than you can poke a stick at, millions of lines of code in the public domain, and climate scientists tripping over themselves to do outreach at schools, churches, clubs, museums, TV, radio and music hall. I'm collecting 'we surrender' emails from the sceptics as we speak.... - gavin]

    Comment by John Bohnam — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:36 PM

  2. This is all very thorough and scholarly. However, you do not respond to Sen Inhofe’s recent comment that we aren’t changing the climate because “God’s still up there”. Is it or is it not that case that the author’s of the IPCC reports have systematically conspired to silence intelligent climate science and the divine negative feedback theory? The issue of divine negative feedback is simply not addressed anywhere in the reports. How do you respond to godwillfixitgate?

    /snark

    Comment by jrshipley — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  3. The cynicism and hypocrisy of these “-gate” beat-ups is stunning even by deniaworld standards. To take just the three main examples:
    (1) Is there any doubt that the majority of glaciers around the world are retreating and that such retreats are having, and are going to increasingly have, detrimental effects on water supplies of communities, and even countries, relying on them? Like everything else, there can be reasonable debates about the speed at which different glaciers are retreating depending on local conditions. But even the Chinese, normally the last people to have any concerns about environmental issues, are concerned about the Himalayan glaciers that affect their water supplies. I don’t know when the Himalyan glaciers are going to be gone, but whether the year is 2035 or 2350 or somewhere in between, the issue is surely that if such a prospect is on the cards we need to do something about it, not argue about the precise time that the last cube of ice disappears from the last mountain top.

    (2) Amazon rainforests susceptible to drying out under warmer drier conditions? D’Oh as ecologist Homer Simpson might say. The drying out and its effects on the carbon and water cycles of the forests are going to have serious local and global effects? Well, yes. So we are arguing about what? The precise time when a precise percentage is exhibiting a precise degree of stress? Really, this is the question?

    (3) “Only” a quarter of the Netherlands and only a half susceptible to flooding? Well, that’s all right then. No need for the Dutch to panic, no need for little boys to put fingers in dykes just yet. And what about the figures for Bangladesh? The Pacific Islands? Major coastal cities around the world? Any problems anyone can see as sea levels rise? No, because we need to debate whether a half or “only” a quarter of a major industrial nation is going to be flooded in a timespan which will mean it will be seen by people now alive. Babies and bathwater anyone?

    Comment by David Horton — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:45 PM

  4. Great post. I’d like to see a per-page-howler ratio in climate
    change reporting in major papers!

    Comment by Geoff Russell — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  5. This is great information! I’ll be making a presentation on the most basic aspects of climate science and economics in two months and expect that there will be serious skeptics in the audience who have bought into the media misinformation.

    Knowing more about the details of the IPCC structure and how it reports can help me to deal with this better.

    Thanks

    Comment by Robert Reiland — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  6. A Feeling for Numbers

    Very informative piece, thank you – a small comment on the Himalayan glaciers – in the IPCC AR4 WG2 report is a table of various glaciers with their rates of retreat (chapter 10.6.2, URL http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-6-2.html ).

    If you pick the Gangotri Glacier, which is one of the longest in the Himalayas, at about 30km length, then the reported retreat rate of just under 30m/year clearly indicates that unless things speed up dramatically, the glacier will need of order 1000 years to disappear. For the Pindari Glacier, which is much shorter, figures for its length I found are around 3km, the published retreat rate of over 100m/year leads to a lifetime of around 30 years – so there seems to be an enormous range just picking 2 glaciers from the table. The average retreat rate for the Pindari Glacier seems abnormally large, so where does the 135.2m/year come from ?

    Whoever came up with the list mis-typed the interval 1845 to 1966 and did it from 1945 (or a similar “glitch” on a keyboard) – that gives you the abnormally large retreat rate – the correct value should have been 23.5m/year, and would have given the Pindari Glacier a much improved life expectancy.

    Not sure who first came up with this table, but this simple maths-related typo combined with probably the doubly-incorrect conclusion that it wasn’t just one glacier to go (by 2035), but a journalistic inclusion of “all” seems to have been the beginning of this episode.

    If someone at the time had looked at these figures critically, I am sure they would have quizzed the “gone by 2035” assertion and the unusually high retreat rate … but many people these days have lost their feeling for numbers, made easy by calculators and cut&paste (IMHO).

    Comment by Bernd Eggen — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:54 PM

  7. John (#1): I respectfully disagree.

    If this were purely a scientific debate, involving people on all sides who have the pursuit of truth as their primary goal, then you would be right.

    What we really have is a group seeking truth through the scientific process being assailed by another group that’s turning this into a political debate (some would say a pro wrestling show), with more than a little help from the clueless or complicit media.

    As I’ve said before, this scenario is akin to the TV character Frasier Crane trying to talk his way out of a fight in a biker bar. The two sides are playing radically different games with different goals.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 14 Feb 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  8. Thank you for a clear and concise explanation of the facts. There’s just one thing that still gets me: when will they fianlly lay to rest this “-gate” thing? Total lack of imagination!!!!

    Comment by Fern — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:00 PM

  9. Rather than chasing around on this old media nonsense, the climate scientists on here can provide a rapid commentary on this :
    http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf

    [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]

    Comment by Bill — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  10. What about the biassed and unsubstantiated ways in which biofuels were written up including in the WG3 volume, including the Summary for Policymakers, which 5 name scientists (unconnected to ‘climate scepticism’) complained about? See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-ipcc-is-not-infallible-shock/#comment-155614 – I responded subsequently to several responses to this.

    This was covered briefly by BBC News in 2007, and also 12 UK MPs signed this Early Day Motion about it.

    With all due respect, you the RC team are speaking above about the whole IPCC/AR4 report, and the problem to date has been that complaints have been regarded as nonexistent unless/until a certain critical mass of the media mentions them.

    Comment by Jim Roland — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 PM

  11. Although it’s true that there are few leaders behind the campaign to discredit IPCC (and climate science)
    their writing cascades through various channels. Here in Australia for example we have vociferous
    right-wing newspapers and media outlets that peddle the stuff. Then it gets on to talkback radio and into
    blogs.

    For those with a sense of humour it will be interesting to keep a track of how long these memes continue to
    echo in denosphere… will they still be being repeated in 2015, 2020?

    Comment by calyptorhynchus — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 PM

  12. Can we just evaluate Jones’s recent words since he is at the epicenter of the disagreement?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html

    [Response: You have to get past the appalling spin put on them by the Mail first. The actual statements are online at the BBC. There is absolutely nothing new here unless you've actually fallen for the strawman caricature of what climate scientists are supposed to have been saying. - gavin]

    [Response: Thanks for this link, Gavin. I think a big problem with this BBC interview is the implicit undercurrent - never stated explicitly - that the recent warming is anthropogenic if it is unprecedented. Scientifically, these two things have nothing to do with each other, as we have discussed in more detail here. We know recent warming is anthropogenic because we know what is causing the recent increase in radiative forcing - in other words, we know the source of the heat. It is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused by our emissions. Stefan]

    Comment by Global Skeptic — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:09 PM

  13. Also worth noting as a serious media error: The IPCC is usually described, by even the best reporters, as a “United Nations” organization. In reality it is an intergovernmental panel (gee, that’s what the name says, who knew?) set up and administered jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). To be sure, UNEP reports to the UN General Assembly, but WMO is a fully independent intergovernmental body with a history long predating the UN. All this can be found with about three minutes’ searching on the internet.

    The media error is meaningful because in some quarters the UN and all its works is regarded with great suspicion. Calling the IPCC a UN organization conceals, among other things, the fact that the IPCC’s reports have not only been officially accepted by the worlds’ governments, but in effect were written by them, including the Bush and preceding US administrations.

    Comment by Spencer — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:10 PM

  14. Thank you for this superb overview.

    The IPCC was established in an age of less pressing urgency. To take 3 years to author a near perfect report is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We now enter an age where climate destabilization events may be much more sudden; Pine Island WAIS, increasing permafrost melting and methane release may be catastrophic within a 3 year timeline. Any speed up of information flow is warranted.

    Comment by Richard Pauli — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  15. good on you! thanks for this.

    Comment by David Wilson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  16. Concerning the ‘double standards’ od sceptics on grey literature: Nobody seems to be bothered by the fact that WG III relied on nuclear power corporations’ publications to conclude that nuclear power was a mitigation option: http://felixinnorwich.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/corporate-interests-in-the-ipcc-report-nuclear-energy/

    Comment by Felix — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  17. A few comments on the discussion of the disasters issue:

    This statement in your post is in error:

    “It cited a paper by Muir-Wood as its source although that paper doesn’t include the graph, only the analysis that it is based on.”

    The cited paper does not include the analysis that the graph is based on. In fact, it includes no discussion of temperature trends and disasters. You can confirm this for yourself:
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/sparc/research/projects/extreme_events/munich_workshop/muirwood.pdf

    You should correct the error in this post.

    Also, you say that Muir-Wood says “it was appropriate to include [his research] them in the report”

    This is only partially true. Muir-Wood was referring to the summary of the mis-cited paper, which he says was summarized fairly. You should also note that the summary that Muir-Wood thinks is fair, he wrote as a contributing author of that chapter.

    With respect to the dubious graph Muir-Wood says that he created it informally and that it should not have been included.
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/02/ipcc-mystery-graph-solved.html

    You ignore IPCC issues in the review process on this issue, notably making stuff up about my views:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-does-pielke-think-about-this.html

    So questions for you:

    1. Was the intentional misciting of Muir-Wood’s work to avoid the publication deadline appropriate?

    2. Was the inclusion of the dubious graph appropriate, given that it appears in no literature before or since, peer-reviewed or gray, and was called by more than one reviewer “misleading” and recommended to be removed? Muir Wood now agrees that it should not have been included. Do you disagree?

    3. Was it appropriate for the IPCC to make stuff up about my views?

    [Response: Clearly there are different views on this, which is why we called this graph "debatable". But let's keep things in perspective: we're discussing Supplementary Material and a response to one of those 90,000 review comments now, not even the report itself. You've been working hard to scandalize your personal quibbles with IPCC here - how consistent is this with your self-proclaimed role as "honest broker"? Stefan]

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:38 PM

  18. “We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  19. The ‘team’ needs to get this information out into the common media. It should also get aggressive and demand a congressional hearing to publicly clarify these issues, write op-eds for major papers and in other ways take the offensive. The ‘gates’ are not going to go away until the scientific community educated American’s and others about the issues.

    Comment by Bob Doppelt — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  20. But isn’t it the responsibility of the media to actually investigate whether allegations have any merit before they decide to repeat them?

    I assume that’s sarcasm? Or perhaps just a rose-tinted view of the UK press? Granted, we don’t have quite the equivalent of Fox News over here, but our broadsheet newspapers often rival the tabloids in their lack of concern with facts.

    Not that other countries are any better served by their press – look at what the Australian media fell for last year: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2698835.htm

    Incidentally, there was an independent review of the UK Press Complaints Commission this January. Various media-watchers put together a set of proposals including like-for-like retractions (rather than printing corrections in 8-pt font on pg 26) and applying the same standards to headlines as well as article text. I signed the petition, but to be honest what’s really necessary is for the PCC to do a better job of enforcing the existing code.

    If they have the time/energy, Stefan and David Nepstad should submit complaints to the PCC about the misrepresentation in Leake’s articles (the PCC will only consider complaints from people personally affected by an article or report, not the general public).

    Comment by cer — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:42 PM

  21. A couple of thoughts:

    First, the IPCC by its very existence as a clearing house of information on climate change provides a single target on which denialists and spinmeisters can focus. Since it is the primary information source for most reality-based policy makers, it does not matter that the information it is providing is in fact not primary. As long as they can make the IPCC look bad, they can give the impression of making climate scienc look bad. Note the contrast here to the evolution debate where creationists have no single target on which they can focus.

    Second, the important role of the IPCC is entirely out of proportion to its tiny resources and staff. In this sense it is a mirror of its parent orgatization–the UN, which is also a favorite whipping boy for rightwing bullies and conspiracy theorists. In the debate over smoking, the source of anti-smoking information was the government. And while the anti-smoking denialists could fight a delaying action, the Surgeon General and the government behind him had the resources to hit back if the attacks and lies became too egregious.

    Third, WG2 and WG3 are particularly vulnerable to charges of using grey literature in part because there are relatively few scientific journals specifically devoted to their subject matter–consequences and mitigation, respectively. There is also the problem that the discipline of risk analysis is if possible even less well understood by the public than is science.
    I have tried on several occasions to emphasize that the stage of risk analysis we are in now is bounding the consequences conservatively. A bound need not be perfect as long as it is finite and conservative. Later on, if the particular threat/risk calculus is seen to dominate the total risk, we can sharpen pencils and refine the bound or the probability of the threat being realized.

    The final element of this perfect storm of denial is the woeful state of the press. Legitimate news organizations have decimated their press corps–in some cased doing away with science journalism entirely. Those few reporters left are overworked, under-informed and mindful that a report that displeases management (independent of support from the editor) could be fatal to their career.

    In some ways, it is interesting to watch the resulting clustercluck. I am curious how people will react when the orgy of denial is spent and they realize that there is even more evidence telling them they are warming the planet to dangerous levels than there was before. We are probing the limits of human denial as well as the secrets of the planet’s climate.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  22. Let’s assume for a moment that the 3000 pages of the IR4 reported one idea or fact per page. If there were only two errors that would be an error level of about 0.0666%. And if, as some media outlets have reported, there were six errors than the error level would be 0.2%.

    However, each page has multiple pieces of information, so in reality the error level is far far lower. A very small fraction of a percent of the information contained in the report.

    So, how does any of this put the IPCC or climate science in jeopardy? Add to that the fact that none of the errors are central to the major ideas of climate science.

    The answer – spin of gyroscopic intensity.

    Comment by Peter Houlihan — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:53 PM

  23. Global Skeptic,
    Isn’t that interesting. You choose to read the spin on Jones comments by the Mail rather than the comments themselves, even though both are available on-line.

    Do you have someone else pre-chew your food, too?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  24. Ray #17 “Note the contrast here to the evolution debate where creationists have no single target on which they can focus”. Not really a contrast. The single target for creationists is Charles Darwin. They refer to evolution as “Darwinism”. they constantly talk about the supposed mistakes “Darwin” made. About how they would rather trust “god’s word” in the bible than Darwin’s. The cases are comparable in this (as in many other ) ways. You can say, until you look like an Avatar character, that evolution/speciation/adaptation has been the work of tens of thousands of biologists over the last 150 years, none of whom have ever found an inconsistency in the basic theses (as distinct from the details of particular evolutionary pathways), and of the scientists in supporting disciplines like geology, chemistry, physics, genetics, and so on. But no, it was only one man, Darwin, who outrageously challenged “god”.

    Comment by David Horton — 14 Feb 2010 @ 5:58 PM

  25. @Ray Ladbury,

    Perhaps you’ll comment on the fact that the BBC is highly invested in climate change, via their pension, and therefore, with billions riding on their investments, are equally as likely to spin climate science in their favor?

    All of your snide statements aside, your comments on this matter Ray would be very helpful for me.

    [Response: Listen to yourself. The next thing will be that the police over-report crime because their pensions are invested in riot-control gear manufacturers, or that people only care about Haiti because they have shares in a T-shirt factory there. This kind of uber-conspiratorial thinking is poisonous to any dialog - take it somewhere else. - gavin]

    Comment by Global Skeptic — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:07 PM

  26. OT
    I would like commenters’ views on this:
    “The UN body that advises world leaders on climate change must investigate an apparent bias in its report that resulted in several exaggerations of the impact of global warming, according to its former chairman.

    In an interview with The Times Robert Watson 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.”

    Source: The Times (UK)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026932.ece

    Comment by Jimbo — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:09 PM

  27. I can’t overemphasize how important postings like this and websites like this are in the climate change debate. The news media does a terrible job in interpreting scientific information and it is easily manipulated into producing very inaccurate reporting. And without a personal background in the scientific specialties under study, it’s hard for any individual to know what importance to give some of these hyped-up stories. So thanks to Real Climate and its contributors for providing the proper context.

    Comment by Randy — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:24 PM

  28. You say, “It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again.” But if one thing’s clear from all this it’s that if you leave it to the media this just won’t happen. I understand your reluctance – but I’m afraid if anything’s to be done about it, climate scientists are going to have to take the initiative. As a matter of urgency, funding needs to be found for a rebuttal agency which can pounce on these errors as soon as they come up. It needs to involve both people with professional experience of getting stories into the media and scientists who have the time to give the issues their full and immediate attention (perhaps scientists who have retired from full-time research). Absurd that such a thing is needed, of course, but without it the denialists will continue to run rings around you.

    Comment by Mr Henderson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:27 PM

  29. The charges of FOI violations against CRU are also starting to look ephemeral. Remarkably (or not depending on one’s POV), nobody in the media seems to have thought it worth their time to follow up on the details even though so many of them, including “responsible” reporters, were happy to repeat the charges. In particular, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it was Andy Revkin, a leading climate reporter working for the U.S. “newspaper of record,” who legitimated “CRU-gate” by writing a story that appeared on the front page of the New York Times. To all appearances *nothing* has been learned from the execrable example set by the NYT in the run-up to the Iraq War.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:36 PM

  30. Unfortunately for Richard Pauli (#14)’s good intention, processes of scientific research and careful review cannot be accelerated so much. It is ironic because acceleration of many contemporary affairs are caused by rapid developments of science-based technology.

    Official correction of mistakes of IPCC reports after publication should certainly be accelerated. But correction to reflect new scientific findings is a different thing, and to demand accelerating it will make scientists too busy and will deteoriate the quality of the official products of IPCC.

    Quicker responses should be made by relatively small groups of scientists. There should be portal sites of such information constantly updated. Maybe IPCC can act as one of the portals, but then it should be made very clear that these remarks are “unofficial” from IPCC’s viewpoint.

    Comment by Kooiti Masuda — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:43 PM

  31. “There also is a sizeable contingent of me-too journalism that is simply repeating the stories but not taking the time to form a well-founded view on the topics. Typically they report on various “allegations”, such as these against the IPCC, similar to reporting that the CRU email hack lead to “allegations of data manipulation”. Technically it isn’t even wrong that there were such allegations. But isn’t it the responsibility of the media to actually investigate whether allegations have any merit before they decide to repeat them?”

    “What is seriously amiss is something else: the public perception of the IPCC, and of climate science in general, has been massively distorted by the recent media storm. All of these various “gates” – Climategate, Amazongate, Seagate, Africagate, etc., do not represent scandals of the IPCC or of climate science. Rather, they are the embarrassing battle-cries of a media scandal, in which a few journalists have misled the public with grossly overblown or entirely fabricated pseudogates, and many others have naively and willingly followed along without seeing through the scam. It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again”

    I know this may be a little off-topic, but the media’s reporting on Climate Change, especially the ‘many others have naively and willingly followed along without seeing through the scam’, highlights a certain pattern in the behaviour of the mainstream media which is the subject of an excellent book by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, ‘Manufacturing Consent’. I urge you guys at Realclimate, if you have the time (which I know you’re short on), to read it.

    Comment by Wynand Dednam — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:49 PM

  32. Jimbo: It’s the Times. Why would you trust them?

    Read it very, very carefully. “all the errors [...] resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem”. Is this true? Yes. But wait…. “all the errors”? There is one error, and it overstates the severity of the problem. One error!

    If I had a Times subscription, I would cancel it. They get more errors per page than is in the entire IPCC report.

    Comment by Didactylos — 14 Feb 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  33. @ Global Sceptic

    >”Perhaps you’ll comment on the fact that the BBC is highly invested in climate change, via their pension, and therefore, with billions riding on their investments, are equally as likely to spin climate science in their favor?”.<

    It look's like you are from the UK. So am I. Go back and post on the Daily Telegraph or Mail website. Then, globally, people won't have to read your drivel.

    If the BBC pension was in armaments manufacture, by your logic, the BBC editors would be making non ending calls for war.

    Please – keep taking the pills. You are an embarrassment to the UK.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:06 PM

  34. Mr. Henderson (#28): You’re right about the press not correcting itself in these matters. As far as I’m concerned, the reason is painfully simple: Brute force economics.

    As long as there’s a big, heated debate over climate change, the traditional media benefits. They’re under such incredible economic pressure that they’re grasping for anything to capture more eyeballs, so at least some of them are happy to assume the position of arms merchant in this war of words.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:17 PM

  35. The Copenhagen Diagnosis carries beautiful WG-II-like pictures. Maybe to support and embellish its WG-I-related conclusions.

    Gavin:
    Re your “… uber-conspiratorial thinking…” response:

    The very examples you mention in your response, can, and do take place in the real world. No conspiracy needed. Just pettiness and human greed is enough.

    Mr Henderson:
    “…climate scientists are going to have to take the initiative.”

    Please look where we are today, with climate scientists taking the ‘initiative’. When the situation calls for a cool-headed detached approach, you are asking for more initiative?

    Funding for a rebuttal agency? :)

    Regards
    Anand

    Comment by Anand — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:22 PM

  36. Recently, I have been trying to determine the “physical climate science basis” for the effect of clouds on radiation balance. In particular, is their feedback/forcing positive or negative?

    The clearest reference I have found so far is Ramanathan’s 1987 Physics Today article. There he identified quantification of cloud effects on climate as a key technical problem. Did you ever “solve” it?

    Of course the climate will change, we all know that. It’s your focus on CO2 that’s at issue. To make your case against carbon you need accessible answers to questions like mine about cloud effects.

    It seems to me that “cap-and-trade” is what is bothering the deniers most. Supposedly based on your science, the politics of “cap-and-trade” are even more arcane than the quantitative details of radiation balance.

    The above is just my opinion, based on some political life experiences during a scientific career. FWIW, I offer it as a fair exchange for ref(s) to cloud effect quantification.

    john

    Comment by John Peter — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  37. Roger Pielke Jr. says:
    14 February 2010 at 5:38 PM

    I think an answer is needed to Dr. Peilke’s assertions.

    Comment by Les Johnson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:34 PM

  38. I second Roger Pielke Jr (#17). I was at the Royal Institution debate a few days ago in London and Muir-Wood didn’t sound very pleased with what the IPCC had done with his work.

    Comment by Maurizio Morabito — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:40 PM

  39. @Gavin and Theo Hopkins

    Your logic is scant, and your personal attacks are not necessary.

    It is duly noted that you have no relevant response to my questions regarding the BBC’s pension.

    Perhaps then we need to discuss Pachauri’s ties to numerous for profit endeavors that directly rely on the success of AGW?

    Again, I’m curious as to your responses about these matters.

    Regards,
    GS

    [Response: The 'success' of AGW? This chasing down the rabbit hole in search of imaginary reasons why anyone would actually want AGW to be true is simple delusion. There are of course huge vested interests in the status quo - anyone who relies on anything from any infrastructure within a meter of mean sea level (this is almost everyone if you work it out), and yet you think that someone investing in solar energy, maybe just because they'd like to see it succeed means that nothing they say can be trusted? You are through the looking glass here. Please focus on the substance of any actual arguments rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel to find excuses not to. All further discussion on imaginary financial conflicts of interest are OT. - gavin]

    Comment by Global Skeptic — 14 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 PM

  40. Outstanding post, very useful and important. I expect to be linking to it a lot.

    Comment by Robert — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:03 PM

  41. #36 John Peter

    Regarding cloud feedbacks, see the discussion in Chapter 8 of the IPCC Report:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-2.html

    In a comparison of models, the cloud feedback was positive in all, but the magnitude varied greatly. Thus, cloud feedback is still considered the greatest uncertainty in climate-change projections for a given emissions scenario. In other words, models that predict the most warming are those that have the most positive cloud feedback. Note, however, that substantial warming is projected even in models with a small cloud feedback.

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:13 PM

  42. John Peter (36) — During the Eemian interglacial, the temperatures were 2–3 K warmer than now. That is enough to see that cloud effects don’t preclude ever increasing temperatures.

    I do recommend reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link under the science section of the sidebar.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:14 PM

  43. Dr. Pielke Jr. has checked in here and seems very concerned with matters of exaggeration, of creating narratives from flimsy evidence or no evidence at all. I wonder if Dr. Pielke Jr. would care to further amplify here with solid evidence this remark he made on his blog:

    “IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims.”

    Dr. Pielke Jr. termed this a “classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest”. That’s quite a serious charge. Yet when I tried to follow Dr. Pielke’s hypothesis via the supporting materials he included, I could find nothing to support such a drastic accusation, or that is to say nothing that would stand up to serious scrutiny in a court of law.

    I’m left wondering why I should lend weight to Dr. Pielke’s opinions. I’m open to being swayed on that account.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:18 PM

  44. Mr. Henderson,
    While I would hesitate to recommend a permanent organization to answer the spin, I do think it is clear that a climate-education branch of the IPCC might be a useful addition to the effort. It is clear that the task of the IPCC has grown well beyond its capabilities. The organization probably needs to grow as well.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:19 PM

  45. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Any comments on Phil Jones Q&A – perhaps it’s something you should cover.

    Comment by Undecided — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:21 PM

  46. 44, Doug B.

    Here is the US NAS COI policy:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/02/nas-on-coi.html

    Ask yourself if Dr. Pachauri would meet these standards. I think not. the standards for many science advisory bodies are even more strict.

    The question is, why should the IPCC not follow standard COI policies? (Currently it has none.)

    I think that the IPCC is strengthened with COI policies. I’d like to hear an argument to the contrary. A strengthened IPCC is a good idea.

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:30 PM

  47. doug bostrom:

    Your reference to Peilke’s

    “IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims.”

    Its pretty clear. Pachauri refuted the Indian government glacier data, while he was negotiating with the EU and the Carnegie Foundation, for funds to study Himilayan glaciers.

    Granted, Pachauri did not violate IPCC COI standards; but only because the IPCC does not have any COI standards.

    Comment by Les Johnson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 PM

  48. Although our representative from the tinfoil hat contingent, Global Skeptic, clearly has some “creative” ideas about what motivates scientists, he does illustrate a common tactic by anti-science activists. As long as they can establish in the public mind that scientific experts might not be 100% disinterested, they can get the public to consider the anti-science argument, even if that argument is formulated by spinmeisters doing what they do best–that is, lying like a rug.

    One effective (and under utilized) argument against this line of attack is to point out that no professional organization that has adopted a position statement on climate change has dissented from the consensus view of climate scientist. Even the frigging American Association of Petroleum Geologists is neutral on the consensus–and if ever there was a group with an axe to grind, that would be it!

    As a scientist who does not work in climate science, my life and research are likely to be directly and negatively impacted by the fact that we are warming the planet. In all likelihood, it means the latter half of my career will be spent working on satellites directed at understanding climate rather than the diverse range of space telescopes and satellites I’ve worked on to date. Likewise, physicists, chemists, meteorologists, geophysicists, geologists, and on and on will likely be negatively impacted in terms of funding, research opportunities, etc. And yet, the professional societies representing these fields have all taken positions that say climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. That level of consensus is truly unprecedented. I have to wonder why we don’t hear about it more often.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:43 PM

  49. Hmmm supposed errors there are scientists who confirm these are errors and maybe this nonsense of gloom and doom is finally going to come to an end. Professor Jones just said today there has been no warming since 1995. Interesting to say the least. [edit]

    [Response: Go read what he actual said. It isn't what you think. Perhaps you could also reasssess the credibility of your sources? - gavin]

    Comment by Bob Smith — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:46 PM

  50. A climate-education branch of the IPCC would simply be dubbed ‘the propaganda arm’. It might do more harm than good.

    Comment by David Gould — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  51. Having said that, though, something does need to be done about communication. Not sure what, though.

    Comment by David Gould — 14 Feb 2010 @ 8:50 PM

  52. The line about climate scientists having a vested interest in the existence of AGW is bizarre. Do the people making these claims refuse to go to doctors since doctors have a vested interest in disease?

    They’ve taken an admonition about caution and attempted to turn it into a standalone argument.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 14 Feb 2010 @ 9:16 PM

  53. On the glacier-gate issue, I think the error was actually one of transposition for 2350 that got repeated from one secondary source to another. See http://how-it-looks.blogspot.com/2010/01/glaciergate-and-healthy-skepticism.html

    Comment by Rich — 14 Feb 2010 @ 9:49 PM

  54. Harribin- Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

    Phil Jones – 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.

    No statistically significant warming since 1995. According to Phil Jones.

    Comment by Les Johnson — 14 Feb 2010 @ 9:52 PM

  55. Les Johnson at 54,

    People have already responded to this. But read this carefully:

    “This trend (0.12 C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.
    The positive trend is quite close to the significance level.”

    Note that the trend is positive. Note that it is quite close to the 95 per cent significance level.

    Comment by David Gould — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:07 PM

  56. The problem is that it appears a doubling of CO2 will warm the planet around 1C, at the lower end of the IPCC 1C to 6C prediction while it appears working groups 2 and 3 are using an assumed 3C to 6C warming for each location assuming without scientific justification the worst possible outcome. (e.g. Massive increase in hurricanes, super storms, droughts, rapid rising sea levels, and so on). It appears the planet’s response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive which means the planet resists forcing changes that try to warm or cool the planet. This is not a bad thing.

    Now in terms of the biosphere is it better if the planet is 1C warmer or 1C colder?

    In the past when the planet was colder it was drier, there was an increase in droughts. The biosphere shrank. When the planet was warmer there was increased precipitation, the biosphere increased in size. For example (to illustrate the point), the Sahara desert is currently decreasing in size currently due to increased rainfall and due to plants being able to use water more efficiently due to the higher levels of atmospheric CO2.

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2009JCLI3461.1

    Now some are assuming that a 100% of the 20th century warming was due to CO2. Even if 100% of the 20th century warming was due to CO2, the earth’s response to a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 from 0.028% to 0.039% is less than 40% of what is predicted. That is not a bad thing.

    “Why Hasn’t Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

    The observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) over the industrial era is less than 40% of that expected from observed increases in long-lived greenhouse gases together with the best-estimate equilibrium climate sensitivity given by the 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Possible reasons for this warming discrepancy are systematically examined here.”

    If the facts change the hypothesis and the predictions should also change. There are other significant ecological problems to address, if planetary temperature is not a problem. Habitat conservation for example is cheap and effective.

    Comment by William — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:07 PM

  57. Given that Muir Wood was an author of the chapter that people are saying he is complaining about something is fishy here. Eli also wonders if there is any proof beyond assertion that Pachauri was actually involved in the negotiation for various TERI grants (true he did call one of the grants a good thing afterward.

    Brian Schmidt had some sensible things to say on all this

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:12 PM

  58. Phil Jones doesn’t understand what he’s stating from the perspective of, say,a scientific idiot like myself. Had he understood it from my perspective, he would have stated that, yes, there has been an increase.
    This might not have been an acceptable statement for scientists but the ordinary bloke could understand it.

    Comment by evagrius — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:24 PM

  59. If the MWP is found to be global and not regional, how will that affect the science of man-made global warming?

    Comment by ADR — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:25 PM

  60. How long will this “blip” of no warming since 1998 last? Was this period predicted in the computer models beforehand — or, if not, can it be replicated now in current computer models?

    Comment by ADR — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:31 PM

  61. Jones own words are much more damning than any MSM interpretation could be. He acknowledges that recent warming is not different in rate from past warming. He acknowledges that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. He acknowledges that data indicates the earth has been cooling since 2002, although no statistically significant trend exists on that short time-line. Finally, and most damning, he states that his belief that current warming is anthropogenic in nature is because we cannot explain it based on known natural causes.

    Comment by Doug Badgero — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:42 PM

  62. UN must investigate warming ‘bias’, says former IPCC Chairman Robert Watson.

    ‘Every error exaggerated the impact of change’

    Professor Watson, currently chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that if the errors had just been innocent mistakes, as has been claimed by the current chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, some would probably have understated the impact of climate change.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026932.ece

    Comment by Karl_from_Wylie — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:50 PM

  63. Les Johnson @ 54,
    The lack of a positive statistical trend does not invalidate AGW, especially since the 15 year period over which the data has been collected is too short. BUT, there ARE positive statistically SIGNIFICANT trends over the previous 30 years.

    Comment by David Klar — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 PM

  64. Les Johnson, please define what you think is meant by “No statistically significant warming since 1995″.

    Hint, it doesn’t mean what you assume it does.

    Comment by Ian Forrester — 14 Feb 2010 @ 10:55 PM

  65. I just Googled “encyclopedia britannica errata” and got a page with 3 entries listed. It also said that I was only seeing one third of the article and could get the rest if I subscribed. Not sure how the volume of the IPCC three reports compares with an edition of Britannica, but it sounds like the IPCC is in the same league as them wrt accuracy. Any improvement is welcome, but perspective is needed.

    Comment by Dean — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 PM

  66. I just got an email on the interview.
    I understand what you are saying about it. Still, the exact questions combined with the fact that Jones did not add extra material to his answers that he could have added make it easy to spin.

    I answered my email in part like this:

    Question *B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming*

    Jones: 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.

    Me: Guess what? the climate is distinctly warmer but that was not the question. The question was whether the *trend* is significant for that time period. You need around 15 years or so to get significance (95%) because the noise is large compared to the annual warming. In the last few years the sun has been at a cool point in its cycle, so the warming for the 15 period is just below .95 significance.

    [wording improved from my hasty email]
    [Correct me if I'm wrong]

    Any way you slice it, this interview will take a lot of explaining to Joe Sixpack.

    By the way is Jones calculating from CRUTEMP or GISSTEMP?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:09 PM

  67. A generic suggestion. It’s been a while since I was doing press interviews regularly, and of the bad articles, most followed Napoleon’s words on the malice-vs-incompetence, but at least one was definitely malice. I’ve had many interviews where people asked to record them.

    These days, if I were a scientist doing press interviews, I would say:
    “Sure, I’m glad to do an interview. Of course, I assume you have no problem with us recording it. We often use interview material for podcasts (or YouTube, depending on the sort of interview), but we generally wait until after articles have appeared to put them up.” I think people might get the hint.

    Of course, headlines are always problematical for newspapers especially, given space constraints nad fact that the reporter often doesn’t get to pick the title.

    Of course, this whole business of 90% vs 95% is pretty bogus.

    Comment by John Mashey — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:09 PM

  68. For as long as I can remember, there has been a “war on [favorite pet peeve here].” It started with the War on Poverty in 1964, and has been adopted over and over again to add extra weight to anything… The War on Drugs, The War on Crime, The War on Anything. Eventually, it was even warped (like comparing anyone and everyone deemed to be “wrong” to Hitler) so that in our modern times we even get warned about “The War on Christmas.”

    Sadly, I’ve seen two silent wars being waged, without being named, and without anyone really even realizing they were even going on.

    The first is The War on Journalism. Journalism died somewhere along the roadside. It was never all that healthy to begin with (see “yellow journalism”, and how far back that goes). But it seemed to get pretty darn good in the 70s (see the original, true “Gate” — Watergate and Bob Woodward). Journalists had a higher purpose, and did something valuable beyond making money. They were heroes, or could be.

    But somewhere it all went astray. There was the obnoxious reporter in “Die Hard” that would do anything to get a great story. When he gets punched out by Bruce Willis’ wife at the end, everyone grins. It was almost as good as seeing the terrorist fall to his death. Remember? That was when people started to hate journalists. That was when being a journalist became a dirty thing, instead of a heroic, admirable thing.

    That became the stereotype of a reporter. But it wasn’t just reporters. The organizations behind them took up the banner — get the story, the interesting story, to attract readers and get advertisers and get money. They started to compete to see who could be more outrageous, and find a niche that would eat up whatever they were told.

    Then it wasn’t just get the story, it became make the story (see Leake, and David Rose).

    Then bloggers came, with no training, and no reason to be ethical. Not that there aren’t lots of ethical bloggers, but like the main stream media news organizations, the unethical, hysterical bloggers attract more readers. They’re the ones you hear about. That’s where the excitement is.

    So here we are. Journalism lies dead and buried. We need it to inform us, to bind us together, to rescue us from all of this disinformation… and it’s gone. Instead we have pundits that gleefully say whatever makes them seem smart and important to their ignorant fans.

    [As an aside, knowing now how badly the science is being misunderstood, misrepresented, and brutalized... what else don't we know about that is really going on in the world? Do you now trust a single word that you read?]

    The other war, the other silent war… is The War On Science. The tobacco companies started it in the sixties. They couldn’t win, but they “fought the good fight”, and learned a lot of tricks, and made it last far longer than it should have. But what we didn’t notice along the way was how very poor the average man’s education is in science, and that they have been taught along the way how “unsure” scientists are.

    People, or at least most people, don’t understand science, and they don’t trust it. They don’t trust science, or scientists. Once, NASA was the coolest thing anyone could imagine. I grew up thinking that NASA was the future of everything.

    Now, people can’t wait to dump on NASA as a bloated bureaucracy that couldn’t possibly have ever put men on the moon (that was a hoax, right?).

    I actually think a lot of people instinctively don’t trust scientists. People don’t trust other people who are smarter than they are. People don’t trust people that use fancy mathematics and complex, foreign sounding words they don’t understand.

    It’s like magic. People don’t trust warlocks. They’ll put up with the village witch doctor because if you don’t he might curse you, but they really all rather (quietly) wish that he’d just leave the village. He makes everyone uncomfortable.

    That’s really how people feel about doctors and dentists. You want them around, in case you need them, but they scare the crap out of everyone. You don’t want to need them.

    Now the war has really, really flared up. The War on Science has gone nuclear. The pseudo-journalists are using their new found power to utterly destroy people’s respect for and belief in science. They’ve done it bit by bit, casting doubt on simple things like the ozone and DTD and vaccines (they cause altruism, don’t they? damned evil scientists).

    So, here it is, 2010. We desperately need journalism, and science, but they’re both victims of war.

    `And only one for birthday presents, you know. There’s glory for you!’

    `I don’t know what you mean by “glory”,’ Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘

    `But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected.

    `When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    `The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    `The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master — that’s all.’

    Comment by Bob — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:26 PM

  69. Roger Pielke Jr. says: 14 February 2010 at 8:30 PM

    “Its pretty clear. Pachauri refuted the Indian government glacier data, while he was negotiating with the EU and the Carnegie Foundation, for funds to study Himilayan glaciers.”

    You say, but where’s your evidence?

    Show a timeline. Show when the negotiations were happening, the organizational history of the arrangement, in parallel with Pachauri’s statements on the Himalayan matter. Dates and events, clearly delineated together, that’s all you need.

    Can you do that, using reliable sources? If not, you appear to be making an unsupported claim. It’s not at all complicated to make your case, you just have to show real data.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:40 PM

  70. Les Johnson: You have failed to understand what Jones said. If I were Jones, I would have rejected the premise of the question, instead of answering (as he did) with a technically correct but open to misinterpretation answer.

    Once again, we see the denialists aren’t all innocent lambs in over their heads. Some of them are coldly and calculatingly working out how to trick scientists into saying things that are easy for them to spin into the complete opposite of what the scientists mean.

    Let me explain this very, very simply:

    You read it as “there has been no warming since 1995″ (your words).

    What he actually meant was “1995-2009 is too short a period to calculate a meaningful trend, but even so it still shows warming”.

    Do you understand now? No? Read his actual words one more time, then come back with some sensible questions.

    Comment by Didactylos — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:47 PM

  71. @ #36 John Peters

    “Of course the climate will change, we all know that. It’s your focus on CO2 that’s at issue. To make your case against carbon you need accessible answers to questions like mine about cloud effects.

    It seems to me that “cap-and-trade” is what is bothering the deniers most. Supposedly based on your science, the politics of “cap-and-trade” are even more arcane than the quantitative details of radiation balance.”

    Agreed -except for the use of the term “denier” which is a loaded word with intentionally nasty implications. The people in the intelligent skeptic community slandered with this term (like Pielke, Watts, McIntyre) tend to refer to the pro-AGW crowd as “warmists” at worst.

    However this type of reasonable thinking usually results in ad hominem attacks from the regulars here. And it doesn’t help the message. And at base while the team players will insist that they are not about the public policy, they are just focused on the science, still any questioning of the policy proposals nets charges of “denier”. Enough. Last time I posted here I was ad-hominemed by a guy whose scientific reasoning includes evangelizing about the existence of a magic man in the sky who is also his son and also is another guy at the same time and he(they?) creates universes in six days and appears as a burning bush, asks people to kill their children, obsesses about food choices and tribal politics in obscure iron age villages, and allows enormous human misery in aid of appearing to work in mysterious ways. But my questioning whether statistical conclusions drawn from very small or low quality samples could be interpreted as sole causation of events requiring a complete reformation of society was considered not sufficiently grounded in reason.

    There are tons of things in the public policy sphere that can be done that would mitigate AGW caused primarily by CO2 if it is happening and be positive nonetheless if it isn’t (or if C02 is not the villain). Solar, wind, wave, geothermal, tax policy, zoning, building codes, public transit etc. But we end up with ponzi schemes like cap and trade which would enrich the scamsters who nearly bankrupted the world a year ago and punish the economies and people of the world in the process.

    So even assuming the climate models are correct, any doubt in the efficacy of the consensus solutions is regarded as flat-earthing. By people who measure tree rings from two places and then make sweeping statements about 2,000 years of temperature. Except for the periods where the trees’ voices demonstrably do not parallel recorded data. Then they just ignore it.

    So, to recap, you are correct. The focus on cap and trade or carbon credit schemes is nuts. The contention that AGW is driven largely by CO2 is possible, but there are lots of policies that would be effective whether the cause was CO2 or soot or deforestation or whatever. The view that AGW is definitely happening is more than plausible but far from proven. The theory that this climate change is caused by human factors is entirely possible but not “settled” or even much based on “science”.

    So at present we are being told that we must panic and destroy the world before man made carbon does. Great. To wait until the science is more compelling cannot be tolerated. We must act now before the actual problem is established and solutions are identified because otherwise it will be too late. Even if the urgent action is not actually the required solution. Even if the costs of this “solution” exceed the cost of the catastrophe (the whole benefits of global warming thing).

    But no, we have 20 years of computer models and statistically insignificant warming trends over short periods, and open derision at the role of things like the SUN that might -just might – have some impact close to that of minor percentage variations in one trace gas emitted by human activities, buttressed by selective choices of data, “adjustments” of the data that themselves impose a trend on any random dataset, peer review skulduggery …

    Which brings us to the conspiracy. There is no conspiracy (other than the obvious: Oil companies want to control the impact on their business, Financial services firms want to turn this into the next derivatives boondoggle). I don’t think there is any reason to believe that journalists are in the bag for financial reasons or that climate scientists are motivated by anything more than hubris and self importance.

    The consensus broad support of many scientists outside the “climate science” community is just a sad artifact of the isolation and splintering of disciplines. In my experience many scientists are loathe to question anything outside their immediate area, which has become even more narrowly focused over time. I really think that if physicists and statisticians and engineers and astronomers and chemists and biologists and computer scientists and everyone just looked at the actual foundation for the consensus on AGW they would shit their collective scientific pants. They are just granting professional respect on the assumption that things are being done correctly and that the climate science discipline is too specific for an outsider to judge. Just as they would not want to be judged by someone outside their immediate fields.

    But “Climate Science” is an invented discipline and has a history shorter than my pubic hair. It is a self defined and self referential field. I can’t believe how frequently i see someone dismissed as “not a climate scientist” by the partisans. Right, he is just a professor of physics, or a PhD in meterology or a published author in the field of statistics. Not someone super qualified, like a tree ring counter.

    So in the meantime, I will be biding my time. Installing a green roof and solar panels on my garage. Replacing the pot lights in my home with LEDs – again! (I kinda jumped on this a little early before the technology was fully there). Driving my insanely ugly “best fuel economy in its class” vehicle as our family vehicle. Working to reduce the energy impact of my company’s operations. etc

    Why? Because it makes sense, whatever the cause of our current reality or the direction of our future trends.

    Flame away

    Comment by peterr — 14 Feb 2010 @ 11:49 PM

  72. Apologies, those were Bob Smith’s words, not Les Johnson’s. Both posters seem to be equally confused about Jones’ meaning.

    (See, this is what normal people (and scientists in particular) do – spot an error, correct it, move on.)

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:06 AM

  73. The expression that comes to mind is “nit pick”, finding the smallest of errors, and claiming the entire issue is irrelevant!

    The USA Medical Insurance Providers apparently use similar techniques to cancel the policy of sick people!

    The Tobacco Industry did the same, as long as they could, until irrefutable science was available.

    Unfortunatly if we wait untill irrefutable science is available, we all lose.

    Therefore we ( ignorant citizens ) put our faith in the Scientists to do the right thing, that has the parameters of morals and ethics as well.

    So could one of you freaking egg heads tell me why we can’t try my solution.

    Comment by dbaker — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:11 AM

  74. The temperature trend is positive. But not significantly. Its outside the 95% confidence level. According to Phil Jones. Close, but still outside.

    Since 1995.

    Comment by Les Johnson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:16 AM

  75. Mr. Ladbury
    “I do think it is clear that a climate-education branch of the IPCC might be a useful addition to the effort.”

    I think it already exists. It is called the United Nations University.

    http://www.unu.edu

    Last I saw, they had produced a document like this

    http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/documents/clim-migr-report-june09_final.pdf

    which had the following:

    “Current and projected [for environmentally displaced migration)estimates vary widely,…to almost 700 million by 2050.”

    Which was believed to indicate to be migration induced by the melting of the Himalayan glaciers.

    The University held a “Indigenous Voices in Climate Change” film festival in Copenhagen.

    http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/cop15-filmfestival/

    :)

    Regards
    Anand

    Comment by Anand — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  76. Unless, of course, everyone wants to change the definition of “statistically significant”, so that “close to” is made the same as “inside of the 95% confidence level”.

    All statisticians in favour of, please raise your hands.

    Comment by Les Johnson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:28 AM

  77. “Errors” in reports tend to be random. Why is it that all errors, mistakes and omissions in IPCC always favours AGW alarmism? I suppose it might be because sceptics only look for these types of errors. Fair enough. But then instead of endless excuses and spinning, why don’t you guys find some “errors” in the IPCC which go against alarmism. Then the public might not form the obvious conclusion that these errors are the visible tip of the iceberg of alarmist bias in the AR4. If you can’t find any, well, then….

    [Response: We analysed in detail here how the IPCC treated sea level. Now imagine that the various issues discussed there would have biased the IPCC range towards high, not low values. Some of that I'm sure would have been picked up with great outrage by "skeptics" (e.g. IPCC not mentioning in the SPM that the models used for future projections strongly underpredict past sea level, or having a sea level range and temperature range together in table SPM.3 when the sea level numbers do not actually apply to the corresponding temperature range provided for the same scenario). But that is just not our style. Stefan]

    Comment by M.Cejnar — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:46 AM

  78. This has some similarity to the CRU email theft, where precious little was discovered from among thousands of emails, but a few sentences were plucked out of context, deliberately misinterpreted (like “hide the decline”) and then hyped into “Climategate”.

    Granted it was only a few, what do you think the correct interpretation of “hide the decline” was, with all context provided? I think that the context on the whole makes the comment worse. It was indicative of misleading advertising (cover of a report), not necessarily misleading science; put differently, it was a misleading political pitch.

    9, Gavin’s comment: 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.

    The idea that a doubling of CO2 has to have a net effect of increasing earth surface temp by 2-4 C (or any known value) is also “neat”. So “neatness” isn’t any more intrinsically bad than, say, parsimony. The point of the diverse time series analyses (VAR, stationary and non-stationary) is to explore the idea that the physical mechanisms are not known completely and accurately: if a credible analysis shows that the fluctuations in solar activity (to pick one example) are more strongly related to temperature changes than the CO2 changes are related to temp changes is evidence that a large component of the causal mechanism is still unknown or misspecified.

    A commonly known analogy is the relationship of swampiness (“bad air”), mosquitoes, and malaria: malaria rates are related both to swampiness of the surrounds, and to mosquitoes, but the partial correlation of malaria with swampiness, given mosquito exposure, is close to zero (but not quite, because malaria exposure and swampiness are both measured incompletely.) We know this because of experiments that showed how effective it was to put up barriers to mosquitoes, but it was already known that avoiding swamps (and seeking to live in open, airy places) was also effective. The experiment that we have not yet done is to show that reducing CO2 will reduce temperature (an experiment that Hanson and others are urging strenuously.) Without doing the experiment there is no certainty, but the VAR analyses suggest that the experiment will most likely show that reducing CO2 has no net effect.

    This is one reason that I think that we should hedge our bets: invest in alternative energies, efficiency, and carbon sequestration, but not all at once or in a hurry. The VAR analyses that I have seen do not support AGW, but they have problems of their own, and they do not rule out (or “rebut”) AGW, as far as I can tell.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:54 AM

  79. No statistically significant warming since 1995. According to Phil Jones.

    There has also been no statistically significant warming since last summer. Or since last week.

    …and that’s Professor Jones for you.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:07 AM

  80. #54 Les Johnson quotes Professor Jones – “This trend (0.12 C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.” So from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming. The trend may be up but that could be due to chance and it is just as likely that the real trend is flat or slightly down.

    This is important in the context of your own posting on 11 May 2008 – “Over a twenty year period, you would be on stronger ground in arguing that a negative trend would be outside the 95% confidence limits of the expected trend (the one model run in the above ensemble suggests that would only happen ~2% of the time)”. See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    Seems the data are getting pretty close to invalidating the models.

    Comment by MACK1 — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:11 AM

  81. Criminy. Re: Phil Jones’ BBC interview.

    Being an idiot scientist, I actually thought the BBC interview was good in that it succinctly pulled out all of the controversial points into the open where they could be addressed. Problem was that Dr. Jones wasn’t allowed to do that.

    Ever give a deposition on a scientific matter in a roomful of lawyers including one at your side jabbing you every time they think you may answer with more than a yes or no? I have.

    It’s pretty apparent that Dr. Jones (I love writing that) was straitjacketed into only answering the exact question posed to him. No clarifying information or data allowed.

    Take a look at carbon dioxide and other forcings graphed with temperatures from the 1700′s onward (ice core data with modern data). We’ve had similar warming periods before. No …. I wonder why? This is actually supportive evidence.

    Also, Dr. Jones was only presenting the Brit’s data. It excludes that part of the planet that is heating the fastest. Makes a big difference in recent decadal trends.

    I think a Real Climate post on Dr. Jones’ interview as this Real Climate post does with the IPCC-gate junk would be instructive.

    Hell, all you really need to see is this graph:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/02/groundhogs-day-movie-global-warming-where-its-always-the-hottest-decade-on-record/

    I couldn’t find the original graph try as I might.

    Comment by Andy — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:50 AM

  82. Please. He said it. The spin on this site is dizzying:

    “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”

    Jones: “Yes, but only just.”

    Comment by J — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:53 AM

  83. Scientists contributing to the IPCC are like police investigating a crime.A crime has been reported,we all on this earth are feeling that somethings wrong with the earth and we like the judge are awaiting the evidence to be set before us.Unfortunately the climate scientist[police] does not have this luxury and must go and find the evidence.To do this he or she must start with hunches or gut feeling first and then follow them to get the evidence.This can lead many times to blank ends and if the ‘police’ are honest they will turn and pursue another ‘lead’.Lets not allow the climate ‘press’ to get in in the meantime and create a miss-trial.

    Comment by donald moore — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:05 AM

  84. Senator Inhofe making his God versus peer-reviewed climate change statement:

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/file-uploads/Inhofe-Bement-Ltr-24Feb06.pdf

    I was personally involved in the below, as was almost everyone I knew who was in-situ with Inhofe. There is a huge unwritten story here of a written threat against parts of the science community and harassment that costed you, the taxpayer. What I experienced is simply medievial, dark-ages, Spanish-inquisition-type forces and is blatently anti-science and anti-American. Carried to its extreme in my opinion, the USA would revert to the insular nature of Ming China and would have to fall as a world power as other countries forged ahead.

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/file-uploads/Inhofe-Bement-Ltr-24Feb06.pdf

    Read more about this by a Publizer prize winning author in the book
    “The Heat is On” by Publizer prize winning author Gelbspan…(I’m sure Amazon.com has it).

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:14 AM

  85. …in related news, there’s somebody on deltoid actually, seriously claiming with a straight face

    Based on that Jones is saying it is statistically insignificant, the warming is more likely to have occurred by chance than to have not have.

    Click and weep.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:20 AM

  86. Rich: “I think the error was actually one of transposition for 2350..”

    Rich, you miss the point entirely. This is not a typo in a just-released report. AR4 has been around for 3 years and this 2035 was originally challenged but was included anyway. It has subsequently been publicized and has been “settled science” and “accepted by thousands of scientists” for 3 years.

    If scientists could not or were afraid to denounce an absurdity in the AR4, then this makes all other data in the AR4, legitimized by the same thousands of scientists, also untrustworthy.

    Comment by M.Cejnar — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:23 AM

  87. Dear Fellow Climate Scientists, it is time to put your smug responses aside. These are very serious matters, and you are rapidly losing the interest and conviction of the voting publics and political bodies that you most need.

    Please realise that not all skeptics are dullards, neocons or other such life-forms. There are very, very serious flaws with the data, data collection, extrapolation and projections. Some very competent scientists are raising their voices in this matter, and it doesn’t look very promising for new climate initiatives.

    Please act professionally, the game has changed, the tide has turned, and none of you even seem to notice.

    [Response: the vast majority of climate scientists were, are, and will continue to be professional in their handling of data and in the writing of reports. Nothing will change with that. Public statements saying how 'everything' has changed only arise from people who have no idea what the situation was in the first place. They will continue to say the same thing while the vast bulk of the science carries on. Sorry not to be more concilliatory, but that's the way it is. - gavin]

    Comment by Univ of Illinois researcher — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:23 AM

  88. The errors in IPCC are not technical.. They are psychological. They are obviously the consequence of a “etat d’esprit” where people thought : WE are the science, WE can not do mistake , all deniers are stupid,and don’t deserve attention. And that everything going wrong on the Earth can be imputed to AGW, without verification.

    I just met very recently a case where a POTENTIAL mistake could easily be done. That was a news about the impact of GW on the size of animal, specifically the arctic fox in Iceland. The way the news is written is very interesting.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209152235.htm

    excerpts:
    “Animal populations in a wide variety of geographical areas — birds in the UK, small mammals in the arctic, and most recently foxes, lynx and otters in cold Scandinavian regions — are adapting to a shift in rising temperatures. Where temperature changes are most radical, such as those at higher latitudes, Prof. Yom-Tov has measured the most radical changes of these animals’ body size over time.
    “This change can be seen as an early indicator of climate change,” says Prof. Yom-Tov. “There is a steady increase of temperatures at higher latitudes [SIC : this is wrong, it is not "steady"], and this effect — whether it’s man-made or natural — is having an impact on the animals living in these zones.”
    In his most recent paper, Prof. Yom-Tov and his Tel Aviv University colleague Prof. Eli Geffen report that arctic foxes are being influenced by changing water currents in the oceans. These changes, likely a result of climate change, affects the foxes’ food supplies. Hydrologists are confounded as to why the shifts in currents are happening, but the effect in foxes is evident: their bodies are changing along with the changing currents.

    “These animals need to adapt themselves to changing temperatures. In some regions the changes are as large as 3 or 4 degrees centigrade,” says Prof. Yom-Tov. “If they don’t adapt, their numbers may decline. If they do, their numbers remain stable or even increase.”"

    Note the paper confuses the warming itself with indirect consequences. The changes in arctic foxes is related to the changes in oceanic circulation, whose exact causes “counfound” the hydrologists. So it is not certain that these changes are due to warming itself, the AMO for instance could explain it. But the rest of the paper insists on the fact that direct temperature changes impact the animals, and if you read it, you can think that Iceland has experienced a + 3 or 4 °C warming – which is plainly wrong. It is not difficult to imagine that a journalist could write somewhere that “the arctic fox has shrinked because a + 3°C warming in Iceland” and then that this news would be incorporated in a future AR report. There is an obvious lack of scientific accuracy in the way every news concerning climate is reported.

    Comment by Gilles — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:01 AM

  89. “The actual work of the IPCC is done by unpaid volunteers”
    You, the IPCC, deserve to be paid and paid well. Compare to those bankers who had to be bailed out.: You are clearly worth $20 Million/year each, probably more.

    How much is it worth to be informed ahead of time of disasters like the extinction of Homo Sap? It is hard to put a ceiling on it.

    Compare to the amount of money the other side has to spend to slow down the climate legislation. Rush Limbaugh alone gets $400 Million/year for his propaganda. Surely a scientist should be worth more than Rush Limbaugh.

    It is really amazing how little the IPCC spends and how much the fossil fuel industry has to spend in response. David and Goliath were so evenly matched in comparison. You are a really serious threat to them.

    2 “divine negative feedback theory”: The IPCC cash flow is also dwarfed squared by the theological opposition.

    I would like to say that you should go on strike or something, but that wouldn’t work. Somehow, scientists and science need to be more valued monetarily to reflect your true value to civilization.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:14 AM

  90. RE #39,47,46,43

    Yes, lets take a look at Dr. Pachauri’s ties shall we…

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=270

    The meat from the above link: “By supporting Dr. Pachauri for primarily political purposes, the Bush Administration has seriously threatened the scientific credibility of the IPCC process.”

    That was written in 2002, given the benifit of 20/20 hindsight I’d say that was a very astute observation, wouldn’t you guys agree?

    Disclaimer: Personally I don’t know much about Dr. Pachauri. One side of politics says he’s a saboteur, the other side says he’s running a scam. The skeptic in me is screaming that they can’t both be right but they can certainly both be wrong.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:31 AM

  91. 55 Dutch scientists involved in climate change research (broadly defined) issued an open letter about climate science and how it’s been attacked in the media. Well worth a read, available in both Dutch and English via this link: http://www.sense.nl/news/5753

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:47 AM

  92. Flipping heck.

    How did post #2 get from “Inholfe says god’s up there” to “the IPCC are silencing voices”?

    Are they suggesting the IPCC are trying and failing to silence the voices that are sitting in Inholfe’s head?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:02 AM

  93. Global Spinner: “Perhaps you’ll comment on the fact that the BBC is highly invested in climate change, via their pension”

    Uh, how is their pension tied up in CC?

    Is there a special pension fund “managed CC investment” or something? If there is, how did you know about it? Work at the BBC?

    The wibbling of denialists like GS show how barmy they are.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:15 AM

  94. As they did leading up to the Iraq war, our media have thoroughly let us down. This time the consequences will be even more serious.

    I applaud this piece for its clarity, rigour and attention to detail. However, I have little hope that it will be picked up by the media.

    If this situation does not change very soon, we have no hope of averting catastrophic climate change.

    Perhaps Climate scientists need to set up their own News Channel? Or perhaps the UK needs a British version of Democracy Now.org?

    Comment by Owen — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:15 AM

  95. Les Johnson and others say “No statistically significant warming since 1995. According to Phil Jones.”

    Neither relevant nor unexpected:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/

    Yes, short-term variation is interesting and at the frontier of climate studies. It’s just has nothing to do with whether we are warming.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:18 AM

  96. Gavin’s inline comment to Global Skeptic at
    14 February 2010 at 5:09 PM (comment #12) regarding Phil Jones’ Q & A with the BBC: “There is absolutely nothing new here unless you’ve actually fallen for the strawman caricature of what climate scientists are supposed to have been saying. -gavin”

    But this is what the climate scientists have been saying:
    From the RealClimate Glossary:

    “Medieval Warm Period: Period of relative warmth in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere in comparison with the subsequent several centuries. … As noted by Jones and Mann (2004) [Jones, P.D., Mann, M.E., Climate Over Past Millennia, Reviews of Geophysics, 42, RG2002, doi: 10.1029/2003RG000143, 2004], arguments that such evidence supports anomalous global warmth during this time period is based on faulty logic and/or misinterpretations of the available evidence.”

    And this is what Phil Jones said on 13 Feb 2010 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm:

    “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

    Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

    We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.” (end of quote)

    The quote from Realclimate’s glossary appears to rule out a global MWP, the recent answer from Phil Jones does not. In my view, this can’t be dismissed as “absolutely nothing new here”.

    Comment by Ruth — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:19 AM

  97. “26
    Jimbo says:
    14 February 2010 at 6:09 PM

    OT
    I would like commenters’ views on this:
    “The UN body that advises world leaders on climate change must investigate an apparent bias”"

    Yes, an apparent bias is not real bias. Especially when the person stating this has a bias.

    “several exaggerations of the impact of global warming”

    And how many exagerations of the lack of impact of GW have there been and have you EVER complained about them? Are you displaying an apparent bias, jimmy-bo?

    How many exaggerations of doom-and-gloom about the consequences of mitigation of AGW have there been?

    Every single blog post has one.

    Or how about exaggerated (let alone complely fabricated a la Latif) claims of what has happened in, eg, climategate?

    Yet still strangely silent.

    Woverstatements of the severity of the problem.”

    Ditto.

    Given the Times reports only when such problems can be asserted against AGW science, how can you trust them here?

    Their bias is obvious.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 AM

  98. Anand “When the situation calls for a cool-headed detached approach, you are asking for more initiative? ”

    Anand, so the cool headed response to a charging Rhino is to wait until after the Rhino has finished its task of running you over?

    Well, if you’re the Rhino or have bet large sums on the Rhino, I guess you’d want that.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  99. ” It’s your focus on CO2 that’s at issue. To make your case against carbon you need accessible answers to questions like mine about cloud effects.”

    So please explain how clouds stop CO2 absorbing IR radiation.

    We are all agog.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:25 AM

  100. “Here is the US NAS COI policy:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/02/nas-on-coi.html

    Ask yourself if Dr. Pachauri would meet these standards. I think not. the standards for many science advisory bodies are even more strict.”

    Would you?

    No.

    McIntyre?

    No.

    Seiss?

    No.

    Inholfe/Luntz?

    No.

    Do you have anyone who would pass that on your side of the pro/anti science debate here?

    Lomberg could have been but he’s too sold on his theory and lapping up the attention (with paid speaker circuit attached!).

    No, it doesn’t look like it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:28 AM

  101. Not a science point, but I can’t take seriously attacks on journalism standards.

    a) no-one expects perfection of reporting, or anything close to it

    b) for the last x years almost all (UK) mainstream media have wholly uncritically parroted and exaggerated the ‘consensus’ view on AGW and CC.

    When they do this they pick on soundbites like the end of glaciers, polar bears, rainforest and Tuvalu. So when they turn, they do the same thing. Grow up, I’d say.

    Gavin – I agree with some of your replies criticising comments such as the BBC Pension Fund nonsense, and arguing against money/conspiracy theory. I don’t know whether you have done this in the past, but many on ‘your’ side have been very quick to suggest fossil fuel funding of sceptics etc. Maybe that’s not the same thing?

    Comment by HotRod — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:29 AM

  102. Ray #48: you’ll notice that Pielke’s also doing the same.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:30 AM

  103. Hi Galvin,
    Regarding response to 39. Lets hope for the success of predicted, measured, verified AGW caused by CO2. At least then we can say man controls nature, and controlled GW can be a thing of prosperity. If we have AGC or just GC we are all SOL.

    Comment by MikeFox — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:43 AM

  104. Roger Pielke Jr (#17) has neglected to reveal the full facts about the Muir-Wood, Miller and Boissonnade (2006) paper. The final sentence of the abstract to the paper states: “What is presented here provides a short summary of the global results of this study. Full results are in course of publication also covering individual peril regions and the exploration of correlations with global temperatures”.

    The full peer-reviewed paper was eventually published by Miller, Muir-Wood and Boissonnade in 2008 in the volume ‘Climate Extremes and Society’: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TsKpdWmFNYAC&pg=PA225&lpg=PA225&dq=an+exploration+of+trends+in+normalized+weather-related+catastrophe+losses&source=bl&ots=-y_ZJqIxB6&sig=yNDExrqX_rSf4VqLjdNcmoA3VGk&hl=en&ei=sBV5S6qlEIOQjAfkke3GCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=an%20exploration%20of%20trends%20in%20normalized%20weather-related%20catastrophe%20losses&f=false

    This paper does not include the graph included in the Supplementary Materials to Chapter 1 of IPCC volume 2, but it does describe the analysis upon which it is based:

    “We caution that our model does not capture the possibility that there are no underlying factors that are common to years of high (low) temperature variation that would cause us to falsely attribute the trend in disaster losses to climatic reasons. Results suggest that the temperature anomaly is highly significant (at 1%) for normalized losses (r2=0.22) irrespective of the survey period (Table 12.A2 in the Appendix). Results for Australia, the Philippines, and India are again significant (at the same levels as in the first model) with a negative coefficient. The rise is equivalent to an increase in normalized catastrophe losses of US$4.8 billion (post-1950) and US$6.6 billion (post-1970) for each 0.1˚C rise in global temperatures. For details, please refer to table 12.1A in the Appendix. However, these results are highly dependent upon recent US hurricane losses during 2004 and 2005. When the regression is rerun without these losses, the results are no longer statistically significant (Table 12.2).”

    As Roger indicated, Robert Muir-Wood stated at an event in London on 5 February that he produced the graph used in the Supplementary materials section, so it would be surprising if it was not an accurate reflection of his work. Robert also said that he does not think the graph should have been used, although it is not clear why he supplied the graph in the first place if it was not for publication.

    Comment by Bob Ward — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:47 AM

  105. Oh, and before Roger Pielke Jr complains about my previous post, the Miller et al. (2008) paper provides two summary sentences about its conclusions.

    In the ‘Abstract’, it states “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and normalized catastrophe losses.”

    In the ‘Conclusions’, it states: “In sum, we found limited statistical evidence of an upward trend in normalized losses from 1970 through 2005 and insufficient evidence to claim a firm link between global warming and disaster losses.”

    Comment by Bob Ward — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 AM

  106. With regard to mis-reporting by British newspapers such as the Mail, surely there are grounds for referring their uncorrected errors to the Press Complaints Commission, who are in a position to force them to issue apologies and corrections?

    Comment by Brian Carter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 AM

  107. @ Global Sceptic

    “@Gavin and Theo Hopkins

    Your logic is scant, and your personal attacks are not necessary.

    It is duly noted that you have no relevant response to my questions regarding the BBC’s pension.

    Perhaps then we need to discuss Pachauri’s ties to numerous for profit endeavors that directly rely on the success of AGW?

    Again, I’m curious as to your responses about these matters.

    Regards,
    GS”

    You are posting tripe.

    However, BAe (British Aerospace) has just been fined in excess of £300,000,000 for bribery in selling military aircraft to Saudi Arabia.

    But that dosn’t mean their planes won’t fly.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:15 AM

  108. Or, in other words, they’ve taken the result:

    There is a warming trend but it’s not statistically significant

    And ignore the “warming trend” bit and concentrate on the “not statisically significant”, canting it as “no trend”.

    Compare and contrast with when they try to take 1998 and 2008 and show “a cooling trend” which is not statistically significant (nor, in this case, a cooling trend), and ignored the “not significant” bit (and, indeed the “not actually a trend” bit) and said that it was cooling, ‘cos, like, 1998 was, like warmer than 2008, yeah?

    Funnily enough, the lack of statistical significance here didn’t mean “no cooling trend”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:35 AM

  109. john,

    Try here:

    Clement, A.C., Burgman R., and J.R. Norris 2009. “Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback.” Science 325, 460-464.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:34 AM

  110. The arrogant scientific attitude of the IPCC, i.e. the recurrent claim that science is objective and the assessment free of errors, are the fundamental cause of the present debate. If the IPCC had been more humble, the sceptics spinn based on a sigle error would not be possible. Read the IPCC official statements from january 2010, also there the principal focus is on arrogance. Pachauri argued recently in an indian newspaper, that the acknowledgement of one error proves that the IPCC has an open scientific attitude. NO, it does not, since it took very intensive pressure over a rather long time period before Pachauri was forced to admit the error.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:41 AM

  111. [...] links a week after I wrote this piece, but providing good background information. The first is Real Climate with some background information on the IPCC itself and the various errors that have be…. The second is a look at the principal journalists behind this spate of alarmist articles about [...]

    Pingback by Looking Out To Sea » Global warming, MMR, and media “scandals” — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:41 AM

  112. Les Johnson: No statistically significant warming since 1995. According to Phil Jones.

    BPL: Read my lips: To detect a climate trend takes THIRTY YEARS OF DATA. How many years is 1995-2009? The numerical answer is left as an exercise for the student.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:54 AM

  113. I think you climate scientists should look at this recent survey by the BBC, in the UK which compares attitudes to climate change, pre “climategate” and now. (It looks grim). Things have rapidly changed in three months.

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

    What is important here is the various different attitudes to CC; it is not a monolithic body of doubt.

    Roughly the BBC poll says….

    1. AGW is happening.

    Then 41%
    Now 26%

    2. Warming is happening, but it is not due to human influence.

    Then 32%
    Now 38%

    3. It is “environmentalist propaganda” (propaganda is the word the BBC survey uses!)

    Then 8%
    Now 10%

    4. It is not happening

    Then 15%
    Now 25%

    ………………

    OK? Now….

    Consider Group 3 to start with. (Environmentalist propaganda)

    Probably you would be wasting you time with this bunch. Interestingly, though, this is the bunch that has changed least in %age points. I assume that “Obama is a communist” types live here, as well.

    Consider Group 4. (It’s not happening)

    There has been a dramatic shift here. Your first step with this group is to move some of them back to accepting warming – but at a first stage, you need to move the back either into Group 1 _or_ Group 2. Don’t push people too hard at this point. :-)

    Consider Group 2. CC is happening, but it is not man-made.

    This may be the most difficult group to shift (IMHO), but the group that is most important to change. See my comments about ”judgment between competing ideas” further down the page.

    Consider Group 1.

    Give them a medal. But notice the massive shift in three months.

    Your main task is to get those that deserted AWG, probably mostly found in Group 2, back into the fold of AGW. How do you do that?

    I talk of “judgment between competing ideas”.

    Most of us can understand (without the maths) the analogy that is the greenhouse effect.

    Most of us can understand a “plausible” alternative such as solar variance/sun spots or whatever (without the maths).

    This below is now is my core point…

    However, what most people are not able to do is to make a _skilled and balanced judgment_ between the greenhouses and (say) solar change. Our (junior school) maths and our (secondary school) science is just not up to it. (And I am one such person). You have to, somehow, show the difference between two plausible different explanations – not just putting forward your own idea, and saying it is the best.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:02 AM

  114. Brian, two problems

    1) As Fox proved in court, there’s no requirement for “news” reporting to tell the truth.

    2) Any retraction will be printed in 5pt font just after the obituaries and will NEVER be mentioned by anyone who uses their errored statement to “prove” AGW is wrong.

    What happens instead is that in some cases another newspaper approaches a pertinent scientist who will tell them the correct statement.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:03 AM

  115. “63
    HotRod says:
    15 February 2010 at 4:29 AM

    Not a science point, but I can’t take seriously attacks on journalism standards.

    a) no-one expects perfection of reporting, or anything close to it”

    Well, not any more. It didn’t used to be that way.

    It’s all punditry now.

    The 60′s were the heyday of journalism, where investigating reporters reported AFTER investigating.

    Now it’s a lot easier to investigate quotes that you can print up to keep the editor happy.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:05 AM

  116. PS “b) for the last x years almost all (UK) mainstream media have wholly uncritically parroted and exaggerated the ‘consensus’ view on AGW and CC.”

    Citation needed.

    Fox news?

    The Sun?

    The Daily Mail?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:07 AM

  117. Guys.

    As a non-scientist I have been sceptical with respect to AGW almost entirely on the basis there was a “consensus” – a function of of being a cynical old s** that that instintively disbelieves – or questions – anything that is “settled” – particularly when I am immediately labelled with the “denier” or “flatearther” tags. And when any dissenting voice is silenced and/or ridiculed. Free speech and free society and all that. Even “loonies” like me deserve to be allowed to speak – even if we are not to be listened to.

    The main reason for my scepticism was a basic, flat out, disbelief of the Hockey Stick graph. This graph is the very foundation stone of alarmist case – and if it is/was a fair representtion of events then “alarmism” would be justified.

    To accept the Hockey Stick requires the MWP and LIA to not have happened.

    So that is my starting point – so that you know I am not trolling.

    Now, based upon his recent Q & A, even Phil Jones accepts that there may be a case for the MWP (not withstanding the fact that human and livestok remains are being chipped out of the permafrost in Greenland as we speak. These remains can surely only suggest that it was a damn sight warmer in the past than it is now!)

    I do not need to be a scientist or have a degree in any climate based discipline to work this out. I don’t need tree rings and climate models – just logic!

    Do your contributers continue to believe that the Hockey Stick is a fair reprentation of temperatures over the years and that we are experiencing unprecedented increases in temperatures and uprecedented temperatures per se?

    Whatever way you read it, you just have to accept that Phil Jones now accepts that there may have been periods (in the recent past) where the planet has experienced warmer temperatures and there may have been periods of similar rises in temperature (where AGW could not be a contributing factor).

    This makes Phil Jones a “denier” – just like me. He is saying that the science isn’t “settled” and that, by implication, the Hockey Stick is suspect/wrong.

    If the Hockey Stick is wrong then the the foundation stone is removed and the whole AGW alarmism comes crashing down.

    As I read the comments above and other threads, I want to ask you guys, do you believe the Hockey Stick graph is a true and fair representation of the historical temperatue record for planet earth?

    [Response: Nothing you say is recognizable as anything that has actually been claimed by the scientists invovled. Do some searches on this site for 'unsettled' science, the uncertainties in paleo reconstructions, what the implications are for different readings of the records. Your impression that the hockey stick was some central tenet of anything is a distortion that has been heavily promoted by people trying to confuse the public. Nothing jones said is out of line with what any of us have said on the topic. -gavin]

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:36 AM

  118. You guys don’t seem to understand. And I assume it has to do with that you don’t want to understand. This story is not about “getting some facts wrong”. It is about creating bogus scare stories in order to influence policy makers to make decisions. Scare tactics.

    In the WGII report a large section is about fresh water supplies in the future. IPCC made up the scenario that the Himalaya’s would melt rapidly threatening the future supply of fresh water for half a billion people. In order to make the scare bigger it is stated that 400 000 km2 ice out of a total 500 000 km2 glacier ice would melt in 30 years. Not only creating long term drought but disaster near term because of flooding.

    The errors regarding crop yields in Africa is that IPCC, by using false information, is implying that famine is coming due to warming.

    The Amazon error is about that the rain forest is in really serious danger.

    The disaster error is about that we as humans will face enormous costs due to disasters caused by global warming.

    IPCC made all these impacts up after inventing facts in order to make global warming a real threat.

    It is obvious that the so called “facts” originate from gray literature. The IPCC may use gray literature (mostly in the WGIII) regarding
    “information about the experience and practice of the private sector in mitigation and adaptation activities” since information is often “found in sources that have not been published or peer-reviewed (e.g., industry journals, internal organisational publications, non-peer reviewed reports or working papers of research institutions, proceedings of workshops etc)”

    If the IPCC is using gray literature in reports it must follow the rules. “Non-peer-reviewed sources will be listed in the reference sections of IPCC Reports. These will be integrated with references for the peer-reviewed sources. These will be integrated with references to the peer reviewed sources stating how the material can be accessed, but will be followed by a statement that they are not published.”

    It is evident that the IPCC invented facts are not about information about the private sector. It is also evident that the sources are not listed properly.

    Your defense of the IPCC saying nothing is seriously wrong isn’t good enough. Not if you imply that you are about Real Climate. Your take on the IPCC scandal is more befitting a blog with the name Invented Climate.

    Comment by Göran Rudling — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:40 AM

  119. For those who want statistically significant warming in 10 years, look at HadCrut3 and do a regression on 1878 to 1887, a 10-year period. Over that time, cooling was (wait for it) 2.9 degrees per century, with correlation coefficient 0.75. Exercise for the reader: is this statistically significant. Did the 19th century end with an ice age? Well, no. Conclusion: natural variability on this sort of timescale overwhelms the kind of relatively slow trend we’d expect from AGW.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  120. Cheers for finally tackling this thing in full guys. It’s unfortunate that it had to take so long though; I get that you needed to be thorough, but I fear that the worst damage has already been done, and I’m not too optimistic about the media correcting itself on any of it. I actually live in Holland, and I’ve been cursing at the media for complete ineptitude for the past month or so. It’s astounding to me that the people who are supposed to inform us on topics like these are actually less informed on the subject than I am.

    Comment by werecow — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  121. @ Brian Carter:

    With regard to mis-reporting by British newspapers such as the Mail, surely there are grounds for referring their uncorrected errors to the Press Complaints Commission, who are in a position to force them to issue apologies and corrections?

    The PCC operates by policing a voluntary code of practice devised by a body called the Editor’s Code Committee. The chairman of the Editor’s Code Committee is Paul Dacre. Incidentally, the editor of the Daily Mail is one Paul Dacre.

    Comment by SteveF — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:52 AM

  122. Am I the only one who noticed that in comment #21, Ray Ladbury specifically states he will offer “A couple of thoughts.”, but then proceeds to list (by my count) THREE thoughts? Should we be doing a little checking into “Couple-of-thoughts-gate”?

    Comment by Chris Rhetts — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:14 AM

  123. Re 116: Completely Fed Up questions my: “b) for the last x years almost all (UK) mainstream media have wholly uncritically parroted and exaggerated the ‘consensus’ view on AGW and CC.”, requesting citations.

    Can’t be bothered to trawl back over 10 or 20 years of column inches and BBC/Channel 4 airtime and judge what percentage fit my criteria for uncritical parroting, but I’d have a stab at 90%+. Certainly a huge buyer at 80%.

    As I said, grow up. Post Climategate is the first time the (UK) MSM has turned on you after decades of unquestioning acceptance. Take it like a man. Go over the history of Harrabin (BBC) Leake (Times) and Pearce (Guardian) and see how many critical features they EVER did pre Climategate. The BBC in its official code of conduct eschewed any need for balance – I don’t say whether that’s right or wrong, it’s just the way it was, there and elsewhere.

    Comment by HotRod — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:14 AM

  124. Mistakes happen. We all know this. The single most insulting aspect of the media hype around the ICPP report errors is that each and every journalist and wannabe journalist who mentions the IPCC errors has probably committed ten times as many errors in his own reporting over the past year and has failed to issue corrections. For any scientist out there who gets contacted by a reporter about mistakes — ask him to go through his work and fix his own before commenting on yours.

    Comment by Dennis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:30 AM

  125. #95 Ray Ladbury:

    Tamino concludes this in the reference you provide:

    “Therefore we need at least 14 years of GISS data (from 1996 to the present) to draw a confident conclusion about the most recent trend. In fact, since we have additional unaccounted-for uncertainty (such as the parameter estimates for our ARMA(1,1) model), we actually need a bit more. Let’s say that less than 15 years of data allows no confident conclusion about whether the trend in GISS data is warming or cooling.”

    So it seems Phil Jones assertion actually has some significance, no?

    [Response: You are missing the point completely- short term trends are not significant. Depending on the record, you need 15 or 16 or 20 years or whatever to get a statistically sig trend. All of which are warming. I find it hilarious that the people who have been pushing global cooling memes based on even shorter time periods now think it's news that short term trends aren't significant. - gavin]

    Comment by B Buckner — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:37 AM

  126. Not any mention of the glaciers nearer to home. I visit them in Norway twice a year, early spring, make photographic records, and then late autumn when the summer melting has all but finished. Each year the Briksdals glacier has since the mid 90s receded, in just one year by more than 135 meters, and now what is more alarming, is that these glaciers are also narrowing, some so narrow that one could spit across them, well almost. The main reason being is that winters are not as long as they used to be, so less snow on the upper snow plateaus, now perhaps only 15 to 20 meters instead of 25 to 30 meters before. So, the Josterdals glacier is indeed in big big trouble, and this is the biggest icefield on the European continent

    Comment by George Robinson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:48 AM

  127. Ref my 117 above (harry hodge) and Gavin’s response.

    Gavin, your response to my comment was:

    [Response: Nothing you say is recognizable as anything that has actually been claimed by the scientists invovled. Do some searches on this site for 'unsettled' science, the uncertainties in paleo reconstructions, what the implications are for different readings of the records. Your impression that the hockey stick was some central tenet of anything is a distortion that has been heavily promoted by people trying to confuse the public. Nothing jones said is out of line with what any of us have said on the topic. -gavin] END.

    As a non-scientist, I am subject to short form summaries and headlines. I do not have the education and knowledge to carry out, or evaluate, research myself. The Hockey Stick graph was put to me by Al Gore and the IPCC as part of the “killer” arguments for the AGW proposition.

    Your reasoned response to my original comment (and thank you for publishing my comment and your non-insulting response) highlights a problem. I have assumed that you guys accept the relevance and, for want of a better word “truth” of the representation that is the Hockey Stick. Are you saying that RealClimate doesn’t necessarily accept The Hockey Stick as the best representation of events and/or that there are (and I am trying to choose non-confrontational words) potential doubts about the science it represents? (i.e the science isn’t “settled”).

    If you are, then you have a potential convert. Using my (somewhat inadequate) brain power, I can accept the evidence that that the planet is slowly warming although I cannot know why this is. Similarly, I totally reject the Hockey Stick (based upon same limited brain power).

    To date though, I have been subjected to a Hockey Stick graph (that I reject for reasons indicated earlier) as the poster child for the “alarmist” viewpoint (as an aside, I am also subject to images of forlorn looking Polar bears and ice carving which we both know can only prove the existance of forlorn Polar Bears and ice carving – and does not prove anything one way or t’other. I am also given the Himalayan, Amazon, Hurricane and natural disaster headlines – which are then knocked down (apparently).

    When the Hockey Stick is publicly (again, I try to choose a non-confrontational word) stepped down from being “the truth, the settled science” and replaced with something that does represent the consensus then I will have the information to start again and reassess.

    Maybe Realclimate should put together a graph that does, somehow, represent the “best estimate” of global temperatures over the last few thousand years and then we reassess based upon that?

    [Response: The best estimate to date is probably that of Mann et al 2008, but it isn't that different to anything else you might have seen (ability to link is limited since I'm answering this from my phone). But the problem here has nothing to do with the science, or the caveats the scientists make, or the uncertainties in various proxy records, but rather how complex information get iconized and made into a sound bite and how people then take that simplified icon and assume that it is in itself proof of the complex theory from which it is derived. These leads to people thinking (erroneously) that medieval temperatures are somehow determinative of why climate is changing now. It is not likely that they were as high as they are today, but we can't absolutely rule it out, but this only matters if you think this is the basis of anything- since it isn't, it doesn't. Climate is complex and whenever someone tries to tell you it's based on one person, or one graph or one soundbite, beware! You can find out the truth, but it's not always easy. My book's a pretty good start though! :-) gavin]

    [Response: Here is a couple of links for you. Why the “hockey stick” doesn’t tell us anything about causes of warming (current warming could be anthropogenic even if it was warmer in the middle ages, and current warming could be completely natural even if unprecedented in the past millennia – to tell, you need to look at the forcing, i.e. the source of the heat).
    The Copenhagen Diagnosis showing a number of the most recent climate reconstructions in Fig. 19. (Warning: there’s a polar bear foto in it.)
    And of course IPCC in its chapter 6 shows an overview of all available temperature reconstructions for the past millennium by different research groups (that was dozen at that time).

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:49 AM

  128. As far as snow depth goes, Washington D.C. recently broke their 1899 snow record of 54.4 inches and now has a new record of 54.9 inches. We are told that the new record is due to “extreme weather” caused by “global warming.” If so, what caused the nearly identical “extreme weather” over a century ago? Alarmists tell us that heavy snow used to be caused by cold, but now is caused by warmth. The 1899 record was set long before the hockey stick brought temperatures to “unprecedented levels.”

    Now lets take their poor logic one step further. Ice ages occur when the snow line moves very far south. If “most climate scientists” are claiming that global warming is causing the snow line to move south, then the logical corollary is that ice ages are caused by further warming temperatures. Clearly that is not true.

    Furthermore, Hansen correctly tells us that as the snow line moves south, the earth’s albedo increases causing further cooling.

    The sensible theory is that the snow line moves south when the climate is cold, and north when the climate is warm. And the record snow we are seeing this winter is due to cold, not warm temperatures.

    Comment by Trysail — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:13 AM

  129. Goran Rudling claims the glacier error was an IPCC scare tactic:

    And how fricking clever of them to hide it in a chapter of a WG report and not mention it in the Summary or the Exec Summary. Please

    As to climate change causing serious problems for water in Asia-that is quite credible, just on a longer timescale than 25 years.

    The Amazon–likewise. It is certainly vulnerable to drought, and climate change is likely to exacerbate drought.

    Holland… Well, let’s just say, I wouldn’t want a long-term lease on beach front property there.

    African crop production–hey, I’ve lived there. I know there is a whole lot of land that is marginal for farming.

    In short, no we won’t see catastrophe in 25 years time. However, if we don’t act within 25 years time, catastrophe will become inevitable.

    I would suggest becoming familiar with what the science actually says so that you are vulnerable to neigher scare tactics nor reassuring lies.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:35 AM

  130. “118
    Göran Rudling says:
    15 February 2010 at 7:40 AM
    This story is not about “getting some facts wrong”. It is about creating bogus scare stories in order to influence policy makers to make decisions. Scare tactics.”

    Indeed it is.

    So when are Beck, Hannity, Inholfe et al going to stop scaring people with New World Order and Stone Age Regression and Poor Starving African scare stories to influende policy makers?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:48 AM

  131. Gilles says “The errors in IPCC are not technical.. They are psychological.”

    Horse puckey. The “errors” consist of a fricking typo–caught not by a denialist but by a climate scientist–and one questionable reference. The rest are not improper. Gilles, your problem is that you do not understand the process. The different working groups have very different charters.

    WG I must do a conservative analysis to show that the science is cogent. In this sense, conservative means including only those aspects that are agreed upon by the vast majority of experts and have a high probability of being correct.

    WG’s II and III are more of an engineering charter. A conservative analysis by WG II must establish an upper bound for consequences due to a particular threat. Note that I say UPPER bound. It need not be accurate, only finite. If it turns out to drive risk calculus, it can be improved and made tighter. The goal is to find out what the really serious threats are. It is still early days here. There aren’t many peer-reviewed journals for this subject. Ih will therefore have to use grey literature.

    WG III’s charter is different still–here “conservative” means demonstrably effective against a particular threat. It is very, very early days here. The only effective mechanisms we have at present are threat avoidance.

    Why not learn what the process is trying to do so that at least your criticisms are not based on utter ignorance?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:48 AM

  132. “climate scientists do have a much simpler task. The system we study is ruled by the well-known laws of physics, there is plenty of hard data and peer-reviewed studies…”

    It is statements like this at RC that infuriate me. No one is skeptical about the quantum theory of molecular spectroscopy.

    There is room for scientific skepticism about feedbacks, sensitivity, and ocean-atmosphere interactions.

    Hard data? Is there any other kind?

    Cheers

    Comment by steve — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:50 AM

  133. “(It looks grim). Things have rapidly changed in three months.”

    And because climate gate has nothing behind it, another three months will see a change again.

    Most of the change in that 25% of “not happening” is because of the cold weather in the UK.

    OMG! Pwnies! It’s snowing!!!

    This is not indicative of what happens across the globe.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  134. “110
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    15 February 2010 at 6:41 AM

    The arrogant scientific attitude of the NIPCC”

    Corrected your spelling mistake there.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  135. Septic Matthew @78
    Huh? Matthew, that is utter crap! CO2 has been known to be a greenhouse gas since the 1850s, and anthropogenic climate change due to CO2 was first predicted in 1896! Good lord, where do you come up with this?!

    There are a dozen or so independent lines of evidence that all favor a CO2 sensitivity around 3 degrees per doubling–and preclude a sensitivity less than 2 degrees per doubling. Please, go read Weart’s Discovery of Global Warming. Straw men are not interesting.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:59 AM

  136. Gavin sez: The ‘success’ of AGW? This chasing down the rabbit hole in search of imaginary reasons why anyone would actually want AGW to be true is simple delusion.

    Phil Jones: As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.

    Cheers

    Phil

    Comment by windansea — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  137. M. Cejnar says, ““Errors” in reports tend to be random. Why is it that all errors, mistakes and omissions in IPCC always favours AGW alarmism?”

    Hmm, actually, they aren’t. The IPCC is clearly way too conservative in the way it treats the cryosphere.

    And given that “errors” in reports are random, why does M. Cejnar only pay attention to the ones that exacerbate concern over climate change?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  138. Peterr, When a person refuses to consider the evidence, what word other than “denialist” is appropriate. To call them a “skeptic” is to debase that word.

    I’d be more than happy to call Steve McI an auditor. I mean, after all, he’s spent a decade examining a single paper, which is now interesting only from the point of view of history of science. Meantime science has piled mountains of evidence around him.

    Peterr, I’d be more than happy to call you a skeptic if I could get you to just consider the evidence sufficiently to give me an alternative explanation of it that makes as much sense as the one implied by the current theory of Earth’s climate. I’ll await that with great anticipation.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:12 AM

  139. @132 Completely Fed Up, i suggest that you contribute with something substantial or be quiet. There is far too much nonsense on all sides. For me, I am a climate believer, to please dont assume otherwise.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:13 AM

  140. Both Harrabin and the BBC poll have narrowed down their questions. The effect of this pre-occupation with the existence and cause of the recent global warming, which is of course important, is that it ends up with the public (including some scientists) thinking that it all started and perhaps ends with thermometers. Some others now have a dim awareness of a row over a hockey stick.

    What’s missing from both Harrabin’s questions and the BBC poll is any reference to the science, which came first. We are ultimately dependent on the effects of future levels of CO2 which may dwarf existing concentrations as well as other forcings. I suppose the BBC could not have asked a question about climate sensitivity because they and the rest of the media have not done a good job in informing the public about it. How many people will appreciate

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/12/natural-variability-and-climate-sensitivity/ ?

    Here is a question.
    Suppose the MWP was much bigger and more global than generally thought. Why is so easy to persuade people that this would reduce estimates of future warming rather than the reverse?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:16 AM

  141. Trysail says of the recent DC snowfall: “We are told that the new record is due to “extreme weather” caused by “global warming.””

    Who the hell told you that? Not a scientist, surely? The current record snowfalls are due to the El Nino, which is sending warm moist air up the coast and a series of high-pressure fronts above the Capital area. In other words, it’s weather!

    Cut the crap and get serious!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:16 AM

  142. >This sentence was provided by a Dutch government agency

    An odd defence for an organization who claims to have “experts” who “review” its statements.

    The issue that you really need to address is why these errors that get missed by the review process tend to lean in one direction — that of alarmism. Chance or bias?

    Comment by Ian Rae — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:17 AM

  143. HotRod,
    You are missing the point, utterly. This is not about positive or negative press. This is about getting the science right. The press is failing utterly at that. That is the point.

    When the press attributed Katrina to climate change, RC and the posters here pointed out that while climate change could exacerbate hurricane strength, Katrina was a weather event.

    When the mistake in the Himmalayan glacier melting was discovered, people here acknowledged it for what it was–an inadvertent mistake.

    There is no desire here to defend the indefensible. What we’d like to see is journalists living up to the standards of their profession.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  144. Wouldn’t it be great if the different governments who ‘contribute’ to the intergovernmental panel were to decide that climate change was an important enough issue to invest a bit more in the reporting of it. For example, to recruit a team of paid science writers and public relations people. I know we will always rely on the volunteer effort of scientists to write and review the material. What is need is a top quality public communication layer – not just for preparing the FAQs and other documents for ‘dummies’, but for dealing with the media and with the general public.

    It’s clear that most scientists have neither the time, skills nor training to take on the role of liaising with the media. And nor should they, except as guest experts from time to time. Their time and ongoing work is much too valuable in any case.

    If something isn’t done soon, the climate will catch most people before they know what’s happening. It’s not the responsibility of scientists to ‘spread the word’. That is the role of governments and frankly, they are letting societies down abominably in that regard.

    Governments have all agreed the problem is real, serious and urgent. Yet they dilly dally and allow media disinformation to run riot without lifting a finger.

    Have they no care or responsibility? I don’t know what political leaders think their role is if not leadership in time of crisis.

    The very fact that this site exists and is so necessary, is a sad reflection of the lack of leadership of all nations IMO.

    Gavin and his team are to be highly commended – but they shouldn’t have to do this. The world’s leaders should hang their heads in shame at what they are allowing to happen.

    Comment by Sou — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  145. This is a great post, very helpful. It pulls together and clarifies all the little bits and pieces that have been drifting through the media. It could not be more obvious that a highly sophisticated disinformation campaign is underway.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  146. Chris Rhetts @122, The third point was a bonus. I was having a 3 for 2 sale last night!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:28 AM

  147. @141 Ray Ladbury, ClimateProgress as I understand it is saying to the press that the heavy snowfalls are not inconsistent with climate change. The warmer temps can result in higher moisture content and heavier precipitation.

    Make of it what you will, but it makes sense to me.

    Comment by Sou — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:29 AM

  148. Ian Rae says, “An odd defence for an organization who claims to have “experts” who “review” its statements.”

    Uh, Ian, who ought to know better how much of their country is under Sea level than the Dutch Gov’t?

    Did you miss the point about the IPCC having limited staff? Well let me reiterate: The IPCC has limited staff. Got it, now?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:30 AM

  149. Steve says “There is room for scientific skepticism about feedbacks, sensitivity, and ocean-atmosphere interactions.”

    Great, where’s your climate model with sensitivity less than 2 degrees per doubling. Such a beast would be very interesting and no such model exists yet. If you can come up with one that actually looks like Earth, you’ll get on Oprah!

    And pray, how are you going to tackle a dozen different separate lines of evidence that all favor a sensitivity of 3 degrees per doubling and precude a sensitivity below 2. I look forward to your paper on why everyone else is wrong. Where will you be publishing? Science? Nature? Energy & Environment?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:34 AM

  150. William@56,
    Your estimate of CO2 sensitivity utterly neglects feedbacks. There are many analyses showing via at least a dozen independent lines of evidence that CO2 sensitivity is likely 3 degrees per doubling and cannot be below 2 degrees per doubling (95% CL).

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/papers-on-climate-sensitivity-estimates/

    Go learn the real science. Then come back and we can tell why Schwartz is wrong.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:42 AM

  151. Bob@68,
    The war on science is as old as science. Whether it is the church or libertarians, there will always be people who resent being told what they don’t want to hear. The answer: Keep telling them and emphasizing the evidence. Eventually, all but the most blinkered will hear, and you really don’t want them on your side anyway.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:47 AM

  152. Come now isn’t all of the literature grey. Can’t we just fire up the models and see exactly where in time and space there will be droughts. Seems to me if we are to place any validity in the output of these models then they certainly should be able to pinpoint anomalous rainfall areas such as the Amazon or Africa or are the modelers speaking with two tongues in their models ability?
    Incidentally, are there any paleo recons of the average global temperature when the Sahel was last green?

    Comment by Ellis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:48 AM

  153. Ref My 127 and Gavin’s response.

    I have now had a look at the graphs in Mann et al 2008. Question: how do I put together Mann’s graphs with Phil Jones’ answer in the Harrabin Q & A where he says something along the line of “there is no significant statistical evidence of warming since 1995 (or 98)? There would appear to be significant differnces between Mann’s graphs and Jones statement – or am I missing something?

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  154. Ruth tries to make a point in #113 which, I think, epitomizes the problem here. Scientists use very precise language (actually, they tend to use math, because no matter how hard you try, any spoken language is too imprecise for scientific purposes). Things mean very, very specific things, and you can’t hear what you want to hear, or miss the nuances, and understand what is being said.

    To Ruth’s post… she very erroneously finds two statements incompatible, because she doesn’t understand the differences in the two.

    She quoted the RC Glossary as saying (about the MWP):

    “…arguments that such evidence supports anomalous global warmth during this time period is based on faulty logic and/or misinterpretations of the available evidence.”

    She then quotes Jones on the same issue.

    “There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.”

    To clarify the difference for Ruth:

    The RC Glossary is not talking about whether or not the MWP exists. It is stating that the thin and inadequate evidence for a global MWP representing anomalous warmth makes any arguments for its existence — based on the current, insufficient evidence — categorically wrong.

    This does not say that the MPW cannot be global. It says that current evidence does not support that argument. More evidence is needed to make the case.

    Jones, on the other hand, is saying that the case could be made some day — if someone would just find global evidence to support it by producing proxy studies of tropical and Southern Hemisphere temperatures during the period.

    There is nothing at all incompatible in these two positions. The first says you can’t argue the point using the current evidence, the second says that it could be proven if someone found the proper evidence. There is no inconsistency in the mere facts that the first does not bother to explicitly state that the MWP could be global (and anomalous), and that the second does not bother to explicitly state that until a stronger case is made, the argument cannot be used in the debate.

    And this is part of the problem. The layman not only is poorly trained in science, but they are also poorly trained in critical thinking and clarity in writing (and reading what is written).

    You can’t win with those people, because they are too easily mislead, either by their own confusion, or the lead of someone else who is confused.

    Comment by Bob — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:52 AM

  155. J said:

    Please. He said it. The spin on this site is dizzying:

    “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”

    Jones: “Yes, but only just.”

    The problem has nothing to do with Jones’ answer, which was perfectly correct. The problem is you fail to understand the question. You think it means “Do you agree that global warming has stopped since 1995?” – But that’s not what it says, and more importantly, that’s not what it means.

    And that’s your spin. In the question, not the answer.

    Jones makes it perfectly clear that despite the poorly worded question, there has been warming since 1995. But the spinmeisters always ignore that part of the answer, don’t they?

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 AM

  156. “You are missing the point completely- short term trends are not significant. Depending on the record, you need 15 or 16 or 20 years or whatever to get a statistically sig trend.”

    Like this you mean…..

    Phil Jones:

    “So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.”

    Here are the trends and significances for each period:
    Period Length Trend
    (Degrees C per decade) Significance
    1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
    1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
    1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
    1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

    Comment by John — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:00 AM

  157. HotRod said: “I don’t know whether you have done this in the past, but many on ‘your’ side have been very quick to suggest fossil fuel funding of sceptics etc. Maybe that’s not the same thing?”

    It’s not a case of “suggesting”. Sadly, it’s a case of researched and published fact. You will find the work of Oreskes very informative.

    Now why doesn’t this get the same publicity, and the same outrage, that these silly “gates” have enjoyed? Could it be because we simply don’t expect anything else from faceless corporations and amoral lobbyists?

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  158. Let me expand my point about how the Jones question was spun.

    It cleverly puts “warming” and “statistically significant” into the same question. No good scientist is likely to question this, since significance is a very important factor.

    But it’s phrased as a yes/no question. Lazy or ignorant readers will just skip the “statistically significant” and assume Jones just agreed that there was no global warming. More astute, but still uninformed readers will assume that “no statistically significant warming” means that the warming has been smaller than expected, and therefore isn’t significant.

    The reality is that the warming has been entirely within expectations, but 15 years is too short to make statements about “warming” or “not warming”. Actually, 15 years is marginal. But wait – Jones said that too!

    Scientists shouldn’t be expected to deal with deception like this. They deal with complicated issues, and communicating them is not easy. Shame on the BBC interviewer for failing to filter questions that are obviously designed to solicit a particular answer.

    Judging by the sheer number of people who have failed to understand question and answer, there is a real problem here.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  159. Ian Rae,

    Some examples of how the IPCC is not very likely exaggerating things, eg these underestimates of the speed of the problem:
    (http://climatesight.org/2010/01/24/mistakes/)
    - From 2007-2009, there was about 40% less Arctic summer sea ice than the IPCC predicted, far exceeding its worst-case scenarios.
    - Recent global average sea-level rise is about 80% more than the IPCC predicted.
    - By 2100, global sea level is expected to rise at least twice as much as the IPCC predicted.
    - Global CO2 emissions are around the highest scenarios considered by the IPCC.

    And here (http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/01/pink-line.html, part II) for why the lowest “scenario” in an IPCC figure is a wholly implausible “feel good” scenario.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  160. Thank you, Bob (15 February 2010 at 10:52 AM).

    So is Professor Jones saying that there is simply not enough Southern Hemisphere proxy data to support a global temperature reconstruction dating back over 1000 years? (and according to Gavin’s inline replies, that is no different to what other climate scientists have been saying?)

    Comment by Ruth — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:16 AM

  161. “Does the IPCC need to change?”

    Obviously, the IPCC does need to change.

    “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).”

    Where in the following report does “500,000 to 100,000 km2″ occur?
    http://assets.panda.org/downloads/himalayaglaciersreport2005.pdf

    In fact, the report says:
    “The Himalayas have the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps. With glacier coverage of 33,000 km2, the region is aptly called the “Water Tower of Asia” as it provides around 8.6 X 106 m3 of water annually (Dyurgerov and Maier, 1997).”

    The IPCC is going to have to improve its quality. So yes, it needs to change.

    Comment by EL — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:16 AM

  162. “These leads to people thinking (erroneously) that medieval temperatures are somehow determinative of why climate is changing now. It is not likely that they were as high as they are today, but we can’t absolutely rule it out, but this only matters if you think this is the basis of anything- since it isn’t, it doesn’t.”

    Oh come now, this site has screamed for years that the current warming is completely without parallel in human history, and the MWP has been disregarded as near fiction by most here. Now all of a sudden Jones breaks rank and now you are saying “not likely that they were as high”.

    Basically Gavin you do not have a clue if the MWP was a warm, locally or globally, yet are happy to dismiss it in with broad brush statements.

    People are not erroneously thinking it is determinative, just that maybe something comparable happened in human history, which flies in the face of the “unprecedented” warming message being rammed down our throats.

    The major point here is, if the temperature was anywhere close then its not unprecedented in human history, and could point to other factors that you have ignored, misinterpreted, or just are not aware of, being ignored because C02 has been pinned down as the baddie.

    Comment by John — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:17 AM

  163. Harry Hodge, I believe what Gavin has been trying to get across to you is that you need a grounding in the basics before you can ask questions that are relevant. I don’t think anyone is blaming you for asking questions that are so far off base; you’ve been consuming information that has been manipulated by deniers and the media.

    If you want a free overview to get started (though Gavin’s book is excellent), I suggest cce’s The Global Warming Debate. (For other readers who wondered where that site went, cce just revived it at a new address.)

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:19 AM

  164. “My book’s a pretty good start though! :-) gavin]”

    Follow the money you mean Gavin?

    Comment by John — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:19 AM

  165. “Goran Rudling claims the glacier error was an IPCC scare tactic:

    And how fricking clever of them to hide it in a chapter of a WG report and not mention it in the Summary or the Exec Summary. Please”

    So Pachuari did not mention it in a speech pre-Copenhagen then? Please.

    Comment by John — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:21 AM

  166. #41 Jerry Steffens

    Thanks for the ref to Chap 8, it does help. I had looked in Chapter 2, but 8 looks much better for clouds.

    David B. Benson (42)

    I guess if clouds let the Eemian get away we shouldn’t count on them for our salvation.

    I got interested in Climate Change after reading some of Spencer Weart’s APS work. I didn’t know till your post that he had expanded to such a comprehensive web site.

    I looked at a recent paper by Kim and Ramanathan ( J. Geophys. Res., 113, D02203, doi:10.1029/2007JD008434. or http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/publications/Kim_Ram_jgr113_2007JD008434.pdf. It seemed to say they got pretty good results for aerosols/clouds with a Monte Carlo model.

    Assuming the K/R work holds up, how do other modelers incorporate such improvements in their own work? It would seem that other model groups should try to use K/R’s results to change their models and lower the IPCC uncertainty in climate sensitivity or whatever?

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:30 AM

  167. According to Professor Phil Jones, the period 1975-2009 (35 years) had a stastically significant temperature rise of 0.161 degrees.

    That represents 0.46 degree per century, which will have no substantial negative effect on the climate of the planet.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm

    Comment by Eric Smith — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:33 AM

  168. The IPCC AR4 is based on peer-reviewed science, but the report and its forecasts are highly suspect:

    “Using a forecasting method that they have developed, Dr. J. Scott Armstrong from the Wharton School and Dr. Kesten C. Green from the International Graduate School of Business at the University of South Australia conclude that alarm over “dangerous manmade global warming” is the latest example of a common social phenomenon involving alarming but unscientific forecasts that prove to be wrong……..The authors are hopeful that the continuing evidence on the {non}-scientific procedures used by people involved in manmade global warming {forecasting}…… will help to reduce the damage from the alarm in the long run. However, the analogies offered little hope on that score. Most of the previous alarms, such as over DDT and electromagnetic fields, continued to cause substantial harm many years after they had been shown to be false.”

    * Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts Energy and Environment, VOLUME 18 No. 7+8, 2007)(http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=129/WarmAudit31.pdf)

    “the forecasts in the report(IPCC AR4) … present the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing”

    All of the forecasts in AR4 are based on parameterized climate models. Such models, no matter how complex, as stated above, are simply the opinions of experts gussied up fancy mathematics and computer programs. The purpose of such a model is ONLY to develop some estimates of how the subject might be affected by changes in the assumptions. Because the parameters(and in some cases even the premises) are adjusted to match particular time series data they are only applicable to that particular time series for that particular time frame It is an elementary excercise to fit data to a curve of some type in order to get some understanding of what is happening. The second step is to show that whatever curve is fitted to a series of data may have absolutely nothing to do with what happens when the data is extended. For example, during a short period, both a sine curve and an exponential curve may give reasonable fits to the data, but neither can actually predict what will happen as more data is collected unless the mechanism underlying the data is understood so one can choose the correct mathematical model.

    Another less publicized, but highly unscientific bit in the AR4 is in chapter 3, p.253. A graph of temperature data from 1850 to near present is overlaid with 150 yr, 100 yr, 50 y, and 25 yr. trends purportedly showing that the rate of temperature increase is accelerating. This is a totally bogus us of graphical techniques. An honest comparison would be a 25 yr. running average, showing that the temperature has gone through several periods of varying rate of change. Using modern statistics you’d go even further and discover that the temperatures anomalies shown(which are a derivative of the the actual temperatues) show non-stationarity, meaning that they are not suitable for any kind of forecast.

    Finally, forecasting can be done scientifically, but it is much less alarming and less fodder for publicity. Peer-reviewed scientific analysis shows that experts are usually very poor at making accurate forecasts. Currently the best scientific forecast, for policy purposes, is that the global temperature rises seen in the last 20-30 years will moderate and reverse back towards some unknown average.

    Comment by ferocious — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:37 AM

  169. From #25
    “[Response: Listen to yourself. The next thing will be that the police over-report crime because their pensions are invested in riot-control gear manufacturers, or that people only care about Haiti because they have shares in a T-shirt factory there. This kind of uber-conspiratorial thinking is poisonous to any dialog - take it somewhere else. - gavin]”

    But wait, dismissing skeptics because they might have ties to oil companies is ok? What’s the difference between eg Al Gore investing money in green industries and promoting AGW, and others investing in oil companies and promoting anti-AGW? Double standard much?

    Comment by noel — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:43 AM

  170. “An odd defence for an organization who claims to have “experts” who “review” its statements.”

    An odd “argument” from someone who “claims” to know “things” are different than “stated”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:43 AM

  171. “i suggest that you contribute with something substantial or be quiet”

    I suggest you give positive information or be quiet.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:44 AM

  172. Excellent write up, as usual. Many thanks.

    Fern #8, 14 February 2010 @ 5:00 PM wrote:

    …There’s just one thing that still gets me: when will they fianlly lay to rest this “-gate” thing? Total lack of imagination!!!!

    MetaGate: The scandal whereby journalists lack the imagination to come up with a better suffix than “-gate”.

    Comment by Jack Kelly — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  173. [...] covers the Journalismgate scandal, where a couple of dishonest reporters (Jonathan Leake and David Rose) [...]

    Pingback by ‘Errors’ do not invalidate « A Man With A Ph.D. — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:48 AM

  174. Bob @ 146

    “And this is part of the problem. The layman not only is poorly trained in science, but they are also poorly trained in critical thinking and clarity in writing (and reading what is written).

    You can’t win with those people, because they are too easily mislead, either by their own confusion, or the lead of someone else who is confused.”

    Add to that that they’ve been purposely wound up with some simple off-the-shelf ideology, ‘empowerment’ and a sense of entitlement about their gut instincts. It’s a complex mess. It reminds me of a situation I witnessed on a much smaller scale a number of years ago. Basically MBAs trashed a department using an inverted pyramid for an informal org chart during a time of institutional crisis. The director went into hiding; the secretaries went on a rampage, venting over any and all of their pent-up frustrations, and basically ended up in charge–even to the point of holding angry inquiries over the state of the “business model.” I kid you not. It was the weirdest thing I thought I’d ever see until the change in government unfolded in the years after 2000.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:49 AM

  175. “132
    steve says:
    15 February 2010 at 9:50 AM

    It is statements like this at RC that infuriate me. No one is skeptical about the quantum theory of molecular spectroscopy.”

    Have you read G&T’s paper? Have you read blogs like the ones on the BBC?

    There are plenty of people who refuse POINT BLANK that CO2 can have anything to do with temperatures.

    “There is room for scientific skepticism about feedbacks, sensitivity, and ocean-atmosphere interactions.”

    There is. Please can we have more skepticism and less denial.

    Your help in this matter is appreciated.

    “Hard data? Is there any other kind?”

    Yeah, there’s the “made up data” that make people report 0.1C per doubling is what CO2 sensitivity is.

    Almost all of it is found in those people denying the scientific conclusion of AGW.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  176. M.Cejnar says:

    “Rich, you miss the point entirely. This is not a typo in a just-released report. AR4 has been around for 3 years and this 2035 was originally challenged but was included anyway. It has subsequently been publicized and has been “settled science” and “accepted by thousands of scientists” for 3 years.”

    Apparently, M. Cejnar failed to read the reference cited. I am not defending the IPCC (although I do believe in climate science).

    “If scientists could not or were afraid to denounce an absurdity in the AR4, then this makes all other data in the AR4, legitimized by the same thousands of scientists, also untrustworthy.”

    Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a logical fallacy.

    Comment by Rich — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:51 AM

  177. re 55 and 56:
    Before you even look at the data you decide on how important the conclusion is going to be. The more important, the more strict the statistics. 95% confidence interval has been traditionally used because it is wide enough to be attained in many instances, but robust enough that unfounded conclusions aren’t very likely be made. The AR4 even equates confidence intervals as low as 90% or even 80% with words such as “likely”. What that really means is that you are likely to be wrong if you accept the advice.

    The idea that a trend “is quite close to the 95 per cent significance level” is merely wishful thinking. I can remember more times than I care to count when I went ahead based on a test “being ‘close’ to the 95% CI and found out that the 5% error is very real, and will come back to bite you!

    Comment by ferocious — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:51 AM

  178. “We are told that the new record is due to “extreme weather” caused by “global warming.””

    Global warming (no quotes) will cause more extreme weather.

    There’s more energy in the system (expressed as temperature).

    What happens with a more energetic system?

    More stuff.

    Is it the cause of that incident?

    Can’t tell because one incident is weather, not climate. And global warming is a climate event. By the time you know it’s there it’s been happening for a generation.

    It is a bit late to act against it at that point…

    Oh, PS, for Andreas Bjurström, where were you when Baghdad Bob turned up?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:54 AM

  179. “Can’t be bothered to trawl back over 10 or 20 years of column inches and BBC/Channel 4 airtime and judge what percentage fit my criteria for uncritical parroting”

    Did you read anything?

    Fox.
    The Sun.
    The Daily Mail.

    You just went on and guessed for BBC/C4? (which, by the way, had C4 promote that POS global warming swindle that had severe edits to avoid criminal sanction).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:57 AM

  180. “As I said, grow up. Post Climategate is the first time the (UK) MSM has turned on you after decades of unquestioning acceptance”

    As I thought. You need to grow up.

    No, this isn’t the first time MSM has turned on AGW. And they’ve never (not even for days, never mind decades” showed “unquestioning acceptance”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 PM

  181. Andreas Bjurström wrote: “The arrogant scientific attitude of the IPCC, i.e. the recurrent claim that science is objective and the assessment free of errors, are the fundamental cause of the present debate.”

    The IPCC only has an “arrogant scientific attitude” if you can point to a large body of relevent, peer-reviewed scientific literature that it ignored. To my knowledge, no such body of literature exists.

    The IPCC is simply stating the current understanding of the science. If it didn’t, there would be thousands of climate scientists out there complaining that the IPCC had misstated their conclusions. To my knowledge, no such complaints exist.

    Now, if you want to argue that the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists are engaged in some sort of massive consipracy to distort the scientific truth and dupe the IPCC into complicity, feel free to do so.

    Comment by Dennis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:10 PM

  182. Ray @137 claims (of IPCC bias in errors) that ” … actually, they aren’t. The IPCC is clearly way too conservative in the way it treats the cryosphere.”

    Not sure the ex-Chairman of the IPCC agrees with you, old chap. Dr Robert Watson (IPCC chairman 1997-2002) says in a Times report today that “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.</i"

    Darn, is that pesky press telling lies again? Except that, hang on, I think that Dr Robert Watson may be rather more trustworthy than the current IPCC chairman. What do you think?

    Comment by AxelD — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:10 PM

  183. The main goal of the fossil fuel lobby (in their own words, courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute) is to “create doubt about global warming science” in the minds of the general public, journalists, politicians and policymakers.

    To do this, they rely on loud attacks on climate scientists & their publications, and on international institutions like the IPCC. The general theme is, the more scientists get smeared or degraded in the press, the more likely it is that the public and politicians will view the science as uncertain.

    If you want to see where this model originated, there are many fine books on the history of the effort to regulate tobacco smoking based on the scientific assessment that smoking causes cancer and lung & heart disease – or should I say “exacerbates” instead of “causes”?

    What’s interesting about the most recent attack on the IPCC is that it was quickly parroted by the Washington Post (“Series of missteps by climate scientists threatens climate-change agenda”) as well as the New York Times (“Skeptics Find Fault With UN Climate Panel”) and the Wall Street Journal (“Climate group admits to making mistakes”) and also by CNN (“UN climate chiefs apologize”) – that is the same CNN that fired Miles O’Brien and the rest of the science staff when they started running accurate reports on Arctic thawing and polar bear starvation.

    However, these press outlets are ignoring the biggest flaws in the IPCC process, which are to be found not in the (rather conservative) scientific assessment in working group I – which entirely neglected carbon cycle feedback processes like permafrost melting, by the way, but rather in the “adaptation and mitigation” report produced by working group III – the real stinker, in my opinion.

    In particular, see the long-winded and scientifically unsupported parroting of “clean coal carbon capture” claims in Chapter 4, WG3, pg 292: (it’s a 15 MB pdf file, the entire chapter:)

    http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/publications/assessment-reports/ar4/.files-ar4/Chapter04.pdf

    How much time do they give to real renewables? Not much. Rather than a blueprint for replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy on a global scale, many sections of the WG3 report are little more than a series of talking points lifted the fossil fuel lobby’s deception program.

    About that deception program: In the fossil fuel anti-science PR world, the first effort has been to convince the public and government officials that global warming isn’t happening. That failed, mostly. The next themes were “it’s happening, but it’s not because of fossil fuels” and “it’s happening, but it’s going to be beneficial.” Again, all those notions have been shown to be wrong, despite the long-winded efforts of the denialists.

    Faced with this reality, the fossil fuel lobby is now moving to deception instead of denialism as its core PR strategy. The new claim is that they can go through with their plans to use dirtier oil sources – the list includes heavy oil, tar sand oil, shale oil, coal-to-liquid and coal-to-gas schemes, and enhanced oil recovery schemes – all without releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. In reality, all five approached are at least twice as fossil CO2-intensive as producing and refining light sweet crudes, which are no longer available in many cases.

    A massive PR program is being pushed to convince the public that this can be done “cleanly” and that coal gasoline and tar sand syncrude are in reality, “clean energy sources”. That’s the deception program, the new adjunct to the ongoing denialist program.

    The IPCC WG3, rather than rigorously reviewing the science behind such fossil carbon capture claims, simply reprinted ridiculous unsupported estimates – it reads like the literature put out by the coal-financed FutureGen Alliance, or by the ACCCE, or by the DOE Carbon Capture program.

    Despite all the hoopla and bipartisan political support for “clean coal” including billions in DOE taxpayer financing, it’s never been demonstrated – and yet, for some reason, the U.S. media chooses to focus on a few tiny errors in the working group I analysis – while entire ignoring the nonsense in the working group III analysis.

    Looking at this, one can really only conclude that many academic and media institutions in the U.S. and around the world have been thoroughly corrupted by the influence provided by the fossil fuel industry and their associated financial dependents – to the point that they’re not really doing science or journalism anymore, but rather just working to promote various talking points.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 PM

  184. Phil Jones speaks:
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/012345/full/news.2010.71.html

    Comment by Dan Whipple — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:22 PM

  185. windansea:

    If anything, I would
    like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be
    proved right

    Yep, I share the sentiment. He (like me) doesn’t want AGW to be true… that train left the station long ago. He wants its truth demonstrated, as in: I told you so.

    …and frankly, after the way the world has treated him, I suspect the sentiment has grown. ‘Go ahead assholes, make my day.’

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:34 PM

  186. The second half of this statement (from the realclimate article) is false:
    “The IPCC cites 18,000 references in the AR4; the vast majority of these are peer-reviewed scientific journal papers.”

    This statement is true only of Working group 1. I have done quantitative studies on this issue, so I have rather deep knowledge and lost of quantative data. Sp please reply if there is interest to know more on this issue, or perpaps even nuance the statement in the article itself.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:35 PM

  187. Please help me understand the timing of glacier retreat. It probably has been addressed somewhere but I cannot find.
    During last glacier advance(approx 20K years ago) glaciers in the US reached down to about NYC(40 degees north) in some parts. When the Spanish were exploring in the 1500′s they were able to sail (ice free) to about Baffin Island the southern part of which is about 60 degrees north. This represents a 20 degree retreat or about 1200 miles. Taking some numbers from the Himalayan Glaciers of 100 meter retreat per year a 20 degree retreat would take about 18K years. So what is so unusual about the current glacier retreat?
    I realize above is comparing different geographies but I would like to get a handle on any acceleration of the normal rate of glacier retreat.

    Comment by robert — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 PM

  188. Somehow global warming just doesn’t sound very threatening. Scientists are cold-blooded people, and they’re not talking enough about how degraded and squalid the Earth will increasingly become if carbon emissions continue. Or even the devolution that is already occurring and has occurred from the pollution already there for the past 30 or so years. As it is, it doesn’t sound like something to be very worried about. “So it will get a little warmer, so what.” You need to talk about things like, how beauty will vanish forever, or how poor nutrition (from bee extinction and the erosion of agricultural products from carbon pollution) will cause children to become increasingly deformed and mentally retarded. Draw parallels between projected extinction events, like the Polar Bear, and human beings, show a TV commercial with a little blonde girl stranded on a melting ice flow going over a giant water-fall. Things like that. That’s the way the “vested interests” play. All theses numbers and graphs don’t leave much of an impression. No matter how correct they are. The 1960s and 1970s were far more savvy about this. With the little blonde-hippie girl picking flowers as a mushroom cloud looms over head, and Iron Eyes Cody weeping over a congested traffic turnpike, etc. Scientists are too politically correct these days.

    Comment by Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:41 PM

  189. Good response by Bob in #154 to Ruth in #96. Saying the evidence doesn’t support equal or higher warmer global average temperatures during MWP isn’t the same thing as saying the possibility is completely ruled out. This is entirely consistent with RC’s statement and work that Dr. Mann has done.

    A recent study perhaps sums it up for the northern hemisphere:

    http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/5/2631/2009/cpd-5-2631-2009-print.pdf

    “The strongest result relates to the temperature of the last decade, which exceeds any decade prior to 1850 with 95% certainty. The increased certainty compared to the 66% certainty expressed by IPCC2001 is primarily a consequence of the continuing high temperatures which have made the last decade 0.24 K warmer than the last decade of the 20th century, a warming greater than one standard deviation of the reconstruction uncertainty.”

    It’s also entirely a red herring to use past climate change as evidence against manmade global warming, as contrarians obsessing over the MWP assert. A more variable past climate is arguably evidence for higher climate sensitivity.

    The amount of quote mining and distortion among ideologues is quite disconcerting. I would think this would turn off objective observers looking for good faith analysis. The recent spin over comments made by Dr. Lacis regarding a draft IPCC summary is one textbook example. Lacis had to set the record straight:

    “There is a great deal of irony in this basically nonsensical stuff, some of which I find rather amusing. The global warming denier blogs, where this issue first came up, seem to think that I was being critical of the I.P.C.C. report in the same way as seen from their perspective, and, as a result, I have received e-mails from the denier crowd hailing my remarks and commending me for “speaking up” on this important topic.

    Little do they realize that the basic thrust of my criticism of the I.P.C.C. draft was really to register a clear complaint that I.P.C.C. was being too wishy-washy and was not presenting its case for anthropogenic impact being the principal driver of global warming as clearly and forcefully as they could, and should.”

    “Had I been asked to write this chapter (which I wasn’t), I would describe “understanding and attributing of climate change” as simply a problem in physics, which it actually is. I would have started the Executive Summary with: Human-induced warming of the climate system is established fact.”

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/nasa-scientist-adds-to-views-on-climate-panel/

    I suppose that is another example where the IPCC should have stated their case more firmly. They tend to water down analysis to the lowest-common-denominator. Sea level rise is another example.

    Comment by MarkB — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:41 PM

  190. “181
    AxelD says:
    15 February 2010 at 12:10 PM
    Not sure the ex-Chairman of the IPCC agrees with you, old chap. Dr Robert Watson (IPCC chairman 1997-2002) says in a Times report today”

    Would this be the same Times that completely made up Latif’s words?

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/01/11/mojib-latif-slams-daily-mail/#more-1409

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:41 PM

  191. Ferociously wrong: “The AR4 even equates confidence intervals as low as 90% or even 80% with words such as “likely”. What that really means is that you are likely to be wrong if you accept the advice.”

    No, that would be the result of accepting “unlikely” advice.

    If you *reject* likely advice, then you’re likely wrong. Not if you accept it.

    Please also remember that “wrong” also includes “ohshit, we’re gonna die”, which is hardly a reason for inaction.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:44 PM

  192. Whistling past the graveyard are we?

    Comment by Andy — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  193. “But wait, dismissing skeptics because they might have ties to oil companies is ok?”

    No, but when you dismiss “skeptics” (actually deniers) because they don’t have any science behind them, you can also find that they have oil companies behind them.

    does their backing by oil companies mean they don’t have to have science on their side?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:47 PM

  194. “164
    John says:
    15 February 2010 at 11:21 AM

    So Pachuari did not mention it in a speech pre-Copenhagen then? Please.”

    He did.

    So what?

    If it were there to scare people, it would be rather more prominent.

    Please.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  195. Les (74) wrote:
    “The temperature trend is positive. But not significantly. Its outside the 95% confidence level. … Since 1995.”

    If the question were rephrased to be 1992 to present or 1993 to present, you’d get a different answer. In other words, the question is a red herring.

    Comment by Ken W — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  196. Dennis, I do not argue for conspiracy. I am not a simplistic sceptic. I am a social scientist doing research on the sociology of climate research. I believe that we are experiencing climate change that should be mitigated and adopted to and so on. Satisfied? Now, this is what I tried to state:

    First, all I need to show that the IPCC is ignorant is a single case. Yes, we have that case. Pachauri has been rather ignorant lately. He deny, deny, deny, than after intense pressure he admit, yet just a little little litte. All is soo perfect, almost completey perfect …
    The IPCC statements of january 2010 are also rather ignorant. There are of course more errors, the peer review process is not almost perfect, etc etc. So many issues are overstated. Which is sad, cause this is exactly how the IPCC makes it too easy for the sceptics. With a more humble attitude, occasional errors would not be a big deal.

    I claim that the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists are natural scientists (I also have quantified data on this and two scientific articles and a number of conference papers on this and related issues). I also claim that most natural scientists lack adequate knowledge on societal issues. This results in many things, e.g. a naive understanding of the role of science in policymaking. Neglection of the subjective side of science, the role of power and values in framing climate change, etc.

    The IPCC also ignore a large body of significant knowledge. Almost all social science is ignored by the IPCC. The IPCC is a natural science technocratic assessment combined with economic science (yes, I have data that demonstrates this as well).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:55 PM

  197. The RC group wrote: “We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.”

    In the USA, the “media world” consists almost entirely of a handful of giant corporations that own and control virtually all of the mass media from which most Americans get most of their information.

    Those corporations do not use their near-totalitarian control over the mass media to impartially inform and educate the American people about important issues as a public service, out of the goodness of their hearts.

    Instead, they use the mass media to (1) make a profit and (2) to relentlessly propagandize the American people in furtherance of corporate interests and the corporate agenda.

    The fossil fuel corporations are among the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, most far-reaching commercial enterprises in the world — and they have shown themselves to also be among the most rapacious and ruthless and reactionary corporations in the world.

    And it is the fossil fuel corporations’ agenda that directs and drives the corporate-owned mass media’s deny-delay-obstruct-confuse-and-create-doubt propaganda regarding anthropogenic global warming.

    Terms like “professionalism” and “moral integrity” are properly applied to journalists, not to dishonest, bought-and-paid-for corporate shills.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Feb 2010 @ 12:59 PM

  198. 168 noel says: “But wait, dismissing skeptics because they might have ties to oil companies is ok? ”
    ——————————————————————–

    I thought these “sceptics” only had ties to concerned charitable or non-profit organisations and think tanks? Interesting. So you admit that they have ties to oil companies.

    We’re getting somewhere at last.

    Comment by J Bowers — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:02 PM

  199. At your suggestion, I went and read the BBC Q&A. A couple of points, whatever and whereever the truth may lie, you need to get Dr. Jones to shut up. His explanations contribute more to confusion than clarity. Public speaking may not be one of his skills, find someone who is better at it. Second, he needs to get a better lawyer. From the US prospective, some of his anwers appear to be laying a defense for sloppiness instead of fraud, and not a very good defense at that. He needs to shut up before he talks himself into criminal charges.

    Comment by Garrett Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  200. AxelD: One out of one errors are in the positive direction. Hardly something to derive a conclusion from.

    In this case, I don’t trust the Times to report accurately. They have failed to do so far too often.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:06 PM

  201. AxelD,
    I don’t rely on either past or present chairmen of the IPCC. I rely on the data in peer-reviewed scientific research, thank you. The fact that the IPCC underestimates do not reflect the rapidity of degradation in the cryosphere is well known and has been for a long time. See here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/03/greenland-ice-and-other-glaciers/

    and here

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/04/moulins-calving-fronts-and-greenland-outlet-glacier-acceleration/

    and here

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/how-much-will-sea-level-rise/

    Gee, Axel, all these facts right here on this very site and you never knew it. I’ll take facts over opinions of past or present IPCC chairmen, but then we already know your elastic attitude towards facts.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  202. Even Phil Jones is now saying there is no significant warming in the last 15 years. It’s a matter of time before this whole thing falls apart–if it hasn’t already. I think the whistle-blower that started Climate-gate should be up for a Nobel Peace prize for saving the whole world BILLIONS of dollars!

    [Response: You wish, and you would. Think your billions will buy you a new planet do ya?--Jim]

    Comment by PhilinAZ — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  203. Eric Smith #166, eh, 0.161 degrees is the decadal rate… please come back for lesson 2 ;-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  204. Re:110 Andreas Bjurström says: 15 February 2010 at 6:41 AM
    “The arrogant scientific attitude of the IPCC, i.e. the recurrent claim that science is objective and the assessment free of errors, are the fundamental cause of the present debate. If the IPCC had been more humble, the sceptics spinn based on a sigle error would not be possible.”

    Blowing smoke. Aspersions on the IPCC from a gang of tinfoil hats were coming down long before the trigger Andreas Bjurström mentions.

    Note:

    “Inhofe Calls UN IPCC Summary For Policymakers ‘Corruption of Science’”
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020307.htm
    By EPW Blog
    Saturday, February 3, 2007

    “Washington, DC – Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today commented on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Summary for Policymakers.

    “This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain. The media has failed to report that the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was not approved by scientists but by UN political delegates and bureaucrats,” Senator Inhofe said. The IPCC is only releasing the Summary for Policymakers today, not the actual scientific report which is not due out until May 2007.

    “This is nothing new. On November 15th, 2005, I addressed my colleagues in the United States Senate to express the importance of returning integrity to the processes that govern the work of the IPCC. I outlined several concrete proposals to reform the IPCC process during this Senate Floor address and in a subsequent follow-up letter to the IPCC chairman,” Senator Inhofe said.

    “On December 7, 2005, I followed up my speech with a letter to the IPCC Chairman noting that the ‘science had been manipulated in order to reach a predetermined conclusion.’ Sadly, the IPCC has refused to make any of the reforms necessary to ensure scientific integrity,” Senator Inhofe added.”

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  205. Eric Smith said something inconsequential and error-filled.

    And I say: if global warming was linear, it would hardly be the problem that it is.

    Eric: you can’t read. The trend for 1975-2009 is 0.161 degrees per decade. That’s 1.61 degrees per century.

    Epic reading comprehension fail.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:14 PM

  206. Thanks, Gavin. This is a great summary that can be easily referenced. More importantly, it should be distributed as an urgent press release to all members of the media.

    Comment by mike roddy — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:15 PM

  207. Ferocious says “Before you even look at the data you decide on how important the conclusion is going to be. The more important, the more strict the statistics. 95% confidence interval has been traditionally used because it is wide enough to be attained in many instances, but robust enough that unfounded conclusions aren’t very likely be made.”

    Now, hold on just a wee minute here! Are you seriously contending that the standards for scientific truth be contingent upon the desirability of the conclusions? Because if you are saying anything even remotely like that, I believe you are proposing a rather significant change to the scientific method.

    CO2 sensitivity below 2 degrees per doubling is precluded at the 95% confidence level. The fact that every year this decade except 2008 has been among the 10 warmest and that 17 of the top 20 hotest years on record have been in the past 20 years (the others were all in the ’80s) precludes random chance at better than 95% confidence even with red or pink noise! The fact that the stratosphere has been cooling as the troposphere warms is absolutely diagnostic of a greenhouse mechanism. Want me to go on?

    I’m more than willing to talk evidence, ferrocious. It’s much more interesting than typos and email gossip.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:20 PM

  208. noel got upset about funding.

    Noel, where do you stand on tobacco? Do you think it is fine for tobacco companies to spend millions on lying to the public?

    Do you think the doctors and scientists who exposed the lies should be treated the same way as the tobacco industry lobbyists merely because they have a vested interest in making people well?

    Yes, it’s absurd. Of course it’s absurd. But now the whole song and dance is repeating with fossil fuel interests in the tobacco seat. Many of the people involved are the very same people from before!

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  209. Jack Kelly says: “MetaGate: The scandal whereby journalists lack the imagination to come up with a better suffix than “-gate”.”

    Oh, I am soooo stealing that!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:23 PM

  210. Eric Smith (166): “According to Professor Phil Jones, the period 1975-2009 (35 years) had a stastically significant temperature rise of 0.161 degrees.

    That represents 0.46 degree per century, which will have no substantial negative effect on the climate of the planet.”

    It would appear that in a rush to make your case you didn’t read the caption on the table. It says that is the trend per decade, not the rise over the period in question. Thus, that’s 1.61 degrees c in a century. Which is, of course, not particularly relevant. The climate system is rife with feedbacks, with positive feedbacks dominating, so a linear extrapolation likely understates the case.

    –Martin

    Comment by Martin — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:23 PM

  211. 135, Ray Ladbury: CO2 has been known to be a greenhouse gas since the 1850s, and anthropogenic climate change due to CO2 was first predicted in 1896! Good lord, where do you come up with this?!
    +
    There are a dozen or so independent lines of evidence that all favor a CO2 sensitivity around 3 degrees per doubling–and preclude a sensitivity less than 2 degrees per doubling.

    I did not dispute that. I said that the theory is not complete and not precise. The VAR methods show that the association of temp change with CO2 change, in the actual record, is not very strong. The authors whom Gavin disparaged did not claim that there was a “neat” relationship of temperature change to CO2 change, only that it was estimable within a class of functions. Probably, as this line of modeling is extended, better functions will be found to relate the measured variables through time.

    In complex systems, it is not that unusual to find that a particular well-defined causal mechanism has a small effect in the whole system. The VAR methods merely substantiate the possibility that other factors, not well known or known at all, might overwhelm the CO2 effect.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  212. noel@168 Uh, Noel, Al Gore is a politician, and not a very good one at that. Why you wanna go to him for climate info. Likewise, why do you want to go to a whole bunch of nonscientists for climate info. If it were me, I’d look to the climate scientists–you know, the ones who actually publish.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:26 PM

  213. ferrocious cites “Energy and Environment, ” and that’s all you need to know. Dude, Weekly World News has more credibility in scientific matters!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:29 PM

  214. Ruth, #160:

    So is Professor Jones saying that there is simply not enough Southern Hemisphere proxy data to support a global temperature reconstruction dating back over 1000 years?

    No, he’s saying that there is not enough Southern Hemisphere proxy data to support the contention that the entire globe was anomalously warm for a 300 year period from 950 AD to 1250 AD.

    Comment by Bob — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:30 PM

  215. Ike Solem, #182, excellent, again.

    IPCC is also quite remiss in their deforestation sections. While conceding the emissions caused by logging, they give industrial logging a pass, suggesting that better ways to clearcut may be the answer.

    I have been asked to deliver a paper on CO2 emissions for various construction materials to an international conference this summer, based on some of my prior work. If anyone can suggest carbon scientists with particular expertise in calculating emissions from forestry, steel, and concrete production, I would like to hear from them at mike.greenframe@gmail.com. I have found the US EIA tables to be flawed and incomplete at times, and need better data.

    Comment by mike roddy — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  216. Harry Hodge:I think you are missing what statistically significant means, and how that significance relates to the length of time in question. Professor Jones was saying that there is more than one change in 20 that the 1995 to 2009 temperature rise was due to chance, vice random fluctuations. Statistics are (mathematically) quite beautiful. But completely non-intuitive. Consider the temperature on Feb 15th. In Northern Virginia, the average high is 45F. Today’s high will be 37F. Nobody would be surprised if Feb 15, 2011 the temp were 55F. There is a lot of jumping around from year to year. Indeed, the record hi/low is 68F/7F. So for a trend to be statistically significant in 14 years means it has to be a very strong trend. But the temperature trends we are looking at are on the order of hundredths of a degree per year.The longer the period, the easier it is to find the trend.The correct answer to the BBC’s question was not the one Dr Jones gave; the proper answer was that 14 years is too short a time period for meaningful trend statistics.

    Comment by Tim McDermott — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:34 PM

  217. “One of them wrote that the experience with Leake had made him “reluctant to speak to any journalist about any subject at all.’ ”

    I think this was rather the whole point, wasn’t it?

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:35 PM

  218. From Eric Smith: “According to Professor Phil Jones, the period 1975-2009 (35 years) had a stastically significant temperature rise of 0.161 degrees.

    That represents 0.46 degree per century, which will have no substantial negative effect on the climate of the planet.”

    I’d think after reading this that one would have a lot of questions like:

    Is the trend in higher global temps stable, accelerating, decelerating or what? (current trend is about 0.2C per decade or 2C per century)

    What about periods before or after the one reported?

    Are there other data sets and do they show the same trends?

    What is the cause of the underlying trend and what does this mean for future temperatures?

    At what level does an increase in global temps start to affect the world?

    Is the temperature increasing at the same rate everywhere on the globe?

    You can find all the answers to the above in this blog’s archived posts and supporting information.

    The years 1975 to 2009 are only a small part of a long, now upward accelerating trend of global temperatures. And those areas that occupy the most space on Earth; the oceans and tropics, are increasing only slowly in temperature while others, like the northern hemisphere continents where most people live, are increasing rapidly in temperature and are projected to do so more rapidly in the future.

    On top of this, there is a lot less difference in yearly average temperature than one would casually expect from one place to another though those places obviously experience radically different climates. For example: the average annual temperature of Peoria, Illinois is about 51F and that of Austin, Texas is 68F. They receive the same annual precipitation (about 36 inches).

    Yet, no one who was familiar with these cities would ever confuse one for the other. The plant life, wildlife, water availability, crops, building construction methods and everything else dependent upon climate are radically different between these two cities though they receive the same amount of precipitation, are located at roughly the same longitude, and are subject to the same climate controllers (i.e. Rocky Mountain rain shadow, central continental climate, etc.).

    GISS has many articles written for non-climate scientists that explain and illustrate the coming Austinification of Peoria, Chicago, and other midwestern US cities. I’ve lived in both areas and Austin, frankly, sucks in the summer.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/

    Also, reasons for DC’s heavy snow. 200% above normal precipitable water levels in the atmosphere resulting from a warm, El Nino Pacific was a critical piece of the puzzle at these Univ. of Wisconsin folks discuss.

    http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/date/2010/02/page/2

    Comment by Andy — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:40 PM

  219. Theo Hopkins@113 – groups 1 & 4 will revert come summer, the real core point is joe six pack can’t tell the difference between snow in a British winter and ice in an Arctic summer or between weather and climate.

    Comment by flxible — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:41 PM

  220. Trysail@128 “the record snow we are seeing this winter is due to cold, not warm temperatures”

    Exactly, as in the AO causing a shift of Arctic [cold] influences on top of ElNino bringing you increased precip – OTOH, the record warmth and rain seen this winter on the other side of our continent [think "green" Olympics] has similar influences involved in a different place. You might consider this discussion has to do with long range global climate, not seasonal local weather. Your local weather reporters are handing out sound bites, not science.

    Comment by flxible — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  221. Ian Rae@142 “The issue that you really need to address is why these errors that get missed by the review process tend to lean in one direction — that of alarmism. Chance or bias?”
    The issue you need to address, as mentioned by others above, is why you miss any errors that lean in the other direction? [see Bart Verheggens comment@159] Chance or bias? But of course your criticism has to do with the review process, not the science, so maybe you really need to address those “reviewers” of the review process you get your bias from?

    Comment by flxible — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:48 PM

  222. Didactylos@158 “Shame on the BBC interviewer for failing to filter questions that are obviously designed to solicit a particular answer.”
    Actually consideration of the questions there [and the constrained written format] make it obvious the BBC did “filter” the questions, probably through a legal department [and maybe not the BBC's], and Jones answers appeared to have been subject to a similar filter, which is why he didn’t state things quite clearly enough to prevent the misinterpretations seen in comments here.

    Comment by flxible — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  223. Per post # 75, Anand:

    I watched, on the “Democracy Now!” cable channel, a circa 2001 Global Warming documentary, that predicted 50 Million AGW refugees by the year 2010. !

    There are enough of these 10 to 15 year old ‘predictions’ out there to really see the predictive power of Climate Science.

    [Response: If you can't tell the difference between actual climate science and something in a TV "documentary", you've got some fairly serious problems.--Jim]

    Comment by Stephen Mc — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:52 PM

  224. Thanks, Ike (182). The new TV ads being run by the coal industry really illustrate the new deception campaign. It is clear that the strategy has changed.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  225. Phil Jones – 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.

    As pointed out above this is a correct answer but unfortunately is rather opaque to ‘Joe Public’. A better way to put it would be ‘the calculated warming rate is 0.12ºC/decade, the chances of this being due to the scatter in the data is less than 1 in 10. As the period that the measurements are taken increases it becomes more certain that the warming trend is accurate’.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 15 Feb 2010 @ 1:57 PM

  226. More nonsense from Leake, relying on Christy and McKitrick to demonstrate the land temperature record is hopelessly biased:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026317.ece

    And a quick rebuttal at Deltoid
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_scandal_gets_bigger.php

    Comment by Deep Climate — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:05 PM

  227. Why you need 30 years of annual data to infer a surface temperature trend: Results on deciding trends.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  228. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come says Scientists are … not talking enough about how degraded and squalid the Earth will increasingly become if carbon emissions continue.

    Some are: Jeremy Jackson: Brave New Ocean

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  229. ADR: How long will this “blip” of no warming since 1998 last?

    BPL: There is no such blip. Look for yourself:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:27 PM

  230. peterr: The theory that this climate change is caused by human factors is entirely possible but not “settled” or even much based on “science”.

    BPL: As if you knew any of the relevant science yourself.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  231. Re:168 noel says: 15 February 2010

    n: “But wait, dismissing skeptics because they might have ties to oil companies is ok?

    Probably. These are entrenched industries disseminating mendacious propaganda to deceive people into believing there’s no problem with ghg emissions when there is. These “skeptics” are likely parroting lies for personal gain.

    n: “What’s the difference between eg Al Gore investing money in green industries and promoting AGW, and others investing in oil companies and promoting anti-AGW? Double standard much?”

    Nah. Al Gore has been donating 100% of his profits to his non-profit environmental group The Alliance for Climate Protection. http://www.greenzer.com/blog/2515-al-gore-green-investment-marsha-blackburn.html

    It’s delusory and conspiratorial to believe Al Gore is promoting AGW to enhance his investments. He is obviously putting his money where his mouth is, though. Besides, investing money in green industry accrues many benefits besides the attenuation of climate change, though the success of such enterprise would be helpful. There is little risk or detrimental consequence of having alternative energy applications be part of the economy.

    Investing in fossil industry by promoting positive aspects is one thing. But to tear down the virtual consensus of science
    that GHG emissions are harmful to make a buck is quite another. There is risk here. As far as I’m concerned the propaganda is dangerously mistaken.

    One kind of investment promotes the general welfare of society. The second promotes personal greed and the destruction of society. Think there’s a difference?

    Okay, let’s admit that for the time being fossil fuels are an integral part of civilization. The program here should be
    to recognize the scientific facts alluding to how burning several million years worth of fossil sunshine in less than two hundred has consequences. Climate change. Peak oil. Society should act with an eye to the future in responsible ways to enable the least destabilizing way of integrating new technology with old cultural norms to work its way out of the unbridled explosion of opportunity.

    There’s nothing wrong with leaving some coal and oil in the ground for future generations to make use of. Why is it incumbent on the current generation to use the world’s resources up as fast as it can? Thus some fossil fuel industry investment should be converted into actually sustaining the industry in ways that individual companies survive while helping society to survive the long run.

    The problem we’re experiencing here is hysteria derived from the fear of losing an unsustainable lifestyle. If we would learn to keep the good parts and thrown out the extravagant and wasteful we could probably avoid being so tense about all this and get on with taking care of the children – which is what evolution is all about, isn’t it?

    So let’s evolve.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:48 PM

  232. peterr: But “Climate Science” is an invented discipline and has a history shorter than my pubic hair.

    BPL: And I imagine you shave it. Let’s review the history of climate science.

    ~300 BC. Aristotle divides the world into “torrid,” “temperate,” and “frigid” zones.

    ~1660 AD. Torricelli invents the barometer and demonstrates that air pressure decreases with altitude.

    ~1745. Hadley charts the world’s major air currents for the first time, including the huge cycles now called “Hadley cells.”

    1824. Fourier speculates that Earth’s atmosphere is keeping the surface warmer than sunlight alone could do it.

    ~1850. Louis Agassiz shows that Earth went through one or more “ice ages.”

    1859. Tyndall demonstrates with lab work that the major greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor and carbon dioxide.

    1896. Svante August Arrhenius (chemistry Nobel Prize 1908) proposes the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), including such details as sensitivity to doubled CO2, polar amplification, and greater warming at night and during winter.

    1901. Knut Angstrom and J. Koch show that one atmosphere’s worth of CO2 absorbs about as much infrared light as 4/3 atmosphere’s worth, inferring that adding CO2 therefore doesn’t matter.

    1919. Dines publishes the first energy budget of Earth’s climate system.

    1931. Hulbert outlines the theory for a radiative-convective model (RCM) of Earth’s atmosphere.

    1938. Callendar suggests that CO2 has probably risen over the past century and that the world has warmed in consequence.

    1940-1945. High-altitude observations show that absorption differs at different pressures and altitudes, and that warming in even the topmost layer can affect the ground.

    1948. Haur publishes albedo estimates for high, middle, and low-altitude clouds.

    1955. Smagorinsky et al. write the first general circulation model (GCM) of Earth’s atmosphere.

    Suess suggests that the radioisotope signature of new CO2 shows that it is coming from burning fossil fuels.

    1956. Plass gives a quantitative estimate of what is now called Charney sensitivity, disproving Angstrom’s “saturation argument” once and for all and effectively making AGW part of the consensus.

    1957. Revelle and Suess confirm Suess’s earlier work, showing that the new CO2 is indeed coming from fossil fuels.

    1958. Revelle, Keeling and others establish regular flash sampling of remote-location CO2 at Mauna Loa observatory, Hawaii. Their findings are soon confirmed at other remote sites, including Antarctica and Siberia.

    1960. Keeling et al. show that CO2 is steadily rising.

    1964. Manabe and Strickler publish the first working RCM.

    1967. Manabe and Wetherall improve the model by substituting a fixed relative humidity scheme for the earlier fixed absolute humidity distribution.

    1971. Suomi et al. obtain the first accurate estimate of Earth’s bolometric Russell-Bond spherical albedo from satellite observations.

    1975. Manabe and Wetherall link their radiation code into a general circulation model.

    1988. Hansen warns congress of global warming.

    1989-present. Exxon-Mobile and other fossil fuel interests pour tens of millions of dollars into right-wing think tanks and grants to assorted crackpots to try to disprove AGW, or at least pretend to have disproved it.

    2002. The Larsen B ice shelf collapses for the first time in 10,000 years.

    2004. Dai et al. provide world maps of the Palmer Drought Severity Index for the period 1870-2002. They show that in 1970, 12% of Earth’s land surface was “severely dry” (PDSI < -3.0). By 2002 the figure was 30%.

    2008. Massive droughts temporarily cut into Australian agricultural production by a third.

    So is it a new field? Or is it just your acquaintance with it that's new? AGW theory ALONE is 114 years old, and climate science goes back well before that.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:49 PM

  233. septic: if a credible analysis shows that the fluctuations in solar activity (to pick one example) are more strongly related to temperature changes than the CO2 changes are related to temp changes is evidence that a large component of the causal mechanism is still unknown or misspecified.

    BPL: Fraction of variance of NASA GISS global annual temperature anomalies, 1880-2008, accounted for by variations in solar constant: 2.5%.

    Accounted for by changes in carbon dioxide: 76%.

    Do the math.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 2:52 PM

  234. PhilinAZ: you’re one of those deluded people who can’t tell the difference between a criminal hacker and a whistleblower? Not only that, you can’t understand a simple statement about significance of a trend.

    Either you are really, really unqualified for this discussion, or you are repeating lies you have been fed without actually thinking about it or researching the true facts.

    Jones’ comments have been expanded on many times in this comment thread. Please read, please learn. If you don’t understand anything, then ask, instead of making silly accusations.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  235. Septic Matthew,
    Given how noisy the climate system is, this looks like a pretty strong correlation to me:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Correlation.html

    In any case, the argument is not from correlation, but from the fact that we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. This was the argument Arrhenius made long before the correlation was observed.

    And what other factor do you contend explains more of the anomaly?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  236. Andreas Bjurström,

    You make a number of valid points — and good luck with your research. Yes, the IPCC process is at times messy, its public image at times is ugly, and many scientists make poor public figures. However, I live in the United States, where we have a much bigger problem.

    The IPCC is right to put social science on the back burner in a political atmosphere where the facts of the physical science basis are under such nonsensical attack. We have senior policy makers who deny the basic science. I see elected leaders on the floor of Congress deliverying lies about scientific facts and going unchallenged. Until a year ago our president was one of them. To turn this around in the country that is both most responsible for global warming and in the greatest denial about it is paramount.

    In short, I am not proud of what my country has done on climate issues, and every day we are still going through the basic 2+2=4 arguments in the physical sciences to get people to wake up to the reality. I struggle with this every day, and if I may offer you a suggestion, I think the social science community would better serve the truth if it performed sociological research on why so many people are willing to believe 2+2=5 instead. The scientists may be a part of the problem, but I suspect it’s a lot more than that.

    Comment by Dennis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  237. Re: The Phil Jones statement

    To say that there hasn’t been statistically significant warming over a short period is like a parent finding that his or her child has not exhibited any statistically significant growth this month. (Time to start prescribing the growth hormones!) Or, like travelers headed west from Kansas City not seeing any statistically significant rise in elevation over the last 10 miles. (Better turn around; we must be headed in the wrong direction!)

    [Response: :)]

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  238. peterr: the discovery of DNA came far more recently than the discovery of the greenhouse effect and the possibility of global warming. We routinely use DNA to justify incarcerating or even executing huge numbers of people every year.

    So, why aren’t you up in arms about this “newfangled DNA”?

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  239. Fascinating reading on this blog and it’s offsprings in other places.
    I didn’t know that there where so many ways of saying “the text doesn’t say what you think it says”.
    Is that really a good way of answering questions/criticism?

    Comment by Patrik — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  240. When is Dr. Pielke Jr. going to produce some evidence to support his claim of a “classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest” on the part of Dr. Pachauri??

    Dr. Pielke Jr. infers this has happened, expects the world to share his concern, but Dr. Pielke Jr. has not produced any actual data to support his inference.

    So far, it appears that Dr. Pielke Jr. is prepared to appear here making sanctimonious comments about the behaviors of other researchers, about unsupported claims, when he himself is making a claim that is so far unsupported by any data or hard evidence.

    I’ve read Dr. Pielke’s further comments about this matter here, they are unpersuasive because they don’t include any facts directly pertinent to Dr. Pachauri and the negotiation process to which Dr. Pielke Jr. refers.

    But perhaps the ongoing silence is because Dr. Pielke is working on a chronology that exactly illustrates without any ambiguity how such a serious charge is supported by facts.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:13 PM

  241. @203 Tim Jones, there are certainly some tinfoil hats around. So what?

    However, the IPCC has recurrently stated being free of errors and objectivity for the last twenty years. This has been the IPCC strategy to making climate change a policy issue from the start. bert Bolin, the first chairman of the IPCC, started with this in the early 1970´s in Sweden (I did an interview with him a few years ago on this).

    Moreover, to claim that the IPCC assessment is mere a scientific report with no considerations of policy, signify that the IPCC is 1) tinfoil hats themselves 2) or rather dishonest on what they are doing. I believe that a mix of 1 (the naivety of the natural sciences when it comes to the theory and sociology of science) and 2 is the case.

    To claim scientific purity (100 % truth, 100 % disinterestedness, objectivity, etc, etc) is madness for a social scientist, especially for post normal issues like climate change where science is so infected by politics. For a social scientists (interested in the sociology of science) this is the equivalent to deny the most basic facts on the physical aspects of climate change. I find most climate scientists to be extremely ignorant to most aspects of my area of expertise.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:14 PM

  242. [...] on the IPCC errors and their significance By Bart RealClimate has a good post on the recent string of (alleged) errors in the IPCC report. It explains the IPCC proces, [...]

    Pingback by RealClimate on the IPCC errors and their significance « My view on climate change — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  243. Barton Paul Levenson (109)

    Thanks for the reference to the Clement/Burgman/Norris paper. Well organized, it seemed to make sense to me.

    I fail to see how 16 out of 18 models got the feedback sign wrong and for low-level clouds yet! Only one got correct – agreement with data – results. For a 20+ year old key technical problem, in a “settled” science, for the predictors of future climate change, 4% success rate seems pretty lousy to me.

    It’s easy for this scientist to jump to a conclusion that IPCC is not doing a very good scientific job for all the reams of reports. Can someone straighten me out?

    john

    Comment by John Peter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  244. flxible: that’s your opinion. Personally, I see no evidence of legal tampering, and, as always, Jones’ answers are a paragon of technical perfection.

    My own opinion is that the questions ramp up in a manner that cannot be by chance. They are clearly leading, and nearly all the questions are loaded. I am not happy with the way the BBC handled this.

    Journalistic integrity died a long time ago.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  245. septic: The VAR methods show that the association of temp change with CO2 change, in the actual record, is not very strong.

    BPL: Look again:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    I find r = 0.874 between ln CO2 and dT for 1880-2008. Did I make a mistake somewhere? If so, please point it out.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  246. Has anyone asked the question about why the BBC interviewer specified “15 years”? What’s so special about 15 years?

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:27 PM

  247. To all RealClimate contributors,

    Thank you once again for a detailed and easy-to-follow post. Your efforts to clear the muddy waters and educate the public are honorable endeavors. I am sorry that you must constantly defend yourselves and your research from baseless attacks and ignorant interpretations. You have inspired me to educate my friends and family about the seriousness of climate change and also to write letters to several government officials on the subject. Regardless of where we are 30-40 years from now, I hope you realize that our children will look back on your actions and see how hard you fought on behalf of their future.

    Respectfully,

    -Dan Ives

    Comment by Dan Ives — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  248. Ron Taylor [and Ike] In Canada Shell Oil has TV ads [in conjunction with print media- "see Sunday's paper"] trumpeting their oil sands carbon sequestration “initiave”, funded by the Alberta govt with nearly 1 billion taxpayer dollars – of course they don’t let on the use for the CO2 captured will be to enhance recovery from their declining wells. Of course to the contrarians, increasing corporate profits with taxation must be much better than taxing their products to support real alternatives.

    Comment by flxible — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  249. Re:212 Ray Ladbury says: 15 February 2010 at 1:26 PM
    “Al Gore is a politician, and not a very good one at that.”

    Except that a majority of the people of the US elected him president and he won a Nobel Peace Prize
    for work to save the planet from climate change.

    But yeah. What has he done for us lately?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:53 PM

  250. “Oceans’ acidity rate is soaring, claims study”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/oceans-acidity-rate-is-soaring-claims-study-1899536.html
    By Steve Connor, Science Editor
    Monday, 15 February 2010

    “The rate at which the oceans are becoming more acidic is greater today than at any time in tens of millions of years, according to a new study.

    “Rapidly rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere mean that the rate of ocean acidification is the fastest since the age of the dinosaurs, which became extinct 65m years ago, scientists believe.

    “The oceans are likely to become so acidic in coming centuries that they will become uninhabitable for vast swathes of life, especially the little-studied organisms on the deep-sea floor which are a vital link in the marine food chain.”

    “When the oceans became acidified in a similar way about 55m years ago, it resulted in a mass extinction of deep-sea marine organisms, especially those living in the sediments of the sea floor, which can be studied geologically through changes to rock formations, said Dr Andy Ridgwell of the University of Bristol.”

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  251. I’d like to see an end to this bickering and have someone forget for a moment about the effect of gases measured in parts-per-million and analyse the effect of water vapour (the big greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, with some predictions/projections.

    Comment by Ken Grayling — 15 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  252. A documentary for TV, along the lines of James Hoggan’s book “Climate Cover Up” would go a long way toward informing the public. It should be independent of the IPCC and probably shouldn’t include Al Gore, only because he is such a target of the deniers.

    Comment by sailrick — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:01 PM

  253. I think the worst ‘error’ (so to speak) in all of this is actually the one about african crop yields.
    So strong a statement, making its way up to the SPM, should have been more thoroughly substantiated, and more clearly detailed. It is not technically false, but “africa” in Agoumi 2003 refers to north africa only, whereas in the SPM it is bound to be understood as sub-saharian Africa as a whole – for which the claim is then clearly much too strong.

    Comment by ICE — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:06 PM

  254. Re 232: Barton, I like your short summary of the long history of climate science. But I do not think the 2004 Dai et al. paper should be on it. This is suggesting that a global warming of about half a degree caused an 18% increase in “severely dry” land area. A 36% per degree “drought sensitivity” is not credible. It suggests there were no deserts at all during the so-called Little Ice Age, and three degrees of warming will turn the whole world into desert. This is certainly not in line with the AR4 report.

    I suggest a poor measure of drought is being used, so what is being measured is mostly noise, with a possibly cherry picked start point. The paleoclimate reconstructions I have seen for the Pliocene era, which was about 3 degrees warmer, suggest the world had less desert area than today.

    I suggest you stop quoting a single paper as a defining measure unless there is more comprehensive evidence to support it.

    Comment by Blair Dowden — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  255. Patrik, #239:

    “I didn’t know that there where so many ways of saying “the text doesn’t say what you think it says”.
    Is that really a good way of answering questions/criticism?”

    If the problem is that the meaning of the text is being either misunderstood or purposely twisted and misrepresented, then what other response would you suggest?

    Comment by Bob — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  256. Completely Fed Up (99)

    “So please explain how clouds stop CO2 absorbing IR radiation”

    An accessible answer would be “they block some of the (UV) radiation that drives it”

    or

    “They facilitate chemical reactions that contribute to dimming”

    I don’t know, I’m just trying to learn this stuff.. 8<)

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  257. Great answers, guys! (CFU @190, Didactylos @200, RayL @201) You don’t like what the Times report says, so you choose to believe (eyes closed, hands over ears) it misreports an ex-chairman of the IPCC, or that he’s not to be trusted.

    Unbelievable. I’ve tried to make you understand before that, no matter how many obscure papers you link about “it’s worse than we thought”, it matters not one jot. What matters is what gets before the public and the decision makers. So what a senior adviser like Dr Watson says is important. But you just don’t get it.

    Do you know who Dr Watson is? To save you the trouble, he’s currently the Chief Scientist and Senior Adviser for Sustainable Development to the UK Government. That means that he’s one of the two top people who advises the government. The other is Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science. You’ll undoubtedly know that he has recently said that the impact of global warming has been exaggerated by some scientists and there is an urgent need for more honest disclosure of the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change. And no, he wasn’t misreported.

    That makes the two top UK gov’t scientific advisers openly and publicly sceptical about the claims of the IPCC. And you still believe I’m wrong when I say the IPCC needs to be replaced with a more transparently open and honest organization?

    You guys really do need to remove your heads from the sand, or wherever, and face up to reality. Your fallback position is that I have “an elastic attitude to facts”. If that makes you feel better about yourselves, fine, go right ahead, but at least I can face facts. You are currently not doing that. And brandishing obscure paper references in people’s faces is not going to change anything.

    [Response: Not likely in your mind unfortunately. Some people actually read the science, hard as that may be for you to comprehend.--Jim]

    Comment by AxelD — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:12 PM

  258. AxelD, Pray, where did I say that he was misquoted? I merely said I preferred to look at the science. Do you understand the difference? No, wait, that was rhetorical!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:29 PM

  259. @236 Dennis,
    Thanks for the reply. I agree and understand that your situation is frustrating. The situation in Sweden is very different, 100 % believers in congress. Climate scientists are our new priesthood that tells us how to live our lives, what is right and wrong, and we all obey …

    Nevertheless, I believe that more honesty would do good for Swedish as well as US climate science and politics. An honest attitude foster socially robust science, public trust. The IPCC has choocen a different path, authorative and technocratic, believe in us, we know what we are doing …. rather than a humble democratic dialogue among experts and the public.

    “The IPCC is right to put social science on the back burner in a political atmosphere where the facts of the physical science basis are under such nonsensical attack.”

    Yes, but by doing so the IPCC is acting as a policy advocate, the very thing that the IPCC claim to not be doing. I, you, the IPCC, we all understand that this is a lie. The sceptics understand this as well. So what good is the IPCC lies doing??? Isn´t it better to be honest and openly admit that interests and policy outcomes concern scientists? Why should we walk around and lie all the time? Im fed up with the white lies of climate believers as well as the black lies by climate sceptics …. it is time to be honest, that is my standpoint.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  260. John Peter @243,
    I don’t think that is a fair characterization. Clouds remain one of the most significant uncertainties in climate models. They just are vary unlikely to significantly affect the overall question of whether we are warming the planet.

    Again, the paper Barton vectored you to is an excellent effort. However, it is merely one paper looking at one region. I hope it’s a first step in nailing this uncertainty down.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:35 PM

  261. [...] February 15 by Ryan Kudos to the writers at Real Climate, who have written a good pretty good post that deals with various accusations of IPCC error, and also with some general problems they see in [...]

    Pingback by Real Climate strikes a good tone. « Adapt Already — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:41 PM

  262. People keep bringing up the MWP and little ice age. Here is a quote from a recent compiled report from the Antarctic that might be worth following up for those interested in the matter:

    “There is no evidence in Antarctica for an equivalent to the northern hemisphere Medieval Warm Period, and there is only weak circumstantial evidence in a few places for a cool event crudely equivalent in time to the northern hemisphere’s Little Ice Age.”

    page xv, Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, November 2009

    Comment by Sou — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:45 PM

  263. Axle: “You don’t like what the Times report says, so you choose to believe (eyes closed, hands over ears) it misreports an ex-chairman of the IPCC, or that he’s not to be trusted”

    But WHY don’t we like what he says, Axel?

    Maybe some of us have a problem with lying.

    Not you, so much. You seem a-ok with it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:47 PM

  264. PS should have made that more direct:

    you’re reporting what the TIMES says Dr Watson said.

    We’re reporting that the Times has lied many times in the past.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  265. “248
    Ken Grayling says:
    15 February 2010 at 3:57 PM

    I’d like to see an end to this bickering and have someone forget for a moment about the effect of gases measured in parts-per-million and analyse the effect of water vapour”

    Already done.

    Check the code:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/

    Check out the papers:

    http://www.ipcc.ch

    Already done, kid.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  266. AxelD said “at least I can face facts”

    Um… this would be a classic strawman argument. You make up your facts, and then you face up to them. Somehow, you can never bring yourself to face reality, or even admit that an objective reality exists. Yet you are hypocritical enough to tell *us* to “face reality”!

    It’s sad when senior officials start acting like jobsworths. But consider the sh*tstorm that descends on anyone who stands up for scientific integrity, and it’s easy to see why they prefer to play politics and cover their behinds, at least while the media feeding frenzy is ongoing. But despite this caution, I see nothing in Beddington’s actual comments that can be twisted into a negative light – except by paranoid nutjobs, of course.

    Meanwhile, AxelD gets his news from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, and the Times, and imagines that it is unbiased. Sweet, but not grounded in reality.

    AxelD: If you believed the garbage you spout, then you would be trying to communicate the science in some effective way, instead of spreading lies around like they are going out of fashion. Do you believe what you say? Or is it just an excuse to criticise scientists, and science itself?

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:51 PM

  267. “241
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    15 February 2010 at 3:14 PM

    @203 Tim Jones, there are certainly some tinfoil hats around. So what?

    However, the IPCC has recurrently stated being free of errors and objectivity for the last twenty years. ”

    This would be the statements by Dr Evil and Professor Doom, who also signed the Oregon Petition, right?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:52 PM

  268. [...] Gavin Schmidt of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has an excellent post at RealClimate, going through the deluge of distorted claims about the “errors” (in reality, there appears to be only one genuine “error” and one debatable point) in the IPCC’s last report (the “AR4”), and exhaustively debunking each one: RealClimate: IPCC errors: facts and spin. [...]

    Pingback by IPCC Errors? Facts vs. Spin - Charles Johnson - The Lizard Annex - True/Slant — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  269. @251 AxelD, when you yourself misquote it’s hard to take you seriously. For example, what Sir John Beddington was actually quoted as saying in the Sunday Times was:

    “Certain unqualified statements have been unfortunate. We have a problem in communicating uncertainty. There’s definitely an issue there. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be the level of scepticism. All of these predictions have to be caveated by saying, ‘There’s a level of uncertainty about that’.”

    It is much more likely that Beddington meant: Certain unqualified statements have been unfortunate. Predictions have to have a caveat. However, scientists have a problem when they try to communicate uncertainty – people don’t understand what ‘uncertainty’ means in science – if they did understand what scientists mean when they talk about uncertainty, then there wouldn’t be the level of skepticism there is today.

    The Times had a story it wanted to write, so it tried to fit the quotes within that story, rather than write the story around what Beddington actually said. I’ve pulled out all the actual quotes (rather than the words not quoted) and put together, they say something quite different from the spin of that the Times article.

    Comment by Sou — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:57 PM

  270. [...] Los errores del IPCC: los hechos y las distorsiones http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/ipcc-errors-f…&nbsp; por Kartoffel hace 4 segundos [...]

    Pingback by Los errores del IPCC: los hechos y las distorsiones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 4:58 PM

  271. Thanks for a detailed analysis of the IPCC report “Scandal” This response is needed and I am glad it has appeared. I am not holding my breath while I wait for the various branches of the News Ltd. Media empire to even acknowledge thatthis work has been done and is available for all. I just dont think any of their star reporters will be using this as a resource for their reporting.

    Comment by David Kidd — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  272. “188
    Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come says:
    15 February 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Somehow global warming just doesn’t sound very threatening.”

    George “Texas Oil” Bush’s quotemaker (the US version of Peter Mendelson) doesn’t agree:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Luntz#Global_warming

    “it was his idea that administration communications reframe “global warming” as “climate change” since “climate change” was thought to sound less severe.”

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:03 PM

  273. AxelD claims: The other is Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science. You’ll undoubtedly know that he has recently said that the impact of global warming has been exaggerated by some scientists and there is an urgent need for more honest disclosure of the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change. And no, he wasn’t misreported.

    More “honest” disclosure? No. The phrase was: “We have a problem in communicating uncertainty.”

    John Beddington, the UK’s government’s chief scientific advisor told CNN last week the IPCC had done a “fantastically good job” compiling “enormous documents.”

    Climate row scientist says he considered suicide

    Professor John Beddington urged scientists to be more open with their data and admitted that recent unreliable statements about climate change have been “unfortunate”.

    But he warned that it was “unchallengeable” that man is changing the climate. … “Certain unqualified statements have been unfortunate. We have a problem in communicating uncertainty. There’s definitely an issue. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be the level of scepticism.”

    He said with all the predictions there has to be a caveat saying: “There’s a level of uncertainty about that. It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change. When you get into large-scale climate modelling there are quite substantial uncertainties.”

    “On the rate of change and the local effects, there are uncertainties both in terms of empirical evidence and the climate models themselves.”

    Urging scientists to release their data, he said this room for doubt should not be an excuse to do nothing about climate change. He said: “Some people ask why we should act when scientists say they are only 90 per cent certain about the problem. But would you get on a plane that only had a 10 per cent chance of landing?”

    At last, some common sense on climate change

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:06 PM

  274. Re: 241 Andreas Bjurström says: 15 February 2010 at 3:14 PM
    @203 Tim Jones, there are certainly some tinfoil hats around. So what?

    You mean @204. You wrote:
    AB: “If the IPCC had been more humble, the sceptics spinn based on a sigle error would not be possible.”

    I gave you the evidence that proved your claim was wrong.
    But yeah, I guess a tinfoil hat that plays US senator is insignificant all right. Except when it makes law
    for a powerful state.

    AB: “However, the IPCC has recurrently stated being free of errors and objectivity for the last twenty years.”

    I’m sure it tries to be.

    AB: This has been the IPCC strategy to making climate change a policy issue from the start. bert Bolin, the first chairman of the IPCC, started with this in the early 1970´s in Sweden (I did an interview with him a few years ago on this).

    I’m not sure of your point.

    AB: Moreover, to claim that the IPCC assessment is mere a scientific report with no considerations of policy, signify that the IPCC is 1) tinfoil hats themselves 2) or rather dishonest on what they are doing. I believe that a mix of 1 (the naivety of the natural sciences when it comes to the theory and sociology of science) and 2 is the case.

    Who claims this? #2 is a strong charge. I’d suggest you be able to back that up.

    From the RC page to which you respond, the IPCC addresses policy issues. It doesn’t recommend particular policies.

    Working Group 1 (WG1), which deals with the physical climate science basis, as assessed by the climatologists, including several of the Realclimate authors.

    Working Group 2 (WG2), which deals with impacts of climate change on society and ecosystems, as assessed by social scientists, ecologists, etc.

    Working Group 3 (WG3) , which deals with mitigation options for limiting global warming, as assessed by energy experts, economists, etc.

    The IPCC did write up Summaries for Policy Makers with options to consider. Is there something wrong with that? The IPCC
    was charged by the world’s governments to asses climate change and potential impacts. “The IPCC says its reports are policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/10/ipcc-reform

    AB: To claim scientific purity (100 % truth, 100 % disinterestedness, objectivity, etc, etc) is madness for a social scientist, especially for post normal issues like climate change where science is so infected by politics.

    As far as I can tell, no scientist even says the science is settled.

    AB: For a social scientists (interested in the sociology of science) this is the equivalent to deny the most basic facts on the physical aspects of climate change.

    Climate change is infected with politics because of the controversy surrounding ways to address emissions control. Where does the IPCC AR 5 WG 1,2,3 tell us what exactly to do? It doesn’t.

    “The Nobel prize was for peace not science … government employees will use it to negotiate changes and a redistribution of resources. It is not a scientific analysis of climate change,” said Anton Imeson, a former IPCC lead author from the Netherlands. “For the media, the IPCC assessments have become an icon for something they are not. To make sure that it does not happen again, the IPCC should change its name and become part of something else. The IPCC should have never allowed itself to be branded as a scientific organisation. It provides a review of published scientific papers but none of this is much controlled by independent scientists.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/10/ipcc-reform

    I find most climate scientists to be extremely ignorant to most aspects of my area of expertise.

    And what would that be?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  275. In view of Jones comments, I would like to know how how long you think it is since the warming effect was detectable and what the margin of error is for 20 YRS
    I think the reporting in the press is lamentable but the media has been used to promote the warming argument hysterically so often its not surprising

    Comment by PKerr — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  276. 245,, BPL: I find r = 0.874 between ln CO2 and dT for 1880-2008. Did I make a mistake somewhere? If so, please point it out.

    Look at the partial cross-correlation between CO2 change and dT with the change in solar activity taken into account. The cited article is stronger because it models non-linear relationships in the VAR approach.

    I haven’t found it yet on the posts (Do you know how to search these posts?), but I wrote a short critique of the paper — not that they did anything wrong that I know of, but that they need to supply lots more graphs, and make their data and programs available for public scrutiny (as Mann et al did for their Dec 2009 paper.)

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  277. I don’t know that it will have any value amidst your professional number, but from a studious layman’s perspective, it appears that current facts verify only that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that humans produce alot of it, but that otherwise the data indicate no crisis – although a variety of computer models still do. That seems a significant change in tone from the consensus opinion. I for one will no longer be convinced of pending disaster simply by hearing evidence of increases in CO2 worldwide.

    Comment by E A Barkley — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  278. Ken Grayling: You mean like this.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/04/water-vapour-feedback-or-forcing/

    See the little search box up at the top right corner of the page? It is your friend.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  279. I thought that since I am usually sceptical of AGW, I should say that I think this review of the errors in the IPCC report was well-done. The errors are minor and no more than you’d expect in any large-scale enterprise.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:53 PM

  280. There is an issue that bothers me greatly about the different working groups of the IPCC. But it is generally ignored by climate denialists because most (but by no means all) climate denialists are right wing.

    The later working groups of the IPCC are very much a mixture of science and neoclassical economics. Now neoclassical economics is quite clearly heavily political. And it is clearly heavily value laden. Indeed, it is based entirely on a 19th century moral philosophy (Utilitarianism).

    Incidentally, Utilitarianism is rejected by nearly every philosopher alive today because it does such an appalling job of representing our moral intuitions.

    The IPCC constantly uses Utilitarian and neoliberal assumptions raised to a fantastic level: for example talking about the “social costs” of X at a global level. It is never asked whether maximising aggregate wealth (irrespective of distribution) should actually be our goal, or whether aggregate global wealth is even a meaningful concept.

    Worst of all was the time when the IPCC decided that the life of someone in the poor world was worth 100 times less than the life of someone in the rich world. The calculation was based on what they would be prepared to lower their risk of dying…well indeed, if everything including human life is nothing more than a market. But can anyone suggest with a straight face that this is a value neutral idea, that should be treated on a par with natural science?

    That calculation raised objections even from some of the economics faithful, but it is a long way from unique in its methodology. In my opinion adopting the ethics of the slave trade is somewhat worse than a mistake about glaciers.

    The effect of this mixing of science and neoclassical economics are twofold:

    a) It raises the status of neoclassical economics above what it deserves. By mixing itself with science, it is now often seen as on a par with science. It is not.

    b) It taints the science to associate itself with this ideological project.

    Which is why I would like to keep the working groups very seperate.

    Comment by Josie — 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:56 PM

  281. Revealing errors

    I agree that the errors made in the IPCC report may not be very important at first sight. But the problem is that both of the major statements that you list [glaciers and the Netherlands] have an alarmistic tone that cannot be mistaken. This is what worries serious critics. They are not just any types of mistakes – they are excellent examples of statements that should make it easier to “sell” the message. Politics, not science, is a good description. I don’t think that requiring the IPCC to use only peer reviewed literature would be of any great help to assure a neutral and correct description. It is easy to make a very biased presentation citing well chosen articles and well chosen parts of articles no matter how scientifically correct they may be.

    That the IPCC is not trying to present an unbiased and neutral description of the present development of the current climate and its consequences should be obvious to anyone. If we e.g. look at the WGII chapter 12.6.1 we see an extensive discussion of the European heatwave in 2003. A singular weather event is thus allowed to play the part of a warning example. We are also informed that this heat wave led to 35000 fatalities. Is this a balanced way to describe what a possible future climate would mean? If so, I hope that the winter of 2009/2010 appears in the next round of reports with a statement such as : On the other hand, with ongoing warming there should less risk of severe cold periods such as that which struck in 2009/2010 which claimed xxx thousand deaths in Europe alone. Do you think something like that will be included?

    But there is an even more interesting aspect of the “gates”. I do not know which media you read. The media I see are overwhelmingly alarmastic and biased in their reporting and have been so for years. This extends, amazingly enough, even to quality newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times and The Economist. The “gates” stories have finally awakened them. Instead of believing the climate story as gospel truth they have understood that they should review the material in a critical way, something that one expects from the free press but which certainly and amazingly has not taken place until now. That they finally take the time to scrutinize the IPCC publications is thus a good thing regardless of where you stand in the debate provided you have some interest in the truth. The fact that two such obvious errors remain in the text doesn’t only show that the IPCC review mechanism is faulty – it shows that almost no one has read the texts thoroughly. I blame myself for not having done so since I would almost certainly have gotten suspicious on both statements and a rather easy check would have proved them faulty. In the case of the Netherlands story it is more than amazing that this error could have survived so long without anyone noticing it – I suspect that on the order of one out of two of Dutch intellectuals would have immediately spotted the error.

    Comment by Steven Jörsäter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:00 PM

  282. I, along with many other regular readers of this site, am thoroughly sick of increasingly vicious personal attacks on climate scientists, mostly ill-informed and often malicious.

    I set up a petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/clim4tr/petition.html so you can put your name to defending climate scientists against personal attack. Please sign and pass this request on as widely as you can.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:14 PM

  283. E A Barkley says: 15 February 2010 at 5:46 PM

    “…from a studious layman’s perspective, it appears that current facts verify only that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that humans produce alot of it, but that otherwise the data indicate no crisis – although a variety of computer models still do.”

    You have more studying to do, you are insufficiently studious.

    Continue your studies here, beginning again from the beginning:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:23 PM

  284. Re: 256 AxelD says: 15 February 2010

    A: Dr Robert Watson (IPCC chairman 1997-2002) says: [182]

    “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.”

    This is true. Exactly one (1) mistake to date, a few questionable citations and an error by the Dutch Government it asked to be corrected. But the trend is being manufactured by the press.
    Despite what Watson says, neither 1 nor two errors is a trend.

    Yet you construe this to mean:
    “That makes the two top UK gov’t scientific advisers openly and publicly sceptical about the claims of the IPCC.?”

    bs.

    Even this article:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026932.ece
    doesn’t support your specious innuendo. Words have meaning. You seem to be leading us to believe Watson’s a skeptic when he is not.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:23 PM

  285. E A Barkley (277) — Yes, GCMs suggest big problems for the future in some scenarios; see IPCC AR4 WG1 chapter 10. Also, I encourage reading Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:26 PM

  286. Regarding: It taints the science to associate itself with this ideological project.

    According to Richard Tol at http://umbrellog.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?p=95688 the following “Summary for Policy Makers is very selective, up to the point of twisting the chapters’ findings beyond recognition. In case of SAR WG3 Chapter 6, this was done against the will of the authors. The IPCC has learned from that. The selection process for authors is now more careful (awkward people like myself are not welcome) and there is self-selection too (David Pearce withdrew).” Richard Tol

    CLIMATE POLICY—FROM RIO TO KYOTO
    A Political Issue for 2000—and Beyond
    http://media.hoover.org/documents/epp_102b.pdf

    (In particular refer to page 19/20: ‘Politics Enters into Drafting the IPCC Report.’ Here examples are given of ‘substantial changes … made between the time when the report was approved in Madrid and the time it was printed.The convening lead author, Ben Santer, readily admitted to making these changes.)

    Comment by Kate7 — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:40 PM

  287. Septic Matthew says: I think this review of the errors in the IPCC report was well-done. The errors are minor and no more than you’d expect in any large-scale enterprise.

    Good man.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:43 PM

  288. The ICC is not a scientific body, it doesn’t do research. What does it contribute, except propaganda?
    People who want or need to know the latest scientific information should follow and assess the scientific literature. I don’t see why they need and intermediary body like the IPCC to do it for them.
    The debate about the credibility of the IPCC is worthless, because the IPCC itself is totally superfluous.

    [Response: Read the article.--Jim]

    Comment by Jacob — 15 Feb 2010 @ 6:48 PM

  289. @281 Steven Jörsäter,
    an insightful and important comment, since it goes beyond the rather simplistic factual debate, a sidetrack as far as I am concerned. What you highlight is the framing of climate change in general, and the staging of risk in particular. Sociologist Ulrich Becks book World At Risk is a good primer.

    It is frustrating that so many knowledgeable believers (knowledgeable on the physical facts and physical theories, all the WG1 people, the mature science of climate change) are almost void of knowlege on framing issues. The reasons for this is of course their limited scientific training. Yet, we can not blaim them for this. We are all limited in our expertise and insights,social scientists even more so than natural scientists.

    As a response to this post, several people will assert that I am a “denier”, which only illustrate their factual simplicity and their inability to see the broader picture. Simplictic believers should read Mike Hulmes book Why we disagree about climate change.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:06 PM

  290. Ken Grayling: I’d like to see an end to this bickering and have someone forget for a moment about the effect of gases measured in parts-per-million and analyse the effect of water vapour (the big greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, with some predictions/projections.

    BPL: Water vapor averages about 3870 ppmv versus 388 for carbon dioxide. Because of their differing distribution of absorption lines, water vapor contributes about 60% of the clear-sky greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide contributes about 26%.

    CO2 is a problem because a pulse of new CO2 stays up about 200 years. Water vapor stays up an average of nine days. We can’t do anything to affect the level of water vapor, but we are jacking up the CO2 level as fast as we can.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  291. Blair,

    The period Dai et al. covered was actually 1870-2002. They said there was a big sudden shift in the 1970-2002 period. It’s not linear–but that’s the danger.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 PM

  292. Septic,

    When I regress dT on ln CO2 and TSI together, ln CO2 accounts for 76% of the variance and TSI for 2.5%, at most. If they’re construing things so that TSI is a greater influence than CO2, I’ll bet the farm their model is too elaborate to be statistically meaningful.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:19 PM

  293. 240: Doug Bostrom says:
    15 February 2010 at 3:13 PM
    When is Dr. Pielke Jr. going to produce some evidence to support his claim of a “classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest” on the part of Dr. Pachauri??

    I thought Dr. Pachauri was OT for this thread, but since you raise the question….
    Here is the article detailing Dr. Pachauri’s potential conflicts of interest:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/6847227/Questions-over-business-deals-of-UN-climate-change-guru-Dr-Rajendra-Pachauri.html

    Before you dismiss it because of the source, please read the details of what they are saying. Just one example that should give you pause before you criticize the industry ties of various skeptics:
    “TERI-NA [of which Dr. Pachauri is president] is funded by a galaxy of official and corporate sponsors, including four branches of the UN bureaucracy; four US government agencies; oil giants such as Amoco; two of the leading US defence contractors; Monsanto, the world’s largest GM producer; the WWF (the environmentalist campaigning group which derives much of its own funding from the EU) and two world leaders in the international ‘carbon market’, between them managing more than $1 trillion (£620 billion) worth of assets.”
    Look at the different boards he is on, and the contracts his companies have acquired.
    Now here is how Dr. Pachauri responds to questions about his financial interests and possible conflicts of interest. Bear in mind, this is a transcript. He is not being quoted out of context. No little snippets are being misconstrued. These are his own words.
    http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15473066
    The discussion about conflict of interest is about half-way down.

    Comment by Don Shor — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:43 PM

  294. Re Tim Jones’ pointer to the Independent‘s piece on ocean acidification. The Independent reports the Ridgwell and Schmidt paper as being in Nature Genetics. Oops! It’s in Nature Geoscience.

    Comment by P. Lewis — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:45 PM

  295. Wait. People actually come to this propaganda machine any more?

    Amazing.

    “[Response: Go read what he actual said. It isn't what you think. Perhaps you could also reasssess the credibility of your sources? - gavin]”

    The irony of RealClimate talking about the credibility of sources is… ironic.

    And what he actually said was that he couldn’t prove with 95% certainty that the world had warmed statistically significantly since 1995, but he could with a level of certainty very close to that. In effect. And then of course he mucked it up by saying his records are in terrible shape.

    But really a far more interesting quote than that of Dr. Jones is that of former IPCC head Dr. Robert Watson, who points out that the errors that keep cropping up in the IPCC report are all errors overstating the extent and threat of climate change. You’d think that errors would be at least somewhat evenly distributed, wouldn’t you? Some of them overstating, some of them understating. But no, apparently understatement is not all the rage in the scientific community. Although if their credibility keeps taking hit after hit, whining about unserious reporting and how the science is solid and how oil companies are mean and all the other whining habitually engaged in by the authors of this site and the entire movement won’t amount to anything. People have already stopped listening, and the arrogant, defensive tone of places like RealClimate isn’t going to bring them back. In a very real sense, the war is already lost. The credibility is already gone. China and India were never going to sign carbon treaties anyway. Now any chance of Western countries doing anything is just about zero as well. And the fault is not that of Big Oil, or climate skeptics, or allegedly bad journalists. It is the fault of people like the authors of this site, people like Phil Jones, people like Pachauri, who did such sloppy work and presented it with such hubris and treated anyone who didn’t toe their line with such arrogance and condescension.

    Maybe gavin would like to tell me to “reassess my sources” because hey maybe Exxon-Mobil kidnapped Dr. Watson and replaced him with a robot in the last two weeks, I mean when all else fails blame Big Oil, right?

    Comment by skwiself — 15 Feb 2010 @ 7:56 PM

  296. “I, along with many other regular readers of this site, am thoroughly sick of increasingly vicious personal attacks on climate scientists, mostly ill-informed and often malicious.”

    And I, along with the rest of the world, who have had it up to here with people like you, am tired of you and your buddies denigrating our intelligence and integrity for well over a decade, as you are still doing, are proud of doing, attacks based entirely on your moral presumption and assumption of factual invincibility, and then have the gall to complain about being the target of “ill-informed” and “malicious” personal attacks. Having the shoe on the other foot is never a fun exercise.

    Comment by skwiself — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:00 PM

  297. AxeID @ 251:

    That makes the two top UK gov’t scientific advisers openly and publicly sceptical about the claims of the IPCC. And you still believe I’m wrong when I say the IPCC needs to be replaced with a more transparently open and honest organization?

    So if I’ve understood you’re reasoning correctly, you’re arguing that a handful of newspaper quotes from two UK government scientists (only one of whom is actually a climate expert) are enough to invalidate a technical report authored by hundreds of independent scientists working in universities and research institutes around the world? Interesting logic, but fortunately that’s not the way science works.

    Comment by cer — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:02 PM

  298. Robert Muir Wood just called Roger Pielke Jr. out
    —————————–
    4. Does RMS believe the IPCC has fairly represented the research findings?

    Yes, RMS believes the IPCC fairly referenced its paper, with suitable caveats around the results, highlighting the factors influencing the relationship that had been discovered between time and increased catastrophe costs. We believe it was appropriate to include the RMS paper in the report because, at that time, it was the only paper addressing catastrophe losses over time that had been normalized for changes in the values and exposure at risk.
    —————————–

    Roger has been exceedingly unpleasant about these issues and his experience in the past has been that others would rather not get into a fight. Swifthack has changed the rules for those who thought they would be left alone if they kept their heads down.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:04 PM

  299. The WWF report, cited in the WG2 report and by almost everyone else as the original source of misinformation about Himalayan glaciers, is apparently getting a bad rap — the actual WWF report is more accurate than the WG4 statement.

    I learned this from an excellent, very detailed investigation by two Yale grad students, who traced the murky sources and also the WG2 writing/reviewing/editing steps behind those sadly infamous Himalayan-glacier statements:

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/02/anatomy-of-ipccs-himalayan-glacier-year-2035-mess/

    Comment by Larry Hamilton — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  300. PKerr: it *always* takes 20-30 years of data to calculate a significant climate trend. If you have less data than this, there may still be exactly the same warming trend, but it’s not enough data to say for sure.

    So, even in 1998 (the warmest year in the hadley record) you still needed to go back to 1968-1978 to calculate a meaningful trend.

    And now, you still need to go back 20-30 years (from now) to get enough data – and when you have enough data, we can be *sure* there is a real warming trend. And there is.

    (Note: 15 years is, as Jones observes, right about the limit. More is better, and climatologists prefer 30 years.)

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  301. #277 E A Barkley

    “the data indicate no crisis – although a variety of computer models still do.”

    There are two reasons for this:
    (1) The model scenarios assume that greenhouse-gas concentrations will continue to increase.
    (2) Thermal inertia, which pushes much of the effect of current emissions well into the future.
    Because of the latter effect, future climate problems can become inevitable well before they are apparent in the data. Compare it to a car heading toward a wall; at some point, a collision is inevitable no matter what the driver does.

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:10 PM

  302. AxelD, for you reality is obviously whatever the public currently thinks. For scientists, it is whatever the evidence shows. Thank you very much, but I will go with the scientists. Good God, man!

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:10 PM

  303. Re: ‘fine-toothed comb’: this should be ‘fine-tooth comb: fine-tooth, a. Of a comb: having fine and closely-set teeth. 1839 H. MALCOM Trav. I. ii. 37 Friends who wish to make little presents to the Karen Christians, might send fine-tooth combs . . 1935 ‘N. BLAKE’ Question of Proof xi. 221 We’ve been over the whole ruddy caboodle with a fine tooth comb.’ [OED]

    That’s all the value I can add to this very intelligent conversation: thanks for a most enlightening post, as always!

    Comment by Chris Squire [UK] — 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:16 PM

  304. skwiself says “And I, along with the rest of the world, who have had it up to here with people like you, am tired of you and your buddies denigrating our intelligence and integrity for well over a decade…”

    Actually, I’ll just sit back and watch, you’re doing a great job of looking like an idiot all by your lonesome. Carry on, Dude!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:01 PM

  305. SJ@281, You are late to the party. We have already noted that the IPCC underestimates the severity of several threats (e.g. melting of the cryosphere, sea-level rise, etc.).

    Has it ever occurred to you that the reason The Economist and the Times take the editorial position they do is because they’ve looked at the evidence? Did it ever occur to you to look at the evidence?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:11 PM

  306. Andreas Bjurström says “However, the IPCC has recurrently stated being free of errors and objectivity for the last twenty years.”

    OK, Andreas, show me one place where the IPCC said it was free of errors and 100% objective. I certainly hope that not everyone in your field has as elastic an attitude toward facts as you do.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  307. @274 Tim Jones, thanks for the reply, I appreciate your comments and serious attitude (in sharp contrast to the political troll “Completely Fed Up”).

    My point with referring to Bolin was to establish the causal chain. A response to: “Aspersions on the IPCC from a gang of tinfoil hats were coming down long before …”. Climate scientists such as Bolin (or Schneider and others) has been advocating climate policy since the early 1970´s. Thus, science comes first. Science set the stage. The reaction of the sceptics follows long after. Climate policy advocates has been very persistent in building the concensual view by way of the authority of science as objective knowledge producer. The IPCC triggers was set some 25 years ago (at the mid 80´s).

    I guess I am concerned on the reaction of sound people and that science ought to speak truth in an inclusive way. Politically motivated tin foil hats (skeptics as well as believers) are not my cup of tea. Pachauris initial reaction to Himalayagate was “shut up, the IPCC is always true” and this was later changed, after intense pressure, to the official statement “shut up, the IPCC is always true, with one exception”. I do not like this attitude. It is too close to tin foil hatting. Narrowminded. Dishonest. Presumptuous. Political. Tactical. Authoritative. More humbleness and honesty will be beneficial since most people are not tin foil hats. The debate is far too polarized. The IPCC are partly to blame. That was sort of my contribution to the debate here at realclimate, the audience of the hard natural scientist climate believers.

    Science is the reason to why climate change is a policy issue today. The IPCC is instrumental to climate politics. The IPCC make many tactic decisions in relation to politics. The IPCC is a hybrid of science and politics. It is beside the point to quote formal IPCC statements of the role of the IPCC. Yes, the IPCC state to have no prescriptive role. Yes, this is one instance where the IPCC is not honest. The IPCC knows that this is a lie. For example, read the various statements by Pachauri in media, he is rather explicit with the fact that policy outcomes concerns himself as well as the IPCC. I like such honesty, yet he betrays the IPCC by being honest on this issue, as they do not play the game of honesty regarding the actual role of science in relation to policy.

    #2 is actually a weak claim, from the viewpoint of sociology of science, or any science that studies the empirical reality of science. It is similar to claims such as; science is a social activity, peer review includes censorship of opinions, reseachers are not disinterested, truth and power are related. From the viewpoint of the natural science, this is atrocious statements. Yet, the social sciences have sound empirical data on many issues that natural scientists refuse to admit since it violates their worldview. Reconciliation is therefore very hard. That is why we had, and still have, the so called science wars.

    I see your point on the tinfoil hat US politics (my point of departure are different due to my professional interests and the Swedish political context). I agree partly. Let me rephrase my statement: The presumptous attitude of the IPCC are serving the sceptics and controvercy but not the truth. If the IPCC had been more humble, the sceptics spin based on a single error would cause limited damage. It is futile to convert a tin foil hat with scientific facts, yet you can prevent severe impact on sound people. Moreover, I think one needs to discuss the political tinfoil hat problem in isolation, to avoid confusion.

    [Response: We've been watching you carry on with these arguments based in your personal impression of the behavior of various groups and individuals for some time now. I have one question for you: Do you believe that scientists have the ability to discriminate between different possible causes of the observed temperature changes over this past century or not? --Jim]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:20 PM

  308. #260 Ray Ladbury

    Thank you for taking he time to respond to my post #243. It really isn’t just one paper, I asked the same question about the Kim/Ramanathan 2007 paper in #166.

    “I looked at a recent paper by Kim and Ramanathan
    (J. Geophys. Res., 113, D02203, doi:10.1029/2007JD008434. or
    http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/publications /Kim_Ram_jgr113_2007JD008434.pdf.

    It seemed to me they got pretty good results for
    aerosols/clouds with a Monte Carlo model.

    Assuming the K/R work holds up, how do other modelers
    incorporate such improvements in their own work? It
    would seem that other model groups should try to use
    K/R’s results to change their models and lower the
    IPCC uncertainty in climate sensitivity, whatever.”

    I am a newbie trying learn about Climate Science so I appreciate all the help I can get. FWIW, in my scientific\engineering world when we made progress on an important key technical problem, we would have the programmers get it into their code ASAP. Regardless of the size of their applications.

    I do not detect the same sense of urgency in your wait and see responses and suggest that may be one of the reasons for public discomfort with IPCC.

    Comment by John Peter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:52 PM

  309. Having just come to the report and not read all the comments, it strikes me as insufficient to have an IPCC report only every 7 years! We need to have them every 3 years with official updates published no more than 12 months apart.

    The rate of development of our climate science far out-strips 7 years. Can’t we put aside some resources to monitor just the most drastic environmental shift in the history of civilisation?

    Ricki

    Comment by Ricki (Australia) — 15 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  310. Comment by Don Shor — 15 February 2010 @ 7:43 PM

    No, you miss the point. Pielke’s assertion was not some vague innuendo noting that Pachauri is on the boards of certain organizations, etc.

    Pielke’s accusation was specifically that Pachauri was in the process of negotiating a collaboration having to do with glacier research with various parties even as Pachauri was defending the IPCC Himalayan glacier assessment.

    Here are Pielke’s words:

    “IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims.”

    Pielke termed this– in his words– a “classic and unambiguous case of financial conflict of interest”.

    So Pielke has accused Pachauri of a specific case of financial misdealing, not simply an bad odor.

    However, if you bother to look you’ll see the case he cites is not at all unambiguous, not as Pielke states it. Unless Pielke can produce a chronology showing when Pachauri was negotiating collaboration against when Pachauri was discussing the Himalayan matter, Pielke is showing no convincing evidence for his assertion.

    If you look at the date of the announcement of the collaboration in question it’s a stretch to imagine that Pielke’s assertion is correct. The unlikely timing of the matter is what attracted my attention to Pielke’s claim. Without more information about the chronology of the activities the case as Pielke states it reeks of conjecture. So the onus remains on Pielke to make his case properly, which he has not as of this moment.

    Yet, on this very thread, Pielke himself adopts a rather superior attitude concerning unsupported conjectures and the like. It’s that double standard that has me annoyed.

    As I said upthread, it’s quite easy for Pielke to clear this up, or that is to say if he had the confidence to make the claim it ought to be. All he need do is produce the chronology I mentioned, authoritatively sourced.

    A kind of science, if you will. Hypothesis, investigation, conclusion. Easy enough, right?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:00 PM

  311. “They’re under such incredible economic pressure that they’re grasping for anything to capture more eyeballs” – whomever

    Then suing them for slander should be even more potent a course of action that Jones should take.

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:01 PM

  312. With the sovereign debt problems in the developed world, isn’t funding the really serious problem with Climate-gate? Regardless of what the committees find re Jones and Mann, their fund raising capabilities will surely suffer.

    john peter

    Comment by John Peter — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 PM

  313. “50.A climate-education branch of the IPCC would simply be dubbed ‘the propaganda arm’. It might do more harm than good.” – Gould

    It would indeed do more harm. Any body that takes on that roll would be castigated by the denialists. I have seen the UCS referred to as a “collection of communist dupes” by these denialists.

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:07 PM

  314. 295 skiwisef sez:

    “You’d think that errors would be at least somewhat evenly distributed, wouldn’t you? Some of them overstating, some of them understating. But no, apparently understatement is not all the rage in the scientific community. ”

    The folks who have combed AR4 for errors the past few years are looking for overstatement. Overstatement is what they report.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:45 PM

  315. Can anyone explain this chart to me?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NOAA_sea_level_trend_1993_2010.png

    How can one part of the same ocean (maybe a couple hundred miles away) be rising at different rates? Wouldn’t the nature of liquid quickly establish and equilibrium state even if melt water were pouring in at the rising parts? Maybe I just don’t understand the chart.

    Comment by Norman — 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:48 PM

  316. Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

    The fallout from the IPCC Himalayan glacier situation gets stranger and stranger.
    [edit]

    [Response: Strange doesn't even begin to describe it...]

    Comment by Thomas Black — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:04 PM

  317. 292, BPL: If they’re construing things so that TSI is a greater influence than CO2, I’ll bet the farm their model is too elaborate to be statistically meaningful.

    That’s a possibility. However, actual climate dynamics are too complex to be understood intuitively, and any adequate model will be elaborate. Their model does not seem to be too elaborate for the parameters to be estimable and testable. The paper has not been published, apparently ( I couldn’t find it at the Nature web page). Hopefully they’ll make lots more details available when they do publish it.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:14 PM

  318. 315, ocean currents.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:24 PM

  319. Norman says: 15 February 2010 at 10:48 PM

    “How can one part of the same ocean (maybe a couple hundred miles away) be rising at different rates? ”

    Helps to remember that local sea level is dependent to a certain extent on barometric pressure, wind as confounding factors. When you’re talking millimeters, relatively small forces over a large area make a difference.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:25 PM

  320. 310 Doug Bostrom
    “IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims.”

    Dr. Hasnain’s 2035 glacier claim was called into question by Dr. Kaser in 2006 (“so wrong that it is not even worth dismissing”). Dr. Kaser notified the IPCC before the 2007 publication. Dr. Cogley of Canada also rejected the claim. Surely Dr. Hasnain, who was hired by Dr. Pachauri in 2008, was aware that leading glaciologists had criticized his conclusion.

    The EU High Noon project was announced in May 2009.
    The 2035 claim was cited as TERI applied for, and received, $500,000 from Carnegie and 3 million Euros for the High Noon contract.

    The claim that most glaciers in the region “will vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming” was provably part of the Carnegie contract application.

    The claim was cited at the launch of the High Noon contract. Pachauri spoke at that event, and Hasnain was present at the conference. The claim was cited again as TERI announced the Carnegie grant on Jan. 15 of this year.

    So we have the individual who was the source of the original error working closely with Dr. Pachauri, allowing the claim to be used repeatedly as TERI sought contracts, and not making any effort to correct the information.

    I think it is safe to assume that the president of TERI was involved in negotiating for the contracts. It probably wouldn’t take long to find examples of his public utterances supporting the 2035 claim. Certainly he is ultimately responsible for what was submitted on his company’s behalf to procure contracts. Finally, when the issue of Himalayan glaciers became controversial, Dr. Pachauri rejected the criticism in strident terms.

    At best, Dr. Pachauri and Dr. Hasnain disagreed with, experts rejecting the claim. So they continued to use it. Unfortunately, their decision to use it led to financial benefit for their company. They used alarmist rhetoric that had no factual basis to their financial advantage. What do you call that?

    Comment by Don Shor — 15 Feb 2010 @ 11:56 PM

  321. Norman #315:

    How can one part of the same ocean (maybe a couple hundred miles away) be rising at different rates? Wouldn’t the nature of liquid quickly establish and equilibrium state even if melt water were pouring in at the rising parts?

    Yes that is true in general, but the world ocean is continually in a state of disequilibrium due to a number of causes. And the ocean is huge compared to these deviations in sea level. The ‘biggie’ is El Nino/La Nina in the equatorial Pacific, the change over the reporting period of the chart. This is due mainly to temperature changes throughout the ocean volume.

    In the North Atlantic we see some ‘bubbles’, presumably meso-scale variability in the Gulf Stream area. These are eddies living for several months, having a temperature different from the surroundings and even containing their own ecosystems. Again, we see the resultant over seventeen years, so there’s a lot of smearing out going on. One important factor that keeps these eddies alive is the Coriolis force of the Earth rotation, a bit the same way that high and low pressure areas are kept alive in the atmosphere (Buys-Ballot).

    I suspect that what we see around Antarctica is also due to changing ocean currents. But I suspect also artefacts from the satellite orbit (the vertical striping).

    Doug #319: it says on the main page that the inverted barometer correction (effect of air pressure on sea level) has been applied.

    Impressive picture. Don’t want to see the price tag :-(

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:35 AM

  322. Re:296 skwiself says: 15 February 2010 at 8:00 PM
    ‘”I, along with many other regular readers of this site, am thoroughly sick of increasingly vicious personal attacks on climate scientists, mostly ill-informed and often malicious.’”

    S: “And I, along with the rest of the world who have had it up to here with people like you, am tired of you and your buddies denigrating our intelligence and integrity for well over a decade.”

    How sir, do you presume to speak for the rest of the world?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:53 AM

  323. [...] Climate Change has a good run down of the latest spin, looking at many incidents in detail. They conclude: Overall then, the IPCC assessment reports reflect the state of scientific knowledge very well. There have been a few isolated errors, and these have been acknowledged and corrected. What is seriously amiss is something else: the public perception of the IPCC, and of climate science in general, has been massively distorted by the recent media storm. All of these various “gates” – Climategate, Amazongate, Seagate, Africagate, etc., do not represent scandals of the IPCC or of climate science. Rather, they are the embarrassing battle-cries of a media scandal, in which a few journalists have misled the public with grossly overblown or entirely fabricated pseudogates, and many others have naively and willingly followed along without seeing through the scam. It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again, e.g. by publishing proper analysis pieces like the one of Tim Holmes and by issuing formal corrections of their mistaken reporting. We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors. [...]

    Pingback by » Anti-Science Spin on Climate Change Liberal Values — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:55 AM

  324. My suggestion for what it is worth, break the report into two parts, published 3 years apart.

    Reasons –

    i) get the hard science away from the social aspects

    ii) – it seems that there is too much stuff happening, when trying to get all 3 aspects out together, that not enough time is available for cross referencing.

    iii) – Information overload with just one volume!

    Comment by Leo G — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:08 AM

  325. @Global Sceptic

    Everyone who posts here has a motivation, a reason, for posting. What is your motivation? Do you have oil or coal investments? Do you have fears? or a vendetta against someone? What is the point in this oppositional behavior?

    Most of us here are motivated to solve these problems. You seem to be motivated to squelch the conversation entirely. The problems we face are very complex and take thousands of brains all over the world giving this problem their full attention. They are getting paid to solve problems with research money from governments, grants, and research institutions. All of them are a risk of losing credibility as their livelihoods depend on accuracy in their research.

    Who is paying you to call them liars?

    Comment by Gaia Dee McIntee — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:08 AM

  326. Ken Grayling says:

    “”"I’d like to see an end to this bickering and have someone forget for a moment about the effect of gases measured in parts-per-million and analyze the effect of water vapor (the big greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, with some predictions/projections.”"”

    You *are* kidding me, right? I hope you’re kidding me. Here’s some scientific food for thought about the “ooooh”, the big, the bad, the water vapor that you had better know…

    Does water vapor exist where it is cold….ooops N O P E. Strike one….the biggest desert on Earth for a lack of precipitation is…Antarctica. Wow…you didn’t see that one coming did you?

    1) Water vapor is not a greenhouse gas (basically) where it is missing (basically) where it is cold…like at the poles or high up in the atmosphere where the action happens. BUMMER MAN. Strike two. You didn’t know this?

    2) Water vapor is vibrating in the ranges of 400-500 wavenumber cycles per centimeter and at around 1500 wavenumber cycles per cm. Most of the Earth’s heat/long wave/IR frequency is vibrating at around 700 cycles per centimeter…far away from water vapor. BUT where carbon dioxide is vibrating near this frequency. DOUBLE BUMMER MAN. Strike three. This means that CO2 is interacting more with the Earth’s frequencies than water vapor in some aspects.

    3) Water vapor does not border the atmospheric window where heat normally is released like a safety valve. CO2 does and actually closes off part of the atmospheric window when you add more…not water vapor! OUCH, Strike four!

    5) Water vapor only lasts about a week if humans add more. CO2 lasts for thousands of years if humans add more…OH Wow, BUMMER, MAN!

    6) Water vapor amount is effectively limited by temperature…so only so much extra water vapor can be added..(“Cold air holds less water vapor”). You can add as much CO2 as you want and it just moves higher in the atmosphere and holds more overall heat in so you get warmer and you can’t really saturate it…so DRILL BABY, DRILL!!! OUCH!!! Strike five!

    7) The really tricky part of the atmosphere that controls the Earth’s temperature is at the top part of it…where it is too cold for water vapor to exist or be effective as a greenhouse gas! But increasing CO2 is there! YEEEEOW!!! Strike six!

    8) So you add tons of water vapor…and you need a hotter atmosphere to “hold all that water vapor, now.” So you get more clouds…Some clouds make you cooler…some make you warmer. But in the past the Earth had searingly high average temperatures…and clouds or not…many, many times (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Permian, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary).

    Dude, I can keep on going. Water vapor only basically increases in amount when the temp increases and is effectively absent where it is needed to be the critical greenhouse gas at the top of the atmosphere…and is limited by temperature to the amount you can get.

    You can add all the water vapor you want…and you might get soggy…but the water vapor will go back into the oceans.

    You add too much CO2…and you are dead, dead, dead…burned, fried, and crispy- YEE HAW!!!(but no one seriously thinks it would come to that any time soon on Earth)…just real, real, real, real fast changes…in almost everything…maybe in the space of a person’s lifetime….just probably not yours, but maybe your grandkids’…

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:09 AM

  327. Don Shor says: 15 February 2010 at 11:56 PM

    “I think it is safe to assume…”

    Is it? How much elasticity is there in safe assumptions, particularly when they involve character assassination?

    Thanks but no thanks, I’d prefer to hear from Dr. Pielke Jr. himself, with a timeline showing the state of negotiations as Dr. Pachauri was responding to the Himalayan matter, and of course we’d need to know that the 2035 claim was on Dr. Pachauri’s mind during earlier parts of putting together the arrangement. Failing that, Pielke is engaging in unsupported conjecture.

    In sum, I don’t find your argument persuasive, certainly to the standard required for flinging accusations of corruption.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:41 AM

  328. Goran,

    The scare story is that people such as you are trying to scare people out of their money by keeping things as they are to keep lining the same deep pockets while leaving most of the planet destitute, dessicated and perhaps unable to sustain civilization as we know it.

    FACT: Arctic sea ice MASS down over 80%.

    If that doesn’t scare you, you need a brain transplant.

    Cheers

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:16 AM

  329. noel says:
    15 February 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Yeah, that TERRIBLE Al Gore who is turning all his profits over to charity vs. Exxon, et al., who are putting 10′s of billions in their own pockets – and those of denialist mouthpieces.

    Distort much?

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:25 AM

  330. Norman at #315.

    A very good question. And as yet, nobody has given you one of the important factors. The tide stations themselves can either rise or fall over time due to geological factors. Local subsidence (due in some cases to groundwater withdrawal) or emergence (due to reaction to the loss of glacier loads for example) can introduce confounding factors that you are seldom told about.

    You are right, in that on average, if sea level is rising due to ‘global warming’ it should rise, at least averaged over time) constantly all around the world. That this is not the case is telling you that something else is going on.

    Comment by mondo — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:35 AM

  331. “so wrong that it is not even worth dismissing”

    So he didn’t dismiss it then…?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:37 AM

  332. Speaking of strange, you know what I call denialism in all it’s horrific glory? sui-genocide.

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:45 AM

  333. [Response: We've been watching you carry on with these arguments based in your personal impression of the behavior of various groups and individuals for some time now. I have one question for you: Do you believe that scientists have the ability to discriminate between different possible causes of the observed temperature changes over this past century or not? --Jim]
    Jim, yes, I am certain that this is possible.
    My posts are only in part personal impressions, I base my statements on empirical social science studies (qualitative and quantitative) and social theories and my own research (interviews, text and quantitative bibliometrics). Is this of no credibility for you?

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:56 AM

  334. To those of you who believe that a scientific paper trumps a press report (Ray @258, CFU @263, Didactylos @266, yada, yada): it seems impossible to make you see that what the science actually says is inconsequential compared with what the government and the public thinks it says.

    cer’s comment @297 is particularly revealing: “So if I’ve understood you’re [sic] reasoning correctly, you’re arguing that a handful of newspaper quotes from two UK government scientists (only one of whom is actually a climate expert) are enough to invalidate a technical report authored by hundreds of independent scientists working in universities and research institutes around the world? Interesting logic, but fortunately that’s not the way science works.

    Isn’t that charming? No, cer, but it’s the way the world works, and that’s where the rest of us live, not in that academic ivory tower where you believe there’s a shining scientific truth that’s being held back from the masses by evil right-wing media. cer, those two government scientists, whatever their qualifications, are the ones who will steer government policy and messaging on climate. Now do you start to see your problem?

    “The longest suicide note in history” was the phrase used to describe the UK Labour Party’s left-wing 1983 election manifesto. The mood of the country was completely set against the policies advocated, but the party leaders were too wedded to their shining truth to adapt to what was acceptable. And the inevitable happened – electoral disaster.

    Climate science communication is beginning to read – no, is reading – like the new longest suicide note in history. There is certainly more publication here in RC of dissenting voices than in the past, but the same RC voices howl down anyone who tries to assert a dissenting view (you know who you are.) This does not help your case. You’re the ones who’re editing and clarifying your suicide note.

    It’s quite obvious that you have to find a new model for communicating with the public. But your obsessive absorption in the purity of “the science” makes you blind to this. Several times I’ve offered climate science a way out of the blind alley you’re trapped in, but you’re too hubristic to listen. But, to repeat myself: disband the IPCC and replace it with a much smaller panel of climate scientists who aren’t discredited. Add some sceptics who can bring statistical rigour and wider views of the science, for instance, and will bring balance. Christy, Lindzen, McIntyre are obvious names, and the public may begin to trust pronouncements from a more obviously balanced panel. That’s a start, at least. But I can hear the shrieks of protest already!

    PS. Out of the electoral shambles of the 1983 Labour Party manifesto emerged (eventually) New Labour that junked its old left-wing shibboleths, radically changed its policies and leaders, and became highly electable. It went on to win power, and is still (just) in power after nearly 14 years. Might that change your minds?

    Comment by AxelD — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:26 AM

  335. @306 Ray Ladbury
    I think the IPCC statement of 20 January 2010 does a pretty good job in suggestion that there is only one error in the assessment, or rather half an error, the confession is not straightforward. I will not use Pachauris media statements since that would make my case to easy ….

    I skimmed through the IPCC web for a few minutes. Some examples that shows IPCC claim objectivity: Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective ….
    Technical Papers are prepared on topics for which an objective … perspective is essential.
    Comprehensiveness, objectivity, openness and transparency ….
    presents a comprehensive, objective and balanced view of the subject matter…
    provide objective information ..
    It can hardly be questioned that IPCC see research and assessment for policy as objective. Most social sciences stopped believing in the possibility of objective knowledge production some 40 years ago. I am also knowledgeable of many empirical studies that demonstrate that science is not objective. That is why I am having a hard time accepting the IPCC statements on theory of science. The IPCC statement of objectivity are intended to build credibility and authority rather than to be true and well-informed. A more objective statement  that acknowledge the subjectivity of science is needed.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 AM

  336. John Peter says, ” Regardless of what the committees find re Jones and Mann, their fund raising capabilities will surely suffer.”

    Wanna bet? This is an important problem. There aren’t that many people out there with the experience and ability to make progress. What is more, all this has done is elevate the profile of Jones and Mann. A cut in funding will be perceived as political retribution.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:11 AM

  337. Norman #315: another factor in local sea level variation is air pressure.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:53 AM

  338. You really need to work this into a somewhat briefer op-ed and submit it to the Washington Post, etc, which is today filling up its pages with an article on how the ‘controversy’ has disassembled the consensus.

    Comment by El Cid — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:57 AM

  339. “I skimmed through the IPCC web for a few minutes. Some examples that shows IPCC claim objectivity: Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective ….”

    And review IS an essential part of the IPCC process. And the reason for it is to ensure an objective… (why did you cut the rest out?

    “Technical Papers are prepared on topics for which an objective … perspective is essential.”

    And are you saying that an objective perspecive ISN’T what’s wanted?

    And where does this say “we are 100% objective and only use 100% reliable sources”?

    They DO say they use the best sources available.

    You keep missing out lots of words. Smells like quote mining.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:46 AM

  340. “334
    AxelD says:
    16 February 2010 at 5:26 AM
    it seems impossible to make you see that what the science actually says is inconsequential compared with what the government and the public thinks it says.”

    Because what “the public” (actually, you and several dittos) think isn’t real. Reality is what happens even when you don’t believe it.

    That you don’t believe AGW makes no difference to what happens to the earth under increasing anthropogenic CO2 levels.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:53 AM

  341. Andreas Bjurström —

    “Climate scientists are our new priesthood that tells us how to live our lives, what is right and wrong, and we all obey … ”

    Comments like “our new priesthood” tell me that it is YOU who injects bias into the science, not the scientists themselves. I expect natural scientists to provide me with the truth of the natural sciences. Anything beyond that is not science, and at that point they are nothing more than citizens expressing an opinion, for which they have every right.

    “By [putting social science on the back burner] the IPCC is acting as a policy advocate, the very thing that the IPCC claim to not be doing.”

    I see it as quite the opposite. Are there specific actions or publications by the IPCC what you can point to in support of this assertions of the IPCC “acting as a policy advocate?” (Apologies in advance if I misstated what you mean.)

    Comment by Dennis — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:10 AM

  342. @339 Completely Fed Up, (thanks for a serious post by the way)
    I am saying that 1) an objective perspective is only possible when dealing with simple singular facts 2) that climate change is not a simple issue, but rather a post normal issue where facts – values – politics – science – uncertainty – policy are complex and equally important. It is not sound to reduce climate change to physics and economics as the IPCC tend to do.

    Realclimate state that “the vast majority of these are peer-reviewed scientific journal papers”. This is not true. 60 % is not the vast majority of references. Realclimate confused working group 1 (where this is true) with the full report where the statement is false.

    Yes, review is an essential part of the IPCC process, yet review is NOT objective and objectivity was the issue. We have the journal article review (about 60 % of the IPCC material is peer review journal articles). Then the IPCC review process, which is both a scientific and a political review process in several steps. Climategate shows that at least a few very influential reviewers are willing to use the peer review process as an political tool to control policy outcomes. peer review is not perfect and not objective.

    (I cut out words simply to make the post short.
    No, I will not do an extensive study of this issue for you. And I will not work many hours to prove beyond doubt various claims by sceptics either. It is futile. My brief quantitative content analysis was good enough for me. Do your own, and prove me wrong, it it is not good enough for you.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:20 AM

  343. Check out how much Gore invested in green industry related companies. You can’t really say what’s the difference between “putting your money where your mouth is” or “putting your mouth where you money is”. And Gore was just one example. The discussion was about BBC’s ties with green industry. Gavin said that suspecting journalists of favoring AGW because their pension fund would benefit is ridiculous. Then he should add that suspecting skeptics to be skeptics just because they have ties with oil companies is equally ridiculous.
    I can’t really tell in an objective way which companies are “evil” and which are “good”. As far as I know, oil companies are responsible (directly or indirectly) for most of the technology and civilization you see around you. If you’re gonna call them “evil” or whatever, you’d better be ready to give up everything they built for you. I’m not sure what green industries have done, except waste a lot of money on unfeasible projects.
    We don’t NEED any alternative energy sources. Start reading on the recent developments of shale gas extraction. We have enough of that to last for a few hundred years.

    Comment by noel — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:35 AM

  344. @341 Dennis,
    “I expect natural scientists to provide me with the truth of the natural sciences.”
    You expect too much! Truth is not pure and simple. The natural scientists serve you with many things besides facts and truth. You are free to be fully uncritical, to invest all your trust that the natural scientists will guide us well, to be a servant is rather pleasant, I guess …

    “our new priesthood” was intended as an description of the societal role of climate scientists in Sweden. How you delimit science is not so interesting for me. More interesting is how climate scientists are molding our society (perhaps not the US, yet, still denialist trapped). Scientists in the public debate are not mere citizens, they are super-citizens, their expertise gives them authority and political power, they use this to reinforce their value preferences and political agendas, and to marginalise viewpoint that they do not like. yet, we do not scrutinize this, as media always do with politicians, at least not in Sweden, there is no controversy, no debate, not sure if I prefer the infected US debate or the simplistic swedish concensus. All this is of importance, especially in the swedish culture with a new priesthood … Don´t you agree? Whereas your problem lies in the tin foil hats, yes, that is a problem as well.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  345. Perhaps the goofies turning this forum into the theatre of the absurd by suggesting balancing out the IPCC to reflect the fox guarding the hen house will suggest these guys as well.

    Oil Giants Demand Open Market for World’s Dirtiest Fuel
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/02/15-0
    February 15, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
    Oil Groups Mount Legal Challenge to California’s Tar Sands Ban
    by Terry Macalister

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 10:19 AM

  346. A couple errant numbers culled from graphs
    diminish credibility for all
    despite the thousand earnest working staffs
    who labor on as ten dudes take the fall.
    The self of science dashes this debate,
    and did for every other throughout time.
    A populist insurgence could deflate
    the strongest data set or warming clime.
    First Galilei posits Earth as joint
    among the globes, and then gets sent to bed.
    For years a spark meant witchcraft till the point
    when Gilbert gave it name and Tesla said
    that power could transmit through tiny wires
    and light the world afire in dead of night.
    Preach evolution freely to the choirs
    but don’t expect your speech to sway the right.
    It’s not a game of proof you play right now,
    you’re mired in emotions. Still, don’t bow.

    Comment by sillypoem — 16 Feb 2010 @ 10:24 AM

  347. AxelD wrote: “… it seems impossible to make you see that what the science actually says is inconsequential compared with what the government and the public thinks it says.”

    It’s true that you have been unsuccessful in persuading other readers to join you in your fantasy world where “reality” consists of ExxonMobil-funded, so-called “right wing” propaganda, and actual evidence is “irrelevant” and “inconsequential”.

    So why don’t you just give up and go away? Please?

    Deluded, propaganda-addled individuals who imagine that scientific reality is “inconsequential”, i.e. is without consequences, are in for a very rude awakening.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 16 Feb 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  348. Are there any papers comparing a historic time of high volcanic activity climate changes to todays?

    Would this not demonstrate that rapid rise of CO2 can cause rapid temperature rises?

    Still getting the replies about CO2 lags from the ice core data posted elsewhere….

    Comment by Leo G — 16 Feb 2010 @ 10:52 AM

  349. AxelD: you still don’t get it, do you?

    Science is around forever. Reality doesn’t change.

    But public perception is as fickle and fleeting as a summer breeze.

    Yes, we would like the tide of public perception to flow with the science. But we aren’t going to lie, distort or play politics to make that happen. Doing that would be absolutely fatal to public trust.

    You keep saying you are providing a solution, but that’s a plain lie. You think climate science is a matter of belief, and you don’t yourself believe in it. Thus you are supremely unqualified to say anything at all on the subject. If we were stupid enough to follow your advice, scientists really would deservedly lose the trust of the public.

    Instead, we will stick to the science, and the truth as science can discover it. And the media will blow this way, and that way, and the intelligent members of the public will take it with a liberal seasoning of salt as they always have.

    Of course, we will get better at communicating science. We have no rose-tinted spectacles. Scientists don’t enjoy being taken for a ride and having their statements reversed by irresponsible bloggers playing at journalist. But this is about being more media-aware, not about dirty tricks or giving deniers any shred of legitimacy.

    But if we need to know how ignorant you are, AxelD, we just have to look at all the sceptics who have already contributed to the IPCC. But again, this is fact – and you don’t care about that, do you?

    You are just making noise, like those geniuses clamouring for “the data” while drowning in the data they already have.

    Comment by Didactylos — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  350. Andreas Bjurström@335,
    That is not claiming that the scientists are objective or that the product is 100% objective–merely that the process is set up to promote the goal of objectivity. And, indeed, given that they cited pretty much every quasi-credible publication by a skeptical scientist and reviewed all of the posited alternative mechanisms, I would contend that the process worked well. The climate science community agrees, by the way–over 90% thought the IPCC reflected the state of research well or very well.

    Andreas: “Most social sciences stopped believing in the possibility of objective knowledge production some 40 years ago.”

    Physics had you beat by at least 40 years–even more if you count Ernst Mach. That does not mean we should abandon objectivity as a goal or that an attempt to reach an objective conclusion is not valuable. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean that all science reduces to a matter of opinion!

    I have read a lot of sociological studies of science. Most of them are crap, frankly, because they do not take into account the motivations of scientists and the incentive structure of science. Overwhelmingly, the strongest motivation for scientists is understanding their subject. There is simply no way you could pay someone enough to get them to dedicate 20 years of your life as an undergrad, grad student, post doc and assistant prof. And God knows it’s certainly not power or prestiege. You do it because you want to know something about the Universe–or at least your little specialty in that Universe.

    And science rewards such an attitude. The reason why scientific fraud is so rare is because falsifying research means you will know less about your field of study–it will impede progress. Science is also unforgiving of such breaches. You falsify data, your career is over. Period.

    What is more, science has also found a very good way to keep big egos in check. Scientists are extremely ambitious and competitive. However, if a scientist gets a reputation as a self-promoter, his career will suffer as a result. There is a very strong emphasis on sublimating ones immediate ambition in the hopes of building ones influence down the line.

    Ultimately, objectivity is replaced by consensus–but it is consensus of those who are most strongly motivated to have knowledge of the subject that is as objective as possible. Is it political? You bet! I’ve been privy to at least three rivalries where a Nobel Prize was at stake. You want to talk about intense lobbying… But in the end, the prizes went to those who had done the best work.

    I don’t think you will find many scientists who have thought deeply about the matter who will contend that science is objective. However, it is undeniable that in terms of delivering reliable understanding of natural phenomena, no other human endeavor comes close. That seems to baffle a lot of social scientists. Maybe it’s because they never thought to ask the scientists.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:07 AM

  351. “It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again, e.g. by publishing proper analysis pieces like the one of Tim Holmes and by issuing formal corrections of their mistaken reporting. We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.”

    This is madness. This is why you are losing ground. In a fair world, no it’s not up to you. In the real world? It very well is up to you. Perhaps I’m tainted because I am from America and our media is full of idiots, failed actors, or right-wing wackos none of whom care about or understand the reality of the situation compared to ratings and advertising money. If this is your attitude we are doomed. If scientists want to advance their cause they need to do the research and own up to mistakes yes, but they also need to be out there attacking the deniers in every media venue they can get their hands on.

    Comment by MNPundit — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:08 AM

  352. 338, El Cid: You really need to work this into a somewhat briefer op-ed and submit it to the Washington Post, etc, which is today filling up its pages with an article on how the ‘controversy’ has disassembled the consensus

    I second the motion.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:16 AM

  353. Axel D., Just curious, what are your plans for dealing with all of the mountains of evidence that show the planet is warming. Are you going to simply slander every scientist who had a hand in gathering all that evidence. That’s a lot of slander, Axel, even for someone as talented in that direction as you.

    And say you manage to convince the general public that every climate scientist is the anti-christ. What then? Do you outlaw other scientists looking at the data and, voila, coming up with the same evidence all over again?

    See, Axel, that’s the wonderful thing about nature. She doesn’t change her story. You ask her a question, you get an answer. Ask again, same answer. She never gets tired of giving the same answer. Now, if you are particularly dim and don’t listen to what she is saying, sometimes she’ll say it more loudly. And sometimes if you keep ignoring her, she’ll destroy your civilization, but it’s nothing personal, you understand.

    See, Axel, reality is that which doesn’t go away when you stop believing in it. Come on over. I’ll introduce you.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:18 AM

  354. Re: 334 AxelD says: 16 February 2010
    “To those of you who believe that a scientific paper trumps a press report (Ray @258, CFU @263, Didactylos @266, yada, yada): it seems impossible to make you see that what the science actually says is inconsequential compared with what the government and the public thinks it says.”

    I’ve been in government as an advisor myself. I can tell you now that your corner soap box arm waving protestations and advice to the whole of climate scientists makes you look like one of Wackoville’s fruitcakes.

    Does it occur to you that a responsible government official actually reads the science, or staff synopses of it, and likely takes with a grain of salt what the tabloid press twists into sensational newspaper selling headlines? The more shrill the exaggerations the more likely the press report is dismissed as infotainment.

    With respect to government you give too much credit to press accounts of isolated aspects, though at times the press has misled the people with spurious accounts of reality. But this was in lead up to war, for instance, not with an interpretation of a science document everyone has equal access to.

    Nor does one press report define the reality. Most likely the first report, in a hurry to make a deadline gets it wrong. Thus the original report is weighed and measured by different elements of competing press entities through time until, hopefully, a close approximation of the truth is consumed by the public.

    AxelD: “Several times I’ve offered climate science a way out of the blind alley you’re trapped in, but you’re too hubristic to listen.”

    I’d say the hubris is rather conspicuously yours. This so much reminds me of the story of the ant crawling up the elephant’s leg with rape on its mind.

    Yada yada

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:28 AM

  355. Andreas Bjurström asks: I base my statements on…my own research (interviews, text and quantitative bibliometrics). Is this of no credibility for you?

    Andreas, you’ll be more credible if you can point us to something you’ve published in the peer-reviewed literature; a Google Scholar search doesn’t turn up anything.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:44 AM

  356. Although I’ve more or less convinced myself that we’re wasting our time, as the need for massive concerted action is so desperately urgent before we reach the Tipping Point which is so close, and every small advance we make is immediately negated by the well-funded and organised deniers, I will still fight to my last breath against the b*****ds. At least my grandchildren, before they fry or drown in sixty years’ time, will (I hope) reflect that I did my best for them.

    The problem as I see it is that 20% of humans are possessed by such an insatiable desire for power and wealth that their brains have no room for anything other than the ruthlessness required to trample over everyone and everything in pursuit of their objective, another 30% (mainly the “comfortably-off” middle classes of Europe and North America, and to a lesser extent India and China, etc.) are quite happy to believe whatever s**t is fed to them by right-wing media and state propaganda, as they’d rather not think about anything that might suggest drastic changes to their consumerist lifestyle will be required, 45% are busy just trying to survive, which leaves the 5% of us who are not afraid to open our eyes to reality and try to do something about it.

    Still, “better to die on your feet than live on your knees”.

    Steve Boulding, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire, UK

    Comment by Steve Boulding — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  357. Anthony Watts is hoist on his own petard. The science is right, the skeptic is wrong, and now the press comes round (again) to point that out.

    Scientists dispute climate sceptic’s claim that US weather data is useless
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/climate-sceptic-us-weather-data
    James Randerson
    guardian.co.uk,
    Monday 15 February 2010 16.22 GMT

    “Ex-weatherman Anthony Watts says many US weather stations produce unreliable data because they are located next to artificial heat – but a scientific analysis suggests that, if anything, such stations underestimate warming.

    “It appeared to have shaken the credibility of one of the most important global warming data sets in the world. A blog-inspired campaign by amateur climate sceptics seemed to show that numerous weather stations across the US were so poorly located they could not be relied upon.

    “But a new scientific analysis, using data from the sceptics, has shown that, if anything, the poorly located stations underestimate warming, rather than exaggerating it.

    Climate sceptics distract us from the scientific realities of global warming
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jan/27/climate-sceptics-global-warming
    Is the goal of climate sceptics to lead us into greater scientific truth – or merely to sow doubt about the temperature record?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:01 PM

  358. “the current media discussion is in large part simply absurd and surreal.”

    The current discussion is happening DESPITE of the media distortion and manipulation.

    Comment by Mario Nelson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  359. Ray Ladbury @346

    Really nice encapsulation of the motivations and mechanisms behind the method.

    Andreas Bjurström’s self-evident axiom that individuals (including scientists) can’t be completely objective misses your larger point – that over the long term efforts that produce valid science will win out over self-promotion, self-interest and politics.

    And an individual scientist’s lasting reputation will be largely based on his success in staying focused on his intention of objectively searching for scientific truth and reporting on where it leads – regardless of personal belief, previously published work etc.

    That many fail to consistently reach such a rigorous standard does reveal something significant about human nature, but does nothing to refute the success of science in advancing human knowledge. Thanks for stating it so well.

    Comment by db11 — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:28 PM

  360. Re my previous comment @ 12:28 (currently in moderation)…

    in reference to Ray Ladbury @ 350 not 346

    Comment by db11 — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 PM

  361. Steve #356: Indeed! When all you have is how you lived your life, it doesn’t matter if you cannot get others to change. You CAN get yourself to change.

    If it fails because others did not, that is THEIR doing, not yours.

    DO NOT abdicate your violition to nihilism. You can only change the world if you try.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:42 PM

  362. @355 Jim Galasyn,
    Sorry to disappoint you, but I am mere a PhD student, with a bunch of conference papers and a few articles that Im working with or in review, not yet published. Track records is the weapon of the oldies ;-)

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  363. Will Anthony Watts be hoist on his own petard? So far the science is right, the skeptic is wrong, and now the press comes round (again) to point out that Watt’s hasn’t given up …tilting at windmills. The Guardian (on the web) does a good job of
    linking this story to its precedents and parallel aspects.

    Scientists dispute climate sceptic’s claim that US weather data is useless
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/climate-sceptic-us-weather-data
    James Randerson
    guardian.co.uk,
    Monday 15 February 2010 16.22 GMT

    “Ex-weatherman Anthony Watts says many US weather stations produce unreliable data because they are located next to artificial heat – but a scientific analysis suggests that, if anything, such stations underestimate warming.

    “It appeared to have shaken the credibility of one of the most important global warming data sets in the world. A blog-inspired campaign by amateur climate sceptics seemed to show that numerous weather stations across the US were so poorly located they could not be relied upon.

    “But a new scientific analysis, using data from the sceptics, has shown that, if anything, the poorly located stations underestimate warming, rather than exaggerating it.

    Climate sceptics distract us from the scientific realities of global warming
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jan/27/climate-sceptics-global-warming
    Is the goal of climate sceptics to lead us into greater scientific truth – or merely to sow doubt about the temperature record?

    We’re seeing Watt’s keeping the balls in the air for as long as possible. He delays responding an invitation to collaborate on a Journal of Geophysical Research paper for two (2) months then says after he finally accepts that he doesn’t receive a reply and thereby the JGR extends professional discourtesy. G I V E U S A B R E A K , Watts!

    There’s more to all this delay. I’s suggest it’s near criminal intent to defraud and mislead the public in order to allow legislation favorable to his buddies to pass more easily through the congress. The denialists are screaming it’s all about the money. For them, perhaps it is.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  364. “348
    Leo G says:
    16 February 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Are there any papers comparing a historic time of high volcanic activity climate changes to todays?

    Would this not demonstrate that rapid rise of CO2 can cause rapid temperature rises?”

    Google PETM

    Permian/Eocene Thermal Maximum (if I’m remembering this right).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  365. Jim@355 – maybe because there isn’t much yet ;)

    Comment by flxible — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:50 PM

  366. “343
    noel says:
    16 February 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Check out how much Gore invested in green industry related companies. You can’t really say what’s the difference between “putting your money where your mouth is” or “putting your mouth where you money is”.”

    Yes you can.

    One is fraud the other bravery.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:50 PM

  367. Sorry, I didn’t realize I had posted # 357 before I had finished the thought. It could be removed if it’s not too inconvenient.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 12:52 PM

  368. Co-signing the Open Letter from Dutch scientists regarding climate change and IPCC, received via Prof Turkenburg of Utrecht University:

    ANNOUNCEMENT / CALL

    Starting today, is possible to express your support to, or to associate yourself with, the OPEN LETTER of 55 Dutch scientists on Climate Change and IPCC:
    - for people from the Netherlands: http://www.sense.nl/openbrief
    - for people from other countries: http://www.sense.nl/openletter

    Note that the possibility to undersign the Open Letter is limited to scientists having the title Dr. or Prof.

    Please distribute this announcement amongst colleagues within your organization or networks.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  369. From Tim’s link:

    [Dr Scott Hausman] said the NCDC had invited Watts to collaborate on the paper, which appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research last month, but he declined.

    Watts challenged this account. He said the NCDC director, Dr Tom Karl, wrote to him in September to offer a “joint scientific inquiry”. Watts said he responded nearly two months later to accept the invitation but never received a reply. “The appearance of the Menne et al paper was a bit of a surprise,” he said. “By not bothering to reply to our letter about an offer he initiated, and by not giving me any review process opportunity, [Karl] extends professional discourtesy to my own volunteers and my team’s work.” [Emphasis mine. --Jim]

    You snooze, you lose.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  370. “”"”Speaking of strange, you know what I call denialism in all it’s horrific glory? sui-genocide.”"”"

    You know there is an actual word, sort of, called “nationcide”.

    It is when a nation consciously decides to commit suicide. As a long-time insider in the climate science world, I personally believe that the United States is committing nationcide.

    We are ignoring unimpeachable science (built up since 1824) that we have to act now to stop human-caused climate change.

    This is because human-caused climate change is like a monster. You can’t see it much yet, but it is already committed to happen because the oceans are hiding it through thermal inertia (it takes them a long time to change because of their huge heat capacity-like how the oceans slow winter from happening and slow summer from happening every year and why it is warmer in Boston in the winter than in Kansas).

    It is looming over us so high you can’t see it for the forest through the trees. This is because the oceans are temporarily absorbing the “biblical proportions” of energy of about 1 watt per meter squared energy imbalance all in 200 years instead of the normal 5000 years.

    Unless we act now, by the time we do anything about it, the oceans (and the long, long lifetime of carbon dioxide of thousands of years) will have committed us to changes of biblical proportions, unless we act now.

    This is because it is a simple matter of energy imbalance first written about for global warming in 1824 by Jean Baptiste Fourier in the peer reviewed Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences. What was true in 1824, is still true today in the 21st century. You can’t change physics. We have to act now before it is too late for incomprehensible changes.

    IPCC 2007 and the peer reviewed body of scientific published studies since 1824.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:14 PM

  371. We don’t NEED any alternative energy sources. Start reading on the recent developments of shale gas extraction. We have enough of that to last for a few hundred years.

    Comment by noel — 16 February 2010 @ 9:35 AM

    Who are you reading, Winnie the Pooh? Try theoildrum.com. Shale is not now, and never will be, your savior. Just shifting infrastructure alone is a humongous issue.

    Wake up. Let the info inform your position, not the other way around.

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  372. Ooops, for 1824 Fourier wrote in the peer-reviewed Annales de chimie et de physique on the Earth’s energy imbalance- “Remarques Générales Sur Les Températures Du Globe Terrestre Et Des Espaces Planétaires”.

    It was in 1827, he reprinted his study in the peer-reviewed Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences called “MEMOIRE sur les temperatures du globe terrestre et des espaces planetaires.”

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  373. skwiseelf: And I, along with the rest of the world, who have had it up to here with people like you, am tired of you and your buddies denigrating our intelligence and integrity for well over a decade, as you are still doing, are proud of doing, attacks based entirely on your moral presumption and assumption of factual invincibility, and then have the gall to complain about being the target of “ill-informed” and “malicious” personal attacks. Having the shoe on the other foot is never a fun exercise.

    BPL: My experience has been that deniers like you are pretty much uniformly A) ignorant and B) malicious. You know nothing about climatology and refuse to learn. Yet you are constantly telling people who devoted their lives to this science that they’re doing everything wrong. Then there are the constant attacks on climate scientists, and when I say attacks, I don’t just mean insults. I mean attempts to get people fired, indicted, arrested, or even killed. Want a list?

    As a guy with a science degree myself (physics), I am reluctant to accept moral correction from a guy who refers to himself as a “wise elf.” I’m pretty sure there aren’t really any such things as elves. And, BTW, J.R.R. Tolkien was pretty concerned about protecting the environment, conservative though he was.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 1:49 PM

  374. AxelD: There is certainly more publication here in RC of dissenting voices than in the past, but the same RC voices howl down anyone who tries to assert a dissenting view (you know who you are.)

    BPL: That’s because we believe that when it comes to the empirical world, some answers are RIGHT and some are WRONG. It may be bad manners to shout down someone who insists the Earth is flat, that geographers and astronomers don’t know what they’re doing, and that “rounders” are stifling dissent and lying to the public, but those who know better get tired of that kind of idiocy very quickly.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:09 PM

  375. AB: Most social sciences stopped believing in the possibility of objective knowledge production some 40 years ago.

    BPL: Where and when was the crucial paper on this published, and by whom?

    Forty years ago it was 1970. My father, Dr. Myron Herbert Levenson, was chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I never heard him express any opinion to the effect that “objective knowledge production” was impossible, nor refer to such a view on the part of any of his colleagues.

    Are you perhaps mistaking postmodernist English professors and followers of Jacques Derrida for social scientists? Have you heard of the name Alan Sokal? Do you know why so many physical scientists think ideological objections to scientific findings are full of s**t?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  376. noel: I can’t really tell in an objective way which companies are “evil” and which are “good”.

    BPL: A good criterion might be how many people they’re willing to impoverish, enslave, or kill to increase their profits.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  377. Leo:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:20 PM

  378. Steve Boulding,

    Right on. We’re going down, but we’re going down fighting.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:23 PM

  379. Here’s the upshot of the emails/IPCC conspiracy to destroy climate scientists credibility. It all comes to a head in a concerted effort to force America’s EPA to reconsider its CO2 endangerment finding.

    Texas, skeptics seek court review of ‘endangerment’ finding
    http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2010/02/16/4/ (subscription)
    (02/16/2010)
    Robin Bravender, E&E reporter
    The state of Texas and a coalition of free-market and global warming skeptic groups are asking a federal appeals court today to review U.S. EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases threaten human health and welfare.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced that the state is filing a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging EPA’s endangerment finding.

    “Texas is aggressively seeking its future in alternative energy through incentives and innovation, not mandates and overreaching regulation,” Perry said in a statement. “The EPA’s misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ.”

    EPA’s endangerment determination, issued last December, opens the door for broad regulations aimed at curbing mobile and stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Today marks the deadline for petitioners to challenge the finding in the appeals court.

    The legal challenge from Texas immediately drew the ire of state environmentalists.

    “The lawsuit filed by Governor Perry is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. vs. Massachusetts,” Environmental Defense Fund Texas regional director Jim Marston said in a statement. “Their action invokes memories of a sad time in Texas history from the ’50s, when Texas politicians sought to nullify decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only is it legally unsound, it puts Texas on the side of the 1950s economy, against the clean energy economy of the future.”

    The state also filed a petition for reconsideration with EPA, asking Administrator Lisa Jackson to review her decision. The state argues that EPA’s finding is legally unsupported because it relies heavily on reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since the comment period on the endangerment finding closed, “troubling revelations about the conduct, objectivity, reliability, and propriety of the IPCC’s processes, assessments, and contributors have become public,” the petition says.

    EPA yesterday said that the finding followed an exhaustive review of the peer-reviewed science and thousands of public comments submitted in an open and transparent process and expressed confidence that the finding would withstand legal challenge.

    A coalition of conservative think tanks and global warming skeptic groups will also petition the appeals court to review EPA’s finding, according to an attorney representing the groups.

    The free-market think tanks Competitive Enterprise Institute and FreedomWorks are joining the global warming skeptic organizations Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and Science and Environmental Policy Project in asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review EPA’s endangerment finding, CEI attorney Sam Kazman said.

    “Our focus is basically on the science,” Kazman said, adding that the coalition’s arguments to the court will be similar to those included in previous requests to EPA that the agency reconsider its finding.

    CEI has been a vocal foe of EPA’s endangerment finding since it was proposed last year, arguing that flawed scientific data were used to underpin the determination. The group has repeatedly accused the agency of failing to reconsider the finding in the wake of a controversy last year surrounding a series of e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

    Some skeptics point to the e-mails as proof that researchers intentionally withheld climate data and sought to stifle competing theories, while most scientists insist that the content of the e-mails does not upend the scientific consensus that man-made emissions are causing climate change.

    Last week, CEI, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and the Science and Environmental Policy Project petitioned EPA to reconsider its finding. Citing the stolen e-mails and more recent controversies surrounding reports from the IPCC, the groups argued that the IPCC’s data were based on politics rather than sound science
    (E&ENews PM, Feb. 12). http://www.eenews.net/eenewspm/2010/02/12/archive/2

    Several other opponents of EPA climate rules have already filed petitions with the appeals court. Observers say the court will likely consolidate the petitions following today’s filing deadline
    (Greenwire, Feb. 15). http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2010/02/15/archive/1

    Click here to read Texas’ petition to the appeals court.
    http://www.eenews.net/features/documents/2010/02/16/document_gw_02.pdf

    Click here to read Texas’ petition to EPA.
    http://www.eenews.net/features/documents/2010/02/16/document_gw_01.pdf

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 2:35 PM

  380. Table 10.9 of WGII also has an error that should be acknowledged.

    Comment by jonesy — 16 Feb 2010 @ 3:00 PM

  381. Kind of you guys to so nicely confirm my points. Secular @347 still convinced it’s right-wing plots. And Ray @353 still pointing to his “mountains of evidence”.

    I’ve given up trying show why all your carefully marshalled papers are irrelevant without the right communication. But here’s one last idea that may help.

    I do actually understand the evidence (I’ve a decent degree in physics and experience in computer modelling) but, more importantly, I’ve spent a lot of time in high technology marketing. And I fully understand the tolerance of even well-educated technical people for “mountains of evidence.” You have a few seconds to catch people’s attention, and then you need a well-crafted message to lodge in their minds. You have a few minutes at the most. Well-crafted messages (ideas) will all go to build up a positive brand image.

    The brand image of climate science is badly damaged. That’s indisputable – many high profile AGW advocates are saying it, even if they don’t use marketing language. You had a fairly positive brand image, with 15+ years in the making. And it’s been virtually destroyed in a couple of months. But that’s the thing with reputations – take ages to build up, can be destroyed in an instant. Look at what’s just happened to Toyota. It’ll cost billions just to be able to start rebuilding their brand. Similarly, Perrier water had to spend a fortune (recalled every bottle in the world) trying to rebuild its brand after contamination stories.

    That’s the nature of brand damage. It costs a lot to repair, and you’re not (or your lords and masters are not) prepared to pay the price. Toyota delayed, and made the problem much much worse. I can see the same thing happening here.

    You won’t like what I’m saying, because I’m not talking the only language you’re comfortable with – data, graphs, references. But that makes you the odd ones, not me. Sure, I’ll be in line for the usual barrage of insults du jour. But that’s OK. Just think about what I’ve said – here, and in earlier posts – no matter how unpleasant. In your hearts, you know that much (perhaps not every word – I’m not a climate scientist!) is true.

    Amazingly, something that SecularAnimist said is relevant – “So why don’t you just give up and go away? Please?” He’s right, I’m taking you outside your comfort zones, and that’s hard for some. But I’m wasting my time here anyway, when “there’s none so blind as those who will not see.”

    Comment by AxelD — 16 Feb 2010 @ 3:13 PM

  382. fixable (#364), I’m getting flashbacks to Calvin and Hobbes. The one where Calvin is writing his school report:

    The dynamics of interbeing and monological imperatives in Dick and Jane: A study in psychic transrelational gender modes.

    His “paper” reads like that.

    At least Calvin knew what he was doing:

    “I realised that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure reasoning and inhibit clarity.

    With a little practice, writing can be an indimidating and impenetrable fog!”

    Could this dude not have found any easier paper to write?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  383. Axel “I’ve given up trying show why all your carefully marshalled papers are irrelevant without the right communication.”

    … because I can’t think of one that works …

    !He’s right, I’m taking you outside your comfort zones, and that’s hard for some”

    I feel another rendition of “Brave Sir Robin” coming on:

    Brave Sir Robin ran away – No!
    Bravely ran away, away – I didn’t!
    When danger reared its ugly head
    He bravely turned his tail and fled – No!
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out
    Bravely taking to his feet
    He beat a very brave retreat
    Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin

    Axle, we’re uncomfortable with bollocks. And you’ve shown plenty.

    “And I fully understand the tolerance of even well-educated technical people for “mountains of evidence.””

    See, has anyone recently heard Sarah Palin or her supporters about why this nimrod would make a good president for the US: She’s as dumb as the american people who support her. She even admits it. She’s against the “elite”. I.e. those who think and expect you to think too. She can do the right thing just by being a good person.

    Axle is her target demographic.

    Ignorant and proud of it! So proud in fact, that he hates having anything explained.

    Rather like ratbert:

    Ratbert: I’m happier than you because I’m ignorant and ignorance is… uh …
    Dilbert: Bliss
    Ratbert: Oh, great. Now you’ve ruined it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  384. “380
    jonesy says:
    16 February 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Table 10.9 of WGII also has an error that should be acknowledged.”

    Name ONE ERROR on that table, jonesy.

    Just one.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:07 PM

  385. skwiseelf: “And I, along with the rest of the world, who have had it up to here with people like you, am tired of you and your buddies denigrating our intelligence…”

    How can you denigrate something that doesn’t exist?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  386. “It may be bad manners to shout down someone who insists the Earth is flat, that geographers and astronomers don’t know what they’re doing, and that “rounders” are stifling dissent and lying to the public, but those who know better get tired of that kind of idiocy very quickly”.

    Exactly why do you have the higher moral ground here?
    Because AGW zealots have been caught exaggerating stuff over and over again? Same scientist were talking about snowball earth a few decades ago. If you think the science is settled – welcome to the world of more people disbelieving your arrogance. I find it ridiculous that AGW is making man the center of the argument, while Sun is obviously – OBVIOUSLY – one of the main reasons behind climate fluctuations. That is your flat earth argument.

    Comment by Arrogance — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  387. Re: #384 Completely Fed Up said: “Name ONE ERROR on that table, jonesy.”

    The rate for the Pindari Glacier is wrong. It’s a simple math error that the IPCC copied from another source. The IPCC report copied it from the same article that led to the other more popularly cited error. A detailed history of the origin of the Himalayan glacier error is decribed here,
    The Yale Forum on Climate Change » Anatomy of IPCC’s Mistakeon Himalayan Glaciers and Year 2035

    That article was previously linked in this thread.

    Comment by jonesy — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  388. OK, Axe (#381), you “understand the evidence” and have “spent a lot of time in high technology marketing”. Sounds like the start of a resume. You want a job? Give us a sample of how you would start repairing the brand image. Say, an op-ed in the Washington Post, or a letter to the NY Times, or whatever you think works.

    If we like it, we can use it. If we don’t, you use it. So quit complaining and get to work.

    Comment by Pat Cassen — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:39 PM

  389. Ho-hum, still the sound of crickets emanating from Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. with regard to his charge of financial misconduct by Pachauri.

    This can be cleared up with a timeline. Since Dr. Pielke is apparently too busy to follow up his speculation with sound science, let me help him begin.

    Here’s a key claim by Dr. Pielke:

    3. Following the publication of the IPCC report, and the widespread media coverage of the false claim about Himalayan glaciers, Dr. Hasnain joins TERI as a Senior Fellow, where Dr. Pachauri is the director.

    That’s not correct. Here’s some chronological data that is more accurate:

    – Dr. Hasnain joined TERI long before the Himalayan problem became the subject of popular media coverage, in 2008.

    – The first “widespread” media mention of the Himalayan business appears around December 5, 2009.

    – Extensive media coverage of the Himalayan fiasco increased over the next few weeks, peaking in the middle of January.

    – The announcement of the Iceland/Ohio/TERI collaboration was staged in New Delhi, on January 15, and included an appearance by the President of Iceland, a contingent of academics flown in from Ohio plus of course a TERI contingent.

    Letting aside the inaccuracy of Dr. Pielke’s claim with regard to Dr. Hasnain’s joining with TERI, it is hardly likely the New Delhi event was the result of a negotiation process beginning in late November of 2009.

    But perhaps Dr. Pielke has a detailed chronology of the TERI/Iceland/Ohio negotiation process that is more accurate than his statement regarding Dr. Hasnain’s recruitment to TERI.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:42 PM

  390. @359 db11,

    I believe that science is self-correcting to some degree, yet lots of wishful thinking in this (Adam Smith, enlighment, liberal discource). What happens, especially over a couple of decades, is that cultures of like-minded individuals creates cultures with like causal beliefs and values, with intense internal communication, internal peer review, etc.
    This blog is a good example of this.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  391. “Exactly why do you have the higher moral ground here?”

    He has the ***intellectual*** high ground.

    When someone complains about their being treated like a simpleton, when they are ACTING like one, why is there a moral dimension?

    Is there a moral dimension to how you slice your bagel?

    Or do you slice it so as best to make it easy to handle without being flimsy, and let the “moral” dimension go hang?

    PS your handle is very apposite. I suspect you expected it to refer to *others* though, not yourself).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:49 PM

  392. Tim Jones says: 16 February 2010 at 2:35 PM

    “Here’s the upshot of the emails/IPCC conspiracy to destroy climate scientists credibility. It all comes to a head in a concerted effort to force America’s EPA to reconsider its CO2 endangerment finding.”

    It’s all about whether C02 is or is not a pollutant. If fossil fuel interests lose this battle, it’s a huge defeat for them, they could lose the war.

    That’s why we’re seeing websites extolling the virtues of C02. The flacks have to get this right or they’re probably doomed.

    Of course C02 is a pollutant, if released in excessive amounts. C0 is also a natural constituent of the atmosphere but we’ve bent over backwards engineering vehicles to reduce emissions of C0, because releasing too much of it is polluting. Duh.

    Check the dictionary for definitions of “pollutant”.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  393. “I find it ridiculous that AGW is making man the center of the argument, while Sun is obviously – OBVIOUSLY ”

    Why obviously – OBVIOUSLY

    ?

    It hasn’t changed output in line with temperatures. It is a cooler sun now than it’s been since we’ve had satellites measuring the total solar output at earth radius.

    Yet it’s still the warmest decade.

    Isn’t it far more obvious that it CANNOT be the sun?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  394. re: 386. Wow, what absolute rubbish. Please cite *one* “same scientist were talking about snowball earth a few decades ago” (sic). Just one climate scientist! If you did any research at all instead of regurgitated what someone told you to think or say, you would know that decades ago, climate science was in its relative infancy with regards to models. And that we are talking about the contribution from anthropogenic greenhouse gases since the 1970s (four decades ago).

    The scientific debate is long over. It has been held through scientific research and peer-review through peer-reviewed journals and conferences. As is all science. Always has been ,always will be. It’s called the “scientific method”. You should have learned about it in high school science classes. The idea that you know something that literally thousands of peer-reviewed climate scientists around the world do not is the absolute height of arrogance. Every major climate science professional society around the globe agrees about the fact that global warming since the 1970s can not be explained solely by natural sources. It is only when man-made sources of GHGs are considered that the warming since the 1970s can be explained.

    There is no excuse for being so anti-science when the data are easily accessible through links provided here. And there is no excuse for your not even trying to learn. None.

    And “morals” are not the issue here. Science is. Learn about it.

    Comment by Dan — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:14 PM

  395. Re: 364 Completely Fed Up says: 16 February 2010

    “Permian/Eocene Thermal Maximum (if I’m remembering this right).”

    Three out four anyway. Try Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM).

    Re: 348 Leo G says: 16 February 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Yes, Google PETM Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum

    But the Permian/Triassic extinction probably involved greenhouse gas factors as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

    spec:
    Climate Model Links Higher Temperatures to Prehistoric Extinction
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2005/permian.shtml

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:21 PM

  396. Arrogance: you are misinformed. Very, very misinformed. Start from the beginning, and find out what the scientists actually say.

    Comment by Didactylos — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:23 PM

  397. Arrogance (386) — Snowball earth happened a long time ago:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth
    and there are open questions which remain to this day.

    And while it might appear that variations in solar intensity should be important, careful attention to the physical evidence shows that it is of minor importance; anthropogenic carbon dioxide, methane, etc. is of major importance. Please do read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    Comment by David B. Benson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  398. Hello Arrogance (#386). Does it strike you as a little odd that thousands of scientists devoting their lives to study, data collection, research paper generation and discussion of ideas amongst themselves for decade after decade have not considered the role of the sun and its influence on climate? Please search RC for entries on the sun and also orbital forcing and its relationship to ice ages. It should provide fascinating reading…

    Comment by Ammonite — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  399. Re:386 Arrogance says: 16 February 2010 at 4:13 PM

    “Exactly why do you have the higher moral ground here?

    Exactly because a growing component of what’s called the 6th extinction is climate change. Climate scientists are bending over backwards to keep the world habitable for you, your children and the rest of biodiversity while you’re wasting everyone’s time trotting out of zombie arguments like “scientists fooled us before” (they didn’t) to fool people into complacency.

    But please do as David Benson and others have suggested. There’s plenty of room on the high ground.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 5:59 PM

  400. “390
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    16 February 2010 at 4:48 PM

    This blog is a good example of this.”

    Indeed it is. A lot of unsupported rhetoric all feeding off each other coming from, for example, Axle, Walt, Arrogant et al.

    All parroting Hannity messages, Limbaugh accusations and Beckian slanders.

    There have been a few good examples of cliques here.

    And you’re one of them.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:17 PM

  401. “387
    jonesy says:
    16 February 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Re: #384 Completely Fed Up said: “Name ONE ERROR on that table, jonesy.”

    The rate for the Pindari Glacier is wrong.”

    Uh, no, that error doesn’t appear in table 10.9.

    Check for yourself:

    http://www.ipcc.ch

    Seek for WG2 as you required.

    Check around chapter 10, section 5.7

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  402. mmmm I am currently doing an assessment of the impacts of climate change on a large cities infrastructure as I am reading this. I would argue there are many with vested interests in “AGW” such as my employer, who without it would not currently be getting $ for me doing this study! – to claim there are none with vested interests is incredibly foolish.

    There are people on boths sides with interests! If I owned a hydrolake I would want to put coal out of business etc…if I owned a coal powered fire station I would not want AGW to be happening – lets just be open and honest for once, there are many vested interests in AGW, and AGW gets a LOT more funding than any sceptical research. This is not a conspiracy, its a fact of life!

    Also, pointing that Exxon etc.. fund sceptical science is odd when they also fund alot of climate science. I recall in the climategate emails there were emails talking about getting funding from Exxon and Shell – so seems IPCC climate scientists do not mind being funded by “big oil” either. Fact is, if you need funding you go to those that will fund it. Their agenda / interests will determine whether or not you get the funding.

    On the IPCC errors, we are only human, errors happen lets not give them a hard time. If no one ever found an error in any of my work I would be very suprised!

    Comment by rainwater — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:40 PM

  403. 389 Doug Bostrom:
    “– The first “widespread” media mention of the Himalayan business appears around December 5, 2009.”

    Again, Drs. Pachauri and Hasnain had information in 2006 that their claim about the glaciers melting by 2035 was not supported by leading glaciologists.
    Do you believe Dr. Hasnain was unaware that his claim had been rejected by others in his field?
    Nevertheless, they continued to use it as they sought funds for their company.
    Again, Doug, what do you call that behavior?

    Comment by Don Shor — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:55 PM

  404. I wrote [15 February 2010 at 11:56 PM]: I think it is safe to assume that the president of TERI was involved in negotiating for the contracts.
    Doug Bostrom replied: 16 February 2010 at 2:41 AM
    Don Shor says:
    “I think it is safe to assume…”
    Is it? How much elasticity is there in safe assumptions, particularly when they involve character assassination?

    You’re right. The president of the company might have had no involvement in negotiating contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to his company. But that seems very unlikely, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Don Shor — 16 Feb 2010 @ 6:59 PM

  405. First time posting here, but enjoy reading the comments.

    I was thinking about the models, and this might be a stupid question, but I’ve been told the only stupid question is the one not asked.

    I feel I have a decent understanding of the energy budget from the sun. I was wondering if there was also energy budget created by humans, or if it is too small to be a contributing factor?

    To be specific, not only does the burning of fossil fuels release CO2, but heat as well. If the average automobile engine heats up to 200 degrees F and you have 100′s of million of automobiles is that a significant amount of heat being released as well as CO2?

    I thought might ask here first before making a major project out of it because there are so many intelligent posters here.

    Thank you.

    Comment by JRC — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:09 PM

  406. Nothing to add climate-wise really, just a note of thanks for yet another wonderful article. But it dismaying that you had to write it in the first place. I hate to say this, but eventually this battle between enlightenment and denial will become more tangible in society, if we are going to survive. I include such things as civil disobience, nonviolent protest and more overt political action becoming the norm, perhaps tied in to the pressing environmental / economic problems such as oil depletion and monetary collapse. It is difficult at this time to see which of these will be the most urgent or the most dire. Either way, I see the first part of this new century rapidly becoming very stormy for us all, literally and metaphorically.

    Comment by John Monro — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:18 PM

  407. GONNA RE ASK THE QUESTION FROM #187 IN HOPES OF FINDING OUT WHETHER OR NOT THE RATE OF GLACIER RETREAT IS UNUSUALLY FAST WHEN CONSIDERED OVER MULTI MILLENIUM TIME SPAN

    #187 robert says:
    15 February 2010 at 12:36 PM
    Please help me understand the timing of glacier retreat. It probably has been addressed somewhere but I cannot find.
    During last glacier advance(approx 20K years ago) glaciers in the US reached down to about NYC(40 degees north) in some parts. When the Spanish were exploring in the 1500’s they were able to sail (ice free) to about Baffin Island the southern part of which is about 60 degrees north. This represents a 20 degree retreat or about 1200 miles. Taking some numbers from the Himalayan Glaciers of 100 meter retreat per year a 20 degree retreat would take about 18K years. So what is so unusual about the current glacier retreat?
    I realize above is comparing different geographies but I would like to get a handle on any acceleration of the normal rate of glacier retreat.

    Comment by robert — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:28 PM

  408. Sadly, the drip-drip of propaganda seems to be having the desired effect, if this Rasmussen poll is to be believed.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/energy_update

    Comment by Nick Xylas — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  409. Re: 392 Doug Bostrom says: 16 February 2010 at 4:50 PM
    “It’s all about whether C02 is or is not a pollutant.”

    Skeptic’s claims that CO2 is good fertilizer should be furthered to illustrate that CO2 is just like poop. In goes food, out goes you know what.

    In goes O2, out goes CO2. Both poop and CO2 are waste products of animal metabolism.

    Ignorant people that claim CO2 is harmless need to put a plastic bag over their head for a few minutes. Long before one passes out from a lack of oxygen one passes out from CO2 poisoning. When the CO2 concentration becomes about 7% to 10% of your amb-ient air you’re a goner, even if the rest of the air is O2. It’s called CO2 narcosis and it’s deadly.

    CO2 is essential to life, but CO2 is not a harmless gas.

    Like with many things CO2 becomes a pollutant when the concentration gets too high. Examples like the eruptive overturning of Lake Nyos in Cameroon point to how deadly dangerous high concentrations of CO2 really are to all forms of animal life.

    In the atmosphere at much lower concentrations CO2 has to do with elevating warming past what the planet’s life has adapted to or can cope with.

    DB: “If fossil fuel interests lose this battle, it’s a huge defeat for them, they could lose the war.”

    So could we. It will surely go to the Supreme Court. It will be interesting how it rules, if it chooses to do so. I think the right wing has been tilting the playing field to their advantage for quite some time now.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:33 PM

  410. #386 “while Sun is obviously – OBVIOUSLY – one of the main reasons behind climate fluctuations. That is your flat earth argument.” Um, yes, it certainly is!

    Comment by David Horton — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:39 PM

  411. Andreas, care to point out an example where science did not correct itself when it started down a rabbithole? Thought not. Are you familiar with the British slang term “wanker”?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 PM

  412. Re #401 Completely Fed Up said,
    “Uh, no, that error doesn’t appear in table 10.9.

    Check for yourself:

    http://www.ipcc.ch

    Seek for WG2 as you required.

    Check around chapter 10, section 5.7

    Dude, you sound like a contrarian mole trying to make the AGW position look foolish.

    Table 10.9 is on page 494 of Chapter 10. You can see that page in the very same pdf link for Chapter 10 provided in the OP for page 493.

    I again suggest reading Anatomy of IPCC’s Mistake on Himalayan Glaciers and Year 2035 for understanding what happened.

    Comment by jonesy — 16 Feb 2010 @ 7:58 PM

  413. CFU: I’m looking at figure 10.9, and I see Pindari Glacier (Uttaranchal) 1845 to 1966 2,840 135.2

    Clearly a simple (and inconsequential) error carried over from the source material.

    Are you confused by the numbering scheme? Tables are numbered sequentially through the whole chapter, and are not necessarily presented in order. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-6-2.html#table-10-9

    CFU, this isn’t a race to see how many errors we can make. Slow down, and check things before you post. Lambast deniers for what they get wrong, but don’t automatically assume they are wrong.

    Post in haste, regret at leisure, as they say.

    Comment by Didactylos — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:09 PM

  414. Don Shor says: 16 February 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Don, I don’t give a jot one way or the other about Pachauri or Hasnain’s behavior, not with regard to my beef on this matter.

    My interest lies in how Roger Pielke Jr. feels free to level accusations of scientific sloppiness against whomever he selectively chooses, is quite prepared to deliver tendentious lectures on proper behavior, yet does not hew to the standards he himself espouses.

    Here, again, is Pielke’s specific claim:

    IPCC Chairman Pachauri was making public comments on a dispute involving factual claims by the IPCC at the same time that he was negotiating for funding to his home institution justified by those very same claims.

    Pielke offers no evidence for this, only conjecture. Yet Pielke finds no inhibition against criticizing others for the same fault.

    If Pielke’s not to appear hypocritical, he needs to either produce some support for his accusation, or make it vanish.

    Hint: Pielke’s going to have a -very- hard time proving his imagined chronology, as bothering to spend five minutes’ time on research shows.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:39 PM

  415. JRC asked:

    I was thinking about the models, and this might be a stupid question, but I’ve been told the only stupid question is the one not asked.

    To be specific, not only does the burning of fossil fuels release CO2, but heat as well. If the average automobile engine heats up to 200 degrees F and you have 100’s of million of automobiles is that a significant amount of heat being released as well as CO2?

    If it were stupid, researchers wouldn’t look into it … however … researchers have, being “leave no stone unturned” type people. BTW it’s not just the burning of fossil fuels but energy dissipated as heat due to friction, etc.

    <a href=" A bit of googling returns a paper that gives these figures for 2005 and future projections:

    2005 global-mean AHF: 0.03 W/m2

    2040 global-mean AHF: 0.06 W/m2

    2100 global-mean AHF: 0.19 W/m2

    Compare this with the radiative forcing that results from a doubling of CO2 (without considering feedbacks):

    4 W/m2

    However, over land, in densely populated areas like the Netherlands, direct heat contribution can be much higher than the global average, in fact the paper I linked above references a paper from The Netherlands that computes the direct heat contribution to be 4.2 W/m2!

    But it’s the global figure that counts regarding the effect on global climate.

    Comment by dhogaza — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:41 PM

  416. robert (407) — After the big melt was over about 7,500 years ago, glaciers began to reform as expected from orbital forcing. However, just recently, many glaciers have been retreating. The rate is controlled by a variety of factors which can be studied via several web sites.

    As an amateur at all this, I don’t know how to even begin answering your question about rates except to point out that there are previous threads here on RealClimate concerning estimates for SLR by 2100 CE. As I recall, the estimates range from 0.8 m to an unlikely 2 m. Whatever, this will have serious impacts for the majority of the world’s population.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:44 PM

  417. Axel, Based on your posts here, you most assuredly do not understand the science. In fact you don’t understand science itself.

    And what is more, you have given no constructive suggestions beyond “ignore the evidence”. Just how do you do science without evidence?

    It comes down to whether human beings as a collective decide to accept physical reality or whether they continue to ignore it. If they accept it soon, I hold out some hope that we could avoid the worst catastrophes of climate change while still maintaining a relatively decent living standard and preserving principles of a market economy and democracy. If we do not accept reality within a few years, it will take draconian measures to avoid catastrophe. And finally, if we do not see the light within 50 years, catastrophe will be unavoidable. The extent of that catastrophe remains to be seen, but I would be surprised if we emerged from it with anything that could be called civilization.

    It is clear that you care nothing for the future of our species. You are too busy selling out. You will excuse me if I find nothing to respect in your attitude.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 8:58 PM

  418. JRC, I calculate that the amount of energy humans used in 2008 was less than 0.01% of the solar flux incident on Earth in the same period.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  419. CFU, mark my words, this is where you cheerfully admit you were wrong and thank your fellow readers for catching your mistake. All of us get it wrong sometimes and are lucky when we’re corrected early.

    You know what they used to say about how to find good information on Usenet?
    Post what you think, and await correction.

    Works.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:37 PM

  420. @ 371″ We don’t NEED any alternative energy sources. Start reading on the recent developments of shale gas extraction. We have enough of that to last for a few hundred years.
    Comment by noel — 16 February 2010 @ 9:35 AM
    Who are you reading, Winnie the Pooh? Try theoildrum.com. Shale is not now, and never will be, your savior. Just shifting infrastructure alone is a humongous issue.
    Wake up. Let the info inform your position, not the other way around.
    Comment by ccpo — 16 February 2010 @ 1:18 PM”

    I’m reading eg http://www.american.com/archive/2010/february/the-quiet-energy-revolution?

    So wait, gas isn’t good because shifting infrastructure would be hard? Are you serious? But moving to wind/solar/divine/green fairy energy wouldn’t require a huge infrastructure shift? If you’ve following Czech news, you’d find out that these alternative sources are a lot harder to integrate: that’s why they are considering cutting off some of the already existing ones from their grid.

    Comment by noel — 16 Feb 2010 @ 9:58 PM

  421. JRC at post 405: “To be specific, not only does the burning of fossil fuels release CO2, but heat as well. If the average automobile engine heats up to 200 degrees F and you have 100’s of million of automobiles is that a significant amount of heat being released as well as CO2?”

    A good question, but the answer, in short, is “No”. This question has come up and been answered on RealClimate before, but right now I can’t remember where.

    Comment by Mark Hadfield — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 PM

  422. noel – the American Enterprise Institute??? sure they’d love shale gas, the energy giants have invested many billions in it – burning gas is not good because it continues the BAU CO2 production, which is not an issue with them, but should be to you

    Comment by flxible — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:51 PM

  423. Nick Xylas@408 – seems polls are where you find them, this one and again this one disagree with your American “energy report” pollster, maybe the US is the problem?

    Comment by flxible — 16 Feb 2010 @ 11:53 PM

  424. @ 399
    Re:386 Arrogance says: 16 February 2010 at 4:13 PM
    “Exactly why do you have the higher moral ground here?
    Exactly because a growing component of what’s called the 6th extinction is climate change. Climate scientists are bending over backwards to keep the world habitable for you, your children and the rest of biodiversity while you’re wasting everyone’s time trotting out of zombie arguments like “scientists fooled us before” (they didn’t) to fool people into complacency.
    But please do as David Benson and others have suggested. There’s plenty of room on the high ground.
    Comment by Tim Jones — 16 February 2010 @ 5:59 PM

    Seriously? And how exactly are they bending over backwards? How did they precisely DO anything? They’re just telling everyone else that they should give them more money so they can waste on more of these delusions. They haven’t done anything else. They’re doing what’s convenient for them, it’s not like they’re sacrificing their personal life or anything, you know.

    Bending over backwards…lol..

    Comment by noel — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:10 AM

  425. Thanks to those that addressed and answered my post. I especially liked the link about AHF. Thanks dhogaza. I should have known that my question had already been addressed by the climate science community. And thanks Ray Ladbury for the calculation, while I’m surprised at it being such a small percentage compared to solar flux at the same time I’m not all that surprised when I really think about it. And thank Mark, I’ll do a search and see if I can locate where it’s been discussed here. I think it would be an interesting read and increase my knowledge on the topic.

    Comment by JRC — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:10 AM

  426. JRC at post 405: “To be specific, not only does the burning of fossil fuels release CO2, but heat as well. If the average automobile engine heats up to 200 degrees F and you have 100’s of million of automobiles is that a significant amount of heat being released as well as CO2?”

    I believe you are referring to “waste heat” or “anthropogenic heat”. This has of course been investigated for quite a while and incorporated into human-caused climate change (or not as the case may be because it is too small to even be factored in at this point).

    It is currently considered a pretty small-to-negligible global warming forcing right now (but much bigger for city areas)…but perhaps eventually with so much energy potentially being produced by the burgenoning human population, that it might eventually become a stonger factor.

    “Global Energy Accumulations and Net Heat Emission” by Bo Nordell and Bruno Gervet, International Journal of Global Warming, Vol. 1, Nos. 1/2/3, 2009, pg. 378.

    “Long-Term Global Heating from Energy Usage” by E. J. Chaisson, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Vol. 89, No. 28, July 8, 2008, pg. 253.

    ATJ de Laat – Eos, 2008 – knmi.nl American Geophysical Union An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. EOS transactions FORUM, Vol.
    89, No. 51, doi: 10.1029/2008EO510005, 16 December 2008. Copyright (2008)

    Flanner, M. G., 2009. “Integrating anthropogenic heat flux with global climate models”. Geophys. Res. Lett.

    Block, A., K. Keuler, and E. Schaller, 2004. “Impacts of anthropogenic heat on regional climate patterns”. Geophys. Res. Lett.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007- 130 countries have unanimously voted on the results….while every single word was voted on in the summary for policy makers by 130 countries (which no one has questioned).

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 AM

  427. “The maximumistdistortionism of the deniaistliespinandcynism on IPCC atmostmiminmalist errors” would not be a good heading either.

    There are always going to be differences between the hard climate science written into IPCC reports and the ‘what if’ attempts by non-scientists to forecast possible/probable societal, economic and political impacts of AGW. Because, despite all their pretensions to the contrary, neither economics, nor sociology (which I teach)nor politics are sciences. They might use data, but they are still guesswork.

    What,for example, might be the impact on my society -Aotearoa/New Zealand-
    of the attempted migration here of possibly millions of Pacific Island and South Asian people if AGW contributes to the destruction of the coral reef based ecology/way of life? No one can possibly know, in the way that scientists know that if you jump of a roof the law of gravity applies with no exceptions. Much would depend on the state of our economy at the time, the political leanings of the government in power, and the ethnicity, language skills and work skills of the potential refugees.

    There was once a British TV show called “The Goodies”. You are the goodies and I love you.

    I have a wee baby grandson, I want him to live in a viable world. I don’t like the IPCC’s findings, but I accept the validity of their science. I would rather debate how best we can as human beings and societies cope with what might be coming. That is where the ‘gray’ work should kick in.

    Comment by Paul Harris — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:34 AM

  428. Sorry, couple of typos there: should read “denialistliespinandcynicism” and one jumps “off” roofs. Many blushes. Forgive.

    Comment by Paul Harris — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:39 AM

  429. I found the article helpful but could not find the names of the authors.

    [Response: 'group' posts are signed by all contributors. - gavin ]

    Comment by Peter Thwaites — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:02 AM

  430. “So wait, gas isn’t good because shifting infrastructure would be hard?”

    No, gas isn’t good because it’ll be expensive in energy to get it out in quantities.

    Gas is by a long chalk the most expensive to run.

    PS why is it you lot only ever “paraphrase” a statement into a strawman? Don’t you have any arguments that stand up to scrutiny?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 AM

  431. Jonesey: “Dude, you sound like a contrarian mole trying to make the AGW position look foolish.

    Table 10.9 is on page 494 of Chapter 10″

    Well lets have a look at what you said earlier:

    “380
    jonesy says:
    16 February 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Table 10.9 of WGII also has an error that should be acknowledged.”

    Now, why did you not know what page it was on?

    Did you while reading it not notice that it came after 10.10, thereby indicating what need there is for a page reference?

    Did you also forget what the error was so couldn’t say what the error was?

    How do you think you’d get on if you walked into the police station with someone, pointed to them and said “A crime has been committed. Arrest him!”?

    You’d be thrown out as wasting police time.

    The only reason I can see for keeping that information off the post you made was that at the time you didn’t know it.

    Dude, you’re showing the dittos as being mendacious and parroting sight unseen reports of others without evidence of scepticism.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:24 AM

  432. “You’re right. The president of the company might have had no involvement in negotiating contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to his company.”

    But can that president go back in time to allow a later event to influence an event earlier in time?

    It’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely, isn’t it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:38 AM

  433. Lets clear the air. Axel is a sceptic. He is also making points about the “marketing” of the the AGW case.

    The Pope believes in God and has dedicated his life to worship and prayer (and there isn’t a God). The Pope has views and influences on other areas of life and just because he is wrong (big time) on the God thing, it doesn’ mean his views on anything else are irrelevant.

    Forget Axel’s position on AGW and listen/respond to what he is saying about the presentational aspects.

    In the same way that RC devotees react to their position being attacked – the sceptics react to their motives being questioned or dismissed as “big oil” everytime. That has been the line and it isn’t working is it?

    Comment by Harry Hodge — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:10 AM

  434. The aptly-named “Arrogance” (386): while Sun is obviously – OBVIOUSLY – one of the main reasons behind climate fluctuations. That is your flat earth argument.

    BPL: Percent of variance of temperature anomalies 1880-2008 accounted for by solar variation: 2.5%

    Percent accounted for by CO2: 76%

    Do the friggin’ math, Arrogance.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:14 AM

  435. JRC — no, the amount of heat from technological combustion and other processes is negligible compared to sunlight and atmospheric back-radiation.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:18 AM

  436. Ray @417, it’s quite obvious that you haven’t really been listening to a word I’ve said. You have me (quite wrongly) marked down as a “denialist” so you’re attributing motives to me that fit you preconceptions. This is really not a great approach for a scientist, if that’s what you claim to be, and makes me wonder to what extent you actually “understand science itself.”

    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt anyway, because I’m a reasonable fellow, and very patient.

    I perfectly understand that you’ve got piles and piles of evidence, and that you can’t “do science without evidence.” But what I understand – and you patently don’t – is that there is a huge gap between your understanding of the evidence, and the public’s and government’s.

    Your understanding of the evidence is irrelevant if the decision-makers and the public understand believe something else. This is what’s called realpolitik. It’s a hard fact for you and your cronies at RC to accept, but it’s crucial to you making progress.

    Now I know that you feel that all you have to do is to patiently explain how all the evidence stacks up and, all round the world, jaws will drop, and people will ask “why didn’t we see it before?”

    Things do not work like that. Public opinion about (what is seen as) inaccessible science doesn’t weathercock. You’ve had 15+ years of very favourable (in AGW terms) press reports and political involvement. I know you all complain about evil right-wing media conspiracies and malicious bloggers, but we live in a democracy and, in your heart of hearts, you know that you’ve had a very fair crack of the whip, with a preponderance of favourable reporting.

    But, as I’ve explained above, your brand is broken. That 15+ years of positive coverage is going down the tubes very rapidly unless you do something about it. While you’ll never lose all your supporters (the good old Guardian will still be there) the balance of coverage has already shifted heavily to the other side.

    It won’t necessarily stay there if some incontrovertibly climate-related disaster happens soon. But we all hope that won’t happen, and the public perception of climate change over the last 15 years doesn’t suggest it’s imminent. So, what do you do?

    It pains me to hear you say that I haven’t any constructive suggestions! And I certainly never said “ignore the evidence”! (That’s your bias showing, I’m afraid.) I probably said that the evidence is trumped by public and governmental perceptions, but that is true, and very different from your interpretation.

    So, my constructive suggestions? I’ve told you before, many times, but you won’t listen. You have to rebuild your brand. As Toyota and many other enterprises have found, this is an extremely costly and painful process, but the longer you put it off the more costly and painful it becomes.

    It is essential that the IPCC is seen to be either replaced or radically reorganized. I’m not saying that the evidence in which you place such faith has to be thrown away, but I am saying that it has to be publicly re-appraised by a balanced panel that isn’t tainted by the cosy coterie that has been responsible so far. You may argue with that, but I’m giving you the benefit of a realistic opinion that recognizes the problems you face. It may not be fair, in your view, but I said that it would be costly and painful.

    If, as you believe, the pure truth of your evidence comes shining through, then the whole world (OK, most of it) will be ready to give you a fair hearing. Great! – open and above board, sceptics and advocates alike agree that the world is warming and there will be these explicit consequences within commonly agreed limits with understood degrees of uncertainty.

    You’ll probably say that we should be there now, but we’re patently not, and the reasons are well-known, even if you won’t readily admit to them. I’ve given you a constructive suggestion that should help fix the problem. You seem to have 100% faith in the rightness of your cause – if you won’t at least consider it, what are you afraid of?

    PS It would be appreciated if CFU (for instance, @383) didn’t respond to this post. His extraordinary talents would be far better employed outside of this blog.

    Comment by AxelD — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:02 AM

  437. re 405, some back-of-the-envelope stuff:

    the population density of NYState is about 410 people per sq km.

    Average power use per head in the US is 1,460W per person.

    1,000,000 square meters per km means this is 0.6 watts per square m.

    Average insolation: 235 Watts per square meter.

    NOTES:

    The US is quite profligate in energy.

    NYState is quite densely populated.

    Ergo, this would be quite an overestimate.

    This increases linearly with population (absent any change per head), whereas the effect of CO2 over the centuries scale is exponential to CO2 output (since each year adds to the year before).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:16 AM

  438. @ 411 Ray Ladbury,
    History is the most useful arena for “rabbit hole” discussions (I am not a historian, but I wíll try). In retrospect it is easier to see how science depend on societal viewpoint (and the other way around), and how a culture can get trapped for hundreds of years in rabbit holes. Suddenly they brake loose from their scientific worldview, or they don´t, or gets extinct, or driven out of business. Is this because science is always, all the time, constantly self-correcting? No, it is not. Moreover, we take for granted that a change is progress. Do we really know that is always the case?

    Throughout the middle ages, most science was trapped in the writing of Aristotele. Back then it was the truth, in retrospect it looks like a rabbit hole. All intellectuals in the western world was digging down in the same rabbits hole … And when Galileo Galilei wanted to dig a better hole, he was harassed by science and church …

    We are certainly in a big rabbit hole (I am not speaking mere of climate change now, but more general), the problem is that we do not know yet where the way out is. When the next Galileo Galilei visit us in the rabbit hole, what will we do? If he speaks on climate change, I am afraid that most believers from this blog will be most eager to harass him.
    The sceptics will harass him as well, cause he will not speak from the taken for granted.

    The population bomb, my elderly environmental professors at my department still talks about that being the only important issue, us youngers are stupid cause we do not belong to the right gospel, nothing is better then neo-malthusian science and its political implications (kill them all). There was a scientific concensus on this in the 1960´s. What happpended? Self-correction? Not! Will my professions self-correct? No, but they will soon die. Are they individuals? Yes, but they are thousands of professors in their age around the world that hold exactly the same beliefs and never changed them, they have not moved an inch for the last fourty years, hehe.

    The natural scientists, as always, framed the issue (the population bomb environmental problem), explained that population increased, they constructed quantitative models and scenarious … sounds rather familiar … yet, the important issue was elsewhere, not in the science of the cause to population, but in the ideological assumptions in neomalhusianism, the political concequences, other ways to understand population, other solutions. No, this is not mere politics. To frame science is a science, to acknowledge and change the frame is hard scientific work, often takes a genius to do it. It is time that climate science steps out of the cave and adress the broader picture, physical reductionism is not doing much good. Having said this, I do not believe that climate change will disappear as a problem, like the population bomb did, but I think we will be closer to truth if we do so and that we also will have a much more interesting debate and more and better policy options.

    Since most people at this blog are hard science objective reductionists, and most others are sceptics, I kind of assume to be harassed for this statement, but that is ok. Go on with the gospel and the war with the sceptics in the battle-ground of mere the physical world, that is your game, but not mine …

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:21 AM

  439. Fixible@423 – thanks for those other polls, I was beginning to feel quite depressed. The BBC poll says that the US, along with China, is indeed the problem. Trouble is, they’re also the biggest polluters.

    Comment by Nick Xylas — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:03 AM

  440. Axel – You may have a semi-useful point in your Brand-centered focus, but in fact democracy is NOT relevent, rather MONEY is the critacal factor, public opinion affects nothing to do with government until it’s absolutely overwhelming, as in revolution, meanwhile corporate financial “persuasion” pulls the reins. What Toyota “has found” is there’s ups and downs in marketing, and the public is fickle. Give’em a while and most will have forgotten a few crashes, the same as they’ve forgotten about Ford/Firestone roll overs. But climate change isn’t going to be forgetable. It’ll continue to be ever more persuasive than marketing. Most Americans fantasize that they live in a “democracy”, even though it’s in fact a “republic” [for which they stand!!], although there’s little “publica” left in the “res”.

    The IPCC is obviously a political, policy based organization – it was instituted by governments for the purpose of advising on policy for governments to deal with the consequences of global climate change. There will continue to be such an organization in some form, just as there continues to be a UN regardless of the many Americans who have wished it to vanish since it’s inception. And many [especially Americans] will continue to try to shout it down. There are 2 classes of “skeptics”: one just can’t cope with change and denies that humans could be having any effect, the other wants to protect their lucrative livihood, both rail about big government tax ripoffs – the first will never be convinced by PR, the 2nd is actually beginning to understand the time has come to “get on board”, diversify their investments, and hedge their bets, including [especially?] the insurance industry, hence funding of some semi-skeptic semi-professional “policy outcome research”. Change is tough, it won’t be non-violent, as we are already seeing. There will be cannibalism.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:54 AM

  441. Thanks to David B for a response in #416 to my question in #407.
    The reason I am focusing on the speed of glacier retreat is that it has been advanced, at least in the media, as a marker of GW. If the majority of the retreat took place before 1500 this would seem to take the “A” out of AGW as a cause of the retreat, or at least complicate it. To put the “A” back in would need to see recent acceleration of the speed of retreat over and above the historic norm.

    Comment by robert — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  442. Andreas: ” (…)disappear as a problem, like the population bomb did”
    the “population bomb problem” hasn’t disappeared at all Andreas, it may not have wrung out quite the way Erlich wrote it, it’s morphed into the overconsumption problem, the climate-changing CO2 problem, and most every other thing that’s called a “problem” in the world, drastically reduce the population and they’d all dry up

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  443. Yes Nick, it’s heartening to realize public perceptions aren’t quite as myopic as sometimes thought – the problem with polls in the US [and Canada/UK] is they’re really politically driven and policy focused – I don’t know who those pollsters are phoneing, but they’re not listening to most folks I talk to

    also an aside here for a number of folks – it’s Flxible, the ultimate “alternative” retirement home :)

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  444. Your analysis of the Amazon Gate issue is what is completely without merit.

    You are ignoring the fact that the reference to non-peer reviewed material was necessitated because the peer-reviewed literature had to do with the after effects of logging, and el-nino, both unrelated to climate change.

    Further, from that literature, it becomes apparent that the discussion relates to the vulnerability of the Amazon Rain Forrest (ARF) that has been damaged by logging; which is that about 40% of the biomass of logged acres are very vulnerable to drought. So no acres are in jeopardy, only about 40% of the biomass on the logged acres. Fair enough. But that’s only about 10% of the AFR in total, so 40% of 10% is only 4%, and it isn’t suseptible to drought because of climate change!

    Further, most of Nepstad’s refutation indicates the Nature article failed to reference several unrelated articles, which, if referenced, might give credence to the notion that the reference was acceptable. However; they didn’t reference that paper at all, they referenced a WWF report instead.

    The reason; the WWF supported the claim, the Nature paper clearly did not, and the fact that the Nature paper COULD have referenced several unrelated papers does not change that fact.

    So your notion that Nepstad successfully defended the reference to non-peer reviewed literature by asserting that the non-peer reviewed literature referenced a peer reviewed paper that SHOULD have referenced other peer reviewed literature that WOULD have supported the claim is charitably dubious at best.

    Respectfully,

    Bob Kutz

    [Response: Completely wrong. As Nepstad makes clear, the issue was not with the citations in their various articles in Nature, but rather those in the WWF report, which only cited Nepstad et al 1999. The actual basis for the (correct) IPCC statement on drought sensitivity is instead based on papers in 1994 and 2004.--Jim]

    Comment by Bob Kutz — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:31 AM

  445. Axle:”PS It would be appreciated if CFU (for instance, @383) didn’t respond to this post. His extraordinary talents would be far better employed outside of this blog.”

    He really is sooo braaave Sir Robin!

    “And I certainly never said “ignore the evidence”! ”

    I’ve dug back in the mists of time to recreate the past:

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2773#comment-157834

    “The evidence, whatever it says, is meaningless, ”

    Of course, you may consider this evidence meaningless. However this would confirm the hypothesis you wish to deny.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  446. CFU said:

    Now, why did you not know what page it was on?

    Did you while reading it not notice that it came after 10.10, thereby indicating what need there is for a page reference?

    Did you also forget what the error was so couldn’t say what the error was?

    How do you think you’d get on if you walked into the police station with someone, pointed to them and said “A crime has been committed. Arrest him!”?

    You’d be thrown out as wasting police time.

    The only reason I can see for keeping that information off the post you made was that at the time you didn’t know it.

    Dude, you’re showing the dittos as being mendacious and parroting sight unseen reports of others without evidence of scepticism.

    Are you for real? You made a mistake. Apologise, and move on. Trying to shift blame makes you look like an idiot.

    You don’t get a free pass on RC just because you enjoy baiting the deniers.

    Comment by Didactylos — 17 Feb 2010 @ 12:11 PM

  447. robert says: 17 February 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Seems to me that glacier retreat as an indication of anything beyond a regional effect is going to depend on global statistics as they pertain to glacier retreat. Using earlier glacier retreats as a means to form any conclusions about global effects will require showing statistics of earlier retreats that are relevant to today’s observations.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:12 PM

  448. re 191 Completely Fed Up says: #
    “What that really means is that you are likely to be wrong if you accept the advice.

    No, that would be the result of accepting “unlikely” advice.

    If you *reject* likely advice, then you’re likely wrong. Not if you accept it.

    Please also remember that “wrong” also includes “ohshit, we’re gonna die”, which is hardly a reason for inaction.”

    Puhlease Fed Up go back and learn a bit about how to use statistics. None of the physical sciences accept confidence intervals below 90% as showing much validity. The only place you see them accepted is in social sciences and psychology because human subjects are so notoriously fickle and the sample sizes so small you ‘d never get any data at all unless you use wider limits, recognizing that there is a very real probability it’s wrong. In many cases even 95%CI should be termed no better than likely. Do you realize that the airliner you fly on is based on somewhere in the 99.999% CI? That means it is very likely you will make it to the next airport. Only the adventurous and desperate fly with a 5% chance crashing on their next trip.

    The main point of this is that the AR4 is wrong to use terms such as “Very likely” “likely” or any other kind of qualifier when forecasting. The terms are useless in making any kind of a decision. Statistics are about generalities about a large sample of whatever. They can’t say a thing of validity about one thing in particular. The insurance company might say you have one chance in 40,000 of dying in a car crash the next time you drive. Will you crash or survive the next trip? There’s absolutely no way to say.

    And get a grip on the real consequences. Even the AR4, although it is rife with catastrophic scenarios, really never says anything more than we might seriously expect a rise in world temperature of 1.6 deg. C. along with increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Given the wide range of climates people already live in, moving from Houston to Kansas is hardly the kind of change that is going to kill off the human population.

    [Response: You have completely misread the IPCC use of these terms. They are best understood as Bayesian expressions of expert judgement. It is very likely indeed that the planet has warmed (i.e. there are many different lines of evidence that support this and the chance that they are all wrong is very slim). Why is this problematic? It is very likely that that most of the recent warming is anthropogenic (i.e. given what we know about the history of greenhouse gases, and natural forcings and aerosols we get the best explanation by far if we include the anthropogenic effects, and we can't make it work at all if we don't). Why is this problematic? And your assessment that IPCC only projects a maximum of 1.6 deg C temperature rise is way off the mark (and pretty unlikely I'd say) - gavin]

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

  449. AxelD, OK, let’s reset. First, your recommendation to overhaul the IPCC is pretty much impractical. For one thing, pretty much anybody who demonstrably understands anything about climate (aka those who publish) is already part of the process.

    Your argument of independently assessing the data is also problematic. Who do you get to assess it? National Academy of Sciences? Done. Royal Society? Done. Professional societies? Done. AAAS? Done. Sigma Xi? Done. Nothing that has happened in the past few months casts any doubt on the basic science of climate change. Why would you expect a different outcome this time? And more important, why would you expect those who doubt the veracity of the scientists to accept the results of a new review, regardless of who conducted it.

    I think that there is a tremendous misunderstanding of how the IPCC works. It doesn’t do research. It doesn’t direct research or fund research. All it does is summarize. So, let’s ask the people whose papers are being summarized how good a job the IPCC is doing. The latest survey by Bray and von Storch (hardly alarmists) did just that–and the overwhelming majority are satisfied or very satisfied.

    Now we can go through all these analyses and exercises again and again. What makes you think the outcome will be different? What will stop the character-asassination machine the hard-core denialists are running from taking aim at any scientists or analyses?

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Climate science has been submitting to continual external reviews and setting standards for openness for 20 years. Golly, look how well that has worked. The more universal the agreement on the science and the more open the process, the more the denialists yell “Fraud.”

    Some people are not educable. If people choose to listen to them, then we will miss this opportunity to address the threat. There will be other opportunities. The costs will be higher. The remediation more draconian and the chances of screwing up due to public hysteria greater, but they will come with increasing frequency as climate change intensifies. If we miss those opportunities, well then I guess humanity flunked its intelligence test.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 1:48 PM

  450. Andreas,
    Let me get this straight: You have to go clear back to medieval times to find an instance of science not self-correcting? Ever hear of Francis Bacon–you know the guy who developed the scientific method? I personally think that it would be difficult to be a scientist before the invention of the scientific method. Ferchrissake, the word science dates from the early 1800s!

    Now as to the not-so-good Rev. Malthus, his basic thesis is not wrong. He merely failed to anticipate the safety valve offered by
    1)large tracts of land in the Americas that could be stolen from the natives
    2)that we could find a way to turn petroleum into food (green revolution).

    Rev. Malthus will be proven correct within the next 1500 years. That is the time at which given current growth rates, the mass of human beings on planet Earth will equal the mass of planet Earth. I see a pretty severe issue there, particularly since there are no other habitable planets known. Now you may contend that population will peak at 9-10 billion in 2050. Well, Malthus would still be correct, because he premised his pessimistic assessment on humans not controlling their breeding.

    Sorry, Andreas, it is a mathematical certainty that growth (economic or population) cannot continue without bound.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  451. Ray Ladbury says:
    15 February 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Ferocious says “Before you even look at the data you decide on how important the conclusion is going to be. The more important, the more strict the statistics. 95% confidence interval has been traditionally used because it is wide enough to be attained in many instances, but robust enough that unfounded conclusions aren’t very likely be made.”

    Now, hold on just a wee minute here! Are you seriously contending that the standards for scientific truth be contingent upon the desirability of the conclusions? Because if you are saying anything even remotely like that, I believe you are proposing a rather significant change to the scientific method.

    CO2 sensitivity below 2 degrees per doubling is precluded at the 95% confidence level. The fact that every year this decade except 2008 has been among the 10 warmest and that 17 of the top 20 hotest years on record have been in the past 20 years (the others were all in the ’80s) precludes random chance at better than 95% confidence even with red or pink noise! The fact that the stratosphere has been cooling as the troposphere warms is absolutely diagnostic of a greenhouse mechanism. Want me to go on?

    I’m more than willing to talk evidence, ferocious. It’s much more interesting than typos and email gossip.”

    You have it exactly right Ray. When the results are very important and will be used to affect trillions of dollars globally in spending they have to be held to a higher standard. At the local parlor, it makes little difference if the house take is 51% or 56%. I always lose in the long run but I never lose enough to get into to trouble, so the odds make little difference.

    The 95% CI level is used exactly the way I said above. It is wide enough that it pretty reliably captures real effects and robust enough that you are fairly unlikely to draw wrong conclusions. Over the long haul, for scientific work, it is a reasonable compromise. If you get a result that most other labs can’t confirm you go back and try again, and may say “nope, that first experiment was wrong”.

    If the likelihood that a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in a 2 deg. C increase in global temperature is less than 95% that just isn’t good enough to put a few trillion dollars on. When you are using other people’s money you have to have really good odds. If you can predict with 99.9% confidence that over the next 30 years that the temperature is going to continue increasing and not turn down, as it has in the past, that may be good enough for trillions of dollars. Not withstanding the fact that even the IPCC thinks nothing less than a complete stoppage of man-made CO2 emissions has even a chance of turning the temperature curve down!

    The fact that every year in this decade except 2008 has been among the 10 warmest on record means nothing. As the climate scientists are wont to say, “that is weather, not climate”. You can’t have it both ways, so don’t spout weather data to support climate predictions like the IPCC does.

    Comment by ferocious — 17 Feb 2010 @ 2:43 PM

  452. “Are you for real? You made a mistake”

    Except why was the mistake made? Misled.

    Or maybe you can give another explanation of why jonesy said nothing more than “they made a mistake on table 10.9″?

    If I’d seen it, I’d still have asked “what mistake?”.

    Why? Because he didn’t say.

    He was strangely proficient later on, though, wasn’t he…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  453. Seriously, the bias in the censorship here is working against your own goal. I believe in climate change and wants political action.
    Some believers here act like idiots. They make YOU look bad. US!
    Moreover, the tone from Gavin and some other that run the site are rather arrogant and does not build credibility.

    This blog is good to some extent – but your aggressive narrowminded attitude just reinforce the public view that climate scientists are biased and narrow-minded…

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:38 PM

  454. robert (441) — Glacier retreat in the Alps is essentially nil or offset by advnaces until after 1850 CE. By 1980 CE retreat there highly pronounced. Also, GIS has only started significant melting rather recently.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  455. @450 Ray Ladbury,
    Your choice to distort, and with intentional distortion, serious discussion breaks down … bye!

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  456. ferocious whines “Now, hold on just a wee minute here! Are you seriously contending that the standards for scientific truth be contingent upon the desirability of the conclusions?”

    No, you seem to be saying it though.

    All Ray is saying is that if the thing you’re looking at is IMPORTANT then you should take extra care.

    Or are you saying that if it’s unimportant, you don’t have to care whether you’re accurate?

    “When the results are very important and will be used to affect trillions of dollars globally in spending”

    Uh, how much is that compared to GDP?

    According to the Stern Report it would mean it would be a 3-7 year delay in growth.

    At worst.

    Trillions were spent in the Iraq War 2. But the perpetrators of this remain at large “because we’re here now and though this isn’t the reason we went there in the first place, hey, it’s a good thing Saddam’s dead, eh?”.

    Ditto bank bailouts.

    No congressional hearings about that, are there.

    And trillions is over what period?

    You miss so much out.

    “The 95% CI level is used exactly the way I said above. It is wide enough that it pretty reliably captures real effects and robust enough that you are fairly unlikely to draw wrong conclusions”

    Well the lower limit of that 95% CL still has 2C per doubling and this would mean that we cannot afford BAU and have very little time left. And that time left STILL requires spending “trillions of dollars globally” to avoid catastrophic change.

    So in what way does your off-again/on-again relationship with the 95% confidence limit change the need to mitigate AGW? You can only avoid mitigation needs if you accept the long-odds of a 2.5% CL.

    “The fact that every year in this decade except 2008 has been among the 10 warmest on record means nothing.”

    Really? So for you there’s nothing that could prove global warming is true, because the record means nothing to you.

    Are you a re-release of Axle?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 3:56 PM

  457. “Puhlease Fed Up go back and learn a bit about how to use statistics.”

    Puhlease, read up on books. They help.

    Then once you have english down as a fluent language, reread YOUR post.

    You said that it is highly likely that accepting a “likely” event happens would be wrong.

    Well here’s a truth table (a VERY basic form of statistics):

    Event happens (likely: 60%)
    Accept it: Good (60%)
    Reject it: Bad (60%)

    Event Doesn’t happen (unlikely: 40%)
    Accept it: Bad(40%)
    Reject it: Good(40%)

    Now given that, is “Event happens: Accept it” likely (60%) or unlikely (40%)

    ?

    I shall help yo out here: it is not unlikely.

    Now, given that, what are the chances that Rejecting the event is a good result?

    Is it likely to be a good thing to do (60%) or unlikely to be a good thing (40%)

    ?

    I shall help you again: unlike your original proposition, it is not likely a good thing.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  458. Re:424 noel says: 17 February 2010 at 12:10 AM
    “Bending over backwards…lol..’

    Yeah buddy, bending over backwards, and for the
    likes of even you for crying out loud.

    The fact that accomplished climate scientists have
    provided you a forum where you could learn and
    discuss a science, a forum monitored well beyond
    normal working hours, where even your unwarranted
    aspersions and useless drivel are allowed as civil
    discourse should be viewed as meaning people are
    bending over backwards to enlighten you.

    To have to live with the language hate mongers
    vomit forth through newsrooms all too full of sick
    vultures certainly even means they sacrifice their
    personal life.

    This is not to mention even keeping a job where
    despicable people are howling for their heads on a
    plates goes well beyond the job description.

    Why are you here? Have you put up a single
    verifiable fact to add to the sum of what we need
    to know? Or are you just seeking attention by
    throwing thorns on the floor?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 4:35 PM

  459. Who are you going to believe? The unpaid volunteers who have no reason to lie or the fossil fuel funded “skeptics” that have every reason to lie. The aim for them is to delay action. The longer it takes the more profit there is to be made.

    Comment by Wayne Heywood — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  460. The graph in the supplementary material became less debatable last night with an update by RMS of their statement confirming Muir-Wood’s quote.

    “A graph showing averaged global temperature and averaged catastrophe loss since 1970 was included in supplementary material rather than the IPCC report itself and was not itself published. RMS believes that the graph could be misinterpreted and should not have been included in these materials.”

    Comment by DGH — 17 Feb 2010 @ 5:07 PM

  461. CFU @445 just can’t resist it – he cherrypicks the data to try to score a feeble point. What I actually said was “The evidence, whatever it says, is meaningless, because what counts is the message communicated to the general public by the media.” Which, for the hard of thinking, simply means that the evidence is subjugated to the media message. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

    If that’s the best you can do, CFU, then you really should find another forum in which to express yourself, as I suggested before. Your behaviour makes you part of the problem (the public’s perception of climate science) and, as such, you should have no place here.

    Comment by AxelD — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:17 PM

  462. Re 458
    Oh please, so I should be expressing gratitude because they work overtime? I wouldn’t express any gratitude if they sold their first born. It’s their problem if they make a forum where they spin all sorts of stories. Like attempting to find excuses for the “glaciergate” scandal. There’s no conceivable way of finding excuses. Here is what Pachauri said on the issue, when the Indian government claimed their reports are wrong:
    “We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”
    Only to be a few months later utterly refuted.

    [Response: You are conflating two separate, but related issues. Pachauri's statement concerned a badly written report on the Himalayas in general that he (correctly) criticised. This report did not mention the 2035 issue at all. This report has not been supported and Pachauri's comment on it, has not been refuted, utterly or otherwise. Read the Kargel et al backgrounder for more information. - gavin]

    It’s not like some small error somehow got in. They knew about it, they were warned about it, and yet they called the “deniers” arrogant. This perfectly summarizes how the IPCC works.

    I don’t need anyone bending over backwards, fabricating an apocalypse, claiming to be my savior, and then asking me money for it. Wait, not ask, force me to pay for their stories.

    Comment by noel — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  463. And why bold out the bit that shows you DID say “ignore the evidence”?

    “The evidence, whatever it says, is meaningless,”

    It doesn’t matter what the evidence says. Ignore it.

    Or are you going to call this evidence meaningless too?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:23 PM

  464. PS ironic again that someone who has no problem with cherry picked and even completely made up words attributed to others complains about part of his message being taken.

    Even worse for axle (the squeaky wheel who gets the kick), this was to indicate where someone would get the idea that he’s said “Ignore the evidence!” which he professed NEVER to have said.

    There aren’t many ways of interpreting “The evidence, whatever it says, is meaningless” other than “Ignore the data” unless you wish merely to copy verbatim, which takes more words.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:35 PM

  465. Ray L @449, thank you for your considered response. I can’t come up with a complete answer to the points that you raise because there are a lot of aspects of the organization and politics of the IPCC that I don’t begin to understand. I do understand, of course, that the IPCC is really only a collator of information. But it does publish its forecasts based on a range of climate models, and that may be a good place to start. Bring in programming teams that can inspect the code (a technique that’s been around for years in the commercial world, even if it is expensive in time and effort.) Review the models. Review the data (yes, I know what you’re going to say) but get sceptical statisticians in to retrieve all the raw data and validate that it genuinely does deliver the adjusted data that’s used today. And re-review the confidence limits on the forecasts/predictions/scenarios with a complete re-evaluation of the areas of uncertainty and their impact on the models.

    That’s a start. You’ll want to argue about my suggestions, but something along those lines, with the right people and brief, would do a lot to change public perceptions. It need not take a huge amount of time, but a smaller independent group that independently validated (or even, maybe, adjusted) the tools, data and scenarios that are used today would make a huge difference to public confidence. And then get an efficient PR team in to make sure the message is promoted in the right way.

    You’re sceptical that the most vehement “denialist” groups would accept even that. Right – so get the groups to nominate their own participants, given that they can meet the required (high) qualifications in whatever disciplines are defined: atmospheric physics, statistics, computer programming, etc. If the denialists have their own people on board there is less chance of them being able to disregard the conclusions.

    I know that I haven’t responded completely to what you have to say. But I get the impression that you’re defending the status quo, when what’s required is bold and imaginative action. I’m repeating myself, a bad habit, but repairing a brand really is painful and difficult. Perhaps a new and imaginative chairman might be able to re-invent the IPCC. Or maybe the UN (and I’m way out of my depth here) could reconstitute another panel with a much tighter brief.

    But I’m neither a climate scientist nor a politician (thank goodness.) You must know people who’re far better qualified to help get the public face of climate science back on track.

    Comment by AxelD — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  466. Re: 436AxelD says: 17 February 2010 at 6:02 AM
    “Your understanding of the evidence is irrelevant if the decision-makers and the public understand believe something else. This is what’s called realpolitik. It’s a hard fact for you and your cronies at RC to accept, but it’s crucial to you making progress.”

    Language heavily laden with the continual aspersions, insults and name calling is hard to overcome without it coming back.
    You put people on the defensive from the git go. You reap the results. I guess so you can whine about that too.

    Presumably you mean realpolitik to mean: “politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic premises.”

    So the operating word would be practical? Gee, that helps a lot!

    I would suggest that the denialists are using realpolitik “…pejoratively to [be] politics that are coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian. Realpolitik is a theory of politics that focuses on considerations of power, not ideals, morals, or principles.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik

    Do you mean this too?

    For all the loss to climate action that the denialist’s are inflicting I don’t think we should stoop to this level. It would most likely blow back with even worse results than we have.

    As has been pointed out, climate science is building a body of knowledge to act upon. The IPCC is collecting together the knowledge. The deniers are trying to destroy it. It’s always much easier to do the latter. That’s were we are. I doubt a knee jerk reaction before the dust even settles is warranted.

    You spoke of other ways to communicate and brought up the corporate model. Here is an article regarding corporate public relations:

    Tell Cable News: No More PR Pundits
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4016
    Channels disguise corporate propaganda as ‘analysis’
    2/17/10

    Is the way we should be exposing “the brand” to people? You give many words to what science communication is doing wrong. How do we communicate convincing and compelling ways to act correctly, so as to avoid or undo a concerted campaign of disinformation and misinformation designed to promote heavy industry’s corporate interests?

    AxelD: “So, my constructive suggestions? I’ve told you before, many times, but you won’t listen. You have to rebuild your brand.”
    [...]
    “It is essential that the IPCC is seen to be either replaced or radically reorganized.’

    That’s it? That’s all there is to it? AxelD, For thirteen years I was an appointed official on an advisory board for a medium large city. I’ll tell you now you don’t give up enough to work with. And the way you preface your remarks…
    people would just turn a deaf ear, exactly as you perceive they do.

    For all your words telling us what we don’t know and don’t do I see precious little from you of what to do besides nebulous statements inferring people need to get their acts together and fire everyone who failed to measure up.

    If I’m wrong make a list. Nobody’s going to do a long search through a thousand emails to find a point you’ve made.

    Yes, and I know who I am.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  467. Andreas, What did I distort. I asked for an instance where science did not self correct. You started talking about natural philosophy in medieval times! Do you really not understand that they are two very different enterprises? Bacon’s innovations changed and systematized the entire enterprise. And of course the introduction of consensus didn’t arrive for at least another hundred years–that was crucial to prevent situations like the adoption of Newton’s corpuscular theory of light in England, while the rest of Europe left them behind with Huygen’s superior wave theory. This is a classical case of a departure from what is current scientific mothodology. The adoption of Lysenkoism in Russia is another. Another: the rules against study of rare-earth chemistry in 1920s and 30s Soviet Russia–which nearly led to Russia being annihilated before it came up with its own nukes.

    Andreas, I am not telling you this to intimidate or put you down. You need to look much more deeply into the history of science. You need to talk to scientists and find out why they do things the way they do. You have a model, but it doesn’t fit the data.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  468. Tim Jones,
    AdelD is making very sound statements, well known within the social sciences. It is indeed very hard for science to impact on policy and public opinions when they have interests or other bias which they usually have.

    [Response: Sorry, but it's because of these grand generalizations about the motives of scientists that you can't be taken very seriously. Have you worked with scientists or done science yourself? Just how is it that you're so sure of these statements you make. You seem to have bought into some impression of scientists that's been fed to you in the social science arena.--Jim]

    About the name-calling, yes that is not so good. Yet, his statement that most people (climate experts) are idiots in this area are true.

    [Response: You want that one back?--Jim]

    The people to run this site think it is very sound to call people idiots in there area of expertise when someone disagree with them. I think the blog owners needs to start at home. 1) get a better attitude. 2) be less arrogant 3) subsume the debate to some rules 4) block all that mere try to sabotage debate, e.g. the fed up guy and a few others.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  469. Re: 461 AxelD says: 17 February 2010 at 6:17 PM
    “The evidence, whatever it says, is meaningless, because what counts is the message communicated to the general public by the media.”

    And this is fickle as the wind. The IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created by governments to
    they could have information to base policy on. I seriously doubt if they feel constrained to let the media filter the message
    before they use it.

    In this way you are quite mistaken. The evidence, per se, is meaningful.

    But you are right insofar as the public’s perception can be swayed by misinformation campaigns. And certain state governments are using the media message to substantiate a legal campaign to undo the work of the US EPA. Even the congress is being held back from action by the right wing using manufactured evidence of wrongdoing.

    I seriously doubt if there was or is any way to present information to keep this from happening. Long before the IPCC/email imbroglio appeared the campaign was well underway. It shouldn’t be surprising that many recent developments are a result of mischief generated by actors within that campaign.

    If we do as you suggest it’s tacit admission that a nasty campaign works and they were right all along. On anything significant they were not. Acting on your suggestions is premature and will likely be found unwarranted, no beneficial results accruing at all.

    As for FCU, as usual your advice is to kill the messenger instead of reflecting on the message.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  470. Ferocious@451–what you are talking about is no longer science. In fact what you are doing is conflating science and risk management. Think about this. You are saying we need different standards for scientific truth when we like the implications and when we don’t. That is a recipe for self-delusion.

    Rather, once the science reaches a 95% CL (confidence, not probability), it’s highly improbable that it is wrong. At that point, you accept it and use it to do risk mitigation. Now the first step in risk mitigation is ensuring you have a credible threat. It is here that you have to show that the risk (=probability times potential loss due to the threat) is greater than the cost of mitigating the threat. This means that first you need to find some sort of upper bound to the potential loss. There’s nothing controversial about this.

    And looking at record warms–again, if you look at enough years, it’s climate. According to Hadcrut–27 of the 30 warmest years have been in the previous 30. By GISTEMP, it’s only 2 of the most recent 30 that miss out on the top 30. Sorry, dude, but by any measure, it’s a very warm world!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:41 PM

  471. Re: 462 noel says: 17 February 2010 at 6:19 PM

    “Re 458 I wouldn’t express any gratitude if they sold their first born.”

    I’m sure none of us would.

    You’re obviously expressing pain for being deceived by
    someone. It would be interesting to see the energy you
    put into your feelings based on facts instead of illusions.

    Why do you say climate scientists are fabricating an
    apocalypse? Can you point to the error or deceit from
    which this kind of future might arise?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:07 PM

  472. AxelD, I really don’t think you understand the motivations of the hardcore denialists. They will not accept a conclusion that humans are warming the planet under any circumstances. The prior probability assigned to that event is zero–no posterior probability distribution can ever show a finite probability there! I am sure they would make a big show during a come-to-jeebus moment, and at a critical moment, they will denounce the entire process as partisan and resign “in protest”. Their goal is not understanding, but delay. That is documented.

    You suggest “independent panels”. Who is more independent than the NAS? And who knows more about the climate than the climate scientist? Who is more motivated to understand.

    You talk about standards as if science has none. Science actually has rigorous quality control–it’s called independent analysis, with the key word being “independent”. It’s called validation. AND IT WORKS!! No other human enterprise is as good at delivering reliable knowledge as science. And yet you are saying it is science that must change. I’m sorry. I don’t agree. I’ve seen ISO9001 and SixSigma. They’re crap.

    You claim that it is necessary for science to change in order for people to accept it. Did it occur to you that there is a reason why science works the way it does, and that launching a social engineering project on the scientific community just as humanity confronts the greatest threat it has faced might not be a great idea?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:11 PM

  473. 468: Andreas Bjurström says: I think the blog owners needs … block all that mere try to sabotage debate, e.g. the fed up guy and a few others.

    The fed up guy has annoyed me on more than one occasion but unlike the vast majority of denialists, the vast majority of the time he doesn’t babble nonsense. The occasional sharp word is called for when the same person asks the same question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and …

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:16 PM

  474. noel:
    “I don’t need anyone bending over backwards, fabricating an apocalypse, claiming to be my savior, and then asking me money for it. Wait, not ask, force me to pay for their stories.”

    Actually Noel, you should talk to your politicians and their financial muscle about those problems of yours, science and scientists are certainly not invloved. Think about it.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  475. If the blog owners were to “block all that merely try to sabotage debate” there might fewer social science students and PR hacks and more actual debate. This blog isn’t about how to do better PR or examine what motivates the deniers, but about the objective world “out there” – the science of climate. If Axel and Andreas want to see the science better understood and disseminated, they should get on with it instead of blaming the scientists for doing science.

    Comment by flxible — 17 Feb 2010 @ 9:11 PM

  476. Re: 468 Andreas Bjurström says: 17 February 2010 at 7:31 PM

    “AdelD is making very sound statements, well known within the social sciences. It is indeed very hard for science to impact on policy and public opinions when they have interests or other bias which they usually have.”

    I’m glad AxelD has a friend out there. It must be lonely at times. He invites a lot of derision by his demeaning of the scientists hereabouts. And he gets it.

    As for sound statements, I disagree. I see his point, but I’m not interested that the press or some sort of PR originate policy. This is absolutely NOT how government should be influenced to act. As a matter of fact corporate lobbyist PR is one of our more egregious problems and much of what’s wrong with government.

    As for reinventing the IPCC. Any action or plan of action would be premature until the chips have fallen. It’s being explained ad nauseum that climate science has been building as solid a case as humanly possible for fifteen or twenty years. But it’s easy to destroy what’s been built. It doesn’t mean it was built wrong. It means that ruthless people are out to have their way and they won’t let anything stand in their way.

    Fortunately the science is intellectual property, not real property, nothing that can’t withstand mendacious propaganda. The continuing accumulation of empirical evidence as well as refinements in models will prove the physics is correct. Sooner of later there will be action to contain the effects of greenhouse gases. If it’s after the tipping points the people with blood on their hands will be answering some nasty questions.

    I would be careful of the word “they.” To be careless with scientists’ reputations and careers could win you powerful enemies.
    If you’re hitting Dr. Pachauri I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. But I’m unstudied in that particular aspect.

    Are climate scientists dealing in patents and corporate profits with their work? Who? How? These are dangerous waters for a PhD candidate such as yourself to be wading into. I’d be very careful to have my ducks lined up perfectly before I ventured forth with suggestions of impropriety. Otherwise it’s unfair and demeans your stature in the community.

    AB: “About the name-calling, yes that is not so good. Yet, his statement that most people (climate experts) are idiots in this area are true.”

    Tim: It’s stupid, defamatory and undeserved on the face of it. The fact that he can say such in a worldwide public forum speaks to how open and accepting of ideas these scientists are and have been for years. Good PR for the science I’d say.

    AB: “The people to run this site think it is very sound to call people idiots in there area of expertise when someone disagree with them. I think the blog owners needs to start at home. 1) get a better attitude. 2) be less arrogant 3) subsume the debate to some rules 4) block all that mere try to sabotage debate, e.g. the fed up guy and a few others.”

    Tim: I like it as free wheeling as it is. I think Gavin and other moderators demonstrate remarkable restraint as well as incredible tolerance. Completely seems to be under a bit of stress lately. Normally he’s quite perceptive and horribly on target. Let me just say, if you don’t want it, don’t dish it out around that guy. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

    Can you see how it is to be where people line up to take pot shots at your people on a daily basis? Yes, CFU’s completely fed up.
    So am I, I just haven’t been around as long.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 17 Feb 2010 @ 10:10 PM

  477. 468 Jim,
    You are right that I generalize too much. That´s a weakness, I know.
    Still, your response is also general and not related to the statement. Response:
    I have not stated many things regarding motives (that is a specific answer).
    My background is from the natural sciences, but I do social science research.
    I have some natural science collegues (e.g. one of my professors)
    but mostly are natural scientists (and politicians) my objects of study.
    [Response: You want that one back?--Jim]
    No ;-) But that was an illustration of double standards. I had especially this statement in mind (a nasty way of talking if you ask me. At the same time I understand the frustration of Gavin, talking to sceptics all the time and also believers with limited knowledge, but still, nasty talking and arrogance is not doing any good for your cause):
    “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]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Feb 2010 @ 11:35 PM

  478. Here’s where much of the progress we’ve made on getting anything done will actually play out. Someone please tell me this doesn’t look grim.

    Oil-Funded Gov Joins with Oil-Funded Front Group to Appeal Greenhouse Gas Regs
    http://www.prwatch.org/node/8898
    Submitted by Lisa Graves on February 17, 2010 – 1:07pm.

    “Although it seems a bit like a dog-bites-man story, the New York Times reported that Texas Governor and 2012 presidential aspirant Rick Perry (R-TX) has joined with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. As the Center for Media and Democracy has documented on our SourceWatch site, CEI has been well-funded by Exxon and other oil companies, and is one of the main U.S. corporate front groups fighting efforts to address global warming and regulate the industry that feeds it funding. But, the courts are now stacked in Perry’s favor, as noted below.”

    Just this week, the Texas Oil and Gas Association endorsed Perry in his re-election bid, based on his opposition to carbon trading and regulation of the oil and gas industry. While this move is not surprising, it is very worrisome because the Bush Administration was so successful at packing the courts. The Perry-CEI petition for review has been filed with the D.C. Circuit, an eleven-judge court on which Bush was able to install four judges, in addition to the many right-leaning judges put on the court by his father and President Reagan. Six of the current appointees were chosen by Republican presidents; three were chosen by Democratic presidents, and Chief Justice John Roberts served on the D.C. Circuit before being tapped by Bush for the Supreme Court. So this move reflects hope on the part of those who want to throw a wrench in efforts to address global warming that they can win in the appellate court and prevail before the Supreme Court, which has strongly signaled its sympathy for the corporate “rights” agenda in the discredited Citizens United decision last month. (For more information, on that case please check out our Corporate Rights clearinghouse.)

    So, while the New York Times story does have a dog-bites-man feel to it, it forebodes a much bigger story in the making, given the direction of the five men in the majority in Citizens United and the right-wing domination of the federal appellate court. Chief Justice Roberts, by the way, has expressed great concern about how little old Exxon was being treated for its environmental damages, as noted in this article about the Exxon Valdez case. And, then he voted in favor of cutting the damages award against Exxon in half, as noted in this story about the Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision in that case. So, who will the dog bite next?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:14 AM

  479. 475 flxible,
    the objective world “out there” = mere the physics? No humans? No society out there?
    To understand communication will not help climate scientists to communicate better?
    Pedagogy is of no use for a teacher?
    How do you define and delimit the climate problem? Humans are not part of it at all?

    476 Tim Jones,
    It´s not about making friends. I just observed that the statement has strong support in the scientific literature on policy reseach, political science and science studies. Your moral statement is besides my point, my statement was mere factual. Whether you want to understand what is happening (e.g. why politicization of science takes place) and whether you want to use that for your advantage or not is up to you. Why is it defamatory to state that most climate scientists have no knowledge on social theory? Several climate scientists here state that all the time, that people that comment lack knowledge on their specialty. Is this defamatory? No, it is not. It is a valid statement. It even seems that many climate scientists here take proud in being ignorant on the social.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:27 AM

  480. Ray Ladbury,
    Well, I gave you valid reasons for using a historical case and you mocked me. Only in retrospect can we see clearly when things went the wrong track. Not even then actually: cause when something change, you will interpret that as progress and self-correction, but how could I illustrate that we went wrong and did not self-correct yesterday? It is rather impossible cause that imply that I know the truth but noone else.

    The Copernican Revolution is probably the far most used case to discuss paradigms, progress, etc. in science. Have you read Thomas Kuhn? He is using it as well. To me, it sounds that you mere state pre-Kuhn ideology: “before Kuhn, there was little by way of a carefully considered, theoretically explained account of scientific change. Instead, there was a conception of how science ought to develop that was a by-product of the prevailing philosophy of science, as well as a popular, heroic view of scientific progress. According to such opinions, science develops by the addition of new truths to the stock of old truths, or the increasing approximation of theories to the truth, and in the odd case, the correction of past errors. Such progress might accelerate in the hands of a particularly great scientist, but progress itself is guaranteed by the scientific method.”
    I did not claim basic Malthus theory wrong. Heck, I did quantitative population models when I studied evolution and theoretical ecology. My claim was quite explicitly on neo-malthusianism in the 1960s (not same as Malthus) and framing and values. Moreover, Malthus was wrong on population increase on other important aspects, just as Garrett Hardin was proven wrong by last year Nobel price winner Elinor Ostrom, exactly because his premises did not correspond very less to empirical reality.
    You expect me to prove something very complex in a blog post. You have nothing to back up your claims with. But I don’t expect you to present data to prove your point. Give me a couple of those billions of US dollars you climate modellers have, and I will give you the data and present the result at same time as 5AR ;-P
    It does not hurt to be open for other possible truth than the old progress all the time … And take this issue into the IPCC and ask whether there is institutional and other mechanisms that run contrary to self-correction …. I think for instance that a better cross chapter and cross wg interaction in developing the assessment and in review would improve the results.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:31 AM

  481. DGH: “RMS believes that the graph could be misinterpreted and should not have been included in these materials.”

    Something just occurred to me here.

    Isn’t this exactly the sort of statement that gets accusations of conspiracy to silence others that Dr Jones et al received.

    Whatever the merits of this statement from RMS (which isn’t actually a statement, but a restatement, else there would have been quotes), I do not remember anyone complaining about conspiracy and attempts to silence.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 AM

  482. Tim Jones @466: Yes, by realpolitik, I meant “politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.” I’m sure your experience as a city official must have taught you that’s how politics works: as Bismarck said, “politics is the art of the possible.” Which is a rather more elegant way of saying you have to be realistic, rather than idealistic, much as you may be loath to compromise your high ideals. Every day, political leaders like Merkel, Brown and Obama have to tread an exceedingly fine line between what’s possible and what they’d like to achieve, with regard to public opinion, money and so on. And all the time with an eye on the next election or by-election. That’s the context in which climate science has to pitch its message. And that context has got a lot tougher.

    You accuse me of “putting people on the defensive from the git go” but that’s because you don’t like the basic truths in what I’m saying. Cognitive dissonance is tough. I knew that it would be difficult (though some of the contributors here reluctantly acknowledge there may be something in what I say) because climate science has to change its public posture, and change is always difficult.

    To accuse me of “language heavily laden with the continual aspersions, insults and name calling” is really a bit rich on this forum! You suddenly seem to have developed an amazingly thin skin. I think you should try to empathize with those who dare to put forward alternative views to the RC Gospel – think about the abuse that your most voluble contributors heap on them, and compare that with the very moderate language that I use. Perhaps the moderators (who I agree are much more tolerant of sceptical voices than they were) should perhaps be rather less tolerant of the worst excesses from their own side?

    As for your excuse on CFU’s behalf that “he doesn’t suffer fools gladly”, well, nor do I. That’s why I strongly suggest that he takes his talents elsewhere, for the good of RC. People like him are now part of climate science’s problem but, if you’re right about stress, he’s too “stressed” to see it.

    Comment by AxelD — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:48 AM

  483. Andreas, The problem with so many sociological studies of scientists (and of people in general) is that they do not consider motivations, or rather they assume common motivations to all subjects.

    Yes, motivations are complicated and messy to assess. Unfortunately, they matter a great deal. My PhD thesis was in particle physics. I remember a study published when I was a grad student that purported to be an anthropological study of particle physics. The story it told was utterly unrecognizable to me. Gone were the all-night data runs where you were too excited to sleep anyway because you were so tantalizingly close to “THE ANSWER”. It was all about power and politics. The woman who published the study had a feminist agenda, but really, it was her methodology that led her astray. Because she was afraid of the subjective motivations of the individual scientists, she never made it to the big tent and spent the whole time observing the sideshows.

    Yes, I freely admit that scientists all have an agenda and a vested interest in their field. However, that interest is not in the status quo. The most exciting period in physics was from about 1900 to 1930, when the entire field was in turmoil due to discoveries in the micro-realm. Nothing was set. Everything was up for grabs–including conservation of energy and momentum (by Bohr and Heisenberg, no less!). At the LHC, at least half the experimenters and a good portion of the theorists are hoping they don’t find the Higgs!

    You cannot analyze social interactions among scientists unless you take into account their motivations. Scientists are different from most people. Yes, they are ambitious and political and want to advance. However, the motivation to understand their subject matter subsumes all other motivations or they won’t be particularly good scientists.

    Do you know the story about Hans Bethe’s discovery of stellar nucleosynthesis as their power source? The evening of the day he’d worked it out, he was walking with his fiance. It was a cold, moonless Winter night, and the stars were shining brightly. Looking up at the heavens, Bethe’s fiance said, “Aren’t the stars shining beautifully tonight?”

    “Yes,” Bethe responded, “and I’m the only one who knows how they shine.”

    That is the moment scientists look for all their lives and devote all their energy toward.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:16 AM

  484. Ray: “Looking up at the heavens, Bethe’s fiance said, “Aren’t the stars shining beautifully tonight?”

    “Yes,” Bethe responded, “and I’m the only one who knows how they shine.””

    And that is one reason why most scientists aren’t religious or become more devoutly religious but less awed by a mere book.

    Sometimes when you see how things fit together, the feeling is almost religious extasy. There comes a point then that you either decide this is PROOF there is something more: it fits so well and is just plain awesome, but a knowledge that all this is missing from plain old stone-age stories, OR it makes you think there’s no need for anything behind this: it is amazing in itself.

    It’s also why I discard Roy Spencer. He sees some of this awesomeness but if it comes down between the ecstasy of knowing how the world works and the ecstasy of what a book tells him, he plumps for the book.

    Sad, really.

    And if he’s ready to do that on, say, evolution or geology, what other ideas could he hold that would make him ignore the science and evidence similarly?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:31 AM

  485. Axle: “That’s why I strongly suggest that he takes his talents elsewhere, for the good of RC. People like him are now part of climate science’s problem..”

    In other words “Stop destroying my case!”.

    You get fine well on with fools as evidenced with the prattle that you post. You get fine well on with fools as long as they are useful fools or support you.

    You don’t like people who do not respect you (that you have not earned such and, in fact, earned scorn, if anything) and try to paint them fools.

    People like me are a problem for people like you who wish to paint a middle ground toward the denialist camp. People like me are a problem for people like you who wish to state falsities and fake controversy because I illuminate your lunacies and you wish not to have that light.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:35 AM

  486. Perhaps this is the moment for a bit of funny (as in hah hah)…

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/environment/climate-change-emails-stop-gla=ciers-from-melting-200911252254/

    Comment by Andrew D — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:00 AM

  487. Ray @ 449:

    Ray,

    He’s making an argument similar to what I’ve made before, and he’s being branded a Heretic for what seems to be the same set of reasons. Now that I’ve seen it happen as an outsider, I’m even more in agreement with him (and more validating in my own arguments) in his particular set of arguments.

    My main gripe with the IPCC and various assessments is, and has been, that “BAU” is not attainable within economic reality. Simple stuff — BAU requires that we destroy the global economy on the way to extract all of the carbon needed to reach those targets. Feel free to disagree, but please do it on =economic= terms, because it’s an economic argument.

    I’ve also made the argument, numerous times, that “Global Warming” is the wrong name and that “Climate Change” is far more accurate. If “Climate Change” were the accepted term, this present winter experience would be more directly attributable to rising CO2. Years and years with no winter in Central Texas: that would be “Global Warming”. But we’re locked in a miserably bitter winter here, with average daily temperatures continuing to fall, and that’s doesn’t much seem like “Global Warming”. Climate Change? Yes.

    This seems to be the crux of AxelD’s argument: that there is this arrogance in how the data is presented that is interfering with the message. I don’t tell people “Do this to reduce CO2″, I tell people “Fossil fuel prices are rising, and will continue to rise. Renewable energy prices are falling, and will continue to fall.” People like my message and I don’t get tied up with CO2 and climate controversies. I just show them the falling prices of one, the rising prices of the other, and that’s that. Up and down squiggles and maybe flat temperatures since 1998 don’t stand up to falling prices for wind and solar.

    The “branding” of the message is broken. Not only is it broken, but whenever someone points out that it’s broken, instead of looking out and observing that the message is broken, the response is to attack whoever is saying the message is broken, making matters worse.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:26 AM

  488. FCH: “BAU requires that we destroy the global economy on the way to extract all of the carbon needed to reach those targets.”

    This is SOP for BAU.

    Dustbowl USA
    Indonesian Rainforest
    Corn farming
    Credit Default Swaps/Derivatives
    War

    just to name a few big ones.

    On a smaller scale,

    DRM (see this story for how DRM makes a game unplayable

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=235290&site=pcg

    and the entire antiP2P rhetoric that is killing music far more than any piracy.

    Or, indeed, the “Chopper Harris” CEO who turns up at a company, cuts 50% staff, runs off with stock options exercised on the uptick and kills the company left behind.

    Heck, Yahoo has INVESTORS demanding a chopper harris fire sale that will kill the company because they can cash in on a short term pump.

    SCO and Darl Mc Bride killing the company (though SCO were dying anyway: nothing differentiating them from any other Linux company). Made millions, killed the company.

    and so on…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:45 AM

  489. Few of us dispute the effects of global warming. What we are confused about is the cause. That confusion is compounded by carbon trading. Production of high carbon emission should not get rewarded through carbon trading. That clouds the issue, since huge vested interests can skew the debate.
    We need to focus on sustainable living and get more independent scientists involved in this debate, also looking at the now popular theory that the heat is due to nuclear testing and radiation fall out.
    Is it also possible that whether man made or not, human actions that reduce levels of carbon dioxide can reduce the temperature of the globe and thereby actively help the planet? If that is possibly the case we must continue with advocacy for change of behaviour.

    Comment by Ruth Rabinowitz — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:20 AM

  490. Jim it’s because of these grand generalizations about the motives of scientists that you can’t be taken very seriously.
    ….

    I’ve seen comments from The Team which questions the motives of ‘skeptics’. I’ve read them on this blog.

    Comment by Grabski — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:44 AM

  491. Grabski,
    I think a good definition of “scientist” is one who publishes in a particular field of science. By that definition, the denialists are not scientists.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:52 AM

  492. Scientists are the enemy of propagandists and others who wish to preserve what they believe is their right to tell the public what and how to think (the media). These “scandals” are yet another clear illustration of their disproportionate influence in our society…and of their obvious detriment.

    Comment by Michael — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:54 AM

  493. Ruth Rabinowitz says, “also looking at the now popular theory that the heat is due to nuclear testing and radiation fall out.”

    Uh, no. Do the math, Ruth. All the uranium on Earth fissioned simultaneous would yield about the same energy as 6000 years of sunshine. All of the uranium consumed in one year supplies as much energy as about 2.78 hours of all the sunlight incident on Earth.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:11 AM

  494. “I’ve seen comments from The Team which questions the motives of ’skeptics’.”

    No, you’ve read then on the motives of denialists.

    But even those of the denialists are backed up by proofs.

    As, for example, the money that goes to the Heartland Institute is (or was) fact. Lobbying monies paid are facts. “our product is confusion” is fact.

    The motives aren’t questioned: the facts are propounded that inevitably leads to questions about their veracity when they state “I’m not paid by Big Oil”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:50 AM

  495. Thanks for a sensible and informative article – reflective of the rest of this site so far as I have seen. One criticism though:

    “It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess … We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.”

    A passive response that calls to the integrity of the media can only lead to a worsened understanding among the public and so a weakened pressure on politicians …”Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place”. That’s running, rather than observing …more’s the pity!

    Comment by JD — 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  496. Andreas Bjurström says: It does not hurt to be open for other possible truth than the old progress all the time … And take this issue into the IPCC and ask whether there is institutional and other mechanisms that run contrary to self-correction.

    Institutional analysis as applied to scientific undertakings seems a worthwhile endeavor from which we can probably learn a lot, so I welcome Andreas’s inquiry.

    Re climate science and IPCC, I’ll suggest that any internal biases that run counter to self-correction are small in comparison to the immense scale of the anti-science efforts arrayed against the discipline. For example, any impulse on the part of Dr. Jones to “hide the decline” (an impulse which I regard as nonexistent) surely was overwhelmed by his reaction to the assault of vexatious FOI requests.

    Few scientific disciplines have received this kind of sustained, long-term assault from anti-science forces: evolutionary biology, cancer research, geology, cosmology. Any institutional analysis that seeks to understand internal biases in these fields must consider the state of continuous siege in which they operate.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:05 AM

  497. Re: 479 Andreas Bjurström says: 18 February 2010 at 1:27 AM
    &
    Re: 482 AxelD says: 18 February 2010 at 5:48 AM

    You try to convince us of a better way of selling AGW.

    But I hope you can grasp that if you’re trying to sell an idea, disparaging the intelligence or integrity of the people you’re trying to sell it to is the best way in the world to make your effort fail and your idea as well as yourselves look ridiculous.

    I see Pachauri is resigning, on the CNN scrawl.

    [Response: No. Yvo de Boer - someone else entirely. - gavin]

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:49 AM

  498. The CNN scrawl referred to UN Climate Chief. I was mistaken to think this meant IPCC “chief” Dr. Pachauri.
    The facts (I hope) are:
    Yvo de Boer, the Dutch bureaucrat who led the international climate change negotiations over four tumultuous years, is resigning his post as of July 1.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:56 AM

  499. AxelD @ 436: It is essential that the IPCC is seen to be either replaced or radically reorganized.

    BPL: Nope. Won’t work. Even if you did that, the denial crowd would immediately say the new organization/new version of IPCC was corrupt, and would manufacture evil deeds the said organization had done. You’re the naive one here, not Ray Ladbury.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 PM

  500. I was watching CNN report a small plane having just crashed into a building in north Austin, my town, as I replied to comments. The scrawl appeared, I jumped to a conclusion and didn’t check the facts in a rush to get posted.

    In a small way this incident illustrates how initial news reporting can misconstrue the facts and is often wrong. There are many things happening where a full report unfolding over time is required before people start demanding change.

    I’m glad Pachauri has NOT resigned. I hope he doesn’t.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  501. “For example, any impulse on the part of Dr. Jones to “hide the decline” (an impulse which I regard as nonexistent) surely was overwhelmed by his reaction to the assault of vexatious FOI requests.”

    It certainly doesn’t exist.

    The quote is taken to mean “hide the cooling temperatures” therefore proving that we’re now in a cooling period just like the deniers said all along, if only the pesky scientists weren’t silencing the truth.

    But then how do you hide a real temperature decline by using real data instead of proxies?

    You can’t.

    Therefore their “hide the decline” doesn’t exist.

    Rather like “contain the MWP”. Cited to mean contain in “damage limitation” sense. It doesn’t exist. But if the MWP goes back to 1200BP, a record of the last thousand years doesn’t contain the MWP in the same way as a pint pot doesn’t contain the quart you poured into it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 PM

  502. So much for my contributions to a litany of errors, facts and spin this morning.

    2ND UPDATE: UN Climate Chief Yvo De Boer To Resign
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100218-710972.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope
    FEBRUARY 18, 2010, 10:54 A.M. ET
    By Selina Williams
    DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    LONDON (Dow Jones)–United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer, who oversaw troubled climate talks in Copenhagen last year, is to resign from his post ahead of schedule, sparking calls for a swift replacement to advance negotiations on tackling global climate change.

    De Boer is to depart July 1, ahead of the scheduled end of his term in September. His resignation comes amid concerns that countries will again fail to reach a binding deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at climate talks at the end of the year in Cancun, Mexico.

    However, some analysts say his move–which follows the failure of negotiators from over 190 countries to secure a binding deal on emissions cuts at December’s Copenhagen summit–could bring a new lease of life to climate talks.
    [...]

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:33 PM

  503. Ray Ladbury,
    I get the feeling that you illustrate a crucial issue: Scientists are very proud people. They have invested great time and energy. They want all to share their own self perception. They want to be questioned on their own terms, i.e. peer review. If someone analyse them from other terms and reach other results they feel deeply insulted. This can also explain the rather arrogant reactions from the IPPC last couple of month, I think.

    It is not true that common motives are assumed or that social scientists do not ask people. Interviews and surveys often aim to find motives. Far from all dig deep in this, many are glad to mere accept the face value of what people tell them. I find that shallow, but seems you argue that a social analysis must subordinate the analysis to the self perception of the “object of study”. To describe self perceptions and the thought of scientists and what they believe themselves are only one of many approaches. I do not mind such description, and I am well aware of the beauty of understanding and the inner world of a scientist at heart (I am a scientist and philosopher).

    Yes, I am also sceptical to social science “projection” of themselves to their “objects of study”. Sound like you read some early etnographic studies (so called laboratory studies) from the early 80´s. I am a human ecologist and I am critical to both physical reductionism and social reductionism. Sociological studies of science ad something important to the physical reductionist world of the natural sciences: it adds humans, power, motives, culture, interest etc etc. This is important! It is a shame that most natural scientists totally ignore this and mere get offended. But I do agree with you also, these studies are social reductionistic, it is mere some aspects of reality, not the most important for a natural scientist. I hate the “science was” and the ignorance of both sides.

    one can also study processes (behaviour), describe behaviour and theoretize the data, a typical natural science approach (psychology is deeply influenced by natural science, they do this all the time, with advanced statistical analysis). One can study how the public interpret what natural scientists are saying or how their science are taken up tp politics and to what extent science influence policy outcomes. This is normal empirical research, yet natural scientists seems very afraid of such things. It is kind of the reaction of climate sceptics: we do not want to believe, we have good reasons not to believe. We do not want to change or to understand. We want prefeered change, in areas where we are interested, but not elsewhere, change elsewhere that may impact on me. I think physical reductionism and the culture of objectivity is the key to understand the climate scientists. This is important since climate scientists control the truth of climate change, all prestigue is in WG1, all power emanate from WG1, the whole institutional structure of climate research is rooted in the earth sciences …

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:33 PM

  504. Andreas – I define the climate problem from the viewpoint of the whole system. ie: looking outward; humanity is only one part of it, ultimately a relatively unimportant part – you [focusing on "society"], define the climate problem from the single species viewpoint, looking inward, seeing society as the relevent part. The science is showing us that our species is an inextricable part of the whole, not something apart from it, we need to figure out how to fit into the system, not try to figure out how we can change our views of it. Nature is the one that “delimits the climate problem” and how your neighbors feel about it doesn’t contribute much to our position in the physical reality. If your interest is in how the “common man” views the real world, then get on with figureing that out, don’t ask physical scientists to do it for you.

    It’s not that “most climate scientists have no knowledge on social theory”. One thing real physical scientists are NOT is “unknowledgeable”, but they have little interest in trying to convince the unconvinceable, little interest in being “PR hacks”. The facts will speak for them, so they get on with elucidating the irrefutable. Consider Lovelocks writings.

    Someone [possibly famous] said: “The measure of life is change, the measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”.
    I say: “Remember that on average half of the population is … below average”.
    There has always been turbulence in human society, and it appears it may intensify. Cannabilism hasn’t been common, but it may well get to be.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:57 PM

  505. Tim Jones “So am I, I just haven’t been around as long.”
    Stick around Tim, the insights you bring from your obvious awareness of the real world are useful and interesting. :)

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 12:57 PM

  506. CFU @ 488:

    No, I’m sorry — we can’t “go broke” and still spend the money to burn all the carbon it would take for the BAU scenarios. The examples you gave aren’t the GLOBAL economy — they are portions of portions of the global economy.

    DRM? There are companies that don’t use DRM to “prevent” people from using their products. The companies that are most in bed with DRM are having problems, while businesses such as iTunes adapt and sell DRM-free music for a slightly higher price.

    The difference here is that the more people decide / realize that carbon-free power is the economically “better” solution, the more other people have to commit to burning every bit of fossil fuel they can get their fingers on.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  507. Flxible,
    My discipline (Human ecology) is defined as the study of the interaction of nature and human societies. The whole system is concequenty included in my discipline, yet I am not omnipotent, so I do focus on some aspects, mainly society. My environmental philosophy is neither antropocentric but (weakly) biocentric. To figure out how we can change our views are crucial if we want to fit into this whole system. Because our culture separates nature from society rather strongly. The same is true of the IPCC (my dissertation is mainly on this issue. I have done quantitative bibliometric studies with 14.000 empirical units and 41 variables, using multidimensional scaling to produce a two dimension image of the lack of whole system assessment in the IPCC assessment). Especially WG1 is problematic from this viewpoint, as it hardly acknowledge human society at all as part of this system (look at the overview illustration of the “whole system” in the TAR WG1 chapter 1 for example). There is a very strong physical reductionism (as biology are more or less excluded as well) in WG1. This troubles me, as WG1 study the cause of climate change (to simplify) whereas WG2 study consequence and WG3 response. The study of cause is far to narrow (ultimately we want to know: what kind of a problem is this) and to be much more narrow than the problem at hand when study it is not very good cause that also lower the quality when later addressing what to do about the problem.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 1:56 PM

  508. http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15473066

    http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14994731

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:03 PM

  509. Al Gore gave a presentation of An Inconvenient Truth to a philanthropic foundation meeting here in Austin in March
    of 2006. Some of us were asking questions after and Mr. Gore told me to visit the Real Climate website if I wanted to keep up with the truth of it. I replied that I’d already posted there. He smiled, seeing that some of his audience were up to speed.

    I took photos of incredibly giving folks expressing indescribable admiration for the important work he’s done.

    My feelings are that Real Climate is a virtual open university for the science of climate change. The moderators write text books! Even more than that it’s a forum for an exchange of ideas pertinent to one of the most important crises of our times. My preoccupation is wildlife photography. But as I’ve recovered from surgery and come back to RC for awhile I’ve found again one of the most compelling dialogues between people ranging from experts in the field to the youngest novice seekers of knowledge to folks with an utterly contrary view. The virtually no holds barred dialectic reveals all sorts of on topic issues to be explored in admirable detail. The synthesis of ideas leads perhaps to real progress in the way we operate this planet. I’m honored to participate.

    That fact that anyone can engage on so many different levels speaks to the greatness of this forum and the magnanimous
    giving of time and energy by those who have put it together and maintained it for so long.

    Step back for a second and see yourself and where you are. With the Internet we are on the leading edge of one of the most fantastic evolutions of civilization one can imagine – the free exchange of ideas with almost anyone in the world.

    Real Climate has perceived the utility of what we have and opened a door of perception. What can I say but thank you for mentioning I’ve not wasted your time.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 2:43 PM

  510. Andreas, there is a huge difference between “being proud” and saying “listen to the experts”. I am not saying “listen to me” on climate change. I am not an expert on climate change. I am saying “Listen to the experts, the people who publish regularly on the subject.” Do you see the difference. I emphasize the importance of “expertise” because I’ve seen what can happen when folks decide to go it alone without the experts. It ain’t pretty.

    As to “reductionism” in WG1, this is predominantly about the physics. Homans don’t matter here except as sources of ghgs, changers of albedo, etc. The biosphere is the same. It’s physics. It’s supposed to be reductionist. They figure out how much CO2 is added, how the system changes in response and then they can tell you how much the temperature rises. Perhaps they can narrow things down to regions rather than the whole globe.

    It is only in WG2 and 3 that humans have any consequence.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:25 PM

  511. “506
    FurryCatHerder says:
    18 February 2010 at 1:50 PM

    CFU @ 488:

    No, I’m sorry — we can’t “go broke” and still spend the money to burn all the carbon it would take for the BAU scenarios.”

    No, you don’t go broke when you have nothing. You go broke before then.

    Never been absolutely stone dead broke before?

    You still have something, it’s just nowhere near enough.

    But your response still doesn’t affirm that your contention about BAU is right.

    Does it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:36 PM

  512. Re: 505 flxible says: 18 February 2010 at 12:57 PM

    “Stick around…”

    Meant to be answered with comment number 509.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  513. Positive proof of global warming!

    http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/1850-1990-panty-trend.jpg

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:22 PM

  514. It looks to me that all the data is a short term view on scientific data.
    What happens when the sun exposure to the earth changes? It seems to me
    that should be included. The Sahara Dessert and the petrified forest are
    examples. More recently the dust bowel in the great plains of the USA.
    I remember those days!

    Comment by Herb Lindahl — 18 Feb 2010 @ 4:31 PM

  515. “514
    Herb Lindahl says:
    18 February 2010 at 4:31 PM

    What happens when the sun exposure to the earth changes?”

    The TSI changes.
    ” It seems to me that should be included. ”

    It is.

    Over the course of 1,000 years however, the sun doesn’t change average output.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 18 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 PM

  516. Ray Ladbury,
    I also say “listen to the experts” but also that expert domains overlap and that collaboration and interaction among researchers and domains is needed. For example, if we were experts on our psychological states and causes, all our problems and thoughts, their would be no need for psychologists. Still, people go to the psychologists to understand themselves. Sometimes the patient is too proud to listen to the expert (the psychologist) cause he think that he must be the expert on all issues that concern the domain of the self. Clearly, expertise overlap in the psychologist – patient context. Thus, dialogue is probably wise, and is also the method of most psychologists. At the same time that expertise is important, it also causes problems. Especially since expertise per definition is limited whereas real world problems are not. It is evident at this blogg for example, it tries to adress and solve issues much bigger than the climate science (in the narrow definition). The climate science – media – public – politics – policy – sceptics … issues is far broader than climate science expertise.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:29 PM

  517. Re: 514 Herb Lindahl says: 18 February 2010 at 4:31 PM
    “What happens when the sun exposure to the earth changes?”

    Congratulations on your long life. May we all be so fortunate.

    The answer to your question may be here:

    Astronomical Theory of Climate Change
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html

    It should be noted that the Earth’s positioning according to
    Milankovitch cycles is such that it would be cooling as it
    approached another ice age a few thousand years into
    the future.

    Natural climate change: Milankovitch cycles and biological causes
    http://www.helium.com/items/1686896-milankovitch-cycles-and-natural-climate-change

    According to observations of solar brightening and frequency
    of sunspots there is nothing to indicate solar forcing as a cause
    of global warming, aka climate change.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

    If the sun is approaching a grand minima of solar activity there
    is some thought that greenhouse gas forcing could be neutralized
    according to the degree of reduction of solar irradiance. The Maunder Minimum may have been due to a grand minima.

    It corresponded with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation
    &
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum

    See also:
    Another Little Ice Age? Solar activity and climate change
    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/08/another-little-ice-age-solar-activity-and-climate-change.ars

    The actual paper is here:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009EO300001.pdf

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 6:58 PM

  518. CLIMATE: Top U.N. climate diplomat announces resignation
    http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2010/02/18/2/ (subscription)
    (02/18/2010)
    Darren Samuelsohn, E&E senior reporter

    The United Nations’ top climate diplomat will step down July 1 following a raucous four-year term during which world leaders struggled to reach agreement on a new international global warming deal.

    Yvo de Boer said today that he plans to leave his post as executive secretary of the Bonn, Germany-based U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change for a job providing consulting services to businesses and universities.

    De Boer, 55, was at the center of December’s chaotic summit in Copenhagen, which ended in frustration for many world leaders who had hoped to craft a legally binding deal that would put the world on a path to reduce greenhouse gases in line with scientific warnings. Instead, they got a non-binding plan brokered in part by President Obama that saw two dozen of the world’s largest global warming polluters pledging to cut emissions and help poor countries cope with climate change.

    In an interview with the Associated Press, de Boer said he wasn’t leaving the U.N. job because of the outcome in Denmark. But he also acknowledged his disappointment that countries only “noted” the so-called “Copenhagen Accord” but didn’t officially adopt it.

    “We were about an inch away from a formal agreement,” de Boer said. “It was basically in our grasp, but it didn’t happen. So that was a pity.”

    De Boer often got into the middle of the crossfire between developed and developing countries battling over terms of a treaty for curbing greenhouse gases. Wealthy nations complained that he favored the views of poorer countries. And he was renowned for making public statements that on occasion got him in trouble with some of the 190-plus countries that participate in the overall process (Greenwire, Sept. 21, 2009).

    “I think the conventional role of a secretariat is to shut up and make sure things work,” de Boer told E&E last summer. “I said in my interview to [then-U.N. Secretary-General] Kofi Annan, ‘If that’s what you want, then don’t hire me.’”

    De Boer played a pivotal role in the U.N. process in elevating the climate debate among world leaders and their top ministers. He urged countries to send their heads of state to the Copenhagen negotiations, which in some ways led to the chaotic nature of the event’s closing hours as Obama shared the spotlight with more than 120 other presidents and prime ministers, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    “Their involvement was welcome, but it also overwhelmed the systems,” Dirk Forrister, head of the Natsource consulting firm and a former White House climate official from the Clinton administration, said of the large number of official delegations.

    Several longtime observers of the U.N. process said de Boer is partly to blame for the uncertainty that has come in the wake of Copenhagen, as countries are still sifting through whether they are on track toward a legally binding agreement or something else entirely.

    “Rightly or wrongly, Yvo is associated in many minds with the perceived failure of Copenhagen and no longer has the confidence of parties,” said Elliot Diringer, vice president for international strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “He probably shares in the blame but is hardly alone. There’s plenty to go around.”

    Diringer added, “Yvo’s biggest mistake was helping to set wildly unrealistic expectations for Copenhagen, so that even a modest success would invariably be seen as a failure. He later tried to temper those expectations, but it was too late.”
    But others came to de Boer’s defense, given the agreement reached in Copenhagen, where major emerging economic powerhouses, including China and India, for the first time ever put emission reduction numbers on the table.

    “He got big players to play,” said Ned Helme, the head of the Center for Clean Air Policy. “He got targets. Who’d have said in August that all these guys would have come forward with these kinds of targets?”

    “There’s still a big challenge ahead, but Yvo really moved the process through some important developments,” said Angela Anderson, program director of the U.S. Climate Action Network, a coalition of environmental groups. “Copenhagen was a globally significant summit that both displayed the intensity of worldwide concern about a warming planet and evidence that nations are ready to act. What Yvo did not accomplish was convincing all nations sign up to a fair, ambitious and binding treaty. He moved the world as far as he could.”

    Todd Stern, the State Department’s special envoy for climate change, said de Boer was “an enormously dedicated leader in the fight against global climate change and has made a major contribution in advancing that effort.”

    As in the process used to hire de Boer in 2006, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to begin interviews soon for a replacement. Vannina Maestracci, a U.N. spokeswoman, said the goal was to get a new executive secretary in place well ahead of the next major U.N. climate summit scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 10 in Cancun, Mexico.

    Several longtime observers of the U.N. negotiations said they expect the next executive secretary will be from a developing country — with de Boer’s deputy, Canadian Richard Kinley, filling in if there are any gaps. The two previous U.N. executive secretaries have been from wealthy nations.

    “It makes a lot of sense to pick a developing country person … to build trust,” said Helme, who suggested South Africa’s former top climate diplomat, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, who now is the country’s leading tourism official.

    “It’s not a easy job,” added Alden Meyer, director of strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “There’s a lot of moving pieces and a lot of country dynamics. You have to be seen as someone who’s an honest broker, that’s providing leadership to the entire UNFCCC process. You can’t be an advocate for one country’s views over another, or you won’t be an effective secretary.”

    De Boer said he will be a consultant on climate and sustainability issues for KPMG, a global accounting firm. He also will help several universities. Prior to joining the United Nations, de Boer worked as the lead climate negotiator for the Netherlands and as a Dutch housing minister.

    De Boer’s departure was expected by many. The United Nations last summer had given him a one-year extension on his term that allowed him to serve through the Copenhagen conference and into 2010. He also had told E&E that he was interested in starting a bed-and-breakfast with his wife in Eijsden, a small farming town in the Netherlands near Belgium and Germany.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:25 PM

  519. Andreas – You should be talking with this guy who commented on another thread.
    The “interaction of nature and human societies” has historically largely been that we pillage the handy resources with no regard to consequences and when we’ve reached the limits that our profit can be supported we move on to pillage the next resource. That is, we see ourselves as apart from nature. I’ve been through the social science degree scene and decided that analyzing and studying it was much less satisfying than being part of it. In fact I realized that the majority of psychologists were in it to grok their own place in society, not in nature.

    If you mean that human caused climate change should have been better addressed by WG1, I think societies impact on climate is implicit in the physics, at least in terms of CO2 and biome impacts, and WG1 was intended to provide an understanding of the physical science, which I don’t find reductionist. The primary problem with the science is we don’t have a handle on every single uncertainty, but that doesn’t negate the major contribution obviously made by our [excessive] population and consumption patterns. The consequence and response part is where society and policy and politics come in and your investigations begin.

    Comment by flxible — 18 Feb 2010 @ 7:30 PM

  520. Tim Jones (517) — At least 20.000 years into the future. See the references for
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_forcing

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:02 PM

  521. @Doug Bostrom

    If you’re looking for a response from Dr. Pielke regarding a specific post on his blog, I wonder if there might be a better place to go ask for one than in a hundreds-of-comments-deep comment section on completely separate site? Hmm…

    Comment by kas — 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 PM

  522. Andreas, I have certainly never said that other disciplines play no role in the process. Sociologists, politicians, other scientists and, yes, psychologists all have a role consistent with their expertise. Most climate scientists are interested in policy only insofar as their role in assessing whether it addresses the risks.

    I haven’t noticed an overabundance of people clambering to carry the load, though. It’s pretty clear when you have scientists, politicians, sociologists, etc. all coming back shot to hell that messengers for this cause face a risky future.

    This is precisely the sort of risk humans are terrible at dealing with–a long time horizon, but very severe consequences. It may just be that it doesn’t matter who the messenger is.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:14 PM

  523. This discussion of 95% confidence limits seems to neglect the important difference between criteria for science and policy-making. Scientists are like the jury of a criminal case – they are looking for ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Policy makers are more like a jury in a civil case – looking for balance of probabilities and directing relative action and compensation accordingly. 20 to 1 are, after all, pretty long odds.

    God help us if scientists stop looking for ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ – and God help us if politician ask for so much before they decide to take action. It might even be perfectly justifiable for a scientist to advise a politician to take action based on a good deal less than 95% confidence – assuming that they make clear the necessary caveats.

    Comment by Richard Robinson — 18 Feb 2010 @ 9:45 PM

  524. CFU @ 511:

    I actually =have= been completely flat broke — go-to-Pawn-shops, borrow-from-lo@n-sharks, consider-turning-tricks broke. I’ve stolen food so I had food to eat. I used to go days on end without eating — or maybe a can of Campbell’s soup and a cup of rice. And if I couldn’t afford a can of soup (back when it was maybe $0.25 for a can of soup), I might have tossed a bouillon cube in for flavor. That’s pretty broke.

    The problem with BAU is that eventually there is NO MORE MONEY. The pawn brokers won’t have it, the lo@n sharks won’t have it, and the johns won’t have it. At some point, fossil fuel energy costs are going to become such a large part of everyone’s budget that they’ll have to choose between fossil fuels (which they can’t eat, drive, or sleep in) and things they can eat, drive, or sleep in. We saw a capitulation on fossil fuel demand back in ’08 when oil was over $100 a barrel.

    Just not seeing how BAU is realistic. Not saying that like “we don’t need to do anything” because we’re screwed if we don’t start doing something to get away from fossil fuels as fast as possible. And not like “Oh, my, isn’t it a little warm” in 20 years, I mean the end of our way of life because we just can’t afford it. Fortunately, I’m prepared — unless I do several loads of laundry, the electric company is going to owe me for today.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 18 Feb 2010 @ 11:38 PM

  525. Re: 514 Herb Lindahl says: 18 February 2010 at 4:31 PM
    “What happens when the sun exposure to the earth changes?”

    Add this to your list of articles and papers to read regarding
    sun exposure changes, meaning solar irradiance changes, I presume.

    What would happen if the sun fell to Maunder Minimum levels?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-would-happen-if-the-sun-fell-to-Maunder-Minimum-levels.html
    Friday, 19 February, 2010

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:02 AM

  526. kas says: 18 February 2010 at 8:42 PM

    He was here, rendering judgment about acceptable standards of proof, which kind of got my goat as you can probably tell. It’s not my job to follow him back to his blog and help him get his facts straight.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:43 AM

  527. AB: There is a very strong physical reductionism… in WG1.

    BPL: PHYSICAL REDUCTIONISM????? OH, NO!!!!!

    I knew those IPPC bas***ds would try to sneak modern science in there somewhere!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:21 AM

  528. “524
    FurryCatHerder says:
    18 February 2010 at 11:38 PM

    The problem with BAU is that eventually there is NO MORE MONEY.”

    Yeah, but this has never stopped those who pilot the companies into NO MORE MONEY in the guise of BAU.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:21 AM

  529. FCH: Maybe my reason for what I’m saying about BAU is missing.

    BAU has to be legislated against because for the ones who decide where the company is going, the disaster at the end is meaningless and will affect them last. This is proven by many and varied cases where the management (or even large investors) make a company do stupid things that are KNOWN to kill the company’s long term future just so they can make a buck today.

    The rich won’t change as a group unless they are forced by the only thing that is (supposed) to make us equal: government action.

    For the Randians amongst you: before you caterwaul “Communist!”, do you like laws that ensure your house can’t get burgled? Government action.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:02 AM

  530. Re: 520 David B. Benson says: 18 February 2010 at 8:02 PM
    Tim Jones (517) — At least 20.000 years into the future. See the references for
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_forcing

    My read of this would be 50,000 years.

    “It is sometimes asserted that the length of the current interglacial temperature peak will be similar to the length of the preceding interglacial peak (Sangamonian/Eem Stage), and that therefore we might be nearing the end of this warm period.

    “However, this conclusion is probably mistaken: the lengths of previous interglacials were not particularly regular (see graphic at right). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Vostok-ice-core-petit.png

    “Berger and Loutre (2002) argue that “with or without human perturbations, the current warm climate may last another 50,000 years. The reason is a minimum in the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit around the Sun.”[1] Also, Archer and Ganopolski (2005) report that probable future CO2 emissions may be enough to suppress the glacial cycle for the next 500 kyr.”

    Interesting discussion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age
    scroll to:
    Variations in Earth’s orbit (Milankovitch cycles)
    (excerpt)
    “It is very unlikely that the Milankovitch cycles can start or end an ice age (series of glacial periods)…
    In contrast, there is strong evidence that the Milankovitch cycles affect the occurrence of glacial and interglacial periods within an ice age.”

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SummerSolstice65N-future.png
    Summary
    “Past and future of daily average insolation at top of the atmosphere on the day of the summer solstice, at 65 N latitude as derived from orbital parameters http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/srorbpar.html. The current interglacial may last an unusually long time. http://amper.ped.muni.cz/gw/articles/html.format/orb_forc.html advocates we may need to wait 620,00 years for sufficient reduction in insolation to trigger an ice age. Blue dot is current condition at 2 ky AD (2000 AD).”

    The more one looks at this the further away an approaching ice age recedes.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:57 PM

  531. Reassess the credibility of your sources(The world bank, IMF?)….
    [edit]

    Comment by Trever — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  532. CFU @ 528 and 529 –

    There’s a difference between “we’re going to run the company into the ground in 1 / 2 / 5 / 10 years” and “we’re going to keep running the company into the ground, even after it’s completely and totally buried into the dirt!”

    If you look at the evolution of the present economic unpleasantness, starting back in 2004, 2005, with the run-up in oil prices pre-Katrina, then into 2007 and 2008 as prices failed to retreat, it’s really easy to see that the =consumer= will not be able to afford to purchase products from companies that might want to run themselves into the ground in order to insure that BAU happens.

    I’d have to go back through some of my older posts on other blogs, but it was obvious to me in 2006 that people needed to start adjusting their energy consumption or we were going to be in a crunch. When people started having to choose between food / clothing / shelter and oil in 2007 or so, it was obvious that we were in for rough times. Another 10 years on the BAU track would make the 2008 market collapse look like practice because =everything= starts with “energy”, and right now “energy” means coal, oil, natural gas, etc.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 AM

  533. An interesting reaction to the RealClimate treatment of Africagate as seen in this posing can be seen at [edit]

    [Response: Take your personal attacks and associated distortions to those who enjoy such things.--Jim]

    Comment by chopbox — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:23 PM

  534. Tim Jones (530) — Yes, there is quite a good forcing 50,000 years from now but still a small chance at only about 20,000 years.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  535. Jim. Re your response to 533. Richard North’s comments don’t deserve a response? It seems to me that he offers a rather telling critique that should not be left unrefuted by RC.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/self-deception-writ-large.html

    [Response:Sorry, already been done: read the post on the topic. And interesting to see how you somehow knew what link was removed from that comment, given that you didn't write it.--Jim]

    Comment by mondo — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:51 AM

  536. “And interesting to see how you somehow knew what link was removed from that comment, given that you didn’t write it.–Jim”

    Well actually. I was pointed to the Richard North piece this morning from one of the blogs I check (I would have to check which one it was) and read the discussion. Then I checked here to see if there was any discussion, and saw post #533. I surmised that it was about the same issue. I neither know chopbox, nor did I have any way of knowing what links he might have provided to you.

    Comment by mondo — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  537. Hello Tim,
    I don’t come here very often.

    I realized that Richard North’s viewpoint was different than yours; it was precisely for that reason that I wanted to bring it to the attention of RealClimate and its readers. If you can believe it, I must admit that it was my hope that it would bring about a small debate, maybe even a little back and forth. I had no idea that you would view my presenting it here as “personal attacks”. I offer my apologies for adding heat when all I was looking for was a little light. As I have already said, I don’t come here very often, and I didn’t understand that you would take it the way you did.

    [Response: I reacted as I did because North uses that piece to trash RC, and Mike Mann in particular. We made our statement--at length and with care--about the supposed errors in the AR4, and their significance. If North wants to object our interpretation, fine, he can set down his case. But he can do it without the personal attacks and put downs and, well, lies, that he uses.--Jim]

    By the way, I’ve never heard of Mondo but thank you Mondo for understanding my reason for posting the link.

    Comment by chopbox — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:41 PM

  538. Editorial : Currently, a few errors –and supposed errors– in the last IPCC report (“AR4″) are making the media rounds – together with a lot of distortion and professional spin by parties interested in discrediting climate science.

    This needs to be offset against the fact that alarmist mainstream climate science, politically funded as it is, is a largely just a professional fraud designed to boost the political institutions that fund it. This explains fraudulent hockey sticks, ferocious concealing of data and algorithms, and various other shenanigans on which majority opinion rests.

    Comment by BFJ — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:57 PM

  539. BFJ@538, Ah, I love the smell of unsubstantiated allegations in the morning. Smells like fear!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  540. Jim says, ” If North wants to object our interpretation, fine, he can set down his case. But he can do it without the personal attacks and put downs and, well, lies, that he uses.”

    Bet he can’t. He’d have nothing left to say then.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  541. well, bfj, if you’re going to spout lies, might as well make really big ones. you don’t get much bigger than that pile ‘o tripe

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  542. fch, you seem to have missed the past 10 years. SCO and McBride did just that.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:22 PM

  543. BFJ (538) — For the scientific facts and how those were found, please do read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:25 PM

  544. Re 454: Dear Fed Up, I am getting a bit fed up too:

    “ferocious whines “Now, hold on just a wee minute here! Are you seriously contending that the standards for scientific truth be contingent upon the desirability of the conclusions?”

    The scientific truth, the reality behind what we are discussing, is of course not dependent on anything. It just is. Our understanding of that reality is a lot more problematical, and that is where the statistical confidence comes in, and the desirability of the conclusions have nothing to do with it. That is a value laden statement that has no place here. When the results of our understanding are going to be used to justify huge expenditures and total restructuring of the world economy they require a much greater confidence in the results than lesser endeavors.

    The IPCC quotes “likely” as corresponding to a 60% confidence interval- in repeated tests you would expect to get results within a certain deviation from the average 60% of the time. In my experience, that is a laughably poor statistic in the physical sciences. In fact I’ve never heard of any study in the physical sciences that would publish that kind of a result. A 40% chance of accepting the wrong answer is just slightly better than flipping a coin and has no business being in any kind of report that is supposed to be based on science. As I pointed out in another quote I’ve done lots and lots of experiments, and even a 95% CI results in mistaken outcomes much too often. The worst possible track to take is look at the data and say something like “the trend close to 95% significance”. That is the kind of fuzzyheaded thinking that has wasted countless dollars. It is seeing things that just aren’t there.

    The kind of scenarios discussed in AR4 and the kind of recommendations that come out of it need to be in the 99.9% likely range to be justified because the consequences are so large.

    Comment by ferocious — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  545. BFJ, you’re copypasting culture war talking points in a machinelike way.
    Why not try for something new that’s not already in this batch for example?
    http://www.google.com/search?q=Leake+Richard+North+climate
    Deltoid’s far more willing to host people who want to go on about that stuff.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:15 PM

  546. RE: 523
    Richard Robinson says: This discussion of 95% confidence limits seems to neglect the important difference between criteria for science and policy-making………

    Actually Richard, the policy makers have to be held to an even higher standard than science. After all, the scientist generally has an option to go back and do another experiment or try another hypothesis. In the case of global warming, the policy makers have only one chance to get it right. Blow all the money on the wrong policy and there won’t be another chance. If trillions are spent mitigating CO2, which apparently even the IPCC believes can’t really be done, and the climate still keeps heating up and deleterious effects do materialize there will be no money left to spend. Even worse, to spend the trillions and it turns out to not be needed will doom millions more people to a life that is “nasty, brutal, and short”.

    Comment by ferocious — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:39 PM

  547. This needs to be offset against the fact that alarmist mainstream climate science, politically funded as it is, is a largely just a professional fraud designed to boost the political institutions that fund it. This explains fraudulent hockey sticks, ferocious concealing of data and algorithms, and various other shenanigans on which majority opinion rests.

    The denial industry’s money trail is abundantly documented, in books like Climate Cover-Up and The Heat is On, and websites like Sourcewatch and ExxonSecrets. It’s not hard to follow, because most of it is right out in the open. Corporate speech is protected, after all, as the US Supreme Court just affirmed.

    Nobody’s getting wealthy on the science side, despite the tu quoque allegations of the professional deniers. That’s working pretty well for them, obviously.

    BFJ, if you’ve got any credible evidence to substantiate your accusations of fraud, show it to us. Come on, BFJ, we’re waiting!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:59 PM

  548. RIght on BFJ!

    Here he debunks AGW.

    http://nov55.com/gbwm.html

    He shows not only all that other stuff you said, he also shows that the idiot physicists don’t even know how to define energy properly!
    http://nov55.com/ener.html

    Here he debunks the so-called “theory of relativity”.

    http://nov55.com/eins.html

    He debunks most of the junk science that passes for modern science. The whole house of cards is coming down!!!

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:14 PM

  549. Dang it. I need that preview button Maladapted was talking about.

    [Response: Get it right the first time! :)
    ]

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:16 PM

  550. Ferocious says:

    The kind of scenarios discussed in AR4 and the kind of recommendations that come out of it need to be in the 99.9% likely range to be justified because the consequences are so large.

    The kind of inaction discussed by ferocious and others had better have a 99.9% chance of a favorable outcome because the possible negative consequences of doing nothing are so large.

    Comment by dhogaza — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  551. Has anyone here read this paper and have any comment on it? It ever so slightly raised my eyebrows.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/2/576
    Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for A.D. 2100
    Breeker, Sharp, McFadden (2009)
    PNAS 2010 107:576-580; published online before print December 28, 2009, doi:10.1073/pnas.0902323106

    Summary at Nature Reports: http://www.nature.com/climate/2010/1002/full/climate.2010.03.html
    Insights from earth.
    “…They found that calcite forms in soils only during the hottest and driest times of year, rather than year-round. Using this information, the team recalculated atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past 400 million years. While previous studies point to atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 3,000–4,000 parts per million during ancient greenhouse events, Breecker’s team revises this down to around 1,000 parts per million.

    Their findings are in line with estimates from plant fossils, which have previously been regarded as controversial. The study suggests that a hothouse world may be closer to present-day reality than once believed.”

    Comment by J Bowers — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:01 PM

  552. Ferrocious says “The kind of scenarios discussed in AR4 and the kind of recommendations that come out of it need to be in the 99.9% likely range to be justified because the consequences are so large.”

    Bullshit! The costs of mitigating climate change amount to 3-5% of the global economy for a period of 30 years or so. We have squandered similar amounts to bail out billionaires and wage war against nations that posed no threat to us! What is more, most of the expenditure would be needed in any case to develop the new energy economy we will need to cope with depletion of fossil fuels–also likely to occur this century.

    And what you are proposing is in effect a sliding scale for scientific truth depending on whether we like the consequences. I would absolutely love to see you calculate the expectation value for a game of rou-l-ette according to those rules. “Hmm, let’s see if I win, that’s good. I’ll only require 60% CL for that, but I’ll take the lower bound of the 99.9% CL about whether the ball lands on green…”

    You are confusing the two stages of the risk calculus. The standards for science do not vary. The standards for risk depend on the severity of the consequences and the cost–that is where different threats demand different levels of confidence. However, given that we are talking about changing the climate of the only habitable planet we know of at a time when global population will be climbing to 9-10 billion people, I don’t think you’ll like the answer.

    Dude, learn what the hell you are talking about!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  553. J Bowers (551) — I read the PNAS paper, but I’m an amateur at this. At a minimum we may conclude that we don’t know very well ancient CO2 levels above, say, 1000 ppm and so ought to work harder at avoiding further increases in atmospheric CO2.

    Scary.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:13 PM

  554. BFJ says: 21 February 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Hey, “BFJ”, why don’t you publish here some specific allegations of fraud against specific individuals, along with your own real name and address? Superficially you sound very confident, but it takes no rocket scientist to notice you mention no proper names in your post, your own or any others. So you’re not confident? What’s the deal?

    If you don’t deliver any facts, you have no credibility.

    Loser.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 AM

  555. Ferrocious says “The kind of scenarios discussed in AR4 and the kind of recommendations that come out of it need to be in the 99.9% likely range to be justified because the consequences are so large.”

    I was diagnosed with Stage IIb lung cancer last year. The surgery to remove my right lung cost $85k – of which I paid about $5k in deductibles and copays. I had no disability insurance, so I had to take four months off work without pay and another month half time – that’s another $24k.

    The five year survival rate with the surgery is 50%. Without surgery, I would have had a 5% chance of surviving for five years.

    According to ferocious, I was a fool to waste 1/3 of my annual income to have a 50% chance of surviving the next five years. I should have done nothing until there was a treatment with a 99.9% chance of working.

    Comment by Jiminmpls — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:33 AM

  556. OK, so I read the “Africagate” link given above. The piece says that the essential problem is that Agoumi 2003 “doesn’t say” what the IPCC claims.

    So I went to Agoumi 2003 and found this:

    “Studies on the future of vital agriculture in the region
    have shown the following risks, which are linked to
    climate change:
    • greater erosion, leading to widespread soil degradation;
    • deficient yields from rain-based agriculture of up
    to 50 per cent during the 2000–2020 period;

    A direct cut-and-paste, folks. (That’s where the cute little bullet points came from; I wouldn’t have bothered.)

    Can you say “Richard Northgate?” Boy, I can’t wait for the fame and glory that comes with revealing that a reporter LIED.

    Oops, sorry for the sarcasm.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:22 AM

  557. 553 David B. Benson: “Scary”

    You’re the second person to say something on those lines. I’m actually hoping someone will say it’s rubbish. Maybe I should post it at WUWT or CA ;)

    Comment by J Bowers — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:08 AM

  558. Re: Africagate.
    Regardless of the provenance of the quote, it is pretty obvious — since we’re halfway into the 2000 – 2020 period — that the prediction is not true. To my knowledge, crop yields in Africa haven’t fallen 25% in the last decade. So unless there is expectation of massively accelerated decline in the next decade, that 50% figure won’t hold up.
    If you want a more detailed and reasonable analysis of the threat to agriculture in Africa, here is a useful report from FAO:
    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/012/ak915e/ak915e00.pdf
    Potentially 50% loss in yield by 2100. Lack of funding for adaptation is the urgent issue.

    Comment by Don Shor — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:50 PM

  559. Don Shor, it’s not “Africa.” It’s “North Africa.” And it wasn’t 50%, it was “up to 50%.”

    See also:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19526144.000-global-warming-is-changing-the-worlds-rain.html

    http://www.africanagricultureblog.com/2008/03/north-africa-to-develop-drought-salt.html

    http://www.bilateralchamber.org/newsletter/2009/dec/agriculture.html

    I’d like to see a study on what has happened since 2003.

    Nice job moving the goalpost, though.

    Let me move it back: the IPCC did not lie, Richard North did. That was what was being discussed on the subthread.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  560. “558
    Don Shor says:
    22 February 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Re: Africagate.
    Regardless of the provenance of the quote, it is pretty obvious — since we’re halfway into the 2000 – 2020 period — that the prediction is not true. ”

    It is?

    Please explain the lost yields in Africa, then and how you have worked out the sources of their loss (and the gains that should have occurred by farming practices and the whole GM-crop-will-solve-third-world-hunger bounty that hasn’t appeared).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:01 PM

  561. The Bugle episode 103 (link to mp3 download) had a fine discussion on climate denialism. They compare the use of the errors in AR 4 to discredit all of climate science to Hillary and Tenzing finding a snowman on top of Everest and declaring “I can’t believe it! Someone told us this was a mountain, and it’s just a snowman with a 25,000 foot skirt!”

    Comment by Antiquated Tory — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  562. Could someone at RealClimate.org help me?

    You write:

    ” Himalayan glaciers: : …There are also several pages on future glacier decline in Chapter 10 (“Global Climate Projections”), where the proper projections are used e.g. to estimate future sea level rise”

    I opened the PDF file, 100 pages in size, you linked to for Chapter 10. Not having time to sift through 100 pages I used the internal search feature. Trying several times I got no matches for “Himalayan”. Should I use another keyword?

    And my second question (still intersted in the first, but this even more pressing) what is the actual current best estimate range for projections? I found one online talk overheads (I think linked to from realclimate.org) a few weeks ago, I think the “how long before they would be mostly (not entirely) melted” was in the range of 150 years. Is that right?

    Third and last, is this statement by a 2004 article by Monbiot true, “the Himalayan glaciers which feed the Ganges, the Bramaputra, the Mekong, the Yangtze and the other great Asian rivers are likely to disappear within 40 years.”?

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by econdemocracy — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  563. How come all errors in these reports seem to show the problem as being bigger than it really is? If these were truly accidents in data entry, wouldn’t there be errors that didn’t support their position?

    Comment by geoff h — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:17 AM

  564. may as well ask, geoff, why EVERY SINGLE THING that is unknown or poorly understood in climage science is, when picked up by the denialcrowd, ALWAYS going to cap global warming thereby making it nothing we have to do anything about.

    But you neglect to note that not everything in the IPCC report IS turning out to say it’s worse than really eventuates:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/arctic/arctic_sea_ice_extent6_800pxW.jpg/view

    So now what to your theory of “if it were truly accidents”?

    Here is an error that doesn’t support a position YOU have labeled them with of “AGW is going to be worse than we said”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:12 AM

  565. After asking for comments on, ‘Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for A.D. 2100. Breeker, Sharp, McFadden (2009).’ another paleoclimate paper on CO2 and temperature cropped up:

    Palaeoclimate: Global warmth with little extra CO2. Birgit Schneider & Ralph Schneider (2010).
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/full/ngeo736.html
    Nature Geoscience 3, 6–7 (1 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/ngeo736

    Clive Hamilton at Australia’s ABC says: “A new study concludes that an average warming of 3-4°C (which means 7-8°C on land), previously thought to be associated with carbon dioxide concentrations of 500-600 ppmv, is now believed to be associated with concentrations of only 360-420 ppmv, a range that covers the current concentration of 385 ppmv, rising at 2 ppmv per annum. If confirmed by further research, the implications of this are terrifying.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2829295.htm

    Any comments? Anyone read the full paper? Can someone please debunk it…

    Comment by J Bowers — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:46 AM

  566. geoff,

    There are such errors, but they don’t get pointed out by the denialists.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  567. Re: 565 (J Bowers)

    I’ve just made similar observations following the artice “Good news for the earth’s climate system?”; see comment 377 .

    I hadn’t actually noticed the Schneiders’ paper, but it does seem consistent with other recent papers on the Pliocene which I discussed. Tripati et al’s paper is even scarier, since they reconstruct CO2 at only 350ppm during the mid-Pliocene.

    I find it rather concerning that, while all these dramatic papers are hitting the journals, the front page of “Real Climate” is entirely devoted to media storms and rebuttals; including rebutting Fred Pearce in “The Guardian” of all sources! Something’s going horribly, horribly wrong.

    Comment by Dr Nick Bone — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:51 PM

  568. Dr Nick Bone, thanks for pointing out the other work …. I think ;)

    Comment by J Bowers — 27 Feb 2010 @ 8:39 PM

  569. Dr. Stephen Schneider, on NPR’s Science Friday (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123892162): “The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indeed is a human institution. You know, it’s 200 scientists. It goes through multiple rounds of review. It’s people from all over the world. It’s got to have mistakes. That’s not the problem.

    The problem is when it makes a few mistakes, and these mistakes were largely discovered by the well-oiled, multimillion-dollar disinformation engines and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other things, they pointed it out. You know what? They have a right, and they should have.

    IPCC, I think, badly responded by calling the ones who pointed it out voodoo scientists. That’s ridiculous. What you have to say is thank you, we’ll check it. When we checked it, two or three of those errors were really bad.

    What they didn’t say, and this is the fraudulent part, is how can you report just a few mistakes and not report the overall track record of the group? It’s a man-bites-dog story. So here’s the temple of, you know, intellectual science caught in a few errors, and indeed they are, but not to say that when there’s a thousand conclusions, and no matter how hard the guys search from the other side, they’ve only found three wrong, my view is: Give me a crack team, I could probably find 10.”

    Comment by Nick — 2 Mar 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  570. Nick: “IPCC, I think, badly responded by calling the ones who pointed it out voodoo scientists.”

    Nick, you’re assigning that comment a context it doesn’t have.

    The “Voodoo Science” claims are for those who say that “It’s the Iris Effect!” or “CO2 can’t do it because greenhouse gas theory breaks the laws of thermodynamics!”

    These ARE Voodoo Science.

    And that is where the claim for voodoo science comes from.

    For other Voodoo Science complaints that denialists (who claim “skepticism”), see the non-exhaustive list here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 5 Mar 2010 @ 8:41 AM

  571. I would like to inform you that this statement of yours are wrong:

    “Gray literature: The IPCC cites 18,000 references in the AR4; the vast majority of these are peer-reviewed scientific journal papers.”

    There are thousands of references to gray literature in the IPCC reports. I assume that you (realclimate) as hardworking serious scientists are interested to nuance your statement.

    See the post here for a through anaylysis of gray literature in the IPCC:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/03/gray-literature-in-ipcc-tar-guest-post.html

    [Response: Actually, simple logic dictates that you can't prove a statement about AR4 wrong by looking at TAR. Even in TAR however, a large majority of references were from peer-reviewed journals, and in WG1, it clearly is the 'vast majority' (84% according to you). I have no reason to suspect that this is dramatically different in AR4, and indeed, I might expect a higher proportion because of the increased attention that AR4 got from the reviewers. But as we stated above, the grey literature - particularly in WG2 and WG3 - is essential for assessing impacts and responses. No-one has ever denied this. - gavin]

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 5 Mar 2010 @ 9:32 AM

  572. For anyone reading who’s new to this whole area, the acronyms refer to the time of publication of the edition.

    TAR: “Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the IPCC, published in 2001.”

    “The IPCC has started work on the preparation of its Fifth Assessment Report … The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) was released in 2007.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/

    Kids, when writing school papers, always check for a newer edition of whatever source you found on the shelves. Don’t accidentally rely on outdated sources.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Mar 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  573. Gavin, I “extrapolated” my results, under the assumtion, as you also say, “I have no reason to suspect that this is dramatically different in AR4″. TAR and AR4 are most likely similar in basic bibliometric data.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 5 Mar 2010 @ 11:39 AM

  574. Are you guys going to be doing a post on the Science article on Arctic methane?

    [Response: Yes, Patience! - gavin]

    Comment by Bruce M. — 5 Mar 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  575. Re 548 debunking Einstein
    I went to the web site that is supposed to debunk the theory of relativity. These are all statements and opinions. There is no science nor math to back them up, and there is no real logical sequence to the statements. It is just crap. He doesn’t even understand that the speed of light is not relative to any thing. It is constant measured against any reference point.

    Comment by Sir — 5 Mar 2010 @ 2:22 PM

  576. @Andreas: I’m calling your bluff. I did a quick check of the references to several chapters of AR4 WG1, and got nowhere near the 1 in 6 non-journal references that you claimed for TAR (I didn’t check that). 1 in 10 non-journal references would already be an overestimation.

    Moreover, your table only distinguished journal vs non-journal. Earlier IPCC reports are also frequently referenced in the AR4. They are heavily peer reviewed, but you consider them “grey” just because they are not journals. Same goes for the many books that ARE peer reviewed. “Grey” literature in your evaluation. To make things worse, NO book or report published by a genuine publishing agency is actually considered “grey” literature, regardless of whether there is any peer review or not (!).

    Andreas, I think you owe the people here at RC an apology, and I think you should ask Roger to significantly alter your claims on “grey” literature on his webside. Remember, you demanded RC to correct itself. Will you do so yourself?

    Comment by Marco — 5 Mar 2010 @ 2:43 PM

  577. Econdemocracy #562,

    Try the brief section 10.7.4.2 for the long-term, global view, and an important note on the modelling requirements. But I don’t see any mention of Himalayas in ch. 10, either. Section 4.5.3 describes current developments as follows.

    Whereas glaciers in the Asian high mountains have generally shrunk at varying rates (Su and Shi, 2002; Ren et al., 2004; Solomina et al., 2004; Dyurgerov and Meier, 2005), several high glaciers in the central Karakoram are reported to have advanced and/or thickened at their tongues (Hewitt, 2005), probably due to enhanced precipitation

    Be wary of anyone claiming to know how fast the Himalayan glaciers will melt over the next centuries. (Fools, rushing in where glacier experts fear to thread, may try extrapolating wildly from various current rates cited in the Kargel backgrounder.)
    The Monbiot statement from 2004 that you cite sounds like it comes from the same tainted source as the unfortunate WG2 paragraph.

    Comment by CM — 5 Mar 2010 @ 3:13 PM

  578. #571

    I see nothing wrong with references to the “gray literature” as long as the cited papers pass muster with the reviewers.

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 5 Mar 2010 @ 3:14 PM

  579. Re: references in AR4,

    I’ve long been curious about the mechanics of hundreds and authors writing and referencing ~3000 pages in a uniform way. Might the entire bibliography of AR4 reside in a monster BibTex file somewhere? If so, it should be an easy lunch break’s work to break it down into publication types and do a frequency count of journals.

    Comment by CM — 5 Mar 2010 @ 5:24 PM

  580. 576 Marco,
    Please post the results from your count (on the chapters of WG1) at Pielkes blog. I am interested. Also explain your method.

    If you want me to change anything, please be specific on what you claim is wrong. What you say is already things I have explained in my text, more or less.

    First, the RC statement concerns specifically journal articles, so I am right about that. “The IPCC cites 18,000 references in the AR4; the vast majority of these are peer-reviewed scientific journal papers
    Second, I explain my method and I don´t consider anything grey that is not grey. There is a difference between my technical term non journal articles and gray literature. I don´t give any exact numbers on gray literature, since I don’t have that.
    Earlier IPCC reports don’t change much, since there can me a maximun of 6 references to earlier reports in each TAR chapter (3 parts of first and second assessment report). Perhaps you count in the text and not the reference list as I do?

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:31 AM

  581. 579 CM,
    CM, for TAR there was no such monster BibTex or database of references. I had to copy and paste from PFD-files from the IPCC homepage. When that is done, break it down in pulication type etc. That is a couple of month full time work. The authors of the different chapters of IPCC seems to work rather independenty with the references since the abbreviations of journal names differ between chapters. And the text is actually not that uniform, although they started with “uncertainty police” in TAR (read Schneiders new book).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:36 AM

  582. 575:Sir said: “I went to the web site that is supposed to debunk the theory of relativity.”

    I’m sorry.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  583. Andreas in what way is your instruction:
    “Please post the results from your count (on the chapters of WG1) at Pielkes blog. I am interested. Also explain your method.”

    Address the answer to your assertions from Marco?

    You have the WG1 papers.

    YOU stated something about them, Marco has responded with his research and if YOU know what you stated about them, then YOU should know where and what he’s missed.

    Pielke’s not going to be able to explain it, unless you’re parroting him.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:42 AM

  584. Andreas #581,

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean to belittle your efforts; I rather imagined you had to analyze the TAR by hand. I was just speculating if there was a quicker route to doing similar work on AR4. For a collaborative work, updated at regular intervals, with 14,000+ references, reference-management software and a shared bibliographic database would make sense. But perhaps getting hundreds of people with ingrained writing habits to use it is more trouble than it’s worth.

    … You didn’t happen to make a database yourself during those months, did you?

    Comment by CM — 7 Mar 2010 @ 8:42 AM

  585. [...] I know of none that is more transparent than climate science, and in large part that s due to the IPCC. Ironically, without this transparency, the climate-change deniers would not get as much [...]

    Pingback by Climate Update » Blog Archive » A mistaken message from IoP? — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  586. CFU, I don´t know what methods Marco used, that´s why I asked him. Before I know that, I can´t say much of the results. That´s how science works. I also explained why Marco is mistaken on some of his claims, e.g. that the RC quote concerns journal articles (hence, no excuse is needed) and that Marco is wrong regarding how I treat gray literature. CFU, please read MY text (at Pielkes blog) before you comment.

    CM, yes, I understand, but I don´t think there is a quicker way for AR4. I think each working group work rather independently. I have excel-files and a bunch of different matrixes, but no database.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  587. “586
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    7 March 2010 at 2:32 PM

    CFU, I don´t know what methods Marco used, that´s why I asked him”

    But you didn’t ask him. You asked him to tell someone else.

    Neither was Marco hiding his methods. What you’re hiding are YOURS.

    Reversing the position, Andreas. Marco asked YOU what YOUR method was, showed HIS workings and now YOU say you want HIS methods because he didn’t say???

    Pathetic.

    Comment by Comeplely Fed Up — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  588. > Earlier IPCC reports are also frequently referenced in the AR4.
    > … but you consider them “grey” …. Same goes for the many books
    > that ARE peer reviewed. “Grey” literature in your evaluation. …
    > NO book or report published by a genuine publishing agency is actually
    > considered “grey” literature, regardless of whether there is any peer review

    Andreas, do you agree with this description of your criteria?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  589. CFU, please, you have not even read my original text (Gray Literature in the IPCC TAR, A guest post by Andreas Bjurström, at Pielkes blog). Marco understand what I am saying becayse he have been reading my text.

    Hank Roberts, no, I don´t agree with that. I quantify journal articles. Everything else is “non journal references” but I don´t say that all of these are gray since they are not. That is why I am cautious to not give any numbers at all of gray literature. I only do some rough qualitative analysis and statements on that. My aim is to give a general outline, I don´t claim great precision and my general conclusions don´t need that.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:33 AM

  590. “589
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    8 March 2010 at 3:33 AM

    CFU, please, you have not even read my original text ”

    And you haven’t read Marco’s.

    He showed his investigation. They do not show what you claim is there. Either he is right in which case say so, he has missed something, in which case show how.

    Neither case requires that Marco print his investigations on Pielke’s website unless he and you are working together.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:00 AM

  591. CFU,
    Well, a guest post means that we are working together, and where I posted my text is the appropriate place for in-depth discussion (this was the last time I replied to your ignorant questions on this matter).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  592. “Well, a guest post means that we are working together,”

    So you are working with Pielke?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  593. And even if you’re working with him, you don’t need Marco to post there, you seem to be posting a lot just fine on here.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:49 PM

  594. If anyone’s still reading this thread, I’ve been trying my hand at a simple Perl script to parse AR4 references and do a rough type count, in case it could shed some light on the discussion. After a day’s work, it still obviously doesn’t parse WG3 well and isn’t proven on WG2, so I don’t expect it to settle anything.

    But summarizing 19,040 references from 44 chapters in 16 seconds is fun, and it did OK analyzing a WG1 chapter (ch. 4, snow and ice), which I also hand-counted for verification. The script correctly found 257 references and suggested 82-86% of these might be journal articles (against 84% in my count – including the non-peer-reviewed but tried and tested Stinemann (1980) in Creative Computing…).

    Neither Andreas nor Gavin saw any reason why AR4 would be dramatically different from TAR with regard to journal references, though Gavin expected an increase. My very preliminary results agree. They suggest 90-92% journal articles in AR4 WG1, and the lower end of a 61-67% range for WG2 (cf. Andreas’s TAR figures of 84% and 59%, respectively). I’m not taking any bets on WG3 yet. If I manage to narrow down the errors, I’ll post what I find, though the anti-IPCC crowd will probably have hand-counted every chapter by then already (good, keep them busy).

    With regard to “gray” literature, Marco’s and Gavin’s points are clearly the more important. As I said, 84% of the references in AR WG1 ch.4 (the snow and ice chapter) turn out to be journal articles, which is less than in the other AR4 chapters bar the first one.

    I have classed the remaining 41 references as follows (hand count):
    - 14 proceedings papers,
    - 16 chapters in edited collections,
    - 5 books, and
    - 6 technical reports.

    Generally these were published by serious-sounding scientific bodies or publishers, so I assume they have been accepted, edited, and in some cases refereed, by experts. The percentage of references that have passed scrutiny equivalent to peer review could well be in the high nineties. I agree with Marco: The journal article count alone does not tell the whole story.

    That bears repeating, because Andreas started out (#571) referring to his “thorough analysis of gray literature” on Pielke’s blog, claiming “(t)here are thousands of references to gray literature in the IPCC reports”. He later backtracked, admitting he had no numbers on “gray” literature as such, only on journal and non-journal publications (#580), but still claimed to have scored a point against RealClimate on a technicality, tch tch.

    Comment by CM — 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:50 AM

  595. 594 CM,
    I´m impressed by the computer coding and the rather good results it gives. The numbers are very interesting and similar to mine. If you like to, please e-mail me the results or just say a few words on how you did it, and we can discuss it some more (you can find my adress with google, or through the link by my blog post at Pielke). Actually, if you develop the computer coding a bit more, and are able to group references to different articles, it would be extremely valuable for me. If you are a researcher, that is a good opportunity for both of us, I would say, to write an article on that. Since I have 2 articles from TAR and lots of material and matrices and different categorications etc.

    I agree that my wording (#571) was wrong. My analysis is a through analysis of journal references. Gray literature was the aim, to say something on that, but I slided from the one to the other in my wording.

    However, this is an carefully worded estimation “There are thousands of references to gray literature in the IPCC reports.” I based that on the fact that I know that there are about 5.000 non-journal references in TAR, many of these are gray, and many are not. “Thousands” are inbetween 1 and 5 thousand … And I do still believe that RC mix WG1 with the rest when they claim that the “vast majority” are journal articles. I lead author that write on insurance issues or economic aspects may have the opposite view, from the localised context, that hardly any references are to journals, that is true of some WG3 chapters and perhaps a few WG2 chapters as well.

    CM, very good posting, very good critique, sharp and fair and very useful!

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:54 AM

  596. Andreas,

    The script opens each of the 44 reference lists in the IPCC web edition of AR4. It looks for various patterns in the text and formatting to take each reference, break it down into author, year, title, and publication data, and then looks for clues as to what kind of document it is: If the title is italicized, it’s a book; else, if it has a boldface volume number or a DOI, it’s an article; if it contains certain keywords, it’s a technical report or proceedings paper; else, if it has editors (“Ed(s).”) in the publication data part, it’s a chapter in a collection; else, if it has an italicized title in the publication data, it may be an article. The script counts them all up, and in the end reports a low and a high percentage estimate of journal articles. The low estimate is the number of fairly certain articles divided by the total reference count, the high estimate includes also the “maybe” articles from the last step, and is divided by only as many references as the script has managed to classify.

    Fairly simple, linear logic so far, in code too messy to share, but it sort of works. It put the journal articles in WG2 ch. 16 at 56-62%; my count: 60%.

    Comment by CM — 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:05 PM

  597. CM,
    On this Andreas and I agree: Very cool!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:04 PM

  598. Andreas, Ray,

    Thanks. I need to catch up with work, but if Andreas wants to do some counting and check my results so far, here’s the output for WG1 (I’ve done ch. 4). If it doesn’t display properly, copy-paste into a text editor with monospace font.


    | AR4 chap. | References | Journ. articles |
    |-----------+-------+---------+-----------+-------|
    | Chapter | Total | Unclear | (abs.) | (%) |
    |-----------+-------+---------+-----------+-------|
    | wg1-ch1 | 264 | 2 | 200-206 | 76-79 |
    | wg1-ch2 | 759 | 30 | 695-695 | 92-95 |
    | wg1-ch3 | 802 | 7 | 747-752 | 93-95 |
    | wg1-ch4 | 257 | 6 | 210-215 | 82-86 |
    | wg1-ch5 | 289 | 1 | 259-262 | 90-91 |
    | wg1-ch6 | 609 | 34 | 546 | 90-95 |
    | wg1-ch7 | 870 | 15 | 787-797 | 90-93 |
    | wg1-ch8 | 687 | 2 | 613-616 | 89-90 |
    | wg1-ch9 | 535 | 1 | 494-496 | 92-93 |
    | wg1-ch10 | 546 | 2 | 508-513 | 93-94 |
    | wg1-ch11 | 609 | 6 | 527-529 | 87-88 |
    |-----------+-------+---------+-----------+-------|
    | WG1 | 6227 | 106 | 5586-5627 | 90-92 |
    |-----------+-------+---------+-----------+-------|

    The “unclear” references (1.7%) either did not parse at all, or could not be classified.

    The script doesn’t know if a journal is peer-reviewed, a popular magazine or an industry bulletin, so for present purposes, anything that looks like a journal article should be counted as one. I include only the journal-article count here, but I’m interested in getting the other types right too (I’ve used “book”, “in collection” (book chapter), “in proceedings”, “technical report”, but you may have better suggestions).

    Comment by CM — 10 Mar 2010 @ 4:48 AM

  599. PS.

    > copy-paste into a text editor with monospace font.

    … and add spaces so the columns line up again.

    > The script doesn’t know if a journal is peer-reviewed

    …But we can tell it. That’s the next step, after we know it’s reliable.

    Comment by CM — 10 Mar 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  600. Cool. Very good!
    From your description, I´m sure that it is possible to write a script that suits my purposes (that is not primarily gray literature). If I will do the AR4 report in future, I will work with a computer programmer. And when that is done, combine my TAR matrices with AR4 to search for trends (in disciplinary bias and interdisciplinary structures).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:59 AM

  601. > serious-sounding scientific bodies or publishers

    Your local library has a couple of databases available to determine whether that “serious-sounding” criterion can be relied on as a peer-reviewed journal.
    They refer students to them routinely to check this question.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:52 AM

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