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  1. The hearings began a short time ago with opening statements from UCS, Drew Shindell, Piltz and climate policy heretic and historian Roger Pielke, Jr. The link below takes you to the page for the Committee where you can read all the witness statements. It isn’t possible to see it online for some reason. However, C-SPAN covered it live until noon and promised to reair it later today.

    Highlights that I saw: Piltz said the WH deliberately altered important reports (Phil Cooney edits discussed) to downplay significance of AGW. Shindell cited examples of how his press releases were held up and watered down. Pielke, Jr. conceded the Bush people have been extra specially heavy handed in their censorship of scientists, but that similar “oversight” of scientists’ work by policymakers has been ongoing since the 1920′s and the system wouldn’t work without it. He also cited examples of how environmental groups got government researchers to use certain hot words like “harbinger” in much the same way as GOP propaganda specialist Frank Luntz did with “climate change vs. global warming” for his clients.

    Attendance at the hearing so far: lousy. Chairman Waxman, Ranking Republican Davis, Darrel Issa from CA (the man who got the Terminator elected and ironically has helped push the cap and trade debate forward) and a few more members.

    http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1162&Issue=Environment

    Comment by Alvia Gaskill — 30 Jan 2007 @ 12:20 PM

  2. At almost 20 tonnes per head of capita (25% of all fossil fuels used worldwide per annum) or around 6 billion tonnes per annum the USA has it easy when it comes to cutting fossil fuel burning, energy conservation measures alone could cut that by a significant amount. I mean energy saving light bulbs (80% more efficient), proper insulation on homes and business, and vehicles burning less fuel to get from A to B would be a great start. Couple that with some additional commitments to Geothermal, Wind and Solar and it would make a big difference.

    Europe 25 burns on average around 8 tonnes per capita so the EU more work to do than the USA does.

    Comment by pete best — 30 Jan 2007 @ 1:14 PM

  3. Good.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 30 Jan 2007 @ 1:31 PM

  4. The hearing just concluded. It was finally available online via ABC. I caught bits and pieces of it. By the time it was over, many members of the Committee had arrived and asked questions. One other note. When you testify before Congress and it is broadcast live online, they don’t always turn off the microphones before the feed ends. I heard quite a bit during this post game show, but will respect the privacy of those doing the talking since it wasn’t part of the official record.

    Comment by Alvia Gaskill — 30 Jan 2007 @ 2:00 PM

  5. It’s little disappointing to see that the Democrats had three people to show up while the Republicans were allowed only Roger Pielke Jr. to advocate for their side.

    I realize that the Dems are in power and are going to set the agenda, but the panels should be a little more balanced in the future.

    Comment by Thom — 30 Jan 2007 @ 2:12 PM

  6. In theory I’m all in favor of energy-saving lightbulbs, but in practice I find they are not as bright as incandescents. Maybe it’s the brand I’m using — does anyone know of a good brand? Did Consumer Reports ever do a low-power lightbulb issue?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 30 Jan 2007 @ 3:13 PM

  7. Pielke’s testimony:

    Roger Pielke Jr. attempted to draw the link between directions given to government scientists not to use the words “climate change”, “global warming”, “Kyoto” and the Union of Concerned Scientist’s suggestion that the word “harbinger” be used. This ignores the fundamental difference between government science institutions and independent groups; an honest comparison might be between UCS and groups such as the George C. Marshall Institute, Sherwood Idso’s CO2 Science, the Competetive Enterprise Institute and the American Petroleum Institute. NOAA, NASA, etc. are publicly funded institutions that have a fundamental responsibility to present accurate scientific information to the public.

    He then moved on to the issue of hurricanes and denied that there was scientific consensus on the link between increases in hurricane intensity and global warming, even though yet the basic physical concept is pretty clear; hurricanes don’t form unless there is a threshold sea surface temperature, but there are other requirements as well. If existing hurricanes encounter warm bodies of water, they will tend to intensify, as Katrina did. Sea surface temperatures are predicted to increase – I suppose one could argue that since GCM’s don’t model hurricanes, no conclusions can be made, but that’s not very reassuring.

    For someone who refuses to discuss whether or not the ongoing trend of closely spaced temperature records is set to continue, he seems to have a very strong supporter of the lack of a relationship between hurricanes and global warming. Roger Pielke Jr’s quote on this issue is that “We don’t do temperature predictions here.”

    The question (still standing) is “With respect to the fact that the warmest years since accurate records began have all been in the last decade, does this represent an anomalous spike in the natural climate variability, or are we looking at a generally increasing temperature trend that is due to the increased concentration of atmospheric CO2 brought on by buring fossil fuels? (A generally increasing temperature trend would be expected to set a systematic trend of new temperature records, wouldn’t it?)”

    Pielke’s main thrust was that all science is political, and that this is inescapable, which is nonsense. With respect to a memo stating that global warming should lead to increases in hurricane intensity, he said:
    “I am absolutely 100% certain that the statement does not faithfully represent the science… it selects among the science to present a perspective, and that is inevitable, and we have to recognize that, and noone is immune from it… But let’s not pretend that we can somehow separate out scientific truth from political preferences…the reality is that they are always going to be intermixed”

    That may be true for political science, but that’s about it. I also think that NOAA’s use of the 1971-2000 time period as a ‘baseline’ for temperature anomaly calculations goes beyond political intereference with scientist’s ability to speak freely and enters the realm of unjustified manipulation of data. The issue of how to generate a baseline is discussed in detail in the 2001 IPCC report: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/483.htm

    Comment by Ike Solem — 30 Jan 2007 @ 3:24 PM

  8. Subject: Greene’s Law – “The more important the decision, the less likely it will be made by anyone knowing what is involved.” (This may not be original with me. I welcome proper attribution.) This “law” seemed to be full function during the Supreme Court discussions about carbon dioxide being a pollutant.

    Comment by David C. Greene — 30 Jan 2007 @ 3:33 PM

  9. Re: “It’s little disappointing to see that the Democrats had three people to show up while the Republicans were allowed only Roger Pielke Jr. to advocate for their side.

    I realize that the Dems are in power and are going to set the agenda, but the panels should be a little more balanced in the future.”

    Were you being sarcastic here, Thom? If not, the Democrats’ changes in committee invitations are certainly better than having a science fiction writer (Crichton) and people formerly affiliated with the tobacco industry (Seitz, Singer, etc.) claiming expertise in climate science. At least the Dems are inviting people who are actually climate scientists.

    As for balance, you’re completely wrong. If balanced invitations were made, there would be about 200 scientists invited who agree with the facts that the climate is changing and that it is primarily the result of human activities which emit greenhouse gases to one scientist who doesn’t agree with these facts. That is the approximate ratio of those who agree with AGW to those who don’t. (Case in point, the Naomi Oreskes paper in “Science” in December 2004, which showed in a survey of 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers that not one of the 928 studies claimed that AGW was not occurring.)

    Comment by Stephen Berg — 30 Jan 2007 @ 4:57 PM

  10. re #7: Pielke’s assertion that science cannot be separated from politics is self-serving, anti-rational, and anti-science. What science cannot be separated from is the natural universe, and that’s all. Where individual human emotions and beliefs come in the way of honest observation the peer review process can apply corrections, and humankind is the better for this. What Pielke is doing is saying that politics, through the engine of propaganda, can alter the universe to suit a power agenda which is clearly nonsense of the highest order. The idea only makes sense if you think Man is above all things, immune, and can change nature and the universe to our will. This is a throw-back to the collision between Galileo and Pope Urban VIII, which as we all know was decided in favor of dogmatic irrationalism after a tour of the engines of torture.

    An aging Galileo can be excused for crumbling at the threat of torture and mortification. But Pielke is no Inquisition, and Bush is no Pope, and we need not bend knee to these scurrilous performers of political theater. I’m glad he was alone before the committee — balance be damned — we’ve given these perfidious corporate lapdogs all the time they need to make their case and unless they can produce viable, authentic, peer-reviewed science then they can take their sleight of hand, their vexing illusions, and muddy the waters on some other planet where the bulk of humanity have less at stake.

    Comment by cat black — 30 Jan 2007 @ 5:22 PM

  11. Reading today’s NYT, I am amazed nobody there mentioned the President’s action today adding a new layer of administrative (political appointee) review for information coming out of all agencies. The NYT said it’s especially the EPA and OSHA he’s concerned about limiting.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jan 2007 @ 5:24 PM

  12. I am trying to figure out the point of Pielke’s statement. I guess it is to legitimize “cherry picking” of the science. Pielke’s statement had an egregious example of cherry picking on the hurricane-global warming issue. If you read the entire paragraph of the “consensus” statement, you get very different information than if you simply read the portion of the paragraph that pielke chose to quote. Here is the relevant paragraph in its entirety:

    “The scientific debate concerning the Webster et al and Emanuel papers is not as to whether global warming can cause a trend in tropical cyclone intensities. The more relevant question is how large a change: a relatively small one several decades into the future or large changes occurring today? Currently published theory and numerical modeling results suggest the former, which is inconsistent with the observational studies of Emanuel (2005) and Webster et al. (2005) by a factor of 5 to 8 (for the Emanuel study). The debate is on this important quantification as to whether such a signal can be detected in the historical data base, and whether it is possible to isolate the forced response of the climate system in the presence of substantial decadal and multi-decadal natural variability. This is still hotly debated area for which we can provide no definitive conclusion.”

    Note: the factor of 5 to 8 is incorrect, it is a factor of 2-3.

    Pielke’s cherry picking of the text from the statement on hurricanes is a great example in itself of misrepresenting the science for political purposes, supporting the points of Waxman, Piltz, Shindell, et al.

    Comment by Judith Curry — 30 Jan 2007 @ 5:44 PM

  13. #6, Barton, I’ve found the CF lights take about 5 to 10 minutes to reach their maximum brightness. Also, we were able to get a brighter kitchen 17 years ago when we started buying them: we replaced the 40 watt incandescent over the stove with a 15 watt (60 watt equivalent); then we got a new fixture over the breakfast table – going from a 5-bulb (60 watts each = 300 watts) chandelier with amber chimneys shooting the light upward, to a single 15 watt globe-style CF in a oak & bevelled glass fixture, & the whole kitchen became a lot brighter (going from 340 watts to 30 watts). After buying our SunFrost frig in 1991, our electric bill took a serious nose-dive. By the time we moved to Texas & went on 100% wind power, the additional cost only came to about $5 per month (having cut our electricity in about half).

    I understand Wal-Mart is promoting CFs now. And you can get them in full-spectrum light, and for use with dimmer switch (I think).

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 30 Jan 2007 @ 5:54 PM

  14. Barton, there are two issues. The first is that the spectrum of the incandescent and the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFB) differ (the incandescents are redder). There is a lot of money to be made if you can match a phosphor to the incandescent one which people prefer. The second is that it is only recently that CFBs in higher wattage have become available, but they tend to be too large to fit in many places. There are various ways around this using socket extenders, some of which I have used, but in general you need to use multiple CFAs, as you would multiple 60/75 Watt incandescents.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 30 Jan 2007 @ 6:04 PM

  15. It’s implied in a couple places above that RP Jr. was an invitee of the minority (Republicans). Is there a source on that?

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 30 Jan 2007 @ 7:09 PM

  16. #12 [picking] It might be interesting to see if researchers can “harden” their summary statements against cherry picking. For example, since it is clear that the Denialists enjoy statements containing terms like “hotly debated” maybe we ought to leave those off? There are ways of saying that we need more science to answer valid questions *without* implying that there are political hurdles to clear, or wild debates churning the sediments. We might be better served appealing for specific work in fruitful areas, and more attention to field observations, than to promote the idea that we’re trying to select via ritual combat the One True Theory. Because you know what, we’re not.

    Comment by cat black — 30 Jan 2007 @ 7:16 PM

  17. Spectra of CFLs (and white LEDs) here (page down; be patient; rest of site also wonderful):
    http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/spectra7.htm
    Reason to check: most emit a strong peak in the band that blocks melatonin synthesis. Quote and references here:
    http://sleep-medicine.advanceweb.com/common/Editorial/PrintFriendly.aspx?CC=66177
    ” … retinal photoreceptors /2 Very short light wavelengths (420 to 480 nm) are sufficient to suppress melatonin secretion …./3″
    —————
    2. Brainard GC et al. Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans…. J Neurosci. 2001;21(16):6405-12.
    3. Thapan K et al. …a novel, non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor system in humans. J Physiol. 2001;535(Pt 1):261-7.
    More at: http://www.lowbluelights.com/ Pardon the digression.
    —————-
    Attack on this science by right wing belief tank, here: http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.1022/healthissue_detail.asp

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jan 2007 @ 7:50 PM

  18. RE: 111 Me too. I blogged about both first thing. A trend? Oh yeah. I just saw Gavin on CNN. Well done, but at the end the reporter had to say there was a monority who say its a natural cycle. Which still giving them more credit than they deserve. They just can’t let go of the false balance he said she said shuffle.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 30 Jan 2007 @ 8:01 PM

  19. Steve,

    Dave Roberts broke the story over at Grist that Pielke is getting invites from the Republicans. Apparently, this is not the first time. Pielke is not happy.
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/1/30/24012/3177

    Comment by Thom — 30 Jan 2007 @ 8:07 PM

  20. I don’t think RP jr. spoke for Republicans per se. He just has a political bias goes around the world thesis I think is falty. He did accuse Dr. Mann as having one and Waxman put him to the griddle on it. it was refuted by the physicist Shindell on cross examination. Issa was relentless in tying paint all of them as biased or not scientists just like the Bush shills. It didn’t work.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 30 Jan 2007 @ 8:07 PM

  21. #12: “I am trying to figure out the point of Pielke’s statement.”

    Simple. It’s straight from the authoritarian’s playbook. When confronted with inconvenient facts, the authoritarian will start by smearing the source, distorting the facts, and issuing unsupported statements of denials. When the argument is lost, the authoritarian will say “well, the other side does it too.”

    This is a good sign, as it means the administration is realizing this argument has been lost.

    We saw a similar pattern last year. After mounting a staunch defense of the myriad of indicted Republicans the right wing ended up resorting to the meme of “both sides are equally corrupt.”

    This may sound flippant, but it isn’t. The enemies of science are authoritarians and their patterns of thinking and argumentation are non-scientific, but predictable.

    To learn more:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    Comment by Reader — 30 Jan 2007 @ 8:41 PM

  22. RE: 15 The AP story says he was invited by GOP lawmakers. Of course, it also calls him a “political scientist,” which probably is accurate in the wrong way–if a bit Freudian. Be your own judge of the accuracy, but I suppose a more formal account of attendance might emerge later. “Roger Pielke Jr., a political scientist at the University of Colorado who was invited by GOP lawmakers….”

    Comment by ghost — 30 Jan 2007 @ 8:52 PM

  23. I thouht Roger Pielke’s main point was
    “On climate change, even as scientists have come to a robust consensus that human activities have significant effects on the climate, legitimate debate continues on the costs and benefits of proposed alternative policy actions. And evaluation of costs and benefits involves considerations of values and politics. It would be hopelessly naive to think that an advisory committee on climate change could be empanelled without consideration of how the views of its members map onto the existing political debate.”
    Seems about right to me.

    [Response: The statement is fair enough in itself, but this was not a hearing about the administration putting its stamp on preferred policy responses to global warming. It was about systematic suppression of scientific evidence regarding the magnitude of the harm. I don't really expect RPJr to be able to tell the difference, but I'd hope the rest of us could. --raypierre]

    Comment by doug newton — 30 Jan 2007 @ 9:24 PM

  24. Interesting comments. As I understand it I was recommended by the Republicans and approved by the Democrats. My invite letter came from the Democrats. I hope that this information helps you to evaluate the substantive merits of my testimony;-) Anyone asserting that my testimony defends or represents the Republicans obviously hasn’t read it. Similarly, I don’t think that Shindell, Piltz, or Grifo were there to defend or represent the Democrats. We were each speaking for ourselves, we just happened to be picked because the politicians thought they’d get some advantage from it. I don’t think any of the 4 necessarily was uniformly helpful to the party that invited them. Selection of witnesses at Congressional hearings is of course cherry picking 101.

    I asserted in my testimony that citing Emanuel (2005), Webster et al (2005) and Mann and Emanuel (2005) represented a selective presentation of the literature on hurricanes and global warming, especially in the context of the recent consensus statement from the WMO endorsed by the AMS (how could that be neglected?!?), which said of the debate over the trends documented in the first two of these papers:

    “This is still hotly debated area for which we can provide no definitive conclusion.”

    Here is what WMO says about Mann/Emanuel:

    “The possibility that greenhouse gas induced global warming may have already caused a substantial increase in some tropical cyclone indices has been raised (e.g. Mann and Emanuel, 2006), but no consensus has been reached on this issue.”

    No consensus. Hotly debated. Seems quite clear. Why anyone would go to the mat on this point is beyond me. There is a debate ongoing in the community. It is not necessary to assess certainty. In fact assessing such certainty misrepresents the science. So why do it?

    Anyone wanting to actually read my comments and discuss is welcome to on our site. Thanks!

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 30 Jan 2007 @ 9:26 PM

  25. #23: you forgot the part where he tried to discredit Drs. Mann and Curry by misstating what the scientific consensus of the effect of AGW on hurricanes is.

    However, the statement you quote from him I would think is accurate. Can’t really argue with it.

    The thing that really frosted me was Issa’s use of an out of context bit from Hansen arguing with the 2000 USCCP scenarios for CO2 increase. Clearly at that point 1% per annum was too much, he was correct to criticize that. However this does not mean that he thinks that everything is going to be OK; anyone who follows this debate knows that. And then he tried to cut off Shindell whenever he tried to point out what actually happened to the report…

    For my money the two least convincing witnesses were the woman from the UCS and Pielke. The woman from the UCS because she did not come well prepared and Pielke because of his obfuscation. Piltz and Shindell were great, though.

    Comment by John Sully — 30 Jan 2007 @ 10:46 PM

  26. I was hoping that someone would try and explain or defend NOAA’s use of the 1971-2000 baseline… but that doesn’t seem possible. I think this fact is the most succinct refutation of PRJr’s thesis that scientific truth will always be intermixed with political preferences… or does that support his thesis? Is he trying to justify manipulation of data on political grounds?

    In any case, use of this baseline seems unjustifiable by any measure; I’d like to see NOAA go back to using the 1961-1990 baseline – unless someone can explain why they shouldn’t?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 30 Jan 2007 @ 11:31 PM

  27. Ike, it seems reasonable to me. The record is fairly complete in that period (although homogenization adjustments will need to be made for some stations) and it has much less forced change than the 1971-2000 baseline. Why not use it, as it seems that it would be the best combination of the aspects of the data set that we are looking at, combining some stability along with accuracy of observations. Why, isn’t the 1961-1990 period what the IPCC recommended…?

    Comment by John Sully — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:30 AM

  28. It was an interesting hearing (saw the replay). Dr. Curry, did someone call you during the hearing, or was your response to the committee from the submitted statements? Just curious.

    Shindell was impressive, but I think on occasion he let words be put into his mouth. The bit about equivalence btw the committee statement and what the Bush administration did was somewhere betweeen strained and hilarious.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:36 AM

  29. Roger,

    I understand that there is not a consensus on the hurricane question. However the disagreement seems to be over whether or not the signal (strengthening of individual hurricanes in the NATL basin) is detectable and if so, what is the magnitude of that signal. Tropical Cyclone theory is clear on this; warmer SST’s lead to stronger (not more) hurricanes. On this there is no disagreement that I can detect, perhaps Landsea has some other ideas which have not been communicated — right now, he seems to feel that the current increase is just due to the AMO. That is fine, it is a reasonable view to hold and we should let the facts decide.

    However, to imply that Mann and Curry were misstating the consensus was wrong. The argument is not over whether or not hurricanes will be stronger, but over whether or not we can see the signal yet. My prediction is that by 5AR the IPCC will say that we can see the hurrican signal also.

    –John

    Comment by John Sully — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:46 AM

  30. From Judith Curry: “Pielke’s statement had an egregious example of cherry picking on the hurricane-global warming issue. If you read the entire paragraph of the ‘consensus’ statement, you get very different information than if you simply read the portion of the paragraph that pielke chose to quote. Here is the relevant paragraph in its entirety….”

    [snip]

    Roger responds by completely ignoring the substance of Curry’s remarks and digressing into “pleae quit pointing out that the Republicans invited me to testify because I’m an ‘honest broker.’”

    Shameless.

    Comment by Benny — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:53 AM

  31. The majority — the Chair — always _issues_ the invitations, right?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:17 AM

  32. RE: 24

    “I asserted in my testimony that citing Emanuel (2005), Webster et al (2005) and Mann and Emanuel (2005) represented a selective presentation of the literature on hurricanes and global warming, especially in the context of the recent consensus statement from the WMO endorsed by the AMS (how could that be neglected?!?), which said of the debate over the trends documented in the first two of these papers”

    The AMS put forth many statements in 2006, and in fact published more than one that did not “approve”, per se, in relation
    to the implied context that you appear to be representing with and or by your assumption and presumption statements.

    Hurricanes and Global Warming – Potential Linkages and Consequences
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 87 (5), 623 (2006)
    doi:10.1175/bams-87-5-617
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/bams-87-5-617

    …..”Several studies (Landsea et al. 1998, Pielke et al.
    2005) have concluded that the recent observed increases
    in Atlantic hurricane frequency and intensity
    are within the range of observed multidecadal variability.”…”
    But to therefore assume that all
    of the variability during the twentieth century has
    been natural is not valid (e.g., Houghton et al. 2001;
    Feldstein 2002; Gillett et al. 2003; Hoerling et al.
    2004; Gillett et al. 2005).”….

    reply

    Pielke, Jr., R. A., C. W. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, R. Pasch, 2006: Reply to Hurricanes and Global Warming Potential Linkages and Consequences. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87:628-631.
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/reply_globwarm.pdf

    The AMS also published in 2006

    Mixing Politics and Science in Testing the Hypothesis That Greenhouse Warming Is Causing a Global Increase in Hurricane Intensity
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 87 (8), 1025 (2006)
    doi:10.1175/bams-87-8-1025
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/bams-87-8-1025

    ….”In addition to critiques by well-known global warming deniers, the issue of hurricanes and global warming has been debated intensely within the meteorological community, identifying clear differences in the prevailing views on this subject, especially between climate researchers and hurricane forecasters. Some of this debate reflects healthy skepticism in the scientific community that will move the research forward, while other aspects of the debate are convoluted with denial of global warming. We therefore have the following several objectives to clarify the debate surrounding the subject as to whether or not global warming is causing an increase in global hurricane intensity, by sorting out the valid from the fallacious criticisms, addressing the valid criticisms, assessing alternative hypotheses, and identifying the outstanding uncertainties; to illustrate a methodology of hypothesis testing to address multiple criticisms of a complex hypothesis that involves a causal chain; and to provide a case study of the impact of politics, the media, and the World Wide Web on the scientific process.”….

    …”Several hurricane forecasters and researchers have also invoked natural variability as the source of the variations in both hurricane characteristics and SST, most specifically in the North Atlantic and North Pacific (e.g., Landsea et al. 1999; Goldenberg et al. 2001; Xie et al. 2002; Molinari and Mestas-Nunez 2003). To address these arguments, we consider the null hypothesis: Recent trends in tropical surface temperatures are not a response to greenhouse warming. “…

    ….”Knutson et al. (2006) specifically attributed the increase in global tropical sea surface temperatures to greenhouse warming. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected because the trend in tropical SST cannot be explained by natural internal variability and/or volcanic eruptions or solar variability, and the observed trend is consistent with model simulations associated with forcing from greenhouse gases. Elevation to theory? “…

    ….” Acrimony generated by the media debate has contributed to disruption of legitimate debates sponsored by professional societies by the cancellation and removal of panel members. The media has played a significant role in inflaming this situation by reportersâ?? recitations of what people on the other side of the debate are allegedly saying. One reporter manufactured a personal conflict between he first author of this paper (including an egregious misquote) and a scientist on the other side of the debate who have had no personal contact in
    several years. This illustrates the role that the media can play in inflaming a scientific debate and the values gap between scientists and journalists.”…..

    And from the WMO

    Statement on Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change
    Nov 2006
    http://www.wmo.ch/web/arep/press_releases/2006/iwtc_statement.pdf

    …”This statement was developed, discussed and endorsed at the World Meteorological
    Organization (WMO) Sixth International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones, San Jose
    Costa Rica, November 2006.”…

    …”PURPOSE:
    2. To provide an updated assessment of the current state of knowledge of the impact of
    anthropogenically induced climate change on tropical cyclones.”…

    …”10. During 2005 two highly publicised scientific papers appeared documenting evidence
    from the observational record for an increase in tropical cyclone activity. Emanuel (2005) has produced evidence for a substantial increase in the power of tropical
    cyclones (denoted by the integral of the cube of the maximum winds over time) for
    the West Pacific and Atlantic basins during the last 50 years. This result is supported
    by the findings of Webster et al (2005) that there has been a substantial global
    increase (nearly 100%) in the proportion of the most severe tropical cyclones
    (category 4 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale), from the period from 1975 to 2004,
    which has been accompanied by a similar decrease in weaker systems. Mann and
    Emanuel (2006) reported that tropical cyclone counts in the Atlantic closely track
    low-frequency variations in tropical Atlantic SSTs, including a long-term increase
    since the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    11. A number of authors attribute the reported increases as being due primarily to data
    reliability issues, in that the strong tropical cyclones are more accurately monitored in
    the recent years.”….

    12. In the Atlantic basin, where the most reliable historical hurricane records are believed
    to exist, the causes of the pronounced multidecadal variability of major hurricane
    activity in recent decades is currently being debated. Goldenberg et al. (2001) argue
    that Atlantic major hurricane activity is oscillatory, being modulated (via vertical
    wind shear and other circulation changes) by a multidecadal mode of SST variability
    referred to as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Mann and Emanuel (2006)
    dispute this claim, attributing decadal changes in tropical Atlantic sea surface
    temperature to variations in radiative forcing caused by varying solar activity,
    volcanic and manmade aerosols, and greenhouse gases.Expectations about future
    trends vs cyclical variations of Atlantic hurricane activity would be quite different depending upon the relative importance of these two proposed factors in explaining
    Atlantic tropical cyclone variations in recent decades.”

    15…..”Even for global mean temperature, uncertainties in future
    projections are substantial (e.g., IPCC 2001) owing to uncertainties in such factors as
    future anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, global and regional climate
    sensitivity (e.g., cloud feedback), indirect aerosol forcing, and ocean heat uptake.
    The notion of substantial 21st century climate warming appears to be robust to these uncertainties (IPCC 2001) although the magnitude of the warming still has large
    uncertainties.”

    18. “Given the consistency between high resolution global models, regional hurricane
    models and MPI theories, it is likely that some increase in tropical cyclone intensity
    will occur if the climate continues to warm.”

    21. “There is general agreement that no individual events in those years can be attributed
    directly to the recent warming of the global oceans. A more appropriate question is
    whether the probability of an event happening in a particular basin has been increased
    by the ocean warming, as for example the probability of cyclone development can
    change according to the phase of ENSO or of the Madden Julian Oscillation. It is
    well established that global atmospheric structure responds to the tropical sea surface
    temperature, and that such a response will affect the potential intensity (MPI) as well
    as other environmental factors such as vertical shear and relative vorticity. Thus it is
    possible that global warming may have affected the 2004-2005 group of events as a
    whole. The possibility that greenhouse gas induced global warming may have
    already caused a substantial increase in some tropical cyclone indices has been raised
    (e.g. Mann and Emanuel, 2006), but no consensus has been reached on this issue.”

    25. “Projected rises in global sea level (IPCC 2001, Meehl et al., 2005) are a cause for
    concern in the context of societyâ??s vulnerability to tropical cyclone induced storm
    surges. In particular for the major cyclone disasters in history the primary cause of
    death has been salt-water flooding associated with storm surge.”

    26. “A large body of research has been conducted on the potential impacts of climate
    change on tropical cyclones. This research has increased in volume over the past year
    in response to the recent research reports and in response to a number of recent highimpact
    tropical cyclone events around the globe.”…”Because of the rapid
    advances being made with this research, the findings in this statement may be soon
    superceded by new findings. It is recommended that a careful watch on the published
    literature be maintained.”

    and the WMO report concludes with

    27. “Despite the diversity of research opinions on this issue it is agreed that if there has been
    a recent increase in tropical cyclone activity that is largely anthropogenic in origin,
    then humanity is faced with a substantial and unanticipated threat.”

    Comment by BarbieDoll Moment — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:19 AM

  33. Raypierre re 23
    If Roger Pielke was responsible for the suppression of the scientific evidence that you mentioned or if he was representing the Republicans then I would agree. Otherwise I thought that he made a good point about the relationship between science and politics that was appropriate for the nature of the hearing. I am missing something no doubt but I came to this site to avoid the politics.

    [Response: In case it wasn't clear, I actually agree almost completely with the specific statement you quoted above. The part I don't agree with, in some sense, is the prominence given to the "costs and benefits" language in the quote, which is likely to be misconstrued by most to mean monetized cost-benefit analysis, of the sort that the present administration has mandated throughout the regulatory apparatus. The part I wholeheartedly agree with is that there is no avoiding values -- typically non-monetary values -- when deciding what action to take. After all, if we decide that it is important to keep polar bears from going extinct, that decision arises because of a value judgement, and not primarily a monetary one. The fallacy among most economists (Amartya Sen being a notable exception) is that traditional monetized cost-benefit analysis provides a "scientific" and value-free way of making decisions, whereas in reality it is just a very highly specialized form of utilitarianism. But, with those sorts of caveats, I agree with RPJr on the quote. The incorrect inference, and part of the general obfuscation in the testimony, is the broad brush characterization that this sort of thing means that all science is political. --raypierre]

    Comment by doug newton — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:35 AM

  34. If anyone wants to review some of the early stories that led up to this moment, we’ve grouped some links here with today’s news story:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/washington/31interfere.html

    [Response: Thanks, Andy! That's very helpful. --raypierre]

    Comment by Andy Revkin — 31 Jan 2007 @ 2:51 AM

  35. I read the other day that the US Government is proposing a technological fix to the problem of cimate change and not to stop it, lots of ideas there. I could just see the USA trying a fix rather than spending a lot of money trying to prevent it.

    Maybe cure is better than prevention for some

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article2201598.ece

    Comment by pete best — 31 Jan 2007 @ 7:27 AM

  36. I would like to point out that Roger Pielke Jr. has attempted to slander Dave Roberts over at Grist for reporting that Pielke was invited by the Republicans.

    For some reason, Pielke got all bent out of shape at this and said that Roberts is no different than Rush Limbaugh. Well, the Associated Press also reported this, as well.
    http://tinyurl.com/3b25ut

    From the AP: “Roger Pielke Jr., a political scientist at the University of Colorado who was invited by GOP lawmakers, said, ‘The reality is that science and politics are intermixed.’”

    So why is Pielke engaging in ad hominem attacks against Roberts?

    [Response: As much fun as this seems to be, can we please not get involved in he said/you said arguments about who is and who isn't ad-hom'ing. This is just a distraction from points of substance. Thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by Benny — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:02 AM

  37. I want to agree with post #21 about authoritarians’ abuse of science. Their leaders have little interest in the truth, whether it’s science-based or not. They’re in it for the power. Their followers have even less respect for science, especially if it conflicts with what they’ve been taught (and have memorized) as being true. Some evidence for this is contained in Chapter 3 of the book I’m publishing on line at http://www.theauthoritarians.com, and more will come next Monday when I put the chapter on authoritarianism and religion on line.

    Comment by bob altemeyer — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:57 AM

  38. Eli, FYI early Tues morn I received an email from one of Waxman’s staffers, asking for some clarification regarding Pielke’s statement on hurricanes. I replied to this around 6:30 a.m. I recieved a request for further clarification, which i replied to. I also got several blackberry emails from the staffer during the hearing. This communication situation was complicated by the fact that I was traveling on Tues a.m. I wish I had had the time to make a clearer statement on this. The WMO “consensus” agrees with most of the elements of the argument put forward by Webster et al. and Emanuel (particularly in context of the causal chain described in the Curry et al. BAMS article). The cherry picking of the single statement from the “consensus” that he used is misrepresenting the statement, and before actually writing the phrase “misrepresenting the statement” I thought of a few much stronger phrases to use (but I am not interested in flaming with RP Jr, been there done that).

    Comment by Judith Curry — 31 Jan 2007 @ 9:19 AM

  39. BTW, Pielke seems to get really irked when his own BAMS 2005 article on hurricanes and global warming isn’t referenced. I think that is what this is really about, as well as the so-called misrepresentation of the scientific literature that Pielke recently accused Holland and Webster of. The Emanuel and Webster papers are the main “paradigm” shifting papers with many many citations in the scientific literature and in the media; there have been something like 30 papers published since then on the topic. Surely Waxman’s letter is not expected to be a complete literature review? Even the Curry et al. BAMS article is somewhat outdated as a review article, but in larger scheme of things is really a scientific footnote to Emanuel and Webster et al. papers (with the new ground in that paper being the politics, media, science interaction).

    Comment by Judith Curry — 31 Jan 2007 @ 9:28 AM

  40. The argument that politics and science will always intermix is insufficient. To shrug off the fact is mere fatalism.

    There are ways to mitigate the mixture of science and politics, and there are people who do. We just had a blog which referenced work by Kerry Emmanuel. Yes, Emmanuel stuck in the shiv to “environmentalists” but he did not slight the reality of global warming. The mix of politics and science may not always be oil and water, but it doesn’t have to shaken together like salad dressing.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 31 Jan 2007 @ 9:37 AM

  41. It is strange to have authoritarianism brought up by believers of the AGW hypothesis, when it is the AGW faithful that are proposing authoritarian solutions to be implemented by agreements by imposed nation states. If only non-authoritarian voluntary measures were being proposed, this would not be the political issue that it is. As an early adopter of CFLs, passive and active solar, telecommuting, Time of Use metering, and a soon-to-be installer of reflective white roofing (mitigating approximately 1/50 billionth of global warming, it is only half my roof, but a zero cost decision since the repair was needed), I am far from opposed to having a smaller environmental footproint.

    But, I am opposed to the oppressive, economically damaging proposals justified based on models, which are not yet ready for attribution of the recent warming or projection of future warming. Even the “worst” “consensus” projections of future climate, do not justify diverting resources from poverty, disease, and the existential threat of Near Earth Objects. Economics is the science of allocation of scarce resources. The growth impairing, uneconomic, authoritarian measures being proposed, result in less resources being available to solve problems, less power to control our future, and more human suffering.

    It is alarming, at how the advocates of AGW are willing to sacrifice the skepticism and critical thinking standards of peer review science and blind themselves to other priorities. Unlike Pielke Jr., I think there is scientific truth to be found if we just have the freedom (from authoritarianism) to exercise the critical thinking tools available to us and have the patience to avoid premature conclusions.

    Comment by Martin Lewitt — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:04 AM

  42. Judy-

    You ask: “Surely Waxman’s letter is not expected to be a complete literature review?”

    No, this is exactly what the WMO Statement does and why it should be cited, even if it suggests that there is not yet complete certainty on this issue. On climate science generally one should cite the IPCC, not Soon and Baliunas. Why not the same standards for the other area of science? Why you would see fit to debate this point is beyond me. Your exploration of my motives, while interesting and I suppose fair here at RC, may be appropriate behavior for anonymous public commenters, but do they really present you as a leadings scientist in the best light?

    Lets agree that you disagree that the WMO consensus is actually a consensus. Any other substantive disagreements with my testimony (aside from me personally)?

    Citing scientific consensus statements only when politically convenient is not good if one wants to assert the authority of consensus.

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:23 AM

  43. Re: 8

    Very good!

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:27 AM

  44. Re: 12

    Judith, you are cherrypicking on Pielke’s statement. Whether it’s 5-8 factor or 2-3, his point still stands: there is no consensus.

    [Response: You're confusing unanimity with consensus. Anybody familiar with the science, looking at the intellectuall firepower, track record, and scientific arguments on the side of Emanuel/Webster vs. the ones who say "little or no effect" would see where the strongest arguments lie. To be sure, this is not as much of a slam-dunk as the broader AGW issue, but to describe the situation as "hotly debated" is utterly misleading, even if technically correct. It's hotly debated in the sense that one side is very vocal, even though its arguments are weak. (You can guess which side I'm referring to) --raypierre]

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:33 AM

  45. Saw TV coverage of this last night on NBC, ABC News, & Nightline, which surprised me, since the media have been deafeningly silent on global warming over the past 16 years – except for Nightline’s “pro-con-we-don’t-really-think-it’s-happening” program, “Is Science For Sale” (sponsored by Texaco) in 1995, the year AGW 1st got into the 95% confidence interval, and some increased coverage since Katrina.

    I’m actually angry and sad. I told my husband that the U.S. media are now reporting as if somehow Bush & certain Republicans are the sole guilty parties in suppressing & distorting the science, when the media themselves are even more guilty, since they are the main link between the scientists and the public — not some official reports or scientific presentations — which any journalist could have seen did not jive with regular science journal articles, or even the very conservative (due to their requiring broad consensus) IPCC reports.

    I’m watching the movie TITANIC & thinking, “there’s a good metaphor”….the crew in the lookout perch don’t have their binoculars, bec they’ve been misplaced (while the rich people inside drinking & dancing do have them). That’s the government-industry-media complex staying silent on GW at best, and denying & distorting the science at worst (even though they should and could know the truth). The officers comment about how it will be hard to see icebergs during that night, because the waters are still (this would be problems in establishing that GW is happening, both for the scientists & for laypersons looking to signs from the skies — which in no way has anything to do with the reality of it happening).

    The first part establishes the arrogance of the Titanic owner, builder, & passengers — how grand and unsinkable the Titantic is (Rose, the heroine, makes a comment about Freud that goes over their heads). They go full-speed ahead to show off (us in our arrogance and greed). When the crew finally spot the iceberg & sound the alarm (the scientists finally establishing AGW is happening, & the word finally getting out to the people that we must reduce our GHGs), it’s too late. They cut the engines (us just now seriously implementing conservation measures (assuming we do)), they veer hard to the side (us just now seriouly changing to alternative energy (assuming we do) — when the tech has been available for decades), but it’s too late. The ship is obviously sinking & still there are denialists.

    And then they only have half the lifeboats needed, bec it made the deck look ugly to the rich people (our aversion to wind generators), and afterall in their estimation the ship was unsinkable. And, of course, it is the rich who get dibbs.

    Where the metaphor breaks down is that back then they followed the ethic “women & children first,” but we’ve pretty much left the children to sink with the ship on this issue.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:36 AM

  46. RE #41, Martin, if you (and many others ) can seriously start reducing your GHGs through resource conservation & efficiency in ways that do not lower your living standard, but save you money, then we don’t really need authoritarian policies. So, it’s really up to you (& others), whether or not we eventually go to an authoritarian situation…or devolve into chaos, as happened the last moments on the Titanic.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:00 AM

  47. Re. #12:

    I don’t quite understand Dr. Curry’s suggestion that the observations indicate only a 2-3 times amplification over theory, rather than the 5-8 times amplification suggested in the WMO statement.

    Knutson and Tuleya (2004) find that an approximate 2ºC increase in SST (along with other atmospheric changes) that results from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 increases maximum winds in tropical cyclones by about 6%. In Emanuel (2005), Dr. Emanuel reports that the observed 0.5ºC increase in SST should (according to his theory, not K&T’s) increase the peak winds by about 2-3%. My best guess at what 0.5ºC would mean according to K&T would be an increase of peak winds of about 1.5-2% (close to Emanuel’s independent calculation). Dr. Emanuel (2005) further reports that a 2-3% increase in peak winds coupled with an expected increase in storm lifetime, would result in a Power Dissipation Index (PDI) increase of 8-12% adding that this is “far short of the observed change.” As far as the observed change, Dr. Emanuel (2005) reports that the combined PDI for the Atlantic and the Pacific has “nearly doubled over the past 30 years.” I’ll take nearly doubling as being an increase of 80-90%. Thus, an expected PDI increase (from CO2 increases) of about 10% divided by and observed increase of 80%, gives a value of about 8 times what was expected. Now, if you factor in the fact that, contrary to expectations resulting from CO2 increases, the atmospheric temperatures in the tropics have warmed less than surface temperatures, leading to an increase in the potential intensity of tropical cyclones more than expected from CO2 considerations alone, then, as Dr. Emanuel (2005) shows, the expected PDI increase should be about 40% (rather than 10%). Using this number, you get that observations indicate an increase of about 2 times what would be expected. I am guessing that this is how Dr. Curry arrived at her number. So, the degree of increase over expectations is dependent on your expectations. If you think CO2 increases are solely to blame, then the observations are off by about 8 times, if you think that factors in addition to CO2 increases are at play, then observations are only off 2 times, and maybe less once you take vertical wind shear and other factors into account. Additional indication that natural factors may be responsible for some of the cycling in Atlantic SSTs and thus tropical cyclone activity (in opposition to the ideas of Mann and Emanuel, 2006) can be found in the recent GRL paper by Zhang et al. (doi:10.1029/2006GL028683).

    -Chip Knappenberger
    to some degree, supported by the fossil fuels industry since 1992

    Comment by Chip Knappenberger — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:13 AM

  48. Re 42 and preceding —

    Roger has a point about the Waxman committee’s statement on hurricanes, but I’d say it’s a relatively small one. The committee’s language was actually pretty careful. On the other hand, certainly they should have at least mentioned/referenced the WMO statement. My two cents:
    http://scienceblogs.com/intersection/2007/01/theyre_both_right.php

    Comment by Chris Mooney — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:22 AM

  49. [[It is alarming, at how the advocates of AGW are willing to sacrifice the skepticism and critical thinking standards of peer review science and blind themselves to other priorities.]]

    Physician, heal thyself. It’s the deniers who have been avoiding peer-reviewed science, which is why so many denier papers (e.g. Idso’s, or many of Soon and Baliunas’s) show up in non-peer-reviewed journals or on the internet.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:26 AM

  50. [[Judith, you are cherrypicking on Pielke's statement. Whether it's 5-8 factor or 2-3, his point still stands: there is no consensus. ]]

    On anthropogenic global warming, there darn well is. If you didn’t mean AGW in general, how about listing some specifics next time?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:29 AM

  51. Ray- You level a very serious charge about my testimony suggesting that I engage in “general obfuscation”? Please do explain. Thanks.

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:33 AM

  52. Re: 50

    The topic is the influence of AGW on hurricanes intensity. If you read Judith’ comment that I replied to then you’d see it. How about reading the thread before commenting next time?

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:52 AM

  53. Harper’s letter dismisses Kyoto as ‘socialist scheme’
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called the Kyoto accord a “socialist scheme” designed to suck money out of rich countries, according to a letter leaked Tuesday by the Liberals.
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/01/30/harper-kyoto.html

    Comment by lars — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:22 PM

  54. re29 : John: “However the disagreement seems to be over whether or not the signal (strengthening of individual hurricanes in the NATL basin) is detectable and if so, what is the magnitude of that signal. Tropical Cyclone theory is clear on this; warmer SST’s lead to stronger (not more) hurricanes.”

    Is it so clear? I use to think the key parameter in Potential Intensity theory (Emanuel) is rather surface-tropopause outflow, not just SST. So, we should also consider evolution of lapse rate in a warming world, I guess.

    Comment by Charles Muller — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:32 PM

  55. Great news. There’s absolutely no consensus on whether the global average temp will rise 2.8358 degrees C or 2.8359 degrees C by 2068, ergo AGW is not happening! :)

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 12:42 PM

  56. There is an interesting article in today’s Times

    “Once a Dream Fuel, Palm Oil May Be an Eco-Nightmare “

    In short, Indonesia and Malaysia, responding to the European biofuel subsides started celaring large areas to produces palm oil. For that, they dry and burn peatlands. Now a quote:

    To makes matters worse, once dried, peatland is often burned to clear ground for plantations. The Dutch study estimated that the draining of peatland in Indonesia releases 660 million ton of carbon a year into the atmosphere and that fires contributed 1.5 billion tons annually. The total is equivalent to 8 percent of all global emissions caused annually by burning fossil fuels, the researchers said. â??These emissions generated by peat drainage in Indonesia were not counted before,â?? … â??It was a totally ignored problem.â??

    While some well-intentioned people take their battle to reduce car emissions by a few percent to Supreme court, other well-intentioned people subsidize the pollution of mammoth proportions (more than all American cars together, if I’m not mistaken).

    Will there be any lessons learned? Afraid not.

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:03 PM

  57. Re: 55

    I’m sure RP is as much hurt by your sarcasm as I am. To wit, there is no consensus on whether the global average temp will rise 1.5 C or 4.5 C.

    [Response: Actually there is. The consensus value for the climate sensitivity is close to 3 deg C. There is of course some acknowledged uncertainty either way, but no estimation method gives a central value significantly different from this. -gavin]

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:06 PM

  58. RE#51,

    Roger, would you care to take a stab at my question:

    “The question (still standing) is “With respect to the fact that the warmest years since accurate records began have all been in the last decade, does this represent an anomalous spike in the natural climate variability, or are we looking at a generally increasing temperature trend that is due to the increased concentration of atmospheric CO2 brought on by buring fossil fuels? (A generally increasing temperature trend would be expected to set a systematic trend of new temperature records, wouldn’t it?)”

    I know you are a political scientist, but as you said in your testimony, there is cross-over between fields, and you did say you’d be happy to spend hours discussing hurricane science – and I’m not asking for a specific temperature prediction, so how about it?

    Also, what’s your opinion on NOAA’s use of the 1971-2000 time period for the baseline calulations of global temperature anomalies? Is that political maniupulation, cherry-picking, or what?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:24 PM

  59. Re: 57

    Please tell me if I’m splitting hair but there is a world of difference between consensus about a certain quantity and consensus about expected value of the same.

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:39 PM

  60. My favorite “liberal to libertarian” weblog authors chime in on the new Bush political filtration system for agency science:

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008605.html#008605

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:40 PM

  61. I heard a portion of Drew Shindell’s testimony and the followup exchange between Rep. Waxman and Mr. Shindell on the Pacifica Radio program Democracy Now this morning. I have to say, that although I was already aware from earlier news reports that the White House had censored the statements of climate scientists from NASA, EPA, NOAA, etc, that I was quite shocked by the testimony.

    Rep. Waxman pointed out that scientists’ statements regarding climate change were “edited” — actually, drastically altered, in some cases to reverse the clear intent of the original — by Philip Cooney, chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

    Philip Cooney is not a scientist, but a lawyer, who prior to his appointment to the CEQ was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute.

    It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Presidency of the United States of America has been functioning as just one more element of the now well documented, multi-million dollar climate-change-denial conspiracy funded by Exxon-Mobil, the API, etc.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Jan 2007 @ 1:40 PM

  62. Ike- I am reading along here (waiting for Ray’s response;-), but I really have no idea what you are asking about! Perhaps best raised on our blog so as not to clutter up RC off topic, but I am happy to discuss here or there. Thanks.

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 31 Jan 2007 @ 2:03 PM

  63. I’m sorry, Sashka. That was very mean of me (re #55). And the reason I didn’t address it to anyone in particular (I hadn’t even thought of RP), is because I also had in mind I study I read some 15 years ago by a social scientist, a survey of scientists, what they thought (gut feeling) would happen re GW. Of course, esp then, the answers were all over the chart, & I think the survey included some strong skeptics, so some reported a near-zero change, while a few were nearly off the chart on the high end. And the article went on to give the impression that because of this lack of consensus GW was not a problem.

    I felt there was something faulty about that logic. For instance, what if no one were actually studying GW at all, so there was no record of mounting evidence, no models, no calculations. Would that mean there was no GW problem with worse to come in the future? And there is still the theory & logic behind GW science that made me think (even without post-1995 better evidence & model-based certainty) I’ve got to do what I can to mitigate this. And I’ve been continually amazed that the vast majority of others have not felt the same way.

    If the president then (Bush Sr or Clinton after him) had said, “This is potentially a very serious problem, and I’m going to see to it that the gov as a precaution helps households and businesses to reduce their GHGs in ways that don’t lower productivity or living standards, but even allows for econ growth,” I can’t see who would be against that, except maybe the fossil fuel industries — and even they should have realized this isn’t going to happen over night, it would take years, decades, & they would have plenty of time to diversify. I know that big oil funded Clinton’s campaign as much as Bush Sr’s campaign, but even so the way history has unfolded (with increasing U.S. GHG emissions) seems utterly crazy and stupid to me. It doesn’t make economic sense; why would people burn money (staying inefficiently well within the production possibilities frontier) rather than save or reinvest it. And when you throw in the prospect of possible GW harms, it doesn’t make moral sense and it doesn’t make selfish self-preservation (or child-preservation) sense. It’s incomprehensible. (Actually, there were some good gov programs not well known or promoted, like Green Lights; Jewel Supermarket chain in the Chicagoland area took part; the gov gave them a low-interest loan to replace their 2-tube light fixtures with 1-tube in a reflector & electronic ballast (giving them the same lumens), which they paid off in one year, then went on to save $1 million per year, but Green Lights was phased out by Clinton or Bush Jr).

    I also agree (re the palm oil – peat fiasco) that we need a holistic approach to the greatest extent possible when implementing “improvements.” I, for one, have been fairly skeptical about biofuels from the get-go, except maybe the use of agri wastes, like turning manure into gas, with the remainder being a better fertilizer than direct application of manure as fertilizer — so 2 goods from what is currently a local health hazard (mountains of manure not used for fertilizer or fuel) in many parts of the U.S. And then there’s the question of food (for the poor) v. fuel (for rich hot-rods & Hummers). For instance, I often promote electric vehicles, but in the back of my mind I’m also thinking about lead acid battery manufacturing, recycling, and disposal, & the harm entailed there; as well as harms from other aspects of EVs & other batteries.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 2:51 PM

  64. Re: Pielke Jr. #62, #51

    I’m sure that if Ray is smart, he’ll avoid any wrassln’ matches with a tar baby.

    Comment by Thom — 31 Jan 2007 @ 3:32 PM

  65. RE#62,
    Sorrry Roger, I must not have phrased that very clearly. Let me try again:

    Given that global temperatures continue to set new records every few years, do you think this trend is set to continue? Perhaps an easier question would be, how long do you expect the running 5-year temperature averages to show a continually increasing trend? In other words, do you think we are looking at a ‘natural fluctuation’ or a long-term warming trend set to continue until atmospheric CO2 (and other infrared-absorbing gas) levels are stabilized?

    This question is more directly related to your area of expertise:

    As far as the NOAA issue goes, the use of a baseline to calculate temperatue anomalies relates to the issue of what is meant by ‘anomaly’. Now, in 2000 NOAA decided to start using the time period 1971-2000 as the baseline for calculating their anomalies, in contrast to the widely accepted use of the 1961-1990 time period for their baseline.

    The differences in the two anomalies are fairly dramatic; see for example

    using NOAA’s 1971-2000 baseline, summer 2006:
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/images/archive/monthly_anomaly/monanomv2_200606.png

    Using the 1961-1990 baseline: summer 2006
    http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/ocean/results/SST_anals/SSTA_20060625.gif

    Also, NOAA uses the 1971-2000 baseline for their 2005 Arctic Climate Report, but does not explicitly discuss this. Obvious, this gives a perception that warming in the Arctic is less severe then it actually is.

    When the word ‘anomaly’ is used in public discourse, it is taken to mean ‘deviations from normal behavior’. So, does this issue represent ‘cherry-picking’ or deliberate manipulation of scientific data for political purposes, in your expert opinion?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 31 Jan 2007 @ 3:43 PM

  66. Re: 63

    I suggest that you consider how the electricity for your favorite electric vehicle would be generated. By burning what?

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 3:43 PM

  67. If we’re talking politics, I recommend David Brin’s “Adopt an Ostrich” program http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/01/operation-adopt-ostrich.html

    “… there is little more than can be achieved simply by hoping that our fellow citizens will heed all the bad news. The one-third that is left has their ears covered. Their eyes are closed while they shake their heads going ‘Nah! Nah! Nah!’

    “(Recent science shows that doing this is physically chemically addictive. And yes, liberals do it too.)

    “No, if we are to reach the tipping point, it will have to be down, way down, at the level of individual citizenship. Each of us can — and must — hammer at just one or two ostriches, until they wake up from hysterical denial….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2007 @ 3:59 PM

  68. Well, mine would be from 100% wind-generated electricity (which is my electricity source), but even if coal or oil is the source, EVs get much higher mile per CO2 or pollution emissions than I.C.E. cars (& it’s easier to control emissions from one source than thousands of sources), and they are much cheaper to maintain & run (a fraction of the gasoline costs for I.C.E. cars per mile). Their only drawbacks are range per charge & charge time; I think they’re up to 100 to 300 miles per charge, & 20 minutes (for an 80% charge) to 4 hours, depending on amount of batteries used & type (new lithium ion batteries being the best, but very expensive).

    For most families with more than one car, they could have one I.C.E. for longer trips, and an economical lead-acid battery EV for daily commuting.

    I’d always blamed big oil for the phase-out of EVs in California (& they are partly to blame), but when I saw WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? I realized that a large part of the problem (aside from lack of promotion), was that the secondary business of auto industries — service & maintenance — would go nearly bust (to the benefit of consumers, but the detriment of the auto industry).

    Now I can’t wait for PHEVs – plug-in hybrid EVs – which should be out hopefully in 5 years.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 4:14 PM

  69. Sashka (sigh) Google
    http://www.google.com/search?q=is+electricity+cleaner+than+gasoline&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2007 @ 4:46 PM

  70. Lynn Vincentnathan wrote: “For instance, I often promote electric vehicles, but in the back of my mind I’m also thinking about lead acid battery manufacturing, recycling, and disposal, & the harm entailed there; as well as harms from other aspects of EVs & other batteries.”

    Lead-acid batteries for electric vehicles are obsolete. The current standard for electric vehicle batteries is nickel metal hydride (NiMH) which is what is used in the Toyota Prius hybrid. Next generation batteries include Lithium Phosphate Iron which are more efficient and have greater energy density than NiMH batteries.

    All hazardous substances contained in batteries must of course be recycled safely. At least they are not dispersed into the air when the vehicle is driven.

    Sashka wrote: “I suggest that you consider how the electricity for your favorite electric vehicle would be generated. By burning what?”

    The electricity would be generated by grid-connected wind turbine farms, or distributed rooftop photovoltaics, or photovoltaic panels installed on the vehicle itself, or in the case of a pluggable-hybrid electric vehicle, by an on-board generator fueled by ethanol or biodiesel.

    The batteries in pure-electric or pluggable hybrid-electric vehicles can also address one of the concerns raised about widespread use of variable sources of electricity such as wind and PV. The batteries in these vehicles can charge from wind power through your grid connection (i.e. wall socket) or from your rooftop PV system when it is generating electricity from the sun, and then feed it back into your house at night.

    By the way, the Wikipedia article on electric cars is very good.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Jan 2007 @ 4:58 PM

  71. Re: 44

    Ray, if you read my comments to the thread on Emanuel’s popular article you’d know that I have highest respect for him. It doesn’t follow that he is always right, though.

    R. Pielke in #24 cites the statement from the WMO endorsed by the AMS. Let me assume for the moment that there is a considerable intellectual firepower behind those little acronims, too. (Yes, I know what they are.) But feel free to inform me to the contrary. The pertinent quotes are:

    This is still hotly debated area for which we can provide no definitive conclusion.

    … no consensus has been reached on this issue

    I don’t think I am confusing unanimity with consensus. There seems to be nothing close to consensus by any standard.

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 5:10 PM

  72. Since nearly half of NOAA’s 11,400 staff are National Weather Service meteorologists and hydrologists who have responsibility to the public in Weather, Water and Climate prediction outreach and education I think NWS needs to be discussed at these hearings and here at realclimate.

    The article at the link which follows can be viewed by clicking just to the right of the piliated woodpecker from Chanhassen, Minnesota.

    Hydrologic science on climate change thrown out by NWS managers
    http://www.newsvine.com/science

    Comment by Pat Neuman — 31 Jan 2007 @ 5:25 PM

  73. re Readers #21 which said, in part: … When confronted with inconvenient facts, the authoritarian will start by smearing the source, distorting the facts, and issuing unsupported statements of denials. When the argument is lost, the authoritarian will say “well, the other side does it too.”… The enemies of science are authoritarians and their patterns of thinking and argumentation are non-scientific, but predictable.

    There is no indication which group is being referenced. One can’t tell, either, since the above applies to both the AGW proponents and the skeptics, and to both the Demos and the Repubs (though certainly not universally).

    Comment by Rod B. — 31 Jan 2007 @ 5:27 PM

  74. Re: 69

    Google doesn’t discriminate based on the quality of content. Here’s the reality:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-06-10-diesel-vs-hybrid_x.htm

    Testing a diesel Jetta and hybrid Prius on a drive between Detroit and Washington seemed a natural. Volkswagen and Toyota each said I should be able to make the 500-mile-plus one-way trip on one tank of gas. Prius is comfortable, a festival of technology and unquestionably cleaner-burning than the VW can be today with only high-sulfur diesel fuel available. But the real-world mileage of pleasant-driving Jetta was better than that of Prius, and diesel fuel typically was 16% to 20% cheaper than unleaded gas. Jetta lived up to its one-tank billing. Prius did not.

    So, diesel engine is more economical per gallon than hybrid but (this particular one) is dirtier on sulphur. Other diesel engines, however, can burn a biofuel (which need not be produced the Indonesian way), so net-net I don’t see the balance tipping towards electric cars.

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 5:39 PM

  75. Re: 70

    The problems with PV and wind generation are well known and well documented. There is no need to generate extra noise here. May Google help you in your search.

    Comment by Sashka — 31 Jan 2007 @ 5:55 PM

  76. re #71 – Sashka,

    The key to the little dispute here is in “area” and “this issue”. Are those quotes about the theoretical link between GW and increased hurricane intensity or about the detection of this phenomenon in current and historical observations.

    AFAICT, nobody disputes that it is contested that this effect has been detected but no one disputes that it should be eventually.

    Comment by coby — 31 Jan 2007 @ 6:06 PM

  77. Strikes me that Steve Bloom nailed the WMO statement pretty well on Prometheus:

    “It was an exercise in statementism, pure and simple. Just as with last year’s statement, it’s simply an agreement that people shouldn’t yell at each other in public until after the next round of papers and in particular up through the release of the AR4 WG1 report”

    But since AR4 will be from last year’s science, I don’t think it will move things forward very much.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 31 Jan 2007 @ 6:06 PM

  78. Why does Roger Pielke Jr keep repeating “in a micro-cosmos”? What exactly does he mean by that?

    Comment by rasmus — 31 Jan 2007 @ 6:31 PM

  79. #57, Gavin’s comment : “Actually there is. The consensus value for the climate sensitivity is close to 3 deg C. There is of course some acknowledged uncertainty either way, but no estimation method gives a central value significantly different from this.”

    Hum, this consensus value is still a conundrum for me, even after several readings of the Second Draft. If all GCMs are equiprobable, and we should expect they are, 2 or 4,5 K or any value in this interval are equiprobable too. On the other side, ensemble simulations (like Murphy 2004) are often tested on one model among 19 others (Hadley in this case), so I don’t understand how to expect the mean value reflects other thing that the mean sensitivity of this model in particular.

    Comment by Charles Muller — 31 Jan 2007 @ 6:55 PM

  80. Re #47 and the hurricane intensity issue:

    In the presence of a 0.5C warming (which we’ve seen since 1970) we have three
    factors that point to an increase in intensity. For simplicity, lets just look
    at average wind speed.
    - high resolution climate models (Oouchi 2006, Knutsen and Tuleya 2004) indicate a 2%
    increase in intensity for a 0.5C temp increase
    - potential intensity theory indicates for a 0.5C increase at 2.5% increase in intensity (Emanuel) to a 5.3% increase (Holland) (note: these numbers were scaled from the analyses of Knutsen and Tuleya, 2004)
    - global observations from Webster et al. give a 6% intensity increase

    This translates into a factor of 2-3, not a factor of 5-8. You can only get a factor of 5-8 if you use the results from low resolution climate model simulations, which have no credibility for tropical cyclone intensity.

    All of our knowledge of hurricane intensity suggests that we should have an increase in average intensity for a 0.5C increase in tropical SST. Models, theory and observations agree on the sign of the increase; there is a factor of 3 disagreement in the magnitude of the intensity increase. I would argue that the climate model estimate is probably too low and provides a credible lower bound (i.e. the actual intensity increase is unlikely to be lower than 2%) and I am prepared to accept that the observations used by Webster, Emanuel provide values that may be too high (i.e. the actual intensity increase in unlikely to be higher than 6%). So we have credible bounds on the intensity increase: 2-6%. It would be fairly astonishing for the actual increase in average intensity to be zero with this SST increase.

    The significance of Emanuel and Webster papers was associated with the change in
    distribution of intensities to give increased frequency of the most intense storms (explictly through NCAT45 and implicitly through PDI that gives heavy weight to the more intense storms). A 6% increase in average intensity will translate into a much greater increase in the frequency of the most intense storms unless the intensity distribution actually narrows with increasing SST (which doesn’t seem to be the case since we have been setting intensity records in recent years). the same shape distribution shifted towards higher values will give a >6% increase in intensity; if the distribution broadens then the increase of the more intense storms could be substantially greater than 6% increase. The observational challenges at the higher end of the intensity spectrum may be greater than those associated with average intensity. But we are arguing that this is the most important part of the intensity distribution to be considering in the context of climate change.

    Observational studies looking at too short of a period to be associated with a significant SST increase are not useful in saying anything about the trend. The various reanalyses of tropical cyclone intensity are of use in starting to put some error bars on the intensity estimates. We are very far from a definitive reanalysis that has been carefully scrutinized and accepted by the tropical cyclone and climate communities.

    There IS a consensus that average hurricane intensity will increase with average increasing SST (and hence global warming). There is no consensus on the magnitude of intensity increase. Pielke’s statement on lack of consensus leads the reader to believe that some scientists believe there is no increase of hurricane intensity with increasing SST/AGW, or perhaps even a decrease. This is misleading and a misrepresentation of the consensus statement.

    Comment by Judith Curry — 31 Jan 2007 @ 7:59 PM

  81. Comparing a hybrid with a standard engine over a long highway drive? Well, the hybrid has no advantage whatsoever in highway cruising, and it’s certainly not designed to excel in that use. Compare then in typical start and stop city/commute driving to detect whatever benefit the car derives from the electrical side of the system.

    The primary source of the small particles (PM 2.5) is sulfur. We ought to be seeing low-sulfur diesel fast, now that it’s becoming clear the fine particles correlate with heart attacks.
    http://epa.gov/pm/fs20051220pm.html
    Note, though, the attempt to control that problem has been stalled for years now by political appointees. It’s the lifetime exposure, not the peak in 24 hour exposure, that matters for health.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:02 PM

  82. Good Hank & SA (#69 & 70), with that & with all the other solutions, we’ve solved GW on paper. All we need to do is implement these on a massive scale ASAP. Hope those congresspersons, senators, business people (I’ve often thought GE could get involved in EV manufacture, since the car companies don’t want to), & journalists are reading these solutions. Let’s make global warming a moot point & satisfy the skeptics: Global warming? No such thing :)

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:08 PM

  83. #74: Sashka:

    The mpg for a Prius will vary on how you drive it. We own a Prius and the lowest gas mileage we have gotten is 48 mpg and the highest is 64 (mpg was calculated when we filled it rather than using the car’s computer). It started getting its best gas mileage after we passed 8,000 miles. My wife (the primary driver) and I are very conservative drivers. The best gas mileage of 64 mpg was achieved on driving the 350 mile round trip to Charleston, SC using back roads (not the interstate) through rural areas where we drove at 55 – 60 mph outside of the towns along the way. I jumped all over Consumer Reports wanting to know what they were doing to get such poor gas mileage on the Prius when they reviewed it. A friend who also owns a Prius gets much lower gas mileage on the interstate when he drives at 70+ than when he drives the back roads. So I have learned to question a lot of the these test drivers and the low gas mileage they get (sometimes I wonder if they are trying to see how bad of gas mileage they can get). We are extremely pleased with it.

    Jim

    Comment by Jim Crabtree — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:26 PM

  84. Charles, there are other places besides models where you can get climate sensitivity, for example the effect of volcanic eruptions. Moreover, even the models alone give you probability density functions so you can narrow the range. Put it all together and you get a pretty peaked pdf with the most probable value at 3C. The probability of 2 or 5 C is much less (it is a pdf:) Right now the argument is about the probability of the high temperature wings of the distribution. There is essentially no probability of being < 2C.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 31 Jan 2007 @ 8:34 PM

  85. #84 Eli

    Yes, there are many ways to get a best estimate of climate sensitivity and, de facto, there are many climate sensititivy ranges in the literature. My problem deals more particularly with the 3 K best estimate of AR4.

    Alas, pdf is not really satisfying for my question. Each model commonly uses it to bring out its best estimates, so I’m leaved with the same problem. Best estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity is 2,1 K for INM-CM3.0, 2,7 K for CCSM3, 3,4 K for ECHAM5-MPI-OM, 4,4 K for UKMO-HadGEM1… Is there any reason to believe one model (and its pdfs) is better than another?

    Pinatubo tests I read in the litterature by Soden, Douglass-Knox, Wigley or others are still less comprehensible. How can a transient response to a tropo+stratospheric, short (months), not-so-well-mixed, SW forcing, monitored in a noisy short-term period, be of any use to constrain an equilibrium response to a tropospheric, long (centuries), well-mixed, LW forcing? That’s a mystery for me.

    Comment by Charles Muller — 31 Jan 2007 @ 9:59 PM

  86. RE #79 & central value close to 3, I’m sort of envisioning a bell curve with 3 the high point (most likely) & the 2 extremes of 1.5 & 4.5 as being at the tails, the 95 or 99% prob interval, with less than 5% or 1% prob being values more extreme on either side. Maybe that’s wrong.

    Re Sashka (#74, 75), we need to compare apples with apples, and a hybrid (non-plug-in) is not comparable to an EV — which is why I won’t buy one, until the PHEVs come out, tho I’ve been living close to work & stores & church for over 30 years (another way to cut down on GHG emissions), after I learned about entropy during the 70s enegery crunch. And I knew a bunch of guys into EV conversion up in Illinois, so they have direct experience re claims that EVs are great. I even took one for a drive. It was fine & it was just a ’74 Corolla converted to electric, running on lead acid batteries, though its range was only 40 miles (without all the advanced tech stuff, like regenerative breaking), but that was plenty for the woman who owned it & never drove more than 25 miles per day. I think it even had a little heater for winter, but no AC. And you’re just simple wrong about wind; and I’ve read PVs are getting much more efficient & cost-competitive. What will they think of next, as long as people encourage such entrepreneurship rather than stiffle it.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Jan 2007 @ 10:54 PM

  87. Re #74 & 81: Of course that diesel vs hybrid comparison is rather biased, since they chose a hybrid that’s far from the most efficient of its kind. The Honda Insight leaves the Prius in the dust. I’ve owned mine almost 4 years now, with a lifetime average 70.2 mpg – and that’s driving the way I drive, which is not conservatively :-)

    It’s not really a matter of hybrid versus diesel, since it would be dead easy for a manufacturer to swap in a diesel engine instead of a gas one. Indeed, in many ways it’s a better match, since the high torque of the electric assist would compensate for diesel’s notoriously slow acceleration.

    Going beyond that, given the batteries for a good plug-in hybrid, one could replace the IC engine with a more efficent gas turbine, or even a Sterling engine. In automobiles, as in pretty near everything else, there’s a LOT of room for efficiency improvements, even using technology that’s known and fairly easy to bring to market. All that’s needed is some incentive for doing so.

    (Just doing my bit towards getting the thread off-topic :-))

    Comment by James — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:09 PM

  88. Tonight on Larry King Sen. Boxer called Sen. Inhofe a member of the Flat Earth Society. He claimed to be a former believer based on the media hype and cited 17000 scientists opposed to the concept of AGW now. Bizarre.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 31 Jan 2007 @ 11:26 PM

  89. The only reason NOAA won’t properly attibute AGW SST’s and hurrican intensity is because they aren’t allowed to. Guess who’s pulling those strings? I mean is Landsea’s dilution attribiton thesis valid in any scientific circle? Let’s just call them all tempests in a teacup and call it a day. That isn’t science in my view as a paltry biologist and journalist.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 1 Feb 2007 @ 12:02 AM

  90. #44 Ray- You should really engage the science before commenting. If you had you would know that both Emanuel and Holland both co-wrote the WMO statement which asserted that the science continues with legitimate debate. Clearly they cannot disagree with the statement if if they co-authored it. The need among some for asserting absolute certainty on this issue baffles me.

    #65 Ike- Thanks for the clarification . . . the choice of base period for looking at anomalies makes no scientific difference, which may be what you are getting at. It does as you suggest convey a perceptual difference when the graphs are displayed. So were I a political strategist I’d suggest using an older period to emphasize trends and a newer period to downplay them. Such a decision necessarily must be made on nonscientific factors. There is no purely scientific answer to the question of what baseline to use.

    #80 Judy- At the hearing I clearly distinguished looking to the future versus looking at the past. The committee memo only discusses the past, hence my focus there. Keep trying though;-)

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 1 Feb 2007 @ 12:56 AM

  91. Since I like single-malt scotch, will take Bill Nye’s side re: Richard Lindzen’s bet on the resolution of ice cores. (This occurred at the end of the Larry King climate change discussion.) Plus or minus 2000 years? Can somebody (perhaps someone who works in Columbus, Ohio) enlighten me as to what Dr. Lindzen was referring to?

    Comment by David Graves — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:08 AM

  92. RE: 89

    Landsea and the name “Pielke” go hand and hand.

    Faced with uncertaintity, mental speculation arises which
    is a foundational biased rationale system that is based upon an individual’s personal beliefs versus a logic and rational conclusion being derived from the means of actual concrete data obtained via objective means; resulting in a subjective inherent thinking process that gives birth to and defines the substance of the bias.

    And we have bias without the accounting of mental speculation in research; example: conforming data to certain parameters
    to fit within a vague realm that would confirm the researchers idea about an idea…..

    “Subject: G3) What may happen with tropical cyclone activity due to global warming?”

    Contributed by Chris Landsea
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G3.html

    …”In summary:

    * Modeling and theoretical studies suggest hurricanes will have no major changes in WHERE they form or occur.

    * Preliminary analyses hint that globally only small to no change in the NUMBER of hurricanes may occur and that regionally there may be areas that have small increases or small decreases in frequency (on order of +/- 10%).

    * The PEAK and AVERAGE INTENSITY of tropical cyclones may increase by about 5% in wind speeds.

    * Storm total RAINFALL may also increase on the order of about 5% more precipication.

    These are hypothesized changes that may occur around the end of the 21st Century, when a doubling in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be observed. Changes seen today are likely to be on the order of a 1% alteration in frequency, intensity and rainfall in hurricanes – not even measurable by today’s observational techniques.

    Overall, these man-made alterations are quite tiny compared to the observed large natural hurricane variability. The Atlantic basin activity has cycles with about 3.5 major hurricanes a year in active periods and about 1.5 majors annually in quiet periods, with each lasting 25-40 years. Moreover, as Knutson and Tuleya stated in their 2004 Journal of Climate article:

    “CO2-induced tropical cyclone intensity changes are unlikely to be detectable in historical observations and will probably not be detectable for decades to come.”
    However, more study is needed to better understand the complex interaction between these storms and the tropical atmosphere/ocean as well as to extend our knowledge of hurricane climate variations back in time as much as possible with both historical reconstructions and paleotempestology methods.

    (Much of this writeup is from Pielke et al. 2005.) “…

    Comment by BarbieDoll Moment — 1 Feb 2007 @ 3:30 AM

  93. hybrid vs diesel- here in europe diesel is very widely used since we have much higher fuel costs than the US and diesel engines are aproximatly twice as fuel efficient than an eqivalent petrol engined vehicle. The performance you get from modern diesel engines is easily comparable to a petrol engine, and you get to cut your MPG by a load.
    I drive a ’97 landrover Discovery 2.5L Tdi, i run my own buisiness and have 3 children, i need a truly all purpose vehichle, i could never afford to run the V8 petrol with around 15-18mpg but at around 34mpg (i also find the huge torque at almost no Rpm much more useful than high reving Bhp’s), its no prius, but its on a par with many smaller petrol engined family saloons (in fact, the LR Freelander Td4 has lower emissions and Mpg than a 1.6L Mini-Cooper!)
    So, finaly i get to the point, why dont hybrids use diesel engines?
    Oh, btw low sulphur diesel is also widely available here in the UK at least and probably across europe so thats less of an issue.

    On the subject of WH interferance in science, how much ground has been lost in dealing with AGW because of the muddied waters?

    Comment by rod franco — 1 Feb 2007 @ 6:04 AM

  94. [[The problems with PV and wind generation are well known and well documented. There is no need to generate extra noise here. May Google help you in your search. ]]

    Of course there are problems with PV and wind. Are they the same order of magnitude as problems with coal and nuclear? No, they’re not. So quit with the red herrings. “All sources of energy pollute” is a meaningless statement if you don’t quantify how much they pollute.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Feb 2007 @ 6:36 AM

  95. Roger,
    You say, “the choice of base period for looking at anomalies makes no scientific difference” and also that “There is no purely scientific answer to the question of what baseline to use.”

    Let’s consider the difference between an anomaly measure and a temperature measure, for starters. Temperature is raw data, and if people had been deliberately tampering with weather station output then that would clearly be scientific fraud. However, there are many scientific measurements that depend on analysis of raw data. Rule number one is that this be done consistently, so that different scientists can make sure they are comparing the same thing, particularly when they are reporting the results of the analysis, and not the raw data.

    If you look at the cover of the most recent NOAA “State of the Arctic” Report at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/soa2006/ you will see that the temperature anomaly graph is right on the front cover of the report. Figure 1 of the report is an topographic map of Arctic anomalies – so the report clearly treats anomalies as data – but you are saying that it makes no difference what baseline one chooses!

    Figure one uses a 1968-1996 baseline. However, the image on the front cover uses the 1971-2000 baseline – they aren’t even consistent within the same report! Figure 6 also uses the “CRU TEM2V data set”, and if you dig through NOAA’s website you find that that is also the 1971-2000 baseline.

    Now, if we see a ‘negative anomaly’ we’d expect that to mean cooling – but a negative anomaly with a high baseline can actually indicate warming – and the report clearly glosses over this.

    In FACT, the report assigns the words “cool” and “warm” to these anomaly calculations in the summary:
    “For instance, the pattern of near-surface temperature anomalies for 2000â��2005 has been distinctly different from the patterns that characterized the second half of the twentieth century, exhibiting positive (warm) anomalies over the entire Arctic region. Observations from the early spring of 2006 show a pattern more consistent with the two patterns that dominated the twentieth century, with well-defined regions of warm and cool anomalies.”

    Again, with a high baseline, a cool anomaly can actually be a warmer temperature then the historical average. What NOAA implicitly assumes by using the 1971-2000 instead of the generally used 1961-1990 period as a ‘baseline’ is that there was no warming trend between 1990 and 2000 – and that is clearly a false assumption.

    Nowhere does the paper use actual temperature trends; instead they rely on these anomalies. This is obviously an attempt to manipulate the data analysis steps to produce lower anomalies; not only that, but it prevents comparison of anomalies with researchers around the world who are using the 1961-1990 period as a baseline. Any honest scientist would want standardized baselines for ease of comparison.

    Thus, the choice of baseline obviously makes a scientific difference, particularly when anomalies are being presented as data, as is the case in the NOAA “State of the Arctic” report. This is a very basic point. The question then is, who exactly decided to use the 1971-2000 baseline instead of the 1961-1990 baseline, and what was the rationale behind that decision?

    You also don’t seem to want to answer the first question about temperature trends – why not? (see comment #65)

    Comment by Ike Solem — 1 Feb 2007 @ 6:51 AM

  96. [[Hum, this consensus value is still a conundrum for me, even after several readings of the Second Draft. If all GCMs are equiprobable, and we should expect they are, 2 or 4,5 K or any value in this interval are equiprobable too. On the other side, ensemble simulations (like Murphy 2004) are often tested on one model among 19 others (Hadley in this case), so I don't understand how to expect the mean value reflects other thing that the mean sensitivity of this model in particular. ]]

    Do a Google search on “normal distribution.” No one ever said all the model results were “equiprobable.” Even if they were, the fact that there are more of them closer to 3 degrees means the predictions graph out as a normal curve, not a flat rectangle.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Feb 2007 @ 6:54 AM

  97. Are there any graphs available which depict the probability density of climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling. From many models and runs with different assumptions and data variations. I imagine that it could resemble a normal distribution, with mean at 3 degrees celsius, and, what, 95% of the mass between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees? But I’m not sure.
    It would be most useful to have this picture as it explicitly communicates the uncertainties. Thanks!

    Comment by mz — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:01 AM

  98. Re: 96

    Please elaborate what if anything normal distribution has to do with it. Are you implying that any distribution that is not uniform is normal?

    Comment by Sashka — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:09 AM

  99. Dear Roger Pielke Jr,

    Our e-mail communications go back to just after the 1997 record flood at Grand Forks, North Dakota, as you may remember.

    Regarding communication that we were not able to have concerning your visit and lecture (Global Warming: YES or NO?) in Oct., 2000, I was not able to attend your lecture because I could not find a replacement for me in working an operational shift that day at the National Weather Service (NWS) North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC) in Chanhassen.

    However, I was aware of your lecture being held by a posting made by the Hydrologist in Charge (HIC) of NCRFC which was in the lunchroom at the co-located NWS NCRFC and NWS Weather Forecast office bulletin board at the NOAA building in Chanhassen.

    I saved the posting text and I just forwarded it to Climate Archive,
    at:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/4184

    The posting shows:

    “The Kuehnast Lecture Series will be held on Friday October 6, 2000 … at St Paul Campus, UoMN. This years’ presenter is Roger Pielke, Jr. of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His talk: “Beyond Global Warming Yes or No” examines the assumptions of prediction and prevention that underlie the present response to climate change and suggests that they are flawed, and perhaps even leading to climate policies destined to fail. The talk suggests an alternative approach to responding to climate change, and the resulting implications for science, policy and issue advocacy. NCRFC staff are encouraged to attend this event, and if need be, up to 3 hours of comp time are authorized.
    (NCRFC HIC)

    Roger, even after reading your article (Global Warming: YES or NO?) on your website I am still unclear what you meant in your article. I also don’t know if you had any important questions or comments at your lecture and what you and those who were in attendance might have said. I am especially interested in learning about anything which may have been said at your lecture by the NCRFC HIC (my supervisor in year 2000).

    Please share any comments you may remember with us here at realclimate.org

    Sincerely, Pat N

    PS – I have a daughter who recently graduated from Colorado State University. I had little say in her decision to attend CSU, but I felt the pinch from the out of state tuition. I hope you and your father contributed in a positive way to her education. I think you may have had an influence but I’d rather not say much about that now.

    Comment by Pat Neuman — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:11 AM

  100. > the science continues with legitimate debate. Clearly they cannot disagree with
    > the statement if if they co-authored it. The need among some for asserting
    > absolute certainty on this issue baffles me

    This persistent spinning of interpretation, in contrast to the actual words of the actual text, must be illustrating the difference between ‘political science’ and ‘science’ —- I have to assume since you were under oath that you indeed were, to your best capacity, telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” to the Committee. At that point I thought you were simply in a hurry and had jumped over the middle of that paragraph, losing the clarity about _what_ they agreed they knew (change is happening, basic physics) and _what_ they thought required more time (a small signal to emerge from a large background, statistics).

    You’re not under oath now, Roger, but are you still trying equally hard to tell the whole truth about this issue and nothing but? You’ve had time to focus on what you omitted.

    I’m reading the full paragraph and can’t imagine how you don’t see the point now that you missed when testifying. Surely it’s clear?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:16 AM

  101. Politics should not interfere with science.

    Comment by Dimitris Poulos — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:54 AM

  102. Due to network problems I could not follow the livestream complety. The only voice was someone reporting current NASA satellites needed to observe and measure Earth to build up models will stop operation by ~2010. He even said there is no funding planned by the Bush administration for a second generation of satellites.

    Does this mean now that US scientists can open mouth and speak the truth they go blind in a few years for a long time?

    Interestingly European Space Agency put this story in the news today:
    Satellite data vital to UN climate findings

    Comment by Torsten Becker — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:00 AM

  103. Re: 94

    I’d say the problems with wind and PV generation lie in a different dimension. Coal and nuclear are economic while wind and PV are not. The only reason why they exist today is due to subsidies. The sad example with Indonesian palm oil shows exactly where the good intentions of this kind lead. But, as I said above, there is little chance that people will learn from past mistakes.

    Comment by Sashka — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:21 AM

  104. Dr. Curry, thank you for your explanation. Knutson and Tuleya’s 2% increase in tropical cyclone intensity is in response to a 0.5ºC SST increase that is caused by growing atmospheric CO2 levels. You and I and I am sure, many, many others agree that the observed rise in intensity has been greater than 2% during the time of the SST rise (say the past 30 years or so). This indicates one of two possibilities (or perhaps some combination of both), 1) the models are wrong, or 2) the tropical climate has evolved during the past 30 years in a way that is not exactly how it would behave if CO2 increases were the only factor involved in the changes. There is evidence for the latter provided by Emanuel (2005), when he writes that the warming of the tropical atmosphere has not kept up with the SST increase – this had led to increased instability and a better environment for growing tropical cyclones…better that is, than that projected by K&T whose modeled atmosphere warms at a greater rate than the SST and thus suppresses storm growth.

    The problem I have with all of this, is that it seems to me that if tropical cyclones, to date, had only been influenced by CO2 increases, the increases in intensity would not be nearly as large as those observed and the changes would have been much more difficult to detect and the findings wouldn’t have been so sensational. To me at least, that factors other than CO2-induced changes are also at play combine to make the observed increases larger and easier to detect and more sensational.

    Thus, while I believe there is pretty strong consensus that a SST increase will lead to tropical cyclone intensity increases (at least on average), I believe the consensus is not nearly so well formed that the observed increases over the past 30 years are strong indicators of the impact that greenhouse gases have had. Do you agree with this last statement? And I am not asking whether you, or any other individual scientist, believes that the observations over the past 30 years are strong evidence of the impact of CO2 enhancement on tropical cyclone intensity, I am asking whether you believe that there is a ‘consensus’ that this is the case.

    -Chip Knappenberger
    to some degree, supported by the fossil fuels industry since 1992

    Comment by Chip Knappenberger — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:26 AM

  105. Sashka wrote: “The problems with PV and wind generation are well known and well documented.”

    That’s a nearly 100 percent content-free comment. What “problems” are you talking about? What is their significance? Do you have anything to actually say about this, other than vacuous bromides like that? Talk about “noise”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:39 AM

  106. RE #93 & ground lost (which also includes the vast periods of Bush Sr & Clinton’s relative silence), I’d say the U.S. could have reduced GHGs by at least 10% from the 1990 figure by now, while increasing productivity more than it did, without hardly trying. Maybe 30% reductions with a little effort & upfront investments in conservation/efficiency that pay off better in savings than the best stocks or real estate.

    I’ve often thought that the U.S. not addressing global warming may be demoralizing for Europe & other places, so that they are not reducing as much as they could (tho Europe per capita emitts about half the GHG emissions as Americans). There’s a ripple effect in evil, it just spreads out.

    What we need is a president who will stand up at the pulpit or sit in a stuffed chair & tell the American people we all need to reduce our GHGs, individuals, households, businesses, government bodies at all levels, schools, churches, and that we can do much to reduce without having to lower productivity or living standards. We need community & religious leaders, teachers, weatherpersons, and all with any authority or respect to come out and encourage people to do the right thing. I’ve tried to get my church to do something, to at least raise awareness, but no one listens to me. I asked the priest to mention it, at least once a year, or once for every 100 times he rails against abortion, but he said he’s afraid of the Rush Limbaugh crowd (though the religious hierarchy, his & my superiors, have made statements that prudence REQUIRES everyone to mitigate GW, even if we the science seems uncertain — which it clearly is NOT!).

    I guess the politicos fear that if they speak out about GW, Exxon might hire a hitman to shoot them in the wallet. And others might fear of the Rush Limbaugh crowd. But the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:56 AM

  107. re: #93, “So, finaly i get to the point, why dont hybrids use diesel engines?”

    A good question. And I have one, too. Why doesn’t all personal gasoline-powered transportation have small-displacement engines with a turbo-charger to kick in when needed? The power needed for cruising at more-or-less constant speed is a fraction of that needed for rapid accelleration.

    Comment by Dan Hughes — 1 Feb 2007 @ 12:45 PM

  108. [[Are there any graphs available which depict the probability density of climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling. From many models and runs with different assumptions and data variations. I imagine that it could resemble a normal distribution, with mean at 3 degrees celsius, and, what, 95% of the mass between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees? But I'm not sure.
    It would be most useful to have this picture as it explicitly communicates the uncertainties. Thanks! ]]

    I’m going to collect estimates from the primary literature and graph them myself. I already have six figures. When I have sixty or so I’ll put them into a histogram and see how it looks. Some estimates we can treat as erroneous outliers because we know there were systematic errors in the paper, e.g. Moller’s 1963 estimate of 10 K from CO2 doubling depended on erroneously treating the surface fluxes instead of the TOA fluxes.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Feb 2007 @ 12:54 PM

  109. [[Coal and nuclear are economic while wind and PV are not. The only reason why they exist today is due to subsidies.]]

    Oh, you think coal and nuclear don’t receive subsidies? What planet did you say you were from?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Feb 2007 @ 12:57 PM

  110. Sashka wrote in #103: “Coal and nuclear are economic while wind and PV are not. The only reason why they exist today is due to subsidies.”

    That is laughably wrong.

    Private sector investment is pouring into both wind power and photovoltaics, coming from, among other places, the founders of Google and from other Silicon Valley investors. According to the WorldWatch Institute, in 2005 global wind power capacity grew 24 percent to nearly 60,000 megawatts, four times the growth in nuclear power capacity, and production of photovoltaics grew 45 percent to nearly 1,730 megawatts, six times the level in 2000. That’s the result of private free-market investment, not subsidies.

    In contrast, nuclear power has always, everywhere, been entirely a product of massive state subsidies — in the USA over $100 billion since the beginning of nuclear electrical generation, compared to around $6 billion for wind and solar.

    [edit - play nice people]

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:15 PM

  111. Knappenberger:
    ” … 1) the models are wrong, or 2) the tropical climate has evolved during the past 30 years in a way that is not exactly how it would behave if CO2 increases were the only factor involved in the changes ….”

    Both statements are truisms and inarguable.

    George Box (1979): “all models are wrong; some models are useful”
    Google Scholar – “only CO2 affects climate” – did not match any articles.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:24 PM

  112. Re: 107

    Please document the subsidies received by coal-based power generators with the examples from this planet. I do hope you have some time left from your research on normal distribution

    Comment by Sashka — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:27 PM

  113. Re: 105

    I did suspect the Google alone cannot cure ignorance. Neither PV nor wind are economic nor dispatchable. Look in Wiki to see what it means.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_power_sources

    As compared to many other types of electricity generation, wind is not dispatchable – it cannot be turned on or off at will by human or automatic dispatch.

    Critics also argue that the economics of wind energy may also be challenged when wind production is high at times of low demand. Due to the presence of other generating stations that are operated as base load (run as close to continuously as possible) or have minimum operating cycles, at high penetrations wind plants may contribute to the grid producing energy “surplus” to requirements at times of low demand. As with other generating plant, wind energy output may on occasion need to be curtailed, energy stored for later use, or load increased to compensate. While all of these solutions are commonly used to manage grids, wind “spilt” or curtailed generates no revenue, and prices for supply to the grid may be lower at times of high output, both of which could make wind farms less profitable.

    Comment by Sashka — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:33 PM

  114. # 96 “Do a Google search on “normal distribution.” No one ever said all the model results were “equiprobable.” Even if they were, the fact that there are more of them closer to 3 degrees means the predictions graph out as a normal curve, not a flat rectangle.”

    Really no one ? Second Draft AR4, Box 10.2, 10-73, line 37-38 : “A probabilistic interpretation of the results is problematic, because each model is assumed to be equally credible and the results depend upon the assumed shape of the fitted distribution.”

    I suppose equally credible is not too far from equiprobable. The fact that there are more of them closer to 3 K may reflect many things (common prior assumptions, for example, so far models are not really independent and there are not so many ways to test them, as Kerry Emanuel wisely reminded us in his recent paper discussed here).

    Comment by Charles Muller — 1 Feb 2007 @ 1:47 PM

  115. Climate reality vs. interpretations are so wide apart at times it�s a wonder we are all living on the same planet. European Alps never seen anything like it in 1000 years, England never measured so warm since their records began in the 17th century, same with Holland, In America bees were still active in late December in NY state, I can go on. Poking fun at each other�s opinions as to what is happening is unique to this science. How about interpreting what is going on accurately and from there may be we will get the future right?

    Point a, GW is happening outside our houses. Point b, we should slowly be going towards an ice age (Milankovich wise). Point c, something is altering that course. Point d, that something has been known for 100 years, and finally we are starting to do something about it, perhaps because we have not quite passed the threshold of consciousness of our ability to change the world, its not obvious for some esteemed vocal scientists and politicians that we humans can alter the course of the mighty natural world, indifferent of our presence.

    Cutting our spending on wasteful energy practices, should be ingrained everywhere, as a cost saving measure in order to bolster the economies of the planet, as the conservative slogan goes “more money in your pocketâ�� giving a chance to another improbable liberal slogan: “cities with clean air” to be trueâ�¦.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 1 Feb 2007 @ 2:22 PM

  116. Here’s a little hint for the climate change readers. you may want to perhaps consider stocking up a little water and non-perishable food. I also propose the United Nation people spend this year taking a few ‘field trips” to get a better collective grasp on different cultures. One country visited every two weeks. Get the UN people off their rears and out into the world. I also propose putting on one more tick on the doomsday clock. If we humans can get out of this one without 50 per cent population loss, I will be impressed. Climate change and atomic bombs and bad leaders and fighting means trouble that will make our second worst problems fade away. Pop some popcorn, the show is about to begin.

    Comment by Paul M — 1 Feb 2007 @ 2:29 PM

  117. Re: 110

    It may be laughable but it’s not wrong. For example:

    To bring this into perspective, solar power of all varieties has been heavily subsidized throughout its technological history just to begin to turn a profit. The idea that solar thermal energy may become one of the cheapest and most reliable sources of energy is an incredible turning point for the technology. It appears, for solar thermal at least, there is a bright unsubsidized future.

    (SPV) Solar systems would still cost $2 kiloWatt/hour if the cell cost went to zero. What we need are higher efficiency cells. We should be saying we will accept higher costs to get 30 percent efficient cells

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/10/cut_solar_subsi_1.php

    Seriously, why don’t you read something on the subject before starting flame wars? It’s true that private business invests in PV and wind power projects. But this is largely because the governments subsidize the power prices.

    Comment by Sashka — 1 Feb 2007 @ 2:40 PM

  118. 103 & 110, and let’s not forget the much vaster subsidies that flow into oil & coal (I asked my Republican rep & he admitted to that), and the vast tax-breaks they get.

    And that’s not even counting military expenses for protecting oil (narrowly just expenses to ensure safe delivery of supplies; more broadly all the gov expenses to manipulate oil-rich nations; still more broadly, Gulf Wars I & II). Then if we internalize all the other environment & health-related externalities, in addition to reducing subsidies & tex-breaks, we’re talking maybe $30 per gallon, certainly at least $20. And I haven’t even added in harms from global warming yet — maybe add another $30 per gallon. Shall I proceed?

    We do pay for these, if not at the pump, then on April 15th, and if not then, individual victims pay with lost health/work & medical expenses, and remainder of the tab is passed on to our children and theirs & disproportionately to the poor countries of the world.

    As you’ve mentioned, Sashka (re palm-oil), and I agree, we really need a holistic approach.

    BTW, a “normal” curve in stats is the same as a bell curve in common parlance.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Feb 2007 @ 2:46 PM

  119. > Please document the subsidies received by coal-based power
    > generators with the examples from this planet

    Help with homework assignment?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Feb 2007 @ 3:46 PM

  120. I am highly confused about what to believe regarding ‘Climate Change’ and I came across this posting on Boston University professor’s blog recently that I would love an opinion on from you fellows. It contains some editorializing but also some interesting ideas about the models we’re using for climate study. Please do let me know what you think:

    “Re: the climate. The climate scientists (at NASA’s Goddard Space Center, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Instiitute, our universities, etc.) are using an incorrect model. Talking about .2 degree rise in heat per decade, blah, blah, blah. That is a model from the 1970s. Scientists …are trapped in old-fashioned thermodynamic computer modeling systems. Like generals fighting the last war. (Or the current one!) And they are concerned about rises in sea level. Another old model. What really matters is changes in the current systems of the oceans, affected by polar and subpolar heat sinks. The changes are temperature sensitive, but have results that are far-reaching and have nothing to do with raising the temperature or ocean levels as the ultimate result. In fact, the next major event will be–brace yourself–an Ice Age. Coming on with incredible rapidity. (The gradualism of that event that we were taught in school is another computer modeling error.) Followed by….. well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination in terms of crops and harvests and growing seasons….

    … James Hanson is the only climatologist who dares to think different at present, but even he has a limited understanding, which relies overly much on the old thermodynamic-based modeling systems. (Currents, in both water and air, are not so easily modeled. Fluid dynamics is much harder to map and predict than thermal changes, so the scientists ignore the currents and focus on the temperatures. It’s the old searching for the key under the streetlight when it was lost somewhere else joke. But that’s twentieth-century science.”

    Are we using the wrong, outdated thermodynamic models? Are heat sinks more relevant to this discussion? If not, why not? Thank you for reading things.

    [Response: Well, I rarely get surprised at the things I sometimes read on the web, but I really have no idea what this person is talking about. Maybe something related to the North Atlantic overturning gleaned from watching too many movies.... - gavin]

    Comment by David Krenim — 1 Feb 2007 @ 4:22 PM

  121. how does your models explain the many global warmings and ice ages?

    Comment by lars — 1 Feb 2007 @ 5:31 PM

  122. Pat Neumann #99-

    Thanks, feel free to email me and I’ll send you some papers. But briefly:

    On the Red River Flood:
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-81-1999.16.pdf

    On what I probably spoke about at U Minn:
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-69-2000.18.pdf

    Also, I’m at CU not CSU, and my dad has been retired for a few years from CSU, but ti is a good school and I hope that your daughter enjoyed Colorado!

    Thanks!

    Comment by Roger Pielke Jr. — 1 Feb 2007 @ 8:13 PM

  123. She enjoyed it too much. She’s still there and no moving plans. Getting to see family who live far away will become more difficult, as you know, for more than one reason. Fortunately there are no little ones yet. I’ve given my advise not to have kids because of what’s in store for this century, but she (and her soon to be husband) will make their own decisions based on what they believe. So please be careful about what you say that reaches the news in Colorado. If they here it from you they just might believe some of what you say even if they don’t understand where you’re coming from or going to.

    Comment by Pat Neuman — 1 Feb 2007 @ 8:40 PM

  124. On making a sensitivity probability density function from many models:
    “I suppose equally credible is not too far from equiprobable. The fact that there are more of them closer to 3 K may reflect many things (common prior assumptions, for example, so far models are not really independent and there are not so many ways to test them, as Kerry Emanuel wisely reminded us in his recent paper discussed here).”

    Okay, so how about a graph for every model, but with varied initial conditions and parameters, which I understand are used. Then of course these “inputs” also have to have probability weights. (Ie a result with improbable initial conditions doesn’t add much to that result’s probability.) The point I’m trying to make that it’s damn hard for a layman to gauge with just one number… You have to get some feel of the problem.

    How about then for something really unscientific, have experts draw them by hand as what they personally think are probable? They should have some feeling about how sensitive the things are to which parameters since they’ve done lots and lots of simulations.
    This is important especially on the high-sensitivity end of the graph as it is very important even with small probability (in the Stern sense).

    A picture can say a thousand words.

    Comment by mz — 1 Feb 2007 @ 9:54 PM

  125. AP Wire news making its way across the pop media outlets….

    AP Wire 02/01/2007
    Warming linked to stronger hurricanes
    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/16597175.htm

    …”During marathon meetings in Paris, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved language that said an increase in hurricane and tropical cyclone strength since 1970 “more likely than not” can be attributed to man-made global warming, according to Leonard Fields of Barbados and Cedric Nelom of Surinam. In its last report in 2001, the same panel had said there was not enough evidence to make such a conclusion.”…”The report – scheduled to be released Friday morning – is also a marked departure from a November 2006 statement by the World Meteorological Organization, which helped found the IPPC.”…”But U.S. National Hurricane Center scientist Christopher Landsea has long disagreed with that premise. While he would not comment on the IPCC decision, Landsea pointed to the meteorological organization’s statement last fall.”

    Comment by BarbieDoll Moment — 1 Feb 2007 @ 9:56 PM

  126. RE#121,
    Roger, perhaps you missed the first question while pondering the issue of the anomalies at NOAA, so here it is again:

    “Given that global temperatures continue to set new records every few years, do you think this trend is set to continue? Perhaps an easier question would be, how long do you expect the running 5-year temperature averages to show a continually increasing trend? In other words, do you think we are looking at a ‘natural fluctuation’ or a long-term warming trend set to continue until atmospheric CO2 (and other infrared-absorbing gas) levels are stabilized?”

    This actually relates to the issue of how to choose ‘baselines’ in order to calculate ‘anomalies’ from raw data; it’s not too hard to see the connection – could that be why you don’t want to answer the question?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 1 Feb 2007 @ 10:19 PM

  127. Evidence of oil & coal subsidies & tax-breaks?

    I did read about these some 10-15 years ago, and wanted to make sure, so I asked my congressman, a noted Republican, and a knowledgable staffer in his office confirmed it. But I can’t remember the source where I read about it off-hand.

    I can say that petroleum costs a lot more in other countries (even those without high taxes on it), so it seems our prices are artificially lower, most likely due to tax breaks & subsidies.

    It works like this:
    Oil funds political campaigns (among many other recipients), and once in office gov people return the favor & give subsidies & tax-breaks to oil, all in the name of keeping gas prices lower for the common people & to facilitate business, of course. That is, among other favors gov does for oil/coal, which also include oil-friendly policies & laws & …. well, back on topic … suppressed and distorted global warming science.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:24 PM

  128. RE: 120.
    {“how does your models explain the many global warmings and ice ages?”}

    Past research has suggested and or focused upon insolation and or orbital factors, such as Milankovitch forcing.

    Arctic Climatology and Meteorology Primer.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/glossary/insolation.html
    “Insolation
    1) Exposure of an object to the Sun.
    2) Intensity of incoming solar radiation incident on a unit horizontal surface at a specific level.”

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html

    …”In addition to changes in energy from the sun itself, the Earth’s position and orientation relative to the sun (our orbit) also varies slightly, thereby bringing us closer and further away from the sun in predictable cycles (called Milankovitch cycles). Variations in these cycles are believed to be the cause of Earth’s ice-ages (glacials). “…”While Milankovitch cycles have tremendous value as a theory to explain ice-ages and long-term changes in the climate, they are unlikely to have very much impact on the decade-century timescale. Over several centuries, it may be possible to observe the effect of these orbital parameters, however for the prediction of climate change in the 21st century, these changes will be far less important than radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.”…

    Other research on the same topic….

    Ice-driven CO2 feedback on ice volume
    W F Ruddiman
    Clim. Past 2, 43-55
    http://www.clim-past.net/2/43/2006/cp-2-43-2006.html

    EO News: “Ice Sheets Drive Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels ”
    NASA’s Earth Observatory July 24, 2006
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2006/2006072422735.html

    The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause of rapid climate change
    C.D. Keeling and T.P. Whorf
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97 (8), 3814-9 (11 Apr 2000)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=10725399&query_hl=8&itool=pubmed_docsum

    RE: 114.

    {“A probabilistic interpretation of the results is problematic, because each model is assumed to be equally credible and the results depend upon the assumed shape of the fitted distribution.”}

    All that said, historically, there is past research with projections to examine retrospectively in relation to the matter.

    For example, in the 1950′s Revelle and Suess projected a 20% to 40% increase in earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels before 2000 while Callendar stated, in relation to his modeled doubling of the CO2, that the larger rises of temperatures would occur in the higher latitudes.

    “THE CARBON DIOXIDE THEORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE: EMERGENCE, ECLIPSE, AND REEMERGENCE, CA. 1850-1950″ James Fleming
    AMS Conf. “13th Symposium on Global Change and Climate Variations” Session 3, Observed Climate Change I: Paleo and Instrumental Records, (14 Jan 2002)
    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/31525.pdf

    …”Callendar constructed a one-dimensional model in which the ten percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration measured since 1900 explained the 0.25 C temperature increase observed over the same period. A doubling of carbon dioxide in his model resulted in a mean global temperature increase of 2 C with greater temperature increases in high latitudes.”…”In 1957, Roger Revelle and Hans Suess published an oft-cited article on the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and ocean. Citing Callendar and Plass, the authors provided new estimates of the sequestering of carbon in the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, and lithosphere using C14 techniques pioneered by Suess. After taking ocean reservoirs and other sinks in to account, Revelle and Suess estimated a twenty to forty percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide by the end of the century rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by industrial fuel combustion as the â??Callendar effect.â?? …”

    And what actually happened? We have seen a rise of 70, which falls within the range of Revelle and Suess’s initial projections

    310 in the 1950′s
    20% of 310 = 62
    30% of 310 = 93
    40% of 310 = 124

    and we have seen the larger temperature increases transpire at the higher lats, all from research conducted fifty-ish years ago.

    Scripps CO2 Program
    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/faq/faq.html
    “High precision measurements of atmospheric CO2 made by Scripps and other organisations show that its average global concentration in 2005 was almost 380 ppm; about 70 ppm higher than the first direct atmospheric measurements made in the 1950s.”…

    Also see..

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html

    …” Global surface temperatures have increased about 0.6°C (plus or minus 0.2°C) since the late-19th century, and about 0.4°F (0.2 to 0.3°C) over the past 25 years (the period with the most credible data).”…”The recent warmth has been greatest over North America and Eurasia between 40 and 70°N.”…

    NASA Study Finds World Warmth Edging Ancient Levels (09.25.06)
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/world_warmth.html

    ….”Scientists concluded that these data showed the Earth has been warming at the remarkably rapid rate of approximately .36° Fahrenheit (0.2° Celsius) per decade for the past 30 years.”…” The study notes that the world’s warming is greatest at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, and it is larger over land than over ocean areas. The extra warming at high latitudes is because of effects of ice and snow. As the Earth warms, snow and ice melt, uncovering darker surfaces that absorb more sunlight and increase warming. Warming is less over ocean than over land because the deep ocean can absorb great amounts of heat, and because they are so big, they take longer to warm.”…”The most important result found by these researchers is that the warming in recent decades has brought global temperature to a level within about one degree Celsius (1.8° F) of the maximum temperature of the past million years, which they suggest is a sensible upper limit for additional global warming.”…

    Comment by BarbieDoll Moment — 1 Feb 2007 @ 11:54 PM

  129. Roger, are you aware of a party line one has to stay within, on the hurricane question, to be involved in the politics?

    “…the U.S. delegation, led by political appointees, was pressing to play down language pointing to a link between intensification of hurricanes and warming caused by human activity.
    “‘They have tended to highlight uncertainties on certain issues,’ …”

    The phrase “uncertainties on certain issues” could have several meanings. What’s your opinion?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2007 @ 12:16 AM

  130. Oops, the cite: the quotes I posted are from:
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/01/news/warm.php?page=1

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2007 @ 12:53 AM

  131. Re: 93 & 107

    The reason for the delay of the diesel hybrid is that diesel engines are bigger, heavier and more expensive the petrol engines. The manufactures first priority was to sell small and cheap hybrids, now the trend is to sell larger hybrid cars with medium diesel engines (5 or 6 cylinders) that gives as high performances as a V8 or a V10 (or 12).

    As for putting in large turbo on small engines, that will give a really crappy driving performance that no customer would accept. But the idea is right so you will see smaller engines with turbo in the future but first the performance of the smaller engines has to improve, and it will.

    Comment by Lars U — 2 Feb 2007 @ 5:07 AM

  132. [[Please document the subsidies received by coal-based power generators with the examples from this planet. I do hope you have some time left from your research on normal distribution ]]

    Look through a federal budget, for Christ’s sake.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Feb 2007 @ 6:35 AM

  133. [[how does your models explain the many global warmings and ice ages? ]]

    The modern theory behind the ice ages — that they are tied to long-period variations in Earth’s orbital inclination, eccentricity, and rotational precession — was advanced by Milankovic in 1930 and became generally accepted by the 1970s.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Feb 2007 @ 6:37 AM

  134. Re: 133

    Are there any models that fit historical data (i.e ice ages and MWP) AND also predict major global warming in the next century?
    There is a big difference between understandng why there are ice ages and also include that in models that predict the future.

    Comment by Lars U — 2 Feb 2007 @ 7:19 AM

  135. Re: 132

    Assuming you did look through federal budget, would you mind sharing some of the pertinent lines?

    Comment by Sashka — 2 Feb 2007 @ 8:29 AM

  136. [[how does your models explain the many global warmings and ice ages? ]]

    “*Sun’s fickle heart may leave us cold”
    There’s a dimmer switch inside the sun that causes its brightness to rise and fall on timescales of around 100,000 years – exactly the same period as between ice ages on Earth. So says a physicist who has created a computer model of our star’s core.
    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/mg19325884.500

    Comment by lars — 2 Feb 2007 @ 8:43 AM

  137. Re #131: “As for putting in large turbo on small engines, that will give a really crappy driving performance that no customer would accept.”

    While I don’t know about what the mass market would accept, I do know of several people who have turbocharged Honda Insights (1000 cc engine). I’ve even driven one. “Crappy” is not the word I’d use to describe it: “awesome” fits a lot better :-)

    Comment by James — 2 Feb 2007 @ 2:07 PM

  138. A good study of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry can be found at http://www.mindfully.org/Energy/Fossil-Fuel-Subsidies.htm . The studies cited estimate the total subsidy, depending on how you define it, as being anywhere from 6.2 billion to 1.735 trillion 1999 dollars. Add that to the Price-Anderson Act and the other subsidies for nuclear, and that’s a whole lot of federal money going to existing energy sources. Now imagine that being diverted to conservation programs and subsidies for solar thermal power plants…

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 2 Feb 2007 @ 2:23 PM

  139. RE: #120 – Consider a one-shot circuit. A resistor – capacitor circuit charges up and its voltage increases. The node between the resistor and the cap are tied to the gate of a MOSFET. The channel of the MOSFET is tied to the cap. When the gate voltage reaches a sufficient level, the MOSFET turns on and drains the cap very rapidly. The cycle is reset and repeats, ad infinitum. It is not unthinkable that, given the current overarching Ice Age configuration of the Earth, that the cold periods represent the periods after a “discharge” and then gradually, “charging” eventually results in an interglacial. An interglacial might be thought of as the asymptotal portion of the waveform, just prior to the next discharge. If so, then acceleration of the “charging” (heating) may indeed shorten the interglacial.

    Comment by Steve Sadlov — 2 Feb 2007 @ 6:41 PM

  140. Of course, if the charge build up is too high the channel goes ZOT.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 2 Feb 2007 @ 10:38 PM

  141. Diesel (and turbocharged) hybrids were another thing that Al Gore tried to convince Ford, Chrysler and GM were worthwhile. Essentially they have the engineering done. Of course, this project was killed by the Bust administration.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 2 Feb 2007 @ 10:51 PM

  142. RE: #140 – Electrical overstress would only occur either via ESD or if somehow the current source continued to increase even after the FET switched on. The analogy of accelerated warming is more like tweaking the resistor value down and hence lowering the RC time constant. The source (in this case the Sun plus the other various more minor ones) is more like an approximately constant current source with a bit of modulation applied, within certain bounds. Net result is, you get to the switching point quicker if the resistance is lower.

    Comment by Steve Sadlov — 2 Feb 2007 @ 11:05 PM

  143. On a Honda Insight you have an “electrical turbo”, not a mechanical one. Thatâ??s why you have good performance with it, there is no delay when you push down the pedal. With a large (large compare to the engine) mechanical turbo it will take too long to build up boost pressure and you will experience a dangerous lag, for example in a cross roads when you take off.

    Comment by Lars U — 5 Feb 2007 @ 3:06 AM

  144. On the hurricane issue, I’ve been attributing them (a portion of their intensity) to global warming since 1990 when I first really learned about global warming & that it was predicted to intensify storms.

    Knowing that scientists err on the side of caution and avoid making false claims, and that potential victims, environmentalists, medical patients, and people living in the world would rather err on the side of caution in terms of solving or avoiding problems that are actually happening (though we may not be completely sure) or may happen, I realized that GW & GW enhancement of hurricanes could very well be happening, but science just hadn’t reached their artificial, high certainty level that it is happening.

    Also, I understood that it’s that last puff of intensity that blows the house down. So GW’s impact would be much greater than, say, a 2%, 5% or 10% increase in intensity may seem on paper: it would mean the difference between a branch of a mesquite tree breaking off (they easily break), and the roof blowing off, or a house being leveled.

    So, yes, in my books Hurricane Andrew in 1992 & Katrina were enhanced by GW. If anyone has proof at .05 (roughly equivalent to 95% certainty in common parlance) that GW did NOT enhance Andrew or Katrina, you can present it to me. But I have to tell you, I’m still going to keep reducing my GHGs…even if you have proof at .01 (99% certainty) that anthropogenic GW is NOT happening & will NOT happen even if we quadruple our CO2 emissions. And that’s because it just makes financial sense to do so, and reduces many other environmental & other problems.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 5 Feb 2007 @ 10:52 AM

  145. Re #143: The answer to the Insight turbo question is sort of both yes and no. With the stock (no turbo) Insight, the electric assist does act rather like an instant-response turbo, in that it kicks in to provide more power on demand.

    With a turbo conversion, you have a quite small turbo that doesn’t have much lag, plus the electric boost. The result is that when you step on the gas, the acceleration ramps up quite satisfactorily :-)

    Comment by James — 5 Feb 2007 @ 2:09 PM

  146. Re: 145
    The point is that the Honda Insight is a hybrid, and that’s the reason for it’s good preformance. Take away the electrical motor and you will find it crappy.

    Comment by Lars U — 7 Feb 2007 @ 4:13 AM

  147. Sure, but that’s the whole logic of hybrids. It doesn’t take a lot of power to move a car down the road at a steady speed (I worked out a figure of about 17 HP to move my Insight at 65 mph). All those other horses under your hood are there just to provide decent acceleration on demand. By adding an electric motor to assist the acceleration, you can use a smaller & more efficient engine, and avoid having to haul around & feed the extra horses :-)

    Comment by James — 7 Feb 2007 @ 2:20 PM

  148. Re: 74- the article is 2 years out of date. “Ultra low sulfur diesel” (15ppm sulfur) has been the standard since fall and diesel has been in the range of 30-50cents/gallon more than gasoline in the US northeast.

    “So, diesel engine is more economical per gallon than hybrid but (this particular one) is dirtier on sulphur. Other diesel engines, however, can burn a biofuel (which need not be produced the Indonesian way), so net-net I don’t see the balance tipping towards electric cars. ”
    As the PM emissions are primarily from carbon, and not sulfur, the new fuel doesn’t make much of a difference. Without a filter, the black carbon global warming emissions should destroy any climate benefits diesel may have.

    Good article on soot and climate here:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4508

    Comment by Roger Smith — 8 Feb 2007 @ 7:02 PM

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