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The IPCC is not infallible (shock!)

Filed under: — group @ 19 January 2010 - (Italian)

Like all human endeavours, the IPCC is not perfect. Despite the enormous efforts devoted to producing its reports with the multiple levels of peer review, some errors will sneak through. Most of these will be minor and inconsequential, but sometimes they might be more substantive. As many people are aware (and as John Nieslen-Gammon outlined in a post last month and Rick Piltz goes over today), there is a statement in the second volume of the IPCC (WG2), concerning the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are receding that is not correct and not properly referenced.

The statement, in a chapter on climate impacts in Asia, was that the likelihood of the Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035” was “very high” if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate (WG 2, Ch. 10, p493), and was referenced to a World Wildlife Fund 2005 report. Examining the drafts and comments (available here), indicates that the statement was barely commented in the reviews, and that the WWF (2005) reference seems to have been a last minute addition (it does not appear in the First- or Second- Order Drafts). This claim did not make it into the summary for policy makers, nor the overall synthesis report, and so cannot be described as a ‘central claim’ of the IPCC. However, the statement has had some press attention since the report particularly in the Indian press, at least according to Google News, even though it was not familiar to us before last month.

It is therefore obvious that this error should be corrected (via some kind of corrigendum to the WG2 report perhaps), but it is important to realise that this doesn’t mean that Himalayan glaciers are doing just fine. They aren’t, and there may be serious consequences for water resources as the retreat continues. See also this review paper (Ren et al, 2006) on a subset of these glaciers.

East Rongbuk glacier 1921 and 2008East Rongbuk glacier just below Mt. Everest has lost 3-400 ft of ice in this area since 1921.

More generally, peer-review works to make the IPCC reports credible because many different eyes with different perspectives and knowledge look over the same text. This tends to make the resulting product reflect more than just the opinion of a single author. In this case, it appears that not enough people with relevant experience saw this text, or if they saw it, did not comment publicly. This might be related to the fact that this text was in the Working Group 2 report on impacts, which does not get the same amount of attention from the physical science community than does the higher profile WG 1 report (which is what people associated with RC generally look at). In WG1, the statements about continued glacier retreat are much more general and the rules on citation of non-peer reviewed literature was much more closely adhered to. However, in general, the science of climate impacts is less clear than the physical basis for climate change, and the literature is thinner, so there is necessarily more ambiguity in WG 2 statements.

In future reports (and the organisation for AR5 in 2013 is now underway), extra efforts will be needed to make sure that the links between WG1 and the other two reports are stronger, and that the physical science community should be encouraged to be more active in the other groups.

In summary, the measure of an organisation is not determined by the mere existence of errors, but in how it deals with them when they crop up. The current discussion about Himalayan glaciers is therefore a good opportunity for the IPCC to further improve their procedures and think more about what the IPCC should be doing in the times between the main reports.

Update: This backgrounder presented by Kargel et al AGU this December is the best summary of the current state of the Himalayas and the various sources of misinformation that are floating around. It covers this issue, the Raina report and the recent Lau et al paper.

1,804 Responses to “The IPCC is not infallible (shock!)”

  1. 501
    Edward Greisch says:

    Trying that comment again:
    421 Kris: There are some other reasons why you might want reconsider coal:
    Coal contains: URANIUM, ARSENIC, LEAD, MERCURY, Antimony, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Selenium, Barium, Fluorine, Silver, Beryllium, Iron, Sulfur, Boron, Titanium, Cadmium, Magnesium, Thorium, Calcium, Manganese, Vanadium, Chlorine, Aluminum, Chromium, Molybdenum and Zinc. There is so much of these elements in coal that cinders and coal smoke are actually valuable ores. We should be able to get all the uranium and thorium we need to fuel nuclear power plants for centuries by using cinders and smoke as ore. Remember that, to get a given amount of energy, you need on the order of 100 MILLION TIMES as much coal as uranium. That means the coal mine has to be 100 million times larger than the uranium mine, not counting the recycling of nuclear fuel. Unburned Coal also contains BENZENE, THE CANCER CAUSER. We can keep our mountains and forests and our health by switching from coal to nuclear power. We could get all of our uranium and thorium from coal ashes and cinders. The carbon content of coal ranges from 96% down to 25%, the remainder being rock of various kinds.

    Chinese industrial grade coal is sometimes stolen by peasants for cooking. The result is that the whole family dies of arsenic poisoning in days, not years because Chinese industrial grade coal contains large amounts of arsenic.

    I have zero financial interest in nuclear power, and I never have had a financial interest in nuclear power. My sole motivation in writing this is to avoid extinction due to global warming.
    
    Yes, that ARSENIC is getting into the air you breathe, the water you drink and the soil your food grows in. So are all of those other heavy metal poisons. Kris, your health would be a lot better without coal. Benzene is also found in petroleum. If you have cancer, check for benzene in your past.

  2. 502
    ccpo says:

    “I completely disagree with you on many different levels. While global warming has a good probability, it is no where near certain. The the report on the Himalayan glaciers is a nice example of how the viewpoint can change.”

    How to say this… open your flippin’ eyes!

    *80+% ice loss in the Arctic

    *Ice mass decreasing in the Antarctic

    But you think an error having to do with a far smaller portion of global ice is radically important. No “viewpoint” has changed. Globally, glaciers are losing mass. Period.

    You have to be looking pretty hard for an excuse for such as that to suffice as a refutation of any significance.

  3. 503
    Jimbo says:

    Now from soot to moisture depletion.

    “Most glaciologists now agree that it is the moisture depletion, not temperature increase that is the primary cause for glacier retreat.

    ….

    In summary, the glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating, but NOT any faster than other glaciers in the Arctic and elsewhere. The two large and most important glaciers of the Himalayas show very little retreat at this point in time. The primary reason for retreat of some of the other glaciers seems to be lack of adequate winter snow accumulation. This depletion of winter snow could be due many factors like inter-annual variability of winter precipitation or possible southward displacement of the sub-tropical jet stream which straddles the Himalayan Mountains over a long 1500 km path.”

    Madhav L Khandekar
    A former research scientist from Environment Canada
    and is an expert reviewer for the IPCC 2007 Climate Change Documents.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/global-warming-and-glacier-melt-down-debate-a-tempest-in-a-teapot/

    ————

    Will you people stop fingering CO2? She’s not-guilty, she’s not toxic!!

  4. 504
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    It just occurred to me all this “gate” talk stems from “Watergate.” Sort of ironic that Nixon was behind that, and also, according to my text on Environmental Crime & Justice, that Nixon was our best environmental president — establishing the EPA and making good appointments. (Carter may have been the best, except for the economic downturn at the time.) And the 2nd best (or tied with Nixon) was Teddy Roosevelt. 2 Republicans. That was then, this is now.

    Anyway, Watergate implies a cover-up after the incident. But what I see in all these so-called “climate-gates” is either an uncovering of honest science and no mistakes (from the CRU hacks); or an uncovering of some honest mistake that was made without any intent to deceive or cover-up, and that mistake being found out by climate scientists themselves in the course of science correcting science — which is precisely how science has always worked.

    The real “gaters” it seems to me are the climate denialists. They are, as in the original Watergate, purposely trying to deceive and cover-up the whole of global warming (I mean global warming itself, not just the science of it). That’s the real scandal. They should be rebuked and the book should be thrown at them for all the lies they tell — lies purposely told to harm the world and people. Aren’t there some laws against such behavior. It’s like they’re getting by with murder, much worse than any Nixon scandal.

    We need some campaign to stop DENIAL-GATE, maybe have some green tea parties.

  5. 505
    Bill says:

    re#468 David.
    The original question has absolutely nothing to do with ‘believers’ or deniers’. The scientific message is not getting across to the public in a clear unambiguous manner , partly for this silly stereotyping . When we use the word ‘change’, many people immediately ask ‘from what or from where’? Its a natural response.
    We need to be able to provide interpretation of the science, clearly and without over-hyping the facts. So, the questions about temp and ice ‘norms’ or baselines are reasonable clarifications, for people that are not trained as scientists.

  6. 506
    Gilles says:

    David Miller : As I argued on the previous thread, Johnno is perfectly right. The argument of coal is not valid, because conventional reserves of coal are not able to produce any of the catastrophic scenario that media describe so easily. And peak oil is a clear sign that assuming that we are able to extract unconventional ressources at the same pace (and even quicker pace) than conventional ones is simply absurd. So coal is heading for peaking in a few decades, and will never reach the highest production level described in fossil intensive scenarios.

    concerning the himalayan glaciers “mistake”, I think it is really disturbing and it is very dissatisfying that people just say “oh, you know , nobody is perfect” ! c’me on guys ! the information comes from a phone call to Pr Haisnan, who is involved in the TERI directed by the very president and Nobel prize awarded R.K Pachauri. Pr Haisnan takes part to internationally funded projects aimed at assessing the risks of melting glaciers, and all these people just didn’t pay attention to the fact that a misleading information was published in the most read and important review on the subject ! are you kidding ?

    that’s like if a important NASA report would tell that it is “very likely” that an asteroid would hit the indian subcontinent, that millions of $ would be devoted to study how to avoid this catastrophe, and that people suddenly discover that the information is plainly wrong, but stemmed from an interview in a basic popular scientific journal of a … responsible of the NASA, working in the same headquarters as its director.

    And that all these people never paid attention to the fact that this wrong information, justifying the funding of millions dollars projects, had been wrongly reported in the most important assessing review in the world.

    And you would just tell us : of course, there can be mistakes, nobody’s perfect ?????

  7. 507
    Adam Gallon says:

    It is not the fallibility of the IPCC that’s the issue.
    It’s the way this issue and others has been handled by them.
    The IPCC’s statement of principles, says its role is ‘to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, scientific, technical and socio-economic information – IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy’.
    We now find that the co-lead author Dr Lal included this information because “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action”
    Despite knowing full well that it didn’t come from any peer-reviewed source. It was included in the report and none of the reviewers picked this up, or if they did, failed to object to its inclusion.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#ixzz0dUoPiTkG
    And what happens when this failing is raised? Dr Pachauri describes the Indian Government’s report as “Voodoo Science lacking peer review” Kettle calling the pot black?
    http://www.newkerala.com/news/fullnews-27299.html
    Now, where do we find the original author of these 2035 claims working no? Oh look, he’s working for Pachauri at TERI!
    Elsewhere we find that the IPCC has been putting words into Professor Pielke’s mouth http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-does-pielke-think-about-this.html
    There also is increasing concern about the conflicts of interest with Dr Pachauri’s business interests and his IPCC role.

  8. 508
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    Another thing that occurred to me, is that up until a few months ago, there was this idea from the IPCC & its (faulty) sources that glaciers were in exceedingly rapid retreat, and that would drastically affect all in the Himalaya watershed, reducing their irrigation and drinking water — I think 40% of India’s and 40% of China’s population were mentioned as threatened, and I think it’s nearly all of Pakistan & other nations in the Himalayas — but hardly anyone seemed to give a damn.

    And they still don’t seem to give a damn (except for the small % of environmentalists and humanitarians around the world) that the glacier retreat is real (if not as fast as earlier suggested), that climate change is real, and will eventually cause severe problems to these poor nations.

    All they can focus on (obsess about) is “climategate” and “glaciergate,” not the people who are & will be greatly harmed and killed off like flies.

    Maybe those rapture-focused end-worlders are right….the end (for most if not all humanity) is near, at least much sooner than the billion years from now when the sun goes supernova, only they’re probably not going to be raptured up, but rather ruptured down to a much hotter place than a globally warmed world, because they contributed to making that end much sooner & worst of all, denied it. And no one seems to give a damn about the souls of these strange “bring on the end, and we deny anthropogenic global warming” denier/end-worlders, least of all themselves.

    Isn’t that how we began according to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic story of creation — Adam was a denialist and blame-shifter in the apple affair.

    So that’s how we’ll go out, unless we can get through somehow to these world-destroying denialists.

  9. 509
    Kris says:

    #461, Jim Bullis: 1.3 deg C certainly would not have made much difference to living conditions.

    Not by itself, but it causes changes in agriculture and economy, leading to hunger, plague, migrations and wars. By accident, I was interested in the same issue and did a small, unscientific analysis myself, overlaying the historical events on the GISP2 ice core data. For your enjoyment:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/2uq120n.jpg
    http://i46.tinypic.com/14j3urk.png

  10. 510

    JB — The Medieval Warm Period was tentatively identified by the great climatologist, Hubert Horace Lamb, in 1965. But by the late ’90s, early ’00s, it was clear that it had been a regional phenomenon, not global. Most of the early evidence had come from Europe. Here are some key references.

    Bradley, R.S., Hughes, M.K., and H.F. Diaz 2003. “Climate Change in Medieval Time.” Science 302, 404-405.

    Dean, J.S. 1994. “The Medieval Warm Period on the Southern Colorado Plateau.” Climatic Change 26, 225-241.

    Goosse H., Arzel O., Luterbacher J., Mann M.E., Renssen H., Riedwyl N., Timmermann A., Xoplaki E., Wanner H. 2006. “The Origin of the European ‘Medieval Warm Period’.” Clim. Past, 2, 99–113.

    Lamb, H.H. 1965. “The Early Medieval Warm Epoch and Its Sequel.” Paleogeog., Paleoclimatol., Paleoecol. 1, 13-17.

    Mann, Michael E. et al. 2009. “Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly.” Science 326, 1256-1260.

    Osborn, Timothy J. and Keith R. Briffa 2006. “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years.” Science 311, 841-844.

  11. 511

    Frank Giger: 1.3.7.2 of the fourth assessment links the spreading and increase of malaria in Africa since the 1970’s to CO2 emissions, when quite a bit of that can be associated with the halt of DDT use.

    BPL: Crap! This is a recent meme of the extreme anti-environmentalist right, usually expressed as “Rachel Carson killed more people than Hitler.” The fact is, DDT was never banned in the Third World, and in countries where it was banned, like the United States, it was banned only for indiscriminate use–NOT to prevent agricultural damage to crops. In countries like Sri Lanka where they did attack malaria with massive DDT application, resistant strains of mosquito arose quickly and made the problem worse than ever. Malathion-impregnated bednets have made all the recent progress against malaria in Africa. DDT has nothing to do with it, and Rachael Carson saved lives, she didn’t take them.

  12. 512

    EL: While global warming has a good probability, it is no where near certain.

    BPL: I think you have to be scientifically literate to understand the evidence. It is already happening, has been happening for 160 years. We’re doing it. It’s the biggest problem humanity faces right now.

  13. 513
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Heck, you interpolate your core body temperature by the spot measurement within your mouth/anus or armpit.

    ONE measurement to find your entire BODY temperature.

    Or do those who claim that interpolation doesn’t give you answers think doctors lie about you running a temperature?

  14. 514
    Completely Fed Up says:

    ” EL says:

    406 Well, actually AGW is a “pretty-goddamn-near-certain”

    I completely disagree with you on many different levels. While global warming has a good probability, it is no where near certain. The the report on the Himalayan glaciers is a nice example of how the viewpoint can change. ”

    Global warming IS certain.

    It’s as certain as the prediction that putting a pot on a wood fire will heat the water.

    Care to take bets against that?

    And what’s happening in the Himalayas is not climate.

    It retreats because of climate and it is retreating.

    But when it disappears is not climate. The fact of it disappearing IS.

  15. 515
    Bill says:

    re#473.
    I saw that NASA have now removed this 2035 date, or rather 2030 date, from their ‘climate’ page on the website. Thats wise, I think.

  16. 516
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Wow, what a story! Do you realize that the GWP is considered to be absolute proof that AGW is a hoax?”

    I note that you’ve ascribed to the middle ages warm period a qualifier you haven’t proven: Global.

    It was highly unlikely to be global.

    Because the date at which such a warming was seen varies by centuries (of the same order as the length of the MWP) depending on where you’re measuring.

    GWP has been renamed to become “proof” that AGW is a hoax since before the renaming, “MWP” had been rebunked so many times it no longer could manage to be portrayed as such.

  17. 517
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “But, once again, the models are TOOLS and NOT PROOFS.”

    They are PROOFS of the scientific models of aerodynamics, mica.

    Just like climate modesl are TOOLS not proofs, but PROOFS of the scientific models of climatology.

  18. 518
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “They can and do break, despite good engineering strategies. Like anything with moving parts, failures can and will occur. ”

    Just like they can and do with nuclear power stations.

    “The ones built a few years back in Buffalo NY used to hardly ever spin.”

    And busses always come in threes…

    “It’s my understanding that they frequently need repair”

    Your understanding is out of date.

    And, unlike a large coal/nuke turbine, needing repaid (they need repairs too) only takes out one of many independently working turbines.

    “but it’s my opinion that wind turbines belong offshore.”

    Fine, I don’t have a problem with that.

    I think they work amazingly well on farms too.

    But still didactylos has stated he doesn’t know WHY nuclear power is cheaper than wind in the UK (and globe, but only most of it, bits he doesn’t know the price of wind power for), but has repeatedly tried to argue that it’s because of

    1) regulation.

    It is to laugh. Wind power more highly regulated and proscribed than nuclear???

    2) Land cost

    But he’s already shown that “land use” is only 0.025% of the acreage assigned to wind farms, therefore it’s still practically pristine and useful for other things that already pay for land cost

  19. 519
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mircea says of models: “The simulations – similar with scientific hypothesis – are just projections (hypotheses, extrapolations) as long as they are not empirically verified.”

    You don’t get out much, do you, Mircea:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    That’s pretty impressive validation. I’d say that’s at least 90% confidence, wouldn’t you?

  20. 520
    Ray Ladbury says:

    EL @466

    DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT! I knew I should have invested in straw before EL posted and used up the global supply in the construction of straw men! DAMMIT!

    First, the 90% confidence interval for CO2 sensitivity is 2.1-4.5 degrees per doubling. Since anything more than 2.0 degrees per doubling is likely to lead to significant consequences, I’d call that pretty-goddamn-near-certain–or do you regularly bet on 20:1 longshots?

    Second, do you have any idea how tiring it is to keep hearing “Oh, it’s all too complicated,” even as climate science continues to elucidate Earth’s past and present climate and its predictions continue to be confirmed? Dude, Arrhenius predicted we’d warm the climate with pen and paper!

    And your comparison with inkspots on a paper is frankly insulting. We are not dealing with a random pattern, but rather with data and a system with pretty well understood dynamics on timescales of a few decades. Your comparison merely highlights your own ignorance.

    While you are off complaining about the code others are actually validating it independently:

    clearclimatecode.org

    Here’s a clue: This is physical reality. You aren’t going to make it go away with a quality audit.

  21. 521
    John E. Pearson says:

    501: Ed. You’re not only in the company of James Hansen, and James Lovelock. I was surprised to learn that Stewart Brand (author of the Whole Earth books) is also pro-nuke now. http://web.me.com/stewartbrand/SB_homepage/Home.html

  22. 522
    captdallas2 says:

    Gavin, it looks like a paper on the history of Glacial advance and retreat in the Holocene might be in order.

    As for the Medieval Warm Period there is sufficient evidence it existed. The question is was it regional or global? Probably regional, but at high latitudes there is more impact on global temperatures. Why? Because temperatures can rise more in the high latitudes than in the tropics where temperatures are somewhat stabilized by convection. During the instrumental era there is at least one odd temperature anomaly where a region experienced a 2 to 3 degree rapid increased that persisted for over a decade. Just check the temp records for Finland.

    Synchronization of Decadal/multidecal oscillations can explain climate shifts like in Finland that can persist for several decades, at least in my mind. Century scale shifts like the MWP and changes in glacial retreat around 7000 years ago and then glacial advance around 4000 years ago and more retreat a couple hundred years ago are a lot harder for me to understand. Since the economy sucks I have extra time on my hands so it is off to do more research on that interesting puzzle.

  23. 523
    Charles says:

    Gavin reponding to #51: “The IPCC does not argue for measures. The reports are policy neutral. – gavin”

    Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: “[The assertion that Himalayan glaciers would completely melt by 2035] related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

  24. 524
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Adam sez: “It’s the way this issue and others has been handled by them.
    The IPCC’s statement of principles, says its role is ‘to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, scientific, technical and socio-economic information – IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy’.”

    But when they do, they’re accused of suppressing “all the evidence” that shows there is no AGW.

    Heads you win, tails, they lose, eh, Adamski?

    If they don’t include poorly verified work (from McIntyre et al), they’re suppressing “the truth” and are promoting a lie. If they do include poorly verified work (from this typo from 2350 to 2035), then they’re incompetent and promoting a lie.

    Tell me, is there ANYTHING that the IPCC could do that wouldn’t be “proof” that they’re promoting a lie?

  25. 525
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Gilles: “I think it is really disturbing and it is very dissatisfying that people just say “oh, you know , nobody is perfect” ! c’me on guys !”

    And how many facts were included in the report?

    Out of those, what are the percentages?

    0.001% failure rate?

    You wish you were that accurate, Gilles.

  26. 526
    Charles says:

    The IPCC does not argue for measures. The reports are policy neutral. – gavin

    Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: “It [(the ssertion that glaciers in the Himalayas would melt by 2035)] related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

  27. 527
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “The Summary for Policy Makers is just what it says, a list of policy driven summaries of the science that suggest political policies to be implemented.”

    Well that’s false: the policy isn’t in the summary for policy makers.

    If it delineated policy, it would come FROM the policy makers. You know, the people who MAKE the policy.

    It’s going TO the policy makers, though, so it’s simple enough that someone who needs to know “the bottom line” and why it’s there, but doesn’t need to know (nor has the education and time to find out) what the science says about the detail.

  28. 528
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Freddie Geiger: “Um, yeah, I actually do want to keep my standard of living.”

    Why does that require that we burn fossil fuels, Freddie?

    Why does “standard of living” mean “I have a 4L 4×4 and go to the Seychelles twice a year”?

    And, if someone needs your help, why must your profligacy mean others have to die?

  29. 529
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Diddy:
    “You are simply making things up.

    a) I am not claiming that there is not room for wind farms.

    b) I am not claiming that wind farms can’t coexist with farmland.”

    Lets check these assertions:

    b) “That’s an ideal power density. It bears no relationship to what can be actually extracted by wind farms built today. Can you imagine what a 100% efficient wind farm would be like? o_O”

    (#361).

    Why does that make a difference when you only get that figure?

    “Go on – just for your own education, calculate the power density for different forms of energy (in W/m²).”

    (#325).

    But that doesn’t make sense if 99.975% of the land is used for farmland: it’s 2.5W/m^2 FREE.

    a) “Second, land is at a premium in the UK. There simply isn’t much free space to use, and the available space is limited by all sorts of things.”

    (#215).

    as to my assertion that you don’t know why:

    “Wind in The Netherlands is significantly more expensive than some other countries – double the US, for example*.
    * Why? I have no clue. If it interests you, why not try to find out?”

    (#327).

  30. 530
    Completely Fed Up says:

    ” Septic Matthew says:
    23 January 2010 at 1:41 PM

    406 and 422, Ray Ladbury

    1% to 4% of GDP is $140B – $560B per year in the US. ”

    It is also recovered in 7 months.

    So instead of being as rich as you want in 8 years, it will take you 8 years and 7 months.

    Bad times looming indeed!

    (and you call the AGW proponents “alarmist”!!! It is to laugh!).

  31. 531
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “503
    Jimbo says:
    24 January 2010 at 5:24 AM

    Now from soot to moisture depletion.”

    So when you talk about soot, does it explain the warming temperatures, the amount of melting?

    Come one, Jimbo.

    You proffer yourself as an expert.

  32. 532
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Gilles: “And that all these people never paid attention to the fact that this wrong information, justifying the funding of millions dollars projects, had been wrongly reported in the most important assessing review in the world.”

    Please tell us which projects costing millions were undertaken solely or mainly from the idea that the Himalayas were going to be gone in 2035?

    Got any?

    Even one?

    How about any that cost thousands, then?

    No?

  33. 533
    Radge Havers says:

    Gilles @ 506

    “concerning the himalayan glaciers “mistake”, I think it is really disturbing and it is very dissatisfying that people just say “oh, you know , nobody is perfect” ! c’me on guys ! the information comes from a phone call to Pr Haisnan, who is involved in the TERI directed by the very president and Nobel prize awarded R.K Pachauri. Pr Haisnan takes part to internationally funded projects aimed at assessing the risks of melting glaciers, and all these people just didn’t pay attention to the fact that a misleading information was published in the most read and important review on the subject ! are you kidding ?”

    No, you come on. For someone in a self-righteous uproar over proofreading, your post makes for strange reading.

    If you knew anything about proofing long documents, you’d know that mistakes occasionally get by even professional proofreaders and even after multiple passes using techniques like reading backwards, reading out loud in pairs, and running drafts past designers (notoriously inept readers) and multiple (often harried) authors.

    Are you desperate or what?

    (There are some ordinary-looking sentences that get passed around the inner-tubes form time to time that are practically impossible to read correctly–almost optical illusions. If I run across one, I’ll post a pointer.)

    Lynn @ 508

    Adams Applegate!

    We are indeed a sad species of energetic lunatics it seems.

  34. 534
    Bill says:

    re #510. From the latest GISS data, it looks as if warming is regional, a bit like the MWP ?

  35. 535

    It’s refreshing to hear about that fact that all studies and all organizations are subject to error, and that such errors don’t negate the totality of the evidence at hand.

    The point is to constantly review findings, and when errors are discovered, correct them and learn from the process. Over time the truth regarding long term trends will surface, despite any isolated incidences of misstatement.

  36. 536
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Adam Gallon,
    First, the section in question was merely a working group report. The result was never highlighted. Second, if you don’t like the IPCC, fine. Look at the peer-reviewed research. There is plenty there to concern all but the most blinkered ideologue.

  37. 537
    Neil says:

    Prof Kargel the ET Phone home carbon guy? It would be immoral to harvest carbon from Mars because it is protovivigenic.

    http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2009/06jun/kargel0609.cfm

    I miss the X-files, thanks for helping fill that void.

  38. 538
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/enviornment/glacier-goof-up-scientist-blames-ipcc-author_100306965.html

    The Indian scientists are quoted here, blaming and denying.

    The ‘related news’ section does a pretty good job.
    Kind of a finger-pointing circle; this has to be a caution to any scientist who has been misquoted or mis-paraphrased in any magazine article to somehow raise a red flag — and to the science journalists that they have to somehow get their editors to post errata.

  39. 539
    Neil says:

    Thanks Ray L. I appreciate that RA Fisher’s arrogant and pointless 95% C.I. is now being laid to rest with the now far more tolerable 90% C.I.. Next on list of inconvenient statisticians–Bonferroni. Multiple comparison should increase the alpha value not decrease it. For two comparisons, 80% C.I.s should do. And so on and so forth. Thanks for the clearclimatecode link in any case.

  40. 540
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

    WHICH IS NOT POLICY!!!

  41. 541
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Kris@509, The ordinates on your plots don’t make much sense–are you sure you are looking at temperature in degrees Celsius?

  42. 542
    Doug S says:

    The most damaging element of the debate on CO2 in the atmosphere is the suppression of skeptical viewpoints. Once an organization or individual engages in a one sided study of a topic and actively works to silence skeptics, then science in no longer taking place. What is taking place is political advocacy and that has no place inside any American institutions of science or education.

  43. 543
    Hank Roberts says:

    > 521 http://web.me.com/stewartbrand/SB_homepage/Home.html
    Good pointer. “Page updated January, 02010”
    “Long Now” in practice; no Y10K date problem there!

  44. 544
    Jonatan says:

    Apologies as this is off-topic, but I figured people here might be able to point me in the right direction. I’m looking for information on Carbon releases through the earths crust other than volcanoes. Basically I’m trying to find a reference for how large quantities of greenhouse gasses simply “seep” out of the crust through processes like diffusion and tiny cracks. On the one hand it seems that this should be a very small amount compared to volcanoes, on the other hand the earth has a large surface area, most of which is not covered by volcanoes.

    Many thanks if somebody could point me in the right direction.

  45. 545
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    #495 & “What I did notice was that your “GLOBAL warming” was CHANGED to CLIMATE CHANGE. I wonder why?”

    I also wondered, then figured it was a Bush/Oil-led conspiracy to deny global warming. Even “global warming” doesn’t adequately describe the situation. It’s more like “GLOBAL CATASTROPHIC HEATING” or “THE END to life on planet earth as we know it.”

  46. 546
    imapopulistnow says:

    #542 – Doug S, you are right on target. I am encouraged that the days where “the ends justifies the means” are finally over. Be it vote-buying for health care, bail-outs for Wall Street elites or scare-tactics for global warming, the people have said “enough is enough”.

    Hopefully we can now get on with the business of credible and objective science and we can find out what really is happening to our climate and what really are the consequences.

    I view this as a good time. objectivity and rational thought are on the rise and advocacy and political manipulation are on the wane. The pendulum swings once again.

  47. 547
    flxible says:

    by Doug S:
    “What is taking place is political advocacy and that has no place inside any American institutions of science or education.”

    maybe you haven’t noticed, but I believe the American Supreme Court just disagreed with you – and note that the decision could have been the opposite with a change in one persons vote – singularities DO influence the collectivity

  48. 548
    Hank Roberts says:

    Jonatan, try the footnotes and citing papers starting here; this will get you into the general area and suggest some search terms to use to learn more.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v411/n6835/full/411293a0.html
    I know nothing about this particular paper–it’s just an example of what you can find by searching with the terms you asked about.

  49. 549
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Basically I’m trying to find a reference for how large quantities of greenhouse gasses simply “seep” out of the crust through processes like diffusion and tiny cracks.”

    They don’t.

    There are small quantities that seep out, but they are small.

  50. 550
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “The most damaging element of the debate on CO2 in the atmosphere is the suppression of skeptical viewpoints.”

    Nope, the skeptical viewpoints are fine.

    Denialist ones aren’t being suppressed: they’re not shutting up, even when the skeptical point of view of their raving is being repeated again and again.

    Stop playing the false victim.