Von Storch at NAS

Back from Washington and quite tired. Lots to report, but don’t have much time today. Anybody hoping that we would be sent home with our tails between our legs will be disappointed. I don’t think that I’ll say much about the panel, at least for now, but I will talk about some of the presentations.

Von Storch (and others) were very cordial to us and made a very strong and critical presentation posted at his website here: 8.7 Mb PPT ‘ and you’ll find it pretty interesting. Here are a few points from his talk.

“‚⠠ " [with respect to MBH]: Premature declaration of validity of a knowledge claim;
“‚⠠ Critique stifled instead of encouraging debate and discussion to get a full air[ing] for concern of misuse in the political process;
“‚⠠ Peer review process: no publication without reproducible description of complex methodology;
“‚⠠ IPCC and related processes: Have independent scientists doing the review; not the key authors in the field.
“‚⠠ Data access: Relevant data and details of algorithms need to be made public even to “adversaries”."

Von Storch cited with disbelief Phil Jones’s refusal of data to Warwick Hughes (and he had gone to the trouble of confirming with Jones that the quote was correct as he had trouble believing that any scientist could say such a thing.)

"We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it." (Jones’ reply to Warwick Hughes, 21. Februar 2005; confirmed by P. Jones)

Towards the end of his presentation, Von Storch (who spoke just before us) posted up a slide with Boehlert’s questions and began answering them. (We also referred to three Boehlert questions in our presentation and provided similar answers). This prompted a little discussion with the Chairman (North) as it seems that the Committee had never seen Boehlert’s letter and the chairman was concerned that answering these questions was outside the task of the Committee, which already had, in his view, a large mandate. However, he allowed the topic to be covered, and Von Storch gave short answers to several Boehlert questions, including to the following questions:

2) What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes? What are the principal scientific criticisms of their work and how significant are they? Has the information needed to replicate their work been available? Have other scientists been able to replicate their work?

Among von Storch’s answers:

“‚⠠ The [MBH] information required for replication was not made available in a suitable manner. The original publication in “nature” did not provide this information and was obviously published without careful review of the methodology.

“‚⠠ The MBH work is widely accepted as truth outside of people directly engaged in the issue, because of a less than satisfactory marketing by the IPCC.

Ned has characterized the House Science Committee staffer’s (Goldston) comment more or less correctly. Goldston said that there were lots of big science questions that were out there and that there were going to be many big debates in the future, but I understood him to say that the House Science Committee, in commissioning this study, wanted answers to specific and narrower questions. When you read the two documents side by side, there certainly does seem to be a discrepancy between what the House Science Committee asked for and what NAS has commissioned the panel to do. I suspect that we’ll hear more about that in days to come.


49 Comments

  1. Mike Rankin
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    The link to the Von Storch website appears to be a large file download.

  2. McCall
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Mr. McIntyre and other attendees/participants-

    Any comment/background for this statement in slide 9 of 34? “For the purpose of testing reconstruction methods, it does not really matter how “…⽧ood” the historical climate is reproduced by a millennial simulation.

    Such model data provide a laboratory to test MBH, Moberg, borehole inversion and other methods as well as hypothesis like “McMc”.”

    The supporting slides following (9) offer some flavor, but …

  3. JerryB
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Re #1, Yes, it is a powerpoint file of about 8.7 megabytes in size.

  4. John A
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    It does appear that the House Science Committee is going to be annoyed that it didn’t get what it’s paying for. I am astonished that Gerald North did not pick up on this as his highest priority.

  5. Follow the money
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    The MBH work is widely accepted as truth outside of people directly engaged in the issue, because of a less than satisfactory marketing by the IPCC.
    I am not an academic so maybe I can’t hear academic-flavored sarcasm through this text. Is this statement sarcastic or does the speaker believe the IPCC intends to market truth, that marketing truth is a goal here to be satisfied? Use of the word “market” may signal sarcasm: if so the wit is dry. If not the speaker should review the history of the UN’s Oil-For-Food program and the history of UN generated statistics to push and manage that program. As with OFF, the UN will get a cut of the Kyoto carbon credit schemes.

  6. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    #4. I have some info on what Gerald North saw and didn’t see. Don’t blame him.

  7. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Gerald North took instruction from the NAS. He should not have to do due diligence on his client.
    However, now that the poor chap does know what Congress actually asked for, his task in getting to a final report is going to be even more, umm, challenging …

  8. per
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Well steve
    As presentations go, you don’t get much more brutal than that- err, apart from your talk :)

    Von Storch’s evidence has been pretty blunt and it must address many of the same issues as you did; it is always nice to hear many people making the same point, leastways it makes the point much more difficult to ignore.

    Re: #5
    what he is saying is that (as per burger and cubasch, his work, etc), MBH is deeply flawed on statistical grounds (i.e. it is busted, “untrue”); yet IPCC has promulgated MBH as a “truth”. Given that IPCC is a responsible organisation, this must be a serious criticism.

    cheers
    per

  9. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    #8. We’ll put out presentation soon. It wasn’t gentle either. The panel took great pains to distinguish itself from IPCC and IPCC procedures.

    One other point that really grew legs during the session was the 20th century decline in ring widths and densities – think about Briffa’s goofy truncations and wishing away of late 20th century values. This got well and firmly on the table during D’Arrigo and grew legs and is very much on the minds of the panelists. I’m going to do a separate post on this, but this may end up being a real wedge issue.

  10. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    It sounds like you did have fun.

  11. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: #9

    The panel took great pains to distinguish itself from IPCC and IPCC procedures.

    Was this true also for those panel members who are involved in the current IPCC review?

  12. gbalella
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You point out the following Von Storch conclusions;

    No, the information required for replication was not made available in a suitable manner.

    and

    The MBH work is widely accepted as truth outside of people directly engaged in the issue, because of a less than satisfactory marketing by the IPCC.

    But leave out the most significant conclusions of Von Storch;

    There is consensus on the “blade”, but the claimed smoothness of the shaft is likely false.

    and

    The main conclusions about “detection and attribution” are drawn from the instrumental record and models; the different reconstructions do not contradict “detection”.

    We’re talking about a little wiggle in the shaft that still won’t exceed 0.6 – 0.8 C of temperature variability on a millennial scale. That is equaled already by the 0.7 C warming we’ve seen in the last century and will be dwarf by another 2 -3 C of warming in the current century turning the graph from more of a hockey stick to that of the grim reapers scythe.

    How do you like seeing all of Canada’s beautiful forest being ravaged by the bark beetle? What a shame!

  13. Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    We’re talking about a little wiggle in the shaft that still won’t exceed 0.6 – 0.8 C of temperature variability on a millennial scale. That is equaled already by the 0.7 C warming we’ve seen in the last century and will be dwarf by another 2 -3 C of warming in the current century turning the graph from more of a hockey stick to that of the grim reapers scythe.

    YOU may be talking about that. I don’t know many people who think that 0.6 – 0.8 C of temperature variability can explain the various observations which suggest big changes in which parts of the planet were inhabitable, what plants grew there and which animals were found there, large movements of glaciers, etc.

    Also, the best evidence I have found suggests 2xCO2 = +0.2-0.8C. Which suggests that of the warming we have seen in the last hundred years, it’s unlikely more than 33-50% of it is human-induced. This places it will within even the small historical fluctuation range you are quoting.

    I think if you’re going to back fantastical conclusions like 2-3C of warming in the current century up with some kind of basis for that figure. My guess is that you’re using the information from the models, which have never been shown to be accurate to my satisfaction. The very fact that their predictions do not match observations makes them very suspect.

  14. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    gbalella
    “There is consensus on the “blade”, but the claimed smoothness of the shaft is likely false.”
    My view of the blade is (with apologies to Warwick Hughes)
    The GISS temperatures are influenced by Urban Heat
    The reason for this is that they correct the temperature gradients of urban stations to the gradients of rural stations.
    They admit that some stations are in the wrong category but tell us that these would cancel each other out.
    Logically they won’t.
    Apart from that they call stations near populations up to 10000 rural, assuming they are unaffected by UHI, among these are airports which have been increasingly affected by more and more jet aircraft ejecting large volumes of hot effluent, as air travel has expanded.
    The fall back position for the Hockey Team adherents is that the
    Sea Surface temperatures support AGW
    However the crude sea surface temperatures published in letters to Nature in 1985 see

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/sst/

    indicate that the sea was warmer in 1860 than in 1980 .It needed “correction and modernisation” to arrive at the present version of SSTs.
    There is even evidence against the much publicised unprecedented shrinkage of polar ice.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/cool/cool16.htm

    Which gives evidence that the extent of polar ice at the beginning of the 20th century was less than or similar to that of the early 21st century.Further research shows that none of the polar explorers of that time reported ice more extensive than the present day.
    Finally if from the GISS data we extract those stations which we can be certain are uninfluenced by UHI and GISS correction we find that they agree with the crude SSTs.
    I feel sure that these ideas will help to flatten the blade of the Hockey Stick.

  15. gbalella
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    RE # 13

    Nicholas,

    You said,

    ” I don’t know many people who think that 0.6 – 0.8 C of temperature variability can explain the various observations which suggest big changes in which parts of the planet were inhabitable,…”

    Apparently only 0.6-0.8 C CAN explain the huge climactic differences between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. A change that occurred over 500 or more years. That’s the whole point of this and it will likely be the conclusion of the NAS panel as the Von Storch presentation shows. That’s what the best literature says. Now imagine the difference of 2-3 C occurring over just 200 years.

  16. gbalella
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    RE # 15

    Thomas,

    Regarding the Mann study. I’ve participated in debating this issue with John Daly way back. He was the first t o challenge Mann and I believe he coined the Hockey Stick term. My challenge to him was to show me one other study that shows something significantly different from the MBH study. He never was able to and since then all we’ve got is a plate full of spaghetti. M&M efforts have not changed that fact. Nothing exist that shows any significant climate variability through the last 2 millennia.

    When I see people skeptical of the surface trends as you are my challenge is the same. There are at least three independently compiled analysis of the surface data (NOAA, CRU and NASA/GISS. They all show pretty much the same trends. You can say what you want about their analysis and UHI effect but the bottom line is you have to point to a peer reviewed study that shows something significantly different.
    Currently none exists.

  17. jae
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    re 14. And virtually all airports, even at “rural” sites, are paved with asphalt, which soaks heat up all day and emits it all night. How is this addressed by the “global temperature” calculations. One thing that bothers me about the GISS work is that the plot of “adjusted” temperature appears to be no different than the unadjusted global temperature.

  18. John Lish
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    #16 – so because Mann work is meaningless and other work is meaningless – we should assume a 2C rise in temperature??? That’s gibberish…

  19. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #13, Nicholas

    The very fact that [the models] predictions do not match observations makes them very suspect.

    You are too generous. I’d say that it makes them wrong.

  20. Larry Huldén
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    RE # 12: “How do you like seeing all of Canada’s beautiful forest being ravaged by the bark beetle?”
    “Comment by gbalella”
    First: Insects do not spread because of a change in mean temps.
    Second: A change in mean temps positively correlates on average with the population size of insects.
    However: The mean temps of consequtive summers in the temperate regions may vary up to -+ 4 centigrades. Insects are strongly adapted to this (unpredictable) variation. Outbreaks of harmful insects can never be coupled with changes in mean temps, because other causes will always have far stronger effects on insect populations.

  21. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    #16. George, at the NAS panel, pretty much every speaker used the terms MWP and LIA. I think that there’s some interesting information suggesting a warm MWP outside the North Atlantic – look at my post on Naurzbaev et al 2004. I think that the proxy evidence without cherrypicking can be construed differently than the Hockey Team selections. A year ago, I doubt that people would have had a whole lot of interest in such an offering coming from me; maybe there is such interest now. I’d like to finish off a lot of work in progress first before I lose track of it, though.

  22. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    gbalella
    Infomation doesn’t have to peer revued to be true.
    Plenty of peer revued information is false.
    Your independently compiled analysis of the surface data (NOAA, CRU and NASA/GISS all use the same data including the suspect SSTs.
    The information about the condition of polar ice at the beginning of the 20th century is recorded in numerous books.There is however plenty of iinformation on the web starting with

    http://www.south-pole.com/homepage.html

    which has the histories of most polar explorers in its files.
    Information gleaned from such sites would make anyone open-minded doubt the temperature record promulgated by your “independant” scources

  23. jae
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    When I see people skeptical of the surface trends as you are my challenge is the same. There are at least three independently compiled analysis of the surface data (NOAA, CRU and NASA/GISS. They all show pretty much the same trends. You can say what you want about their analysis and UHI effect but the bottom line is you have to point to a peer reviewed study that shows something significantly different.
    Currently none exists.

    Not directly, and not YET, but folks are having a hell of a time reconciling this putative rise in surface temperature with the data from oceans, satellites, and baloons.

  24. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    I will just repost a couple of comments of mine from a year ago (http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=89)

    Briffia states “in many tree-ring chronologies, we do not observe the expected rate of ring density increases that would be compatible with observed late 20th century warming.” He wants to attribute the discrepancy to a change in tree ring senstivity to temperature. An alternative explanation is the surface temperature are not being measured correctly. Fortunately, the surface network can be checked using pressure transducers on balloons and measuring the thickness of the atmosphere which is proportional to air temperature. Chase et al. (2000) performed this analysis and found that the temperature rise in the 1000 to 925 mb surface layer is much less than that reported by the surface thermometers. The trends are close to those derived from the MSU satellite which measure temperatures higher in the atmosphere.

    From this analysis, it would seem the tree ring data are still responding to temperature as before. The odd man out in the analysis is the surface temperature trend which is much higher than the trends derived by other techniques.

    Reference:
    Chase, T. N., Pielke Sr., R. A., Knaff, J. A., Kittel, T. G. F. and Eastman J. L., 2000. A comparison of regional trends in 1979–1997 depth-averaged tropospheric temperatures. Int. J. Climatology, 20, 503-518.

    Comment by Douglas Hoyt “¢’‚¬? 5 March 2005 @ 8:43 am

    After posting the last comment, I came across the following comment by Pielke et al. (see http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/naturecomments.pdf ):

    “The NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis lower tropospheric layer-averaged temperature trend (1000-500 mb) has an average temperature increase between 1979 and 2001 of +0.05 C/decade (and +0.08 C/decade between 1979-2002), although with considerable interannual variability (and which is not statistically different from a zero trend). The Hadley Center, using radiosonde data, has computed a lower tropospheric trend (corresponding to the layer viewed by the UAH lower tropospheric data) for the period 1979-2002 of +0.05 C/decade (their data is described in Parker et al.6 and Folland et al.7), while the UAH lower tropospheric trend for 1979-2002 is +0.07 C/decade (J. Christy 2004, personal communication).”

    These trends (0.05 to 0.08 C/decade) are considerably less than the roughly 0.2 C/decade trend reported by the surface network. It suggests the surface network should be viewed with suspicion.

    Comment by Douglas Hoyt “¢’‚¬? 5 March 2005 @ 9:00 am

  25. gbalella
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    Doug,

    That’s old data. See here The trend through 2005 by RSS is 0.192 (pretty close IMO)

  26. gbalella
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Re # 22

    gbalella

    Plenty of peer revued information is false.

    Comment by Thomas Bolger “¢’‚¬? 5 March 2006 @ 10:23 am

    Absolutely! That’s why anything less is not worth considering….in general.

  27. JerryB
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    To save other readers some time I will simply mention that comment 16 contains several inaccuracies, but one may expect that from that source.

  28. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Actually the RSS trend is 0.14 C/decade.

    “In all cases these trends are positive. The increase in the UAH time series is 0.12°C/decade (0.22°F/decade), 0.14°C/decade (0.24°F/decade) for the RSS analysis and 0.10°C/decade (0.17°F/decade) for the University of Washington. Trends in UAH, RSS and UW data are less than the trend in global surface temperatures, which increased at a rate near 0.18°C/decade (0.32°F/decade) during the same 27 year period.”

    taken from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/ann/global.html

    The balloon observations using pressure transducers are probably the most accuarte method of all (reported by Chase et al) and they indicate very little warming between 1000 and 925 mb (the near surface layer). As I recall it is about 0.05 C/decade and much less then what the urban contaminated thermometers give.

    It is the lower atmosphere balloon data that I was comparing to the surface data and not the upper atmosphere satellite data. in the near surface layer, balloon thermistors, balloon transducers, tree ring widths from Briffa, and tree density from Briffa all give very little warming. The odd man out is the surface thermometers.

  29. Mike Carney
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    #16
    When I see people attributing independence to surface studies my challege is the same. On what basis are you attributing independence? Was there no communication between these groups while developing the data and methods? Was each group unaware of the activities of the others? Do you have any ability to compare the data sets and to compare methodology details to judge indpendence? Since the data and methods are largely hidden the answer to those questions is largely no.

    Richard Feynman like to tell a story about scientific independence. He had developed a method of calculating quantum effects. But it needed to be verified (sorry, peer review just wasn’t enough). The calculations were very complex and took months to complete. They setup two groups that were completely independent; they did not communicate (easier in those days). After months of anticipation the results came in, both independent groups had come to the same answer and that answer showed the theory was wrong. Others starting looking over the work and discovered a mistake. Amazingly both groups made exactly same mistake. How could that be? Well the groups were independent until they got together at the end of the computations to compare answers. One of the groups tweaked their results. Here was a real attempt to be independent and it failed. To declare those three surface studies “independent” requires more evidence than just claiming it.

    And no I don’t have to trust a study that hides its data and methodology just because a study contradicting it has not yet been done. Trust comes from transparency. When these groups are transparent and vouching for each other I will be convinced. When they hide their methods and vouch for each other… well, it doesn’t convince me and isn’t the scientific method I was taught.

  30. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Re #26:

    gbalella said: “Anything less [than false peer reviewed information] is not worth considering….in general.” *

    I guess you need a sack of corn if you hunt ducks with a sawdoff shotgun :). Seriously, we now know that some of these “peer reviews” don’t deserve the name.
    Paleoclimatology done right will supply part of the answer. The sort of peer review and replication we’ve seen so far isn’t worth a half trillion dollar effort to curb green house gasses.

    * Note this gbalella quote was made in homage to Michael Seward’s quotes.

  31. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Gballela- It would appear that you (and, often, Peter Heardon) suffer somewhat from a lack of exposure to the variety of information that is out there. I think you will find a wide range of estimates on the” blade” and its significance. Try http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0407/0407074.pdf on the question of whether the models and GISSTEMP are telling us anything of value. There should be no consensus on the “blade”, even if this is a correct quote from von Storch. There simply is insufficient evidence to support that conclusion as yet. The models repeat a specific variation of the surface temperature because they are “forced” to. This is no proof of their correctness, only collusion to achieve a specific result. More specifically, it is not evidence of AGW. Once you have reviewed some of the possibilities on surface temp., consider the ramifications of “tree respiration”. See http://www.staff.livjm.ac.uk/spsbpeis/CCNet-30-01-06.htm (8) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCEMENT Louis Hissink

  32. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Gballela- It would appear that you (and, often, Peter Heardon) suffer somewhat from a lack of exposure to the variety of information that is out there. I think you will find a wide range of estimates on the” blade” and its significance. Try on the question of whether the models and GISSTEMP are telling us anything of value. There should be no consensus on the “blade”, even if this is a correct quote from von Storch. There simply is insufficient evidence to support that conclusion as yet. The models repeat a specific variation of the surface temperature because they are “forced” to. This is no proof of their correctness, only collusion to achieve a specific result. More specifically, it is not evidence of AGW. Once you have reviewed some of the possibilities on surface temp., consider the ramifications of “tree respiration”. See (8) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCEMENT Louis Hissink

  33. Frank H. Scammell
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Sorry about the 31 & 32 redundancy.

  34. John A
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    re #30

    Maybe I’m thick but, is gablella saying that its ony worth considering peer reviewed research even though it may be wrong, rather than non-peer-reviewed research?

    The difference escapes me. The problem with peer reviewed research is there’s a strong bias to believe in its veracity, regardless of content. The problem of peer review is that it does nothing to dissuade people from believing in it.

    Do you know what Steve McIntyre has done? He’s actually made auditing of other people’s research into an interesting and fruitful line of work.

  35. McCall
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Repeating Q from #2:
    Any added attendee feedback from when Dr von Storch was speaking to this statement in slide 9 of 34?

    “For the purpose of testing reconstruction methods, it does not really matter how “…⽧ood” the historical climate is reproduced by a millennial simulation.”

  36. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    gbalella.
    Are you calling polar explorers liars?
    These all kept careful records of there experiences which they publshed so that those who followed them wuold know what to expect and thus are much more reliable than armchair theorists whose objective seems to be to prove that CO2 causes global warming and seem to be quite willing to tweak data to prove it.

  37. Posted Mar 5, 2006 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Gidday gbalella, Re your 16 are you completely correct in saying, “Currently none exists.”
    Read; 1996 Warwick S. Hughes and Robert C. Balling, Jr. “Urban Influences on South African Temperature Trends.” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 16, No. 8, pp. 935-940.
    Online at; http://www.john-daly.com/s-africa.htm

    There is also online at; http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/index.htm
    Previously unpublished paper by Hughes and Balling , “Eastern Australia temperature variations 1930-1992″
    rejected in review by pro-IPCC influence in the mid-1990’s.
    Still the best attempt to compile a rural temperature trend for Eastern Australia.
    If you are short of time, at least look at the page 19 graphic.
    These are examples of what might eventuate if resources were available to compile rural trends.
    The work is not being done, while $Billions are spent on pro-IPCC “research”.
    Many people in tenured positions in Universities tell me they can not touch research where conclusions might run counter to IPCC dogmas, unless they want to be unemployed that is.

  38. Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

    Hi gbalella and all – A couple of works published after peer-review which show much more centennial-scale variation than the hockey stick are (1) The 1990 IPCC assessment itself — see Fig 7.1; and (2) Craig Loehle’s interesting paper — Ecological Modelling 171:433, 2004

  39. Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    Re: #12 – gbalella makes an important point about Dr. von Storch’s conclusion regarding the unimportance of the shape of the shaft on the questions of detection and attribution. His claim that the instrumental record is all that’s needed seems to me like it must ignore the important question of how much of a change can be considered unexceptional in a centennial-scale record, but I have not read the new Tellus B paper he’s co-authored on the subject.

    The logic of Risbey et al. (Climate Research 16:61, 2000) on the subject rings truer to me at this point: “In specifying the spread of the distribution for f(N1) of the global mean temperature over the past 100 yr, experts frequently make reference to proxy reconstructions of this quantity over multiple century time scales (e.g. Mann et al. 1998, Briffa & Osborn 1999). While proxy reconstructions are limited in global coverage and infer temperatures indirectly, they are invoked to provide loose bounds on the potential magnitude of century-scale natural variability. The expected mean trend in century-long series of (internally generated) natural variability is typically zero unless there are reasons to expect a prolonged cooling or warming on this scale. The proxy records indicate some natural cooling over the past millenium (Mann et al. 1999), though this is loosely attributed to astronomical forcing, which is an external forcing. Since the mean of the expected trend in natural variability is close to zero on 100 yr time scales, the spread and tails are the more critical aspects of this distribution for detection studies. Expert 11’s distribution for natural variability, f(N1), is shown by the dashed line in Fig. 2. It has a mean of zero (assumes no natural long-term warming or cooling) with a standard deviation of 0.2 K. From this distribution we would conclude that century-long temperature excursions of +0.5 K can occur naturally, but with low probability.”

    Loehle refers to this as follows: “The standard assumption in climate research, including the IPCC reports, is that over a century time interval there is not likely to be any recognizable trend to global temperatures (Risbey et al., 2000) and thus the null model for climate signal detection is a flat temperature trend with some autocorrelated noise.”

    The Risbey et al. paper is freely available at http://www.maths.monash.edu.au/~ris/publications/daproto.pdf

  40. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    Steve S(Can’t we get people with any first name but Steve to post here?),

    I’ve read your post a few times and it sure seems to me that if you’re accurately presenting “The standard assumption in climate research”, the whole thing is one big circular argument.

    Sure “the expected mean trend of X on a century scale is 0″ can be said for many things, not just global temperatures. This sort of statement just serves as an implicit null hypothesis. That’s particularly so in a case such as you present where an aside like “unless there are reasons to expect a prolonged cooling or warming on this scale” is provided. In other words, the science is going to be based on assuming no major long-term increase in global temperatures. So when a proxy reconstruction like Mann98 is produced that shows essentially no century-scale changes in temperature before the advent of large amounts of human-based CO2 production, you can legitimately do one of two things, but not both. You can say that Mann98 confirms the null hypothesis or you can say that the null hypothesis makes the findings of Mann98 reasonable. But if doubt is cast on the findings of low variability in global climate based on the procedures of Mann98 then either doubt is also cast on the null hypothesis or the null hypothesis tends to reject Mann98 after all. You can’t use the initial agreement of Mann98 and the null hypothesis to amelorate the later findings of statistical doubt.

  41. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    RE: #14. Something I’ve often wondered about is the extent to which plain old salinity has played a role in sea ice extent. This variable would tend to be quite steady in the Antarctic and all over the map in the Arctic, the latter also being superimposed on the ongoing steady salinity increase due to the massive irrigation water diversions from Eurasia’s north flowing rivers east of the Urals. Based on this alone, I would expect Arctic ice extent to have steadily declined on the Eurasian side of the basin and possibly beyond. Whereas in the stable Antarctic, with few rivers of note and minimal diversions to impact salinity, I’d expect there to have been no overall shift in the “DC bias level” and less of an “AC component” as well.

  42. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    RE: #17. I wonder if anyone has ever explicitly modeled the impact of energy imparted by radars of typical major urban, small city and rural airports?

  43. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    #39 Risbey’s statement

    The expected mean trend in century-long series of (internally generated) natural variability is typically zero unless there are reasons to expect a prolonged cooling or warming on this scale.

    assumes an answer for something that has be verified by measurement. At the level of the GCMs, even the warmers accept the idea that climate is a non-linear dynamical system, which means that on its own there is lots of internal variability even without a change in external forcing. Riseby et. al., doesn’t make any sense to me.

  44. Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    Re # 43

    Dear Paul – Risbey et al. aren’t _recommending_ the expectation of zero centennial trend, they are _reporting_ the state-of-the-art opinion amongst attribution experts. That’s what their study was, a questionairre and follow-up interviews with a range of attribution experts. A companion article in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society was interesting too.

  45. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 6, 2006 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    RE: #41. Forgot to mention the shallow overall profile of the Arctic as well as quasi stagnant situation of limited ingress and egress. In fact, ironically, I would expect that sea ice which tends to build up annually and peak during the Spring in a rough diagonal from southern Greenland across the the tip of Sptizbergen to exacerbate the stagnation factor. Naturally stagnation is no where near what it is in the Mediterranean.

  46. Mike Rankin
    Posted Mar 12, 2006 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    For those that don’t have PowerPoint, the Von Storch slide show is available in html at the website Global Warning Sceptic referenced on the sidebar.

  47. Thor
    Posted May 30, 2008 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    The link to the Von Storch powerpoint doesn’t work due to a server name change, the PPT can now be found here: 8.7 Mb PPT

  48. Leif
    Posted May 30, 2008 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    47 (Thor): I note that the solar forcing used by Von Storch is based on 10-year old TSI-reconstructions that are no longer considered valid [vastly overestimates the background variation of TSI].

  49. Posted Aug 2, 2008 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    FYI the PPT has moved. If anyone else cares it is now at http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/PPT/ipcc/060302.washington.nrc.ppt

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