SPM released

The Summary for Policymakers for the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Review has been released today. Here is the presentation.  As discussed before, the actual WG1 Report was not released today. It will only be released in May 2007, the delay occurring to permit the IPCC to ensure that there is “consistency” between the Summary and the underlying report. An unofficial version of the Second Order Draft (April 2006) has been posted online here.
Here is the website for IPCC WG1 http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/


246 Comments

  1. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    The BBC version still has editorial comments and typographical errors. It looks more like a leaked penultimate version rather than the final SPM.

    They also call it, “Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” which could make it seem like the full WG1 Report to anyone not entirely familiar with the new release sequence.

    No proxy spaghetti graphs, though. Less fun for you, Steve. Lots of reliance on ice cores as equivalent to granite, though, implying a new kind of GIGO w/r/t ice: Gas In-Gas Out. Somehow, that seems fitting.

  2. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    The final approved version:

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/WG1AR4_SPM_PlenaryApproved.pdf

    presentation

    http://www.empreinte.com/richmediaevent/

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/

  3. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    looks identical to the bbc version

  4. Jean S
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    re #1: I downloaded also a version from IPCC web site and from the Finnish Meteorological Institute web site. They all seem to be the same. Looks really like a draft version, especially the “to be changed” box on p. 21 looks very unprofessional.

  5. PHE
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    Its now available on the IPCC website: http://www.ipcc.ch. Click on ‘Download summary..” to the right.

    No appearance of the ‘hockey stick’, or any graph showing temperatures pre-1850, although they show CO2 back 10,000 years. There is discussion on the ‘Palaeoclimate Perspective’.

    It refers to the likelihood that current temperatures are the highest in 1300 years, but gives a significangt health warning.
    “Paleoclimatic studies use changes in climatically sensitive indicators to infer past changes in global climate
    on time scales ranging from decades to millions of years. Such proxy data (e.g., tree ring width) may be
    influenced by both local temperature and other factors such as precipitation, and are often representative of
    particular seasons rather than full years. Studies since the TAR draw increased confidence from additional
    data showing coherent behaviour across multiple indicators in different parts of the world. However,
    uncertainties generally increase with time into the past due to increasingly limited spatial coverage.”

    It goes on to say:
    “Paleoclimate information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is
    unusual in at least the previous 1300 years. The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer
    than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume led to
    4 to 6 metres of sea level rise. {6.4, 6.6}
    “‚⠠Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely
    higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past
    1300 years. Some recent studies indicate greater variability in Northern Hemisphere temperatures than
    suggested in the TAR, particularly finding that cooler periods existed in the 12 to 14th, 17th, and 19th
    centuries. Warmer periods prior to the 20th century are within the uncertainty range given in the TAR. {6.6}
    “‚⠠Global average sea level in the last interglacial period (about 125,000 years ago) was likely 4 to 6 m higher
    than during the 20th century, mainly due to the retreat of polar ice. Ice core data indicate that average polar
    temperatures at that time were 3 to 5°C higher than present, because of differences in the Earth’s orbit. The
    Greenland ice sheet and other Arctic ice fields likely contributed no more than 4 m of the observed sea level
    rise. There may also have been a contribution from Antarctica. {6.4}”

    In effect, they are sitting on the fence with this. Clearly, the report significantly plays down the reliability of the proxy studies, but leaves enough in to avoid the criticism of ‘giving into the skeptics’.

  6. TonyN
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    Re # 5 I wonder what the palaeoclimate section would have looked like if M&M had not made their contribution to science? The note of caution that seems to have been built into each paragraph is a tribute to what can be achieved by courage and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. Congratulations and thanks.

  7. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    Steve doesn’t care about money and it’s not a way for him to earn but others ;-) may like the $10,000 award by AEI for a good deconstruction of some of the IPCC results if there are problems with it.

    http://news.monstersandcritics.com/uk/news/article_1254871.php/Scientists_offered_cash_to_dispute_climate_change_study_-_report

  8. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    I am sure that many readers already know it, but second-order draft of the full report was leaked by JS:

    http://www.junkscience.com/draft_AR4/

    Enjoy.

  9. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    I’m still reading, but consider the use of statistical English: high confidence is defined as ≥80% chance of being correct (n.7). Almost anywhere else in science, a confidence level ≤95% would be described as “statistically insignificant”.

    Perhaps I’m missing something here, as I am not very familiar with the context (e.g. previous IPCC reports). If I have misunderstood, kindly steer me straight.

  10. L Nettles
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    I don’t read all the posts here, but I wonder if anyone else is struck by the irony of this coming out on what is called Groundhog Day, here in the U.S.

    Perhaps we should even refer to is as the “Groundhog Day Climate Summary.”

  11. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    A few random notes:

    1. They are no longer using 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs), they’ve gone to 90% CIs. Cute.

    2. Regarding methane, they say

    Growth rates have declined since the early 1990s, consistent with total emissions (sum of anthropogenic and natural sources) being nearly constant during this period.

    Which kind of ignores the fact that there has been no growth for the last seven years or so … it also ignores the fact that their number for methane forcing (0.48 W/m2) is unchanged since the TAR. Declined? … you wimps. No, not wimps … spineless politicians. The methane growth rates have declined, all right, they have declined to zero, and you haven’t got the … the … in lieu of its real name, I’ll say you don’t have the “nerve” to say so.

    3. They say that the net change in radiative forcing, including all forcings, since pre-industrial times is 1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W/m2. This is a strange number. The IPCC has been using 3.7 W/m2 for quite a while. If they are still using that, here’s the numbers. The change in CO2 they give as 280 to 379 ppmv. Using 3.7 W/m2, we have 3.7 * log(379/280,2) = 1.616 W/m2. Further investigation reveals a careful balancing act, where all of the other human forcings neatly cancel each other out … mostly because they’ve jacked up the usual culprit, aerosols, from 1.2 W/m2 to 1.35 W/m2.

    4. Regarding whether hurricane increases are due to humans, they say “more likely than not“, adding “Magnitude of anthropogenic contributions not assessed. Attribution for these phenomena based on expert judgement rather than formal attribution studies.” Did I mention that I hate politicians? This statement means “There’s no science to prove it, so we believe our pet scientists”. What ever happened to “We don’t know”?

    That’s enough for now, I can’t stomach too much politicianese at one sitting …

    w.

  12. John Lish
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    The guidance for lead authors states that more likely than not ranges from 33-66% yet in the SPM, this phrase is stated at 50%. Curious difference.

  13. MarkW
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    “The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer
    than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago)”

    Very nice dodge here. The problem is that we do not yet have any idea that the warming in the arctic is going
    to last more than a year or two more. If it is the result of the PDO, as most think, then it won’t.
    This also allows them to ignore the warming in the 30’s, during which the Arctic may have been warmer than today,
    by declaring that it was a short term warming.

  14. Eric Dennis
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    From the leaked draft of the actual report, a grudging cameo for Steve:

    “McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) reported that they were unable to replicate the results of Mann et al. (1998). Wahl and Ammann (accepted) demonstrated that this was due to the omission by McIntyre and McKitrick of several proxy series used by Mann et al. (1998). Wahl and Ammann (accepted) were able to reproduce the original reconstruction closely when all records were included. McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) raised further concerns about the details of the Mann et al. (1998) method, principally relating to the independent verification of the reconstruction against 19th century instrumental temperature data and to the extraction of the dominant modes of variability present in a network of western North American tree-ring chronologies, using Principal Components Analysis. The latter may have some foundation, but it is unclear whether it has a marked impact upon the final reconstruction (Von Storch et al., 2004; Huybers, 2005; McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005). However, subsequent work using different methods to those of Mann et al. (1998, 1999), also provides evidence of rapid 20th century warming compared to reconstructed temperatures in the preceding millennium.”

  15. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Reading from Junk Science. In Chapter 3 Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change (Lead authors Trenberth and Jones)- there is a paragraph *Tropical cyclones have increased in intensity and duration since the 1970’s.* At the end of the paragraph they say -(culminating in the record-breaking 2005 season. Moreover, the first recorded tropical cyclone in the South Atlantic occurred in March, 2004 off the coast of Brazil)
    This was studied by Pezza and Simmonds, 2005 from UCAR, I believe. Several of the usual warmers on RC were trumpeting this as evidence of Global Warming. I pointed out that the water and air temperatures were both below normal at the time. That was the last entry on that thread.

  16. Dieter Riedel
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    #10

    Yes, all the groundhogs saw their shadows! Yet another key indicator that climate change is real, and “very likely” to be 90% sure that it is caused by humans in this century (when one leaves out all other causes, of course).

    Also note that Exxon announced record earnings. Climate change fears + Exxon bucks = moral outrage

    Thanks for the links, everyone.

  17. KevinUK
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    #11 Willis,

    “They are no longer using 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs), they’ve gone to 90% CIs. Cute.”

    They’ve obvious decided to use a furter trick that those equally robust scientists ‘the epidemiologists’ have been using for some time now. They can now add this technique to their well documented (thanks to Steve M) cherry picking tendencies and use of meta-analyses studies techniques – techniques which epidemiologists have been using for many decades now to convince us that we can’t be trusted in exercising our free will but instead must agree to abide by their (we know beter than you so trust us we are experts) recommendations on what is good for us.

    KevinUK

  18. Ed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    re: #9. Journalism is a math-free-zone. Most reporters have had no math classes since high school. Until last year, the accreditation for schools of journalism had no mathematics requirement (now they have a vague phrase referencing knowledge of math – but referring to simple concepts of percentages, averages and so on.)

    The lack of math knowledge in journalism is extremely well known in the industry.

    Journalists are trained to remove all numbers from news reports and use metaphors instead. Because journalists do not understand math and statistics, the IPCC circulated a paper discussing ways of conveying the concepts to those with 6th grade math schools (Fact: Math tests given to reporters have concluded the typical reporter has math skills equivalent to those taught in the 6th through 8th grade.)

    Link to the discussion paper: http://www.ipcc.ch/activity/cct1.pdf

    This discussion paper resulted in a set of guidelines for the IPCC to use (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT ONE):
    Link to paper: http://www.ipcc.ch/activity/uncertaintyguidancenote.pdf

    The guidelines state that they should use the following terminology when conveying statistical terms to the public:
    >99% means “virtually certain”
    >90% means “very likely”
    >66% means “likely”
    33% to 66% means “about as likely as not”

  19. Mark H
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    REGARDING THIS:

    “‚⠠Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely
    higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past
    1300 years. Some recent studies indicate greater variability in Northern Hemisphere temperatures than
    suggested in the TAR, particularly finding that cooler periods existed in the 12 to 14th, 17th, and 19th
    centuries. Warmer periods prior to the 20th century are within the uncertainty range given in the TAR. {6.6}

    Okay, I’m lazy. Did not the NAS panel use the term “likely” for the last 400 years? Or was it 1000years?

  20. Mike Rankin
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    The summary limits their smoking missiles to computer models. No iconic symbol obvious to me. Mention was made that more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system was heating the oceans, ignoring recent findings of cooling. The Hollicene maximum also escaped their notice. No mention of GCR. Actual observations since TAR seem to be MIA.

  21. Ed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    I added a bunch more in the above post (#18) but it was truncated automagically by WordPress apparently. So read the link to the “uncertaintyguidancenote.pdf” file for the details.

  22. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    I have a question that someone might have the answer to. What is the albedo of the Earth (ice cap, tropical rain forest, sand desert e.t.c.), in the IR .
    I have been reading that we are going to have a re-emmission from CO2 back to Earth, but how much of it will be reflected?

  23. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:28 PM | Permalink
  24. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    They’ve obvious decided to use a furter trick that those equally robust scientists “the epidemiologists’ have been using for some time now.

    The now infamous tobacco report by the EPA actually has a section defending the use of the 90% interval. Apparently the 95% interval was floor-ceiling in terms of relative risk. If they thought that 90% was truly legit, they wouldn’t have included the section.

    Mark

  25. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    The new tag line is “90% probability that the A belongs in GW.”

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

  26. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    The guidance for lead authors states that more likely than not ranges from 33-66% yet in the SPM, this phrase is stated at 50%. Curious difference.

    Forget about the difference – how can “more likely than not” range from 33-66%? That’s “equally likely as not!”

  27. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone counted the number of times “likely”, “probably”, etc. appear in the Reports? You can problably relate the totals to some aspect of Climate Change.

  28. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #27

    Likely =54
    Probably =0

  29. TomR
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    I’m just a lay person who comes to this site to get informed on both sides of the global warming debate. Can someone explain to me the significance of section 14 Likelihood of the Uncertainty Guidance http://www.ipcc.ch/activity/uncertaintyguidancenote.pdf

    Likelihood may be based on quantitative analysis or an elicitation of expert views.

    The “elicitation of expert views” part is what I seek clarification on. To a lay person such as myself that would seem to indicate that a group of like-minded individuals could all reach a subjective, opinionated consensus on a topic and assign a Likelihood rating to it without having the necessary Quantitative Analysis to back it up.

  30. Bill
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m confused (a state I seem to reside in more frequently than I would like).

    Reading the IPCC “Uncertainty Guidance” (nicely provided by Ed) there is no phrase “more likely than not” with an assigned probability, there is the phrase “about as likely as not”. Even with my less than perfect understanding of the English language (having only spoken American for the last 53 years) I do not think the two phrases are equivalent. “About as likely as not” is 33%-66% and I think it translates roughly as “we don’t have a clue”. The next more positive phrase is “likely” at

  31. Bill
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Oops, Didn’t realize there was a character limit. Rest of my post is here

    is “likely” at

  32. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Bill, see comment here.

  33. Bill
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Thanks fFreddy Rest of my post is here

    is “likely” at LT 66%. I hate to think ill of people but I can’t help think that, unless my understanding of the uncertainty guidance is incomplete, that this was purposeful since reporting that you don’t have a clue would not get the coverage you would like.

  34. quince
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    OK, lets say IPCC proves to be correct and global average temperature increases by “1.8 to 4 deg C over the next 100 years”. What really does that mean?

    Can I suggest a simple experiment that would indicate to each of us exactly what it might mean. I will use an Australian example.

    Pack up your stuff and move to live in Hobart (42S) for a year (say 2007). You will experience an average annual temperature of 12.3 deg C. To understand what a 2.5 deg C increase in average temperature is like, pack up again and move to Melbourne (37S) for a year (2008) where the average annual temperature is 14.8 deg C. Is that scary?

    Repeat the process through Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville and Darwin.

    Here are the annual average temperatures for some Australian cities that I hope illustrate my point (I used full stops since I couldn’t get the spaces to work):

    …………………Latitude……………..Annual Average Temperature
    Hobart……………..42S……………………..12.3 deg C
    Melbourne…………..37S……………………..14.8 deg C
    Sydney……………..33S……………………..17.6 deg C
    Brisbane……………27S……………………..20.5 deg C
    Townsville………….19S……………………..24.1 deg C
    Darwin……………..12S……………………..27.8 deg C

    So, just by spending time in each of these Australian cities, each and any one of us can experience a range of annual average temperatures extending from 12.3 deg C right up to 27.8 deg C – 15.5 degs C in total. Doesn’t make 1.8 deg to 4 deg C seem all that scary to me!

    Of course, I realise that increasing temperatures are not the only thing to be discussed. There is concern about droughts, storms, hurricanes, rising sea levels etc. Can I suggest that we would experience directly the real impact of each of these by following the simple experiment that I have proposed.

    It is obvious for example that Townsville and Darwin are exposed to more hurricanes (actually cyclones in this part of the world) than the southern Australian cities. Surely that would be handled as it is today. If you are really concerned about it, you move. If you decide that the benefits of living in that climate are sufficient, you will just ensure that your insurance is good, and that you have storm shutters installed, and that your tie down cables are in good condition.

    Similarly, if sea levels rise, wouldn’t the actual response be to move? And if this is a national scale problem, wouldn’t the national government take decisive action to deal with the issue, and to assist those affected to cope?

    Obviously, northern hemisphere residents can do something similar. In fact, those in the Americas can experience (if they wish) average annual temperatures ranging the Arctic to the Equator.

    Maybe I am missing something in all this. But I just don’t get what is SO scary about a temperature increase of 4 degrees.

  35. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone with less than two semesters of Statistics with a B or better should be called a science reporter. Without statistics you just don’t have the ability to understand or report science. Likewise Calculus and Physics are basic requirements. A lot of ignorant, in these fields, science reporters about. Makes for garbage on the air and in print. Being well motivated isn’t enough.

  36. Mingy
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    TomR (#29)

    One thing I don’t understand about the GHG priesthood is how science became perverted such that a majority, or even unanimity trumps
    actual nature. One suspects that prior to 1905 few experts believed in Relativity, for a few years after 1905 most didn’t believe
    in it. As Einstein pointed out, ‘it only takes one critic to PROVE I’m wrong’.

    The other this is abuse of the idea of fact. Fact is that the force of gravity is 9.8 kgm/s2, c = 300,000 km/sec, DNA is a double helix, etc.

    GW is an opinion.

  37. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    unless my understanding of the uncertainty guidance is incomplete, that this was purposeful since reporting that you don’t have a clue would not get the coverage you would like.

    It’s not so much the coverage, but the influence. If you’re allowed to take 33% and say it’s in the 50% range, that sure gives you a lot of leeway in stretching the truth.

    I can just imagine how laughable it would be if someone tried to say a 33% approval rating of a president was “as likely approve as not.”

    I hope they don’t apply that same level of confidence at casinos, either.

  38. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    It is really disheartening to see HUNDREDS of scientists, many probably very brilliant, signing-on to what amounts to a religious belief. The models have NOT been validated; the solar science has not received a fair analysis; we don’t even know how much warming there has been; we cannot prove that the modern warming is not just part of a natural cycle; there has been no warming for 8 years; the sea surface temperatures are down; and I had to bring my brass monkey inside last night. The public’s trust in science will decrease even more if these zealots are wrong (I think that it is “unlikely” that they are right).

  39. Charles B
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    #38

    It is really disheartening to see HUNDREDS of scientists, many probably very brilliant, signing-on to what amounts to a religious belief.

    Sort of makes you wonder what on earth made them do it, doesn’t it. I mean, if many of them are “probably very brilliant”, makes one wonder if they see something others don’t!

  40. John Lish
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Re my post #12: The SPM uses the phrase more likely than not and states its value at 50%. I didn’t clock the different wording in the guidance of about as likely as not with values of 33-66%. This just raises further questions.

  41. Charles B
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    To follow up my thought in #39; I’m a newcomer to CA, and it seems to me a reasonable question to ask what might be the motivation of the hundreds (if not thousands) of scientists behind the IPCC. It strikes me there are one of only a few possibilities:

    a) They’re well intentioned but deluded (but see my comment in #39) … and if so one needs to ask the question “Why and how could so many intelligent people get like that?”

    b) They are mad … well, I always liked the phrase “mad scientist”, but surely someone would have noticed if they were.

    c) They are deliberately, consciously, perverting the course of science, and engaging in willful deception of the most heinous kind. Well, possibly, but that is an enormous accusation to make.

    d) They’re on the right track.

    Well, it seems to me that this is a pretty fundamental question, and maybe it’s been discussed on CA before, but I’d like to know what CA’s position is on the options above, or is there an option I’ve missed?

  42. Boris
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    there has been no warming for 8 years

    lol :P

  43. David Smith
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Help, I am in a quandry. Emanuel says that annual Arctic sea ice extent has declined 15 to 20 percent in the last 30 years. However, the IPCC report says it’s 2.6 % per decade, which is less than 8% over 30 years.

    Who to believe?

  44. charlesH
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Charles B,

    My view.

    1) Most IPCC scientists and most skeptics agree on some things. Most of the disagreement is on how much GW there is, how much of it is AGW, how much of the A is due to co2, is GW bad or good, and what to do if anything.

    2) Based on what I have seen/read from posters on various blogs, papers, articles etc. a) Some are eco religionists. b) Some are enjoying a nice career and just don’t want to rock the boat. c) Some are skeptics to some degree.

  45. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    Re: #43

    Help, I am in a quandry. Emanuel says that annual Arctic sea ice extent has declined 15 to 20 percent in the last 30 years. However, the IPCC report says it’s 2.6 % per decade, which is less than 8% over 30 years.

    Who to believe?

    Whose graduates students do the most diligent research for their masters? Would the fact that Emanuel’s statement came out of an op-ed piece with throw away lines as a lead-in to the IPCC FAR have any bearing on who may be correct? Did not Emanuel have to admit that he might have went overboard on the Landsea correction for historical TC energetics? In my judgment Emanuel gets points for being nice but I think the book is out on his scientific/statistical abilities. On the other hand, if I knew the IPCC writers better I might well have the same opinion of them.

  46. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Well, it seems to me that this is a pretty fundamental question, and maybe it’s been discussed on CA before, but I’d like to know what CA’s position is on the options above, or is there an option I’ve missed?

    I don’t think there really exists a “CA position” on your comments. Many of us have different reasons for believing as we do, though a common thread is “something is amiss with the science.”

    I’d never personally use “deluded,” though I’m sure there is ego involved. Once you get on a track, it is hard to view it objectively. I.e. once you’re on the record in favor of a viewpoint, contrary opinions are not necessarily enough to dissuade you in spite of otherwise obvious reasons they should. Many scientists often make statements like “we knew there was GW, now we have the proof.” Their personal objectivity is clearly corrupted.

    I’m sure as well there are other reasons, and intentional obfuscation is not out of bounds (look at how much money is at stake). I’d list this as a much less common cause, however.

    Finally, there may be _some_ truth to the claims, but the sensational seems to be what we hear about. There are many much more grounded scientists out there, making much more moderate claims, that just don’t make it into the mainstream.

    Mark

  47. EP
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Based on the models used in SPM is it possible to run a simulation from 1850 onwards fixing the CO2 levels to 1850 levels and seeing how the temperature changes? Should the temperature plateau?

  48. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Charles B asks reasonable question in 41. Part of the answer is that the many hundreds of scientists who participated as contributing authors and reviewers in the IPCC process have relatively narrow roles. Hurricane expert Chris Landsea had participated in previous IPCC assessments, but dropped out this time, citing a combination of his understanding of the process and evidence of bias from a lead author who would have power to give short-shrift to Landsea’s contribution. The last version of the report to be widely disseminated was the second-order draft in June 2006. Since then, a relatively small number of lead authors have been the only ones incorporating comments.

    Best wishes, and hope this helps,

  49. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    41:

    d) They’re on the right track.

    Well, it seems to me that this is a pretty fundamental question, and maybe it’s been discussed on CA before, but I’d like to know what CA’s position is on the options above, or is there an option I’ve missed?

    If they are “on the right track,” why can’t those scientists see that so many of the proxy papers flawed? Why don’t many of them release their data, so it can be checked? How can they put faith in mega-models that cannot be verified? How can they ignore all the solar implications? How can they ignore explaining all the previous NATURAL warming cycles? (Why did one climatologist actually state that “we have to get rid of the MWP?) How can they even explain the warming and cooling periods in just this last century (it looks like they may actually be trying to erase the data for these). Why do they ignore the scientific method, by publishing a conclusion 5 MONTHS BEFORE releasing all the relevant data?

    Maybe the less brilliant scientists outnumber the brilliant ones and produce things like the 4AR.

  50. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Re: #41

    Charles B, like most of life’s decisions no one has easy answers. My only suggestion for you would be that you delve more deeply into what individual scientists write about climate and then what others write about these scientist’s conclusions. Pay close attention to how much uncertainty is involved.

    The IPCC FAR report and summary are more consensus policy statements made by a show of scientists’ hands and for the purpose of pushing government actions. I think to get the truer picture one has to make the effort to understand what the scientists are saying as scientists and how well and accurately they are doing that. I personally deeply discount what the scientists say as policy advocates.

    If you spend time at CA with a skeptics caution of what is said on either side of the AGW advocacy debate, I think that would be a big part of my suggested process.

  51. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    Well, the realclimate.org sensors have either decided to “lose” my post altogether, or to delay its appearance until it won’t get special notice in “recent comments”, so much open scientific dialogue. I post it here for your reference, thanx.

    I am definitely surprised that AR4 has come to a stronger conclusion than the TAR. Yes, there has been much work since the TAR and the models are much better, but that is the problem. We also now know much more about how flawed the models are. AR4 has ignored the draft reviewers and their own diagnostic subprojects, such as Roesch that showed ALL of the models had positive surface albedo biases (against solar) that are much larger than the global energy imbalance thought to contribute to the warming. They should have no confidence in model projections and climate sensitivity after that.

    There are no model independent assessments of climate sensitivity that have the same coupling to the climate as the well mixed GHGs. The inability to explain 20th century warming without the GHGs should come as no surprise when the models are throwing away 2.7 to 3.8 W/m^2 of solar forcing, when the annual imbalance is only 0.5 to 0.8 W/m^2 of warming, both figures globally and annually averaged.

    The anti-solar bias figures are obtained by applying the net solar flux from

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig1-2.htm

    of 198 W/m^2, to the globally and annually averaged positive surface albedo biases found reported by Roesch.

    So much for “peer review”. It appears that AR4 came to their conclusions before they started, and were unwilling to rebuke the overly “confident” TAR.

    Roesch A. (2006), Evaluation of surface albedo and snow cover in AR4 coupled climate models, J. Geophys. Res., 111,D15111, doi:10.1029/2005JD006473.

  52. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    #29 — TomR wrote: “The “elicitation of expert views” part is what I seek clarification on. To a lay person such as myself that would seem to indicate that a group of like-minded individuals could all reach a subjective, opinionated consensus on a topic and assign a Likelihood rating to it without having the necessary Quantitative Analysis to back it up.

    You’re a better climate scientist than they are, Tom.

    In 1988 Jim Hansen was already ‘99% certain’ that 20th century climate warming was caused by humans. The IPCC has back-tracked to “likely” after nearly 20 years of astonishing progress in climate science and modeling.

    According to Tim Ball, the astonishing progress in climate modeling since 1988 followed Moore’s Law, rather than Navier-Stoke’s Laws. I.e., the computers have gotten bigger but the physics hasn’t improved.

    So, what that means is we’ve gotten more complex uncertainties over time, which is just hunkey-dorey if your purpose is artificial snow (jobs).

  53. bruce
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Re #39, #41: Charles B. If you are seriously interested in these questions, then I suggest that you have a look at Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolution”. Rather than read the book, you can have a look at a very useful synopsis here http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/kuhnsyn.html. THere are other summaries, analyses and discussions easily accessible through Google.

    Until you understand the issues that Kuhn is referring to, derived from an analysis of the history and philosphy of science, I suggest that you will continued to be puzzled by the questions you raise.

  54. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    I have just finished a rather careful reading of Lord Monckton’s reply to the SPM, and it is certainly worth reading.

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20070201_monckton.pdf

    Let me say Wow. ;-) Recommended. Other links and comments:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/02/summary-for-policymakers.html

  55. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    RE: #41 – During the 1980s, when many of the current middle aged scientists were in school, there was a sort of perfect storm of radical ecotheology available on most campuses. I know, because at the time, I drank the Kool Aid. Some of my peers did also, and ended up in jobs similar to Mann et al. Meanwhile, among the elder statespersons in science, there had been, since the late 1960s, a significant minority who bought in early to the notions of Steward Brand, Amory and Hunter S. Lovins, David Brower, etc. Put it all together, and we have ended up with people from more of a hard sciences background who have gone into Climate Science, and carried with them radical beliefs. From time to time we see some government scientist moaning about being silenced – what they fail to mention is that they were silenced due to border line libel on a web site they ran, or, suggesting the overthrow of the government, or like ideas.

    In parallel with all of this, the business community was quietly changing from being old school conservative run, to being run by the 1960s generation. So all of the sudden there is an environment where business leaders want to wear their “corporate social responsibility” stripes and get on the ecotheological / “progressive” bandwagon.

    Another perfect storm has arrived and no one can stop it.

  56. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Charles B., we are not really hearing from the bulk of the scientists, are we? Rather we are getting a pasteurized, homogenized, summation for policy makers–a political slam-dunk in other words. No, Charles, if you actually could go to each of the scientists individually, and speak with them earnestly off the record, you would come away with a much different picture than you get from the “summary.” Charles, you may, as most people do, get most of your “science” pre-digested by journalists. As noted above, most journalists are incapable of knowing how to judge a scientific theory on its merits–nor do they know how to productively solicit the opinions of experts to get at the truth, as a rule.

    They are left with what seems to work for them. They get together among themselves as journalists, and decide what seems to be the dominant ideas within the circles of scientists whom they consider important, credible, stylish, etc. The cleverest of them comes up with a catchy way of expressing the ideas, after “fact-checking” with the approved experts. They express them so that a second grader could understand. The rest of the journalists slavishly copy what the cleverest journalist (but not very clever in reality) has written.

  57. jae
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    #54 From the report you linked:

    Computer models heavily relied on by the UN did not predict the considerable cooling of the
    oceans that has occurred since 2003 — a cooling which demonstrates that neither the frequency
    nor the intensity of the hurricanes in the year of Katrina was attributable to “global warming”.

    Hmm, cosmic rays should have started to be particularly active, beginning somewhere around 2003. More low louds over the ocean = cooling.

  58. EP
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    I’m not sure if non UK net users can access the BBC Newsnight download:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/6325865.stm

    Just to summarise tonight’s report on the IPCC Summary: both journalist and “expert” tell us that the sceptics argument is now dead thanks to today’s “summary” which lays to rest all questions.

    (They also managed to express moral indignation at the news that Exxon are looking to fund scientists to pick apart the “summary”)

    So there you have it folks. The BBC says the debate is over. Time to go home and prepare for the long hot summer.

  59. Stan Palmer
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    39 and 41

    The questions that you ask about the motivations of scientists are questions in the philosopy and sociology of science. The answers are only indirectly about the science itself. The primary results from the analysis of your question by philosphers like Paul Feyerabend and sociologists like Bruno Latour is that the anwer is about poltics in its broader sensense. Science is an actvity that is based in a community and its aims and suppports are those of the community from which it arises. So to the question of why scientists are doing what they are doing requires an analysis of the moral and poltical basis of teh community in which they live.

  60. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    #41 — I think it’s more banal than any of your options, Charles. After many years in science, and seeing how it goes, I have observed that most working scientists just interpret their results in terms of the dominant hypothesis in their field. It takes pretty striking results to clearly refute any given theory, and in the absence of that clarity, experimental or observational results can be interpreted in a number of ways.

    This gets to be an especially slippery slope then the governing hypothesis is not particularly rigorous. In such cases, it’s hard to refute the idea because it doesn’t make precise predictions. This is the case with climate theory. It’s very incomplete and doesn’t make precise predictions. That means almost any observation or result can be interpreted in terms of the dominant outlook. And that’s what’s happening. It’s pretty normal, and under ordinary circumstances, climate physics would have slowly iterated its way in obscurity to a more quantitive theory.

    The pathological aspect is that climate science has been politicized by environmental NGO’s (eNGOs) and their sympathizing organizations, like the Union of Concerned Scientists. They all pose in the white robes of spiritual purity, and so they only speak the truth. Global warming as a human sin was a huge and unexpected gift to them. When Hansen and Cicerone as modern Cassandras raised the issue back in 1986-88, the eNGOs picked it up and ran with it. Their accusatory drum-beating has poisoned our social atmosphere and has poisoned the usual practice of science.

    So, climate science is not in its deserved obscurity. It’s in the glare of sin-and-expiation publicity and there exist scientists who are show-boaters who cannot resist the impulse to present Earth-shaking results. This is true anyway in science, but the entry of the eNGOs into the process has toxicated a minor failing into a real cancer. The actinic glare of publicity plus the emotional seduction of a praised ritual purity, has seduced some scientsts into blindness to the staid reality of proper physics. That reality is if the theory allows only wide uncertainty limits, you can’t make precise claims. This remains true and it’s very obvious to a more objective observer — and one needn’t be a scientist to be that observer — that the climate physics in GCMs allow only very wide uncertainty limits. They can in no way detect the small climate purturbations that are being touted in their name.

    Unfortunately, computers produce very compelling images. Their outputs look like physically real climate observational maps. And so, seeing those pretty graphics, the same scientsts become convinced that what they want to be true — that their results are Earth-shattering — really are true. Self-aggrandizing wishful thinking is a pretty wide-spread human failing, but only in science can that failing be relentlessly demonstrated. People are demonstrating it — Lindzen, for example, Christy, Ball, Balling, Gray, M&M, and others. Under ordinary circumstances, this would probably be enough to change the course of the field. But the eNGOs don’t — won’t — allow that to happen. They have created a perverse social milieu that acts on climate scientists in an emotional way. No one wants to be a bad guy, and look how efficiently the eNGOs assassinate the character of those who voice skeptical views about AGW. Even SciAm, when it interviewed Lindzen, pictured him with a scowl and a cigarette. Mann was pictured with his arm companionably around a set of tree-rings.

    There is a huge amount of approval to be had by toeing the pseudo-religious line, and a huge amount of opprobrium to be suffered for defying it. During the preparation of the TAR, we all read about the fierce accusations levelled against some scientists who wanted to temper their conclusions in light of the data. That pressure was levelled by other scientists. It’s clear that the scientists applying the pressure were true believers and acting out of emotional, not scientific, committment. We can thank the environmental NGOs for creating the poisonoous climate that justified such noxious behavior.

    In that arena, we should truly admire the climate scientists who have both kept their wits about them and who have braved the pressures and slanders to remain true to their professional integrity. I expect them to be honored for that courage alone, one day.

    For the rest, it’s all become very pathological, and there is considerable social momentum. It’s going to take a long time before it gets wrung out of the field. Presumably, this will happen if Earth climate cools for a couple of decades — though at least for awhile any cooling will be passed off by the usual suspects as a human-caused aberration (e.g., polluting aerosols). If Earth climate continues to warm, though, expect the orchestrated hysteria to reach literally catastrophic proportions. Also, expect the inevitable cap-and-trade to pass huge amounts of money from the middle class to the rich, and to make the poor poorer. Let’s watch where the eNGOs invest their endowments.

  61. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, all,

    When the IPCC says the combination of methane and CO2 has never been greater now than in the past 650,000 years, why combine the two? Is it true that CO2 has never been greater now than in the last 650,000 years? There’s a simple explanation why that may be true for methane — so could it be 650,000 years is false for CO2 and the pairing is meant to distract close attention to CO2, CO2 being a hotter topic and matter for the carbon trading markets?

  62. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    For a good discussion on several “Deniers” including Wegman and Landsea, go to today’s National Post out of Toronto. Landsea had the fortitude to say he was having no part after Trenberth changed the story to say warming was causing an increase in hurricanes.
    Re the question on why the IPCC reviewers agree to this conclusion. I think a good number do not but when you see the ones in control of the Summary, it does not matter what they say.

  63. Ian
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    #60 Pat. Well said.

  64. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    For a good discussion on several “Deniers” including Wegman and Landsea, go to today’s National Post out of Toronto. Landsea had the fortitude to say he was having no part after Trenberth changed the story to say warming was causing an increase in hurricanes.
    Re the question on why the IPCC reviewers agree to this conclusion. I think a good number do not but when you see the ones in control of the Summary, it does not matter what they say.
    The worst part is that the politicians are getting sucked in.

  65. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    IPCC will probably have to modify some rules of arithmetics by May, in order to be consistent with the summary. ;-) The errors were found by Sean Davis, an RC reader (confirmed by RC’s Stefan). Open

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/WG1AR4_SPM_PlenaryApproved.pdf

    Go to page 5 of 21. You find Table SPM-0. Take any column among the two columns. Sum up the four contributions to the sea level rise. You will obtain very different numbers from 0.11 and 0.28 announced to be the sum on the fifth line – that is compatible with the observed sixth line.

    Solution: you could normally change the four lines in the technical part of the report – erase some zeros from Greenland or Antarctica :-) – but this is a summary, the Holy Scripture, so you can’t be messing up with it. Instead, use the full report to argue that 0.16+0.077+0.21+0.21 = 0.28 according to multiple recent consensus discoveries of mathematicians led by climate scientists, among other things. ;-)

    Another problem: the Antarctic contribution has an error of 0.41 or 0.35 m/century, respectively. Nevertheless, the sum of four terms happens to have errors 0.05 and 0.07 only – 5-10 times more accurate than one of the contributions. (Via Stuart Staniford.) Did they obtain the non-sum by non-summing the parts, so that the non-sum was so much more accurate? Looks like a good consensus science to me, too.

    Another reader complains that the CO2 contribution to the greenhouse effect is expressed as 9-26% – a pretty big uncertainty. Well, that’s what it probably is.

  66. bruce
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    Re #60:

    Pat, once again a thoughtful and pertinent post from you on an important issue. Would that your views gained wider currency!

    To make one thing clear though: When you say

    Self-aggrandizing wishful thinking is a pretty wide-spread human failing, but only in science can that failing be relentlessly demonstrated. People are demonstrating it “¢’‚¬? Lindzen, for example, Christy, Ball, Balling, Gray, M&M, and others.

    it can be taken to mean that Lindzen, Christy, Ball, Balling, Gray, M&M and others are are the parties demonstrating “self-aggrandizing wishful thinking”, whereas that is not what you mean. Instead, you are saying that Lindzen et al are courageously showing up such behaviour when it occurs in others, for example I assume you mean Hansen, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, the Hockey Team et al.

    Keep up the good work.

  67. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    My boss was at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Fansisco two weeks ago. She hear a AGW leacture and the speaker made it quite clear that the report was going to be “toned down” compared with the majority of the Climate Scientists.
    I think the real problem is that this is a young and small field. The the grants get read by the same people, all the papers are refereed by the same people.

    My own opinion is that the Stat’s suck in a big way, the method of picking an average (1960-1980 or whatever) starting point for the data series is horrid.(They should perhaps, do a series where they pick each and every year in the whole timeline as representing the true average, and then add all the data sets togeather.

    As far as tree ring growth is concerned, I suspect that this happens. Weather cold, not much growth, weather warm, good growth, weather hot and optimium great growth, weather too hot, not much growth. The extreams of themperature (hot,dry and cold) will probably give the same result.

    The ice isotope studies ignore diffusion, any spikes will disappear in time so that a very hot decade 10,000 years ago will show up as a 10 warm decades.

    The idea that marine animals are only affected by water temperature, and not water currents is nuts.

    The area of land now under cultivation and also IRRIGATED is bound to change the water vapor levels, the micro-climate and also the Albedo.

    Finally, if CO2 has the ability to reflect IR back to the ground level then it can easily be measure.
    The temperature profile of the south pole has been studied since the 50’s. I looked at the RATE at which the pole cools in the winter. One would expect GHG to slow the rate of cooling, if CO2 were a powerful GHG. Alas, the pole appears to be cooling more rapidly now than it did 40 years ago, although the changes are quite small. I suspect that this would also be the case in dusk til dawn temperature change in sand deserts. The Arazona crater would be a good site. in this one we could raise the CO2 to 800ppm with ease and have a look at the change in the day and night time absolute temperatures.

    Finally, finally, they never do actual expirements. I have never seen anyone shine a pulsing signal(tuneable)-laser into space through the atmosphere and measure the amount of light absorbed and light reflected back to Earth. Using ground stations, aircraft and satallites it would be relitivly easy to workout what was happening to the light and where it was going. These people don’t do this sort of thing, either because they dont have a background in expirements or they are worried about the answers.

  68. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    RE: #67 – interesting idea about locally raising CO2 PPM to take actual radiative and thermal measurements. You could also locally raise CO2 PPM in the many Western valleys during one of the many temperature inversions we get, especially during the winter. In fact, during such inversions, CO2 may be already getting up to those 800ish levels in certain areas just due to local emissions.

  69. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    #59 — “Science is an actvity that is based in a community and its aims and suppports are those of the community from which it arises.

    Its results and its theoretical progress are independent of both, however.

  70. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    #66 — Thanks for the kind words, Bruce, and sorry for the lack of clarity. The “relentlessly demonstrated” referred back to “failing,” and not to “self-aggrandizing wishful thinking.” The results of science, being indifferent to the personal wishes and opinions of scientists, will inevitably expose their biases. So Lindzen & co., who are true to their professional calling, are producing results that demonstrate the existence of the failing in others but are not embodiments of the failing itself.

    Lindzen, for example, has results over Kwajalein Atoll that show an excess of LWR in the tropics, which is due to an increased precipitation efficiency in clouds that in turn stems from increased SSTs. That is, as climate warms, precipitation efficiency increases. The increased amount of latent heat lost from the condensing water is radiated off into space. This is exactly what is predicted by the Iris Effect. Thus, climate responce ameliorates increased forcing, producing a smaller resulting temperature increase. I.e., the feedback is negative. This is not included in GCMs and if Lindzen’s result continues to be corroborated it will eventually falsify the predictions of an enhanced CO2 greenhouse.

    This is the way science usually works, but with the pathology encouraged by the eNGOs Lindzen gets smeared and other scientists are discouraged from taking his results seriously.

  71. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    RE: “That is, as climate warms, precipitation efficiency increases. The increased amount of latent heat lost from the condensing water is radiated off into space. This is exactly what is predicted by the Iris Effect.”

    Some bozo over at RC was claiming that the latent heat would melt more snow. Uh-huh……

  72. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    #34: “Maybe I am missing something in all this. But I just don’t get what is SO scary about a temperature increase of 4 degrees.”

    Who is saying it’s scary? Many voices are not (and the IPCC is one of them). But they are saying: be prepared for change. If temperatures remain driven primarily by agws over the next century (that is, if there is no negative forcing that we can’t predict right now), the temperature rise will be fairly rapid. Not outlandishly fast, but fast enough that adaptation could (*could*–it is unclear) be fairly difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. What if, for example, you live in Hobart, and you don’t like how hot it’s getting? (This is assuming Hobart will experience local warming.) Where do you go? No one sensible is saying it would be terrifying. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

  73. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    #53: the ironic thing is, I think that Kuhn might be right in a way that you’re not thinking about. Many of the scientific voices against the theory of acw are older voices–emeriti, retired, tenured, and so on. They are resistant to the new paradigm because they have lived for so long in the old one and cannot imagine the world any other way. How will the “debate” (if you can call it that) ultimately be resolved? The older establishment will die, that’s how. Re-read Kuhn if you think I’m wrong.

  74. mzed
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    #60: Much of what you say is true–in general that is. Instead of claiming that you’re wrong, let me just ask a question: what would it take to prove to you–or even to simply demonstrate–that greenhouse gases produced by human activity cause a global temperature forcing that is currently dominating the rise in average global surface temperatures? And what would it take to prove to you–or even to simply demonstrate–that this forcing (the forcing, not the absolute increase) will continue for several decades at least? I’m just asking because I’m curious to know.

  75. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Dear Ilkka #75,

    let me correct your slightly amusing assertion. The corrected version of your assertion is that if we determine that a statement that must be either true or false is valid at the 80% confidence level, it means that further tests will drive the confidence level towards 100% (an asymptotic limit found when we know enough) with probability 80% while they will drive it towards 0% with probability 20%. Is that really so difficult to agree about this statement? ;-)

    What you effectively want to say is that 80 is the same thing as 95 which is such a naive attempt to confuse numbers that I don’t believe that any CA reader would take such a trick seriously.

    Thanks for your understanding & have a nice weekend
    Lubos

  76. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    #74 It would take REAL Geological data. Not computer models that are fine tuned to produce a given response. I am a geologist. Most of the geologic data does not agree with AGW theory (The PETM is of interest though). Please explain the 600-800 yr lag times in temp verse CO2 increase in the ice core, the 125,000 yr sea level high stand. Then I may join your side. But for now I see smoke and mirrors at best. Please see the geologic record for the earths climate cycles, not the past 150 yrs.

  77. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    #73 — culture doesn’t determine scientific outcomes. Kuhn notwithstanding, a hypothesis is ultimately judged acceptable by whether it passes its predictive tests. There have been plenty of crackpot theories that were opposed by establishment science and were nevertheless crackpot theories — Piltdown Man is one example, N-Rays is another. Wegener’s continental drift theory was not accepted by a generation of young turks. It was brought back into play when the evidence became conclusive. Philosophy of science is not science.

  78. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    To make the case: Crackpot Theories

  79. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    One more thing.

    Since I have been home the last few week on vacation, I have been watching the local weather reports. They are ABYSMAL! This morning I saw at 5am Huntington Beach California, where we live, to be at 52 F. My outside thermometer said 39 F. Whats up with that? I have noticed this temp increase bias daily, for 2 weeks. By as much as 10 degrees F. In fact I have been monitoring all the local weather stations on TV, and they are all about 10 degrees F higher then what we measure at our house? We are only a couple of miles away from where the temp measurements are taken? WTF! It is not a heat island effect since we live withing 4 miles of the ocean, as is the station where these supposed measurements are taken? What the hell is going on?

  80. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    #74 — In answer to your question: Demonstration that the confidence limit of the GCM of your choice — as calculated by propagating the parameter uncertainties and measurement errors through the climate calculation — is equivalent in magnitude, or smaller, than the forcing of added CO2, in W/m^2.

    That criterion is the common and required standard of science to be met before acceptance of a calculated value is warrantable. At least, it was the standard criterion before climate science hove into view.

    Good luck finding that study, by the way. I’ve looked for one such several times. So far as I can tell, no one has ever determined the true confidence interval of a GCM projection. That hasn’t stopped anyone from making entirely insupportable claims in their name, however. IPCC most recently.

  81. Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat Frank #78,

    even though I see flavor of something that I would subscribe in your comments, I think that your description of the continental drift is historically and conceptually misleading.

    Wegener’s theory has always been conclusive. Every schoolkid can see that South America and Africa fit together. Equally importantly, the area of land vs ocean had to be much more connected and less structured shortly after the Earth was created.

    The geologists of his time rejected it because of bad science combined with groupthink, not because of inconclusive evidence. Wegener’s own evidence was very diverse, based on genetic & biological (comparing species at continents and their regions) as well as geological (comparing rocks at continents, plus the shape) and physical arguments while the new evidence in the 1960s that eventually made so many people accept plate tectonics was an unspectacular addition to Wegener’s ideas – and the experiments could have been done earlier.

    It’s just a demagogy of this whole generation of bad geologists – mostly American geologists – who were spectacularly wrong: they created this fog that Wegener’s theory was very hardly acceptable and it was a close call. It was never a close call: they were just bad scientists. A large number of bad scientists. The term “plate tectonics” itself was a method to create the illusion that they shouldn’t have accepted the continental drift. Wegener was a giant and his critics were dwarves.

    No doubt, once it turns out that some key statements of the AGW theory are wrong, the climate scientists who have been so wrong will also spin it and invent new names for the same thing that some of the visionary skeptics have been saying for years. That’s how dwarves always behave.

    Best
    Lubos

  82. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    81 continued — I forgot to include that the requisite high-confidence GCM should also predict the warming we have observed in the 20th century and assign that warming to added CO2.

    Your turn, mzed.

  83. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 2, 2007 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    Hi Lubos, I don’t entirely agree with your description of the controversey surrounding Wegener’s theory, but don’t want to argue the point.

    More to the point, how do you as a physicist rate the confidence limit criterion? Am I on solid ground there?

  84. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    Dear Follow the Money #61,

    I think that there exist independent measurements of CO2 as well as methane in the last 650,000 years and they happen to coincide with each other and with temperature, up to a simple functional dependence (essentially a linear redefinition). This fact itself makes it virtually impossible to think that CO2 was the primary cause because if CO2 were the main driver and the temperatures were its consequence, it would be very hard to explain why methane had the same values of the concentration, too.

    The correct answer is, of course, the opposite one: temperature – affected by something else (e.g. external driver) – was the primary reason and the concentration of all gases followed (800 years or so later, as the graphs indicate) because the ability of the oceans to absorb gases decreases as temperature increases.

    They like to talk about the mixture of methane and CO2 because a combination is what determines the greenhouse effect, something they consider crucial. But methane itself is a lot of trouble for them. Despite predictions, methane concentrations dropped last year, and so forth.

    Otherwise if you wanted to suggest that effects should be separated as much as possible – and studied independently and in detail – I fully agree with it. It is not a bright approach to a set of scientific question to extract one or a few quantities only – such as the average global temperature trend for a decade – and then test all of science and complicated theories via this single quantity (or a small number of quantities). A good theory in science must of course predict many more observables correctly. One can define their smart combinations, important subsets, and sharp experiments that can say something. The right choice of the things to study or measure is the art of science that most of the “mainstream” people in current climate science don’t understand.

    All the best
    Lubos

  85. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    Dear Pat #84, unless I have missed something, I believe that your confidence criteria are sharply and meaningfully formulated – but you know it anyway, don’t you? ;-) Have a good night, LM

  86. Charles B
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    On all the answers to my question why so many intelligent scientists buy into AGW, thanks everyone. Food for reflection!

  87. srp
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    Further to Pat Frank’s point: To understand the reasons for systematic bias in the climate modeling community, one should read Myanna Lahsen, “Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models,” Social Studies in Science, Dec. 2005, 895-922. She did 6 years of participant-observer fieldwork at various US climate modeling centers, including her base at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., as well as 100 semi-structured interviews with atmospheric scientists.

    Most of her paper addresses non-political and non-ideological reasons for modeler overconfidence and overstatement of confidence. She talks about how modelers get personally attached to their creations, how the modelers put together modules developed by other people whose inner workings they don’t understand, how they psychologically “slip” and start treating model output as if it were real climate data, how they admit to being angry at technical criticisms because they don’t know how/don’t have the time to address those criticisms, etc. She also says on p.904-6:

    “According to Shackley and Wynne, modelers sometimes deliberately present their models in ways that suggest and encourage exaggerated faith in their accuracy. The authors identify a duality in climate modelers’ discourse, observing that they shift between strong claims to scientifc authority (models as ‘truth machines’) and more modest claims about models as aids to thinking about the world (models as ‘heuristics’). Though modelers lack a conceptual basis for knowing whether the long-term climate is predictable, their discourse often moves from describing long-term global climate predicitions as being possible *in principle*, but presently unrealized and uncertain, to suggesting that their models are in fact predictive. My interviews documented this tendency with testimony from modelers themselves, confirming my own observations….

    The centrality of models in politics can also shape how modelers and others who promote concern about climate change present them. GCMs [global climate models] figure centrally in heated political controversies about the reality of climate change, the impact of human activities, and competing policy options. In this context, caveats, qualifications, and other acknowledgements of model limitations can become fodder for the anti-environmental movement…

    In such a charged political context, modelers learn to exercise care in how they present their models in public forums. The need for such care is sometimes impressed explicitly upon them by scientists who have experience in national and international climate politics. Speaking to a full room of NCAR scientists in 1994, a prominent scientist and frequent governmental advisor on global change warned an audience mostly made up of atmospheric scientists to be cautious about public expressions of reservations about the models. ‘Choose carefully your adjectives to describe the models,’ he said, ‘Confidence or lack of confidence in the models is the deciding factor in whether or not there will be policy reponse on behalf of climate change.’…

    It is thus correct to distinguish, as Shackley and Wynne do, between how modelers speak among themselves and how they speak to ‘external audiences.’ Climate modelers and advisory scientists use strong claims–invoking models as ‘truth machines’ and downplaying uncertainty–in communications directed ‘outside’ of the modeling community, and such discourse does not necessarily reflect their more private discussions.”

    In short, climate modelers are, atl least part of the time, political actors trying to influence you to support their policy objectives, not dispassionate natural philosophers. I would speculate (not knowing these folks personally) that their preconceived policy objectives come from the usual ideological sources–who, after all, is more likely to go into environmental sciences than someone who is motivated by at least mildly greenish views of some sort? It’s like the old joke about psychiatrists all being a little bit nutty–they get interested in the subject because of their own fixations. The scientists involved in climate matters are not pristinely separate from the environmental movement. They are an integral part of that movement, albeit one with dual loyalty because of their socialization into the ideals of science.

  88. canuck984
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    I was just going over the Draft for the AR4 WGI released by junkscience.com,
    and what do u know, the ipcc either can’t read, add or edit properly (my bet is on all three).

    but in chapter 4 (which im not suppose to cite, probally for the reason im about to explain) page 34 we see a table with IDENTICAL values for Antarctica and Greenland contributions to SLE, of 0.14 +/- .41 and .205 +/- .345 for Antarctica between 1961-2003 and 1993-2003 respectively… and the same goes for green land.

    now for document that is supposed to be the major scientific consensus, it is quite ironic that it cannot achieve consensus with in it self! ( i mean 0.16+0.077+0.21+0.21 = 0.28 not the logical 0.657!!!)

    I wonder how much of chapter 4 will have to be changed to “be consistent”with the newly released SMP.

    ps.: Chapter 5 seems to be the source of the Table in SMP4 with the SAME ADDITION ERROR present.

  89. PHE
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

    When I see all the extreme headlines:

    “Global warming: the final warning”
    “Warming worse than we thought”
    “Only man can stop climate disaster”
    etc, etc

    … and compare these to my own judgement on the matter, I am forced to reflect on whether I am in fact capabable of rational judgment. I then remind myself of the ‘UK’s favourite peom’, ‘If’, by Rudyard Kipling:

    “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too…

    … you’ll be a Man my son!”

  90. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

    #86 — I do know that in general, thanks Luboà…⟮ The thing is that what we learn as scientists is so very often completely counter-intuitive, that it’s easy to be surprised by something unexpected. That could well be true for me in climate physics, about which there is no doubt but that you understand it better than I. So, it was worth asking.

  91. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    RANK___ NATION_________________ CO2_CAP
    1______ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS____ _____33.87
    2______ QATAR__________________ _____20.33
    3______ UNITED ARAB EMIRATES___ _____11.81
    4______ KUWAIT_________________ ______8.81
    5______ BAHRAIN________________ ______8.67
    6______ GUAM___________________ ______6.83
    7______ NETHERLAND ANTILLES____ ______6.18
    8______ ARUBA__________________ ______6.12
    9______ LUXEMBOURG_____________ ______6.05
    10_____ TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO____ ______5.98

    1, 6, 7, 8 are island states with small populations and big oil refineries.
    2 3 4 5 are OPEC countries
    9 Acelor-Mittal is a giant Luxemburg-Indian(!) Steel company in a country with a small population.

    I don’t know why Guam scores this high.

  92. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 4:48 AM | Permalink

    Here’s an oddity from the WG1 report:

    There are no updates to the RF [Radiative Forcing] calculation to report. The simple formulae for RF of the LLGHG quoted in Ramaswamy et al. (2001) are still valid. These formulae are based on global RF calculations where clouds, stratospheric adjustment and solar absorption were included and give a RF of 3.7 W m–2 for a doubling in the CO2 concentration. A recent comparison of detailed line-by-line models and GCM radiation schemes found that clear sky instantaneous RF agreed very well (better than 10%) among the 5 line-by-line models investigated, using the same single atmospheric background vertical profile (Collins et al., 2006). The GCM radiation schemes were less accurate, with ~20% errors in the CO2 RF (Collins et al., 2006 and Chapter 10). Nevertheless, the current set of Atmosphere and Ocean GCMs (AOGCMs) used in Chapter 10 of this report found values for RF, for a doubling of CO2 that ranged between 3.5 and 4.2 W m–2, in reasonable agreement with the TAR RF value of 3.7 W m–2 (see Chapter 10 and Forster and Taylor, 2006). — 2.3

    Why is this odd? Well, the clear-sky radiation is the easiest to compute (no clouds, no rain, no hail, no mist, no high cirrus). Typically, it is on the order of 250 W/m^2, varying by latitude and season. This means that the line-by-line models were within ±25W/m2 of each other, while the GCMs are within ±50W/m2 … and these are the models that they claim have enough accuracy to tell us reliably what will happen with a 3.7 W/m2 change from a doubling of CO2.

    This claimed “reasonable agreement” with the TAR RF value of 3.7W/m2 for a doubling is more than passing strange … how can they be different by ±20% in downwelling IR, and still give the same value for a doubling of CO2? … Tuning, my son, tuning …

    w.

  93. John Lang
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    If the report is a Summary for Policymakers, why did they exclude the recent good news on methane levels, that have stabilized and might even be falling now.

    The Policymakers do not know this important fact since no one seems to want to talk about it. This fact has very important consequences for any Policy making that the Policymakers might do.

    It is clearly not a summary for policymakers, it is an attempted justification for all the money and resources the climate change believers have forced us to waste in recent years.

    And I think the report is really poorly written and organized. I’d give it a D for writing style and content and an F- for fact and analytical content.

  94. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    Dear DocMartyn #67, you say:

    They should perhaps, do a series where they pick each and every year in the whole timeline as representing the true average, and then add all the data sets togeather.

    Actually I did this about 10 years ago. The result was that the 1990s and 1940s had about the same temperature and there was a marked cooling in between. The later the year you picked as a baseline, the less the 1970s cooling became. I interpreted this to mean that the later stations and years were more urban than the earlier stations.

  95. Tony Edwards
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    It is generally agreed by the paleoclimate scientists that there was a warm peroid globally for around three hundred years from about 1000 AD to 1350, during which time the average temprature was higher than now, the surface of Greenland was being farmed, there were grapes being grown in the north of England and, in 1066, William the conk. invaded England. Yet you can still walk on the same beaches where he landed! So where’s the sea level rise that goes along with a naked Greenland?
    On a different aspect, where I live, in the BVI, there has been no percepable rise in the sea level for the past twenty-five years (personal observation). Yet in other parts of the world, islands have slipped from view, supposedly from sea level rise.Is it not just possible that these disappearances are due to sea-bed dropping, rather than sea level rising? Just thought I’d ask.

  96. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    “why so many intelligent scientists buy into AGW”? Insecurity and inferiority. What if your carreer was based on technology that has been a decade away for a couple decades? What do you publish? How do you keep the funding coming, especially for the larger clusters that might eventually get you to the promised land? In order to project the complex, non-linear climate system, you have to produce a tool that in its interactions is also so complex that you can’t understand it. Thus the inferiority (probably unjustified on a human scale). But the insecurity, leads to a false bravado. You huddle together with “peers” in newly formed “peer reviewed” journals, enjoy the luxury of having computer models that are papers mills, where each result that can be interpretted as progress, is ooohed and aaahed by others in your community. Your models are so complex and expensive to run, that diagnostic reports of errors such as Roesch (2006) come along at inconvenient times. You are already 6 months into producing an ensemble that has another year left to complete. It would be inconvenient to put in the fix and start over again. Besides, other bugs and errors will be found again and you would never get done. More inferiority, more bravado and more denial. Knowing the errors in your model, you put your faith in meta-ensembles of models hoping others errors will cancel yours out. When papers such as Roesch come along showing correlated errors of 2.7 to 3.8W/m^2, that won’t go away when you huddle together, you engage in joint denial. Your models are still useful despite those errors and the even an order of magnitude larger errors in cloud parameterizations.

    Forget for the decade, that in order to be useful in attribution of global warming, your models have to be able apportion a mere 0.5 to 0.8W/m^2 of net energy imbalance to the various competing sources. This requires models accurate to at least 0.1W/m^2 globally and annually averaged. You are still at least a decade away. How do you tell funding agencies, that it won’t be until the computer system after the one you are requesting funding for now, that you will have a tool that is actually useful for attribution and projection?

    Now the climate modelers are in a world that has bought their bravado and denial hook line and sinker, they can’t turn back now. What is in it for the world, beyond divertering resources from disease, poverty and the existential threat of Near Earth Objects? They can engage in a new age, politically correct, progressive, post-modern, anti-american, anti-capitalist bacchanalia of “consensus”. The climate modelers are now riding a whirlwind. Why is it that the older scientists have not succumbed? They are the old guard modernists, whose faith in reason and science lead them to hone the critical thinking skills and towering humility so central to really good science. They question assumptions and can see that the emperor has no clothes.

    Roesch A. (2006), Evaluation of surface albedo and snow cover in AR4 coupled climate models, J. Geophys. Res., 111,D15111, doi:10.1029/2005JD006473.

  97. george h.
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Dear Martin #97,

    Great post. You seem to have some insight into this world.

  98. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    Tony,
    The ice cap of greenland did not vanish in the middle ages.

    The summit borehole in the ice goes back at least 100,000 years

    enlarged:

    from:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 108, NO. B3, 2143, doi:10.1029/2001JB001731, 2003
    Greenland glacial history, borehole constraints, and Eemian extent
    L. Tarasov and W. Richard Peltier

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/sample_articles/cr/2001JB001731/

  99. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

    Re #97 – We had a saying at work – Go with the flow! In a decade we may see a recycling. One thing that was not blamed on AGW was earthquakes – they are on a watch on the west coast now.

  100. george h.
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Re#100
    Dear Gerald,

    I’m afraid that earhquakes http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2004/0715glacierquakes.html are on the list http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm . Wake up and trade the carbon dude.

  101. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    The only “new” statement I see, according to the newspapers here (few headlines, most on page 6), is that the warming is behind the point of no return, even if we stop emitting CO2 completely.

    As far as I know, about halve of the CO2 that is emitted is absorbed in the oceans today. Part in the upper levels, which are in continuous contact with the atmosphere, part of it going into the deep ocean, with enormous buffering capacity. Of course, if we stop emitting, it will take some time to decrease all/most of it to pre-industrial levels, but I have read half-life times of about 30-50 years, which are quite reasonable.

    Is there anything in the WG1 which points to the source of this new statement?

  102. Tony Edwards
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    Hans, #99, I didn’t actually mean that the whole of Greenland was uncovered, but the coastal areas certainly were. And, at a mere 0.5 watts per square metre, how many gigajoules of energy would be required to melt the entire ice cap and how many centuries would it take? My physics is a long way back. Bearing in mind that by no means would all of the energy be concentrated on Greenland.
    And, Matrin, #97, it really seems that if any one of the climate “experts” was asked privately what was going to happen in ten years time, I suspect the answer most likely would be “Huh! I dunno!”.
    Two more things. Would anyone care to comment on my last question in #96, and why are all of these articles so peppered with “Eemian” events and “semi Lagragian tracers”? I know they are really intended for others in the field, but can they not be written a little more in English and a little less in gobbledegook? And from a few brief extracts from the final report if and when it sees the light of day, it seems that the level of gurble and barbage will be even higher. Surely these things can be written comprehensibly enough that they can be understood by the above average intelligentsia, if not by the ordinary man. As it is, who knows what the blazes they are talking about.
    Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

  103. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #101. Thanks George H. I knew about the glacier part. Its just that I am not sure if it was in the reports as I have not gone through all of them in detail as on JS site. However the media has not made fodder out of it. Last year on RC some were trying to link earthquakes with cyclones.

  104. TAC
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    My reading of the SPM is that we can expect additional warming of a couple of degrees over the next 100 years, but there is really not much urgency about it. The “tipping point” theories seem to have been either omitted from the discussion altogether, or addressed and found to be either highly uncertain or relatively benign. For example, with respect to the meridional overturning circulation (MOC), where the previously hypothesized abrupt change could have led to disastrous consequences, the SPM states:

    It is very unlikely that the MOC will undergo a large abrupt
    transition during the 21st century. Longer-term changes in the MOC cannot be assessed with confidence.

    In short, the SPM should serve to reduce concern about many of the most worrisome scenarios.

    I am not trying to sound cavalier. The SPM-predicted warming over the next century would not be a trivial matter, and preparing for and managing it may require some effort. But it’s not the end of the world, either.

  105. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Tony,
    It’s indeed weird that “semi-Lagrangian tracer” only appears in the abstract. Google scholar only gives 11 hits, so it’s a very specialised topic, which would need more explanation, at least in the introduction.

    Eemian is the warm period before the last ice age, named after the Eem valley in The Netherlands, where Mediterranian se shells were found in a borehole. Sea level was then six meters higher than now.

  106. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    RE #105 TAC, I had the same impression. I am surprised.

  107. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    I wanted to see if I could find an internal control for temperature fluctuations. I analyzed the English Temperature Data for 1659 to 2005.
    I did two things, firstly look at the relationship between this year minus last year vs. this year minus next year.

    What I would like to do is see if the tree ring data follows the same form. What is the relationship of tree ring width, compared with the previous and future years?

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Then I did was to plot the Winter minus Summer temperature against the following Winters minus previous summers temperature, that is, I looked how closely connected to each other winters are, w.r.t. the intervening summer.

    Here is the plot. The value of 0.66 indicates to me that it is twice as easy to cool England than to heat it, an important point in itself.

  108. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Re: #43

    Help, I am in a quandry. Emanuel says that annual Arctic sea ice extent has declined 15 to 20 percent in the last 30 years. However, the IPCC report says it’s 2.6 % per decade, which is less than 8% over 30 years.

    Who to believe?

    And now for the serious reply:

    UN: Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4% per decade.

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20070201_monckton.pdf

    The confusion would appear to be the difference in annual versus summer shrinkage. I’d be curious whether Emanuel makes it clear that he is talking about summer versus annual shrinkage — otherwise one might think the summer data were selected (cherry picked?) for appearances/emphasis.

  109. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    RE #109 Thanks, Ken.

    Here’s the Emanuel quote, from his essay:

    “‚⠠The annual mean geographical extent of Arctic sea ice has decreased by 15 to 20 percent since satellite measurements of this began in 1978.

    The essay is here .

    Maybe “annual mean geographical extent of Arctic ice” is not the same as “annual average Arctic sea ice extent”.

    Hmmm…

  110. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    Re: #110

    Maybe “annual mean geographical extent of Arctic ice” is not the same as “annual average Arctic sea ice extent”.

    I think not. It would appear that Emanuel [or his graduate student(s)] got summer and annual confused. Maybe they were too quick to select the bigger number. Nice find on your part.

  111. mzed
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    “It would take REAL Geological data. Not computer models that are fine tuned to produce a given response. I am a geologist. Most of the geologic data does not agree with AGW theory (The PETM is of interest though).”

    What do you think of the borehole studies? Don’t they seem to suggest remarkably warm recent temperatures? Henry Pollack has popularized some of his work in this area.

    “Please explain the 600-800 yr lag times in temp verse CO2 increase in the ice core, the 125,000 yr sea level high stand.”

    If you dare real RealClimate :) here is an attempt:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=13

    Of course this could all be wrong–but why does that mean it *is* wrong?

  112. mzed
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Re: the real error bars. I don’t know enough about the models to know whether they’ve propagated their errors adequately, so I’ll have to take your word for it. But even if you’re right, again, surely this just implies agnosticism about agw? The studies which try to attribute it to other causes are few and far between and likewise, as far as I can tell, have their own problems.

    “culture doesn’t determine scientific outcomes.”

    Over time, no. But note that many comments here attribute agw theory to just that–culture. So I’m not sure I’m the one you should be talking to about this…but I am pointing out that as hard-headed as an individual scientist can be, he can make mistakes. Kuhn simply suggested that more established voices have a mental investment in the worldview that they have lived with all their lives. They don’t always give that up easily. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re wrong–they could be right. But just because they’re hard-headed doesn’t mean they’re right, either–they could be wrong. As you say, it is the evidence that decides it. But again, most of what you get in the skeptics’ cirlces is criticism–where are the positive studies providing an alternative hypothesis? Exactly which solar cycle could be causing the current warming? Where are the tree-ring reconstructions which *do* show a MWP warmer than it is today? (Not even Mr. McIntyre has said he can provide that!) Perhaps the models are inadequate–but why does that mean they’re *wrong*, or deserve only mockery and sarcasm?

    Kuhn notwithstanding, a hypothesis is ultimately judged acceptable by whether it passes its predictive tests. There have been plenty of crackpot theories that were opposed by establishment science and were nevertheless crackpot theories “¢’‚¬? Piltdown Man is one example, N-Rays is another. Wegener’s continental drift theory was not accepted by a generation of young turks. It was brought back into play when the evidence became conclusive. Philosophy of science is not science.

  113. Reid
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #113 mzed says: “But again, most of what you get in the skeptics’ circles is criticism–where are the positive studies providing an alternative hypothesis?”

    Alternate hypothesis for what? A Grand Unified Climate Theory?

  114. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    Re: #88

    Myanna Lahsen’s, “Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models,” Social Studies in Science, Dec. 2005, 895-922 is available at http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-1891-2005.49.pdf and was discussed at Prometheus early last year: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000675myanna_lahsens_late.html.

  115. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    Re: #s 115 & 116

    Sorry for the double-post.

  116. bruce
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #113:

    “But again, most of what you get in the skeptics’ circles is criticism–where are the positive studies providing an alternative hypothesis?”

    mzed. You have to be winding us up? You can’t be serious? As if the poor quality “science” and “statistics”, over-reliance on unproven models, and even (in the dendrochronology area) ascribing a linear rather than reverse quadratic relationship between tree ring thickness and temperature, such as we have seen comprehensively addressed at this site over the past two years deserves praise?

    Of the recent apologists for the Hockey Team, you and Bim Jarret take the cake!

    “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

  117. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    #112

    I read RC’s attempt at explaining away the 800 yr lad time between temp rise and Co2 rise. It is laughable sorry to say. Armwaving as my Grad advisor would say, it would almost be funny if they weren’t serious. The borehole studies support a warmer earth 125,000 yrs ago with lower Co2 levels., as do sea level studies and marine terrace studies.

  118. Michael Kozuch
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Where are the tree-ring reconstructions which *do* show a MWP warmer than it is today? (Not even Mr. McIntyre has said he can provide that!)

    At this site (CO2 Science), there are many different studies using different proxies, which show that the MWP was warmer than today.

  119. srp
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    #115: That link to Prometheus is broken.

    I cite the Lahsen article because it goes beyond vague impressions of modeler culture (and is consistent with Martin Lewitt’s #97, in part) by engaging in careful ethnography. It’s hard to imagine a more thorough program of interviews and participant-observer work in a field like this. And the author appears friendly in her attitudes toward her subjects and even AGW. It seems to me that the arguments from authority–“Why would all these scientists be pushing this if it weren’t really proven?”–is pretty much laid to rest by this paper. One still has to decide the actual scientific arguments, however, as many on this site and elsewhere attempt.

  120. Spence_UK
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #113, 119

    If you do a search of climateaudit, you come up with this:

    Making apple pie instead of cherry pie

    This uses the exact same methodology applied by many of the multi-proxy temperature reconstructions to get a MWP higher than today. It is important to note that this is not endorsed as a “true” reconstruction, it merely demonstrates that the methods presently being used can generate pretty much any result you want.

    As for the RealClimate link, I agree with #118, that type of twisted reasoning might hold water in the school playground, but surely no credible scientist would put their name to it?

  121. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    The cloud-cover section (3.4.3) of the technical report seems to make an effort to discount various cloud cover studies. If anyone has a guess as to why, please post. Thanks.

    My read is that there is evidence of decreasing high cloud cover and increasing low cloud ocean cover. Perhaps such a trend towards fewer high clouds and greater low clouds would be a negative feedback mechanism and is inconsistent with the models/message? That’s speculation on my part.

    I have difficulty following the argument of the section and maybe I’m misunderstanding it.

  122. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    #118 With regard to lag. Here is a nice little exercise. Go to this site: http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/view/S2fqLEsOtha64-EgR_rLE2-

    Set x-axis to co2 level, set y-axis to temperature, what do you see?

    I see 2 things:
    1. A pretty linear looking relationship for the first part. If co2 drives temperature the relationship should be logarithmic not linear. Why isn’t it logarithmic, well because co2 is not driving the temperature in this case (albedo feedback loop is driving temperature and co2 is just along for the ride).
    2.) Saturation point. Temperatures reach a certain level and stops (saturation — see my web link for my theory).

    My $0.02

  123. Jean S
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #121: A scientist, who was selected as one of the 50 leading visionaries in Science and Technology by Scientific American, put also his name on this one. I’ve been anxiously waiting this “soon” thing to materialize:

    The claims of McIntyre and McKitrick have now been further discredited in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, in a paper to appear in the American Meteorological Society journal, “Journal of Climate” by Rutherford and colleagues (2004) [and by yet another paper by an independent set of authors that is currently "under review" and thus cannot yet be cited--more on this soon!].

    After over two years of wait, I’m getting little worried if it is ever going to happen ;)

    An off-topic question by a stupid non-English speaker: why do they use lower case letters for their names over RC, like “mike”, “gavin”, “raypierre” ??

  124. Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #112,

    Mzed, CO2 always followed the temperature changes (and sometimes even the ice sheet growth), never leads over the past 600,000+ years. Of course there is an overlap during transitions, which allows climate models to include a (huge) feedback from CO2 on temperature. But there is one period when temperatures were already at minimum, and ice sheet formation at maximum: the end of the previous warm period, the Eemian. The subsequent drop of 40 ppmv CO2 has no measurable influence on temperature, which points to a small influence of CO2…
    See here

  125. Ian
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    #118, 123

    Oh and I see a third thing. Temperatures in the past greater than today.

  126. richardT
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    #125
    You wouldn’t expect changes in CO2 to lead climate change in the Quaternary. Until Homo sapiens started burning fossil fuels, all the sources and sinks of CO2 were tightly bound to the climate.
    Climate changes, especially changes in ocean circulation, could change CO2 concentration, which would alter the radiative forcing – a positive feedback that would cause further climate change, within the bounds of the system.

    Graphs like #123 don’t help much, as they don’t resolve the hysteresis loop. Plot the residuals against time – if your model is adequate, there will be no pattern to the residuals.

  127. Spence_UK
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #124

    I’m guessing that they are seeking to set new scientific precedents (as forward thinking scientists, breaking into new territory, setting new standards), and would explain it with one of the following:

    1. The paper has not appeared because they have chosen to “move on” preemptively.

    2. It is only a small step from not disclosing data and code, to not disclosing the paper itself. They are climate scientists; why should they allow non-climate scientists to read the paper, when they only want to find something wrong with it? The press release contains everything you need to know.

  128. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    Mzed,

    Propagation of errors is certainly an issue with GCM algorithms. in addition, there are errors in the historic data. There are errors in the instrument data which is one of the major data sets used to create the SPM (based on my reading of the document). I would like to see an error analysis for the data sets as well as the GCMs.

    Since P. D. Jones is one of the lead authors of WG1, I believe that it would be appropriate for him to provide a complete error analysis of his instrument data. A first step in this would be for Dr. Jones to archive his data so that all of us can see it. Note that I mean by this his raw temperature data, not smoothed anomalies.

  129. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    Re: 80 Mr Rocks,

    Although the temperature changes seem odd, one explanation could be microclimates. It could also be an UHI effect, although trying to determine UHIs in the Southland would be difficult.

  130. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, John Lang, all

    John writes,

    “If the report is a Summary for Policymakers, why did they exclude the recent good news on methane levels, that have stabilized and might even be falling now.

    The Policymakers do not know this important fact since no one seems to want to talk about it. This fact has very important consequences for any Policy making that the Policymakers might do.”

    I have followed carbon, not methane, but as I said there is one reason why I would expect it to stabilize, even fall.

    The interests behind methane credit trading seem to me to be a lot to do with farming interests, perhaps as a gimmick to subsidize the retiring of already failing enterprises like pig farms, maybe also Canadian overcapacity in grain production can be profitable by reforestation/plains grasses — I expect the schemes would be multiple.

    Given methane is allegedly 10x more effective than CO2 as a GHG, a reductions in methane without Kyoto-schemes could negatively effect the whole AGW enterprise. Now, if the IPCC folk ignored the very simple reason why methane is stabilizing, even reducing, all their work in my opinion should be treated as more games-playing politics.

    If anyone has a link to papers, etc. which account for sources for methane, including a breakdown of anthropogenic causes, I would very much like to see that. For one, out of general interest, secondly, to see if they are eschewing the “simple reason” I opined.

    Any links?

  131. richardT
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    #131
    Try this recent paper, published in nature last year, for recent views on methane concentrations.

  132. EP
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone have any links to criticisms about GCMs? What are the main deficiencies and are they severe enough to warrant extra coding?

  133. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    #132,

    Many thanks, Richard. From the summary:

    “”The growth rate of atmospheric methane is determined by the balance between surface emissions and photochemical destruction by the hydroxyl radical, the major atmospheric oxidant.””

    That’s important for me to know that methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere once it’s there, but deteriorates. That leads me to mentally model methane level will not only stabilize, but
    might decrease.

    “”Remarkably, this growth rate has decreased markedly since the early 1990s, and the level of methane has remained relatively constant since 1999, leading to a downward revision of its projected influence on global temperatures.””

    It may be “remarkable,” but it’s explainable. Let’s see if the paper discusses.

    “”Large fluctuations in the growth rate of atmospheric methane are also observed from one year to the next, but their causes remain uncertain.””

    Well, methane emits from geographically discrete points, not over the the earth evenly. Annual circulation anomalies vs. where the detectors are located could solve the vaiability in detection without positing global methane levels wildly fluctuate. There is some suggestions about that in the paper’s text.

    “”Our results indicate that wetland emissions dominated the inter-annual variability of methane sources, whereas fire emissions played a smaller role, except during the 1997-1998 El Niño event. These top-down estimates of changes in wetland and fire emissions are in good agreement with independent estimates based on remote sensing information and biogeochemical models. On longer timescales, our results show that the decrease in atmospheric methane growth during the 1990s was caused by a decline in anthropogenic emissions. Since 1999, however, they indicate that anthropogenic emissions of methane have risen again.””

    Nope, they don’t mention the factor I’m thinking about. It’s not esoteric. All they opine about is combustion of fossil fuels increasing or not in China as an anthropogenic effect.

    “”The effect of this increase on the growth rate of atmospheric methane has been masked by a coincident decrease in wetland emissions, but atmospheric methane levels may increase in the near future if wetland emissions return to their mean 1990s levels.””

    Well, the factor I’m thinking of isn’t going to decrease or level off in the near future, I would predict.

    Hint–the factor is touched upon in DOE docs about USA methane emissions, though the effect isn’t as great in the USA, because probably the behavior was “enacted” of sorts long before the 1990’s. It’s an anthropogenic effect seemingly unnoticed in the NASA paper you link. All they measure seemingly is combustion, and perhaps consider transporation leakages…but the key is the points of origin…

    If one could model that if no Kyoto-like interventions were taken on CO2, and would continue to increase, say, .05 % per year, and likewise without such interventions methane would countinue to decrease, say, .05% per year, with lots of supporting math and charts a GHG AGW believer could hold opinion just as good as any others that anthropogenic action will cause average temps to decrease without any interventions.

  134. Jaye
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    In order to project the complex, non-linear climate system, you have to produce a tool that in its interactions is also so complex that you can’t understand it. Thus the inferiority (probably unjustified on a human scale). But the insecurity, leads to a false bravado. You huddle together with “peers” in newly formed “peer reviewed” journals, enjoy the luxury of having computer models that are papers mills, where each result that can be interpretted as progress, is ooohed and aaahed by others in your community. Your models are so complex and expensive to run, that diagnostic reports of errors such as Roesch (2006) come along at inconvenient times.

    I’d like to run valgrind on just one of these model suites.

  135. David Smith
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    RE #124 Jean S., lower-case spelling of English names is sometimes used to portray oneself as a relaxed, informal, almost humble person.

  136. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    # 130,

    I am well aware of microclimate effects having lived in northwestern coastal california for 7 years. The temp differences between Brookings Oregon and Crescent City Calif are routinely 10 degrees different in the summer months, less in winter ( a distance of about 20 miles). Since I am anly a couple miles from the weather station, I can’t possibly imagine a 10 degree F difference? I wonder, don’t they realize average folk have thermometers? Or is this normal in a completely concrete urbanized area?

    Also, can you please explain the UH1 effect you mention, as I have forgetton more than I recall about basic climate physics, sorry for the brain fart. Thanks ( real world brain problems leave me semi difficient, sorry).

  137. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 3, 2007 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    re: #136

    Maybe sometimes, but more often I suspect, it’s a subtile way of saying “I’m more intellectual than you since I’ve read e e cummings, the poet” who started the practice.

  138. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    Re: #124

    An off-topic question by a stupid non-English speaker: why do they use lower case letters for their names over RC, like “mike”, “gavin”, “raypierre” ??

    Most likely because they’re two-fingered typists and are too lazy to use the shift key. Or, because of PC, they don’t want to appear (snobbish, as individuals, standoffish, educated, etc.”¢’‚¬?choose whichever is apt).

  139. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Re: #133

    Myanna Lahsen’s, “Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models,” Social Studies in Science, Dec. 2005, 895-922 is a start. It’s available at http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-1891-2005.49.pdf and discussed at Prometheus early last year: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000675myanna_lahsens_late.html.

  140. DaleC
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #124,

    I think the PC line is the correct explanation. Capitalizing proper nouns means that you are the sort of person who thinks in terms of hierarchies of importance and power. Using lower case means that you see all things as being equal. So using capitals means right wing imperialist enforcer-of-rules, whereas all lower case means left wing egalitarian anarchist.

    This usage can be found in many far left circles, regardless of language.

  141. Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #139,141

    It’s also possible that the software forces the names into lower case as ours did. I don’t think that capitalization is an indicator of political viewpoint.

    No. Really.

  142. John Lang
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    Methane sources are primarily the oil and gas industry (natural gas is 97% methane), livestock, landfills and natural sources (wetlands etc.)

    Livestock numbers have not declined, they have increased (it’s okay to eat beef again!) There has been some reduction in landfill emissions (minimal).

    The biggest change has happened with natural gas production and distribution. Oil companies are not just releasing natural gas into the air like they use to. They have tightened up production methods and piping systems to contain leaks. There are new processes to capture natural gas and re-inject it back into oil pools to increase oil production.

    Natural gas distribution companies have tightened up their systems to contain leaks. And natural gas prices have increased so that there is value in tighter control and there is value in burning natural gas on-site for power production.

    No real intervention was needed, just a little knowledge, a little invention, a few price signals and a little time.

    No climate change believers were required. No government intervention was required. And no credit is now being given by the climate change believers because it doesn’t fit the model of gloom and doom.

  143. Doug
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    (natural gas is 97% methane)

    Actually natural gas ranges from 100% methane to a very complex mixture of carbon molecules, frequently mixed with (gasp) varying amounts of CO2. Not being critical, just trying to keep our facts accurate here.

  144. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    re: #141

    This usage can be found in many far left circles, regardless of language.

    Even in German?! That would be weird. And if so, it probably comes from the French! [g] But you can be sure they’d not put up with such a bastardization of their language if they were the ones who capitalized all nouns. BTW, my two years of German in college has made me prone to overcapitalize and that has nothing to do with my political views.

  145. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Re: 129

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned before, but is it possible that Jones cannot release his raw data because of agreements he has made with some nations that believe their meteorological data is a matter of national security, and if he releases all his data, they will no longer provide him their data? India comes to mind as a possibility.

  146. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    Re: 135

    You’re free to acquire one of the models, CCSM3, and manipulate it to your heart’s content, Jaye.

  147. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Re #146 If that’s the case, perhaps Jones could release his methodology and show how it was applied on the data from those countries lacking security concerns.

    Gary, if I remember correctly, you have a background in modeling. I’m reading the FAR section on water vapor and I’m wondering if the atmospheric water vapor trends it reports generally agree with the results from the models, especially in the middle and upper troposphere. Do you have any background that might help on this question? Thanks.

  148. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Re: 148

    I don’t understand why I’m supposed to get Phil Jones to release anything – that’s one thing about CA I don’t understand. Talk to him directly.

    I haven’t studied water vapor, so I cannot say.

  149. EP
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Re: #138 thanks for your links.

  150. EP
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    ^ Sorry – meant #140

  151. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    RE #149 Jones has already replied on the issue (no release). If my comment was taken that you should somehow contact, or otherwise be responsible for, Jones’ refusal, let me clarify by saying that was not my intent. Sorry. My point is that I see little defensible ground for his refusal.

    On water vapor, thanks anyway. I’m reading the water vapor section of the technical report and trying to understand if the atmosphere is behaving the way it is expected to behave.

  152. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: 152

    Thanks for being the first person here on CA who’s recognized that I’m not responsible for Jones’ refusal to release his work. For some reason, here on CA, that I work in climate science, and that Jones works in climate science, means that I can persuade Jones to release his work, or that because of his refusal, anything I say or do is somehow suspicious or not to be trusted. It’s basically a way to “attack” me because of the very tenuous association between myself and Jones. It’s rather silly.

  153. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    After finishing my first read of the IPCC FAR Summary, I would have to say my general reaction is that I see nothing startlingly new and if anything got the impression of more uncertainty — and particularly with regards to the computer climate model results with the large spreads. It did pose some questions that I was not able to answer from references and footnotes that I want to put to the readers and posters of this blog.

    My first thought on this summary report is that since it reports no positive findings resulting from increasing temperatures, one would have to conclude either (a) that it was put together by a very conservative group of policymakers/scientists who instinctively assume that the current or past climates are the ideal and any changes then become less than optimum to devastating, or (b) it demonstrates some biases in the judgments/opinions of the policymakers/scientists who put together the summary or (c) merely demonstrates that the primary purpose of this summary and report is to give restricted evidence for AGW and its bad effects as an advocacy for spurring immediate and strong mitigation activities.

    I think most people from all POVs on the AGW issue have to come away choosing the third alternative from those noted above. Given that purpose of the report and the following result that we are getting evidence from primarily one side of the issue, I think that the report, when read down to the underlying basic scientific conclusions, comes across, to me anyway, as demonstrating much unwritten uncertainty about past and future climate. I could certainly see a conundrum here for the vocal advocates of immediate and strong mitigation of AGW in that they would tend to be hesitant about criticizing the reports conservative bent for fear of indicating fallibility of these scientists/policy makers. I judge that the skeptics will have a much less conflicted opportunity here.

    The general public will mostly see the contents of the Summary and Report presented to them through the media and by word of mouth and how they react will be more in line with their trust of the media’s versions of the reports, or their general trust of the media,than the actual content of them. They will also see it as it might immediately affect them — something politicians will be more sensitive to in how they present the issue.

    My major questions about the summary relate to the use of terms, such as, likely and very likely in the text of the Summary and even in the Summary tables. The use of such terms in and of themselves tend, for me, to put even more uncertainty into the evidence presented as they indicate no quantifiable measure of uncertainty and throw the use of them into the domain of opinion of a smallish group of scientists/policy makers/advocates.

    I think the authors of these reports see this problem and so have been attaching numbers to these terms, such as, over 90% or 66% to 90% confident. This practice of using an indirect reference, and then not even to exact numbers, only demonstrates further to me the uncertainties involved and appears to be going a step further in attempts to legitimize opinions as statistically derived probabilities.

    One could say that all this is done in the name of putting the uncertainties in terms the general public can better understand. To that I would reply: where are the methodologies used to arrive at them and what are the exact numbers? Perhaps I have missed these references, but what I see is simply vague references to expert judgments.

    Surely if expert judgments were used one should see a reference to the number of such judgments used to determine the uncertainty in question, a method of using these judgments to derive a number and what that derived number is. Even better in a transparent world of climatology one would see listed the names of the experts along side their expert judgment indicators. Can anyone here please enlighten me?

  154. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the oceans is generally between 10-50 nM, and is always beening biotically generated. It of course enters the atmosphere and is converted to hydroxyl racial by UV light. This can react with both methane, nitric oxide and chloride ion. I wonder if the increase in hydroxyl radical is due to the drop in chloronated hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and an increase in uv?

  155. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Re: #153

    For some reason, here on CA, that I work in climate science, and that Jones works in climate science, means that I can persuade Jones to release his work, or that because of his refusal, anything I say or do is somehow suspicious or not to be trusted. It’s basically a way to “attack” me because of the very tenuous association between myself and Jones. It’s rather silly.

    Gary S., I have written here to the overly optimistic and unrealistic expectations that people have had of you and others, who, like you, that have come to CA from a profession involved in the broad field of climatology, in informing them.

    If you can get by the rhetorically posed questions such as this one, I think that instead of feeling victimized you would be flattered.

  156. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    One of the interesting quiet side streets in the IPCC technical report is the section on stratospheric water vapor. The section (3.4.2, page 3-35) states:

    “To summarize, water vapor in the stratosphere has shown significant long-term variability and an apparent upward trend over the last half of the 20’th century, but with no further increase since 1996.”

    The year 1996 rang a bell. I took a look at the NCDC 2006 report and saw this lower stratospheric temperature chart .

    The chart shows (besides volcanic interruptions) a downward trend in temperature until about 1996, then a leveling.

    So, water vapor increased until 1996 and then leveled, while temperatures cooled until 1996 and then leveled. Hmmm.

    The NCDC text says:

    The below average stratospheric temperatures are consistent with the depletion of ozone in the lower stratosphere and the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

    A casual read of that statement might leave one with the impression that the lower stratospheric temperature pattern is a fingerprint of human activity (ozone depletion, CO2, CH4), and indeed I think it is sometimes cited as evidence of the (human) greenhouse impact.

    But, if the temperature pattern is at least partly related to water vapor (a GHG of course), then maybe at least part of the pattern is natural and this stratospheric evidence for AGW might not be so strong.

    But, could the water vapor change be due to man? Well, here’s what the IPCC section says:

    “It does not appear that this behavior is a straightforward consequence of known climate changes. Although ideas have been put forward there is no consensus as to what caused either the upward trend or its (1996) disappearance.”

    Bottom line: we don’t know. Perhaps some things in nature are, well, natural.

  157. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Re: 153

    Thanks for the compliment (if I interpret you correctly) but from my point of view, unless I can jump through everyone else’s hoops to their satisfaction, everything I offer is worthless.

  158. Demesure
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    I found this graph which shows clearly with IPCC’s own numbers that model’s uncertainty has INCREASED compared to the 2001 SPM, exactly the reverse of what they tell.
    What’s wrong here ?

  159. Lee
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    I notice that the “2000 climate experts” on the IPCC are now “2,500 leading climate scientists”. There’s no list of participants on the IPCC site and I haven’t been able to google anything. Does anyone know who these folks are? I very much doubt that most of the countries represented could come up with a couple of “leading climate scientists” but, scientists or not, I’ll bet the farm that almost all of them are bureaucrats. I do know that the Chairman is an industrial engineer and consumate international bureaucrat. CAN ANYONE POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO GET SOME INFO ON THIS?

    I used to do quite a bit of consulting for the U.N. (not in climate science) and I had a ringside seat on the deterioration of the organization’s technical side, to the point that many of their in-house people couldn’t find their asses with both hands.

  160. Mike Carney
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Re: 158

    Thanks for being the first person here on CA who’s recognized that I’m not responsible for Jones’ refusal to release his work.

    For someone who has complained bitterly about generalizations, this is a pretty expansive comment. It is also a straw man. The question is simply whether you agree that science would be better served by having Jones data available. Your inability to simply say yes to that is definitely a roadblock to my considering you a fair arbiter in the debate. India’s national security was an imaginative distraction but even if true it does not change the question. Is science better served by having data and methods available to all for examination? A baby step from that is saying “yes, it would be beneficial if Phil Jones publicly provided all his data and methods”. What is amazing is the fear making this simple statement seems to engender. Will the field of climatology come crashing down as result? What is the hangup?

  161. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Re: 160

    Examine the list of authors. There’s part of your list. BTW, how many of that 2,500, given your “almost all”, would qualify as bureaucrats?

  162. i no
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Re #124

    use of lower case

    my Goddess has instructed me to inform all you lowly male scientists that it is obligatory for submissive males to use lower case for their names whenever possible.

    i don’t dare tell you what She will do if i do not comply with her request as i suspect that even this message might not make it through the filtration process.

    Since my Goddess is a believer in Global Warming, i must point out that busy scientists likely do not have the time to live the lifestyle 24/7 as every good boy secretly desires.

    Never-the-less it seems likely that worshippers of Gaia are not all involved in what those of us who are into the scene call “vanilla relationships”, and indeed are good candidates for attaining true enlightenment through servitude to their Goddesses.

    just kidding about some of this

  163. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Alright, here is a response:

    “No, but the previous 30 years things were reversed (rising CO2, falling temps), which calls to question the last 30 years. I.e. using only the last 30 years is an unrepresentative sample. This is part of the problem with what gets played out in the media. If you haven’t had some good statistical training, the “correlation” in the last 30 years may sound impressive.”

    Sure, but it is at least interesting. And it’s not as though advocates of agc theory have been ignoring the previous periods!

    “The point of the proxies is to look back a few thousand years to get better representation. Unfortuanately, they have too many flaws to be useful (currently).”

    Maybe so, but let’s both agree that this suggests agnosticism about agw at best. What impresses me, I guess, is: where are all the studies that claim there is a *negative* correlation between temperature and CO2? Or that warming since 1975 can be entirely explained by natural factors? There is plenty of hand-waving and criticism of others’ work, but if it’s all so obviously wrong, where is the data?

    “Note that I’m not saying we aren’t impacting the climate. I’m also not saying things haven’t warmed (though the magnitude is questionable for various other reasons). It’s just that the methods that are being employed currently are incapable of showing this.”

    Alright, fair enough. But let me ask you this: what do you think it would take to show this?

    “Add to that the sleight of hand by “the team,” and I’m going to doubt their conclusions.”

    Personally I’m totally uninterested in “The Team”. I’m interested in the data, and the conclusions we can draw from it.

    “Again, wrong. In order to show some correlation that is valid, you need to understand what it has been doing for a long period of time. 30 years is hardly long enoug, particularly, as I’ve already noted, when the previous 30 years showed the opposite.”

    But…we think we do understand. Holocene climate has been remarkably stable. Until now, that is. And again, things like aerosols seem to be enough to account for things like the previous cooling.

    “The short-term correlation between GHGs and temperature are not what I’m talking about. Those, as I’ve stated, are simply too small of a sample to make any inference (if you take the 70 year average, it is almost 0, btw).”

    Actually the correlation I get since 1958 (I don’t know of co2 numbers before that) is pretty good. Or let me ask you this: how many years would it take before you thought the sample was large enough? (And FWIW, the oceans may be absorbing carbon from year to year at different ra

    “Michael Mann’s “hockey stick.””

    I am still trying to understand Mann’s mistake, but again, I am not really interested in the Hockey Stick. It is old news. For that matter, I’m fairly certain that Mann doesn’t address gg emissions at all! He’s just trying to describe the climate of past centuries. Again, the thing for me is: where are all the studies whch use the data to show that current temperatures are *not* unique for the Holocene? If it’s so obvious, where are the studies?

    “Since we know there is an 11-year cycle, applying an 11-year averaging and you get about 3 real points.”

    I’m afraid I don’t understand this. If solar output were actually increasing, for example, over an entire cycle, it would start to show up even after only a few years. You can smooth it, sure, but it’s not like the average waits until the 11th year to change. If you want to smooth it over 11 years, fine, but then you have 23 points over a 33-year period, not 3.

    “There’s a plot of smoothed solar activity running around here somewhere… try “An Inconvenient Graphic.” I’d link to it, but my load times are ferociously long right now.”

    Maybe you mean one of the graphs on the Wikipedia page:

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

    The sunspot graphs, for example, don’t seem to correlate at all with temperatures since about 1950 or so. Granted, that Beryllium isotope graph is interesting, but it’s the only one that I can see that correlates well with late 20th c. temperatures.

    This is what I don’t get–critics accuse agw theory of lacking causal mechanisms–but when you ask them for their causal mechanisms, they can’t provide a specific solar cycle to cause current temperatures–they can only assume that there must be one.

    “That’s why I’m taking the time to answer, rather than bicker as I do with some other.”

    Thank you–I truly appreciate it. It is nice that these arguments can sometimes be civil.

  164. John Lang
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    You don’t think this chart of C14 correlates well with temperature?

  165. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Mike Carney, you say:

    For some reason, here on CA, that I work in climate science, and that Jones works in climate science, means that I can persuade Jones to release his work, or that because of his refusal, anything I say or do is somehow suspicious or not to be trusted. It’s basically a way to “attack” me because of the very tenuous association between myself and Jones. It’s rather silly.

    Nobody expects you to be able to persuade Jones of anything. People would simply like to see where you stand on the question, because so far, the public silence from climate scientists on this egregious breach of the scientific method has been deafening. I’ve written to Jones about it, not because I thought he would change his mind, but because he needs to know that people out here are watching.

    So, where do you stand on this issue? To date, it’s not just Jone’s stand on the question that is “suspicious”, it is also yours.

    w.

    PS – I’ve also filed a FOI request for the information, which may or may not be more effective … I’ll let you know if it comes to anything.

  166. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    #165–nope. It stops around 1940. Studies seem to show that increased radiation since then is not enough to account for current temperatures. It can probably explain much of, if not most of, warming up until then. But since then there has been more–so where’s the c14?

    (And if you want to claim that current climate is in a chaotic response to solar radiation, that we don’t understand, fine–but, again, where’s the evidence?

  167. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    #143:

    The biggest change has happened with natural gas production and distribution. Oil companies are not just releasing natural gas into the air like they use to.

    Exactly. But it’s bigger than that. Venting and flaring are huge producers of NG/methane. It’s way beyond transportation leakages. When NG is tapped which is associated with targeted oil deposits, normally most places in the world it was vented as waste, or flared which is better, but inefficient. The big change began in the 1990’s when the Persian Gulf states and Nigeria realized the gas might have export value in light of LNG technologies and changing markets, including emissions regulations. (There might even be some new tech using associated gas for infusion to push out creaky oil deposits.)

    If this well-known source of methane is ignored in the studies behind IPCC, they are incompetent,

    I see here and there they talk about leakages, incomplete combustion, but never the human activities of venting and flaring.

  168. bruce
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Re #166: Willis, your quote is actually from #153 posted by Gary Strand. I think Mike Carney might be upset to have that quote attributed to him!!

  169. David Smith
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    RE #154 Ken, excellent post. I have no answers. I suspect that your ( c ) is close to the mark, and indicates the extent to which ideology and evangelism are woven into the topic.

    On judgment calls, it would be nice to see something like many judicial systems use, wherein the minority writes an opinion. The opinion does not have to appear in the main body but should be available.

  170. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    #164 mzed

    1935-1975: no correlation between CO2 and temp

    1975-2005: correlation

    So, which one should I use?

    Now this: noboby to my knowledge has tested the hypothesis that cosmic rays enhance cloud formation in a GCM, and checked what would come out of it. Indeed, GCM’s cannot modelize cloud formation. But some have shown that a small percentage of variation in clouds result in just as large a forcing as the purported GHG’s.

    Also: changes in solar irradiance due to orbital changes are just a few tens of a percent, yet temperatures changed by about 10C. This is a still unexplained fact. So how can we justify assigning a small role to changes in solar irradiance TODAY, if obviously such changes had a much larger effect in the past? I would be delighted if you would give me an answer to that simple question.

  171. mzed
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    #171, you can use both! It’s just that co2 (so the argument goes) wasn’t the primary driver of temperatures before roughly the 1970s.

    But cosmic rays are interesting–I’m guessing that there will be more studies about this in the future. (I’m sure there are feedbacks we don’t understand yet!) So far they don’t seem to be enough. But I admit our information could change. As for nonlinear effects of solar irradiation, I admit that all I can do is trust the models–in other words, assume that scientists much smarter than I already know all about it, and that when they say they can’t get solar irradiation to account for recent warmth, they mean it. I think it is not argued, for example, that there have been any major orbital changes within the last century or two, certainly.

  172. charlesH
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    #146,166

    Gary,

    We are waiting for you to publicly demand that Jones release his data and methods and then ask all climate scientist to make the same demand.

    What are you afraid of?

  173. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 4, 2007 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    #173. Charles H, please give it a rest with respect to Gary.

  174. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Bruce, you say:

    Re #166: Willis, your quote is actually from #153 posted by Gary Strand. I think Mike Carney might be upset to have that quote attributed to him!!

    Indeed, my apologies to Mike Carney, I was moving too fast.

    w.

  175. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    Here is my list of IPCC bias:

    overestimation of future population growth (A2 scenario)
    overestimation of future fossil fuel use (A1FI scenario)
    overestimation of future economic growth (A1B scenario)
    forgetting the nuclear option (A1T scenario)
    overestimation of future CO2 sink saturation
    overestimation of historic aerosol cooling
    underestimation of solar forcing
    neglection of unforced internal variability of the climate system
    overestimation of historic volcanic cooling

    As a compound effect indeed you could arrive at the conclusion that 90% of recent warming would be man made.

    Still my take is that the half life of CO2 is less than fifty years, emission growth won’t be explosive, climate sensitivity is about 1K/2xCO2 and the sun will be cooling in the next thirty years.

    What would this imply for the precautionary principle when in this viable alternative scenario cold years are ahead and fossil fuels are running out?

  176. Consense
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    It would be interesting to survey the opinion of these 2000 scientists with a simple questionnaire such as:

    On a scale of 0 to 100 percent please indicate in your opinion

    1 How much of the observed global surface temperature warming is anthropogenic?

    2 How closely does the SPM reflect your knowledge of climate change?

    2 How much of the world’s resources should be allocated to reducing global warming?

  177. Vasco
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    Our old friend Martijn van Calmthout is at it again in Saturday’s Volkskrant article about the issue of SPM4. Whining about ad hominem attacks of climate skeptics on IPCC executives who had and will have to leave because of these kind of attacks. Specific writes of Mann and Co are victims of these villain attacks.

    General idea of the article is that IPCC listened to climate skeptics but did not used much as there’s no news for them. One Dutch climate skeptic was interviewed but nothing was used. he got the idea that he was merely used as an excuse.

  178. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Re: 161

    “The question is simply whether you agree that science would be better served by having Jones data available.”

    Assuming that the benefit to science of Jones’ releasing the data would be greater than some sources refusing to provide data in the future because of that release.

    Why imply dark motives to Jones when something much less sinister is probably part of the reason?

  179. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Gary Strand, thank you for your response. You say:

    “The question is simply whether you agree that science would be better served by having Jones data available.”

    Assuming that the benefit to science of Jones’ releasing the data would be greater than some sources refusing to provide data in the future because of that release.

    Why imply dark motives to Jones when something much less sinister is probably part of the reason?

    If Jones’ motive for not releasing the top-secret data about the temperature in Addis Abbaba or somewhere is that in future they will refuse to provide him with data, he should say so … but he has not said that. You ask, “Why imply dark motives to Jones …”? Actually, we’re not in mystery about Jones’ motives, he has been quite clear about them:

    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 February 2005; confirmed by P. Jones)

    Now, I don’t see anything in there about sources in the future refusing to make data available. And for a scientist, refusing to release your data because you don’t want someone to find errors in it is certainly a “dark motive” in my book.

    That’s why I am both shocked and saddened by the unwillingness of many climate scientists to speak out on this question. It is your field, he is bringing disrepute to everyone working in your field. Jones has made his motives crystal clear, there’s no mystery about it – he doesn’t want people to find errors in his work. Between Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Briffa, Thompson, and others, the whole field is getting a very bad name for scientific misconduct, for the hiding of data and methods. Scientifically, these actions are inexcusable.

    If you don’t clean up your own house, your own credibility will be the inevitable victim. It is not fair that you be tarred with this brush, as I suspect you do not engage in those practices, but it is the unfortunate way of the world “¢’‚¬? you are judged by the company you keep.

    So why the reluctance to speak out about this? It appears that you must have your reasons, and they may very well be good ones … I’m just very curious about what those reasons might be.

    With much appreciation to you for your participation in this discussion,

    w.

  180. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Assuming that the benefit to science of Jones’ releasing the data would be greater than some sources refusing to provide data in the future because of that release.

    The fault is also with the U.S. DOE who funded the data collection. They said that their contracts did not require Jones to archive the data. If I were them, I’d tell Jones that, even if he tricked me on past contracts, if he wanted another DOE nickel, he’d voluntarily archive the data.

  181. richardT
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    #168
    Different sources of methane have different isotopic compositions, both for d13C and delta-D. This constrains the possible contributions of different methane sources as the changes in isotopic composition of atmospheric methane is known.

  182. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Re: 180

    “If you don’t clean up your own house, your own credibility will be the inevitable victim. It is not fair that you be tarred with this brush, as I suspect you do not engage in those practices, but it is the unfortunate way of the world “¢’‚¬? you are judged by the company you keep.”

    I don’t even know Phil Jones. That he works in climate science, and I work in climate science, is the only connection between us. I have nothing to do with his research. The problem isn’t strictly with his refusal to release; it’s with those who, taking offense at his refusal, imply that all of us in climate science are less credible because of his actions. Yes, it is blatantly unfair, and those who continue to impugn the credibility and/or motives of others in climate science are part of the problem – even when they comment about how wrong it is.

  183. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Re: 173, 174

    Thanks to Steve M for putting Charles H in his place.

  184. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    #172 Mzed,

    #171, you can use both! It’s just that CO2 (so the argument goes) wasn’t the primary driver of temperatures before roughly the 1970s.

    So has the physics of CO2 changed suddenly in the 1970’s? And what about the pre-1950 warming? GHG? Solar irradiance? But then the sun reached a new high in the 1950’s. How is it that models that don’t take GHG into account actually show a drop in temperature during that period? Why should I trust those models? Maybe you “trust” the scientists, but then that’s all you have. I don’t trust scientists, presumably because I am one myself… When I’m asked to review a paper, the right attitude is to say: I don’t trust anything that’s written in there. So you play the devil’s advocate and look for contradictions, unproven assumptions, hidden flaws. A good paper will stand on its own, but you’d be surprised how many don’t under the slightest critical scrutiny. We’ve seen this here with the temperature reconstructions. Now the case for AGW may look solid, but when you start digging and look at individual papers, you realize how shaky many of them are, so that the whole construction is, in the end, a giant house of cards. Remove a single one, and the whole thing crumbles. So if your reason for “believing” in AGW is that you trust scientists, fine. As for myself, I find that there are just too many holes that remain to be filled. The problem with climate science is that the social and funding environment makes it really difficult for anyone to propose alternative explanations. Haven’t you figured that out?

  185. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re: 181

    Steve,
    As a US tax payer, I strongly object to the DOE not requiring Jones to archive his data and methods.

    Gary,
    I appreciate anything that you have added to the discussion here as well as your future contributions. I never meant for you to infer from my comments that I expected you to get Phil Jones to archive his data.

    To add to Willis’ post above, I am amazed that not only the climate science community, but also many scientists in other fields, have not demanded that Jones release his data. His work forms one of the primary supports for the conclusions of the SPM. His work is referenced either directly or indirectly in the vast majority of media stories about climate change. Without Jones’ work, Al Gore’s movie would have been far less dramatic. It would not be much of a stretch to state that Phil Jones’ work is one of the primary reasons for the “A” in AGW.

    In the scientific fields in which I work, there is a demand for scientists to back up their conclusions with data. I have attended meetings where any scientist who could not or would not provide data to support their concludions discovered that their credibility suddenly vanished. I therefore find it to be surreal that Phil Jones continues to have such credibility when he refuses to release his data.

  186. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Re #183, Gary Strand
    I’m happy to accept that you are a decent honest person, who is trying to do a good job, and to add to the store of human knowledge.
    But when you say :

    I don’t even know Phil Jones. That he works in climate science, and I work in climate science, is the only connection between us. I have nothing to do with his research.

    Are you sure that his work product is not a key input to your models ?

  187. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    Re: 187

    “Are you sure that his work product is not a key input to your models?”

    I’m quite confident that Jones’ data is not an input to the CCSM3. I doubt it would serve much purpose, since CCSM3 doesn’t rely on 5×5 grid boxes of surface temperature anomaly relative to 1961-1990 for anything.

  188. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    In comment #170, David Smith said:

    On judgment calls, it would be nice to see something like many judicial systems use, wherein the minority writes an opinion. The opinion does not have to appear in the main body but should be available.

    That might work if we could see a truly dissenting opinion/judgment on each major part of the overall climate warming issue. In the case of the US Supreme Court there have been cases where the single dissenting opinion (out of 9) carried more influence and weight after a passage of time.

    In comment #177, Consense said:

    It would be interesting to survey the opinion of these 2000 scientists with a simple questionnaire such as:

    On a scale of 0 to 100 percent please indicate in your opinion

    1 How much of the observed global surface temperature warming is anthropogenic?

    2 How closely does the SPM reflect your knowledge of climate change?

    2 How much of the world’s resources should be allocated to reducing global warming?

    Consense, I take away the opinion that most climate scientists tend to work in specialized fields within the general and broader field of climate science and probably will not have significant expertise outside their chosen specialty field. That being the case I would rather have them confine their opinions/judgments to their specialties and then primarily relate it to the uncertainty they would have with a given conclusion coming out of their field.

    My guess is that answers to broad and generalized questions will give one a better estimate of the political leanings of the scientists and where they stand on policy advocacy. Those are the answers that I have stated before that I deeply discount, since it is not the scientist that’s answering, but, instead, the citizen.

  189. Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Mzed, Despite the plateau in solar activity since the 1940s, solar is still probably a significant contributer to the recent warming. If you read the climate commitment studies of Wigley and Meehl, you will see that equilibration to a new level of forcing takes decades to centuries. Solanki has shown that the current plateau in solar activity is perhaps the highest in the last 8000 years and has less than 8% chance of continuing past the year 2050 based on the length of past periods of high activity. Most of the heat capacity in our climate system is in the oceans, not the atmosphere, and they give the climate system some inertia in its response to new levels of forcings.

    Credible apportionment of relative attribution of the recent warming among solar, internal climate modes, GHGs, other human influences (aerosols, land use, etc.) will probably take models accurate to better than 0.1W/m^2 globally and annually averaged. They are currently probably two orders of magnitude off. Keep in mind the energy imbalance that we are trying to attribute and project is on the order of only 0.5 to 0.8W/m^2. Roesch alone (see my other posts), has documented correlated error of 2.7 to 3.8W/m^2.

  190. charlesH
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    The fact that Jones has not been forced to release his data and methods says much about:

    Fellow climate scientists

    Climate science funding organizations

    Politicians proposing AGW legislation

    For my part I have emailed Senator Inhofe asking him to address this issue of non-disclosure.

    http://www.inhofe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm

    A few hundred emails from readers of CA might help.

  191. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Re: 191

    What does Jones’ non-disclosure say about climate scientists, CharlesH – and I mean specifics…

  192. charlesH
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Gary.

    Any scientist that does not believe in full disclosure of data and methods so that experimental and analytical results can be reproduced by others is not a credible scientist. Or maybe they do believe in full disclosure but are afraid to criticize others in the field for fear of damage to their careers.

    I find it interesting that the most credible skeptics are not in a position to seek GW grants. Most are retired climate scientists or engineers/scientists/statisticians … in other fields.

    You appear to support full disclosure for your own data and methods. Don’t you think all climate scientists should?

  193. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #189 What Consense was trying to illustrate is that 2000 scientists were not unanimous (consensus term used) in the so-called Report. They did their part in analysis and the first draft. Then it starts to get summarized by the ones at the top of the food chain – also not experts in ALL the fields. This is illustrated by the departure of Chris Landsea last a year or so ago. And his letter is still on the web so I do not have to put words in his mouth.

  194. jae
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    172:

    But cosmic rays are interesting–I’m guessing that there will be more studies about this in the future. (I’m sure there are feedbacks we don’t understand yet!) So far they don’t seem to be enough. But I admit our information could change.

    If you substitute GHGs for cosmic rays here, you can see my slant.

  195. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    re: #188 Gary,

    I’m quite confident that Jones’ data is not an input to the CCSM3.

    I rather doubt the CCSM3 doesn’t rely on Jones data at least indirectly. But even direct references might be hard to find off hand with all the documentation which would have to be examined. I tried a quick look at

    CLM Tech Notes

    Dated May 2004. Haven’t had much time to look it over yet and don’t know if I will later but here’s one interesting statement from p 27 of 186:

    The fractional cover of urban is currently zero pending completion of an urban parameterization.

    Now that statement is going on 3 years ago, so perhaps you can let us know if the Urban parameterization has been completed and implemented yet and if so with what results?

  196. Phil Southworth
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    The following seems to have been missed
    SPM page1

    . The annual carbon dioxide concentration growth-rate was larger during the last 10 years (1995 — 2005 average: 1.9 ppm per year), than it has been since the beginning of continuous direct atmospheric measurements (1960–2005 average: 1.4 ppm per year) although there is year-to-year variability in growth rates.

    Page2

    ). The carbon dioxide radiative forcing increased by 20% from 1995 to 2005, the largest change for any decade in at least the last 200 years. {2.3, 6.4}

    1.9ppm over 10 years = 19ppm = a little more than 5% increase in carbon dioxide( 360 to 379 ppm).
    How can this be translated into a 20% increase in radiative forcing. Surely this is gross exaggeration!!

  197. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    RE: #73 – Say what? The core of the “AGW movement” are a bunch of Boomers who are in the upper 40s and 50s. It’s the younger generations who are most strongly questioning it. You are way off the mark….

  198. jae
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    mzed says:

    But again, most of what you get in the skeptics’ cirlces is criticism–where are the positive studies providing an alternative hypothesis? Exactly which solar cycle could be causing the current warming? Where are the tree-ring reconstructions which *do* show a MWP warmer than it is today? (Not even Mr. McIntyre has said he can provide that!) Perhaps the models are inadequate–but why does that mean they’re *wrong*, or deserve only mockery and sarcasm?

    Another very logical explanation for the current warming is that it is natural. And there are dozens of proxy studies and historical evidence for this. Here’s a good start for the wealth of information on this “alternative hypothesis.” (See Medieval Warming Period).

    (apologize if this has been covered. there are simply too many postings to keep up on these days).

  199. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Re#74 mzed,

    You ask a reasonable question. Let me reiterate:

    “What would it take to prove to you-or even to simply demonstrate-that greenhouse gases produced by human activity cause a global temperature forcing that is currently dominating the rise in average global surface temperatures?”

    I would be taken part way there if someone could explain the differences between the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and the Southern (SH).

    Increased concentrations of CO2 are fairly ubiquitous in the atmosphere. Therefore I would have thought that the enhanced radiative forcing should be consistent around the globe.

    IR from the surface is captured by the greenhouse gases in the troposphere. This warms the troposphere and reduces the heat flux from the surface maintaining the surface at a nominal 15°C.

    I can understand that adding more greenhouse gases could result in more IR being captured and higher troposphere temperatures could result in higher surface temperatures.

    It’s really quite simple.

    But it’s not. The SH is warming slower than the NH when all things being equal it shouldn’t. Of course things aren’t quite equal. There is more water in the SH and that it acts as a heat sink that mitigates the incremental surface warming caused by troposphere warming.

    But it is not just the surface that is warming slower, so is the troposphere. In fact it is not clear that the troposphere in the SH is actually warming.

    The enhance greenhouse warming is also supposed to more prevalent in cold dry air because water vapour (a much stronger greenhouse gas) could mask the impacts of CO2, so you would expect more of an incremental warming at the poles where the air is very cold and very dry. This is the explanation of why the Arctic is warming. Why isn’t the Antarctic warming?

    If these differences could be explained in a cogent description of greenhouse warming I might be more inclined to accept your position.

  200. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Re:#60 Pat Frank,

    You said:

    When Hansen and Cicerone as modern Cassandras raised the issue back in 1986-88, the eNGOs picked it up and ran with it.

    Who do you think Cassandra is/was?

  201. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    #201 — modern or ancient usage?

  202. charlesH
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    #192,193

    Gary,

    Let me add….

    In a CA thread some asked…. If the IPCC “consensus” is so flawed why don’t the scientists speak out?

    The fact that climate scientists (with very few exceptions) have allowed Jones to not fully disclose (a non controversial issue) without public censor sheds considerable light on why one sees relatively few criticism of the consensus IPCC view on more controversial topics.

  203. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps the models are inadequate–but why does that mean they’re *wrong*, or deserve only mockery and sarcasm?

    IF someone misrepresents or withholds relevant results, it deserves the strongest possible disapproval. Mann withheld his adverse verification r2 statistics (~0), but said that his model passed verification r2 test. He said that his model was robust to the presence/absence of all dendroclimatic indicators when it’s not robust to the presence/absence of bristlecones. He did a unique adjustment of the Gaspe data to “improve” his results. Ammann got exactly the same verification r2 for his emulation of Mann that we got, but issued a national press release that all our results were “unfounded”. Long before I had a blog, Mann wrote to a magazine trying to suppress an article on the basis that I was “dishonest”. They use the same proxies over and over and call the results “independent”.

    So why shouldn’t I be sarcastic from time to time?

  204. Gerald Browning
    Posted Feb 5, 2007 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve M.

    The American Meteorological Society has issued a statement on Climate Change that you might want to peruse (see their web site).

  205. TonyN
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    Page 12 of SPM4 says:

    “There is now higher confidence in projected patterns of warming and other regional-scale features including changes in wind patterns, precipitation, and some aspects of extremes and of ice.”

    The predictions that follow cover a lot of the scare scenarios that the press have used to sex-up coverage of the report: loss of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, loss of permafrost, typhoons and hurricanes etc.

    Out of 8 predictions, only 3 have confidence levels attributed to them. Am I missing something or is this rather odd when they are claiming that confidence is increasing and therefor they must have assessed the confidence that can be attributed to each?

  206. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    There is higher confidence with the public, so it has to be true.
    Kinda circular reasoning.

  207. TonyN
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    #207
    Thanks Hans. I just wish what you say wasn’t true.

  208. TAC
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    Today’s NYT has a couple of articles, on the SPM, as well as a profile on Susan Solomon, and a bunch of letters to the editor.

  209. george h.
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    There’s also a nice piece by George Will in Newsweek posted here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16960409/site/newsweek/.

  210. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Re:#202 Pat Frank,

    In the context of your sentence.

  211. Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    I do hope I have not committed some sort of Blog impropriety but I am so delighted to have found this site that I have written two posts over at my place pointing my reader in your direction. In my last post I could not resist lifting Comments #34 by Quince and #55 by Steve Sadlov and reprinting them verbatim. I beg the pardon of both those gentlemen for my bare-faced cheek!

  212. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    RE: #77- Dontchaknow…. most geologists are shills for Big Oil or strip mining companies. /sarc.

  213. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Re: 196

    “I rather doubt the CCSM3 doesn’t rely on Jones data at least indirectly.”

    CCSM3 can’t constructively use a 5×5 array of surface temperature anomalies with lots of missing data. I’m quite familiar with the drivers for the atmospheric component, and I can safely say I’ve never seen Jones’ data used in driving CCSM3.

    As for the urban parameterization, I’m not familiar enough with CLM to know one way or another.

  214. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #214, Gary Strand
    So what does it use ?

  215. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Re: 215

    The input forcings CCSM3 uses depends on what you’re doing with it. See the CCSM website for specifics.

  216. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    I can safely say I’ve never seen Jones’ data used in driving CCSM3.

    The following paper Tropical Pacific and Atlantic Climate Variability in CCSM3 url says that it used:

    2) SST from HadISST (Rayner et al., 2003) during 1900-2003 on a 1º grid; 3) Air temperature over land from the CRU TS 2.0 dataset (Mitchell [Jones] et al., 2003);

  217. jae
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    164, mzed:

    The sunspot graphs, for example, don’t seem to correlate at all with temperatures since about 1950 or so. Granted, that Beryllium isotope graph is interesting, but it’s the only one that I can see that correlates well with late 20th c. temperatures.

    ?? Please see figure 5 here.

  218. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Re: 217

    I should have been more clear – none of the CCSM3 IPCC AR4 runs used Jones’ data as a forcing input dataset.

  219. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 6, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    #219. I don’t think that anyone ever suggested that you used CRU temperature data as a forcing to estimate temperature. That would seem a bit redundant. (ALthough Mann used instrumental temperature as a supposed “proxy” ). I presume that the issue is whether you used CRU data to tune or estimate your model, in which case the provenance and methodology of the CRU data would be relevant.

  220. David Smith
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    One of the most important aspects of global warming is arguably the dullest: humidity. So, I apologize in advance.

    So, what does the IPCC (section 3.4.2) say about the evidence for water vapor increases?

    First, in so many words, it says that much of the instrumentation has problems and sometimes geographical and temporal coverage is a problem. Also, there is a lot of El Nino-related variability in the upper atmosphere (the data is noisy). Bottom line – there are few clear, unambiguous findings.

    Lower atmosphere: The IPCC gives evidence that, in the lowest kilometer or two of the atmosphere, where the air mixes easily and oceans are nearby, rising temperatures lead to greater water vapor. I think the evidence is strong for this.

    Middle atmosphere: Things get fuzzy above this low mixed layer. This is probably because the near-surface mixed-layer air does not easily rise and mix with the middle and upper air – it needs “help”, which are weather conditions that cause rising air. Areas of rising air are generally accompanied by rain or snow which, as we all know, exist but don’t cover the entire globe all the time.

    The IPCC seems to duck the question of whether water vapor is increasing in the middle troposphere, so I offer several charts of “specific humidity” (water vapor) at different parts of the low and mid troposphere. (I don’t go above 500mb for instrumental-reliability reasons.)

    Global near-surface (100 meters height) water vapor trend is here . Water vapor increases with rising temperature – no surprise. The plot, in fact, mirrors surface temperature pretty well. (This is US NCEP data, by the way.)

    Water vapor at 1,500 meters height is given here . Unlike the surface, the air in the upper mixed layer is showing little or no increase.

    Water vapor at 3,000 meters height is given here . No increase in water vapor.

    Water vapor at 5,600 meters height is given here . Perhaps a slight decrease.

    Conclusion – it looks to me like the middle atmosphere is not responding to higher temperature by increasing its water vapor content. That’s inconsistent with the models which, to the best of my knowledge, increase middle troposphere water vapor.

    Next: trends in the upper and total troposphere.

  221. george h.
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    Would someone explain why release of the Jones dataset is important? Aren’t there other sources of raw data available eg. NCDC and non-US counterparts? And why can’t Jones be required to release this data through the MOD Freedom of Information Act described here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/legal/foi.html

  222. TAC
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    george h. (#222):

    Would someone explain why release of the Jones dataset is important?

    Until it is released, one really cannot provide a specific answer to that question. However, the general answer is that secrecy is inherently corrupting.

  223. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    re: #222

    the general answer is that secrecy is inherently corrupting.

    But a more specific answer is that a lot of people don’t trust the way warmers treat UHI effects. Until it can be shown, reproducably, that it’s been done properly a lot of skeptics, myself included, won’t believe the high surface temperature increases we’ve been.

    I know, the claim is that UHI isn’t important since only a small % of the land surface is urban, but if the supposed rural stations which are used to represent the non-urban areas are actually being gradually contaminated by encroaching urban influence, then this will affect all of the land surface, not just the urban portion. That’s why it’s important to check how the adjustments are done to see if they work properly.

  224. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    David Smith, again, I have to make the same point. The “data” you are supplying is the result of climate model. While such computer results are valuable, they are not “data” in the commonly accepted sense of the world.

    w.

  225. bruce
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Re #222, 223, 224.

    Calculating a global mean temperature over 100 years or more is a very challenging exercise. Much of this is explained at http://www.junkscience.com/GMT/index.htm#graphs. Please don’t dismiss this just because it is junkscience. The discussion of the issues is very useful.

    The population of temperature stations around the world has changed, and in fact has reduced in recent years. How is this adjusted for?

    A significant number of Siberian stations have closed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. On a non-adjusted basis, removing these very cold data-points would cause warming. Further, there is evidence that in the days of the Soviet Union, state support in cold regions was increased if temperatures were lower, thus giving an incentive for bias.

    There are many other issues, including of course the UHI effects. As I understand it, towns less than 10,000 people are counted as rural. Add to that the many temperature stations located at airports with low resident populations, but clear local warming effects and you can begin to see that UHI effects could in fact be an issue.

    Given all these issues, it is crucial how the temperature series are adjusted. Mr Jones and his colleagues present pre-adjusted data series that the whole world seems to accept (0.6 Deg C rise in global mean temperature over the 20th Century), but refuse to follow normal and accepted scientific practice of disclosing data series and adjustment processes (“Trust me, I’m a climate scientist!”).

    Many of us consider that if major changes are to be made to the way we all live, at huge cost, then we are justified in asking the purveyors of the information to prove to us that the series have been prepared properly, as is entirely normal in science.

    In fact, those that defend Mr Jones’ practices cast themselves as a) either not understanding normal scientific practice, or b) knowingly supporting active breaches of such standards.

    “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

  226. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    re: 67 & 108

    DocMartyn,

    I was very impressed with both of your posts here even though I am not sure I understand your graphs on 108. Can you explain what they mean?

  227. bruce
    Posted Feb 7, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    It was unfortunate that the server problems came to a head at just the time the 4AR SPM and the Fraser Institute Independent SPM were published (can’t be helped of course and maybe the heavy traffic was part of the problem). There were probably numerous posts on this fascinating topic, and hopefully we can revive the discussion here.

    There has been an interesting disdcussion over at RC re the Fraser Institute ISPM, mostly with predictable positions being adopted.

    I have read the Fraser Institute ISPM and found it to be very useful indeed. Of special note was that it shows how the SAME underlying information can be interpreted/summarised in different ways. It also makes clear just what a farce the IPCC has created in refusing to release the body of 4AR now, but instead defer that release until May. It looks to me that that strategy could be backfiring on them big-time.

  228. Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Willis, from dictionary.com:

    daⶴum /ˈdeɪtÉ™m, ˈdà¦tÉ™m, ˈdÉ‘tÉ™m/ ‘€”noun, plural daⶴa /ˈdeɪtÉ™, ˈdà¦tÉ™, ˈdÉ‘tÉ™/
    1. a single piece of information, as a fact, statistic, or code; an item of data.

    Therefore I think it’s valid to call the output of a model “data”. I don’t think it’s valid to call it “measurements” or “observations”, though. It is data in the sense that it is a set of information. However, that information may be meaningless without proof that the model itself is valid. Physical measurements or observations are inherently valid (within their range of uncertainty) – we know that they happen and we strive to explain why. So I agree the two sets of data aren’t equally valid, but I think you can use that term for both.

    Perhaps “data” has a more specific meaning in scientific jargon? If it does, then I am wrong.. but I still think for the sake of clarity, you should stick to the common definition and use another word for measurements/observations.

  229. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    Nicholas, thanks for the clarification. The Encarta dictionary says:

    1. factual information: information, often in the form of facts or figures obtained from experiments or surveys, used as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions

    Merriam Webster says:

    1 : factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation

    The key words here are “factual information”. A result from a computer model is not “factual information” in any sense of the words, and is not a measurement of anything. It is the result of a calculation, often an unknown and incredibly complex calculation. Unlike a temperature measurement, the outcome from a computer program can be changed by modifying a single bit of code.

    I would distinguish between “data” (what we put into a calculation) and “results” (what we get out of a calculation). Data stands on its own. Results are only as good as the calculation. Since the calculations of a GCM reflect the views, beliefs, and errors of the people who created the model, they are not evidence for anything other than the particular prejudices and pre-dispositions of the programmers.

    This situation, of course, is much worse in “iterative” models such as climate models, where the output of one cycle of calculations are used as input for the next calculation. In this case, any inaccuracies in the input data are multiplied in the eventual output, so even if the calculations are done correctly, slight inaccuracies in the input data soon become large errors in the model results.

    w.

  230. David Smith
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

    RE #225 Indeed, for middle atmosphere water vapor, all we have are renanlysis numbers (a mix of actual measurements plus computer-derived fill-in-the-gap numbers). They are indicators, not gospel, especially when looking for small changes in trend.

    There was nothing in the FAR referencing a global-scale mid-atmosphere study. I think that if such a global study existed, and if it showed a rise in water vapor, then it would have been referenced.

    So, I think that the idea of no-rise in middle atmosphere water vapor stands, until FAR, or someone else, offers good evidence otherwise.

    On the near-ground mixed layer, FAR offers a variety of evidence (other than reanalysis) that water vapor varies with temperature. That is consistent with classical meteorology and uncontroversial in my opinion.

    Later today I plan to offer some thoughts on upper-troposphere and water-colunm water vapor. My point will be that there is no clear evidence that the atmosphere is behaving as the models predict.

  231. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    Re: #224 where Dave Dardinger said:

    But a more specific answer is that a lot of people don’t trust the way warmers treat UHI effects. Until it can be shown, reproducably, that it’s been done properly a lot of skeptics, myself included, won’t believe the high surface temperature increases we’ve been.

    Perhaps there is a better way of stating this.

    Temperatures are measured, recorded and compared to previously recorded temperatures to determine if the “climate” is warmer than it was during the previous period. The problem is the assumption that temperatures measured previously represent the same thing that is being measured now. Even if (a very big if) the same measurement device was being used in exactly the same place, you can never be certain that ambient conditions around the measurement device have been changed in a way that would impact the temperatures being measured. These changing ambient conditions are generally referred to as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, but the effect is not limited to urban areas.

    Herein lies the problem. In the TAR the Hockey Stick screamed that it is hotter now than any time in the last 600/1,000 years. In the FAR, the SAR, the TAR and now the AR4, the surface temperature record screamed that it is hotter now than at any time in the last 150⯠years. The shrunk the y-axis way down just to be sure you noted the 0.7⯰.2°C increase over the last 100 years.

    Knowing that they correctly corrected the UHI effect on these temperature trends would be useful in evaluating the veracity of the whole climate change story line.

    BTW: I get the impression that UHI is “corrected” by applying some sort of factor that reduces the current measurement to the presumed ambient conditions of the previuos measurements. In my opinion, this is backwards. The temperature data that you can trust the most is the temperature data that you measured yourself right now. You can see the ambient conditions for yourself. The farther “away” the temperature data is in time the more uncertainty there is in the data. Therefore the UHI correction should be applied to the historical data to reflect what they would have measured back then (whenever that was) if the current ambient conditions had been extant.

  232. Gary Strand
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: 230

    “Unlike a temperature measurement, the outcome from a computer program can be changed by modifying a single bit of code.”

    As if the process of measurement is free of error. How do we know that a temperature measurement is “real”?

  233. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    re: 232-3

    Let’s not get off-track. Thermometers measure temperature. That’s not really a problem. And we know there are errors associated with any measurement device. That also isn’t under question. But we know from the study of statistics that many measurements will reduce the error provided a few assumptions are met. Unfortunately, in the case of global surface temperature measurements, these assumptions haven’t been met. The major assumption which hasn’t been met is that there isn’t a one-sided and growing bias in the measurements. This is in opposition to there being a trend in the actual temperatures. We assume with some authority that there is in fact an upward trend in temperatures globably. The question is if there’s also a growing upward bias due to greater environmental change near weather stations than elsewhere. There are very good reasons to expect that such a bias exists and the failure of the global warming stalwarts to get serious about investigating such things is not a good sign.

    Instead we see papers on night-lights and wind and the warmers think the discussion is over. It’s a joke!

  234. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    RE: #221 – With Pielke Sr, Christy and others in mind, I must wonder about the near surface situation. Since the early 20th century there have been explosions of climate controlled buildings / HVAC in highly developed areas of the Earth, and irrigation agriculture in all areas with rainfall less than about 25 or 30 inches per year. How much have these factors both added to atmospheric moisture content and warmth in the near surface layer?

  235. TAC
    Posted Feb 8, 2007 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Bruce (#228), I just read the Independent Summary for Policy Makers (the Fraser Institute Report) and generally agree with you. It is very readable and interesting. The differences between the SPM and the ISPM seems to be that the ISPM focuses on uncertainties while the SPM emphasizes human involvement. However, aside from the focus, the reports are surprisingly similar. For example, when you look at SPM Table SPM-1 (which summarizes recent trends, assessment of human influence on the trend, and projections for extreme weather events for which there is an observed late 20th century trend) the strongest statement (first row) concerns “warmer and fewer cold days and nights over most land areas” and concludes that the “likelihood of a human contribution to observed trend” is “likely” (i.e. .gt. 66%). That implies a roughly 33% likelihood that there is no human contribution. One might easily conclude, as the ISPM does, that

    Due to the uncertainties involved, attribution of climate change to human cause is ultimately a judgment call.

    Along these lines, the only place where the word “unequivocal” appears in the SPM is on page 4:

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level.

    Presumably the SPM authors find room for equivocation on other issues, which seems entirely consistent with the main point of the ISPM.

  236. Anthony Q
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    Looking at the SPM (Figure SPM-2) I notice that the CO2 radiative forcing component is entirely grouped in the anthropogenic category. Does this mean that there is no natural CO2 and the only natural forcing is due to solar irradiance?

  237. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

    Dear Ron Cram 227, I am not sure if I understand my graphs either. What I wanted to find out was how much “memory” the Earth has of its previous temperature. So does the Earth carry with it a memory of its past, so if a year is hotter or colder than average, how is this manifest in the future? Imagine the Sun has been turned up for a a five year period and than is turned back down, and this manifests itself as a slow rise in the average temperature, then a new stable (higher steady state) and then a fall in thmperature, which may or may not mirror the rise. Now we can look at at the relationship in delta T, between past and future years, for all years. If we plotted the Year 2 minus Year 1 vs. Year 2 minus Year 3, when the temperature is rising Y2-Y1 is positive and Y2-Y3 is negetive; and when the temperature is falling Y2-Y1 is negitive and Y2-Y3 is positive. In the first X-Y plot in post 108 I did this for the English temperature series 1958-2005.
    The most obvious thing is that, England (and other temperature series I have examined), shows no major cooling or warming tends; very few years go normal, cool, cooler, cold, colder or normal, warm, warmer, hot or hotter. The vast majority of trends go warm, cool, warm or cool, warm, cool. This suggest that the Earths mean temperature is highly buffered, presumably by water driven feedback loops. In fact the slope is pretty much identical to that you get using random data

    I have relabelled the figure and put in the 1960-2005 average of each quadrent, and hope I have not taken up too much bandwidth (I am really too stupid to be allowed to use computers). If i am taking up too much room Steve can take away the first draft figure.

    In the second plot I wanted to look at how the Summer winter summer temperature relationship is affeced by changes in absolute temperature. So, what effect does a hot or cold winter have on the followingsummer and winter. This plot will show if Englands (and the Earth) temperature has a greater tendency to cool or to heat up. So do the normal background changes in the energy inputs into the planet affect heating and cooling in the same manner?
    I plotted Summer Y2 minus Winter Y1 against Summer Y2 minus Winter Y1, after averaging both winter and summer (defined as June and July and December and January respectively). The slop of the line that the point fall on tells us how easy or difficult it is to heat and cool the Earth. If the slope was 1, then it is as easy to heat the Earth as to cool it, however the value we find is 0.667. This value suggests that it 1.5 times more difficult to heat the Earth as it is to cool it. So that increasing the energy input by 1% causes a smaller rise in temperature than dropping the input by 1% has on cooling.

    What I would really like is a tree ring series from England, that covers a large part of the 1658-2006 range. If the plot of ring width is used is the same manner as my Y2-Y1 vs. Y2-Y3, has the same slope and quadrent distribution as the temperature plot, then tree rings are a good proxy for temperature. If they do not, then we can pretty much throw out tree ring proxies. This is because the plot of Y2-Y1 vs. Y2-Y3 shows an “intrinsic” relationship between the past and present, and so can be used as an internal control in for deciding if a proxy correlates with temperature.

  238. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Here is the image

  239. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    I guess mzed’s participation here was just a drive by trolling.

  240. cbone
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    SPM page 9

    The equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the climate system response to sustained radiative
    forcing. It is not a projection but is defined as the global average surface warming following a doubling of
    carbon dioxide concentrations. It is likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C,
    and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but
    agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values. Water vapour changes represent the
    largest feedback affecting climate sensitivity and are now better understood than in the TAR. Cloud
    feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

    The IPCC has defined their terms likely, very likely, not likely, etc. with an asociated probablity. They then use these words throughout the document to emphasize their confidence in the various predictions. Thats fine. I don’t think politicians are so number averse that they couldn’t just use the actual probabilities, but hey thats a style issue. What I found curious was their selective use of when they added these ‘qualifiers.’ Note the passage above. When discussing the low end of model projections of 1.5°C, they choose to use the defined modifier very unlikely which correlates to less than 10% probability. However, when you look at the upper boundary, no qualifier… They merely say values above can’t be excluded and then note that the agreement of models and observations is not good for those values. Ok, so if the agreement isn’t good, that means you have done an analysis. You have a probability, why not report it just like you did with the lower boundary? Also notice, no qualifier on the uncertainty based on cloud feedback either…

  241. Ulises
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #238,227,108: Sorry Doc, but the graphs represent nothing but artefacts. Since you include y2 in both variables, both values are higher when y2 is high, and lower when y2 is low. The result is a spurious positive correlation. You could generate the same sort of graph with pure random numbers.

  242. TAC
    Posted Feb 9, 2007 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

    #241: The SPM text reads as if the planet faced a difficult because of AGW; its technical content, employing uniquely defined “terms of art” such as “likely”, “very likely”, etc., suggests that none of the essential conclusions are statistically significant at the alpha=5% level.

    It seems that no matter what happens — even, for example, multiple decades of global cooling — the SPM authors will have enough wiggle room to claim that their science was sound.

    In some sense, this is all as it should be. The uncertainties are huge. The ISPM, relying entirely on IPCC (old drafts of WG1) material, does a nice job of drawing attention to this.

    Of course, it goes without saying that uncertainty cuts both ways: It’s plausible that AGW is both real and much worse than what’s stated in the SPM. ;-)

  243. Posted Apr 15, 2007 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Where would I go to see an independant (i.e. third party) comparison between how well the SPM reflects what Draft #2 actually says and how well ISPM reflects what Draft #2 actually says?

    What would be great to see is, for points where the SPM and ISPM both discuss the same issues in Draft #2, a quote of the excerpt of Draft #2 and the corresponding interpretations of the SPM and ISPM to compare.

    A final question – is there a short summary of the ISPM for laypeople? Something that has the high level conclusions and some discussion. Was there anything decent written in the media about the ISPM?

    Tom

  244. Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Attention: News Editors, Political Reporters, Science and Environment Reporters

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Green plan climate focus divorced from reality

    Why is Parliament refusing to hold unbiased hearings on the science of climate change?

    Ottawa, Canada, April 27, 2007 ‘€”The Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP) calls on the government to immediately suspend all plans to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to convene open consultations into the rapidly evolving science of climate change. CO2, the gas focused on intensely by the Kyoto Protocol and the government’s new action plan’, is not a pollutant; it is an essential reactant in the process of photosynthesis upon which all life depends. Modern climatology research clearly reveals that human emissions of this benign gas are not a primary driver of climate change.

    “Parliamentarians have systematically ignored the many non-government, non-industry climate scientists who question the hopelessly flawed science promoted by United Nations,” said NRSP Chairman, Dr. Timothy Ball. “In both the recent committee hearing into the Government’s Clean Air Act, as well as previous hearings into the Kyoto Implementation Bill, only those who support the increasingly shaky hypothesis that our CO2 emissions have a significant impact on global climate change were permitted to testify. Representatives from all parties share the blame for what has become a national scandal.”

    There has been more climate science research conducted since the creation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that in all history combined before. Yet much of this is entirely ignored on Environment Canada’s Web site and in speeches by Minister John Baird. Statements by the Minister such as “Winter is disappearing as we know it.” (25/04/07) have no foundation in reality and are simply pandering to environmental extremism. Opposition parties are trying to hold the government to even higher rhetorical extremes and the public interest is not being served.

    While NRSP supports sensible plans to reduce air, land and water pollution, it should be noted that many countries have effectively rejected their Kyoto targets. We ask Parliament to rise above the hysteria, and postpone CO2 reduction plans until open, comprehensive climate science hearings have been held. The science isn’t even remotely settled, and Canadians have a right to know.

    For more information or to set up interviews with NRSP participants, please visit http://www.nrsp.com.

  245. Ron Cram
    Posted Apr 28, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    The above link has a period that messes it up. The link is http://www.nrsp.com.

  246. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 29, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    WG1 full is released now, thanks to Peter H for the tip.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

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