IPCC and Data Access

One of the most important IPCC representations is the supposedly tremendous quality control of its review process. I’ve mentioned in passing on a number of occasions that, when I sought to obtain supporting data for then unpublished articles, IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer.

I’ve had a few requests to recount my experience with trying to get data from IPCC for unpublished studies. So here’s a short summary of my correspondence with IPCC.

On August 1, 2005, I was invited by IPCC to act as a reviewer. (I guess this makes me one of the 2500 scientists who support IPCC conclusions, although my review comments have all been ignored as far as I can tell.)

You have been nominated to serve as an Expert Reviewer for the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. The first draft of this report will be available for expert review from Friday, 9 September 2005, with all review comments due by Friday, 4 November 2005.

I accepted. In September 2005, I noticed that the Paleoclimate chapter cited two then unpublished studies by D’Arrigo et al (later D’Arrigo et al 2006) and Hegerl et al (later Hegerl et al J Clim 2006). In order to carry out my responsibilities as a reviewer, I wanted to see the supporting data for these studies and I accordingly wrote to the IPCC Technical Services Unit at UCAR in Boulder on Sep 20, 2005 as follows:

I have been unable to locate supplementary information or data archives for several of the articles posted at the pdf location for Chapter 6 and would appreciate assistance in this regard.
1) Hegerl et al, submitted. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study (which does not even list the proxies used) or post it at your website.
2) D’Arrigo et al, submitted. Again, this data has not been archived at WDCP. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study or post it at your website.

On Sep 22, 2005, Martin Manning of the IPCC/UCAR TSU wrote back refusing to provide this data in the following terms:

… It is normal practice that expert reviewers of scientific works check the references given and the way they are used. We certainly expect this during the review of the first draft of our report and are grateful that you have identified an issue that the authors will need to deal with in the next draft if that can not be done now.

The second issue is availability of data used in cited literature. As you have recognized some of this is available at data centers. Often the original authors of the cited papers will release their data on request. However, the IPCC process assesses published literature, it does not involve carrying out research, nor do we have the mandate or resources to operate as a clearing house for the massive amounts of data that are used in the climate science community or referred to in the literature used by our authors. Given the many different approaches to intellectual property and data release in different countries and agencies such an undertaking would in any case not be possible.

I was obviously unsatisfied with their failure to provide supporting data and re-iterated my request for supporting data as follows:

My request for data pertains to two papers which are presently unpublished and for which the data is unarchived. One of the papers does not even list the data used. I request that you simply contact the authors who submitted the articles in question and ask him/her to provide an FTP location for the data so that it can be reviewed. The request can be made through a simple email and does not require resources beyond those available to you. You could have submitted the request as quickly as it took you to draft your reply to me. If the authors refuse to provide their data pursuant to a request from you, then that would be a factor in my review, as it should be for IPCC itself, as to whether the article should be referenced by IPCC.

The next day, Sep 23, 2005, Manning made the following shirty reply:

Let me repeat – If you wish to obtain data used in a paper then you should make a direct request to the original authors yourself. It would be inappropriate for the IPCC to become involved in that communication and I have no intention of allowing the IPCC support unit to provide you with what would in effect be a secretarial service. There are over 1200 other scientists on our list of reviewers and we simply can not get involved in providing special services for each. I gave you the courtesy of a detailed response earlier to ensure there was no confusion about our process which is my responsibility. Acting as an intermediary with other scientists is not. I will not be responding to further correspondence on this matter.

Now I had presumed that a unit entitled Technical Services Unit would not view “secretarial services” as beneath their dignity. Perhaps they’d been watching too many episodes of 24 and got the TSU and CTU units mixed up. In addition, by requiring me to contact the authors directly, obviously the anonymity of the process was forfeited. I thought that Manning’s answer was unacceptable and immediately appealed his decision to Susan Solomon, Chair of WG1, this time referring to specific IPCC policies on data, on Sep 23, 2005, as follows:

Dear Dr. Solomon,
As a reviewer of IPCC 4AR, I requested the assistance of the WG1 TSU in obtaining data pertaining to unpublished articles referenced in the Draft WG1 Report. This request was made in accordance with the document “PROCEDURES FOR THE PREPARATION, REVIEW, ACCEPTANCE, ADOPTION, APPROVAL AND PUBLICATION OF IPCC REPORTS” http://www.ipcc.ch/about/app-a.pdf , which states:

“The Working Group/Task Force Bureau Co-Chairs should make available to reviewers on request during the review process specific material referenced in the document being reviewed, which is not available in the international published literature.”

Dr. Manning of the WG1 TSU replied that he would not do so and that he had no intention of allowing the TSU to perform what would be a “secretarial service”. I would have thought that the TSU’s functions would include certain “secretarial services”, including the provision of support for Co-Chairs in discharging their obligations under the above policy. In any event, pursuant to the above policy, I request the following Chapter 6 information previously requested from Dr Manning:
1) An ftp location for the proxy data (or the proxy data itself) for Hegerl et al. submitted
2) An ftp location for the proxy data (or the data itself) for D’Arrigo et al., submitted.
3) Copies of Briffa et al., 2005 and Wilson and al. 2005, referenced in Chapter 6.

Thank you for your attention.
Yours truly,
Stephen McIntyre

In addition, I wrote directly to the two authors, Hegerl and D’Arrigo, as Manning had directed me to do. On Sep. 24, 2005, I wrote to author D’Arrigo as follows (with a similar letter to Hegerl):

Dear Dr D’Arrigo,
I have accepted an invitation to act as a reviewer for IPCC 4AR. Your submitted article “On the Long-Term Context for Late 20th Century Warming” is cited. For my review, could you please provide me with an FTP location for (or otherwise provide me directly by email) the measurement data used in this study. Thank you for your attention.
Yours truly, Stephen McIntyre

In both cases, the authors refused to provide any data – including even the identification of sites. On Sep 25, 2005, Hegerl wrote, politely refusing as follows:

Dear Steve,
Once my paper comes out, the data will be accessible to the community via an electronic supplement, but I cannot release the data before the review process of the PAPER is finished. Please direct any corresponding concerning the IPCC draft to the TSU.
Gabi Hegerl

On Sep 26, 2005, a D’Arrigo co-author wrote to me, advising that the article had been submitted to JGR, that they would not provide any data to me and that:

Any data requests (and their availability) will have to be made via the Editors of any relevant journals.

Following these refusals by D’Arrigo and Hegerl, I wrote again to Susan Solomon, notifying her of these refusals and asking her to re-consider the IPCC refusal to require these authors to provide supporting data, with one letter about Hegerl as follows (and a similar letter about D’Arrigo):

Dear Dr Solomon,
I have attempted to obtain the data for Hegerl et al 2005, submitted, from the original authors without success. As I previously mentioned to you, it is my understanding that IPCC review is independent of journal review and, as mentioned before, that the following IPCC policy require you to make this unpulished data available. “The Working Group/Task Force Bureau Co-Chairs should make available to reviewers on request during the review process specific material referenced in the document being reviewed, which is not available in the international published literature.”
I reiterate my request that you provide the requested proxy data for Hegerl et al, 2005 pursuant to this policy.
Thank you for your attention,
Steve McIntyre

I also pursued the avenue with the journal, which the D’arrigo et al group had identified as having control of the matter. On Sep 27, 2005, I wrote to the JGR editor saying:

Dear Dr O’Dowd,
I am a reviewer for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC 4AR) and am writing in respect to a submission to your journal by D’Arrigo et al., entitled “On the Long-Term Context for Late 20th Century Warming.” This article was referenced in chapter 6 of the Draft IPCC 4AR and made available to IPCC reviewers. In the course of my review, I contacted the senior author, Dr. D’Arrigo, for the FTP location of the data used in this article or for alternative access to the data. Dr D’Arrigo categorically refused and I was referred to the journal editor if I desired recourse.

Data Citation and Archiving

I point out that AGU policies for data citation and data archiving (http://www.agu.org/pubs/data_policy.html ) specifically require that authors provide data citation according to AGU standards and require that contributors archive data in permanent archives, such as the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology. For example, the policy states:

1. Data sets cited in AGU publications must meet the same type of standards for public access and long-term availability as are applied to citations to the scientific literature. Thus data cited in AGU publications must be permanently archived in a data center …
2. Data sets that are available only from the author, through miscellaneous public network services, or academic, government or commercial institutions not chartered specifically for archiving data, may not be cited in AGU publications.

On page 21 of D’Arrigo et al., there is a listing of “regional groupings” of data. In some cases, part of the data is archived at WDCP; in other cases, the data has been collected by the authors, but has not been archived. In cases, where the data has been archived, it has not been cited according to AGU policies. For example, the Torntraesk site is presumably swed019w, but this is not stated. The Polar Urals site appears to be a combination of russ021w, russ176w and russ022w, but this is not stated. The Quebec site appears to be a version of cana036, but a version that differs from the one archived, as it includes more series. The “Mongolia” site appears to be the authors’ mong003 site, but a different version than the one archived (which commences at a different date). The “Yukon” series is a combination of two sites, which are not stated. At least one of the sites is a different version from the one archived. The Icefields site is again a different version than the one archived. Other data sets e.g. Seward, NW North America, Central Alaska, Wrangells, Coast Alaska, Central NWT, Southern Alaska, have been collected by the authors and are either not archived at all or archived in obsolete versions.

In order that this submission comply with AGU policies on data archiving, I request that you require D’Arrigo et al. do (1) provide accurate data citations complying with AGU policies for all data sets presently archived at WDCP; (2) archive all “grey” data used in the article.
….

[Update Sep. 2012] On Sep 28, 2005, (CG1- 590. 1128000000.txt), Rob Wilson emailed Osborn and Briffa, both IPCC Authors, and complained about my email to O’Dowd (which had been copied to Wilson). Osborn immediately replied, calling the request that the data be archived an abuse of my position as an IPCC peer reviewer. Rosanne D’Arrigo (CG2-2590) wrote to Osborn and Briffa, advocating that I be “fired” as an IPCC reviewer. D’Arrigo urged the Climategaters to be “very cautious about our emails as Lord V will stop at nothing”:

i am leary of passing all of this around but in this case i am glad in that osborn et alneed to know what is going on – they should fire him as a reviewer of IPCC – i cant believe they included him in the first place! So, please email him back and tell him that he should as he says take it up with the ipcc authors and see whether it is still appropriate to include him as a reviewer. we should however be very cautious about our emails, lord v will stop at nothing (this is sort of fun in a harry potter way)…

The next day (Sep 29), Osborn wrote (CG2 -4868) to IPCC Chapter Authors (Overpeck, Jansen) and Jones; Jones had undertaken to take the matter up with IPCC WG1 Chair Solomon.

On Sept 30, 2005, I received the following reply from Susan Solomon, Co-chairman of IPCC Working Group 1:

iThis is in response to your several messages regarding the IPCC review process.

First, as has already been explained to you in previous correspondence, your interpretation of IPCC procedures in relation to what is made available to reviewers is not correct. The term “materials referenced” used in our rules is unambiguously defined by the list of such “references” given at the end of each chapter. The term does not extend beyond those cited references to such material as datasets, computer codes, or other sources of information that those papers may themselves cite or use. As has already been detailed for you by Dr. Manning, the IPCC does not and cannot provide datasets associated with each of the papers cited in the review, whether published or unpublished.

In order to access the IPCC review material you explicitly agreed to our conditions for doing so which include the following:
“This site also provides access to copies of some submitted, in-press, or otherwise unpublished papers and reports that are cited in the draft WG I report. All such material is made available only to support the review of the IPCC drafts. These works are not themselves subject to the IPCC review process and are not to be distributed, quoted or cited without prior permission from their original authors in each instance.”

We are now aware that you have used your access to unpublished material on our review web site to attempt to influence editorial decisions by the Journal of Geophysical Research. This is clearly a substantial breach of the conditions of access on two counts.

First you have not used the material solely for the purpose of reviewing the IPCC drafts, and second you have, without prior permission, cited unpublished material to the JGR editors in your attempt to influence them. Such actions are not appropriate. The IPCC process can not supercede or alter the scientific review of papers followed by individual scientific journals.

These considerations and the explanations you have already received made it clear that it is inappropriate to cite a function as a reviewer in the IPCC process as entitling you to access to additional information from authors of the unpublished papers available at our web site, which you have also done.

Dr. Manning has already answered your other repeated question regarding two missing references: that, and any other views you may have, can be pointed out in your review comments, to be submitted via the formal process.

Finally, we must insist that from now on you honor all conditions of access to unpublished, and therefore confidential, material made available for the IPCC review process. The IPCC rules for reviewing draft reports have served the scientific and policy communities well for numerous past international assessment rounds. If there is further evidence that you can not accept them, or if your intent is to use your access to the review process to challenge them, then we will not be able to continue to treat you as an expert reviewer for the IPCC.

Sincerely,
Susan Solomon

On Sep 30, 2005, I replied to Solomon as follows:

Dear Dr Solomon,

First of all, any of my inquiries have been for the sole purpose of submitting a review to IPCC.

In my opinion, examining the underlying data is an important part of reviewing materials. This opinion is obviously widely shared as the provision of supplementary information is standard for most paleoclimate articles (though not as widely shared as I would like) and many journals have policies requiring the archiving of data used in articles (although the policy is not always upheld.) Unavailability of underlying data would be a point that I would raise in my planned review.

I did not instigate any contact with any authors without first contacting TSU. My first request for supporting data was to IPCC TSU, not from the originating authors. It was my view (and remains my view) that this data should have been obtained by TSU and avoid my being put in the awkward position of having to have direct contact with the authors, which I did not wish,
In reply to my original inquiry, Dr Manning did not advise me that it was inappropriate for me to try to examine the supporting data. On the contrary. His response was that, if I wished to do so, I should contact the authors directly and that it was not TSU’s function to carry out a “secretarial service” in the following words:

“If you wish to obtain data used in a paper then you should make a direct request to the original authors yourself. It would be inappropriate for the IPCC to become involved in that communication and I have no intention of allowing the IPCC support unit to provide you with what would in effect be a secretarial service. There are over 1200 other scientists on our list of reviewers and we simply can not get involved in providing special services for each. I gave you the courtesy of a detailed response earlier to ensure there was no confusion about our process which is my responsibility. Acting as an intermediary with other scientists is not.”

The issue for Dr Manning was not obtaining the data — it was just that TSU wasn’t going to do it for me. I would have much preferred it if TSU had done so, as I had originally requested. This contradicts the statement in your email::

“These considerations and the explanations you have already received made it clear that it is inappropriate to cite a function as a reviewer in the IPCC process as entitling you to access to additional information from authors of the unpublished papers available at our web site, which you have also done.”

The explanation which I had “already received” said exactly the opposite: if I wanted to examine the underlying data, I should approach the individual authors. The issue of seeking data had been fully discussed with TSU and I was merely following their instructions in contacting the original authors.

I apologise for any misunderstanding, but I do not acknowledge any breaches of IPCC reviewer obligations on my part.
Yours truly, Stephen McIntyre

I received no answer to this letter. Later in 2005, at the CCSP workshop, I suggested to Susan Solomon as a panelist that IPCC should require authors who submitted papers for citation to consent to provide data; she said that that would be interfering with the journals.

(Fast forward briefly: In late 2006, I asked Hegerl for detailed information on Mongolian and Urals site used in her study. They have undertaken to provide the requested information but I still don’t have it. Despite the reminder to JGR about AGU data archiving policies, JGR did not require D’Arrigo et al to adhere to AGU data archiving policies and DArrigo et al did not archive their data with ITRDB at the time of publication or provide a SI with data citations compliant with AGU policy. At present, there is still no listing of the sites used in D’Arrigo et al 2006 and the majority of sites remain unarchived.)

Oct 2009 - Crowley, a Hegerl et al coauthor, has challenged me in correspondence with Andy Revkin see- DotEarth here. . In his email to Revkin, Crowley acknowledged that he was “overdue in getting you some data set you’d requested.” It is, of course, the data originally requested in fall 2005 in connection with the review of AR4.

On October 19, 2009, I re-iterated my request to JGR editor O’Dowd for the D’Arrigo et al data, a request immediately passed on to the Climategaters (CG2-2374). My letter to O’Dowd:

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 11:00:21 -0400
From: Steve McIntyre
To: ‘Colin O’Dowd’
CC: Rosanne D’Arrigo
Dear Dr O’Dowd,

In fall 2005, I corresponded with you in your capacity as Editor, JGR seeking data for D’Arrigo et al 2006 (then submitted), which was being cited by IPCC WG1. In that email, I referred to AGU policies for data citation and data archiving [4]www.agu.org/pubs/data_policy.html which requires that data cited in AGU pulications be located in a permanent archive.

Despite this correspondence, the data archive for D’Arrigo et al 2006 remains abysmally incomplete. There is no data section describing where the data sets referenced in their Table 1 can be located. Indeed, for some of the regional composites, there is not even any information on which sites are included in the regional composite nor is the measurement data for individual sites available (e.g. Coastal Alaska, Central NWT and others.) Nor are the “chronologies” that result from the analysis carried out in the paper archived.

I request that you take steps to ensure compliance with AGU data archiving policies by ensuring that proper listing of the sites for each Table 1 composite is provided and that the measurement data for each such site is located in a public archive.

There is also an important error in the description of a key series. For the RCS chronology labelled “POL”, core counts are shown for the Polar Urals site, while the RCS chronology actually shown is from a different site entirely (Yamal), which has much lower replication in the modern period.

Regards,
Steve McIntyre

Jones immediately expressed confidence to Wilson and Briffa that JGR/AGU would not require D’Arrigo and Wilson to comply with AGU policies:

date: Mon Oct 19 16:44:47 2009
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: [Fwd: D'Arrigo et al 2006]
to: Rob Wilson , Keith Briffa

This might constitute joining the Team – although as I said the Team doesn’t exist! I doubt JGR/AGU will follow this up.
Cheers
Phil

Sep. 2010 This dispute is discussed in Climategate email 590. 1128000000.txt. On Sep 28, 2005, Rob Wilson emailed Osborn and Briffa, complaining about my email to O’Dowd (attached to his email. Osborn immediately replied, calling the request that the data be archived an abuse of my position as an IPCC peer reviewer. Osborn then wrote to the IPCC Chapter Authors (Overpeck, Jansen) and Jones on Sep 29. The next day, Susan Solomon replied.

112 Comments

  1. PHE
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 12:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Very simple. If the IPCC is not prepared to assist in obtaining information on unpublished references, then it is inappropriate for it to permit such references. I think we can assume that in practice, they permit them if they support the ‘consensus’ (and theferore, by inference, must be reliable and accurate). I would be proved wrong if there are such references to work that does not support the consensus.

  2. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This goes back to the continued refrain:

    What sort of peer review is it, when the peer reviewer cannot see the data used or the supporting calculations?

    It’s clear that the IPCC expects a rubber stamp to be wielded by its expert reviewers, not a microscope. Or maybe Steve should have consulted a psychic.

  3. Sudha Shenoy
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The IPCC responses were very typically bureaucratic. They just want to go through the motions.

  4. Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 3:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Am I missing something? Manning says that the IPCC review process assesses published literature, but in your review of the Paleoclimate chapter you are having to assess unpublished literature. Surely these papers shouldn’t be included at all?

  5. T J Olson
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 3:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve-

    Dr. Solomon is a chemist at NCAR (National Center for atmospheric Research), Boulder, Colorado – where I live. All of her pronouncements to appear in the local press, particularly regarding FAR, are ex-Cathedra in character: the term “haughty” comes to mind.

    NCAR also hosts Kenneth Trenberth (sp?), a noted climatologist backing The Team. These folks are in love with their models; climate modelling is what they do at NCAR – their raison d’etre.

    Don’t confuse them with facts. “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin badges!” Thus, I find your email expose to be quite funny. (Not so funny as a US taxpayer, however.) It’s all of a type.

  6. James Erlandson
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 4:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In his 2003 letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett reported,
    Our federal tax return for 2002 … covered a mere 8,905 pages. As is required, we dutifully filed two copies of this return, creating a pile of paper seven feet tall.

    Imagine the response if he had simply sent a check with a note saying, “Trust me.” The people spending the money should be held to the same reporting standards as those footing the bill.

  7. mikep
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 4:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I sympathise with Steve, but am not altogether surprised at the reaction. I used to work in government (as an economist) and you are often faced with the issue of how to convey to policy makers the “mainstream” view of economists about some policy area. In that kind of context you certainly would not dig into all the details of method and so forth. This looks like the kind of exercise the IPCC thought they were doing. The assumption is that the peer review process and the professional debate will have sorted out the kinds of issues Steve wanted to raise.

    What has become clear is that at least in the paleo-climate area the professional debate has been rather restricted, that it has not been cross-fertilised by other disciplines (notably statistics and econometrics. This to me feels like debates we would have within government about a new bit of research which appeared to have interesting and relevant policy conclusions in areas previously untouched, but whose methods were far from best practice. sometimes the reaction was to say, ” that looks interesting but not definitive” and commision further research. Sometimes the work was obviously so flawed as not to be worth taking seriously (even if it had passed some peer review process in some economics-related field). The difficulty then is to convince non-economist colleagues that you know what you are talking about when you dismiss ideas which they find attractive or useful.

    So it looks as though the IPCC was in fact doing a simple literature Review when at least some of the areas it considered were not sufficiently mature for that and needed, as Steve has attempted to provided, an audit which the professional debate should have given us already.

    So I read misunderstanding and confusion rather than malice. The professional journals are clearly at fault here for either not having policies about data and code or not enforcing them. On the whole economic journals are better about this, and I don’t understand the hostility to archiving code and data.

  8. Sombonivagh Jalapenat
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, if I understand from the various article of this very interesting site, there doesn’t seem to be anything serious backing the alarmist claims of the “Team”. So my question will be straightforward : is there anything we can trust from the “Global warming” story ?

  9. Tom Vonk
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 5:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, if I understand from the various article of this very interesting site, there doesn’t seem to be anything serious backing the alarmist claims of the “Team”. So my question will be straightforward : is there anything we can trust from the “Global warming” story ?

    Yes ,tons .
    As long as you keep to partial fields and results and do not attempt to plug them all in a multimillion computer ran by multimillion crews .
    In the field I know a bit about and that relates to the evolutions of non linear systems , there have been thousands of interesting papers prompted by the climatic “research” .
    In many cases even finding out that you can’t trust this or that data or conclusion is a progress .
    However as soon as you hear the word “global” you must be aware that you are on a very thin ice indeed .

  10. L Nettles
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 6:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    However as soon as you hear the word “global” you must be aware that you are on a very thin ice indeed .

    “thin ice”, indeed, how droll.

  11. MarkW
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 7:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    mikep,

    Only rarely is the motive malice. Though there is often an agenda.

    See my post #282 on “Unthreaded 7″ for examples of politicians letting their agenda drive, if not utterly swamp, the science.

  12. Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 7:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The main difference between mainstream thought in economics versus mainstream thought in the climate literature lies in what it takes in the two disciplines for something to become mainstream.

    Frontier research in economics usually takes decades to find its way to policy. As our past failures as a discipline to inform policy has shown, even this is not enough to prevent bad ideas from being implemented as policy. It took decades and the experience of stagflation for many economists to see the flaws of the then dominant paradigm. Even then, Keynesian interventionism is not dead because its arguments and policy recommendations keep getting politicians elected.

    In the climate area, conclusions reached in a single solitary working paper becomes is used to transform policy on the basis of ‘peer review’ by 2-3 people. The immediate connection to policy and politics makes it even more desirable (from the perspective of people who are the targets of those policies) to have maximal open access to data and methods. Currently, there is no other political organ than IPCC whose statements are accepted without serious questioning and turned into policy recommendations.

    OK, I admit, the bird flu thing is pretty bad too. ;-)

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 7:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #8. I have never suggested that doubling CO2 is not a serious issue or that the impact of doubling CO2 should not be assessed in the most careful possible manner or that we know that such doubling is not a problem. I’ve only studied a subset of the arguments, primarily pertaining to climate reconstructions. The main argument is from the physics. I’ve been criticized for inssufficiently attending to these arguments.

    The main difficulty in assessing the argument from physics is that, as far as I know, there is no clear exposition of the argument from first principles. If some reader can direct me to such an exposition, I’d be very appreciative. I do not regard a report of GCM results as being such an exposition for two reasons – first, a report of GCM results is not an exposition of the physics. It is my view that you shouldn’t a GCM to understand the issues. The fact that GCM outputs can be estimated by very simple models (Wigley and Raper) certainly adds credence to this view. There are some physics-based expositions. I don’t have time to survey what I’ve read; all I can say right now is that I haven’t seen anything that really provides me what I’m looking for. I’m quite happy to look at any suggestions.

    Astonishingly, in the entire corpus of the four IPCC assessment reports, there is no intermediate-complexity exposition of exactly how doubled CO2 physically connects to 2.5 deg C increased temperature that would explain the issue to readers who are interested in understanding the matter from first principles and in understanding why, say, Doug Hoyt’s estimate is wrong.

    Prior to the scoping of IPCC AR4, I suggested to Mike MacCracken that IPCC 4AR include such an exposition, which, in my opinion, would be highly relevant to policy-makers and the public, including myself, who are seeking light on those important issues. Needeless to say, IPCC AR4 did not include any such exposition. However, it does have a fatuous and self-congratulatory history of climate science – something that has no place in a policy document.

  14. crmanriq
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 7:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I honestly cannot understand the resistance to archiving data. From my life experience, I’ve found that the people who operate above board never have a problem with you looking at the books. That’s not saying that people who don’t want you to see their data are necessarily lying, but I’m hard pressed to find reasons that are valid. (Patent issues? Proprietary data? They why are you publishing at all? Poor organization of data? Then how are you relying on it for your results.)

    It would seem to me that archiving your data preserves a “snapshot” of what you used to arrive at your results. If you archive updated data later, your results are not repeatable. If you lose the data later (system crash anyone?), then you can’t support your results.

    Am I naive, or am I missing something?

  15. Paul
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 7:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I want to share something with you all that I was shown by a colleague. Take a look at what she says about the Southern Oscillation Index and how it affected global temperatures for the last 70 years. I think the IPCC just had their head handed to them by a High School kid.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 8:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #14. Some of it is undoubtedly just being ornery. It’s been made worse because now they’ve created a situation where they would be perceived as backing down.

    However, it does make it much ,much harder to criticize studies, If you have to spend time and energy getting the data, then you can’t spend as much time looking at the data. Plus sometimes by the time you get data, they say that they’ve “moved on” and the cycle begins again.

  17. Boris
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Paul,

    Thanks for the laugh.

  18. bernie
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 8:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The IPCC is the type of government body that makes me very nervous: I am reminded of that scary novella by Solzhenitsyn, We Never Make Mistakes. The attitude and tone of Dr. Solomon is quite frankly a disgrace and the perfect antithesis of scientific investigation. It reads more like the mail I would expect from the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts.

  19. Curtis Humphreys
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve

    Nir Shaviv’s web site has a fairly elementary exposition of the derivation of a climate sensitivity (i.e. “elementary” in the sense that I can actually follow it.) His assumptions produce a sensitivity of 1.2 degrees K for a doubling of CO2 rather than the IPCC 2.5 degrees K value. He also gives a nice exposition about how determination of this parameter varies between GCMs and this emperical method.

    This may not be exactly what you wanted as a “pure physics” approach but it’s a bit more grist for the mill.

  20. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #13

    The main difficulty in assessing the argument from physics is that, as far as I know, there is no clear exposition of the argument from first principles.

    I haven’t been able to find one either. There really ought to be an easy to find FAQ or something somewhere with appropriate hyperlinking so one could gain some understanding of the theory without having to spend several years in grad school and/or hundreds of dollars on books and papers. How about at least a one dimensional model of the atmosphere with the guts exposed and annotated rather than the fill in a couple of blanks and get a surface temperature model that seems to be all I can find. Gavin, anyone?

  21. JP
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Below is a link to a new study just published this week (http://tinyurl.com/2j45x6) However, the following snippet caught my attention:

    Here we analyze multimodel ensembles for the A2 and B1 emission scenarios produced for the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with the goal of identifying regions projected to experience (i) high magnitudes of local climate change, (ii) development of novel 21st-century climates, and/or (iii) the disappearance of extant climates

    I was led to believe that the full report, or the science of the IPCC Assessment wasn’t to be released until May. If that is so, how did these researchers get thier data with enough time to complete a “study”? The peer review was done by a Stanford Univ prof in Jan 2007 (a month before the Review for Policymakers was published), and it was submitted in July 2006. Were they using an earlier assessment? If so, why use an assessment so “old”? Only curious.

  22. Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Some of you might be amused (or not) at a conversation going on at the end of a fairly long thread (scroll down) over at:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/03/why_republicans_reject_climate.php

  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m familiar with Shaviv website. This doesn’t add up to 2.5 deg C. The range of uncertainty in these estimates hasn’t changed in the nearly 30 years since the Charney Report. If Boeing was managing the procedure and water vapor feedback was the big unknown, I think that they would have put 95% of their effort into improving the understanding of water vapor feedback and not spent any time on the history of climate science. The Charney Report in 1979 linked in another thread is another outline of the theory – but I’m interested in something both more recent and more detailed.

    Shaviv also hardly represents IPCC consensus. I’m interested in a presentation of the “consensus”.

  24. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #20

    Shaviv’s page isn’t all that relevant because it doesn’t show how doubling of CO2 equates to a radiative forcing of 3.8 W/sq.m., or whatever is the current figure, why the surface temperature is 33 degrees warmer than he gray body temperature, and contains what looks to be at least one howler: He state that increased water vapor decreases emissivity because it absorbs IR. But what absorbs also emits. The greenhouse effect, as best I understand it, is about absorption and emission of infra-red radiation by the atmosphere, not the surface. In the absence of greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would neither absorb nor emit in the IR. Adding greenhouse gases increases both absorption and emission. So adding water vapor not only cannot decrease emissivity of the atmosphere it must increase it.

  25. Armin
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with #7, that it looks as IPCC only want to do a simple literature review. This explains their statement that access to the actual data is not required (and therefore the availability clause “does not extend beyond those cited references to such material as datasets, computer codes, or other sources of information that those papers may themselves cite or use.”)

    Let us be honest, but this is what IPCC has also been doing so far. They’ve collected and interpreted existing articles and research. They never verify research other than comparing or listing to their reviewers. OK, that IPCC sometimes suggests they are doing much more, is true, but aren’t the posters on this blog in agreement that that is not the case? So basically IPCC’s policies match that what they do: gather and summarise articles and reviews. Isn’t ‘our’ criticism more that IPCC is not verifying? The refusal to provide data is simply a result of that ‘flaw’.

  26. Craig
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Paul,

    I thought that was an amazing observation by Kristen. The IPCC is going to have a tough time with that one.

  27. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Imagine all those scientifics frauds that would not have happened, if proper data archiving were normal.
    One of the last, Jan Hendrik Schön

  28. John Hekman
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #28

    This case is a good example of what is NOT happening in climate science. The peer review process cannot be made to audit every empirical result. But in most fields there is enough scepticism of dramatic results splashed in the media that others will look into it and try to replicate it. In climate science, you can publish yesterday’s newspaper want ads and claim it proves AGW. No one will question it, and they will cite it liberally.

  29. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    24:

    I’m familiar with Shaviv website. This doesn’t add up to 2.5 deg C. The range of uncertainty in these estimates hasn’t changed in the nearly 30 years since the Charney Report. If Boeing was managing the procedure and water vapor feedback was the big unknown, I think that they would have put 95% of their effort into improving the understanding of water vapor feedback and not spent any time on the history of climate science. The Charney Report in 1979 linked in another thread is another outline of the theory – but I’m interested in something both more recent and more detailed.

    LOL. IMHO, it is because they CANNOT show this hypothetical water vapor feedback, except by running computer models rigged to show it. I think it is that simple.

  30. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    25:

    Adding greenhouse gases increases both absorption and emission. So adding water vapor not only cannot decrease emissivity of the atmosphere it must increase it.

    Yes, but there is no evidence that adding CO2 adds HOH to the atmosphere, over the long haul. Indeed, my calculations indicate that water vapor may decrease sensitivity, since it is higher at high altitudes and in deserts, where there is less water vapor. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s due to absorption of visible light by water droplets or it’s due to clouds.

  31. Bernhard
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This whole story misses two important points. First: It is evident from Steveⳳ own clippings from the exchanges he has had that, that in his contact with the JGR editor OⳄowd, he is not only is requesting data from an unplished paper, but he is also critical to the authorⳳ and their data archiving practise. This can only be seen as improper conduct which may influence the editorⳳ editorial decsisions re. a paper that Steve only has had access to through his reviewing for IPCC for which there is a confidentiality clause. If the access to the data was key to really assessing the IPCC chapterⳳ conclusions, this point could have been made in the review comment. To me Susan Solomonⳳ rather harsh email was needed. It is in my view, and I would believe most publishing scientists would feel the same, that one should not use confidential information to influence the editorial assesment of a paper when it is under review. The other point is: Can you honestly say that key conclusions of the IPCC chapterⳳ assesment hinge on gettting access to these raw data? I.e. are these the key papers without which the IPCC would have concluded differently? If not, then this whole thing looks more like a fishing trip to stir up dust, and is really unappropriate.

  32. bernie
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bernhard:
    You have defined somewhat of a Catch-22 situation for anyone intent on doing a thorough review. If the review of an empirical paper is to be done without access to the original data it is clearly not much of a review. The importance of the paper to any general agenda is beside the point. Moreover, how is criticizing an author’s archiving practices any different from criticizing their use of a particular statistical procedure or their reliance on a reference that has been discredited? All such comments would surely and should influence the editor.

    As for stirring up dust – you fail to grasp the big picture. Because the state of archiving and documenting changes to raw data is so problematic and a closed loop of mutually supporting references has emerged, there are significant question marks around major areas of climatology.

  33. Paul Allen
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Something that frequently comes up is that industrial emissions of CO2 amount to 6Gt/yr. I’ve seen this number quoted as such since I was in High School. I am at least rather shocked that it has not changed more (perhaps people are repeating old data) given that I also read about North American emissions surging 20-40% over the past decade.

    It seems to me that checking this number is important verification of C02 driven warming. I.e., are the changes we measure in atmospheric concentrations well correlated with estimates of our emissions.

    I was told once that 6Gt/yr was in fact back computed from the changes in concentration along with the assumption that oceans sunk half the C02 emitted. But that these numbers were actually just estimates.

    Where do I go to read real analysis of this?

  34. Bill F
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bernhard,

    If Solomon and IPCC were the least bit concerned with the confidentiality or integrity of the review process, why would they direct an anonymous reviewer to contact an author, and why would that author direct them to contact the journal editor? It seems like all parties involved would have been better off simply making the data available as they should have done from the beginning. The genesis of all of the problems here wasn’t Steve’s conduct in trying to access the data, it was the IPCC’s use of unpublished data to support their chapter and the refusal of the IPCC personnel or the authors to make sure that the data for the unpublished articles was made available to the reviewers. Without the lack of data, Steve’s alleged misconduct would never have occurred.

    Let me ask you this Bernhard…why should a document like the IPCC report be relying on unpublished and unreviewed articles? Why should they use conclusions drawn from data that has not been archived and has not been reviewed? You seem quite willing to criticize Steve for his conduct, yet where is your similar concern for the conduct of IPCC relying on unpublished and unreviewed articles or the conduct of authors presenting articles for review without providing the data as well? Are you really concerned about scientific misconduct? Or are you just concerned because Steve has a good point and went public with it?

  35. David Smith
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #33, and others

    Why are unreviewed, unpublished papers used by the IPCC?

    It seems to me that, not only should papers be reviewed and published, but there should also be some period (six months? a year?) to allow for commentary and rebuttal.

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    he is also critical to the authorⳳ and their data archiving practise.

    I only contacted the journal because the authors said that was where my recourse lay. At that point, it was still possible that the authors would archive their data concurrent with publication in accordance with AGU practice. I drew the editor’s attention to AGU policies applicable to JGR and asked him to comply with those policies. In retrospect, I would probably have done the letter to the journal a little differently. But there was a lot of water under the bridge by that point.

    Would the availability of the data affect any “big picture” conclusions? All I can say is that I was reviewing the section on millennial reconstructions and the data was relevant to the review. I wasn’t requesting the data without any intention of analyzing the data just to annoy the people involved. There’s ample evidence that I diligently analyse data when I can get it. So I wasn’t asking for the data to annoy them, but to review the articles.

  37. MarkW
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    On the other hand, maybe it is the money

    The IPCC’s own Dr. Jonathan Overpeck

    http://www.climateappraisal.com/partners/index.aspx

    If you get a free report, you get temperature measurements for your address, some information about UV radiation and some
    chilling maps of how much of the USA will be under water if sea level rises 20 feet (and we can’t be bothered to build sea
    defenses, presumably).

    Now, for $30 you can get a report that gives you all this and more:

    Will your home be submerged from climate change?
    How many hurricanes can you expect this season?
    How strong are the tornadoes near you?
    How close do you live to a fault line that may quake?
    What is your fire risk, and how long is your drought cycle?
    How much damage from flood has occurred in your area?
    Are Lyme and other vector diseases a factor in your area?
    How close are coal plants and superfund sites to you?

  38. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #33 Bernhard

    I can’t see your point at all. Steve want’s the editor to know he’s been through channels and been rebuffed. Otherwise the Editor would simply send him back a message: “Contact the Authors for the data”. Yes it’s a criticism of the Authors of sorts, but not of the paper per se. The only way that it would influence the editor would be if the editor was unable to enforce the Journal’s own data policy. Alternatively, the editor could have simply stated that they wouldn’t do anything until the paper was either accepted or rejected.

    In any case the situation was all Solomon’s fault. For her to try blaming Steve for it is just plain wrong.

  39. bernie
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    MarkW:
    What about Radon and CO readings and make it an entire one stop shopping package for the paranoid?

  40. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m not sure where to begin… here’s a stab.

    he is not only is requesting data from an unplished paper, but he is also critical to the authorⳳ and their data archiving practise.

    As noted, all of the papers in the IPCC 4AR were supposed to have been published or “in press.” This fact alone brings questions.

    This can only be seen as improper conduct which may influence the editorⳳ editorial decsisions re. a paper that Steve only has had access to through his reviewing for IPCC for which there is a confidentiality clause.
    Not making data available _is_ improper conduct. Period. How can a reviewer draw conclusions regarding the validity of _any_ publication without the data behind the publication (irrespective of future, past, or “in press” standing). This is the whole point of review, to determine whether or not a paper has validity for consideration. Such conduct _should_ influence the editor’s decisions.

    If the access to the data was key to really assessing the IPCC chapterⳳ conclusions, this point could have been made in the review comment.

    Immaterial.

    To me Susan Solomonⳳ rather harsh email was needed. It is in my view, and I would believe most publishing scientists would feel the same, that one should not use confidential information to influence the editorial assesment of a paper when it is under review.

    Then said scientists should not a) accept public funding for such publications and b) accept an invitation to provide their otherwise confidential papers to a publicly funded fora such as the IPCC. This is academic.

    The other point is: Can you honestly say that key conclusions of the IPCC chapterⳳ assesment hinge on gettting access to these raw data? I.e. are these the key papers without which the IPCC would have concluded differently?

    Immaterial again. How can a reviewer know what impact data analysis with potential adverse conclusions will have in the outcome of the overall process? What would be the case if it were discovered that the primary conclusions of the paper, likely cited by other papers, were drawn on falsified data? What if the data weren’t falsified, but simply contained significant errors? Is it really wise to include such papers in a literature review that is assigned with the task of affecting _global_ policy?

    If not, then this whole thing looks more like a fishing trip to stir up dust, and is really unappropriate.

    What is inappropriate is rank and file acceptance of conclusions without a requirement to a) abide by the review process or b) make every attempt to at least _appear_ unbiased.

    Mark

  41. bruce
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 2:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Surely a major point in all of this is that the IPCC and associates strongly argue that “peer review” is an important seal of quality. However, how can that be so if the authors of paper haven’t archived their data. How can peer reviewers do anything like a professional job if they don’t enforce the rules re data archiving, nor review the data.

    Also, Re #26:

    Let us be honest, but this is what IPCC has also been doing so far. They’ve collected and interpreted existing articles and research.

    I think that there are some key words missing from the second sentence of the quote. Shouldn’t it read “They’ve selectively collected and interpreted some of the existing articles and research.”

    We could maybe place more trust in the IPCC work if they demonstrated that they had in fact reviewed ALL relevant papers relating to AGW.

    Perhaps we need a new IPCC-like team to undertake that task.

  42. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps we need a new IPCC-like team to undertake that task.

    I’ll volunteer as soon as I get my dissertation out the door next April (fingers are crossed). ;)

    Mark

  43. Follow the Money
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 3:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The other point is: Can you honestly say that key conclusions of the IPCC chapterⳳ assesment hinge on gettting access to these raw data? I.e. are these the key papers without which the IPCC would have concluded differently?

    No, the key conclusions (I assume you mean the report’s “Summary”) hinge on wordsmithing to accentuate the direr, high-end predictions that can be plausibly fashioned from the main text. Based on past experiences, the object is two-fold, first and most importantly to supply talking points to media and policy makers that validate political action and second, to craft a bifurcated document whereby contributing scientists can stand on their research yet have the “out” of claiming they didn’t control the writing of the conclusions. The IPCC policy makers have to be careful though, if the conclusions are too wild contributing scientists speak out.

    If not, then this whole thing looks more like a fishing trip to stir up dust, and is really unappropriate.

    It’s like fishing in a pristine British Columbian river during a salmon run, easy pickin’s, but watch out for the bears.

  44. Boris
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 4:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “They’ve selectively collected and interpreted some of the existing articles and research.”

    What papers have they missed? I assume you don’t mean the Idso’s website or the Cato Institute.

  45. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 4:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #32

    jae, What I would really like to know right now is the effect of specific humidity on latent heat transfer from the surface. It seems obvious to me that latent heat transfer must increase with increasing specific humidity. If latent heat transfer increases fast enough with increased specific humidity, positive feedback from water vapor would be a lot smaller than expected. That might explain at least some of your observations. Without the lever arm of a large positive water vapor feedback, the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 should be a lot smaller than the IPCC consensus.

  46. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 5:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What papers have they missed? I assume you don’t mean the Idso’s website or the Cato Institute.

    First, what difference does it make if a paper came out of either? I’m not trying to claim any validity to either, but picking and choosing because of some sort of perceived bias works both ways. They’ve picked and chosen their own lot of papers to review, which is bias in and of itself.

    Second, are Steve’s/Ross’ papers included? How about the NAS review from last year that put the kebosh on most of the proxy reconstructions? How about all of the papers that show temperature lagging CO2? How about solar influence papers, or the more recent cosmic influence papers?

    Certainly you aren’t trying to suggest that the 70 papers they did choose are completely representative of _all_ the science, are you?

    Mark

  47. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 5:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    46: As I understand it, they did a particularly lousy job of discussing the Solar factors. As Steve M has pointed out, it would also be real helpful if they would explain how the climate sensitivity factors were derived (other than through magic computer models).

  48. jae
    Posted Mar 29, 2007 at 6:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    47: I don’t know whether my calculations are valid, but if they are, I can show that humidity is not related at all to sensitivity (or maybe inversely related when humidity is low). Thes suggests to me that there is little or no effective water vapor feedback (or sometimes a negative feedback). Think about it–if there was a positive water vapor feedback, a small pertubation would cause a cascading series of temperature increases–CO2 heat evaporates water, which soaks up IR, which evaporates more water, etc. If such a process existed, then it seems to me that we would have a run-away change in temperature every summer, as energy from the Sun increases by 150-230 w/m-2 over winter temperatures. I just think that water vapor helps transmit heat to space, as I think you are saying.

  49. beng
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 8:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s OT, but Paul’s #16 link is quite remarkable for a high-school student & worth looking at. Encouraging that someone this young can be comprehensive, thought-provoking & independent-minded. I do disagree w/some details — the atomic tests didn’t push up nearly as much material (hundreds of tons at most) for a given cloud-size/height than a large volcanic eruption like Pinatubo (thousands or even millions of tons). A true air-burst atomic test that didn’t draw up ground-level material like the Russian “Czar Bomba” 50 MT test would only put the mass of the bomb itself (mere tons) into the air.

    PS — If the Russian 50 MT device had used a fissionable pusher-tamper shell surrounding the fusion fuel (or even just depleted U238!) instead of lead, the bomb would have yielded 100 MT!

  50. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What papers have they missed?

    If they’re referencing select unpublished papers, then clearly they’re missing all the other unpublished papers, too. :)

  51. Boris
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “They’ve picked and chosen their own lot of papers to review, which is bias in and of itself.”

    Again, are they leaving out any studies published in the literature? I didn’t mean to pick on Cato. But they are certainly not considering papers from Greenpeace or the Pew Center either. As well they shouldn’t.

    I doubt they will use the NAS report, but it certainly does not “put the kebosh” on reconstructions, despite what Lindzen has said.

    As for the CO2 lagging temps. Yes, those are in. Why wouldn’t they be? The CO2 feedback from orbital forcings is another line of evidence showing CO2′s effect on climate.

  52. MarkW
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    CO2 lagging temps shows that CO2 affects the climate? How?
    I would love to see how you define a mechanism that would show how orbital forcings stop warming the planet, precisely as CO2 concentrations
    start to rise.

  53. Boris
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    54:

    Precisely?

    Not sure what you’re getting at. CO2 contributes to the temp rebound from the glaciations. “Swindle,” not surprisingly, gets it wrong.

  54. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #50 – validating what you seem to be on to here …. far offshore from the California coast, during summer, SSTs actually get pretty far up there due to the summer sun. You see, way out there, the cold California Current has no effect and there exists the Pacific version of the Horse Latitudes. So, all that evaporated water makes the air very humid, and, given the air temperature out there, the humidity is high both absolutely and relatively. The slight movement of this air is slowly but surely out from the center of the Pacific High. Inveitably, the parcels of this air which make it to the area closer off shore from California encounter colder SSTs and other parcels of air which have come down from Canada. Anyone who has ever flown a great circle route to or from Asia, involving either LA or SF, will have seen what is known as the Great Fog Bank. This is the result of the initially mentioned parcels condensing out their moisture as they get cooled by the relatively cooler-than-their-orgin-area SST and colder air parcels they meet along the eastern side of the Pacific High. The Great Fog Bank is, as a result, universally and consistently at 56 to 57 degrees F. When the winds and thermal gradient between the shore and inland areas are right, lobes of the Bank intrude inland, eventually reaching where I live. When this occurs, what might have started out as a warm day, in the 85 deg F range, suddenly changes into a windy, foggy and even drizzly day. The mercury plunges from 85 F down to …. 56 to 57 degress F. Intestingly, the more the Sun is able to heat both the Horse Latitudes and the inland desert and semi arid zones, the more frequent these sorts of intrusion events are. Also, the more humidity is available for the process, the more intense its effects and the more able the intrusion is to bring 85 deg F down to 56 – 57 degrees F – it’s like a misting system or swamp cooler on a grand scale.

  55. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I doubt they will use the NAS report, but it certainly does not “put the kebosh” on reconstructions, despite what Lindzen has said.

    Yes it did. They explicitly stated that reconstructions beyond 400 years were unreliable, and that any reconstruction should avoid BCPs. Since the “hockey stick” relies on BCPs, reconstructions are, in general, unreliable according to the NAS.

    Mark

  56. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re:#50

    I just think that water vapor helps transmit heat to space, as I think you are saying.

    Yes. For example, if you look at Trenberth’s energy balance you see that about 100 W/sq.m. are lost from the surface as sensible (convection basically) and latent (evaporation of water) heat. If these transfers didn’t happen, the radiative heat balance would require that the surface temperature be about 305 K, 17 degrees higher than it is. So I agree that it is possible the net effect of water vapor could be a negative rather than a positive feedback. The size and the sign of the feedback could also vary with the absolute (specific) humidity as well. I don’t know, though and haven’t been able to find suitable references.

  57. MarkW
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If CO2 does actually contribute to the rebound, then it should be easy to show that the rate of increase in temperature increases once
    CO2 gets added to the ongoing orbital forcings.

    The sad thing is. There is no such increase. The only way this can be explained away is if the CO2 just happens to take off at the
    same time that the orbital forcings is tapering off.

    And Swindle did not get this wrong. Right and wrong is not determined by whether something fits within your agenda.

  58. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As for the CO2 lagging temps. Yes, those are in. Why wouldn’t they be? The CO2 feedback from orbital forcings is another line of evidence showing CO2′s effect on climate.

    Mentioning them without an analysis of why CO2 lags temperature is hardly “in.” In order for cause to precede effect, a non-causal system is required (i.e. current output relies on future inputs). Nature is not non-causal, though it is very easy to build non-causal relationships in software.

    Mark

  59. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If CO2 does actually contribute to the rebound, then it should be easy to show that the rate of increase in temperature increases once CO2 gets added to the ongoing orbital forcings.

    Is what you’ll see is a cross-over of sorts at which point CO2 change begins to lead the additional temperature change. I have not seen this demonstrated to date.

    Mark

  60. Jaye Bass
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    though it is very easy to build non-causal relationships in software.

    Heh…that’s pretty funny.

  61. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    But true. All you have to do is re-index the output data stream and even a simple FIR filter is non-causal.

    Mark

  62. Jaye Bass
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yea I have another name for a non-causal relationship…a memory bug.

  63. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    LOL! I’m curious what GCM programmers know about this. Causality is taught in first-semester systems classes, and continues on through control theory, signal processing theory, and more advanced topics. When you have access to a data stream, it is very easy to use that to your advantage in some contexts, but modeling a real-time system is not such a context.

    Mark

  64. Boris
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They explicitly stated that reconstructions beyond 400 years were unreliable

    No. They stated that they had high confidence going back 400 and somewhat less confidence going back 1100. Quoting:

    Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900.

    I’ll let you guys figure out how increasing a known GHG can increase temps, especially at the lower levels coming out of glaciations.

  65. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    56, Steve S: I am very puzzled by the fact that SF has almost twice the sensitivity as any other location west of the Cascades and Sierras (I looked at 17 locations and all are consistently 0.03 to 0.05). Somehow, the SF area is able to “hold on” to more heat than other areas. Perhaps the water vapor helps in this case, or perhaps there is heat input to the area from the “Horse Latitudes.” SF is unique, for sure!

  66. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No. They stated that they had high confidence going back 400 and somewhat less confidence going back 1100.

    “Somewhat” less confident? Give me a break. The statistical analysis, btw, is also considerably different than the conclusions stated there. The r2 even 150 years ago in the leading paper is near 0. Their statistical analysis doesn’t indicate anything different AND, they stated that BCPs should not be used yet any reconstruction indicating “warmest since AD 1100″ uses BCPs. Two plus Two does not equal Three as your statement may suggest.

    I’ll let you guys figure out how increasing a known GHG can increase temps, especially at the lower levels coming out of glaciations.

    Nobody is saying that increasing a known GHG won’t increase temps. The contention is that the the specific GHG may increasing _because of_ temps, and the additional impact from anthropogenic causes is impossible to distinguish. Since temp still leads CO2, it is still primarily the cause, and not the effect.

    Mark

  67. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 3:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    58, DeWitt: You say:

    The size and the sign of the feedback could also vary with the absolute (specific) humidity as well. I don’t know, though and haven’t been able to find suitable references.

    Yes, something like that is going on. For example, for all areas East of the Rockies, sensitivity is quite uniform at 0.11-0.14 deg/wm-2 (except for some areas on the shores of the Great Lakes). July absolute humidities in all those areas vary from 10-21 g/m-2 (and are very closely correlated with latitude, R2 0.84). It looks like, for all the East, sensitivity does not vary with the amount of water vapor in the air, despite the fact that 30-year average July heat input varies from about 300-400 w/m-2. Therefore, it looks plausible that the water vapor somehow “buffers” the heat input to maintain the same sensitivity. Maybe there is a threshold, where water vapor helps add heat up to a certain level and then gets rid of it beyond that. On the other hand, sensitivities in more arid areas don’t seem to be limited and can go up to 0.22. (And maybe I’m making some big mistake here and spinning wheels. But it’s fun, anyway :)).

  68. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #67 – SF – very cool summers and relatively warm winters. Even in terms of Bay Area micro climates. Mid summer, drive from SF to Livermore, and you might go from …. 56 – 57 degrees (LOL!) to 100 deg F. Mid winter, make that same drive, and you might go from 60 to 45 F if there is tule fog out East – if at night, you might have like 48F in SF meanwhile it’s 26F with a hard frost in Livermore. Slightly different anecdote telling a similar tale. Twas the night before Christmas (well, actually the day before) and I lived in Los Altos (at the edge of the South Bay – SF Peninsula flatlands / NW Santa Clara Valley). It was hazy with tule fog burning off, temperature had to be about 44 or so. Went to go surfing at Half Moon Bay (mid way down the open ocean coastline of San Mateo County). At the beach? low sixties, perfectly clear air, other than the minor sea haze. Summer time, it would be a bit different situation. Los Altos would be about 80 deg F with clear sky (but a wee bit of smog), meanwhile it would be light overcast of coastal stratus and ….drumroll …. 56 – 57 deg F …. at the beach.

  69. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 4:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    By the way, winter tule fog is a sure sign of a fairly extreme upward radiation event …. generally having to do with ridging moving in after a cold front passed through a couple or three days before. Such events are common in valleys but rarely occur at the immediate open ocean coastline (but can occur along the SF Bay and inland delta of the Sacramento River).

  70. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    69, jae

    If I assume that the slower increase in surface temperature compared to the increase at high altitudes of wet adiabats actually reflect increased latent heat transfer, then I get an exponential increase of latent heat transfer from water vapor with temperature. On the other hand, forcing from water vapor is approximately a linear function of temperature, or at least it appears to have a much lower slope in the vicinity of 300 K. That seems to imply a crossover to negative feedback as long as there is liquid water at the surface. Boil the oceans dry or freeze them solid, though, and you potentially end up with Venus or Mars. Well, probably not Mars because the Earth has an active core so CO2 will continue to be emitted from volcanoes and won’t be lost by weathering. Boiling the oceans dry is not in the cards in the near future either. Maybe when the sun begins to enter its red giant phase in however many billion years.

    I think I may have enough information now to add water vapor to my Excel model.

  71. Boris
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 9:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mark T,

    You said that the NAS report stated that reconstructions are only valid going back 400 years. Clearly that is your interpretation, not theirs, and I suggest you take it up with them.

    As for:

    The contention is that the the specific GHG may increasing _because of_ temps,

    Oh, dear. Do I need to go into the variety of ways that we know that the CO2 increase is entirely man made?

  72. trevor
    Posted Mar 30, 2007 at 10:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #73:

    Oh, dear. Do I need to go into the variety of ways that we know that the CO2 increase is entirely man made?

    Boris, since you are clearly full bottle on this issue, perhaps you could take the trouble to explain to me our collective understanding of the CO2 cycle, as it operates on this planet. I may be under a misapprehension, but I thought that the CO2 cycle is reasonably complex.

    There are numerous natural sources eg volcanoes both above the oceans and below the oceans, outward breathing of many living beings, and CO2 released from the oceans. There are numerous naturally burning coal seams and the like. To that we could add the CO2 from forest fires, many of which are started by natural agents, particularly lightning.

    Then to that we would add the emissions from man’s activities including, to be rigorous, man-initiated forest fires, fossil fuel fired power stations, motor vehicles, and the like. I have probably missed some sources as well.

    We then need to understand mechanisms that absorb CO2 one way or another.

    We know that the oceans absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and precipitate some as coral and shellfish shells and the like, while some remains in solution. We also know that CO2 is a powerful growth stimulant for vegetation. Biomass will increase substantially with increased CO2, both in biomass density per sq km, but also in total sq km supporting vegetation (greening of the deserts).

    A certain amount of CO2 remains in the air.

    So what we have is a complex accounting exercise which is not only static but dynamic. Since you clearly have an understanding of all of this, I would appreciate your guidance. Perhaps you can point to appropriate references. I am new to this field, and haven’t yet found a detailed and reliable accounting of the CO2 budget.

    Thank you in advance for your contribution.

  73. Boris
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 7:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    trevor,

    Here are a couple of good RC posts on this subject.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=87
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=160

  74. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #74

    Trevor, you might find that information at the AIRS website at NASA JPL.

  75. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You said that the NAS report stated that reconstructions are only valid going back 400 years. Clearly that is your interpretation, not theirs, and I suggest you take it up with them.

    This has been discussed at length on this site, Boris. You can site their politically-correct summary all day, but their own analysis does not back it up.

    Oh, dear. Do I need to go into the variety of ways that we know that the CO2 increase is entirely man made?

    Boris, this is simple cause-effect here. If CO2 is causing a temperature rise, it MUST lead said rise. Period. Do I need to go into one of the most established principles in science, the “principle of causality.” This is fundamental. Feedback does not change that one bit. Why is this such a difficult concept? Even wiki explains this rather well.

    Mark

  76. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, and btw, I never said that CO2 was not rising because of man. I said that temperature is causing it to rise, but made no mention of the additional additive effect from anthropogenic sources. CO2 cycles historically on its own, we’re simply adding to that.

    Mark

  77. mccall
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If in a public forum, one was able to ask one constructive question of the lead editor of a scientific journal with a poor record of adhering to their own stated archiving practices, what would that question be?

  78. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #77
    Mark T, given the complexity of the climate system, it’s overly simplistic to imply that a given temperature rise must have only a single cause or that multiple causes cannot contribute to a given rise in different proportions over time. It seems plausible to me that a non-CO2 cause might initiate a warming (and a CO2 increase) which could be later sustained by increasing CO2. Not simple, but no violation of causality.
    I’m not saying it did happen that way, but that’s certainly one scenario that should be examined.

  79. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #79
    Why not just ask about the practical difficulties in ensuring compliance (given the poor track record), and what might be done to improve the situation?

    It seems to me that the professional embarrassment of editors reminded publicly that their journals are not practicing what they preach might be the biggest motivator of change.

  80. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #77
    Mark T, given the complexity of the climate system, it’s overly simplistic to imply that a given temperature rise must have only a single cause or that multiple causes cannot contribute to a given rise in different proportions over time.

    I did not state, nor imply as such in any comment that I’ve made. I am fully aware that there are multiple causes.

    It seems plausible to me that a non-CO2 cause might initiate a warming (and a CO2 increase) which could be later sustained by increasing CO2. Not simple, but no violation of causality.

    Yes, I agree with this and I did not state that this cannot happen. However, the point at which CO2 begins to drive temperature will show a lag correspondence between cause and effect, i.e. once CO2 becomes the cause and not the effect, it MUST precede temperature. There is no way around this, and any other relationship will violate causality. Complexity does not change this.

    I’m not saying it did happen that way, but that’s certainly one scenario that should be examined.

    Again, complexity does not change causality. You can take any system, multiple inputs or otherwise, feedbacks, feedfowards, and simple linear combinations, and the only way a cause will lag an effect is if somewhere in the system a future input is being used for the current output. Very simple concept that these climate scientists just don’t get.

    Mark

  81. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me that the professional embarrassment of editors reminded publicly that their journals are not practicing what they preach might be the biggest motivator of change.

    Unfortunately, it seems as if they do not even care about this. Most of these editors have an audience sympathetic to their “cause,” IMO. There’s no embarassment when your audience agrees that your policies are only to be held loosely.

    BTW, Steve, John A., if you want to move the causality comments to another thread, I won’t raise a stink. Actually, you probably should.

    Mark

  82. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 4:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #82
    (from my previous post):

    It seems plausible to me that a non-CO2 cause might initiate a warming (and a CO2 increase) which could be later sustained by increasing CO2. Not simple, but no violation of causality.

    (your response):

    Yes, I agree with this …However, … once CO2 becomes the cause and not the effect, it MUST precede temperature.

    OK, I guess I misunderstood you. So what exactly are you suggesting *does* violate causality?

  83. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 4:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #83
    Since such public embarrassment attempts have been infrequent, it’s premature to judge their effectiveness. Lack of peer criticism doesn’t necessarily imply support/consent — it can also imply fear of speaking out, which certainly seems to be the case among at least some of the professionals who have visited this site.

  84. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve replied regarding #84 in the Untreaded thread, Armand.

    Re #85, I agree. There are a lot of factors at play here, too.

    Mark

  85. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 31, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: 46

    Boris,
    You ask what papers the IPCC missed? I will give you a few.

    1. The Bratcher and Giese paper that predicted a return to pre-1976 conditions based on the PDO. (A prediction that
    appears to have been realized) See http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2002/2002111310900.html
    2. A number of articles that show UHI causes a warming bias in the temperature record including this one by Pielke http://www.agry.purdue.edu/climate/dev/publications/J56.pdf
    3. The Wegman Report that showed Mann’s statistics methods were uninformed and biased

  86. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 1, 2007 at 12:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Literature reviews always suffer from publication bias. You choose those publications that a) agree with your hypothesis and b) are published by those in your network. It is human nature.

    Mark

  87. Boris
    Posted Apr 1, 2007 at 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Okay, the NAS lied in their summary for political reasons. I see the light now.

  88. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 1, 2007 at 1:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Did anyone say anything about lying? If you’re going to debate us, at least you could debate what we said, not what you think we said.

    The NAS summary was carefully worded to avoid the ramifications of completely refuting the HS. If you really think it is “concise” enough to quote, then do one thing for me: define what “somewhat less significant” means a) scientifically and b) statistically. Heck, just put a number to it.

    Mark

  89. MarkW
    Posted Apr 1, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #72,

    So boris, are you now arguing that the oceans are NOT getting warmer?

  90. Boris
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 6:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Lol, Mark.

    If you’re going to debate the NAS report, you should at least acknowledge what they said, not make up things about what they “explicitly” said.

    As for the NAS “carefully wording” their summary to “avoid the ramifications of completely refuting the HS,” well, that’s unsupported conjecture at best. Please.

    91,

    Uh, I don’t know what that means. I didn’t write #72.

  91. MarkW
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 8:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    OK, it was 73, a mistake you could have figured out for yourself if you had put in even a little effort.

    You are the one claiming that 100% of the new CO2 is the result of man.

  92. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If you’re going to debate the NAS report, you should at least acknowledge what they said, not make up things about what they “explicitly” said.

    I know exactly what they said, try not to twist words.

    As for the NAS “carefully wording” their summary to “avoid the ramifications of completely refuting the HS,” well, that’s unsupported conjecture at best. Please.

    The actual analysis has been dissected at length in here. It is not conjecture. What you fail to understand is that there is no number attached to “somewhat less.” 0% confidence is “somewhat less” than “highly confident.” Somewhat less, according to the actual analysis, is enough that BCPs should not be used at all. Since reconstructions, in general, use BCPs, they cannot be trusted at all. That’s somewhat less than “highly confident” and somewhat convincing that reconstructions are invalid.

    Mark

  93. Boris
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 1:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    MArkW,

    Your comment made no sense either. I don’t know how you would infer that I don’t think the oceans are warming. The oceans are warming and taking up more CO2, as you could find out with even a little effort on your part.

    Mark T,

    Your argument that “less confidence” could mean zero confidence makes no sense, especially when you look at the NAS’ next paragraph, where they state they have “very little confidence” in reconstructions going back farther than 900 AD.

    Perhaps your arguments are convincing to someone out there, but they are mere parsing of words, and completely uninteresting to me.

  94. MarkW
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    boris,

    I’m guessing that you are unaware that warming waters release CO2. This runs counter to your claim that it is completely proven
    that 100% of new CO2 is produced by man.

  95. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 2:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The oceans are warming and taking up more CO2, as you could find out with even a little effort on your part.

    Uh, that’s nonsense. Warm waters hold less CO2.

    Your argument that “less confidence” could mean zero confidence makes no sense, especially when you look at the NAS’ next paragraph, where they state they have “very little confidence” in reconstructions going back farther than 900 AD.

    Again, I ask you, scientifically or statistically define the term “somewhat less confident.” 0% was simply a rhetorical number since there is none you can apply. “Very little” could easily be 10% and “somewhat less” 50% for that matter. 50% confidence is, well, statistically speaking, no result. You don’t have an answer, do you?

    Mark

  96. Boris
    Posted Apr 2, 2007 at 8:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Do you know what confidence means? Anyway, enough of those games.

    As for CO2 increasing in the oceans, see:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/305/5682/367

    Carbon is increasing in the air, the ocean, and biomass. Where else could it come from but FF?

    (Don’t say volcanoes. 13C/12C isotope ratios exclude anything but plants.)

    You’re wrong on this, as you are on some other GW issues.

  97. Mark T.
    Posted Apr 3, 2007 at 1:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Last reply to you, Boris…

    First, solubility of gas in water decreases with increasing temperature, in layman’s terms, that means warm water is capable of holding less of any gas. Look it up. Even your climatology friends know, and acknowldege this fact. In fact, this is what they think is the reason for the 800 year lag, because it takes that long for warming oceans to release excess CO2.

    Two, given your lack of understanding of simple chemistry, I find it hard to see your point about “confidence.” You’ve cited a basically unscientific “summary” as if there’s some merit to it? Again, I ask, define “somewhat less confident.” Games, indeed, you seem to think this statement has some statistical or scientific validity when there is none. Why don’t YOU try to not selectively quote, while ignoring the actual data behind the claim. Dare ya.

    Mark

  98. welikerocks
    Posted Apr 3, 2007 at 5:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 99 “solubility of gas in water decreases with increasing temperature”
    Of course Boris didn’t read the technical comment attached to that paper for “CO2 increasing in the oceans”, which say the very same thing Mark T; and he also failed to let us know that this is yet another paper based on a computer model.

  99. Boris
    Posted Apr 3, 2007 at 5:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    First, solubility of gas in water decreases with increasing temperature, in layman’s terms, that means warm water is capable of holding less of any gas. Look it up.

    Is this a joke? I’ll leave it to you to figure out the incorrect assumption you make about the oceans.

    You know, it would be nice if you had even ONE source to back up your claims, but the CO2 content in the ocean is rising. I gave you one study, but there are about 20 out there showing the same thing. There’s no point in arguing with someone who denies even the most basic evidence.

    Or are Sabine and et al guilty of scientific fraud? I’m sure you have some theory or other on that one.

  100. MarkW
    Posted Apr 3, 2007 at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So Boris, you are backing down from your earlier claim that it was 100% proven that the extra CO2 was from man?
    Now you are saying that you personally can’t think of any other explanation, therefore it must be man.

  101. trevor
    Posted Apr 3, 2007 at 6:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #102:

    I’ll leave it to you to figure out the incorrect assumption you make about the oceans.

    Sorry Boris, I don’t know what you mean. Would you mind explaining to this layperson? Thanks.

  102. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 6, 2007 at 2:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I got a question.

    It is interesting and important to know, what is triggering (or straightforward driving all way long) warming from ice age, is this force seizes at some point and why, how released CO2 multiplies warming effect, how and for what extend water vapor multiplies CO2 warming effect, and why warming is eventually levels-off (nice to hear from IPCC experts what halts the warming).

    However, there is some mysterious factor, which overpowers all mentioned warming drivers, and once again force Earth into ice age.

    What is this factor?

    Without identifying and quantifying this by far major factor, all other climate modeling excises are, well, excises.

  103. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 6, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #104 – My 25 years of post collegiate experience in dealing with applied engineering and science tell me that most processes in nature, can ultimately by deconstructed into oscillations of various types. You can add together sine waves of various frequencies to end up with something that approximates a square wave, a sawtooth wave or a wave of any arbitrary shape including ones that seem to have no periodicity at all. There seems to be a fundamental thing in this. We are all familiar with Newtonian Physics whether that means detailed understanding of first principles or ad hoc life experience – equal and opposite reaction, etc. Less obvious but sometimes hitting us over the head in various was are expressions of the Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Bottom line is, diminishing returns. Parasitic dissipations consume more and more of the energy of a process as a certain level is approached. Classic example, with implications regarding space travel, Star Trek fantasy notwhithstanding, is that as the speed of light is approached, incremental energy needed to further increase speed approached infinity, and hence, you can’t go faster than the speed of light in this universe assuming no bizarre things like so called “worm holes” and other cheating. Given all of this, it would stand to reason that as warming plays itself out toward the end of an interglacial, some fundamental state is reached, which then triggers the a “regime change” in the system, whereby a solar variation, orbital perturbation or other effect or effects, then triggers ice mode.

  104. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 7, 2007 at 4:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve S.:

    Thanks for reply.

    Fundamentally, what you are referring to could be sourced to two things. First, it is basic theorem of Fourier, stating that any continuous signal for any fixed interval (global temperature for millions years, for example) could be to any desired proximity expressed as sum of sine signals of different frequencies. Widely used in hand-held calculators and cell phones signal processing, to name a few.

    Does not help much in our case. Basic assumption of natural science is that things happen for a reason (aside from natural oscillation around equilibrium point), and in climate science what scientists are trying to figure out is what exactly these reasons for climate change (climate as being of long-term integral average of highly varying weather) are.

    Second, what IPCC climate modelers are outrageously ignorant about, is fundamental principle of Le Chatelier. Any complex system, including climate, inherently adjust its parameters to resist any external forcing. As well it is applies in full to human’s nature and civilization in all its aspects. So it is not really the question whether rising antropogenic or natural CO2 emissions will have diminishing return effect on global warming. It will. My question is what is (or are) these negative feedbacks, and why these effects are not identified and incorporated into climate prediction models. First of all, the effect which overpowers CO2/water vapor greenhouse gas effect plus lower albedo due to decreased snow and ice cover, which repeatedly forces Earth climate back into ice ages after interglacial.

  105. Gordon Chase
    Posted Apr 7, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As a recent graduate of environmental studies I must confess to have acquired as many questions as I have answers,
    but as free as I currently am of the dogmas associated with blind dedication to a theory/cause/rasion d’etre,
    I have come up with two key questions that nag me:
    1) Can a change in a gas as naturally occuring as CO2 in such minute quantitities, i.e. from 0.02% of the
    atmosphere to 0.04 of the atmosphere really be capable of such significant temperature change when so many other
    factors that affect exposure to the sun (clouds, orbit, sun activity etc)could reasonably be expected to have
    more direct temperature consequences?
    2)Is CO2 more of a marker of human presence, associated industrial activity and concordant heat production
    through matter transfers (E=mc2), than a cause of global warming in and of itself?

    It is one thing to say that global warming has given rise to a correlated increased co2 levels, it is another to
    say that increased co2 levels has given rise to correlated global warming.
    Perhaps the old chicken and egg story is at play here

  106. Andrey Levin
    Posted Apr 8, 2007 at 4:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Gordon:

    I believe that more detailed look into physics will answer your questions.

    1. Adsorption bands for IR radiation emitted by Earth surface for CO2 and water vapor are mostly identical. This means that CO2 picks-up only small fraction of heat radiated from earth surface water vapor in lower troposphere has already adsorbed. Most rigorous estimations put CO2 GHG effect as 5-10% of water vapor GHG effect.
    2. Both CO2 and water vapor GHG effects are logarithmic. This is the reason why climate scientists use climate sensitivity metric of linear 0.something C for doubling of CO2. It means in effect that heating ability of CO2 is leveling off quite fast with increase of CO2 concentration.
    3. The term “GHG effect” is misleading. Agricultural greenhouses heats-up because transparent roof prevent heated air convection. Convection is not prevented in real atmosphere. Rising masses of heated by Earth surface air circumvent GHG blanket and transport heat directly to the stratosphere, where it is radiated back into space.

    In addition, amount of heat released by mankind is minuscule compared to natural forces. On the orbit of Earth solar radiation contributes whopping 1.4 KW per square meter of orthogonal surface. You calculate the difference.

    As for CO2 emissions, take a look at incredible interesting alternative to IPCC summary of basic science at:

    http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/Independent%20Summary5.pdf

    Note, that on page 11 there is graph that states that CO2 emissions per capita for whole population of Earth stabilized around 1975 to the 1.2 ton per capita annually. Quite interesting phenomena.

  107. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Apr 17, 2007 at 7:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I discovered this site from a few days, and this my first comment here.
    I am just a young aerospace engineering graduate, but I think I can give you something which maight be interesting.
    From astronomical data, we find two curious things: H2O and CO2 absorption bands are often the same, as Andrey Levin wrote; but, usually we just “see” H2O and not CO2 from the analisys of the spectrum, because water vapor is much more present in the troposphere. The other thing is that in the stratosphere we have a very strong CO2 absorption band, visible and usefull (for e.g. horizon sensors) in the infrared field from the space: indeed, tri-atomic gases work both ways, absorbing and reflecting both Earth and Sun infrared emission (just, Earth’s infrared is 400 times less than Sun’s one).
    From heath transmission, I cannot give you much, because it is not a matter of great interest for mechanical and aerospace engineering how CO2 and other gases can heat a volume. But, from what I could find, heat flux forcing should be proportional to the partial pressure of the gas: dh’=-a*h*dx , where a is the constant referring to the gas; that is, working with very small changes, CO2 effect should be proportional to its increase from 0.029% to 0.038% of the atmosphere. This would not be against a logarithmic theory: we have just to consider that we deal with very small changes numerically (a 1-2°C change in Earth temperature is quite nothing for thermal control models, just the uncertainty of a light oscillation, even if we know how so little can seem so fearful). I am still for any real calculus to estimate greenhouse effect and then CO2 effect, not coincidences (you can see on the site of the Hadley Centre: they too had to admit recently that probably in the far past was warming to drive CO2 concentrations and maybe not the contrary) nor fixing the holes of the models (the only explanation I have ever read for IPCC supposed heat forcing always was: our models work only with it, then it must be true; we have no other guilty than man-made gases).
    Then the Sun influence itself. IPCC calculated (I do not know how) Sun influence at 0.1-0.15W/m^2, on a total forcing of 1.5W/m^2, on a heat flux on Earth surface of 294W/m^2. But, most recent astronomical and space data suggest an increase in Sun heat flux of 0.15%, that is 0.4-0.5W/m^2 on Earth surface (a change from 10% to 30%, considering right IPCC forcing: maybe things would not change so much, but IMO this is a major error).
    Finally, measurements theory. I found surprising how many things are announced as “records” or “sure trends”, like for last years global temperatures, when, according to measurement theory, they are comparable then to be considered equal in the range of their uncertainty (uncertainty is full part of the measurement process, it cannot be left out from the analisys). Moreover, I cannot believe how experienced scientists (or supposed so) can believe to find Earth’s temperature with a 0.1°C precision in the past centuries, when such a value can barely be accorded to last decades direct measurements (and I am not sure even about them: but it does not mean that I do not see the heating of the large part of Earth).

    I beg your pardon for the length, and maybe I went also OT. Best regards.

  108. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 17, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Filippo, welcome to the discussion. Your points are well taken. Many of us wonder about the same things that you wonder about.

    w.

  109. Sebastian Lozano
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In relation with data availability and data access, I have been trying to obtain data on CO2 emission paths corresponding to different stabilization scenarios (e.g. S550e, S650e, etc) and I have been unable to find them. Does anybody know where can they be accessed? I have only found graphical representation but no table data.

    Thank you in advance

  110. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 16, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Crowley, a Hegerl et al coauthor, has challenged me in correspondence with Andy Revkin see- DotEarth here. . In his email to Revkin, Crowley acknowledged that he was “overdue in getting you some data set you’d requested.” It is, of course, the data originally requested in fall 2005 in connection with the review of AR4.

  111. Geo
    Posted Oct 16, 2009 at 4:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, what a classic bureaucratic catch-22. One bureaucrat tells you its not their job, do it yourself. And when you do, the next bureaucrat blames you for taking the first bureaucrat’s advice.

    Obviously the near duh-like answer here is don’t use unpublished articles in the first place, unless the author in question agrees to the same data access they would have supplied to a journal in the first place (i.e. essentially the IPCC fills the role of the missing journal). If IPCC is unable/unwilling to fill that role, then too bad/so sad, can’t use it.

    There is a legitimate interest here in protecting the journals and the academic credits of the authors, certainly. But they can’t have it both ways –if that interest is higher than the interest of the IPCC in getting early peeks at in-process articles. . . then it is. Live with it.

  112. Mark Matthesson
    Posted Apr 20, 2010 at 3:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    When the then chairman of the IPCC refers to skeptics as ‘flat earthers’ you get the impression that the IPCC is biased..

4 Trackbacks

  1. [...] “IPCC and Data Access” de Steve McIntyre: One of the most important IPCC representations is the supposedly tremendous quality control of its review process. I’ve mentioned in passing on a number of occasions that, when I sought to obtain supporting data for then unpublished articles, IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer. [...]

  2. By Warmest March on Apr 20, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    [...] by the IPCC) requested more information about a paper he was reviewing so he could verify it .. IPCC and Data Access Climate Audit Not really the scientific method is it Clippo? It is time that proper debate took place with [...]

  3. [...] D’Arrigo had earlier removed a reference to McIntyre and McKitrick in a earlier version of their article stating “i dont want to validate macintyre and mcitrick by referencing their work”. Jones contacted IPCC Chair Susan Solomon, who then threatened to expel me as an IPCC reviewer if I persisted in efforts to obtain supporting data for unpublished articles cited by IPCC. See earlier chronology here. [...]

  4. […] Steve McIntyre, mentioned above, also was refused access to data important for assessing some key statements in the paleoclimate chapter of the 2007 report. He was even threatened with being fired as a reviewer if he persisted in his requests – see here. […]

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