IPCC Review Comments Now Online

Well, here is a small accomplishment that I think can reasonably be credited to climateaudit. As we approach the due date for the NOAA FOI responses, IPCC has now put the review comments online. Enjoy.


  1. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Typing in “McIntyre” in the Acrobat Reader search function lights up the board.

  2. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Steve. There is no doubt that without your efforts and patience these comments would not be available. Thanks

  3. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Credit goes to you Steve M. Persistence pays.

  4. UC
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply


    Thus, it now appears that the Von Storch et al (2004) study is fundamentally flawed, and the conclusions of the study unreliable at best, meaningless at worst. I would thus urge the authors to avoid basing any IPCC conclusions either directly or indirectly, on this study

    While I agree that Von Storch 2004 is fundamentally flawed, I need to add that along goes many studies written before 2004. But by no means Storch 2004 is meaningless. It tells a lot about the state of this branch of science.

  5. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I hit paydirt after a mere 10 minutes looking only at the SPM 2nd draft comments. Jacobson’s comments on soot raise a truly disturbing picture regarding just how wrong headed this entire IPCC driven madness has become. And they went unanswered!

    No wonder the Turtle Bay bureaucrats do not want these comments to be seen. What I found so far is the tip of the iceberg, I reckon. Truly and utterly disturbing.

  6. Reid
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Pressure from the skeptic community is the only reason it is online. The webpage was last Updated: 22-Jun-2007 10:51

    I’m sure the Climate Auditors will find many gems.

  7. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Comment 6-57 for the second order draft on paleoclimatology in interesting.

    Is is “fair use” to post individual comments to a blog and comment on them? Or do you think that they’ll do what Scientific American did to Bjorn Lomborg and threaten lawsuits if the quotes are too long. The first page of the PDF states:

    These comments and responses are not to be edited and/ or redistributed in part or in full to others.

  8. PHE
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Fascinating reading. A great achievement to see this now online.

  9. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #7 – Of course, it would be perfectly legal to essentially write a competing open source, assessment, which incorporates the many well stated points which were rejected or ignored by the IPCC. Then post it.

  10. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My hat is off to Dr. McIntyre, persistence does pay.

  11. Reid
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I see a list of 170 authors and reviewers.


    I’m looking for a list of the 2,500 consensus scientists and can’t find it. Anyone know where a list of the 2,500 is?

  12. John Baltutis
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well done by the blog owner! Sunshine at last, the ultimate spotlight.

  13. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There are some guys you will go to the gates of hell for. just sayin.

    SteveM we have another problem, I think. I was going to go visit the Santa Cruz site for Anthony
    and I noticed that NOAA has thrown up a roadblock.

    NOAA has removed the field in MMS used to locate the USHCN and COOP stations.
    They took the site offline, “fixed” it ( displaying a go away
    message) and then when it came back up with the all important field missing.

    The field “Managing Parties:” under the “Identity” tab was
    removed. So, they have removed this information. It thwarts our efforts.

    If you dont have this information, you are showing up unannounced to photograph.
    Also, Volunteers have used this information to interview the folks who monitor the sites.

    The URL is:


    perform a “Guest Login”

    perform a station name search, for example “Petaluma” for Petaluma,
    CA which has a COOP station.

    The results of this search are returned.click on the results, the
    popup window says this:

    “Unauthorized Attempt
    You do not have access to the requested resource. All actions are
    being logged.”

    Now, I know Anthony is busy so I don’t want to bug him with this. And lord knows
    he doesn’t need another round of Publicity on the order of Drudge, Instapundit,
    and Fox. So, I’m keeping my powder dry. But, perhaps we can address this Via

    Pittman may have in interesting angle on a DQA lawsuit. John P. I need pointers;

  14. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kudos Mr. Steve.


  15. Jeremy Friesen
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I too noticed that Managing Parties was nowhere to be found when I recently checked where my local Abbotsford BC station was, in hopes of taking a few amateur photos for surfacestations (though I’m not sure I’m qualified to do a site survey).

    I thought maybe I just didn’t know where to look!

    I did still manage to find the general area via google earth, so the site has some uses, but at this point I’ll have to just knock on the doors of the 2 nearby farms to figure out who manages it.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #13. I was able to sign OK and get info for Petaluma. Can you move this to another thread.

  17. JerryB
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Outstanding! Congratulations!

  18. John Nicklin
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A job well done Steve!

    For the most part the comments look like a love in. Any substantive comments seem to be rejected, outside the consensus I guess. I’m amazed that people put so much stock in the IPCC given the level of manipulation that goes on. Its interesting that they would open this up to the public and then slap a nondisclosure message at the bottom of each page. You can read it but you can’t quote it.

  19. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 5:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 16.

    no further mention on this thread.

  20. Reid
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #18 John Nicklin says “Its interesting that they would open this up to the public and then slap a nondisclosure message at the bottom of each page. You can read it but you can’t quote it.”

    It is already being quoted directly with disregard for the copyright restriction. How exactly would the UN-IPCC try to enforce a copyright? They have no sovereignty. Would they petition member states to enforce their copyright? Of course they won’t. The copyright disclaimer is a joke! If they ever try to enforce it they will be shining a spotlight on something they are trying to keep out of the limelight.

  21. Bob Meyer
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre:

    Congratulations on your success and for not taking “No” for an answer.

  22. Vetivesonbagh Puntilaya
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My god, it’s full of gems!

  23. DocMartyn
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    How about this for a quote

    “I would have complimented the authors for a very fine revision to their chapter even if I
    had not been added as a contributing author, though I do appreciate that step.
    [Michael MacCracken (Reviewer's comment ID #: 152-233)]”
    Ch01: Batch AB (06/15/06) Page 6 of 70

    A reviewer likes the stuff so much, they made him an author?


  24. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve downloaded all the pdf files just in case the whole page disappears at some point. This is a remarkable accomplishment on Steve’s part, and let’s hope the information remains available to the interested public.

  25. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #23 and numerous others – well, now it’s there for all to see. The IPCC is just another two bit, low level, unprofessional bunch of clowns. The emperor has no clothes.

  26. Jeff
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They pretty much reject anything which doesn’t agree with their assessments. How is this objective in any way? If a reviewer provides cites to published papers supporting their position, shouldn’t the responder be required to provide cites which contradict the position they’re rejecting?

  27. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 7:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    See comments 8-266, -267, and -268 on page 53 of 150 of the Second Order Draft Comments.

    I got what I wanted. An official statement by the IPCC that independent Verification, Validation, amd Software Quality Assurance is not an aspect of the IPCC work. The AOLGCM models/codes are research-grade, not production grade. This refers to the AOLGCM models/codes, but very likely applies to all aspects of all software that is a part of the IPCC efforts; data collection and analysis, pre- and post-processing, … , everything. Not a pretty picture and an issue that the Carbon Regulatory Agency will focus on early in its life.

  28. Jeff
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Saw that. Good work, Dan!

  29. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE27 AOL does a climate modeling program? (AOLGCM)

    We ARE in trouble.

  30. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 9:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Congrats, Steve, for making this happen. Otherwise I would have had no idea that a strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation could cause warming patterns to position themselves so as to coincide with areas of economic development. (3-453, FOD comments Chapter 3) I wonder if GCM’s can simulate this.

  31. Ralph Becket
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re.#26: I searched through the first half of the comments on the Technical Summary and found that any reviewer’s comments concerning errors of fact or confidence were rejected, frequently with a note merely gainsaying the reviewer’s point. (My publication list would certainly be longer if this technique worked in computer science.)

    Has anyone found any cases where a review comment that contradicted the general line of argument in the draft was accepted?

  32. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 9:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, Top work and congrats from many from Down Under. Persistence pays off.

    We’ll be looking for particular example from Australia, where we are more familiar with the countryside.

    Now for some hard work from us, to thank you for yours!

    Geoff Sherrington.

  33. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #27 concerning research-grade versus production-grade software:

    Twenty years ago in the mid-1980′s when I was designing and coding large-scale geotechnical databases for DOE’s civilian nuclear waste repository program, I was called upon to assist our software QA people in getting our staff scientists on board with the concept of writing new production-grade software versus continuing on with our existing research-grade software.

    These scientists were writing much of the software they used day-to-day, for better or worse, and virtually everything they wrote had an impact on the technical defensibility of our proposed geologic repository. At that time, the anti-nuclear forces had discovered that they weren’t getting very far in the courts challenging nuclear projects on the basic issues of nuclear safety. But then they latched on to the argument that there was a systematic lack of quality assurance in some nuclear projects, and they went to town with that argument wherever a particular nuclear project had done an inadequate job in managing for quality and for quality assurance. And so the issue of lack of software QA was identified early on as a major programmatic weakness that had to be addressed.

    As you can imagine, there was significant resistance from the scientists to implementing a strong software QA program. There were two primary objections of equal concern. The scientists believed a software QA program would severely constrain their freedom to experiment with their modeling codes, and the added expense and expanded project time frames required for implementing a software QA program had not been included in their estimated project costs and schedules.

    Management’s very appropriate response was as follows: The public expects the design of a civilian nuclear waste repository to meet the highest expectations for quality assurance and for quality control. In the public mind, as it concerns nuclear projects, the lack of an adequate quality assurance program is fully equivalent to the lack of quality itself. And for purposes of licensing a nuclear facility, failures in either quality itself or in the quality assurance program will have exactly the same effect. So, regardless of how well the code is written or how technically defensible it might be, unless the code is backed by a proper software QA program, the software would fail any challenges that anti-repository forces might bring against it.

    After the decision was made to proceed with a formal QA program, I was assigned to help the scientists get their feet wet in software QA, software V&V, and software lifecycle concepts in general. The first thing I realized in watching how the scientists wrote their software, especially their modeling codes, was that they were translating their mental concepts and ideas directly into computer code; i.e., they were bypassing the English language as their primary means of technical communication and they were using FORTRAN itself as the primary means for initially documenting their technical and theoretical concepts.

    A common refrain heard from these scientists was this: OK, I’ll play your game, I’ll just add more comments inside the code listing, and that’s all we will need. I don’t have room in my budget or schedule to do anything more.

    Those of us who were deep into software engineering as a profession said in response, “Not hardly.” You the scientists will have to do all that is expected of us the software engineers. You will have to write requirements documents, system design documents, test plans, data dictionaries, software configuration plans, coding standards, production operation plans and procedures, and software archival and retirement plans. You will have to maintain and archive both your software and the data sets used by your software as “record material.” And, because the context in which this software operates is the design and construction of a nuclear facility, you will actually have to follow all these plans and procedures—to the letter—otherwise everything your software touches can, and most certainly will be, challenged in the courts.

    Eventually, through trial and error, we found various means by which the scientists could prototype their software “offline” so to speak. But as soon as it reached a certain stage, the software lifecycle standards came into play, and the software was captured and documented inside a formal process. It didn’t give the scientists as much freedom as they had before, but it was something they could live with, although admittedly at significantly increased cost in time and money.

  34. JG
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 19

    Which thread has it been moved to? I have a snapshot of the data.

  35. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve M,

    A belated well done!!!! If I could knight you I would. :-)


  36. gladys
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    On a quick first read through, the consensus view here in the nursing home is that the claim that a consensus of scientists agree re AGW is FALSE!

  37. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kudos to you Steve. I also think that Ross McK’s contributions stood out. Showed a very mature spirit, positive and balanced.

  38. John Norris
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Amazing accomplishment Steve (and kudos for any assists from CA contributors)!

    re #24 Scott-in-WA

    What’s the over/under on how long before they find some legal reason to take it down?

  39. Buddenbrook
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is shocking. It’s hard to believe. Why are they doing this? What are their motives? This is not science anymore, and deep down many of them must know it.

    Is it because of pride, no turning back once you have nailed your colours to the mast (for some people like Hansen it’s their life work)? Or is it because they want to silence doubt so to make it easier to gather political backing? What is the justification? Are they justifying themselves, or is there a ethical motive to it, i.e. you can distort the process if you believe you are doing it for the greater good (helping to prevent catastrophic anthropogenic warming)?

    In any case it is now unquestionable that widespread scientific distortion is going on, and the question “why” has to be comforted. The media seem to numb to this, and that’s disturbing. What happened to inquiry?

    Surely someone can make an editorial piece from all this to a major journal, tying together some of the best pieces. How can they claim copyright? Did the reviewers sign a contract that IPCC hold all rights to their input? And what is scientific about that?

    I can’t believe this. Thanks for the eyeopener.

  40. Buddenbrook
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This reinforces the picture I have got from following realclimate. Difficult questions are either ignored or censored or people asking them are attacked with ad hominems. But these questions are hardly ever answered with substance, data or analysis. What motive could you ever have to resort to such tactics, if you were confident the facts were on your side? From such a position of strenght, it should be relatively easy to prove your opponents wrong and to portray the scientific strenght of your position. This simple question is for me, as a layperson, the strongest reason to doubt the integrity of their research. Their modus operandi does not reflect positively on the credibility of their research.

    What can a layperson possibly do about this state of affairs, any suggestions?

  41. JMS
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to say that the real credit probably belongs to James Annan and Micheal Manning. JA got “McIntyer’d” too, but he asked politely and got a response. You didn’t.

  42. Manny
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Just wait a few months until this sorts out. Their trickery shall be exposed for all to see!

  43. JMS
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Buddenbrook: everything that is written is assumed to have copyright at origin. If copyright is asserted it is considered valid, if copyright is not asserted things go into a grey area.

  44. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #38, John Norris, what’s the over/under on how long before they find some legal reason to take it down?

    I suspect that some clearly legal reason could be found to take it down, or else that some gray-area reason could be creatively applied. I also suspect that very strong pressures will develop inside the pro-AGW community for this to be done.

    Would IPCC actually take it down? IMHO, if it stays up, the gist of its contents will eventually be spun into oblivion by pro-AGW forces and be largely ignored. But if it is taken down, then the damage to IPCC’s credibility from that action could eventually be far-reaching. So it’s in IPCC’s best interests to keep it all available.

    But it could go either way, and I can’t predict either the “if” or the “when.”

  45. Mark T
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to say that the real credit probably belongs to James Annan and Micheal Manning. JA got “McIntyer’d” too, but he asked politely and got a response. You didn’t.

    An unbelievably ridiculous statement. The IPCC had no intention of putting the comments online till Steve asked, and he asked formally, and politely, in spite of your whine to the contrary. James Annan and Michael Manning would not have even known about this, nor cared, had Steve not asked. It’s as if you think the IPCC was waiting around till someone they liked “asked nicely?” Yeah, right.


  46. Buddenbrook
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well I assume it would fall under fair use and I can’t see how they could argue that, because if they tried, it would just backfire on them.

  47. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 12:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re non-disclosure

    For general interest, I have emailed the IPCC that I will not accept the legitimacy of its “I Accept” form on non-disclosure because I have a belief that some of the content was fabricated. I have said that I will agree to the conditions if

    (a) the authors each sign public declarations that they did not fabricate data; and

    (b) that the IPCC can demonstrate that it has a legitimite right to impose the said non-alteration, non-disclosure conditions.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    However, it is a flawed process when a group of scientists tries to stifle comment about suspected falsification. That is the antithesis of scientific investigation.

  48. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 34.

    Lets move it to unthreaded 13. Or email info to Anthony

  49. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s great to read these comments and see the breadth of reviewers involved in the process. The IPCC contributing author I spoke to is very happy that the detailed scrutiny that the reports are getting is open for scrutiny.

    #36 The same author had just said in his talk that frankly, the level of IPCC consensus was that anthropogenic emissions was causing climate change, and beyond this one point the scientists disagreed about pretty much everything else. Personally, I found this healthy.

  50. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to say that the real credit probably belongs to James Annan and Micheal Manning. JA got “McIntyer’d” too, but he asked politely and got a response. You didn’t.

    First of all, I asked politely and got exactly the same response as Annan received to a similarly worded request. I put my initial request online. The IPCC essentially stonewalled these requests.

    What changed things? Easy. In my opinion, it was the FOI requests, not just from me but from quite a few CA readers, mostly to NOAA but also to DEFRA to the UK, all of whom had copies of the comments that would almost certainly be producible under FOI.

    This created a problem for NOAA – were they going to turn down the FOI requests? On what grounds? They realized that they were going to look like fools. I’m sure that someone explained to Susan Solomon and MArtin Manning what lay ahead – the governments and IPCC could engage in a no-win battle that would have no public sympathy and which they would lose, or they could give in and put the ocmments online. They did the latter.

    But without the FOI requests and the probability of their legal and moral effectiveness, I think that IPCC continues its stonewall.

  51. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:57 AM | Permalink | Reply


    May I join the chorus of congratulations.

    I am truly enjoying the read, more so now that I have a good grounding on the subject matter, a good grounding that I achieved by reading sites like Climate Audit.

    I am in a better position now to enjoy the read. A few years ago I would have been truly distressed. But now it has gone way past self parody.

    I await the rejoiner that these notes were always available and that the deniers are again making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    I am particularly enjoying the sycophantic comments and their responses. Some are “Noted” and some are “Accepted”. It brings to mind a medieval bishop on a thrown receiving suplicants and their gifts, noting some and accepting others.

    Thanks again and keep up the fantastic work.

  52. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:33 AM | Permalink | Reply


    May I join the chorus of congratulations.

    I am particularly enjoying the sycophantic comments

    LOL ;-)

  53. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reid (#11): Apologies if this has already been answered. The “170″ authors and reviewers listed in http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_AuthorList_2005-11-03.pdf do not include the many Contributing Authors (see any one of the AR4 Chapters and you will see an example of such a list). My own estimates for AR4 are:

    No. of authors: > 600
    No. of reviewers: > 650
    No. papers reviewed: ~6000

    I don’t know where you got the figure of “2,500 consensus scientists” from. Perhaps it is composed of the AR4 authors, AR4 reviewers and paper authors – there is of course a lot of overlap, so even if you knew the counts for each of these, the total would be less than the sum of the counts. The job of doing the total count of people contributing to “IPCC science” seems like a nice little job to be done in retirement!

  54. bernie
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations, though I await a “Dummies” guide, less I have to give up my day job!

  55. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:13 AM | Permalink | Reply


    I don’t know where you got the figure of “2,500 consensus scientists” from.

    He probably got that from the many articles which throw that number around.

    IPCC flyer claims “2500+ scientific expert reviewers” here and here.

    Lots of media articles seem to take that 2,500 number and run with it, such as this one – “Climate Change Debate ‘Now Over’”

    “…Speaking during a visit to Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, Mr Miliband said: “I think this report from 2,000-2,500 scientists means that the debate about climate change is now over…

    …The evidence in a new report published in Paris has the finest pedigree – the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which draws together 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries…”

  56. TonyN
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    More careful reference to uncertainty and lack of understanding is required. In
    several places the casual reader might think we understand very little ‘€” but in
    reality we know a lot but not enough to quantify it.
    [Govt. of United Kingdom (Reviewer's comment ID #: 2022-93)]

    Am I alone in finding this a very strange comment in a scientific debate? Surely quantification is fundamental to scientific certainty and understanding. But if your priority is to convince the casual reader then I suppose such things don’t really matter.

  57. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems that the IPCC doesn’t want the names of the 2,500+ consensus scientists to be made public. A list of the 2,500+ would reveal whether there is an actual consensus. An enterprising journalist could use the list to interview and poll the scientists.

    I’m going to send my Congressman, Sen. Inhofe and Congressman Barton a snail mail letter letting them know and ask them to pressure the UN-IPCC into releasing the 2,500+ scientist list.

  58. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #57. Reid, in my opinion, this is a non-issue and I wouldn’t waste powder on this request. I think that the vast majority of IPCC reviewers are agreed. In any event, the names of the reviewers are listed in the review comments. If you want to count up the reviewers, it’s possible to do so from the information that is now online, although it would be time-consuming to do so manually. Now that the pdf’s are online, someone like Nicholas could probably figure out to scrape the commenters’ names from the files. Once that’s done, it would be easy to sort and uniquify without wasting powder.

  59. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    My first take on the comments gave me some surprise by their rather informal nature and the patterned responses of the authors with Accepted, Considered, Will Consider and Rejected. Since the most numerous responses were in the Accepted and Considered categories and those would appear to be eventually included in the final reports, I would think an efficient analysis of what did not make it into the report would be to look exclusively at the Rejected comments. I plan to put these comments together in one place and analyze them. I also realize that the Will Consider category which covers a number of the reveiwers comments was simply a more polite way of saying “rejected”.

  60. Boris
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And so the search for the smoking gun begins. Good luck.

  61. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #53

    You should consider fax or email rather than snail mail for communications with congressional offices. All mail going to important people in Washington, DC, is x-rayed and screened. This can add several weeks to the delivery time.

  62. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #58

    I agree that the names of the scientific reviewers can now be collected from the newly released documents. Creating a list would probably violate the IPCC terms of use and take a long time if done manually. I have doubts whether that list will reach 2,500+.

    It is clear to me that the IPCC has intentionally not released a list of the 2,500+ scientific reviewers. It is not an innocent oversight.

  63. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #60


    Thanks for the words of encouragement. Your support of this effort to ensure openness and transparency from the IPCC is very much appreciated.


  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #60. I said at the outset of this to readers that they should not expect anything other than a “consensus” and not to expect something that disproves AGW. I’ve looked so far mainly at the comments relating to material that I’m familiar with and the comments there are very biased and speak to the IPCC process in those topics.

    Boris, do you agree with the IPCC author that it was “inappropriate” to show the Briffa reconstruction after 1960 and do you accept the argument that the mere statement by an IPCC author that it was “inappropriate” settles the matter?

  65. deweyp
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #58

    If you have access to a unix/linux box, the packages you can use to convert pdf to text are xpdf & xpdf-tools.

    In xpdf-tools is a tool called “pdftotext”. You can invoke it thusly:

    pdftotext -layout pdffile textfile

    I ran a quick scan on chap 6 and generated a list of 101 reviewers using:

    sed ‘s/ //g’ chap6.txt | grep “^\[.*\]$” | sort | uniq

    Another look at the file showed that of the 1656 comments

    629 – Accepted
    421 – Noted
    211 – Rejected
    128 – Taken into account
    4 – See Comment

    The numbers are approximations due to misspellings and case differences that I couldn’t clear out at the moment.

  66. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This seems impossible; a suggestion by NASA/GISS that the IPCC Cherry Pick.

    Second Order Draft Comments, Chapter 10, Page 185 of 188, Comment 10-1306.

    Fortunately, more cooler heads prevailed.

    But it does make one wonder about other opportunities that were not passed up.

  67. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And so the search for the smoking gun begins. Good luck.

    You’re the only one that seems to think everyone is looking for some “smoking gun that disproves A in GW.” Quite the contrary, we, as scientists, amateur or otherwise, simply want the truth behind what the IPCC is doing. In your world, it is OK to hide, manipulate, or otherwise obfuscate data and conclusions since you already “know” the answer. The rest of us aren’t nearly concerned as you w.r.t. _what_ the answer is, we just want to make sure it is the right one based on _all_ of the data, not just the bits that are picked out by some self-proclaimed “consensus” of scientists.


  68. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #67 – it took me all of 10 minutes to find my first smoking gun. And in the process, I found scores of suspect spent shells.

  69. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #65. Dewey or others, if there were 101 reviewers for chapter 6, which was a relatively well commented chapter, it would be interesting to see how many reviewers there were overall. It doesn’t sound like it would take very long. If you email me a list, I’ll post it up.

  70. rafa
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Dr. McIntyre, hats off!

  71. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #69,

    It seems like there are far less than 2,500+ scientific reviewers who have commented. Maybe half by my guesstimation. Who are the reviewers who haven’t commented? Seems like the 2,500+ scientists proclaimed loudly by the IPCC, the media, politicians and greens is just a marketing ploy.

    My fixation on the 2,500+ list has nothing to do with the underlying science. But it has everything to do with the underlying politics.

  72. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Maybe the “2,500″ includes all of the authors to every paper referenced?

  73. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #72 Jason L says “Maybe the “2,500′€³ includes all of the authors to every paper referenced?”

    According to the IPCC there are “2,500+ scientific expert reviewers”. See the public relations flyer.


    Eventually the IPCC will post the 2,500+ list. Just like they finally posted the expert commentary nearly 6 months late. Delay of game, no penalty.

  74. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #67 – it took me all of 10 minutes to find my first smoking gun. And in the process, I found scores of suspect spent shells.

    What you call a “smoking gun” is the type of thing that folks like Boris think is immaterial. Perhaps through a lack of understanding, perhaps through an unwillingness to admit there may be a valid problem (when you “know” the answer, what reason is there to look at anything that refutes, or even modifies, that?).


  75. Bob Koss
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I just sent you a file of reviewers by chapter for the 2nd order review.

  76. Bob Koss
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply


    My list is based on the individual chapter pdfs (right hand column)

  77. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #64

    #60. I said at the outset of this to readers that they should not expect anything other than a “consensus” and not to expect something that disproves AGW. I’ve looked so far mainly at the comments relating to material that I’m familiar with and the comments there are very biased and speak to the IPCC process in those topics.

    Agreed, but I am looking for more nuanced comments that might speak to the confidence of the authors and the general tone of confidence imparted by the report. Would not it be great (and only fitting) to get the IPCC to reveal the paper trail of the authors in how they determined the confidence and likelihood levels that were published? I am not far into the reviewers’ comments, but I have already seen a comment pertaining to the general overconfidence to a section that a reviewer thinks was undeserved and objected to. The author’s reply was a not unexpected: Rejected.

  78. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 73 and others

    I don’t know where the list of 2,500 is, but this list shows about 1,300 names



  79. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #78 Robert Burns says “I don’t know where the list of 2,500 is, but this list shows about 1,300 names


    The IPCC claims 2,500+ scientific expert reviewers, 800 contributing authors and 450 lead authors.

    Annex II list of authors lists approx.700 names. 14 pages times approx. 50 per page. That is way short of the claimed 1,250. Why the discrepancy?
    Annex III list of expert reviewers approx. 550 names. 11 pages times approx 50 per page. That is way short of the claimed 2,500+. Why the discrepancy.

    Hey, UN-IPCC, release the complete list of scientists who you claim have come to a consensus. The world is watching now.

  80. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 3:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bob K, thanks very much for this. Others: I’ve massaged Bob K’s csv file available here and have made a table in which there is row for each reviewer and the number of comments by chapter form 11 columns with totals. There are 309 unique reviewers (of which a number are Government reviews) and a total of 11542 review comments. The leader in review comments by a LARGE margin was Vincent Gray. I ranked 20th in terms of the number of comments, just behind Martin Manning and was 3rd for chapter 6, behind Vincent Gray and Michel Crucifix. Chapter rankings were 11, 10, 3, 6…

    There were probably reviewers for the FOD not in the SOD, so 550 might be about right.

    Reid – as I mentioned before, I suggest that you relax about this issue. There’s a point to be made but irony is a more effective tone. However, it does look like the 2500+ figure is exaggerated. Also the 550 or so reviewers overlaps with the 800 authors – someone would have to check as to whether the overlap is extensive or minor. It’s not as though the merit of the report is altered materially one way or the other by whether there are 1200 people involved or 2500, but it is perhaps symptomatic of the over-selling that occurs too often in this area.

  81. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 79

    I have no idea who the other people are. I also think the 1300 listed did not come to a consensus on AGW, or on the IPCC report. After all, Steve McIntyre is one of the 1300 listed.

  82. Reid
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #80 Reid…I suggest you relax.

    Will do. Just having a periodic over-commenting attack.

    I agree with you that this is just over-selling. This is not related to the science so I thank Steve for tolerating my attacks on the UN-IPCC public relations material. My fixation on the 2,500 number is that it has become iconic in popular culture. Much of the mainstream media reporting on the IPCC has included the 2,500 number.

  83. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #13 It is better to use the FOIA for what you request. Steve had some guidelines that a couple of us drafted. You must have about 6 items specifically requested or stated. You can also see the Federal agencies guidelines searching “FOI and “Federal Agency”” or go to federal agency website and search “FOI”. It should give you the required information and the person/office email to make an email request. Remember you will need to offer a reasonable amount of money for the information. If it was preasent on web, it should be free. However, they may claim that it contains personel information and is exempt. Depends on what is in what you “specifically” request. Remember it must be specific.

  84. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 4:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #83 is for Steven Mosher #13. I think what you want to use is FOIA rather than DQA to get data. I posted several interesting links for different aspects in DQA in a couple of threads. Note that decisions generally indicate you can’t make a federal agency include some one else’s work. You have to be showing that their work does not meet DQA. Of interest is the IPPC work that the State Department will disseminate. It is not their work, but they are disseminating it. If someone has asked me something, and I haven’t replied, Sorry, but I have been on vacation, had to do 4 regulatory reports and had 2 inspections in the last week. Besides my daily work. So please re-ask, if I miss responding. Thanks.

  85. Philip B
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’d say the 2,500 ‘leading scientists (or whatever phrasing is used) goes to the heart of the matter. Namely, the IPCC making statements/claims not supported by the facts. It is also something that the general public can easily grasp. If the IPCC cannot substantiate the 2,500 claim, then what other claims can they not substantiate?

  86. Scott Lurndal
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #65:

    sed 's/ //g' /tmp/AR4WG1_chap3.txt | grep "^\[.*\]$" | sed 's/^\[\(.*\)(.*$/\1/' |sort -u |wc -l

    The second sed was necessary to remove duplicates. I get 87 reviewers for chapter 3 second draft.

    90% of the rejects were from Dr. Gray.

  87. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE 83 and 84.

    Thanks John,

    Per SteveM request I’ll take this up elsewhere. But According to a number of folks (not just me) NOAA
    has changed the web site to restrict information about the site operator. I suspect on grounds
    of privacy. Email Anthony Watts at surface station, and we can keep this from clogging up this discussion
    as I have promised SteveM. I’ve done one FOIA to NOAA on the IPCC issue and the IRS hasnt called
    so, I’m game for more.

  88. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To all who are discussing the “2500+” scientific whatevers:

    Michael Jankowski (#55) gives two links, both of which quite clearly refer to ALL the AR4 reports (including WG1, WG2 and WG3). The Wikipedia link also lists the WG1 contributions as:

    600 authors from 40 countries
    Over 620 expert reviewers

    which is pretty well consistent with my estimates of posting #53 which also applied to WG1.

    So – you are muddling up statistics for WG1 only, and statistics for ALL the AR4 reports.

    [Steve: snip - please do not be rude to other posters. I agree with your point distinguishing between WG1 reviewers and all reviewers as a plausible explanation of the 2500+ figure if the number of reviewers in the other reports is similar.]

  89. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 5:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Comment 10-112 reads as

    replace “assessment” with “guessing

    However the comments that I see here are not those that I have seen in peer reviews. They appear more like teh comments that junior authors make on a draft paper prepared by the senior author. Even the sycophantic comments are familiar. This is not a critical review but a collaborative paper writing exercise

  90. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #87. Steve Mosher, you can discuss it here – just on a different thread.

  91. bruce
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #90

    This is not a critical review but a collaborative paper writing exercise

    …..with a narrow clique of authors pushing a narrative that is aimed at achieving a political agenda.

  92. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #86 …. 90% of the rejects were from Dr. Gray.

    There were many short comments from Dr. Gray which challenged, on a sentence by sentence basis, semantics and word-smithing employed within the drafts which falsely implied that certain kinds of data had been gathered from physical experimentation as opposed to being generated artificially by computer modeling and simulation.

  93. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 92

    Vincent Gray has long critised the IPCC for misinformation. Soem examples would be good to see without having to wade through everything. Thanks

  94. John Lish
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 11:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    One additional thing for Reid and others to consider about the IPCC process is the lack of procedural standards in the presentation of chapters. This struck me about the TAR and scanning through 4AR WG1, this hasn’t improved. Therefore I suspect that any request for such information by Reid or others would require a manual search rather than a simple interrogation of data.

    The 2,500+ figure appears to be an approximation. It may well be correct but whether the IPCC has the systems to record the actual numbers is doubtful. So, it might be a good exercise for them to undergo as it might encourage some standardisation in recording such data.

  95. Ian Foulsham
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I looked through a few and noticed Vincent Gray’s comments.
    If you want a taster of almost all the rejected ones, it goes:
    “Change ‘likely’ to ‘unlikely’”

    You can make your own guesses as to what the text was being commented about. :o)

    My particular favourite was more of a general thing that I noticed a number of times.
    The names have been changed obviously:

    “I think you need to cite Schmo et al (2003) here.

    Joe Schmo”

    Not being aware of any of the papers in question and not having the time, I don’t know if they were just trying to get their names in the spotlight or whether it was mischievious on their part.

  96. drscroogemcduck
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 4:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    i liked this comment:

    It is quite worrying that the models diverge in the more recent part. This could be seized on by skeptics.

  97. Spence_UK
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting set of comments from Dr. Gray in the comments on second order draft, chapter 10.

    In comment 10-1315 Dr. Gray (rightly, in my view) complains that uncertainty intervals are displayed as +/- one standard deviation, whereas common practice is to show two standard deviations (i.e. 95% intervals). The author rejects this outright as the text states the intervals used.

    In comment 10-1321 Dr. Gray once again highlights another case of one standard deviation in use. The response this time? The comment is accepted! The author responds by stating uncertainties will be 5%-95% where possible (minor gripe, 2 standard devs on a normal pdf are 2.5%-97.5%)

    It seems the response to reviewers comments are fairly ad hoc and inconsistent, with plenty of scope for lead author bias to manifest itself throughout the document (“institutionalised bias”?)

  98. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 8:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #93 concerning Dr. Gray’s oomments

    Readers of this blog who want to gain some insight into what’s happening with the IPCC review process really do need to take some time to look through the comments and then refer back to the text of draft chapters.

    The semantics involving confidence intervals are being misrepresented to imply that that there is high confidence from a scientific perspective that C02 is the primary climate driver which is responsible for recent global warming. Also what is very clearly happening is that a strong bias exists among those in charge of the review process towards discounting the importance of any non-C02 climate drivers, particularly solar drivers.

    A good example of the former starts with comments TS-64 on page 11 of 163 of the Technical Summary Comments:

    TS-64 A 4:41 4:42

    COMMENT: Using the 95% confidence interval as an uncertainty band is standard scientific practice. There should be no exceptions.
    [Lenny Bernstein (Reviewer's comment ID #: 20-13)]
    RESPONSE: Rejected for many reasons. Many different definitions of uncertainty bands are used in the literature. This terminology goes beyond assumptions of normal distributions and covers many situations where 95% intervals cannot be provided

    A good example of the latter is comment TS-69 starting on page 11 of 163 of the Technical Summary Comments:

    TS-69 A 5:1 5:9

    COMMENT: The text should also point out that there are changes in solar insolation over the course of the 11 year solar cycle. [Jeff Kueter (Reviewer's comment ID #: 137-14)]
    RESPONSE: Yes, there are variations, but this is not considered significant for the long-term change in solar irradiance. Rejected because this would be misleading in the context here.

    In summary, it’s obvious from reading through the comments and responses that the chapter authors themselves are all fully convinced that C02 is the primary climate driver for recent global warming, and they will do whatever is necessary to enforce this belief as it is reflected in the latest IPCC report—even if this means, in effect, rejecting well-established norms in discussing and reporting the results of scientific research.

  99. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #98 – An even more frightening thing is the tacit assumption by a seeming majority of IPCCers that mid 20th century pollution from Europe and North America combined with volacanoes, which of course may have contributed to the 1940 – 1970s cooling, was some sort of transient event, never again to be experienced. As I see it, these issues were but a hint of things to come as the 21st century unfolds. There has been lots of attention given to China, in terms of the all but inevitable rise in aerosols from their coal burning. What of future coal burning in Russia, in Latin America, in Africa? Those impacts will only just start hitting 10 to 20 years from now. Add to all this all the other known and likely innate variations in non CO2 related forcings. It is truly frightening that the world is being set up to be blindsided by any number of very, very bad highly plausible outcomes, none of which has received the slightest inkling of discussion by the IPCC and the massive herd of sheep roped in by them. I am morally outraged. May karma reign.

  100. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #98

    I have found reading the entire Reviewers’ Comments in detail just for Chapter 6 a daunting task. What I have found useful is to page down to the rejected comments and collect those for a summary later. I am a bit more than a third through the first order comments and have found some comments questioning the certainty implied by the authors to such items as:

    The Holocene Optimum being no warmer than present by way of warm higher latitudes being compensated by colder tropical areas.

    How well we understand orbital effects on past variations on climate and particularly getting out of a glacier event.

    The exact cause and nature of these ocean circulation changes.

    Modeling the ice sheet instabilities that are the likely cause of Heinrich events.

    Paleoclimate in general.

    Understanding of orbital forcing that would indicate that the earth would not naturally enter another ice age for at least 30,000 years.

    The possiblity for the rapid climate change to occur in the current interglacial period without a NA ice sheet.

    The climate variations of the past 1000 or 2000 years (it remains more elusive than was thought to be the case at the time of the TAR).

    Evidence of how large scale average surface temperatures have changed in the past centuries in light of the markedly fewer well-dated proxy records for the SH compared to the NH.

    Paleoclimatology as a mature field.

    Validation of the astronomical hypothesis of Milankovitch on driving ice ages.

  101. Buddenbrook
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anyone else bothered how vague their reply to the AOGCM skeptics is?


    Question 8.1: How Reliable Are the Models Used to Make Projections of Future Climate Change?

    There is considerable confidence that climate models provide plausible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. Confidence in these estimates is higher for some climate variables (e.g., temperature) than for others (e.g., precipitation).. This confidence comes from the foundation of the models in accepted physical principles and from their ability to reproduce observed features of current climate and past climate changes.

    Climate models are mathematical representations of the climate system, expressed as computer codes and run on powerful computers. One source of confidence in models comes from the fact that model fundamentals are based on established physical laws, such as conservation of mass, energy and momentum, along with a wealth of observations.

    A second source of confidence comes from the ability of models to simulate aspects of the current climate. Models are routinely and extensively assessed by comparing their simulations with observations of the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and land surface, and unprecedented levels of evaluation have taken place over the last decade in the form of organised multi-model intercomparisons’. Such tests have shown models to have significant, and increasing, skill representing many important features of climate and climate variability. Examples are the large scale patterns and seasonal variations of atmospheric temperature, precipitation, radiation and wind, as well as oceanic temperatures, currents and seaice cover. Some climate models, or closely related variants, have also been tested by using them to predict weather and make seasonal forecasts, and are also becoming increasingly skilful in this regard. These and other tests show that models can represent important features of the general circulation across shorter timescales, as well as aspects of seasonal, interannual and longer timescale variability. Such skill increases our confidence in model ability to simulate future climate.

    A third source of confidence comes from the ability of models to reproduce features of past climates and climate changes. Models have been used to simulate paleoclimates, such as the warm mid-Holocene of 6000 years ago, or last glacial maximum of 21,000 years ago (see Chapter 6). They can reproduce many features (allowing for uncertainties in reconstructing past climate) such as the approximate amount of ice age cooling. Models can also simulate many observed aspects of climate change over the instrumental record. One example is the global temperature trend over the past century (Figure 1) ‘€” although uncertainties in the magnitude of the cooling associated with sulphate particles mean that ability to reproduce the recent observed changes does not imply a perfect projection of future climate. Models also reproduce other observed features, such as the reduction in the diurnal temperature range, the larger degree of warming in the Arctic and the small global cooling (and subsequent recovery) following the Mt Pinatubo eruption of 1991.

    Nevertheless models still show significant errors. Although these are generally greater at smaller scales, some important large scale problems also remain. For example, the Madden-Julian Oscillation (an observed variation in tropical winds and rainfall with a timescale of 30′€”90 days) is generally poorly simulated, and errors persist in some aspects of model representation of the El Nià±o-southern Oscillation. The ultimate source of most such errors is that many important small scale processes cannot be represented explicitly in models, and so must be included in approximate form as they interact with the larger scale. This is partly due to limitations in computing power, but also results from limitations in scientific understanding, or in some cases the availability of observations, of some physical processes. Significant uncertainties, in particular, are associated with the representation of clouds. As a consequence, models continue to display a substantial range of global temperature change in response to specified greenhouse gas forcing (refer Chapter 10), To date, it has not been possible to quantify how errors in a model’s simulation of specific climate observations impact on errors in its future climate projections, but a few studies suggest that this may be possible in future. Despite such uncertainties, however, models have been unanimous in their prediction of climate warming under greenhouse gas increases, and this warming is of a magnitude consistent with independent estimates derived from other sources, such as from observed climate changes and paleoclimate reconstructions.

    Since confidence in the changes projected by global models decreases at smaller scales, other techniques, such as the use of regional climate models, or downscaling methods, have been specifically developed for the study of regional and local scale climate change (see Chapter 11, Question 11.1). However, as global models continue to develop, and their resolution continues to improve, they are becoming increasingly useful for investigating important smaller scale features, such as changes in extremes, and further improvements in regional scale representation are expected with increased computing power. Models are also becoming more comprehensive in their treatment of the climate system, thus explicitly representing more physical or biophysical processes and interactions considered potentially important for climate change, particularly at longer timescales. Examples are the recent inclusion of features such as interactive vegetation, ocean biogeochemistry and ice sheet dynamics in some global climate models.

    In summary, confidence in models comes from their physical basis, and their skill in representing observed climate and past climate changes. Models have proved to be extremely important tools for simulating and understanding climate, and there is considerable confidence that they are able to provide useful projections of many aspects of future climate change, particularly at larger scales. Models continue to have significant weaknesses, such as their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change. Nevertheless they have provided, consistently over several decades of model development, a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases.


    Why isn’t this stuff vigorously debated? Why is the AOGCM modelling like alchemy, a secret science, exact nature of which is not to the eyes of the public. Can someone point me to a scientific article that discusses the numeric values of the different AOGCM parameters?

    And when different AOGCMs produce vastly varying results, and they can’t all be right, why isn’t then the relative reliability of different AOGCMs debated, but instead it is decided that “they are all equally reliable” and thus the broad range of estimates 1.4C-5.8C and 1.1C-6.4C.

    And then in the end they call AOGCM climate predictions on the impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions 90% likely to be correct. How is that 90% actually evaluated? I haven’t seen the equation anywhere. Does one even exist? Considering these models have been proven to be completely off the mark on ocean rainfall and cloud formation, how do they derive 90% probability that the models are correct on anthropogenic CO2? Seems arbitrary to me.

    Once again, why isn’t this stuff debated vigorously, why is it instead swept under the rug? Shouldn’t it be in our scientific interest…

  102. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #99 and #100:

    You can say that again. The trend of ignoring the non-C02 forcings is surely very disturbing, and the task of wading through all these comments is surely very daunting.

    In addition to having all the comments in my hands in case IPCC reversed course, one of the other major reasons I downloaded all the pdfs was the possibility that the IPCC web server might slow down once people really got into examining the commentary in detail.

    I also think that global warming literature and the associated scientific data is a prime candidate for the practical application of Knowledge Management theory—over and above tha application of plain old data management and records management best practice.

  103. David Ermer
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I thought that this might be interesting to this group.

    We conducted an audit of Chapter 8 of the IPCC’s WG1 Report. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of the total of 140 principles. We found that the forecasting procedures that were used violated 72 principles. Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts to support global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.

  104. David Ermer
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Now with a link to the paper.

    Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts

  105. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    103 104 yes that is a very interesting paper and is well reasoned negative answer to this question

    Question 8.1: How Reliable Are the Models Used to Make Projections of Future Climate Change?

  106. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM | Permalink | Reply


    My guess is the Gerald Browning, Tom Vonk, and others would have a lot to say about the ability of the GCM’s to accurately simulate the global climate conditions.

  107. Jean S
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 3:03 AM | Permalink | Reply


    It should be noted here that the two (published) reconstructions which exhibit the greatest amplitude variability (Moberg et al and Esper et al) are actually almost completely uncorrelated–they show very little similarity at all, in terms of the timing of century-scale warm and cold periods, as revealed by a cursory examination of Figure 6.8. In other words, it is misleading to lump these, and other such reconstructions, together as indicating “greater variability” when they actually agree quite poorly with each other (calling into question whether the greater variability is meaningful or an artifact of the data or methodology used). [Michael Mann]

    Mike, how about correlation among “lower variability” reconstructions? Same conclusion?

  108. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 9:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #107

    I have suggested that looking at the “rejected” comments would be revealing of what the IPCC was not prepared to say about climate and the confidence in the results, but here is a second instance of MM pointing out clearly much uncertainty in the FAR reports. When two reconstructions have sufficient lumps and bumps we no longer visualize a correlation between them. If they are virtually “eliminated”, as in the HS, we no longer have any bumps and lumps to eyeball.

  109. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Welcome back Jean S. Good to know you still gander at the musings here! :)


  110. bernie
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That is one pretty amazing paper. How well known is Armstrong? Is he likely to get sufficient play, that the article will enter mainstream discussions?

  111. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #104. It is an interesting paper. To answer your question, I forecast that it will get no play at all, and will be totally ignored. Its my theory that the only reason Steve and Ross’s publications have got into play is the unrelenting focus on possible impropriety as a “bunker buster” strategy.

  112. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 1:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Michael Jankowski (#55) gives two links, both of which quite clearly refer to ALL the AR4 reports (including WG1, WG2 and WG3)…So – you are muddling up statistics for WG1 only, and statistics for ALL the AR4 reports.

    …but the 3rd link I provided is only referring to “WG1 only” based on the Feb article and WG release date. Yet Environment Secretary David Miliband reports the number as “2,000-2,500″ for “this” report. And the text later refers to, “The evidence in a new report published in Paris has the finest pedigree – the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which draws together 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries” – which is unclear but implies the report being discussed as release (WG1) is the work of 2,500 scientists.

    As I said, the media often to run with the 2,500+ number, even in a case as referring to WG1 only. So confusion is understandible.

  113. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 8:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A few questions and observations about the comments report:

    How were 1300 (or 2500) people who put the main report together selected? I assume the IPCC picked authors who are pro AGW. I also assume the reviewers where nominated by the various nations. If I am correct, then the report is a political animal.

    How were reviewers assigned to chapters? I do not see a list of reviewers by chapter. I also notice (but didn’t do the detailed cross checking to be positive) that the bulk of the critical reviewers seem to come from the USA, Canada and Australia. Could this reflect the political and AGW bias of the people who selected the reviewers.

    it also appears that a few reviewers made the bulk of the comments. It is possible that some reviewers accepted the honor of having their name on the report, but did not really review it?

  114. Vincent Gray
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems I was responsible for 16% of all the comments and one of very few who commented on each Chapter. I spent many long hours on it and never thought it would ever reach the light of day, so I am exceedingly grateful to Steve. I feel it was worth while if only to show how the IPCC rejects comments without giving a reason. In many cases they simply have none to give.

    It also gave an insight into what goes on with the IPCC

  115. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    1. It is quite important to blow out of the water the consensus figure of 2,500 scientists if it is wrong. I have not read the material far enough to judge for myself. But, I have worked since 1975 or so to rebut anti-nuclear propaganda. One of the enduring phrases, accepted by many policy makers, is that “Radioactive waste must be managed for 25,000 years.” This is wrong. It is merely the half life of but one Plutonium isotope multiplied by a convenient factor of 10 or so. Life would be much simpler if it had been killed at birth.

    2. Please read the paper in #104. It goes to the heart of the IPCC deficiencies without excess detail. I especially like the para:

    Pilkey and Pilkey-Jarvis (2007) concluded that the long-term climate forecasts that they examined were based only on the opinions of the scientists. The opinions were expressed in complex mathematical terms. There was no validation of the methodologies. They referred to the following quote as a summary on their page 45: “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. (Nikola Telsa, inventor and electrical engineer, 1934.)” Thus, while it is sensible to be explicit about beliefs and to formulate these in a model, the forecaster must go beyond this to demonstrate that the relationships are valid and well-supported, especially when the models are complex.

    3. Might I please suggest a division of labour for those active on this climateaudit site, where Steve has done such good work? I am going to identify the authors from my country, Australia, who were contributing authors of the IPCC report. I am going to contact them, give them a questionnaire and ask them some hard questions. Example, were you convinced that AGW was real before you started writing your IPCC submission, or did you have an open mind? The summary results will be posted on this site in due course. I dips me lid to fellow Australian Warwick Hughes who started this about 1991. Why not form groups in your home countries and spread the load? I loath the present situation where I have prima facie evidence of falsification in Science, yet a concerted attempt to conceal it. While one important function for the scientist is advancement of knowledge, another is rejection of falsified data.

  116. Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 1:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #110 Bernie,

    I blogged it a few days ago. So far no serious effort at debunking. i.e. it is not getting much play.

    Usually the “team” shows up to contest points.


    So I would say so far it is being ignored.

    The above site is a Pajamas blog FWIW.

  117. bruce
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 6:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #15: Onya Geoff!!

  118. Boris
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 7:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, the Heartland Institute has found their smoking gun:

    Al Gore Confronted By Own Scientists

    As usual a comment out of context. Behavior such as this will likely cause the IPCC and other scientific orgs to crawl into their shell somewhat. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

  119. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #118

    As usual a comment out of context. Behavior such as this will likely cause the IPCC and other scientific orgs to crawl into their shell somewhat. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    Thanks, Boris, for another rationalization of IPCC behavior – bad behavior begets bad behavior.

  120. Boris
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Let’s see, Ken. You were proven wrong when you thought the IPCC would never put comments online and I was proven right when I said that a “skeptic” would use the comments for ideological gain.

    I don’t think it’s right that the IPCC might not want to be completely transparent, but there are logical reasons besides the “it’s a conspiracy” that some people here throw around.

    Reality counts.

  121. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #120. Boris, I, for one, didn’t predict that IPCC would never put the comments online nor have I said that this reflects a “conspiracy”. I thought that the comments would come online at some point, because it was a no win-situation for IPCC to fight it (even to the extent that they did.) In my opinion, the comments pertaining to sections with which I’m familiar display mean-mindedness and bias and show exactly why Briffa and Jones should not have been authors of review sections. It’s not because they are not smart people – they are. It’s just that they are not independent of the material and it shows. When I raised the non-independence in respect to Mann and the HS, von Storch agreed that IPCC authors should be independent of their sections.

  122. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE 120.

    Hi Boris, I was glad to see the IPCC post the comments. And yes, it was predictable that they would.
    It’s a political calculation. Like Bush fighting the release of documents that he knows don’t
    really mean anything. Essentially, IPCC knew there was no smoking gun. They knew the other side would
    expend resources ( time and rhetoric) to get the documents released. They knew the eventual release
    would be inconsequential. So, its a sandbag job. Been there. done that. problem: They set a precident and cannot really go back on that policy in the future.

    I never expected any explosive result from this effort. This isnt on the level of a UN OIL for FOOD
    fraud. It’s much more subtle. But I trust you see the danger of organizations that are not subject
    to legal or governmental control. IPCC claims a right to these documents. Documents created from the
    efforts of US federal employees. Did US federal employees sign a release to IPCC? What is the IPCC
    commercial interest in these documents? WHY control the comments on the final report more strictly
    than the final report ITSELF? and under what copyright law. For me, this not a Global warming issue.
    I paid for Susan Solomons IPCC work. IT IS MINE without restriction. So, the IPCC can sue my [self snip]
    if I duplicate work that I paid for.

    The IPCC delay in releasing reviewer comments comes down to THIS poltical calculus.
    ( here is how the IPCC thinks)

    1. FIRST, We( Ipcc) refuse, they (skeptics) complain. So what? sceptics are ALREADY complaining.
    2. THEN Attack sceptics for ASKING. asking is denial. Asking has ulterior motives. Asking is not allowed.
    3. THEN sceptics complain, IPCC makes a small move, in good faith ( put it in harvard library)
    4. THEN sceptics complain, IPCC makes another small move ( we will send you hard copy, with restrictions)
    5. THEN Sceptics go legal ( FOIA), IPCC makes a small move and posts the comments with restrictions.
    6. THEN Sceptics read the comments and attack IPCC’s claim of consensus…..

    Now comes the IPCC defense.

    NEXT MOVES for IPCC defenders. ( watch for this rhetoric )

    a. IPCC released the documents, there is no conspiracy ( gotcha)
    b. Now you will just nit pick us, and we are doing important work
    c. (attack the reviewers.) oh he’s a crank.
    d. claim the IPCC put “known” critics on the list of reviewers, in order to be fair, so
    one can expect criticism, but the AUTHORS were the top experts and so the AUTHOR agreement
    is the thing you really want to look at. So we bent over backward to get comments from all
    quarters and all viewpoints and we relaized that some people, would disagree with EVERYTHING.
    moreover, the disagremnts in comments were not fully fleshed out. the authors had full
    papers in front of them, and a 2 sentence comment can not overturn a fully peer reviewed
    e. Consensus is more like majority rule. Consensus NEVER meant a unanimous jury. Some people will always
    object. Sometimes they object to get attention. Sometimes they object because they are paid to
    object. So, negative comments do not negate our claim of consensus. ( nothing will) By consensus
    we mean general agreement between Known and acknowledged experts. We put these experts in charge
    of the chapters. the proof of consensus is that they finished the writing. Yes, they asked
    for comments from FRINGE elements. This shows their inherent fairness.
    f. Sceptics really didnt attack the core science and none offered credible alternative explanations, If they did
    the final report would show this.

    Peer review. I peered at your stuff. Can you change the spelling of colour to color?

  123. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 7:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘€¢ Thomas Jefferson and Special Awards
    ‘€¢ Holm Awards Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 75-100 Year Institutional Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 50 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 45 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 40 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 35 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 30 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 25 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 20 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 15 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 5-10 Year Length of Service Awards.
    Senator Graham, and Jean Carter Johnson, FOIA officer of NOAA, please, note that NOAA has refused to answer FOIA requests to several FOIA submitters (legitimate requests as far as I can determine) based on the fact that NOAA sites and volunteer observers are claimed to be private even though their names and accomplishments have been made public (see above, details are available on climateaudit.org). Senator Graham, the emails to and from Jean.Carter.Johnson@noaa.gov, and other NOAA officials are easily obtainable by you or your staff. Up until approximately a week ago, these names, locations could be accessed by the internet. Positions and names were directly obtainable, accessible, and in the public domain, and available. Now there is the claim that they are private and this information has been removed from the web. There is no such thing as” a little bit pregnant”. Senator Graham as far as I can determine US law and NOAA FOIA guidelines have been violated. Could you and your office help me? Senator Graham, for your information, on a blog, I will ask that all that have been refused cooperation as required by law to contact you. Please, I hope you and your staff don’t mind a citizen of SC for all of his life of almost 54 years asks for this to be resolved according to US law and precedence.

    PLease help me by sending any problems to Mr. Graham’s office.

  124. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 10:28 PM | Permalink | Reply


    Each Spring, Australia has the famous Melbourne Cup horse race. Owners, trainers, jockeys, officials, bookmakers, the central Totalisator Administration Board (TAB) and punters all try to predict the winner.
    They often use non-scientific methods, such as the liking for a horse’s name. Some get a bit technical, looking to the past record of how many boy horses won this long race since 1861 versus girl horses (Entire 62 Gelding 48 Colts 19 Mares 13 Fillies 3). Some people look at form, the recent successes of the horse in other races. 70 Cup favourites have finished in the first three placings. The favourite has won 33 times out of 145 Melbourne Cups. Until 1975, dual winners were Archer, 1861 ‘€” 62; Peter Pan 1932 ‘€” 1934; Rain Lover 1968 ‘€” 69; and Think Big 1974 ‘€” 75.
    Most of the above predictors make a loss. The main winners are the bookmakers and the TAB. I don’t have the latest figures, but here is a quote – NSW punters (just one State) bet more than $65 million on Cup day. Average spend per person was approximately $14, of which $12 was returned in dividends. The TAB is likely to have profited by more than $20 m on the last Cup.

    So what?

    The results of this race are not determined by raw ability. It is a handicap race, so the horses have lead in their saddles. To me, this is an analogy with the forcing weights applied to climate models. Experts determine the amount of emphasis to be put on different factors thought to influence the outcome.

    Although the experts often reach consensus and declare a favourite, we have see the favourite win 33 times out of 145. Until 2005, no horse had won the race three times and mares had won only 13 times out of 144.

    Then a small mare named Makybe Diva won convincingly in 2003, 2004 and 2005. This put big question marks on just about every predictive method used in the past.

    Maybe the past predictive methods failed because Makybe Diva was an anomalous horse who did not fit the models.

    Do you think that there is a lesson to be learned here about predicting future climate? Can there be climatic effects that are rare and anomalous? Have they simply have not been weighted adequately or at all in climate models used today? Does this mean that emphasis on atmospheric carbon dioxide is potentially dangerous?

    If 9 out of 10 punters can’t predict a horse race result with 145 years of history, who can predict the climate 50 years from now?

    If the Totalisator Administration Board, year after year, is probably the main beneficiary from horse races here, does it follow that the IPCC expect to be the main beneficiary of the climate argument? Is that what drives then onwards, ever upwards?

  125. Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #120 Boris,

    How could there be much ideological gain? Global warming is the SCIENTIFIC consensus. This is not mere superstition. There are actual numbers involved and complicated equations. And computers. Don’t forget the computers. And lots and lots of scientists. Men and women with degrees. Advanced degrees. Certified brains.

  126. Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 2:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And lots and lots of scientists who are ignored in the IPCC report. Men and women with degrees. Advanced degrees. Certified brains.

  127. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 4:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They have an average of 58 authors per chapter. About 580 authors in total. With some of them doing yeoman’s work by being an author on a half dozen chapters. This has got to be a rubber-stamp job for many of them. Either that or they have no life, no job. I wonder what they get paid for this stuff.

  128. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 5:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #122 steven mosher
    Scientists are honourable people who don’t put in all their hard labour just to earn a pound or euro. Clearly, the palaeontologists are at the brunt of the sceptics’ manoeuvres, but their findings are not the centre of the AGW debate. The scientists I know who work in the climate modelling speciality just get on with their programmes of work without any favours to perceived political wishes of parties of any colour; the answer is the same whoever pays the bill ;)

  129. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #120

    Boris, I do not recall stating that the IPCC would not put the Reviewer’s Comments on online. In fact I was of the opinion that someone could repost the entire account deposited at the Harvard library with legal immunity. That’s no longer necessary and now that I am reading through the comments I find much in them that points to the uncertainty of the report contents. What do think of my request of the IPCC to provide the Traceable Accounts of the methods used by the report authors in determining the published levels of confidence and likelihood for the results/conclusions found in the report? It is my judgment that the seriousness of their findings rest critically and heavily on these determinations and they therefore should be the most transparent part of the process. What say you, Boris? Any reasons for them not providing this information?


  130. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 128 Steve

    I also believe that the majority of scientists we are examining did not start this IPCC exercise with malice aforethought. It’s just a problem that the science is so poor. It seems as well to be pitched to the level of Junior school readers.

    Last night I slipped quickly through the 90 pages (8.5 MB of .pdf) of “Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry”. As a Geochemist of modest world repute, I found the reading to be an easy once-over with plenty of assumption, plenty of concentration on CO2, a modicum of admission that important factors remained mysterious…. BUT

    I found about 3 chemical equations, elementary ones at that.

    Chemical equations are to chemists what code is to programmers, what equations are to mathematicians, or fees are to accountants.

    Not just chemical equations are needed, but also their conditions and accessory information, like: endothermic or exothermic, heat of formation and sign, temperature at reaction time, reaction rate, residence times, pressure, relative volumes/concentrations, equilibria, catalysis absent or present, competing reactions etc etc etc.

    Most of the past speculation about Freon and the ozone layer was straight chemical reaction theory and I don’t know that the equations ever forecast what has since proven to be true, so equations can be overdone. But 3 or so in 90 pages of chemistry – that’s not science, that’s special pleading.

  131. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 4:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #128 Geoff Sherrington
    The Assessment Reports are supposed to be reviews, not textbooks – the equations are within the references.

    With regard to chemistry and the carbon cycle though, there may be an element of “special pleading” as you say, because modelling of these within earth system models is at an early stage (mostly because the computers are not yet powerful enough).

  132. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Computers are a tool, not a source of original thought. Good workmen don’t blame their tools. We need more micro chemistry, not more macro-computing.

  133. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #132 Geoff
    Maybe you can correct me, but I understand that many of the chemical reactions, and their rates, are understood, but it is hard to predict the outcome of a complicated distribution of chemicals given reactions have different rates depending on temperature, whether its day or night, cloudy or clear, humid or dry etc.

    As part of my job I have to think about software for models. I have a complicated map in front of me describing the interrelations between eg. the fact that iron in the ocean encourages DMS and SO4 and hence CCN. This affects cloud reflectivity, but also wet deposition which reduce concentrations of some chemicals, and photolysis rates of other chemical reactions which change when it is cloudy etc.

    While observations are essential for checking the models, I don’t see how you can fully understand the situation and gain important insights without help from the models.

  134. MarkW
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 6:01 AM | Permalink | Reply


    “Scientists are honourable people who don’t put in all their hard labour just to earn a pound or euro.”


    and priests care about people, they would never harm a child.

  135. Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations, Steve. Just lost my long message (having giving you a mail address, not email!) so I shall be briefer and keep a copy.

    I would like to publish a summary of this discussion of the IPCC comments, but do not have the time to write it up. I would like to publish this in Energy&Environment (www.multi-science.co.uk), a multi-dscipllinary journal directed at energy professionals and academics.
    If anybody could do this ( the event 4AR), responses by IPCC to selected review comments, and discussion from sceptical perspective, I would be most grateful. Where do we go from here? I would publish it asap as a Viewpoint (max. 3000 words).

    My own view is that science as always will serve policy, in this case the political elite of the North’ keen to find energy (and climate) security’ and a new enemy. A dangerous agenda still worth fighting against.

    Note that the IPCC was set up and AGW (dangerous, adapted as unifying myth) in second half of 1980s, just after the era of high fossil fuel prices had ended. Lots of investments, new technologies and nuclear power needed protection from fossil fuels even then, and the environmentalists offered one method, regulate carbon fuels for environmental protection to make them more expensive and hence the new alternatives’ competitive. Now of course we want to replace them…. We’ have run out of safe, cheap fossil fuels at home or in friendly allied lands. The big oil’ companies no longer own much oil and gas in the ground.
    Politics and social science have to tell that story, the story of why climate science was selected by politics to serve policy (see Boehmer-Christiansen and A Kellow , Intern. .Env. Agreements: Interests and the failure of the Kyoto process’, 2002, Elgar). I remember a 1992 warning made in France…watch out or the meteorologists will rule the world…

  136. UC
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    SOD comment 6-773 by Mann:

    The statement made here as currently worded is absolutely false. Regression residuals of course take into account the uncertainty in the degree to which the proxy accurately record the climate variables of interest, i.e. the uncertainties in the proxy climate signal, as this is estimated from calibration/verification. What they don’t take into account is a possible degradation of that signal prior to the interval used for calibration/verification.

    True or false: scaling errors are signal dependent ?

    I already forgot, how was the r2 loss in MBH98 verification explained? Signal degradation or scaling errors in ICE-like multivariate calibration ?

  137. D. Patterson
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #133. Working with models can be useful, but they are worse than useless as a replacement for reality. You can model a gold mine by salting gold in a mine with a shotgun, which is dishonest and a crime. Likewise, salting a policy report with falsified data and analyses is even more dishonest and ought to be regarded as a crime of far greater consequences.

  138. Jaye
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 1:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    what equations are to mathematicians

    Small point…equations are for engineers. Theorems and the proving thereof are for mathematicians.

  139. Jaye
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t see how you can fully understand the situation and gain important insights without help from the models.

    You can do that sort of thing with a fully V&Ved model but otherwise you are just drinking your own bath water.

  140. Stuart Marvin
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 135

    A bit off topic but your assertion that “We’ have run out of safe, cheap fossil fuels at home or in friendly allied lands. The big oil’ companies no longer own much oil and gas in the ground.”

    I’ve heard about the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta. They are said to be a significant oil/bitumen reserve. Any comments about that?

  141. Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: #138 and #139

    Most excellent Jaye !!

  142. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #140 There’s stuff in various forms everywhere. I doubt we’ll ever run out of fossil fuels, it will just get more and more expensive to find and extract them (or to synthesize them). That probably will never be a problem (economics, technology, natural gas, solar, wind, water, nuclear, hydrogen, space) and we’ll still be able to pave roads, make plastics etc even if it costs more. It’s also probable that even if the prices go up the cost will remain roughly the same, or even go down.

  143. John Baltutis
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 8:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #142

    And don’t forget all the stuff we do know about that’s been put off-limits for non-economical reasons.

  144. Jaye
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply



    Why would any mathematician worth his/her salt want to get mixed up in arithmetic? Rather dull if you ask me ;-)

  145. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 11:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 133

    A recipe is only as good as its ingredients.

    A model is only as good as its inputs.

    There is no point in making a model if the input parameters are shaky.

    Your first para in # 133 is a quite reasonable explanation for why the IPCC should not be using models yet, unless it is strictly to dicover what essential information is missing.

    BTW, can anyone inform me on the consistency or otherwise of the error bars in FAQ 2.1 Fig 2, Radiative forcing. On a quick read, the total uncertainty is just a little bigger than the next largest uncertainty, and smaller than the two largest together. I thought error variances had to be combined, but it looks like only some of these are. Or the wording is misleading. Or some errors are one sigma, some are two. Or traditional bell curves do not apply because of non-normal distributions (were distribution shapes tested for skew, kurtosis, etc?).

  146. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 4:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #145 Geoff
    You have to start somewhere with models. Even simple models can give clues as to where to look next. As I said my understanding is that chemistry models are phenomenally complex, so for the moment feedbacks identified by such models would need strong observational support.

    To combine errors for quantities that are added together, you add the squares:

    If result is A+B then the error in the result is square root of (dA*dA+dB*dB), where dA and dB are the errors in A and B.

    So if one error is much bigger than all the others, the final error is usually not much bigger than the biggest.

  147. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 4:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 146 Steve

    In 1974 I was seconded to manage a large pilot plant using chlorine gas at 1050 deg C at a rate of 10 tonnes per day, to strip unwanted iron from the natural minetal ilmenite, to make synthetic titanium dioxide, the “whitest white” used in paint and for making titanium metal. There were multiple feedbacks in the chemistry, physics and materials and our chemical engineers modelled this whole complex process.

    We had some fencing wire running to a nearby mine, an operator-connected telephone exchange linked to a poor quality land line to Canberra (1500 km), then satellite to Uni of Chicago. The logistics were not easy and the computers were slow, especially when the helpful Post Office lady interrupted the data transfer to ask if we were getting through OK. (Some of you are too young to get this).

    The demonstration phase that I managed lasted for a year. In that time, the main use of models was for refinement of the models. The fine tuning of the plant was done by measurement and adjustment. The plant would not have run automatically if driven by the model, any more than your car does when assisted by GPS. The models were sometimes useful for indicating the direction of a proposed correction, although perverse feedbacks still happened.

    Of course models are useful, once they evolve to maturity and survive extensive testing. My point of difference with you is that the state of climate knowledge is far too immature for climate models to be used to drive anthing except refinement. We are still in the early stages of calibration and there are large effects yet to be quantified.

    Why not have a closer look at the error bars in FAQ 2.1 Fig 2 to see if you have disquiet? Take the square root of the sum of squares, assuming the data permit this conventional approach, and see what you think.

    Re # 138 Jaye

    Ooops, sensitivity here. But do not mathematicians explore their theorems with equations? Or do you do all your math these days with computer models and simulations, like the proof of the 4-colour map theorem? Look at how simple the inputs were for that, yet how long it took to gain validity and acceptance. Contrast that with climate models.

    BTW, some of my best friends are mathematicians and that’s a plus. +

  148. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 5:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #147 Geoff
    Rejecting a theory or model purely on the grounds that it is not perfect is not a valid argument. Many areas of life depend strongly on much less perfect or probabilistic models when making expensive decisions. This is no different.

    Not quite sure of the disquiet you expect from the figure. The error calculation is correct. Yes, there is large uncertainty on the impact of anthropogenic aerosols. But based on this alone you need strong aerosol cooling to balance GHG forcing (plus something unknown to cause observed warming).

  149. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 6:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 149

    This may have little relevance but perhaps it will be useful. Clssical artficial intelligence was all about modelling. Robots wpuld model the world around them in order to navigate and take decisions. Early on it was found that this did not work. It could appear to work under staged laboratory conditions but even in those conditions robtos were unrealiable. Rodney Brooks of MIT observed that AI researchers addressed this problem by continually changing the toy models that they addressed. They ran into the same roadblock with evey toy model but there was always a new toy model to base new projects on.

    Brooks observed that the problem was not with the models but with the use of models altogether. Brooks observed that “the best model of the world is the world.” Brooks reaquired his students to build robots that would not be limited to simulated environments or even to esecially contructed physical envirnoments. The robots were required to operate in a working lab abd to fucntion properly even with vistors casually walking around in the room.

    Brooks’ vision was strngly criticised by the AI establishment – distnguished research professors all of them. However Brooks’ vision proved effective. This is illustrated by the recent achievement of having vehicles naviage autonomously over unprepared desert roads.

    These vehicles used only rudimentary models. Modelling cannot handle the complexity of the real world when it comes to the creation of AI. I suppose the point that is being made here that the same failure to adequately deal with complexity will be found in the climate models.

    I don’t know enough about the subject to have an opinion. However modelling failed in the presence of complexity for AI. There are observations above that modelling was found inadequate for the design of industrial processes. I know in my field that the same thing has been found. Modelling works for toy problems but fails with real world applications.

  150. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 6:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Last comment, as we’ve gone a bit off-topic. If you think models fail in the real world, arrange a barbecue next time a hurricane is predicted to land on you.

  151. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 7:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If the barbecue is a week in the future, I wouldn’t be concerned. Same as with a weather report for that time.

  152. Earle Williams
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #150

    Steve Milesworthy,

    The GCM models are being used to predict hurricane arrivals? That’s news to me. Or did you mean to make an reductio ad absurdum statement implying that all models are bad, even the ones that make short term forecasts based on real time input? Nah, surely you didn’t mean that.

  153. Earle Williams
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 8:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #152

    Reply to self,

    Yes, I recognize that the ‘M’ in GCM stands for model. Mea culpa!

    s/GCM models/GCMs/

  154. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 8:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well it was going to be my last comment, but you keep putting words in my mouth. Lets make it simple:

    1. Models do not have to be perfect to be useful.
    2. Imperfect models need to be developed on the road to developing better models.
    3. Finding an example of one useless model does not mean that all models are useless.

    Oh, and the core of the GCM I’m familiar with is successfully used as a forecast model (including hurricane track and seasonal forecasts).

  155. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 150

    The comment is not responsive in eh way that you think. The models that predict hurricane landfall are continually updated with real world information. They seem to be a rather good illustration of Brooks’ maxim that the best model of the world is the world.

    The point being made here is that maodels in many fields fail when faced with real word complexity. GCM models are being used to model scenarios that run 100 years into the future.

    The real question is:

    “Why are GCM models able to handle real world complexity wheh models in other fields cannot even after years if ntio decases of research?”

  156. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 154

    seasonal forecasts

    Season — 3 months and the predictions are inaccurate

    GCM — sceanrios of 100 years and output is being used to guide policy that will control the world economy

    Heaven help us

  157. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 9:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Heaven won’t help you. Only science – if you’ll let it.

  158. MarkW
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    models don’t have to be perfect to be usefull.
    that is true.
    However models have to at least be in the same ballpark as reality in order to be usefull.

    A model that tells us that the temperature tomorrow is going to be 110F is of no use, when the actual temperature turns out to be 15F.

  159. MarkW
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Reply


    I could make the same comments regarding your faith in models.

  160. MarkW
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    or if the model says that the storm is going to hit Charlotte, and it winds up hitting Houston.
    In that case, it’s worse than useless because you sent your resources to the wrong place.

  161. crmanriq
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s getting easier to see the disjuncture (is that a word?) between GCModelers position and SMcIntyre’s position.

    McIntyre comes from industry. Aside from him being by definition evil, he’s also disposed to prudently spending or not spending money. In industry (I’m in coal, parenthetically), if you make a model, you need to be durn sure of what the possible error is before using it as a justification to spend money. If the model does not have enough skill to actually reflect something close to real world, then you look like an idiot for using it. If new data comes in, you look at how that affects your model’s performance, and you either adjust your model or find a better one if the data shows your model pointed you wrong. Verify. Verify. Verify.

    In most of engineering, fluid dynamics, fluid mechanics, etc, you get people making models of systems. There are generally very specific caveats of when the model is appropriate and when it isn’t. There are even warranties on recommendations of equipment based on models. (As in “this machine should provide performance within these specified ranges given the projected feed that you have described to us”, or money back.)

    It appears that within the world of GCM, none of this applies. Models are made that have little verification, and are pointed to as if they were handed down from on high based upon the size of the computer used to run the program. Attempts to verify accuracy of data or performance of model (auditing) is met with scorn. Discrepancies found are dismissed as unimportant. Truthfully, if I design a model of a system that is to be used to determine how money is spent, I want as many people as possible to look at it and try to find flaws.

    Why is this not the case with GCM’s? What is the justification for withholding data? At what point do people start recognizing that this is unsound?

  162. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I came across this article from May today. Article

    A Dr. Khandekar reviewed a chapter of both drafts yet his name isn’t mentioned anywhere in the comment files. Could it be they didn’t put all the reviewer comments into the files they put up?

  163. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 5:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #161 crmanriq
    The analogy with models used in industry is faulty for two reasons. Firstly, people spent money long before models came. Secondly, no model is perfect; you deal with the imperfections by over-engineering the solution if necessary and by properly understanding the risk – 72 hours prior to landfall you neither send all your resources to Charlotte, nor do you tell Houston it is safe.

    I do not recognise your understanding of the “world of GCM” at all. The assumption that models are not audited and auditable is also wrong. Many models are tested and used by a diverse research community. Shortcomings of models are clearly stated and understood. It’s a competitive field, and for the model I’m familiar with I know that whole research groups are formed and external scientists are procured to work on key problems when they are identified.

  164. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 5:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So far we only have the comments from Working Group 1. A biography I found of him says:

    Dr. Madhav Khandekar specializes in understanding extreme weather events in Canada and in other parts of the world.

    so perhaps his comments were to WG2 (climate impacts).

  165. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 5:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Good point.

  166. Ian Castles
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Three months have passed since the Summary for Policymakers of WGII was released in Brussels. As yet the text of the report itself hasn’t been released, much less the earlier drafts and the comments thereon.

  167. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I get the impression from this board that others are starting to share the concern of Ian Castles that events are moving too slowly.

    If you review the whole of climateaudit (formidable!) you might start to feel that a lot of time has been spent on minute discussions of points of concern with IPCC methodology or reporting or release procedures. This is important, but a lot has been ignored.

    We cannot dwell on these topics forever.

    Can I suggest (after some quick exploratory work with a couple of Australian authors) that some authors are willing to make summary statements reflecting the positions of their home countries. Some will agree with IPCC, some will not. Why not try it in your own countries? There are anly 6 or so organisations in WG1 in Australia, so coordination is much easier than say the USA.

    Most importantly, rather than argue if a temperature recorded in 1959 should have been half a degree cooler or warmer, can we get the participating scientists to think ahead and say “If these projections are right, and given the ingenuity of Man, what remediation is possible, sensible and recommended?

    Can anyone point me to any remediation papers they have seen apart from the obvious of stopping burning fossil fuels? I recall one suggestion to sprinkle Al fairly dust (aluminium, I mean, not Gore) in the stratosphere to reduce surface irradiance. Are there many papers like this yet? I can read only so many papers a day and can’t cover the field.

  168. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You’d think if they put a table into the second draft they would put the same values into the same table in the final chapter draft. Not so. As can be seen by comparing table 3.2 between the SOD and final.

    I decided to check one of the tables in chapter 3 that is present in both the final and the SOD. They narrowed the error range on all values in the final from what they said they were in the SOD. They also eliminated a couple columns of values and mucked around with a couple of the references. They also increased the number of authors again. What a crew!

    I did a crude screen-shot for comparison of the tables. It’s little too large to put up here.(2052×1250) So here is the link. http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/4624/ch03table32iu0.gif

    The green is the final chapter 3. The other is the second order draft.

    The final chapters are all considerably larger due in some extent to the addition of graphics not put into the SOD. I haven’t looked at how the text has changed.
    All the chapter finals can be found at http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/

  169. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 1:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #168. Interesting: the error bars for SH land are reduced to about 50% of the Second Draft spread from 0.054 to 0.029! Interesting that their skill improved so much.

  170. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Rather magical I’d say.

  171. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They narrowed every error range figure in the chapter 3 final. Tables 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6

  172. Evan Englund
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink | Reply


    According to the descriptions in the tables, they changed the error reporting from +/- 2 sigma to a 90% confidence interval (5% to 95%). The latter is about +/- 1.65 sigma.

  173. Mike Hayes
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 6:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re #167


    Recently I tried to analysis this issue. Some results. Replace entire fleet of 150M cars in USA with Prius led to

  174. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 6:42 AM | Permalink | Reply


    Thanks, I didn’t notice that. They seem to have used the old bait and switch. I guess they didn’t want any complaints from reviewers.

  175. Mike Hayes
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 8:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re #167

    Looks like my attempt #173 got caught by the spam filter. Briefly I have studied mitigations and their cost effectiveness, life cycle analysis is particularly useful and interesting. Would like to discuss it but I am not sure this thread is the right place. There is a lot of propaganda about “good things” and a lot of them do not bear out on scrutiny.

    Very important to note that mitigation strategy, cost effectiveness and utility (if any) varies greatly whether man made global warming is 20% of the total or 100% (numbers picked out of the air).

  176. Mike Hayes
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 8:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re #167, #175

    That posted, here is an elaboration. The myth of consensus among the scientists re IPCC is being used by the greater base of supporters for AGW as support for the tables of mitigation strategies the IPCC suggests. Now many of those are questionable on their merits alone. Biofuels I shall use as an example, but there are many others listed in the IPCC mitigation strategies tables.

    There is a real problem if politically and to the media it is argued that

    A. IPCC is a consensus,
    B. IPCC suggests biofuels
    C. Biofuels are a good thing.
    D. Anyone who argues against conclusions of the IPCC is a denier and a contrarian

    How can any progress be made?

  177. jae
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    167: I’ve seen articles discussing pumping CO2 into caverns. Sounds like a good idea to me, since we can “release” it when the cooling comes :).

  178. jae
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Permalink | Reply


    Shortcomings of models are clearly stated and understood.

    I don’t think this is quite accurate. Maybe the modelers understand these shortcomings, but the public sure doesn’t. Perhaps it is “miscommunication.” Perhaps it is something else.

  179. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 5:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    My comments about paying attention to remediation if (big IF) AGW proves correct are based on several considerations.

    1. It was a man named Sherrington who first cured diptheria disease by injecting his nephew with a serum from an infected horse. Others had made a lot of noise about the curse of diphtheria, but Sherrington came up with the remedy. He is a personal role model.

    2. It is incumbent on those who are advocating (say) that increasing man-made CO2 is raising global temperature to use their insightful science to devise ways to lower either the CO2 or the temperature or both. By merely saying “we’re all going to die” they are leaving their science half finished. By explaining their remediation approaches, they will expose new insights about their methodolgy to date and probably expose weaknesses they did not at first perceive.

    3. When new remediation methods are proposed, the average citizen might think them more drastic than what is said to be the consensus global future outlook. Thus, some wind goes out of the sails of this public opinion, as it should. (Like the analogy, I’d rather die of old age and the low risk of cancer than have radical, remedial prostate surgery now).

    4. There are already highly significant, developed remedies at work. One is nuclear electricity. It has been politicised, but is now clawing its way back. AGW believer scientists who have to show their colours re nuclear politics can then be more clearly seen from comments about remediation as either altruistic scientists or climate politicians and their work given weight accordingly.

    5. Some concepts of remediation take the researcher from a narrow discipline like (say) meteorology to a broader perspective. Maybe this will be a benefit and we will have outcomes like appropriate statistics used for climate data rather than ones labelled “home made”, etc.

    6. In the general sense, it is important for the general public to understand that remediation is possible. I particularly worry about youngsters who lose their childhood innocence from the likes of Al Gore telling them we are all doomed. In my young days of the Cold War, we were fairly conversant that the remedy named Mutually Assured Distruction was a fall-back that would work as the physics predicted. Thus, MAD became the thought focus more than the damage to a single city from a rogue IBM. In the final analysis, this nuclear conflagration that predicted “We’ll all be killed” was managed, just as AGW (if it is serious) will be managed.

    7. It can only be managed well if we divert some of our combined brain power to hypothetical remedial measures. Sequestration of CO2 in underground reservoirs is a remedy in progress, but not many people have faith in it yet. Maybe this is because too many funds are diverted to show it will be needed, rather than showing its possibility and economics.

    8. So let’s not completely bury our heads in the shifting sand of which climate model is better than the next. Let’s make some thought exercises about remediation. The public will love whomever comes up with a neat solution, whether it is needed or not.

    9. It would be a plus if good solutions appeared on climateaudit, as it would show proactive effort and reduce the validity of the ‘denier’ epithet.

  180. Mike Hayes
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re #179, 176, 175

    George. Thank you for your reply.

    I am concerned about mitigation and remediation and the apparent use of the “Office Space jump to conclusions mat” here. Briefly,

    1. Scientists agree on “consensus” of science IPCC.
    2. IPCC suggests remediation and mitigation, carbon trading etc.
    3. Scientists are therefore in “consensus” with these conclusions?

    Further worth noting (using the IPCC report itself to argue against the purveyers of doom) IPCC suggests numerous possible future scenarios. Notably is the A1T scenario, where the world population all rises to approximately the level of wealth of the developed countries.

    We need to be saying proactively “Let’s build THAT world. It’s a good thing”.

    And oddly enough, some of the politically latched on solutions suggested by the IPCC, like carbon credit trading, seem in effect to be tending toward creating some of the future scenarios of the IPCC which are bad, where there is an increasing gap in income between rich and poor countries, coupled with increasing population in the poor countries.

    At the same time, we have too many myths in the popular culture. Here is a concrete example. Replace all cars in the USA with hybrid 40-60 mpg, and the greenhouse gas emissions of the USA drop by less than 2%. My admittedly crude lifecycle emissions calculations show that if you add in the emissions during the manufacturing process, these cars only start to show a positive GHG savings after they are in the fleet for 9.5 years. But by then they must be replaced with a new fleet. So basic life cycle analysis shows popular concepts – hybrids – maybe bad ideas. We need public figures saying things like this, where detailed analysis shows them to be true.

    On the general issue of lowering emissions, and without even arguing the issue of what % of supposed climate change is due to man, here is a reality concerning nuclear power. Double the number of nuclear plants and the USA meets the IPCC 2050 mid level scenario requirement of a reduction in emissions by some 22%-26%. And there is no other way to meet that scenario’s required GHG reduction levels.

    Summarizing – hybrids as a solution are a myth – nuclear power solves the problem, period.

    Actual economic analysis of the issues and proposed solutions will not be in line with political proposed solutions. Of course those will lean toward higher taxes of one sort or another. But if in reality there is some possibility that the climate change issue is real and partly or wholely due to man, then intelligent people cannot allow the normal political process to make these simple errors.

    Doubling nuclear power plants would seem to be a very good thing irregardless of whether or not in 20-30 years we are all sitting around laughing about the “mass hallucination of global warming”.

  181. Reid
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #179 Geoff says “It was a man named Sherrington who first cured diptheria…”

    Are you related?

  182. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 11:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 181 Reid,

    I have not looked hard for a connection of Sherrington names. If it exists, close relationship would not be before 1880 or so. No, it was merely the coincidence of surnames that caused me to read extensively about Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, Nobel Laureate, twice President of the Royal Society of London, Knight and mentor of 3 more Nobel laureates. At his death aged over 90 in 1953 his entry in “Who’s Who” was the longest ever. What most interests me is that his writing, extremely turgid, very hard going, was original, innovative and still quoted. He wrote extensively about “The Meaning of Life” while I, by comparison, am more like a dead parrot nailed to a perch.

    To my incomplete knowledge, the Sherrington name descended from Sir Charles ended with a generation in which the only child was a daughter, not so long ago.

    re # 180 Mike Hayes,

    It is a confident personal forecast (and I have written several times to Kesten Green in NZ, from Australia’s Monash Uni, who has been mentioned several times in CA about forecasting) that carbon credits will not reduce the amount of fossil fuel consumption significantly. They will merely extend the number of years over which it is extracted and burned. Can you imagine a huge corporation like BHP, about the largest miner in the world, walking away from immense coal and oil deposits simply because of forecasts of CO2 buildup effects in the air? Can you imagine the Australian Governement letting this happen? No way, Nellie, the standard of living would drop too much. So I do NOT regard carbon credit trading as remediation, merely as a clever mechanism for seeking false praise, just as Al Gore does with his home electrical consumption.

  183. Joseph Koss
    Posted Jul 31, 2007 at 7:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have noticed that what I believe to be a very important section of AR4WG1 Chapter 8 First Order Draft disappeared in the Second Order Draft and I have unable to find any similar language anywhere in the SOD.

    Specifically, page 6 has a few paragraphs on “What does model evaluation tell us about the reliability of climate projections?”

    Can anybody help to find where this information has gone?

  184. Quietman
    Posted Aug 28, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I tried to read the comments. Error 404 was all I could see.

    • Cliff Huston
      Posted Aug 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: “#185 Quietman,

      The comments can be found here.


  185. Posted Oct 6, 2008 at 3:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There is also better understanding of some fundamental processes controlling global warming, such as expected increases in water vapour (itself a strong greenhouse gas). We now have greater confidence in the way models handle this, which increases confidence in their projections of climate change.
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