Last year, I reported on the resurrection of Chucky, with even Mann’s PC1, repudiated by Wegman and the NAS Panel, being illustrated in IPCC AR4. Chucky is back with a vengeance in the U.S. CCSP report, entitled “Unified Synthesis Product Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research”, released in July 2008 for comment here , full report pdf here (33 MB); comment submission here.
The report states that it is classified as “highly influential”:
This Synthesis and Assessment Product described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan, was prepared in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) and the information quality act guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce and NOAA pursuant to Section 515 ). The CCSP Interagency Committee relies on Department of Commerce and NOAA certifications regarding compliance with Section 515 and Department guidelines as the basis for determining that this product conforms with Section 515. For purposes of compliance with Section 515, this CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product is an “interpreted product” as that term is used in NOAA guidelines and is classified as “highly influential”.
The term “highly influential” triggers the peer review standards described in the OMB Bulletin here.
On the second page of the running text of the report (pdf page 19, following the executive summary and many colorful pictures), we see the following graphic with the caption shown beneath it:
Original Caption: This 1000-year record tracks the rise in carbon emissions due to human activities (fossil fuel burning and land clearing) and the subsequent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and air temperatures. The earlier parts of the Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction shown here are derived from historical data, tree rings, and corals, while the later parts were directly measured.
No source is given for this graphic, but CA readers will recognize this as, using Hu McCullough’s phrase, “MBH with whiskers”.
It is the Mann reconstruction spliced with CRU temperatures in an interesting way. The graphic below shows the splice of the MBH98-99 proxy data up to 1901 with the CRU version archived in connection with MBH98, which opportunistically included instrumental data from warm 1998 after the actual publication of MBH98 (see script in first comment for splicing).
Aside from the resurrection of Chucky, there are a couple of other interesting aspects to this graphic. You recall Mann’s outraged repudiation of the idea that climate scientists would splice proxy and instrumental records. An RC reader had written in to say:
Whatever the reason for the divergence, it would seem to suggest that the practice of grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record – as I believe was done in the case of the ‘hockey stick’ – is dubious to say the least.
To which Mann responded with outrage:
[Response: No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above. Often, as in the comparisons we show on this site, the instrumental record (which extends to present) is shown along with the reconstructions, and clearly distinguished from them (e.g. highlighted in red as here).
The “reasons” for not updating the proxy records “discussed above” were something that we’ve discussed in connection with the Starbucks Hypothesis.
Obviously this graphic in a publication classified as “highly influential” not only does not “clearly distinguish” the instrumental from the proxy portion, it merges them, although I presume that Mann would not regard the site originating this graphic as a “climate disinformation site.”
We’ve noted similar splicing on other occasions in the past – in Crowley and Lowery 2000, the splice being discussed at CA here, together with an assessment of evidence as to whether Mann was aware of this prior splice here . The Mann reconstruction was also spliced with the Jones temperature reconstruction in Inconvenient Truth, where to further complicate matters, it was identified as Dr Thompson’s Thermometer (discussed here).
In a commentary at RC, Pierrehumbert (who incidentally has not corrected his untrue statements about Courtillot not deriving data from a Jones data set), stated:
there is no legitimate reason in a paper published in 2007 for truncating the temperature record at 1992 as they did.
However, I guess that in Team-world it’s OK for a paper published in 2008 to truncate the temperature record in 1998.
Friends With Benefits
The document is directed primarily to an assessment of the regional impact of climate change on the U.S. When you think about iit, it’s interesting that, while one sees many discussions of future impacts (nearly all said to be negative), one sees relatively little discussion of regional impacts over the past century when dramatic changes in CO2 levels have already taken place. This is discussed sometimes in the proxy literature where past and present photos frequently show advancing tree lines. The use of treeline trees for reconstructing past temperatures is premised on the hypothesis that increased temperatures have led to thicker ring widths, something that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the CCSP report.
I did a word search on “benefits” to see whether climate change in the U.S. was such an ill wind that it brought no “benefit” to anyone. Well, there were a few exceptions: “weeds, disease and insect pests” were noted as benefiting from warming and, in the case of weeds, also from higher CO2 levels. Nothing about bristlecones benefiting.
Weeds, diseases, and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from rising carbon dioxide, increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more pesticide and herbicide use….
Agriculture: Weeds, diseases, and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from rising carbon dioxide (CO2), increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more pesticide and herbicide use. [ a second mentino]
Weeds benefit more than cash crops from higher temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels…
Kudzu and other invasive weed species, along with native weeds and vines, disproportionately benefit from increased carbon dioxide compared to other native plants.
For the most part, other “benefits” were said to be by-products of adaptation or mitigation strategies e.g. making cities more walk-able would benefit personal fitness. Here are the “benefits” mentions that I noticed – an ill wind indeed. I make no comment on the validity or non-validity of any of these observations, other than to note that the “benefits” of climate change are said to be very meager for anyone that is not a weed or a pestilence.
While there are likely to be some benefits in some sectors of society in the early stages of warming, most impacts are projected to be detrimental, in part because society and ecosystems have developed and evolved based on historical climate. Impacts are expected to become more detrimental for more people and places with additional warming.
In addition, some mitigation and adaptation options also produce other benefits to society, such as reducing health risks, and creating jobs or other economic benefits.
And while there are likely to be some benefits and opportunities in the early stages of warming, as climate continues to change, negative impacts are projected to dominate.
Lost opportunities for beach trips and fishing trips are projected to result in reduced recreational benefits totaling $3.9 billion in that state over the next 75 years8.
Cities can reduce the heat load through reflective surfaces and green spaces. Some actions have multiple benefits. For example, increased planting of trees and other vegetation in cities has been shown to be associated with a reduction in crime20, in addition to reducing local temperatures.
Making cities more walk-able and bike-able would thus have multiple benefits: personal fitness and weight loss; reduced local air pollution and associated respiratory illness; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Offshore oil exploration and extraction will probably benefit from less extensive and thinner sea ice, although equipment will have to be designed to withstand increased wave forces and ice movement9.
Transportation: The increase in extreme heat will limit some operations and cause pavement and track damage. Decreased extreme cold will confer benefits.
Longer construction seasons will be a benefit in colder locations18.
Airports in some areas are likely to benefit from reduction in the cost of snow and ice removal and the impacts of salt and chemical use, though some locations have seen increases in snowfall. Airlines could benefit from reduced need to de-ice planes.
However, regions that experience increased streamflow will have the benefit of pollution being more diluted.
As a result, conserving water has the dual benefit of conserving energy, and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions if fossil fuels are the predominant source of that energy.
Without the opportunity to benefit from snowmaking, the prospects for the snowmobiling industry are even worse.
The City of Chicago produced a map of urban hot spots to use as a planning tool to target areas that could most benefit from heat island reduction initiatives such as reflective or green roofing and tree planting.
A longer growing season has potential economic benefits, providing a longer period of outdoor and commercial activity (such as tourism). There are also downsides, as white spruce forests in Alaska’s interior are experiencing declining growth due to drought stress5 and continued warming could lead to widespread death of trees6.
A pretty meager harvest of benefits to anyone other than weeds and pestilence.