Unthreaded #42

Continues http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7360


  1. Craig Loehle
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Found a reference for breakpoint analysis. It discusses the problematic nature of doing such analyses. It lists 10 web pages with software for doing them.
    T. Andersen et al. 2008. Ecological thresholds and regime shifts: approaches to identification. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:49-57.

  2. Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Sweet, first comment on unthreaded.

    Anthony Watts did a report on a CO2 paper that demonstrates CO2 is not building up in the atmosphere and the trend we see cannot be statistically differentiated from the annual output as would be the case if the sinks were smaller than the source. I did a quick link to it at tAV because it seemed like a lot of people were missing the point.


    Has anyone ever read anything like this before? I’m hoping someone can share a copy of the paper also.

    • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

      Re: jeff id (#2), Actually he is not saying that CO2 is not building up in the atmosphere. If X Gt carbon are emitted per year into the atmosphere due to human activities, of which Y are buried somewhere by natural processes (e.g., in the ocean) and Z = X – Y stay in the atmosphere, what he says, as I understand, is that the ratios Z/X = 0.4 and Y/X = 0.6 remain roughly the same during the last hundred years. This means that the natural sinks are not saturated, in contrast to what some have previously argued.

      In my view, there are gross uncertainties in this estimate, like diminishing the emission from agricultural land by severalfold to match the conclusion.

      • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

        Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#3),

        You’re right Timetochooseagain already made the same point. That’s the great thing about open blogging. If you’re wrong, you’ll hear about it in minutes. 😀

        • bender
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: jeff id (#4),

          If you’re wrong, you’ll hear about it in minutes.

          Sometimes. But other times nonsense goes unchallenged and people start to assume it must be true.

        • Mark T
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: jeff id (#4),

          If you’re wrong, you’ll hear about it in minutes.

          You were the second, not first, post. 😉


        • bender
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

          Re: Mark T (#7),
          I say he was third. The first was this sick letter to RPJr from some rightwing shill:

          Joe Romm is a policy warrior. He does what soldiers are programmed to do. So let him say what he likes … for now. Don’t play guns with a cracked soldier. At some point there will be a renewed appetite for reason, and that’s when rationale people will again be called upon to serve. Until then, it’s Joe Romm’s McCarthyism. Just wait. It gets worse before it gets better.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#8),

          Bumped to third eh? Times are tough.

          Romm is a Soros paid propagandist. I don’t understand why people even read him.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

          Re: jeff id (#11), bender-bender was quoting himself and watching to see who’s paying attention 🙂

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

          Re: jeff id (#11),

          What’s the alternative? Realclimate?

        • Mark T
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

          Re: jeff id (#11), Because of ideology.


      • Sean
        Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

        Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#3), were you able to download and read the study? From the abstract it seems that the emissions from land use changes were dimished TO 82% of estimates, not BY 82%.

        Anyway, the upshot is that only 42% of the CO2 emitted is staying in the atmosphere. So whatever projections assume that 100% of it is building up need to be cut by more than half.

        Which in theory would be the same as the Kyoto/Copenhagen goal of cutting CO2 emissions by half or more before 2050.

        So, we already met the target. Next problem?

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

          Re: Sean (#5), If there is mixing in the ocean, then you can have 42% staying in the atmosphere but still get build up at the 100% rate if the other 58% is mixed out of the ocean. The rate of mixing does not say anything about the rate of build-up–except that sinks are not saturated, as stated. I am still trying to get a copy of the paper.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

          Re: Sean (#5), You are right, this is what I misread, I inferred that it was BY 82%. TO 82% is a modest correction. I have not read the paper yet.

  3. jack mosevich
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    here is a link to the study. if it does not work let me know and i will get you a copy


  4. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone remember the Biosphere experiment about 20 years ago?

    They ran out of oxygen ending the project, but without having an accompanying CO2 buildup. Everyone was completely baffled. The CO2 sink was in the concrete pad – which absorbed far more CO2 than anyone anticipated.

    At Erice, a Chinese scientist made a presentation on karsts – a type of geological structure and observed in passing that there was a much bigger absorption of CO2 in the Chinese karst than people had expected.

    My own surmise (and it’s no more than a guess) is that the missing CO2 sink is probably into rocks and soils.

    • jack mosevich
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#12),

      Steve: Remember the missing link? Now there is a missing sink.

    • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#12),

      the missing CO2 sink is probably into rocks and soils.

      and into mycorrhiza, plankton, mollusc shells (calcium carbonate), and the whole plant kingdom IMO. There’s always a surplus of Ca++ ions in the oceans, seen overall, to absorb CO2 and forestall acidification – according to expert oceanographer Floor Anthoni. The annual turnover of CO2 is huge (oceans and biosphere) and AFAIK has not been / cannot be measured accurately enough to tell if the human CO2 output, which is very small by comparison, can even be held responsible for the CO2 increase.

    • Paul Dennis
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#12), There are a lot of studies out there showing that a significant fraction of the emitted CO2 is either dissolved in the ocean, or taken up by the terrestrial biosphere with an approximate 50% split between these two sinks. Just google Keeling to find a list of references.

      What is new about this study is not that there is a significant sink but that that sink has been operating with the same efficiency with no sign of a decreasing capacity.

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#12),
      Concrete absorbs CO2 because it contains calcium hydroxide. This is a base which was created by calcining limestone (driving off CO2). The problem with absorbing CO2 into rocks is to find a non-manmade base. Surface rocks have been exposed to CO2 for a very long time. CaCO3 in karst etc is the strongest common base, but if CO2 reacts with it, it produces soluble bicarbonate, so is not really sequestered.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

        Re: Nick Stokes (#20),

        I’m not arguing that it’s sequestered. This is not a topic that I’ve studied. Nor am I stating that this information is particularly novel. I’m merely passing on the information from the Chinese geologist, that the amount of CO2 absorbed in the karst was greater than they expected.

        In passing, it doesn’t seem obvious to me that the greenhouse effect of bicarbonate forms is worse than the greenhouse effect of carbonate forms, but I’ll defer to others on that issue.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (#21),

          In passing, it doesn’t seem obvious to me that the greenhouse effect of bicarbonate forms is worse than the greenhouse effect of carbonate forms

          I know you’re not a chemist, so perhaps that explains why I can’t figure out what you mean. The basic equation is:

          2 CaCO3 + 2 H2CO3 => 2 Ca(HCO3)2 [which may not be stable as a crystalline molecule; I forget.] Now CaCO3 is basically insoluble (It’s what makes up shells and bones) whereas Ca(HCO3)2 is pretty soluble. H2CO3 is just hydrated carbon dioxide. So if you have a carbonate rock (CaCO3) It can absorb a hydrated CO2 and produce bicarbonate (while dissolving). Bicarbonate will stay in the ocean unless converted to carbonate by organisms or unless the pH of the ocean changes. In some cases where there’s shallow water (lagoons, etc.) CO2 from the atmosphere can change the water pH appreciably. Of course AGW alarmists use this to say the world is about to end. It’s really not that bad, but it’s rather off-topic even for unthreaded.

        • Ulises
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#25),

          Now CaCO3 is basically insoluble (It’s what makes up shells and bones)

          Bones are from phosphate rather than carbonate.

        • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#25),

          Hi Dave,

          Mammalian bones, particularly human bones, are mostly a composite of collageneous proteins and calcium hydroxyapatite, if I remember correctly. I do not recall calcium carbonate being a constituent of mammalian or human bones; but I could be wrong about that. Update, fossil bones do contain carbonates that have replaced the hydroxyapatites that were the initial crystal forms. Therefore, your statement isn’t completely wrong 🙂 my friend.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

          Re: cdquarles (#47),

          calcium hydroxyapatite

          Mea Culpa. I didn’t think of trying to look for the chemical structure of bone. 1

          1) Excuse per Briffa re Yamal

      • Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

        Re: Nick Stokes (#20),

        Interesting…and if true, suggests that concrete production may be a smaller net ‘anthropogenic’ source of carbon dioxide than has been so attributed.

        Re: Lucy Skywalker (#18),

        I think that I said something similar here in the thread that had to be removed. Do we have any idea how much methane, carbon dioxide, and other so-called greenhouse (I prefer IR active) gases are emitted by, say, the total mass of termites in the world? All living things alter their environment (locally) to enhance their own survival and inhibit the survival of living things harmful to themselves. That the biological world works by survival of the fit enough, not fittest, should give one pause before shouting OMGIWTWT about what the subset of the natural biological world known as Homo sapiens is now aware of with respect to its own logical and natural acts of self preservation.

        I do know from personal experience in the corner of the US where I live that the local terpenoid emission from just the conifers during the warm season (April through September) results in enough ground level ozone that you can smell it down wind from the trees; just as you can smell the ground level ozone from lightning discharges associated with the air mass thunderstorms.

    • ianl8888
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#12),

      Unthreaded, right ? So:

      karsts are actually geologically active limestone caverns, ie. these holes (in all stages of development and all sizes) are still in the process of being rotted out by groundwater flows

      The Chinese karsts in Shanxi province are in Devonian limestone, overlain by a coal-bearing Permian sediment pile (300m+), in turn overlain by up to 200m of wind-blown loess

      I’ve just finished a project in Shanxi province, wherein one of the issues was finding these things from surface exploration, since some of these holes are so large that they have collapsed, fracturing the strata above (including the seams). Of course, there is no way of knowing which ones may collapse next, or when

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

        Re: ianl8888 (#22),

        Can you give the detailed geochemistry of how caves are formed in carbonate rocks, then stalgmites and stalactites (also carbonates) are formed in the same caves? Is there some cyclic activity whereby sometimes carbonates dissolve and next they form again? Is the a partial answer to the reported Chinese finding?

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#61), Caves in carbonate rocks are generally formed my sufficient water flow to create streams and rivers underground–saturated conditions. When the rocks are uplifted or the climate dries, the reduced water flow becomes drippage which leaves behind stalgmites and stalactites.

        • ianl8888
          Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

          Re: Craig Loehle (#63),

          An additional point, and one which tends to confound,is that the groundwater flows are intermittent over geological time. So cave formation and size, stalactite and stalagmite deposition, is quite variable in rate over many, many moons

        • Paul Dennis
          Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#61), Geoff and Craig, caves are largely formed by dissolution of limestone, whether above or below the water table. Rainwater percolates through the soil zone where it is in equilibrium with high CO2 partial pressures due to plant respiration. The resulting groundwater is undersaturated with respect to calcite and dissolves limestone. The initial stages result in dissolution widening of fissures, bedding planes and joints. This can lead to a focusing of the flow, further widening of apertures and tubes. On entering a cave chamber where P(CO2) is lower than in the soil zone there is loss of CO2 from the groundwater and precipitation of carbonate in the form of flowstones, curtains, stalagmites and stalactites.

        • ianl8888
          Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

          Re: Geoff Sherrington (#61),
          Sorry Geoff, I didn’t go into the chemistry but rather the structure and physical properties (eg. size) of these things. My aim was to figure out a way to find them through exploration from the surface 500m+ above – because they are a very definite safety/production hazard in underground mining

          As it turned out, examining one that had been unexpectedly encountered underground (very messy) I could see traces of Fe mineralisation in the fracture debris from groundwater movement, so a surface magnetometer survey was then pretty useful

          I have contacts with well-informed Chinese geologists. I’ll ask them for the chemistry

  5. MarkR
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    From the BBC: Go-ahead for 10 nuclear stations

    The government has approved 10 sites in England and Wales for new nuclear power stations, most of them in locations where there are already plants. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8349715.stm

    We, the Brits, started the AGW business by Margaret Thatcher funding the CRU. Her purpose was to press the Public to accept Nuclear Power stations. Now we see the fruits of that Policy.

    Unfortunately for the rest of the world, when we are weaned off Oil Coal and Gas to the more expensive Nuclear, we will ensure that the rest of the world has to follow, so we don’t suffer a cost dis-advantage. I’m afraid the Warmers have won, and here comes Obama (always take advantage of a good crisis):

    The cap-and-trade bill — both the Senate version that passed the Environment and Public Works committee and the version that already passed the House — effectively declares a climate emergency if world greenhouse gas levels climb above 450 parts per million. (The number appears to have been chosen arbitrarily.) According to the Pacific Northwest National lab, which wrote in response to Vitter’s inquiries, the world’s air will hit that level of greenhouse gases next year, in 2010, if undeveloped nations do not accept carbon limits.

    The result is a a scenario in which the law not only permits but in fact requires the president to “direct all Federal agencies to use existing statutory authority to take appropriate actions…to address shortfalls” in emissions cutbacks.

    The bill’s language places an unusually broad mandate upon the president to act in the event of this “emergency” situation.” In a letter to Vitter, EPA administration Lisa Jackson wrote that she does not know what her agency would do. “It is premature to describe exactly what additional actions EPA may take until such an analysis is conducted,” she wrote.

    Washington Examiner Energy Police, energy criminals etc. coming to a town near you.

  6. Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    My own surmise (and it’s no more than a guess) is that the missing CO2 sink is probably into rocks and soils.

    + 1

    Signed, Sonicfrog, the geology school drop-out.

  7. Juraj V.
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    According to the Pacific Northwest National lab, which wrote in response to Vitter’s inquiries, the world’s air will hit that level (450 ppm) of greenhouse gases next year, in 2010, if undeveloped nations do not accept carbon limits.

    Next year? Back to school, chaps.

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

      Re: Juraj V. (#26),
      You’re not reading it correctly. It doesn’t say 450 ppm CO2. Myron Ebell puts it more explicitly:

      are sufficient to avoid greenhouse gas concentrations above 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent (ppm CO2-e). Since concentrations are already at 430 ppm CO2-e and rising every year …
      A few days ago they finally got answers to their questions from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL’s modeling shows that 450 ppm CO-e will be reached in 2010.

  8. Carrick
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    Nick Stokes:

    Concrete absorbs CO2 because it contains calcium hydroxide. This is a base which was created by calcining limestone (driving off CO2). The problem with absorbing CO2 into rocks is to find a non-manmade base. Surface rocks have been exposed to CO2 for a very long time. CaCO3 in karst etc is the strongest common base, but if CO2 reacts with it, it produces soluble bicarbonate, so is not really sequestered.

    What role does rock weathering play in this argument?

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

      Re: Carrick (#29),
      The argument says that rocks exposed to CO2, if basic enough to react to form a solid, will already have reacted. Of course, weathering could slowly expose new surfaces which could react. But if so, the rate of uptake is determined by whatever is causing the weathering, not the CO2 concentration. Limestone itself is an exception, in that the CO2 actually erodes the rock. But the product, calcium bicarbonate, exists only in solution.

  9. jae
    Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    Don’t miss this WSJ article:

    One quote:

    In retrospect, a significant moment was the falling apart or debunking of two key attempts seemingly well-suited to clinch matters for a scientifically literate public. One, the famous hockey stick graph, which suggested the temperature rise of the past 100 years was unprecedentedly steep, was convincingly challenged. The other, a mining of the geological record to show past episodes of warming were sharply coupled with rising CO2 levels, fell victim to a closer look that revealed that past warmings had preceded rather than followed higher CO2 levels.

  10. Mikey
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    snip – policy

    One more thing: I noticed that the mainstream media has almost on mass ignored the new study by Knorr at University of Bristol which makes a serious challenge to initial condition assumptions in the more catastrophic climate models.

    • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

      Re: Mikey (#33), In my opinion, what is often missing in the discussions of energy strategies on both AGW proponents and their opponents side, is a quantitative idea of the shares of various types of energy in the total budget. In 2005, for example, global energy consumption (15.4 TW) was by about 87% made up of fossil fuel, with a 6% contributions from nuclear and hydropower (a total of 12%) and 1% from “other sources”. However, usable nuclear power makes up about one third of total nuclear power output (which is mostly waste heat). Thus, the usable nuclear power contributed about a tiny 2% to global energy budget. If one, say, wants to reduce fossil fuel consumption by one fifth, to fill the gap by nuclear power it will not be an issue of building a couple of nuclear plants here and there. One will have to build at least five times more new nuclear plants than we have now, which, to my knowledge, is absolutely unrealistic in technological terms.

      The AGW proponents are sometimes blamed to go a little childish about reducing fossil fuel consumption to “save our poor planet, etc.” without bothering about economic realities. But among the AGW opponents too one can often meet with IMO a not less idealistic belief that right before the last barrel of oil is drilled the technological progress will serve us with the needed energy power from some other source. To me it looks like the common sense should be definitely somewhere far from the two idealistic attitudes. Fossil fuel is finite and is running out. To be realistic, one should take measures well in advance to prepare for the inevitable cut of energy consumption in a regulated manner, not to allow for a spontaneous disintegration of the world economy that is critically dependent on liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. IMO this cannot be done without raising the population number problem on a global level.

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

        Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#34),

        However, usable nuclear power makes up about one third of total nuclear power output (which is mostly waste heat).

        Are you sure you’re correct here. I’ve never seen total thermal output used as the criteria for comparing energy sources. And fossil fuels aren’t much better thermally than nuclear, when it comes to electricity production, which is the apple to apple comparison. Likewise, burning gasoline isn’t particularly efficient. How about a link to where your energy consumption figures come from?

        As far as oil goes, sure it’ll run out, but the production of such fuels from coal, tar sands, etc. are well known. It’s strictly an economic decision which keeps the production from ramping up.

        • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#35), You raise several points:

          I’ve never seen total thermal output used as the criteria for comparing energy sources.

          This is an important statistics called “gross heat content” of the considered energy type. One can visit the U.S. Energy Information Administration and type “gross heat content of nuclear electric power” and download the table to see that it is about 10,000 Btu for Kilowatthour of net electricity production. Since 1 btu is approx. 1 kJ, and 1 Kilowatthour is 3,600 kJ, here we are: 3.6 kJ of useful energy per 10 kJ of total heat.

          And fossil fuels aren’t much better thermally than nuclear, when it comes to electricity production, which is the apple to apple comparison.

          This is true, but take note that electricity itself constitutes only 13% of total energy consumption, most of which is spent on transport and heating. Moreover, a considerable part of heat produced at thermal electric stations can be used in households. In contrast, heat from nuclear plants which are typically for safety reasons isolated from living areas, is largely wasted. So compared to other sources of energy nuclear power stands out in its inefficiency as soon as the ratio of gross to net energy production is concerned.

          The main point though is that calculating the share of net nuclear energy production in the total budget makes it even smaller, as I said above, at about 2% of total energy used on a global scale and slightly more than average in the US. If one is inclined to see for oneself, one should compare several tables available at EIA website, my own compilation of these data is here, but in my view these are quite well-known figures to anyone once concerned about an overview of the global or regional energy budget.

          As far as oil goes, sure it’ll run out, but the production of such fuels from coal, tar sands, etc. are well known. It’s strictly an economic decision which keeps the production from ramping up.

          This is precisely what looks to me as an idealistic belief in that “market will set everything all right when the right time comes”, although I am open to see any available quantitative proofs of this and similar perspectives. The available stores of coal in various sources are very uncertain, but let us just take an optimistic figure from Wikipedia “coal” at about 10^12 tonnes and take that it is all carbon. Currently we globally consume about 10 Gt carbon per year, i.e. 10^10 tonnes, of which about two thirds are from hydrocarbons. Should we replace all that by coal, we would have 100 years ahead. But the point is that our cars do not use coal, while converting coal to liquid fuel is extremely inefficient. This will reduce the time left by severalfold. So in realistic terms coal does not constitute a strategic way out. Actually take any type of energy and have a closer look, you will see that the perspectives are not rosy anywhere.

        • Kenneth Fritsch
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#37),

          This is precisely what looks to me as an idealistic belief in that “market will set everything all right when the right time comes”, although I am open to see any available quantitative proofs of this and similar perspectives.

          We do not currently have a free market in energy to set everything all right and to the degree we do not we have a problem making the correct calculations on price, production and allocations of scarce resources in the present and future. The problem is that no one knows what the long term or even middle term future will bring, but I know that if we have a command economy with “experts” making these choices those choices are going to be severely limited and become political ones with little input from technology or the market.

          The reason we get into these debates on what technologies are most efficient is because we have “experts” making their own extrapolations based on what we know now and colored with their own prejudices and often without the critical details. We seem to assume that someone or some something is going to command these decisions in the future.

          As resources become scarcer or we predict them to more scarce, the price in the free market should determine the relative merits of the sources of energy and the users of that energy to voluntarily decide on any other considerations for use – given that individual property rights are upheld with consideration of proven harm to individuals from the energy generation.

          Although we may not reach my ideal anytime soon, I make no apologies for presenting it and contrasting it with the problems of the “mixed” system we currently have.

        • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

          Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#38), Kenneth, I am not certain I got your point.

          I cannot see how the free market price formation can help with the amount of diminishing energy resources. Quite the opposite, it was the oil availability that made the economic growth of the world possible in the 19th and 20th century, with its complex transportation structure and mechanized agriculture. I think that there is much value in people critically discussing the energy perspectives in quantitative terms and then pressing their governments to take reasonable decisions. In my view, it is as unreasonable to leave the energy issue to market self-regulation as is unreasonable to immediately shut down all industrial plants not to emit a single CO2 molecule into the atmosphere. Both would be ideological rather than scientifically informed decisions.

        • Greg F
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

          Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#40),

          I cannot see how the free market price formation can help with the amount of diminishing energy resources.

          The same way it always has. Price. As prices increase people switch to alternatives. We unfortunately have a government that sees fit to limit those alternatives.

          I think that there is much value in people critically discussing the energy perspectives in quantitative terms and then pressing their governments to take reasonable decisions.

          History is a great teacher. Right now have heavy government involvement in the energy sector. I would like to know what the government is doing now that is reasonable. I don’t see it.

          Both would be ideological rather than scientifically informed decisions.

          Government is political by nature. Why would you expect “scientifically informed decisions” from an entity that fundamentally political? What historical examples would lead you to believe this is even possible?

        • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

          Re: Greg F (#43),

          The same way it always has. Price. As prices increase people switch to alternatives.

          If there are realistic alternatives, people will switch to them. If there are no, market will be of no help. Like you can set a billion dollars prize to invent a device moving faster than light — despite the huge economic interest for potential inventors, the prize will remain unclaimed. Real world is shaped by physical laws in the first place, not by the market expectations. My point is that the same people who are critical, open-minded and common sensed when criticizing the AGW propositions like that of Briffa et al., often change radically to absolutely uncritically accept the myth about a large field of alternative energy opportunities currently suppressed by the bad oil mafiosi but ready to flourish when the market opens the door to them. My only and single point here is that one should be consistently critically minded.

          Government is political by nature. Why would you expect “scientifically informed decisions” from an entity that fundamentally political? What historical examples would lead you to believe this is even possible?

          I cannot see why a political decision cannot be scientifically informed. When a nation takes anti-epidemic measures, for example. We can criticize our governments, but isn’t the CA effort helping make public opinion more scientifically informed? And public opinion is something the governments usually take into account. To some degree.

          BTW, I do not understand whether the U.S. or Canadian or UK government “heavy involved in energy sector” is pro-Briffa et al. or contra-Briffa et al. Russian government is largely contra, of course. But all this looks like being increasingly out of topic.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

          Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#44),

          Anastassia and others, I discourage discussion of policy on the blog as it quickly overtakes scientific discussion. It’s not that it’s unimportant or uninteresting, but it changes the focus of the blog in a way that I don’t want.

          On a personal level, I happen to agree with concerns about long-term energy, but that’s simply a personal view. On a short term basis, shale gas looks like a very big deal.

        • Kenneth Fritsch
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (#46),

          Sorry Steve M, but the brief exchange was informative for me and exposed some major conceptional problems.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

          Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#40),

          If the calculations are correct, the total amount of energy used by makind each year would compress into 26 minutes if compared to the energy of sunlight impacting the Earth’s surface in a year.

          This is a roundabout way of saying that energy is abundant; and that its mix is controlled by price and policy. We have past observations showing how wrong one can be to do a Club of Rome scenario. Just leave people to their initiatives and they will work it out.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

          Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#37),

          This is true, but take note that electricity itself constitutes only 13% of total energy consumption, most of which is spent on transport and heating.

          True, but it makes it unfair to technologies like Nuclear (and solar if it were held to the same standard) which produce primarily electricity, as compared to coal and oil where heating is to some extent used for heating.

          BTW, waste heat from nuclear is no problem. The heat energy is extremely small compared to the heat from sun absorbed by the earth and oceans. I could be picky and talk about raising fish in warmer water coming from cooling towers, or the clouds which are produced by cooling towers (nuclear or coal), which likely have a negative feedback on global warming, but you’d be right in claim these are small potatoes.

          Anyway, I’ll need to check to see if the gross energy content for coal and oil is also available before looking at that for nuclear. As I say, you have to compare apples to apples. And while a few non-nuclear electric plants use some of their waste heat it’s a very small %. And I might add that in many areas the use of heat pumps gives efficiencies exceeding 100% for much of the heating season.

          And insofar as electricity goes, replacing coal or oil with nuclear is even more efficient, and you should use the gross energy comparison rather than looking at % of energy usage in deciding if it’s a wise decision.

        • Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#34),

          I have a slight point in opposition to this Dave. From the perspective of a biological organism, the energetics associated with photolytic hydrolysis of water to form carbonaceous compounds for the subsequent combustion of same; the combustion of hydrocarbons and substituted hydrocarbons is the most economical and parsimonious form of energy production that can be used to do mechanical work, particularly mechanical work associated with locomotion. As long as there is a biosphere on this rock, hydrocarbons and substituted hydrocarbons will be made for the purposes of sustaining life via combustion of hydrocarbons.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

          Re: cdquarles (#50),

          I have a slight point in opposition to this Dave.

          When humans evolve wheels for locomotion this might matter. As it is, we need extra-organal energy and I doubt you can show that photosynthesis is particularly energetically efficient. Though that perhaps depends on what you measure. E.g. do you count changes in albedo of vegetated vs unvegetated land surfaces?

        • Posted Nov 13, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#53),

          LOL….joke was too subtle I guess. I was talking about the biological organism itself, performing its own locomotion….mammalian muscles run on fat for prolonged efforts, glycogen for short bursts; and both are hydrocarbons/substituted hydrocarbons. Nevertheless, mined hydrocarbons remain the most efficient source of energy for locomotion (mechanical devices) from the economic point of view; and this will be true for the next 50 years, IMO. I partially brought this up because one of the things I worked on in the “energy crisis” 70s was biomass conversion by means of pyrolysis oil.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 13, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          Re: cdquarles (#59),

          I was talking about the biological organism itself, performing its own locomotion

          Yes, I know. That’s why I was talking about wheels. I just didn’t see it as a joke, as lots of people would argue that, for example, biofuel is energetically more efficient than fossil fuel. I say if you consider the side effects, it’s likely not.

        • Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#60),

          Hi Dave,

          You will get no argument from me re biofuels, given my previous work experience with pyrolysis oil biomass conversion. AFAICT nuclear -> electricity makes the most sense, although adding the dread C gas doesn’t bother me much at current rates and atmospheric concentrations; it is plant food after all (I wonder how many people realize that their exhaled breath is approximately 4% carbon dioxide and 10% water). Now if you want to speak of storing solar energy at the surface, I don’t think there is a more efficient system than the biological one dissociating water to reduce carbon dioxide and from that synthesizing various hydrocarbons/substituted hydrocarbons at surface temperatures, pressures, and surface chemistry (colloid state/proteinaceous enzyme catalysis) for reuse later via redox reactions and their associated electrochemistry.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

          Re: cdquarles (#66),

          I don’t think there is a more efficient system than the biological one

          Well, according to Wikipedia (search on photosysthesis +effeciency) a typical effeciency for crops is 1-2% sunlight to plant mass. Then you have to consider the plant mass to physical energy which will be another fraction. But the energy conversion from a fossil fuel in the ground to physical is rather higher. Which is why we use automobiles rather than horses to get around these days.

        • Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (#67),

          Hi Dave,

          Again, we are not disagreeing, but looking at the issue from differing perspectives. I am strictly talking about the organism’s/biosphere’s point of view of efficiency. The system essentially totally recycles the raw materials and ultimately fully captures and incorporates the flux where the input to output temperature drop is on the order of a few degrees K.

          This is probably getting far afield, even for unthreaded.

  11. Jim Turner
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Re. saturation of CO2 sinks, does anyone have an insight into what the characteristic ‘sawtooth’ in the Mauna Loa data tells us? While the trendline rises sedately, the actual rate of change alters dramatically on a seasonal basis, about +8ppm then about -6ppm over a 12 month cycle. If the sinks were approaching saturation, would not this rate change?

  12. Just an EE
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Hey, I’m searching fruitlessly for the original source of that apparent ‘Quote’ from Briffa, p.h.d., that he could still “get” a hockeystick without blahblah… Perhaps it was one of his colleagues?

    That is a very telling comment, to which I would like to refer directly.

    I’ll keep looking, but perhaps one of you all has it in your local memory cache…

    J a EE

  13. EddieO
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    I know this thread is “unthreaded” but this question is probably “off blog” rather than “off topic”.

    I have just had to listen to one of the social scientist academics at my institution waxing lyrical about the drowning polar bears. I mentioned that I had read that the numbers of bears had increased from 5 – 10k up to 20 – 25k since they became a protected species but my comments just drew disdain. Can any one point me to a source of credible research about recent changes in polar bear populations?

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

      Re: EddieO (#41), The polar bears were declining due to hunting. They became protected under the Marine Mammal treaties maybe 20 yrs ago, and indeed their #s went up to about 22,000 recently. They are still hunted, but at a lower intensity, by Inuit in Canada, and in Siberia. this is NOT due to the recent listing under the ESA because that just happened.

    • Freezedried
      Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

      Re: EddieO (#41),

      Try a search for polar bears and Mitch Taylor to get some expert opinion.

  14. snowmaneasy
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Found this a few days ago…very interesting 25 August 1995:
    Vol. 269. no. 5227, pp. 1098 – 1102
    DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5227.1098
    A Large Northern Hemisphere Terrestrial CO2 Sink Indicated by the 13C/12C Ratio of Atmospheric CO2
    P. Ciais 1, P. P. Tans 2, M. Trolier 3, J. W. C. White 4, and R. J. Francey 5

    Measurements of the concentrations and carbon-13/carbon-12 isotope ratios of atmospheric carbon dioxide can be used to quantify the net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the oceans and terrestrial plants. A study of weekly samples from a global network of 43 sites defined the latitudinal and temporal patterns of the two carbon sinks. A strong terrestrial biospheric sink was found in the temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in 1992 and 1993, the magnitude of which is roughly half that of the global fossil fuel burning emissions for those years. The challenge now is to identify those processes that would cause the terrestrial biosphere to absorb carbon dioxide in such large quantities.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Some of you may recall the book and movie (with Steve McQueen) entitled The Great Escape, about a World War II tunneling effort. The Globe and Mail in Toronto published an interesting obituary yesterday about a Toronto resident, who as a young man had been a World War II POW and had been involved in the Great Escape tunneling program. Despite being from a wealthy Toronto family, his father had sent him to work in the mines in Timmins to toughen him up and so he knew something about underground operations.

    He’d spent most of his life as a bond salesman. He was a member of my squash/tennis club (older members often continue as social members). I didn’t know anything of his war experience. Men of that generation never talked about it much.

  16. snowmaneasy
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Re:EddieO #41…here is a good reference
    Polar Bears
    Proceedings of the 14th Working Meeting of the
    IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group,
    20–24 June 2005, Seattle, Washington, USA

    Click to access PBSG14proc.pdf

  17. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Nov 12, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Bones was wrong, but shells is still correct. Exoskeletal marine organisms from giant clams to corals and benthic foraminifera make their shells from calcium carbonate. There is a reason pearls dissolve in wine (if the wine is acidic enough). The result is that in the ocean surface layer the dissolved CO2 concentration is below the saturation value and the pH is higher than the saturation value because there is a biological pump working to convert carbonic acid and bicarbonate to carbonate. The surface layer is also supersaturated with calcium carbonate and contains significant amounts of suspended solid carbonates.

  18. Punch My Ticket
    Posted Nov 13, 2009 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    Physics and Pixie Dust

    …. Schön, like his forging forebears, worked with a particular idea of what real or legitimate knowledge claims should look like. He sought to make his fakes fit in rather than stand out, massaging his data to better match established predictions. The detail with which he gilded his fakes—put in to confer a sense of realism—began to trip him up, just as with forgeries of yore. The first serious inquiry into Schön’s work arose when a fellow specialist noticed that some of Schön’s data fit theoretical expectations too well. Theory suggested that a certain relationship between two parameters should follow a bell-shaped curve on average. Schön’s data fit a perfect bell-shaped curve, with none of the noise or jitter that usually marks authentic experimental data.

    Schön’s work, like that of long-ago forgers, also had a convoluted provenance. As Grafton explains, literary forgers often found it useful to concoct an elaborate story about why the original document they claimed to have discovered was no longer available for others’ inspection. (“I stumbled upon these ancient papyri in my fields, but they crumbled to dust just after I managed to transcribe them.”) So, too, with Schön. He conducted nearly all of his experiments at his former laboratory in Germany, where he had completed his doctorate, rather than on site at Bell Labs. When colleagues occasionally expressed curiosity about how he prepared his samples or undertook his measurements, Schön could throw up his hands and explain that the apparatus was several thousand miles away. Schön also maintained that he was in the habit of deleting all computer files of raw data—he later claimed that his computers lacked adequate storage space to keep the original data files—saving instead only the results after data had passed through various layers of analysis.

    Most interesting is that Schön’s frauds actually benefited from rigorous peer review at elite journals, much as earlier forgers benefited from the advanced techniques of text-obsessed humanists. The critiques and suggestions that Schön received in referee reports told him exactly what it would take to convince skeptics about new findings….

  19. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Nov 13, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Would Julian Simon still have won his bet if the settlement date had been the peak of the recent commodities bubble? I’m curious, but not curious enough to do the research and calculations myself.

    Don’t know for sure, but I’m 99.9999% sure that of you’d held copper futures or something like that from the 1970s, rolling them over, the accumulated contango would be hugely above the top of the recent commodities peak. Not even close. I traded some copper futures in the 1970s and have scars from the experience.

  20. Posted Nov 14, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Check out the new BAS report on plankton growth in waters formerly covered by the Larsen Ice shelf. It turns out that they are gobbling up CO2 — Mother Nature’s way of saying “Le Chatelier’s Principle”!

  21. jlc
    Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

    Anasstasia, Dave et al:

    When talking about energy consumption, it is important to define at what level you are looking at.

    Electricity? Transport? Total?

    80% of total energy consumed in Cambodia is firewood. What % of total global energy is firewood? I dunno, but I bet it’s more than 5% and 10 times more than wind.

    Total global energy % from burning/converting carbon-based products is probably 90%.

    I would very much welcome comments/criticism of this broad assessment.

    Of course, I may be wrong – I”ve only had 45 years experience in this field..

    Fire away….

    • Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

      Re: jlc (#70),

      What % of total global energy is firewood? I dunno, but I bet it’s more than 5% and 10 times more than wind.

      For what they are worth, here are my calculations. Primary Energy Consumption by Source table at the U.S. Energy Information Administration web site says that in 2006 (the last year on record) the world consumed 472 Quadrillion (10^15) btu (1 btu, british thermal unit, = 1055 J). This total energy consumption is split into petroleum (36%), natural gas (23%), coal (27%), hydroelectric power (6%), nuclear electric power (6%), electric power from other sources (including wind, geothermal etc.) (1%) and U.S. energy consumption from other sources (<1%).

      It is not clear how the firewood fits into that scheme, so one has to look for information elsewhere.

      From the FAO statistics for World +, Wood Fuel +, Production Quantity, year 2006, we find that fuel wood production in 2006 was 1.9 billion cubic meters. This is, by the way, about half of total wood production. Taking mean wood density (generally variable) at around 500 kg/cubic meter and energy content 15 x 10^6 J per kilogram wood, we find that firewood energy consumption in 2006 was around 1.4 x 10^19 J. This makes for 3% of global energy consumption (5 x 10^20 J) in 2006. Given the uncertainties about wood density and other involved uncertainties, this calculation appears close to the suggested estimate of 5%.

      • TAG
        Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

        Re: Anastassia Makarieva (#71),

        I use wood for my house. It is my impression that the wood fuel, while convenient, is quite inefficient. Most of the heat goes up the chimney. The 5% figure must be taken into account in this regard.

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

          Re: TAG (#74),

          Efficiency varies widely. The best burner of firewood is the Russian Fireplace, a.k.a. Russian Oven. The worst thing you can do is what many stoves are designed to do, which is to starve the fire of oxygen for control. Other factors, such as whether or not you insulate the stove pipe also affect efficiency. They don’t have to be low efficiency, but frequently are.

  22. toot
    Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    A current blog on the Icecap site by D’Aleo reports on a paper describing an effect on atmospheric CO2 associated with volcanic eruptions, which seems to imply an as yet unexplained sink of CO2. A couple of explanations have been proffered, such as greater botanic activity caused by the diffusion of sunlight by the volcanic dust and a change of respiration by the soil. Would the vast amount of of newly exposed rock surface in the ejected ash be of a kind that would combine with the CO2 in the manner described above?

  23. Calvin Ball
    Posted Nov 15, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    And a question for the group:

    Has anyone seen this, and any criticism of it? This seems plausible, and if it’s true, will have serious repercussions.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Nov 16, 2009 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

      Re: Calvin Ball (#76),

      If you go to several sites you can find a paper by Peter Lang. This URL has a .pdf within it.


      Peter is an Australian manager/electrical engineer so his conclusions are country-specific to a degree. e.g. Australia has no nuclear base load.

      However, Peter gives other references, especially to a major British study, which is largely confirmatory.

      I thought the paper had appeared on CA but I could not find it with a quick search. It’s well worth studying, even though it was written on data from a couple of years ago. Not much has changed.

      • Calvin Ball
        Posted Nov 16, 2009 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

        Re: Geoff Sherrington (#77),

        After reading that (and I do have some exposure to power generation issues), it’s still not completely clear whether that is a valid critique in some specific cases, or a more general inherent issue. If that’s a general issue, there’s a lot of bad policy going on all over the world. Specifically, it’s not clear whether those output profiles were typical or not. If that’s as good as it gets, this is just not going to work, even with continuous transmissions or DC generators and inverters, because the cube-law is what it is.

        I’m sure the wind industry will have an answer to this, but I expect this issue to slowly smolder in the background, just like 100 others.

  24. Geoff
    Posted Nov 16, 2009 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    Looks like a lot more fun to collect tree rings in Vietnam than in frozen peninsulas. See the story here. But I’m already wondering about bias and confounding factors. Note the comment attributed to Dr. Ed Cook:

    The models that predict rising temperatures are “very iffy” about precipitation patterns

    And then with all the discussion about tree age introducing potential bias we find Dr. Buckley:

    A tree like this could be as old as the oldest ones we’ve gotten,” says Buckley. “The idea is so simple … there is this organism sitting here and kind of recording what is going on in its environment and reliably so. When you find that right site that has whatever characteristic is necessary to give it an imprint of the overall climate and it just locks in, that’s a pretty special thing.”

    Sounds easy. Just need to find those special trees with “whatever chacteristic is necessary to give it an imprint of the overall climate…”

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Nov 16, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

      Re: Geoff (#78),

      When you find that right site that has whatever characteristic is necessary to give it an imprint of the overall climate and it just locks in, that’s a pretty special thing.”

      So order your Mann-o-matic today for only $29.95 plus shipping and handling…

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Nov 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

      Re: Geoff (#78),

      Just need to find those special trees with “whatever chacteristic is necessary to give it an imprint of the overall climate…”

      And it’s cheating to select after the fact based on cores. You have to specify where to find those magic trees and then average over all cores for the trees selected by the specifications. No peeking.

  25. Posted Nov 17, 2009 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

    I guess we’ll be needing a thread for Saltzer (Hughes) et al.

    Press coverage here.

    The paper appears to be an attempt to save the bristlecones from the scrapheap and amounts to a direct response to MM05(EE), (but of course doesn’t actually cite it).

  26. EddieO
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    I watched a ridiculous news magazine article on BBC Scotland last night that concentrated on two “climate change” related examples of sea level rise.

    The article starts at around 8.15 minutes in. They look at 2 examples of sea level rise
    a) A Thai fishing village which is now “2 metres” under the sea. This is undoubtedly a disaster for the villagers but I am unaware of any sea level rise of 2 metres. Does anyone have any information on sea level rise in Thailand?
    b) The isle of Uist off the west coast of Scotland is apparently going to be cut in two by rising seas within 80 years. My recollection is that Scotland is still rising out of the sea due to the end of the last glacial. Any articles on sea level rise in NW Europe?

    I intend to write to the BBC and ask them to justify the statements made in the programme.

  27. Jon-Anders Grannes
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Todays climate hysteria is soley due to the UNFCCC convention from Rio 1992 on politically stating that we have human made global warming and that this is a big problem in 100 years time from now.

    I guess UNEP(UN Environmental Program) was behind this convention as they where behind the establishment of IPCC.

    IPCC is political and administrative under the UNEP and as an UN political organization it has to support UN conventions.

    So since IPCC has to work for the UNFCCC convention and that todays climatic models are based on the UNFCCC convention it means that there is no real scientific fundament for the conference in Copenhagen.

    There is actually just one fundament. And that fundament is politically decised by the UNFCCC convention on climatic change!

    And radical environmentalist are most probably behind that UNFCCC convention?


  28. KevinM
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    “Todays climate hysteria is soley due to the UNFCCC convention from Rio 1992…”

    A little too strong a statement.

  29. Jaye Bass
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    An interesting paper.

  30. miket
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    EddieO (83), If you do write to BBC, stick with it. They’re not good at justifying themselves on climate issues in my experience.

  31. MikeE
    Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    [Non-scientist here; apologies for the relatively naive question & long-winded intro]:-

    Although a non-scientist, I worked in a scientific/engineering organisation for over 35 years, and I think I have a good understanding of the scientific method, and the need for open-minded scepticism. I considered myself a “green” for years before AGW became widely-discussed, and to be honest, assumed it must be correct because it appealed to my prejudices. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve looked in any detail at the science (such as I can follow it) and the more I look, the more sceptical I become. I’ve now looked at quite a few online lectures by the sceptic community, most of them more than a year or more old. Here is one from the “AGW community” from this year, a name you will know:

    http://www.climatedvd.com/Video/Hansen-OSU-090709-05.iso (NTSC)
    http://www.climatedvd.com/Video/Hansen-OSU-090709-05_PAL.iso (PAL)

    (Those are downloadable ISO files for burning a DVD version; I don’t know if there is a directly viewable version online).

    That’s Jim Hansen of NASA, the so-called “Grandfather of GW”. Well, he admits to not being a very good speaker (sadly, he is correct), but nevertheless, seems like a sincere man. While he starts of with a lot of appeal to the emotions, when he eventually gets into the science he does appear to make a few salient points.

    Finally my question: To those who have viewed this, is there anywhere online where his specific points are countered, one by one?

    Apologies if this question is not really suited to this forum. Not sure where else to post it.


  32. hengav
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    CBC radio has a series on Climate Change. Part 1 was David Suzuki last week. This week it is James Hoggan chair of the David Suzuki foundation and the author of a new book Climate Cover Up. You can listen to his interview here:

    Jim Prall’s database of 615 scientist yeilds ony 14 skeptics…

  33. hengav
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Lawrence Solomon provides a rebuttal at then end. He does a so so job. “Freeman Dyson has never done a peer reviewed published journal on climate change, so he is not an expert”

    • Raven
      Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

      Re: hengav (#90)
      Soloman’s rebuttal was so bad I wonder if it was selectively editted by the show producers who are unapologetic alarmist propagandists.

      • MikeE
        Posted Nov 22, 2009 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

        Re: Raven (#95),
        The presenter was certainly giving him a hard time.

  34. hengav
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    Jim Prall’s interesting database of Most cited authors in climate science:

  35. hengav
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you are nameless in the lists. I guess Jim didn’t search Energy and Environment. Pretty sure that was peer reviewed.

    From Ross McKitrick’s site:

    The most important scientific paper Steve and I put out was also, probably, the least read:

    **McIntyre, Stephen and Ross McKitrick (2005) The M&M Critique of the MBH98 Northern Hemisphere Climate Index: Update and ImplicationsEnergy and Environment 16(1) pp. 69-100.

  36. Follow the Money
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    For all of you (probably a few!) post-normal science aficionados out there, take a look at the November 2009 Harper’s magazine, an American rag of the sniffy northeastern sort–so you probably missed it. There is a pseudo-intellectual piece blaming the “Little Ice Age” on…humans! Claims there was a concurrent decline in CO2 which was caused by concurrent world wide plagues, like the Black Plague, so less human agricultural projects that create CO2 and so. It is quite a piece of sophistry. The worst, or best, is citing “Little Ice Age” then establishing the big Ice Ages were certainly caused by Earth wobbles, and since there certainly was no such wobble during the so-called Little Ice Age…then lots of snarking about deniers.

  37. Peter
    Posted Nov 19, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    Crazy stuff at Lucia’s. almost too good to be true.

  38. John M
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    Oh no-o-o-o-o!

    It’s spreading!!!


    Re: Follow the Money (#93),

    Interesting. I had just jousted a bit on the “Trick” thread with “thefordprefect” about whether there even was evidence for a LIA in the temperature record.

    I guess if we can blame it on mankind, then it’s OK to say it happened. (If it was a good thing, it would be “humankind”.)

  39. John M
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    “Sure they’re ____s, but they’re OUR ____s” (fill in the blanks).


  40. Dave
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    You guys are probably already aware of these CRU emails but just in case not:


    From: Keiller, Donald
    Sent: 02 October 2009 10:34
    To: ‘k.briffa@xxxxxxxxx.xxx’
    Cc: ‘p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx’
    Subject: Yamal and paleoclimatology
    Dear Professor Briffa, my apologies for contacting you directly, particularly
    since I hear that you are unwell.
    However the recent release of tree ring data by CRU has prompted much
    discussion and indeed disquiet about the methodology and conclusions of a
    number of key papers by you and co-workers.
    As an environmental plant physiologist, I have followed the long debate
    starting with Mann et al (1998) and through to Kaufman et al (2009).
    As time has progressed I have found myself more concerned with the whole
    scientific basis of dendroclimatology. In particular;
    1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed
    2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies
    3) The concept of “teleconnection” by which certain trees respond to the
    “Global Temperature Field”, rather than local climate
    4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature
    in a linear manner.
    Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use
    inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find
    difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers.
    As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do
    not agree with the accepted science.
    There is a saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”.
    Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers,
    further detailed explanation is urgently required.
    Yours sincerely,
    Dr. Don Keiller.

    From that same file:

    Subject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
    Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 15:39:48 -0000
    [remainder of header snipped]

    Dear Professor Briffa, I am pleased to hear that you appear to have recovered
    from your recent illness sufficiently to post a response to the controversy
    surrounding the use of the Yamal chronology;
    and the chronology itself;
    Unfortunately I find your explanations lacking in scientific rigour and I am
    more inclined to believe the analysis of McIntyre
    Can I have a straightforward answer to the following questions
    1) Are the reconstructions sensitive to the removal of either the Yamal data
    and Strip pine bristlecones, either when present singly or in combination?
    2) Why these series, when incorporated with white noise as a background, can
    still produce a Hockey-Stick shaped graph if they have, as you suggest, a low
    individual weighting?
    And once you have done this, please do me the courtesy of answering my
    initial email.
    Dr. D.R. Keiller

    If Dr. Keiller ever received a response, it is not in that text file.

    • bender
      Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

      Re: Dave (#99),
      A response was formulated and discussed, but it’s not clear that it was ever sent. They accuse Keiller of being “confused” over Yamal larch and California pines. IIRC they considered him to be “frothing at the mouth”. They reckoned that it was Mann’s and Kaufman’s job to defend their respective papers. So it would make sense if they never bothered to reply. Patience. A reply may yet be in the works!

      • Dave
        Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

        Re: bender (#100),

        Thanks for the response. I wonder what Dr. Keiller’s reaction would be to being characterized as “frothing at the mouth.” His questions seem reasonable and level-headed to me.

  41. Dave
    Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    New Zealand temperature adjustments


    Okay, the paper says NIWA uses data from seven weather stations to construct its official graph. Based on the raw data, the paper says the temperature trend is stable — “statistically insignificant at 0.06°C per century since 1850.” The paper also says that NIWA’s adjustments to the raw data from six of the seven stations have an upward slope, together forming the upward trend in temperature shown on NIWA’s official graph. This seems suspicious to me. Could someone who knows more about statistics than I do please comment?

    NIWA responded by saying their adjustments follow accepted methodology and gave changes in station location/elevation as one reason for the adjustments.

    • Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

      Re: Dave (#102),

      New Zealand is very interesting.

      1. All the raw and adjusted data is known.
      2. The Climate Science Coalition of NZ (skeptics) have made an assertion which is quite clear.
      3. The NIWA (warmers) have responded with reasons for said adjustments.
      4. Numerically, the alleged “rising temperature” of the adjusted chart by NIWA is less or equal to the adjustments made.

      From Watts blog:

      About half the adjustments actually created a warming trend where none existed; the other half greatly exaggerated existing warming. All the adjustments increased or even created a warming trend, with only one (Dunedin) going the other way and slightly reducing the original trend.

      The shocking truth is that the oldest readings have been cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming

      Where to now? He say she say?

      Skeptics: “Is not!”
      Warmers: “Is too!”

      One station was moved up in altitude about a hundred meters, with about a 1C adjustment. Lapse rate does not cause that, but possibly local conditions do. That’s an obvious issue to investigate.

      There are only seven stations, only one before and after chart, and a limited number of adjustments. I haven’t seen a numerical or statistical justification for the adjustments made by NIWA, only some verbage.

  42. Posted Nov 27, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t seen anyone reiterating the humor of this fine parody, but maybe I didn’t encapsulate it sufficiently.
    It is in the style of those whispered National Geographic dramatizations of life inside a ~termite mound;

    ” In this sequence, we see one group of researchers entering the hive each carrying a datum they have retrieved from a distant climate measuring station. This is the cause of much excitement among their colleagues, who buzz around in a grant-writing frenzy.

    Infrared heat map film of highly agitated researchers

    But there’s a problem: as the worker researchers attempt to store each raw datum into the neat honeycomb hockey stick structure provided by the hive’s Alpha Grantwriter, they discover that few will fit. The infrared shows them growing cool with fear. This signals the climate researcher’s instinctive behavior to begin viciously beating, rolling and normalizing the data into submission. According to Dr. Nigel V.H. Oldham, professor emeritus at Oxford University’s Centre for Metascience, this violent data dance is what makes climate researchers unique among breeds of scientists.”

    I still imagine it would be immensely on pointe for longterm CA contributors, of which I have yet to make one…
    Maybe Steve is too classy to indulge in such sophomoric humor…


  43. John M
    Posted Nov 29, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    So with all the speculating about Google gaming their search engines over at WUWT, I thought I’d google “Steve McIntyre” in Google News.

    This came up second (at least in my search at about 10:50 AM EST).


    The Panthers [a hockey team!] went after some toughness Tuesday, but Steve McIntyre isn’t expected to play the role of team enforcer for at least a few weeks.

    “He’ll bring a different dimension to us,” defenseman Bryan Allen said. “People know that he’s out there.”

    • DaveJR
      Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

      Re: John M (#104), A few extra references for you: Flood damage in Europe. Tornado losses. Bangladesh increasing in size, not sinking.

      • See - owe to Rich
        Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

        Re: DaveJR (#110), I couldn’t see how your references were applicable to John’s #104, so I wondered if you meant to quote my #105 instead. Please could you clarify?

        Incidentally, my wife thought my article was a bit OTT in it’s language, so I’m taking advisement on toning it down (removing consensus ~ swindle for starters).


        • DaveJR
          Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          Re: See – owe to Rich (#111), Sorry, yes, they were meant for your post. A lot of Pielke Jr’s research helps to put the “hurtling toward armageddon” theme used by people like the Met Office into perspective. The “inconvenient truth” as they call it.

        • See - owe to Rich
          Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

          Re: DaveJR (#112), thanks; I’ve read one of them and I’ll certainly read the others.

          Now, new topic: why are the 2009 weblog awards not currently taking place? Or did I miss them when I blinked?

          Could it by any chance be that someone doesn’t want some climate-sceptic site to win Best Science Award just before Copenhagen?

          Apologies if that is a ludicrous idea…

  44. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Nov 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    I saw a new (November 24th) statement on global warming at the MetOffice website, and thought someone should dissect it. Then on second thoughts I thought it should be me. So here goes. Please comment on where I can make improvements (without making it substantially longer).

    A statement from the Met Office, Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society.
    The UK is at the forefront of tackling dangerous climate change, underpinned by world-class scientific expertise and advice. Crucial decisions will be taken soon in Copenhagen about limiting and reducing the impacts of climate change, now and in the future. Climate scientists from the UK and across the world are in overwhelming agreement about the evidence of climate change, driven by the human input of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

    “Consensus” is the last refuge of a swindler. Here they have chosen to use “overwhelming agreement” in place of “consensus”. Many consensi in history have been plain wrong. Whilst there probably is “overwhelming agreement” of climate change, if that’s what you want to call a putative 0.5degC warming in 25 years, there is plenty of disagreement about the degree of attribution to greenhouse gases. Recently a large number of members of the American Physical Society tried, but failed, to get the Society’s official stance on global warming changed. It would be interesting to know what results would be obtained from a vote of all scientific Ph.D.’s in the world on their estimates, in 0.5degC bands, of the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2. Let’s at least measure this consensus, for what it’s worth.

    As three of the UK’s leading scientific organisations, involving most of the UK scientists working on climate change, we cannot emphasise enough the body of scientific evidence that underpins the call for action now, and we reinforce our commitment to ensuring that world leaders continue to have access to the best possible science. We believe this will be essential to inform sound decision-making on policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change up to Copenhagen and beyond.

    “Best possible science” presumably means falsifiable – and as yet unfalsified by the available data. It should also mean the avoidance of over-fitting in models, and the indirect inference of parameter values instead of their measurement, e.g. the concentration of sulphate aerosols. It is too easy to force models to fit in this manner. It should give preference to models with few parameters over those with many. With these criteria and the failure of global temperatures to follow Hansen’s alarmist predictions of 20 years ago, the GCMs which forecast “dangerous climate change” are surely ruled out.

    The 2007 Assessment Report of the UN’s climate change panel (the IPCC) — made up of the world’s foremost climate scientists — provided unequivocal evidence for a warming climate, and a high degree of certainty that human activities are largely responsible for global warming since the middle of the 20th century. However, the IPCC process is based only on information already published and even since the last Assessment Report the scientific evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened significantly.

    This “high degree of certainty” is actually only 90%, which is below the value a statistician would normally ask for to reject a null hypothesis of no effect. Further, “largely responsible” might only mean 55% responsible. If that is the case then it is very difficult to arrive at a CO2 climate sensitivity of 3degC. If it is only half that amount then the danger of any coming warming is dramatically reduced.

    Global carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise, and methane concentrations have started to increase again after a decade of near stability;

    We know CO2 is increasing, but the point is how much effect is it having?

    The decade 2000–2009 has been warmer, on average, than any other decade in the previous 150 years;

    We know that, it’s because the world has been warming up, in fits and starts, since 1710, or since 1830, or since 1910, or since 1975. Like the stock market, “it can go down as well as up”.

    Observed changes in precipitation (decreases in the subtropics and increases in high latitudes) have been at the upper limit of model projections;

    So the models have been overestimating the warming (viz. the 2002-2009 flatness), and underestimating the precipitation changes? Is that supposed to give us confidence in the models? Perhaps the models are missing a trick or three?

    Arctic summer sea-ice cover declined suddenly in 2007 and 2008, prompting the realisation that this environment may be far more vulnerable to change than previously thought;

    Surprising to find that these illuminati are so out of date. Haven’t they heard about the partial recovery in summer 2009, with half a million square kilometres more ice than a “consensus” of experts predicted as late as July? They were utterly confounded by the relaively slow melt, even though a bunch of informed sceptics had predicted just that. The degree of 2007 melt wasn’t predicted, and the degree of 2009 recovery wasn’t. Understanding of climate is improving, but there are many uncertainties (both known unknowns and unknown unknowns); certainly the MetOffice regional forecast for 2060 can be taken with a pinch of salt.

    There is increasing evidence of continued and accelerating sea-level rises around the world.

    In most circles that would be classed as a “damned lie”. How can you look at the graph at http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level and claim that the increase is accelerating? At the current rate we would get 33cm of sea rise over the next 100 years; this isn’t alarming enough, so the consensus has to make unsubstantiated statements of acceleration.

    We expect some of the most significant impacts of climate change to occur when natural variability is exacerbated by long-term global warming, so that even small changes in global temperatures can produce damaging local and regional effects. Year-on-year the evidence is growing that damaging climate and weather events — potentially intensified by global warming — are already happening and beginning to affect society and ecosystems. This includes:

    In the UK, heavier daily rainfall leading to local flooding such as in the summer of 2007;

    There is no direct evidence that this event was not due to the onset of solar-induced global cooling, since cold air meeting warm moist air causes heavy precipitation. The 1950s, which saw a slight global cooling after the 1910-1940 warming, experienced several similar deluges. I was saying this even as I was channelling the stream/river out through my front gate on the very day 🙂

    Increased risk of summer heatwaves such as the summer of 2003 across the UK and Europe;

    Ah, 2003, those halcyon days when an English barbecue was a viable option.

    Around the world, increasing incidence of extreme weather events with unprecedented levels of damage to society and infrastructure. This year’s unusually destructive typhoon season in South-East Asia, while not easy to attribute directly to climate change, illustrates the vulnerabilities to such events;

    So, you have to concentrate on South-East Asia because the Atlantic hurricane season went “phut” against global warming expectations. And while it is “not easy to attribute directly to climate change”, it is good to see that you are at least making the effort…

    Sea-level rises leading to dangerous exposure of populations in, for example, Bangladesh, the Maldives and other island states;

    Please stop repeating yourselves. Show us the tidal gauges.

    Persistent droughts, leading to pressures on water and food resources, and the increasing incidence of forest fires in regions where future projections indicate long-term reductions in rainfall, such as south-west Australia and the Mediterranean.

    These things are not new. No-one pretends that harsh climatic conditions are not a significant challenge to the populus, but the statistics would need to be thorough to pin it on CO2.

    These emerging signals are consistent with what we expect from our projections, giving us confidence in the science and models that underpin them. In the absence of action to mitigate climate change, we can expect much larger changes in the coming decades than have been seen so far.

    This is like a horoscope. You convince me that the general things you are saying about me are true, and then you forecast my future. But I am Earth, and I may not dance to your tune.

    Some countries and regions are already vulnerable to climate variability and change, but in the coming decades all countries will be affected, regardless of their affluence or individual emissions. Climate change will have major consequences for food production, water availability, ecosystems and human health, migration pressures, and regional instability. In the UK, we will be affected both directly and indirectly, through the effects of climate change on, for example, global markets (notably in food), health, extent of flooding, and sea levels.

    Yes, some countries are vulnerable to the fact that it gets bloody hot in the summer, and some countries are vulnerable to the fact that it gets bloody cold in the winter. Yet human beings survive and even thrive in these places. Are they going to stop doing this? As for regional instability, climate is an insignificant driver compared with human avarice, revenge, and religious fervour.

    The accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to long-term changes in the climate system that will persist for millennia. Our growing understanding of the balance of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans and terrestrial systems tells us that the greater the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the greater the risk of long-term damage to Earth’s life-support systems. Known or probable damage includes ocean acidification, loss of rain forests, degradation of ecosystems, and desertification. These effects will lead to loss of biodiversity and reduced agricultural productivity. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases can substantially limit the extent and severity of long-term climate change.

    This is all very plausible, but the degree of damage (and the degree of benefits of a warmer world, which rarely get discussed) depends critically on the unproven assumption that CO2 climate sensitivity is 3degC or more. Each of solar variations, urban heat islands, recovery from Little Ice Age, and natural cycles, can be used to infer a lower sensitivity to CO2. Solar cycle lengths alone can be combined with CO2 to give a model whose best sensitivity estimate from HadCRUT3 1850-2006 is 1.8degC. Hansen’s 1988 predictions for the present epoch have not come true – it is time for climatologists to get real about the actual sensitivity to CO2. And the claim about “reduced agricultural productivity” is especially dubious, since CO2 feeds plants and allows them to thrive in more marginal locations. Loss of agricultural land in some areas will be at least partially offset by gains in others, which will be combined with increased productivity.

    The 2007 IPCC Assessment, the most comprehensive and respected analysis of climate change to date, states clearly that without substantial global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions we can likely expect a world of increasing droughts, floods and species loss, of rising seas and displaced human populations. However, even since the 2007 IPCC Assessment the evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened. The scientific evidence which underpins calls for action at Copenhagen is very strong. Without co-ordinated international action on greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts on climate and civilisation could be severe.
    Prof. Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist, Met Office
    Prof. Alan Thorpe, Chief Executive, Natural Environment Research Council
    Lord Rees, President, the Royal Society

    And so the chorus goes on. But in terms of reception by intelligent people who are willing to take the time to study the climate data independently, are these three august souls now singing to us the last throes of the Monty Python song “I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK” ? Are you OK? I don’t think you’re OK. And the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are already on to you. Steve McIntyre is Canadian, a climate policeman, a king, and he has mounted a prodigious campaign – free the data, free the code, free your minds!


    • henry
      Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

      Re: See – owe to Rich (#105),

      One comment you may expand on:

      However, the IPCC process is based only on information already published…

      Since when? I thought that several published papers were rejected, and that several papers they used were still in the submission stages.

  45. curious
    Posted Nov 29, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Can’t improve on this!:

    certainly the MetOffice regional forecast for 2060 can be taken with a pinch of salt.


  46. scp
    Posted Nov 30, 2009 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    OK. I know climategate is exciting, but how come no one is talking about this paper?



    Over all the forecasts, the IPCC error was 7.7 times larger than the error from the naïve model.

    There is little room for improving the accuracy of forecasts from our benchmark model. In fact, it is questionable whether practical benefits could be gained by obtaining perfect forecasts.

  47. Chas
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    I dont want to point people away from CA but there is a very interesting exploration of the workings of GISS (Both the processing side and the raw thermometer data) at E.M.Smith’s blog. It is a bit technical, however he seems (from my quick look) to have fed dummy data into the program and picked up a warming that shouldnt be there.
    On the thermometer side he has also noticed a migration of the thermometers to more southerly and warmer climes, amongst other things.

  48. Gerald Browning
    Posted Dec 1, 2009 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Given the new “come to Jesus” at Real Climate, I postedthis comment (#321 0n the data posting thread at ~ 8:00 PM):

    Now that you have released the data and model codes, are you going to allow legitimate scientific questions to be asked on this site? In particular, Gavin, what is the mathematical, physical, or numerical justification for convective adjustment (ad hoc adjustment of an artificially generated small scale columnar feature to be be hydrostatic, i.e large scale)
    in GCM primitive equation model codes? Doesn’t that mean that you are not really solving the compressible Navier Stokes equations as claimed?


  49. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    #114 Henry,

    Yes, they rejected some work, minimalized the section on solar, but used papers in submission stages if from the Elite Few.

    IPCC 2007 cut off for papers was mid 2006. The real problem with IPCC is that it exists outside the peer reviewed and journal process. How do you argue against it or criticize it’s findings?

    Nobody argues back, no one refutes you, they just keep outputting the same propaganda line. If presumed “right”, whatever IPCC says must be believed because it is “right”. But if proven wrong or alleged wrong, there is no corrective process, so IPCC remains “right”, and uncorrected.


  50. Gerald Browning
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    It appears that censorship is still alive and well at Real Climate. My comment (see #113) seems to have disappeared.


  51. henry
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Haven’t seen this posted here yet (from NewsBuster’s web site):

    BREAKING: ClimateGate’s Jones Steps Down Pending Investigation
    By Noel Sheppard
    December 1, 2009 – 14:57 ET

    The British scientist in the middle of the growing ClimateGate scandal is temporarily stepping down from his position as head of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit pending an investigation.

    As NewsBusters reported on November 20, Phil Jones was one of the scientists on the sending and receiving end of many of the controversial e-mail messages obtained from the University’s computer system.

    The Associated Press reported moments ago:

    Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.

    The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.

    As NewsBusters has been reporting since this story first broke, most global warming-obsessed media have either ignored this scandal or downplayed its significance.

    With the man in the middle of the controversy now stepping down from his position, will America’s press pay more attention to this matter?

    If it’s already shown up, then delete this post.

  52. mike T
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Just for your info, I got a short article concerning release of data (or not) published at the Mail on line (UK) and gave Steve a bit of a mention. Link here:


  53. dougie
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    got this interview over at chiefio’s site

    h/t to Wayne Findley

    really worth a listen, Steve Mc gets a mention

    from Wayne –

    “There is an excellent audio <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2757619.htm"here, where Aynsley Kellow, a Tasmanian professor, and an IPCC expert reviewer no less, comes out swinging on this very topic. What the interviewer probably thought was coming, was a standard ‘move along, nothing to see here’ message.

    Man, he was wrong. And Science is the better for it."

    • stephen richards
      Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

      Re: dougie (#120),

      This is a well balanced and ‘honest’ interview between the media and a climate scientist. A dying breed i’m afraid

  54. John M
    Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    There have been several discussions at CA on the “special” PNAS reviewing system for certain papers. The Scientist has another article on the issue. Here’s the blurb:

    Some researchers grouse about the journal’s alternative submission tracks, but a new citation analysis suggests the pros may outweigh the cons.

    Wonder who “the cons” are? 🙂

  55. Posted Dec 3, 2009 at 3:22 AM | Permalink

    On the exoneration of Wei‐Chyung Wang: As I understand it, he had claimed that “few, if any, changes…in location” had occurred of the 84 stations used in the two papers.
    When challenged, he was able to show that only 60-70% of them had been moved. (It’s at least 60%, with another 8 stations with “no memory” of whether or not there were any moves.)

    Click to access 080222_ZMZeng_Inputs.pdf

    The 79 moves were in the period 1954-1983, with no information on other moves. Despite SUNY-NY’s original concerns, visible here:

    Click to access 080214_SUNYA_draft.pdf

    they seem to have accepted the 60-70% of moved stations as “few, if any.”
    This strikes me as odd. It is particularly odd when juxtaposed with their original determination that an investigation was necessary, and their rationale for it.
    It’s a small thing, perhaps, but was unfinished business from earlier in the year.
    Update just before posting: Looking around, I see that the Keenan website is aware of the documents, and Keenan points out other problematic aspects:
    ===|==============/ Level Head

  56. Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    I was not sure where to post this, because the Press Coverage thread is overloaded with comments.

    From all the reactions I have recently read, the Nature Editorial “Climatologists under pressure” http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7273/full/462545a.html looks to me as absolutely outstanding.

    I cannot get rid of the impression that I have just read the same rhetoric language elsewhere — “This paranoid interpretation would be laughable were it not…” I was *astonished* to read such words in a world leading scientific journal. They are exposing absence of any distance between the Nature international enterprise (its climate branch) and the scientists involved in the Climategate.

    In fact, this unsigned Editorial strongly suggests to me that these scientists ARE Nature. This is the only explanation for the unrestrained style of the Editorial that is oblivios of such scientific indispensables as objectivity, the must for suppression of emotions, intellectual impartiality. After all, there should be scientists among Nature editors, so why could not they be namely those involved in the Climategate?..

    I wonder whether there has been a similar reaction from Science and whether the tone differed.

  57. bender
    Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Dr. W. M. Schaffer, Ph. D., of the University of Arizona – Tucson

    … past member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who has authored more than 80 scientific publications and authored the paper “Human Population and Carbon Dioxide,” dissented in 2008. “My principal objections to the theory of anthropogenic warming are as follows: 1) I am mistrustful of ‘all but the kitchen sink’ models that, by virtue of their complexity, cannot be analyzed mathematically. When we place our trust in such models, what too often results is the replacement of a poorly understood physical (chemical, biological) system by a model that is similarly opaque,” Schaffer told EPW on December 19, 2008. “2) I am troubled by the application of essentially linear thinking to what is arguably the ‘mother of all nonlinear dynamical systems’ – i.e., the climate. 3) I believe it likely that “natural climate cycles” are the fingerprints of chaotic behavior that is inherently unpredictable in the long-term. As reviewed in a forthcoming article (Schaffer, in prep), these cycles are “dense” on chaotic attractors and have the stability properties of saddles. Evolving chaotic trajectories successively shadow first one cycle, then another. The result is a sequence of qualitatively different behaviors – what climatologists call “regime shift” – independent of 72
    extrinsic influences. Tsonis and his associates discuss this phenomenon in terms of network theory and ‘synchronized chaos,’ but these embellishments are not necessary. To be chaotic is to dance the dance of the saddles,” Schaffer explained. “The recent lack of warming in the face of continued increases in CO2 suggests (a) that the effects of greenhouse gas forcing have been over-stated; (b) that the import of natural variability has been
    underestimated and (c) that concomitant rises of atmospheric CO2 and temperature in previous decades may be coincidental rather than causal,” he added. “I fear that things could easily go the other way: that the climate could cool, perhaps significantly; that the consequences of a new Little Ice Age or worse would be catastrophic and that said consequences will be exacerbated if we meanwhile adopt warmist prescriptions. This
    possibility, plus the law of unintended consequences, leads me to view proposed global
    engineering ‘solutions’ as madness. ‘First do no harm’ should be the watchword of those who propose policy; the fate of Icarus, the example uppermost in their minds,” he continued. “I believe that the enthusiasm of many of my colleagues for the ‘consensus’ view of climate change is partly motivated by considerations outside of science. If I am correct, the truth of the matter will inevitably become widely known and the consequences
    to science, severe. Think Lysenko and the demise of Soviet genetics,” he concluded.

    • Tom C
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

      bender – Where did you find this?

    • EdeF
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

      Bender, this sounds like the counsel of a wise elder. I want to
      find this article and read in depth what he has to say.

  58. bender
    Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Drs. Curry and Weaver, if you could please address Dr. Schaffer’s hypothesis. TIA

  59. bender
    Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    bump. No commentary on Dr. Schaeffer’s testimonial?

  60. Bob Koss
    Posted Dec 9, 2009 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    I compared 10 stations of GISS homogeneity adjusted data with Hadcrut3 data. Selected stations series were 100-125 years in length and rarely had missing data. The difference in trends for some stations is quite stunning. In a couple cases the trends went substantially in opposite directions.

    One can only hope the differences in this small sample of stations isn’t representative of the full datasets. Here is a list of the stations along with the trends.

    Station, GISS, Hadcrut3, Difference
    Abilene, 0.52, -0.36, 0.88
    Boston, 1.58, 2.46, 0.88
    Columbia, 0.4, 0.0, 0.4
    Fort Smith, 0.74, 0.0, 0.74
    Key West, 1.52, 0.92, 0.6
    Miami, 1.04, 1.46, 0.42
    Olympia 0.62, -0.42, 1.04
    Minneapolis/St. Paul, 1.04, 0.84, 0.2
    Cape Leeuwin, 0.4, 0.4, 0.0
    Nantes, 1.24, 1.36, 0.12

    Here are three station comparisons with both anomalies and actual temperatures. Anomalies are relative to the mean of each series. In some years the actual temperature difference between datasets approaches a full degree.
    Abilene http://i48.tinypic.com/2jajbrr.gif
    KeyWest http://i50.tinypic.com/1z2dr40.gif
    Olympia http://i45.tinypic.com/219tcfm.gif

  61. Bob Koss
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    Here is a companion to my last comment. Graph shows the annual difference between GISS and Hadcrut3.
    Annual difference http://i50.tinypic.com/96dx8g.gif

  62. Uppyn
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    I have been a long time reader of CA. Steve, thanks for your endurance!

    As an engineer I would like to get started using your R scripts. I have played around with R so I believe I get the basics. I struggle to get your scripts to work. Would there be an area on your vast site that contains some guidelines on how to get started with your scripts? Thanks!

    • bender
      Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

      The scripts are usually turnkey. You need to be more specific about which one is not working and what error you get.

  63. g-dzine
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Found an email from Mann that shows more of his paranoid mindset.
    Apparently he is beliver that the opposition to Obama’s healthcare plan ultimately stems from the healthcare insurance industry.
    And that some how McIntyre and McKitrick are of course linked to a ‘heavily-funded corporate attack campaign’.

    Email from:
    Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:06:20 : Filename: 1254323180.txt

    “Return to the index page | Earlier Emails | Later Emails

    From: Michael Mann
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: Re: attacks against Keith
    Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 11:06:20 -0400
    Cc: Gavin Schmidt , Tim Osborn

    Hi Phil,

    lets not get into the topic of hate mail. I promise you I could fill your inbox w/ a very
    long list of vitriolic attacks, diatribes, and threats I’ve received.

    Its part of the attack of the corporate-funded attack machine, i.e. its a direct and highly
    intended outcome of a highly orchestrated, heavily-funded corporate attack campaign. We saw
    it over the summer w/ the health insurance industry trying to defeat Obama’s health plan,
    we’ll see it now as the U.S. Senate moves on to focus on the cap & trade bill that passed
    congress this summer. It isn’t coincidental that the original McIntyre and McKitrick E&E
    paper w/ press release came out the day before the U.S. senate was considering the McCain
    Lieberman climate bill in ’05.

    we’re doing the best we can to expose this. I hope our Realclimate post goes some ways to
    exposing the campaign and pre-emptively deal w/ the continued onslaught we can expect over
    the next month.”

  64. Nathan Kurz
    Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    There’s a fun amateur effort at gridding and graphing the HadCrut3 dataset going on here:


    Uncontroversially, his conclusion is a clear warming trend is shown:

  65. Brian
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I was wondering if you’ve read this paper and if you did what you think of it.

    A relationship between galactic cosmic radiation and tree rings
    Sigrid Dengel, Dominik Aeby and John Grace
    Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, School of GeoSciences, Crew Building, University of Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, UK

    • Here, we investigated the interannual variation in the growth rings formed by Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) trees in northern Britain (55°N, 3°W) over the period 1961–2005 in an attempt to disentangle the influence of atmospheric variables acting at different times of year.

    • Annual growth rings, measured along the north radius of freshly cut (frozen) tree discs and climatological data recorded at an adjacent site were used in the study. Correlations were based on Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients between the annual growth anomaly and these climatic and atmospheric factors.

    • Rather weak correlations between these variables and growth were found. However, there was a consistent and statistically significant relationship between growth of the trees and the flux density of galactic cosmic radiation. Moreover, there was an underlying periodicity in growth, with four minima since 1961, resembling the period cycle of galactic cosmic radiation.

    • We discuss the hypotheses that might explain this correlation: the tendency of galactic cosmic radiation to produce cloud condensation nuclei, which in turn increases the diffuse component of solar radiation, and thus increases the photosynthesis of the forest canopy.


  66. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Dec 11, 2009 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    Hello, please can you say what has happened to the Bulletin Board? Even if it has been closed down for further use, I would appreciate it as an archive, as I took part in one or two threads for which I didn’t make copies of articles.

    Thanks in anticipation,

  67. Tom C
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Only a matter of time before these reconstructions became a DIY thing:


  68. Tom C
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Hilarious excerpts from an online debate between Mark Maslin and Dick Lindzen:

    [Comment From Martin]
    Gordon Brown has just given away £750m of this country’s money to other nations to “combat climate change”.
    Friday December 11, 2009

    Dick Lindzen:
    Brown’s generosity is impressive. Perhaps it isn’t his own money.

    Dick Lindzen:
    Verification is certainly important but it must be rigorous rather than anecdotal.
    Friday December 11, 2009

    Mark Maslin:
    I agree with Dick
    Friday December 11, 2009

    Mark Maslin:
    last word and old fable

    A long time ago a lazy man decided he could not be bothered to walk out of the village to empty is chamber pot. So he started to empty it in his back yard. A few weeks later his neighbours started to complain of a bad smell. The lazy man denied that it was anything to do with him. Their complaints continued so he paid an old charlatan to explain to the village that it was nothing to worry about as smells came and went with natural and it would soon all go away. The next day the lazy man slipped in his back yard and drowned in his own …….!

    Friday December 11, 2009

    Dick Lindzen:
    So much for science v. anecdotes.

  69. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    Tom C just posted this, but I thought the stats people here need to take a look at this. This fellow, Dave Burge, who ordinarily is an internet satirist, has re-created the hockey-stick machine in OOcalc and Excel. Comments?

  70. Bob Koss
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    A short history of US temperatures.

    I utilized three Giss graphs ending in 1998, 1999, and 2006. They were current at the time Giss published them. Sources are Hansen et al. 1999, Hansen et al. 2001, and the recent Hansen PDF “The Temperature of Science” which is currently under discussion at WUWT.

    Oddly, Hansen included the outdated 2006 US temperature graph in a mix with other graphs from 2009. Kind of makes one wonder why he didn’t use a more recent one. A look at the available graphs and data 1998-2008 may aid in solving that conundrum.

    I have a copy of Giss US 48 data updated 01/01/2009 which I downloaded awhile ago. Recently I went back and got the latest update 11/14/2009. That was three weeks before Copenhagen and a few days before Climategate erupted. Both updates have the same url so the older copy is no longer available. Here is the URL for the current data.

    Extracting temperature values from the Giss graphs by blowing them up in Photoshop and doing a pixel count was rather tedious. So my concern focused on the history of the current top six US annual temperatures as of the end of 2008. Combining the graph data along with the data files downloaded this year allowed production of a useful graph.

    If the graphic doesn’t show up, here is a link.

    We now have new co-leaders in the race to the top of the US temperature world. Although aged 1934 broke quickly from the gate with an anomaly of 1.45c, it has now faded to 3rd with a value of 1.26c. The 1998 contender got off to a slow start with a mediocre value of 0.92c, but came on strong to be in a neck and neck tie with the 2006 youngster who recovered after an early stumble to tie for the lead with 1.29c.

    Is it possible the new rankings were to be announced to coincide with Copenhagen, but Climategate put the kibosh on them sticking their head up unnecessarily by making the announcement?

    With all the Climategate fallout in recent weeks, perhaps the solution to the conundrum of mixing old and new graphs lays with Hansen not wanting to draw unnecessary fire concerning 1934 falling to third in the US temperature rankings.

    I don’t know, but hey, when you see temperatures move around like that I guess anything is possible in climate science.

    Here are links to the Giss provided graphs and the ones I made.
    Giss graphs x,y axis are not uniform in length.
    Jan 2009 graph
    Nov 2009 graph
    Data adjustments made between Jan 2009 and Nov 2009.

    In 1998 the year 1953(not shown) was ranked 4th with a value of 0.94c, but fell to 11th in the current temperature rankings at 0.86c.

    • Bob Koss
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

      I can’t seem to get used to the new software. Here is the link properly threaded, I hope.

  71. jef
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    I thought of this blog when I read this:

    “If anyone can articulate a mathematical law that describes the relationships amongst the climate data collected thus far, let them step forward and publish it. Not just the predictions – show us the equation so scientists everywhere can test it to see how well it matches the “settled” climate measurement data.”


  72. Bob Koss
    Posted Dec 28, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve has asked numerous times for people to put their off-topic comments in the appropriate thread or in “Unthreaded”. This has become awkward, especially for the new people commenting,

    Since moving to the new software I have noticed the recent comments list consistently shows only the most recent comments, even if they all happen to be from the same thread. Not very informative when there might have been recent comments to other threads that have been scrolled off the list.

    The older software always showed the last 5-6 active threads with only the last couple comments in each thread shown. This is a much better method in my estimation. It doesn’t inhibit people by leaving them with the impression their comment is likely to end up unread and orphaned in an inactive thread.

    I don’t know if the current software will allow implementation
    of the old style, but it seems it would be a worthwhile change.

    If it can’t be done, possibly placing a permanent and prominent link to “Unthreaded” would reduce the off- topic comments. For newbies the name “Unthreaded” is rather nebulous. Perhaps changing it to some such as “Community” or even “Off-topic” would be clearer.

    I see the last prior comment in this thread appears to be from Dec 22. As I don’t want this comment to be orphaned, I may bump this thread a couple times until I feel this comment at least got noticed. 🙂

    • reid simpson
      Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink


      • oneuniverse
        Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

        The high-load version of the WordPress blogging account, used by ClimateAudit, doesn’t have much customizability apparently.

  73. J. King
    Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    I’m hoping someone can help me in understanding USHCN data. I’m interested in putting together some station data which I know is relatively clean (rural, long period of time at the same location) and can be used without troublesome adjustments to the data. I downloaded the USHCN v2 US daily data from http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ushcn_daily/ and focused on the Fairmont (COOP ID 042941), CA station since surfacestations.org describes it as an excellent CRN1 site:

    “NOAA MMS reports no site changes from 1931 to present, making it
    one of the few sites in the USA with such longevity in one location. The original Stevenson screen
    location and mercury max/min thermometer types have been preserved throughout this period. The
    thermometers have been replaced possibly 3 times (MMS is unclear) and the time of observation
    changed only once from 0700 to 0600 in 1989.”

    I started with tmax since that is one of the three raw elements reported in the observers logs and extracted all the data starting 1/1/1931. I checked a number of months against the online pdf of observer logs and the two match. Data that failed NOAA quality checks was excluded. Missing data was imputed by using the mean of the non-missing data from the same month and day, for example 2007 and 2008 were both missing the month of December, so somthing had to be added to keep those years from showing up as too warm. I averaged the daily data by year, standardized the data and plotted the z-scores.

    Well, everything looked perfectly plausible and relatively flat until 1995. The 12 years from 1995 to 2008 have 11 annual averages more than one standard deviation from the mean, and 4 observations almost 2 standard deviations from the mean. This must be a data issue, the annual tmax did not suddenly just jump a couple of degrees F.

    So I got the ushcn monthly data, which does reflect NOAA’s adjustments and sure enough a change had been made – not by lowering 1995 to 2008, but by an increase of about 3 degrees F starting April 1931 and dropping suddenly to near zero at March 1994. Nothing in the station metadata indicates why such an adjustment would be necessary.

    Does anyone know how to find out what would drive an adjustment apparently not associated with station relocation, UHI, or TOB, or anything in the metadata? I’ll look at other stations but the need for adjustment even when it looks like the raw data should be very good is disheartening.

    • Bob Koss
      Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

      I share your frustration with the adjustments. It seems Ushcn, Ghcn, and Giss each have different methods and sometimes, as in this case, even different even the raw data files are very different.

      Here’s a graph of Ghcn annual adjustments for your Fairmont station. They actually adjust different months by inconsistently different values, but this graph just shows the annual differences.

      The raw data file has a +0.05c per decade trend. After adjustment they manage to increase that trend to +0.13c per decade. That adjustment change 1953-54 is mind-boggling unless there was some radical change concerning the station.

      Giss has a third different raw data file and made no adjustments to Fairmont. The trend there is 0.09c per decade.

      And yet they wonder why people are skeptical about what they report as the true temperature.

      • J. King
        Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

        Thanks, I had not thought to look at GCN because I assumed that it would be the same as USHCN if the station was the same. It is not, both the raw data and the adjustments are different. In the case of the Fairmont station the raw differences are immaterial and seem to be due to different ways of handling observer error, e.g. reporting more observations than there are days in the month.

        The adjustments are very different (I’m not seeing your big 1954 jump though, we seem to be looking at different things). The only thing in the Fairmont data that seems to indicate a need for adjustment is a sudden upward shift in temp of about 1 degree C starting in 1995. The USHCN adjustment methodology is fairly complex, but it seems to accomplish that and produces a graph that looks similar to the raw data with the post 1995 mean shifted down. It also dampens some of the extremes. The resulting graph is fairly trendless.

        The GCN adjustments appear to introduce a large uptrend starting in 1960 which is not present in the data at all. Disturbing – I’ll double check and try to post the graphs later.

        USHCN is maintained by NOAA and GCN by CDIAC, right? NOAA reports to commerce and CDIAC to energy. They should get on the same page – I’m not ready to suggest yet that the differences in their treatment of the data are agenda driven, but the thought did cross my mind.

      • J. King
        Posted Dec 30, 2009 at 6:30 PM | Permalink


        Compares the USHCN and GHCN adjusted graphs for this station. GHCN (in green) introduces a big artificial uptrend to data which is basically flat. USHCN looks much more reasonable – does a good job of flattening the jump in mean that took place in 1995.

  74. klaus
    Posted Dec 31, 2009 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann” , “Folland, Chris”
    Subject: Re: FW: Mann etal
    Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 13:40:30 +0100
    Cc: jfbmitchell@xxxxxxxxx.xxx,k.briffa@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

    Chris and John (and Mike for info),
    I’m basically reiterating Mike’s email. There seem to be two lots of
    suggestions doing the rounds. Both are basically groundless.

    1. Recent paleo doesn’t show warming.

    This basically stems back to Keith Briffa’s paper in Nature in 1998
    (Vol 391, pp678-682). In this it was shown that northern boreal forest
    conifers don’t pick up all the observed warming since about the late
    1950s. It was suggested that some other factor or a combination of
    factors related to human-induced pollution (e.g. nitrogen deposition,
    higher levels of CO2, ozone depletion etc). Hence in a new paper
    submitted to JGR recently we develop a new standardization approach
    (called age banding) and produce a large-scale reconstruction
    (calibrated over the period 1881-1960 against NH land north of 20N)
    back to 1402. If you want a copy of this can you email Keith and he’ll
    send copies once he’s back from holiday.

    This background is to illustrate how Singer et al distort things. The
    new reconstruction only runs to 1960 as did earlier ones based solely
    on tree-ring density. All the other long series (Mike’s, Tom Crowley’s
    and mine) include other proxy information (ice cores, corals,
    historical records, sediments and early instrumental records as well as
    tree-ring width data, which are only marginally affected). All these
    series end around 1980 or in the early 1980s. We don’t have paleo data
    for much of the last 20 years. It would require tremendous effort and
    resources to update a lot of the paleo series because they were collected
    during the 1970s/early 1980s.

    It is possible to add the instrumental series on from about 1980 (Mike
    sought of did this in his Nature article to say 1998 was the warmest of
    the millennium – and I did something similar in Rev. Geophys.)

  75. Gary McGuane
    Posted Dec 31, 2009 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Is there a compilation anywhere of all the various data sets, papers, that have been shown to include suspect data/analysis or outright manipulation? The original hockey stick, Yamal, New Zealand, Russia, Briffa, and how many others? Has anyone compiled them all in one location?

  76. Bill Drissel
    Posted Jan 1, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Permalink



    Anthony reports publication of a paper by Qing-Bin Lu that shows how “CFCs – compounds once widely used as refrigerants – and cosmic rays – energy particles originating in outer space – are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. ”

    Do ANY of the current climate models account for this forcing?

    Happy New Year,
    Bill Drissel

    • davidmhoffer
      Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

      Wow. Is that article ever full of holes. I’m not certain which fallacies were introduced by the researcher and which by the journalist, but:

      1. CFC’s don’t break down ozone. The chemical processes everyone was hyper about can’t happen at the temperature the ozone layer is at, it an urban myth. Think about it for a second. The south pole ozone hole is several times the size of the north pole ozone hole. 80% of CFC release was in Northern Hemisphere but 80% of the damage was at south pole? Air mixing between north and south hemisphere is about 1 or 2 % a year? C’mon.

      2. Ozone holes over the poles are NORMAL. The Ozone layer is continuously regenerated by solar UV radiation ionizing oxygen. Lots of production at the equator, hardly any at the poles. Noticing a hole in the Ozone layer over the poles is like noticing that it is cold there. Other frequencies of solar radiation destroy Ozone. The thickness of the Ozone layer comes to an equilibrium based on the balance between the two processes. But at the poles the angle of the sunlight means that Ozone gets destroyed but the UV ray passing through the same space never ionizes any Oxygen since that layer is lower down, further enlarging the hole.

      3. Cosmic rays destroiying Ozone? I’ll buy that one. Earth’s magnetic field tends to focus cosmic rays on the poles. Solar wind too. But the amount of energy we are talking about is small.

      4. I keep on harping on this. There has to be a huge time lag between any new energy inputs and the temperature of the planet. Someone goes hey look! the temperature went up at exactly the same time as the CFC concentrations did. That’s pretty much proof they are NOT connected. Turn a burner on the stove to high. Wait until it is cherry red. Put a pot of cold water on it and immediately take the temperature. Water is cold. 20 minutes later open a window and then take the temperature. Water is hot. Eureka opening windows makes water hot! How long does it take to increase the temperature of the planet by a fraction of a degree when we are talking about perhaps a tenth of a watt per square meter vs the sun which shines at 1365 watts per square meter.

      He tacked some words about global warming on his grant application to ensure it got funded and then had to make good in his final report.

      This is how all this sh*t gets started!

  77. oneuniverse
    Posted Jan 1, 2010 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    I don’t suppose older threads such as https://climateaudit.org/2007/02/11/exponential-growth-in-physical-systems/ are available somewhere for reading with comment numbers’s preserved? In these, in-thread references to other comments are often by the comment’s number.

  78. davidmhoffer
    Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Am I missing something here?
    IPCC says CO2 doubling is a contribution of 3.7 watts per meter squared
    Crowley et all calculates variance of solar constant at 3.5 watts
    So… if 3.7 watts cause a hockey stick, then 3.5 watts ought to stand out in the long term reconstructions. I couldn’t see the correlation until I remembered some physics. You have to know the time constant to determine the lag in the system to a change in input. So I cheated by matching the data to my theory and showed that the full effect of a change in input taked about 150 years to fully take effect. I think everyone is close to the specific data they happen to be looking at that no one is standing back and looking at the system as a whole and going… hey, you can’t created energy to support the theory.

    criticism and other input appreciated gull docs here http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/

  79. Jockdownsouth
    Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    I’m a natural sceptic but try to see both sides of the argument. Realclimate have looked at the Models and seem to be saying that they’ve proved to be accurate –

    I read Wattsupwiththat, Climate Audit, James Delingpole, Greenie Watch, and many others. The opinions I read there seem to suggest that the models are not accurate. Is there any chance that somebody could audit these claims so that a non-expert like me can come to an informed opinion? A post dedicated to this would be welcome.

    Steve: Doing an independent analysis of the models is far beyond my resources nor is it something that should reasonably be expected to be done in people’s spare time. IMO it would be very healthy for an external engineering firm or equivalent to do a well-budgeted independent verification. They might endorse the results.

    • harold
      Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

      realclimate just added 2009 data to their temp chart (they only used Jan-Nov data, so expect the final update to be even colder). It shows the latest 4 years as being below the model composite predictions – an unlikely event. Taken at face value, the models’ predictions are overestimating the temperature.

      • DeWitt Payne
        Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

        Re: harold (Jan 11 21:11),

        Run length statistics like four above or below the mean get tricky when the data are serially autocorrelated like temperature measurements. However, even for truly i.i.d. data, a run of four wouldn’t be anything to write home about. For a control chart, you don’t get an exception until you get to seven or eight. Also, one of the easiest ways to spot a set of non-random numbers is that the run lengths aren’t long enough.

  80. davidmhoffer
    Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    moderator suggested elsewhere that he does not approve of trying to disprove AGW in as single paragraph. Tsking that as a challenge:

    The editorial policy exists for a reason. I don’t have time to review this sort of comment. However, if left unchallenged here, critics of this site use thing to disparage valid criticisms. So please discuss this at your own site.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

      Re: davidmhoffer (Jan 10 14:41),

      1. The earth is a sphere not a flat plane, so the flux at the TOA must be divided by 4 or 342 W/m2. That means the delta in the solar constant is less than 1W/m2 compared to the 3.7 W/m2 from doubling CO2 which is calculated at the tropopause.

      2. You have to correct for albedo as well. About 30% of incident flux is reflected back to space. So now the delta in the solar flux is about 0.75 W/m2.

      3. About half of the temperature change from glacial to interglacial is a result of the change in albedo caused by the reduction in ice area.

      Since you account for none of this I must award you an Epic Fail.

      Steve: I’m going to enforce the editorial policy on one-paragraph proofs/disproofs of AGW. David will have to continue the discussion at his blog.

      • davidmhoffer
        Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

        I fail that I may learn. Thanks for the feedback.

        I wasn’t clear from the way they presented their 3.7 watts radiated back by CO2 increase if they meant it would behave like 3.7 watts added to the solar constant, or if they meant 3.7 watts in the IR range that greenhouse gases operate in. Either way would you not have to apply a delta of some sort to the CO2 forcing as that energy would also in part reflect back into space?

        • bender
          Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

          The problem is that speculative arguments that are honestly wrong are hard to distinguish from engineered failures designed to misinform. Now, you say you are learning from failure. But previously, you identified your offerings as “refutations”. If you have a question, ask it. Don’t make pretenses at authority that you don’t have.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: davidmhoffer (Jan 11 13:17),

          Steve: I’m going to enforce the editorial policy on one-paragraph proofs/disproofs of AGW. David will have to continue the discussion at his blog.

          Good idea. I’m strongly in favor.

          Either way would you not have to apply a delta of some sort to the CO2 forcing as that energy would also in part reflect back into space?

          Since this is in the form of a question, I hope it’s not a violation of editorial policy to answer it.

          No because absorption, transmission and reflection are functions of wavelength. In the thermal IR, as opposed to the UV, visible and near IR of incoming sunlight, the reflectivity of the surface and the atmosphere is close enough to zero that reflection can be safely ignored to a first approximation. The one exception is cirrus clouds, consisting of ice particles, which do have significant reflectivity in the thermal IR. But that’s reflecting back to the surface, not to space. That’s also why cirrus clouds and jet contrails, which are also formed of ice crystals, are considered a positive feedback.

          I’ll make my standard suggestion: Learn how the standard model actually works before you try to debunk it. Buy or borrow a copy of A First Course In Atmospheric Radiation (2nd Ed.) and read it, then learn some Physical Meteorology. Then play with MODTRAN to see how it all (the radiative transfer part anyway) comes together.

          For more advanced study on modelling, lucia recommends McGuffie and Henderson-Sellers, A Climate Modelling Primer may be useful. I have it but haven’t done more than skim so far.

        • davidmhoffer
          Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

          I have responded on my blog. DeWitt if you could repond to me there I would be most appreciative.

  81. davidmhoffer
    Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Since I am on a roll, Polar Urals and other Siberian tree ring data discredited in one paragraph:

    original tree ring studies; torrid zones and south temperate zones
    growing season = most of year (70 to 85%)
    rise in cloud cover = mostly cooling effect
    current tree ring studies; Siberia
    growing season = small portion of year (30 to 40%)
    rise in cloud cover = warming during growing season, cooling during most of year
    Briffa (2001) – tree ring data normalized to local weather station readings April through Sept.
    Conclusion: data invalid as methodology measures growing season variations that are a minority of the annual data being reconstructed, and the validation period to which tree ring data is normalized to temperature data specificaly excludes the annual time period in which cloud cover effects on local temperasture are reversed.

    One paragraph, but if you want the full explanation with the charts and graphs:

    Steve: I haven’t looked at this – but I’d urge caution in making grandiose claims one way or the other.

  82. davidmhoffer
    Posted Jan 10, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    aw crap screwed up the cloud cover line. Should have read:

    Since I am on a roll, Polar Urals and other Siberian tree ring data discredited in one paragraph:

    original tree ring studies; torrid zones and south temperate zones
    growing season = most of year (70 to 85%)
    rise in cloud cover = mostly cooling effect
    current tree ring studies; Siberia
    growing season = small portion of year (30 to 40%)
    rise in cloud cover = COOLING during growing season, WARMING during most of rest of year
    Briffa (2001) – tree ring data normalized to local weather station readings April through Sept.
    Conclusion: data invalid as methodology measures growing season variations that are a minority of the annual data being reconstructed, and the validation period to which tree ring data is normalized to temperature data specificaly excludes the annual time period in which cloud cover effects on local temperasture are reversed.

    One paragraph, but if you want the full explanation with the charts and graphs:

  83. Calvin Ball
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this or not, but it looks like restaurant columnists are getting into the act. Don’t read this with any beverages in your mouth:


    • See - owe to Rich
      Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

      Giles Coren’s article is laughable. He is claiming that Britain will get colder with global warming. He does give a vaguely plausible reason, namely the Gulf Stream turning off, but he obviously hasn’t checked on the MetOffice forecast for 2060 (or was it 2080) which has Britain warming by vast amounts.

      Perhaps he doesn’t believe the MetOffice; actually that’s a good point, neither do I.


  84. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    The following is an extract from an article by Dominic Lawson in the UK Sunday Times, 1/10/10 –

    In fact, the Met [i.e., UK Meteorological Office] still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: “This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

    This is so surreal that I may in fact be dreaming this. Can trained scientists really be thay stupid?

    • See - owe to Rich
      Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

      This has to be wrong somewhere along the line. I have never heard of the MetOffice using November data for winter (it’s always Dec-Jan-Feb), and I’ve never heard of them using the average of the highest 15 readings.

      So someone is pulling legs somewhere, but who?


      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

        Re: See – owe to Rich (Jan 11 13:59),

        I suppose it could be either a skeptic or a warmer. A skeptic who was trying to get a rise out of the warmers or a warmer trying to see how gullible some skeptics might be. In any case, it won’t work on this site. Who is Mr. Larson, BTW? If we had an actual link to his article we might be able to see if he’s being taken in or trying to take in others, or just being sarcastic.

        • See - owe to Rich
          Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

          Dave, with a Google I found the said article at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/dominic_lawson/article6982310.ece


          The following comment at that site is relevant:

          anon mouse wrote:
          I note my comment did not go up.
          I repeat: What is the source of the alleged Met Office quote?
          Did Dominic Lawson confirm this quote or did he cut and p[aste it from a blog which in turn cut and pasted it from a comment on the Daily Mail website?
          January 12, 2010 10:11 AM GMT


      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

        No, the Met Office does not use November data for winter.

        What the alleged quotation means is that they – again, allegedly, – do is take the highest fifteen max. temperatures between November and March and average those to provide the winter temperature for the record. In this case, he means that November was so warm that it provided all the fifteen data points they need for winter (!), and that therefore the record is already established.

        I am quite prepared to learn that is incorrect – in fact, I damn well hope that it is, because my taxes are paying for the Met. and I am already p****d off quite enough with their strongly biassed attitude to AGW.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Jan 13, 2010 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (Jan 12 17:46),

          I wonder if they also use the same method for determining the coldest winter (15 coldest days). If they do then there would be the potential for delicious irony in that one could have a year with both the coldest and warmest winter on record.

  85. jae
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    Climategate update: see Bishop Hill’s site.


  86. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Jan 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    The UK Met Office is to review its global temperature database:


    The fact itself is interesting in that it is an admission that outside pressure is acknowledged to require clarification to re-establish public confidence.

    That it is alleged to need three years is also interesting, in view of the extremely generous budgets alloted to the Met. Office as long as it was fully supporting AGW.

    But the most interesting claim in the article is that the UK Government is against the data review because the very act of doing it may decrease public confidence in climate change. This completely validates the suspicion of sceptics that the whole AGW nonsense has been purely politically driven.

  87. TG
    Posted Jan 16, 2010 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Did Prof. Lindzen provide a reasonably extensive response to the criticism of Trenberth, Fasullo, O’Dell and Wong of the Lindzen & Choi 2009 paper? I’ve been looking everywhere, incl. the December debate at MIT, but can’t find anything satisfying.

  88. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 20, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    New post at the AirVent on “Adjustments”

  89. Charlie A
    Posted Jan 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    IPCC has issued requests for nominations for reviewers for AR5.

    The deadline for nominations is March 12, 2010.

    Apparently, one must be a government or some sort of special institution to make a nomination. There is a website for submitting nominations, but it is behind a username/password protection.

    I have been poking around the IPCC website trying to find a list of the international organizations that are entitled to nominate reviewers, but have not been able to locate it.

    As selection of lead authors, expert reviewers, etc. set the tone of the entire AR5 process, it would be nice to have some transparency at this stage.

    Does anybody know where there is a list of “approved” organizations?

    I suspect that groups like Sierra Club are on it, but Heartland Institute would not be.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.htm#1 has links to the pdf of the letter sent to governments, and the letter sent to organizations requesting nominations.

    Worther of a thread ??

  90. Posted Jan 22, 2010 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    The issue of credibility of climate science comprises various aspects, of which the mostly discussed at CA are the statistical significance of the reported climate/weather empirical patterns and, to a lesser degree, the mathematical validity of GCMs. Another important aspect is the validity of the physical principles adopted in climate science. The following paper (free to download until February 1, 2010) provides a critique of the dissipative heat engine, a common concept in the modern meteorological theory. The paper involves minimum mathematics and might be of interest to readers with a basic physical background.

    A critique of some modern applications of the Carnot heat engine
    concept: the dissipative heat engine cannot exist
    (published ahead of print 20 January 2010)

    Proceedings of the Royals Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences


    Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Li B.-L., Nobre A.D.


    In several recent studies, a heat engine operating on the basis of the Carnot cycle is considered, where the mechanical work performed by the engine is dissipated within the engine at the temperature of the warmer isotherm and the resulting heat is added to the engine together with an external heat input. This internal dissipation is supposed to increase the total heat input to the engine and elevate the amount of mechanical work produced by the engine per cycle. Here it is argued that such a dissipative heat engine violates the laws of thermodynamics. The existing physical models employing the dissipative heat engine concept, in particular the heat engine model of hurricane development, need to be revised.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

      Re: Anastassia Makarieva (Jan 22 03:39),

      I’d like to see a Carnot diagram of the supposed internal dissipation heat engine. Obviously, whoever proposed it didn’t draw one. So now we know that climate scientists not only are marginal statisticians, their understanding of thermodynamics is shaky as well.

  91. Steven Devijver
    Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    I’ve just discovered this, think it’s pretty hilarious:

    Global Warming vs Clojure:


    • Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

      If the open source community really got hold of this stuff there would be mayhem! It has to happen and soon.

  92. Robert Christopher
    Posted Feb 1, 2010 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    How Do Scientists Really Use Computers? – American Scientist, Sept-Oct 2009 by Greg Wilson, an adjunct professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, about 1500 words.


    As well as being an amusing piece, helped by the fact that it was published before November 2009, it helps to put into context the issues confronting scientists “doing IT”.

    It is encouraging to see someone pushing the frontiers in this neglected area; an area that can only become more important in the future.

  93. Richard Linsley Hood
    Posted Feb 2, 2010 at 5:43 AM | Permalink

    Steve, anyone,

    I have downloaded the Jones et al Model data for Oxford UK from “http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2009/12/08/uk.csv” (an extract from “http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/reference/All.zip”) and compared it to the Actual temperatures as recorded at “http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/oxforddata.txt” for the relevant dates, 1900-1980.

    These two series are believed to be the same station.


    Number= 038900
    Name= OXFORD
    Country= UK
    Lat= 51.7
    Long= 1.2
    Height= 63



    Location: 4509E 2072N 63 Meters

    I have caclulated the tMonthlyMean values from the Actual data and compared it to the Model tMonthlyMean figures on a month by month basis. These mostly show a +-0.05 difference (which is presumably due to some rounding errors to get to 0.1 degree published values either by me or by others).

    Can anyone tell me why, then, the last few years of the Model data (1978-1980) differs so widely from the Actual recorded temperatures? The Model is out by up to 2.2 degress C and an average of 0.36 degress C of warming compared to the Actual temperatures for just these last few years! A hockey stick if ever one was needed!

    Actual – Model Oxford 1978-1980
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    1960 -0.05 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.05 -0.05 0.00
    1961 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00
    1962 -0.05 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00
    1963 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.05 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.05
    1964 -0.15 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.00 -0.10 0.05 -0.15
    1965 0.00 -0.35 0.05 -0.10 0.05 -0.05 -0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.15 -0.05
    1966 0.00 0.00 0.05 -0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.00 -0.05
    1967 0.00 0.00 -0.05 -0.05 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05
    1968 0.05 0.40 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.05 -0.05 -0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.05 0.00
    1969 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1970 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05
    1971 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05
    1972 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.05 0.00
    1973 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00 -0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00
    1974 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.05 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.05 0.05
    1975 0.00 0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 -0.05 0.00
    1976 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
    1977 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 -0.05 -0.05 0.00 0.00
    1978 0.15 0.35 0.35 0.35 0.35 0.15 0.25 0.40 0.35 0.25 0.05 0.45
    1979 0.15 0.25 0.35 0.35 0.30 0.15 0.25 0.40 0.90 0.25 0.20 0.05
    1980 0.20 0.25 0.70 0.40 0.35 0.15 0.35 0.40 0.40 0.30 0.15 2.20

    Anyone with any insights into this divergence of the Jones et al Model from Actual?

  94. Gord Richens
    Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Martin Judge,

    Here is a link to the Met Office Press Release archives – lots of ammunition:


  95. Jimchip
    Posted Feb 5, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Permalink


    Regarding your link you may wish to visit the Mosher Timeline where there was discussion of the alternate scenarios. I disagree with Jeff as to the sophistication of the whistleblower but there is a lot going on around ‘that time’ and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if people with legit access from the US East Coast were doing something and the whistleblower took advantage.

    The Guardian mentions “forensics” investigation. They gotta have more than time stamps. Come on Guardian, cough up the IP numbers of the conspiratorial hackers. I’ll try to findem for ya.

  96. H Hak
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Steve, just a thought re the UHI effect. Prof Phil Jones does believe ( and tried to prove) that the UHI effect is no big deal. He lives in a country with
    1.a moderate sea-climate
    2.lots of overcast skies
    3.lots of wind.
    All of this will have a smoothing effect on the day/day and day/night temperature variation but also on any UHI effect.
    To many of us living in a different type of climate the notion that the UHI effect does not exist is laughable as we observe it every day. Here in Alberta the coldest recorded temperature since the early seventies was at the Edmonton International Airport on Dec 13 2009 at -46.1 degrees centigrade (the Edmonton Journal).The lowest temperature in the city was -36.5 that night (the WeatherNetwork). I’m sure Anthony would add: and the real coldest temperature would have been what? considering that the International Airport could still have been warmer than a properly placed rural temp station in the prairie.
    These extreme differences would not have existed if there had been a strong wind, but most of the time when it gets that cold there is little or no wind

    Prof. Jones would likely change his mind if he spent some time on the prairies.

  97. Willa
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve – if you have time would love your comments on John Graham-Cumming’s thoughts re his and Ilya Goz’s resolution of a maths conundrum arising from the Brohan et al (incl Jones) 2005 paper re CRUTEM3 station errors at his blog http://www.jbc.org/blog

    h/t Bishop Hill

    best regards


  98. geo
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Anybody been following the breathless unmasking of the Wegman/McIntyre “conspiracy” at deepclimate.org?

  99. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    DC is full of praise for Gerald North’s panel, but readers should review the Texas A&M seminary where North described their process – they “just winged it”, they “didn’t do any research”. In addition, after they said that strip bark bristlecones shouldn’t be used, they didn’t bother checking the series in their spaghetti graph for bristlecones.

    Under oath, North stated;

    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
    DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that you can have the right conclusion and that it not be–
    DR. NORTH. It happens all the time in science.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, and not be substantiated by what you purport to be the facts but have we established–we know that Dr. Wegman has said that Dr. Mann’s methodology is incorrect. Do you agree with that? I mean, it doesn’t mean Dr. Mann’s conclusions are wrong, but we can stipulate now that we have–and if you want to ask your statistician expert from North Carolina that Dr. Mann’s methodology cannot be documented and cannot be verified by independent review.
    DR. NORTH. Do you mind if he speaks?
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, if he would like to come to the microphone.
    MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

    So DC had better realize that North didn’t dispute any of Wegman’s results. Wegman’s answers to Stupak are worth reading. Wegman said that Wahl and Ammann’s analysis – the one that purported to show that Mann’s principal component error “didn’t matter” had “no statistical integrity”.

    • geo
      Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 12:44 AM | Permalink

      Given that he appears to insist on remaining anonymous to prevent your ninjas from visiting him in the night, I’m not sure logic is going to make much impact on him. The whole thing is written with such a flavor somewhere between Bush-was-behind-9/11 and the Truthers. I can’t decide if I’m more relieved or depressed to find a Canadian site (rather than American or Euro) that far in the fever swamps.

  100. Posted Mar 25, 2011 at 11:56 PM | Permalink


    Calculation of true emissivity/absorptivity of CO2 showing it to be 1/500 claimed by IPCC

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