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 Post subject: Corruption at the IPCC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:21 pm 
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STATEMENT BY SENATOR JAMES M. INHOFE ON BRINGING INTEGRITY BACK TO THE IPCC PROCESS

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is yet another politically corrupt United Nations organization. Here's just one of the many examples in the linked article.

Quote:
The flaws in the IPCC process began to manifest themselves in the first assessment, but did so in earnest when the IPCC issued its second assessment report in 1996. The most obvious was the altering of the document on the central question of whether man is causing global warming.


Here is what Chapter 8 – the key chapter in the report – stated on this central question in the final version accepted by reviewing scientists:


“No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic causes.”


But when the final version was published, this and similar phrases in 15 sections of the chapter were deleted or modified. Nearly all the changes removed hints of scientific doubts regarding the claim that human activities are having a major impact on global warming.


In the Summary for Policy Makers – which is the only part of the report that reporters and policy makers read – a single phrase was inserted. It reads:


“The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.”

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:41 pm 
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DAMN THOSE FUCKING TREE HUGGERS

I'm curious; where can I find a copy of this early draft?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:18 pm 
Oh no! The UN has learned tactics from G Bush! (And ethics)


Jeremiah Smith wrote:
DAMN THOSE FUCKING TREE HUGGERS

I'm curious; where can I find a copy of this early draft?


I suspect you'll have to do the same thing, Jerm, make up your own.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:27 am 
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Send a letter to Senator James M. Inhofe and ask if he can supply you with a copy of that original draft from before the political editing was done.

Where they get the "scientist approved" bull from is from the "corrected" by politicians versions of those UN reports and studies.

With some "corrected" UN reports in hand, environmentalists go to other politicians (most of whom probably don't know the chemical composition of water, let alone the average insolation per square meter of the Earth's surface) and demand that "Something must be done!"

The media, being what they are, smell blood in the water (if it bleeds it leads) and pick up the story, asking politicians what they plan to do about this horrible problem.

As for the industry people going along with it, they're just trying to prevent as much damage to their businesses as they can.
-----

Shows how a bunch of rational scientists can get together to study something, then with a little editing, a few politicians can completely reverse what the rational scientists said.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:30 am 
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Oh, so it's all a big UN conspiracy, and none of those science agencies did their own work or announced corrections to what the UN "changed". Gotcha.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Rereading that part of Inhofe's speech:

First, how would the politicians manage to make such an apparently sweeping change to the summary of the report, without drawing complaints from the scientists, science organizations, and politicians who had worked on it and without making changes to the text that was being summarized? Scientists contribute to the report as well; the IPCC report is a summarization of the relevant science. Surely someone who took part in forming the report would have said something if the results had been so drastically altered.

Second, where is this draft? I can't find a copy anywhere online.

Third, it looks like the report is being quote-mined: i.e., sentences are being taken without context. Creationists do it all the time, and it's catching on among other branches of bad science. Let's look at the first sentence: "No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic causes."

Inhofe, apparently, would have us believe that this sentence means that there is no evidence whatsoever to lead anyone to conclude that climate change is even partly anthropogenic -- a sweeping claim. But let's look at the first part: "No study [...] has positively attributed". What this means is that no study had, at the time, found a positive direct link between humans and climate change -- a smoking gun, if you will. But just because there is no direct evidence does not mean there is no evidence at all. For instance, evidence of climate change with no known natural cause might not be a direct link to humans, but it would still be compelling evidence, especially when combined with other studies. It's hard to determine what context this sentence is in, since Inhofe never supplies it. But I'd be willing to bet that it's followed soon after by a "but" or "however", and then a mention of the indirect lines of evidence leading to such a conclusion. In essence, what the sentence was probably meant to convey was that while there was no known direct evidence linking humans to climate change at the time, there was a lot of indirect evidence to suggest that there was still such a link. There's not much difference in intent, then, between the sentence and its replacement: there is evidence to suggest anthropogenic climate change. Of course, if there were a copy of this mysterious early draft to examine, we could see what it really said and meant and put this to rest.

Fourth, Senator Inhofe is not exactly an expert.

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Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:17 pm 
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More political BS The Weather Channel Climate Expert Refuses to Retract Call for Decertification for Global Warming Skeptics

Meterologist reply

Scientists have been hollering about politicians 'adjustments' to the real science, but YOU have to dig to find that out because the media refuses to publicize anyone who dares to counter the Al Gore's of the world on this issue.

It appears that you prefer to be a sheep, led around by political scare-mongers, rather than do any fact checking for yourself.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:43 pm 
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And then there's this...

More Than 15,000 Scientists Protest Kyoto Accord; Speak Out Against Global Warming Myth


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:16 pm 
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bizzybody wrote:

Quote:
Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?


Really? No more tolerance? The Weather Channel is going to prevent people from doing research or from publishing in the peer-reviewed journals? A science organization does not have to support those who support bad science. A disease research facility does not have to hire a homeopath as head researcher; the Smithsonian Natural History Museum does not have to hire a creationist as head curator. This is not intolerance of politics, this is intolerance of incompetence. Then again, does Spann do that much research anyway? I mean, he seems like a decent sort who's well-informed in weather forecasting, but that does not make one a climate expert. What work has he done that would make him a credible expert on climatology?

Quote:
I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype.


TV meteorology, while a useful and important field, is not climate study. They require analysis of different processes over different timescales. Climate scientists do not need to know the wind direction of every storm system and movement of cold fronts; meteorologists do not need to study the CO2 levels in the ocean and ice-core samples. They're related, in that they're both atmospheric, but they are not the same. Among climatologists, there is a definite and real consensus regarding global warming. What reason does Spann give for rejecting the work of these people?

Does James Spann have any published peer-review work? Does he have any specific scientific arguments against it? He makes two arguments. "Look at the money, they just support global warming for the money." So anyone who gets funding is automatically a political shill? Global warming deniers manage to get funding too, you know. Does Spann ask why, if global warming is such a political lie that everyone can find out about it, would the researchers think that continuing to publish flawed results is more likely to get money than honest results? There's plenty of funding to be found for any prospect, and if any researcher actually managed to severely undercut global warming, there would be swarms of people looking to fund this new science, trying to capitalize on it. What is important is the science and the evidence it's based on, not the affiliations or political backgrounds of the researchers. That's the whole point of peer-review: to remove as much bias as possible. Is Spann denying the afficacy of peer-review? Have all the climate journals been subverted by the dirty environmentalists? When organizations like NOAA, GISS, NAS, and Shell Oil all accept anthropogenic global warming, are they relying solely on biased political sources?

His second remark is that "climate has always been changing and this is nothing new". (And reports of the death of the "hockey stick graph" have been greatly exaggerated -- not that it matters). Again, if James Spann's arguments against global warming boil down to "no one else I know supports it"

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Scientists have been hollering about politicians 'adjustments' to the real science


Politicians? The heads of the IPCC panel in 1995 all had science backgrounds. What politicians were involved? You can find a list of authors on page 67 of this PDF. Let's look at the drafting team.
Bert Bolin (Chairman of the IPCC and Chairman of the Drafting Team)
John T. Houghton, UK
Gylvan Meira Filho, Brazil, President of the Brazilian Space Agency (hard to find a biography that's not in Portuguese, though)
Robert T. Watson, USA
Jean-Charles Hourcade, France (once again, hard to find English pages for the non-English speakers)
Richard Moss, USA
Irving Mintzer, USA
It's a bit of a pain to find biographies on everyone, so I just did seven, but I think it's hard to assert that these people are just politicians with no science background, and if I were to find decent English bios on all two-dozen-or-so of the drafting authors I'd be willing to bet they all have science backgrounds as well. Not to mention the scads of researchers whose research is summarized. Should I check the convening lead authors for each section, like Kevin Trenberth, lead author of "Chapter 1: The climate system: an overview"? How about Ben Santer, author of the maligned "Chapter 8: Detection of climate change and attribution of causes"? So, again, where're the politicians? And given that the IPCC report is a summary of science that was already done by scientists and researchers, I find it hard to believe that all of the science behind the IPCC report was politicized. Do you have any specific papers that are being misrepresented because of political reasons, aside from the sentences you brought up earlier, which I talk about later in this post (hint: one of us was right about those, second hint: it's not you).

Quote:
but YOU have to dig to find that out because the media refuses to publicize anyone who dares to counter the Al Gore's of the world on this issue.


So, uh, if the media refuses to publicize anyone who dares question global warming, how did you manage to find media articles doing just that?

I cited a few articles from RealClimate, does that constitute just reading the media? Would it be okay to refer to their work in summarizing scientific research for nonspecialists, or is that not digging deep enough? Are the climate researchers who run it being paid off too? Should I disregard the work of climate scientists themselves? Should I get a degree in climatology first and then search through all the relevant articles?

Quote:
It appears that you prefer to be a sheep, led around by political scare-mongers, rather than do any fact checking for yourself.


Mmm, insults. You know, I can get pretty sassy in Internet debates, but I don't think I've ever called an opponent a "sheep" just for agreeing with the mainstream expert consensus. I accept other politically-charged things like evolution and the Holocaust, too, am I a sheep for accepting those?

bizzybody wrote:


Hm, let's have a look at this, too.

Quote:
More than 15,000 scientists, two-thirds with advanced academic degrees, have now signed a Petition against the climate accord concluded in Kyoto (Japan) in December 1997.


Wow! Two thirds with advanced academic degrees! Just out of curiosity, how many of these people are actually climatologists? The list given at the website just says "PhD", with no reference to what the PhD is actually in. It's not unheard of for bad science -- creationism springs to mind once more -- to support itself by circulating lists of scientists who disagree, where it turns out that a large majority of the signers have no expertise in the field at hand. Incidentally, that article is from eight years ago: how many of the people on that list have changed their minds since getting added?

Quote:
It was Dr. Seitz' essay in the Wall Street Journal (A Major Deception on "Global Warming", June 12, 1996), which first drew public attention to the textual "cleansing" of the UN scientific report that forms the basis for the Kyoto Accord.


I did what you asked before, i.e., do some fact checking. So I emailed this guy via RealClimate.org about this "political cleansing" tidbit, the one you cited earlier. He replied that "[t]his kerfuffle refers to the 1995 report (which was superseded by the stronger statements in IPCC 2001, which in turn will be superseded byt AR4 coming out in February) and is in relation to statements from Fred Seitz in the Wall Street Journal (and elsewhere) about Ben Santer, one of the lead authors of IPCC." Then he gave me some background, which included a series of letters, sent by the IPCC scientists ito the Wall Street Journal in response to the article by Seitz. (He provided two other links for background: this and this.) Wouldn't you know it? The original intent of the text was pretty much what I surmised it was earlier: a statement that while things are not known for sure, there was still good evidence to suggest anthropogenic causes of global warming! Hot damn, great minds do think alike.

A letter sent by 40 of the IPCC scientists:
Quote:
There has been no dishonesty, no corruption of the peer-review process and no bias--political, environmental or otherwise. Mr. Seitz claims that the scientific content of Chapter 8 was altered by the changes made to it after the Madrid IPCC meeting. This is incorrect. The present version of Chapter 8, in its Executive Summary, draws precisely the same "bottom-line" conclusion as the original Oct. 9th version of the chapter--"Taken together, these results point towards a human influence on climate." A statement conveying the same message was endorsed unanimously by the governments of the 96 IPCC countries represented at the Madrid meeting.

The pre- and post-Madrid versions of the chapter are equally cautious in their statements. Uncertainties have not been suppressed. Roughly 20% of Chapter 8 is devoted to the discussion of uncertainties in estimates of natural climate variability and the expected "signal" due to human activities.

The deletions quoted by Seitz relate to the difficulties involved in attributing climate change to the specific cause of human activities, and to uncertainties in estimates of natural climate variability. These issues are dealt with at great length in the published chapter. The basic content of these particular sentences has not been deleted.


Oh snap! It continues with a letter from three of the various chairmen of the 1995 IPCC:
Quote:
It is, of course, easy to take isolated sentences from the earlier version which that have been deleted or replaced to bolster arguments or suspicions such as those presented by Mr Dr. Seitz. But that is to misunderstand the nature of the science with which we are dealing and the very open IPCC scientific assessment process.

We invite Mr Seitz and those concerned about the integrity of the science to read the chapter in the IPCC report and also the approved Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) particularly as they concern the detection issue. Both have been carefully and honestly crafted to explain our understanding of the uncertainties and to express clearly the scientific basis for the conclusions stated in the SPM (approved by all the delegates at Madrid), namely that 'our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited nevertheless, the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate'.


Mind you, the original intent of the letters was to point out Seitz's errors regarding the content and the process of the IPCC report, so reading them in their entirety is a good idea. And, importantly, the research cited in the 1995 report is over a decade old -- you should really be looking at the more recent reports. Still, though, the fact remains: there was no hard-core political cleansing going on as Seitz asserts, but rather an admission of uncertainty -- common to any science -- was construed as a statement of no certainty. Unless, of course, you want me to believe that all of the authors of those letters are all being paid off as part of the conspiracy. Considering that Seitz, the founder of the protest, didn't even grasp the IPCC process, I'm a little skeptical of his reasons for this petition. His petition site and (briefly) the article, mention the science behind Seitz. I'll deal with that stuff in more specifics later, I'm kind of not made of time (tomorrow is not looking good, incidentally, I have plans). But already, you're not looking so hot, citing a non-expert meteorologist and a petition whose founder misrepresented the process of the IPCC report.

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Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
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Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:16 am 
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Climate scientists feeling the heat As public debate deals in absolutes, some experts fear predictions 'have created a monster'

Polar Ice Cap Studies Refute Catastrophic Global Warming Theories

There's getting to be more and more skepticisim over the theory that humans are the primary cause of climate change, not just from laypeople but from climate scientists and even from some who started the ball rolling.

Will somebody put out that light?

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/s ... 30320.html

Surely a 100+ year upward trend in solar output simply can't have a thing to do with temperatures on Earth...

And finally, do any of the 'resistiance is futile' proponents of human caused climate change ever mention the fact that Earth's axis is not stable? Its angle wobbles a bit all the time and for a few thousand years it's been tilting more upright- heading towards its minimum angle. Several thousand years from now it'll be headed back towards its maximum tilt.
Less tilt = an overall milder climate, warmer polar regions but not too much effect on the equatorial region.

The Arctic and Antarctic circles are headed poleward approximately 200 meteres each 18.6 years, advancing and retreating with the short-period wobble but still averaging more towards the poles than away. The data I've found on it gives an average total variance of around 76~100 kilometers range from minimum to maximum distance. That's quite a large piece of surface area. Any sign or published number stating the degree of lattitude of the Arctic or Antarctic circle is only right at the time the data was measured for it. There's most likely some complex equation to express the variable number that is the latitude of those circles.
(Edit: corrected per year to 18.6 years.)

Another component that absolutely nothing can be done to alter is the precession of Earth's axis. The way it's currently pointed results in less of a temperature variance between summer and winter in the northern hemisphere than there is in the southern hemisphere. Thus the north has an overall more temperate- cooler climate. The greater southern variance is what drives the powerful storms around Antarctica in the spring and fall.

As precession moves the axis around, eventually it'll be tilted so that the springs and summers happen at the apsis points of the orbits, which will even out the summers and winters in the north and south.

But all those hard facts about the planet beneath out feet get lost in the hoo-ha over whether or not human activity has any net effect on climate.

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Last edited by bizzybody on Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:16 am 
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As for whether a meteorologist is 'qualified' to weigh in on climate change, I suggest contacting the AMS to find out what their requirements are for certification.

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Second, where is this draft? I can't find a copy anywhere online.


I suggested you contact the Senator's office, but apparently that would be too easy.

Quote:
Really? No more tolerance? The Weather Channel is going to prevent people from doing research or from publishing in the peer-reviewed journals? A science organization does not have to support those who support bad science. A disease research facility does not have to hire a homeopath as head researcher; the Smithsonian Natural History Museum does not have to hire a creationist as head curator. This is not intolerance of politics, this is intolerance of incompetence.


So you're saying certified meteorologists are incompetent? What was that you said about insults?

Quote:
So, uh, if the media refuses to publicize anyone who dares question global warming, how did you manage to find media articles doing just that?


By 'the media' I meant TV and newspapers. Most people don't go to the effort of doing any searching on anything beyond what they see and read there. When the majority of those stories are over-sensationialized hype, it drowns out any voices of reasonable skeptics, what few the TV news and papers bother to publish anything from.

Quote:
Wow! Two thirds with advanced academic degrees! Just out of curiosity, how many of these people are actually climatologists? The list given at the website just says "PhD", with no reference to what the PhD is actually in.


So, only climatologists should be allowed to or to be considered qualified express their opinions on this issue? Any of the earth sciences like geology, archaeology, biology etc has to consider the effects of climate and its change over time. For the other way around, any climatologist who fails to consider the astronomy of the solar system is ignoring a large part of the science of climate.

As for the hockey stick graph, there are two rather large and inconvenient truths that debunk it. The medieval warm period from ~850 to 1250 CE, during which the climate was so temperate that Greenland supported much greater vegetation than it does now, the Vikings settled from (what would become) eastern Canada down to the northeastern US and warm weather crops were grown in northern Europe that can now only grow there in greenhouses.

The other is the 'little ice age' that occured over three intervals beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, with slight warming periods between.

What I find especially funny about all this is how the dire predictions have been scaled back and back and back over the past 20-some years, to the point where now one of the most common figures bandied about is one degree average increase over the past 100 years. (A period which neatly avoids the inconvenient earlier cold periods that were preceded by climate warmer than now.)

The biggest retreat came when those determined to blame humans for climate change realized their computer models were flawed due to their failure to model the effects of clouds. When they included cloud effects, the outcome of the simulations was reduced up to 50%.

What the argument for human activity as the prime (or even exclusive) mover in climate change boils down to is...

"Anthropogenic caused climate change is an absolute fact! Anyone, no matter how qualified in any branch(es) of science, who dares to question this is an ignorant boob that nobody should pay any attention to."

Edit: Here's another inconvenient fact... http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnatu ... _tilt.html

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:36 am 
Remember when science was supposed to be about determining the truth, not picking out a handful of observations that confirm your preconceived notions and reaching a conclusion that happens to coincide with your personal interests?

Yeah, me neither.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:49 am 
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Quote:
As for the hockey stick graph, there are two rather large and inconvenient truths that debunk it. The medieval warm period from ~850 to 1250 CE, during which the climate was so temperate that Greenland supported much greater vegetation than it does now, the Vikings settled from (what would become) eastern Canada down to the northeastern US and warm weather crops were grown in northern Europe that can now only grow there in greenhouses.

You do know that "warm period" wasn't global, right?

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Nothing about the climate is ever 100% global.

Ohhh. This one's good. An economist VS a certified meteorologist (y'know, a scientist).

What is a Meteorologist?

Yet another example of the "We're right, everyone else is wrong and should be silenced!" attitude becoming so prevalent among the pro-anthropogenic climate change crowd.

There's plenty to debate, but when one side (the side you support) doesn't want to...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:54 pm 
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bizzybody wrote:
Climate scientists feeling the heat As public debate deals in absolutes, some experts fear predictions 'have created a monster'


That article does raise a good point, but I hardly think that it's the same as your point. "Nearly all climate scientists believe the Earth is warming and that human activity, by increasing the level of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, has contributed significantly to the warming." None of the people in that article seem to support your view; all they're saying is that the nuances and uncertainties are not being made clear enough. There are nuances and uncertainties in any science. Even your hated IPCC -- which I read part of today -- goes on at length on the uncertainties in the models in the chapter on modeling (while at the same time, saying they are still useful). Nothing in the article says that the extreme results you hear about in the political sphere are impossible, only that global warming will maybe not be as bad it could be. All it's saying is that scientists need to make clear that there are potential results that are not extreme but could still be bad. Did you even read the article?

Quote:


"Antarctic sea ice edge expanding": Sure. This isn't a problem.

First, short term observations should be interpreted with caution: we need more data from the Antarctic, over longer time periods, to say with certainly what the long term trend is. Second, regional change is not the same as global mean change. Third, there are very reasonable explanations for the recent observed cooling, that have been recognized for some time from model simulations. However, the models also suggest that, as we go forward in time, the relative importance of increasing radiative effects, compared with atmosphere and ocean dynamic effects, is likely to increase. In short, we fully expect Antarctica to warm up in the future.


"Arctic ice thickening, expanding": Looks like your article's a wee bit out of date. By the way, the article says "The team felt it would be irresponsible to attribute the polynya to greenhouse warming." What is probably meant is something like the way the Realclimate folks put it:
Quote:
[...] there is no way to prove that [a meteorological event] either was, or was not, affected by global warming. For a single event, regardless of how extreme, such attribution is fundamentally impossible. We only have one Earth, and it will follow only one of an infinite number of possible weather sequences. It is impossible to know whether or not this event would have taken place if we had not increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as much as we have. Weather events will always result from a combination of deterministic factors (including greenhouse gas forcing or slow natural climate cycles) and stochastic factors (pure chance). Due to this semi-random nature of weather, it is wrong to blame any one event such as Katrina [or a polynya] specifically on global warming - and of course it is just as indefensible to blame Katrina [or a polynya] on a long-term natural cycle in the climate.

I just figured I'd bring that up before you pounced on it (although that makes the assumption you've read anything I linked to.) RealClimate has more here, and a whole bunch of stuff on the Arctic and Antarctic in general.

The article also comments on how the Greenland ice isn't melting. Eh, not true.

"Surface vs. satellite readings": The article comments that there's no record of heating in the lower troposphere, despite what models predict. Surprise! Looks like there was a mistake "where one of the corrections applied to the UAH MSU 2LT record had been applied incorrectly, significantly underplaying the trend in the data." Now, wouldn't you know it, things have changed.

Quote:
It will not have escaped the notice of keen observers that the satellite/model discrepancy has been used extensively in certain circles to cast doubt on the models, surface temperature record and our understanding of basic physics. Some recent examples for instance, used the UAH 2LT record absolutely uncritically (despite the fact that there have been many previous revisions, and that other analyses give very different results). Recently, one of these authors was quoted as saying: ["]... as long as weather satellites show that the atmosphere is not warming, I cannot put much faith into theoretical computer models that claim to represent the atmosphere but contradict what the atmosphere tells us.["] Since the satellites now clearly show that the atmosphere is warming at around the rate predicted by the models, we will report on his no-doubt imminent proclamation of a new found faith in models as soon as we hear of it...


"Models shown to be inaccurate . . . again": True, sea ice is still not perfect in the models. But not all is lost:
Quote:
However, even with quite simple formulations of sea ice, in transient simulations, some AOGCMs demonstrate ability to realistically reproduce observed annual trend in the Arctic sea ice extent during several past decades of the 20th century (see Chapter 2, Section 2.2.5.2), which adds some more confidence in the use of AOGCM for future climate projections (Vinnikov et al., 1999)

On the whole, the IPCC finds that "[ocean-atmosphere c]oupled models have evolved and improved significantly since the SAR [Second Assessment Report]. In general, they provide credible simulations of climate, at least down to sub-continental scales and over temporal scales from seasonal to decadal. The varying sets of strengths and weaknesses that models display lead us to conclude that no single model can be considered “best” and it is important to utilise results from a range of coupled models. We consider coupled models, as a class, to be suitable tools to provide useful projections of future climates." So I guess the sea-ice isn't a problem too much. (Lastly, a mathemetician examines simulations in general and clears up some misconceptions.)

Quote:
Will somebody put out that light?

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/s ... 30320.html

Surely a 100+ year upward trend in solar output simply can't have a thing to do with temperatures on Earth...


Of course it has to do with the temperature. The question is whether an increase in solar output can explain the warming trends by itself. As you can read here, here, here and see here, it doesn't. It also helps if you've read the article:

Quote:
Further satellite observations may eventually show the trend to be short-term. But if the change has indeed persisted at the present rate through the 20th Century, "it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years," he said.

That does not mean industrial pollution has not been a significant factor, Willson cautioned.


Just because the heating is not all anthropogenic does not mean that none of it is, or that only a minority of it is. These findings, incidentally, have come into question since that Space.com article was published in 2003. There is some evidence that Willson's findings may just be incorrect:

Here: "In their paper, they combine Lean et al (1995) proxy data for the TSI with recent satellite TSI composites from either Willson & Mordvinov (2003) [which contains a trend] and of Fröhlich & Lean (1998) [data from the same source, but the analysis doesn't contain a trend, henceforth referred to as 'FL98']."

Here: "The trend found by Willson and Mordinov in contrast to the other two composites seems to be an artifact for two reasons: a) the positive trend is not due to a long-term increase but the result of a short episode of increase (1989-1992) found in the data of one satellite (Nimbus 7). This increase has not been measured by the other satellite measuring at this period (ERBS); b) other indicators of solar activity, which are closely correlated to TSI (sunspot number, faculae, geomagnetic activity) show no trend in that period. Thus it seems very likely that the solar influence on global warming of the last two decades found by Scafetta and West is based on an artifact in the Willson and Mordinov composite."

And let's look at the IPCC, which you hate so much:
We conclude that climate forcing by changes in solar irradiance and volcanism have likely caused fluctuations in global and hemispheric mean temperatures. Qualitative comparisons suggest that natural forcings produce too little warming to fully explain the 20th century warming (see Figure 12.7). The indication that the trend in net solar plus volcanic forcing has been negative in recent decades (see Chapter 6) makes it unlikely that natural forcing can explain the increased rate of global warming since the middle of the 20th century. This question will be revisited in a more quantitative manner in Section 12.4.


In summary, despite various caveats in each individual result, time-series studies suggest that natural signals and internal variability alone are unlikely to explain the instrumental record, and that an anthropogenic component is required to explain changes in the most recent four or five decades.


Of course there's an influence. It's just not enough to explain what we see.

Quote:
And finally, do any of the 'resistiance is futile' proponents of human caused climate change ever mention the fact that Earth's axis is not stable? Its angle wobbles a bit all the time and for a few thousand years it's been tilting more upright- heading towards its minimum angle. Several thousand years from now it'll be headed back towards its maximum tilt.
Less tilt = an overall milder climate, warmer polar regions but not too much effect on the equatorial region.


Do you mean the Milankovitch cycle? Yeah, they know about it. They mention it. It also takes place over far greater timescales than global warming proponents are talking about. We're not talking change over the next thousands of years, we're talking about change over the next century or two.

Quote:
The Arctic and Antarctic circles are headed poleward approximately 200 meteres each 18.6 years, advancing and retreating with the short-period wobble but still averaging more towards the poles than away. [...] There's most likely some complex equation to express the variable number that is the latitude of those circles.
(Edit: corrected per year to 18.6 years.)


Er, what's your point?

Quote:
Another component that absolutely nothing can be done to alter is the precession of Earth's axis. The way it's currently pointed results in less of a temperature variance between summer and winter in the northern hemisphere than there is in the southern hemisphere. Thus the north has an overall more temperate- cooler climate. The greater southern variance is what drives the powerful storms around Antarctica in the spring and fall.

As precession moves the axis around, eventually it'll be tilted so that the springs and summers happen at the apsis points of the orbits, which will even out the summers and winters in the north and south.

But all those hard facts about the planet beneath out feet get lost in the hoo-ha over whether or not human activity has any net effect on climate.


Yeah, climatologists never know anything about orbital mechanics!

the Milankovitch timescale is long and the forcing barely varies due to orbital changes over 100 years so no, they aren't included (they would be for people modelling the last glacial maximum); solar forcing is modelled by change in total solar irradiance (probably as a total number; not sure if changes at different wavelengths are included)


The effects of precession and similar cycles are known. They're studied. It's just that they don't matter at all on the timescales we're talking about. Global warming is an effect on the scale of decades and centuries, not the thousands or tens of thousands of years that precessional effects have.

bizzybody wrote:
As for whether a meteorologist is 'qualified' to weigh in on climate change, I suggest contacting the AMS to find out what their requirements are for certification.


James Spann's autobiography says only that he got a degree in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. (As well as a degree from University of Alabama in electrical engineering, which doesn't have much to do with climate.) The meteorologist in question does not appear to have much of a background in climatology, which as I pointed out involves quite different processes and timescales than meteorology. Of course, there's nothing preventing James Spann from learning about this on his own. How do we tell if someone is qualified to weigh in on a topic? Having an educational background in the field helps, but it's no guarantee that you know what you're talking about (and not having a degree does not mean you don't know). You need to look at what the person says on the topic. James Spann's blog entry gives three reasons to deny global warming: "look at the money", "no one I know accepts it", and "climate always changes". Only the last one is anything approaching scientific, and even that fails, as I pointed out earlier. Other meteorologists might be able to weigh in on the topic with reasonable arguments, but James Spann has shown no real reason to take his arguments seriously.

Quote:
So you're saying certified meteorologists are incompetent? What was that you said about insults?


Being a certified meteorologist does not necessarily make you an expert on climate change. They're different fields of study. Spann might be an excellent forecaster and meteorologist but he's given no competent rebuttal to global warming. Scientific organizations don't need to know your competence in every field, they need to know your competence in the fields they want people to be competent in. A world class neurosurgeon who is also a creationist might be plenty competent to run an ER but totally incompetent to curate at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. If the Weather Channel requires that its employees have a competence in climate change, being competent in other things, but not that, is not going to cut it.

Quote:
By 'the media' I meant TV and newspapers. Most people don't go to the effort of doing any searching on anything beyond what they see and read there. When the majority of those stories are over-sensationialized hype, it drowns out any voices of reasonable skeptics, what few the TV news and papers bother to publish anything from.


Because a global warming skeptic has never been in the newspaper or television. The folks at Realclimate frequently have rebuttals to Wall Street Journal articles denying global warming. Senator Inhofe probably gets tons of air time and newspaper coverage, being a senator and vocal skeptic of global warming. And, as Gavin Schmidt points out: "[W]hen Patrick Michaels made the same complaint to CNN - that their climate news stories weren't 'balanced' - a quick scan of their interviewee lists revealed that the scientist most frequently on CNN .... was none other than Michaels himself." Oh, and let's not forget the bestselling book by Michael Crichton, and there was probably quite a buzz about that when it came out. But I guess the Wall Street Journal, a senator, CNN, and a bestselling author don't count as "media". And that's just the stuff I could find with a quick search. I'm sure you can find tons of people denying global warming on TV shows (I bet you'd find a bunch on Fox News) and in newspaper op-eds.

Quote:
So, only climatologists should be allowed to or to be considered qualified express their opinions on this issue? Any of the earth sciences like geology, archaeology, biology etc has to consider the effects of climate and its change over time. For the other way around, any climatologist who fails to consider the astronomy of the solar system is ignoring a large part of the science of climate.


You do not have to be a climatologist to express your opinion. You need to have reasonable arguments that are supported by the evidence. Anyone can learn about the details of climatology, but a climatologist is probably going to have more exposure to the details, fundamentals, and evidence of climatological topics. Maybe the people on your big petition are competent to discuss climatology, but where's the evidence that they are? What articles have been written and published by these people that we can look at to determine if their knowledge of climatology is sufficient to be taken seriously? The fields their degrees are in aren't even listed! We don't know what those advanced degrees are in. Art? Philosophy? English? They're just names on a list. A list, that I might add, is apparently a pretty crap piece of work.

Wikipedia wrote:
# The petitioners could submit responses only by physical mail, not electronic mail. But older signatures submitted via the web were not removed.
# Signatories to the petition were requested to list an academic degree; 86% did list a degree; petitioners claimed that approximately two thirds held higher degrees, but never provided evidence confirming this claim.
# Petitioners were also requested to list their academic discipline; the petition sponsors claimed that 13% were trained in physical or environmental sciences (physics, geophysics, climatology, meteorology, oceanography, or environmental science) while 25% were trained in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or other life sciences, but never provided evidence to support this claim.


In any event, even though the list of signers is now over 5 years old, there is evidence of sloppiness. In less than 10 minutes of casual scanning, I found duplicate names (Did two Joe R. Eaglemans and two David Tompkins sign the petition, or were some individuals counted twice?), single names without even an initial (Biolchini), corporate names (Graybeal & Sayre, Inc. How does a business sign a petition?), and an apparently phony single name (Redwine, Ph.D.). These examples underscore a major weakness of the list: there is no way to check the authenticity of the names. Names are given, but no identifying information (e.g., institutional affiliation) is provided. Why the lack of transparency? Robinson claimed that about 2,100 signers had scientific background relevant to climate science, but there is no information given backing this statement.

Also, of interest, Scientific American recently contacted a small number of petition signers, who claimed to have a PhD in a climate-related science. About 25 percent (6/26) said they would not sign the petition today. If nothing else, this finding suggests that the petition (circulated in 1998) is outdated, made obsolete by new research and new data. Interestingly, three of the 26 individuals contacted did not even remember the petition! Assuming senility was not involved, this result suggests that a large number of original signers were not even aware of what it was they were signing.


Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition—one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers--a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.


There's yet another article discussing the Oregon Petition (discussion of it begins on page 16 of the PDF.) Want to see highlights?

Quote:
Assuming that all the signatories reported their credentials accurately, credentialed climate experts on the list are very few. [...] The list even included fictional persons. Careful study of the list revealed the names of fictional characters from the “StarWars” movies as well as the name of pop singer Geri Halliwell from the “Spice Girls” band. Critics of the petition had added bogus names to illustrate the lack of accountability the petition involved, including the difficulty—the practical impossibility—of verifying even the actual existence of each of the signatories, not to mention their expertise. To make the latter point, someone had added the title of "Dr." to Halliwell’s name (Washington Post 1998). [...] The letter asking people to sign the petition was accompanied by a copy of the Wall Street Journal editorial article by Arthur and Zachary Robinson, the two "chemists" quoted above. "Science Has Spoken," read the title (Robinson and Robinson, 1997).The prestigious sounding institution with which they were affiliated—the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine—was elsewhere revealed to be a one-room operation located on a farm on a rural road in the forested foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. It consisted only of Arthur B. Robinson, a chemist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, and his 21-year-old son, who has no advanced degree (Hill 1998). [...] The "scientific summary" was another instance of deceptive manipulation of recognized symbols of science: it was formatted such that it looked like an article that had appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a renowned and peer-reviewed scientific journal issued by the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Yet the summary was not peer reviewed and, according to recognized climate experts, contained numerous inaccuracies and one-sided presentation of the scientific evidence—what one climate expert referred to as the "cherry-picking of facts." [...] According to the National Academy, many lay persons and scientists were indeed misled, as indicated by the many calls it received from persons wanting to know whether the Academy had indeed taken a stance against the global warming theory (Science 1998).


When questioned in 1998, OISM's Arthur Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, "and of those the greatest number are physicists." This grouping of fields concealed the fact that only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science - such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology - and almost none were climate specialists. The names of the signers are available on the OISM's website, but without listing any institutional affiliations or even city of residence, making it very difficult to determine their credentials or even whether they exist at all.


Now take a close look at the names on that petition. Are those MD's, DDS's, and DVM's (veterinarians!) that you see? Why yes, they are!

Now ask yourself, "what the heck would a dentist or veterinarian know about climatology?". I mean, if you needed root-canal work, would you trust a climatologist to take on the job? Do you think that a climatologist would be qualified to lop off Fido's gonads?


You know, for someone who keeps telling me to "dig deeper", it sure as hell looks like you didn't. Your petition, I'm sorry to say, is rubbish.

Quote:
As for the hockey stick graph, there are two rather large and inconvenient truths that debunk it. The medieval warm period from ~850 to 1250 CE, during which the climate was so temperate that Greenland supported much greater vegetation than it does now, the Vikings settled from (what would become) eastern Canada down to the northeastern US and warm weather crops were grown in northern Europe that can now only grow there in greenhouses.


Sorry, man, there's no evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was anything but regional.

NOAA wrote:
The idea of a global or hemispheric "Medieval Warm Period" that was warmer than today however, has turned out to be incorrect. [...] There are not enough records available to reconstruct global or even hemispheric mean temperature prior to about 600 years ago with a high degree of confidence. What records that do exist show is that there was no multi-century periods when global or hemispheric temperatures were the same or warmer than in the 20th century.


[A] quick reality check shows that Greenland's ice cap is hundreds of thousands of years old and covers over 80% of the island. The vast majority of land not under the ice sheet is rock and permafrost in the far north. How different could it have been just 1,000 years ago?

(You can find more on the ice cap here).

The existence of the Medieval Warm Period isn't any sort of problem for the hockey stick. I'm pretty sure I linked that article (the one I just linked now) in my last post. Come on, man, I read your links. You could show me the same courtesy. (Considering your earlier gaffes with the "created a monster" and "solar output" articles, I'm kind of doubting you even ever read your own links.) Seriously, go back and read the Myth vs. Fact Regarding the "Hockey Stick" article.

Quote:
The other is the 'little ice age' that occured over three intervals beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, with slight warming periods between.


What about the Little Ice Age? It was a cooling, and I'm not sure what that has to do with global warming. But let's learn some more:
IPCC wrote:
Mann et al. (1998) and Jones et al. (1998) support the idea that the 15th to 19th centuries were the coldest of the millennium over the Northern Hemisphere overall. However, viewed hemispherically, the “Little Ice Age” can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C relative to late 20th century levels (Bradley and Jones, 1993; Jones et al., 1998; Mann et al., 1998; 1999; Crowley and Lowery, 2000). [... from the summary on the next page, 071.htm... ] It is likely that temperatures were relatively warm in the Northern Hemisphere as a whole during the earlier centuries of the millennium, but it is much less likely that a globally-synchronous, well defined interval of "Medieval warmth" existed, comparable to the near global warmth of the late 20th century. Marked warmth seems to have been confined to Europe and regions neighbouring the North Atlantic. Relatively colder hemispheric or global-scale conditions did appear to set in after about AD 1400 and persist through the 19th century, but peak coldness is observed during substantially different epochs in different regions. By contrast, the warming of the 20th century has had a much more convincing global signature (see Figure 2.9). [...] Independent estimates of hemispheric and global ground temperature trends over the past five centuries from sub-surface information contained in borehole data confirm the conclusion that late 20th century warmth is anomalous in a long-term context.


And, as pointed out here, "This argument relies on an implicit assumption that there is a particular climatic baseline to which the earth inexorably returns -- and thus that a period of globally lower temperatures will inevitably be followed by a rise in temperatures. What is the scientific basis for that assumption? There is no evidence of such a baseline. [...] Another problem with appealing to a natural recovery from the LIA is that temperature has now risen to levels higher than the assumed baseline climate. So even if some recovery were to be expected, why have we now exceeded it?"

Quote:
The biggest retreat came when those determined to blame humans for climate change realized their computer models were flawed due to their failure to model the effects of clouds. When they included cloud effects, the outcome of the simulations was reduced up to 50%.


Yes, clouds are still considered to be difficult to model.

the IPCC wrote:
Coupled climate models simulate mean atmospheric fields with reasonable accuracy, with the exception of clouds and some related hydrological processes (in particular those involving upper tropospheric humidity). Since publication of the SAR, the models have continued to simulate most fields reasonably well while relying less on arbitrary flux adjustments. Problems in the simulation of clouds and upper tropospheric humidity, however, remain worrisome because the associated processes account for most of the uncertainty in climate model simulations of anthropogenic change. Incremental improvements in these aspects of model simulation are being made.


But that doesn't ruin things totally.

Coupled models can provide credible simulations of both the annual mean climate and the climatological seasonal cycle over broad continental scales for most variables of interest for climate change. Clouds and humidity remain sources of significant uncertainty but there have been incremental improvements in simulations of these quantities.


Even though there are still uncertainties in modeling, that hardly implies that models are totally useless. You could read Chapter 8 of the IPCC, which evaluates various climate models and sees how they stand up with certain phenomena. I managed to read most of it during my lunch break. I'm sure you could find time to take a look at it. I'd hate to have to claim you don't know what you're talking about.

Quote:
What the argument for human activity as the prime (or even exclusive) mover in climate change boils down to is...


Hm, good question, but it looks like you dropped the ball on the answer. I'll help you out, though, because I'm so nice.
"Atmospheric CO2 has the same radioisotope signature as burning fossil fuels and forests!"
"By measuring the amount of CO2 released by burning forests and fuels, we can deduce that we produce CO2 faster than natural sinks can absorb it!
"The oxygen concentration in the atmosphere rules out ocean warming as a source of CO2!"
"If atmospheric CO2 increases were emitted from the oceans and land, we'd be able to see a decrease there: but we don't! They can't be a carbon source because we know they are a carbon sink."
"CO2 levels have skyrocketed far higher than they have in the past 20,000 years, just when humans start burning lots of stuff and dumping CO2 into the air. Do you believe in coincidence, much?"
"CO2 is estimated to be the biggest factor in climate change!"
"CO2 is 30% higher than it was in the pre-industrial period!"
"We've known that CO2 could have an effect on climate for over a century!"

You can read Chapter 3 of the IPCC for more on CO2, with the summary reading:
In conclusion, anthropogenic CO2 emissions are virtually certain to be the dominant factor determining CO2 concentrations throughout the 21st century. The importance of anthropogenic emissions is underlined by the expectation that the proportion of emissions taken up by both ocean and land will decline at high atmospheric CO2 concentrations (even if absolute uptake by the ocean continues to rise). There is considerable uncertainty in projections of future CO2 concentration, because of uncertainty about the effects of climate change on the processes determining ocean and land uptake of CO2. These uncertainties do not negate the main finding that anthropogenic emissions will be the main control.


If you doubt the conclusion, you can always just read the whole chapter and see why it says that. So, yeah, climatologists actually do have a pretty good reason to claim that anthropogenic C02 emissions are contributing to global warming by a large degree, and not just "nah nah we're right".

Quote:
Edit: Here's another inconvenient fact... http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnatu ... _tilt.html


Here's an even more inconvenient fact: the very end of the article!

Quote:
"What we have here is a great laboratory for seeing how climate changes naturally," he said. "But this is a 100,000-year cycle, whereas global warming is happening a thousand times faster.”


What the article is talking about is the Milankovich cycles, which are known to correlate with ice ages. If you read the article, it also says "The last major glacial thaw was 10,000 years ago, which means that the Earth is scheduled to head into another ice age." Assuming a 40,000 year cycle, that means the next glaciation will occur in about 30,000 years. Global warming, on the other hand, is expected to take place over around 100-200 years.

bizzybody wrote:
Nothing about the climate is ever 100% global.


I don't know what this is supposed to mean, although it does contradict your assertions about the Medieval Warm Period, that regional changes necessarily indicate global changes.

Quote:
Ohhh. This one's good. An economist VS a certified meteorologist (y'know, a scientist).


It is good, because your man Cosgrove (the meteorologist) never once gave a scientific reason to doubt global warming. All he does is whine that the debate is being stifled -- not once does he mention even a tidbit of a reason to believe that humans have nothing to do with global warming. He provides no argument whatsoever.

Meanwhile, the guy from Greenpeace, Passcantando the economist says pretty much nothing wrong.
He points out that the proper venue for debate is the peer-reviewed journals: "I'm not saying to shut them out. I'm saying the public should know that this debate has to be grounded in peer reviewed science."
He points out that no debate is being stifled: "I don't think your debate is being stifled, you're actually quite vocal right now. (Of course, this is another instance of the media bringing up skepticism, when you claim it doesn't. Goddamn, boy, you contradicted yourself already!)
He points out frequently that people should not misrepresent science on TV: "And Larry we know there is a human contribution that is huge to this and if you don't understand this and the science that's coming out this is the whole reason Ms. Cullen says - Dr. Cullen - says you shouldn't be talking about global warming on a news program.", and then "I'm just saying that you're wrong and nobody should have you on a news program misrepresenting science." and later at the end "Then be accurate Larry, be accurate or get off the program."
And he mentions (briefly) the work of actual scientists: "We're talking about the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and not if you should carry an umbrella..."

This brings up a point I made earlier and will continue to make. Having a degree in meteorology is not a guarantee that you are an expert on climate change. Having no degree in climatology is not a guarantee that you aren't knowledgeable about climate change. Just reading the transcript and examining each speakers arguments and points (such as they are), it's apparent that the economist has educated himself in his spare time about the facts of global warming. Whereas the meteorologist, apparently, feels the proper venue for science is TV and provides no science to speak of. This transcript is just the whining of meteorologists who are mad that their boss wants some competence. We did discuss competence earlier, right? I wonder if Cavuto and Cosgrove would get mad if Scientific American said it didn't want to hire creationists as editors or writers.

(Also, I replaced your link with a permanent one, for when that entry falls off the main page at Musing Minds.)

Quote:


James Spann got away with just having a degree in Broadcast Meteorology. And, of course, having a BA in meteorology doesn't mean you're an expert on the complexities of climatology. Sure, they might learn about the jet stream and thermohaline circulations and the intertropical convergence zone, but that's no indication you'd end up learning more than enough to get the degree. I took a course in cryptology in college, does that make me expert enough to argue with the folks at the NSA? Having a degree is not always enough: you need to have the arguments to back yourself up.

Quote:
There's plenty to debate, but when one side (the side you support) doesn't want to...


The climatology community is more than willing to debate. They debate amongst themselves all the time. But the place for debate is not in the Wall Street Journal or Fox News or The Weather Channel. It's in the peer-reviewed journals, where people actually do research. Do the work, examine the evidence, and if your work is legit, it gets published and you get taken seriously. Look through the IPCC references. Let's count how many times "Interview on Fox News" gets cited as a reference. Let's count how many times "My Boss Said To Accept Anthropogenic Global Warming" gets counted as a piece of evidence for global warming.

Truly, this has been a fascinating debate. I'm learning so much. (Incidentally, I wrote this post in Notepad. The file size is 42923 bytes. I think that's a new personal record.)

_________________
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Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:01 am 
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The Wall Street Journal

Climate of Opinion
The latest U.N. report shows the "warming" debate is far from settled.

Monday, February 5, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

Last week's headlines about the United Nation's latest report on
global warming were typically breathless, predicting doom and human
damnation like the most fervent religious evangelical. Yet the real
news in the fourth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) may be how far it is backpedaling on some key
issues. Beware claims that the science of global warming is settled.

The document that caused such a stir was only a short policy report,
a summary of the full scientific report due in May. Written mainly by
policymakers (not scientists) who have a stake in the issue, the
summary was long on dire predictions. The press reported the bullet
points, noting that this latest summary pronounced with more than
"90% confidence" that humans have been the main drivers of warming
since the 1950s, and that higher temperatures and rising sea levels
would result.

More pertinent is the underlying scientific report. And according to
people who have seen that draft, it contains startling revisions of
previous U.N. predictions. For example, the Center for Science and
Public Policy has just released an illuminating analysis written by
Lord Christopher Monckton, a one-time adviser to Margaret Thatcher
who has become a voice of sanity on global warming.

Take rising sea levels. In its 2001 report, the U.N.'s best high-end
estimate of the rise in sea levels by 2100 was three feet. Lord
Monckton notes that the upcoming report's high-end best estimate is
17 inches, or half the previous prediction. Similarly, the new report
shows that the 2001 assessment had overestimated the human influence
on climate change since the Industrial Revolution by at least
one-third.

Such reversals (and there are more) are remarkable, given that the
IPCC's previous reports, in 1990, 1995 and 2001, have been steadily
more urgent in their scientific claims and political tone. It's worth
noting that many of the policymakers who tinker with the IPCC reports
work for governments that have promoted climate fears as a way of
justifying carbon-restriction policies. More skeptical scientists are
routinely vetoed from contributing to the panel's work. The Pasteur
Institute's Paul Reiter, a malaria expert who thinks global warming
would have little impact on the spread of that disease, is one example.

U.N. scientists have relied heavily on computer models to predict
future climate change, and these crystal balls are notoriously
inaccurate. According to the models, for instance, global
temperatures were supposed to have risen in recent years. Yet
according to the U.S. National Climate Data Center, the world in 2006
was only 0.03 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in 2001--in the
range of measurement error and thus not statistically significant.

The models also predicted that sea levels would rise much faster than
they actually have. The models didn't predict the significant cooling
the oceans have undergone since 2003--which is the opposite of what
you'd expect with global warming. Cooler oceans have also put a
damper on claims that global warming is the cause of more frequent or
intense hurricanes. The models also failed to predict falling
concentrations of methane in the atmosphere, another surprise.

Meanwhile, new scientific evidence keeps challenging previous
assumptions. The latest report, for instance, takes greater note of
the role of pollutant particles, which are thought to reflect
sunlight back to space, supplying a cooling effect. More scientists
are also studying the effect of solar activity on climate, and some
believe it alone is responsible for recent warming.

All this appears to be resulting in a more cautious scientific
approach, which is largely good news. We're told that the upcoming
report is also missing any reference to the infamous "hockey stick,"
a study by Michael Mann that purported to show 900 years of minor
fluctuations in temperature, followed by a dramatic spike over the
past century. The IPCC featured the graph in 2001, but it has since
been widely rebutted.

While everyone concedes that the Earth is about a degree Celsius
warmer than it was a century ago, the debate continues over the cause
and consequences. We don't deny that carbon emissions may play a
role, but we don't believe that the case is sufficiently proven to
justify a revolution in global energy use. The economic dislocations
of such an abrupt policy change could be far more severe than warming
itself, especially if it reduces the growth and innovation that would
help the world cope with, say, rising sea levels. There are also
other problems--AIDS, malaria and clean drinking water, for
example--whose claims on scarce resources are at least as urgent as
climate change.

The IPCC report should be understood as one more contribution to the
warming debate, not some definitive last word that justifies radical
policy change. It can be hard to keep one's head when everyone else
is predicting the Apocalypse, but that's all the more reason to keep
cool and focus on the actual science.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:03 am 
I find it interesting that Bizzybody is responding to Jer's refrences to acedemic sources with popular newspaper quotes and then accusing Jer of supporting a culturally influenced viewpoint.

Just something I noticed.

As an aside, some of Sen. Infhoe's recently sponsered bills:


S.RES.68 : A resolution commending the Miss America Organization for its longstanding commitment to quality education and the character of women in the United States.

S.171 : A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 301 Commerce Street in Commerce, Oklahoma, as the "Mickey Mantle Post Office Building".

S.172 : A bill to prohibit Federal funding for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Quote from the OECD "Dialogue, consensus, peer review and pressure are at the very heart of OECD." Methinks that's why he doesn't like them.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Let's see...

"The IPCC is by politicians!" I dealt with that.
"Models are inaccurate!" I dealt with that.
"Scientists haven't considered factors X, Y, and Z!" I dealt with that.
"The hockey stick has been disproved!" I dealt with that.
"There's no evidence it's anthropogenic!" I dealt with that.

It's nice to know I put all that effort into something you don't even have the freaking courtesy to read.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:35 pm 
Well, I appreciated that work, Jer. It was very interesting. Good job!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:40 am 
Jeremiah Smith wrote:
Let's see...

"The IPCC is by politicians!" I dealt with that.
"Models are inaccurate!" I dealt with that.
"Scientists haven't considered factors X, Y, and Z!" I dealt with that.
"The hockey stick has been disproved!" I dealt with that.
"There's no evidence it's anthropogenic!" I dealt with that.

It's nice to know I put all that effort into something you don't even have the freaking courtesy to read.


I read it all, Jerm, and i appreciated it. Thank you.

It's not so much he DIDN'T read it... you used too many big words. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:33 pm 
Might I suggest that we all stop quoting secondary, politically oriented sources such as Inhofe's blog, An Inconvenient Truth, RealClimate, and the WSJ, and reference only relevant peer-reviewed primary sources? Just a thought.

In any case, the US has good political and economic reasons completely separate from climate change to eliminate fossil fuel use, especially imported fossil fuel. Quite frankly, at this point the oil industry is a threat to national security, and localization of energy production would be a tremendous boon to the economy, especially in economically weak regions.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:26 am 
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Might I suggest that we all stop quoting secondary, politically oriented sources such as Inhofe's blog, An Inconvenient Truth, RealClimate, and the WSJ, and reference only relevant peer-reviewed primary sources? Just a thought.

Well, if you want a real answer, it's because of several reasons.

First, most peer reviewed journals cost money. Real money, not a couple of bucks. Private access to the journal databases I regulary access for example, and that's just 2 or 3 databases, would run around 10-15 grand for a private person. Thank $@@^ my university pays for them.

Second, peer reviewed stuff is written for the PhD.'s peers. In many cases, it's over our heads.

Thirdly, only rarely will you see journal articles trying to encompass something as broad as global warming. That's why you write books. Book reviews are an option, but guess where you find them?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:22 am 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Given that the IPCC is basically just a place to bring together the results of the peer-reviewed work, do you suppose we can get away with using that?

(Also, most of the people who contribute to RealClimate actually are PhD's and several of the entries there have a bibliography to peer-reviewed material at the end. I'm not sure why this doesn't count.)

(Also also, this.)

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:45 am 
Just as a quick snipe, I should point out that the '1970s ice age prediction' thing is an embarrassment for both sides, but more so for the anti-warming side. Why? three reasons. First, the prediction was that there would be a cooling trend over the next thousand years; no one expected it to have a noticeable impact during a single human lifetime. Even at their fastest advance, glaciers normally advance or retreat at a rate of a meter or so per year (EDIT: not century, I was thinking originally of writing '100 meters per century', but realized it made more sense to go by year. In any case, I was wrong: I've seen at least one source say it can be up to to 50m in a year, or 5km per century). The rapid retreat over the past twenty years really is unprecedented in the available geological record.

Second, the prediction is still considered correct: most climatologists who support the global warming model agree that there should have been a cooling trend over the 1980s and 1990s if historical patterns had followed. That there wasn't indicates that something unusual is going on - and while it doesn't imply anthropogenic warming per se, it is not an argument against it by any means.

Third, the whole idea of an 'imminent ice age' is nothing more than bad journalism, because it ignores the fact that, technically speaking, we are in an ice age now; IIUC, any era where there is permanent glaciation outside of the polar circles fits the technical definition of an ice age. No serious scientist was ever claiming otherwise; it was media misunderstanding that spread the 'glaciers are marching on us' nonsense. This was addressed back in the 1970s by the better popular science writers of the time.

Keep in mind, too that the most widespread prediction for an ice age did not come from climatology at all, but from a hysterical doomsday book which claimed that the Earth's poles would suddenly and violently shift towards the equator in April 2002, a claim which was widely conflated with the real scientific data.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:27 am 
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Location: Idaho
OK, let's try some hardball.

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/envi ... 6a6d71&k=0

Now, are you going to claim that these scientists, most of whom were and are participants in the IPCC, 'aren't experts'?

They're speaking out against the politicians at the UN who took their reports and painted a blatantly false gloom and doom picture.

There is NO 'overwhelming concensus' amongst the scientists who contributed to the IPCC reports, which the UN politicians edited to fit their agenda.

Who says so? The IPCC scientists!

_________________
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:06 pm 
You really want to do this? Alright. We'll start with Wegman.

Dr. Edward Wegman is a mathmatication, not a climate guy. Most of his professional articles have been on unimodal density, not real world work. The opinions he voices in that article seem to

Now, unless you've actually dealt with non-reproducable scientific data before (macro climates are just such a field) you don't know this, but the sample space and variance is almost never good enough for people who only work on hypothetical numbers or even with lab data. Acceptable varation for lab stuff is usually +/- .05%, for field work, it's a lot more broad, and varies given the data. A long term climate survery for example, where data being used pushes back several hundred years, the error allowance is greater than .05%.

However, the Wegman article isn't about the IPCC, it's about the Mann hockey stick.


Last edited by Dark_Tiger on Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:07 pm 
As an aside, you made me read a mathmatics peer reviewed article, and for that I will have to kill you.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:43 am 
Yeah, but the real issue here is that the doom and gloomers are proposing radical changes to society. I've seen ideas ranging from cut the population by X% (usually large) to "conserve energy" by X% (where X is unreasonably large as well) which really means the first one in disguise.

We don't want to live as subsistence farmers and hunter gatherers. We want to work in air-conditioned offices, eat fresh food from around the world (whatever you want is in season somewhere) and live vicariously through professional sports stars from the comfort of our well-equipped sports bars.

Any rational person can see that the solution to "reduce carbon output just in case it really is the major culprit in a warming trend that could be uncomfortable" is to power our economies with energy sources that don't spew carbon. In other words, we'd have to replace our existin fossil fuel infrastructure with "clean" alternatives.

We need an order of magnitude more Hydroelectric, Nuclear, Geothermal, and Solar and Wind farms.

But who is blocking the construction of these facilities, I wonder.

It's certainly not those of us skeptics, who for "just in case" reasons as well as pure economics have already converted our houses to compact fluorescent lighting, installed double-pane glass and thick insulation, recycle, choose appliances based on efficiency and reliability, drive cars that are as efficient as possible while still being comfortable and afforable, and walk or bike when the weather allows.

No, instead of doing the things we know we can do *right now* at the municipal level, we've decided to bellyache and NIMBY and NANAAA and demand research into far-off half-baked schemes. Hydrogen economy, I'll believe it when I see it.


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