March 01, 2006
Politics and the IPCC, Again
Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change
Anyone with concerns about the politicization of the IPCC, and its stance of "policy neutrality," should raise an eyebrow at recent stories from the BBC and The Guardian. Leaking information before the report has gone through full review smacks of overt politicking. But more generally, those doing the leaking and their representations of what will be found in the IPCC are far from "policy neutral.” Perhaps it is time for the IPCC to dispense with the illusion of being policy neutral and simply admit its political agenda.
As far as the "news" that has been leaked, it is hardly news. According to the Guardian:
A draft of the next influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report will tell politicians that scientists are now unable to place a reliable upper limit on how quickly the atmosphere will warm as carbon dioxide levels increase.
But this is also what was said by IPCC in 2001:
The range of global mean temperature change from 1990 to 2100 given by the six illustrative scenarios for the ensemble is 2.0 to 4.5C … Note that this is not the extreme range of possibilities, for two reasons. [emphasis added]
And further, both the Guardian and BCC note a “strengthening of consensus.” And here I have thought since 2001 that it was airtight, even unanimous. Was I mistaken? How can the consensus be “further strengthened” from the consensus represented in 2001?
These news stories continue a trend that we first observed with the 2005 Exeter meeting (see here and here) of using scientific/IPCC summaries as a tool of politics by those doing the science/assessing. I wrote last year:
If the Exter conference is indicative of the direction that the IPCC will be taking in its Fourth Assessment Report, then it will be remembered as a key milestone in the continuing evolution of the IPCC from honest broker to political advocate.
No matter what one's politics are on climate change, we should all be able to agree that the leaks to the British media represent a further politicization of climate science and damage the legitimacy of the IPCC as an independent -- "policy neutral" -- body.Posted on March 1, 2006 10:27 AM
Hi Roger, one quibble and one question:
A scientific consensus can gain strength simply by passing the test of time, so I think to note a "strengthening of consensus" is not so silly. And given the obfuscation of this consensus over the years since the last report, maybe we can look at this as a little journalistic self-correction?
The question I have is what exactly is "political"? It isn't clear to me that leaking the report (do we know the IPCC did this and not some individual?) is a political action in any useful sense of political. The realm of behaviours is not just science or politics. I have a similar sense about the concept of "policy activism". Clearly, advocating nuclear energy, or advocating carbon credit trading over wind power or carbon sequestration is poilicy activism. But simply calling for reduction of emissions when science is quite clear that emissions are endangering us? I don't view that as policy, that is just a scientifically sound warning.
Posted by: coby at March 1, 2006 11:57 AM
Thanks for your comments. A few responses.
First, I agree with your comments on "consensus" and this points to the loose way in which this term is used. What does "consensus" actually mean? It seems to mean many things, as happen to be expedient at the time. I do disagree that the notion of a consensus on climate science (however defined) has been obfuscated in any way in recent years.
Second, you write, "But simply calling for reduction of emissions when science is quite clear that emissions are endangering us? I don't view that as policy, that is just a scientifically sound warning." It may very well be a scientifically sound warning, but it is not "policy neutral" as the IPCC claims that it is. My comment has more to do with the process that the IPCC uses to confer advice, rather than the content of the advice itself. If the IPCC wants to issue warnings and advocate action, then it should not hide behind a claim of "policy neutrality." A claim to neutrality and behavior that is not neutral cannot help the institutions credibility.
Posted by: Roger Pielke Jr. at March 1, 2006 12:11 PM
[Ed- Our comment function is going wacko on accpting http links, so I have had to strip out the links provided for this comment. I'll ask our resident expert and see if we can get them back in. Thanks, RP]
It is important for US readers to realise that the timing of the IPCC leak was designed to provide strategic support for the "Stop Climate Chaos" coalition in their political battle against Tony Blair and to exert maximum pressure on the British Government on the very day the campaigners met top ministers. The Guardian's frontpage story did not even try to hide that the IPCC intervention into British politics was the main function of the leak.
Note also that the lack of any official IPCC statement or denial about the authenticity of the leaked IPCC draft only serves to provide further weight to the media reports.
Indeed, they are calling on the Prime Minister to abandon his current economic policy, regardless of the high cost to the British economy
It will be interesting to see whether the IPCC's political intervention will pay off. Tony Blair might find it increasingly difficult to cast off the mounting pressure, caving in to the demands by climate alarmists. Somehow I doubt that a possible Blair surrender would be perceived as a victory for the IPCC and its media lackeys.
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 1, 2006 02:22 PM
I don't see any evidence of an IPCC conspiracy here. Clearly, there was a leak. Roger and Benny assume this was sanctioned by the IPCC and with a particular policy goal in mind, but I see no evidence of that. We do not know 1) who leaked it, or 2) why they leaked it. We don't even know how many people have copies of the report. Maybe it was leaked by someone running a xeros machine making copies of the report, or a manager of a website posting a copy on a password-protected web page.
It seems like a leap to conclude that the leak represents a collective policy action by the IPCC. In addition, this does not imply anything about any bias in the *written* reports of the IPCC.
Of course, if you start by assuming your conclusion, that the IPCC is biased, then this argument makes total sense --- and is, in fact, a convincing tour de force. Not that anyone on this site would ever do that. :)
Second, I agree with Coby that consensus can strengthen. For example, the TAR said that it was *likely* that recent warming was manmade. If the expert judgment is now that it is, for example, "very likely", then I would consider that a strengthening of the consensus. I think that any disagreement on this point is purely semantic.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 1, 2006 02:53 PM
Thanks, but you have read far too much into my comments. No where did I say "conspiracy" or "collective policy action." I did however say in a less strawmanish fashion that the leak "should raise an eyebrow." Quite a difference there.
Benny does have a good point -- if the IPCC does not approve of its reports being leaked (by whomever) or the representation of what is in them, then it is fair to expect that the IPCC would issue a statement or otherwise protest this action. IPCC drafts do explicitly say "not for quotation ot attribution" (or something like that).
Andrew do know that I was a reviewer for one of the IPCC WGII chapters that seems to have been part of the leak, and as a reviewer I can say that the early drafts that I read were far, far from policy neutral, and I said so in my review. Of course, it is possible that since then the IPCC took my review to heart and the chapter has been significantly revised (sure;-). Perhaps one of these days I'll post my review.
But note that my argument is based ib far more than just an assumption. As well we've documented here for a while evidence for the non-neutrality of the IPCC. Also, when I made the case that the Exeter meeting was part of a broader political strategy a few folks (though not you I think) took me to task for making such a crazy assertion, yet when the resulting book came out as part of an overt political strategy I don't recall any of those folks admitting that perhaps there was some truth to my arguments. There is a lot of data here.
Your point on consensus is well taken. Nonetheless my interpretation of debate on the science, such as it is, is that there has not been any room since the TAR to argue for weaknesses in the consensus. Now saying that it can be strengthen suggests that there were indeed weaknesses. It can't be both ways!
Posted by: Roger Pielke Jr. at March 1, 2006 03:06 PM
Given the journalist and paper in question, and being a betting man :-) I would say it's a racing certainty that the mole is a UK-based scientist closely associated with those writing the WG1 draft, if not one of them in person. I'm not sure where RP gets his idea that WG2 is involved, even if he thinks the story concerns WG2 science :-)
From the content of the story, it sounds like it is someone who doesn't actually understand the debate over climate sensitivity very well. The "new" estimate seems to be virtually unchanged from the previous one, although there may be some nuance in the wording which has not been clearly reported.
Posted by: James Annan at March 1, 2006 03:30 PM
Thanks. I wouldn't bet aganst you! Though the BBC article did open sounding quite WGIIish.
And of course you realize that the BBC is talking about you;-) "There will be sceptics, predominantly in the US, who will accuse the IPCC of trying to scare policy-makers into action with their report."
Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. at March 1, 2006 03:54 PM
Can you elaborate on this: "It may very well be a scientifically sound warning, but it is not "policy neutral" as the IPCC claims that it is"
What is a policy nuetral way to say "if CO2 emissions are not reduced, the climate will change in a dangerous way"? I can only think that there are more specific things that come from the IPCC you have in mind or you consider any recommendation for a course of action, no matter how general, as a policy advocation. I would disagree with that, or concede it but insist it makes it impossible to make a statement about human influence on climate without advocating policy.
Also, as another commentor mentioned, there is an important distinction between politicizing the contents of the report vs using the report politically. It seems to me that the whole purpose of the IPCC report is to be used politically and this says nothing about the validity of the science it presents.
Posted by: coby at March 1, 2006 05:30 PM
Coby Beck writes, "Clearly, advocating nuclear energy, or advocating carbon credit trading over wind power or carbon sequestration is policy activism. But simply calling for reduction of emissions when science is quite clear that emissions are endangering us? I don't view that as policy,..."
But the GHG emissions *aren't* "endangering us."
No human being (or animal that I know of) has suffered *direct* ill effects from the CO2 or methane emissions.
In fact, no human being (or animal that I know of) has suffered *direct* ill effects from increased concentrations of CO2 or methane in the atmosphere.
That means that the harmful effects that are thought to exist now, or are predicted in the future, are *indirect* effects.
That means there are plenty of policy options that wouldn't necessarily be available if emissions themselves (or concentrations in the atmosphere) were causing *direct* harm.
It means that we can:
1) Use methods that remove C02 from the atmosphere (e.g., iron fertilization of oceans), rather than reducing emissions, and/or
2) Use methods that address the harm(s) directly, rather than indirectly through emissions reductions (or reducing concentrations in the atmosphere). For example, suppose GHG emissions cause global warming which causes stronger stronger hurricanes. We could therefore do things like: a) Strengthen buildings to withstand those stronger hurricanes, or even b) Develop methods that reduce the strength of hurricanes. Or to use an even more dramatic example, suppose GHG cause global warming, which causes a larger population of malaria-bearing mosquitoes, which causes more malaria. It's still almost certainly more cost-effective to address the malaria directly than to lower GHG emissions, hoping that will cause less global warming, hoping that will cause fewer malaria-bearing mosquitoes, hoping that will mean fewer people with malaria.
GHG emissions can also be contrasted to tropospheric ozone (i.e., aka, Los Angeles-type "smog") or black carbon (i.e. "soot," as from diesel vehicles). Both of these pollutants have DIRECT harmful human health effects (as well as being implicated in global warming). So there is the option of addressing warming through reductions in those pollutants, and waiting until later to worry about CO2 and methane emissions.
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 1, 2006 06:09 PM
I would like to return to Coby's point about "Clearly, advocating nuclear energy, or advocating carbon credit trading over wind power or carbon sequestration is policy activism".
This points to an important middle ground between policy and science. Carefully enumerating the engineering, scientific and economic advantages of one technology or the other is closer to science than it is to policy. Making a choice based on those issues is science/engineering based policy. The worst part about denialism is it robs such approaches of validity.
Posted by: Rabett at March 1, 2006 06:11 PM
Thanks - you ask, What is a policy nuetral way to say "if CO2 emissions are not reduced, the climate will change in a dangerous way"?
There is no "policy neutral" way to say this. The notion of "dangerous interference" is an artifact of the FCCC. The FCCC is a policy, adopting the approach to climate policy recommended by the FCCC and advocating for it is policy advocacy. The IPCC claims to be "policy neutral" -- but if it takes on defining thresholds of dangerous climate change then it clearly is not neutral.
The only way for the IPCC to truely be "policy neutral" is to consider the consequences of a large set of policy alternatives, e.g., FCCC, APP, adaptation, air capture, carbon taxes, contraction and convergence, etc. etc. Picking a winner is the opposite of neutrality.
Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. at March 1, 2006 06:21 PM
Amazing. The Guardian article says, "If we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reach 550 ppm (parts per million) - double pre-industrial levels - by around 2050."
Let's look at the numbers:
1) The current year (in case the Guardian is not aware) is 2006.
2) The current atmospheric concentration (on Mauna Loa) is approximately 380 ppm.
3) Therefore, getting to 550 ppm by 2050 would require an AVERAGE increase of 3.9 ppm per year.
4) That 3.9 ppm per year is almost exactly DOUBLE what the annual increase has been for the last 20 years.
In other words, this statement is roughly the equivalent of writing, "If we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates,...Natalie Portman will be elected Queen of England...by around 2050."
The Guardian is a major British paper, right? Don't they have any fact checkers at all?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 1, 2006 06:51 PM
The idea that the present rate of emissions will continue is unlikely. China, India, etc. are all going to be greatly ramping up consumption, and right now it's going to be coal. In addition, world population is increasing at about 1%/yr. Together, these indicate that emissions will rapidly grow over the next few decades. You should take a look at the IPCC emissions scenarios to get an idea of the range of possibilities.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 1, 2006 08:38 PM
Looking at reality vs. IPCC hysteria, it's worth noting that the percentage of anthropogenic emissions that is being assimilated by the biosphere is increasing - that's not just the rate of assimilation itself, but the rate of the *percentage* of assimilation gain.
It will also be interesting to see how the IPCC spins the slowdown in temperature increase over the last few years - since comments by their worshippers also have the rate of warming *increasing*.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 2, 2006 06:13 AM
Besides, with the continued increase in oil prices (either by peak oil, increasing demand, or other economic factors) there will be an economic incentive to decrease consumption of fossil fuels. I wouldn't be surprised if this by itself could start decreasing emissions.
Posted by: Dean at March 2, 2006 09:40 AM
"Besides, with the continued increase in oil prices (either by peak oil, increasing demand, or other economic factors) there will be an economic incentive to decrease consumption of fossil fuels. I wouldn't be surprised if this by itself could start decreasing emissions."
Indeed. In fact, in the period from 1980 to 2003, there were 5 years where worldwide CO2 emissions actually declined one year to the next:
This is not to say that the emissions did not increase over this period (they went from 18,313 million metric tons of CO2, to 25,162 million metric tons of CO2), but the increase has been very gradual (approximately 1.4 percent per year, or almost exactly equal to the rate of population increase over that period).
That's one reason it can be pretty confidently stated that humankind's emissions of CO2 will peak before approximately 2050, just as a matter of natural technological and demographic evolution.
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 2, 2006 11:01 AM
Wondering what your basis for claiming a "slow down" in temperature rise is. Looking at the GISS analysis and the 5 year mean (red line) I don't see it.
Re assimilation of CO2 by the biosphere, it is worth it to keep in mind that this is not guaranteed to continue. Indeed the likelihood of natural feedbacks is quite high: melting permafrost, warming oceans, loss of carbon in warmer soils to name a few.
Posted by: coby at March 2, 2006 11:15 AM
I was approached to join the IPCC in 1992. The first question by the scientist who approached me was to ask if I supported reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. I said I was not certain about that. On that basis he withdrew the invitation. I was at a scientific conference and the fellow was going around looking for recruits for the IPCC. Those who favored his political views later joined the IPCC. Ever since then, I have viewed the IPCC as a political advocacy group. They know what policy they want to support and they only want people in it that support their pre-determined policy. Of course, sometimes someone gets in (like Lindzen), but, in general, they want a monoculture of political opinions. The IPCC is a great way to filter the scientific literature, claim impartiality, and claim neutrality.
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 2, 2006 11:47 AM
Gosh, Doug - I believe you! Why? Because it's written down. Simple as that. Thanks for sharing.
And Coby, didn't some folks just say 2005 was the warmest year ever?
That signifies a possible slowdown, for sure. To be fair, however, perhaps Steve hasn't looked at all the data and just looked at one thing, the low latitude temps on this graph:
You'd have to place a piece of paper over the top half of the graph, but still. It could happen.
Posted by: Dano at March 2, 2006 12:33 PM
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 2, 2006 01:12 PM
Here are a few thoughts about recent comments:
Roger: Let me restate my objection to this post w/o using the word "conspiracy." You see everything through an "IPCC is biased" lens. So when you see an IPCC report is leaked, you conclude "more evidence that the IPCC is biased!" I'm sure when you walk outside and find a bird has pooped on your car, you mumble, "the IPCC is to blame for that!" :)
You might have good reasons to believe a bias exists in the IPCC, but my point was that the leak of a chapter provide no support for any such bias.
Steve Hemphill: Where do you get the idea that the rate of temperature increaase is decreasing. I suggest you switch to an argument that is equally misleading, but at least factually accurate: "there has been no warming since 1998, so AGW is clearly a hoax."
Dean: I agree that oil prices will create downward pressure on oil consumption. But why do you think that people won't switch to coal, which produces more CO2 than oil? If so, then the cost of oil will exacerbate the problem.
Mark: So emissions went down in 5 of the last 23 years? Did you check to see if those were associated with economic recessions? I think they are. And why do you think that those 5 years are so significant. Based on your statistic, emissions went up in 18 of 23 years. If emissions continue to increase anytime the world's not in a recession, then that suggests that emissions will grow well beyond 2050.
Doug: Do you think your memory of that 1992 conversation is accurate? Scooter Libby has trouble remembering his conversations from just a few years ago.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 2, 2006 03:09 PM
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 2, 2006 03:41 PM
Andrew Dessler writes, "Mark-The idea that the present rate of emissions will continue is unlikely."
Andrew-Perhaps you should read my comments more carefully. My comments did not assert that the present rate of emissions would continue. It was The Guardian article that stated, “If we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reach 550 ppm (parts per million) - double pre-industrial levels - by around 2050."
I merely pointed out that the statement in the Guardian article was laughably false. Do you agree or disagree with my assessment that the statement in the Guardian article is laughably false?
If you aren’t sure about whether the statement in the Guardian article is laughably false, I suggest you look at the projected CO2 concentration in 2050 for the IPCC TAR’s “B1” scenario. (A scenario with which you are either completely unfamiliar, or dishonestly imply doesn’t even exist.)
But while we’re on the subject of atmospheric CO2 concentrations…I’d like to know what your “50% probability” estimate is for the atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2050? And what is your 95% probability estimate (that is, what is the value that you think there is a 95% chance that the atmospheric concentration will be lower)? Do you have any clue?
Andrew Dessler continues, "China, India, etc. are all going to be greatly ramping up consumption, and right now it's going to be coal. In addition, world population is increasing at about 1%/yr. Together, these indicate that emissions will rapidly grow over the next few decades."
Well, it's interesting you should say that. In your professional opinion, *how* rapidly will industrial CO2 emissions increase over the next few decades? I offered you $10 to give me your best estimates for "5 percent, 50 percent, and 95 percent probability" for industrial CO2 emissions each decade from 2010 to 2100. (This was after you had the chutzpah to call my estimates "amusing.") You have not yet responded. I take this to mean that you know that your "best effort" is far worse than "amusing." Or am I mistaken?
Further, you have repeatedly made the (hilarious) claim that the IPCC TAR represents the "gold standard" for what is known about climate change. Therefore, your "best effort" should be to simply read the IPCC TAR projections, and put them into my requested format. I take the fact that you have not done so to be an admission that you know that your assertion that the IPCC TAR projections represent the "gold standard" is false. Or am I mistaken?
Andrew Dessler concludes, "You should take a look at the IPCC emissions scenarios to get an idea of the range of possibilities."
Andrew, I *have* looked at IPCC emissions scenarios. I've done so thoroughly enough to know that that they are utter rubbish...completely devoid of scientific merit. And the reason I have looked so thoroughly, and can state my assessment so confidently, is because environmental analyses (especially regarding air pollution) are what I do for a ***living.***
But I definitely wonder whether YOU have looked at the IPCC emissions scenarios. I wonder because you still have not admitted your error when you wrote that there was “no evidence” that global industrial CO2 emissions would peak circa 2050, by normal technological evolution. Have you looked at this graph and seen that the B1, A1T, and A1B scenarios ALL peak circa 2050, and then decline, through normal technological evolution?
Do you know the common name for people who make blatantly false statements, and then refuse to correct themselves when their errors are pointed out?
But it's interesting you should mention the IPCC emissions scenarios. Since I made you my Fabulous Free Money Offer, I was thinking about the undergraduate Air Pollution courses for which I was a teaching assistant when I was getting my Masters degree. One course was directed towards engineering/technical students, and the other was for all students (including non-technical students). I was just thinking that the assessments for which I offered you Fabulous Free Money would be something I would expect undergraduate students—even non-technical students—to do well. In fact, if I was still a Teaching Assistant, I would definitely use it as a special class project in the ***non-technical*** air pollution course (which was directed more towards global air pollution issues such as global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion). That is, I would ask even ***non-technical*** students to provide me with probabilistic estimates each decade from 1990 to 2100 for 1) worldwide industrial CO2 emissions, 2) atmospheric methane concentrations, and 3) lower tropospheric temperature changes.
So if you can’t make your own estimates, maybe you should ask your undergraduate students to do the work for you?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 2, 2006 08:23 PM
Posted by: Dano at March 2, 2006 09:03 PM
What makes you think that "global warming" is guaranteed to continue?
Extra CO2 is giving us extra robustness, less water demand, and increased runoff, so increasing extent of flora is pretty much the only thing that's guaranteed - despite what the alarmists say. Every square inch of land is different - and there's plenty of room to grow. If you're going to say "but the models show us..." then look at this realistic view:
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 2, 2006 10:40 PM
the problem w/ you "free money offer" is that it's not really free --- I have to interact w/ you to get it.
Did you read anything in that paper besides the title? The paper says that we need to make efforts to better understand large models by using simple models. An uncontroversial position. But it does not say what you think it does, that models lack predictive capabilities.
As far as your other statements go, I suspect you applied the same research method as you did to that Held article. Water stress is going to be one of the big impacts of AGW, with places like the Pacific Northwest potentially experiencing severe water shortages in the summer time. In addition, while some flora will do better under global warming scenarios, many will not (e.g., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/28/AR2006022801772.html). Thus, your suggestion that AGW will somehow be a net benefit goes against virtually all research on the subject.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 3, 2006 10:23 AM
What makes me think that Global Warming is guaranteed to continue?
That is quite the non seqitur. I will take that as conceding my point that natural CO2 sinks are not guaranteed to continue helping us out.
As for your question, there is no guarantee of anything in life, but the less rigorous answer is "climate science".
Posted by: coby at March 3, 2006 11:52 AM
your argument presumes 'increased runoff=good'. As we have found out elsewhere, you don't understand what this means.
And your 'extra robustness' means...means...uh, what, exactly?
Your arguments can't be supported, Steve. But thanks for spreading them far and wide!!!
Posted by: Dano at March 3, 2006 12:00 PM
You guys are so predictable. Someone says you don't know what you think you know, and it's fed back as that person knows the opposite. Typical bandwagon riders.
That's the title. If you think we can simulate without understanding and won't even consider it not to be so, then there's no use trying to have a rational discussion with you.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 3, 2006 04:12 PM
Two simple questions:
The answer to these is, of course, no. You'd know that if you took the time to read the paper. If you're too busy to read the *entire* paper, just read the conclusion paragraph. That should convince you that you've totally misunderstood the article.
I suggest you post these arguments on a blog where people know nothing about the physics of climate. I'm certain that's the only place you'll find a warm reception for this argument.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 3, 2006 04:35 PM
Say, Steve, what's the thesis of that paper you think you like so much?
Please state explicitly the thesis of that paper. Then explain how it relates to your "argument".
And, again, what does your "extra robustness" statement mean, and in what context?
Posted by: Dano at March 3, 2006 05:16 PM
Andrew Dessler writes, "Mark-the problem w/ you "free money offer" is that it's not really free --- I have to interact w/ you to get it."
I'm sorry, Andrew, but once again the available evidence simply doesn't support another of your assertions.
You clearly do NOT have any problem interacting with me to the extent of making disparaging remarks and ***bald-faced lies*** about my work; e.g. when you wrote,
"I was especially amused by number 3, that CO2 will peak mid-century w/o any policy to reduce GHGs. You say the 'preponderance' of evidence supports you, when I think 'no evidence' would be more appropriate."
You wrote that way back on February 16...more than 2 weeks ago. It was only when I responded to your disparagement and bald-faced lie by (very charitably!) offering you $10 to give me *your* probabilistic predictions for industrial CO2 emissions without mandated GHG reductions that you suddenly developed your "problem" interacting with me.
Given you initial disparagement and bald-faced lie, and the timing of your later "problem" interacting with me, the evidence seems to indicate that you either don't have the honesty, or scientific talent, or both, to respond to my generous offer.
The evidence of your dishonesty and/or lack of scientific talent simply grows with each day you refuse to accept my generous offer.
P.S. I would say that, after 2 weeks, the evidence created by your lack of response is already conclusive. However, like Keynes, "when my information changes, I change my opinion."
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 3, 2006 07:49 PM
Yep, a more careful reading of
"When global nonhydrostatic atmospheric models resolving deep moist convection become common in future decades, today’s global warming simulations will be of historical interest only."
I think that just about says it all. If you want to believe in today's models, that's your right (assuming you live in a free country). A faint echo of reality will accompany you if you realize you "believe" in them and what that means. It doesn't mean today's models can accurately predict future climate, like the IPCC would want us to take for granted.
Me, I'm an agnostic.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 3, 2006 09:38 PM
I’m glad you finally read the paper. Now you hopefully realize that titles don’t tell you everything about an article. Perhaps this will encourage you to actually read "Rabbit Run” to find out if it's really about rabbits, as you've certainly always assumed.
Back to the paper. Unfortunately, either you still don’t understand this paper or you are intentionally misquoting it. For those following along, here’s the entire paragraph that contains the sentence that Steve (mis)quoted:
Note that this does not say what Steve wants us all to believe, that Isaac Held thinks that model predictions are no good. Rather it talks about the continual process of model improvement that is one of on-going goals of climate science.
If this is the best you can do, Steve, you need to head back to climateaudit or techcentralstation, where your arguments will be greeted with thunderous applause and numerous “here here”s.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 3, 2006 10:05 PM
Andrew, you misinterpret my comments. In fact I agree with the author, especially his doubts about the usefulness of simple, "elegant" models which are not intended to attempt to represent reality.
And I agree with the concept the author alludes to, that the best models we have right now are inadequate, but I disagree in that I don't think we should treat their outputs as gospel when we *know* them to be inadequate.
I think that to base political decisions on current models is foolhardy, no matter how much alarmists are in love with them. We just simply don't know enough and the computers we have aren't powerful enough to reflect reality. Improving that situation is much more cost effective than some draconian measures based on what the author admits are models that have many shortcomings. Announcing the results of some model (or grouping of models) with extreme biasing to hold it (them) together as crystal ball projections is the work of a generation of computer gamers, who are pushed by people who want to broker oil (whether they know it or not).
I'm all for efficiency and fighting real pollution, but so far models that ignore things like the effects of cloud changes, flora response, land use changes etc. haven't shown us that CO2 itself is the monster it's portrayed as. How can they, when we don't even know the answer to how those things affect climate - especially on a planet with such a burgeoning population?
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 4, 2006 01:49 AM
You wrote, "I was approached to join the IPCC in 1992. The first question by the scientist who approached me was to ask if I supported reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. I said I was not certain about that. On that basis he withdrew the invitation."
What amazes me is how blatantly fraudulent the IPCC TAR "projections" are. Even though air pollution analyses are my business, I hadn't really closely followed global warming until about the time the IPCC Third Assessment Report came out. That was the first time I actually looked at the IPCC's projections.
Inside a few hours it was obvious that they were completely bogus. I've always thought that, given less than 20 hours, I could show any open-minded and intelligent layperson why they are bogus.
So it's astounding to me how long the "climate change community" has been able to hide the simple fact that the emperor has no clothes. Take James Hansen's December 2005 presentation to the American Geophysical Union, for example.
Look at Slide #43, "Greenhouse Gas Mixing Ratios."
1) There is the curves for CH4 and delta CH4 (right below CH4). It's ALREADY blatantly obvious that all the IPCC TAR projections are ridiculously high. And this is only the year 2006...the IPCC TAR came out in 2001! (Of course, the reason that it's already blatantly obvious that the IPCC TAR projections for CH4 and delta CH4 are too high is that it was blatantly obvious that they were too high EVEN IN 2001!)
2) Then look at GHG Forcings and Forcing Growth Rates at the bottom of slide 43. The values are ALREADY below all of the IPCC TAR scenarios (because "B1" represents the essentially the most mild IPCC TAR scenario...and the "Alternative Scenario" in red is Hansen's own scenario expected to result in only 1 degree Celsius increase in the 21st century).
This is also shown in Slide 42.
To people who say, "Science is self-correcting," I say that the IPCC's multi-year absolutely blatant fraud refutes that notion.
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 4, 2006 07:05 AM
2) Your argument that we don't know enough to take action now is a rehash of the "scientific uncertainty" argument that was recently discussed here on prometheus (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000717andrew_dessler_on_un.html). I won't rehash that discussion other than to say that your statement is a moral/ethical one and not a scientific one. You and I might agree completely on how much we know and how much we don't about the future climate, and still disagree on whether that level of knowledge compels action.
My personal judgment (as a citizen and not as a scientist) is that while we do not know everything about the future climate, we do know that there's a reasonable chance of serious climate change over the next century --- and the existence of that chance compels us to take action now to reduce GHGs. In other words, we need to be very risk averse when we talk about the future of the Earth. But this is not a scientific judgment, but a moral one.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 4, 2006 12:55 PM
Your comments make absolute sense.
Climate changes. It always has, it always will. Looking at the history of CO2 and temperature over the last few thousand years, two things become apparent. One, generally ignored by the dogmatists, is that temperature change leads CO2 change. The second is that there is a disconnect wherein CO2 begins to increase and temperature does not, when mankind began to flourish - migrating from the hunter - gatherer to the farmer and the population density and land use changes associated with that. (There is a good book on that concerning ADD called "The Edison Gene" - but that's a different story) The fact is, well after the dissociated CO2 increase began, we enjoyed the MWP and endured the LIA.
Now, in looking at the length and rate of temperature drop out of the Eemian, we can see that it is the same as the temperature drop from the peak of the MWP to the valley of the LIA, and in fact is approximately the same as the previous few drops out of interglacials.
So, this brings us to the question of what would climate be without any anthropogenic influence? To say it would be stagnant and the same as it was the day before the industrial revolution began is ludicrous. First off, what is the ideal climate? Secondly, what is happening in most of the world? The problem is overpopulation in the third world and destruction of arable land.
The ultimate question might be "which would be worse, the path to cooling from the peak of the MWP to the valley of the LIA, or some unknown warming? Discounting recent popular invalid mathematical manipulations, I think most of the scientific world agrees there were in fact an MWP and LIA.
This is the invalidation of your position. It's not how bad will "climate change" be (a misnomer, assuming you mean AGW anyway), it's will it be bad compared to the alternative?
Despite denialists, it can be argued that the closest thing to manna we have on Earth is CO2. So, the question of "how bad will it be and what should we do about it?" is a straw man. The question models need to address is not to begin at a stagnant climate and see "how bad" AGW is, which deep down we know is invalid, it's to begin at least a thousand years ago and adequately post-predict what's happened since then, determining the relative changes to, for examples, flora productivity, rainfall, cloudiness, etc. now, and continue *that* into the future.
To begin with models that can't even track what's happened in the last hundred years without severe biasing contortions and "predict" the future is ludicrous. Not that what's happening is not a valuable exercise - it certainly is. However, without adequate computational power and biosphere quantifications, that's all it is - an exercise. It's not a prediction to base economic action on.
No, what's needed now is another Manhattan Project with substantial increases in funding of both computational power and biosphere investigation.
Fear of what's going to happen with coal power plant restrictions has increased my natural gas bill by $500 this year. I would much rather have put that into research, instead of into the pockets of power brokers like the Enrons of the world - not to mention the closely related "Oil for Food" guys in the UN - who the IPCC works for.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 4, 2006 09:22 PM
I'm impressed that someone who only reads the titles of articles would argue the science of climate change with someone who reads entire articles and entire books.
So let me tell you a few things that you'd know if you read past the title: 1) there is a strong consensus that the warming of the last 50 years is likely to be mostly human. There is no other plausible mechanism that can explain the timing and magnitude of the warming. 2) the existence of a MWP and LIA does not mean that the extremely rapid warming of the last few decades is not anthropogenic. In an exchange on this web site a while back, Steve McIntyre agreed that the truth or falsity of the hockey stick has little bearing scientifically on the case for AGW. 3) your suggestion that warmer tempertures are better than colder ones is ultimately a judgment between the trade-offs of two conditions, not a scientific statement --- and one that is definitely arguable. Ditto for your arguments about "The problem is overpopulation in the third world and destruction of arable land," etc. 4) in the last 5 years or so, model have begun to do quite a good job of hindcasting climate. Why do you think otherwise?
I would suggest you read my book on climate change, but, alas, you'd probably only read the title. Just out of curiosity, where do you get your information? It's clearly not from the scientific literature. What web site gives you "the truth"?
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 5, 2006 10:34 AM
I'm surprised that someone of your supposed caliber resorts so quickly to ad hominem attacks. You may want to read a book on logic.
I guees I will take your assault and complete lack of mention of models (let alone attempted defense) in your last post as your agreement that use of models for predictive purposes is useless.
As far as the Hockey Stick and AGW, of course "(truth or) falsity of the hockey stick has little bearing scientifically on the case for AGW". Logically then, you believe it to be false if Steve M was agreeing with you, otherwise why would you even mention the true condition? It is, in your mind, only there as an academic potentiality. So you agree it is false, a scientific error that has now morphed into fraud by those continuing to defend it.
And I also agree with you completely that the "suggestion that warmer temperatures are better than colder ones ... is definitely arguable." That's what I've been saying. It's arguable. We don't know.
So then why, after your arguments, would we want to "take action" against the possibility of AGW *now*?
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 5, 2006 01:13 PM
I'm not surprised some quarters reflexively throw out the phrase *ad hominem* when they are out of ideas. See, the phrase means to attack the person, not the argument.
That is, for example: Adam, what you said is false because you are an idiot. It is NOT: 'Adam, what you said is false because you didn't bother to read the literature'.
But, I appreciate the reflexive use of *ad hom*, as it is a useful indicator.
Posted by: Dano at March 5, 2006 02:06 PM
LOL. Also of someone who can not understand the difference between scanning an article (the more careful reading of which did not change my opinion, only brought out more details) and accusing someone of *never* reading the articles.
I notice that you, Dano, also will not argue the point. Again.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 5, 2006 05:19 PM
I believe (as a citizien, not as a scientist) that we should take action now because there is a *risk* of serious AGW over the next century. We can argue whether the risk is 20%, 50%, or 80%. I don't know. But I know it's not zero, and based on the scientific literature, I strongly suspect it's not less than 20%. I feel we should be risk averse when talking about the future of the Earth.
On another note, my defense of models was implicit when I said that there is a strong consensus that the warming of the last 50 years was due to human activities.
Let's do some auditing of your information, Steve. Please tell everyone listening where you got the idea that "models that can't even track what's happened in the last hundred years without severe biasing contortions". I'd be interested to know if you got that from some article titles. Or perhaps you read it on a particularly respected and trustworthy web site like techcentralstation. Please let me know so I can do some "due diligence" of your informaiton.
[In case you want to know where I get my information, it comes from the peer-reviewed literature. I'd be happy to provide actual citations --- complete with titles!]
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 5, 2006 06:56 PM
I agree that the odds of Earth warmed by some unknown quantity of AGW being a problem are probability somewhere in that range, although I think the odds are much greater than 20% that it will be less than 20%... Everything is relative. Eliminating AGW will not solve the world's problems.
Rather than me proving a negative, why don't you, since you would be happy to, provide a study about a model that can in fact accurately post predict global climate over the last 100 years? Finding one positive is much easier than finding *all* the negatives, wouldn't you agree?
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 5, 2006 07:12 PM
A few quick other thoughts:
I'm afraid, Steve, that your continued insistence that black is actually white makes me question the credibility of just about everything you say.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 5, 2006 07:13 PM
You ask why we want to take action on AGW when there is no reason to suppose that a warmer world is worse than the current one.
You have missed the critical point about what the danger is, that is change. The final state is indeed not clearly better or worse but rapid change is a big problem.
Studies as well as history teach us this.
Posted by: coby at March 5, 2006 07:22 PM
To get an idea of what the scientific community thinks about the veracity of models, pls see: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/308.htm
I also note that you did not tell me where you got the idea that models couldn't hindcast. Should I read anything into that omission? Like perhaps you just made it up? Or did you get it by "skimming" an article? I'm still very very interested, so please let me know.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 5, 2006 07:22 PM
"I believe (as a citizien, not as a scientist) that we should take action now because there is a *risk* of serious AGW over the next century. We can argue whether the risk is 20%, 50%, or 80%."
Before arguing what the numerical probability is, it would be a good idea to agree on what consitutes "serious" AGW over the coming century.
More than 5 degrees Celsius? More than 4? More than 3? More than 2? More than 1? More than 0.5?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 5, 2006 08:03 PM
Since a reply to Steve Hemphill from an earlier thread does not appear to have posted, I have moved it to http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/03/its-really-thin-bench-over-there-at.html
In my more paranoid moments I think Roger may have put me on double super secret probation. Oh well, even paranoids can be right, or wrong.
Posted by: Rabett at March 5, 2006 08:05 PM
I have long thought that brute force downscaling is not the way to go for climate models, but something clever is needed. I think Held was getting towards that.
Posted by: Rabett at March 5, 2006 08:21 PM
This is, of course, a value judgment --- science can tell us the impacts, but two people can disagree on whether those are serious. That said, my reading is that serious impacts of AGW begin somewhere around 3 C.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 5, 2006 09:57 PM
"my reading is that serious impacts of AGW begin somewhere around 3 C."
Which raises the question: what is the probability that such a dramatic rise in global mean temperature will occur in the next 100 years?
As far as the economic impact of moderate warming is concerned, there is a growing body of research that rejects the popular view that climate change will have substantial negative impact on the US and other OECD countries. Here is the latest paper on the impact on US agriculture.
The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Profits and Random Fluctuations in Weather
Olivier Deschenes and Michael Greenstone*
This paper measures the economic impact of climate change on US agricultural land by
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 6, 2006 02:48 AM
Sorry Andrew, but using Eli's thought process, your link to the UN is no good. Actually, we don't even need to do that.
So, your failure to distract from the fact you can't find even a single model that can replicate the temperatures of the 20th century - and I'm talking about globally, let alone regionally - which could be useful. Just things like the 1940 peak, the 1970 valley, El Niño's - let's start with just the simple stuff. You might start by looking for a model that predicted the La Niña coming up.
Surely you can find just one to show you know what you're talking about - otherwise why would I buy your book?
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 06:09 AM
Steve, I think you have a few basic misunderstandings about climate and models. You are looking for models that can predict "globally let alone regionally" but I think regional predictions are actually more challenging than global ones.
As for successful hindcasts of the last century, try here:
It seems the models do have nailed the features you ask for except for El Ninos, which are weather events so don't look for them in a climate model.
Posted by: coby at March 6, 2006 09:50 AM
Do you have any research to point to from peer reviewed scientific literature? I think we are all familiar with the mistakes, unsupported judgements and questionable methods that don't make it into these more reputable journals.
As for the specific paper you did point to, I have alot of trouble accepting that any useful comparison can be made between flucuations in weather and a generally warmer climate. Specifically, it is naive to think that the general global increase in percipitation the paper starts off asserting will correspond to uniform increases everywhere.
Garbage in, garbage out to put it harshly.
Posted by: coby at March 6, 2006 10:04 AM
"So, your failure to distract from the fact you can't find even a single model that can replicate the temperatures of the 20th century - and I'm talking about globally, let alone regionally - which could be useful. Just things like the 1940 peak"
As you know, your argument is old. Too bad the IndyFundeds don't take down their arguments after they've been debunked, eh? That'd save some commenters a lot of embarrassment if the commenters were aware enough. Ah, well.
But, because you read articles instead of just the titles, you know that the GISS SI2000 was the first to successfully hindcast, way back in 2002: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-09/agu-5yo091902.php and since then: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=50&hl=en&lr=&q=GCM+model+%2B+hindcast&as_ylo=2004&as_yhi=2006&btnG=Search
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 10:20 AM
for pertinent references see
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 6, 2006 10:36 AM
First, I must say I'm heartened by your endorsement of a paper that uses a GCM. Steve Hemphill has been busy thinking he has a paper that pooh-poohs them, so I appreciate your efforts to correct him. Next,
CA is going to lose $2.4B, eh? And there's considerable heterogeneity in the results...so, what is the economic impact on other states when folk move out of the negative states into the positive states?
Do we have any recent events that shed light on the USA's ability to absorb environmental refugees?
Do we know how much ag land we're going to lose to pop increases (yes), and does this paper factor that in (no)? Always better to have some ecosystem guys on your team...
And I notice that corn and soya may be losing money, while wheat gains profit. Does the paper say how we're going to trade with Argentina after peak oil? No? Hmmmm.... And it doesn't factor in soil moisture losses from more episodic precipitation - the paper just has raw precip numbers. I don't think these guys quite get it.
Better to stick with the vast majority of papers (written with ecosystem folks) that say warming will be problematic.
Thank you for trying Ben,
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 10:50 AM
Sorry Coby, I misspoke (errr mistyped) the "globally let alone regionally" part. Should have been the other way around.
So, El Niños are now just weather? Even frequency and intensity? Speaking of which, wasn't it in the late 1990's the mainstream was talking about how AGW was going to intensify El Niño? Doesn't seem to have happened, so now it's disregarded as "weather"?
BTW, I wholly disagree that the simulation you linked to is anywhere close to the actual climate. Maybe in trend - although even there is doesn't match the fact that the rate of temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 is steeper than it has been since then.
Benny - interesting how juvenile these bandwagon comments are, isn't it? They just can't leave the playground behind. Seems there's some correlation there about the maturity to think independently vs. just heckling from the middle of the crowd.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 12:19 PM
I think El Ninos have always been considered weather, though perhaps their frequency could be called a climate property. I intend no subterfuge by calling it weather. Do we really know yet if predictions of intense El Ninos have failed to materialize yet?
Re the hindcasts: the trend is the whole point. The global average temperature in a single year is still weather.
I hope you are not including my comments in the "juvenile bandwagon." I certainly try to be civil and do try to take other comments seriously even if *some* may strike me as tired and unsubstantial.
Posted by: coby at March 6, 2006 12:55 PM
No, Coby, I did not intend your comments in that statement.
I do seem to recall (will have to look back) that El Niño's were supposed to get more intense, but since we really haven't had one since 1998 that's kind of dropped out of site.
The trend is easy - it's the decadel variability that's not...
I would also think we would need to know the effects of clouds, land use and albedo changes, etc. before we could accurately hindcast.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 01:41 PM
That's me coby - poor Steve hasn't been getting the Dano character to travel down the red herring/strawman path, so the frustration's coming out.
GISS SI2000, SH.
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 01:43 PM
A few thoughts.
You write that the rich countries of the world might not be all that affected by AGW. Let's assume that's true, it doesn't say anything about the poorest countries. Speaking as a citizen and not as a scientist, I do not believe we can simply abandon the poor. I view that as heartless and immoral. But that's just my opinion.
Let me get this straight: you reject the IPCC because it's somehow affiliated with the UN??? Let's review:
It is, in short, the most thoroughly reviewed document in the history of science, and unless you're a Bahner you know that. Just when I think I've lost as much respect for your position as I think I possibly can, you somehow manage to drain a little bit more out of the pool.
Again, I suggest you post this at climateaudit or techcentralstation, where you'll get high-fives and back slaps for being such a dittohead --- you might even get a free ExxonMobile frig magnet. You won't find much agreement with your position on pages where people read the entire article and actually know what they're talking about.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 6, 2006 02:28 PM
One more thought. You asked me to provide info on hindcasting, which I did.
I asked you to tell me where you got the idea that models could not hindcast, and you did not. I'm still interested, and I think it's only fair for you to provide that info.
Even if you just made it up, I'd still like to know (believe me, it won't make me think any less of your position).
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 6, 2006 02:30 PM
We haven't had an El Niño since 1998!?
You mean a *strong* El Niño.
We've still had events, and AUS had a severe drought from the one in 2002-2003:
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 02:41 PM
"Better to stick with the vast majority of papers (written with ecosystem folks) that say warming will be problematic."
That's ok for greenies - and one of the reasons European voters have kicked them out of all governments. The real problem greenies face is that no political decision-maker (not even in Europe) is listening to 'ecosystem folklore' anymore. It's simply unaffordable. While Europe is in steep decline, it's the economy (stupid!) - not climate alarmism that counts.
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 6, 2006 02:46 PM
Your decision-makers, Benny, don't listen to their scientists any more?
Maybe our right-wing's claims of your society's decline aren't so much hyperbole, then...
Ah, well. So, how about it, Ben: where is the forecast of water supply in the paper you like so much? What about soil moisture & precip episodicity? What about that table that shows corn's decline in the US? Where are those folk gonna go? Is there a table in there that forecasts increased demand for meat with growing wealth (thus higher demand for fodder)? What about increased demand in trade with other countries (China, India)? Didn't see that either (mighta missed it).
Kinda looks like a narrow paper, Ben.
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 03:04 PM
No, Andrew, you did not provide me what I asked for. I asked for an example of a model that can hindcast. It's common knowledge that you can't.
If you could have, I suspect you would have, rather than pointing me to the general dogma. Since you still have not, I suspect our definitions are different - and I think your's are probably pretty well grounded in modeling. I prefer reality.
Yes, D, strong El Niño as were predicted by the alarmists during the last one.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 03:07 PM
By George, he's got it! By George, he's got it! Now, once again: decision-makers don't listen to climate alarmists ...
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 6, 2006 03:18 PM
You're not doing that very well, Ben. It's too obvious. Your FUDding needs work.
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 04:55 PM
Steve, your 'common knowledge' is common only on old IndyFunded sites, as I linkied above - you are incorrect on GCMs and hindcasting. Just because you repeat something doesn't magically make it so.
And I'm not sure how your el Niño comment addresses anything I said, but thanks!
Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2006 04:58 PM
WRT another of Steve Hemphills claims "although even there is doesn't match the fact that the rate of temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 is steeper than it has been since then."
Wrong again Steve. See, for example http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2_lrg.gif
If you want to slice and dice it a bunch of different ways try http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/
Same result tho.
Posted by: Rabett at March 6, 2006 06:31 PM
"It is, in short, the most thoroughly reviewed document in the history of science, and unless you're a Bahner you know that."
The IPCC TAR's projections for atmospheric methane concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resultant temperature increases constitute blatant scientific fraud, developed mainly to scare the public and politicians into supporting mandatory reductions of GHG emissions.
The simple fact, Andrew Dessler, is that you're too big a liar to admit it.
P.S. How's your analysis of methane atmospheric atmospheric concentrations in the 21st century coming (you clueless hack)?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 6, 2006 06:55 PM
I'm beginning to see the problem here. I don't know if it's an inability to see the truth (or what could be the truth) or a conscious refusal, or brainwashing, or what. The four dogmatists (Andrew, Eli, Dano, and Steve B) exhibit a consistent evasion of the important facts and center on little things.
I said "(It is a) fact that the rate of temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 is steeper than it has been since then" and Eli said (as is his wont) "Wrong again Steve" and then, as is typical of the warmers here, proceeded to quote some information irrelevent to the point.
I'll run through the basic math for you, using your graph.
1910 to 1940:
1940 to present:
I will carry it through for you. 0.013 is greater than 0.007.
Eli, are you so blinded by your dogma you don't understand basic math?
All you have to do is look at the graph to see that.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 07:29 PM
Steve, don't even go there. For 1975 to 2005 the temperature anamoly was between -.06 to +.58, a thirty year period just like 1910 to 1940. That is 0.02133 C per year, which is greater than 0.13 C per year for the period 1910 to 1940.
While there is a restricted sense in which your statement was correct, it is also correct to say that the current rate of increase (and the rate since the early 70s) is much higher than between 1910 and 1940.
If you want to play stupid denialist parsing games feel free. The fact remains that the current increase in global temperature is much higher than it was between 1910 and 1940.
Posted by: Rabett at March 6, 2006 08:50 PM
The first point is that 30 years is too short a time span to measure temperature gain, and it's either dishonesty or ignorance that calls out "the temperature gain in the last 30 years". That phrase alone "in the last 30 years" has its origins in deceit.
The second is that you can't see beyond your dogma, but you're not alone here.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 09:05 PM
I'm not sure I understand what is wrong with discussing a 30 year period? I think even shorter periods are worth discussion it is only critical that you use an appropriately smoothed trend line. That is to say, simply picking a year that is an outlier because it helps one's point is a deception, but using say, a five year mean and discussing the change in the mean over even just a decade does not strike me as unreasonalbe, especially when it is a part of a longer trend.
Applied to the last century, it makes sense to me to think of three seperate periods: warming from 1910 to 1943, slight cooling/leveling from 1943 until 1976 and since then a more rapid warming.
I also insist that this basic shape is in fact well reproduced by the models as shown in the IPCC link I provided earlier
All that aside, I agree the longer the trend you can show, the more significant and taking that view one can simply say the temperature has risen .8oC in the last 95 years.
Posted by: coby at March 6, 2006 10:59 PM
Your point wouldn't be too bad if the length of time was arbitrary. Hoever, it should be at least two solar cycles anyway.
However, when you look at the graph there was warming then cooling (actually the whole climate change thing began in the 60's or 70's when the concern was global *cooling*. At any rate, to call the increase from the last valley to the present peak is dishonest. To call a warming trend honestly (or any gain to a new "record" high) it should be compared with the last *peak*.
Otherwise there is deception involved. That's one of the reasons for the whole discussion - there's a bunch of dishonesty about this whole thing - with the entire discussion taking on a religious aura including a climate of fear.
And, you can see how immature the rabid supporters of the propagandistic line are - they get sucked right in. It all fits.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 6, 2006 11:17 PM
To see a model and a succesful hindcast, please see Fig. 12-7 of the IPCC TAR WGI and the accompanying discussion to see how a model hindcasts the last 150 years. Since I'm certain you have not taken the time to read it, you can find it at http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/450.htm
You still refuse to give me any evidence that models CANNOT hindcast. Why not? Do you have any reason to believe they cannot? You describe me as a dogmatist, but at least my "dogma" is grounded in the peer-reviewed literature, whereas yours is grounded in ... well, I don't know since you won't tell me.
So please tell my why you think models cannot hindcast. You're probably one of those guys on climateaudit hammering Mann for not providing answers to questions, and here you are doing the same thing. Ironic, no? I suspect you're making it up because you sincerely wish it to be so --- and if that's the case, just admit it. You'll feel better and we won't think any less of you for it.
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 7, 2006 12:23 AM
You raise a valid point: what is the responsibility of wealthy countries (that will benefit significantly from moderate warming) vis-a-vis countries that will be negatively affected?
I take a position that is increasingly relevant in European and US climate policy debates, the view that economic growth will be essential to deal with whatever climate change may happen in the next 100 years:
When the effects of adaptation are taken into account, the results are frequently revelatory. In research about to appear in the journal Environment and Development Economics, a team led by Robert Mendelsohn of Yale University examines the economic impact of predicted climate change when adaptation is included. It finds that a warmer world can actually produce net economic gain – at least for the richest nations. In contrast, the poorest nations look set to suffer disproportionately, essentially because they have hot climates already.
This has important implications for policies for dealing with the impact of climate change. Because if rich nations actually thrive on a warmer planet, they will be in a position to assist more vulnerable nations to deal with the effects – without jeopardising their own economic growth.
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 7, 2006 06:05 AM
Andrew - you still don't get it. You are asking me to prove a negative. I can't prove that there is not a teapot circling Pluto. Besides, a claim of action should be proven. I disagree that the images reflect accurate hindcasting. Look, for example, at the decades of the 1880's, 1940's, and 1970's.
As far as what you think of me - it's rather evident, even in this latest post of yours, that your conceptual skills are, well, limited. Therefore, I couldn't care less about what you (or the other dogmatists here to which that statement also applies) think of me.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 7, 2006 08:20 AM
While some readers are worried that decision-makers aren't listening anymore to predictions of climate doom-and-gloom, a much bigger concern among green campaigners is that the wider public is no longer bothered either - despite the increasing noise levels of warnings and alarm.
I have attached some new evidence that the climate alarmists' doomsday strategy is faltering. It would appear that the US public is fed up with the doom-mongers - and the green media hype. Perhaps common sense will prevail after all?
Environmental Concern Declines; Global Warming Ranks Last Among Enviro Problem Public Worries About
Post September 11, not surprisingly, given the competing concerns of terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Gallup polling, concern with the quality of the environment has declined.
What is also notable, however, is that consistently over time, global warming has ranked last among environmental problems that the public worries about "a great deal," including even lower than the ozone layer.
Environmental groups and elected officials are aware of these trends, and the result is that global warming is given lower priority as an issue that can be successfully campaigned on or that can rally support or contributions.
In terms of building a sense of urgency over the problem of climate change, and rallying support for policy measures that deal with the problem, this relatively low priority among the public remains a challenge for communication strategists. Consider this Pew survey taken a month before the Kyoto meetings in 1997, where relative to other environmental concerns, global warming was dead last.
Part of the problem is that the public, on both sides of the debate, are increasingly disatisified with the quality of news coverage of climate change. Bias and inaccuracy is often in the eye of the beholder, as citizens with strong opinions on either side are likely to find news coverage hostile to their interests.
These Gallup trends reveal a decline in the percentage of the public who feel that the news media is doing a generally good job in reporting on global warming.
Posted by: Benny Peiser at March 7, 2006 10:12 AM
Andrew Dessler writes to Steve Hemphill, "You're probably one of those guys on climateaudit hammering Mann for not providing answers to questions, and here you are doing the same thing. Ironic, no?"
Andrew, you're probably the guy hammering me on Prometheus that:
1) There is "no evidence" that worldwide CO2 emissions will peak before mid-century without government intervention,
2) That my projections for temperature increases in the lower troposphere in the 21st century are "balderdash,"
3) That my criticisms of the IPCC TAR's projections for methane atmospheric concentrations, CO2 emissions, and resulting temperature increases are ridiculous.
Yet, when I ask you to provide your own best estimates for CO2 emissions, atmospheric methane concentrations, and resulting lower tropospheric temperature increases--all of which you could simply get from the IPCC TAR, if you honestly thought the IPCC TAR projections were scientifically valid--you are unable to do so. This despite the fact that I'm even willing to PAY YOU.
Or do you think a better word would be "hypocritical?"
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 7, 2006 10:13 AM
I think there is ample evidence SH is spamming comments.
The backpedaling and restating is evidence enough. There are numerous strategies to avoid spamming comments, but the obvious one is avoidance itself...
Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2006 10:13 AM
Andrew, I can easily develop a model that "hindcasts" ***with 100 percent accuracy*** the last year's Texas lottery jackpot numbers.
The model user would simply input the appropriate date, and the winning number would miraculously appear!
How much do you think my wonderful model (100 percent accuracy in "hindcasting!") is worth? More specfically, what will you pay me for it?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 7, 2006 10:26 AM
Of course, mentioning that Bahner is Spam Central is just a waste of bandwidth, innit?
Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2006 11:12 AM
Steve Hemphill retreats to "The first point is that 30 years is too short a time span to measure temperature gain, and it's either dishonesty or ignorance that calls out "the temperature gain in the last 30 years". That phrase alone "in the last 30 years" has its origins in deceit."
So let us look at 1880 - 1940 - ~0.30 C in 60 years
Posted by: Rabett at March 7, 2006 07:03 PM
There are some very mean and nasty people on this thread. Dano, Andrew, etc .....
Posted by: Steve Sadlov at March 7, 2006 07:29 PM
Are you sure those are the years you want to "pick"?
Where did I backpedal?
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 7, 2006 07:41 PM
You misunderstand the situation. If you make a claim that there are no teapots circling Pluto, then you should be able to back that claim up. You seem to think that because your claim contains the word "no," that makes it possible for you to refuse to provide evidence.
Recap: You made a claim that models cannot hindcast. I asked you to support that claim, but you refuse. I, on the other hand, provided you with a peer-reviewed study that they can. (your claim that there's a year or a year there where they don't just proves the point that over the entire time period, they do an overall excellent job).
I'm still interested in why you think they cannot hindcast. Do you have ANY evidence that supports your point?
Posted by: Andrew Dessler at March 7, 2006 09:13 PM
Response to Rabett's last post:
For 1979-1995/97, we have the following observations:
RCS tree rings: cooling for 1979-1995
The tree rings are validated by the balloons and satellites.
The surface thermometers, on the other hand, are wildly different from all the other results. This indicates that something happened to the surface network between 1979-1995 and it is not a reliable measure of temperature. The surface network is overestimating the temperature and has a spurious increase of 0.38 C by 1997. It is because of this large spurious increase that claims can be made that it is warmer now than any time in the last century, or perhaps last 1000 years.
The reason for the spurious temperature readings in the surface network could be many. For example, many rural stations were shut down in 1980 and in 1990, as well as the other years. The average population near the remaining sites will increase and introduce a spurious trend in the readings. It is time to audit the surface network and it would require a team of physicists and statisticians.
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 8, 2006 06:57 AM
Thanks for that hyperbole Sadlov. Good to know nothing changes.
I enjoy the view that pointing out spam and noticing that lacking evidence for arguments is mean and nasty.
I realize denialists don't have much to go on, so I appreciate and recognize these types of tactics.
there is a rich literature on the surface temp record. Every once in a while the argumentation you use here gets recycled, then dies down again when the claims are found to be unwarranted. A visit to a good Uni library will address your claim.
Oh, it looks as if you want to catch up on your MSU analysis data. You are using old numbers. 2LT is what you want, too.
Good luck in your search,
Posted by: Dano at March 8, 2006 09:26 AM
Andrew Dessler writes to Steve Hemphill, "You made a claim that models cannot hindcast. I asked you to support that claim, but you refuse. I, on the other hand, provided you with a peer-reviewed study that they can."
Andrew, you made a claim that there is "no evidence" that worldwide industrial CO2 emissions would peak circa 2050 and decline, without government-mandated emission reductions.
I pointed to absolutely conclusive evidence in the form of the "B1," "A1T," and "B2" scenarios...ALL OF WHICH ARE IN THE FRIKKIN' IPCC TAR THAT YOU CLAIM TO ADMIRE. (!)
I further asked you to provide evidence in the form of your best estimates for probabilistic CO2 emissions, in the absence of government-mandated CO2 reductions. You have refused...even though I've offered to PAY YOU to do so!
Further, you called my projections for lower tropospheric temperature increases "balderdash." In support of my projections for lower tropospheric temperature increases, I have published my estimates for CO2 emissions, and methane atmospheric concentrations.
You, on the other hand, have refused to provide your best estimates for CO2 emissions OR methane atmospheric concentrations...even though you ought to be to GET THEM FROM THE IPCC TAR, if it's as good as you claim.
Are you trying for the (Lying) Hypocrite of the Year Award?
If not, why don't you provide your best estimates for CO2 emissions, methane atmspheric concentrations, and lower tropospheric temperature increases to support your (laughably false) claims?
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 8, 2006 10:35 AM
Oops. The IPCC TAR scenarios that peak circa mid-century and decline are "B1," "A1T," and "A1B."
Mark Bahner (who actually corrects himself when he makes a false statement...unlike some other people, whose names we need not mention)
Posted by: Mark Bahner at March 8, 2006 10:43 AM
For 1979-1995/97, we have the following observations:
RCS tree rings: cooling for 1979-1995
Add to the above:
The MSU 2r analysis and MSU 5.2 analysis are virtually identical for the period 1979-1995. Only for 1996 and later will they differ as 5.2 is warmer than 2r starting then.
So what we have is 5 independent techniques showing a cooling for 1979 and 1995 and one technique (surface thermometers) showing a warming. In normal science, the single outlier is rejected because it differs from the other techniques by more than two standard deviations.
For 1979-2005, the surface is claimed to have warmed by 0.18 C/decade. If 0.38 C is spurious as pointed out above, then the real increase in surface temperatures should be 0.10 C/decade less, or equal to 0.08 C/decade. 0.08 C/decade is less than the tropospheric trend which equals 0.10, 0.12, or 0.14 C/decade depending upon the analysis group. Since climate models predict less warming at the surface than in the mid-troposphere, they should be happy with the 0.08 C/decade number.
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 8, 2006 11:10 AM
There has been a number of reanalyses of the MSU data.
This is covered here:
Posted by: Dano at March 8, 2006 12:44 PM
Dano's comment does not address the points I raised in my comments.
We have is 5 independent techniques showing a cooling for 1979 and 1995 and one technique (surface thermometers) showing a warming. In normal science, the single outlier is rejected because it differs from the other techniques by more than two standard deviations.
Climate science is not behaving like normal science.
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 9, 2006 12:00 PM
I'm not sure where this particular argument is being recycled from, but it appears the site hasn't updated their information, making "your" arguments look, er, funny.
Anyway, you haven't provided citations for anything, which makes it hard to take you seriously.
1. Again, you want the MSU 2LT. Similar to surface. The 2r ain't havin' no good record neither: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/asr97/cas.html
and a recent paper by Sherwood et al. explains more for you:
and an earlier paper points out an interesting tidbit for you:
3. RCS tree rings: sadly, I've let my subs lapse and I can't look at the papers CO2Science is cherry-picking from to show you exactly what they are misleading you about. How do I know this, you say? I've done it enough times at Quark Soup and others have done it at sci.env for me to be rather certain this is the case.
But, looking at the RCS dataset from Esper et al. 2002 (what CO2Sci liked so much), I don't see what "you're" saying:
nor do I see a cooling in this RCS chronology:
perhaps "you" have different data or an explanation for these discrepancies.
4. What is 'STD tree rings'?
5. Which analysis looked at the sonde pressure transducers (presumably the height was incorrect in some reanalysis)? Do share.
So, really, climate science is behaving like normal science; perhaps the pre-chewed analyses you are using are trying to distract you for some reason.
Posted by: Dano at March 9, 2006 04:36 PM
The warming bias in the balloons is off-topic since it occurs before the period that I am talking about. You really are an ignorant person whose arguments are primarily ad hominem and useless. If anyone is "septic", it is you and you should be ashamed of your boorish behavior. You are just a Marxist agitator and not worth talking too. No amount of evidence will convince you of anything. I will not waste further time talking to you. In fact, I will add that every post you makes so irritates people that they turn against any position you hold. One has to wonder if you get paid by an oil company to do your postings. It is also clear that you remain anonymous because deep down you are ashamed of your positions and behavior.
Chase, T. N., Pielke Sr., R. A., Knaff, J. A., Kittel, T. G. F. and Eastman J. L., 2000. A comparison of regional trends in 1979–1997 depth-averaged tropospheric temperatures. Int. J. Climatology, 20, 503-518. The Chase paper can be found at http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-224.pdf (pdf format).
D’Arrigo on tree rings. See http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-mages/darrig25.jpg
Satellite and surface trends for 1979-2005. See
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 9, 2006 05:27 PM
All- We appreciate the spirited dialogue, but please note that this discussion has gone way, way off topic. Please exchange emails with one another and carry on there. Thanks!
Posted by: Roger Pielke Jr. at March 9, 2006 06:01 PM
Thanks, Roger. I will not be having anymore attempts at dialogue with Dano here or anywhere else.
Posted by: Douglas Hoyt at March 9, 2006 06:24 PM
Sorry Roger. You know how I get when I see this stuff.
Doug: the 'evidence' you provide is either old (Chase et al. from 1999, waaay superceded, as a link I provided you explains), has issues as I pointed out above (2r), or don't say what you think they do (NCDC).
If you are reading something that tells you your citations are the latest, you are being duped. You'll want to read my linkies to understand how climate science is behaving like normal science.
Posted by: Dano at March 9, 2006 07:00 PM
Maybe if you don't understand what it means to prove a negative and therefore can't understand what that means, you could just follow up with some backup of your claim that hindcasting has been successfully accomplished, as you said here:
The only way the link you provided proves hindcasting is if one stands on the other side of the room and blurs one's eyes.
You seem to have again lost your way in your typically vindictive and childish postings. You accused me of backpedaling, and I asked you where I did that. You never backed up *your* claim. I hate to say it, but maybe if you give us your babysitter's phone number we could have a talk with her and she could teach you how to better stay on track.
Posted by: Steve Hemphill at March 9, 2006 07:58 PM
Ah, yes: pointing out tactics is vindictive and childish. Suuuuuuuuuure.
Others pointed out my claim for me, Steve. Examples are plain as day.
o You used a period of time (30 yr) that "you" "chose", then didn't like that period all of a sudden (Eli pointed it out).
Anyway, you hand-wave and dissemble too much and were on ignore until you wanted to try to show something. Yer back on.
Posted by: Dano at March 10, 2006 09:07 AM