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May 02, 2006

The Next IPCC Consensus?


Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | Risk & Uncertainty

Yahoo Asia has a news story on the on the forthcoming IPCC report. Here is an excerpt:

A United Nations panel on climate change noted for the first time the likelihood that global warming resulting from human activities is causing heat waves and other abnormal weather phenomena as well as Arctic ice mass loss, according to a draft report seen by Kyodo News on Sunday.

"It is very likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed warming of globally averaged temperatures in the last 50 years," says the draft fourth assessment report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

I haven’t see the draft of the report so I don’t know if it is accurate or not, but assuming that it is, it raises a few interesting issues in the context of our recent discussion of the notion of consensus.

First, it is worth comparing the quoted sentence by Yahoo Asia to its companion in the IPCC TAR (here in PDF):

In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

One key difference is the change from “likely” (meaning 64-90%) to “very likely” (meaning >90%). They did not use “virtually certain” (>99%). (For the terms, see this PDF). From where I sit, a 10% chance that a greenhouse gas forcing is not the dominant cause of warming seems to allow plenty of room for healthy skepticism to exist. I’m interested in understanding why the IPCC is confident at the 90% level and not the 99% level. Clearly many scientists who have sp[oken out publicly on climate change are 99% certain.

A second key difference is the substitution of the phase "dominant cause" for the word "most." IPCC terms are not chosen arbitrarily and my reading of this is that as far as GHGs, it represents a step back from the statement in 2001. I equate "most" with a majority (>50%) and "dominant" with a plurality. I am sure commentators will have a field day with that. Were I a betting person I'd wager that "dominant" won't last until the end.

Of course, it should be said that the news story is referring to a draft and these statements may well be substantially modified before the report’s official release. However, if accurate, the preview of what the IPCC will say seems to allow considerable room for healthy skepticism, meaning that for the foreseeable future climate policy must develop in the context of a lack of absolute certainty. Less prosaically, we can fully expect the mainstream-skeptic debate to be with us for a long time, so we’d better develop policy responses that are robust to that conflict, efforts to scour the debate of such voices notwithstanding.

Posted on May 2, 2006 02:35 PM

Comments

My judgment is that 90% certainty is about right. It is difficult to reject the possibility that internal (unforced) variability is playing an important role, although we have no evidence that it is important or any knowledge of a mechanism driving such variability.

I think the fact that they picked 90% shows that climate scientists are, by and large, quite conservative. If one reads the papers, it is the loudest and most outspoken scientists that get quoted, and this can give one a stilted impression of the opinion of the overall community. The 90% estimate embodies the general consensus (in my opinion) quite well.

As far as "dominant" goes, I agree that this is not clear. I hope that they substitute this with a more transparent word when the final version comes out.

Regards.

Posted by: Andrew Dessler at May 2, 2006 03:03 PM


"for the foreseeable future climate policy must develop in the context of a lack of absolute certainty. "

All policy develops in the context of a lack of absolute certainty. If you wait to begin until everything is absolutely clear, you'll never begin.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano at May 2, 2006 06:53 PM


Actually Dano, if you wait until everything is absolutely clear you are dead or broke or both.

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 2, 2006 07:38 PM


IPCC TAR was a great "what if" report.

To make policies you need to know about:
A) Scenario likelihoods (so _real_ forecasts, not storylines)
B)cost of doing nothing and
C)cost of doing something.

Only then then de politicians can decide.

Posted by: Hans Erren at May 3, 2006 12:55 AM


And the real problem which is dodged by IPCC:

The alarming scenario's are predominantly caused by the developing countries. Even if all the developed countries would cease to exist, this would only reduce the A1FI and A2 scenarios by 20% in 2100.
Kyoto is not the solution.

Posted by: Hans Erren at May 3, 2006 02:50 AM


Well, let us see what dominant means

dom·i·nant http://www.m-w.com/
Function: adjective
1 : commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others
2 : overlooking and commanding from a superior position
3 : of, relating to, or exerting ecological or genetic dominance
4 : being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action
synonyms DOMINANT, PREDOMINANT, PARAMOUNT, PREPONDERANT mean superior to all others in influence or importance. DOMINANT applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling .

And, just for fun, how about most

1 : greatest in quantity, extent, or degree
2 : the majority of

Hmm seems to me that dominant is a lot stronger for those of us who speak English.

When Roger says that "I think" he is preparing the ground to slip another fast one by. This allows for the retreat to "well I just wanted to know more", or "for the sake of argument"

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 3, 2006 05:11 AM


Hmm... let me see here Roger recommends that we adopt a position based on a dominant 10% probability as opposed to the much weaker 90% one. Political science with piff!

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 3, 2006 05:14 AM


"Hmm... let me see here Roger recommends that we adopt a position based on a dominant 10% probability as opposed to the much weaker 90% one. Political science with piff!"

Again climate science lift its skirts to show complete statistical niavety.

Essentially we are trying to detect decadal trends in climate change, effectively proxied by "mean global temperature". At a stretch we have 3 decades of genuinely robust temperature data, 1979 - present. And "scientists" (definitely not statisticians) claim they can detect with >90% certainty the next 10 such periods.

Say Eli, I have a game. I flip a coin three times. It comes up heads three times. Wanna bet there is a 90% chance that heads will come up again for the next 10 throws?

Statistical buffoonery, right up there with the Hockey Stick.

Posted by: Paul at May 3, 2006 06:10 AM


FYI, Nature discussed the forthcoming IPCC today:

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060501/full/441006a.html

Posted by: Roger Pielke Jr. at May 3, 2006 07:02 AM


Eli-

I think that what the writers intended for "dominant" was the meaning of "vast majority". But I agree w/ Roger that "dominant" is a poor word.

Roger-

Interesting article in Nature. I feel sorry for the poor bastards doing the US Gov't review. I worked on the US review for the TAR when I was at OSTP, and it was hard enough w/o the avalanche of spurious comments that I'm sure this one will get.

Regards.

Posted by: Andrew Dessler at May 3, 2006 09:01 AM


Thanks Andrew-

In my comments to Nature I made the same popint about gumming up the works. It will be a huge task.

As far as dominant, the IPCC could skirt this ambiguity by simply being quantitative about what fraction of warming can be explained by GHGs. Here is an example of such an attempt:

http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/2006/04/27/what-fraction-of-global-warming-is-due-to-the-radiative-forcing-of-increased-atmospheric-concentrations-of-co2/

Of course, ambiguous language is a well-understood means of reaching a political compromise on issues that are highly contested. See this paper for example:

Simon Shackley, Brian Wynne, 1996. Representing Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science and Policy: Boundary-Ordering Devices and Authority Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Summer, 1996) , pp. 275-302.

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. at May 3, 2006 09:30 AM


"I’m interested in understanding why the IPCC is confident at the 90% level and not the 99% level."

I think this is because the statement refers to warming to date. The 0.6 +/-0.2 C warming to date could be composed out of 0.35 C natural warming and 0.34 C anthropogenic warming.

0.6 +/-0.2 C is too small a change compared to natural variability to be >99% certain that more than 50% of that change is due to greenhouse gases.

I don't think there's a >99% probability estimate for climate sensitivity in the TAR, but for the sake of illustration I'll assume it's 1-5C for a doubling of CO2 and 0.2-1C for anthropogenic forcing to date. Likewise assume natural variability as 0 +/- 0.4 C at the >99% confidence level.

When actual warming to date is 0.6 +/- 0.2 C (again I don't know the confidence level of the +/- 0.2 C span here, let's assume that's also >99%), then the actual change could be composed out of 0.4 C natural and 0.2 C anthropogenic warming, or be 1.0 C anthropogenic warming and -0.4 C natural warming.

Posted by: Heiko Gerhauser at May 3, 2006 09:47 AM


"To make policies you need to know about:

A) Scenario likelihoods (so _real_ forecasts, not storylines"

Indeed. That issue completely dwarfs the question of what percentage of warming to date has been caused by GHGs.

I'm virtually certain that AR4 will not have probabilities attached. No reason for the IPCC to start doing good science and telling the truth now, when they haven't been called into account for previous actions.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 3, 2006 10:58 AM


Ok... I saw this on a bike ride in Lafayette yesterday.. I couldn't resist. ...I'm sure some will find this humorous

http://www.ipcchurch.org

Posted by: Sean D at May 3, 2006 11:18 AM


Maybe the IPCC should do like Wal-Mart and sue...

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano at May 3, 2006 01:07 PM


Andrew, what problem do you have accepting that if someone says dominant with respect to the influence of greenhouse gases they mean a commanding and controlling forcing prevailing over all others? They certainly do NOT MEAN MOST.

Since the cite comes from a third party (perhaps translated from an Asian language) we really cannot be sure that this is the actual wording of the AR4, so in a real sense this is an existential exercise. But, you are letting Roger play Humpty Dumpty here. Words have agreed meanings which is why we have dictionaries. The first trick of a propagandist is to try and change the meaning of words, a lesson most of us learned in high school when we read George Orwell.

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 3, 2006 05:59 PM


Paul my man, how about a little bet. Roger can hold it. I will bet that in 10 years time the global average temperature measured by CRU or GISS/ (your choice) will be the same than the five year average between 2000 and 2005. You can take the other side, that it will be lower. Roger keeps all the money if it is the same. How's that for a coin flip proposition, you got tails, I have heads and Roger wins if it stands on edge.

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 3, 2006 06:04 PM


Eli-

I have the document and the quote above is correct. I do not have a problem with "dominant" if that's what they mean. My point was that since this is a draft, I wonder if they really mean that. We'll see when the final version comes out.

Mark Bahner-

They also say in the SPM:

Projected 65% probability ranges (mean +/- 1 standard deviation) for globally-averaged surface warming in 2100 compared to 1980-2000 and including carbon cycle feedback uncertainties are scenario dependent and estimated to be 1.5-2.8C, 2.3-4.1C, 3.0-5.0C, and 3.5-5.8C for the B1, A1B, A2, and A1FI scenarios repectively.

Thought you'd be interested in that.

Regards

Posted by: Andrew Dessler at May 3, 2006 06:14 PM


We all know that "lack of absolute certainty" will always characterise the science of climate, surely? In this it differs from other fields of scientific enquiry, human endeavour and the setting of policy ... how, exactly?

Anyway Roger, what is your own degree of certainty about the evidence - shouldn't you be willing to quantify your own confidence with a single number? As a percentage, where the IPCC apparently is claiming that consensus has it at about 90% certain that "... greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause ...", what's your own figure?

Posted by: john frankis at May 3, 2006 07:42 PM


Andrew Dessler notes, "They also say in the SPM:

Projected 65% probability ranges (mean +/- 1 standard deviation) for globally-averaged surface warming in 2100 compared to 1980-2000 and including carbon cycle feedback uncertainties are scenario dependent and estimated to be 1.5-2.8C, 2.3-4.1C, 3.0-5.0C, and 3.5-5.8C for the B1, A1B, A2, and A1FI scenarios repectively.

Thought you'd be interested in that."

Yes, that's interesting.

But why do you suppose they didn't admit that the B1 scenario has about a 50/50 chance of occurring, whereas the A1F1 scenario has about as much chance of occurring as you and I have of running a sub-4-minute mile?

I guess it's because that would sort of dry up the climate change gravy train, wouldn't it?

In fact, would you like to bet on whether or not they even have the honesty to include Wigley and Raper's analysis from the July 2001 issue of Science? Wigley and Raper assumed equal probability for all scenarios--it's hilarious and sad what passes for "science" these days--but even *that* superficial analysis indicated only a 1-in-20 chance of warming of more than 4.87 degrees Celsius:

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.html

P.S. So now you're acknowledging the existence of the B1 and A1B scenarios? I don't suppose you're going to apologize for your previous libelous statement (that there was "no evidence" that CO2 emissions would peak circa mid-century without government intervention)?

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/moveabletype/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=717

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 3, 2006 07:53 PM


John-

Thanks for your comments. You ask:

"We all know that "lack of absolute certainty" will always characterise the science of climate, surely? In this it differs from other fields of scientific enquiry, human endeavour and the setting of policy ... how, exactly?"

Perhaps I was a bit too deadpan in the delivery, as your question reflects my point.

As far as my estimates of the role of GHGs in climate change, well, my advanced training in political science doesn't really give me any basis to independently offer an estimate, so your question is really asking me -- "Who do you trust?" As I've stated many times, I accept the IPCC consensus, which is one reason why I probe it often on this site to discern what "IPCC consensus" actually means.

As far as climate policy, those that I advocate are fairly insensitive to whether the IPCC statement says "likely," "very likely," or "virtually certain".

Thanks!

Posted by: Roger Pielke Jr. at May 3, 2006 08:13 PM


I guess I'd be surprised if many scientists at all were 99% certain of anywhere near the full range of detail in the ACC thesis. I picture a lot more than that being certain at the 95% level though, balancing out the skeptics to arrive at something like a "very likely" consensus. It's fun with figures no doubt but for this kind of politically coloured discussion I think the ordinary language of English ("likely" or "very likely", and so on) is better for almost all our "intensive purposes" :)

Posted by: john frankis at May 3, 2006 08:47 PM


In case there are any lurkers out there confused about scenario analysis -- IPCC scenarios in particular -- and are wondering about the quality of Bahner's comments, stop wondering.

Bahner willfully refuses to educate himself on the subject, and the prodigious ululating text he produces is approaching parody.

There are many Googleable references out there regarding scenario analysis wrt adaptive management [what all the IPCC scenario stuff is about], and reading them will help one understand about why so many different IPCC scenarios.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano at May 4, 2006 08:54 AM


Dano-

Don't be so hard on Bahner. I view his thoughts as a "comic sorbet" to cleanse the palette between serious comments.

Regards.

Posted by: Andrew Dessler at May 4, 2006 08:58 AM


"It is very likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed warming of globally averaged temperatures in the last 50 years," -- IPCC

Because this statement (and the associated 90% probabilty) refers to the PAST, taken alone, it is not a sufficient basis for future policy initiatives (which is not to say it is un-important, of course, since it has obvious bearing on the confidence to be attached to the information that IS required -- hopefully forthcoming when the full document is released).

For deciding on future policy, one really needs estimates of FUTURE warming "scenarios" along with estimated costs and ASSOCIATED probabilities for FUTURE events (ie, policy has to be based on "expectation")

For this information, we need to "stay tuned" -- until the full report comes out.

Arriving at the best estimate of "expected cost" involves taking many scenarios together. Each contributes something to the expected cost (small though any single contribution may be).

In and of itself, a low probability associated with one particular scenario does not necessarily mean that we do not need to worry about that scenario and its associated damages (ie, that we can omit it from the "expected cost" calculation). This is because the estimated damage incurred under this scenario COULD be large relative to that incurred under other more likely scenarios.

Consider, for example, two hypothetical warming scenarios, one with 1% probability of occurrence with estimated damage of $1 trillion and the second with 99.99% probability of occurrence and estimated damage of $10 billion. Despite the low probability, the former scenario would nonetheless be about equal to the latter with regard to "expected cost" -- both about $10 billion.

Also, with respect to "relevance to policy decisions", the difference between a 90% and 99% confidence level for a scenario MAY not be as big as it might appear at first glance.

Suppose, for example, that two of the above scenarios have a similar associated "damage estimate" and associated probabilities of occurence of 99% and 90%. From the "expected cost" standpoint, the difference between the 90% and 99% case is 9% of damage (assuming the same damage estimate for both cases). If the damage estimate is about $10 billion for each, we're talking about a difference of less than $1 billion in "expected cost" between the two cases. (And the difference might actually be less if the 90% confidence scenario had a higher associated damage estimate than the 99% scenario.)

The above might -- or might not -- make a difference as far as policy decisions, but the point is, the decision should be based on the "expected cost" difference, not the probability difference alone.

Note: It is possible that rather than having an "expected cost" for any given scenario (or even overall), one COULD (at least in principle) instead have an "expected dividend". The above example involving "damages" for both scenarios was only meant to illustrate.

Posted by: laurence jewett at May 4, 2006 11:33 AM


Roger,

thinking about it I wonder whether I properly understood your question.

I am not a climate scientist either, I am a chemical engineer working on thermal conversion of biomass.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that for a scientist in a related discipline who's followed the climate science debate closely it should be easy to understand why the IPCC statement you quote gives 90%-99% rather than >99% as a probability: namely as I said in the previous comment, warming to date has only been 0.6 C +/- 0.2 C according to the IPCC, so a majority of that could be natural even if the natural increase over that period was as low as 0.21 C. It's just a matter of looking at the literature and estimates of the uncertainty in natural forcings and anthropogenic forcings and it then easily follows that >99% is not warranted.

Am I missing something?

I can understand why climate scientists might say that >99% is a consensus probability for "At least 0.2 C of warming to date is anthropogenic." or "Climate sensitivity is in the range 1-6C."

But for this particular statement, after carefully having thought through what it actually says?

Are you maybe referring to something else? Namely the fact that some scientists seem to be equating something like one of the two statements above (eg "At least 0.2C of warming to date is anthropogenic"), where it is fair to claim a consensus >99%, with some vague political statement like "Climate change is real and dangerous and requires action and the President just isn't getting it."?

Posted by: Heiko Gerhauser at May 4, 2006 01:31 PM


Andrew,

could you provide the exact reference for that quote, including page number and link? I haven't been able to find it on the IPCC website.

Posted by: Heiko Gerhauser at May 4, 2006 01:38 PM


Published on Thursday, May 4, 2006 by the Guardian / UK
Secrecy Breach by US Officials Steals Thunder of Climate Change Report
· Draft findings posted on internet months early
· Action on global warming undermined, experts fear
by David Adam

"One British climate scientist and senior author of the IPCC report, who did not want to be identified, said: "They [US officials] definitely shouldn't have done that. I'm very surprised. If you put a draft document in the public domain then people will start quoting it."

Roger Pielke, a climate policy expert at the University of Colorado, said: "I do have some suspicions. If the report is out there and the findings have been discussed, then it deflates the newsworthiness of the official report when it is released."

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0504-02.htm

Posted by: laurence jewett at May 4, 2006 07:36 PM


“Dano” writes, “In case there are any lurkers out there confused about scenario analysis -- IPCC scenarios in particular -- and are wondering about the quality of Bahner's comments, stop wondering. Bahner willfully refuses to educate himself on the subject, and the prodigious ululating text he produces is approaching parody. “

Considering the fact that you’re a man who has repeatedly likened predictions of future methane atmospheric concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and future lower tropospheric temperature increases to predicting lottery numbers, I’d say that you so obviously know nothing, you could never judge fact from fiction, “Dano.” (And you even post anonymously! That’s a wonderful final touch.)

"Dano" continues, “There are many Googleable references out there regarding scenario analysis wrt adaptive management [what all the IPCC scenario stuff is about], and reading them will help one understand about why so many different IPCC scenarios.”

"Dano," you are the very model of, in your own immortal words, “A slack-jawed d****** Googler.” Yes, one can find any manner of nonsense on the Internet. (The bloviations of Tim Lambert and Eli Rabett on the relationship between heat and temperature in the atmosphere come immediately to mind.)

But someone who actually uses their brain can sort pseudoscientific nonsense (e.g., the “projections” in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, or the “projections” in the “Limits to Growth” series of books) from real science. This is true, even if the person using his or her brain has no technical education. (Or has a technical education, but not in the subject being evaluated.)

The fundamental question of global warming is, "What warming is expected if governments don't intervene, and what warming is expected if governments do intervene?"

Figuring out what warming is expected if governments don't intervene requires knowing what methane concentrations and CO2 emissions and concentrations can be expected if governments don't intervene.

Seeing that the IPCC "projections" for methane atmospheric concentrations are nonsense can simply involve looking at methane atmospheric concentration increases over the last decade, and comparing those increases to the IPCC "projections."

Tables 2 and 3 and the related discussion show how ridiculous the IPCC methane projections are:

http://markbahner.50g.com/what_will_happen_to_us.htm

This is confirmed by the CH4 figure on slide 43 of James Hansen's lecture:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/keeling_talk_and_slides.pdf

The CO2 concentration projections can also be seen to be nonsense, by simply viewing the carbon intensity graph here:

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg3/fig2-4.htm

Jesse Ausubel (11-year fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, 5-year Program Director for the National Academy of Engineering) said it quite well:

"In 1992, spurred by criticism from some of us, the IPCC tried to rectify itself but could not finally accept the idea that ingenuity in the energy sector could continue. Instead, decarbonization had to expire and keep the IPCC in business. The most recent IPCC report used more than 40 energy scenarios, with decarbonization, or carbonization, sloping every which way and no probabilities attached. Of course, none of these scenarios will actually influence the evolution of the system, but the spewing of scenarios by the working group of experts is amusing. It is a confession that collectively they know nothing, that no science underlies their craft, and that politics strongly bias their projections. Those whose ends it serves even managed to have included a scenario causing a 5.8 degree C warming by 2100, which of course made the headlines and created the image of the most recent IPCC report."

Once again, the IPCC TAR "projections" are pseudoscientific nonsense; it's obvious to anyone who actually knows something about the subject. Which of course leaves you out, "Dano."

P.S. But I'm curious about one thing, "Dano," do you also think the projections in the "Limits to Growth" series of scientifically valid?

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 4, 2006 08:22 PM


Andrew Dessler writes, "Don't be so hard on Bahner. I view his thoughts as a 'comic sorbet' to cleanse the palette between serious comments."

I view your thoughts as those of a third-rate hack, and an absolutely shameless liar.

I would suggest that you comment when you can actually discuss some science, but I realize you're neither willing nor able to do so.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 4, 2006 08:26 PM


Mark Bahner-

"I view your thoughts as those of a third-rate hack, and an absolutely shameless liar."

You should be nicer to me. I'm one of the few (only?) people who actually responds to your vapid "comments," and if you alienate me, you're going to be awfully lonely. On the other hand, I imagine you're quite used to being ignored.

Heiko-

The AR4 SPM draft is not on the IPCC website. Rather, you have to go through a US Gov't web site to get it:
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/ipcc/wg14ar-review.htm

Regards.

Posted by: Andrew Dessler at May 4, 2006 09:22 PM


Andrew,

there's an injunction on every page of that draft saying do not cite or quote.

Roger,

having done again what I said would be easy, namely looked at estimates of natural and anthropogenic forcings and the related uncertainty ranges, I withdraw the >99% probability for a greater than 0.2C anthropogenic component. I forgot about aerosols there and how poorly they are understood.

At least 0.2 C at greater than 99% probability is only applicable for the combined effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

Posted by: Heiko Gerhauser at May 5, 2006 07:30 AM


"It[the draft IPCC report] was posted on the web by the US Climate Change Science Programme, a government office that coordinates global warming research, which said it made the report available for "expert comment" to help frame its official response. Its website says participants should not quote or redistribute the document, which can be accessed with a password provided automatically to anyone who sends an email."

Staff at the Climate Change Science Programme referred questions to Harlan Watson, senior climate negotiator at the state department, who said: "I find it quite ironic that running an open process would be criticised. What we're doing is providing an opportunity for people to comment. It's not for us to say who the experts are."
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0504-02.htm

////////////
So, Watson and the others in the US Climate Change Science Programm are looking for "expert comment" but apparently don't care what that means (or even whether it means anything at all).

I see.

If Watson and others in the US Climate Change Science Programm were interested primarily in "expert comment", why did they feel the need to post the draft report on the internet?

It SHOULD have been obvious that the admonition about not posting/quoting the draft report would merely act as an invitation to journalists and anyone bent on subverting the process to do just that.


Posted by: laurence jewett at May 5, 2006 09:27 AM


...sigh...

[/ignore]

"Considering the fact that you’re a man who has repeatedly likened predictions of future methane atmospheric concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and future lower tropospheric temperature increases to predicting lottery numbers..."

This is absolutely not true.

Bahner's memory must be damaged from bumping his head on his bedframe when checking for scary IPCC scientists under the bed.

I used to frequently ask Bahner, because he is so utterly and completely and ululatingly sure of future numbers such as, say, CO2 and CH4 concs, to give me next week's lottery numbers.

He refuses to do so to this day.

[ignore]

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano at May 5, 2006 01:46 PM


Roger,

1. The "beyond reasonable doubt" of a criminal conviction is commonly (although perhaps not universally) taken to mean the 95% confidence that lies slap bang in the middle of the IPCC "very likely" range. It seems like a very reasonable judgement to me in this case, although of course formally I am not discussing the IPCC draft at all, just speaking hypothetically about a quote you have provided :-)

2. When the first hints of the IPCC were leaked a couple of months ago, you said

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000733politics_and_the_ipc.html
===
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.
===

I guess this Guardian story http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1766892,00.html means that you view Harlan Watson's actions as overt politicking? What political agenda should he admit to, do you think?

Posted by: James Annan at May 5, 2006 02:39 PM


Andrew, everyone needs a hobby.

Posted by: Eli Rabett at May 5, 2006 08:34 PM


Dano writes, "I used to frequently ask Bahner, because he is so utterly and completely and ululatingly sure of future numbers such as, say, CO2 and CH4 concs, to give me next week's lottery numbers.

He refuses to do so to this day."

Yes, "Dano," you seem to be completely incapable of understanding that lottery numbers are *random*, whereas CO2 and CH4 concentrations most definitely are not.

As I wrote to you in June 2005:

"Here are recent 10 Powerball numbers: 39, 33, 4, 19, 15, 30, 39, 15, 19, 7.

And here are the 10 most recent years' CO2 concentrations (in ppm): 357, 359, 361, 363, 364, 367, 368, 369, 371, 373.

Those two sets of numbers don't look different to you? You think it's just as difficult to predict what the atmospheric CO2 concetration will be 10 years from now, as it is to predict what the Powerball number will be 10 lotteries from now?"

http://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2005/06/free_money_offe.html#comments

You of course didn't answer any of those questions then. And I doubt you'll answer them now; after all, that would take a bit of honesty.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 5, 2006 09:59 PM


Andrew Dessler advises me, "You should be nicer to me."

Really, why? Why should I be "nicer" (respect) you, if you don't respect me?

He continues, "I'm one of the few (only?) people who actually responds to your vapid 'comments,'..."

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, Andrew. I think you're a hack, and an absolutely shameless liar. And if you think I give a damn whether or not you ever respond to my comments, you're also a more than a little bit looney. Since your responses are mostly lies anyway, you shouldn't bother.

As far as your phony concern for my being "lonely," I come to Prometheus primarily for the excellent posts and comments by Roger Pielke Jr. But there are many interesting comments by many others, including Heiko Gerhauser (who just had some excellent comments on my blog), Laurence Jewett, Jim Clarke, Benny Peiser, and many, many more.

P.S. See, I knew I'd forget a bunch of people. I just rememebered Hans Erren. He not only has interesting comments, he does some of his own very interesting analyses. I apologize to everyone else I've forgotten.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at May 5, 2006 10:33 PM




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