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In the Wake of the News

Full Disclosure of Climate Research

One of the hallmarks of scientific research is the reproducibility of research results by other researchers. However, reproducibility is extremely difficult, if not impossible, if all of the data, all of the analytical approaches, all of the assumptions and all of the computer models employed in the research project are not thoroughly documented and made available with the results of the research. Research is currently facing a reproducibility crisis.

This can be a very difficult issue with privately funded research intended to lead to commercial sale of products and/or services based on the research, since the individual or organization funding the research is seeking competitive advantage in its markets. There is no obvious benefit to assisting potential competitors in achieving the same research results and thus positioning them to compete at far lower research risk and cost. US patent law is intended to protect the results of such privately funded research.

However, this issue should not be at all difficult in the case of government funded research, since the results of the research become the property of the funding government. Government funding agencies should insist that all research program documentation be delivered by the contractor prior to payment for the research. That requirement would assure the opportunity for other researchers to reproduce the research results, or to falsify the research results.

Climate science has been plagued with a reproducibility issue, which was highlighted in the Climategate e-mails. Perhaps the most egregious example from that time was the suggestion by Dr. Phil Jones, Director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that he would destroy data rather than provide it to the team of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick for analysis of the validity of the statistical analyses used in the research.

Climate scientists have frequently forced those seeking to reproduce or falsify their research results to resort to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and even lawsuits to obtain the documentation of their research. It seems unsupportable and ridiculous that such efforts are required to obtain documentation of research projects funded by government agencies. Perhaps the most egregious recent example is the ongoing efforts to obtain the documentation supporting the development of the hockey stick by Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Mann’s ongoing efforts to delay discovery in his lawsuit against Rand Simberg, Mark Steyn, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

This issue also extends to research conducted by government agencies, such as NOAA, NCEI and NASA GISS. Dr.Thomas Karl of NCEI has been accused of failure to properly archive the documentation supporting Karl et al 2015, “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus”. NCEI management initially resisted providing information regarding the study to a committee of the US House of Representatives, though NCEI is a federal government agency funded by congressional action.

The most recent related controversy regarding this issue involves the use of “secret science” by US EPA and Administrator Pruitt’s intent to end the use of such science in formulating EPA’s environmental regulations.

There appears to be no obvious justification for restricting access to the documentation supporting government funded research of any type, though it is reasonable to restrict access to the personal data of individuals who were the subjects of the research, which has been an issue in the recent EPA controversy.

 

Tags: Climate Science, Policy, Peer Review

Highlighted Article: Judith Curry - State of the Climate Debate

State of the Climate Debate

By: Judith Curry

  1. Cover
  2. Agreement / Disagreement
  3. Disagreement: Causes of climate change
  4. Elephant
  5. Disagreement: Cause of climate change
  6. Policy cart before scientific horse
  7. You find what you shine a light on
  8. The sea level rise alarm
  9. Is CO2 the control knob for global sea level rise?
  10. What is causing recent sea level rise?
  11. Variations in Greenland glacier mass balance
  12. IPCC AR5 quotes on sea level rise
  13. To what extent are man-made CO2 emissions contributing to climate change?
  14. Should we reduce emissions to prevent warming?
  15. Climate pragmatism
  16. Madhouse effect
  17. Personal statement

State of the Climate Debate

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Change Messaging

The consensed climate science community continues to search for an effective messaging approach which would convince the general public of the rightness and urgency of its cause and propel a concerted public effort to control the climate. The various messaging approaches pursued to date have been ineffective in achieving a sufficient level of climate hysteria to overcome continued apathy and skepticism.

Once the transition from the global cooling concerns of the 1970s to global warming concerns had been completed, it rapidly became obvious that the public was no more concerned about a little warming than they had been about a little cooling. Obviously, The Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth were just not adequate to the task.

Global warming then became global climate change, which broadened the concept from temperature to inclusion of any and all abnormal or extreme weather events, including heat waves, cold waves, droughts, heavy rains, heavy snows, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, glacial retreat, rising sea level, ocean “acidification” and coral bleaching. Virtually all unusual weather events were attributed to climate change, which led to the frustrated observation that “Weather is only climate when it’s hot or when people die.”

It has been common practice for decades to assign names to tropical cyclones. However, the enhanced focus on weather and climate has now resulted in the assignment of names to winter storms. It has also introduced new terms to the weather lexicon, including Polar Vortex and Bomb Cyclone; and, the application of pejoratives, such as Snowmageddon. Climate change has also been referred to as Climate Weirding, Climate Apocalypse and Climategeddon.

We have been told of climate tipping points, beyond which recovery to “normal” conditions would be impossible. We have heard various brief periods of time referred to deadlines for dramatic climate action to avoid imminent catastrophe. We have been regaled with aspirational “goals”, such as keeping warming below 2°C, or even better below 1.5°C.

We have been told that the science is settled, though it has recently become abundantly clear that it is very unsettled. Those who question the orthodoxy of the consensed climate science community are referred to with pejoratives such as climate denier, climate change denier, anti-science and climate zombie, though they typically deny nothing. There have even been calls to silence, institutionalize, prosecute, persecute and kill “deniers”, based on the assertion that they represent a danger to public health and safety.

There was great hype associated with the runup to the Paris Accords, which were proclaimed to be the last, best hope of salvation from the impending climate change catastrophe. However, following the US declaration of intent to withdraw from the Paris Accords, the consensed climate science community is now raising concerns that the commitments contained in the Paris Accords are insufficient to avoid climate catastrophe. Interestingly, these concerns are accompanied by assurances that the objectives of the Accords can be achieved without the participation of the United States.

The most recent changes to the messaging suggest that the climate change discussion must be divorced from politics, which is judged to be a divisive influence. The “elites” admired by the unconvinced must be enlisted to gain their acceptance and support. However, it is difficult to separate politics from climate change when the ultimate goal of the consensed political class is a transition from capitalism to a socialist/communist global cooperative.

 

Tags: Climate Change Debate

Highlighted Article: A Crusade in Pursuit of a Fantasy

A Crusade in Pursuit of a Fantasy

 

Executive Summary

 

The sun at the center of our solar system is the source of virtually all of the thermal energy the planets receive. Their distance from the sun determines the incident solar energy received by each of them. Their atmospheres determine the fraction of the incident solar radiation which reaches each planet’s surface; and, the fraction of the incident solar radiation which is reradiated by each planet’s surface. This energy balance determines the temperature near each planet’s surface. Our focus is on the Earth, the “water planet”.

The earth rotates around its own axis, ... Read More

A Crusade in Pursuit of a Fantasy

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Change Attribution

Earth’s climate system is extremely complex, chaotic and not particularly well understood. The factors which have caused climate change over the past millennia continue to cause climate change today and will likely continue to cause climate change in the future do not operate independently, but rather interact with each other over differing timescales to produce the effects we are able to detect and measure.

The consensed climate science community is focused on the anthropogenic factors which it believes cause or contribute to climate change, primarily the increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. However, these anthropogenic factors operate against a background of numerous, pre-existing, complex natural factors which also cause or contribute to climate change. Therefore, as complex as detecting climate change might be, attributing climate change to the plethora of natural and anthropogenic causative or contributing factors is far more complex.

Anthropogenic factors are not generally believed to cause hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, severe storms, droughts, floods, heat or cold waves, heavy snowfalls, sea level rise, etc. because all these weather events existed prior to the period since ~1950 during which increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations are believed to affect climate. Rather, anthropogenic effects are typically alleged to make these events more frequent or more severe or more damaging.

Since there are no identified climate change effects which demonstrably have anthropogenic factors as their sole cause, there is growing interest in attribution studies intended to identify or estimate the relative impacts of the various natural and anthropogenic factors which contribute to climate change. However, the primary weakness of this approach is its reliance on unverified climate models and undefined climate sensitivities, forcing and feedbacks used as inputs to those models. It is not currently possible to measure or otherwise document anthropogenic impacts.

Attribution has been an issue recently regarding the extent to which anthropogenic climate change might have worsened the effects of Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma and Maria. Interestingly, no such issues were raised regarding the 12-year period with no landfalling strong hurricanes. Arguably, a 12-year period with no landfalling major hurricanes is at least as unusual as a year (2017) with 3 major landfalling hurricanes.

The weakness of the current state of attribution studies is highlighted by the range of estimates of anthropogenic impacts on various events studied. World Weather Attribution scientists have estimated that climate change made Hurricane Harvey 3 times more likely and its rainfalls 15% more intense. Other sources estimate that tropical cyclones might be 2-11% more intense by 2100.

Attribution studies attempt to evaluate the likelihood that anthropogenic climate change might impact the frequency or severity of natural weather events; and, the likely magnitude of the impacts. However, these studies are severely limited by their reliance on unverified climate models for their estimates. This again emphasizes the importance of improving and verifying climate models, to assure that they are actually modeling the real climate. Estimates of the potential impacts of anthropogenic effects on weather events in a make believe climate are worse than useless.

 

Tags: Climate Models, Climate Science

Climate Change: “Predictions are hard …”

            “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” Yogi Berra, American philosopher

The consensed climate science community and its animated spokespersons have made numerous predictions regarding future climate change and its impacts on the earth and its population. Initially, many of these predictions were made for the near future, within the expected lifespans of the predictors and their audiences. Many of these short-time-frame predictions have proven to be erroneous; and, have become a significant embarrassment to those who made the predictions.

Some notable examples of such erroneous short-term predictions include:

  • an ice-free Arctic Ocean and an ice-free North Pole;
  • inundation of coastal areas and islands;
  • massive crop failures and starvation;
  • more frequent, longer and more severe droughts;
  • more frequent heavy rain events and more severe flooding;
  • more numerous and intense hurricanes, typhoons and tornados;
  • massive numbers of climate refugees; and,
  • widespread climate change induced deaths.

I suspect that only those who made the erroneous predictions might regret that they were erroneous.

The consensed climate science community has responded to this record of erroneous short-term predictions by vastly extending the time frame of its predictions to periods beyond the expected lifespans of the predictors and their audiences. Predictions of potential conditions or events in 2100 and beyond are far less likely to embarrass those making the predictions. However, these long-term predictions have also proven to be far less effective in inducing action on the part of their audiences.

All these predictions, regardless of time-frame, are based on various climate models using various climate sensitivity, climate forcing and climate feedback assumptions. However, members of the climate science community have recently acknowledged that the climate models are “running hot”; and, that the data against which the models have been hindcast to “tune” them are suspect. “Re-tuning” the climate models, even to the existing “adjusted” data, would result in reduced magnitude of any predicted results of climate change.

Recent research suggests that, at the current rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, the feared doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations would not occur until approximately 2100. Most of the “scary scenarios” currently predicted by the climate models are based on the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 (RCP8.5), which projects a far more rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that RCP8.5 is unrealistic; and, perhaps impossible.

Regrettably, the climate models also failed to predict numerous positive climate-related events, including:

  • the ~20 year “hiatus” or “pause” in global temperatures;
  • the recent 12 year dearth of land-falling major hurricanes;
  • the declines in weather/climate related damage and death;
  • the documented greening of the globe; and,
  • the positive effects of increased CO2 on plant growth and production.

Hopefully, the recent recognition of the shortcomings of the climate data and the climate models will result in serious efforts to improve the comprehensiveness and quality of the climate data and to improve and eventually validate the climate models.

 

Tags: Climate Models, CO2 Emissions

Highlighted Article: Four Questions on Climate Change

By: Garth Paltridge
for Climate Etc.   April 18, 2018

Four Questions on Climate Change

1) Is the science of climate change 'settled'?

2) What is the effect on climate science of public advocacy for the message of disastrous anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?

3) What are the barriers to public dissemination of results casting doubt on the theory of disastrous anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?

4) What are the implications for climate science of public acceptance of the idea that there is a 'consensus among scientists' on anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?

Four Questions on Climate Change

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Irreproducibility and Climate Science (NAS)

REPRINT (with permission) from National Association of Scholars (NAS)

Edward A. Reid, Jr. has fifty years of experience in the energy industry in technical research and development, market development, marketing and consulting. He writes frequently on climate science.

The recent report by the National Association of Scholars, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science, describes a crisis which pervades modern science in general. It refers only peripherally to issues with climate science, which shares most of the aspects of the broad crisis, but has its own distinctive issues as well.

Albert Einstein is alleged to have defined insanity as continuing to do the same things and expecting different results. He might perhaps have defined irreproducibility as continuing to do the same things and achieving different results.

The earth’s climate is a constantly changing, extremely complex chaotic system, driven by the sun and influenced by numerous external factors including the positions of the other planets in the solar system and cosmic radiation. Many of the factors which influence climate are not well understood. Therefore, while it is reasonable to assume that human activities can influence climate, it is not reasonable to assume that humans could effectively control a complex, chaotic system they do not understand.

Modern climate science focuses on three primary issues: changes in land and ocean temperatures; changes in sea level; and, efforts to model the future of those changes. The climate science community is perceived to have formed a consensus that human emissions of “greenhouse gases”, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into the atmosphere are driving climate change which is manifesting as increased near-surface and ocean temperatures, causing rising sea levels and ultimately leading to a climate catastrophe.

This consensus is viewed as climate orthodoxy and is aggressively defended by the orthodox climate science community. Those who question the orthodoxy have been labeled “deniers” and “anti-science”; and, efforts have been made to prevent publication of their work in major scientific journals and to exclude their work from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). One member of the orthodox climate science community even expressed a willingness to destroy data, rather than make it available to a team questioning the statistical techniques used to analyze the data.

The approach to measuring and tracking changes in near-surface temperatures is fraught with issues. The instruments used to measure near-surface temperature are acknowledged to be in error by an average of more than 2°C in the United States, where the instrument sites have been surveyed and rated. It is reasonable to assume that the instruments located in other nations have similar issues. Therefore, these temperature data are “adjusted” in an effort to resolve the errors. However, once “adjusted”, the temperatures are no longer data, but merely estimates of what the data might have been, had they been collected timely from properly selected, calibrated, sited, installed and maintained instruments.

Unfortunately, there is a history of multiple adjustments to the temperature anomalies over time. The graph below displays two instances of “adjustments” to, or “re-analysis” of, the global temperature record made by NASA GISS. The climate over the period from 1880 to 1980 and its actual anomaly from the reference period did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was reduced by as much as ~0.2°C early in the period, thus increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period, as shown in the area highlighted in yellow in the graph. The climate over the period from 1980 to 2001 and its actual anomaly from the reference period also did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was increased by as much as 0.2°C late in the period, as shown in the area highlighted in green in the graph, again increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period. We cannot determine from the information in the graph the number of times the anomalies were “adjusted” or “re-analyzed”. We can only determine the cumulative effects of the “adjustments” or “re-analyses”, which appear to total ~0.4°C, or approximately 1/3 of the reported anomaly change over the entire 136 year period. We do not know which, if any, of the anomaly plots contained in this graph is accurate. We do know, however, that they cannot all be accurate.

Source: Tony Heller, Real Climate Science

 

A generous assessment of the differing anomaly plots of the ‘adjusted” temperatures shown in the graph above might be that NASA GISS has an internal irreproducibility issue. There are also less generous assessments.

There are several major issues facing climate science:

•             understanding the relationship between near-surface temperature measurements and satellite temperature measurements;

•             resolving the significant differences between surface-based and satellite sea level and sea level rise measurements;

•             establishing discrete values for climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks; and,

•             verifying a climate model which actually models the real climate.

The orthodox climate science community has been very quick to accept the satellite-based sea level rise measurements, which are approximately twice the measurements produced by the surface-based instruments. However, they have so far been reluctant to accept the satellite-based temperature measurements, which typically show smaller anomalies than the near-surface temperature measurements.

In the face of these unresolved issues, the US government and other national governments and funding sources have squandered massive funding on studies using unverified models, uncertain climate sensitivities and ill-defined climate forcings and feedbacks, combined with the most aggressive Representative Concentration Pathway in the IPCC studies (RCP8.5) to produce “scary scenarios” of future climate catastrophes. These studies have no apparent scientific value. They are intended solely to scare the populace into accepting the climate orthodoxy and the actions identified as essential to avoid the “scary scenarios”. 

Fortunately, over the past several months, there have been four developments which suggest the possibility of improvement in the general status of climate science:

•             a group of climate scientists has explicitly acknowledged the shortcomings of the existing near-surface temperature measurement network and called for the development of a global land surface climate fiducial reference measurements network;

•             another group of climate scientists has explicitly acknowledged that the current ensemble of global climate models is “running hot”, largely as the result of high climate sensitivity estimates;

•             EPA Administrator Pruitt has proposed to end the use of “secret science” in EPA rulemakings; and

•             NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt has voiced support for more climate research transparency.

These developments might lead to a refocusing of climate science funding on resolving the major issues facing climate science, rather than on the creation of model-driven “scary scenarios”.

 

Tags: Estimates as Facts, Climate Models, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science

  • David Randall and Christopher Welser
  • National Association of Scholars
  • April 2018

"The study you have before you is an examination of the use and abuse of statistics in the sciences. Its natural audience is members of the scientific community who use statistics in their professional research. We hope, however, to reach a broader audience of intelligent readers who recognize the importance to our society of maintaining integrity in the sciences."

 

THE IRREPRODUCIBILITY CRISIS OF MODERN SCIENCE

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

What We Know About Climate Change

“Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.” Dr. Steven E. Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Koonin makes an important point, particularly regarding the extremely complex science of global climate and the numerous factors which cause or influence, or are thought to cause or influence, climate to change over time.

So, what do we know about climate and climate change?

  • Climate has warmed and cooled in the past.
  • Climate is changing now.
  • Human activities can influence climate and apparent climate.
  • CO2 absorbs and reradiates energy in portions of the infrared wavelength band.
  • Sea level rises when climate warms and falls when climate cools.

And, what do we merely hypothesize about climate and climate change?

  • The sensitivity of climate to anthropogenic emissions.
  • The direction and magnitude of climate forcings.
  • The future rate and extent of temperature change.
  • The future rate and extent of sea level rise.
  • The effects of human activities on extreme weather frequency and intensity.
  • The effects of some degree of warming or cooling on agriculture.
  • The effects of some degree of warming or cooling.
  • The influence of climate on cloud formation.
  • The influence of clouds on climate.

And, what do we not yet understand that affects climate.

  • The El Nino Southern Oscillation.
  • The Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
  • The Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation.
  • The Atlantic Conveyor.

In summary, everything about the earth is connected; and, we do not understand how they are connected, or how they influence and are influenced by climate and climate change.

Koonin’s concern is especially relevant in light of the numerous lawsuits being filed against the Administration, the oil companies and others regarding climate change. The distinction between what is known and what is merely believed, or assumed, or hypothesized will be critical to a fair resolution of these lawsuits.

Perhaps the most fundamental question in these proceedings is: “What is a fact?”

  • Is an “adjusted” temperature a fact or an estimate?
  • Is an “adjusted” temperature anomaly a fact or an estimate?
  • Is an “infilled” temperature a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of climate sensitivity a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of climate forcings a fact or an estimate?
  • Is a range of Resource Consumption Pathways a fact or an estimate?
  • Do a multitude of climate models produce facts or estimates?
  • Are inconsistent measurements of sea level rise facts or estimates?
  • Are inconsistent rates of sea level rise facts or estimates?

In the cases of ranges of values, we cannot even state as fact that the real value lies within the ranges. In the case of multiple climate models, we cannot even state as fact that the actual future climate response lies within the range of scenarios produced by the models, no less that any one of the models accurately models the real climate, either currently or in the future.

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know.” Donald Rumsfeld

 

Tags: Adjusted Data, Climate Change Myths, Climate Models, Climate Science, Estimates as Facts, Temperature Record

Climate and Climate Model Observations

“Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.” Dr. Steven E. Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy

“We are not concerned with warming per se, but with how much warming. It is essential to avoid the environmental tendency to regard anything that may be bad in large quantities to be avoided at any level however small. In point of fact small warming is likely to be beneficial on many counts.” Dr. Richard Lindzen, Professor Emeritus, MIT

“Predicting climate temperatures isn't science – it's science fiction." Dr. William Happer, Professor Emeritus, Princeton

“Too much of the science of climate change relies on computer models and those models are crude mathematical approximations of the real world.” Dr. Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, Princeton. These models then are "useful for understanding climate but not for predicting climate."

“It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing, due to forcing and response uncertainties and incomplete observational coverage.” IPCC AR5

“It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. ...” NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” Christiana Figueres, Former Chair, UNFCCC

“Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC

“Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.” Bjorn Lomborg, President, Copenhagen Consensus Center

“The anthropogenic global warming we can now expect will be small, slow, harmless, and even net-beneficial. It is only going to be about 1.2 K this century, or 1.2 K per CO2 doubling.” Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

“There is little scientific basis in support of claims that extreme weather events – specifically, hurricanes, floods, drought, tornadoes – and their economic damage have increased in recent decades due to the emission of greenhouse gases. The lack of evidence to support claims of increasing frequency or intensity of hurricanes, floods, drought or tornadoes on climate timescales is also supported by the most recent assessments of the IPCC and the broader peer reviewed literature on which the IPCC is based.” Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., Professor, Colorado State University

"The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever –despite current claims of record setting warming.” Drs. James P. Wallace III, Joseph S. D’Aleo, Craig D. Idso

“While it is beyond question that the climate system has changed since instrumental records were instigated, we can improve our collective ability to characterize these changes through instigating and maintaining a global surface fiducial reference network.” P. W. Thorne, et al

“The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena. Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows. It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences. There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain.” Drs. Richard Lindzen, Steven Koonin and William Happer

“There is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic. Even if it be assumed [for the sake of argument] that all of the 0.8 [degree Celsius] global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 [C] of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 [C] that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted.” Lord Monckton, Drs. Willie Soon and David Legates, and William Briggs

“The scientific conclusion here, if one follows the scientific method, is that the average model trend fails to represent the actual trend of the past 38 years by a highly significant amount. As a result, applying the traditional scientific method, one would accept this failure and not promote the model trends as something truthful about the recent past or the future. Rather, the scientist would return to the project and seek to understand why the failure occurred. The most obvious answer is that the models are simply too sensitive to the extra GHGs that are being added to both the model and the real world.” Dr. John Christy, Professor, UAH

“95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong.” Dr. Roy Spencer, Professor, UAH

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” Dr. Richard Feynman, Professor, Cal Tech

“Data is immutable; “adjusted” temperature records, not so much.” Edward Reid

 

Tags: Climate Models

Highlighted Article: Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases?

By: Andy May

"It’s more likely mostly due to both, but that isn’t really the question. Virtually everyone accepts that climate changes and that CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases; and probably everyone remembers from grade school that the Sun is a variable star. The debate is over how much of recent global warming is due to the Sun, either its internal variability or changes in the Earth’s orbit, and how much is due to human greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from fossil fuels?"

Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part A

Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part B

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Change Questions

Judge William H. Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division will hear the case “The People of the State of California vs. B.P. P.L.C., et al. This case is a civil suit against five major oil companies for alleged present and alleged potential damages caused by global warming and climate change.

The judge has invited a tutorial on the best science available on global warming and climate change as a prelude to the trial. This tutorial is to be provided by both the plaintiff(s) and the defendants. The court has also received an Administrative Motion for leave to submit a tutorial presentation from climate scientists William Happer, Stephen Koonin and Richard Lindzen. The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is pursuing the possibility of filing an amicus brief with the court as well, since it believes it has been slandered in the City of Oakland complaint which is part of the suit.

The Happer / Koonin / Lindzen (HKL) presentation responds point by point to the questions raised by the judge to be responded to in the tutorial. The overview section of the HKL presentation makes the following points:

  1. “the climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half century are common in the geological record, driven by powerful phenomena;
  2. human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows;
  3. it is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences; and,
  4. there have been no detrimental changes observed in most salient climate variables and projections of future changes are highly uncertain.

 

The presentation then provides detailed responses to the questions posed by the judge.

 

The SEPP brief would likely focus on the “standards of evidence: direct or indirect; physical or bureaucratic.”

 

“Physical evidence is hard data showing CO2 is the primary cause of global warming. Increasing emissions, changing climate, etc. are not physical evidence of cause. Bureaucratic evidence includes global climate models that fail basic testing, and group think such as organizations that fail to address the key issue in their reports, etc. The key issue is: do carbon dioxide emissions cause dire warming of the atmosphere? SEPP’s answer is no, and CO2 emissions are beneficial to humanity and the environment.”

 

SEPP would be expected to stress that:

 

  1. there are no hard data on the contribution of anthropogenic CO2 emissions to recent climate warming or sea level rise;
  2. the available temperature data are of questionable accuracy and provide incomplete global coverage;
  3. the available climate models are unverified, are acknowledged to be unrepresentative of the actual climate and have demonstrated no predictive ability; and,
  4. the available sea level rise data show no acceleration during the period of interest (post 1950).

 

Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley and a group of scientist colleagues also filed a brief with the court, asserting that: ““the Court should reject Plaintiff’s case and should also reject those of Defendants’ submissions that assert that global warming is a serious problem requiring urgent mitigation.” This brief is most likely based on a recent scientific paper the group has submitted for publication.

 

Dr. Judith Curry has posted a detailed response to the eighth question posed by the judge for the tutorial at her website. It is unclear whether Dr. Curry intends to file a response with the court.

 

There is no current information regarding potential filings by other skeptical climate scientists, though that is certainly a possibility. Since much of the concern expressed by the plaintiff regards the potential future impacts of sea level rise, separately and in combination with more frequent and stronger storms, a presentation on these issues by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. might be a significant contribution.

 

“I don’t know of any judge who has asked for a tutorial like this,” said Steven E. Koonin, a physicist and former Energy Department undersecretary known for his contrarian views on global warming research. “I think it is a great idea. Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.”

 

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.”, Donald Rumsfeld
 

 

 

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