Curry vs. Cook (with a bit of Flannery)


Flannery finished...

Unrelated but couldn’t resist!

No contest, I’m afraid. Judith Curry writes in The Australian this morning on the skewed nature of the climate consensus:

The IPCC’s consensus-building process relies heavily on expert judgment; if the public and the policymakers no longer trust these particular experts, then we can expect a very different dynamic to be in play with regards to the reception of the AR5 [Fifth Assessment Report, due later this year] relative to the release of the AR4 [Fourth Assessment Report] in 2007.

THERE is another, more vexing dilemma facing the IPCC, however. Since the publication of the AR4, nature has thrown the IPCC a curveball: there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature for the past 15-plus years. This has been referred to as a pause or hiatus in global warming.

Almost all climate scientists agree on the physics of the infrared emission of the CO2 molecule and understand that if all other things remain equal, more CO2 in the atmosphere will have a warming effect on the planet. Further, almost all agree that the planet has warmed across the past century and that humans have had some impact on the climate.

But understanding the causes of recent climate change and predicting future change is far from a straightforward endeavour.

My chain of reasoning leads me to conclude that the IPCC’s estimates of the sensitivity of climate to greenhouse gas forcing are too high, raising serious questions about the confidence we can place in the IPCC’s attribution of warming in the last quarter of the 20th century primarily to greenhouse gases, and also its projections of future warming. If the IPCC attributes the pause to natural internal variability, then this prompts the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural internal variability.

Nevertheless, the IPCC concludes in the final AR5 draft of the summary for policymakers: “There is very high confidence that climate models reproduce the observed large-scale patterns and multi-decadal trends in surface temperature, especially since the mid-20th century.”

SCIENTISTS do not need to be consensual to be authoritative. Authority rests in the credibility of the arguments, which must include explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance, and more openness for dissent. The role of scientists should not be to develop political will to act by hiding or simplifying the uncertainties, explicitly or implicitly, behind a negotiated consensus. I have recommended that the scientific consensus-seeking process be abandoned in favour of a more traditional review that presents arguments for and against, discusses the uncertainties, and speculates on the known and unknown unknowns. I think such a process would support scientific progress far better and be more useful for policymakers. 

The Editorial takes up the same theme:

The issue of climate change is a significant political, economic and environmental dilemma confronting our nation and the international community. At its heart is science. While we can engage in complex debates about the variety of mechanisms, technologies and practices that can be employed to deal with the issue, none of it makes perfect sense until we grasp the dimensions of the problem. And this is where science is pre-eminent. Yet, thanks largely to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the debate has been centred not on scientific claim and counter-claim — or scientific theory and measurable results — but on what’s referred to as the “scientific consensus”. This is almost an oxymoron; to at least some extent, the two words don’t belong in the same sentence.

John Cook, also writing in The Australian, simply rehashes the same old tired arguments we have seen so many times before, plugging his junk-science ‘97% consensus’ paper to justify his incessant alarmism. At no point is there any acknowledgement from Cook about the problems with the IPCC process, and the unexpected halt in warming, which is becoming too big for even the mainstream media to ignore.

He also oddly fails to disclose his authorship of the climate activist website Skeptical Science (Curry, on the other hand, is open about her blog) – is he embarrassed by its zealotry, perhaps? Cook also claims his “server” was “hacked” and emails were “stolen” last year, when in fact it appears more likely a back door was simply left open at the SkS website, and the files were inadvertently made public. This is a cheap attempt to portray his critics as prepared to engage in unethical or illegal behaviour when in fact it was a self-inflicted wound.

The only positive is that Cook manages to avoid the “D” word for a change. Well done…

UPDATE: The Daily Mail reports that many countries have tried to suppress the inconvenient truth of a warming halt:

Germany called for the references to the slowdown in warming to be deleted, saying looking at a time span of just 10 or 15 years was ‘misleading’ and they should focus on decades or centuries.

Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.

Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for statistics, as it was exceptionally warm and makes the graph look flat – and suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead to give a more upward-pointing curve.

The United States delegation even weighed in, urging the authors of the report to explain away the lack of warming using the ‘leading hypothesis’ among scientists that the lower warming is down to more heat being absorbed by the ocean – which has got hotter.

When the facts don’t fit the political agenda, don’t change the agenda, spin the facts. Shocking.

ABC's alarmism fest


Alarmist Broadcasting Corporation

Alarmist Broadcasting Corporation

UPDATE: They just keep on comin’…

Warming planet to threaten native species

What effect will climate change have on Australia’s animal and plant species? This is the fourth of a five-part series in which environment reporter Sarah Clarke sets out to provide answers. [Oops, Sarah is at it again…]

Taskforce names regions most at risk of coastal inundation

The National Seachange Taskforce says coastal communities between Mackay and the Gold Coast are the most at risk in Queensland from predicted sea level rises.

Fish in hot water as climate changes

What effect will climate change have on Australia’s oceans and reefs? This is the final report in a five-part series in which environment reporter Sarah Clarke sets out to provide answers. [And again…]

Experts say oceans likely to continue warming

Scientists have recorded what they describe as the most dramatic marine heatwave in recent history off the WA coast.

And just for luck, another from ABC Science:

The 2013 climate change wake-up call

OPINION: Is an extreme heatwave enough for people to start taking the science of climate change seriously in Australia? Dr Paul Willis hopes so.

Enjoy that last one – “Dr” Willis uses “denier” or variants thereof five times. Just what exactly are we supposed to be denying exactly?

More to come, no doubt…

Timed to coincide nicely with the IPCC gas-a-thon in Tasmania, the ABC has gone gangbusters on climate alarmism – and that’s some achievement given previous form.

Ignoring the biggest story of the past couple of weeks, the UK Met Office’s downgrading of its warming forecast for the next five years, ABC News publishes no less than twelve alarmist climate stories in four days. Here they are in all their horrible glory:

Heart attacks and strokes: the climate change link

Heatwaves kill more Australians than car accidents – and medical authorities say that amplifies the risk posed by climate change.

Human health to feel impact of warmer future

What effect will climate change have on health in the Pacific? This is the third of a five-part series in which environment reporter Sarah Clarke sets out to provide answers.

UN group links heatwave to climate change

The United Nations’s (UN) chief climate science body says there is no doubt last week’s extreme heat in Australia is part of a global warming trend.

Extreme weather driving up food prices: Oxfam 

Simon Bradshaw from Oxfam says extreme weather patterns are beginning to affect the food chain.

Climate change will force farmers to adapt: CSIRO

What effect will climate change have on agriculture and food production? This is the second of a five-part series in which environment reporter Sarah Clarke sets out to provide answers.

IPCC meets in Australia for first time

Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Rajendra Pachauri says the latest research is still a work in progress but Australia’s recent weather events are part of an unmistakable trend.

Bushfires and heat a sign of climate change: Milne

The Greens leader Christine Milne says this summer’s bushfires and record temperatures are providing a glimpse of what Australia’s climate might look like in the future.

Scientists warn of glacier melt acceleration

The Government has scoped the potential areas of the Australian coastline at greatest threat after a sea level rise.

Coastal properties facing rising seas risk

Professor Alan Stokes from the National Seachange Taskforce says rising sea levels are a serious risk and coastal councils need to deal with the issue right now.

Rising seas may put $300b of property at risk: scientists

What impact are sea-level rises predicted to have on Australian cities?

Climate change increases fire risk

A Climate Commission report says a warmer globe increases the risk of extreme fire danger conditions.

Heatwave exacerbated by climate change: Climate Commission

A new report from the Federal Government’s Climate Commission says the heatwave and bushfires that have affected Australia this week have been exacerbated by global warming.

And a couple from ABC Science, just in case you haven’t had enough:

Emissions could cut climate damage by 60%

The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply.

Heatwave suddenly shrinks seaweed’s range

SHRINKING SEAWEED: A recent marine heatwave off Western Australia rapidly shrank the distribution range of an ecologically-important seaweed, researchers report.

There must be a policy in force at the ABC. All I need is someone to leak it…

Lewandowsky on IPCC leak


At it again…

At it again…

UPDATE: A commenter jokingly suggests below that Lew should “see a shrink”, but the strange thing is that he ticks several of the boxes for the psychological characteristic of narcissism, including:

  • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

I will leave it to readers to decide…

Stephan Lewandowsky weighs in with his usual tact and diplomacy on the IPCC leak, spraying the D-word around like confetti:

“Science is one of the most transparent endeavours humans have ever developed. However, for the transparency to be effective, preliminary documents ought to remain confidential until they have been improved and checked through peer review,” he said in an emailed comment.

“The leak of a draft report by a reviewer who has signed a statement of confidentiality is therefore regrettable and dishonourable.”

“However, what is worse than the leak itself is the distortion of the content of the draft chapter by some deniers,” he said.

Prof Lewandowsky said that the report’s statement that humans have caused global warming was a “virtual certainty” meant it’s [sic] authors had 99% confidence in that view.

“That’s up from ‘very high confidence’ (90% certain) in the last report published in 2007,” he said.  [Hey Stephan:  How, specifically, were those 90% and 99% numbers calculated?  What, specifically, changed between 2007 and now that accounts for the alleged 90% reduction in uncertainty?]

“In other words, the scientific case has become even stronger and has now reached a level of confidence that is parallelled only by our confidence in some very basic laws of physics, such as gravity or thermodynamics.”

To claim otherwise by cherry-picking part of a sentence out of context is absurd, he said.

“Although it illustrates the standard approach by which climate deniers seek to confuse the public. Climate denial lost intellectual respectability decades ago, and all that deniers have left now is to misrepresent, distort, or malign the science and the scientific process.” (h/t Tom Nelson via WUWT)

Nowhere in Lewandowsky’s world is there ever any hint of doubt, uncertainty, contrition or scepticism about his own beliefs. He’s right on everything – always.

This is evident from the UWA FOI emails (on which more will follow in due course) where the many emails of complaint to the University about his recent work are dismissed in the same cavalier manner as any legitimate questioning of the alarmists’ position on climate.

Commenting on one particular blog article critical of the Moon Landing Denier paper, the Deputy VC at UWA, Robyn Owens, emails Lewandowsky:

“The sooner we get Critical Thinking 101 back to being a compulsory unit for all university students (and the rest of the population) the better!”

To which Lewandowsky responds:

“These folks are beyond educable.”

Funny thing is that the more Lewandowsky, John Cook and others like them insult, demean and belittle their ideological opponents, the more those opponents will dig in and fight back.

Quote of the Day: IPCC AR5 leak


Quote of the Day

UPDATE: The headbangers have all made up their minds too. Un-skeptical Pseudo-Science, the ABC, who wheel in a tame alarmist to hose the story down (see comment below).

From the It’s the Sun, stupid Department, a startling acknowledgement that the IPCC doesn’t know everything about the Sun’s effect on our climate (or the magnitude of such effects):

Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

Delingpole writes on it here.

Download everything from AR5 if you so choose at WUWT.

IPCC: 'an embarrassment to science'


Embarrassment

Hang on, surely the IPCC is the ‘gold standard’ of climate science, impartially reviewing all the available peer-reviewed (and peer-reviewed only) papers and presenting a balanced and apolitical position? Why else would governments around the world base their entire climate policies on its pronouncements?

Hardly. Not only is it an organisation that was established specifically to find evidence to prop up a conclusion already reached (namely that CO2 emissions will cause dangerous climate change), but it is riddled with environmental activism posing as science. Grey literature? Just fine – as long as it supports the Cause, of course.

It also regularly fails to correct errors, as Roger Pielke Jr reports:

Alleged errors in the treatment of disaster trends in Chapter 1, WGII, AR4
CLA response from Cynthia Rosenzweig and Gino Casassa
August 23, 2012

Alleged Error #1

Text from Roger Pielke, Jr.

Error #1: IPCC p. 110: “These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, but this was before the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.”

FACTUALLY INCORRECT: Figure 5 in the following paper, in press prior to the IPCC AR4 WGII publication deadline, clearly shows that the addition of 2004 and 2005 losses do not alter the long-term trend in hurricane losses:

Pielke, Jr., R. A. (2006), Disasters, Death, and Destruction: Making Sense of Recent
Calamities. Oceanography 19 138-147. (link – PDF)

This same information was also in the report of the 2006 Hohenkammer Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses, which was cited by the AR4 WGII: (link – PDF)

RECOMMENDED CORRECTION: “These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, and this remains the case following the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.”

CLA Finding

There is no error in the statement. No correction is needed and the text can stand as is.

Rationale

The clause about the published analyses being before the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons is a statement of fact about the time line, and it is not a statement that the results were different after including 2004 and 2005. The statement does not infer that the overall pattern of losses would be different; instead it suggests that 2004 and 2005 were remarkable years in terms of hurricane losses, which they were.

PIELKE RESPONSE SEPTEMBER 13:  This boggles the mind. The time line was such that published analyses (I provided 2!) that were available to the IPCC when drafting the AR4 included 2004 and 2005. The IPCC is say that up is down, and with a straight face. Did they not even read what I wrote? (source)

Why should the IPCC dilute its political message, just because it’s factually incorrect? As Pielke tweets, the IPCC is an embarrassment to science.

Donna Laframboise in Sydney


ACM author with Donna Laframboise

Last night I attended the Sydney talk of Canadian author and blogger Donna Laframboise, whose book, “The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world’s top Climate Expert” has recently been published here in Australia.

A large crowd had gathered at the Sheraton on the Park to hear Donna speak about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In her talk, she explained how despite protestations that the IPCC was a collection of the world’s best climate scientists, much of the IPCC’s reports were written by students and environmental activists, and that many appointments to the panel were politically motivated.

She also showed that the IPCC’s claim only to rely on peer-reviewed science was false, with over 30% of the references cited in the recent AR4 coming from newspaper clippings, WWF and Greenpeace reports, press releases and other grey literature. I wonder how much of that grey literature supported “the consensus”? I’m guessing roughly 100%.

I have corresponded with Donna in the past and it was great to meet her finally! Donna, I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in “Fantasy Island”.*

John Roskam of the IPA

 

Donna Laframboise

 

Signing books

Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: Welcome to Fantasy Island!

Greenhouse gases 'largely to blame' for ocean warming


Alarmist Broadcasting Corporation

Instead of reporting the problems with its last alarmist story, namely the fact that bloggers have once again found holes in a supposedly “peer-reviewed” paper propping up the consensus, the ABC just moves on and runs another:

A new US-led study, featuring research by Tasmanian scientists, has concluded that warming ocean temperatures over the past 50 years are largely a man-made phenomenon.

Researchers from America, India, Japan and Australia say the study is the most comprehensive look at how the oceans have warmed.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, examined a dozen different models used to project climate change, and compared them with observations of ocean warming over the past 50 years.

It found natural variations accounted for about 10 per cent of rising temperatures, but man-made greenhouse gases were the major cause. (source)

Authors supporting “the Cause” include Aussie John Church and Ben Santer. Need I say more?

Judith Curry gets technical about it here, and ocean temperature records in general were pretty rough before the ARGO era, but concludes that the latest paper will no doubt win out in AR5. Why? Because it’s the “right answer”, according to the consensus. Politics and activism win out over impartial science every time.

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