Archive for November, 2009

UN Bigger Than Jesus?

November 30, 2009

Everyone is familiar with the John Lennon remark, right? Well now we’ve got the UN’s version:

Environmentalism should be regarded on the same level with religion “as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity,” according to a paper written two years ago to influence the future strategy of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the world’s would-be environmental watchdog.

Ban Ki-Moon

"Bigger than Jesus!"

Nice to Critique You

November 30, 2009

WUWT has found another blockbuster email in the CRU files. This is actually an interesting exchange between Tom Wigley and Phil Jones. WUWT is focusing on Jones’ claiming that Hansen’s GISS surface data is inferior to CRU. This is important because GISS has shown warming in the last twelve years, whereas HadCrut has not, among other reasons. But there is a (to me less) shocking statement about satellite data, too.

Phil Jones wrote:

I don’t think AR4 (Ch 3) went into the TLT/surface amplification issue. You can get
the pdf of the chapter from here [1] . This
amplification issue is only addressed in some recent papers – mainly Ben’s.
The timescale argument is quite convincing. It is a pity that there is only Pinatubo
that you can test it on. El Chichon ought to work but it is confused by ENSO. Does the
amplification work well for the 1997/98 El Nino?
Did you pick up that Thompson et al paper due out in J. Climate soon? Factoring out
ENSO and volcanoes might help in isolating this.
where there is a link to the paper and also the data
It seems as though you can get all the extraction parts. No need for the dynamic bit.
Anyway my thought is as Pinatubo gives the amplification then ENSO ought to as well.
A thought might be to take Dave Thompson’s ENSO and volcanic subtraction series, then
scale them by thermodynamic theory value then subtract these from RSS and UAH. Small
issue of base periods to sort out
and assume there is no lag.
Need to do this with NCDC surface as well – have to use Dave T’s numbers here. This
can’t do the 20N-20S – just the globe.
It would of course, at this and any other time, be very nice to show that UAH is wrong.
A couple of minor things in the paper
– the amplification should work for a cooling as well – not just warming trends?
In Fig 5 in your legend LOUAH should be UAHLO. This is in Fig 4 as well.
By the way – meant to add this to the earlier email.
NCDC ERSST3 side does talk about missing data, so any of this would mean the (NH+SH)/2
won’t equal the global average that NCDC calculate.
I recall you asking about GISS. One thing I have learned about GISS is that they have a
cut off date of the 8th of each month. After this date nothing is changed for the
previous month and nothing earlier either. This means they never incorporate any back
data and they don’t get the second tranche of CLIMAT data which comes about the 16th of
the following month. Countries like Paraguay and Bolivia mostly come in this way, plus
some in Africa.
I’ll see Tom Peterson later in the week. I’ll ask him about their cut offs. I think
they don’t change a month later. This won’t lose you much data though. It was Tom who
told me about the data they can’t use.

Always nice to critique you!

Stop Observing You Morons!

November 28, 2009

The fallout from Climategate continues. Today, Jeff Id has found this gem:

From: Ben Santer
To: P.Jones
Subject: Re: Good news!  Plus less good news
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:13:21 -0800
Reply-to: santer

Dear Phil,

Yeah, I had already seen the stuff from McIntyre. Tom Peterson sent it
to me. McIntyre has absolutely no understanding of climate science. He
doesn’t realize that, as the length of record increases and trend
confidence intervals decrease, even trivially small differences between
an individual observed trend and the multi-model average trend are
judged to be highly significant.
These model-versus-observed trend
differences are, however, of no practical significance whatsoever – they
are well within the structural uncertainties of the observed MSU trends.

It would be great if Francis and Myles got McIntyre’s paper for review.
Also, I see that McIntyre has put email correspondence with me in the
Supporting Information of his paper. What a jerk!

I will write to Keith again. The Symposium wouldn’t be the same without
him. I think Tom would be quite disappointed.

Have fun in Switzerland!

With best regards,


This deals with the Douglass et al 2007, Santer et the entire community 2008, and a submission by McIntyre and McKitrick to IJC which is meant to rebut Santer et al. You can find that submission here. Please understand what Santer is saying here. He’s saying, it makes sense to analyze only part of the data because it makes it easier to retain hypotheses like the models. So there is no point in trying to get more observations so we can better judge models. So stop observing you morons!

For Clarification: Significance

November 23, 2009

With regard to the ongoing CRU hack debacle (see post below) some people are saying:

That’s because it’s not as big as you like to think, Jeff. There are certainly some suggestive (even dubious) comments in that material but on their own they prove nothing. They confirm the suspicions of some people, including Dr Ball, but confirming suspicions isn’t proof. If Mann and co. have done anything wrong they will be found out but it won’t be by this illegal release of documents, it will be by a properly constituted investigation. Calm down.

First of all, I’ve told my own mother not to make more of this than there is. Secondly this goes way beyond Mann and paleoclimate. The emails have potentially exposed the way the climate science community really thinks-in a malicious, ends justify the means manner. This doesn’t mean their claims are wrong. What it does mean is that these people should not be trusted as objective, fair minded individuals. Because these emails clearly show an attitude of subjectivity and closed-mindedness.


November 20, 2009

Apparently something really incredible is going on with information which has been hacked from CRU. Among other things: emails wherein prominent scientists dish on how the really feel about colleague’s work, cheer the death of a skeptic, seriously consider assaulting and beating another, conspire to act as gatekeepers of the peer reviewed literature, and speak candidly about some sneaky behavior such as data truncation, dodging FOIA requests, and apparently even taxes! And they aren’t denying that the information is real either. Phil Jones has confirmed it, at least in part. to learn more, I recommend going to the Air Vent, Watts Up, Climate Audit (extremely busy right now) and anywhere else. The Air Vent in particular has a number of posts on this:

From comments there or the main posts:

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while theother two got April-Sept for NH land N of
20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Cheers, Phil

Note that I know who some of the authors are but they don’t have wiki pages: Tim is Tim Osborn and I suspect that Ray and Malcolm are Bradley and Hughes of MBH fame.


This is truly awful. GRL has gone downhill rapidly in recent years.

I think the decline began before Saiers. I have had some unhelpful dealings with him recently with regard to a paper Sarah and I have on glaciers — it was well received by the referees, and so is in the publication pipeline. However, I got the impression that Saiers was trying to keep it from being published.

Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.

How different is the GRL paper from the Nature paper? Did the authors counter any of the criticisms? My experience with Douglass is that the identical (bar format changes) paper to one previously rejected was submitted to GRL.


Now in this case I suspect for various reasons that T is Tom Wigley. This is from context. I don’t now Saiers at all, though.

Dear All,

Just a heads up. Apparently, the contrarians now have an “in” with GRL. This guy Saiers has a prior connection w/ the University of Virginia Dept. of Environmental Sciences that causes me some unease.

I think we now know how the various Douglass et al papers w/ Michaels and Singer, the Soon et al paper, and now this one have gotten published in GRL,


Note the Derision.

From: Phil [names]

Good to see these two out. Wahl/Ammann doesn’t appear to be in CC’s
online first, but comes up if you search.
You likely know that McIntyre will check this one to make sure it
changed since the IPCC close-off date July 2006!
Hard copies of the WG1 report from CUP have arrived here today.

Ammann/Wahl – try and change the Received date! Don’t give those
skeptics something
to amuse themselves with.


Caspar Ammann of Caspar and the Jesus Paper is mentioned.

Dear All,

Apologies for sending this again. I was expecting a stack of emails this morning in response, but I inadvertently left Mike off (mistake in pasting) and picked up Tom’s old address. Tom is busy though with another offspring !

I looked briefly at the paper last night and it is appalling – worst word I can think of today without the mood pepper appearing on the email ! I’ll have time to read more at the weekend as I’m coming to the US for the DoE CCPP meeting at Charleston. Added Ed, Peck and Keith A. onto this list as well. I would like to have time to rise to the bait, but I have so much else on at the moment. As a few of us will be at the EGS/AGU meet in Nice, we should consider what to do there. The phrasing of the questions at the start of the paper determine the answer they get. They have no idea what multiproxy averaging does. By their logic, I could argue 1998 wasn’t the warmest year globally, because it wasn’t the warmest everywhere. With their LIA being 1300-1900 and their MWP 800-1300, there appears (at my quick first reading) no discussion of synchroneity of the cool/warm periods. Even with the instrumental record, the early and late
20th century warming periods are only significant locally at between 10-20% of grid boxes.
Writing this I am becoming more convinced we should do something – even if this is just to state once and for all what we mean by the LIA and MWP. I think the skeptics will usethis paper to their own ends and it will set paleo back a number of years if it goes unchallenged.

I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor. A CRU person is on the editorial board, but papers get dealt with by the editor assigned by Hans von Storch.


I cannot identify many of the individuals in this email although I have some suspects (not sharing).

Subject: Re: FW: retraction request
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 08:21:57 -0400

Thanks Phil,
We R now responding to a former TV weather forecaster who has got press, He has a web site
of 40 of the USHCN stations showing less than ideal exposure. He claims he can show urban biases and exposure biases.

We are writing a response for our Public Affairs. Not sure how it will play out.
Regards, TOm
said the following on 6/19/2007 4:22 AM:

Wei-Chyung and Tom,
The Climate Audit web site has a new thread on the Jones et al. (1990)
paper, with lots of quotes from Keenan. So they may not be going to
submit something to Albany. Well may be?!?
Just agreed to review a paper by Ren et al. for JGR. This refers
to a paper on urbanization effects in China, which may be in press
in J. Climate. I say ‘may be’ as Ren isn’t that clear about this in
the text, references and responses to earlier reviews. Have requested
JGR get a copy a copy of this in order to do the review.
In the meantime attaching this paper by Ren et al. on urbanization
at two sites in China.
Nothing much else to say except:
1. Think I’ve managed to persuade UEA to ignore all further FOIA
requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit.
2. Had an email from David Jones of BMRC, Melbourne. He said
they are ignoring anybody who has dealings with CA, as there are
threads on it about Australian sites.
3. CA is in dispute with IPCC (Susan Solomon and Martin Manning)
about the availability of the responses to reviewer’s at the various
stages of the AR4 drafts. They are most interested here re Ch 6 on

Tom here may be Wigley but it could also be someone else.

Dear Phil,

I’ve known Rick Piltz for many years. He’s a good guy. I believe he used
to work with Mike MacCracken at the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this stuff, Phil. Next
time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat
the crap out of him. Very tempted.

I’ll help you to deal with Michaels and the CEI in any way that I can.
The only reason these guys are going after you is because your work is
of crucial importance – it changed the way the world thinks about human
effects on climate. Your work mattered in the 1980s, and it matters now.

With best wishes,


McCracken is a prominent activist scientist. He has no wiki page.

Dear Phil,

Congratulations on the AGU Fellowship! That’s great news. I’m really
delighted. I hope that Mr. Mc “I’m not entirely there in the head” isn’t
there to spoil the occasion…

With best regards,

Ben wrote:
> Ben,
> Meant to add – hope you’re better! You were missed at
> IDAG. Meeting went well though.
> I heard during IDAG that I’ve been made an AGU Fellow.
> Will likely have to go to Toronto to Spring AGU to collect it.
> I hope I don’t see a certain person there!
> Have to get out of a keynote talk I’m due to give in
> Finland the same day!
> Cheers
> Phil

Santer derides McIntyre.

From: Ed Cook
To: Keith Briffa
Subject: Re: Esper et al. and Mike Mann
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 13:20:40 -0400

Hi Keith,

Of course, I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in
Mike’s recon, particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your
response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his
letter. It would be too aggravating. The only way to deal with this
whole issue is to show in a detailed study that his estimates are
clearly deficient in multi-centennial power, something that you
actually did in your Perspectives piece, even if it was not clearly
stated because of editorial cuts. It is puzzling to me that a guy as
bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit
more objectively.


>I have just read this lettter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to
>death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical
>area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature
>representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of
>regressing these data again any other “target” series , such as the
>increasing trend of self-opinionated verbage he has produced over
>the last few years , and … (better say no more)

Trouble in paradise?

rom: P
To: “M
Date: Thu Jul 8 16:30:16 2004

Only have it in the pdf form. FYI ONLY – don’t pass on. Relevant paras are the last 2 in section 4 on p13. [snip out of kindness] be careful how you use it – if at all. Keep quiet also that you have the pdf. The attachment is a very good paper – I’ve been pushing A over the last weeks to get it submitted to JGR or J. Climate. The main results are great for CRU and also for ERA-40. The basic message is clear – you have to put enough surface and sonde obs into a model to produce Reanalyses. The jumps when the data input change stand out so clearly. NCEP does many odd things also around sea ice and over snow and ice.

The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is ! [names removed because I’m giving quarter until legal advice arrives]
[Snipped again out of kindness. This section had to do with personal feelings and friendships regarding a paper which probably didn’t tow the line.]

I can send if you want, but it won’t be out as a report for a couple of months.

Prof. P

This next bit is a real whopper:

if McIntyre had a legitimate point, he would submit a comment to the journal in question. of course, the last time he tried that (w/ our ‘98 article in Nature), his comment was rejected. For all of the noise and bluster about the Steig et al Antarctic warming, its now nearing a year and nothing has been submitted. So more likely he won’t submit for peer-reviewed scrutiny, or if it does get his criticism “published” it will be in the discredited contrarian home journal “Energy and Environment”. I’m sure you are aware that McIntyre and his ilk realize they no longer need to get their crap published in legitimate journals. All they have to do is put it up on their blog, and the contrarian noise machine kicks into gear, pretty soon Druge, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their ilk (in this case, The Telegraph were already on it this morning) are parroting the claims. And based on what? some guy w/ no credentials, dubious connections with the energy industry, and who hasn’t submitted his claims to the scrutiny of peer review.

In case you are wondering, that was all said my Michael Mann.

Michael E. Mann wrote:

Dear Phil and Gabi,
I’ve attached a cleaned-up and commented version of the matlab code that I wrote for
doing the Mann and Jones (2003) composites. I did this knowing that Phil and I are
likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future, so
best to clean up the code and provide to some of my close colleagues in case they want
to test it, etc. Please feel free to use this code for your own internal purposes, but
don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people.

Very Open and Transparent!

This is from WUWT:

From: Phil Jones
Subject: Fwd: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu Jan 29 14:17:01 2004

From: Timo H‰meranta
Subject: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:04:28 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
Importance: Normal

In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper – just found
another email – is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals
to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.


“It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John
Daly.Condolences may be sent to John’s email account (

Reported with great sadness

Timo H‰meranta

How Nice.

From Motl:

That is why it is important for us to get money from additional sources, in particular from the ADVANCE and INTAS ones. Also, it is important for us if you can transfer the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for one occasion transfer (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD. Only in this case we can avoid big taxes and use money for our work as much as possible. Please, inform us what kind of documents and financial reports we must represent you and your administration for these money

Do these people take advice from Tim Geithner?

This is all very, very disturbing. If you thought climate science was corrupt this is your smoking gun. If you are on the other side you’d better prove it’s either fake or provide a damn good explanation. Some of what is going on here constitutes serious misconduct. I seriously have to think that if a scientist is actually contemplating beating the crap out of somebody, or happy someone is dead, that there is something very very wrong with him.

Angels On The Head Of A Pin

November 19, 2009

Do facts matter anymore? No, not in the least. In an article with too many incorrect statements to even begin to address, the following is said:

Meanwhile, the scientists have for the first time detected a failure of the Earth’s natural ability to absorb man-made carbon dioxide released into the air.

They found significant evidence that more man-made CO2 is staying in the atmosphere to exacerbate the greenhouse effect because the natural “carbon sinks” that have absorbed it over previous decades on land and sea are beginning to fail, possibly as a result of rising global temperatures.

That’s incredible because it seemed me like they just found exactly the opposite was true. Golly science changes fast! Try to keep up!

How Not To Use An Argumentum Ad Numerum

November 17, 2009

EDIT: The author of the post has more prominently featured the explanation of exactly what was intended. A definite improvement. See the comments here.

Well, technically you should never make such an argument. It’s fallacious. But even when making this argument in a context in which you merely want to demonstrate that an argument exists rather than being right you can still screw up. As a case study in screwing this up, I offer a post making the rounds in the skeptical blogosphere:
450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming

Where did this poster go wrong? Well, firstly, they stated that the papers in question support skepticism of man-made warming, either that it exists or is significantly detectable in the historical record. The following papers from the list are completely unrelated to that question:

The Double Standard in Environmental Science (PDF)
(Regulation, Volume 30, Number 2, pp. 16-22, 2007)
– Stanley W. Trimble

The Letter Science Magazine Rejected
(Energy & Environment, Volume 16, Numbers 3-4, pp. 685-688, July 2005)
– Benny Peiser

A critique of a method to determine long-term decline of coral reef ecosystems (PDF)
(Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 6, pp. 783-796, November 2007)
– Peter V. Ridd

Bikini Atoll coral biodiversity resilience five decades after nuclear testing (PDF)
(Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp. 503-515, March 2008)
– Zoe T. Richardsa, Maria Begerd, Silvia Pincae, Carden C. Wallace

Coral reef calcification and climate change: The effect of ocean warming (PDF)
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Number 22, November 2004)
– Ben I. McNeil, Richard J. Matear, David J. Barnes

Reply to comment by Kleypas et al. on “Coral reef calcification and climate change: The effect of ocean warming” (PDF)
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 32, Issue 8, April 2005)
– Ben I. McNeil, Richard J. Matear, David J. Barnes

Reef corals bleach to survive change
(Nature, Volume 411, Issue 6839, pp. 765-766, June 2001)
– Andrew C. Baker

Changing Heat-Related Mortality in the United States (PDF)
(Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 111, Number 14, pp. 1712-1718, November 2003)
– Robert E. Davis, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels, Wendy M. Novicoff

Cold—an underrated risk factor for health
(Environmental Research, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp. 8-13, May 2003)
– James B. Mercer

Decadal changes in heat-related human mortality in the eastern United States (PDF)
(Climate Research, Volume 22, Number 2, pp. 175-184. September 2002)
– Robert E. Davis, Paul C. Knappenberger, Wendy M. Novicoff, Patrick J. Michaels

Global Health Threats: Global Warming in Perspective (PDF)
(Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 14, Number 3, pp. 69-75, 2009)
– Indur M. Goklany

Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study
(British Medical Journal, Volume 321, Number 7262, pp. 670-673, September 2000)
– W. R. Keatinge et al.

Seasonality of climate–human mortality relationships in US cities and impacts of climate change (PDF)
(Climate Research, Volume 26, Number 1, pp. 61-76, April 2004)
– Robert E. Davis, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels,
Wendy M. Novicoff

Temperature-related mortality in France, a comparison between regions with different climates from the perspective of global warming
(International Journal of Biometeorology, Volume 51, Number 2, November 2006)
– Mohamed Laaidi, Karine Laaidi, Jean-Pierre Besancenot

U.S. Trends in Crude Death Rates Due to Extreme Heat and Cold Ascribed to Weather, 1979-97
(Technology, Volume 7S, pp. 165-173, 2000)
– Indur M. Goklany, Sorin R. Straja

Was the 2003 European summer heat wave unusual in a global context? (PDF)
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Issue 23, December 2006)
– Thomas N. Chase, Klaus Wolter, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Ichtiaque Rasool

Claim of Largest Flood on Record Proves False
(Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Volume 84, Number 12, pp. 109-109, 2003)
– N. A. Sheffer et al.

Floods, droughts and climate change
(South African Journal of Science, Volume 91, Number 8, pp. 403-408, August 1995)
– W.J.R. Alexander

Human Factors Explain the Increased Losses from Weather and Climate Extremes (PDF)
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp.437-442, March 2000)
– Stanley A. Changnon, Roger A. Pielke Jr., David Changnon, Richard T. Sylves, Roger Pulwarty

Nine Fallacies of Floods (PDF)
(Climatic Change, Volume 42, Number 2, June 1999)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr.

No upward trends in the occurrence of extreme floods in central Europe
(Nature, Volume 425, Issue 6954, pp. 166-169, September 2003)
– Manfred Mudelsee, Michael Börngen, Gerd Tetzlaff, Uwe Grünewald

Palaeoclimatic and archaeological evidence for a 200-yr recurrence of floods and droughts linking California, Mesoamerica and South America over the past 2000 years
(Holocene, Volume 13, Number 5, pp. 763-778, 2003)
– Amdt Schimmelmann, Carina B. Lange, Betty J. Meggers

Gulf Stream safe if wind blows and Earth turns
(Nature, Volume 428, Issue 6983, April 2004)
– Carl Wunsch

Are there trends in hurricane destruction? (PDF)
(Nature, Volume 438, Number 7071, pp. E11, December 2005)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr.

Can We Detect Trends in Extreme Tropical Cyclones? (PDF)
(Science, Volume 313, Number 5786, pp. 452-454, July 2006)
– Christopher W. Landsea, Bruce A. Harper, Karl Hoarau, John A. Knaff

Causes of the Unusually Destructive 2004 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season (PDF)
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 87, Issue 10, October 2006)
– Philip J. Klotzbach, William M. Gray

Comments on “Impacts of CO2-Induced Warming on Simulated Hurricane Intensity and Precipitation: Sensitivity to the Choice of Climate Model and Convective Scheme”
(Journal of Climate, Volume 18, Issue 23, December 2005)
– Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Christopher Landsea

Counting Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Back to 1900 (PDF)
(Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Volume 88, Number 18, pp. 197, May 2007)
– Christopher W. Landsea

Hurricanes and Global Warming (PDF)
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 86, Issue 11, November 2005)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., Christopher W. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, R. Pasch

Reply to “Hurricanes and Global Warming—Potential Linkages and Consequences” (PDF)
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 87, Issue 5, May 2006)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., Christopher W. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, R. Pasch

Hurricanes and Global Warming (PDF)
(Nature, Volume 438, Number 7071, pp. E11-E12, December 2005)
– Christopher W. Landsea

Landscape and Regional Impacts of Hurricanes in New England
(Ecological Monographs, Volume 71, Number 1, pp. 27-48, February 2001)
– Emery R. Boose, Kristen E. Chamberlin, David R. Foster

Normalized Hurricane Damages in the United States: 1925–95 (PDF)
(Weather and Forecasting, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 1998)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., Christopher W. Landsea

Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United States: 1900–2005 (PDF)
(Natural Hazards, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 29-42, February 2008)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., Joel Gratz, Christopher W. Landsea, Douglas Collins, Mark A. Saunders, Rade Musulin6

Sea-surface temperatures and tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Issue 9, May 2006)
– Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Robert E. Davis

Simulated reduction in Atlantic hurricane frequency under twenty-first-century warming conditions
(Nature Geoscience, Volume 1, Number 6, pp. 359-364, June 2008)
– Thomas R. Knutson et al.

Trends in global tropical cyclone activity over the past twenty years (1986–2005) (PDF)
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Issue 11, May 2006)
– Philip J. Klotzbach

Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Change: A Post-IPCC Assessment (PDF)
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 79, Issue 1, January 1998)
– A. Henderson-Sellers, H. Zhang, G. Berz, K. Emanuel, W. Gray, C. Landsea, G. Holland, J. Lighthill, S.-L. Shieh, P. Webster, K. McGuffie

Climate Change and Mosquito-Borne Disease (PDF)
(Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 109, Supplement 1, March 2001)
– Paul Reiter

From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age (PDF)
(Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 6, Number 1, January–February 2000)
– Paul Reiter

Global warming and malaria: a call for accuracy
(Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp. 323-324, June 2004)
– Paul Reiter, C. Thomas, P. Atkinson, S. Hay, S. Randolph, D. Rogers, G. Shanks, R. Snow, A. Spielman

Global warming and malaria: knowing the horse before hitching the cart
(Malaria Journal, Volume 7, Supplement 1, December 2008)
– Paul Reiter

Malaria and Global Warming in Perspective? (PDF)
(Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 6, Number 4, pp. 438-9. July-August 2000)
– Paul Reiter

Elevated water temperature and carbon dioxide concentration increase the growth of a keystone echinoderm
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 106, Issue 23, pp. 9316-9321, June 2009)
– Rebecca A. Gooding, Christopher D. G. Harley, Emily Tang

Modern-age buildup of CO2 and its effects on seawater acidity and salinity
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Number 10, May 2006)
– Hugo A. Loáiciga

Phytoplankton Calcification in a High-CO2 World
(Science, Volume 320, Number 5874, pp. 336-340, April 2008)
– M. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez et al.

Ancient Permafrost and a Future, Warmer Arctic
(Science, Volume 321, Number 5896, pp. 1648, September 2008)
– Duane G. Froese, John A. Westgate, Alberto V. Reyes, Randolph J. Enkin, Shari J. Preece

Near-surface permafrost degradation: How severe during the 21st century?
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, Issue 9, May 2007)
– G. Delisle

Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the “ultimate” survival control factor? (PDF)
(Ecological Complexity, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 73-84, September 2007)
– M.G. Dyck, W. Soon, R.K. Baydack, D.R. Legates, S. Baliunas, T.F. Ball, L.O. Hancock

Reply to response to Dyck et al. (2007) on polar bears and climate change in western Hudson Bay by Stirling et al. (2008)
(Ecological Complexity, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp. 289-302, December 2008)
– M.G. Dyck, W. Soon, R.K. Baydack, D.R. Legates, S. Baliunas, T.F. Ball, L.O. Hancock

Polar Bear Population Forecasts: A Public-Policy Forecasting Audit (PDF)
(Interfaces, Volume 75, April 2008)
– J. Scott Armstrong, Kesten C. Green, Willie H. Soon

Dangers of crying wolf over risk of extinctions
(Nature, Volume 428, Issue 6985, pp. 799, April 2004)
– Richard J. Ladle, Paul Jepson, Miguel B. Araújo & Robert J. Whittaker

Riding the Wave: Reconciling the Roles of Disease and Climate Change in Amphibian Declines
(PLoS Biology, Volume 6, Number 3, pp. 441-454, March 2008)
– Karen R. Lips, Jay Diffendorfer, Joseph R. Mendelson III, Michael W. Sears

Changes in Global Monsoon Circulations Since 1950
(Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 2, pp. 229-254, June 2003)
– T. N. Chase, J. A. Knaff, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay

Changing storminess? An analysis of long-term sea level data sets (PDF)
(Climate Research, Volume 11, Number 2, pp. 161-172, March 1999)
– W. Bijl, R. Flather, J. G. de Ronde, T. Schmith

Characteristics of long-duration precipitation events across the United States
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, Issue 22, November 2007)
– David M. Brommer, Randall S. Cerveny, Robert C. Balling Jr.

Climate change and extratropical storminess in the United States: An assessment?
(Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Volume 35, Number 6, pp. 1387-1398, December 1999)
– Bruce P. Hayden

Comment on WMO Statement on Extreme Weather Events
(Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Volume 84, Issue 41, pp. 428-428 , February 2003)
– Madhav L. Khandekar

Compilation and Discussion of Trends in Severe Storms in the United States: Popular Perception v. Climate Reality
(Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 2, pp. 103-112, June 2003)
– Robert C. Balling Jr., Randall S. Cerveny

Extreme Weather Trends Vs. Dangerous Climate Change: A Need for Critical Reassessment
(Energy & Environment, Volume 16, Number 2, pp. 327-332, March 2005)
– Madhav L. Khandekar

Indian Monsoon Variability in a Global Warming Scenario
(Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 2, pp. 189-206, June 2003)
– R. H. Kripalani, Ashwini Kulkarni, S. S. Sabade, M. L Khandekar

North American Trends in Extreme Precipitation
(Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 2, pp. 291-305, June, 2003)
– Kenneth E. Kunkel

Scandinavian storminess since about 1800
(Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 20, October 2004)
– Lars Bärring, Hans von Storch

Seasonal, interannual, and decadal variability of storm surges at Tauranga, New Zealand
(New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, Volume 34, Number 3, pp. 419-434, September 2000)
– W. P. De Lange, J. G. Gibb

Surges, atmospheric pressure and wind change and flooding probability on the Atlantic coast of France
(Oceanologica Acta, Volume 23, Number 6, pp. 643-661, November 2000)
– P.A. Pirazzoli

Trends in precipitation on the wettest days of the year across the contiguous USA?
(International Journal of Climatology, Volume 24, Number 15, pp. 1873-1882, December 2004)
– Patrick J. Michaels, Paul C. Knappenberger, Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Robert E. Davis

Twentieth-Century Storm Activity along the U.S. East Coast (PDF)
(Journal of Climate, Volume 13, Issue 10, pp. 1748-1761, May 2000)
– Keqi Zhang, Bruce C. Douglas, Stephen P. Leatherman

Normalized Damage from Major Tornadoes in the United States: 1890–1999 (PDF)
(Weather and Forecasting, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp. 168-176, February 2001)
– Harold E. Brooks, Charles A. Doswell III

Biased Policy Advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (PDF)
(Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 929-936, December 2007)
– Richard S.J. Tol

Has the IPCC exaggerated adverse impact of Global Warming on human societies? (PDF)
(Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 5, pp. 713-719, September 2008)
– Madhav L. Khandekar

The IPCC Emission Scenarios: An Economic-Statistical Critique
(Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 159-185, May 2003)
– Ian Castles, David R. Henderson

A 2004 View of the Kyoto Protocol
(Energy & Environment, Volume 15, Number 3, pp. 505-511, July 2004)
– S. Fred Singer

After Kyoto: A Global Scramble for Advantage (PDF)
(The Independent Review, Volume 4, Number 1, pp. 19-40, 1999)
– Bruce Yandle

Climate Change: Beyond Kyoto
(Energy & Environment, Volume 16, Number 5, pp. 763-766, September 2005)
– Anne, Lauvergeon

Climate policy and uncertainty
(Energy & Environment, Volume 12, Numbers 5-6, pp. 415-423, November 2001)
– Catrinus J. Jepma

Clouds Over Kyoto (PDF)
(Regulation, Volume 21, Number 1, pp. 57-63, 1998)
– Jerry Taylor

The Role of the IPCC is To Assess Climate Change Not Advocate Kyoto
(Energy & Environment, Volume 15, Number 3, pp. 369-373, July 2004)
– Ian Castles

Time to ditch Kyoto
(Nature, Volume 449, Issue 7165, pp. 973-975, October 2007)
– Gwyn Prins, Steve Rayner

Best practices in prediction for decision-making: Lessons from the atmospheric and earth sciences (PDF)
(Ecology, Volume 84, Number 6, pp. 1351-1358, June 2003)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., Richard T. Conant

Climate Change 2007: Lifting the taboo on adaptation
(Nature, Volume 445, Issue 7128, pp. 597-598, February 2007)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr, Gwyn Prins, Steve Rayner, Daniel Sarewitz

Climate Change and Food Production
(Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 7, pp. 1099-1116, November 2009)
– T.R.C. Curtin

Climate change and the world bank: Opportunity for global governance?
(Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 27-50, January 1999)
– Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

Climate Policy : Quo Vadis?
(Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Numbers 1-2, pp. 207-213, January 2009)
– Hans Labohm

Climate Vulnerability and the Indispensable Value of Industrial Capitalism
(Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 5, pp. 733-745, September 2009)
– Keith H. Lockitch

Discounting the Future (PDF)
(Regulation, Volume 32, Number 1, pp. 36-40, 2009)
– Indur M. Goklany

Environmentalism in the light of Menger and Mises (PDF)
(Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Volume 5, Number 2, pp. 3-15, June 2002)
– George Reisman

Free speech about climate change
(Society, Volume 44, Number 4, May 2007)
– Christopher Monckton

Integrated strategies to reduce vulnerability and advance adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development (PDF)
(Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Volume 12, Number 5, pp. 755-786, June 2007)
– Indur M. Goklany

Is a Richer-but-warmer World Better than Poorer-but-cooler Worlds?
(Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1023-1048, December 2007)
– Indur M. Goklany

Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? (PDF)
(Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 3, pp. 279-302, July 2009)
– Indur M. Goklany

Managing Planet Earth; Adaptation and Cosmology (PDF)
(The Cato Journal, Volume 19 Number 1, pp. 69-83, 1999)
– Curtis A. Pendergraft

Mitigation versus compensation in global warming policy (PDF)
(Economics Bulletin, Volume 17, pp. 1-6, December 2001)
– Ross McKitrick

Relative Contributions of Global Warming to Various Climate Sensitive Risks, and their Implications for Adaptation and Mitigation (PDF)
(Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Number 6, pp. 797-822, November 2003)
– Indur M. Goklany

Rolling the DICE: William Nordhaus’s Dubious Case for a Carbon Tax (PDF)
(The Independent Review, Volume 14, Number 2, 2009)
– Robert P. Murphy

Strategies to Enhance Adaptability: Technological Change, Economic Growth and Free Trade (PDF)
(Climatic Change, Volume 30, pp. 427-449, 1995)
– Indur M. Goklany

The Eco-Industrial Complex in USA – Global Warming and Rent-Seeking Coalitions
(Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 7, pp. 941-958, December 2008)
– Ivan Jankovic

The Government Grant System: Inhibitor of Truth and Innovation? (PDF)
(Journal of Information Ethics, Volume 16, Number 1, Spring 2007)
– Donald W. Miller

The Real Climate Change Morality Crisis: Climate change initiatives perpetuate poverty, disease and premature death
(Energy & Environment, Volume 20, Number 5, pp. 763-777, September 2009)
– Paul Driessen

Turning the big knob: An evaluation of the use of energy policy to modulate future climate impacts
(Energy & Environment, Volume 11, Number 3, pp. 255-275, May 2000)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr., R. Klein, D. Sarewitz

When scientists politicize science: making sense of controversy over The Skeptical Environmentalist (PDF)
(Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp. 405-417, October 2004)
– Roger A. Pielke Jr.

The problem that arises with the vast majority of the above is that they are in regard to impacts, policy, or sociology. This is by no means exhaustive of all the papers which are listed therein which do not concern attribution. I excluded any papers which may have dealt even in part with attribution. Now if you wanted to argue that these question alarm that would be one thing. But that isn’t the implication of the title.

The next problem is that many of the papers are redundant. Although the author of the post assures readers that comments and responses are not included in count there are nevertheless a number of papers which say the same things. And in particular, a number of articles are superceded by more recent analyses. For instance, Douglass et al. 2007 is referenced. This was challenged by by Santer et al. 2008, but the post counts as a seperate reference the comment by McIntyre and McKitrick that, accepting Santer’s new statistical test and using up to date data, the models fail with UAH data.

I also didn’t count a number of articles which dealt with glaciers which are arguably not relevant to attribution, because they were technically discussing why the glaciers where retreating. A couple of papers about accumulating snowfall on Antarctica are actually in agreement with climate model results (regardless of whether they warm or cool the continent, they have snow fall increase and the temperatures stay below zero. The IPCC itself has the contribution of Antarctica to future sea level rise as negative.

Some papers are related to attribution but do not say that man does not cause warming. In fact, many of them say that, through landuse and urbanization, very real warmings have occured from human activity. Roger Pielke Jr. a coauthor of the Klotzblach et al. 2009 study even says that their argument that surface temperature trends are biased assumes that there is greenhouse warming. I don’t think that’s quite right but fair enough.

Several papers on sea level arguably are about how much not how.

The point is that this is not a list of papers specifically questioning whether warming is man made or natural. Some of the papers look into that and end up somewhere in the middle, but a number of papers are totally unrelated, and deal more with the question of alarm.

Well, anyway, I could say a lot of other things, like some of the journals aren’t “real” scientific journals, but that’s debatable. I could also say that some of the papers aren’t very good (at the very least some of the papers contradict one another in some ways) but that isn’t that big of an issue.

The main issue is that the post claims to be trying to show one thing, but in fact, shows another entirely.

That’s how not to use argumentum ad numerum.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

November 13, 2009

This comment is truly remarkable and I am glad to have found it. I reproduce it below, highlighting those parts which I find to be particularly good.

I read the full EOS essay, and it was a clearly written exposition of the views not only of your father, but many other professional earth scientists including myself. I seriously doubt a large group of earth scientists actually disagree with hypothesis 2a. Unfortunately, politics and economic philosophy are swirled in with the science, and it is really hard to separate sound science from inherent policy implications (me included). For a large group of people who disdain the idea of a self-ordering principle in human social and economic exchange and actions, there seems to be a strong need to affirm 2b despite both a priori rationale and strong empirical evidence that this hypothesis is deeply flawed. Coincidentally, 2b most intuitively seems to find its apparent policy solution in the form of centralized command and control of the economy, in order to carry out effective mitigation of greenhouse gases. What is too easily forgotten or ignored however, is that centralized control suffers incredible inefficiency and moral hazard since it is always plagued by at least three almost insurmountable difficulties. Firstly, there is a very real and daunting “knowledge problem”. Much like the problem faced by a weather forecaster, it is almost impossible for a planner to accurately initialize the current situation. This assures that centralized policy actions will always carry with them unforeseen consequences, often negative. Secondly, centralized command suffers from the “rubber arm” syndrome. Even armed with hypothetical perfect knowledge of intial conditions, it will most often lack an effective strategy and the means to implement good policy response. Thirdly, there is the important issue of “concentrated corruption” and special interests. In a state controlled economy, the most powerful and connected are always able to purchase “loopholes” in the law for themselves, thus using the bureaucratic structure for their own advantage against their competition. Thus the social justice sought by well-meaning people quickly turns into the oppressiveness of an oligarchy for the rich and powerful. Obviously, I am not a social scientist, but it seems so completely clear to me that international law-making bodies vested with distributing some type of hypothetical “egalitarian global climate” are certainly doomed to fail miserably, owing to all three policy issues I raise above.

It is high time many well-intentioned people (physical scientists included) wake up to the reality that 2b never has been a robust scientific view of climate change. Instead, the flawed 2b hypothesis is being used as a battering ram by some politicians (and aided by a certain group of scientists of the same ideological brand), all too willing to foist a repressive and ineffective form of centralized government upon many well-intentioned and sincere citizens.

Best Regards,

Bryan Sralla

I was beginning to think that it was a requirement to be an Earth Scientist to not understand that stuff!

Get Out Your Shovel…

November 13, 2009

Sigh…I smell more rats. Get this. The number of record low temperatures has been decreasing and the record highs increasing in the United States. Sinces the fifties anyway. Shocker. Oh, and this is surely very bad. And climate models predicted it. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Or so says NCAR.

Something is wrong here, actually. There is way more data than just back to the fifties. Why deliberately leave out the scorching summers in the 30’s and 40’s? I don’t want to say someone is being dishonest. But I can’t NOT say it either. I can’t imagine why they chose their start dates that way. I don’t think it’s because they would have found no change in either.

Don’t be silly.

The New Old News You’ve Never Heard…

November 11, 2009

The Climate Blogosphere is all a flutter over a recent study:

Knorr, W. (2009), Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040613.

The gist that has people excited or concerned is that the portion of the CO2 we emit that stays in the atmosphere has remained more or less constant. It has been hypothesized by some that as warming increases, the earth will lose it’s ability to absorb our CO2 gradually. Since our emissions are increasing, if the sinks were constant, the ratio would be  increasing gradually. If sinks were absorbing less CO2 then there would be a rapid increase. But if the ratio has stated the same, that means that the amount of CO2 that is absorbed by the Oceans and biosphere etc. is increasing. In other words, we emit more, and the Earth’s capacity to absorb CO2 increases proportionally. This is exactly the opposite of the “CO2 feedback” hypothesis, that a warmer world will be less able to absorb CO2. Thus more of our emissions will stay in the atmosphere, which means more warming, rinse lather repeat.

But we already knew this. Search google for “missing sink” to find plenty of articles that explain that there is a bunch of carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere that carbon cycle modelers have no clue what happens to. There are a lot of hypotheses, but the issue at present is still unresolved. What’s more, it has long been know that our emissions are more than enough to account for the increase in CO2 concentrations, so that the “missing” amount of CO2 is increasingly large and difficult to account for.

One possible explanation is that the biosphere is absorbing more CO2 through photosynthesis. I don’t know if anyone is testing this but it would make sense and fits with studies indicating increases in primary productivity.

Yet in spite of this not being news, you haven’t heard it, most likely, until now. Well that’s probably because it is surprisingly good news. Logically as warmer oceans lose their ability to sequester CO2 and as higher temperatures presumably result in release of “trapped” carbon from permafrost (in the case of methane this is VASTLY contradicted by observational evidence). If that were the case then the airborne fraction would have to be increasing. Since it is not, it appears that the carbon cycle feedback hypotheses are not supported at present by the evidence.