Draft U.S. Climate Assessment Report

by Judith Curry

The U.S. National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) has released a draft of its report for public comment.

From the NCADC website:

The NCADAC, whose members are available here (and in the report), was established under the Department of Commerce in December 2010 and is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

The NCADAC has engaged more than 240 authors in the creation of the report. The authors are acknowledged at the beginning of the chapters they co-authored.

Link [here] to download the report.  I have read a few sections.

In the Executive Summary, first page, their argument can be represented by the first sentence of each of the paragraphs:

  •  Climate change is already affecting the American people.
  • Many impacts associated with these changes are important to Americans’ health and livelihoods  and the ecosystems that sustain us.
  •  Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.
  •  U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895; more than 80% of this 21 increase has occurred since 1980.
  •  U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F  to 4°F of warming in most areas.
  • The chances of record-breaking high temperature extremes will continue to increase as the climate continues to change.
  • Human-induced climate change means much more than just hotter weather.

The word ‘uncertainty’ receives its first mention on p 17, here is how they deal with the issues associated with uncertainty:

Risk-Based Framing

Authors of this assessment were asked to approach it from the perspective of a decision-maker  trying to limit risk to valued systems, resources, and communities (and to consider opportunities  as well). For each chapter, they were asked to frame a number of key questions or issues that address the most important information needs of stakeholders, and consider the decisions stakeholders are facing. The criteria provided for identifying key vulnerabilities in their sector or region included: magnitude, timing, persistence/reversibility, distributional aspects, likelihood,  and importance of impacts (based on the perceptions of relevant parties) as well as the potential  for adaptation. For the purposes of this assessment, risk was defined as the product of likelihood  and consequence, and authors were encouraged to think about these topics from both a  quantitative and qualitative perspective, and to consider the influence of multiple stresses if  possible. 

Assessing Confidence

The level of confidence the chapter authors have in the key findings they report is given in  “traceable accounts” that accompany each chapter. A traceable account is intended to: 1)  document the process the authors used to come to the conclusions in their key messages; 2)  provide additional information to reviewers about the quality of the information used; and 3)  allow traceability to data and resources. The authors have assessed a wide range of information  in the scientific literature and previous technical reports. In assessing confidence, they have  considered the strength and consistency of the observed evidence, the skill, range, and  consistency of model projections, and insights about processes and climate from peer-reviewed  sources. 

Assessing Likelihood  

When it is considered scientifically justified to report the likelihood of particular impacts within  the range of possible outcomes, this report takes a plain-language approach to expressing the  expert judgment of the author team based on the best available evidence. For example, an  outcome termed “likely” has at least a two-thirds chance of occurring; an outcome termed “very  likely,” at least a 90% chance. Key sources of information used to develop these characterizations of uncertainty are referenced.  Draft for Public Comment 

Addressing Incomplete Scientific Understanding

Within each traceable account, the authors identify areas where a lack of information and/or  scientific uncertainty limits their ability to estimate future climate change and its impacts. The  section on “An Agenda for Climate Impacts Science” at the end of this report highlights some of  the areas suggested for additional research.

I then skipped down to the chapter 29 Research Agenda for Climate Change Science.  The highlighted research goals are:

1.  Deepen understanding of the climate system, feedbacks, and impacts.

  • Better understanding of important sources of uncertainty and feedbacks in the  climate system such as clouds, changes in land and sea ice, aerosols, land use and land  cover, thresholds and feedbacks, and the means by which ocean dynamics affect changes  in the climate system;  
  • Advancing capacity to project biogeophysical changes in the nation’s ecosystems and associated services (such as food availability and security, protection of biodiversity, healthy wetlands, and abundant fresh water) or the nature, timing, and location of terrestrial permafrost and methane release processes; 
  • Improved understanding of the interactions of climate change and natural variability  at multiple time scales, including seasonal to decadal changes (and consideration of the  El Niño Southern Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation,  etc.), extreme events (hurricanes, droughts, and floods), potential changes in ocean  circulation related to climate change, and the global transfer of heat laterally and toward  the poles; 
  • Improved, and more detailed, projections of the rate of change in oceanic pH,  carbonate saturation, and attendant acidification and its consequences for the marine 36 biosphere and food chain; 
  • Research to improve our nation’s ability to understand the cumulative and synergistic relationships between climate change and numerous human-caused stressors at appropriate scales, including multiple stresses affecting the climate system (including  concentrations of heat-trapping gases and particulates in the atmosphere, changes in land  use and land cover, shifts in human cultural behavior or demographics, or changes in economic factors). 
  • Experiments on the effects of multiple stressors within and between social, physical, and ecological systems in the context of global change; 
  • Better understanding of the potential for crossing thresholds and tipping points in affected climate systems, along with development of indicators that allow for anticipation 10 of abrupt changes and extreme events in the context of a changing climate. 
  • Assessing the relative importance of different types of uncertainty that affect various decision-making contexts, including uncertainties regarding vulnerability, different impacts models, future socioeconomic factors, possible changes in governance structures, decision-making protocols, and regional climate change. 
  • Better long-term and regional scale projections of sea level changes 
  • More specific regional information about the role of soil moisture, groundwater recharge, and evapotranspiration in the hydrologic cycle and water supply availability. 

2.  Develop local, regional, national, and international options to adapt to climate change.

3.  Explore options and actions that reduce the rate and magnitude of climate change.

4.  Maintain, extend, expand, and improve the observations and data systems essential to understanding climate change and responding to it.

5.  Inform and enable decision-makers to address the challenges of climate change and its  consequences.

6.  Capacity Building, Education, and Workforce Development

7.  Enhance scenarios to include essential attributes of coupled human and natural systems.

JC comments:   I have only read a few chapters, but the impression that I have is this.   The document is framed around the assumption that climate change is caused by anthropogenic forcing, and that future adverse impacts are extrapolated through climate model projections.  Any characterization of uncertainty seems like an afterthought.

Chapter 29 has some good material regarding for what is needed for better understanding of all this.  Personally, I would have made Chapter 29 the first chapter.  A good historical analysis of the regional impacts of climate variability would be very important, but the few chapters that I read deal more with ‘projections’ and interpretations of past variability framed in context of anthropogenic forcing.

I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers.

The authors have the opportunity to do a better job, but I suspect that this is pretty much written in stone at this point, with a few minor changes to be made in response to public comments.

Moderation note:  Lets have a productive, focused discussion on this topic.  A prerequisite for commenting on this thread is to read at least one of the sections in this report and comment on it.  If you want to ‘spout off’ on this topic without having read any of the sections of the report, please do so on the open thread.

Update:  Rob Bradley reminds us of the alternative impact assessment report by Cato.

 

204 responses to “Draft U.S. Climate Assessment Report

  1. I would hope that public attention to the Cato reassessment of the physical science literature will force John Holdren to get the NCADAC in emergency session. See “U.S. Climate-Change Impacts: A Peer-Review True-Up”: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/10/cato-climate-report/

    • I am not sure CATO should, let alone will get any attention given it is a free market political think-tank. That’s just not the kind of body anyone should trust to do an assessment of physical science literature.

      It’s a bit like if the League of Dentists conducting an assessment of the current state of Paleontology.

      All people should be asking is why? Why has this body undertaken an assessment in a completely alien field to it’s own? What is it climate skeptics say when there’s a mystery like this? Follow the money.

      • Cato’s energy and environment studies are devoted to explaining how energy markets work and promoting policies that leave questions regarding energy consumption, environmental standards, market structure, and technology to the market rather than government planners.Cato is committed to protecting the environment without sacrificing economic liberty, and believes that those goals are mutually supporting, not mutually exclusive.

        http://www.cato.org/research/energy-environment

        re: Follow the Money …
        In order to maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 80 percent of its funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of its support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications.

        http://www.cato.org/about

        Cato’s 2011 Annual Report reports that 84 percent of funding is from individuals.

        http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/annual_report_2011.pdf

      • lolwot

        Why do you believe that an assessment by individuals associated with Cato is necessarily less accurate than an assessment written by individuals with the NOAA? How is it not more reasonable to actually read both assessments and evaluate the basis of each before reaching a conclusion?

        How is any assessment predicting future conditions that are largely based upon models that have not demonstrated the ability to accurately predict observed conditions for any particular location to be considered creditable?

      • Roger Caiazza

        Go through the people involved in this assessment and universally they have much more reason to have a catastrophic problem than not. With all due respect organizations like this do not pick their members based on trying to get both sides of the issue.

      • lolwot:

        “Follow the money” works in both directions. The mainstream natural science profession has been agenda-driven (neo-Malthusianism) against free-market growth (example: Ehrlich, Holdren et al. vs. Simon, Lomborg, et al.). And government money can compromise scholarship in the need to get the next grant.

        But more importantly, follow the footnotes. The CATO study is driven by the peer-reviewed literature, not idle pontification.

      • It was the proponents of AGW who initially used the “follow the money”, until it turned out to be a super highway with no off branches heading straight to government.

  2. Judith, you write “I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers.”

    And with very good reason, I might add. From the report

    “When it is considered scientifically justified to report the likelihood of particular impacts within the range of possible outcomes, this report takes a plain-language approach to expressing the expert judgment of the author team based on the best available evidence.”
    This is what I have been protesting about for some time; the availability of empirical data. Whoever wrote the above is talking complete scientific nonsense. One should never base any sort of assessment on the judgement of experts, unless these experts have enough empirical data to support their opinions. The “best available evidence” is not, and never should be used in any sort of scientific paper, unless and until it can be proven that this best is good enough to solve the problem at hand. When I was working, if I were to dare to write this sort of nonsense in a report, I would have been severely reprimanded, quite rightly so, and the report would never have had any hope of being published.

    It is a fundamental requirement to show that the empirical evidence available is good enough to warrant the conclusions which are drawn.

    • But how do we get them to think about this? All I have ever had, and you’ve said the same, is that no empirical data is ever forthcoming. They all assume “it is there somewhere, it is well known, it is proved by countless experiments last century” and so on, but are never able to fetch it. Until they try to fetch it, to think for themselves, they won’t know it doesn’t exist.

      I’ve just posted something on this aspect here:

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/10/trusting-the-experts/#comment-285583

  3. “Climate change affects everything that you do,” said report co-author Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina.

    We all see this now, the question is why doesn’t it seem to affect the AGW scientists & their lifestyle? Maybe we need to repeat ‘this’ 200 times.

  4. The US temperature is lower than 1934, unless you believe the NOAA’s adjustments.

  5. David L. Hagen

    Lacking Climate Persistence / Hurst-Kolmogorov Dynamics
    In the overall document, I found 27 mentions of “persisten…”, generally commenting on the danger of increasing persistence. However, astonishingly, there is NO mention of Hurst or Kolmogorov or Koutsoyiannis.

    Newspapers thrive on “Bad news sells”. This draft appears to have a systematic Type B error of myopic alarmism from short term variations with little recognition of the magnitude of natural climate persistence or Hurst Kolmogorov Dynamics. e.g., as quantified by Kousoyiannis et al. etc.
    Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Climatic variability over time scales spanning nine orders of magnitude: Connecting Milankovitch cycles with Hurst–Kolmogorov dynamics, Surveys in Geophysics, doi:10.1007/s10712-012-9208-9, 2012.

    http://itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/1297/

    The few mentions of “persistence” have little credibility for lack of statistical significance. E.g. Fig 21 Appendix – CAQs “The blocking pattern leads to persistent extremes of temperature and precipitation in different regions.”
    Appendix: Key Message 11

    Extreme summer ice retreat also appears to be increasing the persistence of associated mid-latitude weather patterns, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events . .. .(Francis and Vavrus 2012). However, the combination of interannual variability and the small sample of years with extreme ice retreat make it difficult to identify a geographically consistent atmospheric response pattern in the middle latitudes.

    Contrast:
    Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, Vienna, EGU2010-14816, European Geosciences Union, 2010.
    From ice core records, Koutsoyiannis et al found that the standard deviation in temperature measured by Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics is about double that found by conventional statistics.
    See presentation Slide 10. Alarm over recent four standard deviation events etc. may be but common place two standard deviation variations when looking at the longer geological record.

    This draft needs a major rewrite to include the full range of natural climate variability. It especially needs to have climate persistence experts such as Koutsoyiannis provide quantified perspective using Hurst Kolmogorov Dynamics.

    • Harold H Doiron, PhD

      David,
      Excellent critique, and thanks for the Koutsoyiannis et. al. references! Interesting to note that some of Koutsoyiannis’ co-authors are employees of the US Geological Survey. Wouldn’t it be nice if all US government scientists in climate related fields would feel comfortable about speaking their minds on this AGW issue. I lead a group of more than 30 retired NASA manned space program veterans looking into the AGW alarm. Looking at the recent 10,000 year climate history after the earth warmed-up from the last glacial maximum (as Koutsoyiannis et. al. have done in a much more rigorous mathematical assessment) we don’t see a well-defined or specified problem requiring corrective action.

      • Thanks Harold for demonstrated engineering expertise and perspective.
        I see the “error bars” (including both Type A and Type B uncertainties) in catastrophic anthroprogenic warming “projections” are incredibly large. Compared to aiming for the Sea of Tranquility, the “global warming” projections could end up on Venus or Mars! And yet we are being called to spend hundreds of trillions of dollars based on such “science”.
        I encourage you to provide links to your work, and to prepare a post summarizing them.

  6. Chapter 4 – Energy

    Rail transportation lines that carry coal to power plants, which produced 42% of U.S. electricity in 2011, often follow riverbeds, especially in the Appalachian region. More intense rainstorms, both observed and projected, can lead to river flooding that degrades or washes out nearby railroads and roadbeds.

    Most coal fired plants normally stock 30-60 day supplies…to guard against ‘industrial action’ by the coal miners unions.

    Warmer and longer summers will increase the amount of electricity necessary to run air conditioning, especially in the Southeast and Southwest.

    Completely ignores the substantial energy efficiency improvements that have occurred in commercially available air conditioning systems over the last 10 years. In 1998 SEER 14 was considered ‘state of the art’.

    SEER 24 is now ‘state of the art’.

    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_cac_ashp

    SEER 14 will be the minimum standard in the South and Southwest by 2015.

    http://www.ahrinet.org/consensus+agreements.aspx

    • I also went to the chapter on Energy.

      It’s not worth the cost of the paper and printing charges, let alone what they paid the consultants to write it.

      Take the issue of sea level rise and threat to powerplant facilities. They state that observed rise since 1880 has been ~ 8 inches (which is what I’ve seen elsewhere). So far so good. But after acknowledging an 8 inch rise in 130 years, they say planners should consider a further increase of 6.6 feet over the next 95 years. You can make anything sound scary if you assume it will be 10 times worse and happen 25% faster.

      Their assumptions on the impact of “extreme” weather events are also bogus. The primary cause of this is assuming that “extreme” weather is increasing and that human activities are the primary cause for this increase. The first is not true and the second is far from proven. Whose research has provided undeniable evidence of a direct link or identified a mechanism by which warmer temperatures result in more intense or frequent “extreme” weather?

      What I’ve read so far of this chapter sounds as if they all had a meeting whose topic was “How many scary things can we come up with that involve “extreme” weather and energy in the same sentence.” Don’t worry about how likely they may be. just use your imagination.

  7. I have just deleted about half of the comments made thus far, since they are not on topic and are not commenting about the text of the assessment reports.

  8. In the first paragraph, “Climate Change and the American People”
    “People” have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience.
    Of course. The climate right now is just like the climate going into the peak of the Roman Warm Period and is just like the climate going into the peak of the Medieval Warm Period. Nobody lives long enough to do this more than once. Many of us will live to see the beginning of the cooling that always follows.

  9. For the purposes of this assessment, risk was defined as the product of likelihood and consequence…

    This is an example of setting the precautionary principle on its head.

    Speech opposing the motion by Richard Courtney:

    Madam Speaker, Friends:

    Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it.

    In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere: it always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the millennia since.

    It’s a sensible policy because people merely complain at taxes in good times. They revolt if short of food in bad times. But several governments have abandoned it and, instead, are trying to stabilise the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it.

    This attempt at global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW).

    AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy does, because it threatens constraint of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

    There’s no evidence for man-made global warming; none, not any of any kind.

    The existence of global warming is not evidence of anthropogenic global warming because warming of the Earth doesn’t prove human’s warmed it. At issue is whether humans are or are not affecting changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.

    The AGW-hypothesis says increased greenhouse gases – notably carbon dioxide – in the air raise global temperature, and anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air to overwhelm the natural climate system.

    But empirical evidence says the hypothesis is wrong.

    1. The anthropogenic emissions and global temperature do not correlate.

    2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration follows change to global temperature at all time scales.

    3. Recent rise in global temperature has not been induced by rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

    Global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose to 1 998, and has fallen since. That’s 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming. Global temperature is now similar to that of 1990. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940. It has increased by 8% since 1990.

    4. Rise in global temperature has not been induced by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.

    Over 80% of the emissions have been since 1940 and the emissions have been increasing at a compound rate. But since 1940 there have been 40 years of cooling with only 28 years of warming. There’s been no significant warming since 1995, and global temperature has fallen since the high it had 10 years ago.

    5. The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent.

    The hypothesis predicts most warming of the air at altitude in the tropics. Measurements from weather balloons and from satellites both show cooling at altitude in the tropics.

    So, the normal rules of science say the AGW-hypothesis is completely refuted.

    Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed, and the opposite of some of its predictions are observed.

    But some people promote the hypothesis. They’ve several reasons (personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, and…). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis. So, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates. And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming they are.

    Advocates promote AGW using three kinds of pseudo-science.

    They use `argument from ignorance’. This isn’t new. In the Middle Ages experts said, “We don’t know what causes crops to fail: it must be witches: we must eliminate them.” Now, experts say, “We don’t know what causes global climate change: it must be emissions from human activity: we must eliminate them.” Of course, they phrase it differently saying they can’t match historical climate change with known climate mechanisms unless an anthropogenic effect is included. But evidence for this “anthropogenic effect” is no more than the evidence for witches.

    Advocates rely on not-validated computer models.

    No model’s predictions should be trusted unless the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. But climate models have not existed for 20, 50 or 100 years, so they cannot have demonstrated forecasting skill.

    Simply, the climate models’ predictions of the future have the same demonstrated reliability as the casting of chicken bones to predict the future.

    Advocates use the Precutionary Principle saying we should stop greenhouse gas emissions in case the AGW hypothesis is right. But that turns the Principle on its head.

    Stopping the emissions would reduce fossil fuel usage with resulting economic damage. This would be worse than the `oil crisis’ of the 1970s because the reduction would be greater, would be permanent, and energy use has increased since then. The economic disruption would be world-wide. Major effects would be in the developed world because it has the largest economies. Worst effects would be on the world’s poorest peoples: people near starvation are starved by it.

    The precautionary principle says we should not accept the risks of certain economic disruption in attempt to control the world’s climate on the basis of assumptions that have no supporting evidence and merely because they’ve been described using computer games.

    So, global warming is not a global crisis but the unfounded fear of global warming is. It threatens a constraint of fossil fuel use that would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

  10. The official charter of NCADAC is to “…synthesize and summarize the science and information pertaining to current and future impacts of climate change.” It’s duties …”shall comply with NOAA Information Quality Act Guidelines ” (which are mandatory under PL106-554 section 515).
    Those written guidelines say information quality includes objectivity and integrity. Objectivity includes “accurate, clear, complete, unbiased, and in proper context.”
    It seems large swaths of this document adhere neither to the charter, nor to the information quality mandate. At a minimum, the uncertainty context inherent in projections from flawed models (e.g. GCM sensitivity, and the NRCs blantant misrepresentation of a fatally flawed future US crop yield study (see my previous guest post, or The Arts of Truth) is not accurately, clearly, or completely discussed.
    Regrettably par for the climate course.
    Perhaps the mandatory legal requirements can be used to get this suitably revised.

  11. Chapter 29 (Dr. Curry’s favorite), Research Goal 1, first sentence.

    “Fundamental climate science investments across a broad range of disciplines are critically 3 important to understanding, and in some cases reducing, uncertainties about some of the physical 4 processes of the climate system and the impacts of these changes.”

    Government bureaucrats task government funded climate scientists with assessing climate change, and their first recommendation is…drum roll…more government funding for climate scientists.

    And I’m sorry, but “I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers?”

    Seriously?

    Again, government bureaucrats ask government funded climate scientists to do an assessment on climate, and the dutiful “scientists” determine that what the country needs is exactly what the bureaucrats want to give it, more government control over the energy economy.

    Have you not heard of this “scientific assessment” body called the IPCC? Funded and controlled by the government funded UN, staffed by government funded bureaucrats, funding the research of government funded scientists, that came up with these things called assessment reports. And surprise, surprise, the reports are really PR documents intended to justify the accumulation of more power by the bureaucrats, and not incidentally, more research funding for the “scientists.”

    There is no misleading anyone here. The NCADAC, like the IPCC before it, did exactly what it was asked to do, and gave exactly the answers it was supposed to give.

    It truly amazes me how “moderates” and “independents” can have their eyes opened in one discreet instance of progressive politics, but are unable to see the same thing happening in other instances.

    Here Charlie, kick the football. I promise not to pull it away again,

    • The federal policy makers authorizing this study is a different group from decision makers at the local and state levels that might actually use this study in adaptation planning and resource expenditures.

      • Dr. Curry,

        From the executive summary: “However, beyond the next few decades, the amount of climate change will still largely be determined by choices society makes about emissions.”

        The focus of the report is CAGW policy.

        There is a section on adaptation, but it leads with the following:

        “Federal leadership, guidance, information, and support are vital to planning for and implementing adaptation actions at all scales and in all affected sectors of society.”

        Thus even local adaptation is intended to expand central government control.

        But more to the point, no one is going to be misled by this report.

        Progressives, whether at the federal, state, county or city level, get from this report an excuse to accumulate more power. No misleading involved.

        To the extent there are any conservatives in local government, they will be highly unlikely to be misled by this report, any more than they have been by the IPCC’s ARs.

        I’ve only This report is nothing more than the US version of the AR4. It was created for the same purposes, by people with the same agendas. Someone, somewhere , said…hey, we need an AR4 that will justify our taking action on a more local level. And presto! Somehow, they got exactly what they wanted.

        Like the ARs, this is not a scientific assessment, it is a political document intended to support specific polices directed at increasing the size and power of government,

        But it was your “surprise” at Lucy pulling away the uncertainty football that really caused me to comment. Sorry, but again…seriously?

      • To me this looks like a substantial cut below the AR4, i.e. worse.

      • David Springer

        Of course it’s a cut below AR4. This report has only 240 authors. AR4 has 450 lead authors. AR4 is 187.5% better. Post modern science is about quantity not quality. Write that down.

        Or snip this again. Whatever.

      • Judith and Gary M

        The BIG difference between this document and AR4 is that this document is still a draft, that has not yet been published.

        AR4 is cast in concrete and already seriously out-of-date.

        The authors appear to be asking for comments, but I seriously doubt that skeptical or dissenting comments will be weighted equally with those that basically rubber-stamp the draft.

        The only way to know is to send in your critical comments and see if the report is modified accordingly before being published.

        I’m inclined to agree that this is simply a PR gag to be able to say “we opened our draft to the US public for comments and these have been incorporated where possible”.

        But no basic changes will be made to the assumptions on effect and impact of human-induced global warming, which form the basis for the whole report..

        Of course, reasoned critique from someone with your “gravitas”, Judith, will have a greater impact that the same critique from fifty of your denizens here. Any chance of such a critique, which you could share with us?

        Max

    • I looked up the bios of the NCADAC Chair and Vice-Chairs (the links no longer work, JAVA having been disabled because of its security vulnerabilities):

      Jerry Melillo (“Melillo has had a long association with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), having served as a lead author….”)

      Terese Neu Richmond (“Her practice focuses on environmental law, land use, water law and climate change, with an emphasis on public policy.”)

      Gary W. Yohe, Wesleyan University (“Most of his work has focused attention on the mitigation and adaptation/impacts sides of the climate issue. He is a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”)

      IMO, not exactly a disinterested, independent leadership.

  12. In Appendix II is The Science of Climate Change, an 70-page summary of the science itself with 12 “Key Messages”. People might miss this at the end when just skimming the chapters.

    • Appendix I on frequently asked questions, is also useful as a one-stop place to answer some things at the level of the general public.

    • I am sure it reads like the USGCRP reports which are wildly pro-CAGW.

      • The interesting thing is that there are elements of the more recent studies that will be in AR5 mentioned here.

      • Yet they are saying the same thing they said ten years ago, projecting disaster at evry hand. Heat, flood, drought, sea level rise, you name it they got it. It is an exercise in the detailed projection of CAGW disguised as science.

  13. From Section 27 on mitigation:

    “Federal leadership, guidance, information, and support are vital to planning for and implementing adaptation actions at all scales and in all affected sectors of society….The challenge is great enough even starting today, but delay by any of the major emitters makes meeting any such target even more difficult and may altogether rule out some of the more 29 ambitious goals”

    Decarbonization. All you skeptics who have been celebrating the death of CAGW as government policy, might want to notice that those who are actually running the government didn’t get the memo.

    Even though this “assessment” has a section entitled “Research Agenda for Climate Change Science,” the “scientists who prepared this report couldn’t resist including a detailed list of future research “needs” in the mitigation section.

    This is not a scientific assessment. It is a political document – the IPCC’s AR4 writ small.

    • “didn’t get the memo.” O.K. Just so they don’t get the funds.

      • The USGCRP already gets $2 billion a year, roughly half of all the basic climate research money in the world. This group is the USGCRP advisory committee.

    • Section 27 reads like a UN/Federal Charter to meddle with every aspect of the economy that uses fossil fuels (~70%), Based upon their performance so far, nothing succeeds like failure.

  14. The big problem with studies that simply abandon the scientific method is how they willl be used by those in a position of power who are able to confer an offcial imprimatur of credibility to findings precisely because they comport with official dogmatism and belief. Politicians then feel free to act on such beliefs for ideologically-motivated purposes and in the name of science destroy the individual liberties and opportunities of future generations.

  15. Page numbers refer to the page number of the PDF that I did download.

    Page 4 Lines 12-13 Winters are generally shorter and warmer. There are a huge number of people who are digging out who would disagree.
    Lines 13-31 Yes, when the oceans are warm, more moisture is picked up and delivered as rain and snow. The data does support this. It is only during a warm time that it can snow enough to rebuild the ice that will advance and cause a cold time. When the climate changes from a Little Ice Age to a Warm Period, such as now, people must adapt. When the climate changed from the Medieval Warm Period into the Little Ice Age, people did adapt. This will start to repeat soon.

  16. I have reviewed the Executive Summary
    Page 6 Line 6 They don’t say the Roman Warm period was primarily driven by human activity. They don’t say the Medieval Warm period was primarily driven by human activity. It is sick non-science to say that they know for sure that this time is different.
    Line 26-31 The Roman Warming ended, the Medieval Warming ended. They cannot know that this warming is different. All the data is inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years, except CO2 which appears to be not having any influence.
    Lines 32-39 There is no evidence for human influence. Only opinion and flawed models say this warm period is different from the ones before that looked just the same.
    Page 7 Report what you observe, but don’t even try to say that this would have not happened without humans. Other than the CO2 increase and the crop production increase, every thing else is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years.
    Page 8 lines 40-42 It is not settled science that greenhouse gases have caused excessive warming or that there is a problem. Increased CO2 is unavoidable but there is no actual data that says it will cause anything other than good. It makes green things grow better with less water. It is good that that is unavoidable.
    Page 9 I do not have a strong enough stomach to address all the alarmism on this page. They are making statements based on alarmism that is not supported by any actual data.

  17. I have assumed that everyone can get to the document that I am commenting about. Page numbers are page numbers in this pdf

    http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/download/NCAJan11-2013-publicreviewdraft-fulldraft.pdf

  18. Worse than the IPCC and always has been. Defund them.

    • Just for the record I took the first National Assessment (aka the National Scare) to court a decade ago to prevent it from becoming official policy. Someone needs to do that this time. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requires balance which this group clearly violates. This FAC is illegal.

  19. I call “Bingo” as I found a reference to uncertainties before page 17! From page 13 of the Executive summary we have:

    “4. Thresholds, Tipping Points, and Surprises

    1) A significant issue in studying and preparing for global climate change is the fact that changes in human, social, and physical systems do not always occur gradually. Same changes may occur in a relatively predictable way, while others involve unexpected break-points or thresholds beyond which there are irreversible changes or changes of higher magnitudes than expected based on previous experience. These “tipping points” are very hard to predict, as there are many uncertainties associated with understanding future conditions. These uncertainties come from a number of sources, including insufficient data associated with low probability/high consequence events, models that are not yet able to represent the interactions of multiple stresses, incomplete understanding of physical climate mechanisms related to tipping points, and a multitude of issues associated with human behavior, risk management, and decision-making.”

    I wonder if Russia saying No Thanks to any Kayto type efforts would be classified as a surprise. I imagine, make that hope, decision makers take into account the effectiveness of anything we might do. In the very short term I am going to be using more energy to keep warm and prevent structural damage to piping as it going to get down to give or take 20F tonight (close to if not beating the all time record low for my area).

  20. David Springer

    Good god. 240 authors.

    It sure isn’t science. Crowd sourcing of some sort. Isn’t that just precious? Crowd sourcing of both the science and the policy recommendations thereof.

    Any precedent for things like this in history more than a generation or two ago?

    • David Springer

      240 authors for this report. 435 representatives in the US house.

      I wonder how the pork was distributed. Maybe every rep who had a qualified author living in his district got to name one? Or maybe just blue districts in blue states. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket. Numbers work out almost perfectly for that.

  21. roddycampbell

    I like having to pass muster to get comment accepted.

    Section 6, agriculture.

    There are six ‘key messages:

    1. Climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased in the recent past and are projected to increase further over the next 25 years. By mid-century and beyond, these impacts will be increasingly negative on most crops and livestock.

    2. Many agricultural regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests, and other climate change-induced stresses.

    …….. At that point I wondered what timeframe this is over. Message 1 talks specifically of 25 years, but then mentions ‘mid-century and beyond’, so 40+ years. I don’t have a problem with message 1 except that while these effects might be negative, other effects (eg warmth, longer growing season) are not mentioned, and no scale of the effects is given.

    Message 2 is a shocker, surely, if it’s on the same timescale as message 1, that is 25 years, and then the next 25 or so years. I am not expert enough to dish the dirt on the backing papers, or find confounding papers, but I am a farmer of sorts and there is no prospect of weeds, diseases and pests becoming a greater threat, due to warming, to agriculture over this kind of timescale, of any materiality whatsoever.

    If farming has been hammered in the last 25, or even 50 years, by weeds diseases and pests becoming ever-bolder as the world warms, it’s news to me, and those two 25 year periods surely can guide for the next.

  22. U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895; more than 80% of this 21 increase has occurred since 1980
    I call bull. Since the temperature is not monotonic, the sentence is stupid. Consider that I could equally write this:
    U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895; all of this increase occurred before 1934

  23. Come on, Dr. C. Give us something where it it hard to find an error. < 1 min into the doc, chap 3 fig 3.4–obviously wrong. … gotta love it ;o) sigh…

    • Documenting the point in more detail: The regression line does not fit the data. Checking ‘Physical Properties’ p. 42 of UC Davis reference for figure:

      http://terc.ucdavis.edu/stateofthelake/StateOfTheLake2012.pdf

      one notes two high influence points not included in present draft document figure, ALTHOUGH the original UC regression line is retained in the draft figure. (This is why the draft regression line seems to be low in Figure 3.4 and have a slope which is slightly too positive. [In addition to checking the UC reference I initially digitized the draft plot's data and re-ran the regression. As expected the slope is less positive and the regression line lies mostly above the draft (and UC) line. Checking the figure in the reference sealed the deal.]

      Fix is either to add points back or redo regression. Adding some diagnostic information to text and figure would be appropriate for a document such as this state of the climate. (95% confidence bands in both cases may admit slightly negative slopes–its close…didn’t go there.) For the record I am not initially very comfortable with the use of the linear regression for these data, but did not and will not look any further. The UC workup is inadequate in this regard–uncertainty is not even addressed.

      This sloppiness could be simply a draft issue–deadlines and final figures in works–or could be symptomatic of a QA problem. But for now, it is not up to prime time.

      Clearly this is not a game changer in any sense of the word, but if the rest of document is handled with the same lack of attention the document should not be accorded the stature its genesis implies.

  24. In Chapter 29 under Research Goal 2 is the mention of Native American communities and integrating traditional knowledge and Western science. That’s Thomas Berry’s 1988 book The Dreams of the Earth that has so influenced Bioregionalism (what Agenda 21 is premised on) and education.

    It is also consistent with Experience Science instead of experimental science. Educators all over the world are pushing the idea of moving away from the science of the Enlightenment to the Eastern vision of interconnected systems. The draft of the K-12 Common Core science standards that came out this week is also consistent with this vision.

    And the education vision for the future just happens to be the same as what goes by the name Global Competence that the Smithsonian is pushing in a pictorial I call “Pretty in Pink” as well as the 21st Century Skills. So this all dovetails fully with the actual Common Core classroom implementation I have been charting.

    Have 26-28, 30, and Appendix copied for today’s reading.

    The uncertainty is just an excuse for central redesign and planning of economy, all use of natural resourcxes, and dictating personal behavior. What the UN has been pushing since 1972 at the height of the Cold War.

  25. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry posts  “I have just deleted about half of the comments made thus far, since they are not on topic and are not commenting about the text of the assessment reports.”

    It’s a pleasure to comment specifically upon the text of the NCADAC assessment!

    A textual survey of the word “history” in the NCADAC assessment establishes that its forty-five usages are confined exclusively to the data record. This NCADAC’s self-imposed restriction is unnatural, since climate-change science is (obviously) much more than the study of the data record, and therefore any assessment of climate-change science is obligated to take a broader view of the role of history in that science.

    To remediate this lack, a suggested emendation of the NCADAC report is to add three points to the summary section “The Science of Climate Change” (P. 1117-18).

    Please note that Jim D has already recognized that this section is crucial to the entire assessment. That was well-done JimD!

    The emendations are as follows

    The Science of Climate Change (as summarized and extended by FOMD)

    Point  #1  Anthropogenic climate change is real.

    Point  #2  The scientific evidence is broad-based.

    Point  #3  Natural variability does not explain the data.

    Point  #4  Greenhouse gases are the main cause.

    Point  #5  Past emissions commit the world to substantial climate change.

    Point  #6  No model of climate-change is perfect, but many are useful.

    Point  #7  Observed US warming, in particular, is projected to continue.

    Point  #8  Warming will be observed in multiple independent measures.

    Point  #9  Extreme weather events will become more frequent.

    Point  #10  Increased drought/fire risks will continue and accelerate.

    Point #11  The observed polar ice-melt will continue and accelerate.

    Point #12  Sea level rise will continue and accelerate.

    —- suggested historical additions with reference —–

    Point #13  Skepticism of scientific findings is a ‘Roman virtue’ that historically has been overdone; this mistake should be sppreciated and guarded against.

    Point #14  Fear of consequences has historically been correlated to psychological denialism; this phenomenon should be acknowledged and guarded against.

    Point #15  Commercial interests have historically disguised themselves as disinterested skeptics; this disguise should be recognized and guarded against.

    The added point #13-15 confront the crucial shared weakness (as I see it) of climate-change science and of climate-change skepticism, namely a persistent (and readily verified!) disinclination to confront the abundant scientific and historical literature relating to excessive skepticism, fear of consequences, and selfish short-sightedness that disguises itself by willful ignorance.

    These considerations convey to us a common-sense appreciation that the Roman virtue of skepticism can be overdone, eh?

    Again, kudos to JimD for drawing Climate Etc attention to the NCADAC’s concise summary assessment of climate-change science!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Berényi Péter

      “Point #12 Sea level rise will continue and accelerate.

      Trouble is observed acceleration term of satellite measured sea level change over the last 2 decades is -1.07 m/cy². Yes, negative. That’s called deceleration.

      Should this trend continue into the future, in another two decades sea level would stop rising and start to decrease.

    • “Point #4 Greenhouse gases are the main cause”

      You can make Hansen’s projections work if you not longer bother making CO2 the main driver of warming, but add other GHG.
      Even ‘fan’ now endorses epicycles.
      Judging my today’s press reports on this draft, the party is over and one will have to begin to worry about a RICO suit.

  26. I have written two Senators who might be willing to take the NCADAC to task, and see to it that they revise the report in accordance with the mandatory Information Quality Act. Perhaps if enough of Dr. Curry’s readers do likewise, we can get some sorely needed revision.

  27. “Climate change is already affecting the American people.”

    Already? Climate change has affected the American people as long as there have been people in America. Currently, climate change dissemblance is affecting American people concerned about epidemic irrationality.

  28. Judith writes: “I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers.”

    This is exactly the reaction I had when I read Juliet Eilperin’s credulous report on the release of this material in the Washington Post.

    Thanks for bringing this to the attention of your readers.

  29. Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

    Judith,

    You did not think the report would be bias?
    Future grant money is going to be extremely tight due to the current economic decisions. The uncertainty card takes power away along with credibility.
    You are just looking at a tiny part of the huge bias we have been exposed to for generations…

  30. Berényi Péter

    Quick stats.

    String “model” occurs 767 times in the text of this report, “measure” 147 times (substrings of words included).

    Need to say no more.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL  …

      Theory versus data in the NCADAC assessment

      —————————-

      “theory”  on 133 pages
      “model”  on 392 pages

      Total theory-related terms  mentioned on 525 pages

      —————————-

      “measure”  on 114 pages
      “record”  on 121 pages
      “observe”  on 290 pages
      “data”  on 248 pages

      Total data-related terms  mentioned on 772 pages

      Conclusion. The NCADAC assessment is well-balanced between theory and data.

      Which is good, eh? … since either is scientifically useless without the other!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Berényi Péter

        Well-balanced, of course.

        “forecast”: 44
        “predict”: 141
        “project”: 1267

        “cloud”: 34
        “vapor”: 77
        “carbon”: 638

    • David L. Hagen

      More than 80 occurrences of “scenario” or scenarios in the first 100 pages.

      • Berényi Péter

        It occurs 477 times in the entire report. These guys are redefining basic scientific traditions indeed. Their justification for using scenarios and projections based on them instead of predicting full mapping from the set of possible boundary conditions to that of trajectories being the lack of knowledge concerning future emissions.

        However, in the same vein one could quit referring to the general gas law and set up volume history scenarios, projecting unique temperature & pressure histories for each one. We do not know in advance how the volume of a cylinder is going to change until movements of the piston are given after all, do we?

        Of course, that would make such projections unfalsifiable in principle, except in the rare case when a specific predetermined volume scenario gets realized by sheer accident. Even then only a single projection is falsified among many, the rest remaining untouched. And that’s the point.

      • David, by chance did you happen to come across a reference to how many carbon credits were required to offset all the effort/energy/resources needed to generate this assessment?

  31. “Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. 17 This evidence has been compiled by scientists and engineers from around the world, using 18 satellites, weather balloons, thermometers, buoys, and other observing systems. The sum total of 19 this evidence tells an unambiguous story: the planet is warming.”

    If one had to choose between two options: global temperature indicates average temperatures are cooling or warming.
    The most correct answer is it doesn’t appear to be cooling, and appears to be continuing to be warming. But over last 15 years there has not any discernible warming trend.

    “U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895; more than 80% of this 21 increase has occurred since 1980.”

    This “analysis” no better than reading tea leaves.
    In recent US history a very notable period of warming, occurred in 1930 to 40s and during period there was a large scale drought call the dust bowl.

    Probably the most significant factor regarding most people living in the US and average temperature during the period 1895 and the present, is that most people live in urban areas, and the build up of urban areas over this time period has significantly increased the Urban Heat Island Effect. The accumulative affect of UHI on the region local temperature increases nighttime and daytime temperatures typically more than 3 F.
    In terms of heatwaves affect large numbers of people, UHI effect is far more
    significant than the warming trend of US average temperature or global average temperature.

    “U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F to 4°F of warming in most areas.”

    It is very highly unlikely US average temperature will rise by 2°F to 4°F.
    But of course this not what is being said, above. What being said is most areas and see “2°F to 4°F of warming “. It is just misleading characterization or session of reading tea leaves or palms.
    One look at any period in last 100 years and say the same thing about the “next few decades”- it lacks any scientific meaning.

    • “In recent US history a very notable period of warming, occurred in 1930 to 40s and during period there was a large scale drought call the dust bowl”

      A reanalysis of this time shows that there were actually glaciers in the mid-West at the time and that all the press reports of the time were in error.

      • …that was when Watts realized he had subtracted too much for the UHI effect and had to re-think it a bit :-)

  32. Confidence in the NCADAC report predictions of future climate depends on how well they can explain past climate. Past climate is a matter of record so if they can’t explain that, how can they explain the future? The following periods require scientific explanation.
    (1) Between 1910 and 1940 global average temperature rose nearly 0.5C. Why?
    (2) In 1940, global temperature change did a complete reversal and started to fall as rapidly as it had risen. Why?
    (3) Global temperature did not rise again above the 1940 value until 1970 despite unprecedented rises in CO2 concentration. Why?
    (4) What caused the temperature rise between 1970 and 2000. What part did the ocean transport delay play in this? How much influence does ocean surface temperature have on global climate?
    (5) The mathematical models supported by the IPCC show the temperature to continue to rise after 2000, when satellite measurements and Muller’s show it had stopped. How can that be?
    The above events are all interconnected, so why has the NCADAC not written a narrative covering the whole period? For such a narrative see my: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs .

  33. Thank you for the link Judith. While I found that the report does indeed presuppose a high influence of human activity on climate change, the appendices were non-the-less a useful resource for lay readers interested in the status of climate science.

    It is noted, however, that there was no discussion on the potential application of quantum physics to the study of molecular behaviour of GH gases in the atmosphere nor was there any discussion of the complexity, non-linearity and chaotic nature of the systems that comprises climate on Earth.

    In particular, there was no discussion on the ergodicity of the climate systems in play and whether prediction would ever be feasible. The whole study of climate seemed to be retrospective of what happened in the past and attempting to explain why it had happened.

    • “Thank you for the link Judith. While I found that the report does indeed presuppose a high influence of human activity on climate change, the appendices were non-the-less a useful resource for lay readers interested in the status of climate science.”

      You made me curious, but I could find anything useful in the appendices.

      The appendix begin illustration which makes me wonder how could help anyone.
      Then goes on to say:

      “Water vapor is the single most important gas responsible for the natural greenhouse effect. However, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere depends on temperature. This means that water vapor is a feedback, not a direct forcing on climate.
      Observational evidence shows that, in terms of direct forcing, carbon dioxide is the most important heat-trapping gas in the Earth’s atmosphere (Lacis et al. 2010). This is because carbon dioxide and other gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, do not condense and fall out of the atmosphere, whereas water vapor does (for example, as rain or snow).

      So because water vapor depends on temperature it means it’s a feedback.
      Yet we know the global temperature can affect CO2 levels. Glacial periods may have global CO2 as low as 180 ppm and during interglacial as high as 320 ppm as indicated by ice core records. Therefore global temperatures can change CO2 by almost doubling their levels [apparently]. We also know that if looking tens or hundred of millions of history, that CO2 levels much higher levels of global CO2 are associated with much higher average temperature. So warmer global temperatures my involve much more than doubling CO2 level. So the doubling of 180 is 360. And the doubling 360 is
      720, and doubling 720 ppm is 1440. And the range of 180 to 1440 ppm
      has been seen in climate record and is generally related to warmer global temperature.
      Whereas in terms of global water vapor, there is not any indication it’s global quantities have halved or doubled due to changes in global temperature.
      So in terms of global temperature, CO2 appear to have more dramatic changes in global quantities due to temperature change than compared to water vapor.
      Which means if this is criterion: both CO2 and water vapor are not a direct forcing on climate.
      They continue on to point out that water vapor condenses or falls out of atmosphere. But there is limit to how much water vapor condenses out of
      the atmosphere. One could say that only excessive amount of water vapor will condenses out of the atmosphere. If one concerned about levels water vapor which is 500 ppm or lower [higher than CO2 levels]
      one has more permanent level of water vapor.
      In other words, various regions have typical levels of water vapor- and humidity levels change due variation in day and nite time temperatures- but you necessarily changing the amount water vapor in the air.
      At times one is getting significant of water falling out of atmosphere [raining/snowing] one not lower water vapor, but increase one normally increasing the amount water vapor in the air.
      So say you at 100% humidity, the sun comes out and the day warms, as the air warms the humidity can lower [but this doesn’t mean there is less water vapor in the atmosphere. Or suppose you 70% humidity, and then it rains, they one can expect the humidity to climb to 100%.

      So you have desert regions, they typical have lower humidity [except when it rains], when deserts are cooler the humidity increase [and could even dew at night- which quickly evaporate in the day]. When the desert region become hot, the humidity lowers significantly [but this isn’t a change in the amount water vapor [it does means the air could absorb more water if water is available to evaporate]. Quite possible that as a desert region warms during the day and humidity lowers that *more* water vapor is added to the air. [a dry region will draw in moisture from areas around it [hundreds of miles away, or some creek within the desert miles away from drier areas.

      So globally vapor content is fairly static, regionally it changes [it rains]
      but CO2 on regional scale one also is as fluctuating levels as one does with water vapor. Forests are breathing and exhaling CO2. Cities have high levels of CO2- which change during “traffic hours”. You have forest fires [a natural event before humans discover the use fire, plus primitive farming uses slash and burn techniques]. Plus volcanoes and other natural emission of CO2. If CO2 didn’t vary so much, there would no sense to being at the top of Mountain to measure global CO2:

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

      • David L. Hagen

        “However, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere depends on temperature. . . .This is because carbon dioxide and other gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, do not condense and fall out of the atmosphere, whereas water vapor does (for example, as rain or snow).”

        This is a physically incomplete argument with some circular arguments.
        It ignores the causation/consequence issues of which comes first, the CO2 or the warming, or how much of each natural vs anthropogenic.

        Naturally sourced carbon dioxide directly depends on ocean temperatures by the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship.

    • gbaikie seems to disagree with my assessment of the Appendices as a useful resource for the lay reader. In reality however, the Appendices are indeed representing the status of climate science and while I agree with his critique of their depiction of the GHG effect, I still find that the Appendices contain much useful information for the lay reader. There are many other shortcomings that invite sceptical commentry and I have mentioned a few of them in my earlier post in this thread.

      • “gbaikie seems to disagree with my assessment of the Appendices as a useful resource for the lay reader. In reality however, the Appendices are indeed representing the status of climate science and while I agree with his critique of their depiction of the GHG effect, I still find that the Appendices contain much useful information for the lay reader. ”

        I agree that if we suppose that adults were involved writing this stuff and as a serious attempt of “representing the status of climate science” that this should be eye opener for many lay readers.

        I guess both you and Judith Curry see this similarly, in terms of value to the public good.

        So for many people as possible to exposed the current status of climate science is indeed useful.

        Though perhaps many readers might still imagine that despite being in a somewhat official looking format, that there *must* be a more serious version out there.

    • Sorry. I posted in the wrong nesting. See above for my response to gbaikie’s comment of Jan 13 at 3.33am in 2013.

      • This response was deemed to be off topic and has now been moderated. I basically agreed with the idea that the more people who read this material the better it will be for the advancement of climate science.

  34. David L. Hagen

    Systematic Type B errors
    This draft makes no mention of systematic Type B errors, nor does it mention or use the international standards for evaluating and quantifying uncertainty. See Barry N. Taylor and Chris E. Kuyatt, Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement Results, NIST Technical Note 1297, 1994 Edition

    The mean temperature projections from global climate models are running systemically hotter than reality over the satellite record. E.g. ongoing statistical analyses by statistician Lucia Liljegren at The Blackboard show this systematic error. Since 2000, the individual means of eleven models were running hotter than actual GISTemp and HadCrut4. Similarly, the mean of the model predictions has been running hotter than reality since 1980. (Similar results could be found in journal articles.)

    This evidences major systematic Type B error that must be corrected. Consequently, the conclusions made in this draft are not quantitatively supportable nor scientifically credible. This draft is a scientific embarrassment.

    Back to the basics. Restore the scientific method. Per the Royal Society’s motto:
    ‘Nullius in verba’ ~ ‘take nobody’s word for it’.

    Actual pragmatic engineering priorities must of necessity be to prudently design for the full range of natural variations (aka “noise”) with climate persistence as modeled with Hurst Kolmogorov dynamics, with minor upward adjustments for some anthropogenic contributions (aka “signal”). Then over the next generation or two, we may be able to quantify the minor anthropogenic signal present within the natural noise.

    “Bless me. What do they teach them at these schools”
    CS Lewis, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.

  35. David L. Hagen

    Systemic bias of ignoring competing temperature theories
    A climate science hypothesis or theory is only as strong as its ability to better predict future temperatures etc. compared to alternative theories. As with the Aristotelians versus Galileo, “preaching to the choir” does not make for a strong scientific theory.

    See Executive Summary Ch 1 Fig. 1.1. p 20 US Average Temperature Projections
    This draft has serious scientific deficiencies of ignoring alternative global temperature theories. For example, the document makes no mention of “Scafetta”.
    Compare Nicola Scafetta’s predictions versus IPCC’s. See figs at bottom of Scafetta’s page Scafetta shows the ability to forecast/hindcast from one portion of the historic record compared to the other portion. His model’s predictions since 2000 are currently much closer to the actual global temperature trends than IPCC’s CO2 dominated predictions. Consequently, the projections in Fig. 1.1 will likely severely overshoot actual global temperature changes.

    The draft only mentions in passing the observation of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation by d’ Aleo & Easterbrook in Ch 23:

    “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) are patterns that operate over even longer time horizons and also influence the weather and climate of the region (D’Aleo and Easterbrook 2010; Mantua et al. 1997). This dramatic short-term variability (the noise) can obscure subtle long-term change (the signal) (Deser et al. 2012; Meehl et al. 2009).”

    D’Aleo, J. and D. Easterbrook, 2010: Multidecadal Tendencies in ENSO and Global 17 Temperatures Related to Multidecadal Oscillations Energy & Environment, 21, 437-460

    This completely misses the global temperature projections made by D’Aleo & Easterbrook (2012) following Easterbrooks predictions from 2000 of a major change in the multidecadal (~60 year) Pacific Decadal oscillation from its warm to cool phase about 2000 with the consequent impacts on global temperatures. See:
    D’Aleo, J. and Easterbrook, D.J., 2011, Relationship of multidecadal global temperatures to multidecadal oceanic oscillations: in Easterbrook, D.J., ed., Evidence-Based Climate Science, Elsevier Inc., p. 161-184.
    In their fig 17, D’Aleo & Easterbrook show an R^2 = 85% correlation between US mean temperature and a combination of the AMO & PDO from 1905 to 2000.
    In their Fig. 24, D’Aleo & Easterbrook show their global temperature predictions for global cooling corresponding to various cooling periods in the last 500 years – in contrast to the IPCC’s strong warming predictions.

    To achieve scientific credibility, claims of A) majority anthropogenic warming must quantitatively address the lack of statistical warming over the last two decades and statistically distinguish that hypothesis from B) minor anthropogenic warming and both in turn from C) the null hypothesis of natural fluctuations superimposed on the long term warming from the Little Ice Age in the context of Hurst Kolmogorov dynamics.

    The current draft fails to even address these differences and contrasting models, let alone quantitatively support and distinguish A from B over C with strong statistical evidence. Consequently, it relies on appeal to authority, appeal to the majority view, and the argument from ignorance, not the rigorous scientific method.

  36. David L. Hagen

    Causation vs correlation – by Cointegration, AGW is statistically insignificant
    The draft makes no mention of “Beenstock” or “cointegration”. It fails to address the quantitative statistical evidence that global warming is not caused by anthropogenic CO2, but by solar forcing. See:
    Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming Michael Beenstock and Yaniv Reingewertz d N. Paldor
    Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561–596, 2012
    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/
    doi:10.5194/esdd-3-561-2012

    We use statistical methods for nonstationary time series to test the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming (AGW), according to which an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations raised global temperature in the 20th century. Specifically, the methodology of polynomial cointegration is used to test AGW since during the observation period (1880–2007) global temperature and solar irradiance are stationary in 1st differences whereas greenhouse gases and aerosol forcings are stationary in 2nd differences. We show that although these anthropogenic forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated. This implies that recent global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing. On the other hand we found that greenhouse gas forcing might have had a temporary effect on global temperature. . . .
    there is no relationship between temperature and the anthropogenic
    anomaly, once the warming effect of solar irradiance is taken into consideration. . . .
    we cannot rule out the possibility that recent global warming has an anthropogenic footprint. However, this possibility is highly improbable, and is not statistically significant at conventional levels.

    Until the Draft addresses and can overcome the arguments by Beenstock et al. (2012), the anthropogenic global warming attributions are not statistically significant and have little scientific value.

    • David L. Hagen

      Further analysis by David Stockwell supports Beenstock:

      This test shows two sets of evidence in support of Beenstock’s theory:

      1. dGHG is highly significant and GHG is not significant when regressed together.

      2. dGHG is a more powerful predictor of global temperature than the absolute GHG in independent tests.

      In other words, the empirical evidence from 1900 supports Beenstock’s theory (developed in a cointegration analysis) of a transitory global warming effect from increases in greenhouse gasses, but no long-term harmful effect on global temperature.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David L. Hagen, your point would be cogent if Beenstock and Reingewertz had applied their analysis methods to *both* real climate data *and* simulated climate data (from climate models that include, in *addition* to AGW, random volcanoes, random weather, and other realistically non-stationary noise).

      The point being, that we *know* (for sure!) that the realistically *simulated* data has AGW “baked in” over-and-above dynamical variability. And so if Beenstock and Reingewertz’s methods assess *both* sets of data as indicating (in their phrase) “global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing”, then that finding would (paradoxically!) invalidate their article’s main conclusion.

      That Beenstock and Reingewertz did not apply this elementary test — it is natural to wonder, why not? — leaves substantial grounds for skepticism regarding their analysis, eh? Perhaps over the next few years, they will test their statistical methods more fully and rigorously. And if so, no doubt their work will be mentioned in the *next* NCADAC assessment! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘We use annual data (1850–2007) on greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4 and N2O) concentrations and forcings, as well as on forcings for aerosols (black carbon, reflective tropospheric aerosols). We also use annual data (1880–2007) on solar irradiance, water vapor (1880–2003) and global mean temperature (sea and land combined 1880–2007). These widely used secondary data are obtained from NASA-GISS (Hansen et al., 1999, 2001).’

        I suppose they could use model temperature output – but even exquisitely tuned models are likely to lose considerable detail at annual scales. Untuned models will be all over the place. There is no advantage. The output of the tuned model by definition resembles the measured time series and it makes no difference how the tuned model gets there.

        The point is to test for spurious correlation between data series. The details of the paper would take several weeks for me to digest – but I see FOMBS has thought about it in his usual deep and meaningful way.

      • Berényi Péter

        “if Beenstock and Reingewertz’s methods assess *both* sets of data as indicating (in their phrase) “global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing”, then that finding would (paradoxically!) invalidate their article’s main conclusion”

        The method only assesses both datasets free of anthropogenic influence if model projections a truncated at present (in this case at 2007). If future computational model projections are included, it is not the case.

        However, up to the present model output should closely track real world data, otherwise the model would already be disqualified. Modellers actively tune model parameters to make sure it works out that way. No statistical method is sensitive to the way an elephant is made to wiggle his trunk. There is no surprise here except your lack of insight.

  37. The truth will finally come out:

    Here, a new and improved
    means to quantify the coupling between climate modes
    confirms that another synchronization of these modes,
    followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02.
    This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature
    trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02
    period may have occurred

    Has the climate recently shifted?
    ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

    • CLIMATE SENSITIVITY

      The climate sensitivity parameter, which relates the top-of-the-atmosphere radiative forcing to the change of the global surface air temperature, is derived from analyses of satellite observations of the aerosol optical depth, changes in the carbon dioxide concentration, and the increase in the global temperature. Considering the last decade, when both the decreasing aerosol optical depth and the increasing carbon dioxide concentration have been causing warming, we deduce the climate sensitivity to be 0.4 (with uncertainty of 0.1)K/Wm-2. This value corresponds to a warming of about 1.6 (with uncertainty of 0.4) deg C due to doubling the amount of carbon dioxide from its pre-industrial level.

      Aerosol Optical Depth, Climate Sensitivity and Global Warming

      http://bit.ly/X3TFPu

    • Additionally, our estimates of climate sensitivity using our SCM and the four instrumental temperature records range from about 1.5°C to 2.0°C. These are on the low end of the estimates in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. So, while we find that most of the observed warming is due to human emissions of LLGHGs, future warming based on these estimations will grow more slowly compared to that under the IPCC’s “likely” range of climate sensitivity, from 2.0°C to 4.5°C.

      Causes of the Global Warming Observed since the 19th Century

      http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=24283

  38. THE DUST BOWL (1930’S)
    For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life — breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk — were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away.

    http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/dustbowl.htm

  39. TORNADO

    The Great Tri-State Tornado of Wednesday, March 18, 1925, was the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. Inflicting 695 fatalities,[1] the tornado killed more than twice as many as the second deadliest, the 1840 Great Natchez Tornado. The continuous ≥219 mile (≥352 km) track left by the tornado was the longest ever recorded in the world: the tornado crossed from southeastern Missouri, through southern Illinois, then into southwestern Indiana. Although not officially rated by NOAA, it is recognized by most experts (such as Tom Grazulis) as an F5 tornado, the maximal damage rating issued on the Fujita scale[2][3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-State_Tornado

  40. Dr Curry, do you agree with their findings on Hurricanes?

  41. This report is basically a hypothetical impact assessment which assumes a large US climate change in the next few decades due to AGW. There is already a large federally funded literature based on this assumption and the authors are the experts on that literature. It is not an assessment of the science behind the assumption. That is why I call it the National Scare.

  42. Starting tomorrow comments can be made on the draft for 90 days via
    http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/ Registration required. Blast away.

  43. Judith Curry

    The authors have asked for comments. Here are mine, going through the seven key points listed.

    1. Deepen understanding of the climate system, feedbacks, and impacts.

    Indeed! Let’s make sure we incorporate latest findings on (2xCO2) climate sensitivity based on actual past observations (Schlesinger et al. 2012, Gillett et al. 2011, Lewis 2012): these all show an ECS of around half the previously estimated value from model simulations. Based on this improved information, let’s revise our projections on what the probable magnitude of future human-induced climate change is likely to be.

    2. Develop local, regional, national, and international options to adapt to climate change.

    Excellent idea. Let’s be ready for any climate challenge that is thrown at us on a local, regional and (maybe) national basis if and when it becomes apparent that this challenge is imminent – but forget the “international options”, except where there are regional considerations (Canada, Mexico).

    3. Explore options and actions that reduce the rate and magnitude of climate change.

    Bad idea. We are unable to change our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it (as all “actionable proposals” to date have shown). This is money wasted.

    4. Maintain, extend, expand, and improve the observations and data systems essential to understanding climate change and responding to it.

    Why not? (See 2 above) But let’s not get carried away with very expensive procedures (more satellites, etc.); the budget should not be unlimited.

    5. Inform and enable decision-makers to address the challenges of climate change and its consequences.

    Yes. But let’s make sure we first incorporate the latest findings on ECS (see 1 above), so we can more clearly estimate the ” challenges of climate change and its consequences”.

    6. Capacity Building, Education, and Workforce Development

    No. Should be deferred until 1 and 5 are completed. Our present understanding is not adequate to start this step. It would be wasted money.

    7. Enhance scenarios to include essential attributes of coupled human and natural systems.

    Defer until 1 and 5 are complete, except that a larger portion of the “climate budget” should be specifically allocated to better identifying and quantifying natural causes of past climate change (an area which has been under-explored to date; the funding should be re-allocated from AGW R+D funding, which is over-funded to date.

    You have concluded:

    The document is framed around the assumption that climate change is caused by anthropogenic forcing, and that future adverse impacts are extrapolated through climate model projections. Any characterization of uncertainty seems like an afterthought.

    This is exactly the problem with the report. The authors have the cart before the horse.

    They need to re-think this underlying assumption and rework their projections based on latest knowledge on climate sensitivity, in order to better define”what the problem really is” before getting into “what to do about it”.

    Max

    • Good ideas but posting here is not giving the authors your comments. Starting tomorrow comments can be made on the draft for 90 days via
      http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/ Registration required. Blast away. The comments will be made public.

      • David Wojick

        Thanks for link. Can someone not living in the USA also comment on the site you cite?

        Max

        PS The cited site is a sight!

      • I am pretty sure anyone can comment Max. US policy affects everyone.

    • You (JC) have concluded:
      The document is framed around the assumption that climate change is caused by anthropogenic forcing, and that future adverse impacts are extrapolated through climate model projections. Any characterization of uncertainty seems like an afterthought.
      This is exactly the problem with the report. The authors have the cart before the horse.

      Exactly: `No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’ – Chapter XII: Alice’s Evidence ;-)

    • “‘Explore options and actions that reduce the rate and magnitude of climate change.’ … Bad idea. We are unable to change our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it (as all “actionable proposals” to date have shown). This is money wasted.”

      Oh, I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think some of the plans to cool the planet, for example by pumping out particulate emissions, are worth investigating. Since these could be vastly less expensive than reducing emissions, and could be useful even if the hypothesis that CO2 emissions drive climate change proves false, modest investment in them could constitute a “no regrets” strategy.

  44. Judith

    IMO the basic message to the authors of this draft should be:

    “Before investigating any actions to be taken in response to human-induced global warming, ‘go back to the drawing board’ and get your base assumptions up to date. Do not rely on past IPCC publications, as these are out of date and do not include recent basic information that could radically reduce the potential impacts from human-induced global warming.”

    Max

    • Well said but you might drop the IPCC reference and just say past publications. The USGCRP has its own body of reports that are even more voluminous and much more biased toward CAGW than the IPCC reports are. See http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments especially this:
      “State of the knowledge report of Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S. (2009)” at http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts plus two dozen more.

      The USGCRP has a budget of over $2 billion a year. They are the combined climate research programs of the US Government doing about half of all the climate research worldwide. They do not depend on the IPCC.

      • David Wojick

        US taxpayers are funding this disinformation campaign by the USGCRP?

        To the tune of $2 billion?

        Ouch!

        Who is in charge of this scam?

        How can the US taxpayer pull the plug on this operation?

        Max

      • Max, this is the whole climate research program not just a disinformation campaign. Does your country do climate research? But in any case only the US House and Senate can pull the plug and it will not be easy because the Democrats back this program. The next year may be decisive as we cut the federal budget.

  45. Reading the impact assessment for the NE US as an example imo the NCADAC preliminary assessment report is highly biased towards assuming potential future harms that are not supportable by available evidence. Examine two simple measures, temperature and sea level rise as examples.
    The report predicts a temperature change for the US NE of 4.5F to 10F by 2080. When will the observed rate of warming increase to support the alarming prediction?
    The report predicts a 1 to 4 foot rise in sea level by 2100. Sea level has been has been rising for 5 thousand years at very close to the current rate. It is on a path to rise by less than a foot by 2100. When will the rate of rise increase in order for the alarmist prediction to become accurate?

    Is there no potential for the current rate of rise in either area to decrease? If you think the answer is no, you believe you know more about the system than you do.

    • The Executive Summary posted above says “U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F to 4°F of warming in most areas.”

      Anything about the “next few decades” in the NE US section? This is a preposterous forecast. The temp is roughly the same today as in the 1930’s, after which it cooled.

  46. The UK Met has adjusted their global temperature data with empirical data showing there has been no significant rise in global temperatures since 1998. In addition NASA has just come out with an analysis citing the Sun as a bigger factor of climate change that they need to account for in their climate change assessments. So it seems the climate change gurus are having to admit that human CO2 emissions is not the main driver of climate change that they thought it was. http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/skeptic-win-uk-met-office-quietly-drops-prediction-by-20-hopes-no-one-notices/#comment-1222661 has a good assessment of the UK Met temperature adjustments. It remains to be seen if NCADAC will revise their report to reflect all the empirical data now in the public domain which consigns CAGW to the dustbin.

    • The Met Office has also re-adjusted its history…

      http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=globalwarming&thread=95&page=56#86769

      “-which can be found here.

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/cli….ange/decadal-fc

      Notice how the white line which is supposed to represent prior forecasts has been totally changed. Only in climate science would that be permissible.”

      These are no longer science institutions, they have lost all credibility, they’ve made a laughing stock of themselves.

      ——————————————-

      http://drtimball.com/2010/climate-science-corruption-practiced-and-perpetuated-by-scientific-societies/

      Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California and former member of the American Physical Society (APS) understands, and dropped a nuclear bomb recently. He is “former” because he tendered his resignation in a devastating letter:

      “It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the slightest doubt that this is so should read the Climategate documents, which lay it bare. I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that word revulsion a definition of the word scientist. So what has the APS, as an organization done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.”
      ————————————————–
      Prime movers in creating the fraud or going along with it, what’s the difference for us caught in their trap?

  47. Here are some claims from the section of Alaska and the Arctic.
    Alaska will warm rapidly in the rest of this century 6°F to 8°F in the north(p. 761)
    Models project 15 to 25 day increase in length of the snow-free and frost-free seasons (p. 761)
    Summer sea ice is receding rapidly and is projected to disappear by mid-century (p. 762) References are to post 1979 exclusively.
    Although there will be periods of a decade or more with both rapid ice
    18 loss and temporary recovery (p. 762)
    Polar bear population estimated to be in decline (p. 764)
    Some models project that near-surface permafrost will be lost entirely from large parts of Alaska by the end of the century (p. 768) Projections are for 1 meter depth.
    Thawing permafrost causes . . . the release of heat-trapping gases that increase climate warming (p. 767)
    Ocean waters globally have become 30% more acidic due to absorption of large amounts of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. (772)

    All of these projections are from models and are expressed with “High Confidence”

    Lots of exaggeration above:
    Alaska is cooling, not warming.

    Arctic ice record low for the satellite era lasted for a month or two, and caused by a rare autumn cyclone.

    Polar bears are increasing according to observers on the ground.

    The top meter of permafrost contains little gas, and in Siberia, permafrost areas are growing.

    Marine life, including corals, thrive with more CO2, and the pH of water varies around 8.2 by +/- 0.3. It hasn’t been neutral (7.0), let alone acidic, in 600 million years.

    • The Executive Summary posted above says “U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2°F to 4°F of warming in most areas.”

      Anything about the “next few decades” in the Alaska and Arctic section?

      • The source is indicated as the Alaska Technical Regional Report, where the following is stated:

        The spatial distribution of the 15 CMIP3 multi-model
        mean annual temperature for Alaska is shown in figure 9
        for three future time periods (2021‒2050, 2041‒2070,
        and 2070‒2099) and two emissions scenarios A2 and B1.
        (Nakicenovic and others, 2000; Solomon and others, 2007).
        The simulation results for all three periods indicate an increase
        in temperature compared to that in 1971‒2000. Southeast
        Alaska shows the least amount of warming, and the greatest
        temperature changes are in the far northwest.

        Warming increases over time, as well as between scenario
        A2 and B1 for each respective period. Spatial variations
        are relatively small, especially for the B1 scenarios. For
        2021‒2050, B1 values range between 0 and 4ºF and A2 values
        range slightly higher, from 0 to 6ºF. For 2041‒2070, warming
        in B1 is between 2 and 6ºF and for A2 is from 2 to 8ºF.
        Increases by 2070‒2099 are larger still, with a 2‒8ºF range for
        B1 and a 4‒9.5ºF range for A2.

        A2 scenario is continuation of trends of recent fossil fuel usage, while B1 is a trend of reducing usage.

        http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1379/pdf/circ1379.pdf

      • I see that there are decadal forecasts provided by SNAP (Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, down to the community level.

        http://www.snap.uaf.edu/datamaps.php

  48. Why pay to fund a disinformation campaign? The US should tie its support for UN initiatives to the accuracy of IPCC predictions.

  49. It reads like an impassioned plea for more grant/research funds.

    I stopped reading when I came to the unfounded opinion “The changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.”

    So, any discussion on natural climate cycles is clearly forbidden. This is just another instance of an out of control bloated bureaucracy trying to both perpetuate itself and grow.

  50. “I am very concerned that the highly confident story being told here has enormous potential to mislead decision makers.”

    Doctor C., Perhaps it’s time to raise your profile some. People with credibility have to begin to stand up. Where are they all? Where are the letters? Where are the calls to our politicians? Otherwise as you point out, the consequences could be enormous.

    • Jim C.
      Just saw your comment. God bless, sir. I couldn’t agree more. I ask again, where are the voices of courage? The silence is deafening/.

  51. “If we didn’t know better, we’d think the operative rules were: Never seek logical or alternative answers, if you can blame a phenomenon or problem (like decreasing frog populations) on global warming. Do whatever it takes and fund whatever research is needed, to advance the goals of ending hydrocarbon use, increasing government control and `transforming’ society. And always include the terms `global warming’ or `climate change’ in any grant application.” ~Paul Driessen, Willie Soon, and David R. Legates (Cause for alarm, May 2010)

  52. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  53. In Appendix 1, “Addressing Commonly Asked Questions from A to Z”
    Question J, “What is and is not debated among climate scientists about climate change?”,

    I wasn’t really expecting an admission of over confidence, and I wasn’t really disappointed.

    We learn that
    “Spirited debates on some details of climate science continue. Focused on questions such as: Exactly how sensitive is the Earth’s climate to human emissions of heat-trapping gases? How will climate change affect clouds? How do particle and soot emissions affect clouds? How will climate change be affected by changes in clouds and the oceans?.”

    And then we are sent to bed with:
    “But the primary role of human activities in driving recent change is not in dispute.”
    -Would that be the recent net change of approximately zero over the last ~15 years, I wonder?

    This is followed by Figure 16, which purports to display the modeled “natural” (in blue) and “anthropogenic” (in red) contributions to observed (black) temperature increases.
    The figure ventures no predictions and appears to be missing about the last five years of data. The combined modeled contribution is clearly higher than the real-world observations, and soaring, when the axe is wielded. The line is also drawn in ghostly-gray.

    However, all the confidence ranges look well nourished, to say the least.

    • Question D addresses the supposed cooling.

      • Yes. I only said about zero warming, but Figure 6 affirms a recent cooling.

        It’s a horrible graph, but if they want to draw in lots of arbitrary lines with the most recent one showing cooling I am powerless to prevent them.

  54. The folks at the United States Global Change Research Program Review and Comment System tell me that to comment on their draft report I must “click on Create New Account (left).” When I try to click I find that there is not a “Create New Account” button. Thus, though they imply that I can comment, I cannot comment.

    This situation reminds me of my attempt at commenting on the proposed Endangerment Finding of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Within the period for public comment on the proposed finding, I submitted a refutation of the basis for this finding to the EPA, following the EPA’s procedure for commenting. Nonetheless, the EPA proceeded to find CO2 emissions to be an endangerment. Later, the EPA published a document which purported to address each and every comment that had been received by the EPA in the period for public comment. When I read this document, I found that it did not address my comment. When I wrote to the EPA’s administrator, Lisa Jackson, to point out that she and her agency had misrepresented the truth, Jackson did not respond.

    • They say it will be available on Monday Jan 14th.

    • Perhaps you missed her reply. Look for an email from Richard Windsor. 8-)

    • Try ‘starting at 9 AM ET on January 14th 2013′.

    • Terry,

      A few years back I commented on EPA’s site, asking about the fact the only reference they listed was the IPCC. I noted how I was taught one should avoid relying on a single reference source in any sort of research (not only scientific) and wanted to know if they could provide the rational for doing so.

      Never heard an answer.

    • I was able to access “Create New Account” this morning.

  55. “I have only read a few chapters, but the impression that I have is this. The document is framed around the assumption that climate change is caused by anthropogenic forcing, and that future adverse impacts are extrapolated through climate model projections. Any characterization of uncertainty seems like an afterthought”

    In reality, the report acknowledges changes already being experienced in American society, reflecting both social and economic realities; and offers an opportunity for public documentation, participation and information-sharing re. ongoing assessment of the science and its import for various levels of decision-making.

    While I’m not a fan of government reports, I appreciate that this one clearly introduces accountability, and an ongoing public/private sector process with real opportunities for public comment and engagement. This is in fact a huge and refreshing increase in democratic process, and if democracy is to be meaningful, it includes the most vulnerable groups in the discussion and decision-making.

    -Organizations can join NCAnet
    -Individuals can give technical input
    -Individuals who are able to can attend an NCAnet regional town hall meeting (focus group) or via webinar.
    -Anyone can give public comment (poor Terry aside, apparently).

    Your choices have just increased.

    • Martha, the issue is the attribution of the changes seen in recent decade. Other than temperature itself, there is little evidence in the empirical record of a signal in the surface climate (e.g. rainfall, extreme weather events) that humans are causing this variability. (see the IPCC SREX Report)

      If people think they can ‘fix’ bad weather and droughts by reducing CO2 emissions, they would be very unpleasantly surprised if they ever actually managed to reduce CO2 emissions.

      • “If people think they can ‘fix’ bad weather and droughts by reducing CO2 emissions, they would be very unpleasantly surprised if they ever actually managed to reduce CO2 emissions.”

        Not that anyone is suggesting such a thing.

        Next strawman!

      • Michael

        Except that you are quite mistaken in that some are stating that if we reduce CO2 emissions then we will have less extreme weather in the near future.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=emissions-limits-could-cut-climate&posted=1#comments

      • You are correct, Michael. It is just politics as usual and has nothing to do with science. In politics what the main players say and the problems they consistently use as talking points are just ways of getting elected. They don’t really believe their own words and nothing is ever done to address the so-called problems. So people using “dirty weather” and “global weirding” as talking points and saying that it is attributable to human CO2 emissions don’t really think that reducing CO2 will help reduce them. Good point!!

      • Rob,

        which is nothing like saying that you can ‘fix’ droughts.

        Judith was using a rhetorical exaggeration to make a point. And we know what she thinks about the use of rhetorical devices in such circumstances- it’s propaganda!!!

        Shame on you Judith.

      • Michael

        But you do not label the unScientific American article as propaganda? It is evidence of exactly what Judith is describing. “We have have fewer droughts and fewer severe storms if we act now to reduce CO2″

        Sorry, you seem pretty biased

      • {in the right spot}

        Rob,

        You aren’t that dense.

        Judith claimed ‘people’ (wonderfully vague) think that reducing CO2 will ‘fix’ droughts.

        The artilce you link to says nothing of the kind. Nothing – only that projected increases in drought etc, over current levels, might be lessened by limiting the projected increase in CO2.

        Not fxing – lessening the increase.

        Not in the same ball-park, not even the same planet.

        Biased?? – have you checked your eye for a beam?

      • Michael

        Do you think there is any reliable evidence that there would be a lessening of droughts in the US if CO2 emissions were reduced? What would be the source of this belief?

      • Michael, all you need to do is take a look at MSM blog comments, eg from the Guardian, to see just how many people actually do believe just that.

      • Michael

        IPCC claims (see note):

        – Increased incidence and severity of droughts will result from human CO2 emissions.

        – Increased incidence and severity of floods will result from human CO2 emissions.

        – Increased incidence and severity of heat waves will result from human CO2 emissions.
        .
        – Increased incidence and severity of tropical cyclones will result from human CO2 emissions.

        [Note: Based on expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies.]

        Associated strawmen:

        – People can reduce the incidence and severity of droughts by reducing CO2 emissions

        – People can reduce the incidence and severity of floods by reducing CO2 emissions

        – People can reduce the incidence and severity of heat waves by reducing CO2 emissions

        – People can reduce the incidence and severity of tropical cyclones by reducing CO2 emissions

        Confucius say

        “Man who make strawman should use fresh straw.”

        Max
        .

      • Rob,

        You know that article you linked to isn’t saying what you are trying to imply and nothing like what Judith claimed. But keep trying to move those goalposts.

        Max,
        Nice attempt to defend the groupthink, but you’ll need to do better. Judith said “fix ….droughts”. None of your excerpts show anything od the kind. Heck, even your ‘implications’ can’t do it.

        This is the problem with the ‘skeptics’ – not at all sceptical, and don’t call out the BS from their fellow travellers.

        Anyone with a working BS detector would be calling BS on Judiths “fixing…droughts” claim.

        But no, we have a rush to defence, circle the wagons and Warp 1 on the Groupthink hyper-drive!!

        Go Team!!

      • Though, it is a little unfair to be shooting these particular fish in the barrell, when they are so afflicted.

        This is Judith’s nonsense, so let’s go back to the source.

        Let’s ignore Judith’s rhetoric and focus on what remains – she saying that reducing CO2 will have no effect on extreme weather.

        An implication would be that Judith thinks warming will have no effect on extreme weather events. Judith?

        I’ll be kinder again, and assume that Judith was just trying to make a point about attribution. But it’s a mistake to argue that because you don’t see a human ‘fingerprint’ in extreme events, that’s it’s not there. Judith’s mythical ‘people’ might be not be ‘unpleasantly surprised’. It’s the old ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.

        Someone just threw uncertainty under the bus.

      • “Let’s ignore Judith’s rhetoric and focus on what remains – she saying that reducing CO2 will have no effect on extreme weather.”

        It seems to me if your purpose was to reduce extreme weather, choosing to reducing CO2 is about as stupid as anything humans have ever done.
        And that includes throwing maidens into a volcano.

        “An implication would be that Judith thinks warming will have no effect on extreme weather events. Judith?”

        If the theory of global warming were correct, and so if increased CO2 increases the Greenhouse Effect, then this should not cause an increase
        in extreme weather events.

      • “If the theory of global warming were correct, and so if increased CO2 increases the Greenhouse Effect, then this should not cause an increase
        in extreme weather events.”

        Assertion aside, why not??

      • ““If the theory of global warming were correct, and so if increased CO2 increases the Greenhouse Effect, then this should not cause an increase
        in extreme weather events.”

        Assertion aside, why not??””

        If a world had less Greenhouse Effect, it makes some sense if you want to reduce extreme weather events, to increase the global Greenhouse Effect.
        Or the difference in temperatures in different regions [tropical. temperate, polar] is the cause of extreme weather events.
        Or uniformity of temperature is not the cause of extreme weather events.

      • Michael observes the straw in his stall and thinks”strawman”.

        Being the talented donkey your are Mike, use your hoof to type out Cuomo as a google search and see how many times he’s linked extreme weather to the need to reduce CO2 emissions since Sandy.

      • Michael

        Use your brain.

        There is a difference between the strawmen:

        – People can reduce the incidence and severity of droughts by reducing CO2 emissions

        AND

        People can “fix” (i.e. “eliminate”) droughts by reducing CO2 emissions

        The difference is a matter of degree.

        Got it?

        Max

      • tim,

        Is he claiming to “fix drought”??

        Thought not.

      • Michael

        You got it wrong again.

        No one is for “throwing uncertainty under the bus”.

        Folks just object to trying to rationalizing it away with silly “likelihood percentages”, which are “based on expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies”.

        Max

      • typo

        Folks just object to trying to rationalizing rationalize it away with silly “likelihood percentages”…

      • Michael,

        Exactly how will your minute focus on semantics advance the discussion? The general topic is whether taking action to reduce CO2 emissions will have any impact in reducing or mitigating the supposed problems eminating from climate change.

        We are told that we will experience more and longer droughts, tropical storms, tornados, floods, etc and this is then put forth as a justification for immediate action to reduce CO2. For most people the concept of taking action(s) to address a problem is usually seen as a “fix”.

      • Michael, so it seems you’re convinced that warming leads to more extreme weather events.
        So answer me this – by what mechanism?

      • Michael

        After you’ve answered phatboy’s question to you about the mechanism linking warming to increased severe weather events, I have another one for you.

        By what mechanism does “lack of warming” (as we have seen the past 12-15 years) lead to more extreme weather events?

        Max

      • Max,

        The logic of CAGW is nothing if not flexible.

        First I read comments by Phil Jones, the oracle of CAGW at UEA, that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

        Then I read comments from Gavin Schmidt, the wizard of Real Climate himself, that there has been only “modest” warming to date, and we have so far adapted well enough.

        Then I read comments from Kevin Trenberth about how it’s a travesty that he and his brethren of the Brotherhood of the Traveling Hockey Schtick can’t account for all the missing warming.

        Yet every freakin’ weather event, cold or hot, is immediately attributable to globalclimatewarmingchange.

        At this rate, they’re going to give genuine snake oil salesmen a bad name.

      • phattie,

        energy.

      • Michael wrote: “Energy”
        ———————————-
        Please elaborate

  56. {Excerpt}

    Since the mid 1970s when some of the same scientists were warning of a coming ice age, and then felt comfortable going after some of the research grant money on the global warming side, we have not yet heard a single fact adduced proving humans to be responsible.

    The entire case for panic is based on computer games. I want to remind you that the other multi-trillion-dollar debacle we are witnessing around the world today is because risk managers with gray hair were replaced by computers. The computers got it spectacularly wrong, yet the financial consensus relied upon them.

    Today predictions of future weather calamities are being made by computer games that do not take into consideration scientific observations of the earth’s natural temperature modulations.

    Every computer predicting calamity requires for its accuracy a growing hot spot high above the equator. We have had years to measure that hot spot with scientific instruments. It doesn’t exist.

    How do the modelers respond? “You must have misread your thermometers for 50 years, because the computer guesses that it should be there.”

    So, we prepare to attack this erroneous conclusion with the one thing our government does best: Raise taxes on the rich and give that money to the poor. There! That fixes that!

    Have we forgotten the testimony before this Committee that showed us that because of entitlements, our nation’s total revenue stream will be insufficient to pay just the interest on the debt in 31 years? So, we’ll just add another entitlement.

    Let me show you a slide. Whether you select the minimum plan or the maximum plan put forth by the experts, this program will dwarf our current welfare program. Turning the vast majority of our citizens into supplicants is as futile as it is cruel, at which I just cringe, who is going to be hurt? Well, just 2 billion of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    We’ve enjoyed a living standard in the last 100 years, which is the envy of the world. India and China are now going through what we went through. One byproduct of that success is CO2. Why do we want to deny that same opportunity to the most vulnerable, whom we will consign to a lifetime of hunger and poverty.

    As Dr. John Christy told us just last week, having lived among the world’s poor, their lives there are brutal and short. Those who kick the poor in the teeth while pretending to soak the rich do not merit the votes from either.

    [Congressman John Linder, Hearing On Protecting Lower-Income Families While Fighting Global Warming, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2009]

    • David Springer

      While WaPo talks up the record heat in Washington, DC they blithely ignore the simultaneous record cold in Washington State.

      It’s said the New York Times contains everything fit to print. WaPo evidently prints everything else.

      You have my sincere condolences, Curry.

      • David,

        If you read the comments attached to the article you will see the WP weather reporters are pretty reasonable. They are reporting what the assessment report said. Dig further and you’ll see they are sceptical about the accuracy of regional model projections.

    • WaPo reports that “Federal” study predicts increased hot days for DC by mid-century.

      “Predicts?”

      “Mid-century?”

      Huh?

      Judith’s point (I believe ) is that, as a result of the politically fostered CAGW hysteria, this totally “non news” item gets a full article in WaPo, when it isn’t worth (pardon the expression) “the paper it’s printed on”.

      And I’d agree with her.

      Max

  57. David Springer

    Michael | January 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

    “It’s the old ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.”

    A fresh pie in the baker’s window is proof that the baker is baking today. No pie in the window is evidence that the baker is not baking today. Do not conflate evidence with proof. Absence of evidence is not proof of absence. It IS however evidence of absence. QED

    • Or maybe the pie is still in the oven. And yes, I am rolling my eyes.

    • Michael

      You apparently missed David’s point (if your eyes are rolling).

      Let’s go through it again slowly, step-by-step (bold type by me).

      – A fresh pie in the baker’s window is proof that the baker is baking today.

      – No pie in the window is evidence that the baker is not baking today. But it is not proof, for exactly the reason you stated (among other possibilities).

      “Or maybe the pie is still in the oven.”

      Got it?

      Max

      PS It is my understanding that “proof” doesn’t exist in science, but in a courtroom sufficient “evidence” can be considered legal “proof”.

      • David Springer

        There are proofs in math and logic. If you divorce science from math and logic, which warmists are wont to do, then I suppose there are no proofs in science. They seem to like scientific proofs though. Ask for proof that the globe is warming and stand by for an earful of disparate facts that prove it.

      • Max,

        I’ll restate my snipped reply (in less frightful language that may not batter the sensibiities of our delicate denizens).

        You are talking assumptions, not evidence.

      • Further; David and Max’s demonstation that they don’y really understand what evidence is, explains much of their commentary at Climate Etc.

      • - No pie in the window is evidence that the baker is not baking today.

        To anyone not a “skeptic,” obviously, that would depend on context.

        This is silly. If you’re going to engage in that kind of silliness, at least apply the same standards to yourself that you apply to Michael.

        It is interesting that you fail to provide the full context necessary for drawing a logical supposition and consider your supposition to be lock-tight regardless. Give the question a smidgeon of skeptical thought, and you will see the flaws in your statement.

        Sound familiar, manacker?

        (In case it doesn’t go back and review some of our exchanges in the past. You will see how I have pointed out a similar patterns in your logical errors previously).

        Your think that you have made a definitive and logical supposition only because you are seeking to confirm a bias. You assume certain criteria that have not been made explicit, and on that basis make a determination? It is obvious that without more context, more details, more information/data, a lack of pies in the window is perhaps a lack of evidence that the baker has already baked pies today (and even then an assumption of certain criteria is required).

        A lack of pies in the window (without further clarification of context) is not evidence (let alone proof) that the baker is not baking pies today.

        How ironic that you would make that statement when you were trying to correct Michael’s logic.

      • Joshua

        Thanks for your “pie in the sky” message.

        It made my day.

        Max

    • Steven Mosher

      “A fresh pie in the baker’s window is proof that the baker is baking today.”

      Actually its not proof. The baker could have had freshly baked pies delivered because his oven is broken. Seeing the baker baking pies would be proof of the baker baking. A pie in the window? is proof of a pie in the window. How it got there requires an inductive step which may or may not be correct.

      • NOAA’s animation of the recent Sudden Stratospheric warming is an indication (not yet evidence or proof) but nevertheless important indication that the SSW may be linked to volcanic eruptions.
        British weather man thinks that the current cold spell is related to the SSW.

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSW2012-13.htm

        Mosher do you say, possible indication or only circumstantial evidence?

      • Steven Mosher

        Whether or not the example (“fresh pie in the baker’s window”) would provide “proof” in a courtroom that the baker is baking, is a point one can rationally debate, but which would eventually be up to a jury to decide.

        The other example (“no fresh pie in the window”) would be tossed out of court, for the reasons stated.

        I think that’s the difference here, Mosh.

        But let’s take your analysis with CO2 and global warming.

        Global warming could be caused by something other than CO2. Having empirical observations linking the CO2 to the warming would provide evidence of the link; a theory backed by model simulations is not. Warmer temperature is “proof” of warmer temperature. How it got warmer requires an inductive step that may or may not be correct.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        no pie in the window is not evidence that he is not baking.
        Evidence comes in three flavors ala the italian flag.
        evidence for.
        evidence against.
        evidence that is uncertain.

        Evidence that he is baking: a pie in the window
        Evidence that he is not baking. he is standing next to you in the street
        no pie in the window? last pie just got bought and he is kneeding dough
        in the back.

      • Steven Mosher

        Global warming could be caused by something other than CO2. Having empirical observations linking the CO2 to the warming would provide evidence of the link; a theory backed by model simulations is not. Warmer temperature is “proof” of warmer temperature. How it got warmer requires an inductive step that may or may not be correct.

        ####################
        yes, X could be cause by something other than its known cause is TRUE OF EVERY SCIENTIFIC STATEMENT ABOUT CAUSE.
        There could always be other causes for ANY process. That is why the objection isnt very weighty. The bald statement ‘something else’ could be the cause is an empty observation. Now, if you say, we have two explanations: natural forcings and natural plus anthro forcings, then you can begin to weigh which is more plausible. But to merely not that “something else” might be the cause is a tautology about the condition of scientific truth. it is always conditional and always provisional.

        The theory is back by observation, it is not backed by models. you do not understand how models function epistemically. Models function to tell you if you are wrong. Lastly, yes, there is an inductive step.
        It got warmer. There are many potential causes, the ones that hang together and make the most sense are natural plus anthro causes.
        appealing to grelims is not science. its philosophy or the lunatic ravings of a dope head

      • Steven Mosher

        The “CO2/warming” and “fresh pie on the shelf /baker is baking” examples have a lot in common (although there are, of course, differences as well).

        The latest ECS estimates have the advantage over earlier ones (IMO) because they are based on actual real-time physical observations, while the earlier estimates are not. Both contain some assumptions on natural forcing (which, coincidentally, are beginning to look a bit ragged over the past 12-15 years). The large uncertainties in natural factors (including clouds) will hopefully be resolved with future work (one possible example is the work going on at CERN), but until they are, the latest estimates seem to be the best we have.

        Call it “circumstantial evidence”, but Jim Cripwell is right when he says it is not “empirical scientific evidence” (Feynman).

        Let’s hope we get there some day.

        A question for you: How many more years of no warming despite unabated human GHG emissions and ever-increasing atmospheric GHG concentrations would it take in your estimation to falsify the IPCC CAGW premise as outlined in AR4?

        10 more? 20 more? 30 more? Never?

        (Just testing the water, Mosh.)

        Max

      • PS Steven, I like the Italian Flag logic. It makes good sense. (Unfortunately in climate science we have a preponderance of “evidence that it is uncertain”)

      • Steven Mosher

        “Call it “circumstantial evidence”, but Jim Cripwell is right when he says it is not “empirical scientific evidence” (Feynman).”

        1. unfool yourself by relying on your interpretation of what feynman believed.
        2. unfool yourself by refering to him as an authority about what constitutes evidence.
        3. there is empirical evidence for the value of climate sensitivity. un fool yourself by relying on cripwell.

        Ask yourself this. how do we measure the distance to the moon. with a ruler?

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks for good advice.

        Let me reciprocate by giving you some good advice

        – Unfool yourself from thinking I have to unfool myself.

        I know perfectly well what Feynman meant by empirical evidence and it is NOT what is supporting the ECS estimates of IPCC.

        It comes closer to supporting the latest (lower) estimates, because they are at least made from the physically observed record, but, even in this case, there is still a lot of assumption when it comes to natural forcing impacts.

        A second bit of advice:

        – Unfool yourself into thinking you are or more intelligent or more knowledgeable than others (remember, YOU are the easiest person to fool).

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        To your question of how we measure the distance to the moon.

        This quote from askville may be helpful

        With the invention of RADAR, more precise determinations of the lunar distance became possible. Also, thanks to the Apollo astronauts, there is a large reflector on the Moon’s surface, off of which laser light can be bounced from Earth. By measuring the time the laser light takes to make the round trip to the moon and back, its instantaneous distance can be measured to within one inch (!).

        THAT’s what I call “empirical scientific evidence” (and I suspect Feynman would agree).

        Max

    • Roger Pielke Jr. is pretty blunt regarding this story, a subject he personally knows quite a bit about.
      .
      The US Global Change Research Program is being paid for by US taxpayers, I assume.

      This group is spending this taxpayer money to misinform the US taxpayers.

      And that, at a time when the US government spending has gotten totally out of control, cuts are required elsewhere and tax increases are being considered.

      Is something wrong with this picture?

      How can this program get defunded immediately – preferably before it has time to publish its draft report?

      Max

    • The silence from the AGWers is deafening, but where are all the “expert” sceptics out there? They should be pulling this report apart piece by piece!

    • Another example of lying b-st-rds. Should be on the ‘who can you trust?’ thread.

    • If you read what Pielke quotes, he is quibbling that you can’t call decadal trends “climate change” because he associates climate change with CO2. There is some dot-joining or word association going on here in his mind. He is not arguing about the decadal trends per se, but just with calling them climate change. To me, this is just word games.

  58. David L. Hagen

    Major change required, boosting Black Carbon to #2 ahead of methane.
    2007 Black carbon impact is 3X too low.

    The new estimate of black carbon’s heat-trapping power is about double the one made in the last major report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2007. And the researchers said that if indirect warming effects of the particles are factored in, they may be trapping heat at almost three times the previously estimated rate.

    This published paper below will require a major change to Fig. 5 p 1127, displacing Methane as #2 in the Draft Climate change report..

    In the Climate Change Draft, Carbon black finally gets mentioned in Ch 27 p 958 – rather than getting second top billing.

    This “minor” change ranks carbon black second to carbon dioxide. If carbon black is increased 3x, how much are CO2 and aerosols etc. changed?
    Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment, T. C. Bond et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50171

    Abstract
    . . . Total global emissions of black carbon using bottom-up inventory methods are 7500 Gg yr-1 in the year 2000 with an uncertainty range of 2000 to 29000. However, global atmospheric absorption attributable to black carbon is too low in many models, and should be increased by a factor of almost three. After this scaling, the best estimate for the industrial-era (1750 to 2005)direct radiative forcing of atmospheric black carbon is +0.71 W m-2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of (+0.08, +1.27) W m-2. Total direct forcing by all black carbon sources, without subtracting the pre-industrial background, is estimated as +0.88 (+0.17, +1.48) W m-2. Direct radiative forcing alone does not capture important rapid adjustment mechanisms. A framework is described and used for quantifying climate forcings, including rapid adjustments. The best estimate of industrial-era climate forcing of black carbon through all forcing mechanisms, including clouds and cryosphere forcing, is +1.1 W m-2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of +0.17 to +2.1 W m-2. Thus, there is a very high probability that black carbon emissions, independent of co-emitted species, have a positive forcing and warm the climate. We estimate that black carbon, with a total climate forcing of +1.1 W m-2, is the second most important human emission in terms of its climate-forcing in the present-day atmosphere; only carbon dioxide is estimated to have a greater forcing. Sources that emit black carbon also emit other short-lived species that may either cool or warm climate. Climate forcings from co-emitted species are estimated and used in the framework described herein. When the principal effects of co-emissions, including cooling agents such as sulfur dioxide, are included in net forcing, energy-related sources (fossil-fuel and biofuel) have an industrial-era climate forcing of +0.22 (-0.50 to +1.08) W m-2 during the first year after emission. For a few of these sources, such as diesel engines and possibly residential biofuels, warming is strong enough that eliminating all emissions from these sources would reduce net climate forcing (i.e., produce cooling). When open burning emissions, which emit high levels of organic matter, are included in the total, the best estimate of net industrial-era climate forcing by all black-carbon-rich sources becomes slightly negative (-0.06 W m-2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of -1.45 to +1.29 W m-2). The uncertainties in net climate forcing from black-carbon-rich sources are substantial, largely due to lack of knowledge about cloud interactions with both black carbon and co-emitted organic carbon. . . ..

  59. David Springer

    Draft U.S. Climate Assessment Report

    Fixed that for ya!

  60. David Springer

    @Hagen

    Nice article on black carbon’s effect being underestimated 3x in IPCC AR4.

    Of course I wrote up the error in 2007, the same year AR4 came out. What took so long for others to catch up with me?

    IPCC Ignores Studies of Soot’s Effect on Global Warming

    Thank you, thank you… no applause necessary, I know I’m awesome already.

    • David Springer

      P.S. The author omits slash & burn agriculture among soot culprits. He also fails to mention Europe’s love affair with dirty diesel engines. Compared to the US, Europe has a far higher percentage of diesel fueled vehicles than the US does and, adding insult to injury, until very recently Europe had no particulate emission restrictions on its diesel vehicles while the US has mandated particulate restrictions on same for 50 years. Perhaps needless to say slash & burn agriculture is not practiced in the US as it is in eastern Europe.

      Carbon dioxide was made the boogeyman because, until 2007 when China took over, the United States was the #1 emitter of CO2. Global warming has never been about global warming. It’s always been about slowing down US growth in military/economic power. This became super-scary when the cold war ended in 1991 leaving the US as the only remaining super-power. Unsurprisingly the global warming facade didn’t really get spun up hard until the end of the cold war.

  61. David Springer, awesome and then some ).

  62. Alan Whitney

    An earlier objection was based on incomplete reading. He said,”The “best available evidence” is not, and never should be used in any sort of scientific paper, unless and until it can be proven that this best is good enough to solve the problem at hand.” That ignores how the evidence is defined. Read on …

    The level of confidence the chapter authors have in the key findings they report is given in “traceable accounts” that accompany each chapter. A traceable account is intended to: document the process the authors used to come to the conclusions in their key messages; provide additional information to reviewers about the quality of the information used; and allow traceability to data and resources. The authors have assessed a wide range of information
    in the scientific literature and previous technical reports. In assessing confidence, they have considered the strength and consistency of the observed evidence, the skill, range, and consistency of model projections, and insights about processes and climate from peer-reviewed
    sources.

  63. Thanks for sharing the report. I hope a common man like us can also find some valuable information here.

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