Week in Review 4/22/11

by Judith Curry

This was quite an interesting week in terms of new scientific papers, thoughtful articles in in the MSM and magazines, and interesting blog posts.  Here is a quick survey of things that I found interesting.


A new history of Climategate has been published by Mother Jones.  From Bishop Hill: “It’s not too bad, considering the source, but there are some problems.”

If you can get past the subtitle and the first few introductory paragraphs, this is actually worth reading, it provides an interesting perspective.  A few of my favorite quotes from the article:

But none of the exonerations mattered: The scientists had lost control of the narrative.

What’s more, for years, the press had become accustomed to the refrain that the “science is settled” on global warming, and that it was now time to figure out how to deal with it. The “science is settled” mantra downplayed the many uncertainties that remain about the impacts and implications of climate change and the hard-fought battles over every conclusion. So when the debates about data were laid bare, the scandal was much easier to report than the science.

Also, on one of clicks to link to the next page, there is this:

A “blue dress” moment for climate change?

Now that is classic :)


Also from Mother Jones is this essay by Chris Mooney on “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science.”  From the conclusion:

Given the power of our prior beliefs to skew how we respond to new information, one thing is becoming clear: If you want someone to accept new evidence, make sure to present it to them in a context that doesn’t trigger a defensive, emotional reaction.

This theory is gaining traction in part because of Kahan’s work at Yale. In one study, he and his colleagues packaged the basic science of climate change into fake newspaper articles bearing two very different headlines–“Scientific Panel Recommends Anti-Pollution Solution to Global Warming” and “Scientific Panel Recommends Nuclear Solution to Global Warming”–and then tested how citizens with different values responded. Sure enough, the latter framing made hierarchical individualists much more open to accepting the fact that humans are causing global warming. Kahan infers that the effect occurred because the science had been written into an alternative narrative that appealed to their pro-industry worldview.

You can follow the logic to its conclusion: Conservatives are more likely to embrace climate science if it comes to them via a business or religious leader, who can set the issue in the context of different values than those from which environmentalists or scientists often argue. Doing so is, effectively, to signal a détente in what Kahan has called a “culture war of fact.” In other words, paradoxically, you don’t lead with the facts in order to convince. You lead with the values–so as to give the facts a fighting chance.


Tsonis and colleagues have an important new paper entitled “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s Climate Variability” which is discussed at Pielke Sr’s blog, including a guest post by the authors.

Wyatt, Marcia Glaze , Sergey Kravtsov, and Anastasios A. Tsonis, 2011: Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability  Climate Dynamics: DOI: 10.1007/s00382-011-1071-8.

The abstract reads

Proxy and instrumental records reflect a quasi-cyclic 50-to-80-year climate signal across the Northern Hemisphere, with particular presence in the North Atlantic. Modeling studies rationalize this variability in terms of intrinsic dynamics of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation influencing distribution of sea-surface-temperature anomalies in the Atlantic Ocean; hence the name Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). By analyzing a lagged covariance structure of a network of climate indices, this study details the AMO-signal propagation throughout the Northern Hemisphere via a sequence of atmospheric and lagged oceanic teleconnections, which the authors term the “stadium wave”. Initial changes in the North Atlantic temperature anomaly associated with AMO culminate in an oppositely signed hemispheric signal about 30 years later. Furthermore, shorter-term, interannual-to-interdecadal climate variability alters character according to polarity of the stadium-wave-induced prevailing hemispheric climate regime. Ongoing research suggests mutual interaction between shorter-term variability and the stadium wave, with indication of ensuing modifications of multidecadal variability within the Atlantic sector. Results presented here support the hypothesis that AMO plays a significant role in hemispheric and, by inference, global climate variability, with implications for climate-change attribution and prediction.

I can’t find a copy of the paper online, but I REALLY want to read this one in its entirety.


Richard Alley was featured in the recent PBS documentary “Earth: the Operator’s Manual.”  Yale Climate Forum interviews Alley, about his new book with the same title and also his website.  Richard is one of the best educator/communicators among the climate scientists IMO, so this is worth a look.  Over at collide-a-scape,  Kloor has a post on this.


Yale360 has a post entitled “What’s with the weather? Is climate to blame?”  It is a cogent summary of this issue as per the “party line” of Trenberth, Hegerl, etc.  For the perspective from the disloyal opposition, see my posts on attribution of extreme events part I and II   (in case you missed it the first time around).


And finally, fun and games with the peer review process, over at Jason Box’s blog.  The paper in questions was published by JGR, entitled “A reconstruction of annual Greenland ice melt extent, 1784-2009″, by Oliver Frauenfeld, Chip Knappenberger, Pat Michaels.  The editor on this one was Guosheng Liu, my former postdoc and collaborator; a more honest, fair, and conscientious editor would be hard to find.

Jason Box was a reviewer, and the title of his extremely critical blog post is “Selective science = pseudo-science”.  Box’s issue is that the analysis only extended to 2009, which Box thought should be included because 2010 was a really warm year for Greenland.  Knappenberger responds that the data for 2010 was unavailable at the time they wrote the paper.  So why is Jason Box up in arms over this (besides the fact that 2010 was a warm year)?  A quote from the blog post:

Examining the 2nd and 3rd authors’ credentials, a climate change denialist pattern emerges. Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Assistant Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University,  has links to the fossil fuel funded George Marshall Institute, according Sourcewatch. Frauenfeld co-authored the book Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming and is on Inhofe’s list of skeptic scientists.  Knappenberger is an Administrator of the World Climate Report [1], a blog published by New Hope Environmental Services, “an advocacy science consulting firm” [2] run by oil-industry funded global warming skeptic and 3rd co-author of this paper,  Patrick J Michaels. Michaels has also been a frequent speaker with leading coal and energy companies as well as coal and other industry lobby groups.

So, some climate change skeptics actually got a fair shake in the review process by an editor (Guosheng Liu), and a “consensus” reviewer is outraged.  Box’s comment in reply to Knappenberger: “We shall see how the Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels paper is used by other bloggers engaged in climate change denialism.” Pat Michaels is using this over at Cato.

95 responses to “Week in Review 4/22/11

  1. Mother: “..“the best-funded, best-organized smear campaign by the wealthiest industry that the Earth has ever known…”

    LoL…..standard propaganda. Just keep repeating the lie enough times and someone may start to believe it.

  2. It must be so nice to have such a simplistic view of the world. If you’re right wing, you don’t believe in climate science. If you’re left wing, you do. Very neat, very neat indeed.

    Listen up. It is about the science. It’s about the perversion of science that’s producing policies which are killing people in the developing nations. I can’t in all honesty find a less emotive word than “killing”.


    • Just looking at some Climate Etc back numbers and have to register the strongest agreement with Pointman five days on. What’s left wing about killing the poorest in the developing world? Everything, it seems, until those that so identify show us otherwise.

  3. I like this gem from the article:

    I, Jason E. Box, am a physical climatologist focusing on Greenland ice-climate interactions since 1993. My agenda is the philosophy (a.k.a. the search for truth) about Greenland’s climate variations. I am inspired by scientific denialism to to counter pseudo-science on the important topic of climate change.

    …just in case you’re in doubt as to who the villains are. All’s that’s missing is a picture of him astride his white horse.

  4. It seems to me the Chris Mooney article regarding the research using two different headlines gets it exactly backwards. The headlines were “‘Scientific Panel Recommends Anti-Pollution Solution to Global Warming’ and ‘Scientific Panel Recommends Nuclear Solution to Global Warming.’”

    “Kahan infers that the effect occurred because the science had been written into an alternative narrative that appealed to their pro-industry worldview.”

    I would suggest that the effect occurred because most people would read the first headline and see wording typical of a CAGW activist, and discount it accordingly; while the second would be seen as more typical of a less committed true believer, and thus more likely to contain objective information. The disparate responses reflect the result of perfectly logical inferences from the information provided, not defensive emotional responses caused by political bias.

  5. hierarchical individualists

    I’ve never heard this one before. A new oxymoron.

  6. There is an interesting article by Bjorn Lomborg on China’s green bona fides in yesterday’s Washington Post.


    My favorite quote: “China was responsible for half of the world’s production of solar panels in 2010, but only 1 percent was installed there. Just as China produces everything from trinkets to supertankers, it is exporting green technology — which makes it a giant of manufacturing, not of environmental friendliness.”

    A close second:

    “The explosive recent growth in Chinese solar and wind generation equates to going from zilch to a small fraction: Wind today generates just 0.05 percent of China’s energy, and solar is responsible for one-half of one-thousandth of 1 percent.”

    Somebody get some smelling salts for Tom Friedman.

  7. “The “Stadium Wave”:

    -AMO → (7 years) → +AT → (2 years) → +NAO → (5 years) → +NINO3.4 → (3 years) → +NPO/PDO → (3 years) → +ALPI → (8 years) → +NHT → (4 years) → +AMO → (7 years) → -AT → (2 years) → -NAO → (5 years) → -NINO3.4 → (3 years) → -NPO/-PDO → (3 years) → -ALPI → (8 years) → -NHT → (4 years) → -AMO”

    From Pielki Sr.

    I like it, that should be a very interesting paper.

    • It does tend to get one salivating.

      The refinement from 50-70 years to 50-80 years for this ergodic pattern, the explanation of an approximately thirty year lag between cause and inverse effect, the complexity of the mechanism, the opportunity for any of the component attractors to collapse or otherwise shift dramatically, all very exciting in terms of plausibly extracting signal by signal some noise from the overall patterns of climate.

      Which, I’m guessing will just leave us with huge error bars, and a better understanding of how inadequate our current methods of tracking these metrics are to the task of answering those questions people demand be resolved.

      • Bart,

        “Which, I’m guessing will just leave us with huge error bars, and a better understanding of how inadequate our current methods of tracking these metrics are to the task of answering those questions people demand be resolved.”

        Pretty much. Anyway you look at it, it is complex. What’s wrong with a little reality?

      • Dallas

        Reality is for people who can’t handle blogging. ;)

      • Paul Vaughan

        Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP) provide informative constraints (unlike regionally-leveraged “global” temperatures).

    • Paul Vaughan

      I need a [free] copy of the paper to verify intuition, but on the surface that summary appears misleading – i.e. based on untenable assumptions. To reiterate: I need a [free] copy of the paper [to be fair to the authors].

  8. Frauenfeld et al, 2011:

    It is worth noting that the satellite observations of Greenland’s total ice melt, which begin in the late 1970s, start during a time that is characterized by the lowest sustained extent of melt during the past century. Thus, the positive melt extent trend [during the past 2-3 decades] includes nearly equal contributions from the relatively high melt extents in recent years but also from the relatively low ice melt extent in the early years of the available satellite record. The large values of ice [melt] extent observed in recent years are much less unusual when compared against conditions typical of the early to mid 20th century, than when compared against conditions at the beginning the of the satellite record.

    That is exactly what the global mean temperature anomaly shows: http://bit.ly/ePQnJj

  9. Judith Curry

    I posted this link on the Nisbet thread, but it probably fits better here.

    It is an article by Dr, Benny Peiser, pointing out how and why AGW has lost the public’s attention as a serious issue in Europe (the same might be said for the USA, as well).


    I believe Peiser has identified the root cause of the public’s general apathy to AGW better than Nisbet, who apparently believes the cause is that the proponents have not spent enough money to get their message across, while Peiser points out that it is the message, itself, which is no longer being taken seriously by the public.



    • Max,
      I read your link with interest because I live in the Netherlands. The article does not give links to any surveys, so I cannot see who was actually surveyed. The Netherlands takes very seriously climate change, regardless of the cause.

      I will try and find evidence of this survey in the Dutch media.

      • Rose

        I have also not seen the data supporting Benny Peiser’s conclusion that AGW has become less of an issue in Europe . I presume he is talking primarily of the UK, where the previous government’s “overkill” on this subject plus the past cold and snowy winters and the poor economy have resulted in public skepticism and apathy. This 2010 BBC poll shows that UK respondents are more skeptical of AGW as a problem than previously.

        only 26% of those asked believed climate change was happening and “now established as largely man-made”

        This European Gallup poll states:

        Fewer Americans, Europeans View Global Warming as a Threat
        April 20, 2011
        Gallup surveys in 111 countries in 2010 find 42% of adults worldwide view global warming as a serious threat to themselves and their families, essentially unchanged from 2007-2008. Fewer Americans and Europeans feel threatened by global warming than they did a few years ago.

        I live in Switzerland, where there never was quite the level of “AGW angst” as was apparent a few years ago in the UK, so the backlash from the recent harsh winters, the sluggish economy plus Climategate, etc. has not been as severe. It does appear here that the general public seems to be less concerned about AGW than they were a few years ago – even the Greens are concentrating more on fighting nuclear power rather than CO2 since the Japan disaster. The dilemma appears to be the recognition that one is the solution for the other and neither is acceptable to the Greens (although CO2 seems to be of lower concern today than nuclear power), so they are stuck between the frying pan and the fire.

        But I do believe generally that Peiser is correct in stating that AGW is waning as a critical problem in the minds of most Europeans (as well as Americans, as polls there have also shown).


      • manacker
        re. hippetty hoppettying down your link, to Bunny Peiser

        It can be worthwhile to pragmatically evaluate the quality of your sources and information. As a paid advocate for mining PR and thinktanks and co-editor of E&E, which has often published and promoted non peer-reviewed pseudoscience, Peiser has had to publicly acknowledge his deliberate misrepresentation of the Oreskes study — achieved by ignoring almost all of the peer-reviewed literature and citing a single petroleum industry source to make his false anti-science claims. It is not an exaggeration to say he pretty much signs any list he can, denying climate change and urging inaction no matter what the science says.

        It’s true, he could still have an honest, objective social science opinion on climate change: but what are the chances? Not good, when his opinions on climate change science are debunked as uninformed, insincere, inconsistent and … well, lies.

        Until your link, I didn’t know anyone still took him seriously. His current thoughts: it’s not warming so we don’t need to care but it’s warming so we shouldn’t do anything about it because it will ruin the economy so that is why it’s not warming so we don’t need to care. :-(

        Alternatively, we could follow a link to Nature for a general discussion and more links to why social science says there is no evidence of a substantial loss of public trust or confidence in science:

        It includes discussion of the BBC poll from last year.

        I also read your other link to the new Gallup poll. Like some polls it actually suggests that awareness is increasing among developing countries and since the people in these countries have fewer resources to cope, their concerns have also increased. This one shows that globally the polling stats held for the study period. While country by country their numbers have increased for the developing world i.e., feeling more ‘threatened’, and this is understandable, their numbers for developed nations have decreased but citizens are still feeling more concerned than not.

        So then the question is ‘why’. We know that a general difficulty with comparative polling is that they don’t explore the questions raised by the results. And there are always methodological troubles e.g. different cultural populations can respond differently to scaling questions. Gallup corrects for limits in information gathering and bias as best it can, and provides possible interpretive considerations. As it says, the statistics for developed countries may reflect beliefs that the country has the resources to cope and is responding/will respond appropriately; or that other issues have (also or instead) ‘grabbed attention’; or that there has been no further increase in level of awareness of the population sectors polled. Etc.

        In the United States, it is likely that those who have been generally confident in science remain so; and those who reject science e.g. creationists in America, have been doing so since Darwin.

      • Martha,
        As McCoy would say it, “He’s dead, Jim.”
        You can use (and abuse) dialectical analysis ’til the cows come home, but you won’t bring it back to life.
        Flogging away at the tire old tripe of wicked Americans just makes you look worse than you shoul have to look.

      • This originally applied to business and to NASA – it also applies here –

        Lakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in climate science we often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:

        1. Buying a bigger whip.
        2. Changing riders.
        3. Saying things like “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”
        4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
        4A. Hire a consultant to study the horse.
        5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
        6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
        7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
        8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
        9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today’s environment.
        10. Change the requirements declaring that “This horse is not dead.”
        11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.
        12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
        13. Declaring that “No horse is too dead to beat.”
        14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
        15. Do a CA Study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
        16. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
        17. Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
        18. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
        19. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
        20. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
        21. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

      • lol.

      • 22. Make a website called “realhorse.org”.
        23. Call anyone pointing out the mortificiousness of the horse a “horse denier”.
        24. Threaten the world with fertilizer shortages.
        25. Hide the recline.

      • ChE –
        That list is at least 25 years old. It’s time to update it, so I’ll include your additions. And any other good suggestions that show up here.

        Thank you.

      • 26. Fill a dump truck with horse manure,
        27. Warn the world of imminent “tipping points”
        28. Slowly tilt the bed of the dump truck.
        29. When it reaches the “tipping point” and the manure rushes out,
        29. Warn the world of the 6 meter inundations that will result

      • 30. Put the horse on roller skates.
        31. Attach leaf blower.
        32. Make Oscar-winning documentary called “an equine truth”, where the horse is rolling merrily down the road.
        33. Narrate from a scissor lift “It’s alive! It’s alive!”
        34. Edit out the part where the dead horse hits the Kenworth going the other way.

      • 35. Receive Nobel Prize for such brilliant horsing around.

      • 35. Imagine ways that the EPA was responsible for the horse’s death.
        36. Accuse the dead horse of scientific cleansing.
        37. Create conspiracies about a “one-world stable.”
        38. Just yell “Al Gore, Al Gore,” (and everyone will stop thinking about the dead horse).
        39. Hold a Congressional hearing where experts testify that the horse didn’t actually die.
        40. Claim that the dead horse was actually born in Kenya.

      • Josh –
        I like the structure, but I sorta de-politicized some of them.

        35. Blame the EPA for the horse’s death.
        36. Accuse the dead horse of faking death
        37. Create conspiracies about a “one-world stable.”
        38. Just yell “Swedish National Naked Volleyball Team” (and everyone will stop thinking about the dead horse).
        39. Hold a Congressional hearing where experts testify that the horse didn’t actually die.
        40. Claim that the dead horse was never born, so can’t be dead.

        If you object, I won’t use them. After all, they ARE your creation. Does that make you a “creationist”? :-)

        BTW – the Kenya thing is a non-starter. Being born in Kenya – or the Phillipines – or Canada – is not a disqualifier if one’s parents (or parent) are US citizens. My wife wasn’t born in the States – nor was my best friend – and a birth certificate isn’t that big a problem – if you get one AT THE TIME. I doubt my wife could get a new one today – the place she was born no longer exists.

      • Jim,
        Actually, under the law at the time Obama’s mother was not old enough to convey citizenship. I did track down this law and it is correct. I think the mother was required to be 19 and she was only 18 at his birth.

        Also, the lawyers are arguing that “natural born citizen” means dual citizenship is not allowed. Since Kenya was under British rule at the time, Obama’s father would be a British citizen giving Barack dual citizenship. I have not tracked down this argument so I cannot say.

        The framers of the Constitution set these requirements because they did not want foreign influence on the conduct of US government. In case you haven’t noticed, the birthers are winning. Some 12 or 13 states will pass laws this year requiring future presidents to prove they meet the requirement of “natural born citizen.”

      • Change them as you’d like, Jim.

        Although actually, I think #40 should be.

        40. Demand to see dead horse’s birth certificate.

      • Ron –
        Somehow it escaped me that she was that young. So that “may” be a different ballgame.

        OTOH, My best friend (who BTW is a liberal/progressive) had dual citizenship for over 50 years (Canadian). But then he’s not likely to be a candidate for President – or Congress. I thnk he either gave that up or was forced to give it up recently. I’ll ask him.

        I know about the Constitution, I don’t know about the birthers – haven’t followed that debate and dont care. We have what we have – and changing it would likely start a civil war (remember 2000). But I do find it interesting that the media dug up every tiny speck of dirt on Bush and totally ignored any “potential” problems with O. But that’s not unexpected. If the media were honest, it would be a different world.

      • In case you haven’t noticed, the birthers are winning.

        Well, yeah, if you think becoming a laughing stock for a lame attempt to keep Obama off 2012 ballots is “winning.”

        There’s a reason why even folks like Bachmann are trying to quietly walk away from this nonsense.

      • I think the thread’s losing its focus. Horse jokes are one thing, but…

      • OK, Josh – I’ll change it to that. It’s non-specific enough to pass muster in 20 years.

      • ChE – I agree. Regurgitating 12 years of politics is unacceptable.

      • My strong horse trumps your death cert.
        Pale the horse, and no one rides.

      • “40. Claim that the dead horse was actually born in Kenya.”

        Joshua – you’re comparing your President to a dead horse!
        I’m shocked, deeply shocked – how could you!!


      • The requirement of “natural born citizen” only applies to the president, not to Congressmen or Senators.

      • An interesting conversation on the issue.

      • I’ve been out-clevered. :roll:

      • Martha

        When are you going to accept what the data says?

        Global warming of only 0.06 deg C per decade, not 0.2 deg C per decade of the IPCC:

        Oscillating Anomaly of zero long-term warming.

      • Girma,
        “Never!” comes to mind as her likely answer.
        A question comes to mind, “Why should she start now?”

      • Martha

        Rather than bad-mouthing the messenger (Peiser), it would make more sense for you to try to find holes in his message.

        Yeah. He deconstructed the Naomi Oreskes study a few years back (which angered a lot of the AGW faithful at the time) but do you have any evidence that his current data are incorrect?

        From what I can see, it appears that the general public is, indeed, growing weary (and wary) of the imminent disaster stories as other concerns seem to be taking higher priority. This appears to be true in Europe as well as in the USA.

        Do you have data that would refute this?


  10. “an advocacy science consulting firm”

    I am shocked! Scientist and advocate! How dare those skeptics! That’s like putting catchup on steak.

  11. Paul Vaughan

    I’ve explained before that NPI is a pivot.

    Mainstream acknowledgement?…
    “PNA participates in all synchronizations.” – Wyatt, Kravtsov, & Tsonis
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/ (Dr. Curry: Thanks sincerely for the link.)

    This is the clearest sign yet that sharp (paradox aware) members of the mainstream may be ready to understand the spatiotemporal nature of solar influence on interannual terrestrial variability…

    Focus on the North Atlantic Ocean is misdirected and should be redirected towards the atmosphere (clouds/circulation, insolation, thermal tides) & the global distribution of continents. (What shapes Earth’s sunshade?…)

    See my notes above, where SCL’ = rate of change of solar cycle length = solar cycle acceleration.

    More on the spatially-variable interannual solar component (perhaps the 2nd-last obstacle to clear vision) in a few days…

  12. I’ve suggested to Kate Sheppard that she withdraw her bedtime story about Climategate and replace it with an apology to Steve McIntyre.

  13. From Chris Mooney…

    “In other words, paradoxically, you don’t lead with the facts in order to convince. You lead with the values–so as to give the facts a fighting chance.”

    And he even used the word “science” twice in the title of his article.

    • There is the science of persuasion. The AGW losers should look at the health science community, which has studied this problem extensively. For example, the National Cancer Institute spends lots on research on how to best convince people to stop smoking. If you believe that climate skepticism is a mental illness, as many AGW folks do, then much of this behavior change research is applicable.

      In fact there is a whole body of social network research on spreading the health word in developing countries that sounds just like what is coming out of the AGW sociology camp these days. In this case we poor, ignorant skeptics are the villagers who need the AGW medicine we won’t take. It is very funny when seen this way. Mooney the missionary doctor, treating the skeptics.

      • I’ve asked Voodoo Mooney when he’s going to write ‘Calm World’, given Ryan Maue’s chart of low worldwide cyclone energies. Plus, there’s a rich target waiting for ‘The Democrats’ War on Science’.

  14. Regarding Reviewers: I always thought that reviewers were supposed to be anonymous, and keep themselves that way. How can Jason Box describe his participation?

  15. Judith,

    At some point the evidence will be too huge to ignore.
    Then the mighty will fall on their swords.

  16. Re “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science” –Alfred Korzybski could have told you that 80 years ago, and Robert Heinlein wrote a classic sf novella around it in 1940, “If This Goes On–“.

  17. Emissions fell to their lowest levels since 1995 in 2009 as the impact of the financial crisis led to decreases in fuel and electricity consumption, according to new figures

  18. Judith,

    Science is in current conflict for following traditional teaching to the development of new technologies that punch massive craters into what was thought at that time to be correct.
    Praised as experts for the discoveries only heightened the resolve that they were correct and the peer-review of the like minded was made into a religious status.
    I have found a great deal of what we are trying to understand of this planet was shaped science and not what actually happened or is happening due to the incorrect use of proxies for a certain outcome.

    There is a very good reason as to why we are having a difficult time understanding the planets past is due to errors that made. The concept of this planet not changing or moving in the correct understanding.

    I just recently stated following the time line of this planets water level by following the SALT trail of what was left behind. It tells a very interesting story never looked at before and can give the time line of the past.
    This can then give a fairly good outline of when we will have no more water left on Earth. Still at least 1 1/2 billion years from now.

  19. Some dumb and incredibly naive ideas to help burst the AGW bubble:

    Some ultra-wealthy skeptic, or believer for that matter, offers a 5 million dollar prize to the winner(s) of a televised debate on global warming. With a decent PR campaign, I bet someone would cover it. Certainly Fox. The public would vote by telephone, a la American Idol.

    A bunch of well-credentialed, well-respected skeptical scientists call a news conference to declare they’ve “had enough.”

    Some ultra-wealthy skeptic offers a ten million dollar prize to any scientist who can prove the science is settled. Or a 100 million dollar prize to produce a single peer reviewed paper ruling out natural climate drivers.

    Dr. C. calls a news conference to declare she’s officially become a skeptic.

    The last one is my favorite :>)

    • pokerguy writes “Dr. C. calls a news conference to declare she’s officially become a skeptic.”

      Luckily we can all still dream.

      • I, along with all scientists worthy of the name, are skeptical and always question. That does not mean I want to join any particular climate tribe that is labeled “skeptics.” I am doing everything I can to try to maintain my independence and objectivity.

      • Judith writes ” I am doing everything I can to try to maintain my independence and objectivity.”

        I, and many others, admire your courage on the issue of CAGW. What we hope is that your objectivity will, in the end, convince you that there is no scientific basis for CAGW, and that, then, you will say so publicly.

        The process adopted by the IPCC for estimating climate sensitivity is simply not scientific. It has three stages, none of which have any observed maesured data. They make extensive use of non-validated models.

        1. Estimate the change in radiatiive forcing for a doubling of CO2.

        2. Estimate the no-feedback climate sensitivity.

        3. Estimate the extent of positive feedbacks.

        The information on Climate Etc. shows conclusively that this process simply does not follow what is understood by the “scientific method”. What little measured data we have, and it is not much, strongly indicates that CAGW is not occurring.

      • Dr Curry –

        That is exactly as it should be. The tragedy is that the “science” tribe has not adopted that position.

  20. Scientific Panel Recommends Anti-Pollution Solution to Global Warming” and “Scientific Panel Recommends Nuclear Solution to Global Warming”

    Lot’s of complicated mumbo jumbo attached to that analysis. Billy Joe Bob at Billy Joe Bob’s Auto Emporium knows that you focus on what the buyer is getting, not what the buyer isn’t getting.

  21. One of your favourite quotes from that Mother Jones article:
    “But none of the exonerations mattered: The scientists had lost control of the narrative.”

    ‘Losing control of the narrative’ – well, yeah, we heard all about ‘narrative’ when the planners, movers and shakers responsible for Tony Blair’s and NuLab’s win in 1997 came out with their books/diaries last year.
    This is the speech of political activists – scientists don’t do ‘narratives’ – they present their research, data, methods used, and conclusions reached.
    If a scientist documents errors made by another, in the accepted form of published papers, then the criticised scientist hasn’t ‘lost control etc’, he’s just wrong.
    In other walks of life, we don’t condone a wrong-doer because he or she sadly ‘lost control of the narrative’ , do we?

    • “If a scientist documents errors made by another, in the accepted form of published papers, then the criticised scientist hasn’t ‘lost control etc’, he’s just wrong.”

      Well it is supposed to work like that but it rarely does. It is certainly true in my discipline (Psychology) that narrative often trumps facts, especially in the short term (5-10 years).

      The most popular scientists are those who can compose a good narrative.

      The best scientists are those who can compose a good narrative that also contains quite a lot of truth value.

    • This is the speech of political activists – scientists don’t do ‘narratives’

      You haven’t seen Hansen’s “deal wit teh debbil” scientific paper, have you?

  22. ?? Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s Climate Variability

    • Ferd, thanks for spotting this. I did receive a copy of the article from the first author, I really like the paper.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Consider doing a separate post on this sometime over the next few weeks. I’ve now read the paper (& the poster). Very much to discuss – and finding time for it will be a problem.

  23. Box
    Why did Frauenfeld, Knappenberger, and Michaels not include year 2010 data when they were asked to and the data were readily available?
    Fixed it for you Jason
    Why did Santer et al, 2008 not include post year 1999 data when they were asked to and the data were readily available?

    It would appear that Box failed to undertake any serious research regarding consensus paper author’s data inclusiveness before aiming his stones from within his greenhouse

  24. Dr. Curry,
    The Mother Jones story was terrible. They got the message from NAS wrong. The NAS supported McIntyre on all the important points of science, including that Mann’s conclusion of the “warmest in 1,000 years” was not warranted by the data and that bristlecone pine should be “avoided” in temperature reconstructions.

    Mother Jones also got wrong one of the main points that Climategate was about… Yamal. When Phil Jones was asked what Climategate was about he said “We think it is about Yamal.” Certainly Yamal plays a huge role why UEA’s credibility is in ashes. If people do not know the story of Yamal, they will never understand Climategate. The Mother Jones story does not even mention Yamal.

    Did you watch the Mother Jones video on “hide the decline?” Jon Stewart was better.

    Mother Jones might as well have been written by the PR folks at RealClimate. It was not truthful. It did not go to the heart of the matter. It was misleading. I have no idea why Bishop Hill said what he did.

  25. This is interesting – from the Cato article:

    But the rapid sea level rise beat goes on. In global warming science, we note, the number of scientific papers with the conclusion “it’s worse than we thought” vastly outnumbers those saying “new research indicates things aren’t so dire as previous projections.” In a world of unbiased models and data, they should roughly be in balance.

    So, there is some natural law of scientific errors that would mean that error corrections on both sides of projections would balance each other out?

    That’s hilarious. Seems to me that if a projection is in error, to the extent that there is some natural law of corrections it would be the exact opposite: there should be a pattern where the balance or corrections would be in one side more than the other.

    I can’t imagine a more striking example of confirmation bias.

    Yet another case where someone so “concerned” about the “fraud” climate scientists is trying to pass off analysis that is so poor even I can spot the errors.

    • Your rush to dismiss someone you perceive as a political opponent caused you to miss out on an opportunity to think a bit more deeply about knowledge claims and error correction.

      If you think of a model’s output as a probability density, then you can have errors of location (mean, bias, first moment, etc.) or you can have errors of scale (variance, second moment). If the model is roughly unbiased, then the big corrections should come to estimates of scale, and new data will be equally likely to push the first moment estimates some small amount either way. If the model is biased, then you should expect corrections to come in more towards the “side” closer to the truth than the other.

      I think maybe the estimates of electron properties would be a good historical example of the process of correcting location errors. For a physical parameter, usually you care most about estimating location. Is that the case in the circumstances under discussion? Is Michael’s claim incorrect? Is he setting up a convenient straw man?

      In all of your comments, you seem to know so many answers, maybe you should spend your time learning some questions.

      • If the model is biased, then you should expect corrections to come in more towards the “side” closer to the truth than the other.

        But that is exactly my point. The lack of balance in subsequent findings could be an indication of bias in the subsequent studies. Or, it could be an indication of exactly what the subsequent findings state – that the original findings were in error (because they underestimated the phenomenon they were studying). You should expect a lack of balance in subsequent findings if the original findings were in error.

        In fact, you can’t really judge either way simply because of a lack of balance in the subsequent findings. Michaels interprets the lack of balance as an indication of bias because doing so confirms his own bias.

      • Joshua –
        That’s utter nonsense – probably in ANY context.

    • Joshua –
      So, there is some natural law of scientific errors that would mean that error corrections on both sides of projections would balance each other out?

      Good example of bias there.

      In a world where one contingent is saying, for example, sea level is accelerating and yet actual sea level rise is a constant – or, as is the present case, the rate of rise may be decreasing, one would expect that the number of papers wrt the actual rate of sea level rise would be at least roughly equal. That’s just common sense. At least until the matter is proved one way or the other.

      But we don’t live in a “common sense” world. We live in a world biased by those who have political agendas. As you just illustrated.

  26. “I, along with all scientists worthy of the name, are skeptical and always question. That does not mean I want to join any particular climate tribe that is labeled “skeptics.” I am doing everything I can to try to maintain my independence and objectivity.”

    This thing has to fall apart from the inside. The warmers are never going to give up. Too much ego at stake, too many careers, too many reputations.

    You’re in a unique position, Dr. C, as you’re the only person I can think of who has at least some credibility with both sides. You have more influence potentially, than perhaps you realize.

    I think what some of us are hoping for is that one day your often carefully hedged doubts will give way to the sort of outrage we skeptics feel.

    I remember how excited I was to hear there was an article in a popular science mag (was it S.A.?) about you. But they went to great lengths to reassure the warmers that whatever your problems re climategate and the IPCC, you were still firmly in their camp big picture-wise, and as far as I know you never made an issue about that. I could be wrong about that. I hope I am.

    • pokerguy,
      There are other warmists who have some credibility with me. For example, Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch were critical of MBH98. When Climategate broke, Zorita wrote that the CRU folks should be banned from any future contributions to the IPCC reports. Also, Muller from BEST has been critical of MBH98. While I did not like some of his testimony before Congress (he was talking about results before the analysis was complete and that is just not scientific), he is a good scientist and has shown himself to be honest.

      The people who are not to be trusted are those who defend the indefensible – like MBH98, Climategate etc. Far too many in the climate science community are willing to defend “hide the decline” or the use of bristlecone pine series or yamal.

      I agree Dr. Curry is a rarity, but she is not the only scientist worried about global warming who is repulsed by the antics of some in the climate science community.

  27. Once again, I’m amused to see the attempt to apply the scientific method to subject matter singularly unsuited for it: human political behavior. Not that the thesis is mistaken. The point is, who needed a reductionist analysis to recognize that people are more open to persuasion when they’re not put on their guard by signs that the would-be persuader is, in fact, an enemy?

    It’s actually rather funny that there is a group of people who think that logical argument is such a useful tool in everyday life that it shouldn’t matter who’s presenting you with the argument. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but how naive! The truth is, rational analysis is very rarely to be trusted in everyday human life. Most of the logical falacies we well educated, thought-industry types have disciplined ourselves to avoid are actually a lot more useful for making good decisions, most of the time.

  28. This week in review – 4/22/2011
    WUWT blogged on the Ross McKitrick contribution to the book Climate Coup, which the author posted online. The chapter is titled “Bias in the Peer Review Process: A Cautionary and Personal Account” and is found at http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/gatekeeping_chapter.pdf McKitrick concludes “…the IPCC used false evidence to conceal an important problem with the surface temperature data on which most of its conclusions rest.”

    Steve McIntyre responded to a poorly informed and bias article in Mother Jones. See http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/21/mother-jones-on-climategate/

    I’m not sure how these contribution failed to make the list.

  29. Craig Loehle

    I would just like to point out that Inhofe’s “skeptic” list has papers that contradict something about CAGW, and the authors of those papers need not even like it that they are in the list. None of them were asked to be on the list or gave permission. So it is funny to call someone a skeptic because they are on the list.

    • That’s exactly right. Just because a paper supports the skeptic side does not mean the author is a skeptic.

  30. Meanwhile over at Lucia’s…

    Record for ‘f’ words in a climate blog post?


    • I was just stopping in to warn you, ChE. I guess Micheal is just one of the guys after all. I might just take him fishing. :)

    • How Craven of him.

      But seriously, does MT really believe that the hysterics make him seem more credible?

    • On a more serious note – this is something the law enforcement community has struggled with over the years and has only relatively recently accepted: when you have bad apples and it comes out, you’re embarrassed, but it passes unless you try to hide it. It isn’t the bad actors who cause the loss of credibility it’s the attempt to hide or worse, defend, the bad acts.

  31. McIntyre has several posts on the Mother Jones article, and his latest post is superb

  32. Free-for-alls from foll-de-rols, fortitudinous frippery, feckless f-bombs foisted fantastically, funny fanboys falling for fiction. Filler, frumpery, fenestration festooning farfetched fast-talk, fizzy-soda flattened, flat-earthers frothing, fifth-columnists fomenting, forensic follies fulminating.

    Full-bodied facts, fart-jokes, fraternal farces, fell forces, felled forests, fieldwork, fifedoms, fulcrums, falsification.

    Fiendish fickle furlongs foot-by-foot footfalls footballs; fut-fut-fut!

    Frankenstein fevers? Francincense fugues?

    First? Fifth? Fifteenth? Fiftieth? Five-hundredth? Feh!

    Finking, filking, filigree, fops.

    Finally, full-stop.

    Do I now hold the record for blog post with most f-words?

  33. Yet another instance of those brilliant Chinese central planners showing us the way to prosperity through government control of industry.


  34. Why when pointing out that some skeptic scientists have links to energy companies, is it routinely overlooked that virtually all alarmist scientists have links to the state?

  35. Eric Ollivet

    A reconstruction of annual Greenland ice melt extent, 1784–2009 </b)

    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D08104, doi:10.1029/2010JD014918, 2011

    Oliver W. Frauenfeld ( Department of Geography, Texas A&M University,College Station, Texas, USA)
    Paul C. Knappenberger (New Hope Environmental Services, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)
    Patrick J. Michaels (Cato Institute, Washington, D. C., USA).

    Abstract :
    The total extent of ice melt on the Greenland ice sheet has been increasing during the last three decades. The melt extent observed in 2007 in particular was the greatest on
    record according to several satellite‐derived records of total Greenland melt extent. Total annual observed melt extent across the Greenland ice sheet has been shown to be strongly
    related to summer temperature measurements from stations located along Greenland’s coast, as well as to variations in atmospheric circulation across the North Atlantic. We
    make use of these relationships along with historical temperature and circulation observations to develop a near‐continuous 226 year reconstructed history of annual Greenland melt extent dating from 2009 back into the late eighteenth century. We find that the recent period of high‐melt extent is similar in magnitude but, thus far, shorter in duration, than a period of high melt lasting from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. The greatest melt extent over the last 2 1/4 centuries occurred in 2007; however, this value is not statistically significantly different from the reconstructed melt extent during 20 other melt seasons, primarily during 1923–1961.

    We have created a record of total annual ice melt extent across Greenland extending back approximately 226 years by combining satellite‐derived observations with melt extent values reconstructed with historical observations of summer temperatures and winter circulation patterns. This record of ice melt indicates that the melt extent observed since the late 1990s is among the highest likely to have occurred since the late 18th century, although recent values are not statistically different from those common during the period 1923–1961, a period when summer temperatures along the southern coast of Greenland were similarly high as those experienced in recent years. Our reconstruction indicates that if the current trend toward increasing melt extent continues, total melt across the Greenland ice sheet will exceed historic values of the past two and a quarter centuries.
    [28] Of primary concern is the impact that Greenland ice melt will have on the rate of global sea level rise. A number of factors including snowfall accumulation variations, and any impact that surface melting has on glacial flow rates complicate this determination. Currently, surface mass balance estimates considering only loss from surface melting and input from precipitation (not including loss from glacial outflow) suggest that in recent years there has been a decline in the surface mass balance of Greenland. Mass loss from melting has exceeded small increases in snowfall accumulation [Fettweis, 2007; Hanna et al., 2008] leading to a positive contribution to global sea level rise. Mass loss from increased glacial discharge adds an additional contribution [Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006] and is well correlated to surface mass balance [Rignot et al., 2008]. However, the strength and duration of glacial discharge exhibits shortterm (days to years) variability and it remains unclear to what level glacial flow rates will be sustained even under a future regime of rising temperatures [Nick et al., 2009;Schoof, 2010].
    [29] The forces acting in concert with ice melt across Greenland to produce higher global sea levels currently, should also have been acting during the extended high‐melt conditions from the mid‐1920s to the early 1960s. There is some qualitative indication of an observable influence of the variations in input from Greenland in the decadal rates of sea level change over the course of the past century [Jevrejeva et al., 2006; Church and White, 2006]. However, there is no indication that the increased contribution from the Greenland melt in the early to mid 20th century, a roughly 40 year interval when average annual melt was more or less equivalent to the average of the most recent 10 years(2000–2009), resulted in a rate of total global sea level rise that exceeded around 3 mm/yr. This suggests that Greenland’s contribution to global sea level rise, even during multidecadal conditions as warm as during the past several years, is relatively modest.

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