by Judith Curry
Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week.
IPCC AR5 and the extended peer community
The Air Vent reports on the leaking of draft IPCC AR5 WG1 chapters. They are not easily accessible, but I did read the draft of Ch 4 on the Cryosphere. It is not known who leaked these chapters. Personally I think that the formal drafts of the chapters that are distributed to an audience that is at least as large as the Chapter’s contributing authors should be publicly archived as part of the documentation of the proceedings (in the interests of transparency and traceability).
An extremely interesting development is reported upon at WUWT, whereby Anthony Watts had encouraged people to sign up to be IPCC reviewers. He reports that his application has been accepted. In the comments, the following individuals report that they also have been accepted as reviewers: Duke C., Ecotretas, Terry Oldberg. Others? Note, I was invited to apply to be a reviewer, but I decided not to, I figure it is best for me to remain outside the process.
When Politicians Distort Science
The Union for Concerned Scientists posts a very interesting dialogue between Robert Socolow, Randy Olson, and Roger Pielke Jr, on When politicians distort science. Well worth reading, but be aware of the expand/collapse function on the right hand side of the post.
Is the IPCC still relevant to the UNFCCC?
Hilary Ostrov picks up on my question asked at the end of the Durban thread. She provides a very interesting and well documented analysis. Here conclusion:
Could it be that the UNFCCC has decided that its dependency on the “science” produced by this, well, Delinquent Teenager who was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert is no longer appropriate – or required?!
Perhaps the UNFCCC is in the process of throwing the IPCC under the proverbial bus – in the hopes of saving its own skin? And don’t forget that the IPCC’s younger sibling, the IPBES, is still waiting in the wings.
This might be why, in the US, NASA appears to have jumped onto the biodiversity bandwagon, already [h/t Peter Walsh via Bishop Hill]
This might also be why Joseph Alcamo, the UNEP’s Chief Scientist, and former climate consensus coordinator par excellence was heard on CBC radio’s The Current giving us the Next chorus, next verse … a little bit louder and a little bit worse.
New paper by Hegerl et al. on attribution
Hegerl et al. have a new paper on attribution entitled “Patterns of change: whose fingerprints are seen in global warming?” Text of the abstract:
Attributing observed climate change to causes is challenging. This letter communicates the physical arguments used in attribution, and the statistical methods applied to explore to what extent different possible causes can be used to explain the recent climate records. The methods use fingerprints of climate change that are identified on the basis of the physics governing our climate system, and through the use of climate model experiments. These fingerprints characterize the geographical and vertical pattern of the expected changes caused by external influences, for example, greenhouse gas increases and changes in solar radiation, taking also into account how these forcings and their effects vary over time. These time–space fingerprints can be used to discriminate between observed climate changes caused by different external factors. Attribution assessments necessarily take the natural variability of the climate system into account as well, evaluating whether an observed change can be explained in terms of this internal variability alone, and estimating the contribution of this source of variability to the observed change. Hence the assessment that a large part of the observed recent warming is anthropogenic is based on a rigorous quantitative analysis of these joint drivers and their effects, and proceeds through a much more comprehensive and layered analysis than a comparison at face value of model simulations with observations.
This paper may be the clearest explanation that I have seen of what kind of reasoning is used by the IPCC in its attribution assessments. However, I still don’t find their argument convincing, for reasons that I have stated in numerous previous posts on the topic.
These emails from Phil Jones are being investigated:
“Work on the land station data has been funded by the U.S. Dept of Energy, and I have their agreement that the data needn’t be passed on. I got this [agreement] in 2007,” Jones wrote in a May 13, 2009, email to British officials, before listing reasons he did not want them to release data.
Two months later, Jones reiterated that sentiment to colleagues, saying that the data “has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”
A third email from Jones written in 2007 echoes the idea: “They are happy with me not passing on the station data,” he wrote.
Fox News has an extensive article on this, entitled “Climategate Bombshell: Did U.S. gov’t help hide climate data?”. Some excerpts:
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wants that key. He recently filed Freedom of Information acts with the DoE, requesting the emails they exchanged with Jones.
“So far no administration department has bothered to respond, indicating they … believe the time bought with stonewalling might just get them off the hook for disclosure,” Horner told FoxNews.com.
“Not with us, it won’t,” he said.
The Department of Energy has until December 29 before it must legally respond to Horner’s request.
Raid on Tallbloke Towers
An Englishman’s home is his castle they say. Not when six detectives from the Metropolitan Police, the Norfolk Constabulary and the Computer Crime division arrive on your doorstep with a warrant to search it though.
The first blogger to break the Climategate2 story has had a visit from the police and has had his computers seized. Tallbloke’s Talkshop first reported on CG2 due to the timing of the release being overnight in the USA. Today he was raided by six UK police (Norfolk Constabulary and Metropolitan police) and several of his computers were seized as evidence. He writes:
After surveying my ancient stack of Sun Sparcstations and PII 400 pc’s, they ended up settling for two laptops and an adsl broadband router. I’m blogging this post via my mobile.
My view of yesterday’s raid on Tallbloke Towers is that it is a storm in a teacup. Aware of the new disclosures, it was necessary for the police in the UK to see if they could get any new leads from RC’s electronic trail. They were preposterously heavy-handed of course, but it seems clear that Tallbloke is not a suspect.
Dude, where’s my climate movement?
Randy Olson provides a link to his talk “Dude, where’s my climate movement?” No surprise, it’s about climate communication (24 minutes. V. cool title, and a provocative talk.