by Judith Curry
Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week.
Steve McIntyre has a must read post Stocker’s Earmarks. It addresses efforts by IPCC WG1 to circumvent the transparency objectives recommended by the IAC by inhibiting distribution of draft reports. The justification is “These could prematurely circulate in the public domain, creating confusion, and that would be a bad service of IPCC to society.” It seems that the only people interested in looking at the ZOD and FOD drafts are people that are interested in auditing the process of the IPCC assessment. I don’t encourage any participating in the IPCC as an author or reviewer to break their agreement with the IPCC. However, all of these drafts should be made public and if they are made available by whoever and however, I see no problem with discussing them publicly.
South African weathermen face jail or fines if they get it wrong: Independent forecasters have been told they could be imprisoned for up to ten years – or fined up to £800,000 – if they issue incorrect severe weather warnings without official permission. The astonishing threat is contained in a new law designed to prevent panic and economic damage caused by false predictions of gales, flash flooding or drought.
Michael Mann defends climate models in ScientificAmerican, particularly against Freeman Dyson’s argument “That makes them useful for understanding climate but not for predicting climate change“. Mann dances around the issue Dyson raises, does not address it head on IMO. I would like to see if any climate modelers can provide a better argument against Dyson.
Bjorn Lomborg on the Emperor’s New Climate-Change Agreement: Dressing up failure as victory has been integral to climate-change negotiations since they started 20 years ago. The latest round of talks in Durban, South Africa, in December was no exception. The first step . . . is to end our collective suspension of disbelief when it comes to climate-change negotiations. We need to see through the hype and self-serving political spin. We owe it to the future to do better.
In the latest issue of Nature Climate Change, there is an interview with Richard Muller (behind paywall). Its a good interview, with this notable Q&A:
Q: Do you believe the global warming you see is a result of human actions?
RM: I have not a done a scientific study, but my own impression–based on reading the literature-is that some of the warming we have seen is caused by humans. To my mind, you can’t rule out half of the warming being caused by humans, but I think to conclude that most of it is–as the IPCC says–could be an overestimate. This is my personal impression; the other members of the team might feel differently.
Well said, RM.
I look forward to hearing about other issues that you’ve identified this past week.