Week in review 4/20/12

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Tipping points in climate science

At Enthusiasm, Skepticism and Science, there is a very interesting piece of climate history entitled Madrid 1995: Was This the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Science?  Its a lengthy post, here is a brief teaser:

The story of Ben Santer’s late changes to Chapter 8 of the Working Group 1 Report is familiar to most sceptical accounts of the climate change controversy (e.g. here &here and a non-sceptical account). However, it is often overshadowed by other landmark events, and so it is usually not put up there in the same league withHansen‘s sweaty congressional testimony of 1988, with the establishment of theIPCC nor with the Hockey Stick controversy. Yet, if one looks at the greater controversy in terms of its impact on science, then this conference in Madrid might just surpass them all.

This post is a ‘must read’.  It looks like this post is first in a series.

Senate hearing on impacts of rising sea level

Over at climatesciencewatch, there is a post on a recent Senate hearing on the impacts of rising sea levels on domestic infrastructure.

Open access: free the code

The open knowledge movement got a big boost this week from a policy paper that was published in Science.  From phys.org:

A diverse group of academic research scientists from across the U.S. have written a policy paper which has been published in the journal Science, suggesting that the time has come for all science journals to begin requiring computer source code be made available as a condition of publication. Currently, they say, only three of the top twenty journals do so.

This is discussed in more detail in an article at the Guardian and also WUWT.

The Mann saga

There’s a lengthy article in USAToday entitled Michael Mann faces off with foes on the Hockey Stick tour.  The last paragraph is notable:

For all the politics surrounding climate science, “I don’t have a political view to offer on the solution,” Mann says, such as whether pollution rights for greenhouse gases should be bought and sold on the market, the “cap and trade” proposal that died in Congress in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic meltdown. “There are lots of legitimate views on what should, or shouldn’t, be done about climate,” Mann says. “My only real political position is that we should have an honest debate about what to do.”

If I am interpreting this statement correctly, it represents a substantial change (for the better) from what he has said in previous interviews.

The climate Titanic

From an article entitled James Cameron: the Titanic as metaphor for the climate crisis:

Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense we’re too big to fail. Well where have we heard that one before? There was this big machine, this human system that was pushing forward with so much momentum that it couldn’t turn and couldn’t stop in time to avert the disaster. And that’s what we have right now! But in that human system, on board that ship, if you want to make it a microcosm of the world, you have different classes, you know you have first class, second class, third class. Well in our world right now you’ve got developed nations and undeveloped nations. You’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones the most affected by the next iceberg that we hit. Which is going to be climate change. We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now but we can’t turn. We can’t turn because of the momentum of the system – the political momentum, the business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system. The way the system works right now, those people who frankly have their hands on the levers of power aren’t ready to let them go. And until they do, we aren’t going to be able to turn and miss that iceberg we’re going to hit. When we hit it, the rich are still going to be able to get their access to food, to arable land, to water and so on. It’s going to be the poor, it’s going to be the steerage, that are going to be impacted. It was the same with the Titanic. I think that’s why this story was always fascinating. Because it’s a perfect little encapsulation of the world and the whole social spectrum. But until our lives are really put at risk, the moment of truth, we don’t know what we would do. And that’s my final word.

175 responses to “Week in review 4/20/12

  1. I commend the Madrid 1995 article to readers. It is a substantial contribution to our understanding of how we got to where we are now in both the scientific and political dimensions of the climate debate.

    One of the things it highlights is how the fallacious notions surrounding the concept of ‘post-normal science’ lead to sub-optimal outcomes in both the scientific and political spheres.

    • Curious George

      Now we have a Ben Santer consensus. A good start. Next redefine a peer review.

    • Points out the oddity of having IPCC WGs 1, 2, & 3 writing their reports simultaneously, since nominally each depended on the previous (science, impacts, responses). The Fix Was In.

  2. Further to my comment above, I also recommend the review and analysis of the history and philosophy of climate science on the same site, here:


    This article discusses the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of climate/weather measurement in relation to social and political imperatives throughout recorded history. Good stuff.

    • Johanna, thanks for the link, i’ve just added enthusiasm, scepticism and science to the blogroll

      • I agree, that is an excellent source. However, I am convinced the events that produced Climategate cannot be grasped without considering basic human instincts in addition to enthusiasm, scepticism, and science.

        Naked Apes now live on the third ball of dirt orbiting a pulsar
        that remains of the supernova that made our elements and
        now sustains life on Earth. This most intelligent,creative,
        aggressive and manipulative creature cannot imagine
        that a yet Higher Power controls his destiny.


        The Naked Ape saw a power greater than himself in “nuclear fires” consuming Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945.

        Fear and the instinct of survival compelled leaders to:

        1. Unite Nations in Oct 1945 to avoid nuclear warfare,
        2. Misrepresent “nuclear fire” in the Sun after 1946.

        I was 8-10 years old when these events occurred. I spent my life trying to unravel our subsequent march back to the “Dark Ages”:


        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Emeritus Professor of
        Nuclear/Space Science
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

    • johanna | April 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Johanna, climatology is ”the oldest profession” In the beginning was: you have to donate a goat, few chickens and sacrifice a virgin; to please the sun god and other spirits – if you want a mild climate / no hailstorms and tornadoes… now virgins don’t exist no moire, to sacrifice; how are you going to please the evil spirits?

      Then become: you have to pay 10% from your product to the high priest. Then become: you have to go to confession and pay penalty, not to make St. Peter angry; otherwise all your crops will be damaged and you will go to hell! … Which tells why the former Reds / now under a green camouflage don’t want people to believe in other religions, only in theirs. They know that people are genetically preprogrammed to believe in scare-tactics. If you don’t pay carbon tax => the planet will boil and second flood will happen; it will be all your fault! BOO!!!.

  3. Mann has never faced off with anyone outside of the team, he just presents monologues. But then he does seem to impressed by his own hype.

    • Lots of people are very impressed with his hype. Standing room only. Good for him, giving it back to those who would see him incarcerated for doing science. More of, please.

  4. The Madrid article re ‘Political pressure coming from the UN’ * describes the bizarre divisions of labour set up, (elephant designed by committee… Hey, its only got three legs and there’s something wrong with its trunk!)

    The first division’s task is to ‘assess the science,’ well Okay…. The second division ol labour is to study impacts,,,huh? Impacts of ‘what?’ oh yeah, impacts of ‘ that whch is yet to be identified?’ The third division has the looniest task of all, to explore ‘mitigation’ of that which is yet to be ascertained, we don’t know what, “SOMETHING” and for which there COULD be possible impacts, or not.

    * Acronym for ‘Utter Nonsense.’

    • Beth Cooper | April 22, 2012 at 11:21 am |


      And here I thought it was “a gnu is an animal designed by committee”, “a camel is a horse, designed by committe”, “the platypus is an otter designed by committee”.

      The elephant was clearly designed by a Freudian.

  5. Mann and ‘honest debate’ in the same paragraph. The mind boggles.

  6. Bart R;
    ANY animal designed by a committee has a 99.9% probability of being both misformed and maladjusted.

  7. So, four comment, and no one’s responding to one of the most influential film makers on the planet openly calling for class warfare and government overthrow?

    I mean, I can understand the Australians not taking on the issue, but where are the reactionary defenders of BAU and apologists for everything fossil?

    • Everyone in Hollywood is an econut. It is, after all, the fantasy centre of the world. Only in the US would people take scientific advice from celebrities (either in front of or behind a camera). It’s a mania.

    • John Carpenter

      It’s an interesting analogy, one in which Cameron already knows the outcome. We’re all sunk. Are we suggesting the passengers in steerage should take the helm? What makes him believe they can avert disaster better than anyone else? Why would they want to turn around and go back to where they came from when they are trying to reach the land of opportunity?

    • Bart R,
      Hollywood plutocrats bloviating is such non-news as to raise the question of “why bother?”

    • I don’t pay attention to anything entertainers, athletes and Hollywood types have to say. Just because they have a soapbox doesn’t mean their soap is worth a damn.

      You can probably add preachers to the list, unless it’s Sunday and we are in church. I leave politicians off the list. While I don’t believe most of what they say, one still has to listen.

  8. “My only real political position is that we should have an honest debate about what to do.”

    Dr.C. (who thinks this represents a change for the better), it occurs to me that you’re quite an optimist in the sense that you instinctively want to believe the best about people. All I see is a sanctimonious, angry little man.
    Honest debate? IS he kidding?

  9. Reading the sea level piece after “Madrid 1995” is such a non sequitur! It’s like a never-ending bad dream.

  10. It must be hard for Mann to start claiming the high ground after the big hole he’s dug for himself. But I’m sure some servile acolyte will be along soon with a step ladder.

  11. Look out, Bart. I’m improving with that lasso, I’m up to moving targets now. Say nothing derogatory about the denizens of the GREAT SOUTHERN LAND! :-)

    • Beth Cooper | April 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

      Being fair, the distribution of strange animals is not perfectly biased to entirely within Australia.

      Gnu and camel are hardly antipodean.

      Can’t top moose for just plain odd.

      There’s certainly something weird about those giant South American water rats.

      But your great southern land ought not regard it as derogatory to be noted for its fantastical parade of outlandish (heck, the origin of the word) and bizarre configurations. Pouches? How is that not odd? Hopping? Spots and stripes? And almost everything poisonous?

  12. we should have an honest debate about what to do
    Has Mann ever supported an honest debate about whether we need to do anything right now beyond continuing to study the climate?
    The hard kernel of my skepticism has long been a simple question: Why do we need to take drastic action immediately to correct a poorly understood problem that will emerge slowly over centuries?

  13. Johanna you are to be commended. )

    • Why, thank you Beth.

      And, no dissing our poisonous critters, you lot. The great thing about living in a country full of lethal fauna is that it puts the prospect of a half a degree of warming or a few mm of sea level rise in perspective. Bring it on, we say. It is but a trifle compared to the real risks we face.

      PS – neither I, nor anyone I know, has ever suffered any adverse effects from the aforementioned lethal critters. But, it keeps us on our toes.

      • There tend to be about 14-15 deaths a year in Australia from snakes, spiders and jelly-fish, mostly small infants or those who foolishly grapple with something they could leave alone. My first acquaintance with Australians’ paranoia about snakes was when my (now) wife met a quiescent adder sunning itself in cold Northumberland. Since accidentally emigrating, I’ve found that snakes aren’t much of a danger to people in Australia; but people are a great danger to snakes. I’ve met many snakes in various parts of the world,

  14. The country is not too big to fail. While irrelevant to Earth’s climate, fears about global warming say everything about a society. UN-IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh labeled global warming alarmism as the “The Worst Scientific Scandal In History.” When people know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists. (Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu)

    AGW True Believers deny the effects of the Sun on the Earth’s climate in the same way murderers try to obliterate evidence of the crime. That’s how bassakwards Leftist thinking is compared to actual thoughtfulness.

    • Wagathon | April 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm | said: .” When people know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists. (Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu)

      WRONG! When the people are told the truth: that the GLOBAL warming is 100% lie; they will blame the sunspots and galactic dust; just not to admit that they have being duped. They will pretend that is one sun for Sahara / another sun for Brazil. Because those two places have completely different climates, under the same sun. If the sun was regulating the climate = would have being same climate on both off those places. The ”Fake Skeptics” become Warmist’s ”Fig Leaf” Covering up the Warmist shame, with their sick ego.

      H2O control the climate, lad; not CO2 and section of the sun responsible for Sahara and other places, where is bad climate. If is too complicate to know what is good / bad climate, ask the trees, trees don’t have self-destructive EGO. Trees don’t tell lies. If Brazil has a different sun-god – Arabs should sacrifice a virgin every year as the Inca people did. You tell them about your ”expert” knowledge, maybe they will. They already have similar beliefs as you – they get 8 virgins, if they blow themselves up. I personalty think that: H2O controls the climate; you and those martyrs need a straight jacket, nothing personal.

      • Here’s the problem the Warmanazis have: they cannot tell the truth. A direct example is their refusal to admit that the oceans are in a cooling trend (and the unconscious incompetence of schoolteachers who continue to facilitate the ignorance and lies of these anti-humanist science authoritarians is mind-boggling).

        It’s a simple fact. The fact is based on easily knowable and understandable technology. Nominally, it’s the Sun, stupid.

      • @ Wagathon | April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

        Wrong again; I know, what you know’ about Plimer’s lyric; but is more than wrong, and falsified. Because is no such a thing as GLOBAL warming; instead of admitting that they have being duped, they blame the sun. Of course the sun is warming the planet; but extra heat s not accumulative. If you learn the power of the self adjusting, you will understand how wrong you are.It’s on my website. Donn’t be scared from real proofs. Plimer’s crap is responsible in OZ for the highest carbon tax on the planet, not the Warmist shonky proofs. If it wasn’t for the Fake Skeptics; the Warmist would have spit the dummy 3y ago.

        Backdating the knowledge of sunspots to 17century is. to pretend that the invention of telescope instantly discovered sunspots – see how low they can get. Truth: Sun-flares was known in the beginning of 20 century – they used to put a cardboard, to cover /block the sun – so they discovered the flares. Ironically, the flares they were able to see, were not coming in the direction earth. Sunspots on the other hand was debated from the 1980’s, but didn’t have powerful filter, to see clearly. For the first time powerful filter was invented in 2007; then they filed data as if it was recorded since Galileo. Typical shonky / gutter science. The Fakes needed to justify for the phony GLOBAL warming / was suitable to Warmist, The Skeptics to promote localized warmings as GLOBAL – reason the leading Warmist don’t want to expose the Fake’s scam ”thieves honor” It only works on the ignorant who believe that somebody was staring at the sun in 18 -19 century, to collect data for future lies. After 3 minutes looking at the sun – would be a blind sunspots collector; especially if he was using a telescope that amplifies the sunlight. Projecting the sunlight on a cardboard by telescope doesn’t register sunspots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

        ”resent warmings”. Warming / coolings happens every day; but they are NEVER global. 2] As Gillard says constantly: ”climate change is for real” Of course is for real; climate never stops changing – some places for better / other places for worse. From winter into summer climate – back to winter climate – dry climate / more extreme – wet climate / milder temperature. BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PHONY global WARMINGS!!! It’s only fodder for the Urban Sheep.

        If you don’t believe that oxygen + nitrogen expand when warmed – shrink when cooled, INSTANTLY; say it, admit. Can be proven. Where the troposphere expands upwards, when warmed extra; is COLDER than on the ground, by 105C. You can cool your soup on that temp much faster than on warmer space as it’s in your backyard.

        ”8000y ago was warmer / colder”, where? Of course was colder some places, but by the laws of physics, it was warmer some other places. Climatology didn’t become shonky science in the 80’s, it was even more shonky before; just the previous swindlers were not scrutinized. To get the attention and funds; they had to tell much bigger lies than today. Those ”bigger lies” are used now by the Fakes as factual

        When one discovers some place some imprint of warmer, he declares; the WHOLE planet was warmer. When one discovers some place the imprint of the sea 100m above the present sea-level = he declares that the sea-level on the WHOLE planet was higher by 100m. Instead of looking that: on other places at that same time; where was high-water mark; now is 50m below the sea-level. But that wouldn’t be interesting and doesn’t bring the funds. Noah had one GLOBAL flood – the shonky profession had hundreds.


        Movements makes the plates to sink on some places / lift on others. If it wasn’t for the squashing and raising of the plates, to compensate for erosion – after 2 million years; the WHOLE planet would have being covered by 1,9km of water. Yes, on the top of the highest grain of sand on the planet would have being nearly 2km of water. So when the Warmist keep pointing that the sea is raising – they avoid to say that simultaneously other places are raising, mountains, growing. Swiss Alps are growing by an inch every year – Cairns city here is sinking. Many times on king tide some streets / cars are flooded by seawater. As long as there are suckers / always will be scammers. In which mob do you belong?

      • G’day Wagathon. for honest people, planet’s temperature is the warmth units in the troposphere, full stop. Manipulators encompass the oceans, the stratosphere, the sun and anything they can think off; TO MUDDY THE TRUTH.

        Red soil gets warmer, than soil covered by green grass / oceans on different places get warmer from submarine volcanoes and hot vents / smelters for melting iron ore are hot, my oven was 230C yesterday = those things are for people plying too much with their own water-pistols ( I don’t know what’s the name on English for those people).

        No matter if heat is stored in a tree, or reflected; GLOBAL heat is what is in the troposphere – always the same. As soon as it’s released from the smelter, from burning tree, from the oven – it’s heat in the earth’s troposphere => troposphere expands INSTANTLY – intercepts accordingly EXTRA amount of coldness, to cancel the EXTRA heat.

        Mate, looks like you are on same longitude as me. So, you still believe that is different sun for the Great Sandy Desert than for Amazon basin; even though they are on same latitude…? For 12h is different sun, then when gets over Brazil, different sub switches on, stupid. I have learned your miracle, but will prefer to stick to the truth: in Brazil topography is keeping the rainwater on land -> that attracts EXTRA regular clouds from the sea.

        In Australian inland, the clouds are avoiding inland as cars around traffic island. Because clouds avoid dry heat produced inland. If more storm-water is saved on land, that water fights against the dry heat. Repossessing farmer’s water, to drain in the estuary = more dry heat will be produced – evaporation will increase. Australia is buying food from China; Chinese have rice paddies, they are like magnet for clouds from the sea. With more dry heat, bigger bushfires and house-fires in future. More people / trees and animals scorched, I hope you are proud off it, to please Bob Brown, Flannery and Don Henry. The school teacher cannot be that cruel. The schoolteacher has nose for crap. Stiiiiiinks!!!.

      • Sorry mate but us imbecilic humans can’t take credit for present warming in past years or the past 8,000 years. The may burn brighter more or less now than then — or whenever — and the sun’s soloar winds may shield us — more or less — from cosmic rays as the Earth dashes across the galaxy. In any event, global warming and cooling happens and nominally it’s the sun, stupid.

        “[F]rom the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum… the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age…changes in the output of the sun [also] caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet’s climate on long, medium and even short time scales.”

        ~R. Timothy Patterson, “Read the sunspots (prepare now for dangerous global cooling),” Financial Post, Jun 24, 2007

  15. It is often said by some, not all of the AGW proponents, that the current global warming is unprecedented. Holocene epoch temperature reconstructions based on different proxies suggest that it is not so, but there is always problem of accuracy of interpreation.
    I have added an independent proxy, not generated by the temperature change itself, but likely by the common cause, two branches of the same tree.
    It correlates well with the previous reconstructions.

  16. Mann considers anyone who disagrees with him to be dishonest. Debate over.

    • Would that more of us disagreed with anyone dishonest.

      • Would that you clowns were at all familiar with honesty.

      • I do my best to maintain objective distance about honesty.

        And look, we end up in the same neighborhood.

      • Look, we don’t even live on the same planet. I live in the Evil-Big-Oil-funded- deniosphere, and you inhabit Planet Hansen. In the War Between the Worlds, we have kicked your little alien behinds up between your green pointy ears.

        Maybe you should abandon your failed strategy of hysterical demonization and engage in honest debate.

      • Don Monfort | April 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

        I’d be delighted to observe some of that honest debate in action.

        Can you point to a non-demonizing, non-hysterical, observation-based, scientific, rational example?

      • Try this one, slick:

        I don’t know if there are any more recent encounters that could be called a debate. Your side has pretty much stuck to hysterical demonization, since they got their hynees whupped so thoroughly in this one. That genius, Gavin Schmidt, whined that the debate was unfair due to Crichton’s height advantage. You characters are funny. The inept CAGW side couldn’t even win over the lefty NPR crowd. Results of audience polling:

        “In this debate, the proposition was: “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis.” In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.”

      • Don Monfort | April 23, 2012 at 1:25 am |


        And you don’t get the irony at all that until the last sentence of your first paragraph pretty much everything you said violated the “non-demonizing, non-hysterical, observation-based, scientific, rational” parameter, often several different ways?

        Look, I’m not a warmist. I go with the data, and the strength of the analysis. There’s pretty clear evidence that there are more than two sides, and anyone taking comfort in belonging on a winning one is delusional.

        What ‘side’ that would have me would I be so dimwitted as to want to join, on that premise?

        And the day anyone does science by voting is the day I know they’ve lost the thread of what science is all about.

      • Look barty, you asked for an example of an honest debate and I gave it to you. What is ironic about that? You have not commented about the debate. I guess you did not watch it. Don’t ask me for anything else.

        I didn’t say the voting of the NPR audience settled the science. A debate about science is not science. Do you get that? Whether the alleged science of CAGW is right or wrong, the public ain’t buying it. That is what counts for us evil deniers. We don’t care if the world burns up, as long as we keep getting our checks from Big Oil. But you knew that.

        Now that’s all the time I have for you. You are another clown, like joshy, who is out to save the world from evil deniers, by talking us to death.

      • Don Monfort | April 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

        What about my reaction to your demonizing, hysterical, observation-free, unscientific, irrational tract would lead anyone to conclude one would want more of .. Ah. Right. Hysterical, observation-free, unscientific, irrationality would do that.

        Not to be accused of getting something for nothing:

      • Bart R,
        You sort of prove out why even Mann is back peddling.

    • Don Monfort | April 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm said: ”Mann considers anyone who disagrees with him to be dishonest. Debate over”

      Don, Michael Mann is same like you. You believe in more phony GLOBAL warmings than Mann. If somebody doesn’t believe in the phony GLOBAL warmings, like me; should be silenced. If Mann admits the truth – he will end up in jail. If you face the truth; you will have to admit that you have being duped by the 100y old misleading propaganda. Temperature OVERALL on the planet doesn’t go up and down like yo-yo, shocking truth…

  17. Arctic sea ice continues with it’s comparatively slow melt this season. It will be interesting to see what the April 2012 report by NSIDC says.

    • Jim Cripwell | April 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Jim, if more Arctic ice melts – it will be your fault!!! All you children on the sandpit are demanding more and more little fire trucks and water pistols – for cooling the planet. Santa had to extend his toy factory on the North Poll = releases more CO2, plus Rudolf’s methane are melting the ice.

      Or, water freezes on ZERO C, approximate temp on Arctic is minus – 30C, that is twice as cold than in your deep freezer. Therefore, temperature is completely irrelevant to the amount of ice. There is enough coldness to make another 12km thick ice on the top of the existing one, in one season. The amount of ice depends only on the availability of raw material in the air for replenishing the melted ice; because that ice seats on a salty seawater. What is the raw material, and how to produce more of it; that is the question! Warmist say that; that raw material in the air is bad for climate. In the Canadian / Siberian permafrost is colder than on Greenland, but no ice. Permafrost is desert in a cold country, guess WHY?. You have 6 guesses only. Cheers!

  18. Compare the sea level rise chart in this presentation …

    to the sunspot chart here …


    Note the correlations at 1700 and ~1850!

    • h/t to Bernie for telling me about Munk’s video.

    • Very interesting review by Munck.

      I did not hear any mention of ground water depletion for irrigation etc. (did I miss it?) e.g. see: 25% of sea-level rise is due to groundwater depletion October 24, 2010

      A new Geophysical Research Letters paper (Wada, Y., L. P.H. van Beek, C. M. van Kempen, J. W.T.M. Reckman, S. Vasak, and M.F.P. Bierkens (2010), Global depletion of groundwater resources, Geophysical Research Letters, in press) confirms my estimate (and more) and shows that Vermeer and Rahmstorf were low-balling the effect of groundwater depletion. In fact, Wada’s data shows the effect of ground water depletion at the present time to be GREATER than the effect of artificial reservoir storage. They say……We estimate the contribution of groundwater depletion to sea level rise to be 0.8 (±0.1) mm a-1, which is 25 (±3) % of the current rate of sea level rise of 3.1 mm a-1… and the same order of magnitude as the contribution from glaciers and ice caps.

      Global depletion of groundwater resources, Y. Wada et al GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, L20402, doi:10.1029/2010GL044571, 2010

      Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to sea level rise

      the rate of groundwater depletion has increased markedly since about 1950, with maximum rates occurring during the most recent period (2000¨C2008), when it averaged ¡«145 km3/yr (equivalent to
      0.40 mm/yr of sea©\level rise, or 13% of the reported rate of 3.1 mm/yr during this recent period).

      Citation: Konikow, L. F.
      (2011), Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to
      sea©\level rise,
      Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L17401, doi:10.1029/

      These are ~13% to 25% of the total
      (- what’s a factor of 2 between friends?)
      Any better evaluations/reviews?

  19. Is this what James Hansen views as “truth” or “integrity?”
    Frontline ( PBS )
    April, 2007

    Dr. James Hansen’s testimony before Congress in June 1988.

    [Senator] TIMOTHY WIRTH: We called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6th or June 9th or whatever it was. So we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it.

    DEBORAH AMOS: [on camera] Did you also alter the temperature in the hearing room that day?

    [Senator] TIMOTHY WIRTH: What we did is that we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right, so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room. And so when the- when the hearing occurred, there was not only bliss, which is television cameras and double figures, but it was really hot.

  20. With the recent loss of the Envisat satellite for measuring sea levels, there is no longer any need to keep adjusting and making additions to sea level measurements as has been the case over the past 4 years. Prior to 2007, sea levels had been rising about 0.76mm/yr. Since then we were told, no, the real value is 2.3 mm/yr, plus the 0.3mm/yr for the glacial rebound component or 2.6 mm/yr, maybe more. Last year there was some discussion about sea level measurements at NOAA.

    Returning to NOAA and visualizing the sea levels as depicted by Topex Jason 1 & 2:


    We see a blue rim around the continental USA and I interpret that as meaning sea levels are falling around continental USA; lower, not higher.

    I imagine that Congressional testimony about the impacts of rising sea levels on coastal cities came at an inconvenient time in the science of things. Testimony that rising sea levels will lead to four feet above high tide surges by 2030, that is in 18 years, inundating cities impacting millions of people, etc. seems to be a head scratching statement.

    I do not agree with Senator Al Franken’s remark about the elephant in the room is climate change. As I see it, the only elephant in the room was the hubris of learned people of science making predictions of catastrophe when the January 2012 sea level picture of the USA was, declining.

    I ask, do cooler waters contract? Could La Nina impacted water be reflected in the sea levels around the USA? Do the equatorial Western Pacific hot spots account for the majority of sea level rise measurements? Are we in a period of more frequent La Ninas than El Nino, if so, would this be reflected in sea levels? Has most of the sea level changes being measured reflect La Nina and El Nino impacts?

    This testimony to sage politicians seems more comedic than science.

  21. Wasn’t Peter Gleick calling for “honest debate” at exactly the time that he was committing fraud and identity theft? And immediately after he had been invited to an honest debate by Heartland?

    Didn’t Michael Mann just publish a book that reiterates his longstanding (but baseless) charge that “big oil is funding the deniers”?

    When the likes of Mann and Gleick call for “honest debate” it does not refer in any way to themselves, it is directed exclusively at “deniers” to unveil their “big oil” funding.

    • Yes, that’s exactly right about Gleick; the disingenuousness is breathtaking.
      Also right about Mann. Your conclusion is correct also.

    • Technically, the deniers (and everyone else) is funding oil. Does size matter?

      • David Wojick

        You just say whatever pops into your mind, don’t you Bart?

        In any case the oil companies put very little money into this, there being no real alternative to gasoline and diesel. The coal people put in more, but it was nothing compared to the governments and the greens. The wonder is that the scare hit its own wall, unaided.

      • David Wojick | April 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

        I say what survives after application of research, reason and reflection. So, sure, if that’s how you define ‘pops’, I do.

        For instance, I know that carbamide and ammonia have higher octane and lower price per unit energy than gasoline, and have substantial first and second order benefits of being less dangerous to transport and store, and more useful in other applications. Carbamide even competes with gasoline for energy density, and is a remarkable complement to diesel. In some situations, hydrogen is cheaper still and works quite well.. and converts efficiently into ammonia or carbamide for long term storage. So I’d never say there is no real alternative to gasoline and diesel, having checked the facts. How did that odd assumption of yours pop into your head?

        And recall, I’m not saying what you seem to say I’m saying. I’m saying we pay the fossil industry, and we pay the so-called deniosphere who perform an unpaid service for some special interests in the fossil industry (though not all; much of the fossil industry is perfectly happy to acknowledge climate change and advocate aggressive measures to act on it), as subsidies through our taxes and the generous loopholes in theirs.

        And I’ve been wondering. Perhaps a luminary of philosophy could address this point:

        For well over a thousand years, millennialists, apocalyptics, prophets of doom and oracles have made far more alarming claims than any climate scientist. Do you hear much shouting about their ‘alarmism’? I don’t think if you did, it’d be taken any more seriously than the millennialists themselves are. Well, except when small children get interested for that brief phase where they believe in everything they hear.

      • David,
        In light of what Bart R seems to be posting lately, please make certain of your definition of “mind” “pops” and especially “whatever”.

      • He and some others just seem to keep going and going and going … like the Energizer Bunny, but with no juice (facts).

  22. David Wojick

    It is not that big but I have two brief interviews with Heartland’s Joy Pullmann on my climate debate curriculum project:



    Here is an email that I got from a 4th grade teacher that frames the issue nicely: “Today in class, global warming came up because we have been graphing the high and low temperatures for about 10 days. The kids brought it up and wanted to know what it meant and if the world was going to come to an end anytime soon because many of them heard that the earth was getting worse. Most of their information came from older siblings and parents, and some media. I was amazed at the misconceptions and it was a “teachable” moment. We talked about how science ideas are generated and how scientist attempt to answer questions based on research. They were very interested and relieved that there is more than just one way to understand what global warming is and how it is affecting their lives. It gave me a lot of ideas.”

  23. “we should have an honest debate about what to do”

    Puhlease. Mann, like all the rest of the Team, only debates with others who share his viewpoint. The last one who went outside the club to debate was Al Gore, and it was a complete bloody disaster. He’s never done it since.

    As for Cameron, his grasp of reality is as firm as his grasp of the details of history, as evidenced many times when his epics stray outside the bounds of science ficition. Mebbe that explains something …


  24. A cooling globe is a voyage through treacherous ice infested North Atlantic waters. A warming globe is a Mediterranean Cruise. What is the matter with that man?

    • Back when I was still a believer in global warming, it started to bother me that I never read or heard anything about how global warming might be beneficial in some ways….and it had to be. Surely for someone, somewhere, warmer had to be better. I started to realize that something was seriously amiss in the way this was being covered.

      A skeptic was born (‘sniff.)

      • pokerguy | April 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm said: ”A skeptic was born”

        pokerguy, even with my limited English, I can understand that: somebody believing in the phony GLOBAL warmings / warmer planet, is not a ”Skeptic” Warmist believe in 90% ”possibility” of GLOBAL warming, in 100years – ”Skeptics” like you, believe 101% in GLOBAL warming…?! Should I teach you correct English? Part of the circus, be honest and insert ”Fake” in front of ”Skeptic”. Maybe warmer planet is better, but you will be disappointed, same as Hansen Cheers!

  25. David Wojick

    The Madrid article has this wonderful Hurricane Katrina allusion: “After a long struggle, the levees of science gave way to the overwhelming forces of politics welling up around it, and soon it would be totally and irrevocably engulfed.”

    • I was waiting for that one, D. I wish Stephen Schneider were alive today to see what he hath wrought.

      • David Wojick

        This is even better: “….a new scepticism now emerged to fight not for policy outcomes but in defence of science.”

        That is where I entered the debate. Science is being screwed. It is like the patent medicine days, only worse.

      • Oops, Ben Santer, who is still alive, and has a little something to answer for.

      • Punch drunk and wormy,
        Dogs howl out from dark alleys.
        Werewolves of Madrid.

  26. Here is that Titanic analogy: “You’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones the most affected by the next iceberg that we hit. Which is going to be climate change. We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now but we can’t turn….” No you don’t. That’s no iceberg, it is fata morgana that climate models spew out. There hasn’t been any warming for ten years, fifteen by some counts, and this is not likely to change anytime soon. That is because the greenhouse theory of Arrhenius that the models are based upon is simply wrong as Ferenc Miskolczi has shown. It is wrong because it is simplistic, attributes all of the enhanced greenhouse effect to carbon dioxide, and leaves water vapor, the chief greenhouse gas, entirely out. Model makers then make an ad hoc assumption that feedback from water vapor is positive and enhances the Arrhenius warming caused by addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. There is no experimental proof of this. And this is where Miskolczi comes in. He proposed originally that the existence of a stable climate implies that feedbacks constrain the gray infrared optical depth of Earth’s atmosphere to a value close to 1.841. These feedbacks would involve all the greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and water vapor. Of the two, water vapor can be constantly adjusted while carbon dioxide is essentially fixed. Barton Paul Levenson, one of his critics, points out that if true this would imply a very low value for climate sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide, contrary to most findings, and then cites half a dozen authorities that support him. He is of course right that sensitivity would be very low, zero in fact. But he wrote before the theory could be put to a test. Using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 Miskolczi was able to demonstrate that the IR optical thickness of the atmosphere had been constant for the last 61 years. Its more accurate value was 1.87. He repeated this measurement for seven different subsets of the NOAA database and got values within three significant figures of his theoretical prediction. At the same time atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. This additional carbon dioxide did not produce any additional absorption of IR or the optical depth would have changed. Hence, addition of carbon dioxide to air is incapable of producing an enhanced greenhouse effect, and the sensitivity is indeed zero. This is an empirical observation, not derived from any theory, and it overrules all climate models using the Arrhenius law. And this invalidates all predictions of warming emanating from these models. If we are to take this to a logical conclusion it would follow that there has not been any greenhouse warming at any time in the past. Since global temperature records exist going back for more than a century we can put it to a test. Starting with the twentieth century, global warming took place in two disjoint episodes. The first period of warming started suddenly in 1910 and ended even more suddenly in 1940. There was no parallel increase of carbon dioxide in the air which rules out the greenhouse effect as its cause. Bjørn Lomborg attributes it to solar influence, part of coming out of the Little Ice Age, and I agree. There was no warming in the fifties, sixties, and seventies that followed and there is no satisfactory explanation of why increasing carbon dioxide did not cause warming then. To suggest that the warming was suppressed for thirty years by a world-wide blanket of aerosols that suddenly disappeared to permit the late twentieth century warming to start is absurd. That is the warming that Hansen spoke of in 1988. Unfortunately, that warming is fake as I demonstrate in “What Warming?” Real warming did not begin until ten years after 1988. The super El Nino of 1998 brought so much warm water across the ocean that it lingered and caused global temperature to rise by a third of a degree Celsius in only four years. That was the cause of the very warm first decade of our century. There was no warming from that point on to the present. We are now into a new cycle of ENSO oscillations that started with the La Nina of 2008. For ENSO oscillations the mean temperature is determined by the midpoint between an El Nino peak and its adjacent La Nina valley. In satellite records the midpoint between 2008 La Nina and 2010 El Nino lines up with the temperature reached in 2002, meaning no warming since 2002. Unfortunately GISTEMP has decided to not use this average and is using the peak of the 2010 El Nino to show warming where none exists. I still have not mentioned Arctic warming which started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century but It, too, is not greenhouse warming and is caused by warm water carried to the Arctic by Atlantic Ocean currents. With it we can conclude that there has been no greenhouse warming for the last 100 years, just what Miskolczi theory requires.

    • Anyone who really wants to understand why Miskolczi is wrong should go read Science of Doom’s several long posts on the papers. Still, Nick Stokes’ summary is the short take away

      I think Miskolczi’s paper could have been written in two sentences:

      “The greenhouse gas theory that has been used for the last century is TOTALLY WRONG! The proof is left as an exercise for the reader.”

      As Nick concluded, people just lose patience because nothing is clear and what is clear is wrong and eventually everyone just gets tired of cutting another arm off and walks away. See recent Dragon threads over here for excellent examples.

      And, FWIW, Miskolczi used a version of the data series that was known to seriously underestimate tropical humidity, so any match to “data” is questionable

    • “For ENSO oscillations the mean temperature is determined by the midpoint between an El Nino peak and its adjacent La Nina valley. In satellite records the midpoint between 2008 La Nina and 2010 El Nino lines up with the temperature reached in 2002, meaning no warming since 2002.”

      You are almost there. Unlike others you have grasped the need to adjust for ENSO in order to see what the underlying trend is doing.

      But what about the solar cycle? 2002 was solar maximum. The 2008/2010 midpoint you describe was in the middle of a deep solar minimum.

    • http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/diagrams.html
      “There hasn’t been any warming for ten years, fifteen by some counts, and this is not likely to change anytime soon.”

      Huh. I see warming. Don’t you see warming?

      Granted, I take seriously the mathematical determinations of signal:noise, and don’t look at trends less than 17 years long; however the midpoint of two 17 year trends fall in the last decade, and they’re both rising, as are the midpoints of seven such trends in the last fifteen years, and any 17 year trend using endpoints in the past 17 years is also rising.. so I’m wondering what you mean?


    • See Miskolczi’s papers and presentations. http://miskolczi.webs.com/

      Eli – any evidence /citations on the tropical humidity? I understood Miskolczi to average radiosonde data from all major regions.
      Any comment on his calculations?

      Look at the actual contributions of the various components. The trends in global optical depth are much lower than that projected for rising CO2.

    • Arno Arrak | April 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Arno, you are contradicting your own previous misleadings, shame, shame!

      Water vapor makes milder climate, not GLOBAL warming! You still avoid to compare Brazil’s climate with Sahara! Naughty, naughty! Cloud intercepts some of the sunlight, where cooling is much more effective = less heat on the ground. You are misleading yourself, why? Are you misleading for money, or for feel good?

  27. Brandon Shollenberger

    I posted this in the comments section of the USA Today article:

    I’m confused by this article. It repeats a position from the NAS panel which has never made sense: “Mann emerged from the hearings buoyed by the 2006 National Academy of Sciences report, which found that statistical complaints about Mann’s first two hockey stick papers, while worth considering, didn’t amount to much: Other temperature studies using different techniques and data had come to similar hockey-stick-shaped conclusions.”

    How does one claim criticisms of a paper don’t “amount to much” based on the fact other work reaches the same conclusions? Are we expected to believe Mann’s work was just fine because he happened to get the “right answer”? If so, does that mean I can pull a number out of a hat, say it’s scientific work, and have it defended because that number happens to be the same as what other papers get?

    At what point did an appeal to popularity stop being a logical fallacy and become something a major newspaper would advance as a scientific judgment?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      A commenter on that USA Today’s article left a comment I found hilarious:

      Brandon Shollenberger Also, maybe you are afraid that if you download the link, people will be able to tell you are not an individual, but be able to trace your IP address back and show that you are actually a part of a special interest paid disinformation campaign, eh?

  28. True, you did, and Eli posted the relevant section from that NAS report

    “Despite these limitations, the committee finds that efforts to reconstruct temperature histories for broad geographic regions using multiproxy methods are an important contribution to climate research and that these large-scale surface temperature reconstructions contain meaningful climatic signals. The individual proxy series used to create these reconstructions generally exhibit strong correlations with local environmental conditions, and in most cases there is a physical, chemical, or physiological reason why the proxy reflects local temperature variations. Our confidence in the results of these reconstructions becomes stronger when multiple independent lines of evidence point to the same general result, as in the case of the Little Ice Age cooling and the 20th century warming.”


    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Despite you calling that “the relevant section from that NAS report,” it has absolutely no relevance to what I said. Anyone can tell the criticisms of one paper are not rebutted by another paper getting similar results. Even if every paper aside from those Mann published were agreed with his work, that would not say his work was meaningful or done right.

      • Of course you are correct, Brandon. But I would go further, and say that the NAS’ touching faith in proxy reconstructions across the board is naive at best and disingenuous at worst. Steve McIntyre has demonstrated several times that even proxy reconstructions that have not been ‘cooked’ like Mann’s famous souffle should be regarded with extreme caution, not the enthusiastic approbation that NAS seems to support.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        The NAS panel’s report has all sorts of issues. I just don’t see the point in delving into any of them if people will accept this insane argument by it. If people will blithely accept the NAS panel’s blatant appeal to popularity as a scientific judgment, there is no chance they’ll give any actual consideration to what else it says.

        It’s sort of like a litmus test.

    • So the newer papers that are generally agreeing that the little Ice age was somewhat cooler than indicated in previous reconstructions and that the “regional” medieval appears to be more global than the older reconstructs still indicate that Mann’s methodological was sound?

      Typically, colder than normal weather locally is unlikely to stimulate tree growth and warmer than normal weather locally is also unlikely to stimulate tree growth. So tree rings would be a fairly good representation of what the average range maybe, but not indicative of what degree the greater than or less than average ranges may be. I don’t recall that being pointed out in the earlier papers. The earlier papers tended to be somewhat overly optimistic.

      The statistical assistance provided to Dr. Steig also appears to have been a bit overly optimistic. The general euphoria of the discovery of Antarctic warming that still does not appear to exist is also an example of quality scientific practice?

    • Eli Rabett | April 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm said: as in the case of the Little Ice Age cooling

      Bunny, little ice age was in Europe, not GLOBAL. There are real reasons why it happened, nothing to do with your GLOBAL warmings, stop the crap,please. Whoever told you that it was GLOBAL, ask him to tell you; what was the temp in mid Pacific at that time? Pacific is 20 times larger than Europe. If Europe gets colder by 2C, all it needs over Pacific to get warmer by 0,2C, to be equal. As honest people can recall; at that time the planet was flat / 70% of the planet didn’t exist, and was before the invention of the thermometer. That’s what happen when you repeat a lie 7 times… Why are you still molesting the truth?! Does it make you feel good, when you are lying? Are you so addicted in telling lies? If you keep telling lies, your nose will get bigger and bigger – but your water pistol will get smaller and smaller; think about it

    • As Gerald North, the Chair of the NAS evaluation committee said in testimony

      “I would like to correct some potential misunderstanding about the conclusions of the 2006 National Research Council report to which Mr. Barton referred. Quoting from the report’s summary: “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium.”

      While we did find some of the methods used in Michael E. Mann’s original papers to be less cautious than some of our members might have used, we have not found any evidence that his results were incorrect or even out of line with other works published since his original papers.

      Mr. Barton’s reference to “Mr. Mann’s global warming projections” is incorrect and quite misleading. Mr. Mann’s work does not make projections about global warming. His work, and that of our committee, was concerned with the reconstruction of temperatures in the past. As stated in the report, this area of research does not attempt to make any inference about future temperatures. While knowledge of past climates fills in context, the arguments for anthropogenic global warming are mainly based upon the past 50 years of data, including temperatures, model simulations and numerous other indicators.

      Gerald R. North, Bryan, Tex.”

      • Eli

        Dr Mann used mostly tree rings in the major studies that became known as the hockey stick.

        Can you explain why you believe that a method best suited (at best) to determining local precipitation over a short growing season within a defined- and ever changing- micro climate, has any thing mich useful to say about global temperatures determined to fractions of a degree going back a thousand years?

        I looked at some 20 studies plus the actual methodology used during my recent comparison via a vis mann/lamb reconstructions and blessed if I can find why this study -and others using similar methods-has achieved such prominence

      • Because with care and expertise it works. You may not have realized but Malcolm Hughes is one of the most famous dendrologists in the world, and Ray Bradley had and has considerable experience in studying climate proxys. They were both experts in such things as in which series the precip signal overwhelmed the temperature one, which explains why they (not Mann) chose tree-ring proxys from high altitude/latitude sites.

        The MBH papers used statistical methods of grouping tree ring proxys together so that their sheer number would not overwhelm the other proxys.

      • Heh, experts, and we get the MBH papers.

      • Eli

        I know all that thank you. It doesn’t get away from the basic fact that tree rings cant give you an accurate temperature signal because they just weren’t designed to, due to their short growing season. susceptibility to micro factors within their environment and changes of signal during the night/lack of sunshine/daylight.

        Please demonstrate how, with care and expertise, it works, because the temperature indicators are often at variance with other scientific studies and observational accounts and thermometers, of which Bradley also wrote.in a book I am currently reading . Thanks

      • Tree rings definitely will not give you an accurate temperature but they can provide more information. Like all data though, they need proper evaluation.

        Take the Quelccaya ice core for example, that appears to have been contaminated during collection. Any methodology that uses mixtures of data sources should be able to validate the uncertainty of each source prior to combination. Haphazard combination relying on novel statistical methods it not very impressive. Malcomb Hughes appears to be competent. Not noting glaring errors in his field of expertise doesn’t reflect that competence. Sooner or later, someone has to put on the big boy pants and straighten out the kids.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Eli Rabett constantly makes things up. For example, he would have us believe there was good quality control applied to the proxy data used by MBH. It would be difficult to reconcile this claim with the multitude of data errors in Mann’s original data set, but it’s completely impossible to reconcile with any examination of the actual data.

        The source of Mann’s hockey stick was brislecone tree ring data. Within this data, the hockey stick was generated from records with six sigma deviations. There is no way that could be caused by anything to do with the climate. instead, it is caused by growth spurts stemming from trees recovering from damage.

        While Eli Rabett is free to talk about the qualifications of the authors, the simple reality is their work failed at even the most basic of levels.

      • Be honest Bunny, do you ever look this foolish in class?

      • It would be excellent if Brandon S actually read what was written. The point Eli was making is that the selection of proxys in the MBH papers was done by Malcolm Hughes and Ray Bradley who were experts in the area of evaluating and understanding these proxys.

        Eli, foolishly enough, would put more trust in them then some jumped up internet expert.

        To the Bunny, the mystery has always been how the denialists have always avoided challenging those two and blamed Michael Mann for everything, including the kitchen sink (a rather poor temperature proxy to be sure).

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As mentioned before, Eli Rabett makes things up:

        It would be excellent if Brandon S actually read what was written.

        He also says idiotic things:

        The point Eli was making is that the selection of proxys in the MBH papers was done by Malcolm Hughes and Ray Bradley who were experts in the area of evaluating and understanding these proxys.

        I directly responded to this point, yet Rabett acts as though I didn’t even read it. Of course, he then goes on to say :

        Eli, foolishly enough, would put more trust in them then some jumped up internet expert.

        I’ve never claimed to be an expert of any sort, nor have I made any reference to anyone who claims such. What I said is fairly basic knowledge in dendrochronology, and it is easily verified. Rabett is relying purely upon misrepresentation here.

        Of course, over on the USA Today’s article, Rabett claimed MBH was the first multiproxy reconstruction, even though there were a number of such prior to it. I pointed this out to him, and even gave examples, but he never responded.

        Misrepresentations, fabrications, nonsensical statements and terrible rhetoric is all Rabett offers.

      • In the sense that James Watt created the first steam engine, at least the first one that worked. . .

        From the National Academy 2006 Report
        Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years (2006)
        The first systematic, statistically based synthesis of multiple climate proxies was carried out in 1998 by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes (Mann et al. 1998); their study focused on temperature for the last 600 years in the Northern Hemisphere. The analysis was later extended to cover the last 1,000 years (Mann et al. 1999), and the results were incorporated into the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2001). Later, Mann and Jones (2003b) extended the multiproxy reconstruction further back to cover the last 1,800 years (see Figure 10-4). On the basis of these reconstructions, it was concluded that temperatures gradually dropped from a relative maximum at about A.D. 1000 to a minimum at about 1850 and then increased sharply through the 20th century. The graph illustrating the trend, often called the hockey stick curve (reproduced in Figure O-4), received wide attention because it was interpreted by some people as definitive evidence of human-induced global warming. The ensuing debate in the scientific literature continues even as this report goes to press (von Storch et al. 2006, Wahl et al. 2006).

        The Mann et al. large-scale surface temperature reconstructions were the first to include explicit statistical error bars, which provide an indication of the confidence that can be placed in the results. In the Mann et al. work, the error bars were relatively small back to about A.D. 1600, but much larger for A.D. 1000–1600. The lower precision during earlier times is caused primarily by the limited availability of annually resolved paleoclimate data: That is, the farther back in time, the harder it is to find evidence that provides reliable annual information. For the period before about A.D. 900, annual data series are very few in number, and the non-annually resolved data used in reconstructions introduce additional uncertainties.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Something I’ve always found peculiar is that MBH was praised for its inclusion of error margins:

        The Mann et al. large-scale surface temperature reconstructions were the first to include explicit statistical error bars, which provide an indication of the confidence that can be placed in the results.

        Nobody knows how the error margins were calculated. The authors of the paper never said, and no normal methods generate the same results. Even worse, when code for MBH was released, some parts were missing, including the parts for the calculation of error margins.

        An unknown and unverifiable method was used in a way nobody can describe, and for that, Mann and coauthors get praised.

        Climate science.

  29. In the bush, as a child runing down a track, with no time to stop, I had to jump over a tiger snake :-)

    Johanna, agree about the wildlife. In my little bit of forest, wallabies and echidna visit, and a superb blue wren and five hens come to my door.One night, about sixty black cockatoos roosted in the eucalypts near the house. The thrumm they made at nightfall sounded like a hive of bees with the sound up.

    • Did it bite you? Did you survive?

      Australia will expunge its human invaders yet …

    • I was a “new chum” Pommie working on a large building site (Yandina ginger factory). I found a venomous red-bellied black snake, about nine feet (2.7m) long which had died after being pinned by a pallet, but was in perfect condition. I picked it up, held it so that by moving my elbow it would wriggle, and innocently approached several big burly Aussie labourers sitting on a low plank having their smoko, and asked “Does anyone know what this is?” Panic ensued, dropped teas, rapid removal. I roared with laughter, but not everyone appreciated the joke.

    • I walked out the back door and trod on an eastern brown snake – the 2nd most venomous snake in the world. I jumped higher than the snake. When I was a kid I was bitten by a red back spider. I went unconscious in the taxi and woke up at the doctors with blood all over the place. The good old days. Now we have anti-venom.

      This morning I walked out of the garage and there was a flock of galahs on the power line. ‘G’day guys – how’s things?’ I said. They really didn’t seem to mind.

      I love black cockatoos too.

  30. It was curled up warming itself in the sun…’missed me by that much’.
    H/T to Get Smart. lol

  31. So Wagathon, do you have a snake story too? There are many snakes out and about. lol.

    • Beth,

      Anyone who does a lot of bushwalking, like me, has plenty. But the point of them is that snakes are not aggressive, as you know. Give them warning of your approach and they will disappear. Like you, I have missed treading on them (curled up in the sun on a rock) by inches, and once photographed one of our party standing on a rock, then noticed that she was standing above a black snake!

      • Meh, most Aussies who have ever ventured out of their back yard (or even looked around in their back yard) have seen deadly critters. I have seen heaps of funnel webs, redback spiders, red bellied black and brown snakes in my lifetime. Point is, they don’t hunt humans and most snakes, as don says, are pretty timid (although some browns can be cranky). As long as you don’t step on them, they just bugger off asap or continue sunbathing if they are in relaxed mode.

        I’ve seen blue-ringed octupuses (gorgeous things) in rock pools and crocs in North Queensland. The crocs are about the only critters I am scared of, and they are not poisonous.

        As for tourists, maybe it is part of the thrill – like going on safari and hoping to see lions and rhinos!

      • Wasn’t it a ray that killed that Aussie idiot who like to wrestle animals?

        They are about as deadly as a tit mouse. Managing to get oneself killed has never been much of a problem.

  32. Massasauga rattler rarely reach more than 30 inches as they tend to die from the cold winter; unless of course, they find a perch in a bush cabin’s underside. Venom supposed to be the most deadly of the North American snakes. When under the cabin to free a clogged pipe, still cold temperatures saved a facial strike with a more startling rattling sound.
    Nature is wonderful, right?

  33. RiHoo8:
    What is life without risk ? :-)

  34. Thylarctos plummetus?
    So that’s what it was. Lucky escape i guess.
    Sometimes in the bush, deadly exciting can be just that, deadly,,, j

  35. I looked up the latest numbers on Cryosphere Today, as of April 22, for Arctic sea ice extent. We are down to a mere 80 thousand sq kms below average, with Antarctic sea ice nearly 700,000 sq kms above average. With these sort of numbers persisitng, the thought of what NSIDC is going to write for it’s April report becomes even more intriguing.

    • They’ll probably write something similar to what they wrote in Spring 2010 when it almost reached average. and 2009 and 2008.

      • lolwot, Not necessarily. In 2008 and 2009, NSIDC was very much under the influence of Dr. Mark “Death Spiral” Serreze; he became director in August 2009. Mark had stated in writing that the Arctic sea ice had passed a tipping point, and was in a “death spiral”, from which it could never recover, and the Arctic would, inevitably, become ice free in the summer in the foreseeable future. This belief, IMHO, colored the NSIDC reports. The scientific content was there, but it was marred by pro-CAGW propoganda.

        Now we have Dr. Walt Meier as Director. Maybe I am dreamikng in technicolor, but I hope Walt will bring a more measured style in the NSIDC reporting, and get rid of all the pro-CAGW propaganda.

  36. Heh, when you’ve lost James Lovelock.

    • He seems to be recanting…

      • Of course he is recanting. It is similar to our hostess. First, he sees the light, and then he makes a strong statement that CAGW is almost certainly wrong. However, when this gets reported, he sees how much damage he is doing to the “Team”, the “Cause” and his erstwhile friends. So he tries to see if he can undo some of the damage he has done to the pro-CAGW cause.

  37. The idea on the tipping points piece is that they can blame global warming action on Santer at Madrid because the skeptic string-pulling by Big Oil was exposed in the mid-90’s which made them ineffective to stop it. Interesting thesis.
    Also, the skeptic scientists in the 90’s are the same ones as now, and they have drawn almost no support among climate scientists in nearly twenty years while they have reached retirement age.