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The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edition)

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The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edition)

Old 09-06-11, 06:44 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
I'm currently picking through the Soon and Baliunas controversy, and while my historical knowledge on climate research is limited, I'm a bit surprised why nobody on any climate skeptic/denier website has brought this up the hundreds I've times I've heard that editors resigning from journals was unheard of. I suppose it could be because the circumstances were not identical, but Von Storch and half the editors resigning can easily be called "very similar" easily.
I have seen it mentioned in several places but I've looked at so many I can't tell you exactly where.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...947078538.html

Regarding the Remote Sensing, incident I'm seeing another disconnect from skeptics (yep, I'm reading through pages and pages of comments even). Wagner indicated that the core issue was the failure of peer review:

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/

He says the study should have been published, but it should have noted the existing articles that refute contradicted his arguments. Spencer even says on his rebuttal on his webpage in his first paragraph that the entire purpose of the paper was to refute data already out there that is part of the collected "consensus". If that is true, then why where these articles not referenced and refuted inside it? Dave indicated publishing research himself... would that be something that would normally slip from an accomplished researcher who has published many article? My modest state-university adviser wouldn't have let me get away with something like that because it is underhanded and fundamental wrong.

When a scientific paper, or established concept, that is disagreed with is a new scientific paper, you must cite the first paper(s) and demonstrates how and why it is wrong. Publishing something and ignoring literature that refutes it comes off underhanded. I'm amazed all the fans of "science" and "academic process" who are outraged over the spineless editor have not bothered to look and see if Spencer came into the fight with clean hands or not.
Spencer and Braswell deal with D10 (Dessler's 2010 paper) on page 4 and it's referenced in footnote #8. Not being an expert I can't say if the discussion is sufficient. I suspect other papers may have been dealt with in S&B's last paper and the Dessler paper was the only significant one during the interim. I don't know that for a fact.

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/...diagnos_11.pdf

By the way, I cannot seem to access S&B11 from the Remote Sensing website. I was able to find it only through Spencer's link. Has Remote sensing "turned off" the paper?
Old 09-06-11, 06:48 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by movielib View Post
Many people were wondering why Kevin Trenberth (co-author of arguably the most vicious attack on Roy Spencer) got a personal apology from Wolfgang Wagner. Many found the resignation itself most odd.

Many have also been picking up on the following Wagner/Trenberth link.

http://www.smos.zmaw.de/en/links/



http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/insitu/



From The International Soil Moisture Network about us:

http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/insitu/i.../about-us.html

Two organizations that are part of the International Soil Moisture Network:


GEWEX:

Who is chair of the Scientific Steering Group at GEWEX?

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/...s_ssgchair.pdf


It seems the International Soil Moisture Network is somewhat dependent on the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX)

Now does that mean that Trenberth put any pressure on Wagner? Or that any of this has anything to do with Wagner writing a personal apology to Trenberth (and no one else)?

http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-new...faulty-science

(From the anti-Spencer article by Trenberth, Abraham and Gleick)


I'll just say that if anyone is trying to avoid having the appearance of shenanigans of some sort, this is probably not the way to do it.
Wait, is that it? That is the giant conspiracy? Is anyone on the planet who does serious climate research not connected to each via journal boards, research grants, universities ties or former colleges? Is it that surprising that if you had that connection and, someone under your responsibility, published research in an underhanded manner that cut the nuts off that someone you have a connection to, that you sent them a note explaining what happened?

The seven-degrees of Kevin Bacon does not indicate a conspiracy. Civility does not indicate a conspiracy. Any inference otherwise is just a smoke-screen used by con-artists. Not only that, but it is common. Very very common.

Randi.org is where real skeptics live.

http://www.randi.org/site/

I know a few of you have some experience with traditional skepticism in some form. since I've been helped with info on the Climate Debate I'd like to seriously invite people to familiarize themselves with Skepticism. Especially if you chose to brand yourself to "Climate Skeptics." If you'd rather just listen while you do other things I recommend these two podcasts as primers:

http://www.forgoodreason.org/

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/
Old 09-06-11, 07:00 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by movielib View Post
I have seen it mentioned in several places but I've looked at so many I can't tell you exactly where.


Spencer and Braswell deal with D10 (Dessler's 2010 paper) on page 4 and it's referenced in footnote #8. Not being an expert I can't say if the discussion is sufficient. I suspect other papers may have been dealt with in S&B's last paper and the Dessler paper was the only significant one during the interim. I don't know that for a fact.

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/...diagnos_11.pdf

By the way, I cannot seem to access S&B11 from the Remote Sensing website. I was able to find it only through Spencer's link. Has Remote sensing "turned off" the paper?
It is still there and you can find it by searching by the article name, or Spencer's name.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/
Old 09-06-11, 08:08 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Wait, is that it? That is the giant conspiracy? Is anyone on the planet who does serious climate research not connected to each via journal boards, research grants, universities ties or former colleges? Is it that surprising that if you had that connection and, someone under your responsibility, published research in an underhanded manner that cut the nuts off that someone you have a connection to, that you sent them a note explaining what happened?

The seven-degrees of Kevin Bacon does not indicate a conspiracy. Civility does not indicate a conspiracy. Any inference otherwise is just a smoke-screen used by con-artists. Not only that, but it is common. Very very common.

Randi.org is where real skeptics live.

http://www.randi.org/site/

I know a few of you have some experience with traditional skepticism in some form. since I've been helped with info on the Climate Debate I'd like to seriously invite people to familiarize themselves with Skepticism. Especially if you chose to brand yourself to "Climate Skeptics." If you'd rather just listen while you do other things I recommend these two podcasts as primers:

http://www.forgoodreason.org/

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/
Yeah, exactly what I thought your reaction would be. I didn't say there is no other explanation. But I've seen an awful lot from Climategate and even the CRU/Team admitted they didn't always behave well. In fact, they behaved abominably and all that talk about deleting emails, keeping papers out of the IPCC fourth report and changing the way peer review worked if they had to was not exactly conducive to demonstrating their being above board (of course, they never knew these emails would be made public). Sorry, there's been a pattern of behavior whether you like it or not. I think anyone would admit that Wagner didn't have to resign and that, while not unheard of, it is quite rare.

With the alarmists constantly citing imagined payoffs by industry to any skeptic and constantly smearing skeptics, I guess it's still beyond the pale to even mention a real connection.

And as far as skepticism, I've met and talked to Randi. And Penn & Teller too. I'm a charter subscriber to The Skeptical Inquirer since it originated as The Zetetic in 1975. But thanks, I do appreciate your concern.
Old 09-06-11, 09:05 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
It is still there and you can find it by searching by the article name, or Spencer's name.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/
OK, I can get it now. I swear I clicked on the pdf file link repeatedly a few hours ago and absolutely nothing happened. I tried clicking it through a few other blogs and also came up empty.
Old 09-07-11, 03:50 AM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by movielib View Post
And as far as skepticism, I've met and talked to Randi. And Penn & Teller too. I'm a charter subscriber to The Skeptical Inquirer since it originated as The Zetetic in 1975. But thanks, I do appreciate your concern.
Heh, that was pretty epic. I saw Peter Gleick speak at SkeptiCal. As you can imagine, afterwards there was a lot of talk about "Climate Skeptics" sort of bastardizing the name... do you feel a bit ostracized from that community at all? I get the feeling that each year that goes by traditional skeptics are moving away farther and farther from climate skeptics. Do you think that is more about the science in question, or the negative perception of being lumped in with people being called quacks?

And there is nothing wrong with Penn & Teller (heck, I'm making a Vegas run partly to see them in a few weeks). I think Penn is firmly entrenched in Libertarianism ideology, but he freely admits it; there isn't much wrong with having an opinion.

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xE0UkL4tjpg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 09-07-11, 06:43 AM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Heh, that was pretty epic. I saw Peter Gleick speak at SkeptiCal. As you can imagine, afterwards there was a lot of talk about "Climate Skeptics" sort of bastardizing the name... do you feel a bit ostracized from that community at all? I get the feeling that each year that goes by traditional skeptics are moving away farther and farther from climate skeptics. Do you think that is more about the science in question, or the negative perception of being lumped in with people being called quacks?

And there is nothing wrong with Penn & Teller (heck, I'm making a Vegas run partly to see them in a few weeks). I think Penn is firmly entrenched in Libertarianism ideology, but he freely admits it; there isn't much wrong with having an opinion.

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xE0UkL4tjpg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I sadly and reluctantly canceled my Skeptical Inquirer subscription about 2.5 years ago because of its stand on CAGW, particularly over its scoffing attitude. A little after that, the long time editor (since one year after SI's debut, 1976 IIRC), Kendrick Frazier, wrote a particularly nasty article about CAGW skeptics canceling their subscriptions and hurting SI financially on SI's Facebook page. I wanted to comment but I would have to have registered on Facebook to do it, so I passed that up. I'm still a Facebook holdout. Loved The Social Network though, which was robbed of the Best Picture award last year.

I still feel like a little something is missing without SI in my life.

We still have P&T as far as I know. Keeping open the possibility that there is something to some of it, is just rational as they say in the video. I remember on their Bullshit! recycling show they admitted it makes sense to recycle aluminum cans even if didn't make sense for most other materials.

That's the first time I heard Teller talk since I talked to P&T myself!

Last edited by movielib; 09-07-11 at 07:01 AM.
Old 09-07-11, 12:35 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Wall Street Journal picks up the CERN article. It is not a bad read, though slightly disingenuous. They say "factor of 10" as if it is number with impact. to be clear, the CERN project is just the first step. "Factor of 10" sounds more impressive then it really is... that is still significantly too small to cause cloud formation. Not only that, but there is no correlation between solar activity and warming for the last 50 years. CERN should be finished with the next phase of research in about 3 years.

I find it a bit funny that both sides of the argument are touting this study as proof of something. Skeptics/Deniers love it because it shows the mechanics of cosmic rays on atmosphere is possible which gives their old theory life, and Mainstream/Alarmists love it because it shows that the mechanics so far proves that cosmic rays are insignificant. Basically, more research needed.

The Other Climate Theory
Al Gore won't hear it, but heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends
Spoiler:

In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times "To Skeptics on Global Warming" in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.

But a few physicists weren't worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or "cosmic rays," whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.

The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN's researchers reported last month that in the conditions they've observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds.

Scientists have been speculating on the relationship among cosmic rays, solar activity and clouds since at least the 1970s. But the notion didn't get a workout until 1995, when Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark came across a 1991 paper by Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen, who had charted a close relationship between solar variations and changes in the earth's surface temperature since 1860.

"I had this idea that the real link could be between cloud cover and cosmic rays, and I wanted to try to figure out if it was a good idea or a bad idea," Mr. Svensmark told me from Copenhagen, where he leads sun-climate research at the Danish National Space Institute.

He wasn't the first scientist to have the idea, but he was the first to try to demonstrate it. He got in touch with Mr. Friis-Christensen, and they used satellite data to show a close correlation among solar activity, cloud cover and cosmic-ray levels since 1979.

They announced their findings, and the possible climatic implications, at a 1996 space conference in Birmingham, England. Then, as Mr. Svensmark recalls, "everything went completely crazy. . . . It turned out it was very, very sensitive to say these things already at that time." He returned to Copenhagen to find his local daily leading with a quote from the then-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naïve and irresponsible."

Mr. Svensmark had been, at the very least, politically naïve. "Before 1995 I was doing things related to quantum fluctuations. Nobody was interested, it was just me sitting in my office. It was really an eye-opener, that baptism into climate science." He says his work was "very much ignored" by the climate-science establishment—but not by CERN physicist Jasper Kirkby, who is leading today's ongoing cloud-chamber experiment.

On the phone from Geneva, Mr. Kirkby says that Mr. Svensmark's hypothesis "started me thinking: There's good evidence that pre-industrial climate has frequently varied on 100-year timescales, and what's been found is that often these variations correlate with changes in solar activity, solar wind. You see correlations in the atmosphere between cosmic rays and clouds—that's what Svensmark reported. But these correlations don't prove cause and effect, and it's very difficult to isolate what's due to cosmic rays and what's due to other things."

In 1997 he decided that "the best way to settle it would be to use the CERN particle beam as an artificial source of cosmic rays and reconstruct an artificial atmosphere in the lab." He predicted to reporters at the time that, based on Mr. Svensmark's paper, the theory would "probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole" of 20th-century warming. He gathered a team of scientists, including Mr. Svensmark, and proposed the groundbreaking experiment to his bosses at CERN.

Then he waited. It took six years for CERN to greenlight and fund the experiment. Mr. Kirkby cites financial pressures for the delay and says that "it wasn't political."

Mr. Svensmark declines entirely to guess why CERN took so long, noting only that "more generally in the climate community that is so sensitive, sometimes science goes into the background."

By 2002, a handful of other scientists had started to explore the correlation, and Mr. Svensmark decided that "if I was going to be proved wrong, it would be nice if I did it myself." He decided to go ahead in Denmark and construct his own cloud chamber. "In 2006 we had our first results: We had demonstrated the mechanism" of cosmic rays enhancing cloud formation. The IPCC's 2007 report all but dismissed the theory.

Mr. Kirkby's CERN experiment was finally approved in 2006 and has been under way since 2009. So far, it has not proved Mr. Svensmark wrong. "The result simply leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate," stresses Mr. Kirkby, quick to tamp down any interpretation that would make for a good headline.

This seems wise: In July, CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Die Welt that he was asking his researchers to make the forthcoming cloud-chamber results "clear, however, not to interpret them. This would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate-change debate."

But while the cosmic-ray theory has been ridiculed from the start by those who subscribe to the anthropogenic-warming theory, both Mr. Kirkby and Mr. Svensmark hold that human activity is contributing to climate change. All they question is its importance relative to other, natural factors.

Through several more years of "careful, quantitative measurement" at CERN, Mr. Kirkby predicts he and his team will "definitively answer the question of whether or not cosmic rays have a climatically significant effect on clouds." His old ally Mr. Svensmark feels he's already answered that question, and he guesses that CERN's initial results "could have been achieved eight to 10 years ago, if the project had been approved and financed."

The biggest milestone in last month's publication may be not the content but the source, which will be a lot harder to ignore than Mr. Svensmark and his small Danish institute.

Any regrets, now that CERN's particle accelerator is spinning without him? "No. It's been both a blessing and the opposite," says Mr. Svensmark. "I had this field more or less to myself for years—that would never have happened in other areas of science, such as particle physics. But this has been something that most climate scientists would not be associated with. I remember another researcher saying to me years ago that the only thing he could say about cosmic rays and climate was it that it was a really bad career move."

On that point, Mr. Kirkby—whose organization is controlled by not one but 20 governments—really does not want to discuss politics at all: "I'm an experimental particle physicist, okay? That somehow nature may have decided to connect the high-energy physics of the cosmos with the earth's atmosphere—that's what nature may have done, not what I've done."

Last month's findings don't herald the end of a debate, but the resumption of one. That is, if the politicians purporting to legislate based on science will allow it.

Old 09-07-11, 02:39 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Dessler has published his expected partial-rebuttal study in GRL. The rebuttal in remote Sensing is still a few months away.

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011GL049236.shtml

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2011GL049236

Cloud variations and the Earth's energy budget
Key Points

Clouds are not causing climate change
Observations are not in disagreement with models on this point
Previous work on this is flawed

Author:

Andrew E. Dessler

The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010. An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations. And observations of the lagged response of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy fluxes to surface temperature variations are not evidence that clouds are causing climate change.
Full article:

http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011.pdf

It is a pretty short read pointing out some serious Spencer data manipulation. I'm posting a summary with analysis below:


Andrew Dessler's New Paper Debunks Both Roy Spencer And Richard Lindzen

Posted on 6 September 2011 (I lost who wrote it, credit not mine!)
Spoiler:

Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, has released a scientific paper (Dessler 2011) that looks at the claims made by two of a small group of "skeptic" climate scientists who regular SkS readers will be familiar with: Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. Both were co-authors on peer-reviewed papers released this year (Spencer & Braswell [2011] & Lindzen & Choi [2011]) which, once again, sought to overturn the orthodox view of climate. Dessler (2011) finds that the conclusions of these two papers are unsupported by observational data.

The Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi papers have an unusual take on global warming: rather than warming causing a change in cloud cover (i.e. acting as a feedback to either increase or reduce warming), both papers claim that it's the other way around - changes in cloud cover cause changes in the surface temperature (in the present case, warming).

Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi look at the relationship between changes in ocean heat, cloud cover (directly affecting the amount of heat lost to space), and global surface temperature over recent decades. The idea is, if the change in surface temperature over that period is affected by changes in cloud cover, but changes of the surface temperature associated with the ocean warming are small, then changes in cloud cover must be driving the present global warming.

Putting aside the problems with their energy budget equation, Dessler looks at the values Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi use for their calculations. Rather than examine the data for two of the terms in their equation (heating of the climate by the ocean & change in cloud cover allowing heat to escape to space), Lindzen and Spencer approximate them from other observations, and their results rely heavily on assumptions about the size of these values.

Rather than rely on assumptions, Dessler uses other observational data (such as surface temperature measurements and ARGO ocean temperature) to estimate and corroborate these values. Dessler finds that, in contrast to Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi, the change in cloud cover is far too small to explain the short-term changes in surface temperature, explaining only a few percent of surface temperature change. In fact, the heating of the climate system through ocean heat transport is approximately 20 times larger than the change in top of the atmosphere (TOA) energy flux due to cloud cover changes. Lindzen and Choi assumed the ratio was close to 2, while Spencer and Braswell assumed it was close to 0.5.

Dessler finds that the short-term changes in surface temperature are related to exchanges of heat to and from the ocean - which tallies well with what we know about El Niño and La Niña, and their atmospheric warming/cooling cycles.

In order to claim that the climate models differ from observations when comparing the surface temperature and energy leaving the Earth at TOA with the lead-lag between them, Spencer/Braswell cherrypick observational data and model results that show the greatest mismatch (Figure 1).



Figure 1: Dessler (2011) reconstruction of Spencer & Braswell's figure 3, showing relationship between top-of-atmosphere (TOA) net flux and surface temperature, as a function of lag between them. The blue line is the observational data chosen by Spencer and Braswell. The red lines show other available observational data. The shading represents the two-sigma uncertainty of two of the data sets. The black lines show climate model results. The black lines with crosses show the climate model runs chosen by Spencer and Braswell in their paper.

The blue line in Figure 1 is the TOA and Hadley Centre surface temperature data chosen by Spencer/Braswell, and the red includes other datasets of the surface temperature. The black lines are the 13 climate model runs, with the 'crosses' indicating 5 of the 6 models analysed by Spencer/Braswell. Although Spencer/Braswell analyzed 14 models, they only plotted the 3 with highest and 3 with lowest equilibrium climate sensitivities.

In the process, Spencer and Braswell excluded the three climate model runs which best matched the observational data. Dessler found that these three model runs were also the ones which are among the best at simulating El Niño and La Niña, which is not surprising, given that much of the temperature change over 2000-2010 was due to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).


Thus Dessler concludes that

"since most of the climate variations over this period were due to ENSO, this suggests that the ability to reproduce ENSO is what's being tested here, not anything directly related to equilibrium climate sensitivity."

Dessler also examines the mathematical formula that both studies use to calculate the Earth's energy budget, and finds that it may violate the laws of thermodynamics - allowing for the impossible situation where ocean warming is able to cause ocean warming.

The short-term change in surface temperature over the 2000-2010 period is a result of ocean heat being exchanged with the atmosphere (via ENSO). This in turn alters atmospheric circulation, which alters cloud cover, but the impact of cloud cover on surface temperature only explains a small percentage of the surface temperature change. Thus the lead-lag relationship between heat leaving the Earth at TOA and surface temperature reveals nothing about what is driving the short-term surface temperature change.

In short, the "skeptic" hypothesis that changes in cloud cover due to internal variability are driving global warming does not hold up when compared to the observational data. Once again we have two heavily-hyped "skeptic" papers that have failed to live up to their billing.


Ronald Bailey gives his similar two cents, but focuses on a more balanced look towards the debate itself:

http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/07/cl...ange-cloud-war

Spoiler:
Climate change scientific politics can be real vicious. The latest outbreak of nastiness is over a recent paper [PDF] published by University of Alabama climatologists Roy Spencer and William Braswell in the journal Remote Sensiing. In general, computer climate models find that increases in temperature drive changes in cloud cover which drive further increases in temperature. Simplifying considerably, Spencer and Braswell find that changes in clouds can actually drive temperatures. In other words, casuality can work both ways. The upshot is that if Spencer and Braswell are correct then the computer computer models are likley projecting higher global temperatures than may actually occur as a result of adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. (Go to Spencer's blog for a "primer" on the paper's findings. Scroll down.)

In addition, Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi of Ewha Woman's University in South Korea also recently published a new paper [PDF] in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences analyzing the feedback effects of sea surface temperature changes and clouds. What they are trying to get at is climate sensitivity which is defined as "how much the average global surface temperature will increase if there is a doubling of greenhouse gases (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents)." Lindzen and Choi found "that all current models seem to exaggerate climate sensitivity (some greatly)."

Now these results are quite at variance with the "consensus" of "mainstream" climate scientists. To trot out Carl Sagan's old (but good) slogan: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In any case, the two papers apparently provoked considerable angst (even backlash) from mainstream researchers.

Earlier this week, Texas A&M atmospheric scientist Andrew Dessler published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters which that aims at directly refuting the findings of Spencer and Braswell. Dessler's energy budget analysis argues that the two papers are, among other things, confusing changes in the El Nino Southern Oscillation system in the Pacific Ocean with changes in cloud feedback dynamics. In addition, Dessler accuses Spencer and Braswell of cherrypicking data. Dessler reports that Spencer and Braswell ran 14 climate models with their specifications, but reported the results of only the six that supported their claims. Dessler published the figure below which he asserts shows all the model runs which together tend to support the notion that rising temperatures produce positive cloud feedbacks.


Thus Dessler concludes:

...the observations presented by [Lindzen & Choi] and [Spencer & Braswell] are not in fundamental disagreement with mainstream climate models, nor do they provide evidence that clouds are causing climate change. Suggestions that significant revisions to mainstream climate science are required are therefore not supported."

Now this is how the process of science is supposed to work: a researcher makes a claim and other researchers look at the claim and try to refute it. This back-and-forth eventually yields something close to reality. And I still have confidence that it will here. But passions run high when it comes to climate change. After all, both sides make apocalyptic claims: the end of the world vs. the end of the economy.


One of the odder features of the current battle over clouds is that the editor of the journal that published the Spencer and Braswell paper, Remote Sensing, has resigned. The editor, Wolfgang Wagner declared...

...the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief...

For their part, Spencer and Braswell assert that they did not "ignore the scientific arguments of its opponents," but, in fact, that was the whole point of their article. In any case, if the claims made by Wagner are true, then the proper thing to do is to retract the paper which Wagner did not do, nor suggested.

The explosion of comment caused by this contretemps in the blogosphere can be found on the more "skeptical" side of climate science at Spencer's blog, Wattsupwiththat, ClimateAudit, and Roger Pielke, Sr.'s Climate Science. For the more "alarmist" take go to RealClimate, DailyClimate, ClimateProgress, and Deltoid.

Old 09-07-11, 03:11 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

And lastly from gang at Real Climate...

It's actually quite amusing that both he and Spencer say the same thing about the process of science and agree on most everything if you replace all the names of people with their ideological opposites and replace the science with their own.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...ss-of-science/

Resignations, retractions and the process of science

Spoiler:
Much is being written about the very public resignation of Wolfgang Wagner from the editorship of Remote Sensing over the publication of Spencer and Braswell (2011) – and rightly so. It is a very rare situation that an editor resigns over the failure of peer review, and to my knowledge it has only happened once before in anything related to climate science – the mass resignation of 6 editors at Climate Research in 2003 in the wake of the Soon and Baliunas debacle. Some of the commentary this weekend has been reasonable, but many people are obviously puzzled by this turn of events and unsupported rumours are flying around.

The primary question of course is why an editor would resign over a published paper. Wagner (who I have never met or communicated with) explains it well in his letter:

After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements. [UAH press release. Forbes article etc.]

He clearly feels as though he, and his fledgling journal, were played in order to get a politicised message to the media. A more seasoned editor might well have acted differently at the various stages and so he resigned to take responsibility for the consequences of not doing a better job, and, presumably, to try and staunch the impression that Remote Sensing is a journal where you can get anything published.

This was nonetheless a very unusual step. Many bad papers are published (some of which are egregiously worse than the one in question here) and yet very few editors resign over the way the process was handled. (In fact, I think this is unique – the resignations at Climate Research in 2003 were not of the editors involved in dealing with Soon and Baliunas, but the other members of the board protesting at the inability and/or unwillingness of the publisher to deal with the resulting mess).

But what makes a paper ‘bad’ though? It is certainly not a paper that simply comes to a conclusion that is controversial or that goes against the mainstream, and it isn’t that the paper’s conclusions are unethical or immoral. Instead, a ‘bad’ paper is one that fails to acknowledge or deal with prior work, or that makes substantive errors in the analysis, or that draws conclusions that do not logically follow from the results, or that fails to deal fairly with alternative explanations (or all of the above). Of course, papers can be mistaken or come to invalid conclusions for many innocent reasons and that doesn’t necessarily make them ‘bad’ in this sense.

So where does S&B11 fall on this spectrum?

The signs of sloppy work and (at best) cursory reviewing are clear on even a brief look at the paper. Figure 2b has the axes mislabeled with incorrect units. No error bars are given on the correlations in figure 3 (and they are substantial – see figure 2 in the new Dessler paper). The model-data comparisons are not like-with-like (10 years of data from the real world compared to 100 years in the model – which also makes a big difference). And the ‘bottom-line’ implication by S&B that their reported discrepancy correlates with climate sensitivity is not even supported by their own figure 3. Their failure to acknowledge previous work on the role of ENSO in creating the TOA radiative changes they are examining (such as Trenberth et al, 2010 or Chung et al, 2010), likely led them to ignore the fact that it is the simulation of ENSO variability, not climate sensitivity, that determines how well the models match the S&B analysis (as clearly demonstrated in Trenberth and Fasullo’s guest post here last month). With better peer review, Spencer could perhaps have discovered these things for himself, and a better and more useful paper might have resulted. By trying to do an end run around his critics, Spencer ended up running into a wall.

Of course, Spencer does not see this in the same light at all. His comments both before the publication of the paper and subsequent to the editor’s resignation indicate that he thinks that he is being persecuted by (unnamed) ‘IPCC Gatekeepers’ who are conspiring to suppress his results – he even insists that this was “one damn fine and convincing paper“. As well as straining credulity to the maximum, I find this both unfortunate and curious. It is unfortunate because this attitude makes it almost impossible for him to take on board constructive criticism, and given that none of us are perfect, there are many times when doing so is essential. It is also curious because there is no evidence of any grand conspiracy, just people disagreeing with and criticising his conclusions (which as a scientist, you really just have to get used to!). It was S&B’s desire to avoid dealing with that, that likely led them to a non-standard journal, whose editor very likely followed the authors suggestions for (friendly) reviewers, whose resulting reviews didn’t do very much (if anything) to strengthen the paper.


Reactions to this turn of events have been decidedly mixed (though falling along existing lines for the most part). A few people have (I think correctly) noted that the paper itself was of ‘minor consequence’ and does not explicitly claim anything much other than correlation analysis over a short time period isn’t going to constrain climate sensitivity, and that at first glance, there was a mismatch between models and observations in a particular calculation. The first claim is actually uncontroversial (despite what Spencer would have you believe), and the second turns out to be less interesting than it first seems (see Trenberth and Fasullo’s RC post). However, the media and blogospheric interest in the paper had very little to do with the actual paper, rather it was provoked by the over-exaggerated press release from UAH and the truly absurd piece in Forbes by the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor.

Roger Pielke Sr. has accused Wagner of ‘politicizing’ the situation by resigning, but this is completely backwards. The politicisation of the situation came almost entirely from Spencer and Taylor, and Wagner’s resignation is a recognition that he should have done a better job to prevent that. Statements from Ross McKitrick that Wagner is a “grovelling, terrified coward” for his action are completely beyond the pale (as well as being untrue, possibly libelous, and were stated with no evidence whatsoever).

The question has also arisen why the paper itself has not been retracted (and indeed will not be). However, that would be a really big step. I can only think of two climate science related papers that have been retracted in recent years – one was for plagiarism (among other problems: Said et al, 2008) and the other was because of a numerical calculation error that fatally undermined the reported results. There are of course many, many more papers that are wrong, mistaken and/or ‘bad’ (in the sense defined above) and yet very few retractions occur. I think (rightly) that people feel that the best way to deal with these papers is within the literature itself, and in this case it is happening this week in GRL (Dessler, 2011), and in Remote Sensing in a few months. That’s the way it should be, and neither resignations nor retractions are likely to become more dominant – despite the amount of popcorn being passed around.
Old 09-07-11, 05:59 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Dessler11 getting criticism.

Spencer:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/...er-2011-study/

Spencer mentions the D11 introduction:

The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback… …In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011] and Spencer and Braswell [2011] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”
I was immediately struck by this as were many others. S&B (and L&C) never said clouds are only a cause but they are both an effect and a cause.

I thought of the very simple analogy of a billiards table. If the cue ball hits the eight ball and the eight ball hits the nine ball, the eight ball is first an effect and then a cause. In a particular case, if the eight ball weren't there and the cue ball was struck exactly the same, the nine ball would not be hit. Isn't the eight ball in this case acting as both an effect and a cause?

In fact, isn't that the very definition of "feedback"? Something is acted upon by a forcing (say, just as a wild example, a warming). That "effect" responds by either magnifying the original effect (positive feedback) or dampening it (negative feedback). Is not that entity both an effect and a cause? Since both alarmists and skeptics believe it is one or the other, aren't both of them acknowledging that clouds are both an effect and a cause?

Maybe I'm missing something but this seems like a completely ridiculous charge by Dessler.

Of course, Spencer says a lot more and he plans on submitting a rebuttal article to D11.

Others:

http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/06/t...enberths-shoe/

McIntyre is always worth reading. He praises Dessler and Spencer for responding to his requests for data immediately, noting that Dessler is one of the few alarmists who does not try to hide his work (which my experience following this debate tells me is true).

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/an...t-reflect.html

http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/sp...well-part-iii/

Judith Curry doesn't much like S&B11 or D11 and says neither, and several others, are of particular scientific interest. She can't be saying this because climate sensitivity is not an important issue. It is. I think she may be saying it because none of the papers do a good job of addressing it. I must admit, I am starting to think that both sides may be nudging the cherry picking of model, data and statistical methods to nudge the debate their way. I am also liking JC more and more with each passing controversy. I'm not sure she's always right but I am sure she's always fair.

I am not going to climb on the bandwagon of (some of) the skeptics charging that D11 was published in record speed. I'm not sure if it is a record for Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) but it is known as a fast turnaround journal. Many examples of this are given in the blogs. I also happen to know that GRL has published many skeptical studies so it's not fair to call them biased.
Old 09-07-11, 06:54 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Spencer has responded:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/...tudy/#comments

He makes some fair points:

Spoiler:
The new paper contains a few statements which the reviewers should not have allowed to be published because they either completely misrepresent our position, or accuse us of cherry picking (which is easy to disprove).

Misrepresentation of Our Position

Quoting Dessler’s paper, from the Introduction:

“Introduction
The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback… …In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011] and Spencer and Braswell [2011] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”

But we have never claimed anything like “clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature”! We claim causation works in BOTH directions, not just one direction (feedback) as he claims. Dr. Dessler knows this very well, and I would like to know:

1) what he was trying to accomplish by such a blatant misrepresentation of our position, and

2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?


and

Spoiler:
Cherry picking of the Climate Models We Used for Comparison

This claim has been floating around the blogosphere ever since our paper was published. To quote Dessler:

“SB11 analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. “

How is picking the 3 most sensitive models AND the 3 least sensitive models going to “provide maximum support for (our) hypothesis”? If I had picked ONLY the 3 most sensitive, or ONLY the 3 least sensitive, that might be cherry picking…depending upon what was being demonstrated.

And where is the evidence those 6 models produce the best support for our hypothesis? I would have had to run hundreds of combinations of the 14 models to accomplish that. Is that what Dr. Dessler is accusing us of?

Instead, the point of using the 3 most sensitive and 3 least sensitive models was to emphasize that not only are the most sensitive climate models inconsistent with the observations, so are the least sensitive models.


One issue they both have is refusing to agree on data sets. They both use what they call "best" and neither agrees on the other's choices. Dessler prefers larger, more accurate data, but it does not exactly address what Spencer is trying to study. Spencer appears to cherry-pick more, but in his defense, he feels that those sets perfectly address the precise measure he is trying to observe. Dessler uses monthly data, Spencer wants three-month averages. Dessler feels using top and bottom three data sets he's being fair because if he measurements hold for all six of those, they should also be true for the less extreme set, meanwhile Dessler insists on using all available data to get better accuracy (personally, I go for all data and let science dictate the truth, but if Spencer has to think ahead about "defending himself" after he publishes anything, doing so his way might make sense...) Or, Spencer is trying to show that by using numbers that fluctuate so much, he is trying to suggest that there is no good predictors of sensitivity.

Basically, apples and oranges.

What I don't like about Spencer's retort is picking on Dessler's math, but when someone questions him on his own, he evades and gets defensive (apparently someone from Anti-Climate Change Extremism in Utah always on his back). The debate continues...
Old 09-07-11, 07:07 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

"I must admit, I am starting to think that both sides may be nudging the cherry picking of model, data and statistical methods to nudge the debate their way." Agree 100%. I think a lot is just stubborn refusal to speak the other's language.

"I am not going to climb on the bandwagon of (some of) the skeptics charging that D11 was published in record speed. I'm not sure if it is a record for Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) but it is known as a fast turnaround journal. Many examples of this are given in the blogs. I also happen to know that GRL has published many skeptical studies so it's not fair to call them biased." I thought it was fast... until I saw the size of it. I think most any post in this thread has a higher word count. It was not a hard thing to review. Besides, the journal is about making money. They want the rebuttal to push their IF numbers and improve circulation... I suspect any rush put on it was on their side.

I thought Dessler was fair in his science (that I could judge), but you can tell him contempt for Spencer was just bubbling under the surface. He had a few unnecessary barbs in there that I didn't think was appropriate in a journal. As my Jefferson quote suggests, sometime mockery is fine; I think Spencer is more wrong than right in this case, but his study was far from unintelligible and did not deserve the pot-shots.
Old 09-08-11, 08:59 AM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Background (which has been posted here before):

There were two scientists working at the University of Virginia (UVA), a public university. Neither does any more. One was a CAGW skeptic (Patrick Michaels) and one a CAGW alarmist (Michael Mann). Greenpeace filed a FOIA request to get Michaels' emails. UVA had no problem with that and lickety split, they said "OK, we'll get them to you yesterday. And how high do you want us to jump?" The attorney general of VA tried to get Mann's under a VA law and UVA spent upwards of $500,000 (admittedly, and that was earlier in the case) to try to block that request. Noting the AG's problems, The American Tradition Institute (ATI) filed a FOIA request which has an easier road. UVA also resisted that request (presumably spending more dollars) but the FOIA request was harder to fight and they finally had to relent and agreed to release almost everything to ATI (at some cost to ATI) but it has been dribbled out over months with the most innocuous stuff coming first. Now the stuff that may be more revealing is supposed to be coming. How much ATI will be allowed to release to the public is still in question.

Meanwhile, after UVA resisted releasing the Mann emails, Greenpeace had decided not to receive Michaels' material, no doubt because of the attention that has been paid to UVA's double standard in the way the two requests have been handled. Also, Michaels has never objected one iota to the release of his emails, suggesting he has nothing to worry about or hide and Greenpeace will get nothing "on" Michaels from the material anyway. Nevertheless, Greenpeace can still get these files at any time they choose.

Well, now that the possibly more sensitive Mann materials are about to be released to ATI, Mann has decided to try to intervene himself in this dispute which is arguably between UVA and ATI and not him (because UVA is a public, government owned university and those who choose to work at such a place know that much of what they do is subject to open records laws).

http://www.atinstitute.org/%E2%80%98...o-exoneration/

‘Hockey Stick’ Creator Michael Mann Seeks Court’s Help to Ensure No Inquiry, No ‘Exoneration’
September 6th, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Contact: Paul Chesser, Executive Director, [email protected]

Dr. Michael Mann, lead author of the discredited “hockey stick” graph that was once hailed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the “smoking gun” of the catastrophic man-made global warming theory, has asked to intervene in American Tradition Institute’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks certain records produced by Mann and others while he was at the University of Virginia, for the purpose of keeping them hidden from the taxpayer.

Specifically over the weekend ATI’s Environmental Law Center received service from two Pennsylvania attorneys who seek the court’s permission to argue for Dr. Mann to intervene in ATI’s case. The attorneys also filed a motion to stay production of documents still withheld by UVA, which are to be provided to ATI’s lawyers in roughly two weeks under a protective order that UVA voluntarily agreed to in May. Dr. Mann’s lawyers also desire a hearing in mid-September, in an effort to further delay UVA’s scheduled production of records under the order.

Dr. Mann’s argument, distilled, is that the court must bend the rules to allow him to block implementation of a transparency law, so as to shield his sensibilities from offense once the taxpayer – on whose dime he subsists – sees the methods he employed to advance the global warming theory and related policies. ATI’s Environmental Law Center is not sympathetic.

“Dr. Mann’s late-hour tactics offer the spectacle of someone who relies on the media’s repeats of his untrue claims of having been ‘investigated’ and ‘exonerated’ – that is, when he’s not sputtering ad hominem and conspiracy theories to change the subject,” said Christopher Horner, director of litigation for ATI’s Environmental Law Center. “Mann has tried whatever means possible to ensure he remains free of any serious scrutiny, and this just appears to be his last gasp.”

Dr. Mann’s move is therefore gratifying, and ATI will agree to his out-of-state lawyers’ motion to appear. But ATI will ask the court to uphold Virginia’s abundantly clear law, that Dr. Mann has no interest in records that are purely the property of the taxpayer.

ATI will present to the court how Dr. Mann understood, as an unambiguous and agreed-upon condition of his employment, that he had no expectation of privacy when he used UVA’s public email system. ATI therefore looks forward to seeing if, given the opportunity, UVA will defend the idea that any of its own policies be upheld in court. Since Dr. Mann has no property interest in the taxpayer-owned records sought by ATI, he has no standing and therefore should not be entered in the case. Dr. Mann wants, after the fact, for UVA to throw out policies he accepted as a condition of living off of taxpayer dollars, in order to cover up public information and to evade scrutiny.

To the extent Dr. Mann, the university, or their obstructionist backers like Union of Concerned Scientists continue to argue he has been “cleared” or “exonerated,” or that any substantive investigation has taken place, those pleadings are undermined by their persistent efforts to squelch inquiry. As a result, all the public sees is an effort to sweep Climategate revelations under the rug in order to preserve the biggest taxpayer-financed gravy train for science and academia in decades. Hence we see the Rasmussen Reports poll last month that showed a strong majority of the public believes scientists who study climate change have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs.

“Virginia’s courts do not brook conspiracy theories as the basis for intervention in run-of-the-mill Freedom of Information Act litigation,” said Dr. David Schnare, director of ATI’s Environmental Law Center. “Dr. Mann – having failed to prevail in the court of public opinion – cannot now strut into court, soap box in hand, and expect a warm welcome.”
Now, a poster here will undoubtedly complain about the tone and rhetoric of the above press release (but such are press releases). But that is not the point. It is interesting that ATI will not object to Mann's and his attorneys' request to appear and will allow that, but of course fight to have Mann's request to intervene rejected. They seem confident the court will rule that Mann has no standing.

Although the alarmist/skeptic battles are rife with bias, double standards and hypocrisy, this is all that in one obvious, undeniable bundle.
Old 09-08-11, 04:35 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Yeah, that press release was pretty awful. I think the matter can be interpreted as something else when a few facts and larger back-story are tossed into the mix.

You have to go back to 2010 when Republican Global Warming skeptic Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia, started his investigation into Mann. He attempted to get Mann on a 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act violation. This request had no evidence provided and had to use a really broad interpretation of the law to continue, but continue it did. Now U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Penn State did their own investigation into Mann and he was cleared. The American Association of University Professors, United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Civil Liberties Union, the AAUP, University of Virginia Faculty Senate Executive Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists came out to defend Mann and call Cuccinelli out on using his position to harass Mann (funny, the press release goes on and on about tax payer money yet neglects to mention that tax payer money also went into these baseless investigations).

Judge Paul Peatross Jr. stated “The nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute,” and ruled that "Cuccinelli and his staff failed to demonstrate that an investigation was warranted, ruling that The nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute... The Court…understands the controversy regarding Dr. Mann’s work on the issue of global warming. However, it is not clear what he did that was misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia" and Cuccinelli was shot down.

Defeated, Cuccinelli claimed he'd easily fix the flaws in his request and resubmit; it has since been revised down to 1 of the 5 grants and that is still on-going. So then went for the Freedom of Information Act request you mentioned now. I do not blame Mann for hard-balling Cuccinelli as he feels the guy is basically harassing him. And, the university agrees, which is why they are paying for his defense, they stated that the request was "an inappropriate way to engage with the process of scientific inquiry" which "directly threatens academic freedom by sending a chilling message to scientists engaged in basic research involving Earth's climate and indeed to scholars in any discipline." So the University has no issue with footing the bill.

If the core issue is the double standard of some requests being fought over and some allowed to sail through, then there you have a point. And welcome to litigation against someone you have made an enemy of! I read state and federal court cases daily. If you think that the Attorney General of Virginia is shocked by this then I have a bridge to sell you. Are you aware of how many "plea bargain" cases he ultimately oversees daily? Do you know what happens to a defendant who does not agree to a plea? He gets nailed with everything and anything they can come up with, maximum sentencing is pushed for, and every request an defending attorney makes is denied in principal. The defendant has an uphill battle against a lot of red tape... I guess Cuccinelli now does too.

This will not be the last time either party pulls a move like this... trust me.

The Washington Post calls the request this:

Going after Mr. Mann only discourages the sort of scientific inquiry that, over time, sorts out fact from speculation, good science from bad. Academics must feel comfortable sharing research, disagreeing with colleagues and proposing conclusions -- not all of which will be correct -- without fear that those who dislike their findings will conduct invasive fishing expeditions in search of a pretext to discredit them. That give-and-take should be unhindered by how popular a professor's ideas are or whose ideological convictions might be hurt.

American Association for the Advancement of Science :
Spoiler:

Reports of personal attacks on climate scientists, including harassment, legal challenges, and even death threats, have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and makes it difficult for factual information to reach policymakers and the public, the AAAS Board of Directors said in a statement of concern.

“AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions,” the Board said in the statement, which was approved on 28 June.

Scientific progress depends on transparency, the Board said, but “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.”

The Board added: “Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But the scientific community has proven and well-established methods for resolving disagreements about research results.” It uses a self-correcting system in which research results are shared and critically evaluated by peers, and experiments are repeated when necessary.

Leading U.S. scientists have complained about threatening communications and abusive e-mails as a result of their research on the climate impact of heat-trapping gases from human activity. In Australia, top climate scientists have been targeted by an unrelenting e-mail campaign that has resulted in police investigation of death threats, according to recent media reports.

Lawmakers and activist groups also have sought detailed disclosure of records from climate researchers. The American Tradition Institute (ATI) has asked the University of Virginia to turn over thousands of e-mails and documents written by Michael E. Mann, a former U-Va. professor and a prominent climate scientist. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a climate change skeptic, demanded many of the same documents last year in an effort to determine if Mann had somehow defrauded taxpayers in obtaining research grants. ATI also has sued NASA to disclose records detailing climate scientist James Hansen’s compliance with federal ethics and disclosure rules.

“While we fully understand that policymakers must integrate the best available scientific data with other factors when developing policies, we think it would be unfortunate if policymakers became the arbiters of scientific information and circumvented the peer-review process,” the AAAS Board says. “Moreover, we are concerned that establishing a practice of aggressive inquiry into the professional histories of scientists whose findings may bear on policy in ways that some find unpalatable could well have a chilling effect on the willingness of scientists to conduct research that intersects with policy-relevant scientific questions.”


Painting the picture as American Tradition Institute did in that press release is the reason I don't trust press releases.
Old 09-08-11, 04:54 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

It looks like when you put things in perspective, more then a few conspiracy theory tend to fall apart. The one talked about here was the dreaded "journal fast-track" of Mann's work that clearly indicates conspiracy (if you are already looking really hard for one without bothering to checks facts related to other studies, even studies belonging to other skeptics). In short: date ranges vary.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Cons...r2011-GRL.html
Spoiler:

Conspiracy Dog-whistling about GRL and the New Dessler Paper

The new "in press" paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) from Andrew Dessler (SkS coverage here and here) has been the subject of many skeptical blogs in the last few days. Why? Has a major issue been exposed? Have they put on their skeptical hats and used their minds to take a serious look at the Spencer/Lindzen papers that Dessler finds to be flawed? Not really (but attempted and already criticized). It's a bit early for any substantive criticism, so for now, assumptions, speculation, and conspiracy fill that void. According to some, the problem is that the paper was written, reviewed, and accepted too fast! So instead of light bulbs, we get conspiratorial alarm bells. Let's look at the quotes.

First, from the usual places, Anthony Watts says:

"This paper appears to have been made ready in record time, with a turnaround from submission to acceptance and publication of about six weeks based on the July 26th publication date of the original Spencer and Braswell paper. We should all be so lucky to have expedited peer review service. PeerEx maybe, something like FedEx?"


Mr. McIntyre:

"It does seem to me that it’s been an awful lot easier for Dessler to publish this comment than it is to publish criticisms of Team articles."


And somewhat surprisingly, Roger Pielke Sr. jumps into the fray:

"[T]he paper was received 11 August 2011 and accepted 29 August 2011. This is some type of record in my experiences as editor, and indicates that the paper was fast tracked. This is certainly unusual"


Roy Spencer himself chimes in with his own take on the GRL process:

"At this point, it looks quite likely we will be responding to it with our own journal submission… although I doubt we will get the fast-track, red carpet treatment he got."


And

"I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that."

But is this unusual? Fortunately, GRL publishes the received and accepted dates (as do most publications), so we can use our own skeptical minds to find out. So, for the papers accepted within a few days of Dessler 2011 -- the average turnaround time from receipt to acceptance: about 28 days. How many days for Dessler's? 18 days. But was Dessler the fastest, even within the last few days? It turns out Dessler ties Peter Martin Grindrod and Stephen Fawcett at 18 days for their breathlessly awaited paper, "Possible climate-related signals in high-resolution topography of lobate debris aprons in Tempe Terra, Mars"

As for the rest of the papers on the 'Papers in Press' page (as of 9/5/11), one paper had a turnaround time of 9 days, another as high as 70. The issue even had some real outliers like 2 days and 120 days. So perhaps Dr. Pielke or Anthony Watts can indicate to GRL an acceptable turnaround time, as to protect themselves from insinuations of changing their editorial process to "fast track" select individual papers?

As a comparison, perhaps they can use another paper that came out in 2009. This paper called into question decades of established science about the range of climate sensitivity, critical of Charney from the 70's, Plass from the 50's, and Arrhenius too, from the late 1800's. The author of that paper: Richard Lindzen. How long did it take for Lindzen to get a paper of such monumental import through GRL review and get a response? 28 days. Six more for acceptance after a revision, and published a month later.

For others, I can't speculate as to the difficulty of getting published in a timely manner without a specific paper, journal, or situation to discuss. But, one reason that skeptical papers may take longer getting through peer review is that they often challenge work that has been established and validated against measurements and analysis for many decades.

So was Dessler 2011 fast-tracked because it is a "Team" publication of established science? Looking at the numbers, this appears like the least likely explanation and nothing more than a political dog-whistle, or a call to those "skeptics" most willing to believe the vast conspiracies revolving around establishment climate science. Perhaps since Dessler was already well aware of Spencer's and Lindzen's arguments, he was rather more than prepared to write up the rebuttal soon after the release of Spencer's paper in Remote Sensing. Or, as Texas State climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon puts it to Roger Pielke Sr.:

"It didn’t take my colleague Andrew Dessler long to work out a demonstration that Spencer’s new paper is wrong."


In short, there is no evidence to the claim that GRL "fast tracked" this paper due to preferential treatment over other papers, even within the same acceptance window of a few days. Quite the contrary. So perhaps the "skeptics" should follow Dessler's example and examine the scientific content of the paper, rather than weaving conspiracy theories around the fact that it got published in a timely manner.
Old 09-08-11, 05:22 PM
  #292  
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Yeah, that press release was pretty awful. I think the matter can be interpreted as something else when a few facts and larger back-story are tossed into the mix.

You have to go back to 2010 when Republican Global Warming skeptic Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia, started his investigation into Mann. He attempted to get Mann on a 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act violation. This request had no evidence provided and had to use a really broad interpretation of the law to continue, but continue it did. Now U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Penn State did their own investigation into Mann and he was cleared. The American Association of University Professors, United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Civil Liberties Union, the AAUP, University of Virginia Faculty Senate Executive Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists came out to defend Mann and call Cuccinelli out on using his position to harass Mann (funny, the press release goes on and on about tax payer money yet neglects to mention that tax payer money also went into these baseless investigations).

Judge Paul Peatross Jr. stated “The nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute,” and ruled that "Cuccinelli and his staff failed to demonstrate that an investigation was warranted, ruling that The nature of the conduct is not stated so that any reasonable person could glean what Dr. Mann did to violate the statute... The Court…understands the controversy regarding Dr. Mann’s work on the issue of global warming. However, it is not clear what he did that was misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia" and Cuccinelli was shot down.

Defeated, Cuccinelli claimed he'd easily fix the flaws in his request and resubmit; it has since been revised down to 1 of the 5 grants and that is still on-going. So then went for the Freedom of Information Act request you mentioned now. I do not blame Mann for hard-balling Cuccinelli as he feels the guy is basically harassing him. And, the university agrees, which is why they are paying for his defense, they stated that the request was "an inappropriate way to engage with the process of scientific inquiry" which "directly threatens academic freedom by sending a chilling message to scientists engaged in basic research involving Earth's climate and indeed to scholars in any discipline." So the University has no issue with footing the bill.

If the core issue is the double standard of some requests being fought over and some allowed to sail through, then there you have a point. And welcome to litigation against someone you have made an enemy of! I read state and federal court cases daily. If you think that the Attorney General of Virginia is shocked by this then I have a bridge to sell you. Are you aware of how many "plea bargain" cases he ultimately oversees daily? Do you know what happens to a defendant who does not agree to a plea? He gets nailed with everything and anything they can come up with, maximum sentencing is pushed for, and every request an defending attorney makes is denied in principal. The defendant has an uphill battle against a lot of red tape... I guess Cuccinelli now does too.

This will not be the last time either party pulls a move like this... trust me.

The Washington Post calls the request this:

Going after Mr. Mann only discourages the sort of scientific inquiry that, over time, sorts out fact from speculation, good science from bad. Academics must feel comfortable sharing research, disagreeing with colleagues and proposing conclusions -- not all of which will be correct -- without fear that those who dislike their findings will conduct invasive fishing expeditions in search of a pretext to discredit them. That give-and-take should be unhindered by how popular a professor's ideas are or whose ideological convictions might be hurt.

American Association for the Advancement of Science :
Spoiler:

Reports of personal attacks on climate scientists, including harassment, legal challenges, and even death threats, have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and makes it difficult for factual information to reach policymakers and the public, the AAAS Board of Directors said in a statement of concern.

“AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions,” the Board said in the statement, which was approved on 28 June.

Scientific progress depends on transparency, the Board said, but “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.”

The Board added: “Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But the scientific community has proven and well-established methods for resolving disagreements about research results.” It uses a self-correcting system in which research results are shared and critically evaluated by peers, and experiments are repeated when necessary.

Leading U.S. scientists have complained about threatening communications and abusive e-mails as a result of their research on the climate impact of heat-trapping gases from human activity. In Australia, top climate scientists have been targeted by an unrelenting e-mail campaign that has resulted in police investigation of death threats, according to recent media reports.

Lawmakers and activist groups also have sought detailed disclosure of records from climate researchers. The American Tradition Institute (ATI) has asked the University of Virginia to turn over thousands of e-mails and documents written by Michael E. Mann, a former U-Va. professor and a prominent climate scientist. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a climate change skeptic, demanded many of the same documents last year in an effort to determine if Mann had somehow defrauded taxpayers in obtaining research grants. ATI also has sued NASA to disclose records detailing climate scientist James Hansen’s compliance with federal ethics and disclosure rules.

“While we fully understand that policymakers must integrate the best available scientific data with other factors when developing policies, we think it would be unfortunate if policymakers became the arbiters of scientific information and circumvented the peer-review process,” the AAAS Board says. “Moreover, we are concerned that establishing a practice of aggressive inquiry into the professional histories of scientists whose findings may bear on policy in ways that some find unpalatable could well have a chilling effect on the willingness of scientists to conduct research that intersects with policy-relevant scientific questions.”


Painting the picture as American Tradition Institute did in that press release is the reason I don't trust press releases.
Yes, there is a difference between Cuccinelli's requests and the FOIA request of ATI. Everyone said the FOIA request would have a much easier time. After fighting, UVA did agree to release a huge amount of the emails, parceling them out as I said. Mann now wants to intervene himself and ATI is not going to try to stop him from trying. In fact, they appear to welcome it. They just think he doesn't have standing and will lose on that point.

All the posturing and rhetoric on both sides means nothing legally and that includes all charges of "harassment" and "death threats" by the alarmists. Skeptics have been plenty harassed and have received death threats also. But asking for records subject to the FOIA is not harassment.

And yes, the clear double standard is or should be an issue. This happens very often in the climate science area.
Old 09-08-11, 05:33 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
It looks like when you put things in perspective, more then a few conspiracy theory tend to fall apart. The one talked about here was the dreaded "journal fast-track" of Mann's work that clearly indicates conspiracy (if you are already looking really hard for one without bothering to checks facts related to other studies, even studies belonging to other skeptics). In short: date ranges vary.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Cons...r2011-GRL.html
Spoiler:

Conspiracy Dog-whistling about GRL and the New Dessler Paper

The new "in press" paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) from Andrew Dessler (SkS coverage here and here) has been the subject of many skeptical blogs in the last few days. Why? Has a major issue been exposed? Have they put on their skeptical hats and used their minds to take a serious look at the Spencer/Lindzen papers that Dessler finds to be flawed? Not really (but attempted and already criticized). It's a bit early for any substantive criticism, so for now, assumptions, speculation, and conspiracy fill that void. According to some, the problem is that the paper was written, reviewed, and accepted too fast! So instead of light bulbs, we get conspiratorial alarm bells. Let's look at the quotes.

First, from the usual places, Anthony Watts says:

"This paper appears to have been made ready in record time, with a turnaround from submission to acceptance and publication of about six weeks based on the July 26th publication date of the original Spencer and Braswell paper. We should all be so lucky to have expedited peer review service. PeerEx maybe, something like FedEx?"


Mr. McIntyre:

"It does seem to me that it’s been an awful lot easier for Dessler to publish this comment than it is to publish criticisms of Team articles."


And somewhat surprisingly, Roger Pielke Sr. jumps into the fray:

"[T]he paper was received 11 August 2011 and accepted 29 August 2011. This is some type of record in my experiences as editor, and indicates that the paper was fast tracked. This is certainly unusual"


Roy Spencer himself chimes in with his own take on the GRL process:

"At this point, it looks quite likely we will be responding to it with our own journal submission… although I doubt we will get the fast-track, red carpet treatment he got."


And

"I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that."

But is this unusual? Fortunately, GRL publishes the received and accepted dates (as do most publications), so we can use our own skeptical minds to find out. So, for the papers accepted within a few days of Dessler 2011 -- the average turnaround time from receipt to acceptance: about 28 days. How many days for Dessler's? 18 days. But was Dessler the fastest, even within the last few days? It turns out Dessler ties Peter Martin Grindrod and Stephen Fawcett at 18 days for their breathlessly awaited paper, "Possible climate-related signals in high-resolution topography of lobate debris aprons in Tempe Terra, Mars"

As for the rest of the papers on the 'Papers in Press' page (as of 9/5/11), one paper had a turnaround time of 9 days, another as high as 70. The issue even had some real outliers like 2 days and 120 days. So perhaps Dr. Pielke or Anthony Watts can indicate to GRL an acceptable turnaround time, as to protect themselves from insinuations of changing their editorial process to "fast track" select individual papers?

As a comparison, perhaps they can use another paper that came out in 2009. This paper called into question decades of established science about the range of climate sensitivity, critical of Charney from the 70's, Plass from the 50's, and Arrhenius too, from the late 1800's. The author of that paper: Richard Lindzen. How long did it take for Lindzen to get a paper of such monumental import through GRL review and get a response? 28 days. Six more for acceptance after a revision, and published a month later.

For others, I can't speculate as to the difficulty of getting published in a timely manner without a specific paper, journal, or situation to discuss. But, one reason that skeptical papers may take longer getting through peer review is that they often challenge work that has been established and validated against measurements and analysis for many decades.

So was Dessler 2011 fast-tracked because it is a "Team" publication of established science? Looking at the numbers, this appears like the least likely explanation and nothing more than a political dog-whistle, or a call to those "skeptics" most willing to believe the vast conspiracies revolving around establishment climate science. Perhaps since Dessler was already well aware of Spencer's and Lindzen's arguments, he was rather more than prepared to write up the rebuttal soon after the release of Spencer's paper in Remote Sensing. Or, as Texas State climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon puts it to Roger Pielke Sr.:

"It didn’t take my colleague Andrew Dessler long to work out a demonstration that Spencer’s new paper is wrong."


In short, there is no evidence to the claim that GRL "fast tracked" this paper due to preferential treatment over other papers, even within the same acceptance window of a few days. Quite the contrary. So perhaps the "skeptics" should follow Dessler's example and examine the scientific content of the paper, rather than weaving conspiracy theories around the fact that it got published in a timely manner.
As I said, I have no problem with GRL. They are fast track with everyone and, from everything I can see, they are one of the fairest journals out there. I have long noticed all the skeptical papers they publish. In fact, my very first thought upon seeing D11 was published in GRL was, Hmm, they publish a lot of skeptical papers. Spencer said he wants to answer in GRL and I would be shocked if they did not accommodate him.

I had not been aware of their fast turnaround time but a little research by people uncovered that very fast and should have been done before making it an issue.

I do have some understanding of the skeptical response. They have been treated unfairly and with double standards many times. But one has to make sure the charges are true in a specific case before making them. Frankly, I am surprised so many of them did not seem aware of all the skeptical studies GRL has published. I remember seeing it many times and I wonder why they didn't.

Last edited by movielib; 09-08-11 at 06:07 PM.
Old 09-08-11, 06:24 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

You must not spend much time reading the comment sections of mainstream articles implying dangers of climate change. I think your notion of civility and reason among skeptics would be challenged. I also suggest not clicking on the following links:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-death-threats

Spoiler:
A number of Australia's leading climate scientists have been moved into safer accommodation after receiving death threats, in a further escalation of the country's increasingly febrile carbon price debate.

The revelation of the death threats follows a week of bitter exchanges between the government and the opposition in the wake of a pro-carbon price TV advert featuring actor Cate Blanchett.

The Australia National University (ANU) in Canberra said that it has moved a number of its climate scientists to a secure facility after they received a large number of threatening emails and phone calls.

Ian Young, ANU's vice-chancellor, told ABC national radio that the threats had worsened in recent weeks.

"Obviously climate research is an emotive issue at the present time," he said.

"These are issues where we should have a logical public debate and it's completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this.

"I think it is totally outrageous and the vast majority of Australians would think it is totally unacceptable for anybody in society to be subjected to this sort of behaviour."

Young said that scientists had been threatened with assault if they were identified in the street. Among those targeted is Prof Will Steffen, ANU's climate institute director.

Steffen is the co-author of a high-profile Climate Commission report that was published two weeks ago. The report calls for urgent action to avoid sea level rises of a metre or more over the course of the next century.

The death threats have not been confined to the ANU, with universities in New South Wales and Queensland also tightening security for more than 30 ecology, environmental policy and meteorology researchers, according to The Canberra Times.

Several scientists have reportedly switched to unlisted home phone numbers and deleted social media profiles that have been defaced by abuse and obscene images.

The Australian Federal police said that it was aware of the threats but had yet to receive a complaint.

Prof David Koroly, of the University of Melbourne's school of Earth science, told the ABC that he receives threats whenever he is interviewed by the media.

"It is clear that there is a campaign in terms of either organised or disorganised threats to discourage scientists from presenting the best available climate science on television or radio," he said.

There has been renewed focus on the science of climate change since Blanchett appeared in an advert supporting the proposed carbon price, which is set to be introduced on 1 July next year.

Blanchett, who was dubbed "Carbon Cate", for her stance, was attacked by several media outlets. The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, joined the criticism by claiming that the prime minister, Julia Gillard, was "happy to listen to actors, but she won't listen to voters."

Recent polling shows that just 38% of Australians favour a price on carbon.

However, Saturday saw a series of public rallies in support of the scheme, with around 8,000 attending a gathering in Sydney and an estimated 10,000 crowd in Melbourne. Smaller rallies were held in Brisbane and Perth.

According to Treasury modelling to be unveiled by the treasurer, Wayne Swan, on Tuesday, carbon pricing will have only a small impact on incomes. "Our economy will continue to grow solidly while making deep cuts in carbon pollution," Swan will say, according to excerpts of his speech obtained by Reuters. "The modelling will show real national income growing strongly under a carbon price, at an average annual rate per person of around 1.1% until 2050."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...il-climategate

Spoiler:
Climate scientists in the US say police inaction has left them defenceless in the face of a torrent of death threats and hate mail, leaving them fearing for their lives and one to contemplate arming himself with a handgun.

The scientists say the threats have increased since the furore over leaked emails from the University of East Anglia began last November, and a sample of the hate mail sent in recent months and seen by the Guardian reveals the scale and vitriolic tone of the abuse.

The scientists revealed they have been told to "go gargle razor blades" and have been described as "Nazi climate murderers". Some emails have been sent to them without any attempt by the sender to disguise their identity. Even though the scientists have received advice from the FBI, the local police say they are not able to act due to the near-total tolerance of "freedom of speech" in the US.

The problem appears less severe in the UK but, Professor Phil Jones, the UEA scientist at the centre of the hacked email controversy, revealed in February he had been receiving two death threats a week and had contemplated suicide. "People said I should go and kill myself," he said. "They said that they knew where I lived. They were coming from all over the world." The third and final independent review into the issues raised by the hacked UEA emails is due to be published on Wednesday when Sir Muir Russell presents his panel's conclusions.

Professor Stephen Schneider, a climatologist based at Stanford University in California, whose name features in the UEA emails, says he has received "hundreds" of violently abusive emails since last November. The peak came in December during the Copenhagen climate change summit, he said, but the number has picked up again in recent days since he co-authored a scientific paper last month which showed that 97%-98% of climate scientists agree that mankind's carbon emissions are causing global temperatures to increase.

Schneider described his attackers as "cowards" and said he had observed an "immediate, noticeable rise" in emails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing US commentators, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

"[The senders] are not courageous people," said Schneider. "Where are they getting their information from? They just listen to assertions made on blogs and rightwing talkshows. It's pathetic."

Schneider said the FBI had taken an interest earlier this year when his name appeared on a "death list" on a neo-Nazi website alongside other climate scientists with apparent Jewish ancestry. But, to date, no action has been taken.

"The effect on me has been tremendous," said Schneider. "Some of these people are mentally imbalanced. They are invariably gun-toting rightwingers. What do I do? Learn to shoot a Magnum? Wear a bullet-proof jacket? I have now had extra alarms fitted at my home and my address is unlisted. I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists."

Dr Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, said he has also been receiving similar emails since last November when a private email of his was released into the public domain in which he had said: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." Trenberth has gone on to repeatedly defend his email and explain its context, but says he has now sent a file of abusive emails totalling "19 pages of text at about 10pt font" to his university's security officials. He said the response of the US police had been "pathetic", but also blamed it on freedom-of-speech legislation.

Professor Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and leading proponent of the "Hockey Stick graph", said his experiences of hate mail were "eerily similar" to those described by Schneider. "I'm not comfortable talking about the details, especially as some of these matters remain under police investigation," he said. "What I can say is that the emails come in bursts, and do seem to be timed with high-profile attack pieces on talk radio and other fringe media outlets."

Last month, Mann told ABC News in the US that the following message was typical of the emails he has been receiving: "Six feet under with the roots is where you should be. I was hoping I would see the news that you'd committed suicide. Do it, freak." Another climate scientist, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had had a dead animal dumped on his doorstep and now travels with bodyguards.

Dr Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and co-author of the RealClimate website, said he had chosen to adopt a different strategy and now largely ignores the abusive emails he receives. "I learned a while ago that there is no way to prevent people who have no idea who you are, or what you think, or what you do, using your name to project their problems onto," he said. "Should I be offended and get annoyed, or should I just look upon my interlocutor with bemusement and pity?"

UK-based climatologists working outside of UEA report they have received far fewer abusive emails compared to their US counterparts. Dr Myles Allen, head of the climate dynamics group at University of Oxford's Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department, said he only tends to get such emails when he writes an article in the press and that they "tend to start off 'Dear Communists, know that you will fail.'"

"I suspect part of the reason people feel they have to attack climate scientists is that politicians and environmentalists have a tendency to hide behind the science," he said. "In the run-up to Copenhagen, we often heard the phrase 'the science dictates' - that we need a 40% cut in rich-country emissions by 2020, for example - when in fact only a very specific, and politically loaded, interpretation of the science implied any such thing. If people who claim to be on the side of the science use scientists as human shields, it is hardly surprising that the scientists end up getting shot at."

Dr Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office's Hadley Centre, said he had had "mercifully few" abusive emails or letters compared to scientists in the US. "I do get letters and emails accusing me of being wrong and stupid, but I have received few really abusive ones. I got one accusing me of being a communist, but so far at the Met Office at least we haven't been on the receiving end of the types of hate mail the US scientists have apparently been getting. Also in Australia, I hear."


http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50607

Spoiler:
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 9, 2010 (Tierramérica) - Climate change science has come under full-scale attack in a last-ditch effort to delay or prevent action by the U.S. government against global warming, experts warn.

U.S. Senator James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma and climate change denier, in late February released a list of leading climate scientists he wants prosecuted as criminals for misleading the government. Those scientists are receiving hate mail and death threats.

"I have hundreds" of threatening emails, Stephen Schneider, a climatologist at Stanford University in California, told Tierramérica.

He believes scientists will be killed over this. "I'm not going to let it worry me... but you know it's going to happen," said Schneider, one of the most respected climate scientists in the world. "They shoot abortion doctors here."

This backlash against the evidence of climate change and the scientists themselves is not just a U.S. phenomenon. It is happening in Canada, Australia, Britain, and, to a lesser extent, in other European countries.

On the surface, this campaign is about a few errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2,800-page report released in 2007 and some 10-year-old personal emails stolen from Britain's University of East Anglia.

But deeper down, this is the last big effort by the fossil fuel industry to delay action on fighting climate change, just as the tobacco industry successfully delayed understanding of the harmful effects of smoking for several decades, says Schneider.

"We're up against the multi-billion-dollar fossil fuel industry and the haters of government. They spin and spin and cast doubt on the credibility of science," he said.

The media are an accomplice in this, he said, because they have failed to put wild claims into context and continue to interview people like Inhofe and others who have no evidence or credibility on these issues.

"I'm pretty damn angry that media companies are putting profits ahead of truth. The media are deeply broken... That's a real threat to democracy," Schneider said.

There is no solid scientific dispute over the simple physics that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-effect gases warm the earth's atmosphere, and that emissions of these gases from human activities are largely responsible for the increased temperatures over recent decades.

There is also little debate over the observable reality that the Arctic ice is disappearing, glaciers are retreating, weather extremes are more frequent, and spring comes sooner.

At the end of 2009, documents obtained by Internet hackers from the archives of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia were released, and presumably revealed the manipulation of data in order to present climate change as a phenomenon caused by human activity.

The event caused a stir, and the researchers who were at the centre of the controversy said their email accounts had been subject to cyber attacks and that their contents had been presented out of context.

The IPCC, which in 2007 won the Nobel Peace prize alongside former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, did make some mistakes. Critics seized on an acknowledged error buried deep in one of the IPCC reports that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 or earlier.

This assertion was not based on evidence and was "an egregious error," said Schneider. The ensuing frenzy to find other errors in the IPCC's 4th Assessment Report turned up three trivial errors that in no way affect the report's findings.

However, IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri announced on Feb. 27 that the nations party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to set up an independent review.

"Meanwhile, we stand firmly behind the rigour and robustness of the 4th Assessment Report's conclusions," Pachauri said in a statement.

"The Report's key conclusions are based on an overwhelming body of evidence from thousands of peer-reviewed and independent scientific studies," he said.

Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at Canada's University of British Columbia and a lead author of the IPCC reports, said, "I think the review is a careful and measured response in light of all the rubbish out there."

The IPCC review will likely be conducted by the world's most senior scientists, appointed by the national academies of science in various countries. It will take many months to put a review panel together and conduct the review, Weaver told Tierramérica. "I don't know what more could be done to improve the process. It is incredibly rigorous," he said.

Few in the public, including those criticising the IPCC, have little idea how the organisation works. Based in Geneva, the IPCC was established in 1988 to "assess scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of climate change."

It has a decentralised structure, with few staff, and virtually all work is carried out by thousands of independent scientists and other experts from around the globe who volunteer their time and services.

Every four to five years, thousands of the peer-reviewed reports and studies on climate are collected, assessed, and synthesised so policy makers can understand the current state of climate science.

Governments that are part of the UNFCCC vote to accept each Assessment Report. Only if all countries agree are the findings and conclusions of the IPCC accepted. This process itself means the IPCC is slow-moving, cautious and conservative.

Until recently, nearly all criticism of the IPCC had been about its under-estimations of the risks of climate change and inability to keep up with the latest science.

But some powerful U.S. corporate lobbyists have been relentless in their attacks on the IPCC for at least 10 years. Oil industry giant Exxon has long funded such groups and even lobbied the George W. Bush administration (2001-2009) to push out the former head of the IPCC, World Bank climatologist Robert Watson.

The Bush administration complied and replaced Watson with economist Rajendra Pachauri - the man that the same lobbyist groups want to resign now.

"We're in a bizarre time, powered by greed and fear. The general public is more confused than ever," said Weaver. "And good scientists are saying to themselves, 'Why would I want to participate in the IPCC?"


Sadly, I think whatever is true on one side is likely true of the other. Both sides have their fair share of ugly supporters, crappy scientists, deep pockets and unethical politicians.

And I think the reason GRL is being attacked right now is because people are trying to sell the message to those like minded who question nothing. Check out: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/issue/ if you can stomach it. For every one article promoting good logic or real research there are ten that are basically just there to sell the message that big business and evil oil companies are destroying the world. Look on them turning on Obama and ripping him apart like jackals for not talking about climate change enough.

"Obama is a corporatist, if you just view him this way, all of his actions and decisions come clear. The Obama of the 2008 campaign does not exist and never did."

"Exactly, he is in the pocket of the corporate industrialist class. He has been from the beginning, one of the biggest election con jobs in American history."

"That is precisely the situation, and both Chomsky and Nader nailed Obama as a corporate stooge and accurately predicted his behaviour. Nader said on election night, as the conned ‘Hope Fiends’ capered, ‘Prepare to be disappointed’. What has surprised me is the intensity and extent of Obama’s betrayal."
Old 09-08-11, 07:51 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Of course I've seen those things. If you go through these threads you can find dozens of instances of skeptics being threatened (including reports of death threats), compared to Holocaust deniers, being charged with being among the worst criminals in history, that they should be jailed and on and on and on. Again, I don't think I should have to reproduce them all. But here are just a few: James Hansen: "If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.” Tell me that is does not call up a Holocaust picture of Jews being hauled to concentration camps in railroad cars. (See http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/20...26/holocausts/). Hansen stood by his words and wouldn't back off. In a Climategate email, alarmist scientist Ben Santer said: "Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted." (See http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHART...1255100876.txt). Alarmist blogger David Roberts: "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards—some sort of climate Nuremberg." (See http://reason.com/archives/2006/10/2...remberg-trials). There's the infamous 10/10 video which finds humor in blowing up "deniers," even if they are school children or a not enthusiastic enough Gillian Anderson. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8EUt...xVdsMdEPYljLWw) and the nonapology apology (See http://niklowe.blogspot.com/2010/10/...e-apology.html). That backfired big time, by the way.

I have no fantasy that there exists nothing but reason and civility and sunshine, rainbows and lollipops among the great mass of skeptics. I would, however, maintain that the skeptical scientists have behaved much better (not perfectly, of course) than alarmist scientists in general.
Old 09-08-11, 11:53 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by movielib View Post
Of course I've seen those things. If you go through these threads you can find dozens of instances of skeptics being threatened (including reports of death threats), compared to Holocaust deniers, being charged with being among the worst criminals in history, that they should be jailed and on and on and on. Again, I don't think I should have to reproduce them all. But here are just a few: James Hansen: "If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.” Tell me that is does not call up a Holocaust picture of Jews being hauled to concentration camps in railroad cars. (See http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/20...26/holocausts/). Hansen stood by his words and wouldn't back off. In a Climategate email, alarmist scientist Ben Santer said: "Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted." (See http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHART...1255100876.txt). Alarmist blogger David Roberts: "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards—some sort of climate Nuremberg." (See http://reason.com/archives/2006/10/2...remberg-trials). There's the infamous 10/10 video which finds humor in blowing up "deniers," even if they are school children or a not enthusiastic enough Gillian Anderson. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8EUt...xVdsMdEPYljLWw) and the nonapology apology (See http://niklowe.blogspot.com/2010/10/...e-apology.html). That backfired big time, by the way.

I have no fantasy that there exists nothing but reason and civility and sunshine, rainbows and lollipops among the great mass of skeptics. I would, however, maintain that the skeptical scientists have behaved much better (not perfectly, of course) than alarmist. scientists in general.
Yeah, it's one thing when one complains about some unnamed fringe whack jobs threatening them. I bet that occurs plenty on any given side of a controversial topic. It's a completely different animal when the whack jobs making threats are some of the scientific leaders, mainstream journalists, and politicians. Guess which side has more of those?
Old 09-09-11, 03:50 AM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
Yeah, it's one thing when one complains about some unnamed fringe whack jobs threatening them. I bet that occurs plenty on any given side of a controversial topic. It's a completely different animal when the whack jobs making threats are some of the scientific leaders, mainstream journalists, and politicians. Guess which side has more of those?
I don't know, which side? I found my evidence by Googling 5 words and only going back two pages worth of results. In the links provided, I saw one threat by a named scientist. I'm told there are more... just like I assume had I gone back 3 pages instead of 2, I would have likely gotten more links. Or, had I gone and clicked on any of the links in the pages I found, I suspect I would have found more. In those links, and in the links that Watts provides on his site, he basically shows mostly ugly hate ridden speech. The same stuff I see posted on mainstream science sites by skeptics.

Lubos Motl isn't shy about saying just about any vile thing that he can think up (nor does he refrain from harassing others).... does he represent the average climate scientist? No clue. But I'm betting once you get past a lot of the climate skeptic propaganda, or bothered to really look at the other side, you'd find that the two sides are pretty similar.
Old 09-09-11, 06:31 AM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
I don't know, which side? I found my evidence by Googling 5 words and only going back two pages worth of results. In the links provided, I saw one threat by a named scientist. I'm told there are more... just like I assume had I gone back 3 pages instead of 2, I would have likely gotten more links. Or, had I gone and clicked on any of the links in the pages I found, I suspect I would have found more. In those links, and in the links that Watts provides on his site, he basically shows mostly ugly hate ridden speech. The same stuff I see posted on mainstream science sites by skeptics.

Lubos Motl isn't shy about saying just about any vile thing that he can think up (nor does he refrain from harassing others).... does he represent the average climate scientist? No clue. But I'm betting once you get past a lot of the climate skeptic propaganda, or bothered to really look at the other side, you'd find that the two sides are pretty similar.
I can only think of one example of a scientist making an actual physical threat. I can think of many examples of James Hansen saying some pretty awful things about skeptical scientists (albeit not direct threats), but comparing skeptical scientists to nazis, war, criminals, and on and on. He is generally thought of as one of the leaders and main mouthpieces for the CAGW movement. Show me someone of equal stature or importance on the other side that has done anything close to what he has. Perhaps it's there, but not that I can recall.

By the way, I am now home (a bit poorer), but I finally am getting a chance to sift through the Spencer Drissler stuff...
Old 09-09-11, 01:52 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
I can only think of one example of a scientist making an actual physical threat. I can think of many examples of James Hansen saying some pretty awful things about skeptical scientists (albeit not direct threats), but comparing skeptical scientists to nazis, war, criminals, and on and on. He is generally thought of as one of the leaders and main mouthpieces for the CAGW movement. Show me someone of equal stature or importance on the other side that has done anything close to what he has. Perhaps it's there, but not that I can recall.

By the way, I am now home (a bit poorer), but I finally am getting a chance to sift through the Spencer Drissler stuff...
Do I need to? I mean he is one guy. I've seen the stuff he says, he's basically a good scientist who uses activist rhetoric. I don't care much for his politics... I don't see any real use to handcuffing yourself to buildings and getting arrested for civil disobedience, but see him as being no different than other out-spoken members of each side. And his apology and clarification was at least published, which is more than most offenders.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailin...ingOurEyes.pdf

I don't see much difference between him and Senator James Inhofe who said "It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie," Inhofe said.

"You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that's their strategy."


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/artic..._A1_Heatw72040

And that global warming was "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state."


http://prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=9236

I am not say mainstream scientists are any better or worse then skeptics, I'm merely stating that the skeptic position I hear constantly, that most offenders are "alarmist scientists," has a burden of proof that has yet to be filled. (Either is the similar claim from those on the other side). I believe what both sides is feeling is confirmation bias, plain and simple.
Old 09-09-11, 01:57 PM
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Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

http://www.theonion.com/articles/we-...brief-p,21295/

We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change

The 20 hottest years on record have all taken place in the past quarter century. The resulting floods, wildfires, and heat waves have all had deadly consequences, and if we don't reduce carbon emissions immediately, humanity faces bleak prospects. We can no longer ignore this issue. Beginning today, we must all do more when it comes to our brief and panicked thoughts about climate change.

Indeed, if there was ever a time when a desperate call to take action against global warming should race through our heads as we lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, that time is now.

Many well-intentioned people will take 20 seconds out of their week to consider the consequences of the lifestyle they've chosen, perhaps contemplating how their reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to the rapid melting of the Arctic ice cap. But if progress is what we truly want, 20 seconds is simply not enough. Not by a long shot. An issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds to a solid minute of real, concentrated panic.

And I'm not talking about letting the image of a drowning polar bear play out in your mind now and then. If we're at all serious, we need to let ourselves occasionally be struck with grim visions of coastal cities washing away and people starving as drought-stricken farmlands fail to yield crops—and we need to do this regularly, every couple days or so, before continuing to go about our routines as usual.

This may seem like a lot to ask, but no one ever said making an effort to think about change was easy.

So if you pick up a newspaper and see an article about 10 percent of all living species going extinct by the end of the century, don't just turn the page. Stop, peruse it for a moment, look at the photos, freak out for a few seconds, and then turn the page.

And the next time you start up your car, stop to think how the exhaust from your vehicle and millions of others like it contributes to air pollution, increasing the likelihood that a child in your neighborhood will develop asthma or other respiratory ailments. Take your time with it. Feel the full, crushing weight of that guilt. Then go ahead and drive wherever it was you wanted to go.

To do anything less is irresponsible.

Suppose you've just sat down in a crisply air-conditioned movie theater. Why not take the length of a preview or two to consider the building's massive carbon footprint? Imagine those greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere, disrupting ecosystems and causing infectious diseases to spread rampantly, particularly in regions of the world where the poorest people live. Visualize massive storm systems cutting widespread swaths of destruction. Think of your children's children dying horrible, unnecessary deaths.

You might even go so far as to experience actual physical symptoms: shaking, hyperventilation, perhaps even a heart palpitation. These are entirely appropriate responses to have, and the kinds of reactions each of us ought to have briefly before casting such worries aside to enjoy Conan The Barbarian.

Ultimately, however, our personal moments of distress won't matter much unless our government intervenes with occasional mentions of climate change in important speeches, or by passing nonbinding legislation on the subject. I implore you: Spend a couple minutes each year imagining yourself writing impassioned letters to your elected representatives demanding a federal cap on emissions.

Global warming must be met with immediate, short-lasting feelings of overwhelming dread, or else life as we know it will truly cease—oh, God, there's nothing we can do, is there? Maybe we're already too late. What am I supposed to do? Unplug my refrigerator? I recycle, I take shorter showers than I used to, doesn't that count for something? Devastating famines and brutal wars fought over dwindling resources? Is that my fault? Jesus, holy shit, someone do something! Tell me what to do! For the love of God, what can possibly be done?

There you have it. I've done my part. Now it's your turn.

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