IPCC : Could Do Better ?

[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : GOOD LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION : http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/ipcc-report-card/ AND http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100831/full/467014a.html AND http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/ipcc-review-by-interacademy-council-iac/ AND http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2010/100830_IPCC.doc.htm AND THE SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE http://www.economist.com/node/16941153?story_id=16941153 ]

Entropy versus Order – the central battle of the Universe.

Also the struggle within the realm of Science, trying to make global sense out of a very disparate, creative spectrum of study on Climate Change.

Here, at the very hub, we find the bubble of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC – a wide variety of people with a wide variety of knowledge and viewpoints all trying to establish a common perspective.

The management of this enterprise has been under review, and thought to be found partially wanting :-

http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/ReportNewsRelease.html

“InterAcademy Council Report Recommends Fundamental Reform of IPCC Management Structure : UNITED NATIONS — The process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but IPCC needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how best to respond to climate change, says a new report from the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an Amsterdam-based organization of the world’s science academies. “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists, an ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained,” said Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus and professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University in the United States and chair of the committee that wrote the report. Roseanne Diab, executive officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa and professor emeritus of environmental sciences and honorary senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, served as vice chair of the committee, which included experts from several countries and a variety of disciplines…These assessment reports have gained IPCC much respect including a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. However, amid an increasingly intense public debate about the science of climate change and costs of curbing it, IPCC has come under closer scrutiny, and controversies have erupted over its perceived impartiality toward climate policy and the accuracy of its reports. This prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC chair Rajendra K. Pachauri to issue a letter on March 10 this year requesting that the IAC review IPCC and recommend ways to strengthen the processes and procedures by which future assessments are prepared…”

http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/OpeningStatement.html

Continue reading IPCC : Could Do Better ?

Let’s Read the IPCC (2)

“Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis : Foreword” :-

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/frontmattersforeword.html

“The report confirms that our scientific understanding of the climate system and its sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions is now richer and deeper than ever before.”

Who is meant by the ownership word “our” ?

It cannot mean the whole of humanity, since there are still a large number of people who have no idea about the Science of Climate Change, or who deny it.

I suspect that most Climate Change deniers would stop reading this report right there – as they don’t want to be included in the group of people who accept that Climate Change is real, happening and serious, too.

Notice that there’s no question that the Climate is sensitive to Greenhouse Gas Emissions accumulating in the Atmosphere. There’s no “likelihood” associated with that statement.

Continue reading Let’s Read the IPCC (2)

Let’s Read the IPCC (1)

If there’s one thing about Climate Change nobody could be able to disagree on, it’s that there’s a huge amount of literature on the subject.

I figure it would be impossible for any one person to have a good grounding in the totality of the Science, spanning, as it does, most of humankind’s discoveries about the physical world.

It would be hard too to have an exceptionally well-rooted understanding even of the Synthesis of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

A human mind is surely not capable of remembering all the facts and figures and how everything relates. My personal forgettery is quite active in selecting what to drop after not using it for a while, and I’m sure others experience the same thing.

For example, I’m sure Dr Judith Curry, accomplished as she is in Earth Sciences, does not remember the entire field, and does not have the tools to look everything up quickly. Which is why she gives shorthand vague, answers on web logs which annoy other people so much :-

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/08/curry_jumps_the_shark.php

I reckon, though, people should give her a break for a while to let her compose herself, and get over the shock of the Anthony Watts “tribe” eating her heart out with steak knives after she published a proper piece of Science.

Continue reading Let’s Read the IPCC (1)

On Consensus

The problem with several Climate Change denier arguments is that they are “meta” arguments – philosophical arguments about how people behave, what they intend and how things are done.

One such issue that they take is with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “consensus” method of operation. They seem to view the IPCC consensus as “blurred lines” – their conclusion is that the IPCC’s unified interpretation of the evidence is suspect.

When the Police want to interview eye-witnesses, and when a judge wants to hear witness evidence, the standard practice is to keep the witnesses apart, so that the lines of evidence can be as independent as possible.

By contrast, in Climate Change Science, there is a certain amount of collaboration between researchers during the course of their work, so you could say that no observations are made independently. However, this should not be labelled as “malicious collusion”, although many Climate Change deniers do do that.

Continue reading On Consensus

Keep Stating The Obvious

The straight-talking continues :-

http://www.jamespowell.org/Globalwarming/page0.html

http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/30/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-climate-science-in-under-10-minutes/#more-30726

We shouldn’t have to keep restating the very obvious, but it appears that public understanding is very poor in some cases.

We could simply say, “Ah well. The general public doesn’t need to be convinced of the truth of the matter. We can just present the data to the decision-making authorities and they will do the right thing, so it won’t matter what the people in general think.”

Trouble is, there appears to be continuing interference in the patterns of thought of the decision-makers, from a range of sources, notably the mainstream media.

Tune in to the facts. Banish the pacifying voices. We are at war with ourselves, and if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels, there will be an end to vast swathes of life on Earth.

Note to Steve McIntyre

Dear Steve,

Following Dr Judith Curry’s appeal on ClimateProgress regarding the recent RealClimate post from Tamino, that Joe Romm, and all of us, should be reading your work, I decided to take a brief look at your output on ClimateAudit in order to see what all the fuss from Judith Curry was about :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/25/hockey-stick-real-climate-montford-judith-curry-tamino-gavin-schmid/

“19. Judith Curry says: July 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm : …So if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic including Montford’s [Bishop Hill] book and the climateaudit threads particularly McIntyre’s most recent post, well then we might have something to talk about. Otherwise, we can just sit back and all be entertained by tribalistic wardances.”

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

“107. Judith Curry says: 23 July 2010 at 12:44 PM : Once more people have read the [Montford, Bishop Hill] book, and if Montford and McIntyre were welcomed to participate in the discussion, then I would be interested in participating in a more detailed discussion on this.”

Continue reading Note to Steve McIntyre

Simple Integration

Image Credit : Tamino, Open Mind

If the world stopped all unnecessary manufacture, production, power generation, transportation and building immediately, we could probably hold the fraction of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere pretty much constant.

Tom Wigley calculates that this “constant composition” or “CC” could lead to an eventual rise in temperatures, averaged, globally to over 1 degree Celsius.

Why is this so ? We have only seen a rise of 0.7 degrees C to date. Why should it climb from there ? Because there is a “time lag” in the Earth System in responding to the extra warming from the extra Carbon Dioxide up there :-

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/307/5716/1766

“The Climate Change Commitment : T. M. L. Wigley : …Even if atmospheric composition were fixed today, global-mean temperature and sea level rise would continue due to oceanic thermal inertia. These constant-composition (CC) commitments and their uncertainties are quantified… The CC warming commitment could exceed 1 degree C…”

In the diagram above, I draw some simple lines and make some simple approximations of the integration of the area under the curve which represents the “added Carbon Dioxide burden” in the Atmosphere, and I arrive at a figure of 1.19 degrees Celsius.

Why do I conclude that only emissions up until 1980 have contributed to the warming experienced up until 2010 ? James Hansen and his colleagues have calculated a likely time lag :-

http://meteora.ucsd.edu/cap/pdffiles/Hansen-04-29-05.pdf

“…Evidence from Earth’s history and climate models suggests that climate sensitivity is 3/4 +/- 1/4 degrees C per Watt per metre squared, implying that 25-50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60 percent of its equilibrium response…”

Here’s what Tamino concludes :-

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/whats-up/

“Our planet has already felt about half the global warming due to the CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] we’ve already added to the atmosphere; the rest is “in the pipeline,” and the impact of that extra warming on the availability of food and water is likely to be unpleasant. We’ll be very lucky indeed if we don’t pay a heavy price for the changes we’ve already wrought…”

The question you should ask yourself is – what temperature rise are we going to see by 2070, given that Carbon Dioxide emissions are continuing at such a rate that Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is still rising sharply ?

Christopher Monckton : Limerick Competition

Here is my entry for the Christopher Monckton limerick competition, which was sadly received too late to enter, since voting is now open :-

“There once was a fella called Monckton,
Who claimed he’d been litigiously dumped on;
Twas patent absurd,
But steam could be heard
Escaping clenched teeth as Abr’am debunked him.”

If you want to show your support for John Abraham in his rebuttal of Christopher Monckton’s non-science, please comment here :-

http://hot-topic.co.nz/support-john-abraham/

Continue reading Christopher Monckton : Limerick Competition

James Delingpole Has Kittens

Poor, dear James Delingpole has been passing kitten-sized anxieties and angry thoughts again; fear and accusations all completely unfounded :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100046150/how-come-we-now-have-to-go-to-the-chinese-for-the-truth-about-global-warming/

A number of indignant inaccuracies and strident claims I will pass over, but here are a few I think I shall contest. Just to show that I do bother to read his work (even if I smirk about it most of the time).

Continue reading James Delingpole Has Kittens

The Debate Is Most Definitely Over

There were some in two minds, some vehemently on one side of the argument or the other, but now, the debate is finally over : on the question of whether they have been reporting Climate Change science accurately, the mainstream media have shown themselves to be incapable :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/21/pnas-study-climate-science-media-balance-deniers/

http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/study-scientific-consensus-climate-change-411.html

As of this second, the report from the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences is not yet available to the public. But it will be, it will be…

Climate Change : Robust Findings

Image Credit : SkepticalScience.com

It should come as no surprise that the United Nations (under UNFCCC) commissioned a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), way back in 2007.

The revelation is that very few people appear to have read any of it.

So I thought I would present just a little about the “robust findings” of Working Group 1 (WG1 or WGI) of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). I think the IPCC’s science needs a wider public readership, and so I hope that this post in some way enables that.

The unpacking of the Working Group 1 report “Climate Change 2007 : The Physical Science Basis” could begin by looking at the Technical Summary, or the overall AR4 Technical Summary, or the Synthesis Report, or their respective Summaries for Policymakers.

Continue reading Climate Change : Robust Findings

A Short History of Denial

Why do people deny the facts coming from Scientists on Global Warming ?

“Well-financed conservative think-tanks”
“Unduly weighted outlier views”
“Scientific illiteracy”
“Our message hasn’t gotten through to the American people”
“Organised and systematic campaign”

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/science_show_on_climate_change.php

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2010/04/ssw_20100403_1205.mp3

Mentioned by Naomi Oreskes in the audio presentation :-

http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/climate_change/

CURRU : Amazongate Badge of Honour Award

The Climate Unscience Rapid Response Unit (CURRU) has scored another major victory this week in the ongoing struggle for accurate journalism, with the submission made to the British Press Complaints Commission by a working Climate Change Scientist, Simon Lewis, concerning poor treatment of rainforest Science by Jonathan Leake of The Sunday Times :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/24/sunday-times-ipcc-amazon-rainforest

http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/24/simon-lewis-jonathan-leake-richard-north-amazon-gate-ipcc-sunday-times-complaint-pcc/

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/leakegate_scientist_fights_bac.php

For this, Simon Lewis deserves a strong cup of herbal tea and several congratulatory back thumps, and a glorious badge of honour, which I shall personally craft myself from twigs, leaves and spiderwebbings.

Continue reading CURRU : Amazongate Badge of Honour Award

How You Were Taken In : The Manufacture of Doubt

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

Please do watch Naomi Oreske’s magristral (not “magisterial”, since she’s female) presentation on her new publication “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming” in the YouTube above.

The presentation is somewhat marred by poor audiovisual capture, but it’s fascinating, all the same, and good to hear her logical argumentation; and be reminded of what has been happening for the last 50 years in the public “debates” on Science.

The Media have still not gotten to grips with what Science actually is, and how to present it, and how to research it, and often end up interviewing and reporting people who are either not expert in the field they are asked about, or have an underlying agenda for misinformation being published.

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : The Manufacture of Doubt

Mini Hockey Sticks (2)

NOAA have posted the USA National Data analysis of the Climate for November 2009 :-

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=national&year=2009&month=11&submitted=Get+Report

Nationally in the United States, November 2009 was the third warmest November ever, based on preliminary data and there “was not a single state that averaged below normal temperatures for the month.”

Continue reading Mini Hockey Sticks (2)

Untidy Minds #6 : Mike Hulme ?

Professor Mike Hulme has been the science chap the BBC nearly always call, of late, when they want to inject an alternate view into a piece on Climate Change.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6115644.stm
“Chaotic world of climate truth” Viewpoint by Mike Hulme, 4 November 2006

The author of the book “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” has been bravely trying to reframe Climate Change, not as a problem of science, but a problem of society. To some extent, I regard his work as useful. On the other hand, I find some of his work a mind trap.

Continue reading Untidy Minds #6 : Mike Hulme ?

My God Is Bigger Than Your God

My God made the World. From my point of view. From your point of view, your God (if you have a God), made the World. If you don’t believe in any Higher Power, then you make the World, as you learn about it and gain understanding.

Roger Helmer MEP, bless his holey cotton socks, has accused the Church of England of having “abandoned” the Faith, by espousing concern about Global Warming :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/20/climate-denier-roger-helmer-church

Continue reading My God Is Bigger Than Your God

David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

To be honest, he was taller than I expected, and more Eastern in appeareance, a kind of lanky version of Mehmet behind the deli counter at my local Turkish International Food Emporium.

David Miliband was also considerably thinner than I would have liked, considering he might one day rule the New Labour Party, who might just rule my country again. We wouldn’t want him blown away by the slightest breeze, surely, would we ? He needs feeding in my opinion.

Continue reading David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

Burn the Evidence

Image Credit : imdb.com

Sometimes you can learn a snippet of useful information from television. It’s rare, and fleeting, but can have impact.

The other night on terror-vision, I watched the sumptuous Fahrenheit 451, a film made in 1966 by Francois Truffaut, based on the science fiction book by Ray Bradbury. I forget which channel it was on. Who cares ? All television is the same in the end.

Continue reading Burn the Evidence

James Delingpole Is Most Definitely Misguided

My attention has been turned, once more, to the writing of James Delingpole this week.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100011716/how-the-global-warming-industry-is-based-on-one-massive-lie/

This article, in my view, contains a number of pieces of misleading information, which in my view should be re-framed into their proper context by the author.

Continue reading James Delingpole Is Most Definitely Misguided

An Essential Holiday Read

Ah yes, time to pack up your trusty, dusty suitcase and head for the beach.

I hope you’re not thinking of flying.

And I trust you’ll take with you the Synthesis Report from the Copenhagen Climate Change science conference that took place between 10th to 12th March 2009 :-

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/files/synthesis-report-web.pdf
Continue reading An Essential Holiday Read