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

Some Of Our Heat Is Missing

As seen on a YouTube here : http://www2.ucar.edu/news/missing-heat-may-affect-future-climate-change

The Earth is heating up, as evidenced by a number of direct measurements. However, we do not know where all the heat is located. Here’s what Kevin Trenberth has written, which should be clear for anybody who has a reasonably good command of the English language :-

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/328/5976/316

Continue reading Some Of Our Heat Is Missing

The Guardian : Trumped by a Stuffed Toucan

[ Left to Right : Dr David Adam (The Guardian), Ben Stewart (Greenpeace), Tooki the Toucan operated by George Marshall (ClimateDenial.org) and Marina from Campaign against Climate Change]

On Wednesday evening, at the “Sceptic Backlash” public event, hosted by the Campaign against Climate Change, communications researcher George Marshall introduced the meeting to an unusual commentator on Climate Change…

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/04/15/ben-stewart-greenpeace-stalking/

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/04/15/david-adam-liberal-pacifier/

Here is a transcript of what George Marshall said (as I have it) :-


– I do a lot of work around Climate Change communications and information.

– Climate Change is a large and technical issue. No one has the time to get totally on top of it. Even within the Science the specialists only look at their specialist areas.

– The average Media “punter” (somebody looking for information) is looking for a shortcut – their “ask” is “just tell me what’s going on”.

– Most people ask “Dave” down the pub (public house, bar). Friends and acquaintances in bars are the most important people in your social network, no doubt.

– And Dave says he saw this thing on telly (television)…

– The average person is just looking for a source of information that has some kind of authority…

Continue reading The Guardian : Trumped by a Stuffed Toucan

David Adam : Liberal Pacifier

Dr David Adam, Environmental correspondent at The Guardian newspaper, the “home” of the political Left and Liberal in the United Kingdom, was disappointingly pacifying at the “Sceptic Backlash” event in London yesterday evening.

“Please don’t over-estimate the damage being done by Climategate”, he urged the audience, comparing the sceptic bug-bear to the Bush-and-Cheney narrative about dangerous terrorism which used to get people so worked up, (riled enough, remember ?, to sacrifice their youth and their entire Economy to the new American project of killing innocent women, children and men in the Middle East. Such a good decade for Big Business !)

I read that David Adam used to write about scientific research in Nature magazine before he became Science, and then Environment correspondent at The Guardian.

Funnily enough, I seem to recall meeting somebody who could well have been David Adam in First Class on the Eurostar train service from London to Brussels some time in the late 1990’s. If it was David Adam, his declared profession had nothing to do with journalism, or even chemical engineering (which David Adam studied). I can’t be sure. I don’t always remember faces from more than ten years ago, especially people I have only met once, but his expressions and mannerisms when I saw him yesterday triggered the same reactions in my mind. How strange…but anyway…

I was incensed. Outraged. Deflated, by David Adam’s liberal dismissiveness of the power of Climate Change scepticism, to divide a nation, to cause countless arguments – classic divide-and-rule tactics.

Continue reading David Adam : Liberal Pacifier

Ben Stewart : Greenpeace Stalking

[ CORRECTION FROM JOABBESS.COM IN BOLD ]

Mr Ben Stewart, Head of Media at Greenpeace UK, may have no hair, but he does have a considerable number of brain cells, and he says that journalists who are Climate Sceptics need to be afraid, very afraid.

Last night at the “Sceptic Backlash” event hosted by the “Campaign against Climate Change” (what a mouthful, Phil Thornhill ! Get the name or your organisation changed ! Immediately !), Ben Stewart said, “we need to pull together a community of activists to hold journalists to account. We have to launch a campaign so these people are scared of us.”

Well, you could call this bravado, or you could call it a statement of intent. I think I’d probably plump for the latter.

So here’s a message to all those Climate Change sceptical journalists and sundry denier-obstructer bloggists out there : brace yourselves. Climate Change is coming !

Continue reading Ben Stewart : Greenpeace Stalking

Polar Bear : Poster Child

So, I’m standing in the G2 theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies, after the “Sceptic Backlash” event, talking with two Climate Change activists, one Irish, one American.

The question arises : since our lifestyles are causing deadly Climate Change for people in other parts of the world, maybe we should have communications based around pictures of suffering children ?

I disagree. I point out that when the environmentalists put out posters about Polar Bears, that the audience pretty quickly realised that the Polar Bears were being used as a “poster child” for Climate Change, and they started to mock the campaigning.

Continue reading Polar Bear : Poster Child

James Delingpole Warmly Invited

Here is a copy of the contact I just submitted at JamesDelingpole.com :-

http://jamesdelingpole.com/contact/


Dear Mr Delingpole,

You are cordially invited to a presentation, with question and answer session, on the nature of Climate Change scepticism in the Media :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting

This will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 14th April 2010, 6.30pm (or 18:30), at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, off Russell Square, in Venue G2. Entry for you, as for all attendees, will be free and for gratis.

As you will be able to see from the fact sheets and articles associated with the event, Climategate features quite highly in the analysis, and presumably will be one of the main subjects of the debate :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/sceptics

http://climatesafety.org/climategate-a-briefer/

Now, as one of the principal architects of the Media scandal known as Climategate (in fact, if I’m not mistaken, you named it), I am sure you would like to contribute your insight and experience to the discussion, and that your contribution would be most welcome.

In addition to hearing your erudite commentary in person, I am sure that your presence at the event will contribute an enormous amount in terms of raising the profile of the subject of the Media treatment of Climate Change.

It would also be an opportunity to meet some of your opponents in person, in a public space, and talk things over in a calm, civil manner, which I’m sure you would appreciate; perturbed, as I know you are, by the whole subject of Climate Change communications.

I fully intend to attend the event myself, and it would be a pleasure to meet you in person, shake you warmly by the hand, and thank you vigorously for raising the level of Climate Change urgency in the Media.

Happy Days,

Ms J. Abbess BSc


Let’s see if the great man responds…

George Monbiot : Wrong Call

There was a long time during my life when I refused to read British newspapers. They irritated me. The stories hinged on the opinions of a few unresearched writers; facts were dubious; the ideological cultures distinguishing the publications were artificial; and the constructed narratives offended me.

I distinctly recall the day I decided I needed to read the newspapers again. It was a chance glance at the Guardian Weekly, on the shelf in an international bookshop in Brussels. In there, I read a piece by George Monbiot, and my reaction was, in paraphrase, “how can he be allowed to write such a thing for publication ?” I was impressed, both at his audacity and his plainspeaking, and the facts to back up his position looked credible.

In overview, it was a good thing that I started to read the newspapers again, even though I have had to wade through interminable barrelloads of rotten opinions and poor research in following the public story of Climate Change and Energy Revival. I have traced the emergence of some almost acceptable Science and Environment writing in the Press, but there has been a remarkable turnaround just recently.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Wrong Call

James Delingpole : Editing Out The Truth

It appears that James Delingpole seeks to edit out the facts that don’t fit with his perrrculiarly sensationalist narrative.

I thought to engage in a little frank discussion, contributing the benefit of my wisdom at this post :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032622/inside-the-seething-green-roach-pit-where-they-eat-their-own/

But I was thwarted.

What happened ?

Continue reading James Delingpole : Editing Out The Truth

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/

The Rain in Sudan

The account of extreme weather continues to mount up, but some Climate models have not been distinguishing between rainfall (precipitation event) changes in tropical regions and mid-latitude regions.

Here’s one piece of research that goes some way towards a new understanding of increased serious flooding in Tropical countries :-

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/2/571.abstract?sid=b9c6c8bb-ee22-4729-a154-5ab4423127cf

“Precipitation extreme changes exceeding moisture content increases in MIROC and IPCC climate models : Masahiro Sugiyamaa, Hideo Shiogama, and Seita Emori”

Flash flooding is not only rising in the Tropics, it’s happening more frequently, elsewhere too :-

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=72458&CultureCode=en&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Paleo Lorraine

A very intriguing study from Lorraine Lisiecki, published as a Letter in Nature Geoscience, researching the Milankovitch-sourced theories, and hinting that messing with the natural Climate cycle could have very serious consequences, shaking up five million years of progress, through feedbacks, towards relative Climate calm :-

Outline and Abstract :-
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo828.html
“Links between eccentricity forcing and the 100,000-year glacial cycle : Lorraine E. Lisiecki”

Supplementary Information :-
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/ngeo828-s1.pdf

And yes, it’s quite hard to understand her work at first reading, so she’s taken the trouble to produce helpful educational material, to help with communications :-

http://www.lorraine-lisiecki.com/

http://www.lorraine-lisiecki.com/simple.html

Journalists don’t need to read the research workings – the details of the research are given for peers in the field to be able to assess her work.

Journalists do need to read around the subject, however, to be able to comment on what her work means for Climate Change Science.

James Delingpole : Cruel Jester

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters (and those who are hermaphrodite, or in other ways gender-alternative) when you face trials and tribulations of many kinds, from those who have not recognised in you the Light, the Truth and the Way.

James Delingpole is doing his very best-worst to be annoying, or even insulting, I’m not sure, by levelling some personally negative comments towards me. But I have responded in friendliness and lovingkindness, although I might get moderated off the comments page, so I’ve included my words here :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032622/inside-the-seething-green-roach-pit-where-they-eat-their-own

Continue reading James Delingpole : Cruel Jester

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

CURRU : First Service Award Announced

Joe Romm from Climate Progress has been awarded the first service award of the week from CURRU, the Climate Unscience Rapid Response Unit, for his sterling, hard-working, thorough piece on the meltdown in the Arctic :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/22/thin-ice-arctic-winds-sea-ice-extent-global-warming/

“Misreported study: “It is clear … that the precipitous decline in September sea ice extent in recent years is mainly due to the cumulative loss of multiyear ice.” Physicist: “If temperatures change just a few tenths of a degree then this oh-so-thin ice cap is doomed.””

Continue reading CURRU : First Service Award Announced

Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

The Climate Change “sceptics” are calling it “Amazongate”. I’d rather like to rename it “Investigate”, because of the appalling lack of investigative journalism that surrounds latest news of the Science of the Amazon basin.

Why is it that so many mainstream newspapers repeat the same lazy accusation that somebody has uncovered “yet another error” in the IPCC report ? This looks like a flawed attempt to create a narrative of scandal, where there is actually nothing to find.

Many expert commentators have tried to explain that, yes, the IPCC had a couple of problems, where they have used information that was not peer-reviewed Science, and findings that other experts disagree with. But no, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report still stands, and is still the best statement that Sciencekind can give on the subject of Climate Change.

There is no evidence of the kind of wrongdoing in the work of the IPCC that the Climate Change “sceptics” claim. So why do the journalists carry on with the narrative of doubt ? Could it have something to do with the fact that they don’t check the facts ?

And why do most of the mainsteam news organisations take the same line, with the same sloppy thinking and poor arguments replicated in article after article ? Could it be that there is no investigative journalism left these days ?

Why does it have to fall to the independent web loggers to point out the facts ? Why can’t the newspapers at least hire Environment writers who have studied Climate Change Science ?

Continue reading Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

Curry and Rice

The Royal Statistical Society publishes a truly readable magazine called “Significance”, and until today I hadn’t realised it’s available online.

The front cover of the March 2010 Volume 7 Issue 1 edition shows an artist’s mock-up of severe drought and the headline question is “After Copenhagen : What can be done ?”

Continue reading Curry and Rice

Fear and Loathing in Sceptico-Vision

I still cannot get my head around exactly why we need a House of Commons Inquiry into the “goings-on” at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

It’s not as if Professor Phil Jones has done anything wrong. In fact, he’s been behaving like any other productive and fruitful researcher, getting on with the work and trying to brush off unhelpful distractions, including a deliberate smear campaign.

OK, so he wrote a few contentious e-mails, using casual language and a frustrated tone. This was not Science, and should not be considered representative of his work. Take a look at his work, results of painstaking and in-depth analysis of raw data :-

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2003RG000143.shtml

Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Sceptico-Vision

Bringing Physics Into Disrepute

I first commented on the suspected link between the Institute of Physics and the noted Climate Change “sceptic” Piers Corbyn in a previous post :-

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/03/02/fred-pearce-still-crucifying-phil-jones/

One of my commentators challenged what I had written, so I edited it out, awaiting the opportunity to discover more.

More has now been uncovered; not my me, I hasten to add, but by another commentator :-

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/03/06/institute-of-physics-nosedive/#comment-600

Continue reading Bringing Physics Into Disrepute

Imagine There’s No Medicine

Imagine there’s no Medicine; no doctors, nurses, hospitals, surgeons, ward administrators, paramedics on bicycles in bright yellow and green jackets, ambulances, medical technology or pharmaceuticals. It’s not easy, even if you try. What would your life be like ? Pretty painful and quite possibly nastily shortened, I’d hazard.

There are people in the world who still do not have access to medical care (let’s think…all those Americans without basic health care insurance), so they know the grim realities of it all – but the reason I’m considering this is there could have been a point in human history where the development of Medicine was thwarted by sceptics and people with ulterior motives.

“You’re sick because you’ve sinned”, a portion of humanity used to believe; the wealthy throughout history have sometimes been keen for disease to wipe out the scum of the poor. Appeals to Nature and to God to explain sickness and accidental damage could have been followed by a refusal to care for or treat people – as it was not what the Laws of the Universe dictated.

Continue reading Imagine There’s No Medicine

Open Season on Science

Like several commentators, I am picking out a trend in Internet communications that indicates that there is a tribe of “doubt believers” out there, proselytising for their cause : bringing down the Science of Climate Change.

These evangelists often write and reply to web posts with statements of alarmingly high confidence levels, assuming authority they cannot possibly claim, sometimes using anonymity to cloak their network connections.

Continue reading Open Season on Science

How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

Poor (middle-aged) old George Monbiot ! He really feels like he’s been wasting his time trying to get through to people to communicate about Climate Change :-

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/03/08/the-unpersuadables/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/mar/08/belief-in-climate-change-science

I don’t think that he should despair. What the ordinary, Tabloid-reading , Daily Telegraph-reading, Times of London-reading or even Guardian-reading man-or-woman-in-the-street thinks about Climate Change Science doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as the policymakers know the direction of travel required. That is, towards strong regulation on Carbon Emissions.

And anyway, I think that the problem of Climate Change “doubt” can be resolved relatively easily – by educating those who work in the Media.

Let me begin my argument by asking a question : is it right and fair and balanced to pitch Dr Benny Peiser against Professor Phil Jones on the subject of the Science of Global Warming ?

I ask this, because this is effectively what happened during the hearings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1st March 2010, when Dr Benny Peiser and Lord Nigel Lawson were first in the seats, and then Professor Phil Jones and Professor Edward Acton sat in the seats later on :-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

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

James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r9x9n/The_Daily_Politics_04_03_2010/

James, James, yet again you betray your apparent lack of comprehension about Science, the way it works, the things it says, the truth it holds. Your accusations are in my opinion completely unfounded, baseless. It seems your inquiring mind has been corrupted by the Climate Obstructers’ continual rant of denial after denial.

Here’s a challenge : read up about the “time lag”, the “warming inertia” in the Climate system, and then come back with an alternative scenario that other people can accept, with facts, figures and falsifications of mainstream opinion. I’m sure your employer could come up with the funds to buy the research papers you need to read to come to an well-informed view. Alternatively, you could try e-mailing the authors for gratis copies of their work. If you show yourself a genuine student of Science, I’m sure people will share their data and research with you freely :-

Continue reading James Delingpole vs George Monbiot

The Climate Obstructers’ Gameplan

If you have any doubt that Science is under assault from the Climate Change Obstructers (self-styled “sceptics”), you need look no further than this piece of what I consider to be utter, utter, fetid 30-day-old left-in-the-sun tripe :-

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/03/04/global-warming-flaks-reduced-t

The number of outright inaccuracies in the piece is astonishing, including the switch on what Phil Jones really claimed about “statistically significant” global warming.

And it concludes with clear evidence of a globally organised campaign to bring down Climate Change Science, by hook or by crook :-

“There is vastly more material here than you will ever be able to absorb. I realized as I ploughed my way through it, or some of it, that the conclusion is encouraging. I am confident now that the official version is going to be overwhelmed, and that the mainstream media reporters are going to be overwhelmed, too. They are right now facing their own Tsunami of dissent. Politicians know very well what is happening, and cap and trade will not pass the U.S. Senate.”

“Coverage at such warm-supporting organs as the Washington Post and the New York Times has been reduced to a strategy of denial. They have been forced to deny that that there is any problem with the official story beyond what the climate officials themselves admit (and they admit very little — little more than typos).”

“But it doesn’t matter. The web has made all the difference and the reporters working to uphold the official version have more and more been forced into a defensive crouch. The exposure of this massive fraud will be a watershed in the history of environmentalism and it will continue to unfold whatever the mainstream media think or say.”

We have a (non-violent) fight on our hands, not of our own choosing : keep telling the truth, and insisting on correcting falsehoods; or face an uphill ramp of complications and delays.

Continue reading The Climate Obstructers’ Gameplan