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Climate Change : Robust Findings

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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.

Climate Change Media

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.

Big Picture Climate Change

The Gospel According to NASA

Here at the Church of Holy Science, we believe the precept of Following the Truth of the Data, wherever that data leads us.

The two month period January to February 2010 was the (wait for it…) third warmest January-February out of the whole 131 years of the instrumental record.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It was cold where I was, as well. But cold here does not mean cold everywhere.


Steve McIntyre Spins Newsweek

Newsweek spins a heart-warming yarn about the “granddaddy of the global warming “denial” movement”, Steven McIntyre. You would be forgiven for adopting his point of view, he has such a homestead glow :-

“…he says, people tend to use hockey-stick graphs when they are trying to pull one over on you. “Reality usually isn’t so tidy.”…”

Er, no. Nobody could rightly assert that Climate scientists have been trying to trick anybody. Why does Newsweek not decline his argument ?

Big Picture Climate Change The Data

Spikes & Slopes

by Jo Abbess
3 December 2009

One Hot Year

1998 was a very hot year. Worldwide, the land and sea surface temperatures spiked sharply upwards. Scientists said it was supposed to get hot, but not this hot. Yet by the year 2000, things had cooled back down again. In fact, they were a little cooler than 1995. [1] The detailed analysis made it seem like a murder mystery – who killed the heat ? What happened to Global Warming ?

Part of the forensic evidence came from analysis of Mount Pinatubo. On 15th June 1991, it experienced massive volcanic eruption causing an enormous plume in the sky, easily visible from space. [2] [3] The sulphur dioxide in the plume deflected the sun’s heating rays from Earth, and temperatures on the ground plummeted around the world. Yet, despite this cooling effect, land and sea surface temperatures were back to normal by around 1995, just in time for the sizzle of 1998. [4]

It seemed likely that spikes and slumps were just natural cycles; the climate systems moving from one stable pattern to another. For years, big loops of wind will rotate in one direction, and weathermen know what the temperatures and rainfall will look like. And then the whole setup will flip and change, and temperatures, rainfall and winds will all be different. [5]

Research showed that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) created drought weather conditions in 1997, causing massive forest fires in Indonesia that helped drive up worldwide temperatures in 1998. [6]

A “nuclear winter” from the occasional volcanic eruption, or a “fry up” from flip-flops in big climate circulations only have a short-term impact on global temperatures. [7] The Climate is always changing. There are ups, and there are downs, but no permanent changes. Don’t believe the spikes.

Bad Science Bait & Switch Big Picture Climate Change Media Meltdown Non-Science Public Relations

Glaciers Melting in the Himalayas

Video Credit : Asia Society

The satellites and cameras do not lie : glaciers in the Himalayas are melting, and the loss of any part of this “third pole” ice cover threatens the freshwater supply for billions.

This weekend’s Media clamour on the subject focuses on the trail of a mis-attribution of a claim regarding the complete meltdown of the mountain glaciers.

Just because somebody’s got their references wrong, doesn’t mean that the glaciers have magically not been melting after all.

Yes, the IPCC process has failed to pick up this prediction error. No, it doesn’t throw the whole of the IPCC reports into the trash can.

Climate Change The Data

The Burn Goes On

At the turn of every month, I check the websites of the agencies charged with collecting and analysing the available data on Global Warming, to find out what the latest position shows.

Some agencies update their online resources faster than others. For example, as of today, the Hadley Centre of the Meteorological Office has produced a summary of the Central England Temperature (HadCET, or CET) for both December 2009 and the whole of 2009 :-

And so has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – finally :-

Bad Science Climate Change Media Non-Science

Daily Express : Unreliable Sources

Another pretty poor headline from the Daily Express (and we all know that outrageous headlines sell newspapers), but the majority of the article is OK, until the almost inevitable signs of “balance” by quoting Piers Corbyn and Christopher Booker :-

“…Long-term forecaster and trends analyst Piers Corbyn, of WeatherAction, said: “Global warming is a failed science built on falsified data. It is a sham to say that man has caused it.”…”

Most serendipitously, the Global Warming Science that the genuine research community have been slaving away at for the last, ooo, 25 years, has not been undermined by one freakily cold Northern Hemisphere Winter, or they’d all be out of jobs pretty sharpish.

“…Christopher Booker, author of The Real Global Warming Disaster, said: “It is amazing how this scaremongering from climate change lobbyists keeps arising even though they are constantly being proved wrong. Last year there was snow in Saudia Arabia and still they persist in saying the temperature is going up.”…”

As time goes by, and more evidence is collated and analysed and more theoretical branches are investigated, the more Climate Change Science is shown to be accurate, both in projection and qualitative prediction.

Bad Science Bait & Switch Climate Change Media Non-Science Public Relations

Clive James : Inadequate Commentator

Clive James has openly admitted that he knows nothing about Climate Change :-
“In praise of scepticism”, 23 October 2009

and yet he still continues to pass judgement on the way the Science is conducted, and accepts the validity of the arguments of the Climate Change deniers :-
“Climate change – a story too often told the same way”, 11 December 2009

I ask you this : since he knows nothing about Climate Change Science, how can he possibly justify accepting the views of the Climate Change deniers ?

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Climategate : Myles Allen is Confused

Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at the University of Oxford’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department is confused. “It is odd that we still don’t take climate change seriously”, he writes in The Guardian online, discussing the fact that a good proportion of the British public don’t believe in Global Warming :-

He might need to wake up to the fact that the British Press are being misled, and in turn, misleading the country.

Bait & Switch Climate Change Media Public Relations

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.
“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.

Big Picture Climate Change

The Network of Factuality

Visualizing the East Anglia Climate Research Unit Leaked Email Network from Michael J Bommarito II on Vimeo.

I found this vimeo video on a webpage describing a Climate Change sceptic’s attempts to get data from NASA using Freedom of Information requests :-