Is something ailing The Register’s Lewis Page ? Despite having access to the text of a recent research paper about the Sun’s recent output, and its short-term impact on surface temperatures on Earth, and having had plenty of time to read plain English reviews of the paper’s findings in everyday language, he still writes it up poorly (in my humble opinion). Could this be due to internal bias, I ask myself ? Or is Lewis Page being wilfully contrarian ? Who can say ?
I’m sorry to report that Fred Pearce has joined the clamour for the very famous scalp of Rajendra Pachauri :-
“Why it’s time for change at the IPCC : Updated 01 September 2010 by Fred Pearce”
In the print edition of New Scientist magazine, the second part of the editorial for 4 September 2010 has the headline, “Climate panel deserves a new leader”, and was presumably also written by Fred Pearce.
This is a highly disappointing opinion from Fred Pearce. It looks like he is making the same mistake as was made earlier in the year, when various commentators called for the head of Professor Phil Jones on a plate after e-mails were “liberated” (and incorrectly annotated) from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Michael Mann and his colleagues published a paper back in 2008 with the title “Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia”, which demonstrated reliably that very recent global temperatures are higher than for thousands of years, and that the rate of warming is unprecedented in a similar timeframe :-
This paper confirmed the previous “Hockey Stick” analysis.
Towards the end of the paper, comes this :-
“…Conclusions are less definitive for the SH [Southern Hemisphere] and [hence the] globe, which we attribute to larger uncertainties arising from the sparser available proxy data in the SH. Given the uncertainties, the SH and global reconstructions are compatible with the possibility of warmth similar to the most recent decade during brief intervals of the past 1,500 years. A targeted effort to recover additional high-quality, long paleoclimate proxy records from the SH could reduce these current existing uncertainties…”
The need for temperature proxy information in the Southern Hemisphere…That set me thinking…
I’m sorry to say that my general opinion of Fred Pearce’s work has taken a sharp tumble. I found his latest New Scientist piece disappointing, and for me he has continued to be uninspiring today in The Observer newspaper, Sunday sister to The Guardian :-
“Climategate was ‘a game-changer’ in science reporting, say climatologists : After the hacked emails scandal scientists became ‘more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties’ : Fred Pearce : Sunday 4 July 2010”
His style is robustly “journalistic” and suffers from a basket of semantic fuzziness, but I’m just going to highlight a few phrases and words here.
I’m still waiting for some notable reporters, web loggers and commentators to retract, to take it all back on Climategate, which was a “pseudo-scandal”, according to Chris Mooney, in reviewing “The Climate Files”, a book on the stolen University of East Anglia e-mails, written by Fred Pearce :-
A journalist with a history of Climate Change scepticism writes an opinion piece for a poplular science magazine. The result ? The propagation of error.
Now, I have spoken to Richard Black at the BBC and offered to try to be more conciliatory towards Roger Harrabin in future, but I can’t let this one pass me by.
Here he is, writing in New Scientist, about his trip to the Heartland Climate Change sceptics conference :-
There are some statements of unquantifiable waffliness, and some dubious conclusions, but the one sentence that stood out for me as pernicious enough to comment on was this one :-
“Most [sceptics] agree with the scientific consensus that basic physics means [Carbon Dioxide] CO2 will warm the planet by about 1 degree C above pre-industrial levels.”
It is to be welcomed that Climate Change sceptics are finally beginning to accept that the world is warming, and that mankind’s activities are the majority factor.
What I don’t like is Roger Harrabin’s assertion that the “consensus” on Global Warming is that the planet will warm by “about 1 degree”.