The Sunday Telegraph, 31 January 2010
Richard Gray and Rebecca Lefort
The United Nations' expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world's mountain tops on a student's dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.
The IPCC's remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master's degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.
It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC's report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.
This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.
But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC's use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature.
Professor Richard Tol, one of the report's authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.
"Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been.
"There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense."
The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government's worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people.
The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled "Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming".
It states that reductions in mountain ice have been observed from the loss of ice climbs in the Andes, Alps and in Africa between 1900 and 2000.
The report also states that the section is intended to "assess studies that have been published since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of observed changes and their effects".
But neither the dissertation or the magazine article cited as sources for this information were ever subject to the rigorous scientific review process that research published in scientific journals must undergo.
The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s.
Mr Bowen said: "I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes."
The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.
Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons.
The IPCC has faced growing criticism over the sources it used in its last report after it emerged the panel had used unsubstantiated figures on glacial melting in the Himalayas that were contained within a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report.
It can be revealed that the IPCC report made use of 16 non-peer reviewed WWF reports.
One claim, which stated that coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby, quoted a feature article on the WWF website.
In fact the data contained within the WWF article originated from a paper published in 2004 in the respected journal Nature.
In another example a WWF paper on forest fires was used to illustrate the impact of reduced rainfall in the Amazon rainforest, but the data was from another Nature paper published in 1999.
When The Sunday Telegraph contacted the lead scientists behind the two papers in Nature, they expressed surprise that their research was not cited directly but said the IPCC had accurately represented their work.
The chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri has faced mounting pressure and calls for his resignation amid the growing controversy over the error on glacier melting and use of unreliable sources of information.
A survey of 400 authors and contributors to the IPCC report showed, however, that the majority still support Mr Pachauri and the panel's vice chairs. They also insisted the overall findings of the report are robust despite the minor errors.
But many expressed concern at the use of non-peer reviewed information in the reports and called for a tightening of the guidelines on how information can be used.
The Met Office, which has seven researchers who contributed to the report including Professor Martin Parry who was co-chair of the working group responsible for the part of the report that contained the glacier errors, said: "The IPCC should continue to ensure that its review process is as robust and transparent as possible, that it draws only from the peer-reviewed literature, and that uncertainties in the science and projections are clearly expressed."
Roger Sedjo, a senior research fellow at the US research organisation Resources for the Future who also contributed to the IPCC's latest report, added: "The IPCC is, unfortunately, a highly political organisation with most of the secretariat bordering on climate advocacy.
"It needs to develop a more balanced and indeed scientifically sceptical behaviour pattern. The organisation tend to select the most negative studies ignoring more positive alternatives."
The IPCC failed to respond to questions about the inclusion of unreliable sources in its report but it has insisted over the past week that despite minor errors, the findings of the report are still robust and consistent with the underlying science.
Copyright 2010, TST
(2) IPCC Shamed By Bogus Rainforest Claim
The Sunday Times, 31 January 2010
A startling report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2007 benchmark report that even a slight change in rainfall could see swathes of the rainforest rapidly replaced by savanna grassland.
The source for its claim was a report from WWF, an environmental pressure group, which was authored by two green activists. They had based their "research" on a study published in Nature, the science journal, which did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning. This weekend WWF said it was launching an internal inquiry into the study.
This is the third time in as many weeks that serious doubts have been raised over the IPCC's conclusions on climate change. Two weeks ago, after reports in The Sunday Times, it was forced to retract a warning that climate change was likely to melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035. That warning was also based on claims in a WWF report.
The IPCC has been put on the defensive as well over its claims that climate change may be increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
This weekend Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, was fighting to keep his job after a barrage of criticism.
Scientists fear the controversies will be used by climate change sceptics to sway public opinion to ignore global warming - even though the fundamental science, that greenhouse gases can heat the world, remains strong.
The latest controversy originates in a report called A Global Review of Forest Fires, which WWF published in 2000. It was commissioned from Andrew Rowell, a freelance journalist and green campaigner who has worked for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and anti-smoking organisations. The second author was Peter Moore, a campaigner and policy analyst with WWF.
In their report they suggested that "up to 40% of Brazilian rainforest was extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall" but made clear that this was because drier forests were more likely to catch fire.
The IPCC report picked up this reference but expanded it to cover the whole Amazon. It also suggested that a slight reduction in rainfall would kill many trees directly, not just by contributing to more fires.
It said: "Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state. It is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems that have more resistance to multiple stresses caused by temperature increase, droughts and fires, such as tropical savannas."
Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at Leeds University who specialises in tropical forest ecology, described the section of Rowell and Moore's report predicting the potential destruction of large swathes of rainforest as "a mess".
"The Nature paper is about the interactions of logging damage, fire and periodic droughts, all extremely important in understanding the vulnerability of Amazon forest to drought, but is not related to the vulnerability of these forests to reductions in rainfall," he said.
"In my opinion the Rowell and Moore report should not have been cited; it contains no primary research data."
WWF said it prided itself on the accuracy of its reports and was investigating the latest concerns. "We have a team of people looking at this internationally," said Keith Allott, its climate change campaigner.
Scientists such as Lewis are demanding that the IPCC ban the use of reports from pressure groups. They fear that environmental campaign groups are bound to cherry-pick the scientific literature that confirms their beliefs and ignore the rest.
It was exactly this process that lay behind the bogus claim that the Himalayan glaciers were likely to melt by 2035 - a suggestion that got into another WWF report and was then used by the IPCC.
Georg Kaser, a glaciologist who was a lead author on the last IPCC report, said: "Groups like WWF are not scientists and they are not professionally trained to manage data. They may have good intentions but it opens the way to mistakes."
Research by Richard North
Copyright 2010, TST
(3) Benny Peiser: IPCC - Adapt Or Die
Business Standard India, 28 January 2010
For the last 20 years, one IPCC report after another has been responsible for a relentless outpouring of doomsday predictions. The IPCC process, however, by which it arrived at its alarmist conclusions, has been shown on numerous occasions to lack balance, transparency and due diligence.
The IPCC's work is controlled by a tightly-knit group of individuals who are totally convinced that they are right. As a result, conflicting data and evidence, even if published in peer-reviewed journals, are regularly ignored, while exaggerated claims, even if contentious or not peer-reviewed, are often highlighted in IPCC reports.
Not surprisingly, the IPCC has lost a lot of credibility in recent years. It is also losing the trust of more and more governments who are no longer following its advice -- as the Copenhagen summit showed.
Claims by RK Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, that IPCC's erroneous doomsday prediction about the fate of Himalayan glaciers was an isolated, and wholly uncharacteristic mistake, are completely baseless.
There is ample evidence to show that the IPCC review process is neither robust nor transparent. In 2007, when the IPCC published its latest report, the Panel claimed that global warming was to blame for an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. Yet the paper on which the IPCC based its assertion had not been published at the time. When it was finally published in 2008, its conclusion contradicted the IPCC's false alarm, stating: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."
Not just in this case, but on other contentious issues, the IPCC has consistently promoted alarmist predictions. On issues such as the possible affect of global warming on malaria, human health or national economies, IPCC authors habitually prefer to cite alarmist papers while research findings that come to less gloomy conclusions are often disregarded.
In the latest instance, the GWPF has just released details of the defective process by which the 2035 Himalayas date got into an IPCC report. As a result of a Freedom of Information request, David Holland, a GWPF researcher, gained access to the responses by IPCC's lead authors. The documents show that most doubts and questions that were raised about the 2035 date were ignored and that the review editors failed to take any note of it.
But even where the IPCC relies on peer-reviewed papers, it does not guarantee that its claims and conclusions are reliable or trustworthy. As the notorious "hockey stick" controversy about temperature reconstructions has shown, IPCC contributors have consistently failed to disclose their data and methods while the IPCC has consented to such misconduct.
The Panel's inner circle has been characterised for many years by an endemic bias towards alarmist assessments and calls for radical action. There are growing concerns among many governments about the way the IPCC works and how it produces its conclusions. Its demand for drastic economic changes is posing a serious political predicament for many governments, not least in India. After all, most countries find themselves unable to control, let alone reduce, CO2 emissions, as realistic alternatives to cheap fossil fuels are non-existent. It is this concern about the potentially-destabilising consequences of the IPCC's radicalism based on unbalanced and unreliable professional advise that has led to calls for a reform of the IPCC.
The IPCC's agenda and its catastrophic framing of climate change is mainly driven by western government departments staffed by green ministers, civil servants and researchers, many of whom have strong personal backgrounds in environmental campaigning and ecological ideologies.
Any significant IPCC reforms will ultimately depend on the economic and political cost of its workings and how it threatens the stability of national economies. The Indian government has more or less conceded that the radical actions promoted by Pachauri and the IPCC are threatening to undermine realistic government policies. The price of climate hysteria has eclipsed the value of political and economic stability. The time has come to completely overhaul the structure and workings of the IPCC. Unless it accepts to undergo a root and branch reform, it will continue to haemorrhage credibility.
Copyright 2010, Business Standard
(4) Stern Report Was Changed After Being Published
The Sunday Telegraph, 31 January 2010
Information was quietly removed from an influential government report on the cost of climate change after its initial publication because supporting scientific evidence could not be found.
The Stern Review on the economics of climate change, which was commissioned by the Treasury, was greeted with headlines worldwide when it was published in October 2006
It contained dire predictions about the impact of climate change in different parts of the world.
But it can be revealed that when the report was printed by Cambridge University Press in January 2007, some of these predictions had been watered down because the scientific evidence on which they were based could not be verified.
Among the claims that were removed in the later version of the report, which is now also available in its altered form online, were claims that North West Australia has been hit by stronger tropical typhoons in the past 30 years.
Another claim that southern regions in Australia have lost rainfall due to rising ocean temperatures and air currents pushing rain further south was also removed.
Claims that eucalyptus and savannah habitats in Australia would also become more common were also deleted.
The claims were highlighted in several Australian newspapers when the report was initially published, but the changes were never publicly announced.
A figure on the cost of US Hurricanes was also changed after a typographical error was spotted in the original report. The original stated in a table the cost of hurricanes in the US would rise from 0.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 1.3%.
The later report corrected the error so the increase was from 0.06% to 0.13%. A statement about the correction appeared in a postscript of the report and on the Treasury website.
The Stern Review has been instrumental in helping the UK government draw up its climate change policies while it has also been cited by leading organisations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its assessment reports on climate change.
Details of the changes, which have not been publicly detailed before, have emerged as the IPCC is under fire for errors on the melting of Himalayan glaciers that appeared in their most recent assessment report because of a failure to check the sources of the information.
A spokesman for Lord Stern, who headed the review and is now chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said that the changes to the statements about Australia were made following a quality control check before the report was printed by Cambridge University Press.
He said: "Statements were identified in the section on Australia for which the relevant scientific references could not be located.
They were therefore, as a precaution, omitted from the version published by Cambridge University Press and they were deleted from the electronic version on the HM Treasure website.
"These changes to the text had no implications for any other parts of the report.
"It is perhaps not surprising that in a report of more than 700 pages a few typographic errors and minor but necessary clarifications to the text were identified in November and December 2006 after its launch.
"However, none of these corrections and changes affected the analysis or conclusions in the Stern Review, which is rightly regarded as an important contribution on the economics of climate change."
Professor Roger Pielke, from the centre of Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado who has been a long term critic of the Stern Review, described the changes to the report as "remarkable".
He said: "In any academic publication changes to published text to correct errors or to clarify require the subsequent publication of a formal erratum or corrigendum.
"This is to ensure the integrity of the literature and a paper trail, otherwise confusion would result if past work could be quietly rewritten.
"Such a practice is very much a whitewash of the historical record.
"One would assume - and expect - that studies designed to inform government (and international) policy would be held to at least these same standards if not higher standards."
Copyright 2010, TST
(5) Stern Report 'Misused' Climate Study
The Sunday Times, 31 January 2010
Lord Stern's report on climate change, which underpins government policy, has come under fire from a disaster analyst who says the research he contributed was misused.
Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at Risk Management Solutions, a US-based consultancy, said the Stern report misquoted his work to suggest a firm link between global warming and the frequency and severity of disasters such as floods and hurricanes.
The Stern report, citing Muir-Wood, said: "New analysis based on insurance industry data has shown that weather-related catastrophe losses have increased by 2% each year since the 1970s over and above changes in wealth, inflation and population growth/movement.
"If this trend continued or intensified with rising global temperatures, losses from extreme weather could reach 0.5%-1% of world GDP by the middle of the century."
Muir-Wood said his research showed no such thing and accused Stern of "going far beyond what was an acceptable extrapolation of the evidence".
The criticism is among the strongest made of the Stern report, which, since its publication in 2006, has influenced policy, including green taxes.
Muir-Wood's study did show an association between global warming and the impact and frequency of disasters. But he said this was caused by exceptionally strong hurricanes in the final two years of his study.
A spokesman for Stern said: "Muir-Wood may have been deceived by his own observations."
(6) Editorial: We need facts, not spin, in the climate debate
The Sunday Telegraph, 31 January 2010
The question of what, if anything, to do about global warming is one of the most important that humanity faces. Most people believe that the Earth is becoming warmer - but there are significant disagreements over the speed and extent of the process, the danger it poses, and its precise causes. The Government is convinced that the debate is over, won by the scientists who insist that climate change is the result of the carbon dioxide generated by human activity. It has now embarked on the project of "decarbonising" the economy; since carbon-based energy provides most of our electricity and powers nearly all of our transportation, this is a colossal, and colossally expensive, task.
We need, therefore, to be very sure that our policy is based on an accurate diagnosis. But such certainty has become much harder to come by in recent weeks. A paper to be published in the journal Science by a team of researchers from America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that changes in the amount of water vapour high in the Earth's atmosphere may affect the extent to which the planet heats up or cools down to a much greater extent than previously thought. That, of course, is something which those who doubt that man-made activity is responsible for global warming have long maintained.
And other developments have struck not just at the data but at the trustworthiness of those presenting it. Our columnist Christopher Booker, among others, has highlighted that extent to which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose objectivity and neutrality most people thought could be taken for granted, has been caught acting like a pressure group. Not only did it insert into its latest report the claim that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 - which has now been acknowledged to have no basis in fact - but, as we report today, it appears to have recycled observations on the dwindling levels of ice on mountains around the world from a climbing magazine and a student dissertation.
In its zeal to persuade the world of the catastrophic consequences of man-made global warming, the IPCC has lost both its objectivity and the trust of the public. That is one of the main reasons why we, along with our sister newspaper The Daily Telegraph, believe that Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC's chairman, should step down. This issue is far too important for there to be a scintilla of doubt about the reliability of the reports and raw data on which policy must be based. While Dr Pachauri remains in post, those doubts will remain.
As with every other scientific theory, the case that global warming is man-made needs to be constantly tested. Mr Booker and others have been enormously energetic in pointing out the weaknesses and uncertainties in the argument. Are the doubts enough to mean that the Government is proceeding from a false premise? There is no doubt that there needs to be a continued and vigorous debate on this topic - although there are, of course, additional reasons for decreasing our dependence on carbon, such as the need for energy security, the desirability of adopting more energy-efficient (and therefore cheaper) technologies, and the role of CO2 in the acidification of the oceans. Ministers' insistence that those who question their presumptions are irrational and dogmatic does nothing to help bring about the consensus that is so sorely needed.
Copyright 2010, TST
(7) Philip Stott: Global Warming: The Collapse Of A Grand Narrative
The Clamour of The Times, 30 January 2010
For over a month now, since the farcical conclusion of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, I have been silent, partly through family commitments abroad in the USA, but also because, in this noisy world, in 'The Clamour Of The Times', it is on occasion better to be quiet and contemplative, to observe rather than to comment. And, as an independent academic, it has been fascinating to witness the classical collapse of a Grand Narrative, in which social and philosophical theories are being played out before our gaze. It is like watching the Berlin Wall [pictured] being torn down, concrete slab by concrete slab, brick by brick, with cracks appearing and widening daily on every face - political, economic, and scientific. Likewise, the bloggers have been swift to cover the crumbling edifice with colourful graffiti, sometimes bitter, at others caustic and witty.
The Political And Economic Collapse
Moreover, the collapse has been quicker than any might have predicted. The humiliating exclusion of Britain and the EU at the end of the Copenhagen débâcle was partially to be expected, but it was brutal in its final execution. The swing of power to the BASIC group of countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) had likewise been signified for some time, but, again, it came with precipitate ease, leaving even the American President, Barack Obama, with no doubts as to where the political agenda on climate change was now heading, namely to the developing world, but especially to the East, and to the Pacific Rim. The dirigiste tropes of 'Old Europe', with its love of meaningless targets and carbon capping, will no longer carry weight, while Obama himself has been straitjacketed by the voters of Massachusetts, by the rust-belt Democrats, by a truculent Congress, by an increasingly-sceptical and disillusioned American public, but, above all, by the financial crisis. Nothing will now be effected that for a single moment curbs economic development, from China to Connecticut, from Africa to Alaska.
And, as ever, capitalism has read the runes, with carbon-trading posts quietly being shed, 'Green' jobs sidelined, and even big insurance companies starting to hedge their own bets against the future of the Global Warming Grand Narrative. These rats are leaving the sinking ship far faster than any politician, many of whom are going to be abandoned, left, still clinging to the masts, as the Good Ship 'Global Warming' founders on titanic icebergs in the raging oceans of doubt and delusion.
The Scientific Collapse
And what can one say about 'the science'? 'The 'science' is already paying dearly for its abuse of freedom of information, for unacceptable cronyism, for unwonted arrogance, and for the disgraceful misuse of data at every level, from temperature measurements to glaciers to the Amazon rain forest. What is worse, the usurping of the scientific method, and of justified scientific scepticism, by political policies and political propaganda could well damage science sensu lato - never mind just climate science - in the public eye for decades. The appalling pre-Copenhagen attacks by the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and his climate-change henchman, Ed Miliband, on those who dared to be critical of the science of climate change were some of the most unforgivable I can recall.
It is further salutary that much of the trouble is now emanating from India. Indeed, the nonsense written about the Indian Sub-Continent has been a particular nadir in climate-change science, and it has long been judged so by many experts on the region. My ex-SOAS friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Bradnock, a world authority on the Sub-Continent, has been seething for years over the traducing of data and information relating to this key part of the world. In June, 2008, he wrote:
"However, in my own narrow area of research, I know that many of the claims about the impact of 'global warming' in Bangladesh, for example, are completely unfounded. There is no evidence that flooding has increased at all in recent years. Drought and excessive rainfall are the nature of the monsoon system. Agricultural production, far from being decimated by worsening floods over the last twenty years, has nearly doubled. In the early 1990s, Houghton published a map of the purported effects of sea-level rise on Bangladesh. Coming from a Fellow of the Royal Society, former Head of the Met Office and Chair of the IPCC, this was widely accepted, and frequently reproduced. Yet, it shows no understanding of the complex processes that form the Bengal delta, and it is seriously misleading. Moreover, despite the repeated claims of the World Wide Fund, Greenpeace, and, sadly, Christian Aid, the melting of the Himalayan glaciers is of completely marginal significance to the farmers of the plains in China, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. One could go on!"
The Media Collapse
One could indeed! But we may not need to do so for much longer. Why? Because the biggest collapse is in the media, the very 'mechanism' through which the greedy Global Warming Grand Narrative has promulgated itself during the last ten to twenty years.
The break in the 'Media Wall' began in the tabloids and in the 'red tops', like The Daily Express and the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, but it is today spreading rapidly - yet once more as theory predicts - to the so-called 'heavyweights' and to the BBC. In the past, uncritical and apocalyptic stories and programmes were given the highest prominence, with any sceptical comment confined to the briefest of quotations from some benighted, and often snidely-mentioned, sceptic squeezed in at the very end of the piece ("For balance, you know"). Today, the reverse is becoming true, with the 'global warming' faithful firmly forced on to the back foot. Yet, in our post-modern world, it is the journalistic language being employed that is the true indicator of a new media order. Listening to good old Roger Harrabin this morning, reporting on BBC Radio 4's flagship 'Today' programme, was a revelation in this respect; the language, and even the style, had altered radically.
The collapse is now so precipitate that there will inevitably be some serious losers caught out by it all. The UK Met Office could well be one, with the BBC rightly reviewing its contract with them. At the moment, Met Office spokespersons sound extraordinary, bizarre even. They bleat out 'global warming' phrases like programmed robotic sheep, although they are finding it increasingly difficult to pull the wool over our eyes. It is terribly 1984, and rather chilling, so to speak. It is obvious that the organisation is suffering from another classical academic state, namely that known as 'cognitive dissonance' [see here and here]. This is experienced when belief in a Grand Narrative persists blindly, even when the facts in the real world begin to contradict what the narrative is saying. Sadly, many of our public and private organisations have allowed themselves to develop far too great a vested interest in 'global warming', as have too many politicians and activists. These are increasingly terrified, many having no idea how to react, or how to adjust, to the collapse. It will be particularly interesting to witness how, in the end, the Royal Society plays its cards, especially if competing scientific paradigms, such as the key role played by water vapour in climate change, start to displace the current paradigm in classic fashion.
Certain newspapers, like my own DNOC, The Times, have also been a tad slow to grasp the magnitude of the collapse (although Ben Webster has tried valiantly to counter this with some good pieces); yet, even such outlets at last appear to be fathoming the remarkable changes taking place. Today, for example, The Times carries a brief, but seminal, critique of the 'science' from Lord Leach of Fairford.
What Will It Mean?
I have long predicted, and in public too, that the Copenhagen Conference could prove to be the beginning of the end for the Global Warming Grand Narrative. It appears that I may well have been right, and, indeed, I may have considerably underestimated the speed, and the dramatic nature, of the demise.
Where this all leaves our politicians and political parties in the UK; where it leaves climate science, scientists more generally, and the Royal Society; where it leaves energy policy; where it leaves the 'Green' movement; and, where it leaves our media will have to be topics for many later comments and analyses.
For the moment, we must not underestimate the magnitude of the collapse. Academically, it is jaw-dropping to observe.
And, the political, economic, and scientific consequences will be profound.
(8) Ed Miliband declares war on climate change sceptics
The Observer, 31 January 2010
Juliette Jowit, environment editor
The climate secretary, Ed Miliband, last night warned of the danger of a public backlash against the science of global warming in the face of continuing claims that experts have manipulated data.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer, Miliband spoke out for the first time about last month's revelations that climate scientists had withheld and covered up information and the apology made by the influential UN climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which admitted it had exaggerated claims about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
The perceived failure of global talks on combating climate change in Copenhagen last month has also been blamed for undermining public support. But in the government's first high-level recognition of the growing pressure on public opinion, Miliband declared a "battle" against the "siren voices" who denied global warming was real or caused by humans, or that there was a need to cut carbon emissions to tackle it.
"It's right that there's rigour applied to all the reports about climate change, but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that's there," he said.
"We know there's a physical effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to higher temperatures, that's a question of physics; we know CO2 concentrations are at their highest for 6,000 years; we know there are observed increases in temperatures; and we know there are observed effects that point to the existence of human-made climate change. That's what the vast majority of scientists tell us."
Mistakes and attempts to hide contradictory data had to be seen in the light of the thousands of pages of evidence in the IPCC's four-volume report in 2007, said Miliband. The most recent accusation about the panel's work is that its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, may have known before the Copenhagen summit that its assessment report had seriously exaggerated the rate of melting of the Himalayan glaciers.
However, Miliband was adamant that the IPCC was on the right track. "It's worth saying that no doubt when the next report comes out it will suggest there have been areas where things have been happening more dramatically than the 2007 report implied," he said.
The danger of climate scepticism was that it would undermine public support for unpopular decisions needed to curb carbon emissions, including the likelihood of higher energy bills for households, and issues such as the visual impact of wind turbines, said Miliband, who is also energy secretary.
========= e-mails to the editor =====
(9) NASA, 2009 And Global Warming
S. Fred Singer [email@example.com]
Let me add to the discussion (by David Whitehouse) of a NASA press release, which claims that "January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record," citing James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt (of NASA-GISS). They are practicing what magicians call "misdirection," designed to mislead the unsuspecting reader. Let me explain:
Let us grant that the past decade was the "warmest on record." What exactly does this prove? Since the warming trend started well before the release of substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, the most likely cause is simply a natural recovery of the global climate from the Little Ice Age, which historical records place between around 1400 and 1800 AD. And since we are still well below the temperatures seen during the Medieval Climate Optimum (when Norsemen were able to grow crops and raise cattle in Greenland), we will likely experience even warmer decades during the 21st century. But this is a pure guess; we still don't understand what controls millennial climate cycles of warming - and cooling.
However, the data do not support a human influence on climate. Temperatures have not warmed (i.e., shown an upward trend) during the past decade -- in spite of sharply rising levels of atmospheric CO2. The confusion comes about when people mix up temperature level (measured in degC) with temperature trend (measured in degC per decade). They are entirely different concepts. We currently have a record temperature level but no upward trend -- and possibly even a slight cooling.
(10) Global Warming And Climate Forcing
Norm Kalmanovitch [firstname.lastname@example.org]
There appears to be a bit of confusion about the concept that I was trying to portray; possibly caused by the misrepresentation of my values when the text was switched to plain text.
I did miss a zero in my air density and I appreciate your correction, but my main purpose, math errors aside, was to show that there was no basis for the climate models to relate forcing to temperature, in the simplest way possible.
The forcing parameter of the climate models is just a contrived number that has no physical basis. It was constructed using the (false) assumption that 100ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 caused a 0.6°C increase in global temperature. It was in the form of 5.35ln(C/Co) where C is a CO2 concentration value and Co is the reference value. A doubling of CO2 would be represented as 5.35ln(2) = 3.71.
The value 3.71 is in watts/m^2 to match the other components of the climate models.
To convert this forcing to increases in global temperature another contrived value is used typically 0.75°C for each watt/m^2 of forcing.
The whole modeling scam is to input a value configure it with complex equations for the various atmospheric processes, and come out with a value that is arbitrarily converted to a value that will demonstrate the appropriate warming.
Forcing is not energy so it does not have to follow energy conservation laws, and as long as the flux coming in equals the flux coming out the equations are satisfied.
By adding a time value to the flux and an area value for the flux it is now converted to energy and is now bound by the laws of conservation of energy. Even though I was off by a factor of ten the outcome is still ridiculous, demonstrating the fallacy of the forcing concept.
As the temperature of a body increases the amount of radiation from that body increases as well until the energy radiated by a body equals the incoming energy at this equilibrium temperature. This applies only to energy; it does not apply to energy flux which is independent of temperature as stated by the forcing parameter of the model. A doubling of CO2 will cause 3.71watts/m^2 of forcing regardless of whether the doubling is from 50ppmv to 100ppmv or from 387ppmv to 774ppmv.
The forcing will be the same 3.71watts/m^2 for a doubling of CO2 regardless of the temperature as well.
This is the fundamental fallacy with the entire concept of emissions causing global warming especially when increasing CO2 emissions are increasing as the temperature continues to cool.
The concept of adding time values and area values to the forcing value of the climate models occurred to me as a way to simply expose the fallacy of the climate models, and while the approach was correct my math was found lacking for which I apologize, and I will try to curb my enthusiasm with a little more checking in the future.
(11) Re: Earth's Uncertain Respone To CO2
Leonid F.Khilyuk [email@example.com]
Re: Professor Herman Burchard's comments (CCNet, 27 January 2010).
The correct related references are:
O.G. Sorokhtin, G.V. Chilingar, and L.F. Khilyuk (2007). Global warming and global cooling. Evolution of climate on Earth, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 330 pp.
G.V. Chilingar, O.G. Sorokhtin, L.F. Khilyuk L.F., and M.V. Gorfunkel (2009). Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect, Environ. Geol. 58:1207-1213.
G.V. Chilingar, L.F. Khilyuk, and O.G. Sorokhtin (2008). Cooling of atmosphere due to CO2 emission,
Energy Sources, Part A, 30:1-9.
(12) London Climate Debate: Has Global Warming increased the toll of disasters?
Has Global Warming increased the toll of disasters?
Friday 5 February 2010 - 7.00pm-8.30pm
Lecturers: Bob Ward vs Prof Roger Pielke Jr
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