By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit
In recent discussion of the Weblog 2007 Awards, several commenters at other blogs have argued that our criticisms of the Mannian parlor tricks have been “thoroughly refuted and discarded by climatologists, published in a credible journal”; that “other professionals in the field who also have “looked in great detail at the problem at hand” and have come to the conclusion that rather than McIntyre’s findings being “valid and relevant”, they instead have found them to be “without statistical and climatological merit”; that CA “fluffed on the whole hockey stick thing”.
Omitted in these references are the fact that the people described as “climatologists published in a credible journal” or “professionals in the field” are none other than Wahl and Ammann, serial coauthors with Michael Mann, students of Mann, who are not independent of the controversy. Indeed, they largely use (without citation or attribution or even acknowledgment to Michael Mann) arguments originally published at realclimate (and already responded to in MM 2005b(EE). Aside from their lack of independence, neither Ammann nor Wahl qualify as statistical authorities. Ammann did his undergraduate work in geology; Wahl in divinity. While this does not exclude them from having potential insight in the matter, it is evidence that one should not necessarily expect a sure grasp of mathematical and statistical issues and that their conclusions cannot be relied upon uncritically, even if Stephen Schneider accepted their article. Read more from Steve recapping the history of the totally debunked hockey stick here.
Icecap Note: Congratulations to Steve and Climate Audit to see his hard work rewarded with a virtual tie with Bad Astronomy blog for Best Science Blog 2007.
By Molly Reuter, KLTV
It’s a movement that’s gained momentum and has become mainstream, especially in political and media circles. Even major television networks these days are promoting Going Green, to stop Global Warming. One of the things you’re not hearing in the national media is a voice like John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel. In a recent article, Coleman calls Global Warming the greatest scam in history.
“There is no runaway climate change,” said Coleman. “The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious.” KLTV 7 has three meteorologist on staff. It’s their job to analyze weather patterns both in the short term, and the long term. When it comes to Global Warming, all three have a lot to say.
It’s being blamed for almost every major catastrophe, hurricanes, tornados, flooding and even droughts. More and more people are now on the Global Warming bandwagon. “Any idea can become mainstream if you just hear one side of the argument,” said KLTV 7 Meteorologist Morgan Palmer. For those who study the weather everyday, the idea of man-made Global Warming is a scientific theory, and Palmer says it has now become political. It is because of money,” said Palmer. “Folks that are writing these papers, that a lot of institutions are going after, grant money and grant money is given by folks who might have very good intentions, but unfortunately the papers that are being written are heavily weighed on man-made Global Warming.”
Now, Meteorologist Mark Scirto and Grant Dade want the other side of the argument to be heard. Read more here.
By John Stossel, ABC 20/20
Recently on “20/20,” I said “give me a break” to Al Gore for claiming that the global-warming debate is over and suggesting that all dissenters were in it for the money. I interviewed independent scientists who say Gore is wrong.
Some people were relieved to finally hear the other side: “Thank you, thank you, thank you for your report on climate change. … I’m sick of hearing ‘the debate’s over’ and writing anyone who differs off as a nut. This report showed the true nature of the debate and true lack of consensus, something you can’t get anywhere else.” Others were just mad: “Your 20/20 report on Global Warning made me sick. ... Your sarcastic ridiculing of Al Gore … I have lost all respect for you and your reporting.”
Yes, the globe has warmed, but whether severe warming is imminent and whether human beings are causing it in large degree are empirical questions that can’t be answered ideologically. The media may scream that “the science is in” and the “debate is over,” but in fact it continues vigorously, with credentialed climate scientists on both side of the divide.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may present a “consensus view of scientists,” but the “consensus” is not without dissent. “Consensus is the stuff of politics, not science,” says Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute. The scientific process ought to be left to play itself out with as little political bias as possible. Politically influenced research is poison to science. Read more here.
By Christopher Booker and Richard North, UK Telegraph
No one can deny that in recent years the need to “save the planet” from global warming has become one of the most pervasive issues of our time. Inevitably, many people have been bemused by this somewhat one-sided debate, imagining that if so many experts are agreed, then there must be something in it. But if we set the story of how this fear was promoted in the context of other scares before it, the parallels which emerge might leave any honest believer in global warming feeling uncomfortable.
Evidence now has been accumulating to show that, despite the continuing rise in CO2 levels, global temperatures in the years since 1998 have no longer been rising and may soon even be falling. It was a telling moment when, in August, Gore’s closest scientific ally, James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was forced to revise his influential record of US surface temperatures showing that the past decade has seen the hottest years on record. His graph now concedes that the hottest year of the 20th century was not 1998 but 1934, and that four of the 10 warmest years in the past 100 were in the 1930s.
Furthermore, scientists and academics have recently been queuing up to point out that fluctuations in global temperatures correlate more consistently with patterns of radiation from the sun than with any rise in CO2 levels, and that after a century of high solar activity, the sun’s effect is now weakening, presaging a likely drop in temperatures. If global warming does turn out to have been a scare like all the others, it will certainly represent as great a collective flight from reality as history has ever recorded. The evidence of the next 10 years will be very interesting. Read more here.
By Hans H.J. Labohm, Independent Economist
Climate scepticism has now gained a firm foothold in various European countries. In my own country, the Netherlands, the situation has markedly improved. In line with the tradition of consensus-seeking, it has been possible to establish something close to a real dialogue between AGW adherents and the climate sceptics. Personally, I have even been invited by the Netherlands Royal Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to become expert reviewer of the IPCC. As such, I have submitted many fundamental criticisms on the draft texts of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Panel (AR4). What happened to my comments? To be honest, I have not the faintest idea. Most probably, nothing at all.
Nevertheless, in my capacity as expert reviewer of the IPCC, I have also received (a tiny) part of the Nobel price, which has been awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC (yes, thanks for your congratulations). Should I be grateful? I don’t think so. Both ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and the latest IPCC report labour under cherry-picking, spindoctoring and scare-mongering (Al Gore’s movie more than the IPCC reports). Awarding the Nobel price for such flawed science is a disgrace.
And what about our kids? Well, they have survived the story of Santa Claus without any visible scars. Wouldn’t they survive the nonsense of man-made global warming as well? Read more here.
By Sewell Chan, New York Times
Is the environmental movement, like the war on terror, premised on a “politics of fear”? In other words, does it try to unify people by scaring them with threats to their basic survival? That was the provocative thesis advanced by Alex Gourevitch, a doctoral candidate in political theory at Columbia University, at a panel discussion on Tuesday evening at the New York Public Library. He was confronted by vigorous dissent from his fellow panelists and from some members of the audience.
Let’s say it: Environmentalism is a politics of fear. It is not a progressive politics. When I say it is a politics of fear, I don’t mean that it just deploys hysterical rhetoric or that it exaggerates threats, which I think it does. I mean it in a much deeper sense. Mr. Gourevitch did not portray himself as a skeptic of climate change, but he argued, “What the science cannot tell you is what our political and social response should be.” Science cannot determine whether humans should focus on mitigation or adaptation, he said.
Mr. Gourevitch quoted Al Gore as describing the climate change not only as the most urgent issue of our time, but also as a unique opportunity for current generations to affect the course of history. Mr. Gourevitch summarized this approach as “the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict that so often stifle the human need for transcendence.”
He added: Environmentalism is not just some politics. It’s a political project, a full-bodied ideology, and one that presents itself in terms of progress and aspiration. But when you look at what this ideology is built on, it’s built on the idea that a collective threat that makes security the basic principle of politics and makes the struggle for survival the basic and central aim of our social and political life. This, to me, is not a progressive politics at all. Most provocatively, Mr. Gourevitch compared the environmental movement to the war on terror, which he said relies on a unity based on fear. Read more here.
By World Climate Report
A couple of weeks ago, New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin wrote a piece titled “Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts” in which he described this year’s record low Arctic summer sea ice extent and the how the dramatic decline over last year had caught many sea-ice scientists by surprise. Revkin goes on to interview a variety of experts on the topic of sea ice, most of which realize that some (most) of the sea ice decline observed over the past several decades is likely related to anthropogenic changes to the earth’s climate, while admitting that undoubtedly, some natural (non-human-influenced) processes likely contributed to the decline as well. Revkin starts out by noting “astonished by the summer’s changes [in ice extent], scientists are studying forces that exposed one million square miles of open water—six Californias—beyond the average since satellites started measurements in 1979.”
Perhaps he could consult the writing of noted early to mid-20th century Arctic researcher Dr. Hans Ahlmann. Ahlmann wrote a number of papers describing climate changes taking place in the Arctic in the first half of the 20th century, often referring to the warm-up that occurred back then as a “climate improvement.” He wrote: “The extent of drift ice in Arctic waters has also diminished considerably in the last decades. According to information received in the U.S.S.R. in 1945, the area of drift ice in the Russian sector of the Arctic was reduced by no less than 1,000,000 square kilometers between 1924 and 1944. The shipping season in West Spitsbergen has lengthened from three months at the beginning of this century to about seven months at the beginning of the 1940s. The Northern Sea Route, the North-East Passage, could never have been put into regular usage if the ice conditions in recent years had been as difficult as they were during the first decades of this century.”
Granted, one million square kilometers is not the same as Revkin’s one million square mile anomaly, but it is a healthy portion of it (~40%) and, it only pertains to the “Russian sector,” so, it is possible that additional declines occurred in other portions of the Arctic Ocean as well. Likely the source of Ahlmann’s comments and the source of Dr. Mahoney’s data are one and the same. But even so, they seem to provide tantalizing evidence that large-scale sea ice variations took place in Arctic sea ice extent prior to human alteration of the earth’s greenhouse effect.
Perhaps the revelation of this early Russian sea ice data will cause modern day ice researchers to scratch their heads even more than they are doing already when trying to understand the processes that are involved in controlling Arctic sea ice conditions. Read more here.
California is now heavily populated with homes everywhere. People move their because, as the song from the 60s goes, “it never rains in southern California”. The region attracts people because it is warm and dry. When the area was not populated there were frequent smaller fires which burned away lots of brush. But as people move in those fires are controlled so the brush accumulates adding more fuel to the fires—literally. When the normal heat and normal Santa Ana winds combine with this accumulated fuel the fires we’ve seen are the result.
And at least one study of wildfires in the West, published in Science, recently found no increase in wildfires in southern California. In addition here are the actual raw precipitation rates for Fairmont, California as provided by the U.S. Historical Climate Network. I don’t see a pattern of increased dryness over earlier years in the last century. And in Brawley, California the statistics from USHCN show the driest period in recent history was from around 1940 to 1975 and that the last 25 years were actually wetter.
And both these stations were picked precisely because they are in the midst of the fire regions.The reality is that, once again, any event that is tragic or unfortunate is being exploited to push warming alarmism. Media pundits and environmental activists do this routinely. And what science they may have on their side of the debate is discredited because of it. No doubt they will next trot out Al Gore to preach to the sinners about the evils of consumption and other such vices.
Read full blog and see plots here.