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ICECAP in the News
Jul 03, 2007
IPCC Process is Unscientific and Flawed, Say Other Scientists

Letters to The Hill Times, May 28th, 2007

Three Canadian Scientists responded to a letter criticizing an Op Ed in the Hill Times by Dr. Harris and Dr. Tim Ball.  Dr. Madhav Khandekar, one of the respondees says it this way

Dr. John Stone while criticizing the opinion piece seems to naively believe that the climate change documents prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the last word in the complex science of climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth. The IPCC uses a flawed peer-review process which is unacceptable in the scientific community.

As an invited expert reviewer for the IPCC 2007 Documents, I provided comprehensive review for the first order draft (FOD) and the second order draft (SOD) of one chapter, November 2005 and July 2006, respectively. In my review, I pointed out several recent peer-reviewed studies which were completely ignored by the IPCC authors. To my dismay, IPCC authors ignored all my comments and suggestions for major changes in the FOD and sent me the SOD with essentially the same text as the FOD. None of the authors of the chapter bothered to directly communicate with me (or with other expert reviewers with whom I communicate on a regular basis) on many issues that were raised in my review. This is not an acceptable scientific review process.

I have been an editorial board member for two international journals (Climate Research-Germany and Natural Hazards-Netherlands) and have reviewed more than 100 manuscripts submitted to these journals in the last 10 years. In no case was the manuscript accepted without full exchange of communication with the authors through the editorial offices in Germany and Netherlands, respectively. This is the essence of peer-reviewed process and is the standard procedure for any scientific journal. Unfortunately IPCC bypasses this process by claiming United Nations immunity. This is unacceptable. 

Dr. Stone and other adherents of the IPCC science like to insist that the debate over climate change science is over and it is now time for action. I urge Dr. Stone to browse through recent issues of major international journals in climate and related science. Hardly a week goes by without a significant paper being published questioning the science.  The science of climate change is continuously evolving. The IPCC and its authors have closed their minds and eyes to this evolving science which points to solar variability as the prime driver of earth’s climate and not the human-added greenhouse gases.  See the full story here.

Jul 03, 2007
Forecasts All Up in the Air

By Dr. Bob Carter, Courier Mail

Kevin Trenberth is head of the large US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and one of the advisory high priests of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A New Zealander by birth, Trenberth has had a distinguished career as a climate scientist with interests in the use of computer General Circulation Models (GCMs), the basis for most of the public alarm about dangerous global warming. When such a person gives an opinion about the scientific value of GCMs as predictive tools, it is obviously wise to pay attention.

In a remarkable contribution to Nature magazine’s Climate Feedback blog, Trenberth concedes GCMs cannot predict future climate and claims the IPCC is not in the business of climate prediction. This might be news to some people. Among other things, Trenberth asserts “. . . there are no (climate) predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been”. Instead, there are only “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.

According to Trenberth, GCMs “. . . do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents”. “None of the models used by IPCC is initialised to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models corresponds even remotely to the current observed climate.

In a paper being presented at the 27th International Symposium on Forecasting in New York this week, Scott Armstrong and Kesten Green audit the relevant chapter in the IPCC’s latest report. Armstrong and Kesten conclude that “because the forecasting processes . . . overlook scientific evidence on forecasting, the IPCC forecasts of climate change are not scientific”.

In a third devastating blow to the credibility of climate forecasting, a lead author of the IPCC Working Group 1 science report, Jim Renwick, recently admitted “climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well”.

Read full story here.

Jul 01, 2007
NOAA Cover Up Of US Historical Climate Network Surface Station Photographs

By Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science

Since 2002, we have been seeking to have photographs of the US Historical Climate Network (HCN) sites made available. The HCN sites are used as part of the diagnosis of the surface temperature anomalies on monthly and yearly time scales, as well as the United States contribution to the construction of the global average surface temperature trend used in climate assessments such as the 2007 WG IPCC Report (see Figure SPM.3a, for example).

NOAA, however, has consistently failed to provide these photographs. As result, several scientists have independently obtained photographs for specific locations and have identified significant siting problems with a number of locations. Since this HCN data is so central to the discussion of climate change, it is imperative that the actual locations where the data is being collected be adequately documented.

Recently, Anthony Watts has established a website to record these photographs. He has worked to assure that the photographs are obtained appropriately.

As a result of this effort, NOAA has removed location information from their website as to where they are located. This information has been available there for years. This is a very disturbing development, as individuals in NOAA’s leadership have used their authority to prevent the scientific community and the public access to critical information that is being used as part of establishing climate and energy policy in the United States.

The new NOAA policy is a deliberate attempt to avoid presenting this information for scrutiny. See full detailed blog here.

Jun 28, 2007
Greenland Warmest Decade

CO2 Science

Vinther etal., (2006) combined early observational records from 13 locations along the southern and western coasts of Greenland, extending the overall temperature history of the region - which stretches from approximately 60 to 73°N latitude - all the way back to AD 1784. In the words of the authors, “two distinct cold periods, following the 1809 ‘unidentified’ volcanic eruption and the eruption of Tambora in 1815, [made] the 1810s the coldest decade on record.” The warmest period, however, was not the last quarter century, when climate alarmists claim the earth experienced a warming that was unprecedented over the past two millennia. Rather, as Vinther et al. report, “the warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record [was] 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s [were] the warmest decades.” In fact, their newly-lengthened record reveals there has been no net warming of the region over the last 75 years!

There has been no net change in air temperature there in response to the 25% increase in the air’s CO2 content experienced over that period. And this is the region the world’s climate alarmists refer to as a climatological canary in a coal mine??? If it is, real-world data suggest that the greenhouse effect of CO2 has been hugely overestimated!

See the full story here.

Jun 27, 2007
Mont Blanc Glaciers Refuse to Shrink?

World Climate Report, June 26, 2007

If you have an interest in global warming and its effect on mountain glaciers, you will be thrilled to know that there are over one million websites on the subject. Even before you get to the first site, you already know what you will find. Burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Earth is warming, mountain glaciers are in full retreat all over the planet, delicate ecosystems are in peril, and humans who rely on the freshwater from mountain glaciers better get creative fast. Recall that in the Gore film, a great deal of attention was paid to the diminishing “snows of Kilimanjaro” – Gore has made hay in Glacier National Park as well pointing to shrinking glaciers. Retreating mountain glaciers have become a poster-child of the global warming alarmists – no presentation on the subject is complete without one.

Someone in Europe missed the memo on this subject as a recent article has appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research entitled “Very high-elevation Mont Blanc glaciated areas not affected by the 20th century climate change.” To say the least, we at World Climate Report were interested in what the authors had to say.
The research was conducted by six scientists from leading agencies and departments in France and Switzerland that deal with hydrology and glaciology.

“All these results suggest that the SMB at Dôme du Goûter and Mont Blanc did not experience any significant changes over the 20th century.” The first sentence of their conclusions section states “Geodetic measurements carried out in 1905 and 2005 on the highest ice fields of the Mont Blanc range indicate small thickness changes and show that these very high-elevation glaciated areas have not been significantly affected by climate change over the last 100 years.” Later in the conclusions section, they write “In any case, this study reveals that the very high-elevation ice fields in the Mont Blanc area have not been affected by the climate warming.  See full story here.

Jun 26, 2007
Climate Audit Looks at Gridded Data Issue

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit

Gavin Schmidt recently told Anthony Watts that worrying about station data quality was soooo last year. His position was a bit hard to follow but it seemed to be more or less as follows: that GISS didn’t use station data, but in the alternative, as defence lawyers like to say, if GISS did use station data (which they deny), de-contamination of station data would improve the fit of the GISS model. It reminds me of the textbook case where an alternative defence is not recommended: where the defendant argues that he did not kill the victim, but, if he did, it was self-defence. In such cases, picking one of the alternatives and sticking with it is considered the more prudent strategy.

In this particular case, I thought it would be interesting to plot up the relevant gridcell series from CRU and GISS and, needless to say, surprises were abundant.
At this point, I haven’t figured out the adjustments made to go from raw station data to adjusted station data, much less to go from adjusted station data to gridded data. I haven’t worked with these data sets at length and maybe I’m missing something - but the match of the versions over so much of their history suggests that I’ve collated everything correctly. The gridcell definitions are different but the results track closely up to recent years. It seems odd that they can claim to know global temperature in (say) 1040 to within a a couple of tenths of a deg C, when GISS and CRU gridded data in these gridcells disagree by over 0.5 deg in 2005.


See whole blogpost here

Jun 25, 2007
Oregon State Climatologist Still Caught in a Political Storm

PBS New Hour

Oregon Global Warming Skeptic Finds More Controversy - see PBS newshour transcript here

Oregon state climatologist George Taylor does not believe that global warming is due to human activity. Now, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants him to stop using the state climatologist title.

NewsHour correspondent Lee Hochberg reports from Oregon on the controversy there and in nearby Washington State , where the uneasy clash between science and politics is occurring too.

In Washington State, the assistant state climatologist, Mark Albright, was stripped of his title for challenging the estimate of the reduction of the western snowpack as an artifact of the time period chosen. (see Icecap blog on this issue here).

Both George and Mark are exactly right on their issues but like the salmon of the Pacific Northwest, both are swimming upstream against the increasing swift and turbulent political currents. George is a valued Icecap member and expert and we wish both George and Mark success in fighting the good fight against misinformation and politics. 

Jun 21, 2007
Read the Sunspots

R. Timothy Patterson, Financial Post

Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now. Ten thousand years ago, while the world was coming out of the thou-sand-year-long “Younger Dryas” cold episode, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade—100 times faster than the past century’s 0.6C warming that has so upset environmentalists.

Climate-change research is now literally exploding with new findings. Since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the field has had more research than in all previous years combined and the discoveries are completely shattering the myths. For example, I and the first-class scientists I work with are consistently finding excellent correlations between the regular fluctuations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate. This is not surprising. The sun and the stars are the ultimate source of all energy on the planet.

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.

See full story here.

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