Scientist Discusses Latest Report of Rising Global Temperatures


A new NASA report says the past decade was the warmest ever on Earth, at least since modern temperature measurements began in 1880. The study analyzed global surface temperatures and also found that 2009 was the second-warmest year on record, again since modern temperature measurements began. Last year was only a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest yet, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with the other hottest years, which have all occurred since 1998. This annual surface temperature study is one that always generates considerable interest — and some controversy. Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) offered some context on this latest report, in an interview with the NASA Earth Science News Team.

NASA’s Earth Science News Team: Every year, some of the same questions come up about the temperature record. What are they?

Gavin Schmidt: First, do the annual rankings mean anything? Second, how should we interpret all of the changes from year to year — or inter-annual variability — the ups and downs that occur in the record over short time periods? Third, why does NASA GISS get a slightly different answer than the Met Office Hadley Centre does? Fourth, is GISS somehow cooking the books in its handling and analysis of the data?

NASA: 2009 just came in as tied as the 2nd warmest on record, which seems notable. What is the significance of the yearly temperature rankings?

The map shows temperature changes for the last decade—January 2000 to December 2009—relative to the 1951-1980 mean. Credit: NASA

Gavin Schmidt: In fact, for any individual year, the ranking isn’t particularly meaningful. The difference between the second warmest and sixth warmest years, for example, is trivial. The media is always interested in the annual rankings, but whether it’s 2003, 2007, or 2009 that’s second warmest doesn’t really mean much because the difference between the years is so small. The rankings are more meaningful as you look at longer averages and decade-long trends.

NASA: Why does GISS get a different answer than the Met Office Hadley Centre [a UK climate research group that works jointly with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia to perform an analysis of global temperatures]?

Gavin Schmidt: It’s mainly related to the way the weather station data is extrapolated. The Hadley Centre uses basically the same data sets as GISS, for example, but it doesn’t fill in large areas of the Arctic and Antarctic regions where fixed monitoring stations don’t exist. Instead of leaving those areas out from our analysis, you can use numbers from the nearest available stations, as long as they are within 1,200 kilometers. Overall, this gives the GISS product more complete coverage of the polar areas.

NASA: Some might hear the word “extrapolate” and conclude that you’re “making up” data. How would you reply to such criticism?

Gavin Schmidt: The assumption is simply that the Arctic Ocean as a whole is warming at the average of the stations around it. What people forget is that if you don’t put any values in for the areas where stations are sparse, then when you go to calculate the global mean, you’re actually assuming that the Arctic is warming at the same rate as the global mean. So, either way you are making an assumption.

Which one of those is the better assumption? Given all the changes we’ve observed in the Arctic sea ice with satellites, we believe it’s better to assume the Arctic Ocean is changing at the same rate as the other stations around the Arctic. That’s given GISS a slightly larger warming, particularly in the last couple of years, relative to the Hadley Centre.

NASA: Many have noted that the winter has been particularly cold and snowy in some parts of the United States and elsewhere. Does this mean that climate change isn’t happening?

Gavin Schmidt: No, it doesn’t, though you can’t dismiss people’s concerns and questions about the fact that local temperatures have been cool. Just remember that there’s always going to be variability. That’s weather. As a result, some areas will still have occasionally cool temperatures — even record-breaking cool — as average temperatures are expected to continue to rise globally.

NASA: So what’s happening in the United States may be quite different than what’s happening in other areas of the world?

Gavin Schmidt: Yes, especially for short time periods. Keep in mind that that the contiguous United States represents just 1.5 percent of Earth’s surface.

NASA: GISS has been accused by critics of manipulating data. Has this changed the way that GISS handles its temperature data?

Gavin Schmidt: Indeed, there are people who believe that GISS uses its own private data or somehow massages the data to get the answer we want. That’s completely inaccurate. We do an analysis of the publicly available data that is collected by other groups. All of the data is available to the public for download, as are the computer programs used to analyze it. One of the reasons the GISS numbers are used and quoted so widely by scientists is that the process is completely open to outside scrutiny.

NASA: What about the meteorological stations? There have been suggestions that some of the stations are located in the wrong place, are using outdated instrumentation, etc.

Gavin Schmidt: Global weather services gather far more data than we need. To get the structure of the monthly or yearly anomalies over the United States, for example, you’d just need a handful of stations, but there are actually some 1,100 of them. You could throw out 50 percent of the station data or more, and you’d get basically the same answers. Individual stations do get old and break down, since they’re exposed to the elements, but this is just one of things that the NOAA has to deal with. One recent innovation is the set up of a climate reference network alongside the current stations so that they can look for potentially serious issues at the large scale – and they haven’t found any yet.

Sources: NASA, NASA Earth Observatory

145 Replies to “Scientist Discusses Latest Report of Rising Global Temperatures”

  1. Written by James Delingpole, Telegraph | January 22 2010

    Before we get too worried about NASA’s latest stamping-its-little-feet claims that the world is getting hotter it is it is it IS, let us first remind ourselves why we should trust their temperature records slightly less far than we can spit.

    Then let’s have a closer look at the character and motives of the man in charge of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Dr James Hansen. Last year, he was described by his former course supervisor at NASA, Dr John Theon, as an “activist” and an embarrassment.

    Or as the Great Booker puts it:

    If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

  2. Read the rest of the story on Climate Change Fraud.
    The story head-line is;
    James Hansen: Would you buy a used temperature data set from THIS man?

  3. The bottom line of this story is the amount of meteorological and climatology data that supports the view that indeed global temperatures are on the rise, whose cause is highly likely.humankind’s gross cumulative exploitation of the environment.

    This particular story gives an excellent example of how science interprets draws conclusions from the available It is nearly completely free of any divisiveness or motive If the debate on climate change is to sink in to the nations and population of the world, then all the sceptics must learn and speak clearly in the language of science and avoid speaking in ‘absolutes.’

    Yet another “perfect storm” scenario for the religious crackpots and the climate change deniers about rising global temperatures – and they will all still want to deny it!

    Very interested to hear how all the deniers willrespond to this one!

  4. The devloped nations uses a 30 year period, the current standard is 1971-2000-these 30 year standard have been in place in the US since about the early 20th century and in Europe about a century earlier. In European colonialism times, the 30 year periods were used if possible.
    I don’t deny there has been warming in the poles of the Earth for a few decades, the Sierra Nevadas’ of Spain lost its’ glacier recently and SW Australia now has only 60% of its’ precipitation compared to 1920-1950, however, what gets me is this-since the end of colonislism since the end of WW2 , most areas of Africa and vast areas of Asia and South America lost the ability to record the weather due to civil wars, unrest, government coruptions, etc. ; these vast areas I just mentioned do not have records of their climate that can quality for a 30 year climate standards.
    I study climatology of cities, regions of the Earth on the internet and is my hobby behind astronomy , I realize the Earth has been warming more or less steadily since the end of the little ice age and the vast 1815 Tambora eruption.
    My concern is for the US to use much more cleaner energy sources to drive the economy, and in the process will use less C02-now, if the US is going to give the UN 100 billion dollars a year for ‘ lowering global warming’ , there are 3rd world nations who will or are already using filthy sources of energy pollution the atmosphere, so why would the US need to give the UN 100 billion dollars if the 3rd world countries will pollute the atmosphere?
    The NASA report, think about this first, satillites has only been launched since the late 1950’s and much better data has really started only since about the 1970s-80s’- how can NASA produce a chart 1950-1980!?!?!?
    IMHO, the global network of climate gathering is vastly incomplete/inconsistent/short time frame to say the Earths’ climate is going over the global edge caused by too much heat!!!!!

  5. With the Supreme Court decision yesterday we can all expect before long a continual stream of political adverts claiming global warming is a hoax. This drumfire of denialism nonsense will drown out science 10 to 1 before long.


  6. @Lawrence B. Crowell Says
    Please give URL to Supreme Court decision as I can’t seen to find the URL at the moment- thank you in advance.

  7. @star-grazer:

    Simply google recent Supreme Court decisions. You’ll discover all the bad news you can handle. Sorry to ruin your weekend. This decision completes the transfer of our lives to the corporations. And I thought the worst decision they could make was installing Bush as President. Almost makes me ashamed to claim America as my home. It certainly doesn’t look like the America of my youth. Pity….

  8. @William928 Says
    Thank you for locations tips. Such a bad decision did not surprize me. Went from bad to worst!!!!

  9. @ William928

    The scenario sound like the future exalted in the film “Rollerball”, in which the world was run by corporations whose have their grubby fingers firmly placed in our everyday lives.
    It is not just an new American evil, but is part of the modern world and the way it is going for many other countries.

    I’ve been recently reading some of the works John Adams who was the 2nd President of your country. He rightly taught us about the real nature of the “aristocracy” and its evils, and I agree it does now seem the corporations are becoming our new masters – the new aristocracy.

    In a nutshell. Corporations will always deny climate change because it cuts into their profits and incentive to exploit , even though it is completely against the common good.

  10. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb, Lawrence B. Crowell, Have you heard about Climategate?
    I think not by the way you post here, The science is proving Global warming wrong every day, the IPPC and every one under them has made a mockery of this science. Scientist will be lucky if it will ever be trusted again with out double and triple studies now. Al Gore doesn’t want to debate anything, why? Because there is a census by the scientific community!!! Really then why is there 30000 scientist against the IPPC’s 2500? I guess 2500 is the majority over 30000. The same 2500 that the global panel of over 2,500 scientists is facing flak for having said Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — a statement made without sufficient peer review and which the IPCC has already retracted. Is the head the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change one of these scientist, or Mr, Gore, because they are in no way qualified. Really who are the deniers here? The science is proving global warming wrong every day, are you denying that too. Is it blind faith you follow global warming, like a religion, it was Al that refereed to it as a religion. Is that why. You know it’s not Global warming any more, the new word is CLIMATE CHANGE now.

  11. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb, The scenario sound like the future exalted in the film “Rollerball”, in which the world was run by corporations whose have their grubby fingers firmly placed in our everyday lives.

    Really, Have you seen whose changed their way lately? Beyond ( British ) Petrolium, and SHELL from the last comercial I have seen on TV, I don’t know about the rest because I havn’t seen their commercials on the tube. Big OIL taking one for the cause eh, I wonder why? Not that I am against alternative energy sources I hope the more the better so Big OIL don’t get the lions share of the market, Alternative energy anyone, you or me can get off of the grid, saves you and me money, but if they controll it under the name of climate change, HAHAHAHA do I need to say more!!!
    You have it all wrong, they are playing you like a violin to get Cap And Trade in. that is where the big money is, and you will see who wins with this and we all lose. Besides, what willcapand trade do anyway, besides make the big corperations richer off of our expense? It won’t save the planet, is that is your faith, or what you belive in. CAPAND TRADE, CO2 because the planet is warming, doesn’t stop CO2 from being discharged, so how does it save the planet ?

  12. @ Russ

    Eh? What an truly amazing tirade of irrelevancies. (Gives our Anaconda a good run for his money methinks.)

    Can you actually read? What you say and what is in this story appear to be is two different things.

    See the first graph in this article? How do you explain the data of the last hundred years?

    Delusional? You have it in absolute spades, jackass!

  13. Unlest you are with the Big corperations why would you buy into this stuff. Even a tree hugger with half a brain should be able to see through this. For crying out loud wake up and smell the coffee, or drink coffee, but just wake up.

  14. Written by Richard Foot, National Post | January 21 2010

    Typical weather station
    Call it the mystery of the missing thermometers.
    Two months after “climategate” cast doubt on some of the science behind global warming, new questions are being raised about the reliability of a key temperature database, used by the United Nations and climate change scientists as proof of recent planetary warming.
    Two American researchers allege that U.S. government scientists have skewed global temperature trends by ignoring readings from thousands of local weather stations around the world, particularly those in colder altitudes and more northerly latitudes, such as Canada.
    In the 1970s, nearly 600 Canadian weather stations fed surface temperature readings into a global database assembled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, NOAA only collects data from 35 stations across Canada.
    Worse, only one station — at Eureka on Ellesmere Island — is now used by NOAA as a temperature gauge for all Canadian territory above the Arctic Circle.
    The Canadian government, meanwhile, operates 1,400 surface weather stations across the country, and more than 100 above the Arctic Circle, according to Environment Canada.
    Yet as American researchers Joseph D’Aleo, a meteorologist, and E. Michael Smith, a computer programmer, point out in a study published on the website of the Science and Public Policy Institute, NOAA uses “just one thermometer [for measuring] everything north of latitude 65 degrees.”
    Both the authors, and the institute, are well-known in climate-change circles for their skepticism about the threat of global warming.
    Mr. D’Aleo and Mr. Smith say NOAA and another U.S. agency, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) have not only reduced the total number of Canadian weather stations in the database, but have “cherry picked” the ones that remain by choosing sites in relatively warmer places, including more southerly locations, or sites closer to airports, cities or the sea — which has a warming effect on winter weather.
    Over the past two decades, they say, “the percentage of [Canadian] stations in the lower elevations tripled and those at higher elevations, above 300 feet, were reduced in half.”
    Using the agency’s own figures, Smith shows that in 1991, almost a quarter of NOAA’s Canadian temperature data came from stations in the high Arctic. The same region contributes only 3% of the Canadian data today.
    Mr. D’Aleo and Mr. Smith say NOAA and GISS also ignore data from numerous weather stations in other parts of the world, including Russia, the U.S. and China.
    They say NOAA collects no temperature data at all from Bolivia — a high-altitude, landlocked country — but instead “interpolates” or assigns temperature values for that country based on data from “nearby” temperature stations located at lower elevations in Peru, or in the Amazon basin.
    The result, they say, is a warmer-than-truthful global temperature record.
    “NOAA . . . systematically eliminated 75% of the world’s stations with a clear bias towards removing higher latitude, high altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler,” the authors say. “The thermometers in a sense, marched towards the tropics, the sea, and to airport tarmacs.”
    The NOAA database forms the basis of the influential climate modelling work, and the dire, periodic warnings on climate change, issued by James Hanson, the director of the GISS in New York.
    Neither agency responded to a request for comment Wednesday from Canwest News Service. However Hanson did issue a public statement on the matter earlier this week.
    “NASA has not been involved in any manipulation of climate data used in the annual GISS global temperature analysis,” he said. “The agency is confident of the quality of this data and stands by previous scientifically-based conclusions regarding global temperatures.”
    In addition to the allegations against NOAA and GISS, climate scientists are also dealing with the embarrassment this week of the false glacier-melt warning contained in the 2007 report of the UN Panel on Climate Change. That report said Himalayan glaciers are likely to disappear within three decades if current rates of melting continue.
    This week, however, the panel admitted there is no scientific evidence to support such a claim.
    The revelations come only two months after the “climategate” scandal, in which the leak or theft of thousands of e-mails — private discussions between scientists in the U.S. and Britain — showed that a group of influential climatologists tried for years to manipulate global warming data, rig the scientific peer-review process and keep their methods secret from other, contrary-minded researchers.

  15. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb, What do you have to say about that, all you can do when been proven wrong is resort to name calling. So you call me a jackass, like that really hurts my feelings. HAHAHA

  16. Rubbish. You are even more insane than I thought. Clearly your objectivity is completely flawed, as you can neither prove or disprove what you say, let alone understand the science behind an conclusion. Also only a true jackass would consider “Climategate” relevant , especially considering the dubious way it was obtained and what context it was presented.

    In the end, you really know nothing.

  17. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb I can say the same about you and the debate isn’t over. Climategate just proves my point of where you stand. You just want to believe no matter the cost because it is what it is, a religion to you. Take it all in faith, Eh, No science required for you, but the junk science they tell you, you are ok with, or are you part of it?
    Let’s put a scenario out there. Say there is a company that looks promising and you like to invest in it.
    But there is a or hacker that exposes it as a ponzi scheme? Would you say Nahhhhhh it was hacker info and it that is wrong info? Would you still be interested in investing in that company? Would you put your money in there anyway? Would you blindly invest there? Climategate, still on going, Glaciergate is the new one now, have you heard about that one yet?

  18. Written by Tony Hake, Climate Change Examiner | January 20 2010

    Confronted with the reality that a claim about the loss of glaciers in the Himalayas was bogus, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today issued a statement saying it was wrong. Contained within the group’s 2007 AR4 report was a paragraph saying the glaciers would disappear by 2035. That has since been discredited.
    In their statement the United Nations’ global warming advocacy group said that the questionable claim “refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers.” The IPCC said it expects better of its work but that in this case if failed to adhere to “clear and well-established standards of evidence.”
    The AR4 report is considered a primary source of information for policymakers and scientists in trying to push the manmade climate change theory. Issued in the same year that Al Gore and the group won Nobel Peace Prizes for their work, the report said, “the likelihood of [Himalayan glaciers] disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high.”
    It was discovered this week that the claim came from a report issued by the environmental activist group the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They in turn had obtained the statement from an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said the statement was purely “speculation.”
    The episode is yet another black eye on the IPCC and some of the world’s top climate change scientists who are still trying to recover from the Climategate email scandal that erupted in November. As a result of that event, many have questioned the accuracy of the IPCC’s work after it was revealed many scientists worked in concert to prevent dissenting opinions from being heard.

  19. Cherry picking makes no difference to me. Your still a jackass for believing you own delusions.

  20. There you go people, to anyone that reads the comments here, all I did was support a different opinion, and all I got back from Hon. Salacious B. Crumb was being called jackass, delusional, illiterate with a comment of “Can you actually read?” Well isn’t that nice!
    Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says cherry picking makes no difference to me. Doesn’t that really tells the story of this being a religion to him and others or an agenda of some sort. For the Hon. Salacious B. Crumb there is no debate and the junk science wins in his or her mind, I guess!!!!!
    What else can I say, other than maybe I was debating with Al gore him self, HAHAHAHA
    How embarrassing would that be if it was good old AL.

  21. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb,
    No I said; What else can I say, other than maybe I was debating with Al Gore him self, HAHAHAHA
    How embarrassing would that be if it was good old AL.
    I never said I was debating Al Gore, Now what are you calling me? I would really like to know?

  22. Another question, you use Hon. in your name like Honorable, as if in some position of elected or title of power.
    Is that the case? And to whom do I have the honor of speaking with? Because if you do not own the accolades of the title of Hon. You should not be using it.

  23. Russ, I think it was Honorary, not Honourable…lol

    You can’t really use logic with these guys, they were told the Earth was flat and by gosh, Flat it is.
    You are deluded! It’s only round to those in the pay of big oil.

  24. The ph factor of the world’s oceans is changing rapidly. The seas can NO LONGER absorb all the carbon being emitted by human activity. All the while, China and India are continuing to build and buy automobiles and are using coal burning power plants for their energy needs. It doesn’t look good for the phytoplankton which generate MOST of the oxygen we breathe.

    I wonder which side of the debate Jacques Cousteau would be on?

  25. “Climate gate”, yeah right.

    So far the only ones that use that word seems to be a bit unstable. Thinking that if you convince enough people it is not happening that suddenly magic will occur and everything will go away.

    Unable to separate reality from fiction has a word I believe? Signs of paranoia?

  26. The only crime that was committed in climategate was the hacking of emails.

    I sense that Al Gore is the target of some serious hatred. When I hear this I know I am indirectly getting Rush Limbaugh. Rush raised Al up as a target for serious derision. This is an interesting, for it sets people’s minds in a sort of auto-pilot mode, In the last election I had no hatred of McCain. In fact as Republicans go I have thought of him as somewhat of a good guy — given GOPers at large. His choice for VP was completely off the wall, as she can’t hold a complete thought, let alone sit second in line for the highest office in the land.

    Given the SCOTUS decision this week I expect the TVs to be filled with nonsense about how AGW is a hoax, how CO_2 is good for the environment, and vote for the GOP candidates XYZ for they will insure Peabody Coal’s good work on the environment and so forth. A complete snow job is coming soon. We are screwed.

    I wonder if this is a standard way that many intelligent life forms snuff themselves out.


  27. So far I have the impression that the denialist can be split into 2 parts.

    One side is those people that have a history of drug abused alcoholic abuse, and mentally ill. Or at least the conspiracy is the very first sign that they are developing mental illnesses. Basically they cannot separate reality from fiction any more. And they get addicted to any conspiracy story, since it is somehow become a drugs for then.

    The other is is the very smart businessman that invents fake pseudo stories to get power, followers and can sell his books. This businessman knows that he lies. This is the real conspiracy, the conspiracy to tell lies and get money out of it.

    There is a third group the ignorant. But these people can separate reality from fiction. They talk about that they are not really convinced of climate change. BUT these people are intelligent enough to listen to discussions. These people are not trying to convert people.

    You can very easily check if you are in the first group with mental issues.Just ask yourself this question: “Are you able to stay away from a conspiracy web site for 1-2 months?” If not then you have become just a conspiracy junky like an drugs junky or alcoholics.

  28. I believe more of what I see than what others tell me to be there….

    This winter is more on par with what I remember in the late 70’s. The summer was also cooler than I ever remember. I was humid, but much cooler.

    Don’t beleive we even hit 90 degrees this summer.

  29. Lawrence B Cromwell said

    “The only crime that was committed in climategate was the hacking of emails.

    I sense that Al Gore is the target of some serious hatred.”

    Lawrence it is VERY obvious that you’ve not read the emails or looked at the code underlying the calculations.
    Those who have realise that the individual who “leaked” NOT “hacked ” did the public a great service by exposing the FRAUD behind the so called science.
    As for Al Gore, apart from being a massive hypocrite, opportunist and con merchant, I can’t see any reason to hate him.

  30. As regards Russ, he is a science blog troll that pops up in such places as Bad Astronomy to ‘discuss’.

    As with EU or creationism, here the science is clear. The question that science denialists (and conspirationists too, of course) have to answer is what would make them change their mind. If they can’t answer that, their argument isn’t testable and it isn’t about science.

    Reversely, what would change scientists mind is for another theory than AGW to explain the observed data. No such theory have been published in peer review. Not surprisingly, since denialists think this is a social issue open for debate (big company conspiracy, et cetera).

    Anyway, let me see:

    @ Russ:

    let’s have a closer look at the character

    Ad hominem. Fail for you!

    Come back when you have a scientific argument. Oh, and please desist with the cut-and-paste irrelevancy Gish gallop.

    @ star-grazer:

    these vast areas I just mentioned do not have records of their climate

    Irrelevant for a global mean, as these records are meticulously cross-checked and calibrated with the available data. Similarly, biologists have a fair record of diversity trends even though vast areas of time and space have no fossil data.

    Sure, it isn’t perfect, but good enough for climate scientists. You can check the IPCC references for how that was done.

    @ RUF:

    Plural of anecdote isn’t data. Come back when you have a scientific argument.

  31. @ zeebee:

    Those who have realise that the individual who “leaked” NOT “hacked ” did the public a great service by exposing the FRAUD behind the so called science.

    And the exact method behind what is understood to be a crime (publishing private mail), not a leak (publishing internal correspondence), changes things how?

    Btw, there was observably no fraud uncovered. If there was, it would have been peer reviewed published as all scientific fraud has been (to set the scientific record straight), to date.

  32. A global economic system dependent on population growth to provide new markets and demand for throw away products. Population 1 billion in 1800, over 9 billions by 2100 (UN projection). A finite planet, atmosphere, ecosphere with finite raw materials. The planet has a finite capability over a period of time to cleanse itself of our waste products.
    Something has to give, and you don’t have to be a scientist to realise we’ve got to start thinking of new energies and economic models…. perhaps those that prioritise need, rather than greed. And who knows, in the process we may start to reduce our CO2!!

  33. British Parliament launches investigation into Climategate email scandal
    January 22, 10:30 PMClimate Change ExaminerTony Hake

    It is the scandal that has rocked the very foundation of climate science and today the British Parliament has launched an investigation into the event. Climategate, the leak of thousands of emails and documents from the world’s top climate scientists, has brought charges of collusion, suppression of dissenting opinion and manipulation and deletion of critical data.
    Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee announced the inquiry today into, “the unauthorized publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).”
    The emails in question were leaked onto the Internet last November and have forced the scientists involved to defend themselves personally and their life’s work. Investigations have been launched into the head of the Climate Research Unit, Phil Jones, as well as Michael Mann, a professor at the Penn State University.

    According to the committee’s release, the investigation will center on four primary areas:
    1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.
    2. Review CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.
    3. Review CRU’s compliance or otherwise with the University’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) for the release of data.
    4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management, governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds .
    The investigation by Parliament highlights the significance of the episode and the doubts it has raised about the science behind the climate change theory. Parliament will be looking into the implications of the episode and its impact on the “integrity of scientific research”. Further, they will address whether or not the inquiry being conducted by the University of East Anglia is adequate.
    In the wake of the email scandal, purveyors of the manmade climate change have been reeling and 2009 was dubbed “The year climate change and global warming activists would like to forget.” Skeptics have seized on it as an indictment of the very science behind the anthropogenic global warming theory.
    The event cast a heavy shadow of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in the following weeks and it has driven further digging into climate science. Recently the possibility that climate records were manipulated to show warming were highlighted by John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel.

  34. Pachauri: the real story behind the Glaciergate scandal
    Written by Christopher Booker, Telegraph | January 23 2010

    I can report a further dramatic twist to what has inevitably been dubbed “Glaciergate” – the international row surrounding the revelation that the latest report on global warming by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contained a wildly alarmist, unfounded claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Last week, the IPCC, led by its increasingly controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was forced to issue an unprecedented admission: the statement in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 had no scientific basis, and its inclusion in the report reflected a “poor application” of IPCC procedures.
    What has now come to light, however, is that the scientist from whom this claim originated, Dr Syed Hasnain, has for the past two years been working as a senior employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general. Furthermore, the claim – now disowned by Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC – has helped TERI to win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America’s leading charities, along with a share in a three million euro research study funded by the EU.
    At the same time, Dr Pachauri has personally been drawn into a major row with the Indian government, previously among his leading supporters, after he described as “voodoo science” an official report by the country’s leading glaciologist, Dr Vijay Raina, which dismissed Dr Hasnain’s claims as baseless. Now that the IPCC has disowned the prediction made by his employee, Dr Pachauri has been castigated by India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, and called on by Dr Raina to apologise for his “voodoo science” charge. At a stormy Delhi press conference on Thursday, Dr Pachauri was asked whether he intended to resign as chairman of the IPCC – on whose behalf he collected a Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, alongside Al Gore – but he refused to answer questions on this fast-escalating row.
    To understand why the future of Himalayan glaciers should arouse such peculiar passion, one must recall why they have long been a central icon in global warming campaigners’ propaganda. Everything that polar bears have been to the West, the ice of the Himalayas has been – and more – to the East. This is because, as Mr Gore emphasised in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth, the vast Himalayan ice sheet feeds seven of the world’s major river systems, thus helping to provide water to 40 per cent of the world’s population.
    The IPCC’s shock prediction in its 2007 report that the likelihood of the glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high” thus had huge impact in India and other Asian countries, and it is precisely this statement that the IPCC has now been forced to disown.
    Since this first came to light, many journalists have tried to track down how such an embarrassing error came to be included in the IPCC report, which is still widely touted as the most authoritative single document on global warming. The only researcher who has dug out the full story, however, is my colleague Dr Richard North, who on successive days last week featured prominently on India’s leading English-language TV news channel discussing the issue with the two scientists at the heart of the row, Dr Hasnain and Dr Raina.
    Until now it has been generally reported that the IPCC based its offending paragraph on an interview Dr Hasnain gave to the New Scientist in June 1999. This was a time when global warming researchers were busy making ever more extravagant claims in the run-up to the IPCC’s 2001 report. It was in that year that Dr Michael Mann in America launched on the world his famous “hockey stick” graph, purporting to show that temperatures had risen faster in the late 20th century than ever before in the Earth’s history. The graph was made the centrepiece of the IPCC’s 2001 report, though it has since been comprehensively discredited.
    In fact Dr Hasnain had first made his own controversial claim two months earlier, in a much longer interview with an Indian environmental magazine, Down to Earth, in April 1999. It was the wording of this interview which the IPCC was to quote almost exactly in its 2007 report.
    Clearly the IPCC was aware that to cite a little Indian magazine as the reference for such a startling prediction would hardly seem sound scientific practice. But it discovered that Dr Hasnain’s slightly later interview with New Scientist had been quoted in a 2005 report by the environmental campaigning group WWF. So it was this, rather oddly, which the IPCC cited as its authority – even though the words it quoted were taken directly from the earlier interview.
    But even before the 2007 report was published, it now emerges, the offending claim was challenged, not least by a leading Austrian glaciologist, Dr Georg Kaser, a lead author on the 2007 report. He described Dr Hasnain’s prediction of glaciers disappearing by 2035 as “so wrong that it is not even worth dismissing”.
    The year after the IPCC report was published, however, Dr Hasnain was recruited by Dr Pachauri to head a new glaciology unit at TERI. In a matter of months, TERI was given a share in a $500,000 dollar study of melting Himalayan glaciers funded by a US charity, the Carnegie Corporation. It is clear from Carnegie’s database that a key part in winning this contract was played by Dr Hasnain’s claim that most glaciers in the region “will vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming”.
    In May 2009 TERI was also given a share in a three million euro project funded by the EU. Citing the WWF’s 2005 report, the EU set up its “High Noon” project to study the impact of melting Himalayan glaciers. It was particularly keen to foster alarm over the Himalayas as a means to win Indian support for action on climate change at last year’s Copenhagen conference.
    Last November, however, Dr Raina, the country’s most senior glaciologist, published a report for the Indian government showing that the rate of retreat of Himalayan glaciers had not increased in the past 50 years and that the IPCC’s predictions were recklessly alarmist. This provoked the furious reaction from Dr Pachauri that tarred Dr Raina’s report as “arrogant” and “voodoo science”. Only weeks later came the devastating revelation that the IPCC’s own prediction had no scientific foundation.
    Dr Pachauri’s first response to these revelations was to claim that he had “absolutely no responsibility” for the blunder, that it was “the work of independent authors – they’re responsible”. But the IPCC’s error was so blatant that last week Pachauri and other senior officials had to put out their remarkable statement, admitting that it had been due to a serious system failure.
    Even more damaging now, however, will be the revelation that the source of that offending prediction was the man whom Dr Pachauri himself has been employing for two years as the head of his glaciology unit at TERI – and that TERI has won a share in two major research contracts based on a scare over the melting of Himalayan glaciers prominently promoted by the IPCC, using words drawn directly from Dr Hasnain.
    This is by no means the first time that the procedures used by the IPCC to compile its 2007 report – the most alarmist so far – have been subjected to trenchant questioning. But no one, it seems, is more embarrassed by “Glaciergate” than Dr Pachauri himself, whose expanding worldwide business connections since he became chairman of the IPCC have recently been the subject of articles in these pages by Dr North and myself.
    In view of the IPCC’s statement last week, the very evident anger of the Indian government at his dismissal of its expert’s report and now the revelation of the part played in this fiasco by a senior member of his own TERI staff, it appears that what we may soon be looking at here is not just “Glaciergate” but “Pachaurigate”.

  35. Torbjorn Larsson OM , what have you contributed but cut down people that a different opinion, Sounds familiar, just like in the climategate e-mails. To which I believe you say the exact method behind what is understood to be a crime (publishing private mail), not a leak (publishing internal correspondence), changes things how?
    Btw, there was observably no fraud uncovered. If there was, it would have been peer reviewed published as all scientific fraud has been (to set the scientific record straight), to date.

    Well, Torbjorn Larsson OM, the British Parliament launches investigation into Climategate email scandal. And we will see what will become of it soon enough.

  36. zeebeeSays:
    January 23rd, 2010 at 4:01 am
    Russ, I think it was Honorary, not Honourable…lol
    Well, I say you are correct, to some degree, but that depends on what country it is used. And why I say you are correct is with Honorary, not Honourable is because Salacious B. Crumb, I believe there is no Honour as the Star Wars character he got his name from says it all.

  37. Lawrence B. Crowell Says
    I sense that Al Gore is the target of some serious hatred.”
    Well no one needs to hate Al Gore, because Good old Al is his own worse enemy.

  38. Torbjorn Larsson OM Says:
    January 20th, 2010 at 10:48 am
    Oh, look, some Electric Universe believers have crawled back to this science site. They are so cute when they fumble with scien… wait, it’s Global Warming Deniers, not so cute anymore.
    under the guise that the carbon dioxide is a dangerous gas
    Hydrogen dioxide isn’t a dangerous liquid, it’s in fact a major component of the water/oxygen cycles. Nevertheless it is a major hazard for land animals on 70 % of the global surface, because its concentration is too high.

    Russ says:
    So what did you exactly mean by this statement?
    As I corrected you that it is Dihydrogen Monoxide not Hydrogen dioxide you was trying to talk about here.
    And anyone that knows chemistry, Dihydrogen Monoxide is H2O, or in layman terms just plain water.

  39. Torbjorn Larsson OM Says:
    January 23rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm
    As regards Russ, he is a science blog troll that pops up in such places as Bad Astronomy to ‘discuss’.

    Russ says:
    Well thanks Torbjorn Larsson OM. Bad Astronomy is a web site I haven’t heard of before now. I’ll have to check it out and see what you are talking about. Maybe the Russ there and me have something more in common than our name.

  40. Torbjorn Larsson OM, I have checked out Bad Astronomy, and I don’t see me there as you have claimed. Maybe you can help me with this? Where exactly did I post there, as you have claimed? I saw your name there and your post was made on 7 Jan, where you supposedly quoted something from the Daily Kos, or was that a copy and past job?

  41. Torbjorn Larsson OM, It appears that Ad hominem Applies to you too. An argument which attacks the individual rather than the argument that individual is presenting. You attacked me by name calling or labeling me where I use references that I copied and pasted here.

  42. Four more Himalayan howlers revealed in official climate report Written by Thomas Richard, CCF Editor | January 23 2010

    Remember this statement from Pachauri: The possibility of there being more errors in its 2007 report “is minimal if not non-existent.” What a difference a day makes! From Geoffrey Lean of the Telegraph:

    More mistakes about Himalayan glaciers seem to have been uncovered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report, further threatening its credibility and undermining the position of its chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

    Scientists are reported today as identifying four further blunders in the same part of the report as the now notorious claim that the glaciers will disappear by 2035, for which Dr Pachauri apologised this week. Prof Graham Cogley of Ontario’s Trent University, who revealed the original howler, points out for example that the same paragraph indicates that the total area of the Himalayan glaciers is 500,000 square kilometres, whereas it is in fact 33,000. And he says the whole paragraph has been attributed to a WWF report, whereas only one sentence came from it.

    Cogley and Dr Michael Zemp of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, moreover, point out that Himalayan glaciers are not “receding faster than in any other part of the world”, as the passage states, but at about the same rate as their counterparts elsewhere. And a table exhibits a mathematical blooper, saying that one glacier, which retreated by 2,840 metres between 1845 and 1966, had therefore been shrinking by 135.2 metres a year, when the true figure should be just 23.5 metres (the overall figure was clearly divided by 21, rather than 121!)

  43. Zeebee wrote:Lawrence it is VERY obvious that you’ve not read the emails or looked at the code underlying the calculations.

    Actually I have read some of the emails. No I have not looked at the underlying codes, for these a massive codes run on supercomputers. It would be a daunting task to figure my way through them.

    I might rely upon physicians and surgeons if I have some problem. I don’t know that much about that area of endeavor, but I know that doctors are educated in the skills and thinking required. I on the other hand am not qualified to put on surgeon scrubs, walk into an OR and start working. The same goes with climate change, for while I am not a climatologist I do still keep up with some of the review papers published by AAAS and press releases by the climate science community, but I don’t claim to have sufficient knowledge or the capabilities with these methods to critique them properly. This is unlike Glenn Back, a comic-pundit with no scientific credentials, who is telling a nation he has the whole climate science community scooped on how wrong they are.

    The only thing I can say with certainty is that carbon dioxide has a large cross section for CO_2, where it absorbs and re-emits the radiation very readily. This is one reason the easiest lasers one can make are CO_2 lasers at 1.06 and 10.6 microns. As a result CO_2 holds thermalized energy in the IR band readily, and the gas is more opaque to IR photons. A few pages of work with the Stefan-Boltzmann equation can show that this will result in an increase in thermal energy or temperatures. This can also be show with calorimetric measurements as well. So our activities have pushed the CO_2 count up from 250 to 350 ppm, which makes the atmosphere more opaque to that band of EM radiation. The physical result is that more of this radiation is trapped here. When applied to the whole planet matters become much more complicated of course, for this is not a nice closed thermodynamic system. Yet, the measurements and complex predictions which have resulted so far indicate there is a problem.

    Andy F: “.. something has to give.”

    Yep, and the thing that will give if we don’t get our act together is the human species.

    This Russ character is carpet napalming this site with stuff. This is pure ideological persiflage as far as I can see, often with repeated ad hominem references. This is a signature of a largely ideological or political interest, with little honest scientific interest.


  44. Lawrence B. Crowell This Russ character is carpet napalming this site with stuff. This is pure ideological persiflage as far as I can see, often with repeated ad hominem references. This is a signature of a largely ideological or political interest, with little honest scientific interest.
    ad hominem and ideological persiflage references, really, does that count for this story here as it just a one sided story as you so support.

  45. If there were a little honest scientific interest in global warming/climate change, maybe this would not be so blown out of proportion. But as it stands every day all the warming science theory is being proven wrong, thanks to the whistle blower of climate gate.

  46. I see little evidence this is blown out of proportion. Yet, just as you megaphone this site with rubbish, given the SCOTUS decision this last week I am sure before long the anti-global warming messages will become an overwhelming avalanche. As Don Henley put it “Crap is King.” So don’t worry, you and your ilk have probably already won the day. All that may be left for science is to monitor humanity’s march of folly towards mass extinction.


  47. And you say largely ideological or political interest? WWF, Green Peace largely ideological, Al Gore political.
    All that may be left for science is to monitor humanity’s march of folly towards mass extinction. So tell me, how have you come up with this?

  48. Maybe so, but the politics at least respects the working science. The conservatives, right wingers and Republicans support all the bad science, like creationism, bad AIDS policies, anti-familily planning policies, against public health policies, and AGW denialism. In fact GOPers support all the crap, and largely see little value in science unless it kills those labeled as enemies.

    Some years ago I was at a conference Stephen Hawking also attended. He gave a presentation where he discussed the Cauchy horizon of a wormhole. He then asked, “Would you jump through it?” The problem is that you would probably be shredded to sub-quark quantum dust. Global warming poses potentially much the same question.

    As I indicated above for a closed thermodynamic system the heat trapping properties of CO_2 are well known. Anyone who denies this is simply out to lunch or has trash for brains (T4B). Now for a complex open thermodynamic system things become very difficult, so numerical models and massive amounts of global data over fairly long time periods are required to understand this. We don’t have multiple copies of Earth, so we simulate this on computers. Now I will ignore the nonsense about some fraud or conspiracy, for it is preposterous to assume that thousands of researches are all engaged in some conspiracy of this magnitude. Anyone who thinks so has T4B. But let us assume for the sake of argument that the error bars in these studies have been computed wrong, or there is some extended range of uncertainty where maybe global warming could indeed be less dire than thought. The question becomes, do we proceed with business as usual and take the risk — do we jump through this climate “horizon?’

    This is of course a complex dynamical system, and how ecosystems respond is not entirely clear. Yet if we continue with business as usual we will likely continue to induce species extinction, and climate shifts may cripple ecosystems by species extinctions. Now there is an analogue with complex and chaotic distributed systems. If you change certain parameters or change the number of modes or their connections, the system as a whole may adjust in an adiabatic or fairly regular way, but up to a point. Beyond that point they can abruptly change their behavior or properties. The problem is that we may be facing at some time in the future, where the time into the future is uncertain, where there could be a massive and chaotic change in the planetary climate and biosphere. What this means is further not entirely clear, but it could mean that certain human activities are seriously curtailed — like agriculture.

    So the Hawking question applies here, “Do we press onwards and take the risk?” Are we really going to ignore this issue and follow the demagoguery of Limbaugh and Beck and others, such as the talking trash on FoxNews? Are you and others so firmly committed to an ideology of the infallible marketplace and other the highly right winged ideations that you seriously want to take the whole of humanity along this risky path? After all, we all know that fossil fuels have other bad problems, and further we are going to run out of these eventually. So we will have to make do without them at some point in the future, probably by the end of this century. So might it be prudent to start working on this problem, rather than taking these risks with some vague idea that the market system will somehow solve everything? Or are we going to be lead by T4B types?


  49. Lawrence B. Crowell Says:

    Andy F: “.. something has to give.”

    Yep, and the thing that will give if we don’t get our act together is the human species.

    Yes the Earh will always be here (well for at least another 4 or 5 billion years anyway), the question we must ask ourselves is, will we?

    Despite our greed, self interest and self importance we see in our current economic model, somehow we urgently need to devise new social and economic systems, structures and institutions that are sustainable within our planet’s resources and it’s capacity to maintain a habitable equilibrium.

    If we cannot devise a way to achieve this, then we face a bleak future indeed as a species with wars over resources (including water), and a catastrophic failure of our current economic system (again leading to wars over basic resources).

    Perhaps one of the reasons we have never heard from ETI is because like us, just as they achieve radio communication technology they walk into the trap of destroying their ecosphere with their own waste, rather like yeast in a fermenting bin or on a petri dish.

  50. You didn’t answer my question, all you did was dance around it. With it’s difficult and what this means is further not entirely clear and so we simulate this on computers. So who is doing the programming of the computers? And now you are going on to the back up of if we don’t do anything scenario as if that is a way to move forward with this agenda. There are allot of what ifs and uncertainty on a computer simulation if you ask me.

  51. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for new energy tech, the more the better. Oil, coal, and what ever out there won’t last forever. Plus if new tech will get me off of the electrical grid, Bonus. I can’t wait for it. But to tax the globe and destroy economies on a theory, that I don’t buy. And who pockets this? I read some where about a new nano solar tech that who knows when can be used in paint. If you’re a physicist, just the name you are using here seams to indicate that, then why don’t you go that route? Maybe do something constructive for a change.

  52. Sure enough, but the ground level physics behind this is certain. If you are to challenge that you are clearly beyond reason and have T4B. What is uncertain is the level of complexity and the open thermodynamic structure of the problem. To be honest I am not familiar with the algorithms of these codes any more than I am ready to enter an OR to do brain surgery. I can only read compilation articles and brief reviews, but I choose reputable scientific sources — AAAS and PNAS, instead of oddball websites, or climate articles on websites filled with American flags flying and other articles by right winged pundits and former Bush Whitehouse staffers. I am not capable of critiquing the details of this work, such as pouring through 100s of thousands of lines of code.

    This work is done by organizations such as NOAA and NASA, which have track records of getting spacecraft on Mars, or of setting up landsats which give images we can Google-Earth. So I have some sense these folks have a reasonable idea of what they are doing. I am not going to jump on conspiracy theories, and I have no political axe to grind to cause me to have grave suspicion of this work — people who do this have T4B. Frankly you are symptomatic of a sad malady which afflicts society, and frankly you may be supporting political forces which might put the kibosh on our species. You are asking, no not asking but demanding, that we all take this planetary risk based on your silly ideological prejudices.


  53. So I have some sense these folks have a reasonable idea of what they are doing. I am not going to jump on conspiracy theories, and I have no political axe to grind to cause me to have grave suspicion of this work
    And there is the problem, you just blindly support them BECAUSE. You don’t question them BECAUSE. So there is a census and end of discussion, and end of story right! Do you even look at the other side or is it just rubbish too BECAUSE? What about the latest mess these people have made, is that reasonable or something else?

  54. This work is done by organizations such as NOAA and NASA, which have track records of getting spacecraft on Mars, or of setting up landsats which give images we can Google-Earth. So I have some sense these folks have a reasonable idea of what they are doing.
    And their work is in question too, if you would look that up to see for your self.

  55. I think I’ll fire up the Hummer and drive over the edge!? Why not? Afterall…”It’s the end of the world, and I feel fine!” – REM

  56. Again, I can only use the medical analogy. If I am told I need a treatment or surgery by a medical doctor, I am probably amiss in raising objections based on something I read on some website, or that I got out off a tabloid-ish type of magazine. Would you not agree? So I can ask questions, and get “medicine for dummies” type of answers, but I am wise to accept the expertise of the doctors. I mention this because there is a lot of medical denialism out there as well, such as anti-vaccine ideas. All of this is prevalent largely in the Idiot State of America. Having some foreign experience I can testify that for the level of influence this nation has in the world, for good or bad, the people of the United States are woefully ignorant in comparison to the rest of the world. AGW denialism is no different in its basic mentality than creationism or medical quackery and denialism so common these days.

    Do you really presume you are sufficiently educated in, and familiar with, the techniques of climate science to seriously conclude the entire scientific community there is wrong? Do you really presume you have that level of competence to make such conclusions? And the question goes beyond you, it extends to the Monckton wacko (a self appointed vice-lord of sorts) and honestly Motl as well, that Czech string theorist who is clearly going off the deep end into some sort of insanity. This also holds for Cable News media pundits as well, who know nothing of science — other than a “science of yelling.”


  57. Do you really presume you are sufficiently educated in, and familiar with, the techniques of climate science to seriously conclude the entire scientific community there is wrong? Do you really presume you have that level of competence to make such conclusions?
    If I were to say yes, then I’d be the best out there and have all the answers, so I say no, but I am learning. And there you go again with the Monckton wacko? It doesn’t do you any favors to start that name-calling again when someone has more knowledge on the subject matter than you do. What does that say about your character.

  58. Again, I can only use the medical analogy. If I am told I need a treatment or surgery by a medical doctor, I am probably amiss in raising objections based on something I read on some website, or that I got out off a tabloid-ish type of magazine.
    How about this, before you went into surgery, you checked out your surgeon and you didn’t like what you saw? Would you still go for the surgery?

  59. Monckton is daft, as is Motl. Motl is thought for various reasons by a range of physicists as seriously going off the deep end into mental illness. Anyway, as Nancy said it is best not to feed trolls and I think you certainly border on this. On the blog entry about the winter cold snap you say that “weather is climate,” which probably betrays a deep ignorance of these issues. I sense you are really coming from the perspective of economic ideology more than anything else.


  60. And still with the name calling, Monckton is daft, as is Motl. Motl is thought for various reasons by a range of physicists as seriously going off the deep end into mental illness. So now you are a mental health specialist. You can diagnose this because?

  61. Climategate: Just Sign on the Dotted Line
    Written by Dexter Wright, American Thinker | January 24 2010

    [copy and paste material deleted] please post links in the future instead of posting an entire article from another source.

  62. Glaciers and Sunday in England

    Steve McIntyre, posted on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Continued from here.
    Lots of coverage in today’s English press about glaciers.
    David Rose in the Daily Mail here. Among other points, he reports that Georg Kaser says that he notified WG2 Lead Author Lal of the error several months prior to publication. Lal denied receiving the letter.
    Last week, Professor Georg Kaser, a glacier expert from Austria, who was lead author of a different chapter in the IPCC report, said when he became aware of the 2035 claim a few months before the report was published, he wrote to Dr Lal, urging him to withdraw it as patently untrue.
    Dr Lal claimed he never received this letter. ‘He didn’t contact me or any of the other authors of the chapter,’ he said.
    Cristopher Booker in the Daily Telegraph here. An interesting addition to the backstory from North/Booker, tracing the language in IPCC WG2 to almost identical language in an interview with an Indian environmental magazine.
    In fact Dr Hasnain had first made his own controversial claim two months earlier, in a much longer interview with an Indian environmental magazine, Down to Earth, in April 1999. It was the wording of this interview which the IPCC was to quote almost exactly in its 2007 report.
    Jonathan Leake in the Sunday Times here discusses TERI’s role, observing that Pachauri repeated the claim in a TERI press release issued on January 15, announcing a joint venture between TERI, Iceland and Ohio State University:
    “According to predictions of scientific merit they may indeed melt away in several decades.”
    And, needless to say, more new posts from Richard North at his blog.
    All worth a read.

  63. Where is Ivan3man when you need him? 😉

    This A-AGW is about to become the same as EU. Trolling.

    Halton Arp has been a good scientist, no doubt. He also had a good idea, how to interpret the available data. The problem was that newer data does not support his ideas anymore. Still, he and others (mostly non-scientists/non-physicists, with very few exceptions) hold on to his ideas.
    Especially those non-scientists tend to think they can revolutionize astrophysics, because they stick to the idea that is not supported by “mainstream” scientists.

    The same is true with A-AGW. In fact, it’s even worse. (You want an example, interested reader? Well, look above!)
    The same thing: 99.9% of climatologists will say that GW is not only happening, but it’s man-made. Still, many hold on to the 0.1% that say otherwise.

    Occam’s razor has been used here before. Which one is the simplest solution?
    I stick to 99.9%, instead of 0.1%!

    (It doesn’t really matter, it it were 99.9% or just 99%.)



  64. Oops! UN climate science panel incorrectly linked global warming to rise in natural disasters
    Written by Chris Irvine, Telegraph | January 24 2010

    [copyrighted material deleted] Please link to articles instead of posting an article in its entirety.


  65. This site is once again getting carpet bombed with conservative and right winged editorials. This is how the A-AGW types will win, they will simply bury everything in mountains of stuff. They also have the passion to do this as well. Give it another year, we ain’t seen not’in yet.

    I suppose I should compose a Requim for the human species. Should I style it after Mozart or Gabriel Faure?


  66. I’m a newbie here, but I’m getting old. And I’ve lived this stuff since I was a science-fascinated little kid in the 1940’s and first heard of Arrhenius from my father who was a chemist and had a copy of his original work.
    I do not claim to have made any significant contribution to the science myself, but I’ve walked the walk on climate change, acid rain, ocean circulation, and planetary chemistry,as a tecky, as a researcher (back in day),  and as a seafarer and professional naturalist/film-maker for many decades.
    I was on Ice Station T-3 in the 1960’s when the (now disappearing) polar sea-ice averaged 8 metres thick. I studied the transport of water and it’s heat, salt, CO2, nutrients, plankton etc. through Bering Strait from the Pacific and ultimately into the Atlantic. I visited Prudhoe Bay when it was still a test well and a ‘rough-neck’ dropped a chunk of clathrate straight from a core into my palm – it flashed into smelly steam and methane with a whoosh.
    I was on  big, permafrosted, Herschel Island before it thawed into a heap of mud. I remember when the first CO2 sample was taken at NRL Point Barrow. I’ve watched the first trees grow tall on Baffin Island. I’ve sailed (on a sail boat) up the Labrador against the ice-berg stream. I’ve dived and filmed beneath the ice of the Northwest Passage with narwhals, walrus, and beluga when only big ice-breakers could make it through. I’ve talked with inuit elders and know their take on ‘long time once ago’ climates, arctic haze, snow patterns and seasons. I’ve sailed on the Atlantic all my life from South America to Davis Strait (through 4 cycles of the oscillation) and it is a lot rougher than it was – bigger swells, bigger storms. So for over half a century I’ve been on the ground and afloat and seen and experienced all the changes we read, and hear about today. 
    I also have enough math, statistics, and calculus to read, understand, and interpret the charts, graphs and maps from the latest analyses, going back through archives of data, through yellowing brittle pages, back to the explorers log-books – none of which contributed to or were part of some ‘conspiracy’ to mess with the economics of Exxon or or Big Coal. 
    Any high school kid can put CO2, nitrogen, or oxygen in  sealed flasks, with  old fashioned thermometers through the stoppers, put them in the sunlight for a bit and check the varying effect of absorption of infra- red on temperature.
    It is pretty easy to do the arithmetic from the flask to the whole planetary atmosphere and realize the link. Arrhenius did this over 100 years ago, and he was building on prior studies, and it is astonishing how close his predictions of how global temperatures would move with atmospheric CO2, were to the predictions  and measurements we have now. Around 1903 he wrote – “if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.”

     By 1960 a few climate scientist (led by Charles Keeling) and ecologists had woken up to this idea.

    Sorry, this is getting long winded (a privilege of the old) but the point is this. From Arrhenius, through the Keelings, Lovelock, Lester Brown to James Hansen (no relative of mine) and all their colleagues we’ve had nearly six generation of brilliant minds all pointing in the same direction and still our political leaders won’t listen with both ears to the on-coming catastrophe.
    When I read and listen to the ignorant, virulent crap of climate change deniers I feel a terrible, impotent anger and a deep dread. Inuit elders aren’t falsifying ancient knowledge for to get a grant,
    James Lovelock is rich enough and old enough (90) not to waste time applying for grants. And if any deniers had ever gone through the science funding process they would realize how hard it is to ‘snow The Man’. The science  institutions of global warming don’t need to lie to get more money they need the open ears of wise global leaders.

    Yes, natural climate is vast, solar powered, even cosmic in it’s cycles, and it’s pre-historic variations far exceed our recent experience. But Earth has only hosted techno-man for 150 years and we have wantonly exploited every resource, and ecosystem towards exhaustion for somewhat longer than that. Just in terms of earth-moving activity, every year we plow, blast, mine, quarry, bulldoze, truck, ship and railroad more tonnage of rock than is erupted from all volcanoes, earthquaked and landslided off mountains, or blown off the deserts. So to imagine the oncoming earth-changes are happening only through the sun spot cycle and plate tectonics is to trivialize our powers for a false thesis and an agenda for which the next generation is going to curse us into it’s limited future. 

    If you are willing to believe in the computational modeling that gives you the latest, greatest video games or are wowed by the CGI of Avatar, believe me, the computers and their programme modelers at
    NASA, NOAA, the Pentagon and the national academies of dozens of nations, are 10 times as hot as anything that George Lucas, or James Cambell  has, or needs, to blow us away with their magic. So don’t waste your time and bile worrying that this agency, or that, is fudging data, doesn’t get the ‘big picture’, or needs to be second guessed by armchair amateurs or the strange agendas of Rupert Murdoch or the Rethugnicans and their propagandists. 
      If you haven’t got the math to understand how climate databases are built up, don’t listen to Fox Nudes for your ‘facts’, nor to the silly science that is all over the web. 
    I’m reading some smart number crunchers arguing here but unless you also know fluid dynamics, air mass physics, water vapor molecular radiation properties and many other bits of climatological arcana that go into decisions of what to leave in or out of a grid you really don’t know what you are actually recalculating or arguing about.
    Furthermore there are so many other proxies of climate change, from decadal worldwide ocean wave height increases, lake temperature rises (check Lake Biakal’s 60 year record or Superior for that matter), Australia drought patterns, tree-line migration, wild-life migrations, rising snowlines throughout the cryosphere, world wide wild-fire intensity, and all the diminishing glaciers (where no dumb errors of simple division were repeated in print.)
    Katrina, Qum, and now Port au Prince,  show us how quickly all civilization can fail in the face of local disaster, and how immense our effort and budget must be just to hang on.    
    After the feckless show of Obama, Harper, and the leaders of China and India at Copenhagen I can only tremble and echo the words of Norman Mailer  ” there’s a shit-storm coming” and it won’t be local.

  67. Blad Hansen, Good contribution. Somehow by some means we have to counter these ideological true believers, who often are authoritarian personality types. If they really do win the day, and I am not honestly optimistic, then we are playing one hell of an uncontrolled experiment. In this experiment we are both the scientists and the lab rats, lab rats which might not make it passed the experimental trial.


  68. @ Blad Hansen

    Hi Blad,
    Science is about challenging theories not resorting to calling people with a different point of view to you as “deniers”.
    Also google scientific method.

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell

    says “then we are playing one hell of an uncontrolled experiment. In this experiment we are both the scientists and the lab rats,”

    So you think we control this entire planet? LBC we don’t, we haven’t even finished exploring it yet and thats just the surface.

  69. We don’t control the planet, but we are perturbing it seriously. In fact we are rubbishing it up. In 25 million years life will be going along just fine of course. We will be fossils.


  70. @Spoodle58: surely the critical question is whether “people with a different point of view” have applied the scientific method (or methods)?

    For example, where are their research results published (so one and all can read, and critique, them)?

  71. Nereid,
    this is where the anti-science liars have the advantage. Real scientists need to justify their conclusions to themselves and to the scientific community, rigorously defending their work and frequently using detailed statistical arguments that are hard for the layperson to follow. The anti-science liars operate under no such constraints: it is very easy to shriek emotive words loudly from your blog when you have neither a conscience nor a stringent community of peers to ensure you’re being honest, intelligent or accurate.

  72. @ Nexus

    Precisely. It is just not good enough to “don’t feed the trolls”, these anti-science proponents need to be exposed for the frauds they are. Science is being currently attacked on multiple fronts for ill-informed and emotive reasons, ignoring the fact the rigid constraints placed on scientific community when drawing conclusions from the available observed data. Break the rules (like manipulating data), and the consequences on scientists who perpetrate it are professionally and immediately fatal. I.e. The fraud by Pons and Fleischman with cold fusion in 1989.

    Anyone claiming beyond mainstream science should be scrutinised carefully, and if the person cannot back it up with reasonable sources, their words should be properly removed.

    Free speech is one thing, deliberate fraudulence is another. Arguing against and idea is perfectly fine, but it has to be reasonable. Nitwits like Russ here should have their posts removed, based solely at their track record of misrepresentation.

    Getting the UT moderators to be more ruthless in their culling might be the only solution.

  73. Hi Spoodle,

    I don’t think we need to define scientific method for Universe Today posters.

    But maybe, ‘deniers’ does need some etymological finesse.
    Though I’m surprised you would call me for use of it ,since
    I notice on their blogs, it is an appellation deniers used with pride not as a pejorative.

    Deniers deal in belief not reason.
    Deniers do not use empirical analysis, they join dots.
    Deniers do not debate they argue.
    Deniers confuse falsifiability with falsification.
    Deniers obsess over trivia and are blind to observable fact.
    Deniers cite tabloid prevaricators like Glen Beck or the daily telegraph (alas, once a great broad-sheet) for their ‘facts’,they’re rarely able to reference primary source scientific papers;though deniers with PhD’s sometimes cherry pick data from one field and plant it in another, causing asymmetric distortion, confusing the lay-person who then repeats it as fact.

    Deniers have a simplistic picture of the nature of the scientific enterprise. It isn’t an edifice of stone on shaky pillars that we tear down and rebuild through new theories
    though some like to see it that way. It is a multi- dimensional, exquisitely structured web where errors and frauds can break a strand or poke a hole but very quickly it self corrects with greater precision and ever more beautiful structure and even a ‘Theory of Everything’ will not complete the puzzle.
    Historically deniers poisoned Socrates, imprisoned Gallilao
    and tortured and burned thousands through the Inquisition.
    Deniers kept western thought in the darkness of ‘faith’
    for 1700 years.
    Today climate change denial is poisoning the clear political discourse about industrial correction we must have to solve one of the many immediate problems of this planet.
    So to cut to the chase; No! I don’t do scientific method with deniers – time’s up for that. But I am belligerent enough to pour cold piss on their mischief whenever i can.

    Science is not about difference of opinion.

    But there’s a lot of fun in a good scientific rumble, especially with genuine iconoclasts who challenge the mainstream.
    For instance, at it’s best EU can make one stop and think because it offers shocking (pun intended) ideas! But there is so little alternative science from anti-climatologists – not even hot air.

    I love being proved wrong – it reorients me on the path of learning – the dialectic – whereby we grow ideas into the cosmic light of new knowledge.

  74. Russ actually said

    “The same 2500 that the global panel of over 2,500 scientists is facing flak for having said Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — a statement made without sufficient peer review and which the IPCC has already retracted.”

    Well, who needs climate change to be peer-reviewed?
    At The IPCC is not infallible (shock!)

    If these glaciers are not receding, then explain the difference in the photographic evidence!

  75. I see that thankfully Russ has stopped cutting and pasting meaningless articles that he irrationally believes support his point(whatever it may be). I always find it suspect when a contributor posts 4, 5 and 6 times in a row without offering any original thought. Seems the usual commentors have put Limbaugh,errrrr Russ in his place. LC, love the Henley reference. Dirty Laundry, indeed.

  76. There is some ground betwen “don’t feed the troll,” and engaging in endless armwrestling. The scientific issues can be discussed, and I think cogent arguments presented — not to change the mind of the true believer (troll), but to influence others. There are probably a fair number of high school students who read these, and If EU and AAGW types dominate then people can walk away with lots of bad ideas.


  77. Great! Lets tax the everyone so we can cool the planet down. Everyone gets an account with a certain amount of credits and when you used them all we can tax you and your company until you can’t function anymore… Any better ideas on cooling our planet down? OH.. but wait if you can afford it, you can just pay whole alot of money to buy extra credits and then you can help heat up the planet all you want.. Let’s see if China likes the idea.. How about the nations in Africa? Anyone? Please not all at once! Hello..? Anyone there?

  78. I’m maybe coming on too strong for a newbie. Sorry.

    But to pick up on Lawrence’s last post, and his sober, educational threads and prompts running back through this long old blog, and to offer something positive, I strongly recommend the ‘Climate Progress’ site for it’s no nonsense analysis of current climate-change hard science. It’s latest issue is at:
    If you want to keep the pulse of what’s going on in the field and lab, this is the place to start, and for students and teachers it is a gold mine!

  79. To SB Crumb. Putting ‘climate change deniers’ in the same bracket as religious fanatics is a worrying trend. As has been said here many times, science progresses through challenge and debate and is NOT a matter of unprovabale faith. I find the increasing hysteria from those on the side of the AGW argument far more akin to religious fanaticism than those who challenge it as they are unwilling to enter a rational debate. They are in grave danger of resorting to, ” It is, it is IT IS!!!!! [with even more exclamtion marks] One is reminded of Violet Elizabeth Bott in the ‘Just WIlliam’ stories, ” I’ll scream and scream until I’m sick; and I can”.

  80. @ 2ru_press: You can look at this two ways: It is either a tax burden, or an opportunity. Developing the technologies can equal both business opportunity and employment.

    @ Blad: Thanks for the Climate Progress reference. I am a physicist (gravitation, relativity, strings etc) and the physics underlying global warming is abundantly clear. The complexity of the Earth makes modeling difficult and requires massive amounts of data. You OTOH have been in polar regions and seen some of these consequences first hand. I must confess I have not been north of the Arctic Circle — though close in Alaska, Europe and Russia. I tend to track GW as the AAAS issues of “Science” come in.

    @ Paul Eaton-Jones: You have to realize that scientists are people after all. J. Hansen is starting to get a bit nonlinear these days. Yet I suppose given the crap he has had to face I would also. He has spent decades of intense frustration, been almost muzzled by the Bush administration and is probably extremely emotional over the flaccid response of the Obama administration on this issue. He also senses the time limits we face. Of course Obama has other dragons to fight, and I think global warming is at best a second term issue he might deal with. I too get impatient and somewhat angry when I see bogus quasi-science promoted by idiots over megaphones. This becomes worse with the so called Gish-Gallop (love that term already), where you have no chance of responding and can’t cover the points of argument.

    The simple fact is we have a problem with our life support system on this planet, spaceship Earth so to speak. If we don’t rework our situation or relationship with this planet and life on Earth, we in the end will be taking a huge risk.


  81. I think everyone should have a look at the UK press of the last few weeks. The Weather Centre that does the number crunching to predict UK weather have had a credibility problem because they keep getting the long range weather wrong.
    What they have been doing is ‘tampering’ with the data they receive from weather stations to give it a ‘Global Warming Bias’. (Their emails about it have been released.) This has the effect of making the forecasts appear warmer than they actually are.
    The independent weather forecasters without the ‘benefit’ of the same tampered with information that the Weather Centre have have got the long range forecasts right.
    The UK government and Weather Centre have been quoting anecdotal evidence of GW as ‘Undisputed Fact’.
    Even when these undisputed facts have been PROVEN to be untrue they continue to use them because THEY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO PROVE GW EXISTS.
    Before the GW lies were exposed in the UK it was about 50/50 who believed and didnt believe. In the last 3 months that has changed to more than 80% of people who do not believe in GW.
    The UN relies on information from the UK Weather Centre for its GW data. That data is no longer reliable.
    Look for yourselves on UK news sites (except the BBC who rely on taxpayers money to survive and print what they are told to) a bit like PRAVDA.

  82. @Aqualung: do you have any objective, independently verifiable evidence concerning the output you claim (i.e. that “the independent weather forecasters … have got the long range forecasts right”?

    I’m only interested in evidence which shows “better” in a quantified, statistically reliable way.

    I’m also interested to see how the universe of all weather forecasters is defined, and that all the independents (you used the word “the”) do better.

  83. CONGRATULATIONS Nancy! This article has passed the century mark in the number of comments and replies!

    I wonder how many of the entities here are ‘cyber-clones’ (?) and are arguing both sides of the topic, simply for the sake of making wind?

  84. OTay! Lets tally up!

    Russ has 43 entries
    Hon. Solicius B Crumb has 8 entries
    Lawrence B. Crowell has14 entries
    Olaf has 2 entries
    Torbjorn Larsson OM has 2 entries
    and the rest of us round out the count.

    BY FAR the most voluminous wordsmith is Russ, closely followed by LC in word count.

    P.S. ‘Aqualung’ – I like your name?

  85. I believe that in the early days when global temperatures were being systematically collected [mid-late 1970’s] for analysis many were taken from places situated in ‘hot’ locations – a parking lot in Phoenix, Arizona, a weather buoy/station in mid-Atlantic, Spanish Sahara, Cario and similar places. I do remember a number of documentaries here in Britain causing a stir with talk of impending doom on what was THEN spurious evidence at best. Unfortunately the debate is now mainly between politicians, green activists [with their own weird agrarian agenda climate modelers and vested industrial interests. The work done by geologists, meteorologists and climatologists gets lost in the noise. Rational debate has become a slanging match.

  86. Paul Eaton-Jones Says
    “As has been said here many times, science progresses through challenge and debate and is NOT a matter of unprovabale faith. ”

    You left out good evidence, a very important element in doing science.

    Second warmest globally or only for the US? That link you provided discusses the US.

  87. Is the history of climate data accurate and reliable? NO

    Is the Earth getting warmer? Likely, however there are many variables to consider.

    Does man play a part in any imbalance of climates? Yes… but there are MANY other things as well.

    Can man be held entirely responsible for Earth warming? Not unless the spears and arrows which were created made the major glaciers retreat from Europe and North America… more than once.

    The Earth never has the same climate twice. It wobbles on an tilted axis only 8 light minutes from a VARIABLE star.
    The Earth is constantly changing geographically… even large mountains play a part on climate. If winds aloft change a bit from the Earth wobbling… it will change their affects.
    When looking at the “green house effect” look at the ocean first. Water vapor is the largest contributor.

    If you want to blame man and corporations for the climate. Then quit using computers, or using electricity of any sort. Don’t buy consumer goods unless they are hand made, and all natural; and of course stop using a motor vehicle or any sort of mechanical transportation.
    Even if the vehicle uses solar power, the vechicle is likely made by a few power hungry, wasteful factory of many types.

    Many Green items might be green in use, but not when being manufactured.

    If you want to blame big business… then stop using them. You buy, you support. Just how many companies do you think were involved in manufacturing the computer you are using. Especially anything you purchase from the far east (China, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc), where pollution laws don’t really exist.

    Saying one side of politics is better than another is just stupid. They both have done things to screw everything up. They just do it in different ways.

    Finally… before blaming others, look in the mirror.

  88. @Aodhhan: I think there are some somewhat subtle, yet profound, things you’re missing (or downplaying).

    Any high school kid can put CO2, nitrogen, or oxygen in sealed flasks, with old fashioned thermometers through the stoppers, put them in the sunlight for a bit and check the varying effect of absorption of infra- red on temperature.
    It is pretty easy to do the arithmetic from the flask to the whole planetary atmosphere and realize the link.

    Blad Hansen wrote that (see above), and it basically boils down to conservation of energy (and mass), and the laws of thermodynamics … and at the scale we’re discussing, that’s physics which is as solid as you could possibly ask.

    For sure there are many unknowns (the details of how carbon sinks work, and when (if?) they switch from being sinks to sources, to take just one example), but the amount of CO2 produced by human activities, over the last few decades/centuries, is not in doubt, is it? Likewise, the amount of CO2 from volcanos, in this period, is also not in doubt (and there are no other primary sources with ~decade-to-century long characteristic times, are there?)

  89. …. anyone notice the scale on the left side of the chart? We are talking fractions of degrees. How in the beans can you get THAT accurate temperature readings from tree rings? I am curious about heat island effects on the temperature stations as well. I read an article lately that someone tracked down all these weather stations and found that up to 90% of them are starting to get encompised by development and thus are prone to the heat island effect…

  90. Nereid2

    I could write an entire book on this subject. Possibly a debate on the many variables and equations which are never used in this study. There are many other things I didn’t get into.

    The fact is.. nobody knows. There are far too many variables, and the data everyone thought was valid… suddenly isn’t.

    Even so… the data which was collected is only a few variables in one of the most difficult equations to prove.

    If it was truly the act of thermodynamics (arguing maybe on which specific law)…but in the end it wouldn’t make a difference. Since everything would change from one state to another and then …eventually… to yet another until nothing exist….because eventually everything falls apart.
    Honestly… I’m not sure how this fits into the general idea of things.

    Yet it’s true; those who blame and rant about this, tend to forget they are likely among the worst offenders. They just don’t realize it.

  91. @ Aodhhan (who mostly answers his own questions – )

    The issue is not about blame or mirror gazing it’s about quantitative management of complex global cybernetics – the feed-backs of positive and negative sign in the gaian sphere on which we co-exist with millions of interacting species. Many of these feed-backs have reversed quite recently and the reason really is our excess of success.
    It’s not the shift of poles nor pulsing sun; cosmic rays, endogenous oscillations of the seas or volcanism or passing comets -that we understand can and do move climate on the grand scale.
    Ironically it is our romance with fire that has evolved the very technologies that have enabled all our scientific discoveries and insights into our place in the Universe – that now is overwhelming us.

    Combustion of carbon.

    Chemistry doesn’t get much simpler.

    But many of us believe we are smarter than that.
    Read ‘Earth – The sequel’ by Miriam Horn and Fred Krupp
    and you’ll get pretty optimistic we can tech our way out of this. If we get of the mark now we can even create Immense new wealth – not break the bank.

    Deny there is a problem and run with Big Carbon and schill loud enough at a ‘gish gallop’ (love that phrase!) that we should all be luddites or shut up – and you really will procrastinate us all into a mess we can’t fathom.
    eg Copenhagen!
    It’s not about blame it’s about action.

    @paul and aqualung
    The fuss in Britain is predictable – they are the most weather obsessed culture in the world. They shout back at the radio and blame the forecaster if it rains two days in a row or snows twice in a winter.
    But seriously, we have to be careful not to conflate weather forecasting with climate prediction. Most broadcasters employ weathermen with bachelor degrees in meteorology. Of course they are qualified to talk climate change and that they insert it into their work is to be expected. I just don’t see the problem. Years ago – as a naturalist – I tried to advocate for the inclusion of acidity of rainfall in Canadian weather forecasting and reporting. I even got the interest of a deputy minister but when he tried to take it further it was thought to be “too political”. Duh! Acid rain is still with us and is a serious positive feed-back for CO2.

    Re: accuracy of official forecasts. It is only anecdotal, but I must say, as an aside, in my experience as a sailor I’d go with the accuracy of independent forecasters over most ‘official’ national weather services. I don’t have any statistical comparisons but off-shore yachtsmen will probably agree – the independents on SSB short-wave are quite awesome at getting it right.
    Re: the problem of Himalayan glaciers and ice melt, and the out bursts in The Telegraph. There are certainly egregious errors of fact-checking/due-diligence, in this case, from ground-truth to peer review. And heads are rolling even without the journalism. Clearly climatologists must give a lot of attention to this ice sheet(s) that sources the major rivers of Asia – and get it right. It is a hard territory in which to work physically and politically. And the changes under discussion at the moment seem to be matters more of arm waving opinion than of measurement.
    Arguing from figures of metres of retreat of a glacier snout is far less significant than data on ice mass loss from the parent ice sheet. To assess the first needs only a time series from tape measure and theodolite survey (old-school) or aerial photos. And it tells us only about flow dynamics in a valley.
    It used to take many years of expeditions, traversing and mapping ice surface topography to got the base-line data against which glaciologists can now compute the effects of climate change using billions dollars of satellite hardware and ground stations plus the computational powers of major agencies.
    It is a pity that journalists and pundits are so distraught about the atmospheric models – it really is difficult ‘rocket science’ to grasp. The trouble these guys are having with the number crunching to squeeze out the global average temperature rise in the atmosphere to the third decimal place and seeing a hockey stick up-kick in the curve, is understandable, even as it is wrong headed.
    Unfortunately, although glaciers, ice-bergs, mega-floods and ice continents are much more sexy than colored weather maps, reporting on this stuff goes to the science column not the front page. But we find the same ‘hockey stick’ up-kick in time series of so many of these proxies, like thermal expansion of the ocean, ice volume loss, etc all of which have a lag or hysteresis that enhances the signal of their response to global warming.It’s time to get with the program and not keep screaming fraud, commission of inquiry , tear down the institutions and cut the funding.
    Scientists rarely make good politicians, and vice versa though with some fantastic exceptions.

    Though the ‘right wing’ seems to be home to the dark side of GW denial I wish they would google the public domain documents on the subject, published by the Pentagon, where there is some serious opinion that oncoming climate change trumps terrorism as a global threat.

    I guess we’re all pretending that this stuff is planetology so it belongs on an astronomy web site but sometime we really should get back to the darker matters of falling stars, galactic zoos, elegant strings and the biggest bang.
    Best wishes to all!

  92. @Torbjorn Larsson OM
    I was incomplete in my writing when I said
    ‘these vast areas I just mentioned do not have records of their climate ‘, I do not mean
    prehistoric times, only the period since the end of European colonialism. If you read my complete post, I neither deny global change causing warming or cooling but being a ‘middle of the road’ doing my own research for a hobby. I want to make certain enough data is being collected to have accurate reports.As I already said,, I want the US to use much cleaner resource already available but barely utilitzed (wind-power, solar power etc) as the US has the favored geographic area for such energy sources and the US is in serious economic, military dangers by importing 67% of their energy needs!!!! My biggest concern is what is the US going to give the UN $100 billion dollars for? Too many ‘middle of the road’ tax payers are confused about this as we know the UN has ‘programs’ that are overpriced, redundant with overpaid bureaicracies. The US is no longer the overwhelming super-economic power as other nations are catching up quickly as the US is trying to manage the incredible deficit built up over the post-war years.

  93. @Andy F Says
    I read a book many years ago about the 1952 disasterous London black smog killing thousands-this was due to weather stagnation and the use of coal for heating-I read charts about how much sunshine London got in winter before the clean air act, I believe it was less than 15 minutes per day!!! I know London is usually overcast in winter, but it is now well over 15 minutes per day and much cleaner!! Many in the US do not realize how far north the UK and western Europe is in latitude and do not know the cause is the North-Atlantic Drift driven by the Gulf Stream. I will again be visiting the UK and Western Europe this summer as your areas have great historic values to explore!!

  94. @Andy F Says
    addendum-The UK also used to freely flush into the atmosphere many industrial pollutants, very poisonous!!! Thank goodness for the clean-air act!!!

  95. @Andy F Says
    addendum again- I’m always on too many ‘puters at the same time lol. I meant the cause of the mild climate for Western Europe is the North Atlantic Drift………..
    One of the many disadvantages of climate change causing warming will be Southern Europe/Mediterranean areas being changed to a semi-arid climate conditions, not good!!!

  96. Over 100 posts and I did 14. Climate blog posting tend to bring out lots of people, including right winged types who worship an economic ideology above all else. Well, honestly I get a bit piqued when I see nonsense advanced as scientific claims.


  97. I’m glad I don’t have any children that I know of or will claim… What a convoluted and strange world we leave in our wake. In future, if there be one, archeologists sifting thru the shadows of cyberspace may actually come across this forum and be either thoroughly amused or convinced we were insane…

    Heck no, I’m not crazy! WHY? Do I look crazy? Hey! You got any stock market tips?

  98. Blad Hansen – your presence is appreciated. The scientifically profane may seek asylum here, but are denied passage by those speaking truth!

  99. Lawrence B. Crowell, Blad Hansen, and others: There are plenty of us who appreciate the efforts of pro-science voices. It might seem like you’re fighting a losing battle but there are still plenty of us who recognise the denialism of the cranks for what it is. Keep up the good work.

  100. I have two children, and I hope their futures are not blighted by this. AGW is a long term problem, so I can only hope this does not lead to a doomsday in the near future.

    The one problem we face is that our nation or civilization is operating increasingly on illusions and falsehoods. This has of course happened before, and this sews the seeds of decline or collapse. The political force behind AGW denialism is considerable, and is in line with a host of other falsehoods or mendacities which form threads in the ideological delusions of our time. These delusions involve a belief in economics, particularly free market economics, as a supreme form of “truth.” This inherent “truth,” which is believed as a secular form of religion, is coupled with religion and a form of hyper-nationalism that has taken shape recently. Anything which raises facts, reason or even just opinion that counters this is being labeled as evil. Those who raise such voices are, as O’Reilly put it a few years ago, required to, “Just shut up.” Any civilization which reaches this point is in trouble, and this time we imperil the bio-planetary life support system our species depends upon.


  101. So why hasn’t Dr John Theon told us about the conspiracy within NASA and other organisation to fake data, unless he is part of the conspiracy along with everybody else within NASA, he must have criticised NASA’s Goddard man in charge to make it seem like he was an object observer, cunning.
    And you want to talk about honesty, how about quoting the climate gate email sentence, “hiding the decline by adding real data” and forgetting to mention that the decline is in tree ring growth and the real data is temp. Or how about showing a decline between 1989 and following year prior to 2008 and ignoring the fact that 1998 was an El Nino year and 2008 was warming the 1998 even though it was not itself not an el Nino year. Or how about claiming you have 32000 signature in a paper claiming scepticism about climate change, when the signatures include leading scientist like Hawkeye Pierce and Ginger Spice, this was published by an organisation which sells products to survive a nuclear war and was signed by Dr. Frederick Seitz a scientist who spent years working for the tobacco industry doing research to show that tobacco does not cause cancer, he was latter dumped by the tobacco industry because they decided that he was “quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice”.

  102. Lets not build climate change up to be more than what it is. It is not the end of the world, a meteorite slammed into the earth and killed off 95% of all living species but it was not the end of the earth. If africa becomes warmer and can only support 90% of the population there today, that would be nearly a billion people dead. It is very important that we do not over sell climate change, otherwise we give the climate change deniers easy targets instead of making them tackle the actually science.

  103. The ‘heat island effects on the temperature stations” has been answered, firstly climate change is not interested in absolute temp. which the heat island effects; would effect. But more importantly the people who did this study on the ‘weather stations’ listed the ‘weather stations’ they deemed accurate, a comparison of temperature change between these selected sites and all site did not show any real difference, its all about relative change and absolute temperatures don’t make any difference.

  104. One thing that LBC states is correct and that is that there is a huge political forces behind the deniers. However that doesn’t, indeed cannot, necessarily mean that those who question the impact of humanity on the undoubted change in climate are in the pay of the oil barons. It is unfortunate that those who rightly question the man-made impact are labelled fascists and child killers. This last appellation has been used frequently by the rabid green wing of the eco-movement who see every and any development since 18th century crop rotation and the seed drill as works of the devil and/or big business. Perhaps if the IPCC supporters divorced themselves from the more extreme and vociferous hangers on we could enter a more reasoned debate perhaps even invite each other round for tea and cake.

  105. 90% of the current population of Africa would run out at around 900 million ALIVE. Even so, 100 million dead would be appalling.

  106. You right about 100 million dead instead of 1 billion dead, my main point was to ditch the end of the end of the world scenarios and to point out that we don’t need to approach any where near an end of world scenario to have a situation which is unacceptable. Though I believe there is a place for scientist trying to show there is no global warming caused by humans I think you are being generous to the deniers. The so called science against AGW seems to be about sifting through the real science, until you can find something that supports your view, for example find ranges within the global temp. which show a decline and ignoring everything that happens before it. Or claiming you have 32000 signatures from leading scientist against AGW when in reality there was no control over who could sign it.

  107. The billion-dollar hoax
    Written by Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun | January 26 2010

    [copyrighted material deleted] Please link to articles in the future.

  108. Um, … Russ, that’s verbatim from the Herald Sun (as far as I can tell) … except for the copyright notice!

    Nancy, if you’re still reading this, you may want to consider removing all copyright material – like what Russ just posted – from comments.

  109. Defamatory? So sue me, Gavin. I triple dog dare you.
    Written by John O’Sullivan, Climategate | January 26 2010

    [copyrighted material deleted]

  110. Russ,

    You should have just posted that link instead of spamming with actual complete content. Your behaviour makes others want to just outright ignore you.

  111. Wow I thought we were getting exhausted on this blog strand!!

    @ Uranium and Paul

    The right wing ( to keep it polite) has left the planet where it was once the judeo-christian-rooted, free marketeering, conservative social policy-based half of – (by definition) shared – democracy. It has flown into a strange tabloid universe of polarizing madness.
    It drew it’s first real blood with ‘Swiftboating’ of John Kerry.
    It has grown on the back of the Drudge Report into a monster of disinformation powered by the fortunes of Rupert Murdoch and Scarf Mellon .

    It’s recent malignance includes: painting the American President as a foreign-born, communist, Moslem, and the Canadian (and all other socialized health care) as having death panels to cull the elderly.
    Now it is on an anti climate- change-science campaign based on total disinformation.
    So it is hardly unreasonable that deep ecologists respond from the opposite polarization with cries of Nazi ism.
    Actually it has far more characteristics of America’s climate of fear and paranoia, under Macartheism that was powered by similar though far less sophisticated lies, half truths, and character assassination, in a time before the web and instant media.

    As far as end-of-world scenarios are concerned, again we see this stoking of polarities. Few planetary ecologists see
    us headed to imminent extinction and few would predict firm numbers for mortality demographics of climate change at this stage.Though some of the Pentagon scenarios I mentioned in my last post do look at extreme-case out-comes.
    As soon as we see firm predicted casualty figures -1M, 1B, or – all of humanity –
    the daggers of un-reason come out and a pissing contest starts between even reasonable high IQ folks.
    (As we see weaving through this fascinating blog)

    The most sober analysts of GW look at planetary effects and leave us to imagine the human, social, and economic toll of the geographic changes that accrue from, melting cryosphere, rising sea levels, weather extremes, redistribution of infectious disease and their vectors, agricultural disruption, mass migration of the displaced, resource wars,civil collapse, marshal law etc etc.

    On a good day I believe the momentum of global warming truth, science and developing science and technology is with us not with the dark side. But on a bad day,
    when I watch the erosion of democracy in the western world and especially in the US and UK, and when I see such weak leadership and timidity of hope among the nations I can get quite bleak.

    In the face of the failure of Copenhagen the next major conference is to be about geo-engineering the planet.

    It will be in March in California. Because it will be hard- science and solar system mechanics rich, I’m sure we are in for a wild ride in this corner of the blogosphere. Grease your keyboards, sharpen your fingers and oil the mouse.

    Hey Fraser – maybe a UT reporter or two should attend!
    The organiser is Mike MacCracken at Climate Institute Wash DC,

    @Russ and – all of you!

    Go to *Climate Progress site ( ) for today’s analysis of how these jocks (not the investigative reporters they seem to be) at telegraph, herald, daily mail, etc are working this disingenuous story. Also check the ownership of these ‘news papers’.

    *I mentioned this site before. The science section can be accessed through the green index, right-hand column.
    But today the action is definitely their front page.
    These guys are real investigators and truth seekers.

    @Nereid and Nancy —
    Maybe it is a good idea to ban wholesale cut and paste of copyright journalism and insist on short quotations only, backed up by references or URL’s so we don’t all have to wade through non UT stuff but have the option of sourcing it for ourselves.

  112. Blad et al,

    In the pre-9/11 days of the Bush administration there was that closed door meeting with energy companies, with Dick Cheney. I pondered then the question whether these guys at the corporate top really know what the score is. By that I mean they may well know we are headed for an oil peak, and carbon was likely going to wreak havoc with the planet. I mean after all the data is all there, and certainly with oil peak the oil execs must know they are headed for a problem. While I think the political stooges corporate power reel up to office may be know-nothings (eg — in spades is Sarah Palin), I don’t think the same holds for those at the head of corporate power. The problem is that I think these guys are ruthless, indeed maybe psychopathic, and really don’t care. All they may care about is keeping the profit game going “another day,” and to hell with the longer term future. The mention of the tobacco companies is potentially on track, for they knew back in the 1950s that their product was addictive and unhealthy, but maintained a quasi-scientific and medical message through the Tobacco Institute to promote their mendacious script. At the same time the tobacco execs must have also known that at some point their gig would be up, but maybe all they cared about was a few decades of unfettered profits. I ponder whether much the same is the case here. So the corporate party is financed and the most robotic types who duck-speak all sort of rubbish and wave American flags and bibles around are raised up to capture the votes of a gullible American public.

    Will this lead to the end of humanity? It could, in particular if this leads to some chaotic shift in the climate to one which is less biologically fecund, where we can’t feed ourselves. This could then lead to collapse of nations, or the diminishing status of huge populations. This could potentially be a long term irreversible process that pushes humanity into an ever diminishing remnant population over many centuries or millennia. If that is not the case it is then possible the socio-economic disruption could lead to increased social instabilities, wars between nations, and where nuclear armed states become less inhibited in using their big bombs in a desperate bid to halt their downwards spiral into starvation and mass-death. There is nothing certain about these or any other scenarios, but we certainly run the risk of these things happening. The irony is that the development down any of these roads to collapse might, at least before any nuclear bombs are dropped, proceed at a slow enough pace that many people will be unaware of what is happening.

    In the end the question is whether we want to risk these types of developments so that another generation of corporate elites can stay in the billionaire club?


  113. @Lawrence

    As you must know ( even with your wonderful, mathematically insightful neural circuits!) – All crystal balls are cloudy.
    So regarding corporate power :
    No doubt some of their top management is psychopathic – let’s face it some 10% of us can be demonstrated to have some of that trait! And of course now that corporations have been given legal personhood we hope the State will
    be liable to objectively measure corporate sanity and sobriety before licensing their operations – just like they do for me, my car and my gun !

    But irony aside;
    though Big coal and Big Oil seem to be the dinosaurs eating the planet even as they feed us – before they eat their own tail; they are both scurrying to catch up with algal fuel development. If algal fuel can be boot strapped from it’s current large scale experimental phase it could bridge
    us between fossil fuels and non comestible bio fuels.
    Here in Canada we have dug ourselves into the black hole of the tar sands and I doubt we can dig ourselves a green tunnel back out – Underground CO2 sequestration is going to be a tough expensive technology but again pilot systems are already running and scalable.
    It is also very salutary to look where Silicon Valley invests it’s mega-billions – in photo voltaics and many other ‘green’ energy concepts.From these investments new mid- to large-caps are emerging and generating new wealth in the real Adam Smith sense.
    So there is reason to be optimistic.

    But – – – – oh! there is always the BUT …………….

    Remember the clathrate? The (methane hydrate) that I mentioned in my first post. Some have called it “frozen mammoth gas”
    This mammoth in the mud is waking and ready to charge!
    There are gigatonnes of this carbonaceous ice under the tundras of Canada, Alaska, and Russia and even more beneath the polar continental shelves.Lots under the temperate shelve too. At atmospheric pressure and low temperatures it doesn’t melt – it flashes into it’s component volatiles explosively, without combustion. It’s methane component is some 20+ times as effective as CO2 as an IR absorber in the troposphere. By the time it mixes up into the stratosphere most of it oxides to CO2 and water.

    As the polar ground thaws and the sea beds warm
    the subsurface clathrate starts to melt. Under pressure of overburden and water column the off gassing is more gradual, but relentless.

    So the big BUT….. I mentioned above, is TIME running out,
    before technological roll-over can restore planetary homeostasis. Jimmy Carter was very bullish for alternate energy research (way beyond nuclear). But after him it languished. Clinton was aware of and slightly interested in GW. Bush/Cheney wasted 8 years . We’ve lost thirty years of alternate energy development! So now while humanity still debates,denies or wrings its hands, that old mammoth in the mud is starting it’s charge. EXPONENTIALLY.

    Russian and Norwegian research vessels steam through miles of water bubbling with methane along the North East Passage.
    The output from N American tundra is measurably way up from just 3 years ago.

    This isn’t meant to be scary hyperbole though I admit, it sure reads like it.

    If you ignore the denial (ers) and believe the data and look at the chart back at the head of Nancy’s article ( remember that one that precipitated all our rants?) and compare it to the good old IPCC predictive models of ten years
    ago, you’ll note that the rise of measured planetary temperature rides higher and steeper than any models predicted.

    Most of that difference is from combustion to power emerging super-powers. Just a bit is from evaporating clathrate so far but remember the nature of the exponential…….

    Time … tic tic tic tic….

    We can do this….. but not with Harper, Byrd, Inhofe, Beck, O’Reilly, Murdoch etc swaying the voting public with slipper lies. And for what goal or benefit I just cannot fathom, except to fulfill some biblical prophesy of End Times. But, then, surely if you manipulate people to fulfill prophesy it reduces the mystery to a mere agenda!

    Gotta get back to work…… Cheers .b

  114. The methane problem is serious, and if this runs away on us then we might indeed be screwed. There was an article in Science last month on the chemistry of clathrate formation.

    I will give you my take on this, which is not at all good. I suspect in the entire evolutionary history of this planet there has never existed an animal our size and dietary requirements which numbered nearly 7 billion at one time. Now compound our impact on the planet by 10 fold, say the equivalent to 70 billion critters, due to our other resource demands. We are causing an estimated extinction of 20,000 species annually, and are some sort of terminator species converting everything we can into entropy — otherwise known as garbage. So there is a lot stacked against us in the long run.

    There is something called Jevon’s paradox. It tells us that widening roads does not really help relieve traffic, for in the end the widened road gets saturated by additional traffic. This applies to energy and resource efficiency as well. By increasing efficiency this in the end permits more people to access the technology which ultimately leads to as much energy or resource demand as you started with, or more. This also applies to the attractiveness of new land or a new urban area. People will leave a crowded dirty city for a new living opportunity, but as this happens in the long run people drag their problems and habits with them and end up rubbishing up the new place. As the song goes, “Call a place paradise, put up a parking lot.”

    Now let us suppose we in the US of A decide to get serious about global warming and we really work to reduce our carbon footprint to 20% of current amount. This is what we do have to do to at least forestall this disaster. Now I am all for this, but in the long run this will lead to a Jevon’s paradox result, for this will permit probably 2-3 billion people to adjust their carbon footprint upwards to match ours. In the end you are back to the same problem. Of course if we do this we can at least postpone the climate and planetary eco-spasm maybe 50 years (if we are lucky), but in the long run we humans will still be taking a huge toll of planet Earth.

    Here is the thing about corporations. I suspect they know these things, at least I think the oil and coal company executives know this. If we were to get serious about adjusting our carbon footprint downwards it will not just mean renewable technology, it will require a renewed economic system. It will require junking the consumer hyper-commercialized economy we have. This is the rub, and notice how the deniers always refer back to their secular god, “The Economy.” Further, this will require that carbon based energy companies be suppressed in their size, profits and power in the world. I can tell you now, that is the last thing they want. Even if it means they can only play a Wall Street profit party for two or three additional decades before they crash they are not going to give it up! I suspect some of them have it figured out, “Well we are all going to tank sometime in this century, so we the financially powerful will grab what we can in the mean time and “party.” It is the philosophy of a creep, maybe a psychopath, but I suspect there is some of this going on.

    As for psychopaths, power and wealth attract them like lamps attract moths. Our history is bloody with the legacy of mad kings and dictators, and our modern Democracies, which are really absurd impromptu scripted theatrical displays with limited audience participation, are not immune to this.

    Cheers LC

  115. > showed them conspiring to sack sceptical scientists from magazines
    These where private emails between guys venting their frustration, they never played any part in the sacking of sceptical scientists except having their emails made public.
    > hide data from sceptics, and cover up errors
    A decline in tree ring growth by adding REAL temp data, in the past there has been a strong correlation between tree ring growth and temp, but for recent times tree ring growth has diverged from temp for reasons unknown. Tree ring growth is no evidence by itself, it is one of many lines of evidence and it is when the multiple lines converge we get real information.
    > One of the scientists, CRU boss Phil Jones, even boasted of having found a “trick” to “hide the decline” in recent temperature records.
    This is a flat out lie, it is not temp. data it is tree ring growth as mentioned above, when I was at university we always asked one other what is the trick to solve this, it does not mean we were cheating, it was just more casual language for technique.
    > “We cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
    The conservative ‘Economist’ magazine wrote that taking this as evidence that Dr Trenberth has doubts about global warming is “Foolish”. Dr Trenberth was expressing frustration that the monitoring needed to understate current variations is not as good as it can be. Dr Trenberth also said “The observing system we have is inadequate for tracking energy flow through the climate system”. And let me just point out that dismissing imperfect data as useless is a false dichotomy.
    > still the world hasn’t warmed since 2001, even though we pump out more emissions than ever.
    That is cherry pick data, just look at the graph at the top, it hasn’t increased since 2001, so what. A stair case has lots of flat bits on it does that mean stair cases are flat.
    > The Copenhagen farce
    This is irrelevant to the science.
    > The Himalayan scare
    They made a mistake, and admitted to it, there have been changes made to prevent mistakes like this. Also they did not just make it up, you even go on to say where they got it from.
    > One, published in Nature, shows the world had ice age activity even when atmospheric CO2 was four times the level of our pre-industrial times.
    I don’t much about this but so what if CO2 was four times during and ice age, nobody said that wasn’t possible. Nobody said CO2 directly controls temp. and all other factors are irrelevant.

  116. @ Lawrence : Yes, a full blown methane run-away would certainly be a planet changer and remove us and a lot of other DNA from the evolutionary lineage probably very, very quickly.It seems it happened once in the Archean epoch back when the sun was still cool enough that earth didn’t loose its ocean and we were all still bacteria.

    Yes, your population dynamics+hyper consumption equation proves the long-run with ‘business as usual’ is untenable. Jevon’s paradox seems to be a variant of Parkinson’s Law. We’ve never managed to defy these
    relentless tendencies of ‘growth to fill available space’ for very long.

    Back in ’68 Paul Erhlich wrote ‘Population Bomb’. His thesis was: Malthusian over-population will swamp the world within a couple of decades. He gave us neat equation: I PAT where
    I = P × A × T (where I = Environmental Impact, P = Population, A = Affluence, T = Technology)
    Huge consumption of fertilizers and fuel and land clearance all over the third world in the ’70’s offset his time line. But a new Malthusian ceiling clearly lies ahead.
    About 4 years later D Meadows et al wrote ‘Limits to Growth’. Both works were smacked down by deniers
    though they led briefly to the Sustainable Development movement which seems to have been defeated by Jevon’s paradox.
    D Meadows was the greatest systems analyst of her time.

    Interestingly ‘Limits to Growth 30 years later’ was published
    about 4 years ago. It is very relevant to our present dilemma. I recommend it to all who doubt GW and to
    all who are thoughtful about how we can progress without losing the best of this planet.

    Thanks for swinging that hammer point by point!
    You might drive some reason into these hard heads.

  117. The Limits to Growth thesis is reasonable of course. The one problem that Ehrlich and others tend to fall into is they try to put time frames on the issue. That is where things often go wrong, for these problems have a measure of nonlinearity, and conditions used at one time to estimate a future time frame may change considerably. Ehrlich lost a bet with J. Jaynes over the price of metal ores and lost. Jaynes was by any estimate a bit of a nutcase, and Ehrlich correct in his overall assessment. The problem is that vagaries of market forces shifted things temporarily. The thing which Meadows and Ehrlich have on their side is the second law of thermodynamics, which no economic twiddling or technological fix can ever ultimately overcome.

    The issue with our huge population and the Jevon’s paradox looms over any prospect for our long term future survival. I do think we should attempt to at least postpone our demise as long as possible. If nothing else I would like to think we could figure out some consistent and reasonably complete understanding of quantum gravity and cosmology before we enter some collapse of civilization and begin what might be our trundle off the Darwinian game table. I suspect that our species will before long enter some sort of bottleneck, such as those in our past evolutionary history. Our species appears to have evolved in response to episodes of variable climates over the last few million years, and now we are engineering the next great variation. There is no way to determine whether an evolutionary continuation of our species will carry on through the bottleneck, or whether we end up as an evolutionary dead end. Which ever is the case I doubt we will return to a civilized (civil as in building large complex societies marked by cities) condition our species currently enjoys.


  118. To be honest I get far more of a Macarthyite feel from the pro-AGW side. “Are you now or have you ever been a denier?” “Um, well…” “Take him away to the re-education ‘facility’ “.

  119. Unfortunately many in the west who are concerned about climate change/global warming are more than willing to reign in countries like China, India and Brazil by saying these countries should be looking for sustainability and careful management of resources. This is Malthusian code for the peasants in these countries should be satisfied with handouts and VSO people digging them an occasional well. We in the west have benefitted hugely from our own industrial and technological revolutions and must not deny the emerging nations their opportunity.

  120. @Paul
    The Macarthy analogy was clearly applied to the Fox Nudes gang and their political masters of puppetry not to the educational status of ‘deniers’.

    Conflation is the hand maid of confusion.

    The rather trivial point I wanted to make is that there is always a polarity in name calling. From little kids to world leaders, and across the floors of Congress or the aisles of parliamentary democracies, or between ‘Bart Cop’ and the ‘Fat Junky’ – if you get the nuance. Or here, between ‘trolls’ and ‘eggheads.’

    Russ is a tough guy and I for one respect his stamina.
    I think we agree to disagree and then hammer away …..
    A bit of vinegar spices the meal and we all slide further on bull-shit than on sand paper. Mix enough metaphors and you get a poem.

    The issue of ‘climate-gate’, polarising this blog, is a microcosm of the issue distorting some very grave international decisions that our world leaders, whether elected or dictators, must get right very soon. Like this year!

    Why it is so fascinating to find this debate on the pages of UT is that it is really about planetary atmospheres, Earth’s, compared to Mars’ and Venus’, It’s about our unique ability to probe and study planetary chemistry, and what it all means. It’s about love for ‘Rare Earth’

    If you explore carbon chemistry from a burning candle to cracking oil, to rocket fuel, from charcoal to diamond to graphene , bucky balls and nanotubes, or follow the the gaian equations of the sources and sinks of carbon in the biosphere/cryosphere/ocean/atmosphere and find our place in it, you’ll realize it is the amazing canon from the alchemists to DNA, that is the ball on which we are trying to focus your doubting eyes. The debate mustn’t be about individual scientists and their communications and perceived slip ups. That is a tabloid side-show.

    I’m with Lawrence when he says:
    “I do think we should attempt to at least postpone our demise as long as possible.”………………
    “If nothing else I would like to think we could figure out some consistent and reasonably complete understanding of quantum gravity and cosmology before we enter some collapse of civilization and begin what might be our trundle off the Darwinian game table.”

    Solving the great mystery of existence before we croak!!

    It’s thoughts like that, that keeps UT is on my daily reading list!

  121. Too bad we can’t capture all this hot air and use it for power! ~@; o

    Guys, I was kidding about the Hummer. I melted it down long ago and turned it into 75 bicycles.

  122. @Russ (and anyone else who may be interested): I’m not a lawyer, but I do know that the person who gets sued for copyright violations is the website owner, not the person who posted the comments!

    (And it looks like Nancy – or some other UT staffer – was reading, and took action).

  123. Do many of you live all day with air conditioner?
    Don´t you see the terrible Hurricanes such as Katrina.
    Don´t you see the unusual winds.
    Didn¨t you study phisyc or chemistry about CO2.
    Do you all know the money investment in enviromental satelites thath make all the time the more rich countrys? Do you really have any doubt that a clima change is going on?
    Do you really think that world population will be increasing more without bad effects in our enviroment?
    It´s better to know and to make something about it.
    We don´t have to wait. Later on it will be not useful.

  124. Whethern or not the Macarthy analogy was originally aimed at Fox et al it still pertains to many of those who want climate change challengers denied a voice. As the philosopher John Stuart Mill said, “the truth can only ever be worked out through a free and open debate”.

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