Apr 07 2010
Its the ‘hysterics’ vs. the ‘skeptics’ on global warming – and the hysterics are losing ground rapidly. Of course it is a failure of their own making, so I have little sympathy.
I have been collecting a series of articles that each, in their own right, undermine the already crumbling credibility of the people claiming there is out of control, human-driven, global warming. Taken in their totality it is a damning barrage against the ramparts of The Church of IPCC and Green Saint Gore. For us skeptics it is a wealth of interesting reading.
First is a must read, 7 part series from Germany’s Der Speigal, which just slices and dices the credibility of AGW alarmists. It is a skeptical look at the serial exaggerations and outright errors of CRU, IPCC and alarmists in general. The article still clings to some threads of global warming as defacto, but it destroys so much of the ‘consensus’ in the process it becomes impossible to take serious the alarmists doomsday scenarios. Â Let alone the quality of their analyses of history and the promises of theirÂ economically destructiveÂ diagnosis.
The article starts with some valid and grounded questions:
Plagued by reports of sloppy work, falsifications and exaggerations, climate research is facing a crisis of confidence. How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences? And would it really be the end of the world if temperatures rose by more than the much-quoted limit of two degrees Celsius?
The writers then proceed to show why there is a deserved crisis in confidence. For example, it notes sloppy science and exaggerated erroneous claims (anyone laying bets on the Great Himalayan Glacier Melt of 2035?) has hit all of science, not just climate science:
The Climategate affair is grist for the mills of skeptics, who have gained growing support for their cause, particularly in English-speaking countries. What began with hacked emails in the United Kingdom has mushroomed into a crisis affecting an entire scientific discipline. At its center is an elite and highly influential scientific group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
More on this in a bit with other articles, as other the more disciplined sciences who strictly follow and uphold the scientific method may begin to step in and deal with their wayward junior colleagues in the still juvenile climate science domain. Anyway, the damage is still eating away at climate science, as the article notes:
Reinhard HÃ¼ttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. “Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings,” he says. Scientific research, HÃ¼ttl adds, is all about results, not beliefs. Unfortunately, he says, there are more and more scientists who want to be politicians.
“If the revelations about the affair in England turn out to be true, it will be a catastrophe for climatology as a whole,” says HÃ¼ttl. “We can only monitor ourselves, and if we fail in that endeavor, who can be expected to believe us anymore?”
The British climate research center the Met Office has decided that the only way to regain lost trust is to make all climate data available online immediately, in a system that is accessible to anyone, offers maximum transparency and includes critical assessments on how reliable each piece of information is. The Met Office estimates that this major international project will take at least three years.
And if this article is to be believed, the CRU debacle has yet to run its course. I was pointed to this article by Bishop Hill who noted this segment:
While amateur climatologist McIntyre spent years begging in vain for the [CRU] raw data, [meteorologist] Webster eventually managed to convince Jones to send them to him. He is the only scientist to date who has been given access to the data. “To be honest, I’m shocked by the sloppy documentation,” Webster told SPIEGEL.
Sloppy work indeed. None of the dramatic claims by AGW proponents to date are standing up to scrutiny. The article ends with some stunning conclusions:
The common myth that developing countries, the poorest of the poor, will suffer the most as a result of climate change is wrong — at least according to current climate models.
In central Africa, for example, the models predict that hardly anything will change, and precipitation will likely remain constant. And according to most simulations, precipitation could even increase in the drought- and famine-plagued Sahel. “If this turns out to be true,” says Roeckner, “it will of course be a surprisingly positive side effect.”
Countries like Canada and Russia can look forward to better harvests and blossoming tourism. The countries bordering the Arctic also hope that the melting of sea ice will enable them to reach previously inaccessible natural resources. For Scandinavians, for example, the only drawback will be a possible guilty conscience over the fact that they are benefiting from climate change.
Germany could be among the beneficiaries of climate change. A Mediterranean climate could prevail there by the end of the century, which would mean that summer temperatures in Hamburg, in the north, would be as warm as they are in the southwestern city of Freiburg today, while Freiburg’s summers would come to resemble those of Marseilles today. Perhaps palm trees would even grow on the North Sea island of Helgoland.
Sounds Horrific. Oh, wait – does that mean we are not all DOOOOOMMMMED! How anticlimactic.
So what are all the Chicken Little crying about? The article discovered all the panic is about an admittedly made up limit on the range of temperature increase humanity could survive – and I do mean completely made up:
For this reason a group of German scientists, yielding to political pressure, invented an easily digestible message in the mid-1990s: the two-degree target. To avoid even greater damage to human beings and nature, the scientists warned, the temperature on Earth could not be more than two degrees Celsius higher than it was before the beginning of industrialization.
But this is scientific nonsense. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”
Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.
Administration politicians had asked the council for climate protection guidelines, and the scientists under Schellnhuber’s leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. “We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens,” Schellnhuber recalls. “This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.”
Two things to note here. One, the limit is completely arbitrary – so says the man who defined it. And two, the limit admits the Earth has been 2Â°C warmer many times before the industrial revolution. It is a cornerstone article of faith inside the Church of IPPC that the world has never been as warm as it is now. This is just one more nail in the coffin of that bogus and sloppy alarmist claim. Bottom line – we are NOT heading for destruction:
This means that, on balance, mankind has already survived far more severe temperature fluctuations than two degrees. And the cold periods were always the worst periods. Besides, modern civilizations have far more technical means of adapting to climate change than earlier societies had.
OK, that is just one of the articles out in the last week. Daniel Henninger penned a great piece in the Wall Street Journal on how the amateurish crap coming out of the IPCC is a blemish on all science:
Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.
The East Anglians’ mistreatment of scientists who challenged global warming’s claimsâ€”plotting to shut them up and shut down their ability to publishâ€”evokes the attempt to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State’s Michael Mann and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.
For three centuries Galileo has symbolized dissent in science. In our time, most scientists outside this circle have kept silent as their climatologist fellows, helped by the cardinals of the press, mocked and ostracized scientists who questioned this grand theory of global doom.
But I do not think the more established and rigorous scientific organizations will let this loose-cannon, upstart, media-craving alarmist cult take over science. An interesting situation has arisen for the father of the Hockey Stick. Dr Mann is about to face a grilling review by the National Science Foundation:
When a Penn State board of inquiry unilaterally decided that Michael Mann had broken no rules in the climate-data scandal, global-warming alarmists breathed a sigh of relief, thinking the most damaging episode in their effort to save the planet was behind them. They were wrong.
But the final say will be in the hands of a skeptical inspector general at the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the research into global warming. According to published documents obtained by FoxNews.com, the IG must determine whether Penn State’s investigation was adequate.
The Office of Inspector General confirmed that it will review the misconduct charges. A spokeswoman told FoxNews.com that “in accordance with our research misconduct regulation, (45 C.F.R. part 689), when the OIG is provided with an institution’s investigation report, we review it for fairness, accuracy and completeness” — issues the investigation has already been faulted for.
In other words, once the Penn State inquiry is over, the inspector general will likely step in. And if it does, it will be the first time that climate studies here will be scrutinized by an independent government organization with the skill and tools to investigate effectively.
Mann and his cohorts better start getting lawyered up now, they are all in for a bumpy ride. And don’t think it is just the NFS targeting the AGW charlatans – the Senate has its eyes on NASA’s GISS and their many, many problems.
According to NASA, its own temperature data is more flawed than the temperature data from the University of East Anglia, the British institution at the center of the “Climategate” scandal entailing the manipulation of evidence in favor of global-warming alarmism. And now, in light of NASA’s incredible admission, two U.S. Senators are demanding answers about the credibility of the American data.
â€œIn light of recent revelations and scientific reports, we are contacting you regarding our continued concerns with the apparent declining credibility of United States climate data,” wrote Senators John Barraso of Wyoming and Louisianaâ€™s David Vitter in a letter to NASA administrator Charles Bolden. “With almost ten percent unemployment, America cannot afford to base its energy policy on flawed data.”
GISS has so many problems with its approach they are in for a rough ride too, especially if the GOP takes over Congress this fall. Expect a grilling on why GISS assumes a thermometer in Los Angeles, CA can be used to determine the temperature in Eugene, OR.
Next up will be the US temperature record and its massive uncertainties, which make detecting tenth of a degree variations over a century mathematically impossible with any solid confidence. Check out this study on PA’s temp record and how raw data and USHCN ‘processed’ data diverge so dramatically. Here is a graph comparing the raw thermometer data (green) and the processed USHCN data (brownish red) showing warming for Uniontown, PA.
Anybody believing this ‘adjustment’? Raw data shows dramatic cooling, adjusted data (by the high priests of global warming) shows dramatic warming. Both can’t be right, only one is actual data (green of course).
Another thing to note in this study is how PA sites can differ up to 3Â°C across the state, confirming more rigorously what I posted a while back about natural variability over short distances. The fact any one thermometer reading or trend can be off by up to 3Â°C from another located in the region just destroys the idea you can extrapolate a single reading 500-1200 kilometers and beyond (when filling grids void of data) and claim it has any accuracy.
The article also notes that old fashioned liquid thermometers were used up until the 1980’s and there were inconsistencies in the time of day a measurements were taken, all adding huge error bars to these numbers and drowning out any signal that is a fraction of a degree.
The Church of IPCC and Green Saint Gore is crumbling to real science. And suddenly the Chicken Littles are shown to be nothing more than hysterical amateurs.