Archive for January, 2010

No Climategate FoI prosecutions

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Source:  Courtesey of Bishop HillDate

Jan 25, 2010

I’ve  just come off the phone to the investigations office at the Information Commissioner’s office. I had made a request for information to UEA that, while only peripherally related to Climategate, has now turned up some interesting new information.

My original request was from a couple of years ago, asking for any correspondence between the CRU’s Mike Hulme and the BBC in relation to a body called the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme (see here for some background on this story). The original response from UEA was that all Prof Hulme’s emails prior to 2005 had been lost, an admission that appears rather embarrassing in the light of CRU’s suggestion that they had lost some of their original temperature data. (more…)

More Questionable Material Found in U.N. Climate Report

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Source: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/60406

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

IPCC publicity material circulated in media prior to the release of the 2007 Fourth Assessment report

(CNSNews.com) – The U.N. climate report that contains an erroneous claim on the rate of glacier retreat also includes references to studies not originating from peer-reviewed scientific literature, some of them linked to environmental activists.

A review of references listed in the four-volume 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows that it includes reports linked to various green groups, including WWF and Greenpeace.

The IPCC has now admitted that the report contains a “poorly substantiated” prediction that Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035. (more…)

UK Parliament to Investigate Climategate and Data Issues

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Here in Australia there has been some questioning of the UN/IPCC/CRU Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) conjecture but for some reason, perhaps due to our geographic isolation, we have largely been quarantined by main stream media from the plethora of overseas reports promulgated in the media.

In western civilization (with the exception of Australia and possibly New Zealand) there is continuing and growing questioning of CAGW in the main stream media. We have seen leading CAGW players Prof Phil Jones of CRU fame being stood down and investigated and Prof Mann (of IPCC Hockey Stick fame) currently being investigated by Penn State University. Now the UK Parliament has seen fit to run its own investigation into Climategate and the CRU. For the terms of reference see link at WUWT which is reproduced in part here: (more…)

Climategate Analysis

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

by Jonathan DuHamel, Economic Geologist

Source: http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2010/01/20/climategate-analysis/

The Science and Public Policy Institute has published an analysis of the leaked climategate emails. This 149-page document takes the emails in chronological order and shows, with comments on each message, how science was perverted.

In the introductory material the report says:

The entire industry of “climate science” was created out of virtually nothing, by means of a massive influx of funding that was almost universally one-sided in its requirement that its recipients find evidence for man-made climate change—not investigate whether or how much mankind had caused climate change.

Many “climate scientists” built their entire careers on this funding; and so it is not surprising that they became so completely reliant on this conditional lifeline, that they became single-mindedly focused on achieving the ends for which they were commissioned—and viciously attacking any intruders who may threaten that lifeline.

The PDF file may be download from either of these links:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/climategate_analysis.pdf

or http://tinyurl.com/yl8o3t8

A question of temperature

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • A reader in Oregon has sent the following question:

In today’s The Oregonian (20 January 2010, page 2) there was an article citing the National Climate Data Center’s report that the decade from 2000 through 2009 was the warmest on record.

How can such a rise take place when temps have been either flat or declining for most of the 21st century thus far?

  • Our reply –

As our Monthly CO2 Reports show, there has been statistically-significant global cooling for nine full years, ever since the turn of the millennium on 1 January 2001.

However, it is also true that 2000-2009 were the warmest decade on the instrumental temperature record. But that record only goes back to 1850. And it is no particular surprise that, after 300 years’ “global warming”, the warmest years will occur at the end of the period. For almost all of those 300 years, we cannot have been to blame for the warming. Even in the 20 years we could have influenced – 1980-2000 – a natural reduction in cloud cover caused at least four times as much warming as all of our greenhouse-gas emissions over the period added together.

Michael Mann’s Climate Stimulus

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575010931344004278.html

1-20-10

Wall Street Journal Review and Outlook

As for stimulus jobs?whether “saved” or “created”?we thought readers might be interested to know whose employment they are sustaining. More than $2.4 million is stimulating the career of none other than Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann.

Mr. Mann is the creator of the famous hockey stick graph, which purported to show some 900 years of minor temperature fluctuations, followed by a spike in temperatures over the past century. His work, which became a short-term sensation when seized upon by Al Gore, was later discredited. Mr. Mann made the climate spotlight again last year as a central player in the emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which showed climatologists massaging data, squelching opposing views, and hiding their work from the public. (more…)

Dr. Chris Landsea Leaves the IPCC

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

by Robert Ferguson

We are often asked for references to the open letter Dr. Chris Landsea released outlining his reasons for withdrawing from the IPCC process.  It is posted below.

This is an open letter to the community from Chris Landsea.

January 17, 2005

Dear colleagues,

After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.

With this open letter to the community, I wish to explain the basis for my decision and bring awareness to what I view as a problem in the IPCC process. The IPCC is a group of climate researchers from around the world that every few years summarize how climate is changing and how it may be altered in the future due to manmade global warming. I had served both as an author for the Observations chapter and a Reviewer for the 2nd Assessment Report in 1995 and the 3rd Assessment Report in 2001, primarily on the topic of tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons). My work on hurricanes, and tropical cyclones more generally, has been widely cited by the IPCC. For the upcoming AR4, I was asked several weeks ago by the Observations chapter Lead Author – Dr. Kevin Trenberth – to provide the writeup for Atlantic hurricanes. As I had in the past, I agreed to assist the IPCC in what I thought was to be an important, and politically-neutral determination of what is happening with our climate. (more…)

U.N. Headquarters May Move to Dubai

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Source:   http://www.thefoxnation.com/international/2010/01/18/un-headquarters-may-move-dubai

[SPPI note— Wait, isn’t the climate REALLY warmer in Dubai than in NY City? Won’t more people die there from heat waves?]

Dubai: The government of Dubai on Thursday announced that it is fully prepared to host the headquarters of the United Nations if its officials decide to move from New York where the organisation is currently located.

According to an official source in the Dubai government, the announcement was made in light of the UAE’s — and Dubai’s — appreciation of the vital role the United Nations plays in all areas, and in the protection of international peace and security and economic development in particular.

The source said Dubai welcomes dialogue with UN officials to provide them with full information on the capabilities which the emirate can provide and which could make it the optimal choice as the new seat of the UN headquarters if a final decision is taken to move out of New York.

Among the capabilities which Dubai possesses are suitable geographical location and world-class infrastructure and air, land and sea transport systems which make the emirate an easily accessible meeting point in the middle of the world, noted the source.

World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Source:   The Sunday Times

by Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings

January 17, 2010

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments.”

The IPCC’s reliance on Hasnain’s 1999 interview has been highlighted by Fred Pearce, the journalist who carried out the original interview for the New Scientist. Pearce said he rang Hasnain in India in 1999 after spotting his claims in an Indian magazine. Pearce said: “Hasnain told me then that he was bringing a report containing those numbers to Britain. The report had not been peer reviewed or formally published in a scientific journal and it had no formal status so I reported his work on that basis.

“Since then I have obtained a copy and it does not say what Hasnain said. In other words it does not mention 2035 as a date by which any Himalayan glaciers will melt. However, he did make clear that his comments related only to part of the Himalayan glaciers. not the whole massif.”

The New Scientist report was apparently forgotten until 2005 when WWF cited it in a report called An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China. The report credited Hasnain’s 1999 interview with the New Scientist. But it was a campaigning report rather than an academic paper so it was not subjected to any formal scientific review. Despite this it rapidly became a key source for the IPCC when Lal and his colleagues came to write the section on the Himalayas.

When finally published, the IPCC report did give its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the likelihood of the glaciers melting was “very high”. The IPCC defines this as having a probability of greater than 90%.

The report read: “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.”

However, glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is 2-3 feet a year and most are far lower.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, said: “Even a small glacier such as the Dokriani glacier is up to 120 metres [394ft] thick. A big one would be several hundred metres thick and tens of kilometres long. The average is 300 metres thick so to melt one even at 5 metres a year would take 60 years. That is a lot faster than anything we are seeing now so the idea of losing it all by 2035 is unrealistically high.”

Some scientists have questioned how the IPCC could have allowed such a mistake into print. Perhaps the most likely reason was lack of expertise. Lal himself admits he knows little about glaciers. “I am not an expert on glaciers.and I have not visited the region so I have to rely on credible published research. The comments in the WWF report were made by a respected Indian scientist and it was reasonable to assume he knew what he was talking about,” he said.

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, has previously dismissed criticism of the Himalayas claim as “voodoo science”.

Last week the IPCC refused to comment so it has yet to explain how someone who admits to little expertise on glaciers was overseeing such a report. Perhaps its one consolation is that the blunder was spotted by climate scientists who quickly made it public.

The lead role in that process was played by Graham Cogley, a geographer from Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who had long been unhappy with the IPCC’s finding.

He traced the IPCC claim back to the New Scientist and then contacted Pearce. Pearce then re-interviewed Hasnain, who confirmed that his 1999 comments had been “speculative”, and published the update in the New Scientist.

Cogley said: “The reality, that the glaciers are wasting away, is bad enough. But they are not wasting away at the rate suggested by this speculative remark and the IPCC report. The problem is that nobody who studied this material bothered chasing the trail back to the original point when the claim first arose. It is ultimately a trail that leads back to a magazine article and that is not the sort of thing you want to end up in an IPCC report.”

Pearce said the IPCC’s reliance on the WWF was “immensely lazy” and the organisation need to explain itself or back up its prediction with another scientific source. Hasnain could not be reached for comment.

The revelation is the latest crack to appear in the scientific concensus over climate change. It follows the so-called climate-gate scandal, where British scientists apparently tried to prevent other researchers from accessing key date. Last week another row broke out when the Met Office criticised suggestions that sea levels were likely to rise 1.9m by 2100, suggesting much lower increases were likely.

The letter Nature refused to print

Monday, January 18th, 2010

From Professor Nils-Axel Mörner

  • Professor Mörner wrote the following letter to Nature, which refused to print it, so we are posting it here.

Sir ? I read your December editorial comments with interest and surprise. In the December 3 editorial you say nearly 100% believe in the IPCC?s scenarios and in its handling of the ?global warming? case. Your journal surely represents one of the highest authorities in science. This calls for considerable responsibility on your part. Science is a process of continuous searching.

The Climategate emails you discussed in the December 3 editorial may not be so important, though they show scientific and cultural bad behaviour. Much more important are the real facts. Far too often they seem to run directly opposite to what is being claimed in the IPCC reports. Another point is the use of real and claimed specialists. Far too often the IPCC puts aside leading specialists are in favour of people not specialized in the subject but chosen because they can be relied upon to give a report in full support of the scenario asked for. This is a very unscientific approach.

I can assure you that this has been the case with the IPCC?s chapters on sea-level changes, my own field of specialization. Glaciological changes are nothing like as simple and straightforward as claimed in the IPCC?s reports. Also, it seems clear that the imagined issue of threats to health allegedly posed by warmer weather was quite wrongly handled by the IPCC.

Even the core issue, the relationship between temperature and greenhouse gases, seems far from clear. In this situation, we simply need to return to basic science, and this is what you and your journal are supposed to be all about.

In your December 24 editorial you write that the Copenhagen agreement ?lends fresh urgency to challenges in science and communications?. I agree, but I am sure that those challenges would now be best exercised by a rediscovery of true scientific values (a task in which your journal ought to play a central role), and by a full reorganization of the IPCC in time for the Fifth Assessment Report in 2013/14.

Let us join in an appeal for a general ?rediscovery of scientific values? in ressearch projects, in reports, in reviews, in debates and in publications.

Nils-Axel Mörner. Ph.D., Sea Level specialist,
Former head of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University

Extreme Heat vs. Extreme Cold: Which is the Greatest Killer?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

by Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

Source: courtesy of CO2 Science

Hypocrisy in high places is nothing new; but the extent to which it pervades the Climategate Culture – which gave us the hockeystick history of 20th-century global warming – knows no bounds.

Hard on the heels of recent revelations of the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the IPCC’s contending that the current level of earth’s warmth is the most extreme of the past millennium, we are being told by Associated Press “science” writer Seth Borenstein (25 November 2009) that “slashing carbon dioxide emissions could save millions of lives.” And in doing so, he quotes U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as saying that “relying on fossil fuels leads to unhealthy lifestyles, increasing our chances for getting sick and in some cases takes years from our lives.”

Well, if you’re talking about “cook stoves that burn dung, charcoal and other polluting fuels in the developing world,” as Seth Borenstein reports others are doing in producing their prognoses for the future, you’re probably right. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the proper usage of coal, gas and oil. In fact, any warming that might result from the burning of those fuels would likely lead to a significant lengthening of human life.

In an impressive study recently published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, for example, Deschenes and Moretti (2009) analyze the relationship between weather and mortality, based on “data that include the universe of deaths in the United States over the period 1972-1988,” wherein they “match each death to weather conditions on the day of death and in the county of occurrence,” which “high-frequency data and the fine geographical detail,” as they write, allow them “to estimate with precision the effect of cold and hot temperature shocks on mortality, as well as the dynamics of such effects,” most notably, the existence or non-existence of a “harvesting effect,” whereby the temperature-induced deaths either are or are not subsequently followed by a drop in the normal death rate, which could either fully or partially compensate for the prior extreme temperature-induced deaths.

So what did they find?

The two researchers say their results “point to widely different impacts of cold and hot temperatures on mortality.” In the later case, they discovered that “hot temperature shocks are indeed associated with a large and immediate spike in mortality in the days of the heat wave,” but that “almost all of this excess mortality is explained by near-term displacement,” so that “in the weeks that follow a heat wave, we find a marked decline in mortality hazard, which completely offsets the increase during the days of the heat wave,” such that “there is virtually no lasting impact of heat waves on mortality [italics added].”

In the case of cold temperature days, they also found “an immediate spike in mortality in the days of the cold wave,” but they report that “there is no offsetting decline in the weeks that follow,” so that “the cumulative effect of one day of extreme cold temperature during a thirty-day window is an increase in daily mortality by as much as 10% [italics added].” In addition, they say that “this impact of cold weather on mortality is significantly larger for females than for males,” but that “for both genders, the effect is mostly attributable to increased mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.”

In further discussing their findings, Deschenes and Moretti state that “the aggregate magnitude of the impact of extreme cold on mortality in the United States is large,” noting that it “roughly corresponds to 0.8% of average annual deaths in the United States during the sample period.” And they estimate that “the average person who died because of cold temperature exposure lost in excess of ten years of potential life [italics added],” whereas the average person who died because of hot temperature exposure likely lost no more than a few days or weeks of life. Hence, it is clear that climate-alarmist concerns about temperature-related deaths are wildly misplaced, and that halting global warming – if it could ever be done – would lead to more thermal-related deaths, because continued warming, which is predicted to be greatest in earth’s coldest regions, would lead to fewer such fatalities.

Interestingly, the two scientists report that many people in the United States have actually taken advantage of these evident facts by moving “from cold northeastern states to warm southwestern states.” Based on their findings, for example, they calculate that “each year 4,600 deaths are delayed by the changing exposure to cold temperature due to mobility,” and that “3% to 7% of the gains in longevity experienced by the U.S. population over the past three decades are due to the secular movement toward warmer states in the West and the South, away from the colder states in the North.”

It’s really a no-brainer. An episode of extreme cold can shave an entire decade off one’s life, while an episode of extreme warmth typically hastens death by no more than a few weeks. If you love life, therefore, you may want to reconsider the so-called “morality” of the world’s climate-alarmist’s perverse prescription for planetary health.

For more information on this important subject, we suggest that you see the most recent publication (Climate Change Reconsidered) of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. If Borenstein were a real science writer, he would check out the findings of the voluminous body of peer-reviewed scientific literature on this and many other related subjects that is reported there. To simply ignore the other side of the issue, especially in a “news” story, must surely come close to bordering on fraud. But we guess that must be the defining characteristic of the Climategate Culture.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

Reference
Deschenes, O. and Moretti, E. 2009. Extreme weather events, mortality, and migration. The Review of Economics and Statistics 91:659-681.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Cartoon agw predictions

The Noble Lord is right

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

From The Lord Donoughue

(Hansard, House of Lords, 14 January 2009, cols. 645-646)

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Stone, for the opportunity to discuss the Copenhagen conference. Personally, I am not sure whether its failure was a disaster for the future of the planet or a fortunate rescue from dangerous commitments. Time will tell. I want to focus today on global warming, which is allegedly occurring on an unprecedented scale and is allegedly caused by man-made carbon emissions – the majority view is certainly that way.

First, I should declare that I have no training in physical science, although I have in social science from I was when an academic at the LSE, and I am aware of the use and misuse of statistics. I should also emphasise that I believe it is of prime importance to protect our planet from pollution of its earth, skies and oceans. I am also convinced that climate change is, indeed, taking place; it always has. There is nothing new there, although the volatility may now be much greater. However, climate change may not be the same as unprecedented global warming, although there is of course a link. (more…)

NASA Climategate Exposed

Friday, January 15th, 2010

[SPPI Note:  The Smith-D?Aleo paper mentioned in this press release was commissioned by SPPI, and the full copyrighted version will be released and posted at SPPI in the next few days.  We consented for a shortened version to be used by John Coleman for his program.  All five segments of the program can be viewed here:  http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/81583352.html ]

*********

Climate researchers have discovered that NASA researchers improperly manipulated data in order to claim 2005 as “the warmest year on record.”

KUSI-TV meteorologist, Weather Channel founder, and iconic weatherman John Coleman will present these findings in a one-hour special airing on KUSI-TV on January 14 at 9 p.m. EST. A related report will be made available on the Internet at 6 p.m. EST on January 14 at www.kusi.com.

In a new report, computer expert E. Michael Smith and Certified Consulting Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo discovered extensive manipulation of the temperature data by the U.S. government’s two primary climate centers: the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) at Columbia University in New York City. Smith and D’Aleo accuse these centers of manipulating temperature data to give the appearance of warmer temperatures than actually occurred by trimming the number and location of weather observation stations. The report is available online at http://icecap.us/images/uploads/NOAAroleinclimategate.pdf. (more…)

Environmental pretexts for land-grabs from private citizens

Friday, January 15th, 2010

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • An Australian reader writes –

I thought you might be interested in another case of Government effectively stealing freehold property via an environmental agency, in this case the Environmental Protection Agency of Western Australia. There are strong similarities in this case with the situation faced by Peter Spencer, the farmer in New South Wales who was until this week on a hunger-strike halfway up a communications tower on his land, which he is now forbidden to farm because it has been designated a “carbon sink” as a way for Australia to comply with the Kyoto Protocol without actually cutting emissions of carbon dioxide. (more…)