IPCC Gate Du Jour: UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article

Issue 208, 2002 -click to enlarge

It’s worse than we thought! Now the IPCC has been citing magazine articles, like this one from Climbing Magazine, issue 208, shown at left. We’ve heard the title before, according to their index: “Canaries in a Coal Mine,” – Feature on global loss of glaciers. But wait there’s more! If you think that’s crazy, we also learn that IPCC Chairman Pachauri has penned a “smutty” romance novel! Bizarre, but true.

The Telegraph reports on the magazine issue:

The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.

The IPCC’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.

It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC’s report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.

This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.

But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC’s use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature.

Professor Richard Tol, one of the report’s authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: “These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.

“Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been.

“There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense.”

The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government’s worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people.

The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled “Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming”.

It states that reductions in mountain ice have been observed from the loss of ice climbs in the Andes, Alps and in Africa between 1900 and 2000.

The report also states that the section is intended to “assess studies that have been published since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of observed changes and their effects”.

But neither the dissertation or the magazine article cited as sources for this information were ever subject to the rigorous scientific review process that research published in scientific journals must undergo.

The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s.

Mr Bowen said: “I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes.”

The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.

read the complete article at the Telegraph


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181 Responses to IPCC Gate Du Jour: UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article

  1. Ron de Haan says:

    Icecap note to AR-4:
    “In fact the whole IPCC report and AGW movement is based on a house of cards with a lot based on the unproven assumption that the atmosphere’s sensitivity to CO2 is high (proven empirically and by theory not to be the case), that its atmospheric lifetime is centuries (research suggests 5-7 years) and that temperatures have never been as warm as they have been this decade”.

    In short, the entire AR-4 report is RUBBISH.

  2. Howard says:

    I believe that CO2 has an effect on Climate. It is obvious that “Climate Science” has absolutely no idea what that could possibly consist of. It is a sad sad day for science.

  3. DoctorJJ says:

    “The Telegraph reports on the climabing magazine:”

    Should read: The Telegraph reports on the climbing magazine:”.

  4. PaulH says:

    But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC’s use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature.

    Truer words were never spoken. Darn right I’m exasperated.

  5. Poptech says:

    Fascinating, Mountaineering Magazines can get in the IPCC but Skeptical Peer-Reviewed Papers cannot? This just keeps getting better and better.

  6. pat says:

    oh my, today there’s an avalanche of material, isn’t there?

    however, cnn just ran an ad from Suzlon, “global warming won’t just melt ice” blah blah…”we are the wind specialists” or whatever…

    and the following will make you cry! how to stop them?

    30 Jan: Washington Post Editorial: President Obama reaches out to Republicans to get new energy legislation
    Mr. Obama was right about something else on Wednesday: Beyond such fixes, the best way to promote emissions-free energy is for Congress to put a price on carbon, giving private actors incentives to devise the most efficient ways to curb U.S. emissions. The best way to do that is through a carbon tax or a well-designed cap-and-trade scheme…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012904222.html

    28 Jan: KLBJ: Austin’s carbon reduction plan more than “Cap and Trade” bill proposal
    Austin Energy head Roger Duncan says the local utility’s plan calls for a 20% reduction.
    To see the presentation Duncan presented to the Austin City Council yesterday, click here.
    Duncan says putting the plan in place could potentially cost the city around $2.6 billion. He says Austin Energy customers should expect to see a slight rate increase in three years, stemming from some of the changes that have already been made.

    http://www.590klbj.com/News/Story.aspx?ID=1190113

    7 Jan: Bloomberg: Simon Lomax: States to Lead Carbon Markets as Federal Plan Stalls (Update2)
    While cap-and-trade legislation, which would create carbon dioxide permits that companies could buy and sell, is stalled in the U.S. Senate, a group of Northeastern states already has a carbon market and two more regional programs in the Midwest and West plan to follow suit.
    Regional-level carbon trading “is where the action is going to be” this year, Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, which represents state and local environmental regulators, said in an interview.
    “The states are juiced to expand their programs,” Becker said. “They don’t like the slow pace that we’re seeing in the federal government, and they’re not confident that anything meaningful is going to necessarily pass.” ..
    While no change to last year’s minimum bid of $1.86 is planned for the next auction in March, the price may yet be increased “so that states can attempt to maintain a revenue stream,” Shattuck said. Past auction results would support a new minimum bid of $2.33, he said.
    Two other regional carbon markets, the Western Climate Initiative and the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord are being designed. They aren’t scheduled to start until 2012.
    To meet that deadline, the states involved in the new programs must make “detailed decisions” this year about which companies to regulate, the number of permits to sell at auction and how many should be given away, Shattuck said. ..
    Even if cap-and-trade legislation is approved this year, it’s unlikely the Environmental Protection Agency could complete the regulations needed for the carbon market to function by 2012, Roger Martella, former general counsel at the EPA under President George W. Bush, said in an interview.
    The EPA would probably need three to five years of lead time, leaving regional programs as an option for “those who want to play in some kind of trading system,” said Martella, a Washington-based partner at law firm Sidley Austin LLP. ..
    Regional carbon trading programs are likely to face legal challenges from industry and states without matching greenhouse gas regulations. Last year, a New York power plant filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Northeast carbon market on the grounds it unlawfully interferes with the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce.
    While that case was recently settled, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is now considering legal action against regulators in neighboring Minnesota, a member of the Midwest’s proposed emissions trading program, over plans to include carbon price estimates in future electricity purchasing decisions.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&sid=aKlPH9Y0s65A

    love the inclusion of Sidley Austin where the Obamas met when they worked there.

  7. Matt Carden says:

    “I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” – Barak Obama- Jan 27, 2009

    hmmm…. I wonder why we disagree with the overwhelming “scientific” evidence…

  8. mrpkw says:

    Priceless !!!!

  9. Ralph says:

    The real warming comes when the IPCC bursts into flames. It’s smoldering right now.

  10. This is a truly garbage piece of reporting – the journalists refer to:

    “In another example a WWF paper on forest fires was used to illustrate the impact of reduced rainfall in the Amazon rainforest, but the data was from another Nature paper published in 1999.”

    … which is followed by this:

    “When The Sunday Telegraph contacted the lead scientists behind the two papers in Nature, they expressed surprise that their research was not cited directly but said the IPCC had accurately represented their work.”

    Whaaaaaaaa?

    This is “Amazongate” – they are completely contradicting Booker, in the same newspaper …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7113582/Amazongate-new-evidence-of-the-IPCCs-failures.html

    Just when Amazongate goes big time in the Sunday Times …

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7009705.ece

  11. Jim Papsdorf says:

    This story is already on Drudge-with 26 million readers per day.

  12. John Goetz says:

    Regarding the novel, seems like nothing more than Pachauri wanting to add the Nobel prize for literature to his well-deserved Nobel Peace prize.

  13. Mike McMillan says:

    ‘Smutty,’ as opposed to ‘chaste,’ romance novel?
    Fiction indeed, but AR4 isn’t much of a breathless bodice ripper.

  14. DirkH says:

    In IPCC AR5 we’ll get WG 5 which will deliver a huge feature-length rant against sceptics, calling them the anti-science crowd and other names. The rant will be delivered by a computer model based on a Mark V. Chaney-algorithm reading through all of Joe Romm’s rants.

  15. Baa Humbug says:

    Ultimate responsibility must rest with Pachauri but the following people must be contacted and asked “WTF were you thinking”

    Climate Change 2007:
    Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    Edited by

    Martin Parry , Co-Chair, Osvaldo Canziani, Co-Chair, Jean Palutikof, Head, Technical Support Unit

    Paul van der Linden, Deputy Head, Technical Support Unit
    Clair Hanson Deputy Head, Technical Support Unit

    Just so there is no doubt, here is what the IPCC says about who is directly responsible for this report

    Please use the following reference to the whole report:
    IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment
    Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E.
    Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 976pp.

  16. Michael says:

    Praise be to the Sun god.
    Without whose timely naps,
    we would be but fried embers on a scorched Earth,
    and at the mercy of crazed lunatics.

  17. Henry chance says:

    How do mediocre scientists like Hansen and Mann explain the casual part of their field? It isn’t science but outdooor activities.
    This isa anti science Joe Romm. Kinda like working for G soros.

  18. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Mr Bowen said: “I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes.

    Mr. Bowen, understand that anecdotal evidence has the same standing in science as hearsay evidence in a court of law. Both must be confirmed by independent observation.

  19. Henry chance says:

    The plural for anecdote is not data.

  20. Michael says:

    Why is “Solar Minimum” a taboo subject to write about?
    I search every day for news article on the extended solar minimum but find very few if any articles.

  21. Mike D. says:

    Climbing Mag covergirl has hair that defies gravity. Or maybe the pic is photoshopped? Or rotated at least? In any case, they can’t be trusted with matters of science. Same situation as with Nature Mag.

  22. John Whitman says:

    My question iswhy in the past 2.5 years didn’t anyone in the professional scientific community actually read the AR4 report? I am assuming they didn’t because if they are professionals and they did read it then there would have been an immediate uproar of indignation on the AR4 late of scientific basis. Is the state of science that bad?

    John

  23. rbateman says:

    Climb every melting mountain.

  24. rbateman says:

    Michael (18:09:19) :

    Solar Minimum has progressed out of the Deep and presently lies at the level of the previous SC22-23 lowest point.

  25. Phil's Dad says:

    Candidate for QOTW

    Henry chance (18:07:11) :
    “The plural for anecdote is not data.”

    Nice

  26. DirkH says:

    “John Whitman (18:15:51) :
    [...]
    Is the state of science that bad? ”

    They needed to use the climbing magazine because climate science is so underfunded. And the scientists have to fight against evil FOI requests all the time. And there were still blank pages left. And climbing and climate both start with “clim” so it’s an obvious best fit, least deviation, well, as good as a GCM output anyway.

  27. Does the fact that a student wrote it make a paper less scientific? We can question the methodology used in the paper, but I can’t agree with dismissing simply because it was a Master’s dissertation.

  28. Larry says:

    Now I know why IPCC changed their rules for AR4. They’re obviously desperate; they can’t find any legitimate scientific evidence supporting catastrophic AGW, so now they’re resorting to mountaineer magazine articles. Yodel-ley-ee-hoo!!!

  29. Henry chance says:

    Great magazine cover. The rock is vertical and was rotated by the camera. her toe holds prove she is actually going vertical. Check the hair as mentioned.

  30. Jeff L says:

    Of course, even if the climbers observations are correct, so what !

    Is this because it is snowing less?
    Is this because it is warmer & the ice is melting?
    Is this due decadal variations in weather (ie PDO etc)?
    Is this localized to where observations were made?
    Is it possible the decrease is due to coming back to some normal, where we were previously above normal?
    etc etc etc

    The bottom line is even if these observations are correct, in themselves, they are completely meaningless without being placed in some sort of larger framework.

  31. Michael says:

    “”People will gradually start to leave carbon desks,” the head of climate change and carbon finance at one British law firm told The Guardian this week.

    Westpac, The Guardian reported, had shelved plans to expand its London carbon desk. The bank put out its own spin saying the business was always intended to grow organically.

    In Australia there is no downsizing yet, although, coincidentally, after Royal Bank of Scotland’s Sempra commodities business was put up for sale, respected trader Craig McBurnie – who last year chaired the Australian Financial Markets Association’s carbon committee – resigned.

    McBurnie still believes carbon trading is a growth area but he now has to consider a scenario that ”was not even on my radar 12 months ago: a complete collapse in the whole global approach to co-ordinated action”.”

    Dealing with life in the carbon trading Twilight Zone

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/dealing-with-life-in-the-carbon-trading-twilight-zone-20100129-n47w.html

  32. John Whitman says:

    ” By DirkH on January 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm – . ..still blank pages left. And climbing and climate both start with “clim” so it’s an obvious best fit, least deviation . . .”

    Dirk- That was pretty good.

    But seriously though, this must be a hugh embrassament for any truly professional scientists. Or maybe not … if isn’t embarassing to them then it is really bad. Where have they been for 2.5 years?

    NOTE: sorry about spelling and sentence structure, I am doing this from a public bus in Taipei.

    John

  33. a jones says:

    Its not just WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.

    What are we all going to do once the house of cards is gone?

    Show our scars upon St. Crispin’s day I suppose and tell tall tales over a beer or two?

    And as the for young ones well ONCE UPON A TIME

    Kindest Regards

  34. Sam says:

    Some really funny stuff above, guys and gals! thanks for the laughs

    Thanks to latitude’ on the previous thread for the following link, which deserves another airing:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/un-ipcc-rotting-from-the-head-down/

    I particularly liked this:

    As reported in the **peer-reviewed** Himalayan Journal of Sciences in 2005:

    The Times of London (21 July 2003), reporting on an international meeting held at the University of Birmingham, noted that ‘Himalayan glaciers could vanish within 40 years because of global warming . . . 500 million people in countries like India could also be at increased risk of drought and starvation.’ Syed Hasnain is quoted as affirming that ‘the glaciers of the region [Central Indian Himalaya] could be gone by 2035’.

    However, most interestingly, the above quote comes from a withering attack and exposure by Professor Jack D. Ives of the false claims being made by Hasnain about the Himalayan glaciers. Jack Ives is a foremost expert on mountains, especially the Himalayas. As Professor Emeritus, Environmental Science, University of California and Davis Honorary Research Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ives is no obscure scientist, but a towering figure in the field…”

    So they rejected the peer reviewed stuff and went with hearsay. Great science!

    The author links to the paper, which is titled “Himalayan misconceptions and distortions: What are the facts? Himalayan Delusions: Who’s kidding who and why — Science at the service of media, politics and the development agencies.”

    It’s detailed and devastating. The comments are interesting too

  35. Mooloo says:

    Does the fact that a student wrote it make a paper less scientific?

    No, of course not. I’ve seen some awesome Masters papers in my time. The issue in this case is that it is, at least as reported, itself based on anecdotal evidence.

    In any case, the IPCC and the warmistas have trumpeted about how their evidence is the best possible. All peer reviewed, by trained scientists, in particular. If they are prepared to lie about that, what else are they lying about?

  36. Sam says:

    By the way, is everyone watching the hit counter? Over 10,000 in the last couple of hours, and it’s the middle of the night in Europe and most of the US

  37. TerryS says:

    Re: Edward – Entry Level Dilemma (18:27:51) :

    Does the fact that a student wrote it make a paper less scientific?

    Who wrote the paper and where it was published makes no difference to its scientific merit.

    We can question the methodology used in the paper, but I can’t agree with dismissing simply because it was a Master’s dissertation.

    The IPCC is supposed to produce a report based on papers that have already had their methodology checked via the peer review process. The governments who receive the reports are supposed to be able to depend on the science it is based upon being methodologically correct. If they subsequently have to review the source material themselves because its based upon student papers then what is the purpose of the IPCC?

    Also, if you are going to include masters dissertations then why not include degree dissertations or essays for high school diplomas? Exactly the same argument can made for them being included.

  38. mikelorrey says:

    What I want to know is how we can get Pauchauri’s novel cited in the next IPCC report?

  39. Richard M says:

    Matt Carden (17:43:32) :

    “I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” – Barak Obama- Jan 27, 2009

    hmmm…. I wonder why we disagree with the overwhelming “scientific” evidence…

    I think you have this wrong. The only folks I can think of that disagree with climate change are Michael Mann and a few of his buddies. The rest of us have been claiming climate has always changed. As such, I think the president was technically correct, just not in the way he probably meant.

    Or, maybe it was what he meant. Could that be why he got the big laugh from everyone including Pelosi.

  40. Roger Carr says:

    pat (17:41:31) : and the following will make you cry! how to stop them?

    I’m way past crying, Pat; and stalled on how to stop them — but if we cannot, I fear for freedom, scholarship, truth and rationality; and sense a darkness descending upon democracy…
    …all for a few lousy pieces of silver.

  41. Ric Werme says:

    Don’t be too sure about the cover being photoshopped. Wind, head motion, etc. may be at play. Note how her right hand is out of focus, she may be almost sideways on the boulder.

    I’m not an accomplished rock climber (I have climbed a Flatiron in CO, easy after you get on the face, and Seneca rock in WV), but a quick Google Images for “lisa rands” bouldering yields similar photos like

    http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/randsmandala/

    http://www.freakclimbing.com/modules.php?name=People&rop=showcontent&pid=13

    http://bishopbouldering.blogspot.com/2009/03/lisa-rands-haroun-and-sea-of-stories.html

    I suspect subscribers to Climbing would have very little patience with faked photos on the cover.

  42. Sharon says:

    Point of information on “dissertations”:

    At US universities, a candidate for a master’s degree writes a thesis. A candidate for a Ph.D. writes a dissertation. Sometimes one refers to one’s Ph.D. dissertation as a thesis, but the reverse is almost never true. The former type of project is usually shorter and may take a year or so at most to complete. In general, a master’s thesis is far less demanding in terms of research and scope. (But who knows, maybe this master’s thesis, as is ever true of all things Swiss, is superior in that regard.)

    If the work in question were a Ph.D. dissertation in some area of climate science undertaken at a research university, its inclusion in the AR4 would not be, in my mind at least, automatically suspect. It might represent a very recent and important piece of research that had not yet made it into the, ahem, peer-reviewed literature. Dissertations can contain original work, and will undergo a form of peer review in the writing and revising process. However, I would be very suspicious if it became clear that Mann, Jones, et. al. were making a habit of slipping their graduate students’ work into the reports, the better to show “consensus”.

    But this, a master’s thesis? In geography? Based on reports by Swiss mountain guides? Why didn’t the IPCC reviewers just go ahead and cite Heidi? Gah!

  43. ML says:

    Oh man, hard to keep up with IPCC “science”. At this point I have only one question: Why this railroad door knob is not presented to the world in handcuffs (with two pictures and a number included)?
    Well, it looks that “leaders” of the “free” world share his views. On the other hand I think we should wait couple more weeks to enjoy some more of his verbal diarrhoea defending IPCC science

  44. Terry:

    Doesn’t a dissertation have to be defended? In a sense that is a review similar to a peer-review. I would hope that the IPCC reviewed the methodology of each paper it cited (although this is apparently not happening), regardless of source.

    “Also, if you are going to include masters dissertations then why not include degree dissertations or essays for high school diplomas? Exactly the same argument can made for them being included.”

    A 5 page essay in high school is hardly in the same league as a dissertation in terms of amount of research done, and depth of thinking.

    Mooloo:

    Depending on the extent of the thesis, there is nothing wrong with writing a paper based on anecdotal evidence. Claiming “global warming is melting glaciers because mountaineers see less snow” isn’t a sound thesis, but “snow pack is higher according to mountaineers” is.

    I’ve known climbers that keep very detailed logs; if they report snow pack being higher 100m higher than the previous year, that is probably an accurate observation.

  45. ClimateQuoter says:

    It’s not just AR4. In AR3, they cited Greenpeace multiple times!

    http://climatequotes.com/2010/01/30/greenpeace-cited-multiple-times-in-ipccs-third-assessment-report/

    Remeber Ed Begley’s rant about ‘peer-reviewed’? I wonder what he thinks now.

  46. Mark Sawusch says:

    updated version of the Climbing magazine cover:

  47. Max says:

    These guys are the Keystone Cops of Climatology.

  48. Bill DiPuccio says:

    The number of unsubstantiated claims by the IPCC is becoming quite numerous.

    I hope someone will find the time to compile a running list or table of these claims, showing their non-peer reviewed sources, and include links to the originating news story.

    Or, does such a list already exist?

  49. nigel jones says:

    ROFL. I wonder if the sea temperature stuff cites Yachting Monthly.

    These stories keep coming and each is more of a knee slapper than the last.

  50. solrey says:

    “I’ll take ‘Sex, Lies and Videotape’ for 800, Alex.”
    “For 800 dollars…the answer is, “‘IPCC AR4′,…or ‘Return to Almora’ ”
    “What is, ‘A sexed up work of fiction’?”
    “Correct for 200 dollars. Please select your next answer.”
    “I’m gonna go for it Alex, how about ‘Graphs and Charts’ for a thousand.”
    “For a thousand…’Used for playing an icy, goal oriented game'”
    “What is, ‘A hockey stick’?”

  51. nigel jones says:

    First Climategate, now Climbinggate

  52. Poptech says:

    Bill DiPuccio (20:18:18) :

    I am keeping a record of these news stories under the IPCC section here.

  53. Smokey says:

    Poptech, you are really an excellent resource.
    Kudos.

  54. HankHenry says:

    solrey – ^5

  55. TerryS says:

    Re: Edward – Entry Level Dilemma (19:24:22) :

    Edward, your argument for including the masters dissertation was:

    Does the fact that a student wrote it make a paper less scientific?

    That argument does not include anything about a review process. It can be used for any piece of writing by anybody. ie. Its the content that determines whether its scientific or not. Using this argument means that they can include anything they wish, whether its a published paper, a blog entry, or a high school project (which presumably gets reviewed by a teacher).

    I would hope that the IPCC reviewed the methodology of each paper it cited

    Then your hopes would be sadly dashed. They make the assumption that if it is peer reviewed then it has already reached this minimum standard. Their function is to collate the scientific knowledge at a point in time and produce a report based on that knowledge. It isn’t to perform research or to peer review dissertations.

    They have widened the scope of what can be used so as to include “grey” material. But I would argue that a masters dissertation isn’t even grey material. At least the reports by WWF had reasonably wide distribution prior to being included whereas the masters dissertation was probably only ever published on the authors home page and deep in the bowels of his University’s website.

  56. Trey says:

    As a climber for 15+ years (and climate skeptic for only a year or so), I can say this photo is not photoshopped. Lisa Rands is bouldering. (Climbing unroped relatively close to the ground. Someone is below, out of the photo. If she falls, that person(s) will push her so that she lands feet first on a “crash pad” placed on the ground.) She is moving up and right (from out point of view), in a relatively quick move (“dynamic” is the term used). Her hair, being subject to Newton’s Law, is going to move left from our perspective. This looks like a fairly hard move. Yes, a climber can keep one’s feet on overhanging terrain like this. A quick search turned up a number of videos. Here’s one:

    Notice her hair. It swings back and forth. A picture taken at the right time would show her hair pointing down and left. V12 is the rating of the climb on this video. This puts Lisa in the upper echelon of climbers (men and women). I can barely do a V4 climb on a good day. (More on the “V” scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sherman_%28climber%29 )

  57. Tom t says:

    Are you sure the IPCC doesn’t stand for International Panel of Comics and Comedians?

  58. Leon Brozyna says:

    The IPCC is the gold standard in science studies. Only now is it being discovered that it’s pyrite.

  59. joe says:

    “Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.”

    Orwellian reporting. Yeah it’s no biggie IPCC is citing its claims from cuisine magazines or out thin air, no biggie CRU scientists have fudged the data, purged skeptical scientists from journals, and forged hockey sticks. No biggie the climate is not warming but cooling.
    Our way of living is being considered to be completely changed and it does not matter that science does not back the theory of global warming. Facts don’t matter, it’s just a football game for the skeptics, who are seizing the opportunity to score some points.
    It is disgusting how no journalists or scientist from the other camp have not broken ranks and do what is right.

  60. Roger Knights says:

    Here’s a year-old article reporting on a UK government adviser, John Ashton, urging scientists to (in effect) be more alarmist about consequences and less nuanced about their degree of certainty in “communicating” with politicians. From the look of things in the UK, they’ve successfully followed his advice.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/4969047/Government-adviser-accuses-politicians-of-ignoring-science-of-global-warming.html

    It looks as though this line of thinking is SOP at the IPCC as well.

  61. David Alan Evans says:

    I may get shouted down here but I don’t see a problem with anecdotal evidence.

    Having said that, Where are the historical anecdotes?

    By that I mean, Amundsen sailing the NW channel in both 1903 & 05, Syedoff drifting in open seas at 85ºN in December of 1938, not getting iced in until the 18th, then being free again in February of 1939.

    Anecdotes are fine, it’s selective use of anecdotes then assuming attribution of cause that isn’t.

  62. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Hate to bust your bubbles, but these two sources are cited in table 1.2 and the work is not discussed anywhere in the relevant section.

    This just ain’t a big deal.

  63. Richard Tol says:

    Richard Gray cites me correctly. I’m glad he left out the more colourful language.

    The average Swiss Diplomarbeit is of a higher standard than the average US or UK Master’s thesis. However, only 1% or so of Diplomarbeite are good enough to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    In this case, primary data were collected for the Diplomarbeit, which enhances the probability of subsequent journal publication, and it is on a subject for which there are no prior academic publications, which greatly enhances the probability of publication.

    I have not seen this Diplomarbeit, so I do not know how good it is. Chances are, it would not pass journal peer-review.

  64. David Alan Evans says:

    Michael (18:37:51) :

    The bank put out its own spin saying the business was always intended to grow organically.

    That’s actually quite funny related to carbon trading. ;-)

    DaveE.

  65. jknapp says:

    Re: Edward – Entry Level Dilemma (18:27:51) :

    Does the fact that a student wrote it make a paper less scientific?

    In addition to the not peer reviewed issue, the paper as summarized reported interviewing mountain climbing guides. ie. gathering a series of anecdotes from a limited time span. see previous comments about the plural of anecdote.

  66. Bill Parsons says:

    a jones (18:44:04) : Its not just WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.
    What are we all going to do once the house of cards is gone? Show our scars upon St. Crispin’s day I suppose and tell tall tales over a beer or two?

    And as for young ones well ONCE UPON A TIME
    Kindest Regards

    What follows that “Once upon a time…” must give us pause. It may be dreary fare, indeed.

    “Mommy, tell me that story again, you know…”

    “Sure, sweetheart, you mean the popular delusion around the 18th century about Tulip Mania… where everyone overinvested in tulip bulbs, and when the economic bubble came, there was a huge collapse…”

    “No, no. I want to hear the one about Global Warming, where they said it was going to get so hot you could cook an egg on the hood of your buick. Could they really do that?”

    If the kid wants a good fictional catastrophe tale, it has yet to be made in cinematic form. In fact, going way out on a limb here, one might say that nary a good disaster narrative has come from the Ghost of Global Warming Past, nor will it be uttered by the Ghost of Future Global Warming (as his NSF grants finally peter out). Don’t know why. Just a gut feeling. Proof, such as it is, is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_disaster_films

    Wiki’s “Global Warming” list of catastophe flicks cites:

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
    Category 6: Day of Destruction (2004)
    Category 7: The End of the World (2005)
    Countdown: The Sky’s on Fire! (1998)
    The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
    The Fire Next Time (1993 TV)
    Waterworld (1995)
    Soylent Green (1973)
    A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

    The last two, though good entertainment, have naught to do with warming, ither in their literary or movie incarnations, that I can recall.

    So, at least from a cinemaphile’s p.o.v., it’s certainly worse than we thought. It’s… unprecedentedly dreary!

  67. Nick says:

    This is another beatup,and a really mediocre one at that. The work here covers part of the European Alps,not the ‘world’s mountaintops”.

    The glaciers of the Alps are clearly very thoroughly studied and documented. What has been and is happening there is not contentious,and anecdotal evidence from people who have spent working lives on the mountains, while hardly essential, is not a controversial addition to our knowledge. The implication from The Tele that professional mountain guides cannot distinguish between traffic damage and wholesale decadal changes to ice mass in the areas they work in is fatuous.

    The two cited publications in Table 1.2 of AR4 WG2 Ch.1.3.1.1 are an inconsequential part of a larger table citing peer-reviewed work,and the totality of AR4 WG1 and 2 on the cryosphere runs to hundreds of solid references.

    The media are producing obvious rubbish. How can you promote this as useful or credible?

  68. John Innes says:

    Pauchauri’s novel: on a work like this, it is hard to distinguish between peer review and voyeurism. I can’t say, I have only peered at the excerpts.

  69. John F. Hultquist says:

    Assuming we want to have our citations correct

    it is Keystone Kops, not Cops

    Someone might think you are trashing Pennsylvania’s finest.

  70. Ralph says:

    .

    Hey, what’s the problem? If we can declare war on a country by citing a student’s dissertation, I am sure we can determine future climate trends on the same basis. ;-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Dossier

    Government by spin and mirrors – we have had more than 10 years of this nonsense.

    .

  71. thethinkingman says:

    SOT . . but.

    Has anybody compared the area of say, the Ganges, catchment area with the area of glaciers in it?

    It looks to me that the glaciers are less than 1% of the total catchment area. So how can the partial melting of the glaciers have anything but a very small effect on the overall river flow. That certainly wouldn’t throw millions of people into a food deficit as claimed by the “boosters” in the IPCC.

  72. Ralph says:

    I like the last sentence in the Telegraph article…

    Bereft of scientific or moral authority, the most expensive show the world has ever seen (the IPCC and AGW) may soon be nearing its end.

    Classic.

    .

  73. Mark Sawusch says:

    Nick (23:22:31) :
    Anecdotal accounts are not science, clearly not peer reviewed, subject to huge unscientific biases, and deserve no citation whatsoever in a report which is reportedly based upon purely peer-reviewed scientific publications. If they had peer-reviewed reports on the European Alps, why didn’t they cite them rather than a Climbing rag? Pachauri recently commented on the “pristine” nature of IPCC reports: “The IPCC relies entirely on peer reviewed literature in carrying out its assessment” and “The entire report writing process of the IPCC is subjected to extensive and repeated review by experts as well as governments.” This example, along with many others, points out how disingenuous this statement is. Here’s a little historical perspective on how the IPCC corrupts it’s reports, which has led to several resignations of prominent scientists from the IPCC:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/falsified-ipcc-claims-redux.html

  74. Ralph says:

    >>Mike D. (18:11:34) :
    >>Climbing Mag covergirl has hair that defies gravity.

    In actual fact, she was crawling on all fours on level ground, before the pic was rotated. So much for climbing magazine being a purveyor of any kind of truth.

  75. Michael Larkin says:

    Bill DiPuccio (20:18:18) :

    An astonishing resource, obviously a labour of love. Thanks very much for the link – I have bookmarked it for future reference.

  76. son of mulder says:

    ….he looked into her eyes, “hot babe or what and getting hotter”, he thought. “Come to bed”, she said, but he felt torn between a night of passion and getting anecdotal information off to IPCC about how unusually hot it was in her bedroom for the time of year….

  77. Royinsouthwest says:

    In fairness to Mark Bowen I think he made a perfectly valid point when he was quoted as saying:

    “I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes.”

    Suppose the climbers had said that there was more ice on the mountains than there used to be. In that case I am sure that some of the readers of this blog would have been quite happy to use that annecdotal evidence then.

    Did Climber Magazine or the IPCC make any attempt to find descriptions of the same climbs, or at least climbs that were on the same mountains even if the routes were not identical (the very top climbers like to set new routes) in magazines or books from a few decades earlier? Perhaps there was even more ice a few decades ago, before the current generation of climbers got involved in the sport, or perhaps there was even less then than climbers are reporting today.

    Either way a comparison of such reports would provide some evidence of local trends or cycles in warming and/or cooling and, if the results were consistent over large areas, would provide some indication of global trends.

    The climbers’ descriptions might be more qualitative than quantitative and therefore the sort of scientist who believes in Kelvin’s dictum regarding measurement might not be happy about using such material but social scientists who distinguish between primary sources and secondary ones would undoubtedly classify the climbers’s records as a primary source since, as Mark Bowen pointed out, nobody who is not a climber would be able to get to some of the places they go to.

    By the way, scientists should also learn from historians and other social scientists to distinguish between primary and secondary sources. Original data is a primary source. Data that has been massaged is a secondary source. That does not mean it should be automatically disregarded but it does mean that questions should be asked about what was done to it and why.

  78. Lindsay H says:

    of course the IPCC knows that a lot of Mountaineers have degrees some of them are actually quite bright, theres a sort of survival of the fittest thing going on with climbers, (a lot of them are adrenalin junkies !) so the observations of the survivors must have some merit.
    And lets face it the damb glaciers we used to trudge up for hours or sometimes days have receded quite a bit in places.
    There are clearly other factors as well as warming involved with receding glaciers, less snow accumulation, dust from pollution reducing albedo and speeding melt, shift in prevailing wind patterns etc.
    Climbers should be applying for grants! could fund the odd expedition or two.
    If TERI can do it why can’t a few climbing clubs get in on the act!

  79. mikelorrey says:

    Royinsouthwest
    2010/01/31 at 12:56am

    “Suppose the climbers had said that there was more ice on the mountains than there used to be. In that case I am sure that some of the readers of this blog would have been quite happy to use that annecdotal evidence then.”

    Actually, no…

    I remember the ice on the mountains being thicker when I was younger (a teen actually) but I also remember a LOT of things looking a lot bigger back then. Memory is proven to be inaccurate, unreliable, and definitely not scientific.

    Now, if there were photos of the same mountain glacier every year taken by a mountain guide that showed the truth, that would be acceptable here, no matter WHICH argument the evidence proved. This blog is about truth, period.

  80. Patrick Davis says:

    I am sure it was peer reviewed, and as the cover is in colour, has to be true right?

  81. Mooloo says:

    Edward:

    Depending on the extent of the thesis, there is nothing wrong with writing a paper based on anecdotal evidence.

    Of course there isn’t. But no-one is bagging the thesis. It’s the use it has been put to that is inappropriate.

    Nick

    The implication from The Tele that professional mountain guides cannot distinguish between traffic damage and wholesale decadal changes to ice mass in the areas they work in is fatuous.

    This is bollox on so many levels.

    1. Science works by fact, not anecdote. It was only when doctors started ignoring anecdotes and actually testing drugs and techniques that progress was made. If we were still going by anecdote, we would be still bleeding and cupping. The fact is – and it is a fact – that “experts” in a field have no better memories than ordinary folks. They are equally prone to bias and distortion. They are told it is getting warmer, so every bad year is “proof” of warming, and every good year is ignored. Selection bias is terribly hard to eradicate without measurement (and even then rears its head time and again).

    2. If the “science is robust” why stoop to including this sort of material. If the Alps really are going snow-free, why is there not better evidence than this?

    3. I lived in the Alps for a while. I did not notice the locals making any comments about how much less snow there was. Does my anecdote beat yours? That’s the problem with anecdotes – they are damn near useless as evidence.

    If you are genuinely at the stage of needing to justify rubbish evidence like this, then you have a real problem.

    A decent counter-argument would not be to defend the indefensible. It would be to show more (better) evidence that the Alps are indeed losing snow. Can you do that?

  82. oxonmoron says:

    Richard North (17:51:11) :

    “When The Sunday Telegraph contacted the lead scientists behind the two papers in Nature, they expressed surprise that their research was not cited directly but said the IPCC had accurately represented their work.”

    It looks, Richard, as if you’re going to have to do some more work on this story. Be very careful though because from the words of an old French song:

    Cet animal est très méchant, Quand on l’attaque il se défend.

  83. Edmund Burke says:

    @Mark
    Pachauri says “The entire report writing process of the IPCC is subjected to extensive and repeated review by experts as well as governments.” Would these experts include people like Pat Finnegan of GRIAN. He is listed as a reviewer of Working Group III of the fouth Action Report. I can find no reference anywhere to any suitable qualifications pertaining to Mr. Finnegan other than he is an AGW advocate.

    http://www.grian.ie

  84. Royinsouthwest says:

    mikelorrey:

    I should have written “suppose the evidence from the climbers was that there was more ice on the mountains than there used to be”.

    My argument has nothing to do with memory. I was thinking of contemporary descriptions of routes by mountaineers. Such descriptions would be written either during the actual expeditions / climbing trips or very shortly afterwards and in the latter case would probably be based on briefer notes and/or photographs made during the actual trip.

    If accounts of climbers in recent years are compared with descriptions of the same or very similar routes made by other climbers decades ago then that would give us evidence of local changes and if those changes are similar to those in other mountain ranges it becomes possible to draw more general conclusions.

  85. zunedita373 says:

    I think I get it now. So basically, the IPCC can’t do anything right, is that it?

    For some reason, this reminds me of Rush Limbaugh’s hatred of the NAACP. Oh, it’s not that he hates black people. Not at all. He just hates it when they organize to form groups to assert their human rights, that’s all.

  86. omnologos says:

    could anybody please check there is no reference in the IPCC AR4 to “People” or “News of the World”?

  87. Gail Combs says:

    John Whitman (18:15:51) :

    My question iswhy in the past 2.5 years didn’t anyone in the professional scientific community actually read the AR4 report? I am assuming they didn’t because if they are professionals and they did read it then there would have been an immediate uproar of indignation on the AR4 late of scientific basis. Is the state of science that bad?

    John

    In a word YES. Science has become very political. As long as someone else controls the money/grants they also control the science.

  88. Allan M says:

    a jones (18:44:04) :

    Its not just WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT.

    What are we all going to do once the house of cards is gone?

    Show our scars upon St. Crispin’s day I suppose and tell tall tales over a beer or two?

    But this must be the biggest worry: if this scam continues to collapse at the present rate, how will Anthony get to his 100M hits by end of year?

    ———–
    ClimateQuoter (19:41:35) :

    Remeber Ed Begley’s rant about ‘peer-reviewed’? I wonder what he thinks now.

    From what I saw of Begley, the word ‘think’ is disputable.

  89. tallbloke says:

    DoctorJJ (17:35:35) :

    “The Telegraph reports on the climabing magazine:”

    Should read: The Telegraph reports on the climbing magazine:”.

    Maybe it’s a new sport, combining climbing with instantaneous scientific observation – clima-bing!

  90. Peter of Sydney says:

    OK, there’s definitely more than enough evidence to call into question the whole of the IPCC. It must be fully investigated in various ways, including corruption and fraud. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. It’s only a matter of time before some of these clowns are in a court defending themselves. Whether they are guilty or not is up to the court system, but it’s now got to the point charges MUST be handed out to many of them, especially the chairman of the IPCC. If not then this will eventually backfire on the politicians so badly many will lose their careers for life as they are booted out of office. It’s time for them to all come clean or else.

  91. Jimbo says:

    Poptech (17:36:35) :
    “Fascinating, Mountaineering Magazines can get in the IPCC but Skeptical Peer-Reviewed Papers cannot? This just keeps getting better and better.”

    ________________
    I posted the “Skeptical Peer-Reviewed Papers” link on Real Climate in response to a commenter that said we skeptics could not find 100 peer reviewed papers skeptical of Climate Change. The commenter added that we could not even find 10.

    In reply I said words to the effect of “you are right, I can’t find 100 or even 10 however, I will give you over 150 – see link below.”

    Gavin removed allowed my comment but removed the link and called it rubbish!!!! I sent him back a response saying “so much for open discussion.”

  92. Nick says:

    People are missing the point spectacularly. This is a media invention.

    The two ‘questionable’ cites,one of anecdotal climber’s evidence,the other a more solid interview based piece with eighty experienced accounts,are the only non-core science cited in that table. The rest is solid and there is a lot of it. There is no shortage of science on the Alps,and there is no shortage of that science in AR4 WG2.

    And I’m sorry ,Mooloo ,but professional climbing guides in the world’s busiest mountain range,leading climbing groups,often daily, up standard routes,many of which have been established for fifty years and in some cases one hundred, know when ice coverage changes permanently. It has also been casually photographed by millions of visitors over more than a century,for those who are interested in forensic landscape reconstruction. No matter,this is trivial,but true. In less politically fraught circumstances,you’d probably find the reports interesting reading.

    I suggest people look at AR4 WG2 Ch.1.3.1.1 before pontificating.

    As well, reviewers could self-nominate for AR4,such was the commitment to transparency. I doubt they will extend this courtesy next time,as the crowds will cripple the process…

  93. Jimbo says:

    Correction:

    Gavin allowed my comment but removed the link and called it rubbish!!!! I sent him back a response saying “so much for open discussion.”

  94. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    mountaineers and guides….

    no, no, it’s 2500 of the worlds top scientists.

  95. kwik says:

    Ralph (23:59:57) :

    Ralph, Wikipedia, ….. do you take it as a fact?

    You might find something useful about a plane, a car, a bird…..

    But not about Climategate, IPCC, the Iraqi war, or the swine flu, or the JFK assasination, or 9/11…..

    We seem to have gone past the “Age of Reason”.

    We are now in the “Age of Emotions”….

  96. Sadly, taxes don’t require scientific justification.

    The carbon tax is coming to one and all regardless.

  97. Smokey says:

    Jimbo (03:27:02) :

    Gavin allowed my comment but removed the link and called it rubbish!!!

    He does that constantly. Gavin Schmidt is the self-appointed gatekeeper of all climate information — which is a big reason why RealClimate is such a failure; they spoon feed their AGW propaganda to the few dozen regular inhabitants of their echo chamber – while WUWT posts all points of view, and lets readers decide for themselves.

    Schmidt, like the equally odious William Connolley [who also edits RC, in addition to editing Wikipedia], determines which facts the hoi polloi are allowed to consider. If they deem 150 sources to be ‘rubbish,’ then those legitimate papers are deleted, every one of them. That’s not science, that is one-sided advocacy of their repeatedly falsified CO2=CAGW agenda.

    Nick (03:25:30),

    Unless the local changes you mention fall outside the parameters of natural climate variability, what you’re describing is nothing out of the ordinary. There is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with it.

    The effect of CO2, if any, always has been the central question in the AGW debate. So please, explain exactly how CO2 causes those glaciers to recede. I’m interested in the mechanism.

  98. Pete says:

    Hold on guys. Be fair!

    I awoke at 04.30 this a.m. in ..lets say, Asia, to cover my tracks… I had an early visit to wuwt and to be honest, saw nothing to change yesterdays posts. Then, at lunch some “nice” Aussie guy (after a heavy morning trying to source non faked electrical goods and retiring to a local hostelry ) persuaded me to buy a copy DVD of “Mary and Max”………. (Honest, its not a copy!)

    I have spent the rest of the afternoon trying to work out if someone slipped me a tab of LSD and my wife is watching it again and still giggling and she is 60 next month!!

    Then I get online on WUWT (have to use a proxy but…..) and find the cover of “Climbing” with a young lady with thighs bigger than my…..

    Thanks Anthony, Checking into the clinic in the a.m.!

    BTW Ralph (23:59:57) : Wiki…….More peer review!!!!!! Please! Its been a long long Sunday without Wiki science and after suffering the real life of Mary and Max I need some simple truth!

    So looking forward to Mondays discoveries……Life is finally making me smile again!

  99. Smokey (04:12:50) :

    “The effect of CO2, if any, always has been the central question in the AGW debate. So please, explain exactly how CO2 causes those glaciers to recede. I’m interested in the mechanism.”

    AR5 will report that the cause is “axial sympatric molecular pelting”. It’s complicated. But basically, as AGW imparts more kinetic energy to the CO2 molecules, the CO2 molecules are propelled at tremendous speed toward the glacier’s vulnerable surface projection, and as we all know velocity dictates the energy in a collision, so what would be a casual co-mingling of valence electrons during a normal temperature period becomes a violent collision, producing the requisite energy to sublime the glacier. Sad, but true.

    I’m blogging about it now, so expect to see the above summarized as a bullet point in AR5, and the attribution given to my blog.

  100. vibenna says:

    More evidence today that the IPCC was specifically warned, by leading glaciologists, that the Himalayan glacier melt claim was false. Yet they ignored it.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7009707.ece

    How on earth can Pachauri claim that he wasn’t aware of this problem until a few weeks ago? Did it need to be published in a climbing magazine for him to see it?

  101. Patrick Davis says:

    “kwik (03:59:42) :

    We are now in the “Age of Emotions”….”

    No! It certainly is the age of stoopid! And, eventually, our “solar space ship”, or even an external event, will decide our fate.

  102. DirkH says:

    “Royinsouthwest (00:56:38) :
    [...]
    Suppose the climbers had said that there was more ice on the mountains than there used to be. In that case I am sure that some of the readers of this blog would have been quite happy to use that annecdotal evidence then.”

    This blog is not the IPCC. Any commenter can contribute anything. This blog is not funded with billions of government cash. And a thread on this blog does not automatically become a guideline for policymakers. Does this invalidate your line of reasoning enough for you?

    If there were evidence for AGW, i’d accept it. I don’t accept spurious comments by climbers in the alps as evidence for AGW.

  103. mrpkw says:

    It won’t be long before we find out that they used editorials as a “source” too !!
    Or cartoons !!!

  104. Bart van Deenen says:

    covergirl has hair that defies gravity. Or maybe the pic is photoshopped? Or rotated at least?

    I think you’re seeing her hair being whipped onto her back because of her speed. If you look carefully, you’ll see her right hand is not yet at the next handhold. She’s performing a so called dyno, where she’s using momentum to reach the next handhold.

  105. MattN says:

    “I believe that CO2 has an effect on Climate. It is obvious that “Climate Science” has absolutely no idea what that could possibly consist of. It is a sad sad day for science.”

    I agree. There may very well be something to CO2 and warming, but you wouldn’t know it from the snake oil coming out of the UN.

  106. Lynne says:

    I guess I should read the AR-4 to see if they referenced my kid’s science fair project.

  107. dave ward says:

    The U.K. “Climate Secretary” – the lesser of the two repulsive Milliband brothers – has declared “War” on sceptics:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247459/Ed-Miliband-declares-war-climate-change-sceptics.html

  108. latitude says:

    “even if we have to redefine what the peer review literature is”

    Now I get it!

  109. Jose A Veragio says:

    What’s wrong with using such anecdotal evidence ?
    … as long as it’s attributed as such .

  110. Poptech says:

    Smokey (20:47:46) :

    I try.

    Jimbo (03:25:16) :

    That is Gavin for you. He doesn’t want anyone to know about them. This is what a regular said when they found out about them,

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by AGW voices that there are NO qualified skeptics or peer reviewed/published work by them.
    Including right here by RC regulars.

    In truth there is serious work and questions raised by significant work by very qualified skeptics which has been peer reviewed and published.

    It should be at least a bit disturbing for this type of denial to have been perpetrated with such a chorus.

    It’s one thing to engage and refute. But it’s not right to misrepresent as not even existing the counter viewpoints.

    I fully recognize the adversarial environment between the two opposing camps which RC and CA/WUWT represent, but the the perpetual declaration that there is no legitimate rejection of AGW is out of line.

  111. Daved says:

    Nick

    Your wasting your time , Ive just had a look at AR4 WG2 Ch.1.3.1.1and the are numerous other studies besides this one cited there ,but if you just read these posts you would assumed all conculsions about glaciers where base on ths one study .

    you guys seemed to be enjoying this just a little to much , ive this image of people jumpimg up and down around there computers saying I told you so I told you so , with a mad grin on their faces .

  112. MattN says:

    Any idea what would be left of AR4 if someone went in and removed every statement that was supported by non-reviewed articles and such?

    What would you have in left the end that was actually supported by actual science?

  113. Gail Combs says:

    Patrick Davis (04:51:43) :

    “kwik (03:59:42) :

    We are now in the “Age of Emotions”….”

    No! It certainly is the age of stoopid!…..”

    Nah, It was the age of propaganda, thank goodness the age of the internet is proving an effective antidote…. Until The Powers That Be figure out how to censor it.

    The truth has always been the bane of politicians, shysters, con artists, power mongers and bankers.

    ” A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
    Lenin
    Russian Communist politician & revolutionary (1870 – 1924)

  114. Steve In Tulsa says:

    I sent NASA an email this morning. Here is what I sent:

    You have allowed Hansen and the NOAA to falsify the temperature record to show a false doom. You have allowed Hansen to proselytize anthropogenic global warming.

    The entire world is aware of the Yarmal tree ring trick where out of a population of 35 trees a single tree had the ‘right stuff’ and was used to bend the temperature record showing warming. But when adding in the other 34 trees the warming disappears. So naturally Mann’s study left out all the other 34 trees that disprove the hockey stick.

    In the same way, everyone also now knows that the NOAA and the CRU have been systematically removing the cooler stations from their data sets until now their temperature records now shows false warming because the cooler inputs are simply eliminated. They have also ‘adjusted’ the temperature data to make times before 1960 cooler and since warmer. The NOAA and CRU have shamelessly altered the record to prove ‘man made warming’. Comparing with original temperature records from the stations with the garbage output by the NOAA you can easily see how they falsified the records. Spend a little time at WattsUpWithThat.com or Climategate.com. Look for DARWIN One for a good example but there are thousands of examples in the raw dataset.

    Satellite data shows no warming for over ten years. The sun has no spots and a minimal magnetic wind coming at us causing more upper level clouds and cooling.

    CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are not growing in spite of the output of industry. Some where there is an unidentified CO2 sink.

    More CO2 would mean bigger plants and more rapid growth. More warmth would extend the growing period in northern Russia and Canada.

    Where is the evidence that warming would be bad?

    You, NASA, have allowed all these falsified records to be propagated by your own James Hansen and now you got your payoff: No More Space Exploration. Obama’s new budget kills the Aries Rocket replacement for the soon to be retired NASA Space Shuttle and along with it the Manned Moon Mission project. Both of these endeavors were funded under the umbrella Constellation Program which is now cancelled.
    Instead of being grounded with no orbital space vehicle, Obama intends to pay Russia with US Dollars for rides into space. Obama is very purposefully shipping a lot of your jobs overseas.
    Congratulations on letting the charlatan Hansen destroy NASA. Obama has a new mission for NASA: you get to be the national global warming watchers. Way to go!

    How are you ever going to get your space mission back? Russia and China now lead the world in space technology. And they are guaranteed to keep that lead as long as Obama is in office and for a few years after that.

    Your only hope to return to space in less than a decade is to disprove the junk science promoted by Hansen, NOAA, CRU, Jones, Mann, and all the liars who promote the hoax for dollars. Hansen alone has received over 22 million dollars in grants over the last ten years. Follow THAT money!

    Promoting the false church of anthropogenic warming has put you out of the whole space exploration business. How will you fix this? How will you end the crazy belief in ‘man caused end of the world by CO2 concentrations over 350ppm’? Only you can save your selves. You are responsible for this because Hansen is your boy.

    Obama also wants to destroy the energy companies in the US. He wants to bankrupt them with Cap and Trade taxation because that will ‘Save The World’ from ‘man-caused warming’. ‘Man Caused Catastrophic Global Warming’ is a false church with no actual evidence that of CO2 forcing, or even of any evidence of warming outside of their cooked data. This will destroy many industries aside from energy. It will increase unemployment. It will certainly prolong the depression we are in. NASA can help to save us if you will finally find scientists like Dr. Fred Singer and then promote their message, and seemingly unlimited evidence, of the falsity of the church of anthropogenic warming.

    What are you going to do about all of this? Meekly become the Global Warming Monitoring Agency as Obama has decreed? Or return to the Truth and subsequently return to space exploration?

    The weather satellites show no warming so I guess your inability to launch satellites ever again will be a good thing for Hansen who does not want anyone to see the satellite record: it disproves everything he says.

  115. Pamela Gray says:

    The climbing rag’s cover is an interesting study on gravity. Can you spot the tell-tale signs of tilting the photo?

  116. Pamela Gray says:

    You don’t suppose the hero in his novel was “turning the dials” of the geography grad student in exchange for an honorable mention in the report?

  117. AR5 will report that the cause is “axial sympatric molecular pelting”. It’s complicated. But basically, as AGW imparts more kinetic energy to the CO2 molecules, the CO2 molecules are propelled at tremendous speed toward the glacier’s vulnerable surface projection, and as we all know velocity dictates the energy in a collision, so what would be a casual co-mingling of valence electrons during a normal temperature period becomes a violent collision, producing the requisite energy to sublime the glacier.

    Obfuscation, pure and simple. So many words to say “as atmospheric temperature rises, the ice melts faster.” Higher temperature would “impart more kinetic energy” to molecules of all atmospheric gases, why single out CO2? Where is any proof that what is observed is not natural (non-anthropogenic, if you prefer hairy terms)? Sad, it is. True, it isn’t.

  118. kadaka says:

    zunedita373 (02:18:15) :

    For some reason, this reminds me of Rush Limbaugh’s hatred of the NAACP. Oh, it’s not that he hates black people. Not at all. He just hates it when they organize to form groups to assert their human rights, that’s all.

    Speaking of making unsubstantiated claims…

    Here’s the relationship:

    Al Gore, Pauchauri, WWF, Greenpeace, et al, are to decent people who care about the environment

    as

    NAACP et al are to blacks.

    How did the assorted Asians and many other ethnic groups get integrated into American society? They didn’t ask to be treated special, merely like everyone else. During my lifetime I have seen my “small town city” in Central Pennsylvania become increasingly diverse, “integrated” if you will, not by legislation or special interest groups, but because different people moved here, current residents then saw they were ordinary people just like them, and the community just accepted them.

    Meanwhile, assorted “black advocacy groups” continue to rally troops for a “civil rights” war that was won some time ago, with considerable Republican help, which for a long time now has yielded the primary result of maintaining a perpetual liberal Democratic voting bloc that demands special consideration even though their votes are taken for granted. On the “social justice” front, looking at the great “progress” wrought by continued multi-generational dependence on government entitlements, while saying the situation in our inner cities is a “black holocaust” is a bit strong it unfortunately is not that far off the mark.

    Rush Limbaugh does not object to the NAACP as a grouping of people trying to secure their civil rights. He objects to it, and rightfully so, because it takes advantage of them, preying on their fears while feeding them never-realized hopes, to maintain their own power and that of their leadership.

    Look around the US. What race-based civil rights battles remain to be fought? Frankly, as I have heard on other blogs from those who have lived in both countries, the UK is more racist than the US, in a less-obvious understated manner.

    At this point, if the NAACP really did care about helping black people get ahead, they would disband themselves. Abandon the tired rhetoric, cease making demands for special treatment, and go away. Simply let the rest of America finish doing what we have long been doing on our own, which is to stop making color an issue because it does not matter. We are all one people, Americans, each of us deserving neither more nor less consideration and respect than any other American. And that, is what matters.

  119. Richard Sharpe says:

    zunedita373 (02:18:15) said:

    I think I get it now. So basically, the IPCC can’t do anything right, is that it?

    For some reason, this reminds me of Rush Limbaugh’s hatred of the NAACP. Oh, it’s not that he hates black people. Not at all. He just hates it when they organize to form groups to assert their human rights, that’s all.

    I think you are the first troll to allude to skeptics as racists.

    I suspect we will see more of this, and outright claims, not allusions.

  120. Richard Sharpe says:

    Pamela Gray (07:33:15) said:

    The climbing rag’s cover is an interesting study on gravity. Can you spot the tell-tale signs of tilting the photo?

    Yes, her hair hangs at an odd angle for the claimed orientation of her body.

  121. ClimateQuoter says:

    More bad citations! The WWF was cited multiple times in AR3, and several of them were together with the CRU:

    http://climatequotes.com/2010/01/31/more-wwf-citations-found-in-ar3-three-alongside-cru/

  122. Richard Sharpe says:

    Jose A Veragio (06:30:31) said:

    What’s wrong with using such anecdotal evidence ?
    … as long as it’s attributed as such .

    Here is what is wrong, but first I will quote from Benny Peiser’s CCNet 8/2010 – 31 Jan 2010

    However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

    The problem with anecdotal evidence is that we have other evidence that proves that this is not the first time that glaciers in the Alps have retreated to these levels or worse. We have both historical written accounts of people using mountain passes that were, until recently, or still are, blocked by glaciers, and we have the evidence uncovered by these retreating glaciers, of former warming times.

    Any honest scientific enquiry would then admit that in order to separate short term climate variance (a PDO/AMO cycle or two) from the long term trend requires several hundred years of reliable data and possibly several thousand.

    Please don’t come back at me with the Precautionary Principle, because as far as I can see it is little more than Pascal’s Wager.

    Indeed, I suspect the biosphere is currently CO2 constrained. That is, the level of activity in the biosphere by organisms large and small would be greater with a higher level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.

  123. Richard Sharpe says:

    Pamela Gray (07:33:15) made possibly the most important comment of the day:

    The climbing rag’s cover is an interesting study on gravity. Can you spot the tell-tale signs of tilting the photo?

    This is the second time I have responded to your post. Of course her hair gives it away, but the bigger point is this (perhaps you were referring to this bigger point, you devil, you): Even the magazines the IPCC authors refer to commit fraud!

  124. Richard Sharpe says:

    Pamela Gray (07:33:15) made possibly the most important comment of the day:

    The climbing rag’s cover is an interesting study on gravity. Can you spot the tell-tale signs of tilting the photo?

    This is the second time I have responded to your post. Of course her hair gives it away, but the bigger point is this (perhaps you were referring to this bigger point, you devil, you): Even the magazines the IPCC authors refer to play fast and loose with the truth!

  125. Sierra Sam says:

    Re: Anecdotal Evidence
    Long before “global warming” was invented, Edward Whymper (of the ill-fated first ascent of the Matterhorn) stated in his book; “Scrambles Amongst the Alps”
    that reductions in snow and ice were making it more difficult to cross cols. His “anecdotal” contribution to science, however, was in the field of geomorphology wherein he disputed the new theory of the effect of glaciers on topography. His book is worth reading for those of you interested in the geology of the Alps.

  126. richard verney says:

    There is an important difference between anecdotial evidence that is factually based and that which is simply opinion based. Thus the anecdote about Amundsen sailing through the NW passage in 03 and 05 is factual and whilst it does not contain empirical data on the extent of ice, it establishes that the passage was open and navigable in those years. This should be contratsed with a climber who saimply says I think there is less ice now than there was when I climbed 10 years ago.

  127. Kevin Kilty says:

    pat (17:41:31) :

    oh my, today there’s an avalanche of material, isn’t there?

    …To meet that deadline, the states involved in the new programs must make “detailed decisions” this year about which companies to regulate, the number of permits to sell at auction and how many should be given away, Shattuck said. ..

    The shoals on which all such plans eventually run aground.

  128. Richard Sharpe says:

    richard verney (08:40:51) said:

    There is an important difference between anecdotial evidence that is factually based and that which is simply opinion based. Thus the anecdote about Amundsen sailing through the NW passage in 03 and 05 is factual and whilst it does not contain empirical data on the extent of ice, it establishes that the passage was open and navigable in those years. This should be contratsed with a climber who saimply says I think there is less ice now than there was when I climbed 10 years ago.

    Actually, I disagree. We already have quite a bit of evidence for glacier retreat and recent warming (by what, perhaps 0.5K over the last century or so, but so what), and that evidence has uncovered evidence that this has happened before.

    The climber’s anecdotal evidence, especially when confirmed by other climbers and other evidence is only evidence of short-term events. It says nothing about any underlying trend and we would expect that underlying trend to be downward as we head into the next ice age (based on very good scientific evidence).

    I personally do not think that anyone has presented credible evidence that the underlying long-term trend is as we would expect, given where we are in the current interglacial.

  129. Richard Sharpe says:

    Richard Sharpe (09:02:44) said:

    I personally do not think that anyone has presented credible evidence that the underlying long-term trend is as we would expect, given where we are in the current interglacial.

    Correction. It should read:

    I personally do not think that anyone has presented credible evidence that the underlying long-term trend is not as we would expect, given where we are in the current interglacial. (That is, has negative slope.)

  130. Harry says:

    Edward,

    Climbers on Mt Rainier have claimed twice in the last 3 years evidence of ‘unprecedented melting’ and the claims have gotten global attention.

    Unfortunately for them, meticulous records have been kept since 1931 and they were debunked by the actual records.

    There is a known natural ‘weather cycle’ of 60 years. The melting on Mt Rainier that occurred in the 1990’s was no worse then the melting that occurred in the 1930’s.

    Records less then 60 years long merely chart ‘weather’. A hikers observations over 20 or 30 years merely describe weather.

  131. Kevin Kilty says:

    John Whitman (18:15:51) :

    My question iswhy in the past 2.5 years didn’t anyone in the professional scientific community actually read the AR4 report? I am assuming they didn’t because if they are professionals and they did read it then there would have been an immediate uproar of indignation on the AR4 late of scientific basis. Is the state of science that bad?

    John

    I have a cousin who has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He read the whole darned thing, apparently, because when I expressed skepticism the last time we met, he threatened to go out to his car and get his copy. I figure anyone crazed enough to carry that tome around might do something really unhinged, so I changed the subject.

    Hey, when people are in love they can never see flaws in the object of their affection.

  132. DocRock117 says:

    As a Climber I can tell you that photo cover is not “photoshopped” or tilted. Her left foot is out for balance ( flagging ) and she is moving upwards and to the right for a hold for her right hand.

    Lisa Rands is one of the top climbers in the world. Check out her site http://www.lisarands.com/photos.asp.

    Select Huecos and scroll through some of the shots. There is an almost identical shot from opposite angle and you can see her spotter standing below her.

    I do agree however on the conclusion that climbers recollection should not be used for whether or not the ice has changed. If the guides have 20-30 years experience then yes things have changed, it might be a little warmer than it was 25-30 years ago. Rememeber we were approaching an ice age back then. But Ice conditions are different every year. That is what makes climbing areas fun, it’s always changing.

  133. Richard Sharpe says:

    DocRock117 (09:51:06) says:

    As a Climber I can tell you that photo cover is not “photoshopped” or tilted. Her left foot is out for balance ( flagging ) and she is moving upwards and to the right for a hold for her right hand.

    Then why is her hair defying gravity and not hanging straight down? There is something not kosher about that photo.

  134. Richard Sharpe says:

    DocRock117 (09:51:06) said:

    As a Climber I can tell you that photo cover is not “photoshopped” or tilted. Her left foot is out for balance ( flagging ) and she is moving upwards and to the right for a hold for her right hand.

    Based on the aspect ratio of the photo and the line of the rock face, it looks like it is about 60 degrees from horizontal, or about 30 degrees from vertical. However, her hair make about a 10 degree angle from vertical (where it should be), so it looks to me like the magazine tilted the photo by about 10 degrees to make the photo more impressive than it already was.

  135. D. King says:

    One wonders what discoveries were delayed or abandoned
    based on anecdotal tails.

    THERE BE MONSTERS HERE! (borrowed from a previous post.)

  136. DirkH says:

    “Richard Sharpe (09:58:45) :
    [...]
    Then why is her hair defying gravity and not hanging straight down? ”

    My hair often defies gravity and i’m not even a climber. It’s the same mysterious force that sometimes makes huge propellers erected in the german countryside rotate. BTW it’s an invisible force.

  137. Marot says:

    References

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2-chapter1.pdf

    p. 86 table 1.2.
    Bowen 2002 (Climbing News)
    Schwörer 1997 (master diploma).

  138. D. King says:

    D. King (10:09:31) :

    tales
    Sorry.

  139. Richard Sharpe says:

    Richard Sharpe (10:07:28) said:

    DocRock117 (09:51:06) said:

    As a Climber I can tell you that photo cover is not “photoshopped” or tilted. Her left foot is out for balance ( flagging ) and she is moving upwards and to the right for a hold for her right hand.

    Based on the aspect ratio of the photo and the line of the rock face, it looks like it is about 60 degrees from horizontal, or about 30 degrees from vertical. However, her hair make about a 10 degree angle from vertical (where it should be), so it looks to me like the magazine tilted the photo by about 10 degrees to make the photo more impressive than it already was.

    Never attribute overt intent when …

    It is, of course, also possible that the photographer took the shot with his/her camera slightly (10 degrees) off vertical, and the photo looked so impressive that the magazine ran with it as their cover photo without anyone noticing that there are problems with the photo.

  140. LucyIN says:

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  141. Richard Sharpe says:

    DirkH (10:12:23) says:

    “Richard Sharpe (09:58:45) :
    [...]
    Then why is her hair defying gravity and not hanging straight down? ”

    My hair often defies gravity and i’m not even a climber. It’s the same mysterious force that sometimes makes huge propellers erected in the german countryside rotate. BTW it’s an invisible force.

    Hmmm, having looked at the photo again, there does not seem to be evidence of rotation in the vegetation, but the line of her hair looks weird, in that it follows the line of her back until towards the end, at which point it seems more in line with the slope.

    I would expect (but have no direct experience) that a wind that was pushing her hair against her back would also spread it out some more, but I am only speculating. So, it seems possible that the wind is a factor.

    However, I would also have to ask why she is not wearing eye protection if there was such a strong down draught so close to the rock face? I would also have to ask why accept one more distraction in such a dangerous looking place? However, again, I am not a rock climber, so it might be something that is acceptable to top level competitors in the sport. I do, however, take defensive pistol shooting courses, where safety is of paramount importance, and so distractions must be eliminated.

    So, these questions create doubt in my mind that the photo is real. Still, with enough evidence I will change my mind.

  142. Richard Sharpe says:

    DocRock117 (09:51:06) says:

    As a Climber I can tell you that photo cover is not “photoshopped” or tilted. Her left foot is out for balance ( flagging ) and she is moving upwards and to the right for a hold for her right hand.

    Lisa Rands is one of the top climbers in the world. Check out her site http://www.lisarands.com/photos.asp.

    Select Huecos and scroll through some of the shots. There is an almost identical shot from opposite angle and you can see her spotter standing below her.

    Are you referring to the third photo here: http://www.lisarands.com/hueco.htm

    If so, can you please look again and tell me several differences between the two shots? Note particularly what she is wearing and the orientation of her hair.

    In addition, I do not think it is even the same rock face, as there is no evidence of the fracture-line or whatever in the magazine cover that is in the photo you refer to.

    I must say that that woman is amazing. If anything, the third photo in that set is rotated slightly to understate her ability (look at the angle that her trainer/handler is shown at). Of course, it would not be suitable for a magazine cover in today’s PC environment. The rotation might be cause by the camera holder also being in a difficult position.

  143. DocRock117 says:

    Richard Sharpe,

    Yes, the third photo in particular. Sorry did not mean to imply it was the same bouldering problem. It is a similar problem. Notice her hair is”defying” gravity again while it is clear her spotter is directly beneath her standing on the ground with his arms raised staright up to guide her if she falls.

    It also appears in the cover photo that the vegetation is in the correct orientation so I feeling is that it’s a legit photo. I have seen some climbers appear to defy gravity.

    Here is a youtube video of her on another bouldering problem. Understand she is probably one of if not the top female bouldering climber in the world.

  144. Ron de Haan says:

    Milliband defends climate science (by denying the facts and attacking skeptics)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8490251.stm

  145. Leo G says:

    Thanx!

    {omnologos (02:28:59) :

    could anybody please check there is no reference in the IPCC AR4 to “People” or “News of the World”?}

    Now I get to spend the next couple of hours cleaning my keyboard!

  146. Leo G says:

    Nick – {… know when ice coverage changes permanently.}

    Thanx for the tip, but be careful using the word permanent. Even the big boys of GW warn that it could afflict extreme weather in the opposite direction. SO if this winters amazing snowfall in Europe “increases” glaciers, thne your permanent remark will come back to bite you.

    Otherwise thanx for your counterpoint, I appreciate it.

  147. kwik says:

    Steve In Tulsa (07:17:31) :

    “I sent NASA an email this morning…..”

    You described the situation very well, Steve!

    Only, socialists never liked NASA spending money in space. They’ve been against it for 40 years now.

    Obama is just doing what they’ve had wet dreams about since 1970, really. (I remember their arguments back then)

    Hansen did a remarkable job undermining NASA, indeed.

    He will most likely be top dog in NASA now…..

  148. MattN says:

    “The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled “Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming”.

    Can anyone tell me the section in which this appeared?

  149. Richard Tol says:

    @Kevin Kilty / John Whitman
    Most scientists would know where the bodies are buried in the part of the IPCC that reports on their specialisation. Many would prefer to discuss this in private with their peers. After all, the IPCC summarises the research for policy. The IPCC does not really affect the research.

    Furthermore, until a few weeks ago, no newspaper would print a story critical of the IPCC.

  150. Royinsouthwest says:

    Mooloo:

    “Science works by fact, not anecdote.”

    Actually science starts with observations. The word “anecdote” seems to be used by some people as a perjorative term for “observation.” We would not have aspirin or quinine if it weren’t for doctors and chemists who were prepared to give anecdotal evidence serious consideration.

    DirkH:

    “If there were evidence for AGW, i’d accept it. I don’t accept spurious comments by climbers in the alps as evidence for AGW.”

    It is utterly riduclous to dismiss what the climbers said as “spurious comments.” People’s lives, and the lives of the guides themselves, depend on their awareness of conditions in the mountains. That does not mean that any definitive conclusions can be drawn from what the climbers say but it does mean that they should be given a respectful hearing.

    Also, if you had read my two posts before replying, you would have noticed that I did not say anything about my own views on AGW. Evidence from guides is interesting but is rather limited both in terms of temporal and geographical coverage. In my opinion most important things about article in the Climbing Magazine and the dissertation are not their conclusions, which may well be wrong, but the attention they draw to a possible additional source of information about climate change, namely observations by climbers.

    In the case of the Matterhorn it might be possible to compare descriptions going back to 1865 when Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the mountain. As Sierra Sam pointed out Whymper presented “anecdotal” evidence that the climate was warming even then – which is good news for sceptics.

    In other mountainous areas it may not be possible to find accounts going back that far but as Mark Bowen pointed out, mountaineers get to places other people cannot reach and therefore observations from those places are worth considering.

    It could be the case that there is not sufficient information from previous mountaineering expeditions to draw any useful conclusions about climate change, but, unless somebody tries to find out what is available we won’t know.

    I would have thought that any reasonable reader of this blog would find the idea of a possible new source of evidence to be interesting. However it seems that before some people are open to suggestions they have to be convidenced that any new evidence would support their existing views.

  151. Richard Sharpe says:

    DocRock117 (11:32:10) says:

    Richard Sharpe,

    Yes, the third photo in particular. Sorry did not mean to imply it was the same bouldering problem. It is a similar problem. Notice her hair is”defying” gravity again while it is clear her spotter is directly beneath her standing on the ground with his arms raised staright up to guide her if she falls.

    However, in the youtube video you linked to, the opening shot shows her hair obeying gravity.

    Also, in the photo you are referring to, her spotter is angled forward a few degrees, as his arms are aligned with his body but it looks like he is leaning forward.

    The magazine cover could have been photoshopped.

    It also appears in the cover photo that the vegetation is in the correct orientation so I feeling is that it’s a legit photo. I have seen some climbers appear to defy gravity.

    However, we are not talking about the climber defying gravity, only her hair, which suggests that something is amiss with the magazine cover.

  152. Richard Sharpe says:

    kwik (12:25:23) says:

    Steve In Tulsa (07:17:31) :

    “I sent NASA an email this morning…..”

    You described the situation very well, Steve!

    Only, socialists never liked NASA spending money in space. They’ve been against it for 40 years now.

    Yes, it wouldn’t do for any taxable and controllable subjects to escape the assylum and provide more headaches for socialists.

  153. mandolinjon says:

    Based the discussions above, the IPCC can completely restore credibility for AR4 by proving that the mountain climber on the cover is actually defying gravity. Thus, the picture wasn’t altered or taken at a misleading angle and therefore the opinion of a few mountain guides about the world’s glaciers over the last 100 years must be true. To save IPCC I may contact NASA about doing some antigravity research at this rock.
    The reason anecdotal evidence cannot be relied upon is because it is subjective and not quantitative. Just read all the comments on the climber. If the mountain guides had made measurements as others have done glaciers and reported the data as a distance and direction of movement, then at least where the measurements were made the numbers would stand as a record that could be examined. However, even then a dishonest scientist could fudge the data as has been revealed lately in climate science. If it was important to IPCC to claim that the glaciers in major mountain ranges of the globe are all receding over the last 50 years, they should have sought out all of the sources that have made measurements over that time period. Apparently, the only evidence available was from these two sources, or ,,,,,

  154. yonason says:

    Ron de Haan (12:32:59) :

    LOL, I was just coming here to post that very link. Bottom line, they don’t care that they no longer have the AGW crutch, probably because they no longer need it. And that’s the most worrisome part.

    Have you got this one?

    http://www.climategate.com/the-dynamic-duo-james-delingpole-and-alex-jones

  155. mack520 says:

    looks like Horsetooth to me. My personal experience is that when you are on location to do something big, for one reason or another, or multiple reasons, your ability to provide anecdotal evidence or any other evidence, including photographic, is severely compromised by the shrooms.

  156. AlexB says:

    One thing that really gets my goat about all this. The Telegraph article is reporting on how the IPCC has relied on non-scientific literature and political activist reports. Yet still for some reason they are still perpetuating that the two sides to this debate are the sceptics and the scientists. I mean you can really tell how engrained the dogma is when the words in your article say one thing but the way in which you write it still betrays remnants of the dogmatic misconception that you are reporting on.

  157. DirkH says:

    “Royinsouthwest (13:15:01) :
    [...]
    DirkH:

    “If there were evidence for AGW, i’d accept it. I don’t accept spurious comments by climbers in the alps as evidence for AGW.”

    It is utterly riduclous to dismiss what the climbers said as “spurious comments.” People’s lives, and the lives of the guides themselves,

    Sorry. I meant to say fragmentary or incomplete, unsystematic. Spurious was the wrong word, i have to apologize. I didn’t want to assume dishonesty. My bad.

  158. Docrock117 says:

    Ricahrd Sharpe,

    “However, we are not talking about the climber defying gravity, only her hair, which suggests that something is amiss with the magazine cover.”

    If you watch the video you can see her ponytail moving all over the place, swaying back and forth. This magazine cover is not of her hanging static on the wall motionless. She is in mid movement as again can be seen by her left foot only providing balance and her right hand moving upward and her hair consequently swinging as she moves up and over to the right.

    I think you are all making toomuch out of this photo. The fact is that they should not be using climbers/guides as experts on climactic conditions, maybe as proxies but again you are talking only about 20-30 years at best for most guides and that’s for ones who started while very young.

  159. Royinsouthwest says:

    DirkH:

    [...]

    “Sorry. I meant to say fragmentary or incomplete, unsystematic. Spurious was the wrong word, i have to apologize. I didn’t want to assume dishonesty. My bad.”

    Thanks for the clarification. I agree with you that the climbers’ accounts don’t prove anything, but in principle climbers are a possibly useful source of information about what is or has been going on in relatively inaccessible places.

    There may, as you suggested, be problems with their reports and even if they are accurate and reliable there may be problems with interpreting the evidence. However, it is just possible that climbers will provide a piece of the jigsaw puzzle which helps us to see where some of the other pieces fit.

  160. Jose A Veragio says:

    There’s an interesting parallel with this, in an impassioned piece by an Alpinist here on the glaciers in New Zealnd.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/01/19/melting-glaciers-the-canary-in-the-mine-shaft-of-global-warming/

    Of course he doesn’t question that it’s being caused by CO2, because, well it:-
    ‘fits’ the rising concentrations of CO2 ‘.

    It’s hard not to admire the passion with which he writes about them ‘though and his decrying of the damage being done by the IPCC.

  161. Ric Werme says:

    Richard Sharpe (10:07:28) :

    Based on the aspect ratio of the photo and the line of the rock face, it looks like it is about 60 degrees from horizontal, or about 30 degrees from vertical. However, her hair make about a 10 degree angle from vertical (where it should be), so it looks to me like the magazine tilted the photo by about 10 degrees to make the photo more impressive than it already was.

    Richard Sharpe (10:48:58) :

    Did you read my comments and links to similar photos? Especially Ric Werme (19:19:16)

    Perhaps you need to get out to a bouldering area and see them tackled in 3-D. Even then, don’t be surprised if you see someone climb the face and don’t quite believe it was possible. Climbers are climbing things they thought were impossible a couple decades ago.

    However, I would also have to ask why she is not wearing eye protection if there was such a strong down draught so close to the rock face? I would also have to ask why accept one more distraction in such a dangerous looking place? However, again, I am not a rock climber, so it might be something that is acceptable to top level competitors in the sport. I do, however, take defensive pistol shooting courses, where safety is of paramount importance, and so distractions must be eliminated.

    From the pistol shooting I’ve done, the main concern arguing for eye protection is to protect from spent cartridges from your gun or one next to you. When rock climbing open faces the main concern, other than falling, is from rocks coming from overhead, and that’s why people wear helmets. For bouldering, especially high end stuff like this with overhangs, falling rock isn’t much of an issue so eye protection isn’t a big concern. The biggest risk of falling is usually the first move, and ropes don’t help much with that, so spotters and mats make more sense.

    In general shooting ranges make safety paramount. One reason is if you make a mistake, it’s usually someone else at greatest risk of injury. In rock climbing, if you make a mistake, you are generally the only one to take the brunt of the injury.

  162. This is so funny. I’m a climber, and have said (before I became an AGW sceptic) “I’ve seen glacial retreat in Canada, Bolivia and Pakistan”. I could have written this in ‘Climbing’ magazine, and the global warming establishment would have taken it seriously! Of course, my anecdotes were worthless. How could I have been so unscientific? Never again!

  163. Poptech says:

    Kevin Kilty (09:38:52) :

    Arguing the IPCC report is east, I recommend reading,

    Independent Summary for Policymakers: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (PDF) (The Fraser Institute)

    Critical Topics in Global Warming: Supplementary Analysis of the Independent Summary for Policymakers (PDF) (The Fraser Institute)

  164. Mark Sawusch says:

    Re:Harry (09:29:46) :

    Re:”There is a known natural ‘weather cycle’ of 60 years. The melting on Mt Rainier that occurred in the 1990’s was no worse then the melting that occurred in the 1930’s. Records less then 60 years long merely chart ‘weather’. ”

    Yes… Fourier analysis of temperature & proxies does indeed show a periodicity of ~60 years:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/fourier-analysis-of-climate.html

  165. Richard Sharpe says:

    Ric Werme (18:05:37) said:

    Richard Sharpe (10:07:28) :

    Based on the aspect ratio of the photo and the line of the rock face, it looks like it is about 60 degrees from horizontal, or about 30 degrees from vertical. However, her hair make about a 10 degree angle from vertical (where it should be), so it looks to me like the magazine tilted the photo by about 10 degrees to make the photo more impressive than it already was.

    Richard Sharpe (10:48:58) :

    Did you read my comments and links to similar photos? Especially Ric Werme (19:19:16)

    Perhaps you need to get out to a bouldering area and see them tackled in 3-D. Even then, don’t be surprised if you see someone climb the face and don’t quite believe it was possible. Climbers are climbing things they thought were impossible a couple decades ago.

    Ummm, Rick, I am surprised that you suggest that I don’t think the climb is possible, or that she is not capable of such climbs. I have said in subsequent posts that I think one shot understates her climbing ability.

    While I had not see your earlier comment or links, my concern is with what is happening to her hair, and one of the photos you link to shows much more disarray than the shot from the magazine does.

    Now that I look at it again, I notice that one of the bushes at the bottom of the photo has an off vertical trunk/main stem, and it is leaning much the same way that her hair is. One of the photos on her site also shows a slight lean, and I suspect that the photographers have to put themselves into some difficult positions to get such shots such that they cannot always hold the camera axis to align horizontal etc.

    In addition, my comments about safety were generic with respect to dangerous sports. If there was a down-draft (as suggested by others) holding her hair against her body, I would be concerned about dust and so forth getting in her eyes and her eyes drying out, both dangerous distractions when she is doing something dangerous. This suggests to me that there was no such strong downdraft on that day.

  166. Richard Sharpe says:

    I must say that I no longer think that there were any intentional changes to the photo and I apologize to the magazine for the suggestion that there was.

    I do however think that there is a possibility that there is a difference between the actual vertical in that scene and the vertical suggested by the photo. However, the shot might have been taken when she had just rapidly turned her head upwards, although the configuration of her hair would still seem to be different.

    However, none of that is relevant to the real issue, which is the IPCC’s quoting practices.

  167. cheap dsi r4 says:

    Most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

  168. Bill Parsons says:

    (11:32:10) :

    Amazing video. Hope the climber is around to see 50, 60…

    Being an old f*rt comes with certain perks, among them (as I understand it) discounts on state parks passes and half-priced camping.

  169. Roger Knights says:

    Richard Tol (13:03:21) :

    Most scientists would know where the bodies are buried in the part of the IPCC that reports on their specialisation. Many would prefer to discuss this in private with their peers. After all, the IPCC summarises the research for policy. The IPCC does not really affect the research.

    Furthermore, until a few weeks ago, no newspaper would print a story critical of the IPCC.

    Now that newspapers are looking for bodies, I dearly hope that some of this in-group discussion emerges from behind closed doors, because I suspect there are more bodies buried there. In particular, I’d really love for evidence to emerge that Lal was aware of the 2035 howler long ‘ere now, or at least that it was common knowledge among IPCC-connected insiders. Lal’s denial that he received Kaser’s letter and his claim that the Daily Mail misquoted him sound suspiciously like Choo-Choo’s similar (debunked) “I knew nothing” statements. It would be nice to have resolution on this matter. I should think there would be e-mails in various mailboxes and archives that would provide better-than-anecdotal evidence on this matter.

  170. Ben Dover says:

    These 100 year old mounaineers have obviously had a lot of experience & carry their wisdom to us from the 1900’s. Anyone who has watched the snow up there for that long & made copious notes (despite frostbitten fingers) is OK by me.

  171. Ben Dover says:

    These 100 year old mountaineers have obviously had a lot of experience & carry their wisdom to us from the 1900’s. Anyone who has watched the snow up there for that long & made copious notes (despite frostbitten fingers) is OK by me.

  172. Kevin Kilty says:

    Richard Tol (13:03:21) :

    @Kevin Kilty / John Whitman
    Most scientists would know where the bodies are buried in the part of the IPCC that reports on their specialisation. Many would prefer to discuss this in private with their peers. After all, the IPCC summarises the research for policy. The IPCC does not really affect the research.

    Furthermore, until a few weeks ago, no newspaper would print a story critical of the IPCC.

    Yeah, possibly some just can’t come clean. My dissertation advisor for example has admitted things to me that he would never put into print. So there is peer-pressure. My cousin has to be careful what he says within earshot of his wife, for instance.

    I still think most scientists, being experts in some other discipline, haven’t time to check it all out, and just rely on the title “scientist” to confer authority. Most are in love.

  173. Kevin Kilty says:

    Poptech (18:52:37) :

    Kevin Kilty (09:38:52) :

    Arguing the IPCC report is east, I recommend reading,

    Independent Summary for Policymakers: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (PDF) (The Fraser Institute)

    Critical Topics in Global Warming: Supplementary Analysis of the Independent Summary for Policymakers (PDF) (The Fraser Institute)

    Thanks. I’ve not seen this. At first i thought you’d directed me to the IPCC! Cousin won’t read it anyway.

  174. NikFromNYC says:

    Glenn Beck just ran with the above story/picture and also just quoted “shapely dark skin girls” from Pachauri’s novel.

  175. Roger Knights says:

    Richard Tol (13:03:21) :

    Most scientists would know where the bodies are buried in the part of the IPCC that reports on their specialisation.

    You brought to mind the following observation:

    “One prefers, of course, on all occasions to be stainless and above reproach, but, failing that, the next best thing is unquestionably to have got rid of the body.”
    — from “Jeeves in the Morning,” Ch. 27, p. 227, Bertie Wooster speaking

  176. Thermoguy says:

    Argument exists because academia of the world is literally blind to temperature. My own educations in building engineering and electrical energy provision that produce emissions are blind to temperature. Temperature considerations are calculated with great accuracy, we just couldn’t see it so policy is developed on great science that can’t be seen.

    The concern over climate change is very real. Weather is the basic interaction of warm and cold air with water vapor. If man heats the atmosphere, we are changing a formula that sustains all life.

    In order for there to be atmospheric warming there needs to be a source of heat and we have missed some critical data in the calculator or weather stations. Finding the cause of urban heat islands and how billions of dollars in energy is generated responding to them produced alarming results. Solar radiation is causing buildings to generate heat they aren’t insulated for and we are responding to the symptoms with massive energy waste while the building is still cooking the atmosphere.

    Weather Stations protect the thermostats from solar radiation, we didn’t do the same with buildings. On Christmas Day in 2009, it was 23 degrees F in Kelowna, B.C., buildings exteriors were over 120 F.

    Los Angeles alone is reported to spend over 100 million a year on energy production reacting to symptoms and is waste. Buildings need paint, coatings, shade and ground cover, not air conditioning that is really refrigeration. Here is the link to infrared images and infrared time-lapsed videos showing buildings becoming urban heat islands as well as how people are impacted inside. http://www.thermoguy.com/urbanheat.html

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