Academics fight back on climate issues

Readers may recall this story last week: Ad hoc group wants to run attack ads

Here’s their formal response. I’m providing this from: http://www.openletterfromscientists.com for all to see here and to discuss. – Anthony

An Open Letter from Scientists in the United States on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Errors Contained in the Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007

[Note:  More than 250 scientists have already signed this open letter and signatures are still being collected. On Friday, March 12, 2010, when the letter has been delivered to federal agencies, a list of signers will be posted. The vast majority of the signers are climate change scientists who work at leading U.S. universities and institutions. They include both IPCC and non-IPCC authors. Additional signers include professionals from related disciplines, including physical, biological and social scientists.  If you are a scientist wishing to sign the letter, please see the note below. If you have any questions, please contact the letter's authors, contact information is below.]

Dear Colleagues:

We have written an open letter about the IPCC process, media attention, errors, and suggestions for improvement, which we are circulating to both IPCC authors and other scientists in the US. We plan to send the letter to the US Congress, State Department, EPA, NOAA, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Council on Environmental Quality, and other relevant US agencies and organizations.

If you would like to be a co-signer of the letter, please send your name and institutional affiliation to Gary Yohe at gyohe@wesleyan.edu by close of business on Friday, March 12. A note on the letter will say: ‘Signatories’ affiliations are listed for identification only and should not be interpreted as representing official institutional positions.’

Because it won’t be possible to coordinate multiple versions, we do not plan to edit this letter further at this juncture. However, if you do have comments, please feel free to include them in your email response.

Please circulate the open letter to your colleagues if you would like. We apologize for any cross-listings in advance.

Best,

Gary Yohe
Steve Schneider
Cynthia Rosenzweig
Bill Easterling

***********************************************

Many in the popular press and other media, as well as some in the halls of Congress, are seizing on a few errors that have been found in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in an attempt to discredit the entire report.  None of the handful of mis-statements (out of hundreds and hundreds of unchallenged statements) remotely undermines the conclusion that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Despite its excellent performance for accurately reporting the state-of-the-science, we certainly acknowledge that the IPCC should become more forthcoming in openly acknowledging errors in a timely fashion, and continuing to improve its assessment procedures to further lower the already very low rate of error.

It is our intention in offering this open letter to bring the focus back to credible science, rather than invented hyperbole, so that it can bear on the policy debate in the United States and throughout the world.  We first discuss some of the key messages from climate science and then elaborate on IPCC procedures, with particular attention to the quality-control mechanisms of the IPCC.  Finally we offer some suggestions about what might be done next to improve IPCC practices and restore full trust in climate science.

The Climate Challenge
Our understanding of human contributions to climate change and the associated urgency for humans to respond has improved dramatically over the past two decades.  Many of the major components of the climate system are now well understood, though there are still sources of significant uncertainty (like the processes that produce the observed rapid ice-sheet melting and/or collapse in the polar regions).  It is now well established, for example, that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from human sources have increased rapidly since the Industrial Revolution.  Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed.

Indeed, measurements of global average temperatures show an increase of about 0.6 degrees C over the twentieth century and about 0.8 degrees C warming since mid-19th century.  The pattern of increase has not been smooth or monotonic.  There have been several 10- to 15-year periods of stable or declining temperatures over the past 150 years, but 14 of the warmest 15 years on record have been experienced between 1995 and 2009.  Since 1970, observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are already being affected by these temperature increases.

Because the long-term warming trends are highly significant relative to our estimates of the magnitude of natural variability, the current decadal period of stable global mean temperature does nothing to alter a fundamental conclusion from the AR4: warming has unequivocally been observed and documented.  Moreover, well-understood lags in the responsiveness of the climate system to disturbances like greenhouse gas increases mean that the current temperature plateau will very likely not persist much longer. Global climate model projections show that present-day greenhouse gas concentrations have already committed the planet to about 0.5 degree C in warming over this century.

Increasing emissions of carbon dioxide from the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas as well as deforestation have been the major drivers of this observed warming.  While we cannot predict the details of our climate future with a high degree of certainty, the majority of studies from a large number of research groups in the US and elsewhere project that unabated emissions could produce between 1 and 6 degrees C more warming through the year 2100.

Other research has identified multiple reasons to be concerned about climate change; these apply to the United States as well as globally.  They include (1) risks to unique and threatened systems (including human communities), (2) risks from extreme events (like coastal storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires), (3) economic damages (driven by, for example, pest infestations or inequities in the capacity to adapt), (4) risks from large-scale abrupt climate change (e.g., ice-sheet collapse, ocean circulation slowing, sharply increased methane emissions from permafrost) or abrupt impacts of more predictable climate change (generated by thresholds in the coping capacities of natural and human systems to climate variability), and (5) risks to national security (driven largely by extreme events across the world interacting with already-stressed situations).

These sources of risk and the potential for triggering temperature-driven impacts at lower thresholds, as well as the explicit recognition in the AR4 that risk is the product of likelihood and consequence, led the nations of the world to take note of the Copenhagen Accord last December.  The Accord highlights 2 degrees C in warming as a target that might reduce the chance of “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” to more manageable levels.  Research has shown that increasing the likelihood of achieving this goal over the next century is economically and technically feasible with emission reduction measures and changes in consumption patterns; but it will not be easy without major national and international actions to deviate substantially from the status quo.

The IPCC and the Fourth Assessment Report
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988 to provide policy makers regularly with balanced assessments of the state of knowledge on climate change.  In so doing, they created an open intergovernmental organization in which scientists, policy analysts, engineers, and resource managers from all over the world were asked to collaborate.  At present, more than 150 countries including the United States participate in the IPCC.  IPCC publishes an assessment report approximately every six years.  The most recent Fourth Assessment, approved by member countries and released in 2007, contained three volumes: The Physical Science Basis (Working Group I); Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (Working Group II) and Mitigation of Climate Change (Working Group III) and a Synthesis Report.  More than 44 writing teams and 450 lead authors contributed to the Fourth Assessment – authors who have been selected on the basis of their expertise in consultation with all member countries and who were assisted by another 800 scientists and analysts who served as contributing authors on specific topics.  Authors donated their time gratis, and the entire process was supported by four Technical Support Units (TSUs) that employ 5 to 10 people each.

Errors in the Fourth Assessment Report

It was hard not to notice the extraordinary commotion that erupted around errors that were eventually found in the AR4.  The wrong year for the projected disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers and the wrong percentage of ‘land below sea level’ in the Netherlands are examples of errors that need to be acknowledged frankly and rectified promptly.  In a few other cases, like the discussion of the correlations between crop yields, climate change, and climate variability in North Africa, caveats that were carefully crafted within the chapters were not included when language was shortened for the Synthesis Report. While striving to simplify technical details and summarize major points, some important qualifications were left behind. These errors of omission in the summary process should also be recognized and corrected. Other claims, like the one reported at the end of February suggesting that the AR4 did not mention the millions of more people who will see increases in water availability that were reported in the cited literature along with the millions of more people who will be at risk of water shortage, are simply not true.  In any case, it is essential to emphasize that none of these interventions alter the key finding from the AR4 that human beings are very likely changing the climate, with far-reaching impacts in the long run.

The heated debates that have emerged around these instances have even led some to question the quality and integrity of the IPCC.  Recent events have made it clear that the quality control procedures of the IPCC are not watertight, but claims of widespread and deliberate manipulation of scientific data and fundamental conclusions in the AR4 are not supported by the facts.  We also strongly contest the impression that the main conclusions of the report are based on dubious sources. The reference list of the AR4 contains about 18,000 citations, the vast majority of which were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The IPCC also has transparent procedures for using published but not peer-reviewed sources in their reports.  These procedures were not properly followed in the isolated Himalaya case, but that statement was never elevated into the Summary for Policymakers of either Working Group II or the Synthesis Report – documents that were approved unanimously and word for word by all member nations.

Nonetheless, failsafe compliance with these procedures requires extra attention in the writing of the next round of assessments.  We propose implementing a topic-based cross-chapter review process by which experts in an impact area of climate change, such as changes in water resources, scrutinize the assessment of related vulnerability, risk analyses, and adaptation strategies that work downstream from such changes.  Here we mean, to continue the example, assessments of possible increases in flooding damage in river basins and the potential for wetlands to provide buffers in the sectoral and regional chapters. This would be most productively implemented just before the first-order draft, so that chapter authors can be alerted to potential problems before the major review step.

Quality Control within the IPCC and US Review
The impression that the IPCC does not have a proper quality-control procedure is deeply mistaken. The procedure for compiling reports and assuring its quality control is governed by well-documented principles that are reviewed regularly and amended as appropriate.  Even now, every step in the preparation of every chapter can be traced on a website: First Order Drafts (with comments by many scientists as well as author responses to those comments), Second Order Drafts in which those comments are incorporated (and comments by experts and country representatives on revised versions as well as another round of author responses), and so on, up through the final, plenary-approved versions.

To be clear, 2,500 reviewers together provided about 90,000 comments on the 44 chapters for the AR4.  Each comment is documented on a website that also describes how and why the comment was or was not incorporated in the next revision.  Review editors for each chapter worked with the authors to guarantee that each comment was treated properly and honestly in the revision; in fact, no chapter can ever move forward for publication without the approval of its set of two or three review editors.

The US Government opened its reviews of the draft IPCC report to any US expert who wanted to review it. In order to protect against having this preliminary pre-reviewed draft leaked before its ultimate approval by the IPCC Plenary, the US Government asked all potential reviewers to agree not to disclose the contents of the draft.  For each report, the US Government assembled its own independent panel of government experts to vet the comments before submission to the IPCC. Anything with scientific merit was forwarded.  There were multiple rounds for each of the Working Group reports and the Synthesis Report, and opportunities for US experts to review the drafts were posted as Federal Register notices.

IPCC principles also govern how authors treat published but non-peer reviewed sources. These procedures acknowledge that peer-reviewed scientific journals contain little information about on-the-ground implementation of adaptation or mitigation – matters such as the emission reduction potential in a given industrial sector or country, for example, or catalogues of the specific vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies of sectors and regions with regard to climate change.  This information is frequently only available in reports from research institutes, reports of workshops and conferences, or in publications from industries or other non-governmental organizations.  This is the so-called gray literature. The IPCC procedure prescribes that authors are obliged to assess critically any gray source that they wish to include. The quality and validity of a finding from a non-peer reviewed source needs to be verified before its finding may be included in a chapter text.  Each source needs to be completely traceable; and in cases where gray sources are used, a copy must be deposited at the IPCC Secretariat to guarantee that it is available upon request for third parties.

We conclude that the IPCC procedures are transparent and thorough, even though they are not infallible.  Nonetheless, we are confident that no single scholar or small group of scholars can manipulate the process to include or to exclude a specific line of research; authors of that research can (and are fully encouraged to) participate in the review process.  Moreover, the work of every scientist, regardless of whether it supports or rejects the premise of human-induced climate change, is subject to inclusion in the reports.  The work is included or rejected for consideration based on its scientific merit.

It is important to note that we are not addressing here the criteria and procedures by which the IPCC selects chairs and authors. These are handled exclusively by the IPCC and its members according to terms of reference that were initially defined in the authorizing language of 1988.  That is to say, governments or their appointees frame and implement these policies; and they create, approve and staff Technical Support Units for each working group. We do not make suggestions on these topics since they lie beyond our purview.

What comes next?
We expect that the robust findings of the AR4 will be continue to be supported by new information gleaned from literature published since 2006 — i.e., that the climate change issue is serious and real.  Given these findings, we believe that the climate change issue deserves the urgent and non-partisan consideration of the country’s legislative and administrative leaders.  We feel strongly that exaggerated focus on a few errors from 2007 cannot be allowed to detract from open and honest deliberations about how to respond to climate risk by reducing emissions and promoting adaptation at home and abroad.

As the process of producing the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) begins, the IPCC should become more responsive in acknowledging errors rapidly and openly as they become known. To this end, we urge the IPCC to put an erratum on its website that rectifies all errors that have been discovered in the text after publication.  In doing so, a clear distinction needs to be made between errors and progressing knowledge.  IPCC assessments are detailed snapshots of the state of scientific knowledge at a given time, while knowledge evolves continuously through ongoing research and experience; it is the errors in the assessments that need immediate attention.  In contrast, progressing knowledge is published in new scientific journal articles and reports; this information should be used as a basis for the AR5, but it cannot be listed as errata for the AR4 because it was not available when that assessment was conducted.  The website should, as well, respond rapidly and openly when reports of errors in past assessments are themselves in error.  We cannot let misperceptions fester anymore than errors go uncorrected.

Climate research and the IPCC reports on the state of knowledge provide a scientific foundation for climate policy making, whose agenda is defined by the governments of the IPCC and not the lead authors per se.  The quality of and the balance in the knowledge delivered by any assessment is certainly essential, as is clear and explicit communication of associated uncertainties.  Given the recent political and media commotion surrounding a few clear errors, it is now equally essential that we find ways to restore full trust in the integrity of the overwhelming majority of the climate change research and policy communities.  To that end, we are pleased that an independent critical evaluation of IPCC procedures will be conducted; we hope that the process will solicit participation by the National Academies of the member nations.

The significance of IPCC errors has been greatly exaggerated by many sensationalist accounts, but that is no reason to avoid implementing procedures to make the assessment process even better. The public has a right to know the risks of climate change as scientists currently understand them. We are dedicated to working with our colleagues and government in furthering that task.

March 10, 2010

Signed:

Gary W. Yohe                          Wesleyan University and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
gyohe@wesleyan.edu

Stephen H. Schneider               Stanford University
shs@stanford.edu

Cynthia Rosenzweig                 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University
crosenzweig@giss.nasa.gov

William E. Easterling               Pennsylvania State University
billeasterling@psu.edu

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177 Responses to Academics fight back on climate issues

  1. Freddie says:

    Is it possible to identify all the people who have signed that list, which would be without a job if AGW turned out to be no big deal??

  2. HotRod says:

    I can feel Pielke Jr “warming” up already: ’2) risks from extreme events (like coastal storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires)’.

  3. H.R. says:

    [...] “The public has a right to know the risks of climate change as scientists currently understand them.” [...]

    Which is to say… not much, but give it a few decades and we should make some headway.

  4. Sorry, I couldn’t find it in me to finish reading their bull.

  5. Juraj V. says:

    ..few errors that have been found in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
    Artificially created hockey stick, falsely suppressed existence of UHI, manipulated instrumental temperature record, falsely altered SST record, unfounded catastrophic claims, ignoring past climate variations and not acknowledging oceanic cycles – what remains? Oh yes, those models. Snip.

  6. Sydney Sceptic says:

    “To be clear, 2,500 reviewers together provided about 90,000 comments on the 44 chapters for the AR4. Each comment is documented on a website that also describes how and why the comment was or was not incorporated in the next revision. Review editors for each chapter worked with the authors to guarantee that each comment was treated properly and honestly in the revision; in fact, no chapter can ever move forward for publication without the approval of its set of two or three review editors.”

    So, you’re saying that you employed 2500 screw-ups and not 1 or 2? Well done! All I can say is thank you for taking them off the job market, so that there is less chance that I would make the mistake of employing them.

    Seriously though, short of inside the long arm of a government department, you couldn’t find that many screw-ups in one team. Oh, wait.. IPCC is what again..? Ho hum.. move along, nothing to see here.

  7. Iren says:

    The IPCC operates, and has done from the very beginning, on the assumption that global warming (what there is of it) is anthropogenic. What else do we need to know?

  8. Mark Wagner says:

    that’s a heck of a “letter.” reads more like a book. long, boring one.

  9. mobihci says:

    when the cat is already out of the bag, you do not hold its tail. only YOU will get hurt.

  10. Carbon Dioxide says:

    “Additional signers include professionals from related disciplines, including physical, biological and……. *social scientists*”

    Since when was sociology a science related to climate research….unless you want to use climate change to support whatever your current half-baked social engineering project?

  11. JimB says:

    Wow. Now I’m a “sensationalist”!

    Awesome.

    So this amounts to “We were wrong, but only a little bit!”

    JimB

  12. John R. Walker says:

    Which part of GIGO don’t they understand?

  13. A C Osborn says:

    Note that they are still quoting sections of the IPCC AR4 that have been discredited or brought in to serious doubt by later studies.
    They just do not appear to be living in the same world as the rest of us.

  14. Philhippos says:

    If there was a Nobel prize for pompous turgid waffle with added prolixity these guys would win hands down.

  15. Nick Yates says:

    Many of the major components of the climate system are now well understood

    I guess we can look forward to their highly accurate predictions of what the climate and regional weather will do over the next few years. I can’t wait.

  16. Ian says:

    All we really want , as a society , is the honest to goodness truth. No one really has a political agenda in the skeptic area, we just want to have the science back up the theory, and it must be unrefuted by anyone. There should be no skeptics in this science.
    Remember , it was Einstein who said that even if 1000 other scientists agree with my theory, it only takes ONE , to prove him wrong.
    The stakes are too big for political mischief/interference to interfere with the earth, whether it be supposedly be by climate control (lol) or global re-distribution of wealth.
    Two things I will remember from Copenhagan…the huge standing ovasion given to Hugo Chavez , after his rants against capitalism…and then the dictator who demanded that we shouldn’t address climate change until we address global poverty..humm…now what has one have to do with the other..
    Anyway, good luck scientists..

    Ian

  17. marchesarosa says:

    That’s a very LONG letter. Short and snappy would likely get more of an unequivocal assent. The devil is in the detail, as always. The more detail included the more the scrupulous scientist will quibble. Good!

  18. JB says:

    “Additional signers include professionals from related disciplines, including physical, biological and social scientists.”

    Biological and social scientists ?????

    And where are the engineers? The people who will design and build the alternative energy sources required to mitigate the non-existant man-made problem?

  19. juandos says:

    Hmmm, as often as Ehrlich has embarrassed himself publically you’d think he’d finally give it a rest…

  20. Cassandra King says:

    Oooh dear me!

    Nothing like a large helping of self justification with a hearty mix of self delusion and topped off with transference and blame shifting.
    The second paragraph alone was a perfect picture of just why people have lost faith in the narrative “many of the major components of the climate system are well understood” but then admit that much remains uncertain ie “rapid melting of the ice-sheets melting and/or collapse in the polar regions”. Now forgive me but when biologists with no expertise in the physical processes of the earth start talking about “collapse” and “rapid melting” when in fact the poles are more or less stable within our understanding of natural variability it rings alarm bells.
    If the authors cannot be certain of why ice melts in the summer and freezes in the winter and the simple mechanics of ice shelf calving and the tidal/ocean current action on sea ice, seemingly unable to look at sattelite images that show beyond question the natural and wholly normal polar regions then I for one can only shake my head in wonder at how such learned people could be so amazingly ill informed.

    Straight from the school of ‘its worse than we thought’ and onto the university of blinkered self delusion and into the actual real world where their utterences are treated with the contempt they deserve, the question I have to ask is who are they trying to kid, us or them? I have seldom read such a narrow, badly researched, one sided, ill mannered and childish letter. The political classes will just lap it up.

  21. Phillip Bratby says:

    No mention of Climategate, the CRU or investigation of Mann.

  22. Hans Erren says:

    “To be clear, 2,500 reviewers together provided about 90,000 comments on the 44 chapters for the AR4. Each comment is documented on a website that also describes how and why the comment was or was not incorporated in the next revision. Review editors for each chapter worked with the authors to guarantee that each comment was treated properly and honestly in the revision; in fact, no chapter can ever move forward for publication without the approval of its set of two or three review editors.”
    I remember that in the first version, you had to go to a library to physically xerox the comments with a maximum of 1000 pages.
    Most rejected comments simply say “rejected” without being able to tell who wrote that verdict.

  23. geronimo says:

    Well they aren’t gifted with brevity are they? Yet the’ve managed to miss out the fact that they were told of the Himalayan Glacier error before it went into publication by Georg Kaser and that they included information from an upublished report that was subsequently 180 degrees out of phase with conclusions of the report.

    They also haven’t mentioned that 38% of the references were from non-peer reviewed articles and books, nor that Greenpeace and WWF seem to have made major contributions to the report.

    Apart from that a pretty honest summing up, although embarassingly they don’t seem to have any scientific evidence as to why the increased temperature at the end of the 20th century is “very likely” because of anthropogenic GHGs.

  24. Joe says:

    The sensationalism of the scientists own words of what they think may happen with no significant data to back this up has put their own research at risk of being investigated by others.

    I, myself, wish to appologize for studying in an area no doubt not many know about. At times without realizing, putting comments in that you would have no clue as to it being correct or not as this area is totally unpublished and will not be found on the net. ROTATION
    What you don’t know is densities of materials can change with speed. Car accident is simple example: More destructive force with more speed.
    On a circular plane, density compresses energy with the more speed to the outside of a circle. Planets are slowly releasing this energy stored.

  25. Well, ummm…

    I wish they’d mentioned the MWP, the LIA, the UHI effect and the great dying of thermometers. Still, how can one disagree with a sterling character such as Paul Ehrlich?

    But, if they say so, I guess it’s really hotter than ever, and we really need to shut down our economies and start handing money over to the third world.

    Ok, Stephen and Paul, I’ll do it, but just the once, you hear?

  26. I might have guessed Schneider would have a hand in this.

    Note that it is admitted that “there are still sources of significant uncertainty” in understanding of the climate system and natural effects and variations.

    “Because the long-term warming trends are highly significant relative to our estimates of the magnitude of natural variability, the current decadal period of stable global mean temperature does nothing to alter a fundamental conclusion from the AR4″

    Warming is measurable; “estimates of the magnitude of natural variability” are what they say they are: estimates. And they have attached to them “significant uncertainty”. The difference between the actual and the estimate is the supposed anthropogenic residual; which of course can be insignificant if the estimate is just ever so slightly wrong, or has “significant uncertainty”.

    Historical evidence indicates that the “estimates of the magnitude of natural variability” have been understated in AR4, leading to an excessive estimate for the magnitude of the anthropogenic effect.

    The whole statement is based on a house of cards.

    Let’s remember this ‘very likely’ probability when we revisit this in a few years:

    “…the current temperature plateau will very likely not persist much longer.”

  27. John Whitman says:

    IOW, those who sign the Open Letter are saying:

    “The climate science status quo we hope (desperately) is still in effect, regardless of all evidence to the contrary not withstanding, can be sustained by just counting the numbers of those who do not question it.”

    Ahhh, it is bad news for them, science is not like simple democracy.

    John

  28. Todd Tilton says:

    “It is now well established, for example, that atmospheric concentrations of “Greenhouse gases from human sources have increased rapidly since the Industrial Revolution. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed.”

    In the 1990s I found this convincing, and I expected that unequivocal proof would soon follow. If it has I am unaware of it. You might even say I am skeptical.

    Real scientists would develop an hypothesis, and then find convincing proof. A warmist is convinced by the hypothesis and assumes proof will follow. eventually.

  29. igloowhite says:

    Hugo Chavez and John F. Kerry’s support.

    Wow, how great is that.

    Must be heart warming too.

  30. Pat Moffitt says:

    Perhaps next to each name we can have two columns one marked Money received from Exxon and in the other column money received from the government and NGOs.

    “Our understanding of human contributions to climate change and the associated urgency for humans to respond has improved dramatically over the past two decades.” How did understanding increase when the debate was over some 15 years ago?

  31. wayne says:

    […] Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed. […]

    Well, is it just me or does not that statement itself break a primary thermodynamics principle? Even IPCC’s published energy balance diagram shows input = output. Maybe that’s why higher temperatures have not been observed, you cannot reduce the heat going out.

  32. David Holliday says:

    Isn’t it pretty much a given that if Paul R. Erhlich’s name is associated with this, it has to be false? I mean, has he ever been right about one of his “end of the world” predictions?

  33. Bill in Vigo says:

    The final paragraph of the open letter as written to me seems to be a very good reason to delay implementation of the procedures recommended by the 4th assessment and it’s adherents.

    “The significance of IPCC errors has been greatly exaggerated by many sensationalist accounts, but that is no reason to avoid implementing procedures to make the assessment process even better. The public has a right to know the risks of climate change as scientists currently understand them. We are dedicated to working with our colleagues and government in furthering that task.”

    The thousands of unchallenged statements mentioned may need to be challenged. The errors that have thus far been found and studied have been of significant value and in my humble opinion have not been exaggerated. Perhaps when we take the behind the scenes (hidden) statements of the scientists involved in the report in to account it is time for a slate cleaning to restore the trust in the climate science community. I notice that all the named authors of the letter are listing themselves as climate scientists but their degrees and specialties are listed in other named disciplines. One of the major problems I have is that the letter is an apologist/defense of ad hoc science and the premise that it is founded on solid rock. This is not true as the science is very young and not enough time has passed to have true observance of the factors involved. At best the proxy studies can only be an approximation of the events that have occurred in the past.

    It is time to return to empirical observations and evidence to reduce the use of modeling to “project” possibilities about processes we do not understand and to attempt to again begin the use of all the science available including all disciplines including accepted statistical mathematics for our studies. The ad hoc writing of models by those that aren’t extremely well versed and up to date in the statistical and computer processes of today is deplorably obvious in some of the projections being put forth today. If the apology/defense above also included an admission of ignorance rather than the arrogance of determination of correctness it would perhaps be better accepted by the public. This is no more than a demand that these same people be made the benefactors of determining the correctness of their own incorrect actions and studies. If I had made such demands to grade and correct my own papers and known mistakes is such an arrogant way in high school I might possibly have found myself expelled from the school. Apparently there is no longer any such thing in academia today to be responsible for ones own actions.

    Just my 2 cents after reading the letter.

    Your most humble servant, (read that to be very angry taxpayer)
    Bill Derryberry

  34. George L says:

    It would be rather nice if someone in the sceptic group could produce a similar type letter to challenge so much of what the letter says, drawing attention to all the false data that has been produced by these people. Maybe also invite qualified ‘sceptic’ scientists to sign the letter and for the letter to be sent to all the addressees they mention. I think it is importnat that the letter is matched with one that challenges much of what they have said.
    Who’s the best person to take their letter apart line by line?

  35. DennisA says:

    Isn’t it called “trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube”?

  36. It will be interesting to analyze the list of signers to find out why they are doing agenda driven subjective research.

  37. RoHa says:

    As you were. We are still doomed. The BOM and the CSIRO say so.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/15/2846524.htm

  38. George Grisancich says:

    What’s particularly interesting is the list of signatories. No Erhlick, no Hansen, no Mann, no Jones. I wonder why they haven’t signed it?

    Might be worthwhile compiling a list of known alarmists that haven’t signed.

  39. Mack says:

    OT but important
    “PETA, People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals, has started a petition drive to let Al Gore know they are not happy with the fact that he eats meat. “

  40. Smokey says:

    The spoiled, self-serving, pampered rent-seeking babies who signed the long and irrelevant polemic in the article are worried only about their grant money, their tenure, and how to keep the their taxpayer funded gravy train on track.

    Here is a much better example of a clear, concise, accurate, and to the point statement by tens of thousands in the hard sciences, many of them academics such as Prof Freeman Dyson:

    The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    The truth doesn’t require reams of verbiage. In this example, the essential truth is that there is no real evidence that CO2 is harmful, while there is plenty of substantial evidence of its benefits.

    When these folks need pages of excuses to justify their repeatedly falsified belief system, all they’re doing is re-scheduling the arrival of the flying saucers that didn’t appear on the appointed date.

  41. One

    McIntyre’s peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that the hockey stick, the foundation of the contention that current warming is unprecedented, is an illusion created by selection of proxies. The hockey-stick graph came into existence only after 2001 – prior to that, the IPCC’s own graphs showed a very warm MWP. McIntyre’s findings were dismissed without due process.

    Two

    The “very few” errors to which the authors of the open letter refer are not a “handful of mis-statements”. They were used to frighten world leaders into supporting the IPCC and bolster its funding opportunities. Virtiually all of the alarmist projections, that appear to be standard ouput from any climate-related study funded by the IPCC and its affiliates, are exaggerated. Even Judith Curry ackowledges the problem of advocacy compromising scientific objectivity.

    Three

    They say “research groups … project that unabated emissions could produce between 1 and 6 degrees C more warming through the year 2100.” No independent peer review is being undertaken on the work of Lindzen et al that points to the very low end of that range. Yet they state bluntly: “the climate change issue is serious and real. Given these findings, we believe that (it) deserves the urgent and non-partisan consideration of the country’s legislative and administrative leaders.” Clearly they favour the high end of the projections, but don’t say why.

    Four

    Skeptics were skeptical long before the errors were publicly disclosed, and long before Climategate. This open letter is in a similar vein to the SFgate blog posting by Dr Peter Gleick. And it merits a similar response:

    http://www.herkinderkin.com/2010/03/skeptics-are-not-arguing-against-global-warming/

  42. oliver says:

    “It is our intention in offering this open letter to bring the focus back to credible science, rather than invented hyperbole”

    Good to hear – that should significantly shorten the next IPCC report!

  43. brc says:

    “My apologies for the length, I didn’t have time to write a short letter”

    It’s a while since I have read any of the official IPCC view of climate change. It really is a story of woe and disaster, isn’t it? Droughts, floods, storms, pestilence and disease. There’s literally nothing left out of there in terms of apocalypse, except maybe boils and death of first-borns.

    It’s a real leap of faith to say, 0.6 degrees in the last century, 10 times that in the next century. That’s a massive rise, and 10% of the century is already gone and no warming. But it might also be 1 degree. That’s a 600% margin of error. In other words, we are right unless the world gets colder. Like a psychic confidently predicting you will feel like eating between one and 6 hamburgers at dinner time.

  44. William Welch says:

    Has Paul Erlich ever backed a scientific theory that came true? You would think with all his past failure at predicting things he’s learn to hedge his bets.

  45. ClimateQuoter says:

    “The reference list of the AR4 contains about 18,000 citations, the vast majority of which were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.”

    Oh yeah? I beg to differ. We’ll find out the real percentage soon enough:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/2010/03/help-audit-un-climate-report.html

    Help audit the AR4 and let’s see what percentage really are peer-reviewed.

  46. Robert of Ottawa says:

    It’s all true, honest. Keep sending the money.

  47. tarpon says:

    A simple question, will the letter signers just point out which text lines of the AR4 report are accurate? Save everyone a lot of time, we could just focus on what they say is true, and let the rest go.

    Giving government grant money to people to prove that government should tax the people more, seems a little like circular reasoning to me. As Reagan once said, ‘the problem is the government’.

  48. stephen richards says:

    So they managed to find just 250 ‘scientists’ to sign their monologue. I worked at a large research organisation, just the 1, where there were 3000 physical scientists. 1200 with first degrees 600 with 2nd and PhDs. It would be relatively easy to get 1200 signatures of sceptics among that lot but for what purpose. You can get as many as like and it won’t change a thing about the science. I was one of the 600 and am still in touch with some of my colleagues none of whom are convinced by the current scientific evidence of AGW. We are all convinced that the planet has warmed and are almost all convinced that it will cool again. All I can say to Schnieder et al is grow up and do some real science. Stop the bull and prove it…. like a real scientist!!!

  49. Sou says:

    I agree with Oliver that shorter, more frequent reports would be good from now on in. After all, anyone who lives in this world and has eyes and ears knows that the climate has changed and will continue to change and that we’re causing it. Now what we need is regular reports more often on the impacts around the world so we can better prepare.

    Today we got some strong statements about the changing climate here in Australia:

    “Two of the nation’s top research bodies – the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO – have come out strongly in defence of the science behind global warming.

    The leading research bodies say the evidence is irrefutable: climate change is real and the link with human activity is beyond doubt.

    Universities have also joined the fray, saying it is time to stand up for Australian science and research. “We’ve had some serious tabloid junking of … science and research in our community,” Professor Peter Coaldrake, the chairman of Universities Australia, said. “If the two bodies together come out and make a statement of this sort, then we in the community have to acknowledge that.”

    “The head of the organisation, Dr Megan Clark, says the evidence is clear. “Hotter days, more extreme heat and less rainfall are the snapshot of Australia’s climate now, not the forecast,” she said. “In Australia, we’re seeing that all of Australia is warming, in every state, over every season.”

    Dr Clark says it is clear the climate is being affected by the carbon emissions caused by human activity.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/15/2846524.htm

    From the comments so far, I suspect that some of the people here still aren’t quite ready to hear this.

  50. Stefan says:

    ‘Tis but a scratch

  51. Stefan says:

    And uh, yeah, maybe we shouldn’t have called the Indians “voodoo scientists”

  52. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Smokey (04:36:17) :

    Spot on once again Smokey.

    This mob are only worried about keeping their place in the first class carriage on the gravy train.

  53. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    “The vast majority of the signers are climate change scientists who work at leading U.S. universities and institutions”

    Simplified English translation: “we are all on the government funded AGW hysteria Gravy Train, in first Class, and we want to keep being entitled to our entitlements”

  54. Steve In Tulsa says:

    15 of the hottest years on record (using the cooked and unverifiable datasets) were in the 14 years from 1995 to 2009? These guys claim to be scientists? Even Jones has admitted that there has been no warming at all since 1995.

  55. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Would someone please fill in the blanks for me?

    ‘Sirs/Madams

    We, the undersigned, need to feed our kids, retain our stipends and retain our Establishment goodie bags without which, our world would be much the worse.

    We remind you that, as naif incompetent public officials, that you signed off XXXXX billions of dollars in research grants to get this far. We remind you, that as global rule protagonists, you signed up to pay the IPCC XXXX per year and are ardent supporters of AGW and carbon credits, which make traders XXXX per year in pure profits and you supported the founding of the EU state, which contains no checks and balances to hold officials to democratic account and you also supported an EPA ruling which backs our case in spite of millions of biological species cohabiting successfully with seeohtwo as an atmospheric gas or aqueous solute in the form of mono-/bicarbonate ions.

    We warn you that, unless you eliminate democratic checks and balances soon, that there is a significant chance that many of our deeply cherished assumptions about global warming may come under strain due to medium-term oceanic parameters no longer being as helpful to our position as they were in the 1990s. The past two winters in the Northern Hemisphere are a worrying blip in this regard……we urge you to return to the more disciplined control of media reporting which went sadly off-message in the past 24 months.

    Under such circumstances, your ability to become billionaires through selling carbon credits may be dented and we may need to relocate, en masse, to India and China, as they will be the new target markets for our creed. We warn you that they will be happy to impose such global demands, once they get you lot by the short and curlies, as global power games consider science to be a useful tool at times, but one to be ignored at others.

    We remain your rapacious, intelligent and slightly blinkered pool of global warming conformists.

    Yours Faithfully

    …..’

  56. Jim says:

    Gotta keep that gravy train rollin’ down the track!!

  57. Rhys Jaggar says:

    One hopes that no employees of Nature magazine will be reporting this as they, horror of horrors, printed on behalf of the GREAT SATAN EXXONMOBIL a request for qualified biofuels researchers in the field of algae, to become prostitutes in New Joisey by trying to use SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH to further green energy possibilities in the next three years.

    A truly terrible drop in standards of conformity…………

  58. Wade says:

    A clever experiment would be for someone to claim to be a scientist with false credentials and to see if their name makes it on the list. If the name does, then it shows that this is only about having name on the list to seem credible. The names on the list should be verified because this is a petition for scientists.

    Remember, desperate times call for desperate measures. Easy money is a hard thing to let go.

  59. wayne (04:18:58) :

    “[…] Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed. […]

    Well, is it just me or does not that statement itself break a primary thermodynamics principle? Even IPCC’s published energy balance diagram shows input = output. Maybe that’s why higher temperatures have not been observed, you cannot reduce the heat going out.”

    The principle goes like this: as ‘greenhouse gasses’ reduce the outgoing radiation from the surface, the surface temperature of the earth must increase so that outgoing radiation from the surface increases until equilibrium is established.

    If you do the sums, for a simple system the surface temperature increase would be ‘of the order of’ 1 degC for a doubling of CO2. They then add positive feedback to wind it up to anything you like: 6 degC, if you want. Of course, the earth is not a simple system, and the feedback factor has not been shown to be positive, but they wouldn’t want those inconvenient truths to spoil the party, would they?

  60. Mac says:

    Bowling Green University ??????

    How many of the signatories from this campus are actual climate scientists?

  61. Graham Jay says:

    I love the use of primitive spin in this comment:

    “The wrong year for the projected disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers”

    You’d think it was just a year or two out.

    This does nothing to increase their credibility in the area of objective, scientific enquiry.

  62. RockyRoad says:

    thegoodlocust (03:22:09) :

    Sorry, I couldn’t find it in me to finish reading their bull.
    —————–
    Reply:
    I typically criticize folks for not READING, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

    The longer the letter, generally the less it says. Haven’t any of these folks taken a Technical Writing course from their respective universities? Such courses strongly recommend a 3- to 4-paragraph letter, absolutely no longer than 2 pages, covering no more than 5 salient points.

    These folks would get an “F” on this letter alone.

  63. Doug in Seattle says:

    Way too long and way too political. Schneider’s foot prints are all over this “letter”.

  64. Mark says:

    Anybody ever consider what “changes in consumption patterns” means?

    ans: Less purchasing power.

    These people intend to significantly reduce our current economic way of life by making products more expensive and taking more of our wealth.

    And what are they going to do with part of our wealth that they are taking from us? Transfer it to third world countries in a grand scheme to force a convergence of GDPs among all countries as well as redistribute wealth both within and among nations.

  65. Read Hoddinott says:

    You’ve already begun the not-so-subtle shift in nomenclature from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change”. Hedging your bets…

    “Moreover, well-understood lags in the responsiveness of the climate system to disturbances like greenhouse gas increases mean that the current temperature plateau will very likely not persist much longer. ”

    - Translation: “The plateau is actually more of a trough, temperatures have not cooperated with our contrived models and declined recently. We have to find better methods to fudge data, hoping to God we can remain relevant.”

  66. vigilantfish says:

    Just checked the credentials of one of the signers, thinking he was somebody else. Robert S. Coleman, a great authority on climate science – here’s what you find out about his science from his Wikipedia article:

    Professor Coleman’s independent research contributions include:

    * Accomplished the first total chemical synthesis of the novel antitumor agent azinomycin A [3]
    * Developed the first synthesis of DNA containing sulfur-bearing nucleosides [4]
    * Developed the first stereocontrolled total synthesis of the kinase inhibitor calphostin A [5]
    * Developed the first computer generated model of an azinomycin B/DNA crosslink [6]
    * Developed the first fluorescent probe for studying ultrafast DNA dynamics [7]
    * Published the first comprehensive study of the DNA binding properties of azinomycin B [8]
    * Developed a novel hetero-bis-metallated butadiene for the synthesis of polyene natural products,[9] including the first total synthesis of the antitumor agent lucilactaene [10] and 2′-O-methylmyxalamide D.[11]

    Wow! Will someone please explain to me the genetics problems that are driving AGW ‘science’? (Aside from the twisted DNA of Ehrlich et al.)

  67. Bruce Cobb says:

    In other words, “Circle the wagons, boys; we’re not going down without a fight”.
    They’re like a broken record, continuing with the same climate hogwash over and over:
    “Increasing emissions of carbon dioxide from the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas as well as deforestation have been the major drivers of this observed warming. While we cannot predict the details of our climate future with a high degree of certainty, the majority of studies from a large number of research groups in the US and elsewhere project that unabated emissions could produce between 1 and 6 degrees C more warming through the year 2100.”
    Funny how they include deforestation as a “major driver of this observed warming”. Deforestation is what is causing most of the glacial loss on Kilimanjaro, so that would seem to be what they mean by an “observed warming”. So, an “observed warming” really isn’t necessarily warming at all, and they know it, just as they know the large amount of Arctic sea ice lost in 2007 was only an “observed warming”, having little to do with actual warming. How much of the increase in temperature the past 100 years or so is due to simply an “observed warming” due to UHI effects and poorly-sited stations?
    The IPCC should be de-funded immediately. They’ve done enough damage to science and to humanity.

  68. rbateman says:

    Still using that greasy AGW4 stuff?

  69. JimB says:

    “Philhippos (03:41:05) :

    If there was a Nobel prize for pompous turgid waffle with added prolixity these guys would win hands down.”

    Thanks, Phil…that one really got me going.

    JimB

  70. davidmhoffer says:

    I saw an article about a kid who won his his local science fare by constructing a petition warning of the dangers of “dihydrogen monoxide”. He showed that it was associated with acid rain, found in cancer tumours, and so on. The petition asked the government to ban it. The “experiment” of course was to see how many people he could sucker into signing it which turned out to be over 90%.

    I’d like to send it to the signatories of this letter and see what % of them could be suckered the same way. I’m sure they would do better than a bunch of high school kids. At least, I WANT to be sure. Following this whole climate thing… I’m not so sure.

  71. Don says:

    What exactly is a “climate change scientist?”

  72. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I see a variety of official organizations and groups and individuals, all related to the IPCC and AGW fraud coming out with re-affirmations of the science, similar to this one.

    Can we spell “concerted propaganda effort” – and at our taxpayers expense.

    We must believe. Do not be led astray. We say the truth. The heretics are wrong. We are right.

  73. Bill Illis says:

    Look at Trenberth’s last two papers on the “Missing Energy” in the climate system.

    First, from 2009, the total forcing should be 1.6 W/m2 from GHGs (and other human influences), another 2.1 W/m2 of feedback from water vapour and albedo for a 3.7 W/m2 total expected.

    But there is some mysterious -2.8 W/m2 of “Negative Radiative Feedback” (so far only used for a response from clouds or increasing levels of ice) reducing the net response (something like Lindzen and Spencer have proposed).

    http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/8098/trenberthnetradiation.jpg

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf

    Then this in February 2010, he uses more up-to-date data and finds there is even more “Missing Energy” now or “can’t be accounted for” would be more accurate (no need to talk about water vapour and albedo feedbacks now since there is little net forcing for a positive feedback to build on).

    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/7316/trenberthmissingheat.png

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Tracking%20Energyv5.pdf

    So, the scientists shouldn’t be so certain of their forcing theory when most of it is not appearing in the actual data.

    Maybe some others can comment on this issue since it has not been discussed much and I could be reading this wrong.

  74. renminbi says:

    My background is economics. We have a much better grasp of our field (inadequate as it is), than climatatology,which is not capable of predicting anything,other seasonal weather changes.

    Soliciting “social scintists”,now that is out and out Cargo Cult science.

    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

  75. renminbi says:

    Sorry for keyboard errors.

  76. NickB. says:

    They could only get 250 sigs for this “consensus” letter, and that’s including biologists and social scientists?

    LOL, I can get more (and probably more intruiging) signatures with my daughter’s girl scout cookie drive every year.

  77. Last month, 55 scientists in the Netherlands issued a similar (albeit briefer) letter. At that time I wrote a blog post that argued, in essence, that the opinions held by scientists regarding the quality of the IPCC report are pretty much irrelevant.

    While a meal is being prepared in a restaurant kitchen, the opinions of the chef matter a great deal. But once the meal is delivered to a table, the chef’s opinion becomes irrelevant. It is the customer – the public – who decides whether the meal is acceptable, the price is reasonable, and the experience worth repeating.

    Sometimes scientists’ opinions are irrelevant

  78. Bob Tisdale says:

    Juraj V. (03:22:46) : You wrote as an example, “…falsely altered SST record…”

    I have to ask: beyond the HADSST2 upward shift in 1998 caused by the Hadley Centre’s splicing of two incompatible SST data sources…
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/step-change-in-hadsst-data-after-199798.html
    …what other irregularities are you discussing?

  79. Curiousgeorge says:

    For being “smart guys”, they sure are dense. They are missing the point completely. It’s not about “The Science”. It’s about the use to which that science is being put. The fact that much of it is in error, or deliberately misrepresented, speaks to the irritation that people have and our anger at being manipulated for political ends. Climategate and subsequent fallout, merely brought it to our attention, which is a good thing. We won’t be fooled again.

  80. BarryW says:

    he impression that the IPCC does not have a proper quality-control procedure is deeply mistaken.

    Typical. In industry the same claptrap would be stating that you have well documented QA/QC and testing procedures for your product. Then we find out that they’re never implemented or the results are just ignored.

    Stating that all the review comments were treated honestly, given what we have heard from skeptical commenters, is insulting. Those comments were treated in the same way as “we’ll give him a fair trial before we hang him”.

  81. MrX says:

    They’ve reverted to the denial stage. These must be the holdouts. Many of the others have gone into the bargaining stage where they say that humans must still try and keep our environment clean. Others have already gone through depression and acceptance that the data has been forged. But to still be at the denial stage makes them look downright silly.

  82. 1DandyTroll says:

    I don’t know, but it do sound like a feeble attempt at sweeping the seriousness under the rug.

    No one can exaggerate a scientific error but those that made the error in the first place. Were it an error in the basic science of maggots mating rituals, not a whole lot would care if they even had noticed it, but now these errors lead to consequences for everyone on this planet, since the wish is to affect everyone even a negative effect will affect the same amount.

    It doesn’t matter how many reviewers you have be it 2500 or 25000, since everything has to do with what the deciding body includes and excludes. The deciding body, which seem to be a rather small band of like minded, decided to include errors against the critique from reviewers. So the amount of reviewers didn’t shield from including errors.

    If only the errors had been the wrong font size, or a misspelt word. But the reports are riddled with errors, and people are even finding errors in WG1 where all the fundamental science, math, and logic is supposed to be rock solid, but no not even the rules of basic science and logic could they adhere to.

    Out of context seemingly not a big deal. But the actual goddamn context is to influence policy around the globe, and that will affect everyone.

    You have to be an irrational la la land fairy or, worse, completely mental to not take the errors very seriously.

  83. Don (05:51:00) :

    “What exactly is a “climate change scientist?””

    Answer: Scientists who have drunk deeply from the wells of Post Normal Science, given up being climate scientists and become climate change advocates.

    So, Mike Hulme at UEA, for example, is not Professor of Climate Science, but Professor of Climate Change. That’s why UEA advertise for lecturers in climate change, not climate science, as last October just before Climategate:

    “Situations Vacant: Three Lecturers in Climate Change at Tyndall UEA:
    These new academic staff appointments at UEA have been created as a result of substantial new investments in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. The posts offer excellent opportunities for continuing, or developing, internationally outstanding research careers.”

    Climate scientists seldom had these opportunities, but if you will only serve the government agenda, you will be well rewarded. Meanwhile, physics and chemistry departments around UK are shrinking and closing. Follow the money.

    As Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate CHANGE says,

    “…dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence.”

    “In the end, politics will always trump science…we need better politics, not better science.”

  84. Tom Judd says:

    Three thoughts: First; I notice that this letter appears to be addresssed solely to governmental entities, not the media. Since the US media has ignored climategate this letter would have to bring attention to it would it not? Second; any group that has the audacity to actually write “…improve its assessment to further lower the already very low rate of error” deserves to be very closely scrutinized. Finally; I find it hard to believe that a group that virtually invented the word ‘hyperbole’ could actually write that it’s their intention “…to bring the focus back to credible science, rather than invented hyperbole.”

  85. G. Karst says:

    One of the most overused tactic of the AGW convinced, is a blatant appeal to authority. The IPCC has been that authority for most.

    So it is vitally important to the AGW movement, that the IPCC remain as a authoritative body. Can enough makeup be applied to this corpse, to convince people, that it retains vigor? GK

  86. r says:

    Show us the data
    Show us how you measured the data
    Show us the code

  87. Kate says:

    Reply

    1) Skepticism is neither a mood nor is it dangerous. It is, in fact, the hallmark of, and crucial to, good science, with objections to it being the absolute antithesis.

    2) The IPCC’ mistakes have been neither few nor are they minor, and it has proved itself time and again, to the most casual observer not in any camp, to be not only a thoroughly co-opted cabal, but alarmist as well. Not the thousands of contributors, but those at the top who rewrite, in summary form, their works, and then claim it as a peer reviewed “consensus” view.

    3) IPCC scientists (et al — they are not all scientists, for the most part they are bureaucrats and politicians) have been too busy on the public offence, having basked for so long in the presumptive pretence as being the gold standard of climate change infallibility, such that it’s no wonder that they are now surprised to find themselves having to actually mount a public defence of their integrity.

    You write as if they have not been willing or able to hit the airwaves or make their case in newspapers, while failing to acknowledge that they have had nothing but thousands upon thousands of willing publicists and propagandists to do this for them.

    4) The scientists are not faced by powerful lobbies working to distort and discredit the science behind climate change. Rather they are faced with an even more powerful public, made up of rightly sceptical individuals, who are demanding that the science behind the climate change finally be transparent, fully justified and answerable to dissenting claims (without any offhand dismissals that pretend to do just that), and absolutely and completely void of politics and bias, which it is currently not.

    People are not, by and large, stupid. They are discerning, and not so easily swayed by dismissive condescension. They do not have to be scientists to perceive when they are being sold something.

    Now scientists are faced by powerful lobbies who are working to distort and discredit the science behind climate change. Quite so. But how about the carbon trading lobby, the nuclear power lobby, the wind-farm lobby, the bio-fuel lobby, and the pressure from governments to find any excuse to levy green taxes?

    The idea that the IPCC could possibly be independently minded and unbiased after what it has unleashed is clearly nonsense when there are literally trillions of dollars at stake predicated on man-made climate change being a fact.

    The IPCC was founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Programme with a mandate to produce accurate, balanced assessments about human-induced climate change. In other words IPCC’s mandate was to prove man-made global warming, not weigh man-made versus natural global warming.

    Explain to us. Just how balanced can that be? This is a jury given a verdict and asked to present the evidence to back it up. And where have we come across that socialist methodology before? Oh, yes. The USSR, and look what happened to them.

  88. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    renminbi (06:02:22) :
    Sorry for keyboard errors.

    Well, at least you published a retraction before we caught you red-handed!!

  89. D. King says:

    Well, at least the EPA will have a big list of names to
    subpoena for support, when their endangerment
    finding is challenged in court.

  90. Mike Bryant says:

    A fitting epitaph for the IPCC:

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away

  91. Eric Gisin says:

    They completely ignored the issue of anti-science activists like greenpeace and WWF being IPCC contributors. If the climate science community cannot recognize Erhlich is insane, they are part of his doomsday cult.

  92. Kate says:

    Correction

    In my earlier post; Paragraph 7 should read: “Now scientists imagine themselves to be faced by powerful lobbies who are working to distort and discredit the science behind climate change. But how about the carbon trading lobby, the nuclear power lobby, the wind-farm lobby, the bio-fuel lobby, and the pressure from governments to find any excuse to levy green taxes?”

  93. fredb says:

    About 5 hours since I posted, so assume I’ve been moderated out. But let me try again:

    If I was a USA citizen, I would be pleased to sign this document. In effect it reinforces the fact that none of the “scandals” have changed the fundamental message, and that all continued accumulation of observed evidence subsequent to the AR4 only reinforces the same message.

    Flame away, I guess.

  94. Bill Illis (05:54:47) :

    “Then this in February 2010, he uses more up-to-date data and finds there is even more “Missing Energy” now or “can’t be accounted for” would be more accurate (no need to talk about water vapour and albedo feedbacks now since there is little net forcing for a positive feedback to build on).”

    As of 2009, the missing energy flux that Trenberth’s calculations show up constitute an equivalent of a whopping 1.6 W/sq.m. Missing, of course, based on the assumption of greenhouse gas forcing (assumed but not proven). This is the same magnitude as the assumed GHG forcing itself. If the GHG forcing is, for the sake of argument, considered to be nonsense, the ‘missing energy flux’ disappears as well.

    This is not ‘proof’ that greenhouse forcing is poppycock, but it should certainly concentrate the mind. Perhaps climatologists, taking a leaf from the astrophysics books (I jest), will have to come up with the concept of ‘dark energy’ to explain this. They will doubtless come up with something even more complicated, rather than use Occam’s razor and revisit their preconceptions and presuppositions. After all, it keeps the money rolling in: as Trenberth finishes his articles:

    “A climate information system that firstly determines what is taking place and then establishes why is better able to provide a sound basis for predictions and which can answer important questions such as ‘Has global warming really slowed or not?’”

    “How can we understand whether the strong cold outbreaks of December 2009 are simply a natural weather phenomenon, as they seem to be, or are part of some mysterious change..?”

    Answer: Keep sending us the money, and we’ll keep telling you how important we are to your salvation and ultimate human redemption.

  95. pyromancer76 says:

    A completely discredited report (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report). A completely discredited research/policy group (IPCC). A completely discredited uber-orgnization (UN). There is no science, no scientific method, or good-faith public service. All must be fired and blackballed from ever entering the professions they once claimed to represent. The UN, which answers to no representative group of voters, must be unfunded. No more elites appointing elites appointing elites to give us the shaft.

    George Grisancich (04:35:10) noticed: “What’s particularly interesting is the list of signatories. No Erhlick, no Hansen, no Mann, no Jones. I wonder why they haven’t signed it?

    Even though these non-signatories must be the first to get their just deserts, nevertheless, because of this letter, the 250 should taste what lying and fraudulent practices deserve. You may be underlings; you may be in completely different professions; but if you dare to diminish the scientific method in any way — other than an honest mistake — you are on your way out. No more joking on your break time around the grant-water cooler. It has been repossessed.

    Fred from Canuckistan (04:57:09) : “’The vast majority of the signers are climate change scientists who work at leading U.S. universities and institutions”. Simplified English translation: ‘we are all on the government funded AGW hysteria Gravy Train, in First Class, and we want to keep being entitled to our entitlements’”

    It is time for the marxists (read: social control totalitarianism by THE elite) to return to naval gazing. The public spigot is turning off.

    On to the names. Let us begin with The Two-Hundred-Fifty.

    How many in the biological and social sciences?
    Vigilantfish (5:38:59) begins with the name Robert S. Coleman, THE supposed “great authority on climate science”, but when he looked up THIS Robert S. Coleman, he found a DNA researcher. Was using his name a subterfuge? Is there a DNA of climate science? Maybe it is the marxist DNA of the 250 that is important.

    A few to begin with: Gary W. Yohe, Stephen H. Schneider, Cynthia Rosenweig (oh, boy, a leftist Columbia U-NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies – drop-the thermometers-GISS? employee), and William E. Easterling. Anthony, I imagine your readers know them and their research. Are any of them credible climate scientists?

    Must stop for now but two items re Gary Yohe. On his Wesleyan-dot-edu bio site, his research was behind a password – not for public perusal – but His Bigwigness on the IPCC and global-warming/the-sky-is-falling panels and testimony before the Senate were right up there in front., On the “See Grant Marine Career” site (yes, it says “See Grant”), he writes: “The director” part of my job consists of overseeing the University’s pursuit of external funding from public sources…and coordinating efforts for corporate and foundation support with my counterpart the development office.” His salary is listed as between $125,000 and $150,000 (~2009). Can’t you imagine how he has parlayed that into at least 100’s of thousands, if not millions. And how many get their 100’s of thousands from him. And, oh, the university salivates – it gets the vast majority of $s from all grants for “general operating expenses”. I am continuing to research his research. Is he credible?

  96. “Academics fight back on climate issues”

    Nothing wrong with that, as long as they leave politics and the scaremongering out. Science needs the data, data needs to be analysed without favour or prejudice, and many academics are perfectly capable of doing that. Adversarial system is good for legal profession to get to the truth, so it can’t do any harm to the climate science.

  97. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    fredb (07:48:53) :
    About 5 hours since I posted, so assume I’ve been moderated out. But let me try again:

    If I was a USA citizen, I would be pleased to sign this document. In effect it reinforces the fact that none of the “scandals” have changed the fundamental message, and that all continued accumulation of observed evidence subsequent to the AR4 only reinforces the same message.

    Flame away, I guess.
    ———–
    *sigh* Accumulated evidence? Temperature data from stations next to parking lots, jetways, factories etc.? Growing Arctic and Antarctic ice mass? Ongoing solar minimum?

    No flames needed, we have enough warming! Just honest discussion of facts. Thus far, the observations do not seem to support the contentions of AGW proponents.

  98. PaulH says:

    Cry me a river:

    “Climate-change scientists feel ‘muzzled’ by Ottawa: documents”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2682162

    Apparently they feel the MSM isn’t fawning over them as they used to. ;-)

    Paul

  99. OceanTwo says:

    Bottom line (open letter: to the government): we want you to strong-arm the people to do what we want them to do because we are scientists.

    When a doctor tells you he’s going to cut your legs off, the ‘trust me, I’m a doctor’ statement doesn’t validate the action.

    The scientists are using an extreme scientific threat. I can’t recall anywhere in history that such extremism is or has been effective – essentially, do this or millions will die. Of course, climate scientist argue this is a ‘global’ issue, and is bigger than anything we have encountered before.

    Coupled with the fact that the AGW proponents keep on stating it’s warmer that it has ever been, yet the very people that are supposed to believe this are experiencing the exact opposite. It’s not surprising the scientist is becoming the poster child for the (global) village idiot.

    Many of us who actually work for a living are doing our darnedest to provide for those who have less than us, while reducing our own environmental impact as well as saving ourselves a bit of coin; supporting industries which actually are providing real and practical solutions; and actually educating our fellow man, who, it turns out aren’t as stupid as these scientists and politicians think they are.

    Honestly, I’m getting pretty fed up of the GW propaganda as many are; it’s at the point where people will rally against it on principle – we are fed up of keeping your ship afloat while you lecture us on the hole in the hull.

  100. Adrian Ocneanu says:

    Shouldn’t we have an IPCW, with CW as in Climate Watch, instead of IPCC?

    Shouldn’t IPCC be established AFTER the first well documented, measured instance of clearly unprecedented climate change?

  101. “Robust”, again?

  102. Mike Bryant says:

    “fredb (07:48:53) :

    Flame away, I guess.”

    No flames from me… The truth will set you free…

  103. Dan in California says:

    “The significance of IPCC errors has been greatly exaggerated by many sensationalist accounts”

    Please identify one sensationalist account. As far as I have seen, the sensationalist accounts are all part of the AGW scare mongering tactics used by Gore and Hanson. I am reminded of the movie “Back to School” in which the pompous professor lectured the successful businessman on how to set up a business.

  104. M. Simon says:

    Many of the major components of the climate system are now well understood

    And many are not. Say clouds for instance. So what is your point?

    Oh. Yeah. Another shake of the money tree. Good luck with that.

  105. Steve J says:

    These self proclaimed “scientists” are showing gross disrespect for their colleagues – by continuing the party line.

    Science should not be like politics where it is supposed that if you tell a lie over and over, eventually it will be believed.

    I am not sure what we should do with this list, they are advocating a reduction in CO2, and if that occurs we are talking about a massive reduction in the food supply. A massive reduction in the food supply will cause starvation – can you say genocide?

    Perhaps this issue of genocide should be aired in the court of public opinion – the courts are obviously too ignorant.

  106. Mr Lynn says:

    . . . It is now well established, for example, that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from human sources have increased rapidly since the Industrial Revolution. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed.

    Indeed, measurements of global average temperatures show an increase of about 0.6 degrees C over the twentieth century and about 0.8 degrees C warming since mid-19th century. . .

    [my emphasis]

    There, in a nutshell, is their whole argument. “First principles of physics” (what the Goracle called “a natural law, like gravity”) predict increasing CO2 causes increased temperatures, and—lo and behold!—CO2 has gone up, and so have temperatures!

    Of course “The pattern of increase has not been smooth or monotonic,” but “the long-term warming trends are highly significant relative to our estimates of the magnitude of natural variability, [so] the current decadal period of stable global mean temperature does nothing to alter a fundamental conclusion from the AR4: warming has unequivocally been observed and documented.”

    When the skeptics complain, “Correlation is not causation,” these alarmists can simply retort, “It’s a physical law, like gravity. You jump up, you come down. Every time. So CO2 goes up, temps go up. See?” And if the skeptics complain, “What about the ’70s? What about the present?” the alarmists simply respond, “‘The pattern of increase has not been smooth or monotonic’; a falling feather is buffeted by the wind, but still it falls. It’s ‘the long-term warming trends’ that count.”

    The beauty of this argument is its simplicity. It is easily marketed to the public and the press, and to scientists who are not ‘climate scientists’. Quite irrespective of its appeal on political or emotional grounds (to statists and environmental activitists), I expect that for many scientists it satisfies the requirement of Occam’s Razor.

    There is great virtue in parsimony, but none in over-simplification. Never mind that the actual effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is hotly disputed (is it logarithmic or not? is it multiplied or diminished by other factors? can it play more than a marginal ‘greenhouse’ role?), nor that the complicating effects of oceans, water vapor, clouds, winds, ocean currents, tropical thunderstorms are largely ignored, even, it is reported, by the complex computer models the alarmists place so much faith in.

    The problem for the empiricist is that once the simplifier has promulgated his ‘law’, contrary evidence can be handily dismissed as ‘exceptions that prove the rule’. Even if we’ve been cooling, it’s just messy old oceanic cycles or something interfering with the inevitable course of things, which will resume presently. Even if heavy snow is covering the northern hemisphere, it’s just ‘global warming’ causing more evaporation and precipitation. You can’t win the argument, because every contrary datum can be explained away as just a complicating wrinkle.

    This happens all the time in science, as Thomas Kuhn demonstrated; eventually a paradigm can be overturned by the sheer weight of exceptions. The problem here is that the over-simple ‘greenhouse’ paradigm has become the centerpiece of an international political movement. It’s as if the medieval theory of imbalanced ‘humors’ causing disease were seized upon by the UN and all the governments of the world which then insisted that no other treatments could be countenanced or supported. The sheer weight of officialdom and vast sums of money supporting the ‘orthodox’ view is unprecedented in science (since Lysenkoism, at any rate). Too many institutions and too many people have too much invested in the ‘climate change’ mantra to let it simply join the wastebasket of discarded theories.

    In other words, the establishment(s) are going to “fight back,” and although the arguments will sound ‘scientific’, they will really represent intrenched vested interests. Despite the establishment complaints about a ‘well-funded’, ‘organized’ skeptical movement, the alarmists have every advantage over what is really a ragtag, grassroots upswelling within the new media. So long as they can keep the controversies over Climategate, the Hockeystick, and the IPCC errors confined to the Internet, the conflict will take place largely outside the purview of the mass media and the halls of government, industry, and finance.

    What has to happen is a breakthrough, perhaps a few public conversions by prominent warmists. We need them to acknowledge that, “We were wrong. CO2 is not a pollutant; it is not a problem; it does not cause any measurable warming. There is no need for radical mitigation, no need to stop using fossil fuels. We were overzealous because we feared for the planet, but now we realize it’s in pretty good shape after all, and we’re sorry.”

    When that happens, it will burst upon the public like a thunderstorm, and the alarmist movement will collapse of its own weight.

    /Mr Lynn

  107. DirkH says:

    Trenberth/Fasullo : Tracking Earth’s energy: From El Niño to global warming

    http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache%3Ay1BBdODlQ8QJ%3Awww.cgd.ucar.edu%2Fcas%2FTrenberth%2Ftrenberth.papers%2FTracking%2520Energyv5.pdf

    For unknown reasons i was only able to see it via the google cache. Does anyone have a better working link?

  108. M. Simon says:

    Don (05:51:00) :

    What exactly is a “climate change scientist?”

    That would be similar to a “diaper change scientist”. You may fill in the rest at your own risk. But I can tell you one thing. It is worse than we thought.

  109. Dennis Wingo says:

    I just google the first name, Tom Adams, and he is a leading biofuels researcher.

    http://www.uga.edu/news/artman/publish/070518_Biofuel.shtml

    Considering your newer post on the CO2 impact of biofuels, why is this guy pushing climate change?

    How many of these people have the competence to comment on the subject?

  110. Dennis Wingo says:

    “The significance of IPCC errors has been greatly exaggerated by many sensationalist accounts, but that is no reason to avoid implementing procedures to make the assessment process even better. The public has a right to know the risks of climate change as scientists currently understand them. We are dedicated to working with our colleagues and government in furthering that task.”

    Whether or not you “believe” in AGW, the IPCC does not have the competence to dictate mitigation strategies. That is best left to the engineering community.

  111. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Sou (04:52:49) :

    Now, why would you link to an article about a report when you can link to the report itself? The joint BoM / CSIRO report can be found here:

    http://www.csiro.au/resources/State-of-the-Climate.html

    Anyone who does care to look it at it will find it a slick piece of fluff and mendacity: propaganda constructed by the “Communication Manager
    Sustainable Ecosystems” and issued by the Rudd Government.

    No, Sou, we are not prepared to hear any more appeals to authority.

  112. Robert E. Phelan says:

    It was never about the science. One of the signers is “Gus Speth, Yale University”. Dr. James Augustus Speth, dean of the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has an interesting pedigree and rates his own wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Speth

    His thinking on environmentalism and politics can be found here:

    http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2075

    Read it and be afraid.

  113. Paul Nevins says:

    I too, am looking forward to the list of “scientists” who sign this thing. As a scientist and a science educator it will be helpful to me in advising my students where not to go for quality science education. With any luck it could be a useful tool for advising on both the graduate and undergrad levels.

    The errors in the IPCC report are only minor in relation to the howling screamers in the global temperature record.

  114. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    OceanTwo (08:30:52) :

    The scientists are using an extreme scientific threat. I can’t recall anywhere in history that such extremism is or has been effective – essentially, do this or millions will die.
    —–
    I’ll give you two:

    a) avian influenza pandemic preparedness – as the H5N1 flu virus (not the recent H1N1 swine flu variant) continued to infect poultry flocks and wild birds in Asia and elsewhere, the public health infrastructure geared up with a major panic campaign to stimulate funding for equipment, training etc. Forecasts were more dire than for AGW, calling back a black-death type of scenario. Haven’t heard much about bird flu lately, have we?

    Dr. Mike Osterholm of Univ of MN was on “Oprah,” spinning a REAL scare-monger spiel! “Science can’t save you, there is no treatment, pregnant women will will die in the streets….” Easily as bad as anything I’ve seen Al Gore spin. I knew some who were in a state of panic from that one show.

    b) bioterrorism – after the events of 9/11, we endured an anthrax attack upon media offices that caused illness in postal workers and others in the US northeast. This led to a widespread panic among the public health community, including calls for mandatory smallpox vaccinations of all police, fire and healthcare providers. I was proud to work for the man who was influential in pulling the plug on that misdirected, panic-driven policy.

    Same-same…thanks to panic mongering, public health received tons of money for grants & equipment, just as the climate-change boys did for their research. Panic is profitable in science, sad but true. Unfortunately, when you cry wolf too many times, the public tunes you out, to our detriment in the eventuality of a genuine emergency.

  115. Wondering Aloud says:

    Regarding

    “CRS, Dr.P.H. (08:18:34) :

    fredb (07:48:53) :
    About 5 hours since I posted, so assume I’ve been moderated out. But let me try again:

    If I was a USA citizen, I would be pleased to sign this document. In effect it reinforces the fact that none of the “scandals” have changed the fundamental message, and that all continued accumulation of observed evidence subsequent to the AR4 only reinforces the same message.”

    Where do you think you are? Real Climate? They didn’t edit you. Besides you gave us a good chuckle with the “continued accumulation” stuff. Best part is you seem unaware of the irony.

  116. David Alan Evans says:

    As has been noted, Hansen is not, (as yet,) a signatory of this letter.

    I suspect he won’t sign it either, James Hansen sees himself as a latter day Robin Hood whereas crap & tirade is more like this…

    As for CO2, from Vostok…

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/slides/img7.gif

    Best regards.

    DaveE.

  117. AnonyMoose says:

    I haven’t seen so many clowns getting out of a car since that show in Copenhagen.

  118. Sean Peake says:

    As of 2:52 EDT, here is the link to those who signed:

    http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/list-of-signers.html

  119. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Paul Nevins (11:25:01)
    “… I too, am looking forward to the list of “scientists” who sign this thing…”

    Well, if you follow Anthony’s links to the letter and scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find a link to the list of signers…. or you can click on the link below…

    http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/list-of-signers.html

  120. Richard Sharpe says:

    DirkH (10:11:31) said:

    Trenberth/Fasullo : Tracking Earth’s energy: From El Niño to global warming

    http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache%3Ay1BBdODlQ8QJ%3Awww.cgd.ucar.edu%2Fcas%2FTrenberth%2Ftrenberth.papers%2FTracking%2520Energyv5.pdf

    For unknown reasons i was only able to see it via the google cache. Does anyone have a better working link?

    At the top of the cached page is a link to the PDF. I have included it here for your convenience.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Tracking%20Energyv5.pdf

  121. Wondering Aloud says:

    For a good laugh copy and paste the signatories in the search bar. I did about a dozen, not a physical scientist in the bunch. The closest I ofund of anyone in terms of profession to competence on this issue was a statistician at Bowling Green; and if he actually thinks that the IPCC report isn’t crap in regards to statistics than Bowling Green may need some help in their math department.

    Ok I’ll stop now… for a while

  122. Laws of Nature says:

    Hi there,

    actually there are many sentences in this document I and maybe most of the readers here would sign woithout hesitation. However working together we might be able to point out a few differences in opinion and go from there. In order to answer the letter to J. Curry, Willis made a list of key statements from her letter in order to start formulating an answer. I really liked that approach, but certainly lack Willis skill on that. But perhaps someone is willing to read the letter above and fill in/ correct my pick on it:

    1. Introduction
    1.1. Small error get lots of media attention
    1.2. None of them undermine the warming conclusion
    1.3. IPCC perform excellent in accurately reporting the state-of-the-science
    1.4. IPCC should become more forthcoming in openly acknowledging errors
    2. Climate Challenge
    2.1. Many of the major components of the climate system are now well understood, though there are still sources of significant uncertainty (like the processes that produce the observed rapid ice-sheet melting and/or collapse in the polar regions)
    2.2. The atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from human sources have increased rapidly since the Industrial Revolution
    2.3. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system
    2.4 Measurements of global average temperatures show an increase with the recent decade being the warmest, anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations have an 0.5 degree-C part in warming over this century, with 1-6 degree-C possible until 2100.
    2.5. Multiple reasons to be concerned, large-scale abrupt climate change, changing the face of the planet, 2degrees C in warming is the maximum tolerable and feasible with emission reduction measures
    3. IPCC and 4thAR
    3.1. clear errors and errors of omission (f.e. Himalayan glaciers and correlations between crop yields and climate change) should be rectified promptly, some claims were not true
    3.2. Key finding in AR4 unchanged: human beings are very likely changing the climate, with far-reaching impacts in the long run
    3.3 IPCC quality control needs improvement, but widespread and deliberate manipulation of scientific data did not happen.
    3.4. AR4 is based to the vast majority on peer-reviewed articles
    3.5. Suggested way to improve the review: a new cross-chapter review process with experts of the impact area
    4. Quality control for IPCC and US Review
    4.1. IPCC does already have QC, and the process is well documented on a webpage and it is guaranteed that each comment is treated properly.
    4.2 “gray literature” is thoughtfully verified and available for 3rd parties on request.
    4.3. IPCC procedures are transparent and thorough, no single scholar or small group of scholars can manipulate the process to include or to exclude a specific line of research
    4.4 Not addressed are the criteria and procedures by which the IPCC selects chairs and authors
    5. What next?
    5.1. A few errors cannot detract deliberations about how to respond to climate risk
    5.2. For the AR5 IPCC should acknowledge errors rapidly probably online, with a clear distinction between errors and progressing knowledge.
    5.3. IPCC reports provide a scientific foundation for climate policy making, thus quality and balance in the knowledge delivered essential

    My pick on this:
    While I do aggree with most of the sentences, there are some points a cannot aggree on! Starting with the treatment of S. McIntyre, who has documented very detailed, that his justified reviewing comments where overruled and ignored and the fact, that there is critical literature which does not make its way into the report, the letter misses one grave point in my oppinion:
    The political agenda (pa) of the scientific authors making this report.
    How other than with pa it can be explained that Panchauri withheld the correction of the glacier mistake until after the Kopenhagen meeting?

    However, please help me to get a correct list with statments and probably on of the smarte people here can start to formulate a detailed answer.
    I think this is a good starting point in order to formulate a stand to the postion expressed in this letter.

    Have fun,
    LoN

  123. manfred says:

    those who deliberately team up with schneider should no longer have a place in tax payer funding.

  124. Bill Illis says:

    DirkH (10:11:31) :

    Part of the NCAR website was down for awhile. Try again.

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Tracking%20Energyv5.pdf

  125. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Wondering Aloud (11:35:57) :

    Where do you think you are? Real Climate? They didn’t edit you. Besides you gave us a good chuckle with the “continued accumulation” stuff. Best part is you seem unaware of the irony.
    —–
    Heh, thanks! RC came to mind right away, they don’t post many of my contributions.

    Speaking of having posts yanked, have any of you been to the WUWT “shadow” blog, “Wot’s up with that”?

    http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

    Stupid site! Again, they don’t listen to logic. Anthony’s site is a great meeting place for some well-thought out arguments from all sides.

  126. George L says:

    There must be many scientists who previously took the AGW line, until all the lies and false data came to the fore, and have now become sceptics. Can we appeal to those scientists to show their hand and tell the world that AGW science is now totally discredited and that there is no proof whatsoever that governments need to take the ridiculously expensive action corrupted scientists advocate to ‘save the world’. A convert would be a powerful beast for the sceptic cause. They could start by posting their views on this blog.

  127. A C Osborn says:

    fredb (07:48:53) :
    If I was a USA citizen, I would be pleased to sign this document.

    How sad.

  128. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    George L (12:08:25) :
    There must be many scientists who previously took the AGW line, until all the lies and false data came to the fore, and have now become sceptics. Can we appeal to those scientists to show their hand and tell the world that AGW science is now totally discredited and that there is no proof whatsoever that governments need to take the ridiculously expensive action corrupted scientists advocate to ’save the world’. A convert would be a powerful beast for the sceptic cause. They could start by posting their views on this blog.
    —–
    I’m raising my hand!

    I’ve worked in methane mitigation since 1980, at the University of Illinois, combining alternative energy (methane from cow poop to generate electricity) with GHG reduction. I still think this is prudent, as uncontrolled reactive hydrocarbons in the atmosphere have a wide range of deleterious effects such as photochemical smog generation etc. Plus it is a cool source of energy, I’ve worked with pig farms in the Philippines that generate all of their electricity using pig-poop methane! Fun stuff!

    However, I never fully bought into the AGW story entirely…in my field (public health), I am considered a heretic for my position. Blame it on my background in astronomy and environmental chemistry, the system is far to complex for the simple models suggested by Jones, Mann etc.

    Believe me, the pressure to conform to the AGW consensus in most fields is unbelievable. The scientists who seem most able to to object include geologists, astrophysicists and atmospheric chemists. However, climate change is tangential to their work, and they avoid being cut off from funding streams by not aggressively publishing.

    Life sucks & then you die. There are lots of us out there, even more now that Climategate happened. We suspected fraud, now we have the evidence.

  129. Enneagram says:

    Those are scary guys, specially when dealing with eugenics. WWF should take care of them :-)

  130. OceanTwo says:

    CRS, Dr.P.H. (11:31:40) :

    OceanTwo (08:30:52) :

    The scientists are using an extreme scientific threat. I can’t recall anywhere in history that such extremism is or has been effective – essentially, do this or millions will die.
    —–
    I’ll give you two:

    I probably wasn’t clear: extreme scientific threat hasn’t been used to stave of a *real* and extreme problem. Oh, there have been numerous instances of scientific threat, but none of them turned out to be a real threat, solution or even address a significant problem.

    I suppose some could argue that being made aware of the threat was enough to stave it off, but there’s a difference between an effective awareness campaign and chicken-little-give-me-money-to-stop-the-sky-from-falling awareness campaign.

    When a scientist is so close to an issue, it does appear that that issue is of utmost importance.

  131. R.S.Brown says:

    Look. LOOK !

    The good people attaching their signatures to the letter are
    really, really, really , really, REALLY serious about there being nothing to see…

    Now, citizen, please move along.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

  132. Henry chance says:

    Hansen complained about being muzzled. [snip]

    The inmates have taken control of the asylum. They are now signing off on their own quality and performance report.

  133. anna v says:

    OT but interesting:

    This has been the third hottest winter in Athens Greece since 1897
    In descending order:

    winter 1935/36 average temperature 16.5C
    1954/55 15.8C
    2009/10 15.5C

    from the data of the National Observatory of Athens, the down town ( Thesion) observatory. ( UHI not subtracted)

  134. MikeN says:

    Did Schneider support Ehrlich’s positions on nuclear winter, that a nuclear explosion would lower the planet’s temperature by as much as 35C?

  135. Gino says:

    So..the readers digest condensed version: You’ve found mistakes, but look how hard we worked.

    We used to have a principle in undergrad which was “if you didn’t really have an answer, through everything you had into the report to cover it up.” Now I understand why it worked, the professors used it too.

  136. JDN says:

    Deny. Deny. Deny. Deny it exists. Deny it’s important. Deny it’s relevant. Deny it’s wrong. Deny it’s criminal. ‘Deny you had anything to do with it’ is coming up next, I suppose.

  137. anna v says:

    Re: anna v (Mar 15 13:11),

    That is average maximum temperature, of course.

  138. WWIII says:

    Sou

    I went to the link you suggested, but there was no empirical evidence of any sort concerning AGW. None at all. None. All talk and personal opinion. If I missed something, please be good enough to point it out.

    Australians are normally very good at science. Once, the whole world of medicine agreed that stomach ulcers were caused by stress. It could be nothing else, since the stomach was sterile. Consequently millions of people suffered needlessly. But two Australian researchers carried out proper science, using the scientific method, and proved that the ulcers were caused by bacteria. They were awarded the Nobel Prize – richly deserved, unlike the someone we all know and the disreputable organization who the originators of this letter are funded by.

  139. Don Keiller says:

    These bozos give us biologists a bad name.
    I’m a biologist, but wouldn’t trust these guys to spell “photosynthesis”, never mind explain the effect of elevated CO2 on the process!

  140. Dr A Burns says:

    “Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the heat going out of the climate system, i.e., the radiation balance of the Earth – and so first principles of physics tell us to expect, with a very high likelihood, that higher temperatures should have been observed.”

    The rate of fossil fuel burning increased 1200% after 1945, yet the rate of temperature increase between 1910 and 1945 was far greater than the rate of temperature rise between 1945 and today. This implies that the above hypothesis is incorrect.

  141. Feedback says:

    “To be clear, 2,500 reviewers together provided about 90,000 comments on the 44 chapters for the AR4. Each comment is documented on a website that also describes how and why the comment was or was not incorporated in the next revision.”

    Oh yeah… But look what happened when a certain reviewer actually wanted to see the review comments during, and after, the process:

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/05/21/ipcc-and-snail-technology/

    The IPCC is now decorating themselves with a transparency that they earlier have gone to ridiculous lenghts to oppose. This part is not their achievement; they should have given due credit to Steve McIntyre.

  142. tty says:

    anna v (13:11:04) :

    “This has been the third hottest winter in Athens Greece since 1897″

    And Stockholm had the first January with the temperature never rising above freezing since 1829 (UHI not subtracted either).

  143. Visceral Rebellion says:

    Only 250? What happened to the tens of thousands I’ve seen referenced occasionally?

  144. David Archibald says:

    The signatories of this letter are a good list of who to fire come the revolution.

  145. DirkH says:

    “JDN (13:19:58) :

    Deny. Deny. Deny. Deny it exists. Deny it’s important. Deny it’s relevant. Deny it’s wrong. Deny it’s criminal. ‘Deny you had anything to do with it’ is coming up next, I suppose”

    Is there a competition this week between you trolls about who manages the most disturbed comment?

  146. Oopen ;letter to IPCC defenders

    This is in response to your letter dated March 10th, 2010, in defense of the IPCC. First, I would tell you that I am not a climate scientist, but rather a retired pediatrician. That does not mean that I am totally ignorant of Climate issues. However, it does mean that I am totally unknown in the field, literature and even blogs.

    I am concerned that you did not include in your letter the two most fundamental issues that the IPCC holds to be true, when in fact they are much in dispute. First, the residence time of CO2 is given as about 50-200 years, as determined by Sir Houghton. As you know he did not account for 50% of the CO2, but came to this conclusion anyway. There have been at least 35 studies by good researchers by various techniques that indicate the residence time is about 5 years, including the studies by Segalstat in 1996-1998, and Essenhigh in 2009. So with this one study you call it a consensus? Please explain that to me. The IPCC contradicts itself by saying in one place it is 50-200 years, then in another place states that the CO2 emitted will be absorbed In a few years. And there is not even mention of these contrary results by these other researchers? Susan Solomon’s study indicating over a 1000 years is not even worth mentioning.

    Second, the other fundamental issue is the idea of positive forcing by water vapor in amplifying the effects of rising CO2 levels. As; you know, in nature, a large positive feedback is very uncommon. Nature does not seem to like that idea. The positive feedback is supposed to give three to six times more rise to the temperature of the atmosphere than would occur if the feedback was not present. If there was such a large feedback, over the 4.5 billion years the earth certainly would have perished long ago, as there would be ample time to have this feedback destroy the planet. It has not occurred. It is interesting that in the mathematics of explaining this, the Stephan- Bolzman equation is used. But, I do not find any literature in physics that allows this to be used on a gas. It is supposed to represent the radiation from the SURFACE of a black body, and I would like to know where the surface of a gas is located? A surface radiates only from the surface, but a gas radiates in all directions. I do not find any physics that shows this is a legitimate use of Stephan- Bolzman. Please show me how you reconcile this feedback with the actual observations over these billions of years? Most studies by equally good researchers indicate that the feedback is much less, and may be negative at times, so that there is no runaway temperature.

    You say that there is a good control of the contents of the IPCC. But, you fail to mention that most of the comments that were negative were just eliminated by the controllers of the chapters, and were not incorporated in the document. Many examples of that have been published. And the summary for policy makers is not a scientific document, but rather a political paper. You mention the thousands who worked on the IPCC, but do not indicate that only a very small portion of them are really scientists, and of these, they are appointed by the governments in a politically acceptable manner. That is, they are biased to keep the skeptics out. And you failed to mention that only a very small number of members of the committees actually read and commented on the whole document. I find it offensive when you say that 2500 reveiwers were involved, when in fact the vast majority were not climate scientists at all. They were mostly political appointees.

    In making the errors of the IPCC a focus of attention, I think you are avoiding the real issue. I think you are naively thinking they are the real issue, when in fact the real issue is one of integrity of the science community that has been overlooking the climate issues. The deceit and lack of transparency, and control of the literature, fudging data, keeping the skeptic point of view out, and personal attacks are terrible.

    The other fundamental issue is the modeling one. As you all know, modeling is an infant science. As I understand it, the mathematics of the models involve calculus formulas of differential equations that have no answers. So they use parametrisations, which means they “guess”. Also, the clouds, and solar cycles, PDA, and other ocean occillations are not included, and CO2 is the only important determiner of climate. And the temperature and other data are taken from grids, for which there may be no good data, and the data is homogenized to get results. The data are already homogenized by the various agencies that keep track of this data, and one could and should argue that it is not valid data when it is so treated. The scenarios of the IPCC have been based on these models, and so far they have all been wrong. They are interesting to play with, but useless to predict the future.

    Peer review has turned out to be a joke. Peer to Peer is having your buddy review your paper. And you will review his paper. Review means reading it and concurring, not really checking the data and math etc. And you don’t need to bother making the data available for checking. If you are in the right clique, you will do well, but if not…forget it. If you go against the “consensus”, you are dead. And if you are not part of the clique, you will not get published in any journal. They will see to it that you do not. You hope the National academies of Science of the member nations will get involved. But the National Academy of Science of the USA is closed to transparency and refused to poll its members on their position with regard to climate issues.

    It is right that you inserted a disclaimer about how the appointments to the IPCC are made, rightly implying that it is a political process, and you wash your hands of that. You are also right in saying that the agenda of politically determined climate policy is determined by the governments, and is not a scientific determination. And you say it is a good thing that there will be an independent critical evaluation of the IPCC, which means that the UN will investigate itself. That does not sound very independent.

    Lastly, you indicate that the public has a right to know the risks of climate change (and the risks of political machinations to “combat climate change”?) as scientists currently understand them. The question is which scientists? Did you send your letter to those who hold a different opinion of the IPCC and climate issues and ask for a rebuttal letter?

  147. Tom_R says:

    >> Wondering Aloud (11:56:23) :

    For a good laugh copy and paste the signatories in the search bar. I did about a dozen, not a physical scientist in the bunch. The closest I ofund of anyone in terms of profession to competence on this issue was a statistician at Bowling Green; and if he actually thinks that the IPCC report isn’t crap in regards to statistics than Bowling Green may need some help in their math department.

    Ok I’ll stop now… for a while <<

    Great. They've just validated the Oregon Petition.

  148. Frank T. says:

    “Climate research and the IPCC reports on the state of knowledge provide a scientific foundation for climate policy making, whose agenda is defined by the governments of the IPCC and not the lead authors per se.”

    In non-gibberish speak that would mean that the policy is already decided and now they (IPCC) is put to the task to provide scientific justification for it.

  149. Mr Lynn says:

    CRS, Dr.P.H. (12:25:51)

    eugene r wynsen md (15:37:13)

    Two excellent posts, demonstrating that there are a lot more intelligent, thoughtful, informed people out there who have enough respect for science not to be suckered into the glib pronouncements of the AGW alarmists, than those hucksters who have spent their careers bamboozling the public realize.

    /Mr Lynn

  150. Joe says:

    Read their letter and also stating that “ocean circulation slowing”,

    Unless the planet stop rotating! The ocean circulation speed is determined by the planets rotational speed and not anything man can do to it.

  151. Gilbert says:

    Don (05:51:00) :

    What exactly is a “climate change scientist?”

    An AGW advocate with the name “climate change scientist” on his/her office door.

  152. Peter Fimmel says:

    Looks like a whole lot of hand-waving to me.

  153. Joe says:

    I didn’t know law and economics were in the scientific field?
    Looking at the list of signatures.

    I do have a degree in B.S. also in SSDD.

    Sorry, I do not want to make fun of the people or scientists that are ethical.

  154. Sam says:

    Just incredible (and I too could not bring myself to read all the way down) GIGI, GIGO

    Why don’t these people understand that a scientist is by nature and profession a sceptic? Why can’t they bring their critical faculties to bear on the question? Kate and Smokey have the right of it.

    Meanwhile, it’s the Cheltenham Festival this week – the ‘Olympics’ of jump racing. The Clerk of the Coruse is still agonising over whether to water, if so how much, and when…. because we can’t rely on the weather forecast to be correct for the week (esp important for the great showdown on Friday, Gold Cup Day) and to have ground too soft or too firm will be dangerous, besides inconveniencing too many horses.

    Yes, yes – I know that’s ‘weather’ – but the forecasters use the same ‘super-computers’ as the long range climate johnnies….

  155. Joel Shore says:

    eugene r wynsen md: As a physicist, I just wanted to address the couple of issues in your post that are scientific and where you have clearly been led astray.

    First, you say:

    First, the residence time of CO2 is given as about 50-200 years, as determined by Sir Houghton. As you know he did not account for 50% of the CO2, but came to this conclusion anyway. There have been at least 35 studies by good researchers by various techniques that indicate the residence time is about 5 years, including the studies by Segalstat in 1996-1998, and Essenhigh in 2009. So with this one study you call it a consensus? Please explain that to me. The IPCC contradicts itself by saying in one place it is 50-200 years, then in another place states that the CO2 emitted will be absorbed In a few years. And there is not even mention of these contrary results by these other researchers? Susan Solomon’s study indicating over a 1000 years is not even worth mentioning.

    You are confusing two different things here: The five-year timescale that you talked about is indeed the residence time for a carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere but it is not the relevant time for a decay of a perturbation in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Here’s the picture: The atmosphere + biota + soils + mixed ocean layer are reservoirs for CO2 that have rapid exchange between them. Hence, when you add a certain amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, it quite rapidly partitions between these different reservoirs. However, this tightly coupled subsystem exchanges CO2 only slowly with the deep ocean and that is thus the rate-limiting step for the decay of additional CO2 introduced into this subsystem.

    An analogy might help you to picture this: Imagine two tanks of water, A and B, each that hold 1000 gallons of water and that have two pumps, one that transports the water at 100 gallons/minute from tank A to tank B and the other that transports water at the same rate from tank B to A. Also imagine that there is a drain in tank B, although we will suppose that it is initially closed. Now suppose that I dump an additional 200 gallons into tank A and you want to know the residence time for molecules of those added water molecules in tank A. Well, the “residence time” is going to be about 10 minutes (because the reservoir size is 1000 gallons and the rate that it gets pumped from tank A to tank B is 100 gallons per minute). However, it is wrong to conclude that the extra 200 gallons of water that I put into tank A will have largely disappeared from the system after 10 minutes. In fact, with the drain in B closed, all that additional water will still be distributed in some way in tanks A and B. (Technically, as I have described the system, tank A will continue to have 200 gallons more of water than B, but one could amend my description so that the pump from A to B pumped a little bit more than that from B to A when A has more water and vice versa and then the extra water would end up evenly distributed between the two tanks.) An analogy closer to the reality of the system would then have the drain in B open but it would drain only slowly…and the time it took the extra 200 gallons to disappear from the system would depend solely on how fast water went down this drain.

    In reality, the chemical processes by which the oceans absorb CO2 are quite complicated…and, as a result of this, the concept of a single decay time for a perturbation in CO2 levels is not even correct. It is in fact a highly non-exponential process and Solomon et al. are correct in their statement that a considerable fraction of the CO2 still remains after 1000 years and more.

    Second, the other fundamental issue is the idea of positive forcing by water vapor in amplifying the effects of rising CO2 levels. As; you know, in nature, a large positive feedback is very uncommon. Nature does not seem to like that idea. The positive feedback is supposed to give three to six times more rise to the temperature of the atmosphere than would occur if the feedback was not present. If there was such a large feedback, over the 4.5 billion years the earth certainly would have perished long ago, as there would be ample time to have this feedback destroy the planet. It has not occurred. It is interesting that in the mathematics of explaining this, the Stephan- Bolzman equation is used. But, I do not find any literature in physics that allows this to be used on a gas.

    (1) Positive feedbacks are not very uncommon in nature at all. In fact, all interesting patterns that you observe, ranging from snowflakes to sand dunes to washboard patterns on a dirt road are due to positive feedbacks so strong that they produce linear instabilities! By contrast, the positive feedbacks in the climate system are believed not to be this strong, but are strong enough to amplify the direct response due to just the change in greenhouse gas levels with everything held constant.

    (2) Actually, those who study paleoclimate conclude that the earth’s climate system is quite sensitive to small perturbations. See, for example, this short perspectives article in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5697/821 There are also negative feedbacks, the most important being the feedback described by the Stefan-Boltzmann (S-B) equation itself, i.e., that as the earth warms it emits more radiative energy, hence tending to re-establish radiative balance. There are also likely important negative biogeochemical feedbacks that operate on geological timescales. For example, when the earth was in its cold “snowball” or “slushball” states, the ice and snow prevented rocks from being exposed to weathering; hence greenhouse gases from volcanic eruptions…CO2 in particular…were not removed from the atmosphere by these weathering processes and built up to such a point that they eventually caused the Earth to warm up; conversely, in the “hothouse” phases of our paleoclimate, weathering of rocks occurred more rapidly and reduced the greenhouse gases until the Earth cooled. Unfortunately, such negative feedbacks operate on timescales too large to be useful in our current predicament.

    (3) In regards to the S-B Equation, I think one way to put it is that the S-B Equation still applies to gases but the emissivity that appears in that equation depends strongly on the frequency. You should also realize that the qualitative physical explanations that you are given for things such as the calculations of the radiative effect of greenhouse gases are just rough explanations for the much more complicated quantitative line-by-line radiative calculations that are actually being carried out. These are the same sort of calculations that are carried out in doing “remote sensing” of the earth and atmosphere by satellites, and the calculations are verified against other “ground truth”, measurements carried out by airplanes and weather balloons, etc.

    I hope elucidation of these misunderstandings of yours helps you to understand why the world’s top scientists have generally reached conclusions radically different than you have in regards to climate change.

  156. vigilantfish says:

    Joel Shore (18:51:10) :

    There are also likely important negative biogeochemical feedbacks that operate on geological timescales. For example, when the earth was in its cold “snowball” or “slushball” states, the ice and snow prevented rocks from being exposed to weathering; hence greenhouse gases from volcanic eruptions…CO2 in particular…were not removed from the atmosphere by these weathering processes and built up to such a point that they eventually caused the Earth to warm up

    —————
    According to the Connolly-approved Wikipedia article (and hence AGW proponent approved) “the levels of CO2 necessary to melt a global ice cover have been calculated to be 130,000 ppm.” What the article and your version of events do not consider are several factors:

    1) such levels of CO2 are not incompatible with the survival of life…although obviously not good for the survival of higher level animals…. but are also somewhat unlikely
    2) with earth in a snowball state there would be little evaporation or atmospheric water evolved through sublimation and hence little precipitation (in the form of snow) to cover the volcanic ash, which would lower the albedo effect and increase the absorbed warm from insolation – and there would be lots of sunshine with the dry climate to be found on snowball earth. Therefore CO2 is not the only mechanism that could explain the emergence from this state, and could have played only a minimal role, just as it does in modern climate.

  157. mbabbitt says:

    The longer this letter became, the more obviously defensive it seems — along the lines that they protest too much.

  158. Sandy says:

    Just a few minor mistakes. Are they trying to tell us they were only a little bit pregnant.?

  159. scopes says:

    Apparently the band continues to play as the Titanic sinks.

  160. response to Joel Shore:
    Response to Joel Shore:
    Thank you for your interest and the time to write your article in regard to my input about the IPCC. I welcome a good dialog.

    You have indicated that the perturbation time is the relevant issue. But, if the perturbation time is so long as 200 to 1000 years, it would not be possible to have the variations in CO2 levels between the north and southern hemispheres, and the seasonal variation or the day and night variation that occurs. This has been measured repeatedly and the variations certainly do occur. As Segalstat and Essenhigh have pointed out, you could not make beer or soda pop if that were true. I am aware that one molecule of CO2 could remain statistically in the atmosphere for many years, but the aggregate turnover would not.

    Your illustration of the tubs of water is interesting, but I think you are not including the reality. It is not CO 2 to CO2 we are talking about. It is the exchange with the CO2 sinks, which includes the ocean. There is a vast amount of water, and a vast amount of buffer there. The Calcium, magnesium and many other buffer systems come into play. It is not just adding CO2 to water, as you pointed out, but a very complex system not only in the ocean but in the various other sinks. All the sinks are not even known for sure, as much of the CO2 remains unaccounted for. The CO2 and ocean have a ratio of absorbing at 50-1. It does not seem to change much. And out-gasing occurs when the temperature rises, not the other way around. I am afraid my reading indicates that CO2 reaches equilibrium very rapidly with the ocean with only very small changes in ph as a result of the multitude of buffer systems and storage capacity of the ocean.

    I am not a physics major, but I would still like to see the proof that the Stefan-Bolzmann equation applies to gases. Again as you know, CO2 does not store heat. Any energy absorbed by IR is immediately transferred to other molecules including oxygen and nitrogen, etc. Water stores heat, CO2 does not. Most likely the significant IR of about 15 micrometers is being almost maximally absorbed now with the present concentration, and cannot absorb much more, following the log scale. Any extra energy absorbed would likely be from the water as it absorbs at more frequencies. But since the vapor density of water in the atmosphere has apparently decreased, it is not likely to add more heat to the atmosphere.

    I should have indicated that long term feedbacks are rare in nature. Otherwise we have the atom bomb. Short term positive feedbacks occur all the time that is sure. But, inevitably there is a negative balancing force that compensates for it. If a ball is rolled down a hill, a positive feedback, it always meets a valley and the hill on the other side. There is no unending hill. Observations of temperatures over time has not verified the positive feedback that the IPCC is positing. Certainly, if there were such a strong positive long term feedback, then the earth would have burned up by now after those billions of years. The positive feedback hat you mention like sand dunes and wavelets of snow, etc. are always limited. The dunes do not get enormously high and the snow sinks by its own weight and does not get beyond a certain limit before the wind blows it down. Sooner or later, usually sooner, a negative feedback comes into play.

    According to some of the graphs by Sorcese, there has not been a correlation between CO2 levels and the temperature, and most ice studies show that warming occurs first, then the CO2 goes up. So I believe your comments in regard to the ice ages is in dispute. Also you have indicated that the Top scientists in climate have come to their conclusion which is different than mine. True, but there are other top scientists who do not agree with those other top scientists.

  161. Mr Lynn says:

    Joel Shore (18:51:10)
    . . . You are confusing two different things here: The five-year timescale that you talked about is indeed the residence time for a carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere but it is not the relevant time for a decay of a perturbation in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Here’s the picture: The atmosphere + biota + soils + mixed ocean layer are reservoirs for CO2 that have rapid exchange between them. Hence, when you add a certain amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, it quite rapidly partitions between these different reservoirs. However, this tightly coupled subsystem exchanges CO2 only slowly with the deep ocean and that is thus the rate-limiting step for the decay of additional CO2 introduced into this subsystem. . .

    Hmm. . . Seems as though the ‘reservoirs’ will not be static, but dynamic systems themselves, particularly the floral biota, which can respond quite aggressively to increased CO2 in a short time. That’s not only on land, of course, but on the sea surface. I remember someone on this site describing how an acre of growing corn could suck up all the CO2 above it in a few minutes! Increase the CO2 and you’ll get a lot more plants.

    Plants in turn interact with soil, atmosphere, oceans, and animals in dynamic ways, so the static model seems a bit simplistic, to say the least.

    /Mr Lynn

  162. bobby hamill says:

    Anthony

    if any of your readers wish to build there own stevenson screen / cotton region shelter let me know and i will pass on the blueprints to them or give them to you .

    have a great day

    bobby hamill

  163. Binny says:

    I’m reminded of something my high school science teacher said. (a no-nonsense Scotsman) “most questions can be answered in two paragraphs. Don’t give me two pages worth of drivel, it just shows you don’t understand the subject.”

  164. Bill says:

    I’m confused. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it shouted more than once that the IPCC conclusions are a consensus of N thousand climate scientists (I think the last number I heard was 2500, but it seems to shift daily). Why didn’t they just get those guys to sign it, rather than sociologists and conservationists?

  165. Sharpshooter says:

    [snip - let's not speak ill of the dead - Anthony]

  166. Roger Knights says:

    “…the current temperature plateau will very likely not persist much longer.”

    Why do I think of Wily Coyote?

    Bill in Vigo:

    The thousands of unchallenged statements mentioned may need to be challenged. The errors that have thus far been found and studied have been of significant value and in my humble opinion have not been exaggerated. Perhaps when we take the behind the scenes (hidden) statements of the scientists involved in the report in to account it is time for a slate cleaning to restore the trust in the climate science community.

    Yeah — and why didn’t those 2500 peep up about the various glaring errors in the report, if they’re so unsullied? Image-consciousness? Fear of offending the top dogs in Organized Clime?

    ScientistForTruth (07:11:06) :

    Don (05:51:00) :

    “What exactly is a “climate change scientist?””

    Answer: Scientists who have drunk deeply from the wells of Post Normal Science,

    I.e., Mod Scientists.

  167. Roger Knights says:
    The IPCC was founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Programme with a mandate to produce accurate, balanced assessments about human-induced climate change.

    In other words IPCC’s mandate was to prove man-made global warming, not weigh man-made versus natural global warming.

    Not really. The IPCC’s assessment could be “nil” or “beneficial.”

    Robert E. Phelan (10:43:25) :

    No, Sou, we are not prepared to hear any more appeals to authority.

    Or appeals FROM authority.

    Mr Lynn:

    What has to happen is a breakthrough, …. When that happens, it will burst upon the public like a thunderstorm, and the alarmist movement will collapse of its own weight.

    Maybe when the UK Parliamentary Inquiry gets a look at “the rest of the story” — the stuff in the UNreleased UEA e-mails. (“It’s worse than we thought”)

  168. Neil Craig says:

    So Ehrlich is presenting this – a man with a record of promoting dozens of wholly false & often ridiculous alarms (eg that by 2000 everybody living near the sea will have had to move because of the smell of the death of all sea life) & do very well out of it.

    On the other hand it will be interesting to see if a single one of the signatories isn’t paid by the state. The fact that warming alarmism is almost totally limited to people paid by government means it is not, by definition, a “consensu” of scientists.

  169. Solomon Green says:

    I note that all three of the scientists pictured are biologists (as is Professor David Bellamy one of UK’s most famous sceptics).

    Several years ago one of the three university lecturer biologists in our family explained to my wife that the surest way to get a grant to study any biological phenomina was to refer to the problems that might be caused by “Global Warming” as an addendum to the application and the surest way to get a paper considered for publication was to add the words “as affected by climate change” to the title.

    Years ago when I worked in the computer industry those responsible for placing orders knew that they could never be blamed for buying IBM. It was known as the band wagon effect. Am I too cynical in thinking that some, or even many, of those scientists who sign the letter are climbing on a bandwagon?

  170. Jim says:

    ***********
    Joel Shore (18:51:10) :

    You are confusing two different things here: The five-year timescale that you talked about is indeed the residence time for a carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere but it is not the relevant time for a decay of a perturbation in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Here’s the picture: The atmosphere + biota + soils + mixed ocean layer are reservoirs for CO2 that have rapid exchange between them. Hence, when you add a certain amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, it quite rapidly partitions between these different reservoirs. However, this tightly coupled subsystem exchanges CO2 only slowly with the deep ocean and that is thus the rate-limiting step for the decay of additional CO2 introduced into this subsystem.
    ************************
    We don’t care how much CO2 is in the biota+soil+mixed ocean layer – we only care how much is in the atmosphere. Only the CO2 in the atmosphere will cause some warming, not much, but some maybe.

  171. Joel Shore says:

    Jim says:

    We don’t care how much CO2 is in the biota+soil+mixed ocean layer – we only care how much is in the atmosphere. Only the CO2 in the atmosphere will cause some warming…

    Yes, but the way you figure out how much CO2 is going to remain in the atmosphere is to understand how the system that I explained work. I was explaining to “eugene r wynsen md” why the 5-year residence time he quoted is basically irrelevant for figuring how long a perturbation in atmospheric CO2 levels will remain.
    eugene r wynsen md says:

    You have indicated that the perturbation time is the relevant issue. But, if the perturbation time is so long as 200 to 1000 years, it would not be possible to have the variations in CO2 levels between the north and southern hemispheres, and the seasonal variation or the day and night variation that occurs.

    I have seen no evidence whatsoever that any of this is inconsistent with the picture that I described.

    I am aware that one molecule of CO2 could remain statistically in the atmosphere for many years, but the aggregate turnover would not.

    But, why does the “turnover” matter? Whether it is the particular molecule that was produced by fossil fuel burning or exchanged for another one, it is the total level of CO2 in the atmosphere that matters.

    I am afraid my reading indicates that CO2 reaches equilibrium very rapidly with the ocean with only very small changes in ph as a result of the multitude of buffer systems and storage capacity of the ocean.

    Yes, it does reach equilibrium quickly with the upper mixed layer of the ocean, which is why the atmosphere + ocean mixed layer + biota + soils can be described as a rapidly equilibrating subsystem that exchanges CO2 only slowly with the deep oceans.

    Most likely the significant IR of about 15 micrometers is being almost maximally absorbed now with the present concentration, and cannot absorb much more, following the log scale.

    I haven’t a clue what this means. Something following a log scale doesn’t mean it can’t absorb much more. What it means is that the natural way to express the radiative forcing is in terms of how much occurs for a given fractional change in CO2 concentration, rather than a given absolute change. This is why scientists talk in terms of the amount of radiative forcing produced by a doubling of CO2 rather than, say, an increase in CO2 by 100ppm. And, everyone from the IPCC to Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen agree that the radiative forcing for doubling CO2 is in the range of something like 3.6-4.2 W/m^2.

    Any extra energy absorbed would likely be from the water as it absorbs at more frequencies. But since the vapor density of water in the atmosphere has apparently decreased, it is not likely to add more heat to the atmosphere.

    “Apparently” according to who? Both the satellite data and the radiosondes show that upper tropospheric water vapor increases with increasing temperatures when one looks at the normal fluctuations in temperature that occur (e.g., due to ENSO). Over the longer term, the satellite data also shows an upward trend with the general warming; unfortunately, the radiosonde dataset is not considered reliable for such long term trends. (The satellite data also has its issues for long term trends…but it is more reliable, but more importantly, both agree on the general behavior of temperature and water vapor over the shorter term.)

    Short term positive feedbacks occur all the time that is sure. But, inevitably there is a negative balancing force that compensates for it. If a ball is rolled down a hill, a positive feedback, it always meets a valley and the hill on the other side. There is no unending hill.

    Well, yes, it is true that if a system is linearly unstable then it will run off to some other part of phase space where it is no longer linearly unstable. (That is presumably what happened on Venus a long time ago.) However, the feedbacks proposed to govern the climate system in its current state are not strong enough to cause a linear instability. They are only strong enough to magnify the temperature change relative to that which would occur if the change in radiative forcing due to increased greenhouse gases did not result in other things happening (like ice melting, additional water evaporating into the atmosphere, …)

    According to some of the graphs by Sorcese, there has not been a correlation between CO2 levels and the temperature, and most ice studies show that warming occurs first, then the CO2 goes up. So I believe your comments in regard to the ice ages is in dispute.

    In fact, the trend has been that the more detail we seem to learn about past climatic events, the more closely we see the correlation between temperature and CO2 levels. Unfortunately, the really good (ice core) data go back only about 750,000 years. Previous to that, estimates of CO2 and temperatures are less certain and the resolution is coarser, but like I have said, the trend is that as the data has improved, the match between CO2 and temperatures has also improved.

    You are correct that in the past, without humans around to rapidly release large stores of carbon back into the atmosphere, the influx of carbon has tended to occur as a feedback to other climate changes rather than a forcing. Thus, the CO2 has been responsible for the amplification (and likely also the synchronization of the climate changes between the Southern and Northern hemispheres) of the changes that have occurred due to other forcings such as the Milankovitch oscillations in the earth’s orbital parameters.

    Also you have indicated that the Top scientists in climate have come to their conclusion which is different than mine. True, but there are other top scientists who do not agree with those other top scientists.

    …Which is why we have traditionally relied on scientists through organizations like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and other organizations to conduct assessments of science for the public and public officials. In this case, such assessments have been basically unanimous. However, when those assessments contradict what some people are predisposed to believe, those people try to circumvent the process and one way they do this is by trotting out scientists who disagree with the assessment, which of course one can always find about anything. That is what you see being played out here, just as it has been played out with other issues (such as the link between smoking and cancer)….In fact, some of the actors are even the same!

  172. I appreciate you continued feedback.

    Response to Joel Shore: 3-17-10
    It takes about 2 years for the difference in CO2 in the southern hemisphere to equilibrate with the northern Hemisphere, yet you are saying it takes a 1000 years to equilibrate the CO2 perturbations added to the atmosphere by man. Recall that only about 4% of the CO2 generated is anthropogenic, but that does not really account for the “lost CO2” that still goes unaccounted. The total amount of CO 2 in the air is determined by multiple factors, and the amount that can be stored in the oceans in the form of Calcium shells, etc, is enormous. The amount remaining in the air will be determined by the partial pressures, the temperature, and the rate of going into sinks, including the ocean. So that CO2 generated from whatever source may “disappear” in these sinks and be unavailable to the atmosphere. Since the CO2 from man accounts for only 4% of the total CO2 emitted, it is a small amount. It is overshadowed by the water vapor that accounts for 95% of the heat absorbed from IR. Statistically this amount of CO2 is lost in the uncertainty of the “lost CO2”. In the past the CO2 has usually gone in tandem with the temperature, but it is generally accepted that the temp goes up first followed by the rise in CO2. One has to wonder what made the CO2 and temperature go up and down over the millennia, and there was no anthropogenic source of CO2. It was reported that the water content of the atmosphere overall over the past 30 years or so has decreased, rather than increased as would be predicted by the theory that the water vapor will increase with the temperature.

    You have indicated that the doubling of CO2 will result in about 4 watts in energy. That is true on a theoretical basis, but the actually sensitivity to a rise in CO2 is not the same. There come into play the many other forcings, including clouds, aerosols, cosmic rays, changing albedo etc., although many are small and many are unknown, that affect the ultimate result. Current figures are in the range of 0.50 watts, and maybe less, or even negative at times. The clouds seem to be very important, and difficult to pin down and prove. As to the IR being absorbed by CO2, there is only a finite amount of radiation in the 15 micrometer range and most of it is already being absorbed. Adding more CO2 will not result in much more rise in temperature. IR has limited energy, and cannot push the system to ever increasing temps. Four molecules of CO2 will need to heat 10,000 other molecules as well. However, a good bit of the heating comes from conduction from the earth which is heated by the short rays. And most of the heating comes from water vapor. The greenhouse effect does not apply to the atmosphere, as it is a different mechanism

    In observing the 4.5 billion year that this planet has existed, there have been many changes in the temperature and CO2 etc. But, also it is apparent that there is an inherent stability in the system. The negative balancing forces have worked well, even if we don’t know what they all are. It is very unscientific in my judgment to say that since CO2 has gone up, therefore that IS the reason for the temperature rise. We are exiting from a Little Ice age, and in reality the temperature has been heating up since the glaciers were a mile high over Cleveland and Chicago.

    I am disappointed to learn that the PSA has proclaimed its point of view, but did not actually poll all its members, and it is clear that at least 160 of them do not agreed with that view. It only takes one proof that a theory is wrong to destroy it no matter how many supporting findings there are. To cite the current cliché, one does not determine science by vote. It is frequently implied that these dissenters are somehow deficient in knowledge and the majority is obviously superior. I don’t agree with that point of view. As you know the IPCC was originated to prove that the temperature rise was due to anthropogenic causes, not to find out the cause or causes. But in fairness the first report indicated there was no proof for that. With a stroke of the pen, Ben Santer changed it. Is that what science is all about?

  173. Jim says:

    **********************
    Joel Shore (17:17:51) :
    Any extra energy absorbed would likely be from the water as it absorbs at more frequencies. But since the vapor density of water in the atmosphere has apparently decreased, it is not likely to add more heat to the atmosphere.

    “Apparently” according to who? Both the satellite data and the radiosondes show that upper tropospheric water vapor increases with increasing temperatures when one looks at the normal fluctuations in temperature that occur (e.g., due to ENSO). Over the longer term, the satellite data also shows an upward trend with the general warming; unfortunately, the radiosonde dataset is not considered reliable for such long term trends. (The satellite data also has its issues for long term trends…but it is more reliable, but more importantly, both agree on the general behavior of temperature and water vapor over the shorter term.)
    ***********************
    The missing piece here is the knock-on effect of more water vapor. Does this lead to more clouds that then reflect more incoming radiation?

  174. Response to Joel Shore and Dr. Wynsen,

    I appreciate the constructive dialog between scientist with different backgrounds and use technical terms to mean different things, both seeking the truth. I retired from EPA 19 years ago after doing research in environment science for over 20 years. I worked with MDs, statisticians, economists, engineers, computer programmers, meteorologists, plant pathologist, physicist, and atmospheric chemists. I have coauthored publications with many. The past few years I have been deeply concerned about subjective research being used for political purposes or to promote a particular agenda. I have spent a lot of time analyzing as much data as I can download trying to find the truth. I am still working with it. Last year I put a pdf presentation on my web site and posted the URL on several blogs including this one in hopes that I could get some critical peer review. I was moderated out of the AGW blogs and most of my responses from others were favorable but were not indepth critical reviews. You two seem to be qualified to find mistakes in my analysis and give me suggestions for improving it. If you are inclined and are able to spend some time, go to http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf. My email address can be found on My website.

  175. Smokey says:

    Fred H. Haynie (07:27:03),

    I re-read your pdf on the Future of Global Climate Change just this morning, before you posted your comment above. I’ve had it saved, and have read it several times since you posted it months ago.

    I recommend that everyone click on it and read your excellent analysis, which debunks the notion that CO2 is something to be seriously worried about.

    Kudos for producing such a well researched paper. The graphs are excellent. Skeptical work like yours should be getting the government and university grants, instead of our taxpayer funds being wasted on the bogus IPCC, Michael Mann, CRU, WWF, etc., propaganda that masquerades as legitimate science these days.

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