Amazongate proven: IPCC based their claim of rainforest sensitivity on a “probably” sentence in a now defunct activist website

There’s been lots of whooping and celebrating by the warmist crowd lately over the retraction by the Sunday Times Jonathan Leake story about Amazongate.

The claim was that the sensitivity to rainfall reduction was based on peer reviewed literature. I’m here to tell you that claim is totally unsupportable, I’ll even go so far as to call the claim “bogus”, it is that bad. The proof lies in the screencap below:

click to enlarge - yellow highlight added

Excerpts from what Christopher Booker writes in his latest Telegraph Column:

Last week, after six months of evasions, obfuscation, denials and retractions, a story which has preoccupied this column on and off since January came to a startling conclusion. It turns out that one of the most widely publicised statements in the 2007 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a claim on which tens of billions of dollars could hang – was not based on peer-reviewed science, as repeatedly claimed, but originated solely from anonymous propaganda published on the website of a small Brazilian environmental advocacy group.

The ramifications of this discovery stretch in many directions. First, it seems to show that the IPCC – whose reports governments rely on to justify presenting mankind with the largest bill in history – has been in serious breach of its own rules.

The document cited by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), which it later described, after a full internal inquiry, as a “report”, proved remarkably difficult to track down. Since then, both the WWF and Dr Nepstad have cited other papers in support of their claim – but none of these provided any support for the specific claim about the impact of climate change made by the IPCC.

The original read: “Probably 30-40 per cent of the forests of the Brazilian Amazon are sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall.” This was hyped up in the final drafting of the IPCC report, to claim that “up to 40 per cent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation”. “Brazilian Amazon” – only around half the total rainforest area – was changed to include the entire forest. The word “sensitive” was changed to “react drastically”. And the original IPAM note had made no mention at all of climate change.

Please visit Booker’s article, to read the full story and to show support.

The Sunday Times piece (now retracted) was originally headlined “UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim”, though this headline was later changed on the website version. It said the 40% destruction figure was based on an “unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise”.

That headline and claim has been borne out by facts. The Sunday Times should put the story back up, and retract their retraction. Leake had it right and the editors simply caved to pressure without doing a thorough investigation to see if his claim was supportable. It took bloggers like Dr. Richard North to do the job the Sunday Times would not do, even to save their own credibility.

The screencap above showing the proof of source to the IPCC claim via the WWF report was located by Dr. Richard North of the EU Referendum (with the help of commenter Gareth on that blog), thanks to the “Wayback Machine“, an archive of Internet web pages. I won’t provide the link here for the old IPAM web page, as I don’t want to overload the service, but you can see the IPAM web pages archived in the Wayback Machine search results page below:

click to enlarge

North writes:

As it stands, this is the only known source of this sentence. There is no author identified, the provenance of the web page is not identified and not in any possible way could this be considered “peer reviewed”. It has no academic or scientific merit – yet it is this on which the WWF and IPCC apparently rely.

What is also particularly important is that the IPCC uses the sentence, which it modifies slightly, to argue: “this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state, not necessarily producing gradual changes between the current and the future situation.”

Meanwhile, real peer reviewed literature, published just this week, supports the idea that the Amazon is not all that sensitive to rainfall reduction:

Press Release from the Max Planck Institute

“We were surprised to find that the primary production in the tropics is not so strongly dependent on the amount of rain,” says Markus Reichstein. “Here, too, we therefore need to critically scrutinize the forecasts of some climate models which predict the Amazon will die as the world gets drier.”

Read all about it here:

CO2 field experiment likely to cause “do-over” for climate models

As for the sorry state of incompetence at the IPCC and their claims using WWF literature, Shub Niggurath suggested last week that no peer reviewed science references on the issue existed in first and second order IPCC drafts:

More importantly, contrary to what many have suggested, it does not seem, that a statement was formulated assessing all available literature at the time. The sentence in question remained virtually unchanged through the drafts (except for the ‘drastic’ addition), it referred to the same WWF report through three different versions.

Well worth a visit to his site.

The WWF, in my view, is a poison pill for respectable science. They should be avoided for any references in peer reviewed papers and in journalism.

This whole complaint forcing the Sunday Times into a retraction is a made up crisis, and it’s CYA bullshit of the highest order. Readers know that I don’t use that term in posts often, or lightly. In fact, I can’t recall the last time I used it in a story.

WUWT readers should make this IPCC folly known at other websites in comments. They wanted a debate, they wanted a retraction, well they got it. Now it is time for them to admit they supported a flawed premise based on shoddy activist driven “science”.


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118 thoughts on “Amazongate proven: IPCC based their claim of rainforest sensitivity on a “probably” sentence in a now defunct activist website

  1. “probably sensitive” could mean anything, including–there would be a barely detectable effect. It does not obviously mean the rainforest would wither away and die. Likewise “more and more common” could mean simply 5% more common, for an already rare event of drying enough to burn–you would barely be able to detect it. This is what is called “handwaving” to make something look alarming. That is all. It is not a scientific assessment. “might” “more” “possibly” “probably”

  2. And still, 40% of Brazilian rainforest is only 20% of Amazonian rainforest. Not only did the IPCC base their claim on an environmental advocacy group but they even doubled the figure.

  3. They will go on denying they made a mistake and the train will go full steam towards its miserable fate from here. Good Riddance, IPCC, we had so much fun together.

  4. Craig Loehle @ July 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm says:

    “probably sensitive” could mean anything, including–there would be a barely detectable effect. It does not obviously mean the rainforest would wither away and die …

    Craig, yes – you are absolutely right. And if you read round the passage which Anthony has so helpfully marked, you will see the context of the sensitivity – the increase vulnerability to fire. Yet the IPCC has chosen this (mis)represent this as creating a “switching point”, turning the forest into savannah.

  5. ““Probably 30-40 per cent of the forests of the Brazilian Amazon are sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall.””

    Probably?? well gee whiz, so is a corn field.

    and people actually get paid for this? I’m surprised they didn’t lift it from a Disney brochure.

  6. Talk about an organization created to advance an agenda:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm

    They collect, and distribute, scary stories.

    They even go so far as to say: “It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.”

    So, they can yell FIRE in a crowded theatre, and not be responsible for the outcome.

    A politicians dream.

  7. Oh, those poor trees! They sure seem to be “reacting drastically”. This was obviously a very reliable document. Trees with such sad faces wouldn’t lie.

  8. I was listening to an interview of the host for “On the Media,” and part of the discussion turned to how the new non-commercial media won’t be able to do the in-depth spade work that the well-funded media has done up to now. Between climategate and the IPCC screwups, I think we can make a decent case that lots of volunteer prying eyes can equal a few paid prying eyes, at least in cases where the information is somewhere on the public net.

    I hope the folks at the Sunday Times are feeling rather embarrassed.

  9. My my Anthony, this has got your feathers ruffled, dander up, and “them’s fighten words” warrior geared up for battle! And make no mistake, words can be every bit as good as a shot across the bow.

  10. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when George chairs the upcoming CC debate!
    He and Mr Brooker have crossed swords many, many times before and GM may have to retract his recent rainforest triumphalism.
    References to MP Stringers latest offerings may also give rise to uncomfortable seat-wriggling on the chair.
    Oh, and to cap it all, SMc will be there too.
    Keep a close eye on BishopHill and ClimateAudit , as well as WUWT, get the popcorn in, it’s going to get very interesting soon.

  11. RoyFOMR says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm
    “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when George chairs the upcoming CC debate![...]”

    The George that they call The Bat Of The Moon?

  12. DirkH says:
    July 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    RoyFOMR says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm
    “I’d love to be a fly on the wall when George chairs the upcoming CC debate![...]”

    The George that they call The Bat Of The Moon?

    ‘Tis him, Dirk, the very one,
    his lunar sheen reflects the sun
    with daytime attitude upside down
    it’s scribblings that reveal the clown
    Get the popcorn in enjoy the fun’

  13. I SO hope the Sunday Times will have the balls (not to mention good sense) to “retract the retraction.” As Anthony said: thanks to Booker, the work has been done for them. Surely it is better to look sloppy – and silly – for having made the original retraction, rather than continuing to look to the generally unenlightened as deniers-come-clean. If they do not meet their moral obligation to retract the retraction, it will just be yet another case of “the debate is settled” regardless of the latest proof to the contrary. Come on, Sunday Times! Make like journalists again!

  14. Alas, such bogus “science” hits the scene easily and rises quickly in stature and effect, but it takes quite a while for such things to be properly refuted and discredited. Unfortunately, along the way, those who criticize the bad work and malfeasance are themselves criticized mercilessly for being being “deniers” and evil at the core. Not sure how to fix that problem.

  15. Anthony,

    WUWT readers should make this IPCC folly known at other websites in comments. They wanted a debate, they wanted a retraction, well they got it. Now it is time for them to admit they supported a flawed premise based on shoddy activist driven “science”.

    I would ask only one thing, and that is you should employ the term ‘propagandists’ instead of ‘activists,’ inasmuch as that’s really what they are.

    Unbiased activism is neutral in its thrust, in that it seeks to reveal the truth of matters, rather than push for a political outcome only.

  16. It takes a twisted mind to rail against the deforestation of the Amazon but then also push sugar cane for ethonol as being a priority.
    We are still seeing ethanol treated as a fuel that doesn’t emit CO2.

    I had read about this article it seems a week ago. How is the WWF holding up? Are they at some point going to be seen as the joke they look like and find their donations dry up?

  17. The claim was that the sensitivity to rainfall reduction was based on peer reviewed literature. I’m here to tell you that claim is totally unsupportable

    Actually, the literature goes further than ’40%’, about half the forests are vulnerable to the types of reduction in rainfall projected for the Amazon …..

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been recently criticized in media coverage (e.g. Sunday times) for presenting inaccurate information on the susceptibility of the forests of the Amazon Basin to rainfall reduction in its fourth assessment. The statement that has drawn the criticism reads as follows:
    “Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state, not necessarily producing gradual changes between the current and the future situation (Rowell and Moore, 2000).” (IPCC 2007, Magrin et al. 2007)
    The Rowell and Moore review report that is cited as the basis of this IPCC statement cites an article that we published in the journal Nature in 1999 as the source for the following statement:
    “Up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall. In the 1998 dry season, some 270,000 sq. km of forest became vulnerable to fire, due to completely depleted plant-available water stored in the upper five metres of soil. A further 360,000 sq. km of forest had only 250 mm of plant-available soil water left.[Nepstad et al. 1999]” (Rowell and Moore 2000)
    The IPCC statement on the Amazon is correct, but the citations listed in the Rowell and Moore report were incomplete. (The authors of this report interviewed several researchers, including the author of this note, and had originally cited the IPAM website where the statement was made that 30 to 40% of the forests of the Amazon were susceptible to small changes in rainfall). Our 1999 article (Nepstad et al. 1999) estimated that 630,000 km2 of forests were severely drought stressed in 1998, as Rowell and Moore correctly state, but this forest area is only 15% of the total area of forest in the Brazilian Amazon. In another article published in Nature, in 1994, we used less conservative assumptions to estimate that approximately half
    of the forests of the Amazon depleted large portions of their available soil moisture during seasonal or episodic drought
    (Nepstad et al. 1994). After the Rowell and Moore report was released in 2000, and prior to the publication of the IPCC AR4, new evidence of the full extent of severe drought in the Amazon was available. In 2004, we estimated that half of the forest area of the Amazon Basin had either fallen below, or was very close to, the critical level of soil moisture below which trees begin to die in 1998. This estimate incorporated new rainfall data and results from an experimental reduction of rainfall in an Amazon forest that we had conducted with funding from the US National Science Foundation (Nepstad et al. 2004). Field evidence of the soil moisture critical threshold is presented in Nepstad et al. 2007.
    In sum, the IPCC statement on the Amazon was correct. The report that is cited in support of the IPCC statement (Rowell and Moore 2000) omitted some citations in support of the 40% value statement.

    http://www.ipam.org.br/biblioteca (Select English rather than Portuguese, unless you happen to be fluent….)

    Dead horse, guys.

    REPLY: Phil as usual, you conflate issues. The issue here is that IPCC relied on an opinion written on an activist website, with no author, no references, no attribution…zero zilch nada. That issue is proven without a doubt, but you go off on tangents, even in the face of other, new peer reviewed research (Planck) says there’s not much of an issue.

    I dub you “grand obfuscator”. Are you on an NGO payroll? -A

  18. Christopher Booker seems to remember that most important injunction from the Watergate fiasco — follow the money. Just think of that $60 billion windfall from carbon credits just waiting to be “harvested” from the Amazon.

  19. Anthony,
    Dr North has without doubt been the driving force behind this expose, but I’m sure he would not mind me pointing out that a contributor to his blog called ‘Gareth’ actually uncovered the old web page.

  20. I would say that Dr. Simon Lewis’ 31 page complaint is well worth the re-reading:

    http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Lewis_S_Times_PCC_Complaint_As_Sent1.pdf

    In short, there is no “bogus rainforest claim”, the claim made by the UN panel was (and is) well-known, mainstream and defensible science, as myself and two other professional world-class rainforest experts (Professor Oliver Phillips and Professor Dan Nepstad) each told Jonathan Leake.

    …. the Sunday Times published inaccurate, misleading and distorted information which would lead any reasonable person to assume that the UN report had included information that was not backed by the best scientific information available at the time….

    … the Sunday Times used my expertise to lend credibility to the assertion, due in part to the concealment of my views that the statement in question was fully in line with scientific knowledge at the time the IPCC report was written…

    I’m having a hard time deciding if the Sunday Times misrepresented Dr. Lewis’ views, but it seems to me that as an expert on the Amazon Dr. Lewis not only should have known but in fact did know that the views he expressed were not grounded in reality and were factually inaccurate. There is a word that covers that….

  21. What gets me about this affair more than anything else is that they thought they could get away with it. Its like they assumed the game had not changed – that the three panels’ verdicts have calmed the ruffled waters and, with old crew now restored, its time to get back to the same old narrative.

    I hope they don’t succeed, but you’ve got to admit they got big, clangey brass ones.

  22. Jud
    It is Gareth, not Gerald. ;)

    Phil Clarke
    Why do you repeat the same claims over again?

    Upper soil moisture depletion is not the same as ‘drastic’ changes. The Amazon deep root system will take care of that.

    Nepstad et al in their drought simulation exercise – which has major caveats everyone always forgets, show that a multi-year drought (3-4 years) will take out the big trees and the top canopy.

    If the IPCC wishes to cite this paper, they should withdraw the original unsubstantiated statement and issue a newer, better one.

  23. The “evil” side of this sorry saga is the willingness of the spinners to create a “truth” and attack with vigor and have the satisfaction of the media doing a “we got it wrong” retraction – job well done and dusted, or so they thought.
    That could have been the final result if it weren’t for some sceptical checking and research to reveal the “real truth” and one of the reasons that the liars and political spinners hate sceptical sites and the network of sites that is continually doing the world media’s work for the background research and instant spread of the real news.

    No wonder that in the hidden agenda of many governments there are those that seek to cripple or disrupt the ability of the internet to convey the message so ordinary people can read, consider, and make up their own minds rather than submit to official propaganda.

    To all volunteers who take the time, thanks for your diligence and kindness and Anthony keep up the good work in getting this information out there.!

  24. No no, this was NOT an error by the IPCC. This was deliberate alarmism and not for the only time in the AR’s. It all started with Santers “discernable human influence” chapter 8 scandal in the late 90′s.
    The 0,1,2 order draft reviews are worthless when alterations are made after the fact.

  25. Phil as usual, you conflate issues. The issue here is that IPCC relied on an opinion written on an activist website, with no author, no references, no attribution…zero zilch nada. That issue is proven without a doubt,

    In which case it is a non-issue, as Lewis, Nepstad and the WWF have conceded that the referencing was sloppily done. But conflating that issue with the reality of what the literature says is the real obfustication.

    “I AM the co-author of the WWF report that you alleged included the bogus figure that “up to 40%” of the Amazon was sensitive to reduced rainfall.

    Not only did you fail to contact me, but you ignored credible evidence that the figure was correct. You also ignored evidence that the figure had been backed up by peer-reviewed research both before and after our publication.

    You spoke to Dr Dan Nepstad, one of the world’s leading authorities on fire in the Amazon. You ignored the fact he told you he had published an even higher figure in Nature in 1994 and that subsequent research validated our figure. What you published was demonstrably false and has seriously misled the debate on climate change.

    Andy Rowell, href=”http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7017878.ece”>letter to the Times.

    “The IPCC statement is basically correct but poorly written, and bizarrely referenced. It is very well known that in Amazonia, tropical forests exist when there is more than about 1.5 metres of rain a year, below that the system tends to ‘flip’ to savannah. Indeed, some leading models of future climate change impacts show a die-off of more than 40% Amazon forests, due to projected decreases in rainfall. The most extreme die-back model predicted that a new type of drought should begin to impact Amazonia, and in 2005 it happened for the first time: a drought associated with Atlantic, not Pacific sea surface temperatures.

    The effect on the forest was massive tree mortality, and the remaining Amazon forests changed from absorbing nearly two billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere a year, to being a massive source of over three billion tonnes

    Letter from Simon Lewis to the BBC

    As Harrabin says: So, it appears that, unlike in the case of “Glaciergate”, the IPCC’s science may be right but its referencing wrong.

    Amazongate proven?

  26. In what can only be considered extremely poor timing, Media Matters has joined 12 other clean energy and progressive organizations to form a coalition to push for journalists and boards of directors at news companies to formally apologize for writing about Climategate. One of the 13 coalition members is the WWF which is the organization that obfuscated the attempt by North and Booker, to find the original reference material used by the IPCC for its 40% destruction claim for the Amazon. The WWF has seriously damaged any credibility that this bakers dozen thought it had and has reduced the coalition to half-baked hypocrites which will now surely be dismissed by journalists as politically driven kooks. The 13 seem to have successfully suppressed most of the Climategate news from being covered by US media, but no one trusts US media anymore on climate issues. The 13 are furious that the foreign press gave news coverage to Climategate and the 13 will only damage their credibility further if they attack the press IMO.

  27. I know, german is hard to translate. But I rediscovered a 2001 story from the German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ here, dealing with the issue:

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&u=http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-18700469.html&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhjcuUOZ4DzHFfftrlZnm00xNyavQQ

    German Original:

    http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/image/show.html?did=18700469&aref=image024/E0110/SCSP200101101680182.pdf&thumb=false

    “Bereits 1978 hatten Wissenschaftler des INPA-Instituts in Belém eine komplette
    Vernichtung des brasilianischen Dschungels zum Jahre 2003 prognostiziert. Die Regenwaldmörder müssten allerdings enorm zulegen – noch immer stehen 87 Prozent
    der Bäume.”

    (“Already in 1978 scientits from the INPA in Belem predicted the complete extermination of the brazilian jungle until 2003. The murderers of the rain forest however would need to speed up tremendously – 87% of the trees are still standing.”)

  28. Those are some strange trees they have in the Amazon. If there’s a drought, will they still be able to throw apples at Dorothy?

  29. No one has mentioned what rainfall has occured since 1998 in the Amazon Basin. I would venture an ass-of-the-pants guess that it has been plentiful. It seems to me the statements regarding the vulnerability of the forest to no rain is a bit like stating that frost and heavy snowfall would probably harm a banana crop. Even if its been peer rubber stamped its a straw man that has more to do with me-too funding for agw research. Shame on te actual team that took a small tract of the forest and deprived it of water.

  30. There is a 50% probability that the rainfall in the Amazon will be lower next year than this year! Oh, My! A catastrophe! /sarc
    (Give Me A Break!)

  31. They are like cockroaches in a dirty kitchen who run when the lights are switched on. Beware – they’re only looking for a dark place to hide until the lights go out again. KEEP THE LIGHTS ON!

  32. “…..as the world gets drier.”

    Where are they saying the water will go? The earth is a closed system. The water isn’t going anywhere outside of the earth. As Roy Spencer has shown (among others) as the earth warms precipitation increases.

  33. I would like to see the growing checklist of all the ‘-gates’ related to the new $cience of Lieingtology. What are we up to now – a half-dozen or so?

  34. This is kind of off topic, but something in the amazon artical made me wonder what would cause the world to be drier?

    Its assumed by the AGW crowd, that warm = bad = drier
    and that colder = good = wetter?

    Has there been any research done which investigates whether a warmer climate will actually cause drier weather? You know scientific method, actual field work, no computer models involved, researched facts, i.e. someone who poses a Theory, investigates in the real world, does traditional science and lets the facts talk for themselves, even if the facts disprove the theory.

    If the climate is warmer, won’t there be more evaporation, more clouds, and more rain overall?

    If it is colder won’t there be less rain (more water which is locked up as ice), less evaporation and drier conditions?

    If you look at the historial record (i.e. human history as far back as it goes and geological research), you would find that the middle east was a vast producer of food, (the fertile green cresent) the Sahara was smaller, the tree lines around the Arctic were further north.

    People see the middle east today and assume that its always had its present climate, but looking at the ancient civilisations which originate in that area, they would not have risen if they could not support themselves in local environment.

    So what research has been done?

  35. To put the no-rain stress on the ARF in perspective, the forest is 55 million yrs old. In a former incarnation Amazon R was the westward flowing extension of the Congo R before the Jurassic breakup of gondwanaland into the continents. Moreover, during the ice ages, the climate was drier in the region (take note all you rain forest specialists – cold and drier, warm and wetter- even the expert can learn something new) and savanna forest took over. The wetter conditions that followed melting of the glaciers, resulted in re-establishment of the rain forest. Now do you all still think a dry year or two or a little warm cold spell is going to wipe out this “robust” survivor?

  36. Unless and until Railroad Bill Pachauri is excreted from his parakeet’s perch atop the scrofulous UN IPCC, the “state of sorry incompetence” resulting from “CYA BS” (Mr. Watts has finally let fly here) will not only persist but will prevail.

    If the pathetic Ban Ki-moon, whose fatuous pronunciamento in mid-September 2009 (“earth will become a baking desert by New Year’s Day 2010 if … [the horrible, exploitative Western world] doesn’t contribute $10-trillion dollars [yes, trillion] NOW”) caused barely a frisson among the cognoscenti, can’t fire Pachauri, let’s put up somebody who can.

    Then it’s out with Moon himself as Bumwad-in-Chief, followed in short order by dissolution of his vicious, violent, kleptocratic, endlessly dissembling organization. Nothing anyone can say does justice to the scope of these extraordinarily corrupt and malfeasant poseurs, whose extra-legal prerogatives blast democratic sovereignties at their very root.

  37. Peter Walker UK says:
    July 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    If it is colder won’t there be less rain (more water which is locked up as ice), less evaporation and drier conditions?

    =======================================

    Spot on. And ice core samples from “ice age” times in Earth’s history yield more dust and particulates.

    The planet as a whole is drier and windier during such times.

    On a more recent timeline, when the PDO flips cold, there is less upward motion in the Pacific…and California dries out.

    As Joe Bastardi likes to point out, the fires in Cali in recent years past were not because of “Global Warming” as Governor “Arnolt” was mistakenly saying.

    They were because of drought because of cool water and sinking air (high pressure) in the means.

    This ridiculously stupid myth about the “warming world” means drier conditions…is just getting old.

    But when I look at the head of the IPCC, when I see Michael Mann with his half-sneer, behaving not like a scientist, but like a narcissist, then it becomes plainly obvious:

    The fatal flaw in the whole CAGW activist movement (and it really is an activist movement) is that there is this witches brew of less than honourable individuals, political activist rhetoric, and sham science.

    I say let them play themselves out into utter foolish oblivion.

    Pass the popcorn….

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  38. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm
    [--snip--]
    Amazongate proven?

    Why, yes, Phil, yes: It’s been proven, and painfully so.

    It’s painful that you’re in denial.

    You see? That we –the rest of us– should have to keep reminding you of the facts, is, well, a rather painful exercise in repetition.

    Do tell: Where is YOUR proof to say that what was presented in the name of the WWF/IPCC, is in fact THE TRUTH of the matter?

    More to the point: Is your opinion worth more than mere scientific fact?

    And if so, just how would that be?

  39. u.k.(us) says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm
    Talk about an organization created to advance an agenda:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm

    Clearly the IPCC was created to give legitimacy to the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 was causing the Earth to warm, and would lead to catastrophic conclusions if allowed to continue. The aim was not to investigate the hypothesis, in order to falsify or verify it, but to amass as much ‘evidence’ from the literature—any literature, as it turns out—as necessary to give government leaders the impression that the scientific ‘consensus’ was overwhelming and that immediate and drastic action was necessary.

    That action was create a global regime that would ultimately control the energy and resources of the entire planet, a ‘global governance’, under the auspices of the UN or some successor entity. This was an essentially statist goal, disguised as a reaction to an ‘environmental’ crisis of mankind’s making.

    The IPCC is just the handmaiden of a statist movement led by ideologues. Since its influence can now be felt in every capital of the world, in all the halls of government and academia, instigating and inspiring any number of policies and programs that further the aims of its founders, it must be accounted a remarkable—and frightening—success.

    The IPCC must be stopped. The discovery of the shoddy nature of its documentation, ‘evidence’, and conclusions is a useful step toward discrediting this clearly unscientific, rogue organization. But the next step has to be to work for its total and complete elimination.

    As elections in the USA grow closer, I suggest we let our candidates know that among the most important factors influencing our votes will be whether the Congress should continue to allow our tax monies to support the IPCC, dedicated as it is to ignoring science in favor of advocating a political agenda that is against human progress, against human freedom, and anti-human.

    /Mr Lynn

  40. Over 2,500 scientific expert reviewers chaired by the gentleman who urged: “People can have confidence in the IPCC conclusions… Given that it is all on the basis of peer-reviewed literature” _ Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chairman, June 2008
    The facts, on the other hand, are that of 18,513 references in the 2007 IPCC report 5,587 are not peer-reveiwed. Those 2,500 scientific expert reviewers are frauds – every one of them.

  41. Gary Pearse is absolutely right when he says.

    Moreover, during the ice ages, the climate was drier in the region (take note all you rain forest specialists – cold and drier, warm and wetter- even the expert can learn something new) and savanna forest took over. The wetter conditions that followed melting of the glaciers, resulted in re-establishment of the rain forest.

    The tropical rain forests shrank dramatically during the lce Ages, as a result of a combination of cooler (therefore less evaporation) and lower rainfall.

    If the Earth’s temperature does rise a degree or two, there will be more evaporation, more water vapour in the atmosphere and therefore probably more rainfall in the tropical rainforest regions.

    I don’t need a highly dubious computer model using GIGO data to come to that conclusion.

    I have personal experience with only one area of rain forest and that was in Venezuela. Here the soils were incredibly thick – over 75 metres to bedrock. The soils were damp all the way down and although not a conventional aquifer, they were a huge source of water. There has recently been a severe drought in Venezuela, but no reports of the rain forest dying. Put another way, the depth of soil may be more important than rainfall variations for the fragility or otherwise of the rain forest – just one of many important factors not considered in the models.

    This is all a stupid scare story designed to appeal the simple minded.

  42. Over on CA, Roger Pielke Jr says:

    ” Roger Pielke, Jr.
    Posted Jul 11, 2010 at 12:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Shub et al., I think that you might want to track down this document:

    Nobre, C.A., Assad, E.D. and Oyama, M.D., Mudança ambiental no Brasil: o impacto do aquecimento global nos ecossistemas da Amazônia e na agricultura, Scientific American (Brazilian Edition), Edição Especial n. 12.

    I see that it is cited as follows:

    http://www.switchurbanwater.eu/outputs/pdfs/CBEL_PAP_Uncertainties_and_risks_to_urban_waters_BH.pdf

    “Nevertheless, according to Nobre et al. (2005), the existing studies suggest that an increase of 2 C to 3 C in average temperature may lead to a reduction of trees by up to 25% in the “cerrado” area (savannah) and by up to 40% in the Amazonian forest, before the end of the 21st century.”

    This document — not online as far as I can tell and in Portuguese — is cited immediately before the relevant sentence in question in the IPCC WGII Ch. 13 and Nobre is also a lead author of that chapter, suggesting that he may have wrote that section.

    Were I to be laying odds, I’d say that there is a good chance that the origins of the “forty percent of the Amazonian forests . . .” claim can be found in Nobre et al. rather than the WWF trail pursued by North (though there of course could be a common origin).

    If anyone has access to Nobre et al. 2005, would be interesting to see what it actually says.”

  43. Peter Miller says:
    July 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm
    [--snip for brevity--] This is all a stupid scare story designed to appeal the simple minded.

    Well, yes. Yes, that true!

    Remember this well:
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    H. L. Mencken

  44. 899, that is a truly brilliant quote which exactly sums up the politics of today’s climate ‘science’.

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

  45. Never forget that in the UK the main reason the whole climate change saga rumbles on is because the BBC is institutionally bias in favour of it happening.

    We all know the majority of politicians are too stupid and scared to challenge the status quo but the BBC is meant to provide both sides of any argument but fails on this issue miserably.

    The only flicker of hope is that after all these years of ‘Warmist’ propaganda the British public are still fairly sceptical about climate change.

  46. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    … Indeed, some leading models of future climate change impacts show a die-off of more than 40% Amazon forests, due to projected decreases in rainfall…

    Ah yes, I wondered if anyone would bring this up.

    Did you ever go check out the published material relating to the “leading models of future climate change”? Such as this one: http://springerlink.metapress.com/content/5ya2xh872g25fglt/

    Papers like these do indeed make projections of permanent drought for Amazonia, with rainfall massively lower than today. Looking at some of their graphs, they basically project a permanent El-Nino state. I can well believe that the Amazon rainforest would be severely impacted by such a state of permanent drought. This is hardly a “small reduction in rainfall”!

    Whether these “leading climate models” are closer to reality than the typical Harry Potter novel is the real question. These papers admit that there are some deficiencies in their models – such as producing 20% LESS rainfall when they model TODAY’S climate. What about the model deficiencies that they DON’T know about?

    All this is against a background which shows remarkably stable annual rainfall figures over the 20th century for Amazonia, despite the increase in global temperatures over the same period.

    Which do you believe, hard data or fantasy climate games?

  47. The Nepstad et al study forecasting that most of the Amazon forest would be gone by 2030, after reaching a “tipping point” by the combined effect of climate change, fires and deforestation, relies indeed on several unwarranted assumptions, as other such catastrophic scenarios for the forest.
    To begin with, the very same IPCC 2007 report foresees INCREASED precipitation over the Amazon as a consequence of foreseen climate change (see WG1 Fig.11.15, http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/fig-11-15.jpg., and Technical Summary Fig.TS30, http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/ts30.jpg). No tendency towards more drought is envisaged.
    Some authors have speculated that the establishment of a permanent El Niño in the ENSO would reduce rainfall over the Amazon, but there is actually no evidence of any trend in El Niño related to climate change (as acknowledged in the IPCC AR4); all simulations trying to produce such persistent El Niño condition, e.g. by Guilyardi et al )see reference below), have so far failed even if CO2 concentrations are forced above 10 times their preindustrial levels, and nothing remotely of the sort is predicted to happen in the near future. The impact of deforestation on the hydrological cycle has not been detected by careful comparative examination of pristine vs deforested river basins (see Linhares et al 2007, reference below). Deforestation itself is rapidly decreasing, and occurring mostly at the non-rainforest borders of the Amazon basin. Normal precipitation over the rainforest part of the basin is about 3000-3500 mm/yr, without a dry season; drier years do not cause dryness but a decrease in that abundant precipitation (there are more significant effects on the Cerrado part of the basin, which is not a rainforest).
    More details in my recent paper on the future of the Amazon forest, not yet published by available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1509603.

    References:
    Linhares, C.A.; J.V. Soares; D.S. Alves; D.A. Roberts & C.D. Rennó, 2007. Deforestation and hydrology dynamics in Ji-Paraná river basin, Brazil. Anais XIII Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto [Proceedings of the XIII Brazilian Symposium on Remote Sensing], Florianópolis, Brasil, 21-26 April 2007, INPE, pp. 6799-6806.
    Guilyardi, Eric, 2006. El Niño–mean state–seasonal cycle interactions in a multi-model ensemble. Climate Dynamics 26:329-348.
    Guilyardi, Eric, A.Wittenberg, A.Fedorov, M.Collins, C.Wang, A.Capotondi, G.J. van Oldenborgh & T.Stockdale, 2009. Understanding El Niño in Ocean-Atmosphere General Circulation Models: progress and challenges. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~ericg/publications.html.

  48. Let me equally engage in some speculation, which appears to be the favorite pass of time of the IPCC report designers, this is my guess on the making of.

    PR consultant: So what is the message you want to bring across?
    Scientist: Well, all we want to do is report on the current status of our knowledge of climate change really.
    PR consultant: So how is that going to reduce CO2 levels?
    No this technical stuff full of caveats is of no use, every child now knows it is the CO2 so lets not dwell on that. Science may be your cup off tea, writing summaries is definitely not. I have taken the liberty to level with the leadership and ran a google query, very usefull stuff indeed, readable and quite alarming, that will wake up some politicians! This Himalaya glacier research is really an eyeopener, not to mention the Amazone burn down research, must be good stuff, even the WWF support it. And the image of lagune islands beingwashed away, that should knock out the sceptics who just want to stand by the side watch the world go down. We have a mission remember, our very name says it, Climate Change so lets focus on the change issues.

    The lessons to be learned:
    Beware when PR and science come together.
    Beware even more when PR, politics and science get mixed up.
    Be alarmed when the press joins in in the above alliance.

  49. Peter Walker UK said: This is kind of off topic, but something in the amazon artical made me wonder what would cause the world to be drier?

    Its assumed by the AGW crowd, that warm = bad = drier
    and that colder = good = wetter?

    Has there been any research done which investigates whether a warmer climate will actually cause drier weather? You know scientific method, actual field work, no computer models involved, researched facts, i.e. someone who poses a Theory, investigates in the real world, does traditional science and lets the facts talk for themselves, even if the facts disprove the theory.

    If the climate is warmer, won’t there be more evaporation, more clouds, and more rain overall?

    If it is colder won’t there be less rain (more water which is locked up as ice), less evaporation and drier conditions?

    What you have described is a negative feedback that the models seem not to incorporate – that of warmer temps inducing more cloud cover.

    The alarmists pick and chose their predictions well. The common refrain from alarmists just a few years ago was along the lines of warmer and wetter in general but also more extreme. These days they seem not to highlight the wetter part, perhaps because it’s not really a problem, would benefit marginal settlements and agriculture and aid the greening of the planet.

    When it comes to the Amazon it appears to me that some alarmists use only the projections for the dry season when they should be more intellectually honest and look at the wet season too.

    Here are the IPCC’s Assumption about future trends for Latin America.

    From the table you can see that for the Amazon a warmer world will ‘see’ -40% to +10% precipitation change in the dry season and -10% to +10% change in the rainy season.

    Below the table is the following admission: “In summary, the current GCMs do not produce projections of changes in the hydrological cycle at regional scales with confidence. In particular the uncertainty of projections of precipitation remain high (e.g., Boulanger et al., 2006a, b, for climate-change scenarios for South America using ten GCMs). That is a great limiting factor to the practical use of such projections for guiding active adaptation or mitigation policies.”

    Even the IPCC don’t know what will happen. You wouldn’t think that from this furore.

  50. While the scam moves fall steam ahead. Most people in the UK with BskyB access will surely be aware of a stream of WWF ads over the last few months – save the rainforests by donating money, and BskyB will match the donation. Seems to me, we can join the dots. BskyB is in partneship with WWF, to lease rainforest paid for by gullible tv viewers, but will sit back and rake in the money from all these carbon credits they expect to sell.

    If we are going to monetize the rainforest, shouldn’t we be a lot more open about doing it? How about private investment companies inviting investors to take out leases on the rainforest, so that the investors earn the revenue from the carbon credits, rather than WWF and BskyB, who aren’t even risking their own money, but the money fraudulently obtained by deception from the viewing public? Just a thought.

  51. I note that as the core samples from the ice in Greenland and Antarctica were being taken, the MSM had a field day courtesy of the Propagandists, telling us that we’d all know now how badly we’ve been treating our atmosphere.

    Notice all the silence? We’re not being bombarded with, “See, it’s worse that we thought!” Now they’re starting the tap dancing on the CO2 content.

    Amazongate, Glaciergate II, it will keep rolling until PNS is firmly discredited and banished from real science and the political sphere.

    I expect answers from our Propagandist Trolls, but just like Phil above, more speculation rather than factual studies. Maybe they are all allergic to real data, who knows? Beats peanuts.

  52. If this is true, then, this is shameful on the part of WWF and the IPCC. They have released a report which is not really factual and which has affected many, not just politically but also economically. So, this should be a lesson for all of us. Don’t believe right away something that others have written unless you have read and seen numerous supporting evidence.

  53. Re Gareth (July 11, 2010 at 4:33 am ): That uncertainty framework that is stated in general about Latin America is partially the result of adding up very different subregional processes. For the Amazon specifically, the general prospect is that it would become wetter. The only tendencies to a drier weather are predicated of the nonforest borders of the basin, and only for the dry season (a decreased precipitation at a season where previous rainfall was very low, coupled with a significantly increased rainfall at the rainy season). The annual average prediction for the basin is an increase in humidity. However, (1) those predictions are just model simulations; (2) the tipping point hypotheses of rapid savannisation rest on the idea of more frequent and more severe droughts, which are in principle compatible with a wetter long-term trend. However, there is no actual evidence of a tendency towards more frequent or more severe droughts accompanying predicted climate change. The main possible driver aduced as a cause of such increases in frequency or intensity of droughts could be an increase in amplitude and/or intensity of the El Niño Oscillation, which is not forecast by IPCC or more recent research to happen in the foreseeable future.

  54. The only reason I can think of to read the Sunday Times is Jeremy Clarckson. And now they charge for the online version. Well, I can get Clarckson elsewhere.

  55. Slightly off topic maybe – but does anyone here know if the previous IPCC (I much prefer ICPP) and other AGW propogandist predictions have been collected somewhere? I’ve seen and heard a few dotted about (like: “all ski resorts below 2000m won’t have any snow from now on – because of global warming…” – actually heard by me in a skibus returning to Geneva airport in January 2008 – the guy was serious – he’d heard it from a friend who heard it from a ski instructor who saw it on telly… and the snow that year hadn’t been very good. Following two skiing seasons? The best snow for many years – twice!)

  56. Ric Werme says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I was listening to an interview of the host for “On the Media,” and part of the discussion turned to how the new non-commercial media won’t be able to do the in-depth spade work that the well-funded media has done up to now. Between climategate and the IPCC screwups, I think we can make a decent case that lots of volunteer prying eyes can equal a few paid prying eyes, at least in cases where the information is somewhere on the public net.

    I hope the folks at the Sunday Times are feeling rather embarrassed.
    _______________________________________________________________
    You have that correct.

    “The well-funded media” is funded by corporations who WILL pull strings to kill unwanted stories. I have seen it happen. I have also seen the story get out anyway.

    Example:
    John Munsell told me he was interviewed by a well known media source for three days, the story was written, ok’ed by the editor and then pulled by the owner of the media.

    Here is the story from other sources: It ended in a Congressional investigation – whitewashed of course.

    http://www.marlerblog.com/2009/07/articles/lawyer-oped/one-e-coli-o157h7-outbreak-i-think-i-could-have-prevented/

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/meatpacking-maverick

    The other Congressional investigation where the uselessness of HACCP is brought up by the Chairman of the inspector’s Union:

    http://njcfil.com/b/pdf/stansTestimony.pdf

    After an “investigation” the USDA found there was no substance to Mr. Painter’s allegations against the new HACCP regulations that turn testing and inspection over to the corporations. This despite over a 1000 of noncompliance reports filed by Mr. Painter’s inspectors.

    Here is an example of a citizens investigation into a bill that was killed last year:

    http://www.naisstinks.com/index.php?con=farmers_hr_875

    This is a bit disjointed because it is written by several people and cobbled together fast to help refute the white wash by Organic Consumers, the head of which is now a special advisor to the UN. (nice bribe)

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-solemn-walk-through-HR-8-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090314-67.html

    An interesting side note. Young activist types are now recruited into UN run NGOs and fed propaganda. This effectively turns possible dangerous “lose cannons” into “useful idiots” vigorously pushing the “truth” they have been carefully indoctrinated with. We can thank Maurice Strong for this brilliant move. It is said he got the idea when he was working for YMCA international.

  57. 899 says:
    July 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    …I would ask only one thing, and that is you should employ the term ‘propagandists’ instead of ‘activists,’ inasmuch as that’s really what they are.

    Unbiased activism is neutral in its thrust, in that it seeks to reveal the truth of matters, rather than push for a political outcome only.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Than you for pointing that out. It is something we should all take note of.

  58. savetheshark says: “I say let them play themselves out into utter foolish oblivion.

    Unfortunately, as they do so they have been and are still “playing” the rest of us into economic oblivion. The ramifications of a carbon tax and huge subsidies of
    “alternative energy” go far beyond the increase of direct purchases of fuel/utility bills we all have to pay. Every product or service we purchase has a significant hidden energy cost attached we all have to pay for as well. As governments spend, taxpayers pay the cost, either now or in the future, and even if in the future, there are the costs of government borrowing that has to be paid for from present budgets.

  59. Peter Walker UK says:
    July 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    This is kind of off topic, but something in the amazon article made me wonder what would cause the world to be drier?

    Its assumed by the AGW crowd, that warm = bad = drier
    and that colder = good = wetter?

    Has there been any research done which investigates whether a warmer climate will actually cause drier weather? You know scientific method, actual field work, no computer models involved, researched facts,…

    So what research has been done?
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Yes the research has been done. That is why most geologists think CAGW is a crock of sh..

    If H2O ends up as ice there is less H2O as liquid water or as water vapor so everything is dryer:
    “..“At the most extreme stage of the last glaciation, most of Canada and much of the northern USA were covered by an ice sheet thousands of metres in thickness. Colder and often drier than present conditions predominated across most of the USA. The eastern deciduous and conifer forests were replaced by more open conifer woodlands with cooler-climate species of pines and a large component of spruce. The open spruce woodland and parkland extended somewhat further west than present, into what is now the prairie zone. As a result of aridity and lowering of sea level (which lowered inland water tables), much of Florida was covered by drifting sand dunes. Notably moister than present conditions occurred across much of the south-west, with open conifer woodlands and scrub common in areas that are now semi-desert.
    Reconstruction of North America during last Ice Age: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercNORTHAMERICA.html

    You will notice the climates of entire regions were changed by glaciation and not just in the colder temperatures but in the amount of water too.

  60. Mr Lynn says:
    July 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    ….As elections in the USA grow closer, I suggest we let our candidates know that among the most important factors influencing our votes will be whether the Congress should continue to allow our tax monies to support the IPCC, dedicated as it is to ignoring science in favor of advocating a political agenda that is against human progress, against human freedom, and anti-human.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    You forgot the overthrow of the US Constitution with the blessing of the “US government”.

    “…The United Nations has concluded that it is the institution of governance that must be responsible for the security of people and it is preparing to redefine national sovereignty, demilitarize national capabilities, and disregard the protest of uncivil society – read:  organizations not accredited by the United Nations.
     
    The new reformation is underway.  It is a reformation, not only of the United Nations, but of global societies.  It is occurring daily with the blessings and staunch assistance of the Clinton/Gore Administration and many members of Congress….”

    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/gov/ggunreform.htm

    Too bad we can not try these politicians for treason as they so richly deserve the label of traitor.

  61. Poor Phil. What part of “discredited” do you not understand? Continuing to defend this kind of buffoonery simply makes you look… pathetic.

  62. …”That headline and claim has been borne out by facts. The Sunday Times should put the story back up, and retract their retraction.”…
    ______________________________
    One retraction for The Times is a major miracle, two would be impossible to think of. They’ll go out of business before they’ll ever retract a retraction.

  63. noaaprogrammer says:
    July 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    “I would like to see the growing checklist of all the ‘-gates’ related to the new $cience of Lieingtology. What are we up to now – a half-dozen or so?”

    Check this: http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/gate-blowup-come-on-in-gate-lovers/

    The number of “-gates” listed (including convenient links to more details on each) is 63, a number considerably larger than your estimate of “a half-dozen or so”.

    A more comprehensive list by Pierre Gosselin puts the number of “-gates” at 70. Check: http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/climate-scandals/

  64. Raj Pachauri belongs in prison for fraud and crimes against humanity.

    We should all lobby our governments to cancel our membership in and withdraw all funding from the UN.

  65. Now I know why I met such drastic resistance over at Science Skeptic when I quoted 5 articles from respected news sources (one of which was national geographic which is literally the porn of the ACGW crowd) that stated the South American rain forests had faster than expected grow back due to higher than normal CO2 levels in the area and since the majority of the farms and ranches in the area had stopped clear cutting there was a larger and faster than normal growback.

    I had that IPCC report crammed down my throat every which way but Sunday.

    Now I just sit and laugh and want to smack it in their smug faces over there.

    I also had to laugh this morning when I read an archived post in regards to Anthony’s visit to Perth. The contributor was talking about handing out literature to everyone that walked in (and they say they aren’t religious zealots).

    It was after chuckling that I scrolled up and noticed the contributor. It was Anthony’s dear friend Annie Young. How the heck does this woman get around? Is she independantly wealthy? She seriously had nothing better to do than to follow Anythony around Australia and hand out pamphlets in opposition?

  66. By the way, are we really so shocked at this outcome?
    I mean Mann and Jones get a whitewash job on a gold platter, The IPCC pushes back their timing for chapter 6 well over the timeline, allows communication between the authors of a paper and the head author of chapter 6, they totally undermine the review process to get the paper written, and all in all it’s a paper using the same false information and bringing up the same false results, and then they tout it as justification of Mann’s work. Then continue the same sneaky tactics afterwards by destroying emails and data requested through legal means under the FOIA.

    Are we really so surprised by this outcome? We shouldn’t be.

  67. For GSH:

    From the analysis of WGII by those buffoons at PBL – the Dutch Environment Agency:

    We have a minor comment to make on this statement, which originates from
    Section 13.4.1 of Chapter 13 (page 596). The statement was based on Rowell
    and Moore (2000), which is a peer-reviewed report by the World Wide Fund for
    Nature and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (WWF/IUCN) on
    a global review of forest fires, and not a study on changes in vegetation due to
    climate change. That report, in turn, was mainly based on Nepstad et al. (1999)
    (in Nature). In our opinion, both documents were not the most obvious choice of
    reference in this case, as their focus is on forest fires (and logging). More adequate
    peer-reviewed, scientific journal literature would have been available to support
    this statement, such as Cox et al. (2000; 2004) (C6). This minor comment has no
    consequences for the IPCC conclusions in the various Summaries for Policymakers.

    http://www.pbl.nl/images/500216002_tcm61-48119.pdf

    The salient bits being ‘minor’ and ‘no consequences’. The poor referencing has been conceded by Napsted, by Simon Lewis and by the WWF. However the number quoted has widespread support in the literature. It really is that simple.

  68. “…the number quoted has widespread support in the literature. It really is that simple.”

    That sounds amazingly like “Fake but accurate.”

  69. Phil
    You don’t do science by saying something and then hunting for the evidence to back the claim. It is the other way around.

    Cox et al is a modelling paper. Will you admit then, that the only ‘evidence’ for this Amazon claim is to be found in the models?

  70. Shub,

    Please describe a means of predicting the future that does not involve a model of some description.

    thanks.

  71. Shub,

    You don’t do science by saying something and then hunting for the evidence to back the claim. It is the other way around.

    Anyone who has followed the issue knows that is not what occurred. The paragraph at issue had and has ample evidence in support. Whoever wrote it made a hash of the citations, is all.

    Cox et al is a modelling paper. Will you admit then, that the only ‘evidence’ for this Amazon claim is to be found in the models?

    (Well, what else are you going to use to attempt to predict future events? Astrology?) But that’s an attempt to build up a straw man to knock down. The Dutch cited Cox as an example of one source the IPCC could have cited. There are many more, neatly summarised here:

    http://www.ipam.org.br/download/livro/The-IPCC-s-AR4-statement-on-Amazon-forest-susceptibility-to-rainfall-reduction-is-correct/357

  72. Phil Clarke,

    I think your clearly desperate attempt to shore up the Amazongate big lie is getting you flustered. Check out your ‘neatly summarised’ link again.

  73. If anybody is really interested, you can actually get a link to the WWF report at the real climate web site.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/ipcc-errors-facts-and-spin/

    (Yes, I know. It is hard to believe that a liberal biased web site is actually linking to the relevant documents and allowing people to read them for themselves instead of quoting small sections.)

    Here’s the relevant portion:

    “”Up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall. In the 1998 dry season, some 270,000 sq. km of forest became vulnerable to fire, due to completely depleted plant-available water stored in the upper five metres of soil. A further 360,000 sq. km of forest had only 250 mm of plant-available soil water left.46

    Scientists from Woods Hole Research Centre (WHRC) and IPAM (Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia) who have undertaken ground-breaking work on fires in the Amazon, conclude that “in a scenario of increasingly frequent El Niño events, Amazonia is poised to experience catastrophic forest fire events that dwarf the fires of Roraima in early 1998 and of deforestation activity in scale”47″

    47 is the web site talked about here.

    46 is one of the “other” papers that people have been pointing to as validiation of the information and is a 1999 paper published in Nature that says things like:

    “ENSO-related drought can desiccate large areas of Amazonian forest, creating the potential for large-scale forest fires. Because of the severe drought of 1997 and 1998, we calculate that approximately 270,000 km2 of Amazonian forest had completely depleted plant-available water stored in the upper five metres of soil by the end of the 1998 dry season. In addition, 360,000 km2 of forest had less than 250 mm of plant-available soil water left by this time (Fig.1b). By comparison, only 28,000 km2 of forests in Roraima had depleted soil water to 5 m depth at the peak of the Roraima forest fires.”

    But let’s pretend like reference 46 doesn’t exist and isn’t included in the original WWF report.

  74. Alexander Vissers says:
    July 11, 2010 at 4:33 am
    [--snip for brevity--]
    The lessons to be learned:
    Beware when PR and science come together.
    Beware even more when PR, politics and science get mixed up.
    Be alarmed when the press joins in in the above alliance.

    A few things:
    [1] PR (public relations) is just another pretty word for the term ‘propaganda.’ Freud’s nephew E.L. Bernays came up with the term ‘Public Relations’ as a way of avoiding the truth of matters. If you go to YouTube or Google video, and plug his name into the search term, you’ll come up with several videos, many of which were made by the BBC.

    [2] The MSM (MainStream Media) is owned. That much is well known by historians who’ve followed the ownership patterns of all the major dailies, the big magazines, and the broadcast media, both TV and Radio. That happened just prior to WWI, when the powers that be knew that in order to get Americans involved in a European war, they needed to control the media in order to influence public opinion.

    If you think I’m kidding, then check out this quote from a few former media bigwigs:

    “There is no such thing at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

    “There is not one of you that dares to write his honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my opinions out of the paper I am connected with.

    “Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

    “If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy truth; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread.

    “You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

    John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff of the the New York Times, NY Press Club, 1953

    Richard M. Cohen, Senior Producer of CBS political news, stated:
    “We are going to impose our agenda on the coverage by dealing with issues and subjects that we choose.”

    http://pymander.com/AETHEREAL/quotes.htm

  75. Phil Clarke writes:

    “Shub,
    Please describe a means of predicting the future that does not involve a model of some description.
    thanks.”

    Here is the heart of the problem, though not all the problem. Models do not make predictions and cannot be used to make predictions. Models are systems of equations where variables are assigned specific values and the model is solved to see how those values change over time. The results have to be intrepreted. The results contain no descriptions so could not be found false or true. Someone has take the step of assigning real world significance to model solutions. They have none on their own. My patience was tried greatly when explaining these matters to engineers who were using models to make big time decisions about locations of plant capacity around the world. But, sir, aren’t you a scientist? And you do not know the difference between a model and a system of hypotheses and initial conditions. Hypotheses are universal generalizations that describe regularities in the world. Statements of initial conditions are descriptions factual statements about the world. Together, hypotheses and initial conditions can be used to predict descriptions of conditions occurring in the future or in the past. Those statements are clear and understandable on their face to anyone literate in English. Those statements are either true or false and the conditions in the environment that exist at the time predicted will determine whether they are true. Models cannot be used for prediction. Nothing that comes from a model is a description of anything and, for that reason, cannot be taken as evidence of anything.

    I find this confusion between model and hypothesis throughout the work by climate scientists and the commentators that support them. All of them believe that models produce evidence. In principle, models cannot produce evidence. They can produce solved mathematical equations that then must be interpreted by someone who makes informed guesses about how the solution ties into the world.

    Let me answer the original question. I am going to drop my pen and it will accelerate to the floor at the speed of gravity. Bam! It just hit the floor. It was accelerating. Notice that I used no model. I used the hypotheses vaguely outlined by Galileo and perfected by Newton. No model can do anything similar. A model is a system of mathematical equations. No mathematical equation can have in it something comparable to “the pen hit the floor.” Science consists of systems of hypotheses and carefully studied sets of factual conditions. Models are not science.

  76. Phil Clarke says:
    July 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Please describe a means of predicting the future that does not involve a model of some description.

    Phil, it’s OK to predict the future with toy models as long as you recognize their limitations and NEVER, EVER publish anything as if it were real.

    Not understanding models limitations is certainly an attribute of most AGW believers. It’s also a sign of naivety and a major reason why we are where we are today.

  77. Peter Miller says:
    July 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Gary Pearse is absolutely right when he says…..

    If the Earth’s temperature does rise a degree or two, there will be more evaporation, more water vapour in the atmosphere and therefore probably more rainfall in the tropical rainforest regions.

    I don’t need a highly dubious computer model using GIGO data to come to that conclusion.

    I have personal experience with only one area of rain forest and that was in Venezuela. Here the soils were incredibly thick – over 75 metres to bedrock. The soils were damp all the way down and although not a conventional aquifer, they were a huge source of water. There has recently been a severe drought in Venezuela, but no reports of the rain forest dying. Put another way, the depth of soil may be more important than rainfall variations for the fragility or otherwise of the rain forest – just one of many important factors not considered in the models.

    This is all a stupid scare story designed to appeal the simple minded.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    I agree. Only those sitting in city apartments, who have never fought weeds in a garden, would swallow this story.

    I am not in the tropics, however I moved from temperate New Hampshire to the much warmer area of North Carolina. The growth rate and “robustness” of the vegetation in the “south” is amazing. It is like fighting a green monster trying to keep the trees out of the fields and fence-lines. Even if there were fires I would expect fast regrowth. In a clear 16 ac field that I stopped mowing six years ago the trees are 6-8″ in diameter and 20ft tall – despite the drought. “In 2008 North Carolina suffered from the worst drought in recorded history.”

    Only a drastic reduction in rainfall over a long period could change a rain forest into savannah on a permanent basis.

    The USA had the “dustbowl.” In the 1930s a drought covered virtually the entire Plains for almost a decade from 1933 to 1940. Do you know if the Rain forest area was similarly effected?

    Note that the Great Plains and even Mt. St Helen have recover from past natural “catastrophe” quite nicely.

  78. Phil, it’s OK to predict the future with toy models as long as you recognize their limitations and NEVER, EVER publish anything as if it were real. …. Here is the heart of the problem, though not all the problem. Models do not make predictions and cannot be used to make predictions.

    Heh. All models are wrong, some models are useful. They cannot predict, but they can project. The models used by the IPCC projected that, for emissions scenario A1F1 the global temp would rise by 0.32C between 1990 and 2010, a linear trend of +0.16C. Using the satellite data from UAH, the linear trend 1990-2010 was indeed +0.16C. Just lucky I guess.

    That is just a Portuguese version of the Nepstad press release!

    Set the website language to English before you download, guys. http://www.ipam.org.br. It contains a summary of the science with citations. It also tells us that ‘(The authors of this report interviewed several researchers, including the author of this note, and had originally cited the IPAM website where the statement was made that 30 to 40% of the forests of the Amazon were susceptible to small changes in rainfall’).

    So it didn’t exactly need Berstein and Woodward to find that out …..

  79. Phil
    Are you on some kind of a mission?

    You are linking to a Nepstad press release, whether it be in Portuguese or English – this is old news. It may contain a summary of ‘the’ science, but the statement in question cannot be supported by any of the provided references. You are making the same mistake Monbiot made – assuming that the reference or the science lies somewhere – it is just a matter of searching.

    Why dont you admit they goofed up? It is a big report – it was written referencing the WWF report to begin with, not unusual for the IPCC. The importance of this passage was not that evident to parties involved at the time in 2007 and no one really checked. Glaciergate and the WWF reference appeared and suddenly made everyone at the establishment ultra-defensive – including WWF, some scientists involved in Amazon research and especially those who believe in the validity of this statement otherwise.

    Now, it became that, if corrections were issued by the IPCC, Amazongate’s status would be sealed in fate in the same way as Glaciergate. Under this false burden, the reaction to the criticism by covering up and obfuscating, and in fact attacking those who pointed out the error, has become huge, compared to the original error.

    Once we believed the rainforest was worth not destroying for its own sake, now we believe the forest is worth saving – ‘for the sake of the planet’ , for its ‘climate function’. The entire Amazon forest has been stuffed into the meatgrinder of CAGW. Have fun.

  80. Shub: but the statement in question cannot be supported by any of the provided references.

    Your opinion is noted. No point in repeating mine again, first expressed here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/27/out-in-the-ama-zone/#comment-417993

    ‘Amazongate’ has been in a persistent vegetative state after it emerged that Dr North messed up a simple text search, and the Times issued its retraction. No doubt there will be further attempts at revival, such ‘scandals’ being a little thin on the ground, but really it would be kinder and more dignified to switch the machines off and let it slip away in peace.

    TTFN!

  81. Phil Clarke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Heh. All models are wrong, some models are useful. They cannot predict, but they can project. The models used by the IPCC projected that, for emissions scenario A1F1 the global temp would rise by 0.32C between 1990 and 2010, a linear trend of +0.16C. Using the satellite data from UAH, the linear trend 1990-2010 was indeed +0.16C. Just lucky I guess.

    I’m sorry Phil but cherry picking is another example of the poor science practiced by AGW believers. If you want to end on a strong El Niño year than you have to start on one. How about 1998? What is the trend then?

    What little credibility you previously had just totally evaporated.

  82. Actually, Richard, if you look at the MEI index, the strong ENSOs 1990-1998 would tend to reduce the slope. A cherry-pick involves discarding data – I used all the data since 1990. But, if you like, calculating the slope to 2009, to remove the recent, rather moderate El Nino gives practically the same result.

  83. So are anthropomorphic tree cartoons standard fare in these much ballyhooed “PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS”? (Emphasis added to intone the authority of Zeus) Kind of like the cartoon vampire in my 5th grade math book?

  84. Phil Clarke writes:

    “Heh. All models are wrong, some models are useful. They cannot predict, but they can project. The models used by the IPCC projected that, for emissions scenario A1F1 the global temp would rise by 0.32C between 1990 and 2010, a linear trend of +0.16C. Using the satellite data from UAH, the linear trend 1990-2010 was indeed +0.16C. Just lucky I guess.”

    No, it was not even luck. It was total coinicidence. This should surprise no one. If I have been managing a particular model for some number of years and someone asks me to produce a run with a particular set of results, I can do that with no trouble at all. I can do it because I have a vast memory of model runs.

    Let’s take an example. Suppose I am managing a model for a big project. Suppose Florida Power wants to build a new power generating plant and they ask me to make runs for several different locations for a new plant. To make things easy to understand, let’s say my model covers only high voltage lines. I make several runs. In each run, I change the variables in the model to accommodate a new power source and its necessary high voltage lines. The results of each run show a unique distribution of power over the existing and new high voltage lines. Does each of those results amount to a prediction? Have I predicted utilization for a particular high voltage line? Can the utilization assigned to a particular line by the model solution be found to be false? If so, what is falsified?

    Let’s say that, on the basis of the model runs, a new power generating plant is constructed and we find, over a period of years, that it is under utilized. Can we say that our computer model is false? No, we can say that it proved inadequate to the task. We cannot say it is false because that would require identifying some statement or statements in the model that are false. But there are none. Does the existence of the under utilized power plant enable us to revise and improve our computer model. Well, knowing what I know now, I can revise the model so that its solution shows the under utilization, but such revision is obviously worthless. Here we have the crucial difference between models and science. In science, there is falsification and it does enable one to revise one or more hypotheses. And these hypotheses have some meaning independently of the model. The Climategaters have no set of physical hypotheses which describe the natural regularities that constitute the phenomenon known as El Nino or similar climate phenomena. If they did, we would have seen them long ago and this debate would never have occurred.

    Am I saying that models are worthless? No. The team of program designer, model manager, and engineers can use models over a period of years for the study of a particular phenomenon and discover that various aspects of model solutions can serve as pointers that are useful to the experienced wisdom of the team. To think that models can provide more is sheer hubris. Models cannot meet the standards of science.

  85. In science, the word prediction has a clear meaning. Outside of science, the meaning of the word prediction is pretty much what one wants to make of it. For example, someone could say “I predict that the average temperature at all locations in the USA will increase by one degree per year for the next ten years.” That statement is not a prediction; that is, it is not a scientific prediction. To qualify as a scientific prediction, a statement describing future factual circumstances must be deducible from the combination of one or more hypotheses describing natural regularities and some factual statements of initial conditions. For example, I can use Newton’s superior formulation of Kepler’s Laws to predict the next date on which Venus can be observed from Earth to be in quarter phase. In other words, a statement is a prediction because it is an instance of known natural regularities. If Climategaters want to use the word “prediction” differently, they should explain their meaning. (The statement above is not a scientific prediction because there is no set of physical hypothses which could be used to deduce the stated result.)

  86. Hi Theo – The IPCC models

    1. Are Physical models.

    2. Were used to make projections (not predictions) independent of observations from 1990, ie ahead of time, see here.

    As it was not known in 1990 how emissions would develop they were run against a series of diferent emissions scenarios, in the event since then the scenario that best fits the actual emissions is A1F1. The observed temperature rise 1990-2010 was 0.164C/decade, the IPCC projection for scenario A1F1 was for 0.16C/decade. The 3rd dp is probably spurious accuracy.

    cheers,

  87. Phil Clarke writes:

    “‘Amazongate’ has been in a persistent vegetative state after it emerged that Dr North messed up a simple text search, and the Times issued its retraction. No doubt there will be further attempts at revival, such ‘scandals’ being a little thin on the ground, but really it would be kinder and more dignified to switch the machines off and let it slip away in peace.”

    The best that can be said about Amazongaters and Climategaters is that they use the word “truth” as they use it among their colleagues, which is not at all the way it is used by the general public. Yet their words or their names are used by IPCC to make assertions that the individual did not make. Given the understanding of truth outside the academy, the fact that the person cited published another article that did make these claims is quite irrelevant. Let’s not foist upon the general public a pattern of speaking about truth that is peculiar to academia. That would qualify as the height of not only arrogance but assumed superiority.

  88. Phil Clarke writes:

    “Hi Theo – The IPCC models

    1. Are Physical models.”

    I don’t suppose you could state the physical hypotheses in English? Select some climate phenomenon, say El Nino for example. What are the phsyical hypotheses that are used to describe the natural regularities that make up the phenomenon and enable scienttists to predict its occurrence and its qualities.

    If you have physical hypotheses, why do you call them a model? They are hypotheses. Models are another thing entirely.

  89. Phil Clarke writes:

    “As it was not known in 1990 how emissions would develop they were run against a series of diferent emissions scenarios, in the event since then the scenario that best fits the actual emissions is A1F1.”

    Now you are talking model language. There were several runs and one of them had the “best fit.” Having a best fit is not prediction. The “fitting” was done by folks comparing model runs, not by folks checking predicted observations against actual observations. Hypotheses do not have a “best fit.” They imply statements that, in the future, are determined to describe the facts, in which case they are true and the hypotheses are partially confirmed, or not to describe the facts, in which case they are false and the hypotheses are disconfirmed. Neither hypotheses nor observation statements require “fitting.”

    Maybe what you mean by a physical model is that it is a model whose runs are “fitted” to physical reality.

  90. Pascvaks says:
    July 11, 2010 at 10:20 am
    …”That headline and claim has been borne out by facts. The Sunday Times should put the story back up, and retract their retraction.”…
    ______________________________
    One retraction for The Times is a major miracle, two would be impossible to think of. They’ll go out of business before they’ll ever retract a retraction.

    If it’s all about saving face, then all they’d really have to do is offer a clarification on the original retraction indicating that the editorial staff had been mislead regarding the complaint which lead to the retraction, and then simply reinstate the article with the caveat that the original IPCC document did indeed way overstate the case, and that’s indeed the point of the retracted article.

  91. Phil Clarke says:
    July 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm
    [--snip--] The salient bits being ‘minor’ and ‘no consequences’. The poor referencing has been conceded by Napsted, by Simon Lewis and by the WWF. However the number quoted has widespread support in the literature. It really is that simple.

    Really now? That simple?

    Do tell: Would that be ‘consensually speaking,’ or scientifically speaking?

    If the former, then it’s essentially worthless, and if the latter, please DO provide the references which scientifically support your contentions, i.e., provide proof positive that CO2 actually causes so-called CAGW/CC.

    Further, and you never got back: IF CO2 is supposed to be any kind of so-called ‘global warming agent,’ then why –what with all that CO2 locked-up in the polar ice matrices, and all that CO2 floating in adjacent the air above, and all that CO2 in the adjacent waters– has not the ice melted, the water flashed into a steaming, seething cauldron, and the air turned to lot of us lobster red?

  92. Phil Clarke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Actually, Richard, if you look at the MEI index, the strong ENSOs 1990-1998 would tend to reduce the slope. A cherry-pick involves discarding data – I used all the data since 1990. But, if you like, calculating the slope to 2009, to remove the recent, rather moderate El Nino gives practically the same result.

    NO Phil, I said you need to take the slope between similar situations. Anything else is UNSCIENTIFIC. Your attempt to hide the decline is nothing more than pure FUD. Here’s the chart I asked for:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1998/mean:3/plot/uah/from:1998/to:2010/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/to:2010/trend

    It’s easy to cherry pick a date and come up with support for almost any hypothesis. It won’t work here.

  93. Phil Clarke says:
    July 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm
    Shub,

    Please describe a means of predicting the future that does not involve a model of some description.

    thanks.

    Phil,

    Please provide an accurate means of a computing future absolutes, when nothing at all is known about that future.

    Thanks.

  94. Richard,

    Actually Richard, as I was testing the IPCC projections, and they start in 1990, I thought, in my wild and reckless way that I would look at actual temperatures starting in the same year. Now you have convinced me that this was a sheer, unscientific cherrypick and the correct scientific procedure is to move the start date for observations forward 8 years, ignoring the El Ninos of 1991-1992, 1993, 1994 to begin my comprison 40% of the way through the period at the start of the strongest El Nino of the last century, Obvious really.

    LOL!

    Btw if you’re so keen on comparing like-for-like, why truncate your linear fit at the end of 2009? Hiding the incline? ;-)

  95. Phil Clarke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 12:16 am
    Heh. All models are wrong, some models are useful. They cannot predict, but they can project. The models used by the IPCC projected that, for emissions scenario A1F1 the global temp would rise by 0.32C between 1990 and 2010, a linear trend of +0.16C. Using the satellite data from UAH, the linear trend 1990-2010 was indeed +0.16C. Just lucky I guess.

    Oh now, we’re getting into ‘projection,’ are we?

    Well, isn’t that the VERY SAME THING as prediction?

    Here, from the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    pro·jec·tion
    n.
    4. A prediction or an estimate of something in the future, based on present data or trends.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey! How about that, eh?

    Weasel words are your forte, aren’t they, Phil?

    When losing an argument, why just resort to synonyms, right, Phil?

    Confuse the opponent just long enough to change the subject and pretend that you’ve chalked-up another score, when in fact you’ve done no such thing.

  96. Phil Clarke, I didn’t truncate anything. What are you looking at?

    It seems I hit a nerve as I should have. You may not have started out trying to cherry pick but that is exactly what you did. If it was unintentional then it’s even worse. It shows you have no idea what you are doing.

  97. Theo Goodwin says:
    July 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    [--snip for brevity--] Science consists of systems of hypotheses and carefully studied sets of factual conditions. Models are not.

    I would dispute that contention, for this reason only: A good model is a theoretical construct which itself depends upon certain rational criteria, themselves which are based upon referable holdings.

    Ergo, a ‘good’ model may be an accurate scientific basis for making a prognostication, but ONLY if it may lay claim to indisputable facts otherwise.

    Thus far, the CAGW/CC community have not produced anything of verifiable substance, and have instead resorted to machinations, deceptions, and just plain contrivances, hoping beyond hope to fool the hoi polloi.

    And that’s really what they have going for them, isn’t it? If one may manage to deceive the average voter on the street, it really doesn’t matter how many other scientists might jump up and declare FRAUD!!!

    In the end, if the dummy falls for the trick, then that’s what happens, and the truth be damned.

  98. Phil Clarke says:
    July 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Richard,

    Actually Richard, as I was testing the IPCC projections, and they start in 1990, I thought, in my wild and reckless way that I would look at actual temperatures starting in the same year. Now you have convinced me that this was a sheer, unscientific cherrypick and the correct scientific procedure is to move the start date for observations forward 8 years, ignoring the El Ninos of 1991-1992, 1993, 1994 to begin my comprison 40% of the way through the period at the start of the strongest El Nino of the last century, Obvious really.

    LOL!

    Btw if you’re so keen on comparing like-for-like, why truncate your linear fit at the end of 2009? Hiding the incline? ;-)

    Yeah, Phil, why haven’t YOU addressed WHY it is that Mr. Mann used tree rings to ‘illustrate’ climate all the way up to the late 20th Century, but then –without notice to anyone, save his butt buddy ‘peers’– changed over to temperature measurement devices to ‘HIDE THE DECLINE.’

    You know: “Mike’s nature trick.”

    Go ahead, Phil, tell us all about that.

    You’ll be doing just that, won’t you, Phil? :-)

    Can’t WAIT to read of it!!! :-)

  99. 899 said on July 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm:

    Yeah, Phil, why haven’t YOU addressed WHY it is that Mr. Mann used tree rings to ‘illustrate’ climate all the way up to the late 20th Century, but then –without notice to anyone, save his butt buddy ‘peers’– changed over to temperature measurement devices to ‘HIDE THE DECLINE.

    I suspect that we can do without such statements here.

  100. Richard Sharpe says:
    July 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm
    899 said on July 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm:

    Yeah, Phil, why haven’t YOU addressed WHY it is that Mr. Mann used tree rings to ‘illustrate’ climate all the way up to the late 20th Century, but then –without notice to anyone, save his butt buddy ‘peers’– changed over to temperature measurement devices to ‘HIDE THE DECLINE.

    I suspect that we can do without such statements here.

    Truth hurts, doesn’t it?

  101. 899 writes:

    “I would dispute that contention, for this reason only: A good model is a theoretical construct which itself depends upon certain rational criteria, themselves which are based upon referable holdings.”

    You are suggesting that there is such a thing as a model that is growing into a system of hypotheses. That cannot be. Theoretical terms occur in theoretical sentences that are either true or false in virtue of their contribution to a system of hypotheses and the factual statements that they imply. If you have a partially confirmed set of hypotheses, then you have a theoretic formulation that is worthy of the name science. Models are systems of mathematical equations. They contain no hypotheses at all. The principles that govern model solutions are principles of computation and some ideas about what counts as a solution for the program being used. For example, in a linear programming model, one normally programs for a “least cost” solution, but “least cost” has no meaning apart from the program.

    Theoretic formulations of science contain terms that refer to the real world. Models contain variables, not terms, and the variables are assigned values from the model; that is, the variables refer to objects specified in the model and not the real world.

  102. Theo Goodwin says:
    July 13, 2010 at 7:25 am
    899 writes:

    “I would dispute that contention, for this reason only: A good model is a theoretical construct which itself depends upon certain rational criteria, themselves which are based upon referable holdings.”

    You are suggesting that there is such a thing as a model that is growing into a system of hypotheses. That cannot be. Theoretical terms occur in theoretical sentences that are either true or false in virtue of their contribution to a system of hypotheses and the factual statements that they imply. If you have a partially confirmed set of hypotheses, then you have a theoretic formulation that is worthy of the name science. Models are systems of mathematical equations. They contain no hypotheses at all. The principles that govern model solutions are principles of computation and some ideas about what counts as a solution for the program being used. For example, in a linear programming model, one normally programs for a “least cost” solution, but “least cost” has no meaning apart from the program.

    Theoretic formulations of science contain terms that refer to the real world. Models contain variables, not terms, and the variables are assigned values from the model; that is, the variables refer to objects specified in the model and not the real world.

    Theo,

    All I’m saying is this: With well-defined criteria, themselves having been scientifically proven, the proper application of them in a predictive model would be an entirely scientific endeavor, given the proviso that all related elements be included in that model rather than at present being selectively included and/or excluded.

    If I may employ a computer program to design an electronic circuit, and achieve predictive results by closely following the mathematical rules which define component behavior under various conditions, then the same thing may be achieved with a global model of the Earth’s weather. Granted: An electronic circuit is far simpler to predict behavior-wise than the Earth’s weather/climate, but it is possible.

    Please note that I said ‘may” and not will, or can.

    From the very beginning of this matter, it has been my contention that the so-called ‘climate modelers’ have been engaging in both extreme selectivity and exclusion of the basic elements of the Earth’s geophysical processes, in order to bypass certain aspects in the hope of achieving some kind of believable outcome. Their acts are tantamount to chicanery.

    Where they are going completely wrong is that they hope to short circuit the entire range of necessary elements and go directly for a result which can’t support their contentions, no matter how hard they try, for the simple reason that all the elements interact with each other, and excluding one –or several– destroys the ability of the model to present any kind of accurate picture.

    What they are engaging in is the essence of trying to design an amplifier without employing a nonlinear circuit element. That nonlinear element has its own rules of behavior, and of necessity those must –in and of themselves– be factored into the design equation which defines the overall behavior of the circuit, given a certain set of conditions/influences.

    That then, is the gist and thrust of my argument. I hope it clarifies my initial statement.

  103. 899,

    Let me explain with a simple example. The CERN physicists have the world’s most complicated and rich physical theory. They needed to connect its high-level statements to the world. To do this, they created the CERN particle accelerator. That machine promises to create for them some experiences that will tie their highest level theoretical statements to some events in the world.

    They could convert their theory into a model. They could translate their theoretical statements into the standard language of symbolic logic and program them into a computer. When the statements are typed in, they are syntax only. There are theorem provers that work on syntax and the physicists might use such software just to check what their theory implies. To go beyond syntax, they must interpret the model and that is a matter of assigning values to the variables. Of course, one assigns a range of values to each variable in each statement. For example, the physicists might hold the educated guess that the sought after “Ultimate Particle” spins at a speed of 3.71 x 10-to-13th centimeters per second. (My example is made up, obviously.) But they want their model to have some flexibility as it is solved, so they assign a range of values from 10-to-9th to 10-to-15. As the model solves, depending on its solution design, it will assign some value in the range to the variable for spin speed, though things can get more complicated with multiple assignments based on what is happening elsewhere as the model solves. The big point here is that what we call the model is the complete set of assignment ranges for all variables in all statements. A specific set of assignments is one solution in that model. Some people speak loosely and call a solution a run and some call it a model.

    In the form described above, when the program is fired up on a few supercomputers all the lights in France will dim and the solution will be complete in just a few weeks. For that reason, programmers take over and everything that can be converted to a simple mathematical form is converted. What remains of the physicist’s theory is the list of fundamental predicates and the variables that each predicate takes. That is what I mean by saying that it is mathematical equations that can be solved. Now the programmers’ art takes over because the programmers are the geniuses of how to get these things to solve.

    But back to our model. When you have a solution, which might be a very complicated set of statements, every constant in those statements refers to the model. None of them refer to the real world. In other words, the range of values that you, the physicist, specified for each variable is what the solutions refer to. See, models do not refer to the real world.

    You might use your model to create several solutions. And you might study differences among those solutions and compare them to real world phenomena. By doing so, you can get some really good ideas and some fantastic hints. When you have a purely practical task, such as modelling lowest cost transportation routes for a nationwide beer manufacturer, these practical differences can be of immense value. But as regards science, I hope you see that this is not science because my solution does not refer to the world but to the model that I created.

    The great advantage of the physicist is that he has actual hypotheses which imply sentences that describe obsevable events. All of the sentences in his theory purport to describe the world and will prove to be true or false depending on what the collider reveals. If an implied observation turns out false, that is great! That is blood, a wound, now you know you are in reality. You can start revising. You will soon learn the actual values of your variables.

    The poor climategater has years of work ahead of him before he can have a physical theory that will support the claims that climategaters make today. Climategaters might have in their models a well organized set of values for the statements that they have created and that they program in their computers to represent the natural regularities that make up some phenomenon such as El Nino, but all their solutions refer only to their models, not to actual ocean currents. (Here you can say GIGO: garbage in garbage out.) To have a physical theory that would support climategaters claims they must come up with physical hypotheses that actually describe the oceans. They must have actual values for their variables, not a set of values that comes from the educated imagination. Then they can chooses values for their variables on the basis of real world phenomena and they will have theories that refer to the world. No number of model runs can substitute for the physical hypotheses, and that is because that all model runs refer only to the models and not the real world.

    Sophisticated scientists know what I am talking about. If climategaters are sophisticated scientists and they have the needed physical hypotheses describing El Nino, you can bet the bank that they would have published them a thousand times. They do not have them. They are stuck in the pre-science of models.

  104. Theo Goodwin says:
    July 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    A nice expanded missive of what I thought I’d said to begin with!

  105. 899,

    Yes. I endorse everything you said. I thought it would be helpful to show the fundamentals of the differences between a theory and a model, not for you but for the casual reader.

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