24 Hours of Climate Reality: Gore-a-thon – Hour 9

A new post containing a cartoon from Josh will appear every hour. At the end of the 24 hours, everything will be collated on a single page. Readers are encouraged to post skeptical arguments below, as well as offer comments on what has been seen from the Climate Reality Project so far.

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Consensus says so!

Here’s the meme that gets repeated again and again, in fact Al Gore repeated it in his Tuesday night interview on the Colbert Report.

From Treehugger:

The results of an important survey of 3,145 scientists, are crystal clear: the vast majority of the scientific community believes humans are responsible for a warming climate. A full 90% of all scientists surveyed believe global warming is occurring, and 82% believe it is because of the actions of man. And a whopping 97% of climatologists surveyed said humans are causing global warming. But that didn’t stop CNN from ignoring its own articles and running a misleading ‘climate debate’ TV segment despite its reports on the scientific consensus.

Oh but wait, how many was it actually? From Tory Aardvark

The small number of climate scientists actually supporting the Al Gore/IPCC claims of catastrophic global warming and the actual AGW “predictions” has always been a major embarrassment. As a result, the left/liberal/greens have been forced to fabricate bogus support that can’t stand up to any form of scrutiny.

First, it was the claim that 2,500 IPCC-related scientists agreed with the 2007 IPCC report. Soon afer it was discovered that the actual number of scientists who actually agreed with the report contents was only 25.

Next, when the 2,500 shrunk to 25, a couple of University of Illinois researchers conjured up a 2-minute online, anonymous survey that they hoped would deliver some big numbers to crow about. They solicited 10,257 earth scientists and only 77 chose to answer the online survey (yes, only 77). 75 of those “climate scientists” agreed with the survey’s two questions (yes, only 2 questions).

Voila, the infamous and widely publicized “97%” of climate scientists (75 divided by 77) who thought man was the cause of global warming turned out to be a numeric joke.

As a side note, in order to assure an initial high survey percentage, the two researchers did not ask major segments of the scientific world to participate. Those would be the segments that were known to be critical of the AGW theory, including: solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers.

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17 thoughts on “24 Hours of Climate Reality: Gore-a-thon – Hour 9

  1. There are 6,928,000,000 people in the world that have been invited to watch the Gore-a-thon ,and if 10,000 of the 450,000 watching are skeptics that means 97.77% of the worlds population or 6,773,505,600 people believe in AGW. Statistics are fun.

  2. I found what appears to be the actual survey report here. I think Tory Aardvark has misunderstood the numbers: apparently there were 3,146 responses out of 10,257 (of which ~5% were climate scientists, including 79 über-climatologists). The questions were:

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    Also, I haven’t previously heard mention of only 25 endorsements for AR4. It seems incredible. Is there any documentation on this?

  3. In the Gore-a-thon, they referenced to Anderegg et al. [2010], which “use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”. So pointing to the University of Illinois research is beside the point.

    The question remains, of course, whether consensus means anything if the experimental data doesn’t support it.

  4. 1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    I think global warming will be benign, maybe even beneficial – but I would end up as an “AGW-supporter” if I was asked those questions: To (1) I would answer, “of course, shortly before that we had the little ice age”, and to (2) Significant, yes, but temperatures have always changed, so it’s probably not the largest factor (and CO2 emissions is only part of “human activities”).

  5. What’s more incredible than the first “poll” is that they haven’t tried/published it since.

    That’s the problem with fabricating a fantastic score, the only way is down.

    More incredible is that it was ever published in the first place. There’s absolutely no scientific value in the poll, it’s only PR – and very very bad PR at that. All pollsters would be horrified to be associated with such rubbish. No self respecting science would have got involved in such a thing in the first place and barring a filling for a Christmas department Newsletter, it would never have got referred to by any scientist as part of their job.

  6. The questions were:

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    And just what is the definition of “significant”? Does “significant” here mean large enough to detect? Does it mean a majority?

    I’m sure to 100 scientists, there’d be little or no consensus on the word “significant”. So to include such an adjective without quantification is asking too much. From http://www.yourdictionary.com/significant

    adjective

    1.
    a.having or expressing a meaning
    b.full of meaning
    2.important; momentous
    3.having or conveying a special or hidden meaning; suggestive
    4.of or pertaining to an observed departure from a hypothesis too large to be reasonably attributed to chance: a significant statistical difference

    Not one indication of degree or level; a subjective term altogether.

  7. For the science ignored or since the IPCC reports, see the NIPCC reports by the
    Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
    2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Climate Change Reconsidered
    2011 Interim Report (25 August 2011)

    Science is advanced by considering ALL the evidence, and sceptically testing all hypotheses, theories and laws. See Noble Lauriate Dr. Ivar Giaever: Nobel laureate resigns from American Physical Society to protest the organization’s stance on global warming

    I cannot live with the (APS) statement below (on global warming): APS: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible

    and
    Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society – an important moment in science history

    I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.. . .
    In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. . . .
    One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one.

  8. 1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    If I was presented with these two questions, I would have answered yes, because both are true. The temperature has undoubtedly gone up, and UHI due to land use changes is probably a contributor. Note my answer has nothing to do with catastrophe or CO2. They then would have taken my answers to the two questions and claimed that I support their positions. This is the kind of fraud one expects of marketeers, not of scientists. Then again, I would have seen this poll as preposterous and sent it to the bit bucket (if email) or the rubbish bin and they would never have seen my response. I am glad I wasn’t presented with it.

  9. Ian says:
    September 15, 2011 at 1:39 am
    “I found what appears to be the actual survey report here. I think Tory Aardvark has misunderstood the numbers: apparently there were 3,146 responses out of 10,257 (of which ~5% were climate scientists, including 79 über-climatologists). The questions were:”

    3146 answered; but the approval rating was not enough to satisfy the makers of the survey; so they filtered out the 79 climate scientists of which 77 answered positively so the makers of the survey were able to cook up the 97%.

    See for instance here:

    http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_24218.html

  10. Scientific studies have shown the 97.3% of the people will believe any hogwash you make up, as long as you tell then it’s a scientific study and give Statistics.

    ;-)

  11. Ian says:
    September 15, 2011 at 1:39 am
    I found what appears to be the actual survey report here. I think Tory Aardvark has misunderstood the numbers: apparently there were 3,146 responses out of 10,257 (of which ~5% were climate scientists, including 79 über-climatologists). The questions were:

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    I’m surprised that “climate scientists” wouldn’t have been 100% “yes” on the first question, accepting that “pre-1800’s” means late 1700’s and not “any time prior”.

    I agree – for question #2, what is “significant”? Does that mean a major factor or does it mean a measureable factor? Also, as noted, it does not specify which “human activity”. Remember, the Al Goreists claim that the most significant factor is anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Is that even the most significant of the possible anthropogenic factors?

    Notice also it says “changing mean global temperature” – whether it is cooling or warming, doesn’t matter.

    Only someone wanting to be duped would accept the results of this supposed “poll”.

  12. Owen says:
    September 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
    If I was presented with these two questions, I would have answered yes, because both are true. The temperature has undoubtedly gone up, and UHI due to land use changes is probably a contributor.

    You would be dead wrong on question 2, then. UHI has only served to skew the temperature records upward. Saying that UHI “is probably a contributor” is not only completely different from saying that it is a “significant contributing factor”, but it is also meaningless. If someone were to pee in the ocean, they could technically say they had “contributed” to both sea level rise as well as ocean heat content, but that would obviously be ridiculous. For practical purposes, the amount of warming that UHI contributes to global warming is very small, because the areas affected as a percentage of the Earth are very small, and thus not worth mentioning.

  13. Bruce:

    When we are arguing over 0.7C per century measured on thermometers that are calibrated to 1C, I think the 0.05 to 0.1C per century of skew is significant. (10% is significant , right?) Now the question of whether 0.7C is meaningful is a different issue entirely. Now I maintain that there is a UHI associated with all land use changes, not just the growth of cities. Think of all the formerly pristine grasslands and forests that are now cultivated fields. The energy budget of plowed land is much different than prairies, and even more different than forests or deserts. The millions of acres around the world that this represents is not insignificant. Of course the oceans are still several tens of times greater in extent, but again ocean heat wasn’t really the issue because it wasn’t what was measured until fairly recently.(One can argue that until ARGOS, ocean heat measurement was pretty hit-or-miss, mostly miss.)

    On the issue of significance: when I am doing experiments, anything that causes a measurable difference in the outcome is significant, and needs to be controlled for before the experiment can show anything meaningful unless it represents the variable under test. One can only vary one variable at a time or else there is little if any meaning in the results. In climate systems this is not possible, so you have to measure EVERYTHING – land use, vegetation changes, geology, geography, magnetics (earth and sun), input electromagnetic radiation, reflectance, absorption, solar wind, galactic cosmic radiation, and probably a hundred other things I haven’t even thought of. Then you have to look for statistically significant patterns to try to figure out what is cause and what is effect (in other words try to figure out in a laboratory how to isolate individual variables and test effects suggested by the analysis of measurement.) Once enough of the variables are figured out through experiment, then try to make predictions based on the conceptual model built through experimentation. Test these predictions against the universe and accept or reject parts of the model depending on how it works against the real world. So far, there are a number of people trying to measure as much as we know how to measure, but they haven’t proceeded to the point where we can even know what is cause and what is effect, yet want the entire planet to relinquish their freedoms to one-world government to fix the problem for which they have not definitively shown a cause or even the effect.

    It is possible to argue that the answer to both questions is “no” as well. When we look at the placement of thermometers and the growth of the civilizations around them, we could put almost all of the warming off to being within the root mean square of the potential error of the measurements and UHI. Unless we improve the science of measurement of HEAT CONTENT, and then get a significant time series to work with we can’t answer the real questions – “are we doing anything that will cause problems?” and “how do we mitigate the effects if we are?”. The second survey question response has to be “no” if the first is “no”. Climate science has forgotten that science is mostly done in the field, with computers just being a tool to process the collected data. Models can help you design the experiments so you know what to measure, but it doesn’t substitute for the actual experiment.

  14. DirkH,

    Thanks for your reply re: my question about the 25 endoresements for AR4. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate that the 2,500 figure is ridiculous, but so is the 25 figure. In this respect, the link you provide only links to an article by Warren Meyer, which offers no substation of the “25” figure, merely saying “I am starting to believe the number is closer to 25, not 2500″.

    The efforts by alarmists to support the notion of a “consensus” (inc. the recent paper reported here at WUWT) have relied on asking non-contentious and specious questions, but there is some danger here of getting carried away in response. There is no support for the “25” figure that I have seen.

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