Pielke’s response to AGU Statement on Climate Change

The American Geophysical Union has just published its new Statement on Climate Change, here is the press release.   Here is how they describe it:

“AGU has a responsibility to help policy makers and the public understand the impacts our science can have on public health and safety, economic stability and growth, and national security,” said Gerald North, chair of AGU’s Climate Change Position Statement Review Panel. “Because our understanding of climate change and its impacts on the world around us has advanced so significantly in the last few years, it was vitally important that AGU update its position statement. The new statement is more reflective of the current state of scientific knowledge. It also calls greater attention to the specific societal impacts we face and actions that can diminish the threat.”

The AGU Statement: Here is the complete text of the statement as released, Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.’s Response follows.

Human-induced climate change requires urgent action. 

Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes. 

“Human activities are changing Earth’s climate. At the global level, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases have increased sharply since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel burning dominates this increase. Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8°C (1.5°F) over the past 140 years. Because natural processes cannot quickly remove some of these gases (notably carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, our past, present, and future emissions will influence the climate system for millennia.

Extensive, independent observations confirm the reality of global warming. These observations show large-scale increases in air and sea temperatures, sea level, and atmospheric water vapor; they document decreases in the extent of mountain glaciers, snow cover, permafrost, and Arctic sea ice. These changes are broadly consistent with long-understood physics and predictions of how the climate system is expected to respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases. The changes are inconsistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences.

Climate models predict that global temperatures will continue to rise, with the amount of warming primarily determined by the level of emissions. Higher emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to larger warming, and greater risks to society and ecosystems. Some additional warming is unavoidable due to past emissions.

Climate change is not expected to be uniform over space or time. Deforestation, urbanization, and particulate pollution can have complex geographical, seasonal, and longer-term effects on temperature, precipitation, and cloud properties. In addition, human-induced climate change may alter atmospheric circulation, dislocating historical patterns of natural variability and storminess.

In the current climate, weather experienced at a given location or region varies from year to year; in a changing climate, both the nature of that variability and the basic patterns of weather experienced can change, sometimes in counterintuitive ways — some areas may experience cooling, for instance. This raises no challenge to the reality of human-induced climate change.

Impacts harmful to society, including increased extremes of heat, precipitation, and coastal high water are currently being experienced, and are projected to increase. Other projected outcomes involve threats to public health, water availability, agricultural productivity (particularly in low-latitude developing countries), and coastal infrastructure, though some benefits may be seen at some times and places. Biodiversity loss is expected to accelerate due to both climate change and acidification of the oceans, which is a direct result of increasing carbon dioxide levels.

While important scientific uncertainties remain as to which particular impacts will be experienced where, no uncertainties are known that could make the impacts of climate change inconsequential. Furthermore, surprise outcomes, such as the unexpectedly rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice, may entail even more dramatic changes than anticipated.

Actions that could diminish the threats posed by climate change to society and ecosystems include substantial emissions cuts to reduce the magnitude of climate change, as well as preparing for changes that are now unavoidable. The community of scientists has responsibilities to improve overall understanding of climate change and its impacts. Improvements will come from pursuing the research needed to understand climate change, working with stakeholders to identify relevant information, and conveying understanding clearly and accurately, both to decision makers and to the general public.”

Adopted by the American Geophysical Union December 2003; Revised and Reaffirmed December 2007, February 2012, August 2013.

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Roger Pielke Sr response:

Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain  [May 10 2013]

By Roger A. Pielke Sr.

I served on the AGU Panel to draft the updated Position Statement on “Human Impacts on Climate”.  We were charged by the AGU to provide

 “…..an up-to-date statement [that] will assure that AGU members, the public, and policy makers have a more current point of reference for discussion of climate change science that is intrinsically relevant to national and international policy.”

In my view, this means we were tasked to report on the most important aspects of climate change. This was incompletely done in the Statement, where they inaccurately, in my view, discuss a view of climate change that is dominated by the emission of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases. Indeed, the Committee, under the direction of Jerry North, with the report writing subgroup led by Susan Hassol, was clearly motivated to produce a Statement of this one particular view. Under his leadership, other views were never given an adequate opportunity to be discussed.

The Committee, instead of presenting the actual state of scientific understanding on the issue of climate change, used the following approach, as summarized in my son’s book “The Honest Broker”

Scientific activity is diverse enough to provide information that can be used to support different perspectives on any topic … [to] decide the course of action and then find information to back it up is a common practice across the political spectrum. “

The Committee leadership already had a course of action in mind even when we were appointed.

I presented to the Committee what I have concluded is a more scientifically robust Statement. I started from their Statement, and accepted what I could, as well as sought to remain close to their length.

I sought to answer the following questions, which the Statement accepted by the Committee incompletely does and/or does not address at all.

  1. What is the definition of climate and climate change?
  2. What are the societally and environmentally important climate metrics (e.g. a global average surface temperature trend; changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns over multi-year time periods; sea level rise, trends in extreme weather etc)?
  3. What are the main human and natural climate forcings?
  4. What is the observational evidence for climate change?
  5. What is the skill of the global and regional climate model projections
    (predictions) of changes in these metrics on multi-decadal time scales?
  6. What are recommended pathways forward to reduce the risk from climate,
    including changes in climate over time?

My proposed text of a more balanced Statement on “Human Impacts on Climate” is

Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The Scientific Community Has The Responsibility To Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain

Climate is defined here as the statistical description of all the elements in the climate system (including the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and cryosphere), including both the mean state and any variations over time.  Climate change is defined as a shift in the statistical description of climate. Climate change includes radiative, biophysical, biogeochemical and biogeographic effects.  “Human-caused climate change” is a change resulting from one or more of the human climate forcings.

The natural Earth’s climate system, even in the absence of humans, is nonlinear in which forcings and response are not necessarily proportional; thus change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual.  Climate has always changed over time.  As Earth’s population has grown, however, human climate forcings have become significant on the local, regional and global scales. These human forcings include greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. CO2, methane, CFCs), aerosol emissions and deposition [e.g., black carbon (soot), sulfates, and reactive nitrogen], and changes in land use and land cover.  A number of these forcings are spatially heterogeneous and include the effect of aerosols on clouds and associated precipitation. Most, if not all, of these human radiative, biophysical, biogeochemical and biogeographic influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades. Natural climate forcings and feedbacks will also continue to be major effects on this time period.

With respect to human climate forcings, among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system.  While the greenhouse and aerosol emissions, in particular, have resulted in changes to the global average radiative forcings, the use of a global averaged radiative forcing or a global average surface temperature are grossly inadequate metrics to diagnose such effects as circulation changes on multi-decadal time scales.  It is these regional scale atmospheric and ocean circulations that have the dominant effect on societally and environmentally important weather events such as droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, etc and any possible alteration by human climate forcings is a major concern.

It is also important to recognize that changes in the global radiative forcings (global warming or cooling) represent only a subset of climate change. The ocean is the component of the climate system that is best suited for quantifying climate system heat change. There are major unresolved issues concerning the ability of a global average surface temperature trend to accurately measure climate system heat changes.  “Global Warming” can be much more accurately monitored in terms of an increase in the global annual average heat content measured in Joules.

Scientific confidence of the occurrence of climate change include, for example, that over at least the last 50 years there have been increases in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; increased nitrogen and soot (black carbon) deposition; changes in the surface heat and moisture fluxes over land; increases in lower tropospheric and upper ocean temperatures and ocean heat content; the elevation of sea level; and a large decrease in summer Arctic sea ice coverage and a modest increase in Antarctic sea ice coverage.  Over the last ten years, lower tropospheric and upper ocean temperatures increases, however, have been less than in the preceding years, for reasons that are actively being debated.

These climate changes are a result of human and natural climate forcings and feedbacks – the relative role of each in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features, and even the global annual average radiative forcing, however, is still uncertain. We do know that added carbon dioxide is the largest human-caused, and black carbon the second largest positive annual, global-averaged radiative forcing, while sulfates are among the largest human-caused negative annual, global-averaged radiative forcing. The importance of decadal and longer variations in natural annual, global-averaged radiative forcing (e.g. due to solar, and from internal natural climate feedbacks, such as from cloudiness), however, remains uncertain.

Climate models, unfortunately, are still unable to provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales at the detail desired by the impacts communities.   Even on the global scale, the annual, global-averaged radiative forcing predicted by the models is significantly greater than has been observed based on the accumulation of Joules in the climate system. The summer arctic sea ice extent, in contrast, has been significantly under predicted by the models, while the summer Antarctic sea ice extent increase has been missed by the models. Also attribution of specific extreme weather events to multi-decadal changes in climate has not yet been shown, and is likely not even possible.

We recommend a way forward that promotes effective policy decisions even with these uncertainties.  The Statement on Climate Change that was adopted by the majority on the Committee, unfortunately, does not provide an accurate summary of our understanding of climate change issues, and, thus, is not an effective policy framework to reduce risks from the climate system.

The effective use of mitigation and adaption to reduce the risk to water resources, food, energy, human health and well-being, and ecosystem function from climate (including changes in the climate system) requires a multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted approach.  Attempts to significantly influence climate impacts based on just controlling CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases emissions is an inadequate and incomplete policy for this purpose.The goal should be to seek politically and technologically practical ways (with minimal cost and maximum benefit)  to reduce the vulnerability of the environment and society to the entire spectrum of human-caused and natural risks including those from climate, but also from all other environmental and social threats.

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108 Responses to Pielke’s response to AGU Statement on Climate Change

  1. Jim Cripwell says:

    I noticed this in the AGW statement “they document decreases in the extent of …….., and Arctic sea ice.” There is a similar statement in the recent papers by the UK Met. Office, claiming that the decxrease in Arctic sea ice is an indicator of CAGW. Maybe so, maybe not.

    But it appears that the data, this year in 2013, is not going according to the warmists plans. Arctic sea ice is not behaving the way it was forecast to behave in 2013. In fact, I suggest that this year the minimum ice extent may be much greater than it has been in recent years. We will know in about 6 weeks. I cannot predict the future, but I suggest Arctic sea ice is a Sword of Damocles hanging over the AGU statement. It could be as early as next year, or maybe 2015, when Arctic sea ice is seen to be increasing, rather than decreasing.

  2. Rob Dawg says:

    Is the northern hemisphere ice thingy shrinking? Yes. How long has the the northern hemisphere ice thingy been shrinking? At least ten thousand years. How much of the shrink cannot be attributed to man? The last ten thousand years excepting perhaps the last several hundred.

  3. Onion says:

    Pielke’s response is the finest summary of the state of knowledge on climate and climate change I have read. Thank you

  4. Latitude says:

    “Climate models, unfortunately, are still unable to provide skillful predictions of changes in regional climate statistics on multi-decadal time scales at the detail desired by the impacts communities. Even on the global scale, the annual, global-averaged radiative forcing predicted by the models is significantly greater than has been observed based on the accumulation of Joules in the climate system”

    Because they are hindcasting and tuning them to numbers that have been jiggled…even if someone invented the perfect computer game….no one would know it, it would never be right….because they are not tuned to accurate past temps

    ———-
    “The summer arctic sea ice extent, in contrast, has been significantly under predicted by the models,”
    —-
    Models don’t do wind…………

  5. OldWeirdHarold says:

    “The Committee leadership already had a course of action in mind even when we were appointed.”

    IOW, shut up because shut up.

  6. TBraunlich says:

    How about getting them to state what kind of hypothetical evidence there might be which would be evidence *against* global warming, considering that their statements seems to say that both warming and cooling are consistent with the theory?

  7. RockyRoad says:

    My response to the AGU: “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!”.

    Next time, AGU, take the themometer out of your pants before making silly, unsubstantiated predictions and recommendations.

    Oh, and seriously consider Roger Pielke’s astute rebuttal and make the necessary corrections to your “Statement”.

  8. ConfusedPhoton says:

    I see the religious AGW fanatics continue to ignore data which contradicts their position. When you have blind faith, reality is not important.

  9. aaron says:

    “Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are likely responsible for more than .35C and less than .8C increase in global average temperature over the last 140 years, due to a combination of feedbacks and direct effects of the greenhouse gases. During this time there was a X% increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

  10. Pamela Gray says:

    I don’t care much for either statement. Both ignore the significant contribution of natural ENSO variations that can lead to long term warming and cooling trends without one iota of help or hindrance from humans. The entire thing is up in the air and leads to the type of decisions once made based on a toss of stones by a trusted witch doctor.

  11. Peter Ward says:

    No organisation in this political climate is going to say anything other than the party line, nor to give the impression that it doesn’t trust climate scientists. Its funding depends on being politically correct. The official statement is therefore to be expected and Roger Pielke’s statement is (unfortunately) naive in its inclusion of uncertainty.

  12. aaron says:

    I’d like to see a graph of global average temperature data adjusted for the direct effect of greenhouse gas concentrations.

    I’d also like to see correlation with absolute K temp, not anomaly. Maybe adjusted for distance from sun.

  13. David Wells says:

    Pielke and the AGU suffer from the same disease, verbal diarrhoea. I have never read so much ill defined codswallop in my life. Assumption, presumption, supposition, wishful thinking to disguise the fact that they havent a clue how our climate functions but like to give the impression that they do. The most likely rationale is that our behaviour and the result of it is so insignificant the planet Earth doesnt even know that we exist. Again the argument returns to the fact that before we started to burn fossil fuel the climate changed and still no one really knows why and anyone who gives the impression that they do by an over indulgence in meaningless technobabble is more corrupt than the likes of Al Gore who makes it quite clear what his ambition is, getting rich. Forcing this, forcing that pure conjecture, humbug we have not changed anything our climate is beyond our control and way beyond our influence. There is no evidence that we have made a difference you guys just enjoy tilting at windmills instead of getting a real job doing something useful with a genuine outcome. If you want to do something useful try to work out to clean up the Ganges now thats a real challenge but you wont do that your preference is to indulge in mealy mouthed appeasement.

  14. JJ says:

    Climate models predicted that global temperatures willould continue to rise, with the amount of warming primarily determined by the level of emissions, but that did not happen. Despite much wringing of hands, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, hHigher emissions of greenhouse gases willdid not lead to larger warming, and greater risks to society and ecosystems. Some additional warming is unavoidablelikely due to past emissions.

    There. Fixed that for ‘em.

    If they’d just hire a decent editor, they wouldn’t get themselves into these predicaments.

  15. barryjo says:

    Evidently I have missed something. In Dr. Pielke’s response,He says “We do KNOW that added CO2 is the largest human-caused, and black carbon the second largest positive annual, global-averaged radiative forcing——- . (emphasis mine).
    It was my understanding that we do NOT know, empirically, that this is true.
    Could someone please point me to the source of this knowledge.
    Much obliged.

  16. denniswingo says:

    The Committee leadership already had a course of action in mind even when we were appointed.

    It is often the case that the membership of such committees are chosen with a particular outcome in mind, based upon the mindset of those chosen.

  17. R. de Haan says:

    Lot’s of words wasted on a non existing problem.
    Sorry but that’s my 2 cents worth of contribution to the subject.

  18. Gerry McGuire says:

    [snip - Chemtrails - take that junk elsewhere, we don't allow it here by site policy - Anthony]

  19. R. de Haan says:

    It’s all crap

  20. NikFromNYC says:

    Activists are doubling down on their initial bad bet, fully attaching their reputation to an immediate end to our little warming pause just as the sun takes a major nap and the major ocean cycles have just started an earnest descent.

  21. wws says:

    It’s going to be hilarious to watch all the scrambling as the average temperatures drop over the next 30 years or so.

  22. Alec Rawls says:

    Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate

    This is still uncertain. Humanity has SOME effect on climate, but it may not be significant, either in the statistical sense of being discernable or in the broader sense of having an effect that is large enough to warrant concern. From the way Roger uses the concept of significance in the body of his statement I think that what he actually means is that the human effects are large enough that they COULD be significant, hence they warrant monitoring and investigation.

    If feedback effects turn out to be strongly negative, which certainly has not been ruled out, then CO2 effects would not be significant in anything but the most trivial sense, and the same should be true for sulfates and black carbon (unless we start intentionally dusting the great white north in an attempt to forestall cooling).

    CFC effects on stratospheric ozone might turn out to be significant for climate but these effects are still so little understood that that again nothing can be said with certainty about whether these effects are really significant or not.

    “Could be significant” is not the same as “significant.” I’d like to see Roger be more precise with his language here.

  23. WTF says:

    The AGU statement reads like a grant application.

  24. X Anomaly says:

    I would add this, given it is what the AGU statement doesn’t say which is most telling:

    It is stated that “The changes are inconsistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences.”

    It should be noted that nearly all major historical climate changes (such as the late Pleistocene ice ages, where sea level changed by over 100 meters), are inconsistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences.

    Whats the point of saying its ‘inconsistent’ with known natural influences when the majority of natural influences are unknown, or simply cherry picked to suit the data?

  25. Jimbo says:

    FAIL!

    “AGU has a responsibility to help policy makers and the public understand the impacts our science can have on public health and safety, economic stability and growth, and national security,” said Gerald North, chair of AGU’s Climate Change Position Statement Review Panel.

    Einstein did not feel the need to ‘help policy makers’. Nor did any of the other giants of science (though they could choose to). Helping policy makers is not their affair, their business is explaining the science as they know it. As for the rest of the statement I cannot comment as I am fuming with anger – too much to say. The statement is SHIT. Grrrrr.

    [Now reading the Pielke response.]

  26. Mike Maguire says:

    It’s seems incredible that the last decade+ of fresh empirical data and new insight into this subject can be ignored………..by those who claim to be looking and also counted on as experts.

    It’s mainly the result of 2 things:
    1. Once human beings, including really smart ones think they have learned something, they process all new information differently. New information that is consistent with what they now assume they know, get’s stored as knowledge in their brains. If it contradicts what they assume they know, it get’s discarded.

    It warmed in the 1980′s/90′s. We can all agree on that. During the warming, which was obvious to all, our climate scientists(experts in this field) analyzed the data available in order to explain why it warmed. Was there something going on with the sun? The oceans? The magnetic field changes? Any natural cycles? Certainly nothing that seemed likely based on data available.
    However, CO2 went up every single year and it’s a greenhouse gas. Of course, how could it be anything else!!!! Once that assumption was made, all climate models were programmed with it. All new information about climate was processed in the brains of climate scientist based on this assumption and passed on to the world. If it supported this (even though it is just a theory) it was stored as knowledge and reinforced this notion. Information contradicting it was/is still rejected.

    2. Once you begin to teach something or give an opinion on something or advise others to base decisions on something, your credibility and reputation are on the line. Who wants to be proven wrong, especially if they are outspoken or emphatic about a topic in an area of their expertise.

    This applies to most people and unfortunately, this allows the ego to control thinking and actions, including scientists, very unfortunately. This has turned the field of climate science into one of using data and arguments to prove that assumptions made in the 80′s/90′s are correct vs adjusting the assumptions based on new data since then.

    It’s not reasonable, based on the human ego, to expect outspoken AGW scientists to be capable of seeing the contradicting data. Those that were on the fence or just leaning to one side, yes they can go with the data without damaging their ego/reputation and of course if it corresponds to the prior assumption.

    The question is, how long does it take and how powerful does the diverging data need to be for those not recognizing it to finally see it?
    Part of the delayed response so far is the real belief(hope) that the warming will kick in again any time now as whatever force that stopped it goes away.

    One would think that if this current decade looks like it will not be warmer than the previous decade would pretty much abolish any catastrophic warming zealots. Seriously, they should have long ago toned down the debunked rhetoric and started working on better mathematical equations to represent the physics of the atmosphere in the global climate models but the longer it takes, the sillier they look.

    That’s what happens when ego and human emotion gets in the way.

  27. Pointman says:

    What’s truly appalling about the revised statement from a supposed learned body, is that massive assumption that humanity is somehow destabilising some eternal balance in nature. Pielke nudges them away from it but I feel he should have been a bit more empathic. There is no such thing as a steady state environment.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-steady-state-environment-delusion/

    Pointman

  28. Dr. Deanster says:

    Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate

    NO .. humanity has a significant effect on thermometers, … placed in dubius places. AND .. humanity definitely has an effect on the tabulation of those same said thermometers, with adjustments ad nauseum to torture the record into saying what they want it to say.

  29. Jimbo says:

    OK.
    Here are some of the results just in of human caused change in climate.

    * The biosphere has been greening over the last few decades.
    * Arid areas are becoming greener over the last few decades.
    * The Arctic is currently behaving like a denier.
    * Polar bear numbers up 5 fold since the 1950s.
    * Near record Arctic cold this summer north of the 80th northern parallel since 1958.
    * Antarctic sea ice extent above ‘normal’.
    * Penguin numbers in Antarctica ‘double’ than previously thought.
    * The Neotropics thrived during past periods of rapid global warming.
    and so on…………………….

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/claim-recent-el-nino-behavior-is-largely-beyond-natural-variability/#comment-1351897
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017%3C4045:TETWIT%3E2.0.CO;2

  30. Lou says:

    In the other words, we still don’t have a clue…

    Just like many other things when it comes to history, nutrition, social, archaeology, etc in liberals’ view.

    Just because you’re a liberal and have college degrees doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. Common sense and critical thinking don’t seem to work very well with them. Try pointing out to the dermatologists that sun scare is leading to widespread vitamin D deficiency… they’d go crazy. They actually think vitamin D from the food is all we need but data shows otherwise when you realize that you get so much more from the sun… They never taught that in the classrooms. I was shocked to learn that fact on my own outside of the classroom. There are plenty of other examples…

    Mainstream academic at university level needs a major overhaul… Clearly it is not working…

  31. Until we can accurately model local to regional scale effects and then remove them from surface and troposphere measurements, leaving a global signal, we have no idea of either the size or even the sign of any global signal. And as Pielke snr points out we are very far from being able to do that.

    A change in a global average is not evidence of a global cause.

  32. Jimbo says:

    On the Arctic, they do go on and on. I am sure they blame man for this.

    Abstract
    The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism

    The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C…..
    dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017%3C4045:TETWIT%3E2.0.CO;2

    Abstract
    The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic

    During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish……
    dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.02.011

    Monthly Weather Review October 10, 1922.
    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explores who sail the seas about Spitsbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface….

    In August, 1922, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitsbergen and Bear Island under Dr. Adolf Hoel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. The oceanographic observations (reported that) Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81o 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus…..”
    docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf

    When will the IPCC get its act straight? Does man have a discernible effect on climate warming after 1950 or before??? See also soot and natural climate oscillations that affect Arctic sea ice in the pas.

  33. Mickey Reno says:

    Thanks for joining us tonight for ESPTVs coverage of the $100 billion dollar Climate Change Hold-em Poker Tournament. We’ve just begun play, and over at table 8, the AGU is already all-in. Let’s join the action. We can see by the card cam, they have CAGW, CO2, and climate models in the hole. I’m surprised, that’s a pretty weak hand with which to risk everything so soon in this tournament. The AGU has always an aggressive bluffer. They’re hoping their bluff will force out all the other players at the table. Oh-oh, Pielke Sr. has called the bet…

  34. Lou says:

    One thing about mainstream academic at university level, it goes way back to 1800s when graduate students went oversea to Europe for Masters and Doctorates. Clearly you can see why it is not working well in USA… They simply brought old ideas over to USA that never really worked in the real life.

  35. Martin457 says:

    “the impacts our science has”

    Yeah, the impacts of fearmongering science on society can be quite devastating. Quit it.

  36. Jimbo says:

    Steven Goddard presents the results so far for the USA. It really is just as the Warmists have predicted. We are doomed!!!! Where is the theologian Al ‘Oil Check’ Tobacco Fund Recipient Gore?

    2013
    “Quietest Tornado Season On Record”
    “Quietest Hurricane Season On Record To Date”
    “Second Quietest Fire Season On Record Continues ”
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/second-quietest-fire-season-on-record-continues/

  37. Amber says:

    Scientific .Really!! Anyone have more grant money ? The report is pure propoganda from a clique.

  38. Terry Bixler says:

    If you are a believer then Tulips ,as we all know their value, will continue to skyrocket. So now we have many who believe that temperatures will skyrocket. The prices of tulips came down and the temperatures are going down. Meanwhile the AGW promoters continue to promote mass hysteria while fleecing the population.

  39. Jimbo says:

    wws says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    It’s going to be hilarious to watch all the scrambling as the average temperatures drop over the next 30 years or so.

    The climate has changed, but it’s slow and they are seeing it with utter with horror. Global mean temps standstill / slight cooling, Arctic unsure, Antarctica expanding, freezing NH winters, snow in Brazil, polar bear pests, and so on. It will take time and we need to have a program to allow them to save face. A climate rehab if you like. You must understand the utter shock of them realising that the ‘fossil fuel funded shills’ may have been right after all. Be merciful. LOL.

  40. TomRude says:

    “Extensive, independent observations confirm the reality of global warming. These observations show large-scale increases in air and sea temperatures, sea level, and atmospheric water vapor; they document decreases in the extent of mountain glaciers, snow cover, permafrost, and Arctic sea ice. These changes are broadly consistent with long-understood physics and predictions of how the climate system is expected to respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases. The changes are inconsistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences.”

    AGU simply proves many professional associations have been gangrened by political activists. I would immediatly quit an organization that would put up that trash.

  41. James Tolbert says:

    As I read Pielke’s response, I interpret that he says he has no better way of quantitatively predicting the impact of increased CO2, soot or land changes on surface or ocean heat balance, and he proposes actions to mitigate our impacts. It is the rate of change in the warming that is at issue, and Pielke offers no suggestion that the rate of change will not be severe as the forcings cause change in the more regional patterns he discusses. Therefore, with even more uncertainty and a solid knowledge that these changes are expected to cause more rapid change, I anticipate Pielke would use a probabilistic model that includes significant impacts when trying to determine his “cost” of no action, along with a large variance on the possible outcomes.
    As I read Pielke’s statement, I do not understand why the “anti” anthropogenic global warming crowd reads it so favorably. Ask your insurance agent what happens to your projected future costs if you quantify them with less certainty — you do not just assume that the future costs are less since you have less control over them.

  42. Latitude says:

    Jimbo says:
    August 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    Be merciful. LOL.
    ====
    no……LOL

  43. stuart L says:

    I notice they mention the Arctic, but ignore Antarctica.

  44. Latitude says:

    I read the “response” again…..not under the influence of caffeine this time

    Total hogwash…….

    “In my view, this means we were tasked to report on the most important aspects of climate change.”

    …the most important aspect of climate change….is first figuring out which direction it’s going first

    not a clue…………

  45. Gary Pearse says:

    My goodness, if AGU has been modifying their statement on several occasions, particularly during the continuing unexpected hiatus in warming for one sixth of a century and counting, what the heck was their position in earlier statements and how come they seem perfectly happy with staying the course? Even Roger Sr. should have mentioned that this hiatus presents a game changer as a pointer toward our ignorance of natural variability. Roger, we have more CO2, more soot, more methane, more NO2 and we’ve cleared more land and the earth stubbornly refuses to keep heating up.

    I think those who have studied climate science in recent decades are more handicapped than laymen who don’t have the sharp but wrong tools of the trade to make headway in climate science. McIntyre a statistician and mining consultant and McKittrick an economist are examples of the few intrepid seekers of truth who have made incalculable contributions to science and untold service to mankind by reining in runaway, slipshod, self-interested, mediocre so-called scientific work that is being used by anti-humanists bent on destroying civilization. WUWT and a handful of other unsung, unfunded, dedicated bloggers have polarized a once spotty resistance to this dangerous activity and built it up to a standard to be reckoned with. The hockey team and its admirers have no wiggle room now – their once prolific output of drek has all but dried up. These guys don’t work too well in the daylight and the corrupted journals that don’t even require adherence to their own rules are irredeemable.

  46. Julian in Wales says:

    Roger Pielke – thank you for standing straight. It takes guts and confidence to stand up; you are a good role model for scientists who do not have you self confidence and self integrity

  47. Weasel Wording Watch

    These observations show large-scale increases in air and sea temperatures

    Most people will read this as,

    These observations show large increases in air and sea temperatures

    When in fact it means,

    These observations show increases in global average air and sea temperatures

  48. juan slayton says:

    From an outsider, just wondering: Is this statement the product of a committee purporting to speak for the AGU, or has it actually been approved by the membership?

  49. Tom J says:

    These organizations and the policy makers they claim to advise fail to realize precisely where it is that their incomes come from. By failing to realize this, these ridiculous sooth saying, political, self serving, quasi scientific organizations and their minions will continue to advocate policies that, however unknown by them, will begin to cut into their own money stream. For instance, while the train of events for the Detroit bankruptcy were set in place for decades, the policies of the last 4+ years were the final nail in the coffin. Detroit’s a harbinger of things to come. And the Obama administration, fully in bed and wedded to these anti-human beliefs, despite the intractable nature of the jobless economy, clearly intends to double down on these crippling climate policies. As that further strangles the money stream, and – make no mistake – it will, it will be interesting to see if these self serving parasites begin to back away from the very same dogmas they lord over the rest of us. They may think the policies produced by those dogmas will only hit the lowly coal miner, factory worker, truck driver, small business owner, and the like, but it won’t because it is on those backs these organizations and Washington ultimately derive their money.

    It’s said that the successful parasite doesn’t kill its host. I’m not certain these parasites can finesse that, however, since they’re not even aware that they are, ultimately parasites (non productive dead loads), nor who the host actually is (which is the economy they’ll destroy). So, if they don’t back away from their dogmas, not only are they just parasites, but they will not even prove to have been successful parasites. Quite a legacy, when you think about it.

  50. Steve B says:

    Tom J says:
    August 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    It would be great if we could create a new nation without the parasites i.e. the doers move there.

  51. Eli Rabett says:

    So, Roger Sr., just like Roger Jr. is a covert issue advocate. Who knew?

  52. JPeden says:

    “”Because our understanding of climate change and its impacts on the world around us has advanced so significantly in the last few years….”

    Right, because it’s been proven, at least according to “mainstream” Climate Science’s hypotheses, that CO2 has hardly anything to do with the “climate”, apart from its beneficial effects on living things and what that might in turn do to affect the climate in terms of land use, carbon soot, and aerosol effects, for example.

  53. JPeden says:

    juan slayton says:
    August 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    “From an outsider, just wondering: Is this statement the product of a committee purporting to speak for the AGU, or has it actually been approved by the membership?”
    No, it was not approved by the membership, according to what Dr. Pielke says above. It was supposed to inform the AGU members as well as everyone else:

    We were charged by the AGU to provide
    “…..an up-to-date statement [that] will assure that AGU members, the public, and policy makers have a more current point of reference for discussion of climate change science that is intrinsically relevant to national and international policy.”

  54. Chad Wozniak says:

    Unbelievable – what chutzpah. How can they say these things in the face of so much evidence proving they are dead wrong?

  55. pat says:

    Richard Branson’s response to CAGW policy!

    5 Aug: Age, Australia: Matt O’Sullivan: Virgin singles out carbon tax in profit warning
    Carbon tax hit
    Virgin estimates the carbon tax will cost it between $45 million and $50 million for the year – a cost Virgin said it could not recover due to the weak economy and tough competition.
    Virgin chief executive John Borghetti singled out the carbon tax as a major reason for the slump in earnings, and he said he wanted to see it abolished.
    ‘‘If it continues, it will obviously impact our results if the market remains soft,’’ he said. ‘‘We have said all along, right from the beginning, that this carbon tax is not recoverable in a weak economic environment. It is purely a cost on the business.’’…
    http://www.theage.com.au/business/aviation/virgin-singles-out-carbon-tax-in-profit-warning-20130805-2r8id.html

  56. What I find particularly curious is the timing of this travesty from the AGU. Isn’t the usual process for the IPCC to issue one of its perennial “gold standard” OMG, its-worse-than-we-thought escalations – followed by a resounding chorus from eminent institutions echoing the IPCC cliams (if not relying entirely on its “authority”)?

    Knowing that we are less than two months away from the public release of the next edition of the climate bible (or at least the short version thereof), why wouldn’t the AGU have waited for the new, improved sermons from the mount?!

    Some possibilities occur to me:

    a) The powers that be at AGU have an “inside track” on the “findings” of the IPCC, and (like former UNFCCC head honcho Yvo de Boer) is paving the way for mindless acceptance by the masses – aided and abetted by the dutiful churnings of the honourable members of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

    b) Although they would never admit it publicly, the AGU is somewhat embarrassed by the recent spate of 97% nonsense – which has done absolutely nothing to restore the downward spiralling credibility of the IPCC, its Chair and/or its “in-crowd” (cf. the recent silly paper co-authored by AR5 WG2 Co-Chair, Chris Field).

    So this may be a last gasp effort to shore up and restore the primacy of evil place once accorded to the dreaded CO2 emissions, before this distinct “footprint” is subsumed under one that is, ironically, even less “sustainable” in the real world: Our “ecological footprint” whose army of advocates require that we put “nature on the balance sheet” and “radically transform our economies” and patterns of consumption etc. etc.

  57. Resourceguy says:

    It’s clear that the high priests and mullahs of climate change science dogma are not going to budge any more than necessary. Therefore they will remain silent on key questions and definitions of the issue and focus more on consistency over all else. See the Iranian and Saudi leadership for modern equivalents and the dark ages of Europe for glacial-paced statement change. It will take 10 to 20 years of cyclical cooling to get any movement on their statement and only then will they even acknowledge cycles themselves. Upon acknowledgement of cycles they can then grant themselves another 30 to 50 years of grace time to say it is still humanity caused change but with cycles. Add in epoch change and they can keep humanity caused climate change in the presence of a new ice age. Parasites do not fall off their host based on time limits or good will. Enjoy.

  58. milodonharlani says:

    Only when “scientists” are rewarded for doing real science will the professional bodies start changing their tune. Now tens of billions per year are riding on perpetuating the scam.

  59. u.k.(us) says:

    Eli Rabett says:

    August 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    So, Roger Sr., just like Roger Jr. is a covert issue advocate. Who knew?
    ======================
    Tripe is allowed.
    Now you have to defend it.

  60. Theo Goodwin says:

    X Anomaly says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Best post so far. Most important point. The persons who wrote this document are blind to empiricism, blind to experimental research, and are working on the outrageous assumption that all causes of climate change are known.

  61. Brian H says:

    As Earth’s population has grown, however, human climate forcings have become significant on the local, regional and global scales. These human forcings include greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. CO2, methane, CFCs), aerosol emissions and deposition [e.g., black carbon (soot), sulfates, and reactive nitrogen], and changes in land use and land cover.

    Oh, really? Every falsification attempt of the Null (natural variation) has failed. It remains the default.

  62. Mark Hladik says:

    Make sure we archive (multiple times) these statements, just in case someone tries to pull an Orwellian, “… no, that’s not correct! What we REALLY said is … “

  63. Jeff Alberts says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t care much for either statement. Both ignore the significant contribution of natural ENSO variations that can lead to long term warming and cooling trends without one iota of help or hindrance from humans. The entire thing is up in the air and leads to the type of decisions once made based on a toss of stones by a trusted witch doctor.

    That, and the continued use of “global average temperature” as if it has any meaning beyond a statistical construct. It has no physical usefulness.

  64. What has changed since since the previous AGU statement?

    On the science side, every measurment of the climate system did not change as much as our science and models lead us to believe they would. We over predicted the changes to be expected. We thought we knew more than we did. Today what has increased the most is the recognition of our ignorance.

    On the political side, the policy makers want to act and act now before the “jig is up”.

  65. Theo Goodwin says:

    James Tolbert says:
    August 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    “As I read Pielke’s response, I interpret that he says he has no better way of quantitatively predicting the impact of increased CO2, soot or land changes on surface or ocean heat balance, and he proposes actions to mitigate our impacts.”

    Pielke writes:

    “With respect to human climate forcings, among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system. While the greenhouse and aerosol emissions, in particular, have resulted in changes to the global average radiative forcings, the use of a global averaged radiative forcing or a global average surface temperature are grossly inadequate metrics to diagnose such effects as circulation changes on multi-decadal time scales. It is these regional scale atmospheric and ocean circulations that have the dominant effect on societally and environmentally important weather events such as droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, etc and any possible alteration by human climate forcings is a major concern.”

    It seems to me that Pielke’s second sentence says says that climate science has no metric to diagnose the effects that interest you. Saying that someone has no science capable of diagnosing a particular condition is a far cry from saying that one has no better way of quantitatively predicting the condition..

  66. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    Dr. Pielke, how do you reconcile AGU’s nearly repugnant agenda-based direction…i.e. the “foregone conclusion” that they so clearly present? You are a brave soul to go against the grain, I wish you the best of luck trying to honestly present the State of the Science Address to a room full of deaf people (which does not include your audience here).

    Thanks for your efforts nonetheless.

  67. William Astley says:

    The extreme warming hypothesis has been disproved by observations. Rallying the troops with speeches, proclamations, and name calling of others does not and cannot change reality.

    P.S.
    Hollywood could not write a more interesting script for the climate wars. Nir Shaviv’s analysis estimated (based on an analysis of the paleo record) that 0.47C +/-0.17C of the warming in the last 70 years was due to solar magnetic cycle changes (Range: Low 0.3/0.8C=38% , Medium 0.47/0.8 = 59%, High 0.64/0.8 = 80%). It appears the sun is moving towards a deep solar magnetic minimum and we are at the peak of the climate wars. The warmists have spent the last 20 years saying 100% of the warming was due to CO2 and anyone who presents observations and logic to challenge that assertion is a denier. Almost 2 trillion dollars (US) has been spent on green scams and there has been no change in the increase in CO2 and there has been no warming for the last 16 years. Commercial greenhouses inject carbon dioxide into their greenhouses to increase yield and reduce growing times.

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Shaviv.pdf

    IPCC lead author Hans Van Storch:
    “That’s what my instinct tells me, since I don’t know exactly how emission levels will develop. Other climate researchers might have a different instinct. Our models certainly include a great number of highly subjective assumptions. Natural science is also a social process, and one far more influenced by the spirit of the times than non-scientists can imagine. You can expect many more surprises.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/20/if-things-continue-as-they-have-been-in-five-years-at-the-latest-we-will-need-to-acknowledge-that-something-is-fundamentally-wrong-with-our-climate-models/

    In reply to comments by IPCC lead author Hans Van Storch
    Comment 1: “At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: … in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.”
    William: There is a 98% chance that general circulation models are incorrect based on average global temperature Vs GCM model prediction and there is a 100% chance that that the GCM are incorrect based on the fact that there is no observed tropical tropospheric warming. The gig is up.

    Comment 2: “There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn’t mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes.”

    William:
    Less warming CO2 warming does not explain no warming for 15 years. As atmospheric CO2 continues to rise planetary temperature must increase in a wiggly manner as the CO2 forcing does not go away. It appears at least 0.45C of the 0.7C warming in the last 70 years was caused by solar modulation of planetary clouds. The latitudes where the warming has occurred are the latitudes that are most strongly affected by solar modulation of planetary cloud cover. There is a plateau when there is no warming to explain and the latitudinal pattern of observed warming does not match the AGW forcing pattern.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html

  68. stan stendera says:

    “What fools we mortals be.”-Shakespeare. And I don’t mean Roger Pielke, Sr.

  69. JimF says:

    When I see the AGU Panel sell their property, don sackcloth, and retreat into the woods to take up a hunter-gatherer existence, I’ll join them in frolicking in the forest in a “sustainable” mode of life. Until then, I am mad as hell, and I want to see them arrested and jailed for fraud and other crimes that amount to yelling “fire” in a crowded, dark theater mostly filled with poorly educated but emotional human beings.

  70. GeologyJim says:

    I preferred Willis Eschenbach’s letter to Marcia McNutt (new ed-in-chief of Science mag, short-time past director of USGS). A shortened version would also benefit Carol Finn, AGU’s current President, and current USGS employee.

    Willis pointed to the fact that dear old Mamma Earth has been running an experiment in front of our eyes since about 1810. Global temps have risen over 2C, and nothing calamitous or unprecedented has happened. No major drowned cities, no detectable extinctions, no declines in ocean productivity, no trends in droughts/floods/heat waves/cold spells, etc have yet been documented due to this rate/amount of warming.

    In addition, Earth has also run a shorter-span experiment since the Super Nino of 1998. Mankind has added 10% more CO2 to the atmosphere, and the amount of “global warming” has been … … … statistically bupkiss, nada, niente, nichts.

    In a contest between Earth history and computer models, Earth wins every time.

    Both of these ladies are trained Earth scientists, yet seem willing to toss off the evidence in the geological record for political celebrity. John Wesley Powell is not resting well in his grave.

  71. wayne says:

    That’s it, no more AGU here. They are now nothing more than a group of mindless environmentalist activists who have been able to hijack and takeover a once great organization. Sad, and on the eve of when real scientists are finally turning to the Venus atmosphere that in the proper science proves the Earth has no immediate worry, we are not going to meaningfully alter the mass of our atmosphere and by that, co2 will in the end show it too has no real influence on the flux of energy through our atmosphere to space. At 5 ppm this would not be true but at the current 400 a doubling is not even going to be measurable and will increase the plant life here able to support our growing population. And they destroyed a great union all for nothing.

  72. FrankK says:

    In a nutshell : A statement from a fanatical warmist organisation and a “rebuttal” from a luke warmist. What a bunch waffling rubbish.

  73. C.K.Moore says:

    “So, Roger Sr., just like Roger Jr. is a covert issue advocate. Who knew?”
    Another uncalled for and pointless remark. What a hobby!

  74. Slacko says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    “I don’t care much for either statement. Both ignore the significant contribution of natural ENSO variations that can lead to long term warming and cooling trends without one iota of help or hindrance from humans.”

    Good call Pamela, but perhaps you missed it because he’s so cagey about it. Try this bit from paragraph 3.
    “… circulation changes on multi-decadal time scales. It is these regional scale atmospheric and ocean circulations that have the dominant effect on societally and environmentally important weather events …”
    But even that is wrapped in a cloak of anthropogenic twaddle.

  75. mem says:

    The AGU (like the IPCC) is nothing but a loaded committee that brings in science experts,flatters them, accepts a few of their words to gain credibility and then proceeds in its predetermined direction. This social methodology of nobbling scientists was used on a grand scale in Stalinist Russia and adopted in China to perform a “science” led agricultural revolution that resulted in millions starving to death and being displaced. The “AGW revolution” is already heading in the same direction – displacing indigenous farmers, creating price rises for staple grains (used for biofuels), destroying the most efficient available means of generating power to support manufacturing and industry and preventing tried and true methods of hydroelectricity and nuclear being established etc. Millions may freeze or starve in this grand experiment by the IPCC.

  76. johanna says:

    The fact that Pielke Sr (hardly a screaming radical) is an outlier in the AGU’s committee says it all.

    Their statement is so Noughties. They don’t seem to realise that the caravan has moved on.

  77. Stephen Richards says:

    Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The Scientific Community Has The Responsibility To Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain

    Proof please !!! significant ? I think not but that’s not important because climate scientist know not. Everything they say is counter-factual.

  78. rogerknights says:

    IPCC lead author Hans Van Storch:

    “Our models certainly include a great number of highly subjective assumptions. Natural science is also a social process, and one far more influenced by the spirit of the times than non-scientists can imagine.”

    Actually, we outsiders (some of us) CAN see it; it’s those caught up in the fad who are blind to their subjectivity.

  79. ducdorleans says:

    well, at least we know now that the 97% was a tad exagerated …

    14/15 = only 93% …

    :-)

    PS
    from time to time, I read optimistic comments … e.g. that since more than a decade temperature does not increase, and therefore the AGW scam has had its best days … unfortunately, I cannot join that optimism … politicians – who want our money and our minds – and climate “scientists” – who want our money – will not give up on this easily … they will go on untill either all the money is gone, or a real new ice age has come upon us, whichever comes first … but that means we will be visiting CA, or WUWT, BH, or the others, for a very long time to come …

  80. M Courtney says:

    The AGU Statement says:

    While important scientific uncertainties remain as to which particular impacts will be experienced where, no uncertainties are known that could make the impacts of climate change inconsequential.

    Think about that. It shows a remarkable lack of imagination. It almost seems as though they have excluded the option before considering the evidence.

    If you don’t know the particular impacts, or their location, how can you tell if they are inconsequential or not?

    You can’t – either way.
    This one sentence invalidates the process by which the entire statement has been developed.

    Back to the drawing board, AGU.

  81. Manfred says:

    Roger A. Pielke Sr.: “My proposed text of a more balanced Statement on “Human Impacts on Climate” is…”
    Politics trumps science again.

    More clap-trap from the Lost in Space crowd.

  82. rtj1211 says:

    Who has carried out rigorous scientific analysis of the following:

    1. What is the effect on topsoil erosion of cutting down forests either at heads of rivers or at the limit of tree growth in higher altitude regions?
    2. What is the effect of such deforestation on the absorption and subsequent release of rainwater by the ecosystem around the heads of major rivers?
    3. What is the effect on soil fertility within river courses of damming such rivers, particularly those with a high silt content??
    4. Has a rigorous study of trace element depletion of agricultural lands been carried out and if so, what policies are being put in place to replenish key minerals within intensively farmed lands??
    5. Why have policy makers consistently sought to create permanent settlements in the flood plains of rivers?? Would they agree that river flooding is one of the major methods that nature uses to replenish soil and restore fertility??
    6. Would they also agree that many of the most fertile lands are to be found where volcanic eruptions have created substrata rich in key minerals and, therefore, volcanoes are an integral part of sustainable fertility systems on planet earth??

    On the basis of these, and other related questions, what is the evidence that one of the most cost-effective, long-term solutions to the restoration of sustainable fertility in our major river basins is the replanting of upland forests, to be kept in perpetuity as key sinks which smooth out water release into rivers, purify water sources and ensure greater fertility prognoses further downstream???

    Would climate alarmists agree that such forests are likely to contribute to the abatement of carbon dioxide release, provide habitats to retain biodiversity and help to restore a more healthy water cycle between the oceans, atmosphere and rivers????

    Would policy makers like to consider whether dams represent the optimal means of water control or whether other, less centralised mechanisms of retaining water on a seasonal basis have a role to play as well?

  83. limogerry says:

    This is preaching to the converted, but Dr DMW Evans approach is so solid. Gotta love it. Spread this far and wide, people. Thanks.

  84. Eric H. says:

    IMO: The responses of the AGU and Dr. Pielke compare environmental advocacy to a measured, verifiable explanation of the current state of climate science. You don’t have to agree with everything Dr. Pielke says but his statement is useful to decision makers compared to the AGU’s hyperbole and arrogance. Unfortunately the decision makers are politicians and will use the AGU’s statement to further their ideology and the ideology of their constituents who drink the grape flavored green kool-aid.

  85. R. de Haan says:

    “The goal should be to seek politically and technologically practical ways (with minimal cost and maximum benefit) to reduce the vulnerability of the environment and society to the entire spectrum of human-caused and natural risks including those from climate, but also from all other environmental and social threats”.

    This is all 100% Agenda 21 hubris and so WUWT provides a platform for a “light green artist” who obviously is serving the same agenda as the Dark Green Scam Artists that led to climate skepticism in the first place.

    It doesn’t fly with me thank you very much.

  86. richardscourtney says:

    limogerry:

    The short video you provide at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/05/pielkes-response-to-agu-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-1382167
    is an excellent summary of the science of AGW for interested lay people.

    As the video says, its data is impeccable, and its argument is a summary of the main-stream AGW-skeptic view.

    I write to commend it to all onlookers of the debate.

    The video is easier to grasp than Pielke’s excellent statement quoted above but – in essence – it makes the same argument as Pielke although the video uses different words and data. However, Pielke and the video provide very different emphasis. Pielke stresses uncertainty while the video clearly asserts that empirical data refutes the AGW narrative.

    Richard

  87. herkimer says:

    Dr Roy Spencer said recently ”

    “The belief that global warming and associated climate change involve more severe
    weather cannot be supported observationally. And even if we were to observe a trend in
    severe weather, it would not be possible to determine with any level of confidence the
    extent to which the change was due to human activities versus natural variability.

    Thus, the evidence that humans are mostly responsible for either recent warmth or
    severe weather changes (if such changes exist at all) is equivocal, at best.”

    The complete paper can be found here
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Spencer_EPW_Written_Testimony_7_18_2013_updated.pd

  88. Chris Wright says:

    @richardscourtney

    I would second that. It is truly an excellent video. It is calmly presented and I would be confident the data it quotes is of the highest quality. Despite the calm presentation its content is explosive. Thanks to limogerry for the link. For anyone who watches this video (link is a couple of posts above) it will be ten minutes very well spent.
    Chris

  89. Owen says:

    The end of the world rant by the AGU is a disgrace. I would expect something like this from Greenpeace, not from an organization that is supposed to do real science.

  90. chainsaw says:

    Per Roger Pielke Sr., “The natural Earth’s climate system, even in the absence of humans, is nonlinear in which forcings and response are not necessarily proportional; thus change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual.” i.e. a chaotic system.

    Then RPS goes on to say, “With respect to human climate forcings, among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system.”

    So, in a nutshell, how can one measure, understand and predict a choatic system via terming that the “natural system”? If one does not fully understand the “natural system” (and no one presently does understand this) how are unnatural forces (human climate forcings) given any consideration prior to fully understanding the “natural system”?

  91. Resourceguy says:

    @chainsaw

    Good one!

  92. Steve Keohane says:

    barryjo says:August 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Evidently I have missed something. In Dr. Pielke’s response,He says “We do KNOW that added CO2 is the largest human-caused, and black carbon the second largest positive annual, global-averaged radiative forcing——- . (emphasis mine).
    It was my understanding that we do NOT know, empirically, that this is true.
    Could someone please point me to the source of this knowledge.
    Much obliged.

    These are Pielke Sr.’s views and have been consistent for a few years at least, that I know of. I did think he previously thought the #1 and #2 mentioned above for human impact were the reverse of what is stated, but may have changed his mind over the past few years, or I misremember. Regardless, it is the order of magnitude that matters. If CO2 is a major driver of the ~.8°C we have seen, but that number is inflated by adjustments and siting issues, one must ask, is there anything of significance occurring? Doesn’t this all come down to the number of angels on the head of a pin?

  93. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    “Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate”

    The implicit arrogance in this statement and gross over-estimation of human capacity is simply mind boggling. These people have completely lost the plot.

  94. more soylent green! says:

    “Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate”

    Please define “significant” in this context. 10%? 25%? 50% or greater? Or is 5% significant? A range of values, such as 20%-30% of observed climate change is due to human activity, for example.

    Thank you

  95. Resourceguy says:

    Oh the humanity! There is no mention of multi-decadal cycles and Antarctica. Without the use of cycles, the Dust Bowl should be the Sahara by now as a result of unidirectional climate change.

  96. Theo Goodwin says:

    Quite a few people seem to read Pielke as not quite being a skeptic. I beg to disagree. Consider the following quotation from Pielke’s article:

    “While the greenhouse and aerosol emissions, in particular, have resulted in changes to the global average radiative forcings, the use of a global averaged radiative forcing or a global average surface temperature are grossly inadequate metrics to diagnose such effects as circulation changes on multi-decadal time scales.”

    What he says is that either “a global averaged radiative forcing or a global average surface temperature are grossly inadequate metrics” for the purposes that Alarmists make of them in their efforts to promote climate alarm. Pielke’s position is as skeptical as any position he has ever expressed and just as skeptical as my position.

    Please read Pielke’s article carefully. If necessary, I will set forth each of Pielke’s points in detail. But the bottom line is that he denies that there is scientific support for Alarmist claims. What more can you want?

  97. TalentKeyHole Mole says:

    Nice that the AGU High Command rammed their Advocacy statement for U.S. Funding (and IRS Taxation, i.e. non-profite tax status pandering to Federal Agency Directors [the hopeful appointees in many cases]) without the full membership of the AGU society voting on it.

    It’s time to call the AGU Executives frauds given the evidence of Fraud they produce by their own hands.

    By-Laws? What by-laws the Executives would retort.

    So long AGU and I hope the class-action suit leaves the Executives penniless.

  98. Theo Goodwin says:

    Everyone should read Judith Curry’s take on the AGU statement. She is not pleased.
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/05/agu-statement-on-climate-change/#more-12466

  99. Theo Goodwin says:

    Judith Curry is out with a second pummeling of the AGU statement, though it is couched within the larger topic of advocacy by scientists. Dr. Curry’s statements on this matter are extraordinarily important. http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/

  100. Chris R. says:

    To Pointman:

    You chose the wrong word. You wrote: “…I feel he should have been a bit
    more empathic.” I think you meant emphatic.

  101. crosspatch says:

    That remarkable man, Humbolt, has reduced it almost to a demonstration, that the streams in our country fail in proportion to the destruction of its timber. And of course, if the streams fail, our seasons will grow worse; it must get drier and drier in proportion. Humbolt, speaking of the Valley of Araguay in Venezuela, says that the lake receded as agriculture advanced, until the the beautiful plantations of sugar-cane, banana, and cotton-trees, were established on its banks, which (banks) year after year were farther from them. After the separation of that Province from Spain, and the decline of agriculture amid the desolating wars which swept over this beautiful region, the process of clearing was arrested, and old lands grew up in trees with that rapidity common to the tropics, and in a few years the inhabitants were alarmed by a rise of the waters, and an inundation of their choice plantations.

    Scientific American Vol. 2 No. 1 Sept. 26, 1846

  102. mem says:

    The release of the AGU paper without agreement of its membership gives the best opportunity for skeptical scientists to assert themselves.Act now and do it with legal advice
    Do not resign from AGU but encourage other skeptical scientists to join pronto
    Judith Curry and Pielke Senior should circulate a dissenting motion and request a general vote of all membership
    If AGU do not allow your actions to proceed take them to court
    Publicise your position and develop a plan to go with this.
    The timing for this to occur is now in view of warm in pausing and forthcoming report.
    I am a strategic planner used to politics and with many wins under my belt. I would be willing to kick off a fund with a donation to support this action.Please take my recommendation seriously as I am good at timing and the timing is perfect.

  103. Greg Cavanagh says:

    Regarding the various things and events being an indicator of CAGW.

    Surely somebody has quantified that these things are indeed indicators?

  104. Blade says:

    WTF [August 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm] says:

    “The AGU statement reads like a grant application.”

    Yes it does. Their motive is as transparent as glass.

    These charlatans are making a mockery of Science.

  105. AlexS says:

    “Pielke and the AGU suffer from the same disease, verbal diarrhoea. I have never read so much ill defined codswallop in my life. Assumption, presumption, supposition, wishful thinking to disguise the fact that they havent a clue how our climate functions but like to give the impression that they do. ”

    I would say it is more presumption, arrogance, hubris. From both.

  106. Roger Dewhurst says:

    “The Committee leadership already had a course of action in mind even when we were appointed.

    It is often the case that the membership of such committees are chosen with a particular outcome in mind, based upon the mindset of those chosen.”

    That is how politicians work. They appoint those who will tell them what they want to hear.

  107. knr says:

    Of course the AGU could always show us the results of the survey they did to support the claim that this statements reflects the ‘members ‘ view rather jus the outlook of a handful of politicised people out to push their own views .
    Such a basic bit of science should be easy for them to do , so has anyone seen these results?

  108. Chad Wozniak says:

    Based on everything I’ve read here and elsewhere, it would seem that human effects on climate are entirely localized, and are due almost entirely to the following:
    1. Heat buildup from energy consumption in urban areas (the UHI effect).
    2. Land use practices, including both clearing and planting or regrowth of forest (causing both ups and downs in local temps, and changes in rainfall).
    3. Dam building and reservoir accumulation (with both upward and downward impacts on temps).

    It would be interesting to see what global average temps would look like if one were able to separate these effects from the totality thereof – i.e., without the UHIs, the newly cleared and newly reforested lands, and major water impoundments. If the satellites are doing this it might explain some of the difference between their assessment of temps and the data used by alarmists (before the alarmists have “adjusted,” i.e., fudged, it).

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