Another chance to make comments on climate change


As you may have already read, the CCSP Unified Synthesis Product report, which contains a multitude of errors and misrepresentations, is on hold while the various “synthesis products” catch up in publishing. These are essentially justifications for the contents of the final CCSP.  It was rightly pointed out that the CCSP USP was being pushed for publishing without many of the publications for the justifications of conclusions and recommendations being published first. This was truly a cart before the horse plan.

There will be a number of these parts that public comments will be accepted for.

Here is your chance to comment on two of them:


Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate

Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.3

11 July 2008. Public review draft of report is posted. Comments will be accepted from 11 July through 25 August 2008.

See the  invitation to comment and Federal Register notice.

Here is another that you can comment on:

Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes

Public Review Draft for Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.2

Comments on the draft report will be accepted through 25 September 2008. See also the Federal Register notice published on 11 August 2008.

Invitation to Comment on Public Review Draft

Instructions for Submission of Public Comments

Read the Full Report [PDF] [6.1 Mb]

h/t David Hagen

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Roy Tucker
August 23, 2008 2:51 pm

With regard to aerosols, would not the anthropogenic suppression of forest fires reduce the aerosols from naturally-occurring forest fires? Since aerosols generally reduce surface temperatures, shouldn’t fire suppression be considered a mechanism of climate warming? Perhaps then we should quit fighting forest fires?

August 23, 2008 4:25 pm

I have searched through ‘Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate’ and have not found any mentioning of Svensmark nor of cosmic rays.
Aerosols are nucleation cores for water droplet and thus cloud formation.
Note that water droplets have to exceed a critical diameter. Only then they will grow on their own in water vapor saturated air. If they are too small, they will evaporate again or stay at a finite size, too small for further growth.
In general, aerosols are neutral particles. Often they are made up by dipolar molecules like sulfur acid, sometimes they are homopolar such as carbon soot.
Since H2O molecules are also dipolar molecules, dipole-dipole attraction will help to form droplets.
Even better would be the presence of isolated positive or negative charges. Charge to dipole attraction is considerably stronger, droplets could form more easily, and the critical radius of droplets can also be reached more easily.
Charges do not exist freely, however, at least not for longer times.
High energy cosmic rays generate a lot of charged collision products which will attach themselves to aerosols. This will help cloud formation, even if the charges neutralize after a short time. Modulation of cosmic ray intensity by solar activity changes cloud formation and thus the albedo. This is the most probably mechanism for the solar imprint on the climate (Svensmark and others).
It is interesting that neither the word Svensmark is found nor the word cosmic ray. The word Hansen is found quite often.
Cosmic ray collison products as a driver to modify aerosols and thus as a driver to enhance droplet and cloud formation are not mentioned, research along such lines is not encouraged.
I conclude that the whole proposal is completely biased towards AGW studies.
Studies on alternate origins of climate change are to be excluded from publc funding.

August 23, 2008 4:27 pm

The basis for including the hockey stick in the USP is in this report. I noticed the inclusion of the all the supporting papers, plus the papers from UCAR disputing Svensmarks work.
I haven’t read the full report, but this is where I would concentrate if I had Ph.D. after my name. I sincerely doubt they will even review comments from folks without one.

Dodgy Geezer
August 23, 2008 4:28 pm

I love the comment in the summary, to the effect that “although the current climate models differ widely on climate sensitivity they are all brought back to match historical record by varying the aerosol ‘fiddle factor’, in one case by nearly an order of magnitude”.
I don’t suppose the final report will say it in those words, but that’s what they mean….

August 23, 2008 5:40 pm

Perhaps this belongs in the Reuters thread, perhaps it belongs here as a source of raw information. Let’s put it here as an important step in seeing “mainstream media” beginning to report global cooling despite what the gov’t reports might say.
Anthony may have to relax a bit in his dislike for the Old Farmer’s Almanac this year. Since I live in New Hampshire, I’m expected to sing its praises (and ignore its faults). That’s not codified in our state constitution or even our RSAs, but you know how it goes.
The cover of the 2009 edition says “Cold, Snow, Hurricanes Blow – Global Cooling?” The first thing I noticed in the article was a time line starting at 1895 and then various graphs that look familiar and mentions of the AMO and PDO. I went back to see who wrote this stuff, and found it was another New Hampshire resident, Joe D’Aleo. We know him!
The total distribution of the OFA will be 3,300,000. There will be more people reading Joe’s article than have ever read a page here, and there may be more readers here than there will be reading the CCSP documents.
Maybe I’ll just send a copy of the OFA to the CCSP.
Lessee, the standard parts of the OFA. The “General Weather Forecast and Report” starts “Our study of solar activity suggests that as we enter solar cycle 24 we are at the beginning of a significant change. Over the coming years, a gradual cooling of the atmosphere will occur, offset by any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases. … Most of the nation will have below-normal winter temperatures, on average. The area of heavy snowfall will extend from the Ozarks northeastward into southern New England. (This is farther south than the area of heavy snowfall in the winter of 2007-2008.)” From Concord NH north last winter we had snowfall that was close to our all time records. I would not be surprised to see a general cooling push the storm track further south.
How accurate was our forecast last winter? We correctly predicted above-normal snowfall in much of New England and below-normal snowfall in the mid-Atlantic. More areas received heavy snowfalls, and the nation as a whole was 0.3 degree colder, on average, than we predicted because solar cycle 23 lasted longer than expected. Farther west, the heavy snowfall occurred north of where we predicted it.”
I didn’t get last year’s OFA, so I can’t confirm their statements. OTOH, I have no reason to disagree.
Now, of course, the OFA seasonal predictions are done by their long-time prognosticator Abe Weatherwise using a secret mix of information including sunspot activity. Their forecast can not be reproduced, but hey, some real scientists aren’t very forthcoming either.
It’s great that the OFA has D’Aleo’s article. It will be hanging on the outhouse wall for an entire year. Had it been printed in the NY Times, it would be lining the birdcage within a week.
Good stuff. Except if I’m north of the storm track, I’m gonna be freezing my butt this winter. Oh well, I shoveled enough snow last year to last me for a while. And, like a proper New Englander, I prefer forecasting after the fact. Lot more accurate that way.

Leon Brozyna
August 23, 2008 5:48 pm

The depressing thing about this is the realization that this (the CCSP) is a government (politically) mandated organization, established by Congress. I suppose that this was our response to the international movement that also ultimately lead to the creation of UNEP and the IPPC. I glanced at the two documents and it appears that they are taking the lead from the IPCC. In fact, the CCSP has released another document, OUR CHANGING PLANET
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2009,
where, in the introduction, they state, “Research also indicates that the human influence on the climate system is expected to increase.” The “research” they cite? The Summary for Policymakers, a thoroughly political document.
The whole focus of this multidecade, multinational effort has warped science with its starting fundamental premise that mankind is changing the global climate. Such a prejudicial assumption then colors all the work that follows.
It is said that one man can make a difference. In this case, I suppose that that one man would be the man behind the scenes, Maurice Strong, who said in 1990, “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?” and “In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”
No, it’s not some nefarious hidden conspiracy. Just a confluence of interests (and grant money) that have brought us to this sad state of affairs. The science should be studying how all the factors (yes, even the sun) affect the climate, how they interact, and how to adjust to possible changes (warmer or cooler). There is no single factor that results in real climate change. Just as AGW proponents dismiss Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) as a significant factor in climate change, so too are changes in CO2 levels not a significant factor in climate change. Changes are wrought by a sum of a combination of factors from TSI, Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR), solar and earth magnetic fields, changes in ocean temperatures and currents, changes in cloud cover and albedo, etc.
Climatology needs to move beyond being colored by political suggestions and beliefs and reassert the hallmark of science — skepticism.

David L. Hagen
August 23, 2008 6:14 pm

Calling on Hockey Stick specialists to weigh in. This report references
Mann et al (1998),
Mann et al (1999), but not
Mann et al (2004) Corrigendum.
There also does not appear to be any reference to McIntyre & McKitrick.
e.g., Note the following (with left line numbers):

2340 Figure 5.35 Updated composite proxy-data reconstruction of Northern
2341 Hemisphere temperatures for most of the last 2000 years, compared with other published
2342 reconstructions. Estimated confidence limits, 95%. All series have been smoothed with a
2343 40-year lowpass filter. The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), about 950–1200 AD.
2344 The array of reconstructions demonstrate that the warming documented by instrumental
2345 data during the past few decades exceeds that of any warm interval of the past 2000
2346 years, including that estimated for the MCA. (Figure from Mann et al. (in press).”

The figure 5.35 and figure description is given later:

Figure 5.35. Updated composite proxy-data reconstruction
2774 of Northern Hemisphere
2775 temperatures for most of the last 2000 years, compared with other published reconstructions.
2776 Estimated confidence limits, 95%. All series have been smoothed with a 40-year lowpass filter.
2777 The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), about 950–1200 AD. The array of reconstructions
2778 demonstrate that the warming documented by instrumental data during the past few decades
2779 exceeds that of any warm interval of the past 2000 years, including that estimated for the MCA.

One may take further confidence from the following on page 2:

26 Chapter 5 Temperature and Precipitation
1 Statistically valid confidence levels often can be attached to scientific findings, but commonly require many
independent samples from a large population. Such a standard can be applied to paleoclimatic data in only some
cases, whereas in other cases the necessary archives or interpretative tools are not available. However, expert
judgment can also be used to assess confidence. The key findings here cannot all be evaluated rigorously using
parametric statistics, but on the basis of assessment by the authors, all of the key findings are at least “likely” as
used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (more than 66% chance of being correct); the authors
believe that the most of the findings are “very likely” (more than a 90% chance of being correct).

See especially section:
1728 5.4.9d Climate of the past millennium and the Little Ice Age

August 23, 2008 6:20 pm

My earlier comment was in reference to the second report “Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes“.

August 23, 2008 6:24 pm

I read most of the report. I am drafting a response. Comments please.
line 2
“tuned’ Aerosol forcing, this paper assumes that the output of the model has been “corrected” by the addition of varying weighted aerosols. When the output is adjusted to match some target by including a variable labeled “aerosol” does not mean that an “aerosol” was the factor that should have been adjusted. In fact the adjustment could have been labeled “unknown” adjustment to make the output look correct.
line 39
“direct aerosol climate forcing is …” better than unknown but not know to a high degree of certainty. Currently the weather in the next 5 days cannot be determined from any of the mentioned models with a high degree of certainty.
One possible reason for the inaccuracies of the models is that they do ot take into account cosmic rays. I searched the whole document and found no refrence to cosmic radiation. High energy cosmic particles have been shown to have a direct interaction with water vapor and various aerosols. To leave this major contributor out of th “product” is unthinkable. To talk about the Earth’s radiation budget and to not mention these high energy particles suggests that your understanding of the interactions of these particles with the Earth’s atmosphere is incomplete.
As an aside all satellite are protected as best as can be from these particles, so NASA does have knowledge in these areas with respect to hard science. Further NASA has a daily product that relates to these particles as they are influenced by solar radiation.
Terry Bixler
Director of Software development Secom International

David L. Hagen
August 23, 2008 7:03 pm

Clarification: Previous comment was on
CCSP Synthesis and Assessment 1 Product 1.2
2 Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes – Due 5 September 2008.
Focus first on the Aerosol report due August 25th

Larry Sheldon
August 23, 2008 7:38 pm

“fiddle factor”
How does that relate to the “finagle factor” my father taught me about eons ago?

F Rasmin
August 23, 2008 8:06 pm

deadwood (16:27:44) :Do not be phased by the lack of post-initials Ph.D. When I received a Bachelor of Science degree, I thought I was a scientist until I attempted to read a paper from ‘Science’ and similar material. I could not get past the first line. I then did a Grad Diploma and managed to struggle through the abstract of a similar paper. I then did a Master of Science and took my time over that. This then enabled me to reach the end of science papers with some understanding. I then did a ph.D , but It was not until I did a professional Doctorate that I considered myself capable of constructive criticism of science papers.The ph.D degree is restrictive in that it centres around a single research topic. I have found that (here in Australia anyhow) people who go from an undergraduate degree, to an honours degree, and then a ph.D are relatively ignorant without many further years in their field. How can they aquire a depth of knowledge in their early career? There are not enough hours in the day if they travel along the demanding work route of Bachelor, Honours, then ph.D. North Americans have a saying ,’Professor in the class, dumb on the bus’! Substitute young ph.D for professor! (My apologies to all older ph.Ds!)

August 24, 2008 12:13 am

F Rasmin:
I have a BSc, MS and the completed course work and research for a not completed PhD. I understand the truth of your explanation, and I suspect you know the truth of my comment.

August 24, 2008 1:22 am

Thing is, we’re tackling a creature here that plays by its own rules, which are not Scientific Method. It can read all the science comments and then just dismiss them. Perhaps that’s what IPCC 1,2, and 3 were about: teaching the creature to look like science? Perhaps it needed IPCC 1 before it was clever enough to get away with removing the MWP? In ancient times and in stories, this creature has names. The Hydra needed to have all its 100 heads cut off at once and cauterized, or it would regrow more. So have we now got a drip feed to teach the creature how to phrase its jiggery-pokery better?
I have no intention of being pessimistic. But IMHO it helps to try to name the creature accurately.

John F. Pittman
August 24, 2008 9:17 am

I have been reading the Aerosol report due August 25th. It is quite strange in that the work indicates the large uncertainty and inabilities of models to correctly model the effect of aerosols yet repeatedly it states Page v line 37- “Models also provide critical links among different observations, and can simulate the past and project into the future.” It repeats this claim several times while providing evidence to the opposite…that models cannot be expected to project future climate change. It also refuses to acknowledge that the match to the past is due to tuning (over-tuning actually IMO), yet has a discussion that this tuning actually occurred.

August 24, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Aerosol report 2.3: (pg.4) Regarding IPCC estimates of aerosol forcing: “These aerosol forcing assessments have been based largely on model calculations, with scientific understanding designated as “Medium – Low” and “Low” for the direct and indirect climate forcing, respectively.”

David L. Hagen
August 25, 2008 9:20 am

In Aerosol properties and their impacts on climate Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.3
I could not find any reference to galactic cosmic ray induced ions, as a source of aerosols and cloud nucleation, nor to Henrik Svenmark’s Cosmoclimatology.
With the deadline end of work today, may I encourage others to at least pick up some comment and weigh in on it.
Otherwise submit comments that the future summary document ignores this important research.
Following are some references to relevant documents and sources on Cosmoclimatology.
* The Center for Sun-Climate , Danish National Space Center

“The Center for Sun-Climate Research at the DNSC investigates the connection between variations in the intensity of cosmic rays and climatic changes on Earth. This field of research has been given the name “cosmoclimatology”.

* Cosmoclimatology
* Sun-Climate Publications-Full Text
* A brief summary of cosmoclimatology “Summary of a review article on cosmoclimatology by Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center, published in Astronomy & Geophysics, February 2007.”
* Harrison. R. Giles; & David B. Stephenson, Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds. Proc. Roy. Soc. A. V462, Nr 2068, Apr. 8, 2006, 1221-1233.
* Marsh, Nigel, Galactic cosmic ray and El Niño–Southern Oscillation trends in International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project D2 low-cloud properties, J. Geophysical Research, V. 108, No. D6, 4195, doi:10.1029/2001JD001264, 2003
* Marsh, Nigel D. & Henrik Svensmark, Low Cloud Properties Influenced by Cosmic Rays, Phys. Rev. Letters, 4, Dec. 2000, Vol. 85, No. 23, 5004-5007.
* Rusov, V; A. Glushkov, V. Vaschenko, O. Mihalys, S. Kosenko, S. Mavrodiev, B. Vachev, Galactic Cosmic Rays – Clouds Effect and Bifurcation Model of the Earth Global Climate. Part 1. Theory, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, (2008) In Press
* Rusov, V; A. Glushkov, V. Vaschenko, О. Mihalys, S. Kosenko, S. Mavrodiev, B. Vachev, Galactic Cosmic Rays – Clouds Effect and Bifurcation Model of the Earth Global Climate. Part 2. Comparison of Theory with Experiment. Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, (2008) In Press
* Svensmark, Henrik, & Eigil Friis-Christensen, Variation of cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage – a missing link in solar-climate relationships, J. Atmospheric & Solar-Terrestrial Physics, V. 59, N. 11, pp. 1225-1232, 1997
* Svensmark, Henrik, Jens Olaf P. Pedersen, Nigel D. Marsh, Martin B. Enghoff, & Ulrik I Uggerhǿj, Experimental evidence for the role of ions in particle nucleation under atmospheric conditions, Proc. Royal Soc. A. 2006, 1773.
* Svensmark, Henrik, Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges. A & G, February 2007, Vol. 48 #1, 18-24
* Usoskin, I.G. & N. Marsh, G. A. Kovaltsov, K. Mursula, O. G. Gladysheva, Latitudinal dependence of low cloud amount on cosmic ray induced ionization, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 31, L16109, doi:10.1029/2004GL019507, 2004
* CLOUD Proposal Documents
“CLOUD – Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets” at CERN
* New Experiment to Investigate the Effect of Galactic Cosmic Rays on Clouds and Climate CERN Press Report Geneva, 19 October 2006.

“A novel experiment, known as CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets), begins taking its first data today with a prototype detector in a particle beam at CERN1, the world’s largest laboratory for particle physics. The goal of the experiment is to investigate the possible influence of galactic cosmic rays on Earth’s clouds and climate. This represents the first time a high energy physics accelerator has been used for atmospheric and climate science.”

* Brian H. Brown, Short-term changes in global cloud cover and in cosmic radiation, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Volume 70, Issue 7, May 2008, Pages 1122-1131

“Galactic cosmic rays (GCR) have been suggested as a possible contributory mechanism to cloud formation. . . .There is an association between short-term changes in low cloud cover and galactic cosmic radiation over a period of several days. This could arise if approximately 3% of the variations in cloud cover resulted from GCR.”

(significance p=0.06)
* Christiansen, Freddy, Joanna Haigh, & Henrik Lundstedt, Influence of Solar Activity Cycles on Earth’s Climate, Task 700-Summary Report Conclusions and Recommendations, Danish National Space Center, April 11, 2007.
* Marsh, Nigel & Torsten Bondo, Task 5-Hypothetical Physical Mechanisms, WP503-Role of Ionisation, Influence of Solar Activity Cycles on Earth’s Climate, Danish National Space Center, Sept. 14, 2006”
* Kirkby, Jasper, Cosmic rays and climateSurveys in Geophysics 28, 333–375, doi: 10.1007/s10712-008-9030-6 (2007). (CERN-PH-EP/2008-005, 26 March 2) 42 page review
The main experiments are:
* Ion-induced nucleation:
* Growth of CN into CCN:
* Activation of CCN into cloud droplets:
* Ice particle formation:
* Collision efficiencies of aerosols and droplets:
* Freezing mechanism of polar stratospheric clouds:

“. . .The most persuasive palaeoclimatic evidence for
solar/GCR forcing involves sub-orbital (centennial and millennial) climate variability over the Holocene, for which there is no established forcing agent at present. Increased GCR flux appears to be associated with a cooler climate, a southerly shift of the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) and a weakening of the monsoon;. . .The satellite data suggest that decreased GCR flux is associated with decreased low altitude clouds, which are known to exert globally a net radiative cooling effect. Studies of Forbush decreases and solar proton events further suggest that decreased GCR flux may reduce high altitude (polar stratospheric) clouds in the Antarctic.. . .Real progress on the cosmic ray-climate question will require a physical mechanism to be established, or else ruled out. With new experiments planned or underway, such as the CLOUD facility at CERN, there are good prospects that we will have some firm answers to this question within the next few years. . . .”

David L. Hagen
August 25, 2008 9:52 am

On Cosmoclimatology, see detailed Monte Carlo ion modeling at:
Usoskin, Ilya G. and Gennady A. Kovaltsov, Cosmic ray induced ionization in the atmosphere: Full modeling and practical application, J. Geophysical Research, V. 111, D21206, doi:10.1029/2006JD007150, 20068 November 2006.

David L. Hagen
August 25, 2008 9:53 am

Usoskin, Ilya G. and Gennady A. Kovaltsov, Cosmic ray induced ionization in the atmosphere: Full modeling and practical application, J. Geophysical Research, V. 111, D21206, doi:10.1029/2006JD007150, 20068 November 2006.

Kristal L. Rosebrook
September 4, 2008 1:37 am

Interesting post
K Rosebrook

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