Von Storch op-ed in the WSJ: 'Climategate reveals a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results useful to a political agenda'

Some excerpts:

Dr. Hans Van Storch

We—society and climate researchers—need to discuss now what constitutes “good science.” Some think good science is a societal institution that produces results that serve an ideology. Take, for instance, the counsel that then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave to scientists at a climate change conference in March, as transcribed by Environmental Research Letters: “I would give you the piece of advice, not to provide us with too many moving targets, because it is already a very, very complicated process. And I need your assistance to push this process in the right direction, and in that respect, I need fixed targets and certain figures, and not too many considerations on uncertainty and risk and things like that.”

I do not share that view. For me, good science means generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method. The merits of a scientifically constructed result do not depend on its utility for any politician’s agenda. Indeed, the utility of my results is not my business, and the contextualization of my results should not depend on my personal preferences. It is up to democratic societies to decide how to use or not use my insights and explanations.

What we need to do is open the process. Data must be accessible to adversaries; joint efforts are needed to agree on test procedures to validate, once again, already broadly accepted insights. The authors of the damaging e-mails would be wise to stand back from positions as reviewers and participants in the IPCC process. The journals Nature and Science must review their quality-control measures and selection criteria for papers.

See the complete op-ed here

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For those interested in his work:

Get in Amazon

Statistical Analysis in Climate Research

Statistical Analysis in Climate Research

By Hans von Storch, Francis W. Zwiers

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Number Of Pages: 494

Publication Date: 2002-03-04

ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0521012309

ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780521012300

Binding: Paperback

The purpose of this book is to help the climatologist understand the basic precepts of the statistician’s art and to provide some of the background needed to apply statistical methodology correctly and usefully. The book is self contained: introductory material, standard advanced techniques, and the specialized techniques used specifically by climatologists are all contained within this one source. There are a wealth of real-world examples drawn from the climate literature to demonstrate the need, power and pitfalls ofstatistical analysis in climate research.

Download Description:

Climatology is, to a large degree, the study of the statistics of our climate. The powerful tools of mathematical statistics therefore find wide application in climatological research. The purpose of this book is to help the climatologist understand the basic precepts of the statistician’s art and to provide some of the background needed to apply statistical methodology correctly and usefully. The book is self contained: introductory material, standard advanced techniques, and the specialised techniques used specifically by climatologists are all contained within this one source. There are a wealth of real-world examples drawn from the climate literature to demonstrate the need, power and pitfalls ofstatistical analysis in climate research. Suitable for graduate courses on statistics for climatic, atmospheric and oceanic science, this book will also be valuable as a reference source for researchers in climatology, meteorology, atmospheric science, and oceanography.

Download:

http://rapidshare.com/files/75327389/vonSt0521012309.rar

If you don’t have a tool for decompressing RAR files may I recommend the free software: FROG

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120 thoughts on “Von Storch op-ed in the WSJ: 'Climategate reveals a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results useful to a political agenda'

  1. The problem is the funding. Most climate science is funded by governments who damand certain results to justify their desired policy aims. Until that changes, the corruption will continue.

  2. “Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories—to do our work without worrying if the results support your causes.”

    von Storch highlights the critical need for true science to explore, test, and validate hypotheses.
    Climategate exposed the serious corruption of the scientific method by the “CRU cartel” for their own political and financial benefit. This caused consequent corruption of the political process where it depends on valid science. Major effort is needed to clean up and restore confidence in climate science.
    Despite what warming advocates claim, science is established when independent scientists can validate models on reproduceable facts, not by political “consensus”. While CO2 is known to absorb and radiate energy, climate is much more complex.
    Qing-Bin Lu recently documented how ozone depletion correlates strongly with galactic cosmic rays and CFCs, NOT sunlight. Furthermore, he finds that ozone depletion, stratospheric temperatures and global temperatures appear to correlate with CFCs (EECEs) and Cosmic Rays (CR), NOT with CO2.
    See: “Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming”
    Furthermore, we are currently in an exceptionally low and long solar sunspot cycle. The cold and precipitation could be related, as in the cause for the Little Ice Age when the Thames froze over etc.
    Don Easterbrook reviewed and predicted global cooling/warming cycles based on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. See: New geologic evidence of past periods of oscillating, abrupt warming, and cooling
    Since 2001, global temperatures appear to be tracking predictions by Easterbrook and Lu, not those of the IPCC. See Lucia’s graphs
    Despite the Copenhagen hype, climate science is still in flux. See Climate Change Reconsidered.
    Energy efficiency is important and valuable. Cost effective renewable energy is helpful. The Copenhagen Consensus showed ALL other major humanitarian efforts are more cost effective then climate mitigation.
    Most important will be methods to provide large quantities of inexpensive alternative fuels rather than pay oil tribute to the Saudis.
    I affirm von Storch’s call to get back to true science with transparent validation. We need to focus political effort on where we can most cost effectively benefit humanity, not on fascist control with little benefit.

  3. Healthy minds normally would welcome evidence that we’re not headed toward a climate catastrophe. But not our sick politicians of today. Rather than being relieved, and directing resources to other problems, they are doing all they can to keep this “climate problem” alive. They are using climate as a way of shirking their responsibilities to solve the real problems out there.

  4. I noticed that Barrie Harrop is slagging comments on the WSJ page. Of note, he says interest in Climategate is waning in the MSM. It was never waxing in the MSM so his point seems to be wishful thinking. It also seems he is trying to ignore the growing sh**storm that’s brewing online and will soon be heading his way .

  5. In the editorial the Doctor states: “Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less.”
    He judiciously refrains from stating “man-made” greenhouse gas concentrations. Yet leads the reader down the same old AGW path that is being disassembled daily. A tightrope walker?

  6. I think he overstates his case:
    “But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation”
    He needed to have said: ..core of the hypothesis….
    We are a long way from understanding what effect humans have on climate. We may be warming it, or we may not. When the theories can be translated into models that consistently predict temperatures and climate, then I would call it knowledge.

  7. “…They are using climate as a way of shirking their responsibilities to solve the real problems out there.”
    Well no, I don’t think so. I think they are using fear and scare to create their imaginary utopia of world governance. They see this as stepping up to the plate, solving he world’s problems via income redistribution.

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  9. Despite arguments to the contrary, code as well as data and any other analysis techniques must be handed off to the journal for publication. If those conditions are not met, then the journal should refuse to publish the research. I know Paul V. might be working on an analysis package. In that case, he could still sell the package to researchers who could use it their daily work. But when the time came to publish, those researchers would have to hire a temp physicist or mathematician to recreate the calculations either manually or with code that can be made publicly available.

  10. Well spoken. Yes, we need to open the science process, publicly archive all data and codes, and rework the peer-review process to insure real scrutiny and avoid buddy-buddy wink-and-nod arrangements.
    Eisenhower’s farewell address to the Nation (17 Jan 1961) is still relevant:
    “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research”.
    “Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers”.
    “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite”.
    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded”.
    Almost 49 years ago – and spot-on.

  11. From the op-ed:

    . . . I am in the pocket of neither Exxon nor Greenpeace, and for this I come under fire from both sides—the skeptics and the alarmists—who have fiercely opposing views but are otherwise siblings in their methods and contempt.

    This ‘pox on both your houses’ would seem to be a cop-out, but what it really means is that he’s embarrassed by the alarmists and Climategate, but basically agrees with them:

    . . . the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems.

    On the contrary, is that not the core of the dispute? As far as I can see it is by no means clear that climate change (from whatever cause) is ‘simple’, and it is by no means clear that human activity has anything to do with it. That’s the ‘skeptical’, i.e. rational view. For all Dr. Storch’s fine words about the need for open, apolitical, objective adherence to the scientific method, in point of fact he is just echoing the warmist litany, “The science is settled.”
    The true scientist is always skeptical, even when he thinks something is ‘settled’. Because it never is, really.
    /Mr Lynn

  12. Another quote: “I am in the pocket of neither Exxon nor Greenpeace, and for this I come under fire from both sides—the skeptics and the alarmists—who have fiercely opposing views but are otherwise siblings in their methods and contempt.”
    That seems to be a little disingenuous. He should have noticed by now that their are decent and indecent people on both sides of the argument.

  13. P Gosselin
    “Healthy minds normally would welcome evidence that we’re not headed toward a climate catastrophe. But not our sick politicians of today.”
    Politics is all about posturing. Brown, Obama and Rudd are just three examples of leaders how have nailed their flags to the mast. The prize is enormous; to be feited as a “world leader”, one who has brokered a robust deal on CO2 mitigation, especially if snatched from the teeth of looming defeat – a deal reached when everyone is in agreement, when all the media are confident, wouldn’t be worth winning. So it matters not if the science is sound or not, nor if the truth is the opposite to the spin.
    In poker parlance, they have gone “all in” and they have missed the flop.

  14. “Climatology is,to a large degree,the study of the statistics of our climate.”
    We only require statistics on any subject when we are not sure of something or when we require a measure to try and prove or disprove a subject.
    Without statistics being thrust upon us who would be aware of AGW?
    I can’t say I have seen any real difference in the climate of the UK in 40 years.
    Statistics being pushed by the warmists say otherwise.
    Look hard enough at something and you will see what you want.
    I’d rather go with the self evident.

  15. an honest man! Even though he buys into the greenhouse gas hypothesis, he’s willing to let the data take him wherever it will, which is the mark of a true scientist.
    If his views were followed, we would be having an honest scientific discussion and not a political controversy.
    and who’s “barrie harrop”?

  16. I would be more impressed with his scientific acumen if he didn’t then swing into “reminding” us how strong the case is for AGW. In short he misses the main point, the case is far less strong than we have been told which is why the predictions of the warmists are junk science. It isn’t just the lack of clarity on how this particular item or that one was done. It is the continuing problem across the entire field where the closer you look at any sub issue the greater your uncertainty grows.
    Every honest scientist seems to look at their own small piece of the issue and say “we aren’t very certain here”. Then somehow we aggregate this enormous pile of “we don’t know” and produce a theory we are certain of?

  17. This is the same age old complaint and whining that has been a permanent fixture of humanity since the first “scientist” chipped a piece of rock into a sharp pointy thing just out of curiosity. From a political/leader pov, “Science” is no different than the proclamations issued from a cave in Delphi, or the meanderings of various religions and superstitions. It has been, and always will be, merely a tool that is used for whatever purposes the leader wants to use it for. Get used to it.

  18. Just to add that in these modern times our reliance on statistics have grown.
    It used to be, ” We have a problem,let’s get some statistics”.
    Now it is ” There has to be a problem,let’s get some statistics”.
    Seek and ye shall find problems in almost everything.

  19. But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere.

    This is a stunningly simplistic argument.
    1) “But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest.” I agree that the core of our knowledge is simple – but the climate is not simple. We’re just largely ignorant about how it all works. Hard to contest? Please. It’s certainly not hard to contest the integrity of the temperature record.
    2) “Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead” – this is predicted by models but not proven.
    3) “Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems”. I suppose all change can cause stress but this statement is completely unproven. It may well be that the change will reduce stress by making the planet a better place to live.
    4) “More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less.” There is an implied argument that we can control the environment. While we can control man-made greenhouse gases, we cannot control greenhouse gases that nature makes nor any of the the other factors that affect climate nor do we understand them. What an absurd flight of fancy that we can control stress in society by controlling greenhouse gas emissions. While were at it, why not cure disease, pestilence, floods, war and world hunger. Oh, that’s right, we’ve tried but haven’t been very successful at that either. “More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less.” is just a way to try to deflect from the abhorent lack of science that’s been going on. And this from a man who claims to be scientific and not political.

  20. Anthony, want to thank you for putting up great posts and links seems like every day. Yours is *the best blog I have come across on any topic.* Read your bio and am impressed with your own personal perseverence and energy efficiency initiatives.
    Mahalo, Brad

  21. Just to be clear, in order to download “Statistical Analysis in Climate Research” from the link at the end of the post, we have to sign up for a RapidShare premium account?

  22. P Gosselin (09:44:35) :
    The grant process is fatally flawed — governments can demand conclusions before they hand out money …
    As a partial fix I recommend all science be open science when grants are involved.

  23. A book to teach the other climatologists statistics. I think von Storch has found a market niche there (chuckle).

  24. Al Gore Sued Over Climategate Fraud
    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah6EE8AZIlw]
    REPLY: For the record, no he hasn’t been – A

  25. “who’s “barrie harrop”?”
    You probably don’t want to know.
    But if you are feeling masochistic, sign up for (free account) the WSJ website and look at any opinion piece even vaguely related to global warming.
    He seems to have nothing better to do that spend his life spamming any discussion even remotely related to global warming.
    It would be ok if he at least had something original and useful to add.

  26. but the problem is that the AGW ‘Cartel’ has continually claimed that what they do is reproducible… Just take our word for it…
    Which is all that you get from them. How can you fight city hall ( or in this case climate scientists ) when they are making the rules?
    And how do you get heard by the main stream media when none of your guys are experts? ( I.e. getting funding for the stuff you produce? )

  27. “I’m not in the pay of Exxon,but.” Is kinda like, “I’m not a racist,but.”
    The need to qualify oneself before expressing a point of view has been forced on all of us by the same people who believe in AGW.
    I would say the says more about there beliefs and thought processes than mine.
    The politicaly correct meme is so all pervading and survives because we all (including me) play along.
    ChairMAN. there I said it.

  28. “..“Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories—to do our work without worrying if the results support your causes.”..”
    I had often wondered why the best science was always done by aristocrats or leisured gentlemen like country parsons with a guaranteed income. Now I know.
    I propose the setting up of a new scientific elite, comprised of English Lords, Texan oil millionaires and Swiss bankers….

  29. I have the highest regard for Professor von Storch and I am encouraged by the general tenor of his column. But he has oversimplified matters and, unfortunately, abandoned scientific skepticism when he makes the statement:

    “Such a change [in climate] causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less.”

    It is quite conceivable that modest warming can be beneficial for human beings as well as the rest of nature. And there is no basis for thinking that 2°C above pre-industrial is the optimum amount of warming. It is as, Prof v. Storch notes, a “politically produced” number.
    Also, I have to disagree with his statement:

    “So please, you media, you NGOs, and you Mr. Rasmussen: You have the knowledge you need for the political decisions.”

    In fact, we have no idea how much it has actually warmed (because of the problems associated with the surface data), or what fraction of the warming is due to human activities, what fraction of that is due to well-mixed greenhouse gases, and what fraction of that is due to man-made CO2 emissions. Nor have the models — actually, series of models — used to produce impacts been validated using out-ofsample data. Without all this, we can get “politically produced” NON-SOLUTIONS. Wouldn’t matter, but for the fact that it could reduce human well-being and the rest of nature as well.
    However, I do agree with the remainder of his penultimate paragraph:

    “Let us sit in our studies and discuss the remaining issues, the sea level, the ice sheets, the hurricanes, and other issues. Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories—to do our work without worrying if the results support your causes. Science is a valuable and unique societal institution, but not if it is consumed by short-sighted political goals.”

    However, I wish the Professor had noted that scientists need to tell their political leaders that consensus is not part of the scientific method, no matter how well it (consensus) may be ensconced in the political and bureaucratic processes, and how complicated it makes life for them.

  30. WSJ requires you to have a password, so I will post my question to Dr. Van Storch here:
    If “the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest”, why is it that the champions of that core resorted to fraud instead of simple explanation of phenomena such as negligible heating of the tropical troposphere and south-polar cooling since 1979?

  31. Regarding the download link – are we to assume that “Statistical Analysis in Climate Research” is in the public domain? Otherwise it seems to me that the RapidShare download link is a copyright violation?
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, otherwise you should probably remove that link.

  32. I commented at CA on this op-ed piece:
    ‘There are points which Hans von Storch makes (warming = stress for the environment) which are debatable.
    However, from this editorial I get the impression that one could debate these points with him, without ending in slanging matches.
    These are the debates we need – and it would be a good idea not to limit participants to climatologists exclusively.’
    My objection to AGW, from the start, has been that the Team simply never got out of their offices and computer rooms, nor do they seem to have any interest in evidence from other fields such as History, Archaeology, Palaeontology.’
    Hans von Storch says that climatology is studying the statistics of the climate – and that simply reinforces my objections. Climate and climate change affects not just us humans, it affects every living organism on the planet. it has done so from the beginning of life on earth and will continue to do so, regardless if there are humans about or not.
    This being the case, statistical analyses of climate and its changes are very useful and extremely interesting – but they do not tell the whole story.
    That is why climatologists ought to get out more, and engage with scientists studying the subjects I mentioned above.
    As zoologist, I am simply stunned that evolution, which is driven by changes – physical, as in plate tectonics, climatic, as in ice ages and interglacials – doesn’t even get a look-in from climatologists.
    Mind – from AGW alarmists and activists, and especially from politicians I would of course not expect anything at all in the way of understanding what drives life on earth!

  33. “I do not share that view. For me, good science means generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method. The merits of a scientifically constructed result do not depend on its utility for any politician’s agenda. Indeed, the utility of my results is not my business, and the contextualization of my results should not depend on my personal preferences. It is up to democratic societies to decide how to use or not use my insights and explanations.”
    I see two problems with this idealistic formulation as it does not conform to empiricism:
    1) “good science” is explored in Science in the Service of Empire here:
    http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/12/openletter-stevemcintyre-climategate.html
    http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/11/let-co-conspiracy-theorist-climategate.html
    http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/12/letter-sppi-climategate.html
    http://humanbeingsfirst.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/letter-to-david-michaels-letter-to-editor-concerning-david-michaels-book-and-the-endless-hegelian-mind-fck-dec102009.pdf
    2) “democratic societies ..” is platitudinous preaching of the same variety as the Ten Commandments. 3000 years and still awating the very first one to be implemented, never mind all of them.
    Richard Feynman, counted among the greatest physicists of all time, was a pretty shabby moralists. In one of his essays, he noted the a similar sentiment, I do not recall exact chapter and verse, but the sentiment expressed was that: science is amoral; it does not kill people, politicians do.
    However, politicians have always put scienctists idealism at work for them. The world’s most horrendous weapons of mass destruction is developed by scientists pursuing their science. Empricism dictates that such platitudes as quoted above, and Feynman’s, are both self-delusions, as well as criminal when they absolve themseleves of responsibility and accountability for the work they do, when it is entirely predictable, that the work they do will be harnessed, abused, and employed in the “service of empire”.
    These matters are fleshed out in more detail in the aforementioned links. In a nutshell, welcome to the world of hectoring hegemons. That world, is World Order. And all its instruments, including the pursuit of science, the arts, propaganda, high-culture, and myths and mantras, only serve its purpose. To deny that is to have been fast asleep in the pursuit of the ‘American Dream’. Not too late to wake up to the fact that “Hegemony is as old as mankind”. And that’s what pays the paycheck, and foots the bills of science.
    Thank you.
    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  34. P Gosselin (09:44:35) :
    The problem is the funding. Most climate science is funded by governments who damand certain results to justify their desired policy aims. Until that changes, the corruption will continue.

    It doesn’t really matter who is paying. Activists have infiltrated every level of scientific, government and legal area and are now elevated to positions of high responsibility. Unfortunately it will take a hard line, worldwide conservative approach to have these persons removed.

  35. O/T – Mayon likely to blow any day it seems. Full moon there is 1 Jan 03:13.
    Mayon’s seismic activity elevated: Wed, Dec 23, 2009

    The Mayon Volcano continued to show an intense level of activity during the past 24 hours. Sixty-six explosions that produced grayish to light brown ash columns reaching height from 100 to 1000 meters above the summit were observed during times of good visibility, the Phivolcs reported.
    At 6 p.m. Wednesday alert level 4 remained hoisted in Mayon Volcano. Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum, however, said that Mayon’s alert level will be raised if taller ash columns appear together with the rolling of rocks and ash.

  36. Isn’t Politics the whole problem here ? We(?) place our elected officials into office to tend to the matters of governing our perspective countries . We assume that the activities and affairs involved in managing a state or a government will be managed in the appropiate manner in which the political ideas of a people and a country are founded . ” These beliefs are held to be self-evident that all men are created equal ” . Therefore a people and it’s government divided will surely fail in their association to one another if the scales of balance are unjustly tilted to either way .
    The Science of Climate Change has suffered the same fate as a people/government divided due mainly to un-ethical philosophies that a minority supports , and a authoritative body promotes and Political Agendas are not the only involved .

  37. I am not impressed by Van Storches op-ed. There is still much that is unknown about our climate and its interactions. He moves to the “science is settled” conclusion quite seamlessly.
    A wise man once told me, “you cannot peer into the future” – as this would apply to Van Storch – a good scientist does not deliberately back himself into a corner, as he has done with this article. History is replete with revisions to hypotheses as new information is uncovered.

  38. Dave UK (10:13:51) :
    “Climatology is,to a large degree,the study of the statistics of our climate.”
    We only require statistics on any subject when we are not sure of something or when we require a measure to try and prove or disprove a subject.
    Without statistics being thrust upon us who would be aware of AGW?
    I can’t say I have seen any real difference in the climate of the UK in 40 years.
    Statistics being pushed by the warmists say otherwise.
    Look hard enough at something and you will see what you want.
    I’d rather go with the self evident.

    Spot on!
    If your experiment requires statistics, do a better experiment.
    Sir Arthur Eddington.

  39. Although he takes on the process of review and the misuse of science for political purposes, he then goes on to affirm the “settled” science of AGW, if not the degree?
    But this is hard to reconcile with graphs printed upside down, the hockey sticks, Siberian exclusions, the loss of raw data, YAD061, the inexplicable Darwin adjustments and all the rest. These are corruptions of science not just the process. No politician did this.
    And while his suggested improvements are welcome, it is not enough.
    Any fair reading of the CRU emails and the above must conclude that the science has been screwed with by the scientists – the evidence for which overwhelming – and notwithstanding the politicians. Upon this infirm platform, then, logic makes it impossible to conclude that the AGW science is in any way “settled.”

  40. Wondering Aloud, you’ve got it just right.
    It is the continuing problem across the entire field where the closer you look at any sub issue the greater your uncertainty grows.
    Anyone who thinks any one theory or even combination of theories is the answer, isn’t looking close enough. Any of them could turn out right, but right now virtually everything is still theory.
    Shame von Storch didn’t stop before moving to on to “assertions” about climate.

  41. “But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. ”
    first he blasts them and then he says he agrees with their “science” regardless. it makes no sense.
    any chance this is just damage control? you know, yes, yes, they are BAD but their right.

  42. ‘But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. ‘
    That’s the most contentious statement in the op-ed.
    Is that hard to contest?
    There seem to quite a few out there ready to do so…..

  43. Agreed, Kirls
    His
    “…. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions”
    remains to be PROVED!
    And as far as he wishes to shoo all the climatologists back into their ivory towers, I suppose he hopes they will come out with better stuff next time ….

  44. So now we are to give a pat-on-the-back and cheer all because he has now discovered the error of his ways. No, I think not! Even now he believes that “man” not “Mann” is the cause of global warming (“core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest”). Scientists and statisticians have been screaming about peer review and suspect data for years but he chose not to hear them. He wants it both ways – an off balance high wire walker who now needs us “deniers” to help break his fall.

  45. Politics and science never mix…that is a well known fact.
    In the UK we have a generation of politicians who have never lived in the real world as many of them have gone from universtiy to being researchers and then into politics.
    They are easily persuaded, especially if they feel it will make them a saviour of the people…or in this case the planet.
    When Mrs Thatcher was in power British Rail were doing very well with their Inter-City service but wanted to improve journey times by having trains that could go around bends faster, so they came up with the first “tilting” train.
    It was a a very difficult development but one that would eventually resolve itself.
    However in steps the Transport Minister of the day to put a timescale on the project.
    It was introduced before all the problems had been fully resolved and tested.
    Big day arrives and the press are to travel from Scotland down to London.
    Disaster…breakdowns and the far from perfect “titling” mechanism made passengers feel ill.
    Huge emarrassment and the end of the project.
    A once proud nation who had the first great railway system virtually stops makiig trains.
    Politics in science..albeit this was engineering is a nightmare as we have had for the last 10 years or so with the climate.
    On a brighter note I was travelling a UK motorway today (the M6 between Coventry and Birmingham) and painted in white on one of the bridges were the words “Climategate”……its a start!!

  46. Aligner (11:37:34) :
    O/T – Mayon likely to blow any day it seems.

    I am still waiting for the numerous green groups to stage a protest at the base of the volcano, to demand action to stop the carbon emissions as well as the sulfurous emissions that are acidifying the oceans. After all if we can so decisively control the entire climate of the planet that we can quickly (“We must act now!”) stop global warming, surely a simple volcano can be easily handled.
    Sure, they can go around terrorizing little children, but when you want them to back up their convictions with true courage you get nothing. Shameless bullying cowards!

  47. “P Gosselin (09:52:54) :
    Healthy minds normally would welcome evidence that we’re not headed toward a climate catastrophe. But not our sick politicians of today. Rather than being relieved, and directing resources to other problems, they are doing all they can to keep this “climate problem” alive. They are using climate as a way of shirking their responsibilities to solve the real problems out there.”
    First…my believe that healthy minds and politicians ought not be mentioned in the same paragraph.
    on to the point…
    Politicians HAVE to keep this alive, as it’s a major source of much needed funding. I doubt very much that more than a few even understand the issues, and fewer than that care. What they care about is being able to extort some type of tax, in any form it can be sold, to give them money to spend on whatever pet project they have that they believe will ultimately help win re-election.
    JimB from USA

  48. “JDN (10:06:23) :
    Has anyone seen the ads google is serving to this page?! Here’s what I got:”
    JDN,
    Yes…the ads are somewhat of an inside joke among many here at WUWT. The tip jar wasn’t quite covering expenses that Anthony was incurring in order to keep the site up and running, so the next logical step was to accept advertising. That most of it is AGW-related is kind of funny.
    When I come to the site I think of it as checking the funnies in the Sunday paper before I read the rest of the article 🙂
    JimB of USA

  49. This eventually boils down to the well-worn greenie ruse of ‘post-normal’ science. Mike Hulme and others at Tyndall Centre/CRU have a lot to answer for in promulgating/subverting PNS in the climate change field IMHO. I like this old blog from 2007, which sums it up nicely.
    Don’t forget to visit Post-Normal Times for a reality check 🙂

  50. A very well thought through post and lucid article.
    Which enables me now to thank you Mr Watts, Charles, others who assist you and all posters a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
    Reply: Our “Professor and…Mary Ann” should listed appropriately. DB Stealey, Evan, and our most recent part time addition E. M. Smith. ~ Gilligan aka charles the moderator.

  51. Yeah, right , Hans.
    So what caused the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods?
    It sure wasn’t human produced GHGs.
    The warmies claim a 30% increase in CO2 due to human activity and we can’t even decide how much warming this has caused. This is hardly “the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest.”
    This guy is a scientist?

  52. This guy is playing both sides. He really spoilsa good opening by a dogmatic statement that the knowledge on AGW is certain. In other words he too does not understand what science is all about. Following on Christopher Monkton, I recommend T.H. Huxley to him, ‘Scepticism is the highest of duties’.

  53. If prof. Von Storck is reading through this blog, I would like to recommend to him also to watch and seriously meditate on the the temperature history from the icecore records of Greenland and the Antarctic, covering 400.000 years. They are not global, they have not been massaged with homogenization algorithms and tell a very clear story:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif
    Can a scientist honestly study these graphs and say that the small red contribution in the perspective of the centuries is something to panic about ? Is there run away warming there?
    Or does the record tell us that we should seriously as humanity start to prepare of the next ice age rather than destroy the western economies over nonexistent future super heating?

  54. If Global C02 concentration averages 390ppm, and man’s contribution to earth’s natural production of C02 is roughly 3-5%, how can anyone claim only man’s contribution elevates global concentration by the roughly 1ppm/yr observed rise? I’ve seen arguments about isotope fractions attempting to prove this. But why am I to believe that any single isotope will be the sole contributor to the rise? Why am I to believe that earth’s uptake is capable of adjusting in virtual lockstep with earths production of C02, such that only the presence of man’s contribution upsets the magical balance? This notion of magical balance (and man’s destruction of it) is a primary tenet of Pantheists/Eco-zealots. Nor does this thinking recognize the logarithmic growth of flora. That growth is quite accelerated with increasing C02, leading to an ever greater uptake of C02.
    So I’m not even buying the notion that man’s production of C02 is the cause of rising global concentrations, let alone that said rise results in increased GMT, or then that rise in GMT is something to be feared.

  55. “Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. . . ”
    It seems that in order for the doctor to reach such a conclusion, he must have also concluded that the net effect of all feedback mechanisms is positive or if negative not negative enough to offset the GHG warming component. If he has concluded as much, could he point us to the research that demonstrates this conclusively and empirically. . . . . empirically, not GCMs.

  56. Question:
    When the Climate Faithful go on a purge in the United States, they scream “DENIER!” at anyone who expresses even the slightest reservation due to uncertainties intrinsic to complexity let alone the simple application of statistics. After all, even though one has to account for uncertainty in other fields, in Climate Science there is a Concensus that eliminates all uncertainty.
    What do they scream in Germany? “DER NIER”?

  57. It would appear that ‘the end justifies the means’ when it comes to AGW. In addition it is a common human trait to look for singular answers to the world around us, when in reality that world is full of what appears to be contradictions and ambiguity.

  58. I totally agree with the conclusions of Indor Goklany
    Indur M. Goklany (11:21:23) :
    Dr. Hans van Storch shows he is familiar with the scientific ethics, but he still keeps the AGW hoax and the hoax of the “scientific consensus” alive.
    It reduces his op-ed to yet another smelly piece of AGW propaganda.

  59. “I would give you the piece of advice, not to provide us with too many moving targets” – good thing Anders F. R. was appointed head of NATO in August. [/sarcasm off]
    Btw. Anders Fogh Rasmussen attended several Bilderberg meetings – also as acting Danish PM. Connie Hedegaard , president of COP15 , has also attended Bilderberg meetings.
    Actually, in Denmark , there is a clear trend that Bilderberg members are defending and acting , both in public and professionally , very pro AGW.
    I would really like to see some meeting minutes.

  60. I’d recommend Mann’s new hypothesis to Professor von Storch;
    “AGW? It’s Aerosols I tell you! Aerosols! Complete Aerosols!”

  61. I respect Van Storch as a scientist and an honest man, but I suspect that (even) he has not thought through the full impacts of Climategate, especially when he indicates that the science underpinning CO2-induced warming remains solid.
    The vast majority of people seem not yet to have fully grasped the damage done to the science underlying the argument for CO2-induced global warming. Dr David Deming (University of Oklahoma) reported in his 2006 testimony to the US Senate that he had received e-mails as early as 1996 which emphasised the need to “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. In the released CRU e-mails we can now see the skeletal frame and some of the muscle of a conspiracy amongst a partisan group of scientists to maintain and endorse this fiction in pre-instrumental temperature reconstruction.
    Most observers seem to believe that this was done solely so that a claim could be made that 20th century temperatures were unprecedented – and such claim was indeed made, and has been endlessly repeated, following the production of the now infamous “hockey-stick” temperature plot by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1999. The hockey-stick became and has remained (despite a comprehensive debunking by McIntyre and McKittrick and the Wegman Commission) the icon of global warming alarmists. The released e-mails and associated documentation now confirm that this non-scientific fiction was maintained by a group of interconnected scientists all “independently” publishing similar findings with pre-conceived outcomes, and all in a powerful position to suppress contrarian views.
    So why did they do this? What was so important about getting rid of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP)? The answer, in my view, is that the scientific basis for CO2 being a DANGEROUS greenhouse gas comes exclusively from model-derived ‘cause and attribution’ studies. The coupled GCMs which form inputs to the IPCC’s GMIP project ALL assume that Earth’s climate response to solar activity is due solely to direct changes in total solar irradiance. No other amplification factors are considered, despite dozens of excellent papers showing evidence for the existence of other factors. This minimal response ascribed to Sol, together with negative feedbacks ascribed to (unmeasured) aerosols used as a matching parameter, then permits a high climate response to be awarded to CO2-plus-feedbacks to explain the 20th century temperature record, and it is this which forms the gravamen of the argument that CO2 causes DANGEROUS climate change; i.e. “we can find nothing else which would explain late 20th century warming”.
    If one brings back the inconvenient MWP, then the alarmists face an immediate scientific paradox. Using the climate sensitivity which the models ascribe to Sol, it is simply not possible to explain the 1.5 to 2 degrees fall in temperature which took place between the MWP and the period of low solar activity (Dalton and Maunder Minima) corresponding to the Little Ice Age in the late 17th century. In other words, if the MWP existed, then the argument for dangerous global warming from CO2 has a self-evident paradox. One can only eliminate the paradox by increasing the climate sensitivity to Sol and decreasing the impact of CO2 in any history-matching (hindcasting) of model results. In my view, this is the main reason why there has been a concerted effort by alarmists since 1996 to make the MWP disappear from the text books. Whatever this is, it is not good science, and this is why the Climategate e-mails will not go away anytime soon. It is also the reason why I suspect that Von Storch will have to rethink his statements.

  62. Van Storch is a financial ‘prisoner’ of the institutional dictatorships that pay him his salary. Consequently he tries to play two tunes, one critical and one supportive, thereby presenting himself as a ‘neutral’ in the war between institutional dictatorship (scientific and political) and democracy (we, the people).
    Winston Churchill’s famous diatribe against ‘neutrality’ in the Second World War comes to mind: ”There is nothing so despicable as a neutral in the war between good and evil,” thundered the great man. I’m with Churchill. Van Storch isn’t.

  63. “Mann O Mann (12:52:52) :
    What do they scream in Germany? “DER NIER”?

    “Denier” would be “Leugner” (sounds like L-oi-gnar) in german but that word i have never heard screamed. We would resort to “Lügner” (that’s with an Umlaut, say u and move the tongue a little forward and you have an ü) which sounds very similar and means “Liar”.
    Talking about manmade CO2 here’s Freeman Dyson with an interesting take on the subject:
    Freeman Dyson on Computer models, CO2 exchange with vegetation, Ozone Hole,
    why the question of global warming is not relevant to him,
    Cheaper ways to control CO2 content than stopping burning fossil fuels,
    “The vegetation is the dog and the atmosphere is the tail” [with respect to the mass of carbon]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k69HUuyI5Mk&NR=1

  64. The download does seem to require a “premium membership” for mucho dollars. Better to buy a hard copy?
    The first 21 of 494 pages are available for free here: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam032/98017416.pdf.
    A VERY interesting paper is here and is labeled “Misuses of Statistical Analysis in Climate Research” (note this doesn’t look like it’s chapter 2 from the book which is labeled “Probability Theory”): coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/misuses.pdf.
    There is also an interesting presentation on stats in climate science including misuses here: http://tinyurl.com/yk9472v.
    It doesn’t look like there is a free copy of the entire book which can be purchased at your favorite online or brick and mortar bookstore.

  65. Layne Blanchard (12:44:36) :
    … Why am I to believe that earth’s uptake is capable of adjusting in virtual lockstep with earths production of C02, such that only the presence of man’s contribution upsets the magical balance?
    Because man is not natural except that implies a Creator who presumably is more concerned about our moral behavior than our burning carbon.
    Excellent catch of the illogic of the enviro-hysterics.
    CO2 is a positive good. No wonder then that it is being persecuted in today’s evil world.

  66. Von Storch:

    But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere. Societies have decided they want to limit the stress so that temperatures rise no further than the politically produced number of two degrees Centigrade, relative to pre-industrial conditions. Fine. For this goal, it does not matter whether the sea level will rise 50 cm or 150 cm by the end of this century, or if hurricanes do or do not become significantly more severe. These are relevant scientific issues, with great importance for the design of adaptive strategies—but not particularly relevant to the political task of coming to an effective agreement on reducing emissions.

    Of course, if you ask von Storch for evidence of these claims, then it gets difficult.

  67. Voyager Makes an Interstellar Discovery
    Astronomers call the cloud we’re running into now the Local Interstellar Cloud or “Local Fluff” for short. It’s about 30 light years wide and contains a wispy mixture of hydrogen and helium atoms at a temperature of 6000 C.
    The Fluff is strongly magnetized means that other clouds in the galactic neighborhood could be, too. Eventually, the solar system will run into some of them, and their strong magnetic fields could compress the heliosphere even more than it is compressed now. Additional compression could allow more cosmic rays to reach the inner solar system, possibly affecting terrestrial climate and the ability of astronauts to travel safely through space.
    Did I hear Svensmark talk about this stuff?
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/23dec_voyager.htm

  68. I am always fascinated with AGWers reasoning. They provide endless evidence for facts that are not contested by skeptics. Yes, CO2 is greenhouse gas, yes, its concentration increased last century, yes, climate warmed on average as well. No evidence for this is asked for. Then they (AGWers) jump over all skeptics arguments and assume what they need to prove.
    How the fact that “elevated greenhouse gas concentrations […] lead, to changing weather conditions (climate)” leads to conclusion that “[s]uch a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems” is beyond my comprehension.
    The whole disagreement is about the scope of the problem, if there is one. We need to understand the scope of the problem before we commit significant resources to a solution for the (perceived) problem. Is it “we need to sacrifice our prosperity and our way of life in order to save the planet”? Or is it “The benign increase in temperatures and CO2 levels is wholly beneficial for (virtually) all species living on Earth”? Or is it somewhere in-between?

  69. CYA. The Bart Simpson defense: I didn’t do it.
    They conclude I must have been forced out of my position as chief editor of the journal Climate Research back in 2003 for my allegiance to science over politics. In fact, I left this post on my own, with no outside pressure, because of insufficient quality control on a bad paper—a skeptic’s paper, at that. But in 2006 I urged a CRU scientist to make his data public for critics and, yes, skeptics—as documented in one of the stolen e-mails.
    So he just quit on his own, because of an especially bad skeptic paper? Humph. But then 3 years later he showed his true mettle by “urging” a “scientist” to reveal his data. Hooray for that bold move!!! [/sarc]
    The rats are scrambling for shore, but the ship is sinking way out to sea. Somebody please send Hans a lifeboat.

  70. P Gosselin (09:44:35) & (09:52:54) “[…]”
    No wool over your eyes today.

    Jim (10:08:00) “[…]”
    Unionized admins looking to further consolidate their power welcome such layers of red tape, which can be used to reduce transparency, control information streams, and build in delays to be used for leveraging concessions. In the attack on researchers, we shouldn’t forget that weakening them shifts the battle to one with far more formidable adversaries: administrators, who are very adept at using every trick in the book. (Keep in mind that admins run the carrot train.)
    There may be an upside to upholding freedom to choose. Demanding more red tape might be like walking into another trap, opting for a worse poison, or inviting underhanded backlash (but I acknowledge that it might look like progress).
    I would be interested in hearing what you think should be done about researchers who keep information (that is vital to civilization) secret, in part because of the nature of “the system” & its array of threatening requirements. For example, do you think it is appropriate to force researchers to publish against their will & better judgement? And to force them to tolerate intrusive & destructive editing that reframes & drastically alters the message, with priorities other than science & education in mind?
    I appreciate the diplomacy you have shown. Thank you.

  71. “in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation”
    In the form of a lot more SNOW everywhere!
    Shame, I was really enjoying our inter-glacial here in Canada. Oh well I guess I’ll move to Mexico and learn Spanish.
    “el cuarto de baño?”

  72. **********
    Paul Vaughan (15:24:01) :
    I would be interested in hearing what you think should be done about researchers who keep information (that is vital to civilization) secret, in part because of the nature of “the system” & its array of threatening requirements. For example, do you think it is appropriate to force researchers to publish against their will & better judgement? And to force them to tolerate intrusive & destructive editing that reframes & drastically alters the message, with priorities other than science & education in mind?
    *********
    Well, if you were addressing that question to me … scientists work in diverse environments. So there isn’t really one answer. The closest thing I could come up with is that they should fulfill the expectations of their job description. Most academics are expected to publish. I think most non-defense, government-funded scientists should publish. Some scientists in the private sector publish depending on the IP policies of their employer. Some companies work under trade secrets and some under patents, some probably both. But IMO anyone who publishes in the name of science in publicly available journals should supply code along with raw data, rejected data, meta-data and any other techniques necessary to replicate. If they can’t do that for some reason, the journal should just say no.

  73. @Tim (16:17:02) :
    “in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation”
    In the form of a lot more SNOW everywhere!
    Shame, I was really enjoying our inter-glacial here in Canada. Oh well I guess I’ll move to Mexico and learn Spanish.
    “el cuarto de baño?”
    Heh! “Al fondo a la derecha” (translation: Last room on the right).

  74. Kirls (12:03:00) :
    “…first he blasts them and then he says he agrees with their “science” regardless. it makes no sense.
    any chance this is just damage control? you know, yes, yes, they are BAD but their right.”

    I think it is more than damage control, I think he is trying to save his reputation while not upsetting the Powers That Control Grants.
    Reminds me of all the papers contradicting global warming that add “but this findings do not in any way mean CO2 is not the main driver of global warming…. so the authors can get the papers published.

  75. He strikes me as a fence sitter… I’m not impressed with his likening of skeptics to AGW activists…. Skeptics have a real grievence when it comes to trying to present scientific findings that find fault with the AGW hypothesis. So calling skeptics and warmers, “siblings in method and contempt”, is not a fair assessment at all.
    Secondly he presents the AGW hypothesis as a proven theory….
    [“Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation. Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere.” ]
    He just undone everything he said above in some respects…. He quotes the Hypothesis as proven theory…. It is far from it.

  76. Anyone wanting to download the Von Storch book from rapidshare needs to click on the “free user” link.
    I wonder whether he would be happy about it being touted like this though, what with copyright, royalties and all that;)

  77. nc (13:06:13) :
    Now this is O/T but I just had to post it some where, read this
    http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2009/12/24/Idea4
    Is it April 1st somewhere, as I am not sure if the article is serious or not.
    Reply:
    Actually that is the ultimate goal of those pushing Global Warming. So I am afraid they are very serious. It is called Agenda 21, Sustainable Development and the “Wildlands Project”
    This is the “Wildlands” map http://www.mtmultipleuse.org/wilderness/wildlands_map.htm
    The idea is 50% of America would be returned to complete wilderness (red areas) buffer zones for limited use are yellow and the tiny amount of green areas are for normal use. The bill putting this map into law almost passed congress.
    Four conservatives (Sovereignty International) were able to find the UN documentation that proved the Wildlands Project concept was to provide the basis for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. They used the map and the information to stop the ratification of the Biological Diversity treaty an hour before its scheduled ratification vote. (See Congressional Record S13790)
    Boy was THAT a close call.
    This has some of the information about what went on and is on going.
    http://www.klamathbucketbrigade.org/YNTKwildlandsproject_table.htm
    If you are not familiar with the UN’s Agenda 21 look at it because that is where all this crap on “global warming is headed. This gives an overview: http://www.rense.com/general63/ree.htm
    This stuff is for real my little rural county already has a “land use” plan drawn up by these meglomaniacs. My farm and all the farms of my neighbors are all slated for “rewilding”
    Regional Governance and Sustainable Development are the other plans that need to be researched throughly.
    http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/united_nations/news.php?q=1259955479

  78. J.Hansford (18:21:45) :
    He strikes me as a fence sitter
    *********
    I agree. He has his feets dangling over one side but will not fully commit, which is why his climategate friends say “Frankly, he’s an odd individual,” . Of course he interprets this to be virtuous. This fence sitter, however, is a better politician than a scientist. He’s already made up his mind about global warming despite opposing facts – but he dangles an offer to others a consideration of the data even though he’s made up his mind. This is a political piece. There is nothing original here but a regurgitation of the same old same old. It is full of buzz words and phrases such as “generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method”. Look up scientific method in wikipedia and see what vague nonsense he is spewing for the non-technical minded. So what is he trying to do here? Trying to assuage the anger of politicians stirred up by climategate or to shine in the limelight that he wasn’t incriminated by the emails, or both?

  79. As I posted over on CA…
    Von Storch: “Climate science is in an abnormal situation, hounded by manifest political and economic interests of different sorts, and the uncertainties in our work are large and unavoidable.”
    Activist scientists made their own beds on this. And the ones who kept, and still keep, silent are just as much to blame. If your career means more than your ethics, then you deserve whatever you get.

  80. “……But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation….”
    That’s going further than the IPCC activists, whose best guess is that over 50% of warming since mid-twentieth century is over 90% likely due to human GHGs.
    Whether human GHGs are 10%, 30%, or over 50% a causative factor in recent climate change, it’s clear from the “Hopenhagen” fiasco that China (and probably India and others) will not play ball, so for governments, it is irrelevant what has in the past, or may in the future, cause climate change.
    The only rational course for governments to follow is, as Professor von Storch says, that of adaption.

  81. Von Storch: “For me, good science means generating knowledge through a superior method, the scientific method. The merits of a scientifically constructed result do not depend on its utility for any politician’s agenda. Indeed, the utility of my results is not my business, and the contextualization of my results should not depend on my personal preferences. It is up to democratic societies to decide how to use or not use my insights and explanations.”
    It’s pretty hard for me to argue with his principle, and pretty easy to argue that we have gotten a long way from it. Restoring faith in climate scientists is going to take some strong action on their part. The first thing that has to happen is that the climate science community has to realize that the public faith in it has collapsed, that this is not a minor blip which leaves everything intact. They are going to have to bend over backwards to let an awful lot of sunshine in. I’m pretty skeptical that many of them are going to do this.

  82. “BernardP (12:58:00) :
    Yes JDN, I also find the ads on this page annoying. And as a canadian resident, I’m also getting the self-serving “Quebec At Copenhagen” ad/link whose only purpose is to make our politicians look green in the eyes of the brain-washed voters. Feast you eyes;”
    This website is a bunch of hypocritical crap! PQ exploited NFL to extort ownership of the Churchill River Hydro Project, they continue to screw them and are “green” as a result. They also extort $4.5 billion annually from every man-woman-child in Alberta, paid for in large part by the Oilsands while at the same time insulting their leaders and inflaming dissent in Poopenhagen! They do NOT speak for anyone outside of the ignorant intelligencia in PQ. McGuinty is of the same cloth but at least Ontario pays into equalization. Charest is a hypocrite.

  83. Although I don’t agree with every word in Professor v. Storch’s op-ed, most of you are being too harsh to judge him. It seems to me that where he has expertise, he’s willing to stand his ground, and where he doesn’t he defers to others. Even if I disagree with him, that’s a rational and reasonable approach.
    He’s in the same position as someone who goes to church, and is willing to state that there are portions of the catechism he disagrees with, without jettisoning the entire book.
    Sometimes discretion IS the better part of valo(u)r. And I do believe he has been valorous. [Do you hear a lot of other climate scientists rushing out to condemn ClimateGate?]

  84. I am an “Earth Scientist”. My mentor for some 14 years of the 35 years I have practiced the science of professional geology would agree with Prof von Storch on at least one issue: let the scientific method determine the results. His favoured admonition was that the only mistake in science was to ignore or not seek out the data that disproved your theory. I see the Professor reaching out to the vast intellectual resource that has been ignored in this journey in an attempt to join the forces of “believer” and “skeptic” to make a force that is larger the the sum of the parts.

  85. Professor v. Storch obviously doesn’t understand how climate operates, or is too scared of losing the funding to speak the truth. No-one can write the tripe written below and remain a credible scientist. Without scepticism no new knowledge is gained.
    But the core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest.
    Very easy to contest. Global temperatures have been higher than today with less CO2 in the atmosphere. Ice-core data shows CO2 rises lag temperature rises. CO2 has risen over the last 10 years, while temperature has been static.
    Elevated greenhouse gas concentrations have led, and will continue to lead, to changing weather conditions (climate), in particular to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation.
    Meaningless. Climate (weather) has always changed in the past and will continue to do so in the future. No AGW required, the deterministic chaos which regulates all events.
    Such a change causes stress for societies and ecosystems. More emissions mean more stress, fewer emissions less. Thus, when society wants to limit this stress, it has to make sure that fewer greenhouse gases enter and remain in the atmosphere. Societies have decided they want to limit the stress so that temperatures rise no further than the politically produced number of two degrees Centigrade, relative to pre-industrial conditions. Fine. For this goal, it does not matter whether the sea level will rise 50 cm or 150 cm by the end of this century, or if hurricanes do or do not become significantly more severe. These are relevant scientific issues, with great importance for the design of adaptive strategies—but not particularly relevant to the political task of coming to an effective agreement on reducing emissions.
    More waffle with hints at the usual ‘alarmist’ view on sea level and hurricanes, neither of which are conforming to the ‘scientific’ predictions made BTW.
    The context of his article is saying that bad science can still produce a good result, a conclusion that is clearly totally risible. I have no respect for the views of this fence-sitting charlatan.

  86. Tim (16:17:02) : Shame, I was really enjoying our inter-glacial here in Canada. Oh well I guess I’ll move to Mexico and learn Spanish.
    You might consider Guyana where they already speak English and have some easier immigration rules for Commonwealth members I think 😉

  87. >>Climategate Hoax
    >>Confused About What It Means? Don’t Be! Get the Climate Facts.
    >> http://www.FightCleanEnergySmears.org
    I would like to know who is behind this site. I looked at a couple of entries here, and all of it was based upon false data and twisted arguments.
    Who is backing this site, I wonder? Big Wind? (As opposed to Big Oil.)
    .

  88. >>Climategate Hoax
    >>Confused About What It Means? Don’t Be! Get the Climate Facts.
    >> http://www.FightCleanEnergySmears.org
    I wonder who is backing this site, I wonder? I took a look at a couple of their arguments, and it was all based upon false data and twisted arguments.
    So who supports this site – Big Wind?? (As opposed to Big Oil.) 😉
    .

  89. DirkH (13:09:52) :
    “Talking about manmade CO2 here’s Freeman Dyson with an interesting take on the subject:”
    In the video Dyson claims that CO2 contributes to the Ozone hole. And a few days ago we read on WUWT that:
    “Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth’s ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper.
    In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs – compounds once widely used as refrigerants – and cosmic rays – energy particles originating in outer space – are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. ”

    Put two and two together: CO2 would change the global climate through its effect on the ozone hole. Who says: “settled science”?

  90. This is all becoming too much. Why can’t both sides accept a draw, put down their weapons, wipe the slate clean and agree to start all over again.

  91. dear all,
    don´t be fooled by Hans von Storch. I have wached his activities, Interviews and speeches for years. He presents himself as a critical climate scientist when interviewed but in his lectures he shows that he has two faces and claimed the same things as the German AGW-preachers Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf:
    Beware of those turncoats, the same as Latif.
    merry xmas
    Ernst-Georg Beck
    http://www.realCo2.de

  92. Re ralph (23:48:10)
    FIGHTCLEANENERGYSMEARS.ORG
    According to networksolutions.com
    Registrant:
    Beltran, Victor
    1901 FORT MYER DR STE 1012
    ARLINGTON, VA 22209
    US
    Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
    Beltran, Victor
    webmaster@hastingsgroup.com
    Now, who are the “hastingsgroup.com”
    They’re at the same address
    They don’t like coal much!
    http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/news/news_detail.cfm?id=620
    http://www.hastingsgroup.com/who_we_are.cfm

  93. What we can now see is a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results that are useful to a political agenda by blocking papers in the purportedly independent review process and skewing the assessments of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The effort has not been so successful, but trying was bad enough.

    The monument of climate science, including some dendrochronologists, though not all (see here for some dendros who’ve worked outside the mainstream http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1994PASAu..11..164M ), has been a roosting place for many scientists over the last decade, and it would seem many have contentedly fed and multiplied on the handouts of a worshipful public that have come there.
    As their agenda has been those handouts, their policies have been all-too-“successful”. Saying otherwise is throwing a(nother) layer of whitewash onto the monument. What is called for is a good scrubbing and a clean start with new pigeons… I mean scientists.

  94. @Bill Parsons…
    Interesting article! Treerings are perhaps the most useful proxy on dendrochronology investigations, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
    The authors of that article, Sampson and Villalba, pointed out that the treering growth are possibly affected by climate; however, the variability of growth of plants due to the climate is highly ambiguous and misleading because there are limits of the growth at the extremes of any climatic parameter, especially, at both extremes of temperatures, i.e. C3 plants stop growing or lessen their development similarly at low temperatures as well as at high temperatures.
    Insolation is the determinant factor acting on the growth of plants due to photosynthesis and photorespiration, as the authors of that article emphasized all along their paper.

  95. Nasif Nahle,
    I’m just saying that climatology is a big field. Von Storch is only one scientist, now publicly distancing himself from the pack as an “oddball”.
    Some scientists will no doubt see new opportunities for their own works as the traditional gatekeepers are removed. My hope is that a lot of new works will appear representing competing views among scientists so that the research can move in a different direction.
    WRT the reconstruction, Murphy and Sampson researched the historical records on (and confirmed) that various solar cycles are reflected in C14 levels of tree rings. Their purpose, as you say, was not to make a temperature proxy. How this study feeds into the overall field of climate study, I’m not sure. The authors say,

    We are not inferring that variations in sunspot numbers will directly influence tree growth – they are just a manifestation of solar activity. For example at these high-elevation sites, changes in UV levels (which are much higher in terms of percentage than changes in total irradiance over the solar cycle) could have some direct influence. Althouth the mechanism remains to be established, the most likely solar-terrestrial connection is via climate elements.

    It seems to this layman like this is hedged language, and I wonder if they would word their conclusion the same way today. In any case, maybe we can agree that this area deserves much more research and a bit more press.

  96. I think we have left the “age of reason”.
    We have now entered the “age of emotions”.
    Good grief, I wonder what the next “scare” is………

  97. Many fields of science require that the scientists involved work under conditions where they are not a source of contamination to their results. They wear masks and gloves and wouldn’t dream of calling a petri dish they just coughed a loogey into a reliable sample. Well, it would seem that climate science requires equal protection from scientist contamination.
    The problem is that the subject has become political, with parasites on both sides willing to inflict suffering on others for their own gain — and who are poised to do so. And there is now evidence that the science has been contaminated by “human” variables. These loogeys need to be eliminated from the equation. Basically, we need to weed out the climate scientists with “human” foibles — those with a propensity for groupthink, with conflicts of interest, who engage in emotional reasoning, and who have ulterior motives. Then let’s leave this science to the pointy-eared Vulcans that remain — who have long cast aside prejudice and emotion, are ruled by logic, and who cannot lie….
    But sadly we have no Vulcans.
    Or do we…? It seems to me that your basic Vulcan is patterned after people with autism, particularly higher-end Asperger’s Syndrome. So let’s eliminate from the equation all the attention-seeking career-ladder scientists who have contaminated their own results, and seek out the scientists who want to be left alone in the back room, who really don’t care what anyone else thinks, who have a poor understanding of emotion and little use for it, who operate on logic, who don’t care about money or social status, who are impervious to peer pressure, have practically zero social skills so are often offending others with their blunt honesty, who are obsessive about accuracy and detail — and who find it impossible to lie.
    Let’s find all the autistic Climate scientists. They won’t come out on their own….

  98. First of all I want to congratulate you for your great work. This website is one of my favorites. It has lots of rock solid information about climate issues. But beside this, here is something, that is really worrying me and I want you to know about this issue.
    From the 8. – 10. of June 2009 there was a conference in Essen in Germany with many climate officials (and with the UNEP chief Mr. Toepfer), titled:
    “The Great Transformation – Climate Change As Cultural Change”.
    Here is the link:
    http://www.greattransformation.eu/index.php/home
    ————————————————————–
    The great transformation
    The impact of global climate change is not limited to specific areas of our lives. With its social, cultural, economic and psychological implications, climate change represents a shift towards a new era, which concerns all levels of the global community: markets and mindsets, global cooperations and democracy. To embrace this complexity the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen (KWI), Stiftung Mercator in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy hosted the international academic conference
    THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION – CLIMATE CHANGE AS CULTURAL CHANGE
    8 – 10 June 2009 in Essen, Germany.
    ————————————————————–
    On this website you’ll find the whole program aand papers of the conference. One of the discussed subjects was the following:
    ————————————————————–
    SESSION IV: HOW CAN DEMOCRACY COPE WITH THIS CLIMATE STRESS?
    Technological innovation and political regulation can only be effective if “the people” participate in their various roles as polluters, producers, citizens and voters. Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might authoritarian regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?
    Keynote: Prof. Dr. David Held, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics (LSE) | Text, pdf
    Panel:
    Prof. Dr. David Held, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics (LSE)
    Prof. Dr. Thomas Saretzki, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Political Science, University Lüneburg
    Chair: Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie, Director, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen (KWI)
    ————————————————————–
    I cite from the first PDF-document from Dr. Held:
    “Thus the argument is that democracies are unable to formulate policies to overcome global collective action problems and serious global risks, given their tendency to focus on the short term, the immediate issues concerning their electorates, and the preoccupation of politicians with their own re-election. Accordingly, the implication is that they are unable to meet the scale of the challenge posed by climate change, and a more authoritarian approach is required.”
    This is an english Professor and I’m a german teacher in maths & physics on a gymnasium, but when I read this, it seems to me that such words came out of the mouth of our most worst leader in the history.
    I’m really shocked about this! Now, I know that this guy is not the only one who likes to think about other political form to press climate politics through. There is David Shearman from Australia, who has written a book about this question and also Maurice Strong, who argued the same way several times at several places (in the summer issue of World Policy Journal).
    Your and our souveraign national rights will be severely challenged by the Copenhagen treaty. But to me it seems not to be the whole story. The whole story is more than this, it’s about a global transition from democratic to authoritarian leadership and that’s threatening. I sent this letter to all major german newspapers, no one made any article about it or even mentioned the facts. I also sent it to all german public television and radio channels – the reaction was quite the same. So, it seems to me that nobody even wants to listen to these severe threatening against our democratic constitutions.
    We have had 12 years under NAZI facism and there was a long way to this regime the years before. This not even mentioning and reacting by newspapers, radio and television reminds me at those horrible years in the past and I wish, that it would never happen again. I hope that you will read those nasty and dangerous thoughts of well known academics, which easy talks about bad democracy and better authoritarian regimes.
    Best wishes for your work and hopefully success for science over manish people.
    Detlef Reimers

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