Spiegel does 8 part series on current state of climate research

The intro reads: Plagued by reports of sloppy work, falsifications and exaggerations, climate research is facing a crisis of confidence. How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences? And would it really be the end of the world if temperatures rose by more than the much-quoted limit of two degrees Celsius?

This series features Steve McIntyre prominently, and well worth the read. See the series links below:

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Doug in Seattle

A relatively balanced report, but still stuck on models regarding the future.

John Wright

This: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,druck-686697,00.html gives you the printable version of all eight parts.

“Part 4: The Smoking Gun of Climatology”
“There are various pieces of indirect evidence that support the theory of global warming. Glaciers are receding, sea levels are rising and sea ice in the Arctic regions is disappearing. ”
Don’t “reporters” do research anymore? Apparently, if you want the facts, you have to go to the source and check them for yourself:
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png

Erik Anderson

More like an eight-page article than an article in eight parts. The treatment is pretty good even though it tends to accept several selling points of the global warming orthodoxy at least half-way (e.g., sea level rises).
I’m currently midway through reading Christopher Booker’s “The Real Global Warming Disaster: is the obsession with ‘climate change’ turning out to be the most costly scientific blunder in history?” It’s a very thorough pre-climategate synopsis. It does, however, seem like it was rushed to print — the typos I’m finding on every third page are not what I expect from a professionally published hardcover book. But I’d still rate it as the best account of the global warming controversy ever written by a journalist.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

Schellnhuber says himself he invented the 2 degree target because temperatures have been up to 2 degrees at higher at times over the past 130,000 years.
Billions of dollars on crap. We need to seriously oust these crooks in power who have burned our money away like cigarette paper.

juanslayton

“the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers ”
Come again?

johnnythelowery

My German is a bit spotty, but, let me summarize:
Eein AGW Dunkoff Science Fraudenscheitz CRU fahrt un Frakenstein Jones. Schnitzel Mann mat un Convalute Data to Stick Hockey for Gore under table transact Billion Kroner/Deutsch with Carbon Credit sgeem. Attension Max -1.0 c with Thermometer +/- .5 F acurate to Flugshaft Bomb Pattern WWI.
Okay. All clear?

Gary Hladik

“How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences?”
They’re not predictions, they’re projections. Does that answer the question?

juanslayton (19:57:02),
The actual source of the 2035 date was some fellow in India who gave that speculative date to a reporter doing an interview for New Scientist. The New Scientist article was the source for the WWF’s claim using the same date. And, finally, the WWF piece was the source for IPCC using the same date.
It’s really embarrassing to cite a polemic by WWF based on speculation published in a periodical, but not quite so embarrassing to claim that it was just a typographical error.
Someone found a paper published by a Russian, if I recall correctly, and that paper said 2350 would be the date for deglaciation.
Et voila! Claim that 2035 was just an innocent transposition of 2350, and ignore the actual speculative, non-peer-reviewed newsy article that was the source for the claim.

Roger Carr

John Wright (19:35:41) : … gives you the printable version of all eight parts.
Thanks, John.

juanslayton

Micajah,
We have the same understanding of the story behind 2035. But I am astonished that the Spiegel reporters apparently are not aware of it. Makes you wonder….

John Wright

Yes, a step in the right direction that I think (I hope) will have a lot of influence on events in the coming weeks. Two points need addressing immediately:
1) “McIntyre doggedly asked for access to the raw data. Jones was just as dogged in denying his requests, constantly coming up with new, specious reasons for his rejections. Unfortunately for Jones, however, McIntyre’s supporters eventually included people who know how to secretly hack into computers and steal data.”
The hacker/theft myth needs to be finally laid to rest. Taking this up with these journalists may fall on sympathetic ears. It may be the opportune moment for the whistle-blower to reveal his or her identity.
2) “German climatologist Hans von Storch now wants to see an independent institution recalculate the temperature curve, and he even suggests that the skeptics be involved in the project. He points out, however, that processing the data will take several years.”
I think we would all agree to that and we should push for it. It is the reason I alluded to “sympathetic ears” above.

RobertM

He appears to accept that some degree of global warming is occurring, but he probably should have mentioned that there has been no warming for 15 years, and cooling for the past 5. Furthermore, these non warming events are in spite of the fact the Jim Hansen and Phil Jones are cooking the books like crazy trying demonstrate that the warming is real.
The time for treating these guys like they are respectable scientists has past. This whole shameful episode needs to be investigated like the crime that it is…
There is no anthropogenic global warming. There never has been. Everything, and I mean everything presented by Gore and Mann and Jones and Hansen and their ilk is nothing more and nothing less then absolutely coldly calculated fraud.

savethesharks

A decent attempt at tackling the whole picture and calling spades as spades….something no American journal would have the kahunas to do.
Nonetheless there were some inconsistencies like this one:
“Wind shear, however, is likely to increase in a warmer climate. For this reason, many computer models now even point to a decline in hurricane activity.”
“On balance, temperature differences on the Earth’s surface will decrease, which in turn will even reduce wind speeds — meaning the much-feared monster storms are unlikely to materialize.”
Ehhhhhh….these two statements do not completely jive.
Also the sea level rise page has alot of bunk in it:
“Two factors influence the sea level.”
Just two?? Come on, guys!
At any rate, this article is an admirable attempt to get at the truth, regardless of the obligatory, cookie-cutter AGW assumptions.
Not to worry, Speigel contributors. We sift through the chaff. Nice job overall!
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

“We climatologists can only describe possible futures,” Storch points out. “It’s also possible that things will be completely different.”
And they get paid for this?!

Tor Hansson

The most schizophrenic article I have read in a long time.
The sky is still falling, sort of, only not in the scientific areas that can be checked with empirical data. It’s holding up OK there.
So relax, the alarmists were mostly wrong, except when they tell us that things are getting really bad soon, and that there will be palm trees on Helgoland.
It is getting closer to a reasonable narrative. Still a ways to go.

Jimmy Haigh

Der Spiegel disappoints…

I enjoyed this description of McIntyre in Part 3!
——–
Steve McIntyre lives in a small brick house near downtown Toronto. It is a Sunday afternoon and he is sitting at his well-worn desk, illuminated only by a small energy-saving bulb on the ceiling.
This man, with his thinning gray hair, is an unlikely adversary for climatologists, and yet he is largely responsible for the current tumult in their field.
“This is the computer I used to begin doing the recalculations,” he says, holding a six-year-old Acer laptop with a 40-gigabyte hard drive. “My wife finally gave me a new one for Christmas.”

rbateman

The climate projections are based on trends that in turn have been adjusted into the raw data. The projectors assume that the trends created by the data manipulators will proceed unabated to the quarterback, and take his knees out.
The real world says differently already, and has blown the play dead.
10-15 years of no warming or downright cooling has ensued.
Nature made the call, and has thrown the flag on the projectionists and the manipulators. It just so happens that Steve McIntyre did the instant replay and the ruling on the global field of climate stands. 15 yards, loss of credibility.

Leon Brozyna

From Part 7 comes a most revealing statement:

To avoid flooding, it will be necessary to improve drainage on fields and pastures and reestablish old flood plains.

Excuse me – “old flood plains”? Sounds like climate change will, in this instance, create conditions that once existed in the past, so, how is this bad? Seems that the climate is cycling back to a previous state.

KBK

“It will become more arid, however, in many subtropical regions. Industrialized nations, which bear the greatest culpability for global warming, will be most heavily affected.”
It was pretty even-handed until page 7. Then it became apparent that even though the entire foundation has vanished, the authors believe the house is still standing.

Bishop Hill covered some of this recently over here where he specifically focused on Peter Webster’s (Georgia Tech) comments on CRU data

Doug in Seattle

johnnythelowery (20:04:57) :
I think what you were trying to say was:
CRU Klima Betrüger Phil Jones und seine Mitverschwörer American Michale Mann fabriziert die berüchtigte einzigen Baum Eishockey aus der Luft-Stick für den IPCC Third Assessment Report im Jahr 1998./
Which thanks to the new enhanced translator at the IPCC is the German equivalent of:
CRU climate pioneer Phil Jones and the eminently respected American climate expert Michale Mann created the universally accepted paleo-temperature graphic for the IPCC third assessment report in 1998.

Just The Facts (19:36:48) asked :
Don’t “reporters” do research anymore?
Alarmist Climate Science is designed to be too complicated for the average reporter (oh, sorry, “journalist”) or reader to understand, so the liberal arts-trained journalists just repeat what they’ve been told by the sciency-type people.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, doncha know.

jorgekafkazar

juanslayton (19:57:02) : ” ‘the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers’
“Come again?”
A transposition that was quickly discovered and then allowed to remain uncorrected.

jorgekafkazar

johnnythelowery (20:04:57) : “My German is a bit spotty, but, let me summarize: Eein AGW Dunkoff Science Fraudenscheitz CRU fahrt un Frakenstein Jones. Schnitzel Mann mat un Convalute Data to Stick Hockey for Gore under table transact Billion Kroner/Deutsch with Carbon Credit sgeem. Attension Max -1.0 c with Thermometer +/- .5 F acurate to Flugshaft Bomb Pattern WWI.”
Robustlich!

johnnythelowery (20:04:57) :
My German is a bit spotty, but, let me summarize:
Eein AGW Dunkoff

Should be “dumkopf”… 😉

Jörg Schulze

johnnythelowery (20:04:57)
Hi Johnny, was lol about your summary, greetings from Berlin!
juanslayton (20:34:08) : Don’t wonder! The Spiegel journalists are true believers of the AGW course (so my source says), the sensation is, that they wrote something at all about climategate, and IPCCgate! Wonder who kicked their behind, probably the readers, who send them loads of E-mails, mocking their ludicrous, regularly very bad informed, articles about the item.
They are still holding on to all the old cornerstones: Sea ice and glaciers are melting, CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas, the computer- models are allright, it’s just a little adjustment needed concerning clouds.

dh7fb

You should also read the response of Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf to the “Spiegel” article here: http://www.wissenslogs.de/wblogs/blog/klimalounge/medien-check/2010-04-01/klimaforscher-bashing-beim-spiegel .
I try to translate only the last para.:
“The “Spiegel” article is not a case of science but a case of policy. This year is the year of decision about the future of the German climate policy: In fall the government wants to declare the aims of the policy of energy. The essential will be: Shall we see an enduring U-turn to green energies or not?
In the global context the question is: can we limit the global warming at two deg. as it’s demanded by “Copenhagen Accord” or will this chance passing by? The power struggle about this is in full swing.
A U-turn in energy is to avoided in generating doubts of it’s urgency. So the scandal stories about climate research are made up and this demonstrates that there are no good and fair minded arguments against a definitive climate policy. ”
Prof. Rahmstorf is a scientist not a politician we should remember!!

I had read this yesterday. As a relative newcomer to the “climate wars”, what impressed me the most about this article was the recurring theme of “uncertainties” in the current state of the art (and artifice?!) of “climate science” – which, to the best of my knowledge, has been conspicuously absent in most MSM coverage. If I may borrow from Martha Stewart … “This is a good thing.”

Amino Acids in Meteorites

The cat’s out of the bag. AGW Alarmists/believers have it tough now.

Pooh

It just goes to show:
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. — Niels Bohr, Danish physicist (1885 – 1962)
Prediction is very hard, especially about the future – Yogi Berra and/or Casey Stengel

jdn

Too funny. Russia & Canada are going to be so much warmer, according to Der Spiegel;- Germany too! They just can’t resist giving bad advice to politicians. The author is the politicians’ little friend, giving such helpful wrong advice that’s going to cost people large sums when they’re not ready for cold weather. It’s really great that they continue to make unlikely predictions that people will notice when they don’t come true. I’d give the article an award… in the best comedy category.

MikeO

Hi Just the Facts
No “reporters” don’t do research anymore. This was written by Scott Adams “Reporter’s are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same”.
I was amused when I first read it not any more. The larger proportion of journalists are employed in the public relations companies. They produce canned video and text material. The journalist in the MSM picks which they will use without much thought. The MSM “news” is about entertainment to sell a product little else. Here in OZ we have an ABC (government funded) journos in it seem to pick those that fit the their ideology instead. For instance there is a “science” journalist with them who confidently stated the sea level would rise 100 metres in the near future. Did not raise an eyebrow he is still accepted as credible. My stance these days is any science on the MSM is most likely incorrect.

Phillip Bratby

This article is like the curate’s egg; good in parts (but also bad in parts).
“Despite the enormous uncertainties, there is agreement on at least one issue: Global warming can no longer be stopped.” What agreement?

@dh7fb (23:09)

Prof. Rahmstorf is a scientist not a politician we should remember!!

He is an deep ideologist, as scientist with political missionary zeal.

DirkH

“Tor Hansson (21:07:28) :
The most schizophrenic article I have read in a long time.”
Yeah. Only Der Spiegel can deliver at this level of shizoidness.
Der Focus, the conservative competition, whipped up an article about ClimateGate in January i think, now Der Spiegel had to deliver *something* and they tried their best to bend the story backward in part 7 – “And in only 20 years, snow could become a thing of the past in Germany.”
Oh my. It’s a Frankenstein article.

DirkH

And Rahmstorf doesn’t disappoint in his answer at
http://www.wissenslogs.de/wblogs/blog/klimalounge/medien-check/2010-04-01/klimaforscher-bashing-beim-spiegel
Der Spiegel’s attempt at reporting the facts is of course too much of a deviation from the party line for Rahmstorf, and his writeup is of a style that is comparable to press releases from Berlin from 70 years ago. I leave it at that.
Es bleiben im Raum: Keitel, Jodl, Krebs und. Burgdorf.

David, UK

“Unfortunately, the computer simulations that predict the climate of the future are still too imprecise to be able to draw reliable conclusions for each individual country or region.”
This is just one of dozens of references to models “predicting” (poorly or otherwise) the future. For heaven’s sake – to believe that one can create a Super Machine that can tell the future is utter madness. As everyone reading this blog knows by now – the models “project,” not “predict,”and when they “project,” they simply “project” whatever they are told to “project” by the programmers with all their assumptions, prejudices and vested interests. Propaganda tools.
Have to say, I hated the article – it was written by an imbecile.

Ref: Doug in Seattle (19:25:20)
I fully accept that models are not yet very accurate, particularly when it comes to precipitation:
http://www.climatedata.info/Precipitation/Precipitation/global.html
On the other hand a lot of our infrastructure is based on the false premise that a statistical analysis of the past can be a reliable guide to future.
Forecasts based on model projections have of course been pushed beyond the limits of credibility but I believe that climate modelling, which takes full account of natural and anthropogenic warming, is worth pursuing.

dh7fb
I wrote a general analysis of RAHMSTORF’S screed in ENGLISH.
Others can click on the pgosselin just above to read it.

Mike Post

KBK (21:38:42) :
“It will become more arid, however, in many subtropical regions. Industrialized nations, which bear the greatest culpability for global warming, will be most heavily affected.”
It was pretty even-handed until page 7. Then it became apparent that even though the entire foundation has vanished, the authors believe the house is still standing.
KBK your observation is spot on. Despite the fact that the reporters are reporting that there is no evidence that industrialised nations are responsible for global warming, they, or their publisher, are still “believers”. Astonishing.

RhudsonL

The Germans invented most of the chemical industry. If they wanted to, they could cool the Earth.

Ian E

Of course the democratic era is now over. Public opinion – who needs it? Certainly not the EUrocrats. Across Europe the EU is a hated organisation; referendums are dead; the ‘plebs’ are ignored:- the EU, and ‘anti-global warming’ policies, proceed apace. In the final end, to misquote Dylan, I fear that we will lose the war after winning every battle.

Grumbler

jorgekafkazar (22:24:50) :
juanslayton (19:57:02) : ” ‘the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers’
“Come again?”
The original source said it was 2350.
cheers David

Mike Hall

We have come full circle. Interesting to see that the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering state that ‘scientists should never be wedded to their theories’. Very interesting (but not stupid)…….. compare the famous Max Planck quote ‘a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing it opponents and making them see the light, but rather because it opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it’. Ah yes, a ‘new scientific truth’ – which is what the climate change juggernaut was hell bent in the fast lane to convince the world – that their models (with all their uncertainties) were the new scientific truth, and rather then wait until ‘death do us part’ of the non-believers, to make their model predictions the new ‘truth’. Sounds horribly how the Nazis (no reflection on Germans, just Nazis) were the ones who wished to rapidly convince the world that the scientific proof of Darwinism ( the survival of the fitness) meant that inferior phenotypes should be eliminated from the breeding population. Darwin didn’t mean that and nor should the true believers of climate change holocaust predictions mock (belittle, what-have-you) that people who challenge their views be cast aside as inferior cretins. Their conclusions/beliefs should be challenged in a rigorous objective manner and not given the power of ‘scientific proof’. To claim that anyone who dares challenges is dangerous is simply leading the human race into another nightmare of Nazi and Orwellian proportions (OK, so his predictions have not fully come to past, but his dire warnings to mankind still stand).
Reply: Ok this little wandering into Godwin territory stops now. No discussion of Nazis, the Holocaust, or Eugenics. ~ ctm

Stephan

I think Steve Mc has come up with a huge one as well apparently could be more damaging for UEA than climategate
http://climateaudit.org/2010/04/02/keith-should-say/#more-10626

Erik

@johnnythelowery (20:04:57) :
—————————————————————
My German is a bit spotty
—————————————————————
German teaching tape: “Die Sauerkraut ist in mein Lederhosen”

The Curate’s egg analogy is a good one for this article, but the more closely one reads it, the more the good parts of the egg shrink. Why can’t journalists at least do a little research on their sources to check veracity? It’s not so very difficult to get accurate information on Polar ice and glacial behaviour. I guess that growing up in a culture where Green mythology is given credence must make it difficult for German journalists see past the nonsense that has been extant since long before their birth.

Mike Hall

ctm
Agreed. Replace any reference to the N word to ‘Orwellian’ and reset the online discussion of this topic to less than 1.