FOIA for Me But Not For Thee

I thought this was one of the more interesting quotes unearthed so far from the Hadley CRU emails:

“When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince them otherwise showing them what CA [Climate Audit] was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive. I’ve got to know the FOI person quite well and the Chief Librarian – who deals with appeals.”

I am not familiar with the ins and outs of the British FOI request process, but in the US such requests must be honored based on the content of the information requested, and NOT based on the views of the requester or the intended us of the information.  Basically, what the FOI officer has determined here is that this was a perfectly legitimate request that had to be honored UNTIL it was learned that it came from a person or group who disagreed with the center’s scientific conclusions and wished to use the data to try to replicate and/or criticize their work — then it could be ignored.   In the US, this would be a gross violation of  FOIA rules.  I am willing to be that it is not too kosher under British law either.

Climate Pentagon Papers

An interesting development you have probably seen at other climate sites already (I am pretty conservative about posting this stuff), apparently someone may have hacked the servers at the Hadley Center Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the UK and copied a bunch of data and emails and dropped it into the public realm (via links in a number of site’s comment sections).  I downloaded the file but have not checked it out.  It is unclear if this is real or a skeptic spoof or even an alarmist-set trap, though initial reactions from the Hadley Center CRU seem to point to it being real.  The ethics of the folks who grabbed this material are also seriously in question, though if it turns out to be real I have no problem using the material as it is public / government material that should have been in the public domain anyway (which is why I use the Pentagon Papers analogy).

Andrew Bolt has some background and excerpts from the material.  The very first email he has from Phil Jones seems to confirm my suspicions about splicing thermometer data onto proxy series I expressed here.   (Update:  much more from Steve McIntyre here).

A lot of the stuff in Bolt’s post is really stuff we in the skeptic community already know.  RealClimate ruthlessly purges comments of any dissenting or critical voices?  Who’d have thunk it.

Climate Presentation Slides

These are the Powerpoint slides for my Nov. 10 presentation in Phoenix.

The slides are available for download at this link (9.9MB):   Download ppt

A pdf file of the presentation is here (2.7MB):   Download pdf

You can also view a Google docs version of the presentation below, though a bit of the formatting gets screwed up in the translation:   Climate Presentation, online viewer

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We had a really good crowd out last night for my lecture.  I am currently working on publishing the video and the slides.  I am going to destroy the email list for this lecture, but before I do so I am going to send everyone a link to the slides and video when I get them posted.  If you would like to be notified when these are up, you may join the email list here.

Posting Drought Over Soon

There is a lot going on that I should be posting about, but I am preparing for a new round of public presentations, of which I give the first tomorrow night in Phoenix.  Once that is done, and I can get the video posted, I will be back to normal operations.

By the way, if you like the video, I am available for talks to groups for no speaking fee, if I can get to where you are.  My business (totally unrelated to climate) takes me all over the country so I may be near you some time soon.  Just drop me an email at the link above.

Reminder: Tuesday, Nov 10 Presentation in Phoenix

If you are in the Phoenix area and interested in a scientific discussion of climate issues, and in particular the science behind the skeptic’s position, you will likely enjoy my lecture this coming Tuesday (Nov 10)  in Phoenix.  The presentation is free to the public, and will be from 7-9PM in Dorrance Auditorium at the Phoenix Country Day School, on 40th Street just north of Camelback Road.  Hope to see you there.

The information web site is here.

The brochure for the presentation is here.

The press release is here.

Good Video

I enjoyed this video from CO2 Science and the Idso family.   It has much more in-depth science than most climate videos. For those of you who judge scientific issues based on ad hominem factors, the Idso’s are on ExxonSecret’s S-list, having had the temerity to accept Exxon money at some point in the past. For the rest of you, I think the video is good and worth the price.

Lindzen & Choi

In preparing for my climate presentation in Phoenix next week, I went back and read through Lindzen & Choi, a study whose results I linked here.  The study claims to have measured feedback, and have found feedback to temperature changes in the natural climate system to be negative –opposite of the assumption of strong positive feedback in climate models.  I found this interesting, as we often do of studies that confirm our own hypotheses.

Re-reading the study, I was uncomfortable with the methodology, but figured I was missing something.  Specifically, I didn’t understand how an increase in temperature could result in a decrease in outgoing radiation, as Lindzen says is assumed in all the models.   As I have always understood it, the opposite has to be true in a stable system.   With an added forcing, temperature increases which increases outgoing radiation until the radiation budget is back in balance.  Models that assumed otherwise would have near infinite temepratures.   I assumed perhaps that Lindzen & Choi were making measurements during the time the system came back into equilibrium.

Apparently, both Luboš Motl and Roy Spencer have spotted problems as well, and they explain the issue in a more sophisticated way here and here.

But the results I have been getting from the fully coupled ocean-atmosphere (CMIP) model runs that the IPCC depends upon for their global warming predictions do NOT show what Lindzen and Choi found in the AMIP model runs. While the authors found decreases in radiation loss with short-term temperature increases, I find that the CMIP models exhibit an INCREASE in radiative loss with short term warming.

In fact, a radiation increase MUST exist for the climate system to be stable, at least in the long term. Even though some of the CMIP models produce a lot of global warming, all of them are still stable in this regard, with net increases in lost radiation with warming (NOTE: If analyzing the transient CMIP runs where CO2 is increased over long periods of time, one must first remove that radiative forcing in order to see the increase in radiative loss).

So, while I tend to agree with the Lindzen and Choi position that the real climate system is much less sensitive than the IPCC climate models suggest, it is not clear to me that their results actually demonstrate this.

Spencer further makes the point he has made for a couple of years now that feedback is really, really, really hard to measure, because it is so easy to confuse cause and effect.

Spencer by the way points out this admission from the Fourth IPCC report:

A number of diagnostic tests have been proposed…but few of them have been applied to a majority of the models currently in use. Moreover, it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining future projections (of warming). Consequently, a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed.

This is kind of amazing, in effect saying “we have no idea what the feedbacks are or how to measure them, but lacking any knowlege, we are going to consistently and universally assume very high positive feedbacks with feedback factors > 0.7”