Monthly Archives: January 2010

Feedback Assumptions Finally Being Challenged

When asked what one thing I would want to tell laymen about catastrophic man-made global warming theory, it is the following:  That this theory is in fact a two-part theory.  Greenhouse gas theory alone only gives us incremental warming and no catastrophe.  It is a second theory that Earth’s climate is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that multiplies warming of perhaps a degree over the next century from CO2 to 3,5, or more degrees of warming.  And while it is fairly well accepted by all that CO2 will cause a bit of warming alone, this second theory is not at all settled and in fact may even the the sign of the feedback wrong.

Two stories came out this week undercutting to of the largest sources of feedback.

1.  Water Vapor Feedback

Water vapor is a highly variable gas and has long been recognized as an important player in the cocktail of greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons, nitrous oxide, and others—that affect climate.

“Current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapor near the surface. But this is different — it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect,” says Susan Solomon, NOAA senior scientist and first author of the study.

Since 2000, water vapor in the stratosphere decreased by about 10 percent. The reason for the recent decline in water vapor is unknown. The new study used calculations and models to show that the cooling from this change caused surface temperatures to increase about 25 percent more slowly than they would have otherwise, due only to the increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

An increase in stratospheric water vapor in the 1990s likely had the opposite effect of increasing the rate of warming observed during that time by about 30 percent, the authors found.

2.  CO2  (outgassing from oceans) Feedback

The most alarming forecasts of natural systems amplifying the human-induced greenhouse effect may be too high, according to a new report.

The study in Nature confirms that as the planet warms, oceans and forests will absorb proportionally less CO2.

It says this will increase the effects of man-made warming – but much less than recent research has suggested….

The most likely value among their estimates suggests that for every degree Celsius of warming, natural ecosystems tend to release an extra 7.7 parts per million of CO2 to the atmosphere (the full range of their estimate was between 1.7 and 21.4 parts per million).

This stands in sharp contrast to the recent estimates of positive feedback models, which suggest a release of 40 parts per million per degree; the team say with 95% certainty that value is an overestimate.

OK readers, let’s see how close you have been paying attention.  The models have over-estimated this important feedback by a factor of 5 (40 to 7.7). As I have shown time and time again, the vast majority of the warming in climate forecasts is from feedback — about 1C per century is directly from CO2, the rest is from feedback multipliers.  Have a forecast that says 5C warming in the next century, then about 4C of that is probably due to feedback.

But remember this post, where I said

…there is a very strong social cost in academia to challenging global warming, so that even when findings in certain studies seem to undercut key pieces of the argument, the researches always add something like “but of course this does not refute the basic theory of global warming” at the end of the paper.

So what do this study’s author’s say?

The authors warn, though, that their research will not reduce projections of future temperature rises.

Further, they say their concern about man-made climate change remains high.

Of course, because if this factor goes down, they will just shore up their forecasts and keep them them high with some other plug variable.  Because no one is funding scientists (or quoting them in newspapers) whose models call for just 1C of warming over the next century.

My Eighth Grade Son Did Better Science

I cannot believe that we skeptics have caught grief from these folks for years for our science not being sufficiently peer-reviewed.  But forget about peer-review for a moment (I think it is overrated anyway) — At least the analyses we skeptic have been doing have some kind of rigor, rather than just being surveys of a few random individual perceptions.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

What next?  Are we going to ask a random group of parachuters how fast they thought they were free-falling to reset the of g (9.8m/sec/sec)?  My son did more rigorous climate science for his eighth grade science fair project.

Barbarians at the Gates

A reader wrote me:

Authors complained that although Crichton used their findings correctly, their own intention when writing was not to ‘dispute global warming’. That is the whole problem that seems to keep coming up – so what if someone ‘supports’ the consensus in their own private life and ideology? The point of science is to make judgements on data.

I wrote back something I have meaning to post here.   Why do so many scientists from various fields, who may have less knowledge of the details of climate science than a layman like myself has, sign onto all these petitions and letters supporting the science?

One thing that helps explain some of this behavior is that there is a very strong social cost in academia to challenging global warming, so that even when findings in certain studies seem to undercut key pieces of the argument, the researches always add something like “but of course this does not refute the basic theory of global warming” at the end of the paper.  In universities, being identified as having criticized catastrophic man-made global warming theory is sort of like standing up in a Harvard faculty meeting and announcing that one is a devout Baptist and a Sarah Palin supporter.  So on the flip side, publicly declaring for climate catastrophe is a badge of honor and sophistication.

In fact, the lumping of climate skeptics with fundamentalist evolution doubters/deniers actually helps to explain a lot of academic behavior.  We see all of these open letters and surveys that are signed by all kinds of scientists and academics from multiple fields supporting catastrophic global warming theory, but in fact many have not delved even a little bit into the science.  Partially this support is professional courtesy to their peers, but in large part when academics sign these letters, they feel they are supporting science per se, rather than the specific science of global warming (which they have not really inspected) against the anti-science barbarians at the gate.

People often take public positions for what that position communicates about themselves, rather than based on any kind of rigorous analysis.  I would argue that a solid chunk of the Obama votes in the last election were not based on any real understanding of the candidate but on the desire to say, “look what an enlightened person I am, I have voted for a black man for President.”

Skeptic Wack-a-Mole

I welcome critical reactions to my recent video, which I put together as a layman’s summary of the science of the skeptic’s position  (if you have sent me criticisms, I have read them even if I have not gotten back to you — my real life has been crazy lately).

If you have not seen the video, and are a frequent reader of this site, I encourage you to do so.  But to understand what follows, I need to share a bit of a summary of the video.

The video begins by accepting that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas and that increased atmospheric concentrations can cause some incremental warming, on the order of magnitude of 1C per doubling of concentrations.  But while I accept that CO2 causes incremental warming, I challenge the notion that there is a high climate sensitivity to CO2, driven by positive feedbacks, that multiply this warming to 3,5, even 10 degrees (thus the title of the video “Catastrophe Denied.”)

So, much of the video looks at alarmist arguments that sensitivity to CO2 is high, or in other words, that CO2 is acting as the main driver of world temperatures, that it is the dominant factor in recent temperature increases and its effect dwarfs all other effects.

In challenging this proposition, I took on 3 arguments:

  1. That ice core analysis (as shown by Al Gore in his movie) shows that for hundreds of thousands of years, CO2 and temperatures have moved together, demonstrating that CO2 is the main thermostat of the Earth
  2. That Michael Mann’s hockey stick (as given prominence  by both the IPCC AR3 and AR4 as well as Al Gore in his movie, though incorrectly labeled as Dr Thompson’s Thermometer) shows that absent man, Earth’s temperatures were incredibly flat and stable and that only the introduction of manmade CO2 recently upset this stability
  3. That climate models are unable to replicate recent warming (ie in the last 50 years) using only natural forcings and only the introduction of CO2 into the models allows them to replicate history correctly

I am not going to deal with these arguments here (go watch the movie!) but several comments I have received are all of a single theme.  Basically, the comments state that neither numbers 1 or 2 above are arguments any climate scientists are using and, further, just to demonstrate what a silly straw-man-erector I am, they were never used as proof of high climate sensitivity to CO2.  This former may or may not be true, but the latter is just BS, and it represents a typical alarmist tactic.  Make an argument, defend it like a mother bear (arguing skeptics are bad people for even questioning such obvious and settled science), and then when the argument finally gets shot down in flames, claim that it doesn’t matter and that it was never a serious argument anyway.  The virtue of this tactic is not only that it can help paint skeptics as raising straw men, but it can also hide the fact that the science is so week that supporters must lurch from justification to justification, from thin limb to thin limb, trying to find a new branch of the tree to support them before the old branch breaks.

One commenter insisted to me, for example, that the ice core analysis from Al Gore’s movie was never meant to show a direct cause and effect relationship between CO2 and warming but to show proof of CO2 positive feedback  (ie higher temps cause more CO2 to be driven out of the oceans which increases its concentration in the atmosphere which causes more warming).  I have no doubt that is how it is used today, but it is just Stalinist revisionism to claim that this was Gore’s argument in the movie.

Steve McIntyre had an interesting example of this approach in a recent post (actually, Steve could write a book on the defend-defend-defend-defend-It doesn’t matter style of debate).  For years, in response to questions about siting issues and uncorrected biases in the surface temperature record, James Hansen has claimed that the GISS has solved all that by using computer algorithms that compared sites to other nearby sites and used sophisticated statistical approaches (way beyond the ability of mere skeptics to understand) that corrected out all these biases.  Some of us Luddites continued to argue that they weren’t correcting the biases in this homogenization approach, but were merely spreading the error around multiple stations like peanut butter (Anthony Watt has a lot more in his new book).

But then we find this from the FOI’e emails from the GISS:

The next morning (Aug 7), Ruedy sent Hansen and Gavin a draft reply to my email. He reported a US error of 0.15 deg C (a bit lower than my estimate the previous night.) The draft reply satirized the idea (then being promulgated by Rabett and Tamino) that GISS software could “fix” defects in surface data:

I had no idea what code you are referring to until I learned from your article “Hansen’s Y2K Error (which should really be Reto’s Y2K error) that GISS is in possession of some magical software that is able to “fix” the defects in surface data. No wonder you would like to get your hands on that – so would I. Unfortunately your source totally misled you in that respect. I’m a little amazed that you uncritically present it as a fact given that a large part of your web site is devoted to convincingly prove that such software cannot possibly exist.

And there is the technique in a nutshell, don’t just abandon the analysis when challenged, but deny it ever existed, and paint the challenger as somehow defective in his approach by “uncritically” suggesting such a straw man

Problems in the Surface Temperature Record

Readers of this site won’t be surprised at reports of problems in the surface temperature record.  Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watt have teamed up on a new paper published by SPPI analyzing the surface temperature record in depth.  I have only skimmed it, but it looks terrific  (and includes a few weather station site surveys and photos by yours truly).  From the summary:

1. Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and unidirectionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.

2. All terrestrial surface-temperature databases exhibit very serious problems that render them useless for determining accurate long-term temperature trends.

3. All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally.

More “Settled Science”

From the Times in London via Planet Gore:

THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”

Last month Gordon Brown, the prime minister, told the Commons that the financial agreement at Copenhagen “must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm”.

The latest criticism of the IPCC comes a week after reports in The Sunday Times forced it to retract claims in its benchmark 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would be largely melted by 2035. It turned out that the bogus claim had been lifted from a news report published in 1999 by New Scientist magazine.

This severe weather proposition is one particularly amenable to shoddy science, as all-too-often folks try to portray statistical events at the tails of the normal distribution as evidence that the mean and/or standard deviation of the distribution is shifting.  The current lawsuit blaming oil and coal companies for Katrina is one such example.

I personally was involved in a fracas over another shoddy analysis that was most definitely not peer-reviewed in the recent US Global Climate Change Impacts  (or synthesis) report, where the report attempted to use a faulty metric of electrical grid disturbances as evidence of increased severe weather.  My original criticisms were here and here and my response to the authors’ response was here.

By the way, the evidence is growing that much of much of the IPCC report did not come from real peer-reviewed work, but from advocacy pieces by groups such as the WWF (which seems to practically be running the IPCC from the number of citations).

Well it turns out that the WWF is cited all over the IPCC AR4 report, and as you know, WWF does not produce peer reviewed science, they produce opinion papers in line with their vision. Yet IPCC’s rules are such that they are supposed to rely on peer reviewed science only. It appears they’ve violated that rule dozens of times, all under Pachauri’s watch.

Anthony has a specific list of citations culled by Donna Laframboise from the IPCC reports, but I am sure the list will grow as folks poke and prod the report again.  These two citations in the IPCC were particularly laugh-inducing:

  • Jones, B. and D. Scott, 2007: Implications of climate change to Ontario’s provincial parks. Leisure, (in press)
  • Jones, B., D. Scott and H. Abi Khaled, 2006: Implications of climate change for outdoor event planning: a case study of three special events in Canada’s National Capital region. Event Management, 10, 63-76

My sense that if we really trace the sources, we will find that most of the IPCC report rests on the work of 10-20 guys.

Catastrophe Denied: The Science of the Skeptic’s Position

I have repaired the overscan issues in the DVD files and am re-posting the links, which are all good now.

Once upon a time, Al Gore had a PowerPoint deck.  Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that Gore’s presentation was deeply flawed, so I made my own PowerPoint deck in response, and have been updating it ever since.  Here is the most recent version

Powerpoint presentation with notes pages (.ppt)

Adobe Acrobat .pdf file

Then, Al Gore made a movie from his PowerPoint deck.  He won an Oscar and a Nobel prize for his movie.  Those are a bit out of my reach, so I will have to settle for actually being right.  My previous movie showed my PowerPoint deck presented to a live audience, and can still be found online here.  I felt the sound quality could be improved and the narration could be tighter, so I went into the “studio” to create a tighter version.  The product of this is what I believe to be my best effort yet at explaining, in a comprehensive but simple manner, the science of the skeptic’s position to laymen.

I have become a big fan of Vimeo because I don’t have to break videos up into 10-minute chunks as on YouTube.  The Vimeo version is here and is embedded below:

Other Viewing Options

When I get the time to break this into 9(!) parts, I will post a link here to YouTube.

You can download the 212MB .wmv file here (link on the lower right).  Alternatively, it can also be found here.  The .wmv is also available via BitTorrent:  You can find its page at Pirate Bay or the torrent directly here.

Download the .iso file (DVD disk image) to make you own playable DVD here (beware:  1.6GB).  A free tool to burn the DVD from the image is ImgBurn

The .iso file is also available via BitTorrent: you can find its page at Pirate Bay with the torrent here.

Finally, you can buy the DVD at cost, here, for $7.50 plus shipping.

Fake but Accurate

I have written a number of times about climate science and post-modernism, where taking the politically correct position and pushing for the “right” government actions is more important than fact-based analysis or the scientific method.  This is a great example of the IPCC acting as just such a post-modernist institution:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action….

Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’

In fact, the 2035 melting date seems to have been plucked from thin air.

Of course, IPCC leader Pachauri is unrepentant

Last night, Dr Pachauri defended the IPCC, saying it was wrong to generalise based on a single mistake. ‘Our procedure is robust,’ he added.

It was Pachauri who originally lashed out with these words at folks who originally criticized the Himalayan glacier claim:

However, Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, told the Guardian: “We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”…

Pachauri dismissed the report saying it was not “peer reviewed” and had few “scientific citations”.

“With the greatest of respect this guy retired years ago and I find it totally baffling that he comes out and throws out everything that has been established years ago.”…

In response Pachauri said that such statements were reminiscent of “climate change deniers and school boy science”.

Climate Interview

Last week I did a very enjoyable interview Stefan Molyneux of FreeDomain Radio.  My presence was almost superfluous, as Stefan was incredibly well-informed as well as passionate on climate topics.  Our discussion hits on many critical topics related to the science of the skeptics position, from positive feedbacks to urban heat biases to hockey sticks.  The interview is embedded below, but I encourage you to check out his site, he seems to get a lot of interesting interviews of which I appear to be the most pedestrian.

Don’t Mistake Other People’s Public Confidence for “Proof”

All too often, people mistake other people’s confidence in a particular proposition as sufficient evidence for they themselves to believe the proposition.  No where is this more evident than in global warming.  But the recent IPCC flipflop on Himalayan Glaciers provides an excellent example of just how flimsy the basis can be for other people’s public confidence.

Just 2 months ago, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri was saying this:

A leading climate scientist [IPCC Chariman Rajendra Pachauri] today accused the Indian environment ministry of “arrogance” after the release of a government report claiming that there is no evidence climate change has caused “abnormal” shrinking of Himalayan glaciers….

Today Ramesh denied any such risk existed: “There is no conclusive scientific evidence to link global warming with what is happening in the Himalayan glaciers.” The minister added although some glaciers are receding they were doing so at a rate that was not “historically alarming”.

However, Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, told the Guardian: “We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”…

Pachauri dismissed the report saying it was not “peer reviewed” and had few “scientific citations”.

“With the greatest of respect this guy retired years ago and I find it totally baffling that he comes out and throws out everything that has been established years ago.”…

In response Pachauri said that such statements were reminiscent of “climate change deniers and school boy science”.

So Pachauri is coming out firing.  His science is well-established, theirs is “school boy” and not “peer reviewed.”  Pachauri not only says this guy is wrong, but he that he is a bad guy for even bringing it up.  You see him actively questioning his motives, as if this is somehow a scheme and Pachauri just hasn’t figured it out yet.

But now, two months later, we know exactly the quality of science that Pachauri was defending:

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

In effect, Pachauri was defending a proposition based on, effectively, a cocktail-party quality speculation reported in a telephone interview in a throwaway, non-peer-reviewed article in a popular magazine.

I May Have Found The Problem With the Climate Models

Via Carpe Diem:

Last quarter I taught Atmospheric Sciences 101 at the University of Washington, a large lecture class with a mix of students, and gave them a math diagnostic test as I have done in the past. The results were stunning, in a very depressing way. This was an easy test, including elementary and middle school math problems. And these are students attending a science class at the State’s flagship university–these should be the creme of the crop of our high school graduates with high GPAs. And yet most of them can’t do essential basic math–operations needed for even the most essential problem solving.

Here’s a link to a PDF version of the full test and results, and here’s a blank version to give your kids and friends.

Consider these embarrassing statistics from the exam:

The overall grade was 58%

43% did not know the formula for the area of a circle

86% could not do a simple algebra problem (problem 4b)

75% could not do a simple scientific notation problem (1e)

52% could not deal with a negative exponent (2 to the -2)

43% could not do simple long division problem with no remainder (see above)!

Actually, I am just having fun with this.  My guess is that this is a general college problem and not one limited to the atmospheric sciences, though I will say that my experience in engineering is that the “trendy sciences”  (whatever the trend might be at the moment, when I was in school it was a new energy program) tend to attract students less prepared for mathematical rigor.  Perhaps this is true of climate today?

LOL, Missed My Chance at History

Something I discovered only days after the Climategate (I guess that unfortunate name is going to stick) story broke, I finally noticed a comment on my blog on the night of the release notifying me and my readers of the availability of the email file.  It was pretty far down in a pretty random, really a throwaway post, and I didn’t notice until days later when the story had moved on.  I never mentioned it because I was kind of embarrassed that I don’t seem to exercise the same real-time scrutiny on my comments as other bloggers seem to be able to manage.

Well, the embarrassment is worse than I thought, because by Steve McIntyre’s timeline, this site may have been first.  I got a weird email that night that I frankly could not figure out that in retrospect may have been related.  Anyway, I missed my chance.  Which is fine because much more dedicated bloggers soon jumped on the case.

If you are wondering where I am, I am steadily working through a new 90-minute studio lecture (ie much better sound quality than here) on the science of the skeptic’s position.  I have seen many good presentations of late but I really think I have hit on a good, balanced presentation and I am excited to share it soon.

WTF? Is this Really What They Do?

From the Times Online:

In fact, the Met [UK meteorology office] still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: “This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

Look, I think some of these guys’ process is nuts, but this is too crazy to believe.  Any other background on tis?

The Power of Branding

This last week we saw the power of branding in the political arena.  By rebranding anthorpogenic global warming as “climate change,” alarmists are able to say things like this (this is White House spokesman Robert Gibbs commenting on recent very cold weather)

Gibbs: “I think that one only has to step outside here or visit where I used to work in Chicago to understand that climate change, and the record temperature that climate change is likely causing, is with us….I would say that eve in places that are used to getting very cold weather, record cold…our weather patterns have been affected by change in our climate”

Wow, I guess its all about the science.  Except for the following problem:  no living human being has suggested any credible mechanism by which CO2 can cause climate change without the intermediate step of warming.  CO2 causes warming, which in turn might or might not cause more, say, severe storms.  But there is no evidence of CO2 causing more temperature volatility  (particularly extremes to the cold side) and even those who have suggested that global warming might lead to more volatility would be forced to admit, if they are being honest, that this is more volatility around a higher mean, such that there still should not be a lot more record lows.

The Hockey Stick

difference-between-rural-and-urban2

Via WUWT, Jeff Id takes a look at the GHCN temperature data base, specifically comparing warming in urban vs. rural locations.  As found in a number of other studies, about half of 20th century warming int he surface temperature record may be due to uncorrected urban biases.

Some past takes on the same subject:

Last Gasp of the Old Debate Template

Rolling Stone (and here)  manages to write over 5000 words on those opposed to climate alarmism without once acknowledging that any skeptic might have well-intentioned disagreement with the science itself.  Without once addressing a single scientific issue in the debate, the article dismisses the need to do so by painting every skeptic of every stripe as shills for the oil and coal industry.    All the while ignoring identical rent-seeking, financial incentives, and enormous political and propaganda spending in the alarmist community.

This is such a stale and unhelpful way to address climate issues that I am relieved that 2009 may mark the year when this form of argument no longer had much power — which is why I have, perhaps over-optimistically, labeled this the last gasp of the old climate debate template.

By the way, I would like to again remind the skeptic community not to fall into the same trap.  Yes, I know it is good turn-about fun to demonstrate that skeptic spending pales before alarmist spending, or to talk about the billions of dollars Al Gore and others have on the line with their alarmism.  But while these are useful issues to point out in passing, the opportunity is available to actually force debates on the actual state of the science, and I would hate to squander it in dueling ad hominem battles.

Station Adjustments

The American Thinker blog is running a daily series of charts showing raw and “value added” or adjusted station data. The amount of the global warming signal that comes from manual adjustments rather than actual measurements is something we have discussed here before, but you can see in each of their daily examples.

Unadjusted and adjusted temperatures at Kremsmuenster, Austria

kremsmuenster-austria

Source: AppInSys (Applied Information Systems) using NOAA/GHCN database for Kremsmuenster, Austria

You can create the same charts for any station here.

Climate Presentation

I have cleaned up my Powerpoint presentation and added my narration on the notes pages.   I have this available both as a .ppt file as well as a pdf.  The pdf, I think, works particularly well — it looks and reads more like a book.  This is my best current cut at presenting the science of the skeptic’s position and mostly supersedes my earlier book.  Right click either to download.  You are welcome to use the presentation with your own local groups.

Powerpoint presentation with notes pages (.ppt)

Adobe Acrobat .pdf file

Some example pages:

example-page-1 example-page-2