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It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too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I personally was involved in a fracas over another shoddy analysis that was most definitely not peer-reviewed in the recent US Global Climate Change Impacts  (or synthesis) report, where the report attempted to use a faulty metric of electrical grid disturbances as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.

50 thoughts on “More “Settled Science””

  1. ‘overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming.’

    Could be linked to the entire country being a f***ing floodplain! Having spent some time there in the late ’90s, the only thing Bangladesh seems to prove is that relying on God/Allah/Mum to solve all your problems get’s you wet feet…

  2. It might be argued that “women don’t lie this easily”, but I suspect there’ll be less argument they do a much better job of it.

  3. a professional hockey team is 20 active 3 spares . . . you numbers estimate is bang on.

  4. I think its a bit disingenuous to say that ‘much’ of the IPCC report is based on non peer-reviewed articles. I have seen Ms. Laframboise’s list and it has about a dozen citations. I have not explicitly counted them, but I know that hundreds of articles went into the preparation of that report. That means less than ten percent for sure and probably less than five percent of the science in the report is based on non-peer-reviewed work. It should be none, but there’s no reason to turn their half-truths into your own half-truths.

  5. No hunter, just more facts. I know that irks you, but there you have it. Thankx maxell.

    By the way, wasn’t “peer-review” something called “a hollow appeal to authority”? Or was that just when it suggested AGW?

  6. Waldo,
    Especially the facts you choose to ignore.
    Are facts, for you, sort of like a quantum cat variant, neither dead or alive until you decide to recognize them?
    As to peer review, it is the corruption of peer review that is the hollow appeal to authority.
    Sort of like using WWF and wiki, both of which the IPCC has used, as references.
    Is calling those who pointed out the falseness of the IPCC glacier claims, practioners of ‘voodoo science’ a hollow appeal to authority?

    Wally- it depends on how he feels about the person who takes him to the forest.

  7. First, sorry for the double post, I thought I might have been able to stop that first post as I noticed I left out that “you,” obviously I failed.

    And Hunter, yes, I suppose it would depend on that for him. I find it kind of funny that he can’t seem to keep more than one part of the argument in his head at any one time and continually fails to understand how any one part relates to the larger picture. Thus, I probably should have actually asked him, “when you look at a forest, can you see more than one tree?”

  8. Wally,
    Waldo knows implicitly that if he tries to deal with the entire issue that AGW turns into a pile of steaming garbage.
    He has to divide and hope to conquer, so that at least he can tell himself he is scoring points.
    He has not divided well, and he has yet to conquer, but he is, like Baghdad Bob, or the Monty Python Black Knight, valiantly swinging away.

  9. Ad hominem, folks. Weak, juvenile, and very telling, not to mention a series of cliches. Can’t attack the idea, attack the man, right? Meh, boring.

    Beddington, a biologist (gasp! another non-climate scientist!) has also apparently predicted severe energy and food shortages by 2030 – five years before the glaciers melt!

    Or you could go here and find out what the majority of scientists who actually study the climate think:

    OR you could visit the blog Professor Cliff Mass from U of Washington. He’s the guy who taught atmosphere science 101 and gave the math test a few posts back. Read his blog here:
    and here for his take on Climategate

    This was the most interesting thing he says –

    “There is an almost tribal separation going on today between the scientific community and their ‘allies’ (generally of a liberal persuasion) and the denier and critic crowd (many of them of a conservative bent). The denier folks have become angry, with conspiracy theories and accusations of far-left agendas. Whenever there is an article on climate change in newspapers, these people leaves large numbers of online comments. And few of them are well informed about the science. And there is a lot of misinformation on the “pro” global warming side as well. Scientists, unaccustomed to being on the firing line, have gotten defensive–and the emails from climategate really document this attitude.”

    Interesting, no?

  10. Ad hominem, folks. Weak, juvenile, and very telling, not to mention a series of cliches. Can’t attack the idea, attack the man, right? Meh, boring.

    Beddington, a biologist (gasp! another non-climate scientist!) has also apparently predicted severe energy and food shortages by 2030 – five years before the glaciers melt!

  11. OR you could visit the blog Professor Cliff Mass from U of Washington. He’s the guy who taught atmosphere science 101 and gave the math test a few posts back.
    This was the most interesting thing he says –

    “There is an almost tribal separation going on today between the scientific community and their ‘allies’ (generally of a liberal persuasion) and the denier and critic crowd (many of them of a conservative bent). The denier folks have become angry, with conspiracy theories and accusations of far-left agendas. Whenever there is an article on climate change in newspapers, these people leaves large numbers of online comments. And few of them are well informed about the science. And there is a lot of misinformation on the “pro” global warming side as well. Scientists, unaccustomed to being on the firing line, have gotten defensive–and the emails from climategate really document this attitude.”

  12. So Beddington simply wants more information available about the “anti”-AGW side. Bully for him. Let them all speak.

    But shame on the people here for making an unfortunate situation worse. Because that’s all CS is doing.

  13. Waldo,
    You attack everyone and like the typical cowardly troll, whine ad hom when given your own back.
    yes, you are boring.
    So just ignore the trees, the forest and the facts.
    Nothing new fer you.

  14. When the IPCC publishes its TAR, it also publishes a Summary for Policymakers (SPM). The SPM attempts to put into laymen’s terms the projection of the global climate for the next 100 years. It is the SPM where much of the trouble is brewing. The infamous Himalayian glacier melting predictions, as well as the predictions concerning the destruction of the Amazon (attributed to AGW) are based upon non-scientific assertions. They never should have made it to the SPM.

    I the rebuttal at Real Climate. G. Schmidt said it was the glacier prediction was only a tiny fragment that was non-peer reviewed, but the IPCC had the trend correct. This of course, misses the point entirely. The IPCC predicted that all of the Himalayian range would be ice free by 2035. There was an attempt to convince policy-makers of a scenario that was not based on science. It took 3 years and the CRU scandal to get press coverage on this.

  15. Waldo,

    With all due respect I believe that surveys can be written to extract the expected results. The “proof” that no skepticism is warranted in your cited article is the large agreement to the following survey question: Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    What if the survey question was: Do you think that manmade carbon dioxide emissions are the only factor contributing to changing mean global temperatures? That should elicit large disagreement.

    Because very little in science is unequivocal I suggest that a more refined survey is necessary to determine whether or not the “climatologists” agree there is justification for action or inaction and to what degree.

    For the argument about action I would like to see the same group polled for the following question and potential responses: On a scale of 1 to 5 as defined below, based on your understanding of the climatic system how much control of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions do you believe is warranted?
    1. No limits on GHG emissions are warranted, because the effect of changing GHG concentrations is insignificant on changing climate and its effects on mankind
    2. GHG emission limits that have minor costs and require minor lifestyle changes are warranted because GHG concentrations may have an appreciable effect on changing climate and ultimately impact mankind
    3. GHG emission limits that have significant costs and require substantive lifestyle changes are warranted because GHG concentrations are a significant driver of changing climate and the effects on mankind could out-weigh these costs
    4. Greenhouse gas emissions should limited to the point of painful economic consequences and major lifestyle changes are warranted because GHG concentrations are a primary driver of changing climate and the effects on mankind could be catastrophic
    5. Whatever limits on GHG emissions and life style changes necessary to reverse and limit GHG concentrations are required because changing GHG concentrations drive changes in climate and the effects on mankind will be catastrophic

    Obviously defining the five responses needs refinement but you get the idea.

  16. Hi Roger, a good point. You probably haven’t looked over my personal history with CS, but all along I have said that I am open minded about the topic of AGW. What I disagree with are the hardcore opinions of admitted (or not admitted) amateurs on the subject who take the time to go head-to-head with the climate experts working in the field. I am an admitted amateur / layperson who is concerned with the style of aggressive, angry disinformation, misinformation, questionable sources and agitprops found on places like CS

    I don’t believe that the opinion piece constitutes “proof” of global warming, but I think it is far more telling that the vast majority of climate scientists believe AGW is occuring than I do, say, a biologist or a mechanical engineer or what-have-you.

    And I’m pretty sure that none of the climate scientists claim GHG are the “only” climate forcing. In fact, all acknoledge that there are many climate forcings and cycles – most seem to think that CO2 in particular is a new and dangerous climate forcing. But I do see your point.

  17. The point of AGW theory is that CO2 is the driving force of climate change, by triggering a cascade of strong positive feedbacks that enhance CO2’s modest ghg effect.
    The international efforts, in case you missed them, are pointed towards CO2 management.
    The skeptics are pointing out that CO2 is not the main driver, and that a series of strong positive feedbacks is not credible, and neither are supoorted by evidence.

  18. Is that what the skeptics are doing, hunter? Really?

    Or are skeptics – such as CS – simply finding any publication, no matter how dubious or unverified or scientifically unsound, that denigrates climate scientists and climate organizations and publishing them as if they held the same sort of weight that a scientific journal / organizational publication / etc. would have? Are skeptics looking for any irregularity or mistake in the science, no matter how minor, and then trumpeting these as the elusive proof of massive international conspiracy they want so badly to see?

    I would argue for the latter scenarios. And I’m not so sure that there is lack of evidence. In fact, there seems to page a massive amount of evidence…a road we have been down before.

    Again, we are at square one: who is better at determining whether or not CO2 is the cause of GW – or even if there is GW – the climate scientists? or the army of amateur and non-climate scientist skeptics who challenge them? This is the point of the opinion piece I posted above.

  19. These comments are interesting. Truly, the IPCC has grossly violated standards of analyzing and reporting the science of climate change. However, we should never lose track of the basics – catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is falsified by the Medieval Warm Period and preceding natural warm periods during the Holocene and earlier. Numerous peer-reviewed studies show that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the present and was global. Current warming is not unprecedented – it is common and of lower amplitude than its predecessors. Its obvious significance is that it did not trigger out-of-control warming; neither did previous warming, so there is no reason to expect current warming to do what previous warming did not.
    All the rest is academic exercise – corals survived, so did polar bears, sea levels rose over 400 feet during the past 10,000 years but did not rise precipitously during the past 1,000 years – or even in the past 100 years – and glaciers have been on average retreating for over 200 years, reflecting natural climate change following the Little Ice Age, but not at an alarming rate. The evidence of previous periods of much greater glacier retreat are, to use an IPCC word, “robust”.
    It’s fun to examine and debate the trees – their rings make very bad thermometers – but we should never forget to admire the forest.

  20. Personally I don’t know about the MWP, but this is what Real Climate (blog by the scientists) says about it:

    “Weren’t temperatures warmer than today during the ‘Medieval Warm Period’?”

    “This is one of a number of popular myths regarding temperature variations in past centuries. At hemispheric or global scales, surface temperatures are believed to have followed the “Hockey Stick” pattern, characterized by a long-term cooling trend from the so-called “Medieval Warm Period” (broadly speaking, the 10th-mid 14th centuries) through the “Little Ice Age” (broadly speaking, the mid 15th-19th centuries), followed by a rapid warming during the 20th century that culminates in anomalous late 20th century warmth. The late 20th century warmth, at hemispheric or global scales, appears, from a number of recent peer-reviewed studies, to exceed the peak warmth of the “Medieval Warm Period”. Claims that global average temperatures during Medieval times were warmer than present-day are based on a number of false premises that a) confuse past evidence of drought/precipitation with temperature evidence, b) fail to disinguish regional from global-scale temperature variations, and c) use the entire “20th century” to describe “modern” conditions , fail to differentiate between relatively cool early 20th century conditions and the anomalously warm late 20th century conditions.”

  21. Waldo, with all due respect, that statement from RealClimate, whoever it was in particular is up for grabs, is not science. There is no respectable scientific publication that would publish that statement. There is no way to say with a significant level of certainty how the temperature of the modern compares to past temperatures. Models definitely can say something about these temperature comparisons, but models are only a portion of the scientific process.

    A more scientific statement would like more ‘its likely that’ or ‘results point to a possible cause of such and such’ because in the end, no one at RealClimate, despite the best proxies imaginable, knows what the temperature was for sure 200 or 500 or 1000 years ago. The very fact that they claim that droughts/precipitation records cause confusion as to what the temperature was during the Medieval Warm period should raise some flags. If there is a debate (ie confusion), then it’s not really evidence for any argument, is it?

    Hell, no one even knows if the divergence from agreement between some proxies and the temperature record is real or not.

    I think the point is that even though a small group of highly public scientists feel it necessary to promote a theory that they helped create does not make it right. I have even read Gavin post ‘consensus isn’t everything, but shouldn’t it mean something’ or something along those lines. I’ll try to find the quote tomorrow. A scientist in any field should never be pandering to the consensus argument. It means he/she doesn’t have a good enough explanation to be convincing.

  22. Once in an online debate about an IPCC prediction, I tracked an IPCC claim down to its original source. It was a surpsingly long chain, starting with the summary for policy makers; then to the full report; then to a supplemental report; then to the actual research paper; and then to the actual model the research paper was based on.

    Well, it turned out that it was like a big game of telephone. The Summary for Policymakers had completely twisted this research. Unsurprisingly, it was spun to support the party line.

    People need to accept that the IPCC is an advocacy organiztion with an agenda to push.

  23. Waldo,
    Yes, that is what skeptics are doing.
    You, depending authoritarian based reasoning, just don’t like it.
    Your dependence on RC to tell you what to think about the MWP, instead of using google to research it a bit, is a perfect example of just that.

  24. Hey, I only report what the scientists say.

    Maxwell, I suggest you publish your stuff. Have cliamte scientists review it. Get it peer-reviewed. Prove them wrong. No offense, but so far you are making statements on a blog thread. Have you actually done the research to know what you are talking about?

    hunter, do you really think you can go to Google and parse the complexities of the climate debate? Anyone, and I do mean anyone, should know that the majority of stuff on the web on any subject is questionable, to say the least.

    brazil, have you followed the sources on, say, this blog? Is there an agenda here?

    Picture perfect examples of why the deniosphere is making things worse.

  25. Waldo,

    I don’t need to publish what I’ve said here. It’s already in the literature. Try Googling ‘Loethe Disvergence’ and see what comes up. I am merely paraphrasing what is already there.

    Just because the authors at RealClimate discuss particular articles or facets of climate science does not in any mean that what they discuss is representative of all the literature. In fact, they specifically acknowledge that they do not discuss a representative portion of the literature because they refuse to discuss a great deal of topics they have deemed not important to begin with.

    I think that you’re confused about what RealClimate is. It’s not a journal. It’s not a professional organization. It’s a government sanctioned panel. It’s some researchers who share a common opinion on a portion of the climate science literature. No more, no less. That said, I would like for you to point me to the peer-reviewed journal article that your quote from a RealClimate author comes from. If that’s the standard I’m held to, then I think it’s only fair that you hold them to the same standard. Because if it’s just from a blog thread, what’s the difference between their blog thread and this one?

  26. Well, the biggest difference between their blog posts and the ones here is the simple fact that RC is written by government scientists with their PhDs, labratories, equipment, expertise, lab assistants, careers working in climate science, etc. In other words, these are the experts commenting on an area that they have expertise in.

    If we hold everyone to the “same standard,” what do you say about a blog that posts other layperson blogs and London-based tabloid articles?

  27. When thousands of experts agree on a theory which predicts specific phenomenon, and subsequently observation demonstrates that none of those things are actually happening, and observers discover that the theory’s predictions about historic behavior are wildly at odds with what actually took place in the past….well it doesn’t matter how may such experts agree, or what their credentials are: they’re wrong.

    It’s just that simple.

    It isn’t the first time its happened, and it won’t be the last. Experts are no less vulnerable to consensual Folly than any other group. If nothing else, AGW demonstrates that point very well.

    Of course politics and self-interest often combine to make adherents to an appealing theory reluctant to abandon it. Sometimes it even takes a new generation of experts to abandon the old faith. But the longer the theory fails to comply with actual observed fact, eventually it is abandoned, or at the very least ‘revised’ to accomplish essentially the same thing (without having to admit “we were wrong”).

    At this point it’s clear this is where Catastrophic Global Warming is headed: into the dustbin of history.

  28. Waldo, it’s your standard not mine. If you demand that other people’s opinion be peer-reviewed and part of the literature than you should make sure that the opinions of those who you trust live up to the same standard. I don’t need to posit on the essence of other people’s blogs because I made no assertions concerning the validity of the points being made in such a venue. You did.

    Now you are correct that the authors, many of them at least, have a great deal of expertise in the field on which they comment. This fact alone, however, does not mean that everything they write in a blog atmosphere is a true portrayal of climate science, its literature, the scientific debates or anything else. It is simply their opinions. That’s all. If they could get away with getting their opinions in journals without justification based on data and interpretation, I’m sure they wouldn’t be wasting their time with a blog. They would simply say ‘read my such and such paper’. Because peer-review doesn’t work like that, they are forced to make the debate seem as though it is over and there is nothing left to see.

    Now you can choose to agree with their collective or personal opinions on a variety of issues they discuss, but it doesn’t make you any more right or wrong. It’s still just an opinion. At this juncture in the scientific process, pretty much anything is still possible.

  29. Waldo,
    No, you only report what scientists you agree with say.
    With you, there is always the fatal omission.

  30. Waldo,
    Are you so dependent on argument by authority that you pull back from the thought of critically evaluating anything that is presented to you?
    Historical records, Archaeological records, previous work on climate history, all is out the wondow because RC says it and that is that?
    It is too complex for mere laypersons to study, except as guided by RC and others in authority (that you agree with)?
    That is not any different at all from the fundamentalist position of ‘The bible says it (as my favorite preacher interprets it), and that settles it.’
    The AGW faithful are strong in their faith, indeed.

  31. And it also should be mentioned that there’s a sizable part of the applicable expert community that disagrees with Catastrophic Global Warming too…so any appeal to authority in defense of the idea that catastrophic AGW is happening or will happen is no more than just another lame propoganda technique, nothing more.

  32. Thanks so much for the honorable mention. I have a follow-up post on Greenpeace-generated literature in the Nobel-winning climate report.

    I’ve also discovered that Dr. Pachauri, the IPCC chair, has written at least one forward for a Greenpeace publication. Which strikes me as rather cozy… I’m still working out the ethical/political implications of this in my own mind. Would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts.


  33. And this paper, reported in Science Daily,
    sort of puts the whole AGW claimte crisis in the trash can:
    With a 95% confidence level, the idea of strong positive feedbacks is falsified.
    This quote seems most interesting:
    “In this week’s Nature, David Frank and colleagues extend this empirical approach by comparing nine global-scale temperature reconstructions with CO2 data from three Antarctic ice cores over the period ad 1050-1800. The authors derive a likely range for the feedback strength of 1.7-21.4 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius, with a median value of 7.7.

    The researchers conclude that the recent estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius can be excluded with 95% confidence, suggesting significantly less amplification of current warming.”

    Let us see….peer review? check
    published? check
    level of confidence? check

    Note that the AGW promoters never achieved more than a 90% confidence level. 90% confidence, until the agw of AGW, was never considered to be the threshold of scientific confidence.
    Now we have 95% level of confidence. The normal standard.
    And it shows the hype to be…….hype.
    Batting average of apocalyptic cults remains…. .000

  34. hunter, you make me sad. How long have we known each other, my man? How often do I have to write that I am open minded to the idea that AGW is either as-yet-unproven or part of a natural cycle? How often do I have to write that I follow the ideas of Pielke, Botkin, Bryson, Spencer? Eh – it falls on deaf ears. So sad.

    So here I’m going to quote you to yourself: “you only report what scientists you agree with say.” This much better describes you and not me, hunter.

    But I must say this is a heartening improvement! To my recollection, hunter, this is the FIRST time that you have posted a peer-reviewed source. Yay!!!

    This is all I’ve been suggesting all along – that the good people here simply listen to the scientists [of BOTH sides of the debate] and not the yahoos and wingnuts that tend to populate the blogosphere. Doesn’t it feel good, hunter, to have faith that the people you are quoting are the real deal? I see that I am doing some good after all!

    Now, I do have to point out that, while Nature is a legitimate high-impact journal, this is only a single limited study, so I’m not so sure it puts AGW “in the trash can” – it is simply one of the valid, peer-reviewed sources in the debate, not the single defining study that concretely proves anything (note the word “suggests” repeated over and over in the summary).

    But you make me happy, hunter. Good job.

    Max, I’m not sure exactly what “standard” you think I follow, but my problem with places like CS is the one I just (sort of) described above. I would tend to follow the ideas of RC – even though it is a blog – simply because it is written by scientists as opposed to a blog written by a small-business-owner from Phoenix (or wherever). I don’t think RC is “just opinion,” but the commentary of experts. All is not equal in the online world. So I am confident enough in the work of scientists so that I am willing to take their word and need not necessarily hunt down all their peer-reviewed sources. This bothers the people here who feel that, sometimes literally, amateur opinion gleaned from primarily bother blog postings is of equal value to the opinion of professional scientists. CS and I have been debating this at some length now.

    Hi Adiff, long time. I suspect this statement “subsequently observation demonstrates that none of those things are actually happening” is actually completely inaccurate. It would seem there is a good deal of observable evidence that something is happening. I know you don’t accept that…but the evidence is there.

    Happy days!

  35. Waldo,
    I know open minded people. Open minded people are my friend. You, sir, are no like no open minded person I have met.
    Please save the sanctimony and false good cheer, and speak as if you are a grownup. If you are open to the idea that AGW could be wrong, are you ready to stop blaming skeptics like our host for the problems the theory and its promoters are facing?
    As to your claim that the AGW promoters were releasing their data etc., the British government begs to disagree:
    This is a para that I particularly like:
    “Norwich’s flagship university was at the centre of a new row today after it emerged it broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny in the climate change row over stolen emails.”
    Can’t be violating disclosure laws if you are releasing the data, Waldo.
    Now, back to the point that led to this latest exchange: If you are as open to skeptical ideas about AGW as you claim, why are you so willing to take at face value something as counter historical as the RC take on the MWP?

  36. Waldo, you stated

    ‘Maxwell, I suggest you publish your stuff. Have cliamte scientists review it. Get it peer-reviewed. Prove them wrong. No offense, but so far you are making statements on a blog thread. Have you actually done the research to know what you are talking about?’

    All I was pointing out is that the RealClimate gang, their collective expertise and all, are simply making statements on a blog thread as well. If it is a matter of peer-review, then let that standard stand for itself.

    I have read some of the literature and it is mired, like most research literature, in uncertainty. As a scientist, I know firsthand that this uncertainty is where all the action is. One question breeds another and so on. The authors at RealClimate, I’ve noticed, do whatever is necessary to play down the uncertainty in their arguments however. That’s what makes the essence of most of what they say, including much of the quote you provided above, closer to conjecture and speculation than truth.

    Now, I’ll admit that some of what Warren writes is simplistic and maybe even naive. But there is room for everyone in this discussion. He’s at least asking questions. Any researcher knows that are no stupid questions. The fact that researchers, like the authors RealClimate, get so upset at ‘stupid’ questions tells me that either they don’t have the temperment for teaching or don’t have as strong a grasp of their argument as they would like to put on. I know that from many similar situations in the lab with colleagues who become increasingly agitated with simple question they cannot answer.

    But the point is, put your money where your mouth is. What are some journal articles that provide proof of your position on this issue? How ’bout we try some constructive criticism of them?

  37. maxwell,
    In my experience, people afraid of questions are lying.
    People carefully avoiding uncomfortable questions by sophistry are as well.

  38. Here is an example of how AGW promoters got people confused, and maybe themselves, irt glaciers and problems glaciers are facing:
    Soot is a direct forcing on glacial and sea ice.
    A little bit of soot goes a long, long way. What it does, how it does it are well understood.
    Could the impact of soot been mitigated with some the >$50billion allegedly spent on AGW by now?
    If a technical solution was developed, and made available at an effective price, and mandated by cooperative treaty, think how much glacial and other ice could be saved.
    Instead, the AGW promo industry focuses obsessively on CO2. Because CO2 makes Pachauri & co. more money.

  39. Waldo:
    “Personally I don’t know about the MWP, but this is what Real Climate (blog by the scientists) says about it;”
    Waldo, I appreciate your honest admission of your ignorance of the MWR. You don’t know about the Medieval Warm Period (MWR) because the advocates of anthropogenic global warming you follow don’t want you to know anything about it. Just acknowledging its existence would falsify all the “science” Al Gore and His Acolytes preach.

    It’s illuminating that you would go to Real Climate for guidance. As an aside, the name “Real Climate” reminds me of the Communists’ nomenclature for their dictatorships: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” is one of the last of what once was a long list of “Democratic People’s” Republics.

    Real Climate is the spiritual (and actual) home of many of the “scientists” implicated in the Climategate scandals – Phillip Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa, Kevin Trenberth, et al. (Go to for their latest attempt to wipe out the MWP)

    Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 801 individual scientists from 476 separate research institutions in 43 different countries. (See the Medieval warm period project; )

    Fortunately for AGW skeptics, there is a huge and growing body of knowledge confirming the existence, global distribution, and greater warming of the MWR compared to current warming.

    This information has been available for many years but has been ignored and suppressed by AGW activists. “Smithsonian astronomers Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, with co-authors Craig Idso and Sherwood Idso (Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change) and David Legates (Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware), compiled and examined results from more than 240 research papers published by thousands of researchers over the past four decades. Their (2003) report, covering a multitude of geophysical and biological climate indicators, provides a detailed look at climate changes that occurred in different regions around the world over the last 1000 years. Soon and his colleagues concluded that the 20th century is neither the warmest century over the last 1000 years, nor is it the most extreme.”

    The existence of the MWR and Little Ice Age makes all other arguments about AGW academic. No catastrophes happened then, none should be expected now.

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