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arghhhh climate confusion descends again...

 
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momo2004
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Post Post subject: arghhhh climate confusion descends again... Reply with quote

now i read that there is a paper "Corrections to the Mann et al (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series " by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick that has the potential to knock down the claim that the late 20 century is unusually warm.

any thoughts people!
Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:21 pm
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finn mccool



Joined: 13 Jan 2004
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Is the claim that late 20th century was unusually warm really that crucial for the theory that global temperatures are slowly rising because of our activities in the modern industrial age? Surely there will be fluctuations to both directions (colder-warmer) because of all kinds of other causes, but the point remains that the overall trend is a steady increase in temperatures which will eventually have major consequences for life on earth if not quickly stopped. There's no way to prove that for example last summer was mostly a consequence of global warming (or some other cause), but that is really not the issue. The science is well established and it predicts that on the whole earth is getting warmer because of us and that the warming will have disastrous consequences.
Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:52 pm
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momo2004
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finn mccool wrote:
Is the claim that late 20th century was unusually warm really that crucial for the theory that global temperatures are slowly rising because of our activities in the modern industrial age?


yes, as far as i understand. the original report by mann et al concludes that the late 20C is unusually warm. whereas the new report says that the data used by mann et al needs to be corrected. with this corrected data the late 20C is no longer unusually warm. a period before the 16C is warmer (stating from memory so could be wrong with the century).

undoubtedly there will be "smear" tactics used by opponents of global warming. but this if it is a "smear" it is a very good one as far as i can see.

maybe one of the daivds(the oceanographer) could throw some light?
Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:03 pm
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William Reed



Joined: 14 Jan 2004
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Found this rebuttal (just over halfway down the page at http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Climate/Climate_Science/Science.html)with lots of links:


A handful of "contrarian" scientists have challenged mainstream climatologists' conclusions that the warming of the last few decades has been extraordinary and that at least part of this warming has been anthropogenically induced. Two of the most visible contrarians, Harvard astrophysicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, have challenged both of these notions. They countered the conclusions of Mann and others that temperatures have risen sharply in the twentieth century (discussed in this section, in "It is well-established that the Earth's surface air temperature has warmed significantly" [above]), saying that medieval temperatures were greater than those of recent years (see Soon and Baliunas, 2003 [http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/132.pdf]and an accompanying press release [http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/press/pr0310.html], as well as Baliunas' opinion article in the Providence Journal [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/BaliunasProvidenceJournal25Jul03.pdf]). Unsurprisingly, Soon and Baliunas received about $53,000, or 5% of their 2003 study's cost, from the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil and gas industry's main trade organization (see "Warming Study Draws Fire" [http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=348723]). In addition, they are members of the George C. Marshall Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that opposes limits on CO2 emissions.

Mann responded that Baliunas and Soon simply collected climatic anecdotes and proposed no systematic analysis of hemispheric-wide averages. A series of op-eds, followed by peer-reviewed papers, were produced by Mann and his colleagues and other scientists and reporters in attempts to clarify the debate in the public eye. (See Bradley and Mann, 2003 http://www.tribnet.com/opinion/story/3633509p-3665815c.html; Mann and Jones, 2003 http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/mannjones03-preprint.pdf; Mann et al., 2003 http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/EOS_Mann_et_al_2003.pdf; and Appell, 2003 http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa004&articleID=000829C7-70D9-1EF7-A6B8809EC588EEDF. Also see "Nonprofits push controversial climate study" http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/0603/01warming.html and "Foes of global warming theory have energy ties" http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/124642_warming02.html.) David Legates, an actual climatologist and a colleague of Soon and Baliunas, hit back with an article in The Washington Times entitled "Global warming smear targets" (http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030825-090130-5881r.htm). (Notice that Legates does not clarify his relationship with the two in the article — he was actually a co-author of the Soon and Baliunas, 2003 report, cited above.)

The intense discord surrounding the publication of the aforementioned Soon and Baliunas article in Climate Research (http://www.int-res.com/journals/cr/) continues to grow, and it has degraded the journal's reputation in the process. Many hoped that the fledgling journal (whose then editor — Chris de Freitas — ignored several devastating peer reviews and published Baliunas and Soon anyway) would revise its editorial policies and consider changes to its editorial board and process, but none of these occurred. As a result, Hans von Storch, the recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Climate Research, as well as four other editors (Clare Goodess, Mitsuru Ando, Shardul Argawala, and Andrew Comrie) have resigned. See von Storch's note on "The CR Problem" (http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/storch/CR-problem/cr.2003.htm) on his website, a Wall Street Journal article (http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/storch/CR-problem/cr.wsj.pdf) on the debacle, and Andrew Comrie's resignation letter (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Comrie.pdf). Many in the scientific community are still hoping that the journal can attempt to restore credibility by admitting its mistake in publishing — despite ignoring critical peer reviews — the Soon and Baliunas "science" in the first place. In a critical mood but with tongue-in-cheek, I proposed to Mike Mann that he, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes write a critique of the astrophysical publications of Soon and Baliunas and publish it in my journal, Climatic Change. "It would be ludicrous," was the reply. "Probably, just like Soon and Baliunas pretending they can do competent climatology," I said, reflecting my view of the quality of their work.

Baliunas, 2002 (http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/HL758.cfm) also stirred up major controversy when she claimed that any warming that has occurred has not been caused by human activities but only by natural forces like the sun: “Thus, the recent surface warming trend may owe largely to changes in the sun's energy output.” (Fred Singer, the president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, expressed similar doubts in 2000 — see his testimony (http://www.sepp.org/NewSEPP/senatetestimony.htm) to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.) Laut, 2003 (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Solar-ClimateLAUTPREPRINT.pdf) and Kristjansson, Staple, and Kristiansen, 2002 (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Kristjansson_etal_2002.pdf) then critiqued Baliunas' (and others') enthusiasm for a solar hypothesis, and Azar and Schneider, 2002 (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/EconomicCostsOfStabilizingClimate.pdf) critiqued contrarian pessimism over the costs of greenhouse gas abatement.

Mann's claims that the temperature rise seen in the twentieth century is a clear anomaly in historical temperature records, as shown in his hockey-stick shaped graph (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Climate/Climate_Science/VariationsSurfaceTemp.html#Fig4), has again been challenged, this time by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, a statistician in the mining industry and an economist, respectively. In their paper, "Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series," (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/mcintyre_02.pdf) published in a social science (rather than climate) journal titled Energy & Environment, McIntyre and McKitrick claim that the proxy data used by Mann et al. (1998) (ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/mann/mbh98.pdf) to create their temperature reconstruction for the years 1400 to 1980 (AD) contained "collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects" (McIntyre and McKitrick, 2003, p. 751 [http://www.multi-science.co.uk/mcintyre_02.pdf]). McIntyre and McKitrick claimed that when they applied the exact methodology used by Mann et al. to their source data (which was basically a highly modified version of data provided to them by Mann et al.), they found that global average temperatures actually peaked in the fifteenth century, and not the twentieth.

Mann and his colleagues and other members of the scientific community were outraged when they learned of the publication of the McIntyre/McKitrick article. Most credible scientific journals receiving criticism of previously published work typically give the authors under fire the chance to review and respond to an article challenging their claims. Energy & Environment never gave Mann and his colleagues that chance, and it was not clear whether any of the reviewers who did look over the paper were well-known climatologists or other natural scientists qualified to judge the validity of such a paper (nor have I seen any evidence that McIntyre and McKitrick have any training in climatology or natural science!). In fact, it is well known that the editor of Energy & Environment, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, has sometimes allowed her political agenda, rather than the high standards of scientific peer review, to dominate the content of the journal. In 2003, Boehmer-Christiansen also allowed the publication of another Soon and Baliunas paper nearly identical to the one published in Climate Research (discussed above), and she is known to be against ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and supportive of the work of Bjørn Lomborg, another contrarian (discussed below). Though Energy & Environment is geared toward social scientists, she told the Chronicle of Higher Education that she published scientific papers that refute the notion that global warming is a problem because there are very few outlets for such work. This practice fits nicely with her political stance (see, e.g., Parsons — comment on page two [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Parsons.pdf]) and calls the objectivity of Energy & Environment into question. (See an e-mail from Boehmer-Christiansen [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/EandEEditorLetter.pdf] regarding the McIntyre/McKitrick paper to Michael Mann that was posted on the internet and an e-mail response from co-author Raymond Bradley [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Bradley2003.pdf]).

Although Mann and his colleagues were not given the chance to peer review the McIntyre and McKitrick paper, they did immediately prepare a couple of rebuttals, one that was posted on Michael Mann's website, and one that was posted on Quark Soup. Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa, and Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia also prepared a rebuttal (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/%7Etimo/paleo). The main counter-evidence presented in all four rebuttals is summarized below:

- McIntyre and McKitrick selectively censored some important data used by Mann et al. (by either eliminating it completely or substituting other data for it), especially for the period from 1400-1600 AD, where their results deviate most from Mann's. Much of the data censored were key proxy indicators that added to cooling in the fifteenth century.
- McIntyre and McKitrick claimed that some of their data omissions/substitutions were due to the fact that not all of the Mann et al. data were available to them. However, all of Mann's datasets were actually available online and have been for the last couple years.
- McIntyre's and McKitrick's methodology also had technical problems. For example, they used a decomposition based on one surface temperature data set with standardization factors based on a different temperature data set, effectively mashing together two sets of incompatible data.
- McIntyre and McKitrick requested a spreadsheet of the Mann et al. (1998) proxy data, and the data they received from one of Mann's colleagues were incorrect. Mann takes the blame for this but also wonders why the authors didn't visit the website containing all the data sets in the first place. This inaccurate data set could explain why McIntyre and McKitrick could not reproduce the Mann et al. (1998) "hockey stick" reconstruction. In addition, the data provided to McIntyre and McKitrick contained only 112 proxy indicator series, whereas Mann's work actually had 159.

While the McIntyre-McKitrick paper's inadequacies were very clear to climatologists from the get-go, that did not prevent the media from picking up on the paper and providing a very one-sided account of the results (see a USA Today op-ed [http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-10-28-schulz_x.htm], a correction to the op-ed [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/USATodayCorrection2003.pdf], a rebuttal of the op-ed by Mann [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/MannUSATodayOped.pdf], and a rebuttal of both the McIntyre and McKitrick paper and the USA Today op-ed by Annie Petsonk of Environmental Defense [http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/EnvironmentalDefenseRebuttal.pdf]). After reading Mann’s and others’ rebuttals, McIntyre and McKitrick went on to create a he said-she said account (http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/McIntyreResponse.pdf) of their interactions with Mann and his colleagues, which has also received much attention. This controversy will undoubtedly continue to brew for years to come.

(Continues with information about more “contrarians”)
Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:54 am
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momo2004
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mucho gracias for that info william reed. more words to digest!
Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:53 pm
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Puzzled
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Post Post subject: Is global warming a load of old cobblers? Reply with quote

With temperatures plunging way below zero in the eastern United States and Canada such that some ski resorts have been unable to open, with the coldest winter on record in south Asia during which many homeless people have died of the cold and with ultra freezing temperatures in eastern Europe, what is really going on? Might this be evidence of climate change, but not of the global warming variety?
One reason I have read for the record breaking cold is that it *isn't* an El Nino year. However last year there were massive snow falls in Europe and elsewhere, great for skiing, and that we were told was because it *was* an El Nino year! This year there is again wonderful snow in the Alps and a friend in Vermont has reported that the expected mid-January thaw has not happened and she has over two foot of snow around her house.
It is not surprising that climate sceptics are pooh-poohing the idea of global warming and it is difficult to argue to the contrary when confronted with this evidence. It's all very well pointing to the early blooming of daffodils and snowdrops and the milder winter weather in temperate zones such as here in Britain, but a look to the east and to the west seems to contradict this.
The possible switching off of the Gulf Stream, another possible consequence of global warming, would not account for the extreme cold being experienced in North America as it would only affect western Europe giving us exceptionally cold winters, and thus far that's not happening either.

Fiona.
Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:48 pm
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finn mccool



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I really think you have to look at large scale trends instead of singular summers or winters. I fail to see how, scientifically speaking, a few hot summers or cold winters here and there could by themselves count as "evidence" either way.
Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:23 pm
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finn mccool



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Here's some coverage from the Scientific American, about Lomborg and his "sceptical" views.

scepticism toward the sceptical environmentalist
Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:27 pm
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Chris S



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
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Post Post subject: Cosmic rays not cause of climate change Reply with quote

One after another, the scientific pillars underpinning the flat-earther's claims fall to the ground

"The principal cause of recent climate change is not cosmic rays but human activities, a group of scientists says.
They say an article last year linking cosmic rays and changes in temperature was "scientifically ill-founded".

They say the authors' methods were open to doubt and their conclusions wrong, surprising experts with their claims.

In Eos, the journal of the American Geophysical Union, the 11 Earth and space scientists insist that greenhouse gases remain the chief climate suspect.

In the climate mainstream

They say the most important physical processes are well understood, and model calculations and data analyses both conclude the human contribution to the global warming of the 20th Century through increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases was dominant.

The authors of the Eos article - Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide And Climate - are from Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and the US. "


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3419975.stm
Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:17 pm
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