Hand Waving on Climate Change

September 27, 2013

Many people think that those of us who are skeptical of the global warming crowd get all our information from the right-wing information bubble, such as Fox News.  Not I!  I just read the Statement for Policy Makers (SPM) that the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts out.  Their latest Assessment Report (AR5) is out now.  Some good ones, with the translation by me in boldface:

Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10–15 years.”

Our models have performed poorly over the last fifteen years, failing to match observed conditions.

“It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951−2010.”

At least half of the warming that we claim has occurred ( 0.6°C to 0.7°C  from 1951 to 2010) is probably due to human activity, i.e., less than 3/4 of a degree F.

 ”The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

Ignore previous statement:  we think ALL of the warming is caused by humans.

Does this inspire confidence in you regarding their predictions of rapid ice melt of the Greenland ice sheet, rapidly rising seas, and general climate mayhem?


Hatchet Job

February 22, 2010

Politics makes strange bedfellows.  Maybe the recent article by Jeffrey Sachs will bring some otherwise disagreeing fellow bloggers into an all-inclusive love in.  Sachs is a bête noire of the radical left – are you listening, Troutsky? – because he’s confirmed neo-liberal, beloved of administering economic shock therapy to poorer nations.  He thinks global warming is an alarming crisis, so they should beg to differ (if they’re going to toe their political lines correctly.)  Ahh…but global warming is the crisis of the day for the liberals and the lefties – blame it all on those coal-burning corporations! 

All those right wing libertarian, Tea Party types hate the likes of Sachs (and Paul Krugman, another liberal economist on the AGW bandwagon) and think global warming is a hoax!  Conspiracy theories abound, almost as profusely as secret Tri-lateralist skullduggery and corporate oligarchical string-pulling does on the Left.    Can we all agree that this article by Sachs is a piece of trash, or that he is a piece of trash…either will do to gain entry to my bed today!

Like Krugman, whom I admire, while I’m a bit leary of Sachs, Jeff weighs in with the tired old saw that the people who “deny” the conclusions of “climate science” are the same ones who thought smoking cigarettes had no bad effects on your health, or wanted you to believe that, not to mention the fact that Big Oil is behind it.  Like Krugman, he makes no argument at all about the science – that’s settled, of course.  Nevermind that most major corporations of all kinds seem to have caught the AGW train – it’s good marketing to be green!  Sure, at first, the industry had a stupid knee-jerk propaganda fit to try and discredit the AGW hypothesis before it could gain traction.  Dumb, dumb, dumb, but they’re only money men – whaddaya expect?  To review the arguments of intellectuals who critique the IPCC and not notice that a whole lot has changed requires willful blindess or dishonesty.    Not to mention the fact that Sachs doesn’t seem to have any interest in the science at all.  Just pick your team, and root for them, is all it is…

Voodoo Science

January 18, 2010

London, January 9 : Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has described the Indian government report that criticized the claim by IPCC over the faster than expected melting of Himalayan glaciers, as “voodoo science“.

Voodoo economics [G. Bush on Reagan], “…Do do that voodoo, that you do so well..[Cole Porter]”, Voodoo Child [Hendrix]… 

the Haitian religion of Vodou has long been a cliche for superstion and black magic in American culture.  Maybe, with attention focused on the catastrophe facing Haiti, it’s time to think of it with a bit more sensitivity.  It’s just a hemispheric religon (Haiti, Brazil, Puerto Rico…etc.) going by different names, and with differing forms everywhere, that has its roots in the mixing of the beliefs of the African slaves dragged over here and the Christianity imposed on them.  It has its weird, vulgar, and nasty side – the pin-sticking dolls and curses – but what religion doesn’t?  Christianity??

That’s why I cringe a bit at Pachauri’s characterization of the inconvenient views of a glaciologist as “voodoo science.”  How about Catholic science?  He’s full of himself, anyway…

Just add it to the pile of  ethnic and racial slurs that give color to our language:

“He gyped me.”  Can’t trust a gypsy.
“He jewed me down to a lower price.”  Pretty obvious.
“She’s an Indian-giver.”  Yep, those redskins really screwed over the white people!

You can add your own.

The IPCC says “Oops!”

January 17, 2010

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.

From the Times Online:  World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

Follow up to my earlier post on the Himalayan snowball fight.

Himalayan snowball fight

December 27, 2009

Is there anyone interested in the topic of climate change who is unaware of the recent flap over the glaciers of the Himalayas?  An ad showing an image similar to the one above was running on the New York Times Science page for some time during the recent conference in Copenhagen.  The image on the left is from 2007, while the one on the right is from 1921, clear evidence of melting, right?  So, we have this story, widely circulated in the media world (all emphasis added):

October 5, 2009 (CNN)The glaciers in the Himalayas are receding quicker than those in other parts of the world and could disappear altogether by 2035 according to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.[link]

This follows on an earlier alarming report on CNN:

Glaciers a canary in the coal mine of global warming

August 8, 2009 (CNN) — U.S. scientists monitoring shrinking glaciers in Washington and Alaska reported this week that a major meltdown is under way.

A 50-year government study found that the world’s glaciers are melting at a rapid and alarming rate. The ongoing study is the latest in a series of reports that found glaciers worldwide are melting faster than anyone had predicted they would just a few years ago.

It offers a clear indication of an accelerating climate change and warming earth, according to the authors. [link]

But not everyone agreed.  After the 2007 report of the IPCC came out, the Indian Ministry of Environment did its own research and published a report that concluded the melting of the glaciers was part of a natural cycle going on worldwide.  The response was quick and furious, a veritable snowball fusillade:

November 9, 2009 Guardian.UK:  India ‘arrogant’ to deny global warming link to melting glaciers

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri accuses Indian environment ministry of ‘arrogance’ for its report claiming there is no evidence that climate change has shrunk Himalayan glaciers. [link]


November 16, 2009:  Indian Express – Pachauri rubbishes report on glaciers

Rubbishing the claim by a government-backed study that melting of glaciers was not due to climate change, leading environmentalist R K Pachauri on Sunday dubbed it as “totally unsubstantiated scientific opinion” and flayed Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh for endorsing it.

Pachauri, head of the Nobel prize winner Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said it was universally acknowledged that glaciers were melting because of climate change and the same applied to Indian glaciers.

“Everywhere in the world, glaciers are melting due to climate change, the Arctic is melting because of climate change. What is so special about Indian glaciers?” Pachauri said.

The study by former deputy director general of the Geological Survey of India V K Raina has claimed that while most glaciers are in the process of retreat, some Himalayan glaciers, such as the Siachen glacier, are actually advancing and some others, such as the Gangotri glacier, are retreating at a rate lower than before.[link]

As the snowballs flew to and fro, some people started to look into it:

December 1, 2009, BBC News:  Himalayan glaciers’ ‘mixed picture’

A scientific debate has been triggered over the state of glaciers in the Himalayas.

Some recent findings seem to contradict claims that the glaciers are retreating rapidly. Some glaciers are even said to be advancing.  There are clear signs of glacial retreat and ice melt from other parts of the world, but few field studies have been carried out in the Himalayas.

Its glaciers too were widely believed to be receding fast. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had said that Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world.

The panel observed: “If the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.” [link]

Eventually, we heard from the Indian Minister of Environment in his own words:

NEW DELHI  December 2009 – Recession of Himalayan glaciers part of natural process:

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said the recession of Himalayan glaciers was part of the natural cyclical process which could be attributed to various reasons, including global warming.  Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the melting of Arctic ice and Himalayan glaciers could not be compared as ecological conditions in each case were different.

According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Himalayan Glaciers are receding faster than in any part of the world and if the present rate continues, there is a likelihood of their disappearing by 2035, he noted.

However, Ramesh said the studies carried out by the Geological Survey of India have revealed that majority of Himalayan glaciers are passing through a phase of recession, which is a worldwide phenomenon.

“The recession of glaciers is part of the natural cyclic process of changes in the size and other attributes of the glaciers. These changes could be attributed to various reasons including global warming,” he said…

He said long term studies are required to conclusively establish the causes and impacts of melting of Himalayan glaciers. [link]

Finally, alas, it all turns out to have been a little mistake:

December 5, 2009 – BBC News:  Himalayan glaciers melting deadline ‘a mistake’

The UN panel on climate change warning that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035 is wildly inaccurate, an academic says.  J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.

He is astonished they “misread 2350 as 2035”. The authors deny the claims. 

When asked how this “error” could have happened, RK Pachauri, the Indian scientist who heads the IPCC, said: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” [link]

You can read about the whole thing in more detail by following the links from this blog.

Smoking gun…

November 29, 2009

“There is no smoking gun.”  That’s the phrase I keep hearing supporters of the global warming hypothesis using when they refer to the released documents from the CRU East Anglia “hack.”  I heard it again today from my erstwhile sword bearer, Paul Krugman.  The meaning seems to be this:  No evidence of crime, outright hoaxing or significant fraud – nothing to worry about.

This misses the point, of course.  For me at least.  I wasn’t expecting a smoking gun, but what I found was bad enough.  Does there have to be a “murder” involved to make anyone pay attention or think that something bad was done

Matthew 7:26 – Global Warming

May 4, 2009


And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

When it comes to projections of global climate change, garbage-in, garbage-out (GIGO).   The foundation of science is sound observation, good data.

  “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?”

From the Executive Summary, emphasis added:

“Global warming is one of the most serious issues of our times. Some experts claim the rise in temperature during the past century was “unprecedented” and proof that immediate action to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions must begin. Other experts say the warming was very modest and the case for action has yet to be made.

The reliability of data used to document temperature trends is of great importance in this debate. We can’t know for sure if global warming is a problem if we can’t trust the data.

… Until now, no one had ever conducted a comprehensive review of the quality of the measurement environment of those stations.

… In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.

The errors in the record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7º C (about 1.2º F) during the twentieth century. Consequently, this record should not be cited as evidence of any trend in temperature that may have occurred across the U.S. during the past century. Since the U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable. …