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Climate cuttings 10

Welcome to the tenth edition of Climate Cuttings in which I round up the goings-on in the crazy world of climate science (and believe me, "crazy" is the word). There has been no let up in the pace since last week, so without further ado.....

First up is the ongoing trail of devastation and disaster wrought by NASA's climate guru James Hansen. Having been humiliated by the revelations about his "Y2K" error, having had his bizarre method of combining station records revealed, and having been forced to release his code after years of refusals (see Climate Cuttings 9), he has now actually managed to make things worse. This time he has chosen to make unannounced adjustments to the basis of the NASA temperature record - presumably in a bid to raise the temperatures of recent years relative to earlier ones. Professor John Brignell says that "whatever it actually is, [it] smells remarkably like Fraud".

There has been a great deal of excitement over the extent of sea ice. All the usual suspects trumpeted the record minimum extent of Arctic Sea ice and the apparent opening of a North Western Passage. The BBC, for example. Freeborn John noted that the Beeb had also reported the North-West Passage has being open in 2000. Power and Control blog gave an embarrassingly long list of all the previous traversings of the North-West Passage. Lubos Motl noted the economic benefits that would flow from this shorter route to the Pacific, and wondered why it was considered to be a bad thing. Stoat said probably the wisest thing which was "Don't get too carried away".

Fewer people were inclined to mention the record maximum recorded for Antarctic ice. In some ways this is probably just as well, because shortly after this started to be widely pointed out, Cryosphere Today, who maintain the sea ice record discovered "a glitch" in their software and adjusted the figure downwards - result: no more record. Surprise, surprise. Attentive readers may remember another extraordinary adjustment made by Cryosphere some months ago. What a lot of errors there seem to be in their output.

Also writing about Antarctica was David Bromwich of the Byrd Polar Research Center who said "It's hard to see a global-warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now."

Meanwhile the results of Anthony Watts survey of surface stations are being analysed. Steve McIntyre posted about his first cut here. A commenter at Climate Audit called John V did another version which suggested that the trend in the best stations was in line with the overall figures published by NASA. Cue lots of jumping to conclusions at, for example, Deltoid,
Big City Liberal, etc. The survey has covered one third of the network so far, so as Stoat would say - don't get too carried away.

John V has set up a new site to create an open source global temperature record. This may be significant because, being open source, it will be authoritative. That is to say, if NASA's figures don't agree, Hansen would be left in the position of having to explain why they differ.

Everyone who follows climate knows that temperature leads CO2 in the paleoclimate records. Al Gore associate Laurie David has mislabelled a graph intended for US schoolchildren to show the opposite. Another researcher who has evidence that CO2 can't be a major driver of climate change is Jan Veizer. In his latest paper, he has apparently amended the wording of his conclusions slightly to suggest that they were in accordance with AGW orthodoxy.

Argument over the Schwartz paper on climate sensitivity (it's less than previously thought) continues. There's a good summary here.

The hurricane season is upon us and appears quiet. The Adam Smith Institute notes that hurricane insurance premiums have dropped sharply. 

And lastly, Freakonomic authors Dubner and Levitt reveal the real cause of global warming - Jane Fonda


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