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Climate cuttings 19

The Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge is firing lots of interest. If reconstructions of past climate are going to be based on sound science in future, it will be a big step forward. A kick-off conference was held (behind closed doors) in Trieste but some of the papers presented have fortunately found their way onto the internet. keith.gifOne, by the CRU's Keith Briffa, was very candid about the problems of verification of tree ring regressions, describing them as "of limited rigour", and that they tell us "virtually nothing about the validity of long-timescale climate estimates". Strangely, while writing the paleoclimate chapter of the IPCC report, he rejected any such criticism out of hand. The IPCC's final report talked of "the general strength of many such calibrated relationships, and their significant verification using independent instrumental data."

Dr Briffa is also on the receiving end of an audit from Steve McIntyre. His 2008 paper in Phil Trans Roy Soc looks at a selection of Eurasian tree ring chronologies. The headlines in the abstract talk of unprecedented warming in recent years. The actual text of the paper says something rather different. As usual, there is no justification of the novel statistical procedures they've adopted, no data is archived and no explanation is given of why they've picked the particular chronologies they have.

The meme of refusing access to climatic data on the spurious grounds that it's subject to intellectual property restrictions is gaining favour among climate alarmists. Australia's national scientific body CSIRO is refusing access to data underlying a report forecasting disaster due to drought.

Roger Pielke Snr lists three important research findings that are ignored by the IPCC. 

  • The effect of atmospheric particulates ("aerosols") is much, much greater than anything CO2 might contribute
  • About 30% of any rise in temperatures is due merely to the fact that temperatures are measured near the ground
  • Rising temperatures near the poles have less of an effect on emission of radiation from the Earth than a similar rise near the equator. 

And the silly season must be upon us because vlimate change has been linked to an increased prevalence of kidney stones, a finding described by Time magazine as "compelling". It certainly makes me giggle, anyway.

This one may be equally kooky, but it's actually not the first time I've heard it - oil is not a fossil fuel, but is produced by the high temperature reaction of calcium carbonate and iron oxide in the Earth's core. Panic over then.

Lord Monckton, a journalist and politician, is given space by the American Physical Society to put forward the view that the sensititivity of the climate to input of CO2 has been vastly overstated. Observers note that the APS, which once proclaimed that global warming was irrefutable, is now saying that there is a considerable body of dissenting opinion.

Lucia took another look at the IPCC's 2oC/century forecast, this time doing monte carlo methods. The forecast still falsifies against the actual trend. 

One of Anthony Watt's correspondents tells how technicians recording temperatures in the Canadian Arctic in the 1950s would regularly fabricate the readings rather than venture out into the cold. These are the same data which form part of the global temperature record today.

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Reader Comments (4)

Thanks Obnoxio.
Jul 18, 2008 at 10:21 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
People fabricating readings? Surely not!

I once though worked at a newspaper and the paper published each evening the temperature on the building roof. Trouble was the thermometer was outside the art studio window; some journo would phone up the department and ask for the reading. One day, in December as it happened, a guy held his lighter under the thermometer. When the journo phoned for the reading, he was told the heated up figure.

The journalist didn't bother to see for himself or even query the temperature, and a story was run that it was an incredibly warm day for the time of year.

But no one in climate science would do that, would they?
Jul 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commentermore heat than light
"The high pressure, as well as centrifugal acceleration from the earth’s rotation, causes oil to continuously seep up along fissures in the earth’s crust into subterranean caverns, which we call oil fields."

Doesn't this sentence rather undermine the article? Oil fields are not caverns - oil is contained within solid rock. Separately, why should centrifugal force play any role - one doesn't see people flying off the face of earth into space, or earth being flung from the floors of the world's deep mines. Surely it's just the high pressure that causes oil to move towards areas of lower pressure?
Jul 19, 2008 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Boycott

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