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Climate cuttings 41

The Guardian announced what it modestly described as "The Ultimate Climate Change FAQ".  We should be so lucky.

The Economist meanwhile was struck by a sudden burst of realism, in an article calling for adaptation to be taken much more seriously than it is now.

Oxfam seem to have an extraordinarily foolish approach to the climate change issue. See how many fallacies and errors you can spot in their latest blog post. Then give your money to someone else.

Prospect magazine seems to think that climate scientists might be going to open a new front in the climate being honest about uncertainty:

Too often the relationship between scientists and the public is built on a convenient lie. The public wants certainty; scientists pretend to deliver. The debates of the past year have cruelly exposed that lie.

UEA are getting upset with Delingpole, threatening him with a trip to the Press Complaints Commission if he keeps expressing "inaccurate and vituperative views". Dellers doesn't sound very scared.

Talking of innaccuracy, UEA have written to the House of Commons SciTech Committee again. Their latest contribution could best be described as "splitting hairs".

Louise Gray reprints the Met Office press release which says that global warming has slowed because of pollution. Said pollution is supposed to have come from increased energy use in Asia. Now this looks odd to me, because increased energy use in Asia was surely factored into the IPCC models...? And we have surely had less growth than expected, not more?

The Met Office were also evidence at this Climate Question Time for city types, reported by Andy Russell. La Papa is quoted is saying "Low climate sensitivities (below 2°C) look unrealistic from latest model runs." I would have thought high sensitivities look unreleastic, based on reality since the last IPCC forecasts predictions projections.

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Reader Comments (17)

Yes, The Guardian's 'Cimate Change FAQ' article made me laugh. I sent a message along the lines of: 'while your intentions sound good, given that you allow your journalists to regularly use the term "denier" and you promote the Met Office as a reliable source of CC predictions, can we really have much hope for a balanced and honest outcome?'

Nov 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

"Talking of innaccuracy, UEA have written to the House of Commons SciTech Committee again. Their latest contribution could best be described as "splitting hairs".

With all due respect, Your Grace, I would be more inclined to depict this UEA "contribution" as yet another instance of malice in blunderland. So I trust that you will understand my suggestion that "splitting hairs" be replaced with "splitting hares" ;-)

Nov 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

I see in ypur last paragraph you have replaced 'forecast predictions' with 'projections'.
May I suggest 'guesses' would have been even more accurate?

Nov 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

La papa (aka Vicky Pope of the UK's Met Office) is in love with her model. She's got Gepppetto Syndrome.

Running a computer program in isolation can never tell you if the computer program correctly models the real world.

Nov 27, 2010 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Pointman does a great profile of the climategate leaker/hacker

I think it very unlikely that the emails were obtained by an external hacker. Therefore, they were leaked by an insider who had “access”, without which any source is useless. If one thing comes out of reading the emails, it is that the unit was a very closely-knit and intense peer group, the classic bunker mentality.

The second thing is that a decade’s worth of emails must contain a large element of messages of a personal nature. These appear to have been stripped out. Why? To focus on the science without needlessly hurting or humiliating other people.

Notice also, that the content was not edited and the damning emails were left in context – the work of a fair-minded individual. If you have knowledge of climate science and the arguments going on within it, the emails are obviously explosive stuff. A layman would simply not appreciate that. He knows his climate science and to a depth.

The best analysis yet of the hacker/leaker

Nov 27, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Re the Climate Question Time meeting as reported by Andy Russell:

So the (increasingly irritating) Vicky Pope thinks that the 'latest model runs' make a low climate sensitivity look increasingly unlikely does she?

Well, whatever then could be the explanation for the real climate warming less than the various ensemble projections?

What could possibly explain that?

Gosh - I'm stuck here. Any ideas anyone?

Nov 27, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

And Louise Gray needs to catch up with the latest thinking on aerosols - including sulfates - and the sign of the forcing caused. She might be in for a bit of a surprise, along with the Met Office.

Honestly, this is getting worse and worse. And I'm not even a 'true' sceptic - I'm a lukewarmer.

Nov 27, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

And as for the stuff about sea surface temperatures under-representing recent warming...

Well, Bob Tisdale explains it better than here:

Suffice it to say: more of the same Met Office spin.

What ever can be going on? Is there some sort of big climate summit coming up, like that Copenhagen thing that went a bit wrong last year?

Nov 27, 2010 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I just posted my four favorite questions on the Grauniad's FAQ site.....positive feedbacks, falsifiability, IPPC confidence levels and whether splicing non-analogous data to "hide the decline" has reputable precedents within the scientific literature.

I'm not holding my breath but, credit where it's due, it has to be a positive move for a religious organization such as the Guardian environment section to even consider running such a survey. They may ignore intelligent sceptical questions - I'm almost sure they will - but they will have read them in private.....and perhaps wonder, for the first time, about their veracity.....

Nov 27, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSaaad

I liked la papa's suggestion that the cold weather last winter was just in the UK, when we all saw satellite photos of snow across the temperate latitudes from Vancouver to Vladivostok, with record snowfalls all over the US, Europe and China. She must think we are either terminally stupid or amnesiac.

Nov 27, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Vicky Pope is now telling us that very cold winters and abysmal summers are a signal for global warming and that they'd forecast this. Has anyone seen anything from the met office that forecast cold winters and hot summers (which we're not getting here at least) as a fingerprint of global warming.

The signs of global warming seem infinitely variable to me, there doesn't seem to be any climatic condition at all which isn't an omen of catastrophic global warming.

Nov 27, 2010 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I see no realism from the Economist - just the same old apocalyptic bleating. They are saying that if they can't kill us quickly with a gun, they'll bleed us slowly with a knife.

Nov 27, 2010 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarkB

The guardian Ultimate Climate Change FAQ was Posted by Duncan Clark, just fyi he's also the Strategy Director of the 10:10 campaign, so I'm strongly assuming he would have been involved at some level in approving their recent explosive video.

Nov 27, 2010 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterChu

More from the 'Its worse than we thought' gang paid for by our taxes, nicely timed for Cancun.

Nov 28, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

Dear Bish,

An excellent article in the Economist blog. Apologies if this has been sighted before.

He cites an exclusion of sceptical views from the literature; a misrepresentation of primary research, and its uncertainties, in some secondary presentations; a lack of openness to requests for information and a willingness to contravene Britain’s freedom of information act; a discordance between what the scientists said in private and what they said in public.

In connection to the article's broader claims, I have always wondered about this:

If it is ok for Jones to perform 'Mike's Nature trick' in a WMO document, on the grounds that this was not a widely read or disseminated document, how is it ok for Mike to perform his own trick in Nature, which is widely read?

Nov 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Question posed to the Guardian:

"How can the FAQ's users be sure its "balanced" answers are also "accurate" answers?"

Nov 28, 2010 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Smith

At what date can we expect to see not "risk" of devastating changes become devastating changes? It is reported that at the Cancun conference someone claimed that there is a risk of 4K rise in global temperature rise by 2060 if we don't do something about the whole thing in 10 years, i.e. by 2021. Another 4K in 59 years is 0.8K/decade, or 5.0X the current warming rate on average, so the actual max rate will have to be more like 8X the current rise-rate. Starting ...... when?

When does the future become "now"? Since we are doing precious little, I'd like to know when I can either build a golfcourse on an old skihill (v. difficult up hill Par 19) or look to an Arizona desert home becoming a Pacific coast rental. I will need the income.

Nov 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

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