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« Kelly on the CCC | Main | Targeted? »
Thursday
Dec122013

A difference of opinion

Image via Albion Prints. Click for link.There has been some interesting correspondence in the Spectator regarding the meeting between GWPF and a group of FRSs nominated by Paul Nurse. This was sparked by Nigel Lawson's report on the events, which was discussed here the other day.

The FRSs seem to have been a bit upset by Lawson's take on the affair:

Sir: Lord Lawson has written in his diary (30 November) under the online summary headline ‘my secret showdown with the Royal Society on global warming’, but the reality is rather different. As he is aware, the purpose of the meeting on 19 November was not to put on a public performance, but to provide Lord Lawson with expert advice on climate science. The science summarised by the climate scientists was generally agreed to by all present.

Lord Lawson charges that we ‘were very reluctant to engage on the crucial issue of climate change policy at all’ and that we had no interest in ‘the massive human and economic costs involved’ in implementing policies to mitigate the effects of climate change. As climate scientists, the human and economic costs of the changes happening to our climate are of grave concern. Climate science has a key role to play in informing policy.

That said, it is also crucial that the status of the science can be discussed independent of any political views. While climate science undoubtedly does have important policy implications, scientific conclusions about the scale and pace of climate change caused by human activity are independent of these considerations. Indeed, public understanding of and trust in scientific assessments of the risks posed by climate change will be greater if discussions about the science are not politicised. The fact that we focused on science rather than policy on this occasion was precisely for these reasons.

Brian Hoskins, Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London

Gideon Henderson, Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford

Tim Palmer, Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics, University of Oxford

John Shepherd, Research Fellow in Earth System Science, University of Southampton

Keith Shine, Regius Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science, University of Reading

Andrew Watson, Royal Society Research Professor, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter

This has now prompted a response from the GWPF side:

 

Sir: We were present at the recent and regrettably private meeting between a group of climate scientists nominated by the President of the Royal Society and a team assembled by Lord Lawson.

In their letter about the meeting (Spectator, 7 December) the Royal Society team state that: “The science summarised by the climate scientists was generally agreed by all present”. This is a half-truth. There was indeed a wide measure of agreement over some basic aspects of science; but there were also some significant differences. In particular, the scientists on our side of the table placed more emphasis on empirical observations, while the team led by Sir Brian Hoskins appeared to have more confidence in climate models and future projections generated by such models.

So far as policy is concerned, Sir Brian and his colleagues agree that this is important, and indeed the connection between science and policy was part of our meeting’s agreed agenda. The Royal Society team claimed to know little about the economic costs and benefits of climate change and climate policy. We find it therefore inconsistent that Sir Brian suggests the impacts of climate change to be far graver than the impacts of rapid decarbonisation.

We certainly reject Sir Brian’s implied contention that scientists should take very seriously the highly conjectural future costs of climate change, while wholly disregarding the much more certain human and economic costs of the policies he advocates.

Professor David Henderson, Chairman of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council

Nicholas Lewis, Independent climate scientist

Professor Richard S Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Professor Anthony Kelly FRS, University of Cambridge

Professor Michael Kelly FRS, University of Cambridge

Matt Ridley, House of Lords

Sir Alan Rudge FRS

Professor Richard Tol, University of Sussex

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Reader Comments (49)

As a climate scientist (Physics degree and studied climate for long enough) I am well placed to say what is and isn't science.

Everything those in the IPCC & like groups know is contained in these climate models. These climate models have failed to predict yearly, decadal and longer trends. This shows that the total sum of what all the "best" people in the world know about climate amounts to .... diddly squat.

When did total failure to predict data become science?

For more details see my submission to parliament

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

This one is going to run and run. Now where's the popcorn?

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Aggrey

"To provide Lord Lawson with expert advice on climate science ...".

They really don't get it.

Lord Lawson is apparently an empty vessel, needing to be filled.

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

The Royal Society represenatives are too scared to debate in public and therefore impose a silly ban on recording what was actually said. Their house of cards will be easily blown over.

Perhaps when they grow up and start behaving like real scientists we might have some real public debates!

Signed a real scientist!

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

The Royal Society has disclaimed any involvement in the meeting in any event.

"The meeting was not a Royal Society meeting so we cannot comment on that." That is what the RS told me.

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Maybe it is time to reinstate the "John Harrison" award? (Famous for really annoying the Royal Society by proving a pocket watch was better than a Royal scientist for finding out where you are ... totally p*ssed off the RS! )

The award goes to those who have contributed to our understanding of climate - usually be exposing those who don't ... and then there's the cock-up class ... usually won by hockey players or members of organisations who make arrogant and silly comments about climate when they have no qualifications or relevant experience to say anything.

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Pantomime season?

Is this it, is this all the plebs are going to be treated to? Slapstick in the letters page of the Spectator?

When will the establishment realise that daft attempts at obfuscation can only result in their motives being questioned?

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

There is a difference, surely, between a meeting that is not a “public performance” and one whose details and minutes are deliberately kept secret? What is Sir Brian so afraid of that he would rather endure public ridicule than face?

And why am I now thinking of this..? :-)

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Mike H

And not forgetting Lord Kelvin, whose pronouncement that "heavier than air flying machines are impossible” was also somewhat at odds with the evidence, had he bothered to look.

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The Royal Society's very own psychological projection troll - right on cue for maintaining those brand values - you know, Newton, Rutherford, May, Nurse, Dead Head.

Hang on, I'm seeing a pattern here.

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

It's very interesting to me that Keith Shine was one of those present.

At the meeting held at the Royal Society to discuss AR5, I had an argument across the floor with Peter Stott about the energy "hiding" in the deep ocean.

Two climate scientists approached me afterwards and spent some time discussing the issue with me in order to ensure I had a proper answer to the questions I had been asking Stott.

One of those people was Keith Shine. We got talking about "the hiatus". He told me that if it continued for another five years he "may have to reconsider the whole thing".

Dec 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterKatabasis

I thought all these climate activists like Sir Brian Hoskins were trying to "tackle climate change". So why is he the director of The Grantham Institute for Climate Change?

They obviously don't want their ignorance of the physics behind the climate system to be on public display.

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The "Science" that the Royal Society espouses on Climate was highlighted in 2010, when they held this event: http://royalsociety.org/events/2010/age-stupid/

"Rising to the Climate Challenge: Artists and Scientists Imagine Tomorrow's World"

10.30am – 5pm on 20 March 2010
Tate Modern Starr Auditorium, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

"Tate and the Royal Society collaborate by bringing together scientists and artists to imagine the social and psychological impacts of climate change."

The main event was a screening of the film "The Age of Stupid", (Franny Armstrong), followed by "a discussion and a public symposium about the social and psychological impacts of climate change."

Professor Brian Hoskins was one of the speakers, as was Professor Corrinne Le Quere, now Director of the Tyndall Centre.

This week the Tyndall Centre organised a conference on the "Radical reduction of Emissions. It was hosted at the Royal Society, presumably to give it some gravitas.

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/radical-emission-reduction-conference-10-11-december-2013

"More specifically the two-day conference, hosted at the Royal Society (London), will consider how to deliver reductions in energy consumption of at least 8% per year (~60% across a decade)."

Abstracts can be found here:
http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/radicalplanabstracts_0.pdf

Of interest is this paper by Dr. Alice Bows-Larkin, Tyndall Manchester, a long time collaborator with Kevin Anderson.
Presentation title: ‘Shipping visions on the horizon’
Authors: Alice Bows-Larkin, Sarah Mander, Conor Walsh, Paul Gilbert, Michael Traut and Kevin Anderson

"....her work on international transport, energy systems and carbon budgets has had a significant impact on topical debates and policy development, including shaping the UK’s Climate Change Act."

"This paper draws upon the EPSRC High Seas project to present radical scenarios for turning high rates of CO2 growth into high rates of CO2 decline."

"Emphasis is placed on articulating positive solutions, like combining slow steaming with wind propulsion, retrofit options, and shifting patterns of demand."

So she is proposing returning shipping to the days of sail......

Then we have Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth, who leads Friends of the Earth’s Climate and Energy Programme.
Presentation title: ‘Utilising the DECC 2050 energy pathway to model radical emissions reductions, and the ‘political’ limitations of the model’

And also Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth’s Head of Science, Policy & Research. "He led Friends of the Earth’s Big Ask Campaign which legally enshrined carbon budgets in the UK. He has also supported campaigns for climate change laws across Europe."

The climate change advisor from Shell attended and you can find his extensive comments here:
http://blogs.shell.com/climatechange/category/low-carbon-economy/

"Given the academic reputation of the Tyndall Centre and of course the credentials of the Royal Society, I was hoping for a useful discussion on rapid deployment of technologies such as CCS, how the world might breathe new life into nuclear and other such topics, but this was far from the content of the sessions that I was able to attend.

Rather, this was a room of catastrophists (as in “catastrophic global warming”), with the prevailing view, at least to my ears, that the issue could only be addressed by the complete transformation of the global energy and political systems, with the latter moving to one of state control and regulated consumerism.

Much to my surprise I was not really at an emission reduction conference (despite the label saying I was), but a political ideology conference.

Although I have been involved in the climate change issue for over a decade, I had not heard this set of views on the issue voiced so consistently in one place. This was a room where there was a round of applause when one audience member asked how LNG and coal exporters in Australia might be “annihilated” following their (supposed) support for the repeal of the carbon tax in that country."

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:26 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Superb. Good things come to those that wait.

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I am surprised that the response to the scurrilously misleading letter by the Hoskins group did not firmly refute their statement that the purpose of the meeting was "to provide Lord Lawson with expert advice on climate science". That was patently a falsehood.

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartinW

Katabasis

"We got talking about "the hiatus". He told me that if it continued for another five years he "may have to reconsider the whole thing".

The latest Met Office 5 year long " Decadal forecast " issued in Dec 2012 predicts "the hiatus" continuing for 5 years.

MO say the Decadal forecast will be updated next month

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

"That was patently a falsehood."

So much so that I suspect the reply did not dignify it with an answer. Lord Lawson seemed to be keeping learned enough company!

Dec 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I love the de haut en bas tone, don't you? Here we are, extremely important, golly how important we are, men who kindly offered to educate some chappie who's been writing about these matters, that only we understand, taking time out of our busy schedules, not to provide some spectacle for the populus, but in an effort to spread some enlightenment. Oh well, great men have to put up with this sort of thing, I suppose.

Dec 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

"Indeed, public understanding of and trust in scientific assessments of the risks posed by climate change will be greater if discussions about the science are not politicised."

Quite so. But can it really be the case that none of the RS thermaggedonists EVER look in a mirror?

Surely they must have some awareness of the fact that, amongst a large (and growing) proportion of those who have bothered to inform themselves of the scientific facts, their credibility is at absolutely rock bottom? Even the 'bloke down the pub' increasingly is highly sceptical of the whole alarmist agenda.

Dec 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermartin brumby

Looks like an Oxford vs Cambridge spat to me.

After you with the popcorn... :)

Dec 12, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

There is something wonderful about the attitudes of the likes of Hoskins and Nurse to us mere mortals. Their smug, dismissive certainty that they and only they can ever be entitled to rule and that their and only their science can be right would not have been out of place in pre-Revolutionary Versailles.

But then, any such Ancien Regime invariably remains blithely unaware of the imminence of its end – and their's, I suspect, is close. I wouldn't shed too many tears.

Dec 12, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

The Royal Society's stance reminds me of the quote ((I'm not sure by whom):

'The rich do not understand the poor. they do not understand why when they are hungry, they do not simply ring the bell....'

Dec 12, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

There appears to be a lack of understanding in how to interpret the predictions of the climate models. They merely say that in a given temperatures will rise by so many degrees, sea levels by so many centimetres, tropical cyclones will increase by so much etc. etc. But, to assess the significance of these figures, these results must be translated into a cost. Without it, there is no way that it can be significant. For instance
- a couple of degrees of extra warmth might be a net benefit here in Britain
- a metre rise in sea levels in a decade would have more than 10 times the cost of a metre rise in a century
- unpredictable and random changes would have far greater cost than predictable ones.
Then there is how we interpret the quality of the evidence. The polarized distinction between acceptability from a "climate scientist" and non-acceptability from a "sceptic" is nonsense. Vague references to possible catastrophes in a millenium should be given far less weighting than bold precise predictions, with short-term signposts that are proved correct. We should weight the evidence upon some such quality standards.
Then there are issues in devising a set of policies that are potentially effective in annulling the worst of the harm, without causing greater harm elsewhere. Finally there are the issues of getting these policies implemented, and being able to achieve the desired results. Climate scientists are only able to contribute to the start of the process.

Dec 12, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

There is a viewpoint from both sides of the debate that climate science should be free of anything but science. We also hear from the scientists that the public don’t understand risk assessment. I disagree with both of these. It is the scientists who don’t understand risk assessment and it’s their failure to appreciate the process that makes their climate predictions so inappropriate for planning our future.

Climate is not a hazard on its own. It is part of a whole world of hazards, and risk assessment is merely a tool to try and prioritise how we deal with them. Because climate science, as embodied by the IPCC, has been encouraged to evolve without putting all life’s risks into perspective then there are no pressures to avoid erring on the side of caution. If you don’t have to count the cost of mitigation, why not call for the most extravagant measures? If you aren’t responsible for what is done in the name of your science, why worry that you predictions are vague to the point of useless or even wrong?

Dec 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

". . . but to provide Lord Lawson with expert advice on climate science."

Yes, really, what would my good Lord do without ongoing erroneous "expert advice on climate science."

Dec 12, 2013 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Sherlock1: that was Walter Bagehot. I found this version on the internet:

“Poverty is an anomaly to the rich. They cannot understand why the poor when hungry do not simply ring the bell”

Dec 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

The start of an essay written by a public school second former, about the life of a poor family.

The whole family was poor. The father was poor and the mother was poor. The children were poor.

The butler was poor, the cook was poor. Even the maid was poor.

.....

Dec 12, 2013 at 6:40 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The Scottish Climate and Energy Form paper mentioned above is well worth a read.
The problem with the MO predicting a continuation of the pause is their track record in prediction.(unless of course they have chucked their old prediction model and taken a guess increase 50% chance decrease 50% chance lets go with the average,)

Dec 12, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Hearle

Can you believe it? Lord Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has been awarded $10,000 as winner of the third annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication (past winners, Richard Alley of Penn State University and former NASA scientist James Hansen).

http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/aroundLSE/archives/2013/NicholasSternAward.aspx

Dec 12, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

The response from the Nurse team appears arrogant and pompous and I'm rather surprised that the "science summarised by the climate scientists was generally agreed to by all present."

I was also amused that they consider themselves to be in a position to give expert advice when it is clear that they don't have a clue what the climate is going to do next. (I base that statement on my assumption that they are part of the consensus that believes in the output of flawed models.)

Whilst all this pointless jousting continues, I can't help but wonder when reality will kick in. Santer is quoted as saying that 17 years of non warming would be significant. As far as I know, the Met Office refuses to comment on when the length of the pause will cause them to put their models in the bin. Others claim that the heat is no longer warming the surface temperature, it is hiding down the back of the sofa or somewhere.

They will try to keep this up for years. I can just see the Chief Scientific Advisor in 10 years time claiming that the sceptics must really accept that cooling is a sign of warming and government must communicate this more effectively.

It seems to me that climate science is a shambles waiting for authority to admit it. Given that this could take decades, what is Plan B?

Dec 12, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Mr Lawson it is obvious that the RS asked for this meeting and out of the way of public scrutiny for the express reason of enabling them to claim what the hell they want from the meeting.
Of course it was not for enlightenment or the educating of anyone but to get at you!

Dec 12, 2013 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Lord Lawson really seems to be a thorn in the well grant-funded climate zealots side. He is obviously scoring goals.

Here they are last month with a puerile internal blog attempt at an accusation of media distortion by Lord Lawson. The rebuttal is laughably lame, and written not by Bob Ward, but by no less than by the Policy Director for The Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College himself, Simon Buckle, who was 'a member of the scientific team leading the DECC-funded AVOID programme (2009-2013) and also played a leading role in creating the EIT’s Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (“Climate KIC”), which now operates across Europe with a budget of €45m in 2013 to accelerate and stimulate innovation in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Between October 2011 and July 2013, Simon was also Pro Rector for International Affairs at Imperial and was a member of the Climate KIC Governing Board.

http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/climate-at-imperial/2013/11/15/question-time-and-what-the-ipcc-really-said-about-tropical-storms/

Dec 12, 2013 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

http://blogs.shell.com/climatechange/2013/12/spectrum/
NASTY SHOCK FOR THE MAN FROM SHELL - THOSE CHAPS FROM THE ROYAL SOCIETY WEREN'T WHAT HE EXPECTED !
Having come away from Warsaw very disillusioned Shell's David Hone found himself mixing with 'vegans' and 'hunter-gatherers'.
These charming folk were not interested in CCS or Carbon Trading they just wanted to destroy Capitalism.
A step too far, even for Shell !

Dec 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Katabasis wrote:

> One of those people was Keith Shine. We got talking about "the hiatus". He told me that if it continued for another five years he "may have to reconsider the whole thing".

Whether or not this comes to pass, it highlights the fact that it is a mistake to view either the Royal Society or the GWPF "teams" as monolithic entities. They both comprised a collection of individuals, who within each team hold a range of views.

Dec 12, 2013 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

Nic Lewis

" Whether or not this comes to pass, it highlights the fact that it is a mistake to view either the Royal Society or the GWPF "teams" as monolithic entities. They both comprised a collection of individuals, who within each team hold a range of views. "

Quite right, needs shouting, louder and longer! But then again it rather raises the question around why one "team" and their political associates prefers to be "monolithic" in referencing an unequivocal consensus?

Dec 12, 2013 at 10:27 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

published and be damned I say , its the RS that are 'keen' on keeping what happened in the event 'quiet ' not Lawson .
And that tells you a great deal.
It almost as if these 'great men of science' are worried that if the public get involved then they may find out these are neither 'great ' nor men of science.

Dec 12, 2013 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Katabasis and Nic Lewis: Thank you for highlighting the case of Keith Shine and the general principle. Thanks also Nic for taking part in the meeting and in this clarification against the spinmeisters who seem to infest and infect the climate debate. It's that to my mind that causes and is intended to cause entrenched, tribalistic reactions on 'this side'. We should never fall into that trap.

Dec 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Last year Paul Homewood estimated that UK Universities receive at least £72 million per year funding for Climate Research. If you total the contributions we taxpayers make to the five departments represented by the RS Fellows, it amounts to about £25 million p.a. This figure does not include the Hadley Centre or CRU. That's a lot of funding at stake if the government begins to question whether climate research is really such good value for money - so of course they are going to bluster that it's business as usual and we are at panic stations.
Clearly they see the GWPF continually presenting empirical evidence that challenges their dodgy models as highly undesirable, and a threat to their bloated budgets. This meeting was a failed attempt to neutralise the GWPF by Nurse following his speech in Australia, which included a number of untruthful comments about Lawson.

Dec 12, 2013 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterwellers

It's a scam. Say so!

Dec 13, 2013 at 4:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Lest you think that Australia has solved some problems mentioned, progress is quite slow. We still have a dominance of Establishment science that accepts IPCC mostly uncritically or ignorantly. We still have a senior public service that sticks closely to the Establishment view. There are a few people in the 3-month-old new Government who are probably quite sceptical of the Establishment view, but they do not say much about the topic in public. Instead, there have been a couple of policy decisions followed by a hiatus.
Our national broadcaster, the ABC, is as neutral as your BBC and mumbles about examining its alleged bias internally and finding no evidence. Our Bureau of Meteorology, like Hadley, examines itself for good science and then feeds into the Establishment view, as does the premier research organisation, the CSIRO.
Academia and teaching are leftist as ever, the latter dominated by union activism, the former by self-judged high esteem.
NGOs and activist groups continue to get an easy ride despite the public indicating that they are largely irrelevant.
Greenpeace piracy in Russia and the recent "No Santa" commercial have gone down very poorly here.
............
The Establishment view is coloured the same way as yours by its weight of politics and scant regard for good science, while loudly protesting it has nothing to do with politics and all to do with science. Just like the RS. Unwilling or unable to answer hard science questions that matter.
...........
One is reminded of public sentiment before past major wars erupted. The public did not want war, some arms makers loved the prospect, but failed to say so. Some politicians and public figures quickly realised that history is made in times of great change and they acted to add their names to the historical list.
...........
And many ordinary people were excessively harmed and saddened.

Dec 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Some simple experiments you may all do:

1. Look at some slow-moving, fluffy, white cumulus clouds and see how the base gets darker as droplets coarsen before raining; therefore as mean droplet diameter increases, more light is backscattered, the opposite to that predicted by Sagan's physics applied to clouds in the climate models. US physicist G L Stephens confirmed this from satellite data.

2. Put up a windbreak on the beach and observe that the sand temperature goes up so convection + radiation = thermalised SW; the models assume real radiative heat loss is a constant = black body level; wrong.

3. Ask Sir Brian Hoskins to explain why these two key experimental observations are diametrically different to the IPCC's most basic assumptions, and what this implies for the precision of those models.........:o)

PS Stephens showed how the models use 2x real low level cloud optical depth in hind casting to match real temperatures. This kind of observational physics is what I was taught to do in slide-rule days, before X-box fyzzicks took over.

Dec 13, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

The Bish will delete both of you in due course.

Dec 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Spam it may seem but number 2 is correct. The black body assumption comes from Moller circa 1961. It's worth pointing out as well that Hansen states that 90% of CO2 forcing is from the 15 micron band. So basically all the money is on the idea that radiation controls surface temperature alone.

I agree than Alec does get a bit right wing but don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Too many people get lost in trying to analyse the "system" when we should be concentrating first and foremost on the forcing effect. Everything else is secondary.

Dec 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

It seems all too easy to be called an 'expert' despite never having demonstrated any ability to get any prediction correct in your chosen field. Similarly a lot of folk are called 'scientists' when they are researchers, computer programmers or even economists. I guess it goes with the trend of presenting rampant speculation as unequivocal 'facts' and no evidence at all as 'mountains of evidence'.

Dec 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

the duke - thank you for that - and for posting the precise quote..!

Dec 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Some pro-RS spin emanating from Damo Carrington at the Graun

Manmade global warming: a stormy meeting between sceptics and believers
House of Lords plays host to face-off featuring Lord Lawson and six of Britain's most eminent climate change scientists

Seems that Damo has been given inside info by consent of the RS, so it seems they are not too shy about revealing the discussion, Damo claims that Brian Hoskins debunked the "pause" and that,

"I can't remember any challenge of that in the meeting," he said.

I wonder if this means we will see a full transcript of the meeting soon? ;)

Dec 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

As a climate scientist (Physics degree and studied climate for long enough) I am well placed to say what is and isn't science.

But you're not a climate scientist are you?

Dec 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterjames1

FRS letter: 'The science summarised by the climate scientists was generally agreed to by all present'

GWPF letter: 'In their letter about the meeting (Spectator, 7 December) the Royal Society team state that: “The science summarised by the climate scientists was generally agreed by all present”. This is a half-truth.'

Is it possible to clarify what's going on here. 'Agreed to' does not been the same thing as 'agreed with', nor yet 'agreed' (as the GWPF quotation has it'.

The FRS letter as quoted here is poorly expressed, and it is not clear to me that the two letters are not talking at cross purposes.

Can you confirm that they are both correctly quoted?

Dec 14, 2013 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Leopard: That report by Carrington has got everything. Everything twisted I mean. Thanks for alerting us to it.

Dec 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

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