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Bradley on the Hockey Stick

I'm currently reading Raymond Bradley's new book Global Warming and Political Intimidation, which is very interesting. The sense I get from the book is of a minor civil servant trying to justify some almighty great shambles over which he has presided, which in a way is what the Hockey Stick story is about.

It's a very political work, with Bradley apparently seeing pretty much everything through a political lens: in several places in the book we are presented with stories of valiant Democrats defending honest scientists from wicked Republicans. We have, in essence, a minor civil servant who thinks he's living in a fairy tale and trying to justify himself to the world.

Because of this political focus, there is remarkably little discussion of the science and although there is a chapter on the Hockey Stick, there is no mention of bristlecones or principal components analysis. (And before you ask, no, he doesn't mention the Hockey Stick Illusion either). However, he does make an attempt to defend the science of the Hockey Stick, and my attention is going to be focused there. There's quite a lot to say on this subject, however, so I'm going to break the analysis down into separate posts.


WSJ on Svensmark

Anne Jolis has written an very nice, level-headed review of Svensmark and the CLOUD experiment.

But a few physicists weren't worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or "cosmic rays," whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.

The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: CERN, also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN's researchers reported last month that in the conditions they've observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds.



Law Mann

The American Tradition Institute have just revealed that Michael Mann has engaged lawyers to try to intervene in the FOIA case between the institute and the University of Virginia.

Dr. Michael Mann, lead author of the discredited "hockey stick" graph that was once hailed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the "smoking gun" of the catastrophic man-made global warming theory, has asked to intervene in American Tradition Institute's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks certain records produced by Mann and others while he was at the University of Virginia, for the purpose of keeping them hidden from the taxpayer.

Specifically over the weekend ATI's Environmental Law Center received service from two Pennsylvania attorneys who seek the court's permission to argue for Dr. Mann to intervene in ATI's case. The attorneys also filed a motion to stay production of documents still withheld by UVA, which are to be provided to ATI's lawyers in roughly two weeks under a protective order that UVA voluntarily agreed to in May. Dr. Mann's lawyers also desire a hearing in mid-September, in an effort to further delay UVA's scheduled production of records under the order.

Dr. Mann's argument, distilled, is that the court must bend the rules to allow him to block implementation of a transparency law, so as to shield his sensibilities from offense once the taxpayer – on whose dime he subsists – sees the methods he employed to advance the global warming theory and related policies. ATI's Environmental Law Center is not sympathetic.

Read the whole thing.


The blooming Heather

Heather Brooke is on form again, with a perceptive piece about civil servants' use of aggressive PR tactics to try to silence critics, with particular reference to UEA.

It seems there is another tactic gaining strength whereby PRs attempt to silence those uttering inconvenient truths 'Scientology-style' by hunting down criticism and aggressively seeking to have it withdrawn.

I wonder if she knows Bob?


Planning a fiasco - Josh 117

Something a bit different - but then so is trying to get your head round a 'green government' bulldozing green spaces. Inspired by George at the Guardian.


UEA complains to the Guardian

UEA has complained to the Guardian about Heather Brooke's article about FOI and universities. They object to her saying that they broke the FOI laws. Heather is surprised by their gall. I don't suppose many readers here are though.

No doubt the complaint goes along the lines of "nobody has been found guilty of anything", which of course is a different question to whether anyone broke the law. There is no doubt that UEA staff broke the FOI laws, but no, nobody has been found guilty of anything.


Richard D's epetition

Richard Drake has posted an epetition to the gubmint:

Household energy bills are currently projected to increase by 30% - over £300 per annum - by 2020 as a direct result of policies that seek to reduce UK emissions of carbon dioxide. Because of uncertainties in both the science and the politics of climate change, including what other countries will be doing, and the burden such increases put on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, we ask that the increase should be no more than 5% of current energy bills.

You can sign here.


Dessler on Spencer and Braswell

Updated on Sep 6, 2011 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thanks to Anthony for forwarding me the Dessler comment on Spencer and Braswell. I'll post the same excerpts as AW has so that readers here can discuss.

Cloud variations and the Earth’s energy budget
A.E. Dessler
Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010. An energy budget calculation shows that the energy trapped by clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations. And observations of the lagged response of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy fluxes to surface temperature variations are not evidence that clouds are causing climate change.

Click to read more ...


The England anomaly

Anthony Watts has an interesting post about the temperature record for England which is getting much warmer than the records for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Remarkably, it is even diverging from the Central England Temperature record.

I'm sure readers will want to press Richard B for his thoughts on this, but given that it's not actually his area and given also that he is probably overwhelmed by all the engagement he has been doing here already, I have emailed a press officer at the Met Office I met at the Cambridge Conference. Maybe we can get a comment from someone in the know.


Quote of the day


With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown. To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context. I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.

Jonathan Jones at Climate etc.



Is AR5 finished before it begins?

Roy Spencer has penned some further thoughts on the campaign being waged by the Team and he is worried:

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

It is obvious to many people what is going on behind the scenes. The next IPCC report (AR5) is now in preparation, and there is a bust-gut effort going on to make sure that either (1) no scientific papers get published which could get in the way of the IPCC’s politically-motivated goals, or (2) any critical papers that DO get published are discredited with any and all means available.

Click to read more ...


Autumn fireworks testing - Josh 116

It is the story of the week - how Wolfgang Wagner may or may not have been pressurised to resign over the publication of Spencer & Braswell. I wonder how the Team feel now?

Cartoons by Josh


Santer says

Santer et al have a new paper out on trends in the tropospheric temperature.

Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

Please keep comments to the subject matter of the paper.


Cameron worried

And so he should be.

The Telegraph is apparently going to report tomorrow that fuel bills are going to go up by another £300 and that Cameron is worried.

Let's face it, it's probably too late for the PM already. It's probably too late for the Conservatives as a party.

Who could possibly forgive them for what they are doing to the country?




Dear Kev

According to The Daily Climate, both the editor and publisher of Remote Sensing wrote to Kevin Trenberth to apologise for publishing the Spencer and Braswell paper.

I wonder how they phrased their letters.

Suggestions in the comments please.