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Tuesday
Sep132011

All in a Davies' work

Last year George Avery of Purdue University wrote an article in World Medical and Science Policy about politics perverting scientific conduct and raising the ugly spectre of Climategate (paywalled here).

Science is increasingly being manipulated by those who try to use it to justify political choices based on their ethical preferences, and who are willing to act to suppress evidence of conflict between those preferences and the underlying reality. This problem is clearly seen in two policy domains, healthcare and climate policy. In the area of climate policy, recent revelations of emails from the government-sponsored Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia reveal a pattern of data suppression, manipulation of results, and efforts to intimidate journal editors to suppress contradictory studies and indicate that scientific misconduct has been used intentionally to manipulate a social consensus to support the researchers’ advocacy of addressing a problem that may or may not exist.

This seems to have been followed by a rebuttal from Trevor Davies of UEA (paywalled here) and then a response from Avery in the current issue (paywalled here).

I gather that Davies' position was that the article should be retracted, citing the Deutsche Bank report (!) as evidence that nothing untowards happened.  Apparently the editors are dutifully going to re-review the paper. Expect them to resign shortly ;-)

(H/T Ross McKitrick)

Monday
Sep122011

FOI fail

Much amusement at this response to a (non-climate-related) FOI request: the government department involved inadvertently copied their internal discussion about how to respond to the requester:

There is another, wide-ranging FOI request for all unpublished reports. I have provided Peter Parr with a list of relevant documents from across the Directorate, with the exception of the Bill Team where Georgina has said that it would take in excess of the time limit to conduct a search. Peter is putting up a draft response to Ministers on that basis.

I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of responses to FOI requests being run past ministers. Should ministers be involved in legal compliance matters?

Monday
Sep122011

Why energy taxes will fail

Tim Worstall writes at the Adam Smith Insitute blog:

What the DEC is really saying is that energy demand is highly elastic to price: change the price and you'll get quite large changes in behaviour and demand. What Moxham is really saying is that this is tosh, energy has a low elasticity. We don't change our behaviour much when energy prices change. So, who is right?

Find out here.

Monday
Sep122011

The power of laughter

I was gently taken to task by a commenter for my levity in linking to the Newsbiscuit story yesterday. I think this is wrong. The importance of having people laugh at one's opponents cannot by underestimated in my view, which is why I'm grateful to Jane Coles for this image of the latest fashion accessory for "right-on" kids everywhere.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep112011

'Let's Kick Climate Change Denial Out of Football' campaign

Football fans who make offensive chants about wind turbines could face stiff jail sentences under plans by the government and the Football Association to ‘get tough’ with climate change deniers.

Read the whole thing here.

Sunday
Sep112011

What's all this then?

The blogospheric dissection of the papers by Spencer and Braswell and by Dessler continue apace. In fact the pace is a bit of a problem, as I have been left rather behind - radiative physics is an area I need to get up to speed on. This is a pity because it looks as though today's excitement is all going to be focused the effect of clouds on the earth's energy budget.

Firstly there is this comment by Bart at CA. Then there's this post by Tallbloke, which is essentially just a reposting of a comment by Bill Illis at WUWT.

The Bill Illis/Tallbloke piece seems rather more straightforward to me - if I understand it correctly, it shows that the variability in the amount of heat escaping the earth is driven to a large extent by changes in cloud cover. As one commenter puts it:

But the [climate models] only assign a single, constant value for all clouds, at all latitudes, for all periods of day and night, for all seasons of the year, across all elevations for all values of humidity and rainfall and percent CO2.

Right?

I can see that this is a problem, although perhaps I haven't quite got my head around the implications yet.

The Bart comment at CA is, however, more tricky and I haven't made head or tail of it yet. Given that there seems to be general agreement that it may be significant, maybe readers here can explain.

Saturday
Sep102011

Maths do better - Josh 118

H/t Chuckles who, on the Make haste more slowly post, wrote:

"Does this mean that John Abrahams comments, reported in the Guardian and Daily Climate, about Dr. Spencer constantly having to correct errors and revise work, are in fact correct?

Just not in the way Abrahams originally intended?"

 

Cartoons by Josh

Saturday
Sep102011

New paper supports Svensmark hypothesis

Nigel Calder reports on a paper by Dragić et al.. The paper considers the effects of Forbush decreases - when solar flares cause reductions in the number of galactic cosmic rays reaching the Earth. According to the Svensmark hypothesis, this should cause a reduction in cloudiness.

Dragić and his co-authors have looked at the diurnal temperature range - the difference between daytime maxima and nighttime minima after Forbush increases. If clouds are indeed reduced, then the diurnal temperature range should increase, ie colder nights and warmer days.

The results look good for Svensmark's ideas.

The results [are] hard (impossible?) to explain by any mechanism except an influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation.

(H/T Pharos in Unthreaded)

Saturday
Sep102011

Bradley on the Hockey Stick 2

Time after time when reading Bradley's defence of the Hockey Stick, I was struck by how he avoided the criticisms that were actually made of the paper, preferring instead to knock down a series of strawmen. There are also parts that are grossly misleading.

Take this next excerpt for example, where Bradley describes McIntyre and McKitrick's Nature submission in 2004.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep092011

Cuccinelli on hold

From HamptonRoads.com:

An Albemarle County judge has put Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's latest demand for documents related to a former University of Virginia climate-change researcher's work on hold.

Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins granted a stay today until the Virginia Supreme Court rules on a related case.

Cuccinelli is investigating whether Michael Mann defrauded taxpayers by using manipulated data to obtain government grants. A judge ruled last year that Cuccinelli was not specific enough about how Mann might have broken the law, and that he lacks authority to investigate federal grants.

Cuccinelli, a global warming skeptic, appealed that ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court and filed a new, more specific demand pertaining to just one state grant. Higgins put that demand on hold.

Friday
Sep092011

Make haste more slowly

What fun - readers point out that some revisions are to be made to the Dessler paper in the light of comments made by Roy Spencer. I wonder if Steve M's comments will have an effect too?

 

Friday
Sep092011

Paul Nurse on geoengineering

Paul Nurse has a letter in the Guardian (where else?) on the subject of geoengineering. It's less bad than you might expect.

A time may come when mankind will need to consider geoengineering the climate to counteract climatic effects of greenhouse gases. If that time comes, we need to have a good understanding of whether such efforts will work and, just as importantly, whether they will have any negative side effects. Those who oppose such exploratory research on the grounds that we do not know what its effects may be ... are missing a fundamental point of research, which is to allow us to potentially rule out any technology that would have negative effects that outweigh the positive.

Researching stuff probably does little harm, although one can certainly question whether geoengineering research, or indeed any scientific research, should be a priority for government spending at the moment. Outside the ivory tower, times are hard, but it is not obvious that Sir Paul has noticed.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep082011

Coopting extremes

Nature reports on a new project to investigate links between extreme weather and global warming.

"The idea is to look every month or so into the changing odds" associated with that influence, says Peter Stott, a climate scientist with the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter and a leader of the ACE group. Stott is writing a white paper laying out plans and requirements for a near-real-time attribution system, which he will present in October at the World Climate Research Programme conference in Denver, Colorado.

Dear Kev seems to be involved.

Wednesday
Sep072011

Commenting

Once again, there is a new fix (?) for the commenting issues on the blog.

Can you let me know how it goes please.

Good luck!

Wednesday
Sep072011

Does pre-emptive deletion get round the EIR?

This is a guest post by David Holland.

Two recent Decision Notices appear to uphold the idea, popular with some climate scientists, that pre-emptive deletion of information gets round the Environmental Information Regulations. The first relates to University of East Anglia and the email to which Phil Jones attached the CRUTEM data he sent to Georgia Tech. The second relates to the University of Edinburgh and the Russell Review correspondence, all of which was deleted by the University very soon after the Review Report was released. This was well before we learnt all about Geoffrey Boulton's editing of my evidence submission, and Graham Stringer saying the Review was beyond parody.

Click to read more ...