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El Reg on CLOUD

Andrew Orlowski has noticed a good quote in the CERN press release about CLOUD (emphasis added):

What has CLOUD discovered and why is it important for our understanding of climate? There are several important discoveries from CLOUD. Firstly, we have shown that the most likely nucleating vapours, sulphuric acid and ammonia, cannot account for nucleation that is observed in the lower atmosphere. The nucleation observed in the chamber occurs at only one‐tenth to one‐thousandth of the rate observed in the lower atmosphere. Based on the first results from CLOUD, it is clear that the treatment of aerosol formation in climate models will need to be substantially revised, since all models assume that nucleation is caused by these vapours and water alone. It is now urgent to identify the additional nucleating vapours, and whether their sources are mainly natural or from human activities.

I am slightly confused about this though - are we saying that the models include a factor for nucleation that is equal to the rate of nucleation currently observed, and which changes based on how we think sulphuric acid and ammonia levels in the atmosphere will change in future? Or are we saying that the level of nucleation in the models is 10--1000 times too small? I assume the former, but I had also believed that the models went back to first physical principles rather than using empirical measures.

Maybe somebody can put me right here?


Read all about it!

Given that this looks as though it is going to be a hot climatological topic for a while, if you haven't read it already then you will want to get hold of a copy of Svensmark and Calder's The Chilling Stars.


CLOUD experiment links

Updated on Aug 24, 2011 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Aug 25, 2011 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Here's some links on the CLOUD experiment results.

New Scientist, hilariously has a piece entitled

Cloud-making: Another human effect on the climate.

I kid you not folks - these guys are away with the fairies.

Click to read more ...


CLOUD results published tomorrow

Nigel Calder writes:

Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

Read the whole thing.


4.3 Mb of what?

Anthony Watts has had a few tantalising details of the Mann email release: 4.3Mb and 3827 pages. But of what? Like Anthony, my suspicion is that all the good bits are going to be withheld.


Don't be a denier

Jonathan Adler has some interesting thoughts on scepticism at everyone's favourite US law blog, the Volokh Conspiracy. His article was prompted by the decision of New Jersey governor Chris Christie to first veto some green legislation (on the grounds that it wouldn't work) but to simultaneously acknowledge that greenhouse gases affect the climate, a position that has led to much criticism from his own side.

Those attacking Christie are suggesting there is only one politically acceptable position on climate science — that one’s ideological bona fides are to be determined by one’s scientific beliefs, and not simply one’s policy preferences. This is a problem on multiple levels. Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications. Thus climate science must be attacked because it provides a too ready justification for government regulation.   This is the same reason some conservatives attack evolution — they fear it undermines religious belief — and it is just as wrong.


Las Investigaciones del Climategate

My GWPF report, The Climategate Inquiries, is now available in Spanish.

I am hugely indebted to my translator, Andres Valencia, who has been unbelievably patient with the delays in getting the document completed. Andres - I owe you several large drinks.

You can download the report here.



Hilary Ostrov is still sleuthing away at some of the inconsistencies in the various versions of how the Climategate emails made their grand entrance.



UEA says it doesn't have Dennis emails

UEA has responded to the request by the mysterious Mr/Ms Tuppen for Paul Dennis's emails.

The University does not hold any copies of correspondence between Mr. Paul Dennis and Stephen McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Jeff Id (aka. Patrick Condon and Jeff Condon), Steven Mosher, or Thomas W. Fuller for the period 2006 to date.

For FOI geeks like me this is not unexpected. Paul Dennis indicated that he has deleted his local copy of the emails so the only copy will be on a backup server. IIRC someone (perhaps the ICO) has said that if the information is only on a backup server then it is not "held", although whether this is something that would stand up in court is another question. My guess is therefore that there may be more to the university's refusal than meets the eye.


More Steve Jones

Tony at Harmless Sky has penned further thoughts about Steve Jones' BBC report. Tony doesn't sound too amused to me, particularly in relation to this part:

A submission made to this Review by Andrew Montford and Tony Newbery (both active in the anti‐global‐warming movement, and the former the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science) devotes much of its content to criticising not the data on temperatures but the membership of a BBC seminar on the topic in 2006, and to a lengthy discussion as to whether its Environment Analyst was carrying out BBC duties or acting as a freelance during an environment programme at Cambridge University. The factual argument, even for activists, appears to be largely over but parts of the BBC are taking a long time to notice.

Click to read more ...


UNEP World Congress 2012

The United Nations Environment Programme is holding a congress next year. The object seems to be to have national legal systems work to the UN's agenda rather than the public's:

The World Congress is aimed at contributing to the Rio+20 process by promoting global consensus among relevant stakeholders such as those engaged in the development of law, Chief Justices and senior judges, Attorneys-General and Public Prosecutors involved in the interpretation and enforcement of law and Auditors-General whose work will focus on governance and accountability issues on the role of law in promoting the goals of sustainable development.

If politicians tried to influence judges there would be an outcry. Why is it OK for the United Nations?


Exoneration ad nauseam

Another day, another full exoneration for the Hockey Team. This time it's the National Science Foundation who have cleared Mann on all charges following a review of the Penn State inquiry by the NSF's sleuths.

This bit made me laugh: specific allegation or evidence of data fabrication or falsification was made to the University; rather, the University developed its allegation of data falsification based on a reading of publicly released emails...

We just, kinda, investigated some stuff...



Today I went to a debate at the Edinburgh book festival. It was called "Energy is Power" and was ostensibly about nuclear energy. The panel was made up of Tim Radford, the former Guardian science editor, a engineer who worked on wave power and an English lecturer from St Andrews. I chatted to some of them beforehand and they were very charming.

Click to read more ...


Sometimes it's hard to find words

I'm really struggling to put into words just how insane this government is:

Figures from Utilyx, the energy consultants and traders, forecast a 58pc rise in the cost of power by 2020, largely driven by the impending avalanche of green taxes due to come into force over the next 10 years.

The consultants estimate that 18pc of the current electricity price relates to climate change policies – or £15 per megawatt-hour out of a £82 per megawatt-hour average.

There seems to be a quaint theory in government circles that their policy decisions do not actually have any consequences - they are just part of the ongoing public relations effort.

When is reality going to bite?


August tip drive

There was no tip drive in July, so here, after a short intermission, is the latest attempt to fill the episcopal coffers. As always all contributions are gratefully received.

I am keen to get more subscriptions going, because subscriptions enable me to set aside a block of time each day/week/month for global warming activities. To that end I am going to offer an enticement - I'm going to start putting out an email newsletter to subscribers (and major donors), which will give early insights into (some of) the things I'm working on. Subscriptions are at a set level of £5 per month. The subscribe button is on the right-hand side.