Yesterday I did a long live interview for the Dennis Prager show, a syndicated radio programme broadcast from California. I think there is a podcast available. It seemed to go OK although as a sales pitch for my book I could have performed better. Dennis was kind enough to plug it several times.
Also a friendly review from Seth Roberts, who is Professor of Psychology at Qinghua University in Beijing and a successful blogger too.
If only I had a US publisher to enable me to take advantage!
Richard Lindzen points out some of the problems with the recent letter to the FT by Ralph Ciccerone and Martin Rees:
Consider a letter of April 9 to the Financial Times by the presidents of the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Royal Society (Ralph Cicerone and Martin Rees, respectively). It acknowledges that climategate has contributed to a reduced concern among the public, as has unusually cold weather. But Messrs. Cicerone and Rees insist that nothing has happened to alter the rather extreme statement that climate is changing and it is due to human action. They then throw in a very peculiar statement (referring to warming), almost in passing: “Uncertainties in the future rate of this rise, stemming largely from the ‘feedback’ effects on water vapour and clouds, are topics of current research.”
Who would guess, from this statement, that the feedback effects are the crucial question? Without these positive feedbacks assumed by computer modelers, there would be no significant problem, and the various catastrophes that depend on numerous factors would no longer be related to anthropogenic global warming.
The European Geophysical Union is going to be discussing paleoclimate at its annual meeting at the start of next month. The papers to be presented look pretty interesting.
Do have a look through and let us know if there is anything exciting in there. I just peeked at Ljungqvist et al which looks at the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age to see if they were really localised, as is argued by those on the other side of this debate. While the paper only looks at Northern Hemisphere proxies, the authors seem to have reached a rather different conclusion.
We find evidence of a widespread medieval warming culminating in the 10–11th centuries, followed by a gradual cooling into the 17th century, succeeded by a warming from the 18th century that accelerated in the 20th century. Our result also indicate that the warmth in the 10th and 11th centuries was as uniform as in the 20th century. However, with a resolution of only 100 years it is not possible to assess whether any decade in the past was as warm as any in the late 20th or early 21st century.
I struggle to make sense of Lord Oxburgh and his report. The investigation they performed was so cursory and the report they produced so brief, it is hard to credit that they thought that they would get away with it. The report is a whitewash, but it's a really bad one, since there is no attempt to make it look as if they looked diligently into the question of the integrity of the CRU. Why would a group of intelligent people involved in a coverup not make more effort to cover their tracks?
The Oxburgh panel have appended a short addendum to their report:
Addendum to report, 19 April 2010
For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods.
This is a guest post by Barry Woods.
The number of people contributing to online climate change articles and the various blogs has shot up since the Climategate story broke. One strategy for dealing with sceptics, seen on a 'climate change' lobby group website, might explain why.
Judith Curry has set the cat among the pigeons, posting once again at RealClimate. Her points are all rather exciting for me:
there are people making politically motivated attacks against climate research (Marc Morano and Myron Ebell come immediately to mind). And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford).
Judy Curry continues her tireless efforts to bring down abuse on herself from all sides.;-) I'm reproducing her comments from the earlier thread here because they are important and because they seem to be attracting some interest around the blogosphere. Real Climate's Gavin Schmidt has weighed in here with a typically robust response.
The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$ to CRU).
Swedish mathematician Claes Johnson has some interesting criticisms of one of the basic postulates of the AGW hypothesis. The earlier articles he cites seem to be worth checking out too.
David Holland writes with the latest update on the bizarre attempts by the Russell inquiry to withhold publication of his evidence.
The Russell ICCER emailed me again yesterday. Unfortunately I left early this morning and was not able to report this until now.
Dear Mr Holland,
Thank you for your reply.