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Lacis at Dot Earth

Andrew Lacis has thoughts on the wisdom or otherwise of his comments on IPCC WG2 Ch9 FOD (must be precise about what I'm talking about!) over at Dot Earth.


Fantasy inquiry team

OK, so if Sir Muir and his team are no good, who should be on the panel? - people who are suitably qualified in the areas the inquiry are going to examine, but without the environmentalist baggage. Here's a few thoughts:

IT areas: John Graham-Cumming has suggested himself as a candidate and he would certainly be acceptable to both sides.

Paleoclimate: someone at CA suggested Atte Korhola. Perhaps not acceptable to the other side though.

Statistics: Ian Jolliffe?

Peer review: Harvey Markovitch? Ex-BMJ - expertise in research integrity and peer review ethics



More Boulton

Thanks to everyone who has been adding information about Geoffrey Boulton in the comments to the previous piece. Professor Boulton:

  • spent 18 years at the school of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia
  • works in an office almost next door to a member of the Hockey Team
  • says the argument over climate change is over
  • tours the country lecturing on the dangers of climate change
  • believes the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2050
  • signed up to a statement supporting the consensus in the wake of Climategate, which spoke of scientists adhering to the highest standards of integrity
  • could fairly be described as a global warming doommonger
  • is quite happy to discuss "denial" in the context of the climate debate.*

The idea that this man has no preconception of global warming science and has no connections with the CRU is clearly risible.

*This last bit is from that premium Scotman site. The full quote is: "Computer models of the natural climate have been very successful in simulating the changes of the recent past, until after 1970, when they suggest that there should have been cooling, not warming. Add human-produced greenhouse gases to the models, however, and the match between the model and reality is excellent. It shows that, since 1970, the human-induced component has begun to dominate over natural trends. Denial is equivalent to saying: "I don't know anything about science, so given the choice of trusting 99.9 per cent or 0.1 per cent of the experts, I'll go with the 0.1 per cent." 



Everybody needs good neighbours

Long-term followers of the climate debate (and those who have read the Hockey Stick Illusion) will remember the NAS panel on the Hockey Stick, and how Bette Otto-Bliesner,  the scientist who occupied the office next door to Caspar Ammann, was appointed to the panel, a move that called into question the panel's independence.

We've already had questions raised about the independence of another of Sir Muir Russell's panellists, Geoffrey Boulton, the ex-UEA man who has spoken out in favour of the global warming consensus, but I'm grateful to a couple of readers for filling in some more details.

Cameron Rose makes this observation:

I note that Geoffrey Boulton is based at the University of Edinburgh, with an office at the Grant Institute at the King's Buildings in Edinburgh. Interestingly, Gabi Hegerl, who, I understand, is a member of the 'Hockey Team' and features in the CRU emails, and was a key author of AR4, has an office on the same floor in the same building 3 doors along.

Of course, that does not mean he's not independent, but it hardly inspires confidence.

Another reader points me to an article that Boulton wrote last year (Link- pay site - I'm trying to get a copy) entitled...

Just how much more evidence of climate change do you need?

...while Benny Pieser, writing in his CCNet newsletter, notes this quote from Boulton back in 2005 (I'm not sure of the source)

The argument regarding climate change is over.

I think it behoves me to point out to readers once more the declaration on the review's website:

Do any of the Review team members have a predetermined view on climate change and climate science?

No. Members of the research team come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science and for the contribution they can make to the issues the Review is looking at.



Scotsman premium content

Does anyone have access to the Scotman's website premium content? If so can you get in touch please. Contact link at the bottom of the nav bar.


Newsnight on Campbell resignation

The BBC Newsnight coverage of Philip Campbell's resignation from the Russell Review team is here. Non-UK readers may have difficulty accessing it.



What's missing

OK readers, you have work to do.

Submissions for the Russell review are due by the end of the month and it will require some concentrated effort by the community to put something together so quickly.

Here's the Issues for Examination document published by Sir Muir and his team. The first question is "Does this cover everything it should do?" The document covers several broad areas, with more detailed questions under each heading. Are there any broad areas missing? Are there more detailed questions to be added under existing headings?

Here are the broad headings.

1. The allegation of ignoring potential problems in deducing palaeotemperatures from tree ring data that might undermine the validity of the so-called “hockey-stick” curve.

2. The allegation that CRU has colluded in attempting to diminish the significance of data that might appear to conflict with the 20th century global warming hypothesis

3. It is alleged that proxy temperature deductions and instrumental temperature data have been improperly combined to conceal mismatch between the two data series

4. It is alleged that there has been an improper bias in selecting and adjusting data so as to favour the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis and details of sites and the data adjustments have not been made adequately available

5. It is alleged that there have been improper attempts to influence the peer review system and a violation of IPCC procedures in attempting to prevent the publication of opposing ideas.

6. The scrutiny and re-analysis of data by other scientists is a vital process if hypotheses are to rigorously tested and improved. It is alleged that there has been a failure to make important data available or the procedures used to adjust and analyse that data, thereby subverting a crucial scientific process.

7. The keeping of accurate records of datasets, algorithms and software used in the analysis of climate data.

8. Response to Freedom of Information requests.

Answers in the comments please.



On being a country boy

One of the problems with living in the country, with its early-to-bed, early-to-rise ways is that you're not geared to the daily cycle of TV news.

Someone from the BBC emailed a couple of times last night asking for a reaction to the Campbell resignation, but unfortunately your humble blogger was already fast asleep. I dare say they managed OK without me. And fame can wait.




Only one error in IPCC reports

A video of Rajendra Pachauri with some startling statements about the recent IPCC scandals. Apparently the Himalayan glacier melting thing is the only error in the IPCC reports. The other issues aren't errors at all. Oh yes, and it's OK to use non-peer reviewed literature in IPCC reports.



The Richard and Roger show

Richard North and Roger Harrabin go head to head on the subject of Climategate on the Gaby Logan show on BBC Radio. Richard isn't very gentle.

Audio starts from about ten minutes.


Channel Four on the Campbell resignation

Channel Four's website report on the resignation of Philip Campbell is here, with a mention for this site and some soundbites from Steve M.



Campbell resigns

Channel Four news here in the UK has just reported the Philip Campbell has stepped down from Sir Muir Russell's review because of the statements to Chinese radio that were reported here. This was undoubtedly the correct thing for him to do.

There was some discussion on the Channel Four report of sceptics seeing his departure as "taking a scalp" - I don't see this as being the case. The panel needs to be unbiased, without predetermined positions on the issue of climate change or climate science - these are, in essence, Sir Muir's words. Campbell clearly didn't meet this requirement and his resignation therefore became inevitable.

A replacement will obviously have to be found, and I am going to make some suggestions to Sir Muir as to where such a person might be found. In the meantime we still have the issue of Geoffrey Boulton, the ex-UEA man who has spoken out strongly in the past in favour of the global warming position. Although he's not as wildly inappropriate as Philip Campbell his position on the panel still makes it look somewhat unbalanced. I would suggest that either he needs to go too or he needs to be balanced with somebody of sceptical views.



11 days later

Sir Muir has taken three months to form his team and to decide what they are going to examine. We, the public now have eleven working days to make our written submissions.


Russell review under way

Updated on Feb 11, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Feb 11, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Feb 11, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Feb 11, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Feb 11, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The BBC seems to be first out of the block in reporting on the Russell Review's first appearance at a news conference an hour ago.

The most interesting part is the identities of the panellists:

  • Geoffrey Boulton, general secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Professor of Geology)
  • Dr Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief for Nature journal
  • Professor Peter Clarke of the University of Edinburgh (a particle physicist by background, he now heads the e-Science Centre at Edinburgh)
  • David Eyton, head of research and technology at BP
  • Professor Jim Norton, vice president for the Chartered Institute for IT.

There seem to have been no changes to the scope of the review.

Click to read more ...


He never said it

Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen

Well, well, well. According to the Independent, Sir John Houghton's best-known aphorism never actually passed his lips.

It's not the sort of thing I would ever say. It's quite the opposite of what I think and it pains me to see this quote being used repeatedly in this way. I would never say we should hype up the risk of climate disasters in order to get noticed.

The source appears to have been an Australian journalist who said it appeared in Houghton's 1994 book on global warming. This appears not to have been true.

I wonder why Sir John kept mum for all these years?