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Thursday
Feb112010

More IPCC findings

Fact checking the IPCC, particularly WG2 is providing a rich source of material for climate bloggers. Jeff ID has been looking at some claims made about wildfires in British Columbia and finds that the citations are to two newspaper articles and a tourism newsletter. There is also some doubt as to whether the citations actually support the claims made.

Meanwhile Climategate.com reports on some interesting findings about NASA/GISS's adjustments to temperatures in Australia. The "f" word is used.

Calls for Pachauri to go are growing.

 

Thursday
Feb112010

Russell review to start work

Nearly three months after Climategate, Sir Muir Russell's review of the implications finally gets off the ground today. Well, he's going to make an announcement about starting work anyway.

Sir Muir Russell, who is chair of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and former principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, will explain the review's remit at 11am at a press conference and clarify which issues it will investigate. He will also set out the review's work plan and processes, invite submissions and evidence, explain the inquiry's openness and publication policy and provide an estimate for when he will report back. He will also introduce his team.

 

Wednesday
Feb102010

Libel reform

By the way, has everyone signed the petition to have the UK's libel laws reformed?

Wednesday
Feb102010

It's worse in context

One of the delights of rising visitor numbers is that you start to get noticed by a whole lot more people who disagree with you and who come over to stick the boot in. The attention is always welcome although I'm sure there will be a certain kudos among those people who stuck the boot in (in the nicest possible way) when nobody had heard of me (hi Frank!).

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb102010

Comment not free

Fred Pearce has another article up about the Hockey Stick, part of the Guardian's review of Climategate. We are invited to leave our comments and annotations.

Unfortunately that's less of an option for me, since the Guardian has put me on moderation. This means that my comments take 24 hours or so to get posted. It's not really possible to have meaningful input in these circumstances - rather like trying to take part in a public meeting by post - so I'll put some comments up here when I get the time.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb102010

Climate Resistance on catastrophism

The Climate Resistance blog has a brilliant analysis of the mess that climate catastrophists, particularly those at the Guardian, have got themselves into.

But now we see that WGII has – much as Adam has – credulously taken ‘the science’ from wherever it could be found to support the presupposition of catastrophe. The WGII report had taken it from Fred Pearce’s New Scientist article, via a WWF report. Adam had taken his headlines from the scariest of the hundreds of posters presented at the Copenhagen meeting that had worked from assumptions about ‘emissions scenarios’ – projections – towards catastrophic stories about possible outcomes. And he had used it to make a political argument for ‘action’, seemingly in the voice of ’science’. Science spoke with one voice to Adam last March. This February it is fractured, and Adam cannot make sense of it.

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Pick a paragraph

This was a little experiment that turned up some interesting results. The idea was to pick a paragraph from the IPCC reports and look at its provenance, just to see if anything interesting turned up. It did.

Unfortunately it turned up so much, that I've decided only to analyse the first sentence of the paragraph. I've got a life you know.

Here's the paragraph. It's from WG2, Chapter 10, and its the start of section 10.2.4.1 which is about the effects of climate change on food production.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb092010

+++Lord Stern in email hacking+++

Channel Four news:

Exclusive: Channel 4 News can reveal that renowned climate change economist, Lord Stern, has had his email targeted by a virus.

The British government's climate change guru, Lord Stern, has had his emails sabotaged in a possible "hacking attack" Channel 4 News can reveal. 

Full story here.

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Paul Dennis blogs!

UEA geochemist Paul Dennis, who has been much in the news recently, has started a new blog called Harmonic Oscillator.

Why not go over and wish him well.

(H/T Lucia)

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Hansen's colleague eviscerates AR4 Chapter 9

While perusing some of the review comments to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, I came across the contributions of Andrew Lacis, a colleague of James Hansen's at GISS. Lacis's is not a name I've come across before but some of what he has to say about Chapter 9 of the IPCC's report is simply breathtaking.

Chapter 9 is possibly the most important one in the whole IPCC report - it's the one where they decide that global warming is manmade. This is the one where the headlines are made.

Remember, this guy is mainstream, not a sceptic, and you may need to remind yourself of that fact several times as you read through his comment on the executive summary of the chapter:

There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn't the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community - instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.

I'm speechless. The chapter authors, however weren't. This was their reply (all of it):

Rejected. [Executive Summary] summarizes Ch 9, which is based on the peer reviewed literature.

Simply astonishing. This is a consensus?

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Vexatious behaviour

Eli Rabett is trying to argue that the requests put into the University of East Anglia were vexatious and also that they were turned down. Now, I know something about this, having put in one of the requests myself, although I was not part of the coordinated effort to ask for them five countries at a time. I just took the blunt approach and asked for all of them.

What is interesting is that neither my broad sweep nor the piecemeal requests were rejected as such. While everyone got a response that was in the form of a rejection, the grounds given were not that the request was vexatious. Each of us was in fact directed to a new webpage where the information we had asked for (or at least the paltry collection of available agreements that UEA could find) was to be found. The grounds for the rejection were therefore that the information was publicly available already.

The FoI Act allows public authorities to treat requests made obviously in concert as a single request, at which point it is possible to reject them as vexatious or demand payment as the circumstances demand. The fact that neither of these things happened shows that Eli's supposition that the requests were burdensome is wrong.

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Ian Katz in the Graun

There's an interesting piece by Ian Katz in the Guardian today. His approach to the current state of global warming is to declare that every rock has to be lifted before any progress can be made. This doesn't seem unreasonable.

He has also started to think about where we go from here, and wonders about the possibility of removing the IPCC from the control of governments and having it run by national academies.

Next, the credibility of the IPCC – or some form of scientific high court – must be restored. In the short term that means appointing independent experts to review any alleged errors in the panel's reports. At the same time the IPCC should renounce, or at least severely restrict the use of, grey ­literature. "If that means you can't be comprehensive then don't be," says a senior scientist advocating this course. There is a strong case for more radical reforms: the panel should arguably be replaced by a body controlled by national scientific academies rather than governments.

The problem with this is that the national academies are wholly (or nearly wholly) owned subsidiaries of governments, even the nominally independent ones like the Royal Society. Those of us who are suspicious of the IPCC are hardly going to be convinced by a body run by the likes of the Royal Society's climate head honcho, ex-IPCC man Sir John Houghton, or the NAS's Ralph Ciccerone, he of the Hockey Stick panel shenanigans.

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

Michael Meacher on the Hockey Stick

The left wing Labour MP Michael Meacher has posted an article about problems with the Freedom of Information Act and makes a passing allusion to the Hockey Stick affair.

It is dreadful that the FOI requests made to the scientists at the UEA climactic research unit were so disgracefully blocked (albeit that some of the climate change sceptics demanding the information may have been obsessive and partisan themselves). Some of the data, for example concerning the location of 42 rural Chinese weather stations or the width of annual growth rings of trees in frozen Siberian bogs, might be arcane and of minute relevance to fundamental climate change questions, but it should still have been made readily available. The evidence about the 'hockey stick' is much more serious and should certainly have been provided in full. Scientific data should be a free resource to all who seek it. But that of course applies much more widely than just to contentions about climate change.

Amen to that. I wonder if he has read my book?

 

Monday
Feb082010

House Republicans attack Penn State 

Republican representatives in the US Congress have criticised the Penn State investigation into Michael Mann's conduct.

The findings and, more importantly, the focus have set off a wave of criticism accusing the university panel of failing to interview key people, neglecting to conduct more than a cursory review of allegations and structuring the inquiry so that the outcome -- exoneration -- was a foregone conclusion.

On Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Investigations Committee, charged that the Penn State's failure to settle all the charges and called into question professor Mann's work. He is demanding that all grants to the noted scientist be frozen.

As whitewashes go, it has to be said that it was carried off very poorly. The failure to even go through the motions of interviewing aggrieved parties like Steve McIntyre was a mistake by the Penn State authorities. They have brought this unwelcome attention down upon themselves.

 

Monday
Feb082010

Interview in El Reg

There's an interview with one A.W. Montford Esq just gone up at the Register.