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Causes for the pause

David Whitehouse has a new GWPF note out, examining all the different post-hoc explanations for the hiatus in global warming. To introduce it, there's a short film which can be seen here.


Climate scientists

Judith Curry appeared on the BBC World Service last night (podcast here, from 19:45). Of course, the corporation's new policy on who is allowed to appear opposite scientists only applies to when the scientist is not criticical of alarmist positions, so they could have picked anyone they want to face off with Judy. In the event they went for Bob Ward but, interestingly, and perhaps keen to lend an air of authority to a mere public relations man, they decided to describe him as a "climate scientist".

I guess we are all climate scientists now.


Some comments on the Royal Society report

Reader Alex Henney sends some comments on The Royal Society/National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Change that he sent to the President of the Royal Society and the British authors of the report.1

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

Richard Feynman

1. The document continues to espouse models which are flawed, see p. 5, even though the final draft of the 2013 SPM commented “Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years”.  John Christy2 compared the performance of 39 climate model that were used in AR5 over the period 1975 to 2012 with measured temperature data.  The models over back-cast temperature significantly in a range 0-0.7oC. 

Click to read more ...


The WGII battle begins

With the Working Group II conference beginning today, upholders of the global warming consensus are drawing their knives to deal with inconvenient dissenters. The BBC's Matt McGrath describes the state of affairs here, revealing that Richard Tol has asked his name to be removed from the draft because of rampant alarmism that has been inserted:

[Tol] was involved in drafting the summary but has now asked for his name to be removed from the document.

Click to read more ...


David King at the ECC

Sir David King, the chemist and former GCSA who now advises William Hague on climate change is to appear before the Energy and Climate Change Committee at around 9:45.

The direct link to the meeting is here, for those who want to try different players. I have emailed the committee about their continuing use of Silverlight, and they tell me they are going to discuss the point in future.


The return of Secret Santa

Secret Santa, the mole within IPCC Working Group II, has delivered his latest batch of goodies:

  • The latest draft of the WGII Summary for Policymakers, currently being discussed in Yokahama
  • A document floating round the conference that demonstrates through its title - "Hope for our Earth" - the policy-neutral environment in which delegates are operating.

University ethics

In yet another astonishing post at Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre reveals that the conclusions of the University of Western Australia's ethics inquiry into Stephan Lewandowsky were written by Lewandowsky himself:

Half an hour later (Oct 15 15:18; FOIT, 9), Lewandowsky replied by adding the sentences bolded below, which add the claim that the University had “considered” my claims and found them to be “baseless” and that his research had been “conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines”...

Moreover, as Lucia Liljegren notes on Twitter, the university announced that they had held an inquiry that exonerated Lewandowsky, when in fact they had done nothing of the sort.

And apparently there is worse to come.


CEH distances itself from RSPB summary report

I recently covered the report on shale gas by a consortium of environmental organisations headed by the RSPB. I described the report's claim that a study of a shale gas field in the Colorado had found significantly elevated noise levels, and noted its failure to report that the underlying study was actually a model simulation.

Commenters observed that the longer, technical version of the report did in fact describe the Colorado study correctly, and I wondered at the time if this was an isolated discrepancy or whether the short version was systematically hyped up. I have had no time to investigate further but was interested to see this blog post on the website of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), who had reviewed the long version of the report.

Click to read more ...


The BBC goes dark - Josh 267


Protecting scientists


In his Mail on Sunday article today (keep scrolling) David Rose reveals that the BBC - at least in Scotland - has a new policy of protecting climatologists from challenge on air.

A BBC executive in charge of editorial standards has ordered programme editors not to broadcast debates between climate scientists and global warming sceptics.

Alasdair MacLeod claimed that such discussions amount to ‘false balance’ and breach an undertaking to the Corporation’s watchdog, the BBC Trust.

Mr MacLeod, head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an email on  February 27 to 18 senior producers and editors, which has been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

It reads: ‘When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.

If dissenters from the climate consensus are not to be allowed to put their case directly, there is presumably little point in having those arguments put by BBC interviewers. So from now on the pronouncements of climatologists will be treated as holy writ and the most alarmist scientists can be allowed to scaremonger without fear of contradiction. The consensus over the existence of the greenhouse effect is used  as a pretence that all aspects of the climatology are beyond debate.

Coming so soon after the brouhaha over the Lawson/Hoskins discussion on the Today programme, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the BBC are dancing to the tune of the environmental movement. The effects of the 28gate seminar seem to live on.

The end of the licence fee cannot come soon enough.



Flush with success - Josh 266


It seemed wrong not to mark this weeks big news, though I realise no cartoon can come close to the hilarity of Lew's paper problems. I am sure there is solution round the bend, er... I mean, corner.

Cartoons by Josh

[H/t Simon Abingdon for mopping up the typo ]


Diary date: Exeter

The University of Exeter is to hold a conference in May to discuss where the global warming movement goes in the aftermath of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report.

International experts will discuss the future of climate change research following the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

The Transformational Climate Science conference, hosted by the University of Exeter in partnership with the Met Office and University of Leeds, takes place on 15 and 16 May.

Globally renowned researchers will share their perspectives on the cutting-edge of science and social science.

Details here.


Geographical magazine does climate

Geographical, the members magazine of the Royal Geographical Society has a climate change supplement ("Climate Change. Here...Now...") out with its current issue.

You know things are bad when you can find things to object to on the contents page, but this is the measure of just how awful it is. There above the contents we see the image that appeared on the cover of Nature when it published Eric Steig's paper that purported to have found warming in West Antartica - a result that a subsequent paper  showed to be a function of erroneous methodology rather than the underlying data. It's as if the "compelling image" was simply too good to miss.

Click to read more ...


The Lew roll

You turn your back for a few hours and all hell breaks loose!

I return to my desk to find that Desmog blog has published the University of Western Australia's correspondence relating to the Lew Paper - in other words all the complaints by sceptics. I'm hearing on the grapevine that some of them are missing however.

Meanwhile Lew himself has written about the takedown of the paper here, and there is a long video here if you have a strong stomach.

Meanwhile, Retraction Watch's coverage of the affair can be seen here.


Flushed away

Via Ben Pile we learn that the Lew Paper - the 'Recursive Fury' one, about reactions to the bonkers conspiracy theorists one - has been retracted, or is about to be. It seems that a Dana Nuccitelli post went up at Skeptical Science announcing the paper's end an hour or so ago. The post has now been removed from public view, although Google's cache enables us to see it in all its glory.

...nobody likes being called a conspiracy theorist, and thus climate contrarians really didn't appreciate Recursive Fury.  Very soon after its publication, the journal Frontiers was receiving letters from contrarians threatening libel lawsuits.  In late March 2013, the journal decided to "provisionally remove the link to the article while these issues are investigated."  The paper was in limbo for nearly a full year until Frontiers finally caved to these threats.

Click to read more ...

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