Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« UKCIP defunded | Main | Beddington - definitely a lobbyist »
Sunday
May152011

Climate cuttings 52

Here is my latest attempt to round up the bits and bobs that I should have blogged about in recent days but haven't quite got round to.

Hilary Ostrov noted the IPCC apparently approving their recent report on renewables before they actually reviewed it. Some deft rewriting of history by the IPCC appears to have ensued.

Shub Niggurath takes a look at what I call the "official sceptics" and finds that almost none of them are sceptical of climate change. Does this say more about the nature of their scepticism than the status of global warming research? You would have thought the falsification of the models (or the lack of falsifiability according to some) would have raised a few doubts.

Popular Technology takes a look at that Carbon Brief article linking every known dissenter from the AGW dogma to ExxonMobil. A survey of the scientists criticised reveals very little by way of actual money flowing in their direction. Ross McKitrick refers the people who wrote the Carbon Brief article as "stupid" and "lazy". This is going too far in my opinion. The Carbon Brief team seem to have put quite a lot of effort in to their article.

Garth Paltridge calls for mainstream climatology to reach out to the sceptics. In the comments an excitable astrophysicist called Michael Ashley says they shouldn't (but in less polite terms than I have put it).

Steve McIntyre has noted the idea of using the movement of treelines as a proxy for temperatures. Reuters is now reporting a study which claims, remarkably, that the treeline could be 500km further north by the end of the century. This rate - 5km per year - seems rather fast to me.

A team from Denmark has published results of an experiment to produce aerosol nucleation using a particle beam. Their findings lend strong support to Svensmark's cosmic ray theory of climate change. Nigel Calder has the story.

Professor Bunyip has some fun with a proxy study of water flows on the Murray River in Australia.

President Obama issued an executive order requiring the federal government make plans to adapt to climate change. In the UK, the emphasis was more on mitigation (aka economic suicide), adopting a 20-year plan to drastically reduce carbon emissions. There are reports that a tape exists demonstrating that the plan's architect, Chris Huhne, perverted the course of justice by getting a minion to accept a speeding ticket on his behalf.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (18)

Nothing new here. This is just part of a tactic I've been noticing for some time employed by the warmist faction; it entails taking over key arguments advanced by genuine sceptics and turning them round against them (there must be a word for this tactic). In this case they've gone that bit further by commandeering the the very label "sceptic", but what they are putting forward is of course the exact opposite.
It won't work but it throws up dust. Desperate, cynical, twisted minds.

May 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

From the abstract of the cosmic ray paper:

"By comparison with ionization using a gamma source we further show that the nature of the ionizing particles is not important for the ion-induced component of the nucleation. This implies that inexpensive ionization sources - as opposed to expensive accelerator beams - can be used for investigations of ion-induced nucleation."

This seems to suggest that they don't expect much from the CLOUD experiment at CERN compared to their own small scale experiment.

May 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterpax

When recordings of phone calls start to emerge you know they're really out to get you, and I expect Huhne's career in politics to be as dead as Aitken's, Devine's or Morley's by the end of the week. The upside for him is that he'll be able to spend more time with his multi-million property portfolio and the weird woman he left his wife for.

There's always more than the usual degree of schadenfreude when one of the holier-than-thou 'progressives' not only gets booted but is revealed to be an unprincipled, devious and mendacious hypocrite. The only pity is that his ludicrous policies won't be buried with his career.

May 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

Treeline extent seems like a very good proxy for climate (certainly much better than a few sets of unreliable tree rings or even an ice core from a single location)

Interestingly the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report (Google it - highly credible with the IPCC. Read it, particularly Chapter 2) notes that during the last interglacial (the Eemian, 130,000 years to 107,000 years ago) the northern treeline was 600km north of its present location.

In the early to mid Holocene (commencing about 10,000/11,000 years ago) over most of Russia forests advanced to or near the Arctic coastline between 9 and 7 thousand years ago, and retreated to their present position by between 4 and 3 thousand years ago. Furthermore, during the period of maximum forest extension, the mean July temperature along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5 to 7 deg C warmer than present.

May 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge L

Have we mentioned Mad George Monbiot's disgraceful ad hominem attack on Christopher Booker in the Guardian?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/may/13/christopher-booker-misleading

May 15, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterO'Geary

Re the IPCC SRREN report (and the US federal shift to strategic adaptation).

It's long been understood that 'adaptation' was unutterable in climate-concerned circles. There was no need even to think about it. Everything was going to be addressed by 'mitigation' - ie decarbonisation via cap-and-trade, treaty, and renewables.

No matter the cost - "the price of inaction will be incalculably higher," shrilled the finger-waggers as the subsidy farmers quietly made their fortunes, the blaggers stole millions in carbon credits and China told the world to FO at Copenhagen.

Now mitigation has been exposed as unworkable nonsense, the A-Word is starting to be heard - even in high places.

People routinely comment that this-or-that "shows that the IPCC (or consensus, whatever) is getting desperate". By and large, this is crap.

But not, I think, this time. The SRREN report is so obviously a heavy-handed attempt to influence global energy policy. It is a last big, clumsy push for renewables. It smells of desperation.

Because everyone with a half-way sound grasp of the engineering, meteorological and geopolitical realities knows that renewables are a sideshow when it comes to global-scale baseload generation (340,000 square km of solar pv in North Africa... you know, Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt... as the backbone of a renewables super-grid that all of Europe depends on? Exactly. B*ll*cks).

But to yesterday's would-be policy architects like the IPCC, wholly unable to say the A-Word out loud, strong-arming global government into making disastrous energy policy mistakes is the only option left.

Here's how the Graun ended it's piece on the SRREN announcement:

As with all IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers – the synopsis of the report that will be presented to governments and is likely to impact renewable energy policy – had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries. This was done at Monday's meeting in Abu Dhabi. This makes the process lengthy, but means that afterwards no government or scientist represented can say that they disagree with the finished findings, which the IPCC sees as a key strength of its operations.

Here in the UK we have open dissent against the ludicrous and pointless CCC diktat. The days until the CCA gets repealed are being counted. Huhne himself is teetering on the rim of the skip.

And there's no more money. So, my guess is that renewables are not going to win the next (or any future) rounds in the fight to stay front and centre in the energy debate.

Because they cost a fortune and do not work as claimed. And people (who vote for politicians) are not stupid.

May 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I'd rather watch trees than mercury, but they are slow, must have a might to do with something in the air, etc.. I'll bet a penny that the Enviro-Clime Sci-Fi guys and gals at those Ivy League schools will come up with a proxy that's a lot faster and just as green.

May 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

The blizzard of media echoes about treeline movement apparently derives from a recent statement from CAFF's chair, Aevar Petersen, which seems to be based on a 2010 report, "Arctic Biodiversity Trends – 2010: Selected Indicators of Change". The report contains the following:

Trees are beginning to encroach on the tundra and
some models project that by 2100 the treeline will have
advanced north by as much as 500 km.

It sounds as though the report took the climate model with the most extreme projection of Arctic temperature trends, and coupled that with the most extreme projection of the sensitivity of treeline growth to temperature, to arrive at that "up to 500 km" figure. I couldn't find a citation for that value in the report to trace the provenance more precisely.

So the Bishop is correct that the 500 km/century rate is likely a high estimate. But of course if only one figure is given in an article, that figure, regardless of its provenance or any conditions associated with it, is going to be the "take-away" by the reader. Dr Petersen qualified the figure by saying that the treeline "could move 500 km"; but from the headline it would not be unreasonable to assume that's a best estimate rather than a maximum estimate.

May 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

BH, main article:

Ross McKitrick refers the people who wrote the Carbon Brief article as "stupid" and "lazy". This is going too far in my opinion. The Carbon Brief team seem to have put quite a lot of effort in to their article.

;-)

May 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Earlier today I was watched the BBC's 24 hour news channel for about an hour and during that time there was not a single mention of the Chris Huhne tape. Presumably that was because there are so many other more important things going on in the world. It could not possibly be because the BBC wants to censor news critical of a "green" cabinet minister, could it?

May 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

From Order-Order

"Oh Vicky you're so fine, you're so fine, you pay my fine, oh Vicky" Toni Basil #Huhnetunes

Posted on Twitter alledgedly

May 15, 2011 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

"There's always more than the usual degree of schadenfreude when one of the holier-than-thou 'progressives' not only gets booted but is revealed to be an unprincipled, devious and mendacious hypocrite." -- Phil D

They'll simply find another unprincipled, devious, mendacious hypocrite.

May 15, 2011 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

BBD writes [excerpt from Guardian]

As with all IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers – the synopsis of the report that will be presented to governments and is likely to impact renewable energy policy – had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries. This was done at Monday's meeting in Abu Dhabi.[...]

This would have been a somewhat remarkable feat, considering that

a) The WGIII meeting supposedly concluded on Sunday May 8; and in any event
b) The IPCC meeting did not commence until Tuesday, May 10
c) The "Annotated" Provisional Agenda for this item indicates:

4. ACCEPTANCE OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN AT THE 11th SESSION OF WORKING GROUP III ON THE SPECIAL REPORT ON RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION (SRREN)

Under this agenda item, the Panel will formally accept the Summary for Policymakers of the SRREN. Section 4.3 of the IPCC procedures stipulates that “for a Summary for Policymakers approved by a Working Group to be endorsed as an IPCC Report, it must be accepted at a Session of the Panel. Because the Working Group approval process is open to all governments, Working Group approval of a Summary for Policymakers means that the Panel cannot change it. However, it is necessary for the Panel to review the Report at a Session, note any substantial disagreements, (in accordance with Principle 10 of the Principles Governing IPCC Work) and formally accept it.”

Not to mention that IPCC-XXXIII/Doc. 20 which pertains to Agenda item 4, is dated May 9, and bears a title of "Approved Summary for Policymakers". But perhaps the Graun was misled by the interactive graphic found on the SRREN site which indicates that a "Final IPCC Plenary" "Accepts Rest of Report" and "Approves SPM Line-by-Line".

In the interest of truth in posting, I would have pointed all this out to the Guardian but, alas, comments are closed.

May 15, 2011 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Hilary

I read this on your blog. 'Unseemly haste' seems about the politest description.

And it makes the Guardian report's final paragraph even more sinister that it already is:

As with all IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers – the synopsis of the report that will be presented to governments and is likely to impact renewable energy policy – had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries. This was done at Monday's meeting in Abu Dhabi. This makes the process lengthy, but means that afterwards no government or scientist represented can say that they disagree with the finished findings, which the IPCC sees as a key strength of its operations.

May 15, 2011 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Phil D

I see that you are not mincing your words.

May 16, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

BBD,

I read this on your blog. [...]

I thought you might have, (but I wasn't sure ... and others might not have!) As for the Guardian's "sinister" last para ... I'm inclined to be more charitable and suggest that the writer was merely too lazy to get the actual facts!

Not to mention that the IPCC's own "sleight of phrase", so to speak, could certainly be misleading without a careful reading.

I've been digging around in their docs ... and the best that I can say is that the IPCC is far, far away from anything that even begins to approach "transparency" (unless they've secretly changed the definition of the word) ;-)

And (O/T but related to that same post...)

They don't yet seem to be quite up to speed in the "rapid response" vis a vis "communications" department. My enquiry to the 2 media contacts re "flagging" non-peer-reviewed literature did actually get a response from one, to the effect that he had "sought advice on [my] question" and hoped to have an answer today. However, a subsequent msg from him indicates that he's "asked for our experts to get a reply back within next 48 hours".

"Experts"??! Surely, anyone in attendance at the session should be able to confirm whether or not a specific provision in a Task Group's recommendations was accepted or not!

Amazing, eh?!

Hilary

May 16, 2011 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

"the synopsis of the report .. had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries"

Were there no dissenters or sceptics whose comments were minuted or noted? It seems hard to believe...

May 16, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Hilary

I take your point:

As for the Guardian's "sinister" last para ... I'm inclined to be more charitable and suggest that the writer was merely too lazy to get the actual facts!

But the influence of the SPM on, well, policy makers is pretty much unaffected by procedural irregularities in its production. Hasn't this been a problem before? ;-)

May 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>