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« Scaring the proles | Main | Me and Richard B in the Guardian »
Friday
Mar302012

Reactions to Leo

A couple of Richard Betts' Twitter exchanges in response to Leo Hickman's article on climatologists talking to sceptics are interesting. Firstly this one with paleoclimatologist Kevin Anchukaitis, who tweets as ThirstyGecko.

Anchukaitis: Hopefully the Met Office had actual paleoclimatologists on hand for their 'conversation' with these folks?

Betts: Yes, Martin Juckes and Tamsin Edwards. Jonty Rougier also joined us.

Anchukaitis: I was thinking more along the lines of the people that develop the actual data

Betts: Apart from the obvious question of distance, would you have come?

Anchukaitis: Sure, not for the skeptics, but rather the statisticians ;) That is, always better to have both sides of the field there

Betts: Martin did a pretty good job!

Anchukaitis: I'm certain he did! My point is, always good to have the people that developed the data in the room too.

And then this one with Gareth Jones, who I think may be Met Office.

Jones: We had 2 interesting speakers this week @ed_hawkins and Alan Robock. Nice to hear scientists and not chartered accountants views on science.

Betts: Sure, but you could have explained to the chartered accountant why you disagreed - I think he rarely gets this!

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Reader Comments (131)

@don pablo

'the Bishop -- who appears to have no "scientific" training -'

If his Chemistry degree was anything like mine, it gave an excellent introduction to matters scientific. Chemistry is an intensely practical subject, and, though there are plenty of areas for theoretical work, it is at heart all about designing and conducting experiments, making observations, analysing results, drawing conclusions and all that follows from those fundamental scientific disciplines.

I submit that Andrew has had one of the best scientfic trainings it is possible to get.

Mar 31, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Latimer, I noted in my school days that a fair proportion of the exceptional science students, in my time at least, chose Chemistry for university. Not being one of their number I put it down to the fact that to a man (alas they were all men, or boys if you wish) they could recite the periodic table in it's entirety and wanted to enter a discipline that would keep them abreast of new elements entering the table in case they fell behind.

Mar 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

" It doesn't sound like he's even heard of THSI, let alone read it."

I'm a bit surprised at the puerile arrogance Dr. Jones shows , but I'm getting used to it. In their attempt to black out opposition the alarmists have had no contact, hence it's clear to me that when Dr. Slingo organised her petition in support of the CRU, without mentioning them, she clearly believed sceptics believed it hasn't been warming. Similarly with Dr. Pope's content free article in the Guardian, there was a clear belief that sceptics were denying warming. While there own empirical evidence of AGW is that it's warming!

To be held in contempt by the likes of Gareth Jones, particularly on scientific matters, is probably the highest accolade one could hope for.

Mar 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Richard Betts

As I have said before I appreciate the fact that you post here and that you are prepared to join in the debate. Even though our views are poles apart you do at least acknowledge that there is a debate to be had. This sits in stark contrast to many within the climate camp. It appears your colleague Gareth Jones falls within this category. It also seems he has a dim view of non-scientists (or is it just accountants) having a say on climate.

I am not a scientist. I got a first in modern languages and then was a lawyer for almost 30 years. But whilst I was wedded to the law I had a mistress, a beautiful and seductive mistress called ‘science’. I read widely with particular interest in earth history and evolution. I accepted AGW without questioning before I had the time and inclination to investigate further.

I found that my 3 fields of interest all helped in forming a view on the evidence that was presented for AGW. As a linguist and a lawyer you learn to look at the words you read and to interpret them carefully. What I found was spin of the worst kind. As a lawyer I am used to letting the evidence speak for itself. But where is the evidence? The radiative physics is beautiful. It is elegant, but it does not of itself support any level of alarmism. I discount completely any evidence from computer modelling for the very good reason that it is not believable. I read AR4 cover to cover. I could not believe the conclusions presented to policy makers were based on the science within the reports. This was a clear attempt to deceive. Further enquiry demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the IPCC is a political body.

This is a scandal of global proportions. When I wrote to my MP questioning climate change his response was that he was happy to rely on the ‘1500 scientists’ who compiled AR4. That this man has any influence on policy in this country is a travesty.

Now it may well be that there are real scientists doing good work within the climate community but if there are they have little or no voice. The only voices we hear are from alarmist activists and one of the worst offenders is the Met Office. If you are not able to separate the science from the rhetoric, the game is lost. Scepticism is on a rising tide, and rightly so. The fact that your colleague Gareth Jones does not appear to be prepared to mix it with the great unwashed is a big part of the problem. We sceptics see the fear of climate scientists to enter into open debate as compelling evidence that your case is very weak. So as long as Gareth and people like him act as if the science is settled and there is nothing to debate they will rightly be subject to ridicule, the more so because apparently they do not see that their actions increase scepticism.

I believe passionately in science. I believe that the only real truths that can be discovered are the truths that science can illuminate. I believe that climate science activists have seriously abused my mistress and that makes me a very unhappy bunny.

As an aside, on the question of anonymity, let me paint a little scene for you. A and B live together. Lets say they are married. A has a career in a public arena where ‘belief’ in AGW is career-enhancing and where any sign of scepticism denialism or contrarianism would be career-ending. B is a sceptic denialist contrarian who wants to express his views in the only forum that is open to scum such as B. So B has to comment under a pseudonym. This is the world that agencies like the Met Office have created. I hope you are not proud of it.

Mar 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Richard Betts on the issue of deceit, I offer the following report. I have to say that with the passage of time I am no longer certain of where it came from, but it is a claim that I have seen repeated and never denied. It reads as follows:

“The scientists’ final draft of the 1995 IPCC report contained five clear statements to the effect that humankind’s influence on global temperature was not yet discernible. They are as follows –
“None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] change to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
“No study to date has positively identified all or part [of observed climate change] to anthropogenic causes.”
“While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”
“Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”
“When will the anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, ‘We do not know.’”
However, the IPCC bureaucracy did not find the scientists’ repeatedly-stated conclusion acceptable. Without reference back to all of the scientists who had collaborated in producing that final draft, the bureaucracy invited an accommodating scientist to excise these five conclusions, to make numerous other alterations, and to replace the deleted conclusions with the following:
“The body of ... evidence now points to a discernible influence on global climate.”
And that has been the official position of the UN’s climate panel ever since. On any view, the process by which the conclusions of the scientists who drafted the IPCC’s 1995 report were tampered with after the scientists had finalized it, and without reference back to all of the scientists, was not a scientific process.”

Richard do you know if this is in fact an accurate portrayal of what happened? If so, is this acceptable practice? Thank you in anticipation

Mar 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Latimer Alder

Thank you for bringing the Bishop's education to my attention. I was not aware of his, I presume, undergraduate training in science.

I still think that my thesis that it is the man and not the degree that is important is correct.

While there are several contributors to this blog with advanced degrees in the various "hard" sciences, I am still impressed by the clarity of thought many others without that benefit exhibit. And conversely, there are those with all the degrees and honors from prestigious societies who exhibit total incompetency.

Perhaps Gilbert and Sullivan had it right.

Mar 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM Roger Longstaff

Martin A,
A facinating and elegant study of atmospheric CO2 absorbtion - did you publish it, and if so, have you a reference? I can not imagine why it has not been done before.

Why thank you, Roger. It's not been published - when it gets to a state that can tolerate public viewing, I'll post it on the web and make an announcement on BH. Probably in a few weeks time.

It won't ever be published in a proper journal:

- I doubt, as I said, that what I am doing is actually original.

- Any proper scientific paper should refer properly to the literature. Without any university library facilities here in rural Normandy and with the literature inaccessible behind paywalls (and with other things taking priority anyway), I'm just not going to do the literature survey that proper publication would require.


The nice thing about carbon 14 is that its chemical properties are identical to nonradioactive fossil fuel carbon and the physical properties are very similar (eg molecular weight of 14C O2 relative to 12C O2 is 46/44 - less than 5% difference). Because of the similarity of physical properties, if we know what happens to 14C O2, we know (to within an accuracy of a few percent) what happens to fossil fuel CO2.

I believe the dynamics of the interactions between CO2 sinks (atmosphere, biosphere, oceans) can be assumed to be linear. (To me, it seems obvious, given the low concentrations of CO2, but there are climate scientists who believe they are highly nonlinear - as if saturation were being approached, with the sea were on its way to fizzing like Coca Cola.) Linearity is something that needs verifying - the fact that I believe it is not a confirmation.

If linearity can be assumed, then what happens to 14C O2 is unaffected by what is simultaneously going on, in the same system, with fossil fuel CO2. This means we can track the fate of 14C O2 (via measurements of radioactivity) and be confident that what we discover will tell us what is simultaneously happening to fossil fuel CO2.

There is lots of confusion about CO2 lifetimes amongst warmists eg http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm They clearly confuse the continual exchange between CO2 reservoirs in dynamic equilibrium with what happens to a newly injected dollop of CO2 (which needs to be analysed separately and independently of the ongoing equilbrium).

Like you, I would much rather rely on measurements, rather than models or extrapolation.
Yes, if you want to know about physical reality, there is no substitute for physical observation and measurement. As someone said, a model is just someone's hypothesis.


Trick stuff, this CO2.

Well, it's true that bottled beer would be very flat without it.

Mar 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Mar 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM Dolphinhead

I accepted AGW without questioning before I had the time and inclination to investigate further.

Me too.

Now I'm certain that it is the greatest deception/mass delusion in human history.

Mar 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

I believe the dynamics of the interactions between CO2 sinks (atmosphere, biosphere, oceans) can be assumed to be linear.

Not a safe assumption without adequate rate data. Almost all chemical and physical reactions I am familiar with are ogival in shape -- that is with a lower rate at the highest and lowest concentrations. However, one will often find a near linear segment in the center, which is why it is acceptable to use linear models with many statistical procedures and rate models. Given that CO2 concentrations are typically in the order of 400 parts per million, I would say that they are extremely low --- which in turn makes me wonder just how C02 concentrations can be blamed for anything.

Mar 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

James P,

The global NASA data are here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

However, this seems to be a different NASA (Hansen et al) from the one of the 1960s, that I worship from afar. Something about this data makes me feel uneasy, but I am not quite sure what.......

Martin A,

Great stuff - please take your time and then post / publish when you are ready. I am sure that you will get a good peer review here.

Mar 31, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Martin A

Prof Tom Segalstad from Univ of Oslo concludes that a whole series of estimations from multiple researchers interpret short CO2 atmospheric residence times ( +/- 5 years) and he is also fiercely sceptical even on the assumption of 100% anthropogenic attribution to the presently rising CO2 concentrations, and the quantitative reliability of relic ice core CO2 measurements. A quote from one of his reviews follows:

The atmospheric residence time (i.e. lifetime; turnover time) of CO2 has been
quantified based on measurements of natural radiocarbon (carbon-14) levels in the
atmosphere and the ocean surface; the changes in those levels caused by
anthropogenic effects, like "bomb carbon-14" added to the atmosphere by nuclear
explosions; and the "Suess Effect" caused by the addition of old carbon-14-free CO2
from combustion of fossil fuels; and the application of gas exchange theory to rates
determined for the inert radioactive gas radon-222. The results from these
measurements are shown in Table 2, mainly based on the compilation by Sundquist
(1985), in addition to the solubility data of Murray (1992), and the carbon-13/carbon-12 mass-balance calculation of Segalstad (1992). Both of the last two recent methods happened to give a lifetime of 5.4 years based on completely different methods.

Authors [publication year] Residence time (years)
Based on natural carbon-14
Craig [1957] 7 +/- 3
Revelle & Suess [1957] 7
Arnold & Anderson [1957] 10
including living and dead biosphere
(Siegenthaler, 1989) 4-9
Craig [1958] 7 +/- 5
Bolin & Eriksson [1959] 5
Broecker [1963], recalc. by Broecker & Peng [1974] 8
Craig [1963] 5-15
Keeling [1973b] 7
Broecker [1974] 9.2
Oeschger et al. [1975] 6-9
Keeling [1979] 7.53
Peng et al. [1979] 7.6 (5.5-9.4)
Siegenthaler et al. [1980] 7.5
Lal & Suess [1983] 3-25
Siegenthaler [1983] 7.9-10.6
Kratz et al. [1983] 6.7
Based on Suess Effect
Ferguson [1958] 2 (1-8)
Bacastow & Keeling [1973] 6.3-7.0
Based on bomb carbon-14
Bien & Suess [1967] >10
Münnich & Roether [1967] 5.4
Nydal [1968] 5-10
Young & Fairhall [1968] 4-6
Rafter & O'Brian [1970] 12
Machta (1972) 2
Broecker et al. [1980a] 6.2-8.8
Stuiver [1980] 6.8
Quay & Stuiver [1980] 7.5
Delibrias [1980] 6.0
Druffel & Suess [1983] 12.5
Siegenthaler [1983] 6.99-7.54
Based on radon-222
Broecker & Peng [1974] 8
Peng et al. [1979] 7.8-13.2
Peng et al. [1983] 8.4
Based on solubility data
Murray (1992) 5.4
Based on carbon-13/carbon-12 mass balance
Segalstad (1992) 5.4

Table 2. Atmospheric residence time (i.e. lifetime, turnover time) of CO2, mainly based on the compilation by Sundquist (1985; for references in brackets).

http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ESEF3VO2.pdf

Mar 31, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Mar 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM Don Pablo de la Sierra

I believe the dynamics of the interactions between CO2 sinks (atmosphere, biosphere, oceans) can be assumed to be linear.

Not a safe assumption without adequate rate data. Almost all chemical and physical reactions I am familiar with are ogival in shape -- that is with a lower rate at the highest and lowest concentrations. However, one will often find a near linear segment in the center, which is why it is acceptable to use linear models with many statistical procedures and rate models. Given that CO2 concentrations are typically in the order of 400 parts per million, I would say that they are extremely low --- which in turn makes me wonder just how C02 concentrations can be blamed for anything.

I agree entirely. Nothing in reality is linear. Certainly no electronic circuit. Yet linear circuit theory gives results which enable such circuits to be designed and analysed routinely with errors that are negligible.

As I said, the assumption ( "approximation", if you wish) of linearity needs to be verified. As (I think) you imply, when you are dealing with proportions that are a few hundred parts per million it ought to be safe to assume linearity. The effect of the nonlinear terms in a series expansion about the operating point would normally be altogether negligible.

Mar 31, 2012 at 5:01 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

Another link to a C14 nuclear test decay time analysis with a graphical plot

http://blog.jim.com/global-warming/anthropogenic-co2.html

Mar 31, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Martin A

You clearly understand my point, which is nothing is linear, but usually is close enough for the assumption. And to be honest, given that trees grow happily, it is quite likely that our normal gas partial pressure of CO2 is high enough for your assumption, but to be safe one should check. That is why I encourage you to find some appropriate rate data to verify your assumptions.

In any case, I applaud your efforts. The CO2 "cycle" or whatever it is called is very complex and -- in my view at least -- not well understood. Keep it up.

Mar 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Oh, and Martin A -- in my dotage I have taken up the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics. Fascinating field. Reminds me of Climate Science. I am naturally referring to the various papers by Eliyahu Comay regarding the Klein-Gordon Equation, which is the basis of the Higgs equation, which is used to predict the Higgs particle, which must exist for there to "gravity" in the Standard Model. And without gravity, the Standard Model makes no sense. Sound familiar? In short, another house of cards.

All very complicated and the math is somewhat beyond my meager training, but a very fascinating story of egos, Nobel Prizes, power politics, suppressed papers, group-think, theories that make no sense and counter theories that may or may not make sense.

However, at least they are able to fire up the LHC and see if the damn thing exists. Only if it were so easy (and cheap at a mere € 10 billion for the LHC) to find out if we are actually going to melt ice caps and drown New York and London.

Mar 31, 2012 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

In a climate model, does the greenhouse effect arise from first principles?

As in, the model has a lot of greenhouse gas swirling in the atmosphere, and the model calculates the greenhouse effect, per mole of the gas, via equations?

Mar 31, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Mar 31, 2012 at 5:29 PM Pharos

Another link to a C14 nuclear test decay time analysis with a graphical plot

http://blog.jim.com/global-warming/anthropogenic-co2.html



Pharos, Many thanks for that - a new one to me that I'll enjoy reading carefully. It's true, as they say, if you plot the delta C14 readings from 1962 to as recent as you can get the data, you get virtually a perfect decaying exponential curve. Plotted on a log scale - it's as straight a line as you can imagine.

They say "The value they report, d14C, is not the absolute level of carbon 14 in parts per million, but the change, the difference between the observed level, and the historic level before nuclear tests raised it."

If I have understood what they are saying from a rapid read, I think the d14C measure - the standard formula used in C14 age measurement - is actually a bit more complicated than this. From memory (away from my stuff at the moment) it is calculated from the ratio of carbon 14 and carbon 12 in the sample obtained and the same ratio in a standardised specimen :

d14C = [ (14C/12C sample / 14C/12C standard) - 1 ] * 1000

So if the level of non-radioactive CO2 in the atmosphere has changed, so the 12C in the sample depends on the date, in addition to the 14C changes, this needs to be extracted so we are measuring only changes in the C14 level, rather than changes in the ratio of C14 to C12.

Mar 31, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

It might be worthwhile trying to contact Paul Dennis at UEA, who occasionally comments here, at least for some sage advice, and maybe references. His forte I think is isotope work. When he mothballed his new open workbook type blog he indicated that he was working on high resolution ice core isotope samples across a core section covering the 20th century. That blog is still up by the way, with the introductory outline of that project

http://harmonicoscillator.wordpress.com/

Mar 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Shub, I believe that the GCMs assume 'forcings', including the concentration of CO2 into the future.

This discussion (for example) with modelers shows what little thought the climate modelers put into testing:

http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2012/on-comparing-models-and-observations

As far as I can tell the best that can be claimed for the models is that they give some measure of variability around the assumed temperature rise (caused by the input 'forcings' and their variation with time (also input)).

As this is extremely well known to the modelers, one can well understand why testing a model is not something that they can realistically do.

Mar 31, 2012 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Martin A

I've read a couple of the papers others have pointed to, and they tend to treat the carbon cycle as CO2 to organic carbon or a dissolved bicarbonate cycle. Yet vast quantities of carbon are bound in inorganic carbonate. For example all the caulk, limestone and marble not to mention the vast quantities sequestered in sea shells and coral formations.

I have no idea what the quantity of such inorganic carbon sequestering may be, but judging from the White Cliffs of Dover, it is a lot.

And it is active. Large blooms of coccolithophores have been spotted by satellites literally leaving trails of lime in the sea. (I'll let you find them with Google as I am tried of the Bishop's captulas )

It would appear that a good deal of the bicarbonate in the sea is being actively and rapidly converted to carbonate by those pesky little fellows. You should include them in your calculations.

Apr 1, 2012 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Man that climate-lab-book site is seriously weird.

We have Betts:

...uncertainty in the earlier part of the projections is dominated by internal variability, not the model response (and not emissions either). Hence, just because the observations are in the lower quartile of the multi-model projections at the moment, this does not necessarily imply that most of the models are over-estimating climate sensitivity – the recent observed temperatures may well be within the range expected from internal variability as expressed by differences between the models, so the models and the observations are fairly consistent.

I'm struggling with this climate-babble but it reads to me like "even when the models are wrong they are right".

ZT tries to pin them down

Am I correct in thinking that this can be expressed:
‘the models do not match observation’
or would that violate a fundamental climatological tenet of some sort?

and the answer is more climate-babble from Ed:
This is a common misconception – we know there is considerable natural variability in the climate system which causes the observed trend to be larger and smaller than the projected trend at different times.

Apr 1, 2012 at 5:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Commenter Bruce asks how they know if the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else if there are no stations there and no data ?

Every-ready Ed replies

the melting ice is a bit of a hint, ...… The climate models also suggest that the Arctic will warm faster than anywhere else.

Then Andy Russell and James Annan agree that making up numbers for the North pole counts as interpolation and not extrapolation because you can draw a line between Hawaii and Bermuda going over the Pole.

Apr 1, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

"the melting ice is a bit of a hint"

So is the not-melting ice...

< href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2012/03/recovery-in-arctic-sea-ice-con.shtml">Link

Apr 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Oops..

Link

Should've logged in!

Apr 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Thanks to all for encouraging comments.

I find it interesting that the question of whether human produced CO2 actually poses any risk depends on its atmospheric residence time (defined appropriately). If its mean residence time is known, the ultimate atmospheric concentration for a given annual CO2 production can be calculated.

Yet the IPCC view on residence time comes from - so far as I understand it - the so-called Bern model which looks no more capable of being validated than other model used by climate scientists

Mar 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM Pharos

It might be worthwhile trying to contact Paul Dennis at UEA, who occasionally comments here, at least for some sage advice, and maybe references. His forte I think is isotope work.

Thank you for the suggestion. When I have something knocked into reasonable shape I may forward it to Paul Dennis and he can then comment on it or offer advice if he is so inclined.

Apr 1, 2012 at 1:50 AM Don Pablo de la Sierra

(...) It would appear that a good deal of the bicarbonate in the sea is being actively and rapidly converted to carbonate by those pesky little fellows. You should include them in your calculations.

Yes - the action of the CaCO3 generating creatures represent a permanent sink for CO2 and they need to be represented in any comprehensive carbon cycle model.

My own interest is not in building models of the complete carbon cycle but in just understanding empirically the manner of its disappearance from the atmosphere.

Assuming linearity applies, knowing the impulse response would permit the computation of:

- The mean atmospheric residence time of a dollop of injected CO2.

- The atmospheric CO2 level as a function of time, given the the rate of injection of CO2 as a function of time.

- The ultimate level of atmospheric CO2, for a constant injection of CO2 per year.

Apr 1, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Dolphinhead,

You may be surprised that the deleted comments you are quoting come from a former president of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society. You can ready the letter at http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/WSJ_June12.pdf .

Naturally his account is disputed by Dr. Santer but the disagreement is procedural. That is, he doesn't deny that the changes were made, only that they were in line with IPCC procedure (no surprise).

Apr 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Geoff

thanks for the link. It did not work but I found my way to the relevant papers. Interesting. As with all things climate related as murky as a November afternoon in Didcot. I did like the bit in the rebuttal from Ben Santer where he says 'Dr Seitz is not a climate scientist'. Since when did you have to be a climate scientist to recognise deception! I assume these bozos think that only true climate scientists are capable of this ever so subtle deception and therefore only a true climate scientist can recognise it. They make me chuckle. In any event, for the sake of posterity, the lovely Donna has catalogued the many failings of the IPCC.

Apr 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Geoff
We know the IPCC was set up to investigate anthropogenic global warming and to make recommendations to government about how to counteract it.
Being the sort of body it was (is) and the sort of people that were (are) involved, the anthropogenic aspect was a given and the catastrophic bit was an inevitable corollary because without catastrophe the world and all its governments would have yawned, turned over, and gone back to sleep. And that would never do.
So when the best and brightest of your scientists say they don't know the extent of the anthropogenic input to global warming and it's far too early to tell this is definitely not the way things were intended to go. So the only solution is to grab a tame scientist prepared to re-write the reports to suit your political agenda.
That is the inevitable "procedure" when you show a body like the UN a gravy train stretching years into the future, especially when with only a little stretching of the remit it can be used to further the UN's longstanding ambition to be a world government.
Of course this one act alone may well be the biggest example of the corruption of science in the 20th century but what the hell! It's all in a good cause.
Isn't it?

Apr 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Dolphinhead,

You might also be interested in the follow up letter by Dr. Seitz on July 11th in response to Dr. Santer. He commented:

"The facts of the case are quite simple. The deadline for reviewers' comments on Chapter 8 of the IPCC report was July 7, 1995, according to a letter from IPCC Chairman Bert Bolin. In November 1995, the final draft of Chapter 8 was accepted by a working group of government representatives in Madrid. That identical version was accepted by the full lPCC at the plenary session in Rome the following month. But the version of Chapter 8 that was published was not the version that was approved at the IPCC plenary in Rome.

All the major changes I pointed out in the published version -- for example, deletion of the important statement that we cannot yet attribute the observed warming to the greenhouse effect -- came to light only after the government representatives in Rome had accepted the supposedly final version and gone home. Dr. Santer says that "IPCC procedures require changes in response to comments," Of course they do, but not after the governments have accepted the final draft.

The fact is that someone connected with the presentation of the published version -- presumably Dr. Santer and others -- rewrote basic technical material in Chapter 8 with the result that scientific doubts about man-made global warming were suppressed. Clearly, governments will have to look elsewhere than the IPCC for sound science on climate change".

A contemporary Nature editorial (June 13), while defending the IPCC, did admit that the charges were "not entirely groundless". The editorial went on to say "IPCC officials claim that the sole reason for the revisions was to tidy up the text, and in particular to ensure that it conformed to a 'policymakers' summary' of the full report that was tortuously agreed by government delegates at the Madrid meeting". This naturally leads to the suspicion that the scientific report was changed to match the policy document, rather than the other way around as would ordinarily be expected.

Apr 1, 2012 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

By the way, Dr. Santer's reply to essentially the same criticisms can be found at Real Climate (http://www.realclimate.org/docs/Energy_Daily_Reply.pdf ). However I'm unable to find the original criticism (Dennis Wamsted, “Doctoring The Documents"). If anyone is aware of an on line copy I'd be interested to read it.

Apr 1, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Geoff
Somewhere I've read (and I'll need to do a bit of hunting tomorrow) in the IPCC's own documents relating to AR4 that the final scientific papers must not disagree with the Summary for Policymakers, the implication — nay, the statement in effect — being that once the NGOs have twisted the government arms into accepting their version of the science we will make damn sure that the actual science is tweaked to fit.
Obviously, from what you say, this approach was active as early as '95!

Apr 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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