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« Ben Pile on Nucc and the consensus | Main | Dana's vested interest »

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Dana Nuccitelli isn't giving up and has penned a response to Andrew Neil's comprehensive rebuttal. This one doesn't look any better than the last. I haven't time to look at everything in the article, but here are a couple of points that stood out.

On climate sensitivity and the lack of global warming

Nuccitelli opens up by saying that estimates of climate sensitivity are "slightly" lower than previously. This of course is grossly misleading. The IPCC's central estimate of effective climate sensitivity (ECS) in AR4 was over 3°C. The new estimates are all coming in below 2°C. By my reckoning that's a reduction of getting on for 50%, so hardly "slightly". The reduction in the shorter-term transient climate response (TCR) is smaller, but of course because of the low discount rates that environmentalists argue for, most of the social cost of carbon comes from the much (much!) longer term, so ECS will have more impact. In terms of whether we decarbonise, therefore, the recent results cause a significant change in the economics.

However, on the subject of decarbonisation, Dana says this:

[Should governments] pause or slow down their efforts to decarbonize the economy, as Neil asks? The authors of these studies (e.g. Myles Allen, Piers Forster, and Alexander Otto) all seem to agree, the answer is no.

This is interesting, because Allen, Forster and Otto might be said to be authors of one of the papers concerned (or in Forster's case, two of them), but they are hardly the authors of "these studies". Those authors would be Aldrin et al, Lewis, van Hateren et al, Masters, Ring and Schlesinger etc. What is more, if you follow the links given by Nuccitelli, you will not find Allen, Forster and Otto offering any opinion on whether we should decarbonise or not. They are quoted on saying when the 2°C target might be breached if climate sensitivity is indeed lower. This is scientific question and therefore one in which their opinions are valid. As to the wisdom or otherwise of having that target - a question of economics and politics - they are, quite properly, completely silent.

So you can see what Nuccitelli has done - he has first pretended that the results are about TCR instead of ECS and has then pretended that a series of scientists has offered an opinion on the policy results.

He summarises thus:

...if these studies are right, it might take us an extra decade or so to reach global warming levels considered unacceptably dangerous.

This isn't true either. As others have noted the idea that at temperatures above 2°C we will meet catastrophe is of dubious scientific provenance. In reality the target has more to do with maintaining political momentum.

On the Cook et al. consensus paper

Neil had quoted Roy Spencer's observation that the consensus is so shallow as to be meaningless - Spencer agrees with the two propositions of the consensus statements: (a) that mankind affects the climate and (b) that the climate changes. I do too. Nuccitelli then performs a magnificent sleight of hand by diverting the discussion onto the precise way in which Spencer's papers were classified in the Cook et al paper. This is of course quite irrelevant to the question of whether he agrees with the two propositions.

Perhaps more interestingly, Nuccitelli claims that he and Cook have released all their data:

Since we made all of our data available to the public, you can see our ratings of Spencer's abstracts here.

This is strange because Richard Tol has been tweeting repeatedly that he is unable to get all of the Cook et al data. No doubt the truth will out.


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Reader Comments (21)

Anthony Watts has uncovered some interesting backgroung information about Mr Nuccitelli. He apparently works as his full time job for a company called Tetra Tech, a company which supports oil and gas exploration and production. I suppose that is well enough paid so that he can afford to pay his energy bills which others struggle with due to the policies he advocates. Here is the WUWT link-

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterD.M.

Has any scientist in any media (including blogs) said anything about the Neil/Davey interview?

What can be said of all the journalists and assorted experts that keep populating the Guardian's web site, when the "answers" to Neil are given to a low-calibre like Nutticelli?

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:34 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Speaking of which, there are interesting parallels to be done with Mooney, Romm and Oreskes. What makes climate alarmism so special that mostly if not only clowns get to the top?

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

The cartoonist lapdog is still yapping his little head off , annoying yes , meaningful no
The reality is that his totalyl used to have to defend his BS outside of the little bubble of unquestioning supporters of AGW so has to resort to smear and BS when can't , has on CIF , fully load the dice in his favour.

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Cook and co have released 15% of all data requested.

Abstracts were rated up to 4 times, but only the reconciled ratings (a mix of the first thee ratings) were released.

Rater IDs and rating times have not been released. These are crucial for detecting systematic biases in the data. The state-of-the-art in survey research is to record (and release) key strokes, as they reveal information on the thought process (or lack thereof) of the rater. I doubt Cook recorded these.

Paper ratings have been released bar 6.

The survey protocol has not been released. I suspect the 4th abstract rating was an ad hoc addition. Cook's headline conclusion hinges on the 4th rating.

I put in data requests with Cook (5x), Environmental Research Letters (2x), the Institute of Physics (1x plus 1x by proxy), the Global Change Institute (1x), and the University of Queensland (1x).

Jul 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

Richard - how long before one would be forced to surmise fraud?

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

No doubt the truth will out.
No doubt. Just don't expect it to come from Nuccitelli. Or Cook for that matter.

Incidentally, while we are all making hay with Anthony Watts' revelations about Nuccitelli being in the pay of big oil nobody seems to have noticed that that particular piece of news was broken on here by Foxgoose on Saturday afternoon on the "Warmist's MO" thread.
Credit where it's due, I say!

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I wonder how long my comment stays on the Graun's site?

I tried to stop reading at this point...
"...The ocean measurements quite clearly show that global warming continues at a rapid rate, equivalent to 4 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations per second..."
But was unable to drag myself away from the rest of this unscientific verbiage.

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveW

Dana is a slight prevaricator

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterDEEBEE

Dana "Big Oil" Nuccitelli will always respond to Andrew Neil because eventually Andrew Neil will not reply (as he will see it as a waste of his time). Dana "Big Gas" Nuccitelli will then say that Neil doesn't have an answer to what he says and claim "victory".

Jul 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Incidentally, while we are all making hay with Anthony Watts' revelations about Nuccitelli being in the pay of big oil nobody seems to have noticed that that particular piece of news was broken on here by Foxgoose on Saturday afternoon on the "Warmist's MO" thread.
Credit where it's due, I say!
Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM Mike Jackson

Well - thank you Mike.

Modesty prevented me from pointing that out myself ;-)

Jul 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Regarding Nuccitelli’s claim about Myles Allen and decarbonisation, in the recent Lindzen Oxford Union debate broadcast by Al Jazeera, Myles Allen agreed that our unilateral energy policies were futile symbolic gestures.

Jul 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

Nuccitelli just remind me of the little schoolboy in short trousers who says something to the bigger boys and then runs away. By continuing his nonsense he is simply making a bigger fool of himself and by association the Guardian.

He would be better concentrating on earning his living from his BIG GAS employer.

Jul 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

I was another that had noticed Foxgoose. Great spot.

Jul 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

If someone asked him for a date would he have time left over in his 'life'? After work, SS, the 97%(Guardian blog) and his scurrying around slapping anyone who believes differently to him?

If someone asked him for a (non-dendro) date?

Jul 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

Reading Dana's comments, I was rather reminded of what Bernard Levin wrote about Martin Luther, in his journey down the Rhine. Substitute global warming for God and see if you agree - not just Nuccitelli but other global warming evangelists: "Luther is rightly regarded as the force behind it [the reformation], or rather in it. His single-mindedness of purpose, his terrible conviction that mankind was in danger of eternal damnation because of the errors of the Church, his consuming zeal to get closer to God and lead others there too - this was the stuff that Martin Luther was made of, sensible man would want to spend ten minutes in his company unless there were stout bars to keep the holy madman off..."

Jul 23, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

The problem is that when Davey correctly pointed out that surface temperatures are only one small piece of overall global warming (about 2 percent), and melting ice and warming oceans must also be considered (over 90 percent of the overall heating of the planet), Neil remained focused exclusively on surface temperatures.

Doubly confused here.

a) How exactly has he arrived at this 2% figure?
b) LT temps are still, whatever they may or may not be telling us, the main metric by which GW is quantified. Nuccitelli would seem to be playing that game we have become all too familiar with when dealing with the Zealots, if the game isn't going your way then simply move the goal posts.

I reserve the future right, should LT temps resume their 'projected' course, to point out that they are only 2% of the big picture and can safely be ignored.

Oh! What a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive! ...

* Afterthought - 100% - 2% = dangerously close to 97% (am I seeing a pattern here Dana?)

Jul 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM | Registered Commenterbh3x2

"melting ice and warming oceans"

Can they both happen at once? When I put ice in my drink...

Jul 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

You're welcome. The usual brown envelope will do!

I'm not sure what Nuccitelli is getting at either. One possibility (and I cannot believe that even he is so ignorant as not to realise his error) is that one of the warmist put downs to anyone who quotes USA figures is to remind them that the US is only 2% of the world.
He can't mean that. Can he?
As for the rest, melting ice is hardly a cause of warming and given the amount of latent heat required to melt the ice I would have thought that at least the short-term effect would be to delay warming if only very temporarily.

Jul 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Re. Mike Fowle, Jul 23, 2013 at 4:39 PM, Martin Luther, by all accounts, was pretty good company, with a great sense of humour. I doubt whether anyone will be reporting the same of Nuccitelli (doesn't that translate as "tiny nuts"?), Mann, or Jones, in five hundred years' time.

Jul 23, 2013 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Mike Jackson
[...] anyone who quotes USA figures is to remind them that the US is only 2% of the world.
He can't mean that. Can he?[...]

Well that was the only 2% figure that I had ever seen used. My point was that this is just how they work.

This month Greenland is melting and that is a global disaster, next month Greenland (re-freeze) is only a tiny portion of the world and can be safely ignored. It would be nice if they ever stuck with just one theory.

So now Nuccitelli claims that LT temps are but 2% of the 'bigger picture'. Fine. Now my question is - should LT temps resume their theoretical (CO2 driven) course - will they suddenly become 100% of GW?

Jul 23, 2013 at 7:06 PM | Registered Commenterbh3x2

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