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Thursday
Jun162011

Plus Lynas 

Mark Lynas's willingness to criticise the IPCC seems to have created a great deal of interest. The comments on his blog post are pretty interesting, with Bob Ward on hand to apply the thumbscrews to the waverer and Lynas indicating an interest in reading the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Meanwhile the story has been picked up many others, including the Independent here, and also by Judith Curry, who warns Lynas about what he is getting himself into.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun162011

HSI review at Zone 5

Another review of HSI, this time from an Irish blog called Zone 5.

Montford’s book is essential reading for anyone who interested in a fairer and more objective analysis of this issue, and who can see through the hubris of claiming consensus in such a new scientific discipline and such a politically charged area.

Wednesday
Jun152011

Lynas on the IPCC

Mark Lynas has posted an article on the IPCC/Greenpeace shambles:

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder.

 

Wednesday
Jun152011

New consensus: IPCC is dumb

Lots of interest on Twitter re the Greenpeace's involvement in the IPCC renewables report. Both sides appear united in their disbelief that the IPCC could be so foolish after everything that has gone before:

Mark Lynas

Having read the post, I think McIntyre is onto something. Kudos to him for spotting this.

Leo Hickman

Looks like IPCC hvnt learnt lessons

Mark lynas

Might have known concl was dictated by Greenpeace Germany!

Leo Hickman

My sentiments echo McIntyre: 'hoped against hope'. V dumb of IPCC to let this happen after evrythng

Wednesday
Jun152011

Climate cuttings 54

There's some really interesting stuff around the blogs at the moment, which I don't have time to write up in full, so here's a collection of links.

Judith Curry's article on overconfidence in the IPCC's detection and attribution studies is a must-read.

Meanwhile Steve McIntyre takes a break from tree rings to look at the IPCC's recent report on renewables. The headline figure seems to be an extreme scenario and one, moreover, that has been snitched straight from a report by Greenpeace. Author conflict of interest raises its ugly head again.

But the story that is getting all the attention at the moment is the news that we are about to go into a period of solar quiescence accompanied by global cooling. Anthony Watts has the story, as does El Reg and there is lots of MSM coverage for those that are interested.

Wednesday
Jun152011

Taking potshots at Plimer

An article in EOS by Terry Gerlach of the US Geological Survey takes aim at Ian Plimer's arguments about the contributions of volcanos to the carbon budget.

Which emits more carbon dioxide (CO2): Earth’s volcanoes or human activities? Research findings indicate unequivocally that the answer to this frequently asked question is human activities. However, most people, including some Earth scientists working in fields outside volcanology, are surprised by this answer. The  climate change debate has revived and reinforced the belief, widespread among climate skeptics, that volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activities [Gerlach, 2010; Plimer, 2009]. In fact, present-day volcanoes emit relatively modest amounts of CO2, about as much annually as states like Florida, Michigan, and Ohio.

 

Tuesday
Jun142011

New Scientist on significance

An article in New Scientist picks up on the vexed question of Phil JOnes' recent prognostications of significance in the temperature records. The author, Andy Coghlan links to the story here:

Jones told New Scientist that in the short time since his latest statement on the data's "significance" had been aired in the media, some sceptics had already challenged it in blogs.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun142011

Onset of the LIA

This looks interesting: a new paper from D’Andrea et al describes some climate fluctuations in Greenland at the end of the Medieval Warm Period and the beginning of the Little Ice Age.

Greenland's early Viking settlers were subjected to rapidly changing climate. Temperatures plunged several degrees in a span of decades, according to research from Brown University. A reconstruction of 5,600 years of climate history from lakes near the Norse settlement in western Greenland also shows how climate affected the Dorset and Saqqaq cultures.

H/T Messenger

Tuesday
Jun142011

How time flies

Sunday:

[Scottish Finance Secretary John ]Swinney said: “I am deeply concerned at the scale of Scottish Power’s price increases. Any fuel price rises have an impact, yet these increases will leave many households, in particular vulnerable consumers, in real, real difficulty.”

Swinney’s criticisms echo remarks by First Minister Alex Salmond, who hit out at “thumping fuel bills that will affect huge numbers of people throughout society”.

Monday:

Speaking at the opening of the new wind farms, Mr Salmond said: "The opening of the Arecleoch and Mark Hill wind farms here in South Ayrshire is a significant milestone for Scottish Power Renewables.

"It also underlines both the rapid progress Scotland has made in clean energy generation and our industry's leading role in the wider development of a genuinely low carbon economy across Europe."

Tuesday
Jun142011

A review

I thought I'd posted a link to a Heartland Institute review of HSI before but, try as I might, I can't find it, so perhaps this is genuinely new - a review by Jay Lehr. Dr Lehr has a background in hydrology, and it's always nice to get a scientist's take on the book.

Mesmerizing Insight into the Infamous Hockey Stick Scandal

Cutting-edge science, mystery, and whodunit intrigue rarely merge in a single book. Rarer still do they merge in nonfiction. In A. W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, readers get an intriguing, highly informative dose of all three.

While walking readers through a tale of real-life mystery, complete with unexpected heroes and villains, The Hockey Stick Illusion presents superb chronological detail, explicit explanations of statistics, and a clear discussion of the science at the heart of one of science’s most troubling scandals.

 

Monday
Jun132011

Why is Beddington against thorium

GWPF have an interesting article about a promising new nuclear power technology - thorium reactors. Perhaps most intriguing is Sir John Beddington's opposition to their development:

...although the Coalition Government continues to pour subsidies worth many millions of pounds into wind power, which, as Live revealed earlier this year, produces at best intermittent energy with potential environmental costs, it has so far decided to do nothing about thorium except to maintain a ‘watching brief’. 

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun132011

Once more in the breach

I have been told that another fix for the commenting problems is now in place. Please let me know if you have any difficulties. If you do please provide details (browser, OS, message, symptoms).

Monday
Jun132011

Climate video nasty

These videos of a conference run by the Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences popped up on one of my Google alerts. There's a lot to see but it's all interesting stuff.

First up is a presentation by Tim Palmer, an Oxford climate modeller, who is particularly interesting on the large biases in climate models and the "misleading" way these are dealt with in "some reports".

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun132011

Climate change removed from curriculum

Apparently climate change is to be removed from the UK's national curriculum, with it being left up to schools as to whether they teach anything about it or not.

Tim Oates, whose wide-ranging review of the curriculum for five- to 16-year-olds will be published later this year, said it should be up to schools to decide whether – and how – to teach climate change, and other topics about the effect scientific processes have on our lives.

In an interview with the Guardian, Oates called for the national curriculum "to get back to the science in science". "We have believed that we need to keep the national curriculum up to date with topical issues, but oxidation and gravity don't date," he said. "We are not taking it back 100 years; we are taking it back to the core stuff. The curriculum has become narrowly instrumentalist."

This is undoubtedly correct, although those who see schools as an opportunity to indoctrinate children with their own views are undoubtedly going to squeal a great deal. Mind you, as someone who finds the whole idea of a national curriculum rather Orwellian, I can't get too excited about the news.

Sunday
Jun122011

Will Black react?

This is all getting rather interesting. Some very numerate people have been looking at Phil Jones' claim about statistical significance in the temperature records and the consensus seems to be that Jones has got it wrong.

First out of the blocks was Doug Keenan, who noted in the comments here that using the methodology described in Jones' IPCC chapter and data to the end of 2010, the confidence interval for the temperature trend still covered zero.

Click to read more ...