Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yet more AGW consensus... not.

Via The Englishman, I came across this rather lovely article from The Daily Tech.
The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method."
According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Although the APS has pointed out that "its Physics and Society Forum is merely one unit within the APS, and its views do not reflect those of the Society at large", we are now starting to see the unravelling of the consensus (if indeed, it ever really existed).

On one of my recent posts, DAVID CAMERON'S FOREHEAD left the following comment...
You are fucking desperate. I love watching you get more & more so.

This is, actually, rather inaccurate. I haven't had time of late to publish or highlight everything that I would like to, but the catastrophic AGW myth is one of the areas in which I do see a ray of light; more and more people—more and more scientists—are publically questioning the orthodoxy and I find this very heartening—especially as more and more evidence about the dodginess of IPCC modelling, proxy temperature models and important omissions start to come to light (the two moves are, I would imagine, inextricably linked).

The slightly bizarre charges that have been levelled at myself and other sceptics have been pretty harsh. Many have accused me of clinging desperately to my religion of... well... right-wingery and not giving a shit if the planet burns. But that isn't the case: if I genuinely thought, looking at the evidence that I have, that the catastrophic AGW was occurring and that it was down to our CO2 emissions, I would have been clamouring for the feckless politicians to do something too (although my solutions would be rather different to those of the Green loons; my solutions would still be those emcompassed by the IPCC though, in the form of the SRES A1 models).

But, as it is, I do not believe that we are causing, or indeed heading towards, catastrophic warming. It is not my free-market beliefs that lead me to conclude that, but my examination of the evidence. And it is not only the evidence that the IPCC present, but also of the data that underpins the IPCC's conclusions. And much of that data is fatally flawed.

The only worry, of course, is that the glacial pace of politics will ensure that we are all considerably poorer before the tide turns. It took that lunatic, James Hansen, about 20 years to convince the politicians of his half-baked theories: it will take another twenty or thirty years to swing them back the other way—especially as we will be fighting against the politicos' pride, reluctance to admit their error and their desire to control their populations—by which time we could all be a bit fucked.

Fucked not by global warming, but by our pig-ignorant politicos.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant post DK.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"that have been levelled at myself"?
"that have been levelled at me", surely.

Apart from that, totally agreed.

TheFatBigot said...

The debate on Lord Monckton's paper over at Watts Up has been most enlightening with quite a number of raffia munchers popping in to take pity on the blasphemers.

What is most interesting (as shown everywhere they appear in the bloggosphere) is that they take every word coming from the IPCC and St Al of Gore as the absolute truth. Any criticism is met with "but the IPCC established that ..." with a page or chapter reference. Their unwillingness to address the substance of criticisms is really rather scary.

On rare occasions they give links to other papers which they claim are supportive of the IPCC. Inevitably some are papers the IPCC considered and relied upon, but some are new. It is extraordinary how many of them take the IPCC's (massaged, as I see it) data as their source material and simply apply a different analysis to that material in order to reach conclusions broadly in line with the IPCC's conclusions.

To my mind the importance of the APS publication is that it acknowledges there is a debate to be had and appears willing to engage in that debate. Interesting times ahead.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"It is extraordinary how many of them take the IPCC's (massaged, as I see it) data as their source material and simply apply a different analysis to that material in order to reach conclusions broadly in line with the IPCC's conclusions."

But this is how scientific research tends to work, you see.

Let us say that you have a new climate model that you want to test, and you need to input a temperature range for the last three hundred years.

You don't go and take your own measurements from new proxies; no, you rely on the measurements that people have already done (ice cores, bristle pines, etc.). Thus, you can test your model quite easily without the time and expense and expertise necessary to actually do the fieldwork.

If that original data is flawed however, then so is your model going to be. And one of the most used papers, Dr Keith Briffa's study of bristle pine proxies, is flawed.

How do we know this? Well, first Dr Briffa himself has admitted that they may be inexact proxies.

Second, the guys at Climate Audit went and actually did the fieldwork and compared the proxies to known conditions. Surprise, surprise, they found that the bristle cones, for reasons too numerous to go into here (though I will at some point) simply were not reliable.

This is what I mean by studying the data underlying the IPCC's conclusions: if the data that the conclusions are drawn from are faulty, it is highly likely that the conclusions will be too.

Equally, if you plug faulty data into a computer climate model, the end result will be faulty.

The IPCC's research (and much climate research) is full of these problems. But the media just don't understand and aren't willing to dig.


TheFatBigot said...

I understand that fully, Mr Kitchen.

The point I was endeavouring to make is that in answer to a challenge about the input data we find the raffia munchers referring to other papers using the same data.

I liken all computer modelling thingies to sausage machines.

If you feed in sheep meat you will not get pork sausages, if it is set-up to produce thick sausages you will not get chipolatas.

Therefore, if someone asks "does this machine make pork chipolatas" the accurate answer is "only if you feed in pig meat and set it to produce a thin sausage rather than a thick one".

In the context of the great AGW debate we find people saying "what this machine produced is not a pork chipolata" and the raffia munchers answer by saying "I put in the same meat at the IPCC and my sausage machine was set-up identically to the IPCC's machine, the IPCC says the result is a pork chipolata and I can verify that because what I produced is the same as what the IPCC produced."

There seems to be a fundamental inability to address the basis of the criticism thrown at the IPCC because the alarmists cannot accept even the remotest possibility that the IPCC was wrong (one might add, in anything it said at any time).

In their own blogs (at least the very few I have visited for just long enough to make my blood pressure explosive) the raffia munchers dismiss all criticisms in the same way. They say "but that is wrong because IPCC report X at page Y says ..." For them the IPCC is everything on every relevant issue; "the debate is over" is not a piece of slick oratory it is a command from their god's representative on earth.

Closed minds are scary things.

Anonymous said...

I live in hope that eventually, common sense will prevail.

Although in this day an age people tend to rely on being told what to think rather than thinking for themselves.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Ah, yes, I see what you are getting at. You mean, a bit like the Mann Hockey-Stick graph model which only had chipolata setting...


TheFatBigot said...

Just so Mr Kitchen, just so.

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