Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rob Maris suggests a new poll on Klimaazwiebel

Often it is claimed that warmists are those sort of people who are associated with progressive political parties (examples: US/democrats, DE/SPD, UK/Labour) while skeptics be associated with conservative parties or communities. Often, warmist's argumentations as well as skeptics' argumentations do contain such claims (mostly in a depreciative manner) as to underpin the argumentation. Having stated this, one could also postulate that climatic related articles, essays and books can be treated as more serious contributions to the debate when the author represents a political viewpoint that contradicts the usual assumption. Recent example: Claude Allègre's latest book ’L’imposture climatique’ (the climatic swindle). Claude Allègre is a former French minister with socialist/progressive political association. Indeed, a Dutch newspaper columnist treats his book as a valuable contribution, just because of this reason.

Richard Tol on Working Group 3 of IPCC

Guest posting by Richard Tol

The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of Working Group II (WG2) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been discussed extensively in recent months. A number of errors were discovered. Few documents are without fault. What is surprising, however, is that the IPCC has denied obvious mistakes; and that the errors all point towards alarmism about the impacts of climate change.

The WG3 report did not attract the same scrutiny. This could create the impression that WG3 wrote a sound report. That impression would be false. Just as WG2 appears to have systematically overstated the negative impacts of climate change, WG3 appears to have systematically understated the negative impacts of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Answers to Al Gore

 'We can't wish away climate change': an op-ed by Al Gore in the Sunday New York Times. This is definitively a political op-ed based on the authority of (climate) science and the weight of a Nobel Prize:
As usual, Al Gore argues morally: we all will be guilty in case we don't act now. This is not about small arguments, but about the big stuff. We need clarity. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for warmists, doubters and others to comment upon a) the scientific basis and b) the political agenda of Al Gore's text. The answers should be free of irony, scorn or insider talk. Whatever you think about Al Gore: this is a clear statement that deserves a clear answer. As a concerned citizen and as an anthropologist, I would appreciate your short statements very much!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

UNEP - independent review of IPCC

Several newspaper report about a new UNEP initiative to investigate the IPCC management of errors and, possibly also, complaints of conflicts of interests - see reports in Guardian, Telegraph, and Spiegel on-line.

Hans von Storch: Der UNO-Klimarat IPCC – unverzichtbar, aber nicht unfehlbar.

Der IPCC leistet einen wesentlichen Service für die Klimapolitik; er ist unverzichtbar, ist aber aufgrund mangelhaften Managements und unzureichender Kommunikation in eine Glaubwürdigkeitskrise gerutscht. Der Versuch des Aussitzens wird den IPCC irrelevant werden lassen, aber ein offener Umgang mit den derzeitigen Vorbehalten und Wahrnehmungen wird helfen, die Krise zu überwinden.

Am 28. Januar hatte ich diesen Text dpa zugestellt, die daraus eine Meldung machten, die dann auch in vielen Zin Deutschland aufgenommen wurde (Googlen nach "Ohne Reform wird Weltklimarat irrelevant."). Ich hatte seinerzeit vergessen, die Nachricht auch hier in der Klimazwiebel anzubieten, was ich jetzt nachhole.

Institute of Physics raises questions for Inquiry

The Institute of Physics has a memorandum on the UK Parliament website for the forthcoming inquiry. Below are some excerpts. Read the whole text here

Mann angry at WSJ article

The Wall Street Journal has an article on the crisis of the IPCC. They cover several things, among which the paleo-reconstructions AKA hockey stick:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Statement by ICSU on the controversy around the 4th IPCC Assessment

This statement is endorsed by the Officers of the International Council for Science (ICSU, February, 2010). ICSU is a non-governmental organization representing a global membership that includes both national scientific bodies (119 members) and international scientific unions (30 members). The statement does not necessarily represent the views of all individual Members. See

A Barrow Load: Politics- politics; Mitigation -Adaptation; and Post Normal Science

Lennart Bengtsson tells us that climate change is a political problem

‘While most aspects on the science of climate and climate change are not controversial, at least among the majority of active scientists in the field, the issue is becoming increasingly emotive in the public debate and gradually so in the political community. The main reason to this are the potential consequences for the world economy and the society at large of major reductions in the use of fossil fuels as this is seen as the main culprit behind an anticipated climate warming. [...] These political and economical aspects have led to a polarization of the political debate that indirectly has affected the science of climate change.’

There is some clarification necessary here.

Lennart Bengtsson: Climate change as a political problem

Lennart Bengtsson has prepared this statement for a discussion in the Swedish Riksdag.

That the Earth's energy balance is slowly changing due to increasing greenhouse gases and anthropogenic aerosols is not questioned by the scientific community. This is physically well understood and based on fundamental physical principles known since at least the middle of the 19th century.

What is not as well understood is to what degree this is changing the climate of the Earth and how fast this will happen. Furthermore, any change in climate might have a very long perspective and might be virtually irreversible at least on time scales from several hundred years and longer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Post Normal Circus

Climate Science: An Empirical Example of Post Normal Science (Bray and von Storch: 1999) addressed ‘the views regarding the certainty and uncertainty of climate science knowledge held by contemporary climate scientists. More precisely, it [addressed] the extension of this knowledge into the social and political realms as per the definition of post-normal science [Funtowicz and Ravetz (1992)]. ... [The] ... incompatibility between the state of knowledge and the calls for action suggest[ed] that, to some degree at least, scientific advice is a product of both scientific knowledge and normative judgment, suggesting a socio-scientific construction of the climate change issue.’

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guardian still in denial

David Adam, the Guardian's environment correspondent, has a comment in today's edition. He writes:
The release of private emails between climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that show malpractice and conspiracy have had their effect. Public acceptance of the reality of global warming has dipped, politicians are retreating and changes to how science is done and scientists behave are required.
I do not accept this. I believe this seductively simple narrative is based on ignorance, scientific illiteracy and hypocrisy. Worse, it is dangerous and will erode the very public confidence it seeks to restore.

Adaptation - reconsidered

Obviously, everybody agrees on adaptation. Already in 2001, Sarewitz and Pielke jr. suggested that focusing on vulnerability helps to 'Breaking the global warming gridlock' in climate debate; the same seems to be true for this climate blog, almost ten years later. Warmists, deniers, moderates, skeptics, neutrals - all good people seem to agree that it is necessary to adapt. Adaptation as common ground. I do agree, too. This is a good reason to have a closer look at the concept of adaptation. What exactly are we talking about?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hans von Storch: Adaptation and Mitigation

This is chapter 6 (without footnotes) of my article On Adaptation – a Secondary Concern? published in 2009 in The European Physical Journal - Special Topics, 176: 13-20 DOI 10.1140/epjst/e2009-01145-0. The manuscript was originally presented at the W.E. Heraeus Seminar: A Physics Perspective on Energy Supply and Climate Change - Prediction, Mitigation and Adaptation, 26-29 May 2008, in the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef.

Poll: closed and opened

New statistics on-line until 7 March: warmist/skeptic?
The "professional background" statistics has been closed after a total of only 71 votes

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fernsehinterviews mit Hans von Storch und Stefan Rahmstorf

Frank Farenski hat für 3sat nano ausführliche Interviews zum Klimathema gemacht. Die Interviews sind in der 3-sat mediathek abrufbar:

A Poem for the Unknown Blogger

The Man with the Hockey Stick

Whatever the truth is - you will hopefully never be right.
Reading your contributions makes me want to clean the screen of my laptop.
Over the years you have turned into a weird conspiracy theorist.
You are uttering ugly words, mumbling strange numbers and acronyms that nobody does understand except your friends who are like you.
Your mind is full of bitterness, scorn, hate, and the will to destroy.
You are not connected anymore to what you once cared about.

Do you realize that you have made these arguments already a thousand times before?
Do you realize that you permanently repeat yourself?
Do you realize that you have not even read the books you talk about?
Do you realize that you cannot live without your hockey stick anymore, even when you want to get rid of it?
Do you realize that there is not one reader left on the blog?
I bet you don't.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Hockey Stick Illusion

As various readers will know, Bishop Hill alias Andrew Montford has just published a book called The Hockey Stick Illusion. I recommend that people read it and post their comments here, so we can have an informed debate about the merits of the claims made in the book and about its main protagonists.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is climate research physics?

Posted on behalf of Hans von Storch

Our ongoing survey shows that many of the participants of the debate have a professional background in physics (about 30%). In society, the "physicists" are not a larger group then the "engineers" or "biologists", but here they are more frequent than others. I wonder why. Why does this group of professionals feel more qualified, or more interested, in this debate than other groups? Is it because climate science is foremost physics?

The heat is on

Love it or hate it: this is the state-of-the-art of the 'anthropogenic climate change is real' argument in the public American climate debate. Friedman is one of the most influential op-ed writers. With the help of Joe Romm, he gives his readers five arguments at hand why climate change is real and matters:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ravetz in the Guardian

Jerry Ravetz has a comment in today's Guardian online. He praises the blogosphere for providing the tools for the extended peer community:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jones interview with BBC

Roger Harrabin interviews Phil Jones. Have a look here.

2nd survey - countries participants are living in

Results of 2nd survey among participants
Total: 153

Discussion on Guardian

Fred Pearce e-mailed me that "Following my coverage in the Guardian last week, we are holding an online "conversation" based around my longer dossier of the climategate affair. It is here:
Whatever you think about our coverage, do please join in.

Novo-Argumente: War Gott grün?

„Beim Versuch, mithilfe der Religion die Menschen zu einem umweltfreundlichen Verhalten zu zwingen, degradieren grüne Denker sowohl den Glauben als auch die wissenschaftliche Wahrheit“,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reposting: Ravetz on Climategate

Climategate: Plausibility and the blogosphere in the post-normal age.
Jerome Ravetz

This essay was first published by whatsupwith - and reprinted here with three mninor editorial changes.

Future of IPCC

Nature has five short opinion pieces up on the future of the IPCC. Contributions by Thomas Stocker, John Christy, Mike Hulme,  Jeff Price, and myself. I think all op-eds contain interesting food for thought  worth discussing. As usual, constructive and critical comments are welcome. The link to the full article is hier, and the full reference is:
Nature 463, 730-732 (11 February 2010). Nature has kindly allowed to post my contribution in the Klimazwiebel

A lesson for the IPCC?

Last October, the chair of the (UK) Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) was sacked by the health minister because he denounced government policies in public. New guidelines for the relation between scientific advice and policy making are being developed by the government. As you may expect, scientists do not seem to agree to some of the proposals. The dissent relates to a perceived restriction of scientific autonomy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sveriges radio: P1-morgon - Kritik mot klimatpanel

Efter de senaste månadernas avslöjanden om att FN:s klimatpanel IPCC har kommit med felaktiga påstånden växer nu kraven på åtgärder mot klimatpanelen. Det handlar bland annat om ett påstående från IPCC om att Himalayas glaciärer skulle smälta redan till 2035, och att en del forskare skulle ha velat hindra forskare med andra åsikter från att bli publicerade. Reportage av Sven Börjesson. Interview med Hans von Storch, och samtal med Anders Omstedt, klimatforskare och professor i Oceanografi vid Göteborgs Universitet och Michael Tjernström, professor vid Meteorologiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet.

Pachauri and I.P.C.C. put into context by NYT

The New York Times has our favorite Klimazwiebel topic on page 1, and they put it into a specific context:
"Skeptics find fault with U.N.Panel'"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crisis - what crisis? Blame it on the social sciences

The Guardian contacted several lead authors of IPCC WG1 who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One said:

"I am annoyed about this and I do think that WG1, the physical basis for climate change, should be distinguished from WG2 and WG3. The latter deal with impacts, mitigation and socioeconomics and it seems to me they might be better placed in another arm of the United Nations, or another organisation altogether."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Media continue frenzy on climate scandales

The German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reports that Hartmut Grassl demands Pachauri to step down (Der Hamburger Professor Hartmut Graßl, früherer Leiter des Weltklima-Forschungsprogramms und Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, sagte im Gespräch mit der Frankfurter Rundschau, Pachauri solle "reinen Tisch machen" und die Leitung des wichtigen Gremiums in andere Hände geben.), the British independent writes: An orchestrated campaign is being waged against climate change science to undermine public acceptance of man-made global warming, environment experts claimed last night..

I am sure there is more to come. lots of desinformation, true, but also lots of irregularities.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2 months Klimazwiebel

Now, the Klimazwiebel is for two months in operation. On February 7, we had almost 59, 000 clicks and almost 100 postings. 

Science magazine confused about who is a “prominent climate scientist”?

On a number of blogs one recenty could read: Science magazine is confused about who is a “prominent climate scientist”. In Science magazine’s “News of the Week” there was a short report about our (Tol, Pielke, von Storch) piece in der SPIEGEL (Deutsch, English) in which we asked for a new chairman of IPCC and other measures.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

BBC poll shows shift in public opinion

The Guardian has a comment today. It says:

[The] closing of intellectual ranks witnessed at UEA was serious and, in the end, self-defeating.

Nachfrage: Meeresspiegel

Diese Nachfrage erreichte mich per e-mail:

Frage zu der Problematik bzgl. Meerespiegel insbesondere für Grönland. Zwischen Grönland und Canada/Alaska ist das Wasser nicht besonders tief und zusätzlich haben wir den Grönlandsrücken. Wenn das Inlandeis schmilz verringert sich den Druck auf den Untergrund. Wird dies dazu führen dass insbesondere zwischen Grönland und Amerika sehr große Überwasserflächen entstehen, was wiederum zur Folge haben dass das Volumen der Wasser zur Verfügung steht geringer wird, was wiederum zur Folge hat dass das Wasser noch kräftiger steigt oder ist die Volumenverringerung vernachläßigbar klein?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Energy use and carbon emissions per capita

I stumbled upon these two graphs showing the evolution in time of energy use per capita and CO2 emissions per capita in different countries, and I was baffled. I have to confess that I had a wrong idea about economic development and I thought I would share this with you

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The bandwagon

So Pachauri thinks that there is a campaign by the British Times and The Daily Telegraph to undermine his credibility and to smear the IPCC. He may have believed that the main supporters of the current climate policies (such as the BBC and the Guardian) would lend their support unconditionally. And he may have had some reason for thinking so: The Guardian was nearly silent in the post-CRU world. And the conservative media seem to have expolited the scandals for political gain, quite predictably. But this has now become a fast moving field.

The 'Noble Myth'?

I am part way through a book called Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. Although not concerned at all with climate science he throws in what appear to be some appropriate statements for the state of the politics (both sides) of some of the science these days:

Climate bet

On a more relaxed tone.....Our guest blogger Gabrielle Hegerl is willing to accept bets on the evolution of the global mean temperature in the next 7 years. Here are the terms of reference:

[Update:  For Gabi Hegerl,   to win or lose the bet  is not a proof of or against anthropogenic global warming. ]

Interview with R. Pachauri

Added on 6 February 2010: Another report Pachauri and India in the Telegraph.

Caveat: Reports in the Telegraph (and other newspapers) are sometimes contested as not being accurate. Not all newspapers adopt the good journalistic practise of having direct quotes authorized. Interviews, on the other hand, are in most cases accurate and authorized - according to my experience.

Climategate revisited: 2 remarks and an addendum

1) Language is a tricky and powerful thing. Climategate, of course, has its semiotic roots in the Watergate scandal, in the 70ies. The Watergate scandal resulted from the break-in into the democratic Headquarter, which lead to the arrest of five men. Later on president Nixon, who had covered up the break-in, resigned office. Whatever the burglars (and Nixon) found in the office of the Democrats is obviously of no importance; the Watergate scandal deals exclusively with those who broke the law and the men behind. (

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Two months of Klimazwiebel - the cultural sciences make the difference

We are now soon in the third months of KLIMAZWIEBEL, and I found the discussions on this blog enlightening, helpful and often even pleasant. In general an adequate level of politeness and respect prevailed. We had brave and open presentations of concepts, of views and observations. That was good. But we also had what Werner Krauss has called "Stalinists", most of the time anonymous "Stalinists".

Monday, February 1, 2010

Extra time, replay... or new game?

Remember, in the run-up to Copenhagen when we were told that it is now or never to save the planet? When high ranking diplomats said 'We can go into extra time, but we can't afford a replay'? Well, we clearly need to think again. This now also dawns on those who thought that the world cannot affrod Copenhagen to fail. It turns out that, after all, we do have something else than the rhetoric of alarm.


How many gates?

Yesterday: The TimesOnLine published more damaging evidence:

January 31, 2010: UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim