Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Overlooks Some Interesting Data, Says Climatologist

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University of Colorado climatologist and prolific climate blogger, Roger Pielke, Sr., thinks that some of the claims made in the Policymakers Summary issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this month are unsupported by the data. Like what? Well, claims about trends in snow cover area, ocean temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and wind speed.

Take a look for yourselves here.

Disclosure: I don't know how much money activists allege that Pielke gets from big oil companies. I do note that the folks over at Exxonsecrets apparently don't have a listing for him. They have not neglected my allegedly nefarious activities though.

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  1. Very clever Ron. It must have been just an oversight that you didn’t disclose your take from Big Pielke.

  2. “I don’t know how much money activists allege that Pielke gets from big oil companies. I do note that the folks over at Exxonsecrets apparently don’t have a listing for him.”

    Could it be that Exxonsecrets distinguishes between legitimate scientists and industry shills?

    If this guy is doing good work and raising legitimate questions, his research and analysis will be reviewed, challenged, and either found to be valid, or not. If it is found to be valid and pose significant problems for the mainstream scientific view of global warming, then there will be plenty of climatologists working on revising their models.

    If his statements don’t hold up, or don’t actually pose any problems for the conclusions they’ve drawn, then his work will have helped to confirm that there aren’t really any holes in the mainstream view.

    I really don’t see what’s so notable here.

  3. Again I am reminded that I am running behind on adding six-pack carburation to my 1972 Dodge Charger hybrid.

  4. That hybrid joke was worth a mild chuckle the first time you posted it, Guy. Like six months ago.

    You need some new material.

  5. joe,

    I need to add the computer network to it also, so byte me.

  6. Yes, yes, joe, those who hold with the prevailing global warming consensus are always high-minded empiricists who never use nonempirical means by which to bring pressure on those who depart from the consensus. The shills are only on one side of this debate.

  7. joe: You’re telling someone else that THEY NEED NEW MATERIAL!

  8. 1972 Dodge Charger hybrid.

    This is the first I have seen of it and it gave me a chuckle.

    1972 Dodge Charger with a six-pack. SWEET!!

    Joe, I am glad to see that you are keeping an open mind to disenting views to Anthropocentric Global Warming and are willing to see the scietific method work out any uncertainty.

  9. Will Allen,

    There are shills on all sides of any debate. The trick is to look past them, and find the people who are A) honest B) disinterested and C) know what they’re talking about.

    On global warming, people who meet that standard tend to cluster around the position staked out by the IPCC. But of course there are outliers.

  10. Lurker Kurt,

    Yea, this Carter 2 bbl on the 318 (bored .010 over) is just not “it”. But, the six-pack setup is a little pricey so I gotta save my nickles. Feeding the trees goes a lot faster when you are turning C8H18 into horsepower at 5 MPG than at 15 MPG 🙂

    Oh, Ron thank you for reminding me. So, what is your guess on which post from your last ‘global warming’ story joe will cut and paste over here?

  11. Actually, the The trick is to look past them, and find the people who are A) honest B) disinterested and C) know what they’re talking about. people cluster around Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine.

    Perhaps you should read some of his work?

  12. On global warming, people who meet that standard tend to cluster around the position staked out by the IPCC. But of course there are outliers.

    It is interesting that the outliers who currently are heard most in the media are of the “Yes, but the Greenland ice sheet could slide off and raise sea levels twenty feet” while the outliers who say “There are still questions in the science” are considered cranks.

  13. First of all, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust statisticians, and most climatologists are most of all involved with statistics and predictions, which are not performed in closed environment testing facilities (just look at the work of Mann et. al.).
    I can understand how you get results from experiments, because that is how I have been trained in researching (mechanical engineering), where you have a testing experience in a clean room to control at least most of the basic conditions and variables. Then it takes massive testing to determine the actual influence and the material laws from your hypothesis.
    I can’t see how this is possible with geo-sciences.

    Does this invalid their research, certainly not, but you should take the statistics with a grain of salt. After all, they also try to weigh the influences of the different forcings, but they can only make an educated guess, because they can’t back-up their guesses with complete experiments… (Yes, you can say that CO2 is tested positive in laboratories to heat up the surface due to sunlight, but you can also say that Methane is doing the same trick or water vapour)

    If we really understood all the forcings of the atmosphere, we’d be able to engineer an optimal state. However, we cannot and many experiments in that field have been a wasted effort. It is just too complex for the time being.

  14. The notion of disinterest in academic or grant-seeking circles is simply laughable, just as much as it is in being-on-oil-company-payroll circles. Better to just assume that no one is disinterested. The science is either sound, and frankly discusses it’s degree of certainty, or it is not, and does not. Who is cutting checks, granting tenure, or being treated deferentially by social groups, is not relevant.

    If a particular individual has a track record of proven fraud, that is somewhat different, of course.

  15. “First of all, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust statisticians”

    ????

  16. Mike P,

    Maybe there is a reason why one set of outliers is treated more respectfully by the scientific world than another. There are some people who say that the state of the rails in Europe meant that the diversion of rolling stock for use in the Final Solution didn’t actually dectract from the German’s war effort in Russia. Then there are others who make a different sort of unorthodox argument about the issue. They tend to be received rather differently by historians.

  17. Will,

    I’ve never seen a univeristy tell its grant applicants what their conclusions should be.

  18. “There are shills on all sides of any debate. The trick is to look past them, and find the people who are A) honest B) disinterested and C) know what they’re talking about.”

    “On global warming, people who meet that standard tend to cluster around the position staked out by the IPCC. But of course there are outliers.”

    I have found that people who tend to cluster around the IPCC position tend to have an anti-capitalistic bias who believe in big government control over carbon emissions. Like creationists, they tend to bend their science to fit their bias. This includes the IPCC itself.

  19. So what is the metric for telling the difference between legitimate scientists and industry shills?

    Agrees with me = legitimate scientist

    Disagrees with me = industry shill

    That appears to be one of the big weighting factors for lots of people.

  20. Joe,

    The whole gonzo leftist thing was funny (and, indeed, excusable,) over 100 years ago. It’s time to join the 20th century when you get a moment.

  21. “I’ve never seen a univeristy tell its grant applicants what their conclusions should be.”

    You don’t think there are people who are denied grants because their position doesn’t agree with the politically correct position?

  22. joe, actions need not be that overt to render the notion of disinterest laughable.

  23. I’ve never seen a univeristy tell its grant applicants what their conclusions should be.

    Universities are generally not the grantors. You’ve got places like the NSF, the NIH, and so on. The people who review the proposals are the same folks who participate in the research, participate in peer review, that is, the same little community of researchers from whatever field. It’s that way because everything is so specialized and complicated that someone from even a peripheral devision of the same field would have a difficult time discerning a reasonable proposal from garbage.

    Joe, I’ve corresponded with some of the folks from the climate modeling community (I do computer modeling myself). The last time was because a colleague of mine, who is also working on fundamental research into alternative energy technology, forwarded an email that was making the rounds in the climate modeling community. They were discussing what was to be done with an “inconvenient” colleague who had openly questioned the GW orthodoxy. It was quite obvious from the tone of the email that this individual would never get another impartial manuscript or grant review. They were concerned that he was giving ammunition to the GW “deniers”. Even the day to day fundamental research is highly politicized. It just is. I wish I could post the email exchange; it really was quite remarkable. I think the fact that I was asked not to says enough.

  24. “Disclosure: I don’t know how much money activists allege that Pielke gets from big oil companies”

    It doesn’t matter. The notion that industry funded research is tainted and research funded by governments, universities, and various other nonprofits is not ( or is less so) is a load of BS to begin with. The scientists working for the latter groups have their own vested interests every bit as much as the ones working for the former group.

  25. The notion that industry funded research is tainted and research funded by governments, universities, and various other nonprofits is not ( or is less so) is a load of BS to begin with.

    Aren’t we talking about the genesis fallacy here? Just because a guy is paid by Big Oil does it mean his facts are not true? If we are talking about true science, then we should be able to reproduce his results and confirm his conclusion or fail to reproduce them and disprove his conclusion.

    Another real world example of the genesis fallacy: The Nazis first discovered the link between smoking and lung cancer. Just because they were Nazis doesn’t mean their research was faulty.

  26. Nazis? Dare we invoke Godwin’s Law?

  27. Well after Ellen Goodman’s statement that GW skeptics are on a par with Holocaust deniers (subtly aped by joe above), I think all discussions of global warming on Reason come pre-Godwinned.

  28. The folks at Exxonsecrets probably want people to think that anyone on their list is on the take in some way that would compromise their research and/or writings and other investigations on the global warming question so that their work should be discounted before even looking into it. And then we find Ron on this list?? Even though they provide no damning connections?? It makes me want to discount the list.

  29. joe:

    I really don’t see what’s so notable here.

    It’s notable cuz the climatologist demonstrates that there are errors, and/or selective information, in the findings of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. The warming disaster scenario looks less plausible.

  30. The idea that any warming is a result of human activity is challenged by strong evidence to the contrary that includes a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters in January that found that: “the rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century.” In the first half of the 20th century sea level rose by about 2 millimeters per year, while averaging about 1.5 millimeters per year in the second half even though there was far more green house gas emissions is the second half of the century.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028492.shtml

    Now this is just the opposite of what has been predicted if warming is engendered by green house gases rather than solar cycle activity. Sea level change should respond more readily to greenhouse gas emissions cuz the polar caps will melt more as a result of the greenhouse gases carrying the heat to the poles via convection as opposed to solar radiation cuz it’s less direct on the poles. But during the last half of the 20th century when there was a big jump in greenhouse gases, there was less sea level rise(caps melting) compared to the first half when thee was far less green house gas production.

  31. Rick Barton wrote:
    “The idea that any warming is a result of human activity is challenged by strong evidence to the contrary that includes a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters in January…”

    ‘Cept nowhere in that abstract does it claim, much less show, that humans aren’t responsible for the current warming. It only claims that sea level rises have so far been unexceptional.

    Try again please.

  32. Sam,

    Simply naysaying my points (agian) does not constitute a refutation or even an attempted one.

    And the study most certainly doesn’t, only claim that sea level rises have so far been unexceptional. The study found that the rate of sea level change to be larger in the early part of last century. In the first half of the 20th century sea level rose by about 2 millimeters per year, while averaging about 1.5 millimeters per year in the second half even though there was far more green house gas emissions is the second half of the century.

  33. …shoulda been:

    And the study most certainly doesn’t, only claim that sea level rises have so far been unexceptional.

    The study found that the rate of sea level change to be larger in the early part of last century. In the first half of the 20th century sea level rose by about 2 millimeters per year, while averaging about 1.5 millimeters per year in the second half even though there was far more green house gas emissions is the second half of the century.

  34. Sorry if you are upset at me challenging you here too, but it is just as pointless for to post the same thing twice (or more) yourself. Since we are poth riding in the same hobby-horse-race, let’s not get too antsy about either of us doing so.

    secondly, I was being somewhat loose with their wording, which moer exactly was:
    “Extending the sea level record back over the entire century suggests that the high variability in the rates of sea level change observed over the past 20 years were not particularly unusual.” So the past twenty years.

    But my point still stands, the abstract’s authors delivered no comment on just why there was any sea level rise at all for any of the 20th century. For all is evidenced, the authors might yet very well be happy to sign on the idea of AGW.

  35. let’s not get too antsy about either of us doing so.

    Good point. Agreed.

    For all is evidenced, the authors might yet very well be happy to sign on the idea of AGW.

    That seems rather unlikely since the sea level rise decelerated while green house gases increased dramatically. I’d expect them to take the anti-AGW side.

  36. Withoutany further comments by the authors (have they written anything else?) expectations are only our own.

  37. Not sure if you are still watchingthis thread, but I did find something resembling (more) expert (than I) commentary on the papaer you link to.:
    http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/?p=1863

    scroll down to Mark Hadfield’s explanation.

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