How Hot Was It in the 20th Century?

|

The New York Times did a nice report on the recent blogosphere brouhaha over the what was or was not the hottest year in U.S. To wit:

A quarter-degree Fahrenheit is roughly the downward adjustment NASA scientists made earlier this month in their annual estimates of the average temperature in the contiguous 48 states since 2000. They corrected the numbers after an error in meshing two sets of temperature data was discovered by Stephen McIntyre, a blogger and retired business executive in Toronto. Smaller adjustments were made to some readings for some preceding years.

All of this would most likely have passed unremarkably if Mr. McIntyre had not blogged that the adjustments changed the rankings of warmest years for the contiguous states since 1895, when record-keeping began.

Suddenly, 1934 appeared to vault ahead of 1998 as the warmest year on record (by a statistically meaningless 0.036 degrees Fahrenheit). In NASA's most recent data set, 1934 had followed 1998 by a statistically meaningless 0.018 degrees.

Never mind that the statistical meaninglessness of such minor temperature fluctuations was not much stressed in the past by NASA's climate guru James Hansen. According to the Times Hansen now says:

Dr. Hansen and his team note that they rarely, if ever, discuss individual years, particularly regional findings like those for the United States (the lower 48 are only 2 percent of the planet's surface). "In general I think that we want to avoid going into more and more detail about ranking of individual years," he said in an e-mail message. "As far as I remember, we have always discouraged that as being somewhat nonsensical."

"Discouraged as being somewhat nonsensical?" Really? Then what about this February 2007 NASA press release which quotes Hansen as saying:

"2007 is likely to be warmer than 2006," said James Hansen, director of NASA GISS, "and it may turn out to be the warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements. Increased warmth is likely this year because an El Nino is underway in the tropical Pacific Ocean and because of continuing increases in human-made greenhouse gases."

The NASA release very helpfully lists the five warmest years as, 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2006. But Hansen might object, "I was talking about global temperatures not U.S. temperatures." OK, fine. But the release does seem to be discussing "individual years."

Self-confessed climate change denier, Stephen Brett, makes the same point over at the Wall Street Journal today:

But just how "meaningless" would this have seemed had it yielded the opposite result? Had Mr. McIntyre found that a collation error understated recent temperatures by 0.15 degrees Celsius (instead of overstating it by that amount, as he discovered), would the news coverage have differed in tone and approach? When it was reported in January that 2006 was one of the hottest years on record, NASA's James Hansen used the occasion to warn grimly that "2007 is likely to be warmer than 2006." Yet now he says, in connection to the data revision, that "in general I think we want to avoid going into more and more detail about ranking of individual years."

Brett also points to the distressing fact some leading climate change proponents refuse to share their data:

I confess: I am prepared to acknowledge that the world has been and will be getting warmer thanks in some part to an increase in man-made atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. I acknowledge this in the same way I'm confident that the equatorial radius of Saturn is about 60,000 kilometers: not because I've measured it myself, but out of a deep reserve of faith in the methods of the scientific community, above all its reputation for transparency and open-mindedness.

But that faith is tested when leading climate scientists won't share the data they use to estimate temperatures past and present and thus construct all-important trend lines. This was true of climatologist Michael Mann, who refused to disclose the algorithm behind his massively influential "hockey stick" graph, which purported to demonstrate a sharp uptick in global temperatures over the past century. (The accuracy of the graph was seriously discredited by Mr. McIntyre and his colleague Ross McKitrick.) This was true also of Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who reportedly turned down one request for information with the remark, "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

Science works by checking each by each. In fact, the error in the satellite temperature data was discovered because the principle investigator, University of Alabama Huntsville climatologist John Christy shared his data with climate change proponents. Surely data produced by climate change proponents could benefit from review by more skeptical scientists. Witness what just happened with NASA's U.S. temperature data.

Whole WSJ climate denier op/ed here.

Those of you for whom the climate change debate is of more than passing interest might want to check out McIntyre's Climate Audit and climate change proponents' RealClimate websites from time to time.

NEXT: Can't You Limp-Wristed Sodomites Take a Joke?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ,i>Then what about this February 2007 NASA press release….

    You mean the one that contains not one but two charts, on the very first page, that show year-by-year changes in average temperature going back a century? One of which contains both individual year data and five-year averages?

    Uh…what about it?

  2. This was true of climatologist Michael Mann, who refused to disclose the algorithm behind his massively influential “hockey stick” graph

    It’s no longer “science” it’s now “intellectual property”.

  3. Joe,

    You mean the press release Ron linked? Why yes, astonishingly enough that does appear to be the one he referred to in the same sentence as the link. And the one that illustrates his point about Hansen emphasizing single-year data when it serves his purpose, and pooh-poohing it when it doesn’t.

    You’re usually not this dense, Joe. If you have a criticism, just make it.

  4. How Hot Was It in the 20th Century?

    It was so hot that people were walking about Connecticut with no pants on. And I’m not just talking about Senators!

  5. Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who reportedly turned down one request for information with the remark, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Sorry, Dr. Jones. We’re going to have to ask you to turn in your lab coat and decoder ring.

  6. Shelby,

    The web page speaks for itself, and so does my comment.

    This is one of things you have to try really hard not to get.

  7. This was true also of Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who reportedly turned down one request for information with the remark, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Excuse me if I missed something, but isn’t that the whole point of peer review?

  8. …but just to make Shelby feel better, everyone make sure and click on that link, the February 2007 press release, so you can see for yourself what the brouhaha is about, and make up your own mind about whether Hansen is or is not putting recent temperature data into the appropriate multi-year context.

  9. I think it’s getting warmer. Maybe it will even get warm enough for Greenland to get green again, like it was a thousand years ago.

    Warming may cause some problems but cooling would be a REAL problem (at least for me), what with ice thousands of feet thick all over the place.

    I just don’ty think that humans have all that much control over the climate.

  10. joe & Shelby: I urge everyone to by all means click on the link to the NASA press release and make up their own minds.

  11. This is one of things you have to try really hard not to get.

    You’ll all be glad to know that joe and I are now in agreement.

  12. Yes, but do you join us in urging everyone to click the link?

    Come on, Shelby, we’re THAT FAR from buying the world a Coke.

  13. KenK,

    It’s not the absolute temperature, it’s the change.

    If the seas were 10′ for the past thousand years, we would have built our cities a little further inland. But, you see, we didn’t.

  14. “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    That is a jaw-dropping statement. I hope grade school science texts will be quoting it a hundred years from now. Right next to “God does not play dice”.

  15. Remember, folks, that faith doesn’t require proof. In fact, as Kierkegaard said, not having proof is critical to faith, or else your faith doesn’t mean anything.

  16. Yes, that was a dumb statement.

    No, it does not tip the balance of the science in any significant manner.

  17. Ron Bailey wrote:
    “The NASA release very helpfully lists the five warmest years as, 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2006. But Hansen might object, “I was talking about global temperatures not U.S. temperatures.” OK, fine. But the release does seem to be discussing “individual years.”

    I am noticing that this small chart on the right of the linked page lists those years as ‘Since 1980’. Which means those years are not being compared with 1934. They are useful for establishing a current trend line. Just thought I’d put that out there.

    It is interesting to note that noone much talks about which time period has the coldest years. A perusal of the charts show both the U.S. and the global data as having coldest years during the first half of the 20th Century…not so cold anymore.

  18. OOPs! me so stupid!

    I rererad it and it says 1890s. You Damn lyxdexia!

  19. No, it does not tip the balance of the science in any significant manner.

    How could anyone, other than the study’s author, know that without the data?

  20. Come on, Ron. Don’t be a hack. Hansen has discouraged this sort of over-parsing of statistically insignificant differences.

    The U.S. annual (January-December) mean temperature is slightly warmer in 1934 than in 1998 in the GISS analysis. … In comparing temperatures of years separated by 60 or 70 years the uncertainties in various adjustments (urban warming, station history adjustments, etc.) lead to an uncertainty of at least 0.1?C. Thus it is not possible to declare a record U.S. temperature with confidence until a result is obtained that exceeds the temperature of 1934 by more than 0.1?C.

    Yeah, I’m sure if you comb the hundreds of public statements this guy has made, you can catch him referring lazily to hottest years on record — gotcha! But to in any way equate Hansen with the WSJ’s op-ed page is just laziness.

  21. JW,

    I was talking about the overall state of climate science, not just that particular study. In response to Episiarch’s statement that recognitin of global warming was “faith.”

    No, it’s not. It’s the position best-supported by the data, by a mile.

  22. Adam: Speaking of “combing” through the record. Link doesn’t work, but try this one.

  23. I urge you click this link, as well.

  24. The controversy isn’t if global warming is or isn’t happening.

    The controversy is if the neo-Marxist policies promoted as solutions to global warming by neo-Marxists will have any effect on global warming.

  25. Damn! I always forget — no environmentally concerned person (not to say, alarmist) has ever been wrong about anything. Anyone casting doubt on those “concerns” is clearly in the pay of some malign corporate interest and is never right. My bad.

  26. And by all means click on all the links I provide–that’s why I provide them.

  27. Ron Bailey,

    Damn! I always forget — no environmentally concerned person (not to say, alarmist) has ever been wrong about anything. Anyone casting doubt on those “concerns” is clearly in the pay of some malign corporate interest and is never right. My bad.

    Was the point of this comment to erode my opinion of you?

    If so, it worked.

    The discourse on climate change is not about the moral standing of either camp…or at least it shouldn’t be, imho.

  28. “It’s not the absolute temperature, it’s the change.”

    Yeah, you’ll have to find some way of stopping the universe from changing. Good luck with that.

    I’m sure that the people forced to migrate during the ice ages would also have liked an un-changing world.

    I still think I’ll personally do better in a warmer world than a colder one – and the ice age IS overdue. Maybe the extra CO2 is putting it off?

  29. The controversy is if the neo-Marxist policies promoted as solutions to global warming by neo-Marxists will have any effect on global warming.

    Marxism has always worked pretty goodly, hasn’t it?

    “At an international level the need for an equitable division of labour involving a planned economy, that produces for social need, utilising all the latest technology is the only real solution to the current problem of global warming. This would release humankind from the drudgery of wage-slavery and release the latent talents of 3 billion people. Marx once suggested that the world faces the choice of “socialism or barbarism”, global warming gives Marx’s words a new sense of urgency.”

    ‘Latent’ is an anagram of ‘talent,’ therefore the previous paragraph makes sense.

  30. NM: Sigh. I forget–I must always be polite and treat everyone’s comments on this blog as though they were honest, fair and open-minded. Especially even when I’m called a “hack.” Thanks for the reminder.

    All: Regarding Adam’s post about Hansen–which do you suppose would get more attention, the correct and carefully stated point about uncertainties about temperatures in the relatively obscure journal article six years ago or his more recent statement about which was or was not the hottest year in a NASA press release?

    Actually, neither got much play in the press as far as I can tell, though the Sierra Club, USA Today’s weather blog and ScienceDaily did quote Hansen from the NASA press release.

  31. I’m a scientist, and frankly I’d be leery of releasing raw data in an environment as politically charged as the GW pseudo-debate. The issue is not peer review, it’s having people pick over your data without trying to understand it, looking for things they can latch onto and use to spread FUD. The sheer amount of time it would take trying to correct distortions, misunderstandings, misrepresentations and outright fabrications would bring all ongoing research to a halt. That means no publications, which means no career advancement.

    This isn’t about showing raw data to qualified researchers, it’s about allowing anyone access – that means everyone from well informed skeptics to industry shills to opportunistic politicians and so on. Even if the data holds up, it still takes an enormous amount of time and energy to refute the criticisms, all the more so when they are made by people who don’t understand the underlying science or who don’t care about the truth but want to score political points. Arguing sceintific interpretation with people who don’t understand the science and don’t care about it is a waste of time. Throw in the probability of personal attacks, and frankly it’s a lot smarter to simply accept some kvetching about not releasing the data than to subject yourself to being put through the wringer.

  32. Global Warming is sooo 2006. It totally peaked months ago. In another 18 months, no one will even remember what we were so concerned about…

  33. Togolosh,

    If you aren’t going to release data to the public, then don’t try to influence public debate on climate change.

    If you ARE going to try to influence the public debate on climate change, then release your data, or we will have to assume that your results are fabricated to promote political goals.

  34. Togolosh: I sympathize with your concerns. And I recognize how time consuming responding to critics (even well meaning ones) can be. But I give you the example of John Christy who did share his data with researchers who were especially eager to find faults with it. When a flaw was found, he naturally accepted the correction. However, Christy believes that his critics have made some errors in analyzing the satellite data (has to do with stratospheric cooling) which be believes incorrectly boosts the temperature trends in their version of the satellite data. ‘

    What’s interesting is the differential in treatment, both by those concerned about global warming and the media. Christy’s work gets published in decent but not prominent climatological journals, but his critics get published in much more high profile journals and cited widely in the press.

    The benign interpretation of this differential is that the editors of scientific publications demand higher standards for evidence that claims that the conventional wisdom is wrong. Another way to look at it is that anything which confirms the dominant paradigm has a much easier time getting through the sieve of scientific publication and work that questions the dominant paradigm is held to higher standard. This is not a judgment, just an observation.

    In any case, it helps scientific progress when data is subjected to criticism by those who are skeptical of the claims being made for it. Researchers who find that data confirms their views are much less likely to look at it carefully.

  35. Ron – you are absolutely right about the latent confirmation bias in journal publications, and peer review is supposed to catch it though it often fails.

    The issue of politicization is crucial – I don’t have to deal with it in my research because it’s not particularly controversial. However, when it comes to climate change there are very powerful forces out there actively trying to muddy the waters – that’s a rare circumstance (the only other case that springs to mind is tobacco health effects research). Ideally researchers would freely publish their raw data on the web (I would have no problem doing that with my data after I’d published the analysis, f’rex). Given the near certainty of attacks from the FUD squad, however, I think climatologists can be forgiven for choosing not to do so. There are other issues as well, such as the difficulty of collection historical data on climate, which makes it desirable to milk a given data set for as many Least Publishable Units as possible. There’s also the political biases of the researchers and their funders that influence the debate.

    Like climate itself, the state of climate science is subject to many variables interacting nonlinearly. If we want to improve the quality of the output we ought to work to mitigate the negative impact on scientists who do share raw data, and one way to do that is to identify and marginalize the FUD squad. That opens the way for legitimate skeptics with a genuine scientific interest to provide checks on the analyses.

    Unfortunately the mass media has a tendency to adopt a he said-she said approach to reporting scientific controversies, and they also prefer screaming matches over nuanced discussion. That means a smart scientist with genuine integrity gets put up against a mendacious wackjob with the audience invited to somehow split the difference. I wish I had a solution to offer, but I don’t see one. That given, I’m reluctant to criticize scientists who choose not to make it easy for the FUD squad, despite the fact that doing so slows down the process of convergence to the truth.

  36. Remember, folks, that faith doesn’t require proof. In fact, as Kierkegaard said, not having proof is critical to faith, or else your faith doesn’t mean anything.

    It’s all about the absence of evidence…

    Whatever all this means, regarding the constant twiddling of the “hottest year on record”, it’s a debate which needs to happen.

    Thanks Ron, for finally posting the links to this debate. Even though you’re no longer taking my calls, at least I know you’re paying attention. “He’s in a meeting”, my ass.

  37. I’m a scientist and I am required by law to publish my raw data on the internet. It can be very politically controversial, especially the conclusions and mitigations drawn from the raw data.

    In addition, lay members of the public are allowed to use my data and reports, twist them in any fashion they like to fit their conclusions, then attend public meetings and try to persuade public policy makers.

    I’m also a big boy and have no problem defending my data and the conclusions and recommendations I make. You would be surprised what you can learn when you are open and honest with facts.

    togolosh is, in fact, not a scientist, but a monk.

  38. “This was true of climatologist Michael Mann, who refused to disclose the algorithm behind…”

    This is something of a different complaint than releasing the raw data. It seems climate skeptics want the analysis code also. If the methodology of Mann’s analysis is explained than why not do their own analsys of the data?

  39. Ron,

    When you write a blog post about an actual, respected scientist, for the purpose of dragging his name through the mud, it isn’t flattering for you to then adopt a victim pose.

    Even less for you to try to make hay about who has “never been wrong,” Mr. Global Warming and Other Eco Myths. How’s that revised edition coming?

  40. Brett also points to the distressing fact some leading climate change proponents refuse to share their data:

    WTF?!?!

    Bailey has got around to reading climate audit?!?!

    Hey Ronald…welcome to the year 2004!

  41. Steven:

    “This is something of a different complaint than releasing the raw data. It seems climate skeptics want the analysis code also. If the methodology of Mann’s analysis is explained than why not do their own analsys of the data?”

    There is this inconvenient thing about science where results are not trusted, they must be independantly reproduced. The means and methods are disclosed, others run the experiment or crunch the numbers and report on the results. Mann has never disclosed his means and methods. McIntyre had to reverse engineered Mann’s work to determine that it was rubbish. This has been confirmed by a congressional statistics panel.

    In addition, McIntyre had to reverse engineer the temperature “records” of Hansen to determine that there was an error after year 2000. This was because Hansen refuses to disclose the means and methods of how the raw data is massaged (they call it adjusted) prior to being used in press-releases to scare people into kicking down more of that Gov’t Cheese so Hansen and Schmidt can save the planet.

    It’s only a legimate secret if it really truly works and free-market businessmen are willing to pay you buckets of cash to use it (you know, like an engineering invention or unique product). Sorry, I forgot, you are a wage slave peon and can’t distinguish between government sponsored science and free enterprise.

    Natural science is different from free market engineering, at least it was before enviromentalcaseism became a Barnum promoted moral imperitive.

    If you want to make an acception for climate science and swallow the results, fine, knock yourself out because you know, like Leo De Caprio says it’s true too and stuff.

    Mock me Bailey, you are no hack, just a “critic”. When you decide to act like you are “In the arena” (ie. report, not pontificate) maybe you will get some real props from us folks who toil where the rubber meats the road.

  42. “This isn’t about showing raw data to qualified researchers, it’s about allowing anyone access…”

    I completely agree. We cant allow just ANYONE to question us. Only those WE decide are “qualified” should ask questions. We should limit access to real scientists like ourselves. Since we are smarter and better informed than all those, ahem, lay persons, it hardly makes sense to allow commoners to review our methodology. They would only muddy the waters with their stupid questions and magical thinking. And I am not talking about the mythical “computer” scientist or “social” scientist. I mean real scientists. Can you imagine some peon with, sniff, an mere engineering background claiming to understand the scientific method? Or [eye-roll] an economist trying to understand raw data? And God preserve us from the scrutiny of a “gifted” undergraduate!

  43. Ron Bailey,

    NM: Sigh. I forget–I must always be polite and treat everyone’s comments on this blog as though they were honest, fair and open-minded. Especially even when I’m called a “hack.” Thanks for the reminder.

    Sigh. Ron, you do realize that you are nominally a representative of a professional publication writing words in a public forum when you respond here, right?

    The people you are responding to are not. Ignore the flack, or hurt the reputation of your publication as you undermine your own credibility. Your choice.

  44. Who is this McIntyre anyway? Does he have tenure? Is he even a professional scientist? We might as well let every assistant patent examiner in Bern review our data…

  45. McIntyre is an ex-mining ceo
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_McIntyre
    He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada [4]. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in pure mathematics from the University of Toronto [5]. He was offered a graduate scholarship to study mathematical economics at MIT, but chose instead to study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford. He graduated with a degree in these subjects in 1971. Upon his graduation, he left London and returned to Toronto.”

    Also, I could swear I read somewhere that Michael Mann did release his code anyway, just for laughs. I didn’t matter other climate science groups had since reproduced nearly identical results with their own code. And McIntyre’s criticism and that whole Barton PolTheatre thing with Congress was flawed as McIntyre used a ‘Starting Value’ a whole order of magnitude smaller than what one should have used.

  46. Hmm yeah, in a detailed response to Barton, here (pg 6):
    http://www.realclimate.org/Mann_response_to_Barton.pdf
    Mann posts an FTP link to download the code. But a username and password are needed.

  47. Neu Mex-i-can and joe,
    Ron is possibly a bit thin skinned yet at the same time I am not sure how well it reflects on us either to take pot shots of others in public forums while hiding behind anonymous handles.

  48. professional l-a-t-c-h-key for hire,

    I don’t disagree about the pot shots, but this is Ron’s job, not ours.

    Sam-Hec,

    Nice addition to the discussion.

  49. “Ignore the flack, or hurt the reputation of your publication as you undermine your own credibility. Your choice.” – NM

    The natural outcome of such criticisms is that, to protect their own credibility, the authors of the articles discussed/slagged and the authors of each blog post, will NEVER stoop to responding in the comments thread to the points raised by commenters.

    That’ll both teach those 2d class citizens who actually post comments that they aren’t worthy of a response from the actual writer and it’ll also keep commenters from accurately describing any slimy tactics engaged in by other commenters – how is that not a win-win, right?

    In other words, guys like NM and Mr. Nice Guy will scold you about accurately describing the actions of others – if any perceived insult can be drawn from that description at all – as being some sort of faux pas that is more important than the points actually made.

    (Apparently this is an outgrowth similar to how some people are addicted to playing referee, and are apparently afflicted with the same misconceptions that some judges & prosecutors suffer from: they worry far more about the letter of the law than the spirit of justice that the law is intended to achieve.)

    Heaven forbid that you fire the opening shot – even unintentionally or worse ACCURATELY – after multiple previous threads filled with heated insults flung your way and flung back.

    Apparently, at HNR, the rules are now

    1) each new thread is a new beginning,

    2) each poster must be considered a “tabula raza”

    3) nothing – even accurate descriptions – of other posters will be allowed if they can be stretched in such a manner as to appear insulting

    4) any poster who carries any ill-will (over underhanded ad hominem and other morally bankrupt tactics of another poster) from a previous thread will be subject to a stern talking to by other posters who have appointed themselves “thread referees.”

    Meh. I say tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite…

  50. An intersting observation/claim by Ross Gelbspan:
    http://tinyurl.com/234dny

    that criticism of Hansen/NASA is mimsplaced as it is apparantly the NOAA’s job to maintain the U.S. temperature record. Meaning, there is a significant amount of Love-to-Hate directed at Hansen which has little to do with U.S. or Global temperature; this is much like some peeps love-to-hate Al Gore or R. Carson, it has little to do with facts & science and more to do with flinging mud at iconic figures.

  51. From Nature

    Correspondence: Nature 448, 992 (30 August 2007) | doi:10.1038/448992c; Published online 29 August 2007

    Climate: Sawyer predicted rate of warming in 1972

    Neville Nicholls-School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia

    Sir

    Thirty-five years ago this week, Nature published a paper titled ‘Man-made carbon dioxide and the “greenhouse” effect’ by the eminent atmospheric scientist J. S. Sawyer (Nature 239, 23-26; 1972). In four pages Sawyer summarized what was known about the role of carbon dioxide in enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, and made a remarkable prediction of the warming expected at the end of the twentieth century. He concluded that the 25% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide predicted to occur by 2000 corresponded to an increase of 0.6 ?C in world temperature.

    In fact the global surface temperature rose about 0.5 ?C between the early 1970s and 2000. Considering that global temperatures had, if anything, been falling in the decades leading up to the early 1970s, Sawyer’s prediction of a reversal of this trend, and of the correct magnitude of the warming, is perhaps the most remarkable long-range forecast ever made.

    Sawyer’s review built on the work of many other scientists, including John Tyndall’s in the nineteenth century (see, for example, J. Tyndall Philos. Mag. 22, 169-194 and 273-285; 1861) and Guy Callender’s in the mid-twentieth (for example, G. S. Callendar Weather 4, 310-314; 1949). But the anniversary of his paper is a reminder that, far from being a modern preoccupation, the effects of carbon dioxide on the global climate have been recognized for many decades.

    Today, improved data, models and analyses allow discussion of possible changes in numerous meteorological variables aside from those Sawyer described. Hosting such discussions, the four volumes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 assessment run to several thousand pages, with more than 400 authors and about 2,500 reviewers. Despite huge efforts, and advances in the science, the scientific consensus on the amount of global warming expected from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has changed little from that in Sawyer’s time.

  52. NM,
    was that 25% over 1972 levels or since when? And how good was that prediction?

  53. rob,

    The natural outcome of such criticisms is that, to protect their own credibility, the authors of the articles discussed/slagged and the authors of each blog post, will NEVER stoop to responding in the comments thread to the points raised by commenters.

    You miss my point, clearly.

    I encourage Ron Bailey and others to respond to comments from readers. But there are professional and unprofessional ways to respond. Responses that are professional in tone will enhance the credibility of the publication and the writer.

    Ron usually does a good job on that front.
    Not so much at the top of this thread.
    I gave him feedback from a frequent reader, don’t make more of it.

    BTW, thank you for providing me with this stern talking to…are you appointing yourself this thread’s referee? Take a breath.

  54. Sam-Hec,

    Not sure.
    That’s the whole letter.
    You could look up the original article if you have access…

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v239/n5366/pdf/239023a0.pdf

  55. NM – Sorry, my bad on misunderstanding your point.

    And if anyone is gonna ref this dogfight, it ain’t gonna be me!

  56. rob,

    No problem.

    I take full responsibility for not making my point clearly.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.