Re: [asa] IPCC

From: PvM <>
Date: Sat Feb 17 2007 - 19:08:49 EST

It is time to correct some of the many errors and omissions in
Janice's posting, many are ones which I have already corrected once or
more times in the past.

On 2/13/07, Janice Matchett <> wrote:
> At 05:31 PM 2/12/2007, Rich Blinne wrote:
> Excellent scientific foundation. The issue is far more uncertain than the
> Media states., August 7, 2006

> Reviewer: Gaetan Lion

> The second chapter outlines how a scientist manipulated the underlying
> variables to create the "hockey stick" suggesting temperature levels are
> highest for the past millennium. The scientist who created this hockey stick
> pattern refused to share the data and explain his methodology when he was
> asked. This scientist purposely overweighed a variable to create the hockey
> stick effect. The author of the chapter uncovers how the scientific peer
> review process is bankrupt. A scientist is free to manipulate the data so as
> to create a fictitious hockey stick that is at the foundation of the global
> warming paradigm. In the business world, such behavior (manipulation of
> financial record) would get a CFO in jail. The author makes the case that
> due diligence requirements (audits) should apply to the scientific world as
> well.

These accusations, and I presume that Janice, who quoted the
accusations blindly, are without much merit. The myth of the hockey
stick seems to be that global warming deniers cannot really accurately
represent the facts surrounding this fascinating issue.

we learn how additional research into these matters basically showed
how Mann's hockey stick data were neither manipulated nor at odds with
the available data.

But in a 155-page report, the 12-member panel convened by the National
Academies said "an array of evidence" supported the main thrust of the
paper. Disputes over details, it said, reflected the normal
intellectual clash that takes place as science tests new approaches to
old questions.

i hope that Janice realizes the cost of making such unfounded
accusations to credibility, science and issues of faith?
Now I understand that Inhofe continues to make these accusations but
really, who do you trust: countless scientists or a politically
motivated senator?

So, in the interest of fairness, I would like to invite Janice to
describe to us, preferably in her own words, what Mann did, what he
supposedly did wrong and how this was determined. For instance the
overweighing of data, which is a straightforward accusation could
benefit from some details.

There are some excellent websites who have looked at this scientific
controversy and it seems that most of Mann's claims hold strongly, as
the NAS report points out as well.
On Deltoid, Tim Lambert, presents some of the details surrounding this

For instance in he shows
how the goalposts have continued to move

Hockey stick wars, the story so far: McIntyre and McKitrick (M&M)
first claimed that the hockey stick graph was the product of
"collation errors, unjustifiable truncations of extrapolation of
source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect
calculations of principal components, and other quality control
defects." Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH) published a correction to the
supplementary information about their article, but which did not
affect their results. Next, MM argued that the hockey stick was the
result of incorrect normalization of the data. However, Hans van
Storch, a strong critic of the hockey stick, concluded that "the
glitch [McIntyre] detected in Mann's paper is correct, but it doesn't
matter, it's a minor thing." Next, MM argued that the hockey stick
depended on the inclusion of the bristlecone pine proxies. However, a
new reconstruction by Osborn and Briffa once again finds that the late
20th century is the warmest period in the last 1000 years and the
result is not affected by the exclusion of any one, two or even three
proxies. Mcintyre responded by arguing that many of the proxies used
were defective (as far as I can tell, he thinks that all the proxies
that show the 20th century to be warmest are no good.)

> The fourth chapter explaining how the cooling of the stratosphere is
> totally inconsistent with the CO2 global warming hypothesis is fascinating.

tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling are in fact predicted
and expected outcomes of global warming. Nothing to surprising here
then, other than that it contradicts Janice's assertion that this is
inconsistent with the CO2 global warming hypothesis. If I remember
correctly this has been explained at least once to her by another
contributor to ASA.

<quote>As NASA explains here, stratospheric cooling is also the result
of human activity. The most important effect is from the destruction
of the ozone layer, but CO2 emissions also play a role. Remember that
the effect of greenhouse gases is to trap heat. This warms up the
atmosphere below (in the troposphere), but reduces it above (in the
stratosphere). There's disagreement over the magnitude of this effect,
but the direction is clear.</quote>

After all, a good model takes into account many of the relevant
variables and here we notice how ozone depletion, another human caused
factor, decreases stratospheric temperatures.

See also the NASA page at
It's important to appreciate how science continues to address these
issues even though global warming deniers seem to be largely unaware
how these scientific issues have been addressed.

See also Ramaswamy, V., and Co-authors, 2006: Anthropogenic and
natural influences in the evolution of lower stratospheric cooling.
Science, 311, 1138-1141.

<quote>Observations reveal that the substantial cooling of the global
lower stratosphere over 19792003 occurred in two pronounced steplike
transitions. These arose in the aftermath of two major volcanic
eruptions, with each cooling transition being followed by a period of
relatively steady temperatures. Climate model simulations indicate
that the space-time structure of the observed cooling is largely
attributable to the combined effect of changes in both anthropogenic
factors (ozone depletion and increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases)
and natural factors (solar irradiance variation and volcanic
aerosols). The anthropogenic factors drove the overall cooling during
the period, and the natural ones modulated the evolution of the

> Chapter 10 expands on the inconsistency of the relationship between CO2
> concentration and rise in temperature. In Earth's recent history, we have
> had periods with much warmer temperatures (6 degree Celsius higher than now)
> yet with CO2 concentration 20% below current levels. We also have had global
> cooling with rising CO2 levels. So, at this stage we have no scientific
> reason to believe there is a reliable relationship between CO2 levels and
> temperature.

This of course is trivially explained by the simple fact that global
temperatures are affected by many more factors than just CO2. These
arguments, while superficially relevant, are just plain wrong.

> Elsewhere in the book, the scientists explain how the climatic system is
> extremely sensitive so as to be impossible to model with current knowledge.

Again shown wrong by doing a multitude of model simulations using
different models as well as different assumptions.

> An error in precipitation of only 0.1 inch equates to an error of 1.77
> degree Fahrenheit. Yet, our models are all over the place on precipitation
> predictions.

Please provide some references as to the exact nature of these claims.
as far as I can tell this looks like a misunderstanding by the
reviewer of the actual statements. Remember that there is a balance
between evaporative heat and precipitative heat release. The argument
is purely based on the heat release by precipitation while ignoring
the heat needed to evaporate. While this may be a problem for local
models, the effect on global models is indeed minimal as the heat that
went into evaporating water was returned via precipitative heat

> Similarly, just a 4% increase in stratus clouds formation would counteract
> any effect from a doubling in CO2 concentration. Yet, we can't model cloud
> formation so far. Thus, global circulation models (GCM) are incredibly
> unreliable.

References please. i have heard much about this but found little
supporting scientific references, so perhaps Janice can help out here.

Remember that global models have quite accurately resolved the trends
in global warming so far so the claims by Michaels need to be taken
with more than a grain of salt

As to Patrick Michael's background, I suggest one reads

In face of such strong and mostly uncontroversial evidence that shows
how humans are a major contributor to global warming, one should be
careful to carelessly embrace contrary arguments, at least not without
doing some background research into the strength of these arguments.
Too often one finds that the claims quickly dissipate under scrutiny.
Luckily we have the work of AR4 from the IPCC where thousands of
scientists have looked in quite some detail at these claims and not
surprisingly rejected most if not all of them as flawed or irrelevant.

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Received on Sat Feb 17 19:09:14 2007

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