The Scientific Consensus On The Mistreatment Of Climate Uncertainties

For future reference, a collection of statements about the mistreatment of climate-related uncertainties by climate scientists.

Notably, there is not a skeptic in sight among the authors of the statements below.

  • Mike Hulme about the BBC’s recent “Science under attack” docufiction

I do not recognise [Nurse’s] claim that “climate science is reducing uncertainty all the time”. There remain intractable uncertainties about future predictions of climate change. Whilst Nurse distinguishes between uncertainty arising from incomplete understanding and that arising from irreducible stochastic uncertainty, he gives the impression that all probabilistic knowledge is of the latter kind (e.g. his quote of average rates of success for cancer treatments). In fact with climate change, most of the uncertainty about the future that is expressed in probabilistic terms (e.g. the IPCC) is Bayesian in nature. Bayesian probabilities are of a fundamentally different kind to those quoted in his example. And when defending consensus in climate science – which he clearly does – he should have explained clearly the role of Bayesian (subjective) expert knowledge in forming such consensus.

  • Lord Oxburgh, during one of the hearings by the UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee

Q40 Chair: So you concluded that the approach that Professor Jones had adopted was one of dealing with presentation of the data rather than an attempt to deceive?

Lord Oxburgh: Absolutely. I think when you come to the presentation of complicated scientific observations and making them available to a much wider audience, you come up against some very tough “honesty” decisions. How much do you simplify? It is the same when you are teaching undergraduates. How much do you simplify in order to get a general idea across? I, personally, think that in various publications for public consumption those who have used the CRU data and those who have used other climatic data have not helped their case by failing to illuminate the very wide uncertainty band associated with it.

Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain over- simplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors. For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined

  • Lord Oxburgh’s Panel member Michael Kelly, Professor of Electronics at Cambridge

Up to and throughout this exercise, I have remained puzzled how the real humility of the scientists in this area, as evident in their papers, including all these here, and the talks I have heard them give, is morphed into statements of confidence at the 95% level for public consumption through the IPCC process. This does not happen in other subjects of equal importance to humanity, e.g. energy futures or environmental degradation or resource depletion. I can only think it is the ‘authority’ appropriated by the IPCC itself that is the root cause

On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a „trick‟ and to „hide the decline‟ in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.

Understanding requires proper statistical interpretation, i.e. to determine the confidence level associated with a statement such as “the present is likely warmer than the past”. To do this as objectively as possible would require a complex (and difficult) study to perform hypothesis testing in a mathematically rigorous way, taking proper account all of the uncertainties and their correlations. We are not aware that this has been done in the production of IPCC reports to date, but instead qualitative statements have been made based on definitions of ―likely‖, ―very likely‖ etc according to criteria laid down by the IPCC ( ̳Likely‘ means a probability greater than 66%, and ̳Very Likely‘ means a probability greater than 90%).

The best one might hope for the future of peer review is to be able to foster an environment of continuous critique of research papers before and after publication. Many writers on peer review have made such a proposal, yet no journal has been able to create the motivation or incentives among scientists to engage in permanent peer review (50-52). Some observers might worry that extending opportunities for criticism will only sustain maverick points-of-view. However, experience suggests that the best science would survive such intensified peer review, while the worst would find its deserved place at the margins of knowledge.
This process of weeding out weak research from the scientific literature can be accelerated through more formal mechanisms, such as the systematic review. A systematic approach to selecting evidence focuses on the quality of scientific methods rather than the reputations of scientists and their institutions. This more rigorous approach to gathering, appraising, and summing up the totality of available evidence has been profoundly valuable to clinical medicine. There may be useful lessons here for the IPCC. Climate sceptics and climate scientists, along with their colleagues in other scientific disciplines, would likely welcome this greater rigour and scrutiny. It would certainly promote quality and strengthen accountability to a more critical public (and media) with higher expectations of science. More importantly, intensified post as well as pre publication review would put uncertainty – its extent and boundaries – at the centre of the peer review and publication process. This new emphasis on uncertainty would limit the rhetorical power of the scientific paper (53), and offer an opportunity to make continuous but constructive public criticism of research a new norm of science.

  • The InterAcademy Council, in their Climate Change Assessment, Review of the Processes & Procedures of the IPCC

Characterizing and communicating uncertainties. IPCC’s guidance for addressing uncertainties in the Fourth Assessment Report urges authors to consider the amount of evidence and level of agreement about all conclusions and to apply subjective probabilities of confidence to conclu- sions when there was ‘high agreement, much evidence.’ However, such guidance was not always followed, as exemplified by the many statements in the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers that are assigned high confidence but are based on little evidence. Moreover, the apparent need to include statements of ‘high confidence’ (i.e., an 8 out of 10 chance of being correct) in the Summary for Policymakers led authors to make many vaguely defined statements that are difficult to refute, therefore making them of ‘high confidence.’ Such statements have little value. Scientific uncertainty is best communicated by indicating the nature, amount, and quality of studies on a particular topic, as well as the level of agreement among studies. The IPCC level-of-understanding scale provides a useful means of communicating this information.

Chapter Lead Authors should provide a traceable account of how they arrived at their ratings for level of scientific understanding and likelihood that an outcome will occur.

In addition, IPCC’s uncertainty guidance should be modified to strengthen the way in which uncertainty is addressed in upcoming assessment reports. In particular, quantitative probabilities (subjective or objective) should be assigned only to well-defined outcomes and only when there is adequate evidence in the literature and when authors have sufficient confidence in the results. Assigning probabilities to an outcome makes little sense unless researchers are confident in the underlying evidence (Risbey and Kandlikar, 2007), so use of the current likelihood scale should suffice.

Studies suggest that informal elicitation measures, especially those designed to reach consensus, lead to different assessments of probabilities than formal measures. (Protocols for conducting structured expert elicita- tions are described in Cooke and Goossens [2000].) Informal procedures often result in probability distributions that place less weight in the tails of the distribution than formal elicitation methods, possibly understating the uncertainty associated with a given outcome (Morgan et al., 2006; Zickfeld et al., 2007).
Climate change assessments | Review of the processes and procedures of the IPCC 41
Recommendation
►The likelihood scale should be stated in terms of probabilities (numbers) in addition to words to improve understanding of uncertainty.
Recommendation
► Where practical, formal expert elicitation procedures should be used to obtain subjective probabilities for key results.

According to the IPCC uncertainty guidance, quantitative scales should be used when the results are themselves quantified and when there is ‘high agreement, much evidence.’ For many of the Working Group III conclusions, this is clearly not the case.

The IPCC uncertainty guidance provides a good starting point for charac- terizing uncertainty in the assessment reports. However, the guidance was not consistently followed in the fourth assessment, leading to unnecessary errors. For example, authors reported high confidence in statements for which there is little evidence, such as the widely quoted statement that agricultural yields in Africa might decline by up to 50 percent by 2020. Moreover, the guidance was often applied to statements that are so vague they cannot be disputed. In these cases the impression was often left, incorrectly, that a substantive finding was being presented.

The Working Group II Summary for Policymakers has been criticized for various errors and for empha- sizing the negative impacts of climate change. These problems derive partly from a failure to adhere to IPCC’s uncertainty guidance for the fourth assess- ment and partly from shortcomings in the guidance itself. Authors were urged to consider the amount of evidence and level of agreement about all conclu- sions and to apply subjective probabilities of confi- dence to conclusions when there was high agree- ment and much evidence. However, authors reported high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence. Furthermore, by making vague statements that were difficult to refute, authors were able to attach ‘high confidence’ to the statements. The Working Group II Summary for Policymakers contains many such statements that are not supported sufficiently in the literature, not put into perspective, or not expressed clearly.

(whole section: Use the appropriate level of precision to describe findings)

The quantitative scales used by Working Group I raise four additional issues: 1. It is unclear what the use of separate confidence and likelihood scales accomplishes. For example, one could have very high confidence that obtaining two sixes when rolling a pair of fair dice is extremely unlikely. But why not just say that obtaining two sixes when rolling a pair of fair dice is extremely unlikely? This suggests that the confidence scale is redundant when the likelihood scale is used, a point also made by Risbey and Kandlikar (2007).
It is well-documented in the literature that people interpret the terms ‘very unlikely,’ ‘likely’ etc. in Table 3.3 in different ways (Patt and Schrag, 2003; Budescu et al., 2009; Morgan et al., 2009). Specifically, the use of words alone may lead people to underestimate the probability of high- probability events and to overestimate the probability of low-probability events (see also Lichtenstein et al., 1978).

More consistency is called for in how IPCC Working Groups characterize uncertainty.

The extent to which results are quantified and measurement or model uncertainty is presented differs significantly across the chapters of the Working Group II report.

The extent to which results are quantified also differs in the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers and the Technical Summary. The Summary for Policymakers presents quantitative information on the extent of agreement between different physical and biological trends and trends in temperature. Conclusions about observed impacts of climate on the natural and human environments and about future impacts (Sections B and C of the Summary for Policymakers) are usually stated in qualitative terms using the confidence and likelihood scales. No additional informa- tion is presented to characterize the uncertainty in the results of individual studies or to indicate the range of estimates across studies. In contrast, the Technical Summary includes more quantitative information about uncer- tainty.

In the Committee’s view, assigning probabilities to imprecise statements is not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty. If the confidence scale is used in this way, conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.11 More importantly, the use of probabilities to characterize uncertainty is most appropriate when applied to empirical quantities (Morgan et al., 2009)

(the whole chapter 3. IPCC’s evaluation of evidence and treatment of uncertainty)

Denier-in-Chief

Has skepticism invaded the Oval RoomOffice? Just as the Climate Czarine finds something better to do with her life, President Obama allocates six-thousand-eight-hundred words to the State of the Union, in which we can notice:

  1. Zero instances of “climate change”
  2. Zero instances of “global warming”
  3. Zero instances of “climate”
  4. Zero instances of “environment”
  5. Zero instances of “sustainability” (in the greenish sense)
  6. One instance of “protect our planet”

The one or two optimists among the climate alarmists will find solace in the concept that one is infinitely more than zero.

Notably, Obama’s “Sputnik moment” (what a lame analogy…as if China had just come out with a 100-TW solar power station the size of a football field…) concerns itself with getting 80% of electrical (only electrical) power by 2035 using clean (that is, not necessarily sustainable) means.

Then it’s time for “clean coal” and the curtains closing down on the Romm- and Gore-esques of “the defining challenge for our generation”.

Dear Tamino’s, Greenfyre’s, McKibben’s, Skeptical Science’s, Connolley’s of the world: stop wasting your time with us dull, pea-brained, big-oil-paid skeptics, and try to get at least the consensus of One.

Until you manage that, everything else will be a joke.

L’Autodistruzione della Climatologia – Rapporto Climategate Tradotto Per L’Istituto Bruno Leoni

Ho avuto ieri l’onore di fare da tramite fra la britannica Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) di Lord Lawson e Benny Peiser, e l’Istituto Bruno Leoni di Carlo Stagnaro. Questi ha infatti pubblicato il rapporto GWPF “The Climategate Inquiries“, scritto da Andrew Montford/Bishop Hill e tradotto in italiano (“L’inchiesta sul Climategate“) da tal Maurizio Morabito.

Cosa significa realmente il climategate? Le principali indagini hanno scagionato gli scienziati dell’Università della East Anglia, ma un nuovo rapporto mostra quanto esse siano state parziali e fuorvianti

Mille grazie a tutti i coinvolti, inclusi Guido, David e Piero.

Ho anche scritto la Prefazione all’edizione italiana del rapporto, intitolata “L’autodistruzione della Climatologia” e ne includo qui alcuni estratti:

La scienza del riscaldamento globale antropogenico (AGW) è in agonia, così ridotta da quei ‘pasdaran del clima’ che ne hanno fatto un feticcio ideologico, spingendosi a tramare dietro le quinte per difenderne a tutti i costi i dogmi. Proprio alcuni dei personaggi più importanti hanno commesso il peccato più grande: si sono fatti ‘scoprire’ quando qualcuno (uno di loro?) ha deciso di distribuire via internet, nel Novembre 2009, un ‘tesoretto’ di documenti ed email riguardo l’Unità per la Ricerca Climatica (CRU) dell’Università dell’East Anglia (UEA). Documenti e messaggi il cui contenuto è adesso noto come ‘lo scandalo del Climategate’.

Il risultato, più che l’intaccare la scienza, è stata la frantumazione dell’interfaccia fra scienza e politica, con conseguenze che coinvolgono la scienza stessa, autosconfittasi e dunque adesso più subalterna che rilevante, per la politica. Per quanto siano inattaccabili le loro prove, difficilmente in futuro gli scienziati potranno convincere i politici ad agire in maniera concertata riguardo un qualunque problema a livello planetario, a meno che il problema non sia imminente se non attuale, immediatamente rilevante e più che certo. In altre parole, la gestione del rischio globale a medio e lungo termine, grazie ai pasdaran del clima, è scomparsa ancora prima di nascere.

[…] Cosa dice il rapporto di Montford? Possiamo individuare quattro filoni principali: i problemi riconosciuti da tutti; le furberie e il ‘muro di gomma’ dell’Establishment britannico; le domande e accuse tuttora inevase; e lo sbriciolamento della scienza del cambiamento climatico.

Il Climategate, come ampiamente documentato da Montford, ha rivelato errori ed omissioni su cui tutti sono d’accordo […] C’è poi la questione dei ‘furbetti’, con innumerevoli esempi di piccoli aggiustamenti nell’interpretazione, e qualche piccola omissione qui e là […] È contro questo ‘muro di gomma’ che si stagliano tutte le domande e tutte le accuse rimaste inevase e che, in quanto tali, impediscono che lo scandalo Climategate possa dichiararsi chiuso […] il Climategate ha cambiato tutto. L’IPCC è nata all’interfaccia fra scienza e politica e produce non un’enciclopedia, ma un rapporto che vuole e deve essere rilevante per le politiche di risposta al cambiamento climatico antropogenico, e che quindi contiene quanto scienziati (e politici: non per nulla si chiama ‘intergovernativo’ e non ‘interaccademico’ o ‘interdisciplinare’) ritengano via via indispensabile dichiarare riguardo quelle politiche stesse. Il Climategate ha però distrutto tale interfaccia, mostrando come gli stessi scienziati che scrivevano cautamente i loro articoli su riviste professionali (140) passavano invece a dichiarazioni roboanti nei rapporti IPCC e in altre pubblicazioni politiche e divulgative (131, 167). L’IPCC stesso è insomma stato, finanche nelle parole di una delle mansuetissime Commissioni d’inchiesta, colpevole di semplificazioni eccessive e di omissioni delle incertezze pur presenti nella letteratura scientifica. Dopo il Climategate la politica non può più fidarsi di una scienza schiava della necessità di essere sempre utile, utilizzabile, sempre corretta, concentrata sulle emissioni di CO2 di origine umana e mai smentita. Tale scienza finisce quindi con il trovarsi in posizione subalterna:

Climategate, or The Self-Destruction of Climate Science – From The Italian Translation Of The GWPF Report

Italian think-tank Istituto Bruno Leoni publishes today Jan 25, 2011 the Italian translation of Andrew Montford/Bishop Hill‘s report “The Climategate Inquiries” for the GWPF.

Yours truly is the translator and has been kindly asked to write the Introduction, hereby translated back into English.

Many thanks to Carlo (and David, and Benny) for helping making all of this possible.

The Self-Destruction of Climate Science
by Maurizio Morabito

The science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is dying, reduced to its last breaths by ‘Climate Pasdarans’ who forced it to become an ideological fetish, going as far as to conspire behind the scenes to defend its dogmas at all cost. Some of the most important characters in the AGW story have committed the greatest sin: they got themselves caught out red-handed, when someone (one of them?) decided in November 2009 to publish on the internet a ‘treasure trove’ of documents and emails about the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Those are the documents and messages whose content is now known as ‘the scandal of Climategate’.

The outcome, rather than a direct undermining of the science of AGW, has been the crushing of the interface between science and policy, with consequences on the science itself, self-defeated and therefore now less relevant and more subordinate to policymaking. Whatever the unassailable evidence they might be able to collect, scientists will find it difficult in the future to persuade politicians to act in a concerted way on any global issue, unless the problem is imminent if not declined in the present tense, immediately relevant and more than certain. In other words, thanks to the ‘Climate Pasdarans’ much or maybe even all hopes of medium- and long-term global risk management have been eliminated before they were even born.

Yet everything seemed to go full speed from 2007 onwards, with Al Gore winning the Oscar in the Peace category, and the Nobel Documentary Prize (or vice-versa) together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); a relentless propaganda at all levels to convince everybody to lower CO2 emissions; and dozens of international meetings in often-pleasant locations, aimed at organising the largest ever UN Summit, in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. But that very Summit proved a disaster broadcasted on live TV, the greatest ever UN Anti-climax followed by just as vapourous an agreement in 2010 in Cancún, Mexico. In the meanwhile, silence has greeted the demise of CO2 exchange trading in Chicago, that had started not long ago also thanks also to some Barack Obama.

The IPCC itself has been at the received end of heavy criticism by a super-authority called InterAcademic Council (IAC), an organization that brings together the most prestigious Academies of Sciences in the world. However, the main pivot of the climate science disaster has been the ‘treasure trove’ called Climategate. Some call it a case of hacking, computer piracy, but after a year of investigation the only crime is the almost certain failure by the University of East Anglia to comply with UK freedom-of-information (FOI) legislation. For others, the published material is old stuff, easily manipulated. But some of the information is very recent, and Ralph Cicerone, President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and well-known AGW supporter, had no hesitation at the beginning of November 2010 to declare of having no problems with the media coverage of Climategate, because it was’ news’, in other words not just a manufactured issue.

Some say, there were three Commissions of inquiry in Britain and they did not reveal anything untoward. And why they did not! Exactly those investigations proved to be incomplete almost to the point of reticence, for example focusing on the behavior of scientists, rather than on the consequences to science. Indeed, the Science Assessment Panel of Lord Oxburgh did not concern itself with reviewing the science, and later on the head of another Commission candidly revealed to the British Parliament that he had not probed certain aspects because in some ways they could have seen the emergence of allegations of criminal offences possibly committed by the scientists involved. And if he suspected as much …

It is precisely to understand what has happened with the UK Inquiry Commissions that the Global Warming Policy Foundation, founded by Lord Lawson, has appointed Andrew Montford, bloggers and author of a book on Climategate, ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ , to produce the report ‘The Climategate Inquiries’, published today in Italy in exclusive by Istituto Bruno Leoni. So what has Montfort reported? It is possible to identify four main areas: some problems recognized by all, some cunning plans and stonewalling on the part of the British Establishment, a bunch of still unanswered questions and accusations, and the crumbling of the science of climate change.

Climategate, as amply documented by Montford, has revealed errors and omissions about which everyone agrees, including the Inquiry Commissions. For example, the ‘disappointing’ lack of involvement of statistical experts in the CRU work (paragraph 131 of Report), and a kind of ‘authority’ temptation regarding the IPCC, that transformed scientists well aware of the limitations of their research (paragraph 140) in misleading advisers (167), too sure of themselves (140), and totally against making their raw data publicly available (74) to the point of negatively affecting the IPCC itself (135).

Then there is the ‘craftiness’ question, with countless examples of small interpretative changes and minor omissions here and there that always end up pushing the reader towards believing in the existence of absolutely grave dangers caused by global warming and its anthropogenic origin, and in the complete absence of anything unusual in the work at the CRU and in general of scientists that are also activist campaigners against global warming. A prime example is the ‘hide the decline’, where differences in tree ring growth data and measured temperatures after 1960 have been papered over: a so-called ‘trick’ that is to some extent legitimate when accompanied by an open justification in peer-reviewed scientific articles. But that transforms also into something of the night when that same justification does not appear in publications made available to the public and to policymakers. And how is this apparent inconsistency solved? Why, with the absurd notion that policymakers and the public should always go back and read the original articles (39, 41), thereby undermining the very idea that scientists could be any useful in helping design public policy.

Similar problems occur about the ‘data adjustments’ (aka ‘fudging’ and ‘bodging’), explained in some scientific articles, but not in others (48). The Commissions have also declared of not being able to ‘consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU’ (70), after refusing to deal with the documentation provided in that regard. And we could go on and on: the blatant composition of the Commissions (98, 99, 157, 160); the failure to invite the main critics of the CRU work to testify in person (90); the fake list of scientific papers to be examined, prepared not by the Royal Society as stated, but by the UEA, as if the accused were given the task of presenting the evidence against them in court (114-117); the lack of probing questions (181, 188, 197), as if one trusted the fox declaring itself innocent after the chickens have disappeared; demonstrated lies taken instead as confirmed truths (225, 226); the Commissions’ work conducted informally and non-professionally (127), with ignored experts’ advice (171, 176), and abrupt, very convenient misunderstandings of the way the IPCC works (185), etc etc.

It is against this ‘wall of stones’ that all the still-unanswered questions and accusations stand out, thus preventing any real closure of the Climategate scandal. On what basis did the CRU Director refuted in the IPCC report a scientific article (59)? Why did the same Director not distance himself from some dubious data (65)? What has led scientists to reject in principle the public sharing of CRU data (73)? Why isn’t there much clarity as yet around tree ring growth data (130)? It gets worse, though, and this is the very large wound left over by Climategate: the crumbling of the science of climate change itself.

Let’s ask ourselves what is is, that science … is it perhaps the balance of evidence and theories concerning the mechanisms of those climatic changes that have already happened? Then some ‘little question’ might be honestly asked, after Climategate, and woe to the ‘science’ that considers some ‘little questions’ too uncomfortable to ask. Or is it the attempt to understand how the climate will evolve in the future? In that regards, Climategate has changed many things: the ‘little questions’ are too many to mention. But in truth, the ‘science of climate change’ is something bigger, because it includes its presentation to policymakers in an updated, comprehensive and authoritative way: the task, that is, of the IPCC.

Regarding that, Climategate really has changed everything. The IPCC was created at the interface between science and policymaking and its output is a report, not an encyclopaedia, aimed at relevance for policy response to anthropogenic climate change. It therefore contains what scientists (and politicians…it’s an ‘intergovernmental’ panel, not ‘interacademic’ or ‘interdisciplinary’) consider essential to state regarding those policies. But Climategate has destroyed that interface, showing how the same scientists who wrote carefully-worded articles in professional journals (140) went instead for bombastic statements in the IPCC reports and other publications that were policy-relevant and/or for the general public (131, 167). The IPCC itself has been shown guilty of oversimplifications, even according to most gentle Inquiry Commissions, and of omitting uncertainties that were clearly spelled out in the scientific literature. After Climategate, policymaking can no longer trust a ‘science’ that finds itself enslaved, forever forced to be useful, usable, accurate, focused on CO2 emissions of human origin and never to be questioned. This kind of science ends up being subordinate, a mere tool instead of a partner in policymaking: and that’s exactly what happened at Copenhagen, and has been admitted by Mike Hulme in the pages of The Guardian on 16 November 2010.

Perhaps the clearest sign that Climategate is much more serious than what some people keep repeating, is the absence of defamation trials against the GWPF, Montford, McKitrick, McIntyre, Holland, Keenan, no shy of making serious allegations against some of the scientists involved in Climategate. English law in this area is particularly onerous in respect of the defendant. Yet, nobody has come forward. Possibly, those at the receiving end of the allegations are convinced that the backstage of climate science shouldn’t be scrutinised too much. And if they themselves do not trust climate science, what should we infer?

Yet Another Amazing Detail About Climate Science

They’ve got incredible supercomputers to play with, but still our climate scientists build up global anomaly charts from only a handful of stations (1,000 or so if the guys at Climate Monitor are not mistaken, or one on average for every area the size of Bangladesh).

You’d think world-rescuing climate specialists would have computers and bandwidth enough to handle data from a million stations by now, or a billion even. But they say they don’t even need that.

Why not? Because they have discovered that 1,200-km grids are ok. Why are they ok? Because

temperature anomaly patterns tend to be large scale

How so? Here’s the root of it all, from 1987:

The 1200-km limit is the distance at which the average correlatiom coefficient of temperature variations falls to 0.5 at middle and high latitudes and 0.33 at low latitude

Who would believe that it all depends on a correlation coefficient of…0.5?

My Podcast At “365 Days of Astronomy” – Moon Colonies

My first ever podcast, entitled “Moon Colonies”, is now available at “365 Days of Astronomy” for January 23, 2011. The 10-min MP3 audio recording is at this link (including the shortest guitar solo in history, but hey, it’s my first musical recording too!).

Transcript will follow soon.

Recycled Grandchildren Worries

Whilst reading recommended material by “Climate Crocks”‘ Peter Sinclair about the “record melt” SEEN in Greenland in 2010 (my main curiosity being collecting evidence that somebody somewhere has actually SEEN the “record melt“, rather than just modeled about it), I have found this little gem at the end of a 1939 NYT article (titled, needless to say, “True Winters Are Not What They Used To Be“):

Whether sleigh-bells will make winter-music for our grandchildren, let no man dare to forecast

Ever the green campaigner, Granddad Jim will be happy to know he has recycled his concerns from a past generation’s.

Why Omnologos

Omnologos defines my take on knowledge, the universe and, yes, everything. From Howard Bloom‘s Omnology Manifesto:

We are blessed with a richness of specializations, but cursed with a paucity of panoptic disciplines – categories of knowledge that concentrate on seeing the pattern that emerges when one views all the sciences at once.

Hence we need a field dedicated to the panoramic, an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline whose mandate is best summed up in a paraphrase of the poet Andrew Marvel: “Let us roll all our strength and all Our knowledge up into one ball, And tear our visions with rough strife Through the iron gates of life.

Omnology is a science, but one dedicated to the biggest picture conceivable by the minds of its practitioners. Omnology will use every conceptual tool available-and some not yet invented but inventible-to leapfrog over disciplinary barriers, stitching together the patchwork quilt of science and all the rest that humans can yet know.

If one omnologist is able to perceive the relationship between pop songs, ancient Egyptian graffiti, Shirley MacLaine’s mysticism, neurobiology, and the origins of the cosmos, so be it. If another uses mathematics to probe traffic patterns, the behavior of insect colonies, and the manner in which galaxies cluster in swarms, wonderful.

And if another uses introspection to uncover hidden passions and relate them to research in chemistry, anthropology, psychology, history, and the arts, she, too, has a treasured place on the wild frontiers of scientific truth-the terra incognita at the heartland of omnology.

Let me close with the words of yet another poet, William Blake, on the ultimate goal of omnology: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour“.

Purists might object to the term’s mixed etimology, but alas Cosmology and Ecumenology were already taken.

Sun Rises In Greenland, Sets In (A Few) AGWer Brains

(many thanks to Sancho and the guys at Climate Monitor for inspiring this blog)

Just like with the drowning polar bears that weren’t in 2008, the Daily Mail is now the source of another idiotic “it’s climate change!” story. Ver shortly, reports of the town of Ilulissat having seen the sun two days earlier than usual after the darkness of winter, have been presented as the result of “melting ice caps” that “have lowered the horizon allowing the sun to shine through earlier“.

Of course this was unsubstantiated speculation, starting from the simple fact that in the direction of the rising sun (due South, in these days in Ilulissat) there is no ice to melt. There have been a few theories on the “inexplicable” phenomenon. The simplest one by far, is the Novaya Zemlja Effect (h/t Fabrizio). Perhaps, it should go without saying:

The Novaya Zemlya effect will give the impression that the sun is rising earlier than it actually should…

Livescience.com manages to make a good article out of it. The best one can do about this sad story is to use to check which AGWers have been victim of scichosis (h/t TomFP), “whose sufferers use perverse extension of uncontroversial science to frighten themselves and others witless“:

1-  Thomas Posch, of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Vienna (proving there’s always a scientist available to wildly speculate to a reporter about anything)

2- The Daily Mail Editor (as the article is unsigned)

3- Accuweather’s Mark Paquette

4- An untold number of bloggers I cannot be bothered to link to

5- That’s it

Very few people have fallen for the latest Daily Mail pearl. Maybe it’s because of Climategate, maybe catastrophism is going out of fashion (see Guardian’s “false claim” story, a journalistic indictment of the AAAS). Hope at last!

Non-technical Comment For Curry's Technical Thread

This comment of mine in reply to Judith Curry’s “Pierrehumbert on infrared radiation and planetary temperatures” might or might not survive the night at Climate Etc: 8-)

Well, if you are wondering whether any progress in understanding of an issue like this can be made on the blogosphere you can’t leave this thread as purely technical can you?

raypierre is the perfect example of what has gone wrong between mainstream climate scientists and the rest of the world, starting from the “blogosphere”. One can be the smartest kid this side of the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies, but if in one’s mindset questions are considered as instances of lèse majesté and examples for the general public are routinely simplified in the extreme, so as to make them pointless, well, one will only be able to contribute to the hot air: because the natural reaction of most listeners will be to consider whatever one says (even the good stuff) as just a lot of vaporous grandstanding.

From this point of view, SoD‘s work should be more than highly commended.

Data Sharing And Proprietary Periods, Away From The Climate Madness


The policy for the future mission will require the immediate dissemination of data.
“You get a larger community and you get a bigger workforce for free,” he says.
“It’s clear that the more people you get involved, the more support you get.”

How often have climate scientists lamented their inability to share their data, either because evil people might use them “improperly”, or because it is unfair that somebody take advantage of all their hard work.

Is this a problem of climate science alone? Perhaps, it is. How strange.

From the UK Space Agency, about the Planck mission:

the proprietary period, which nominally ends with the release of the scientific products to the community 3.5 yr after launch, i.e. in January 2013.

From the Planck mission organization itself: “Planck Science Management Plan

The nature of the mission is such that the data products can only be generated from an analysis of the full set of data; i.e. distribution of partial sets of data before the complete set is processed is not useful and will be avoided. In particular, all of the data acquired over the duration of the mission will be simultaneously used to calibrate and remove systematic effects. Thus, the time at which the 1-year proprietary period begins can be appropriately defined as the time at which the 9 all-sky channel maps (the main product described above) have reached a level of maturity such that they could be delivered to the community. The exact time when this level is reached will be determined by the PST, but will not be later than 1 year after the spacecraft power has been switched off.

It is worth noting here that the 1-year proprietary period will also be used to prepare the physical means of distribution of the scientific data products to the astronomical community, and the associated documentation (the ?Explanatory Supplement”); given the large amounts of data involved (in particular in the time series) this operation will require a non-negligible amount of time.

The Planck Mission Science Case, from Helsinki:

The observing program lasts 14 months. The Planck data will be made public two years after completion of the mission, in 2012. Prior to this, during the proprietary period, the data is analyzed and used by Planck Scientists and their collaborators

And now about the large European astronomical observatories (note how much emphasis there is on making the data easy to share):

Larger telescopes, more sophisticated instrumentation and solid state detectors have increased the efficiency of the astronomical observations by several orders of magnitude. All the data collected by these new instruments are produced directly in digital form and stored on computer accessible media. Controlled calibration procedures are applied to the raw data that then fill Science Archives that are readily accessible via the WWW for scientific analysis and research. For most of these Archives, the data they contain are becoming publicly available after a short period of proprietary time.

Most observatories are currently distributing Principal Investigator data to their user communities after the proprietary period has expired. This enables the scientific utilisation of these data for completely different purposes than the ones of the original proposer, and thus optimises the scientific return of observation infrastructure. But the distribution method is quite variable, from distribution on demand to full on-line archives with sophisticated data retrieval tools.

Observatories and organizations such as ESO, ESA, PPARC, CNRS and Jodrell Bank have invested telescope time and financial resources in producing archives with the potential to be reutilized for a variety of scientific purposes. The AVO offers the opportunity to federate these resources and provide astronomers with access to an integrated multi-wavelength repository of data for data mining and enabling new science.

Astronomical archives are potential a valuable teaching tool for school and university students. ESO and ESA have received funding for education purposes through the European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture Program. Through these efforts ESO has realized the magnitude of the potential utilization of archives by teachers and students. By enabling uniform and interactive access to distributed data archives, the AVO will provide an environment in which the public can participate in exploring the digital cosmos and in which teachers can build new educational resources.

A basic issue to be addressed during the initial phases of the AVO design is the uniformity in the quality of the data. Different Archives and, within them, data from different telescopes and instruments, have adopted different quality control procedures and indicators. The issue is particularly acute for the data collected by individual PI (Principal Investigators) that become public after the expiration of the proprietary period. The first step in addressing this issue is a review of the scientific quality of the existing Archives and the drafting of the scientific requirements for the standard quality control procedures to be adopted by Archives that want to be part of the AVO. The study will proceed by defining a set of quality indicators that are suitable for use by automatic querying and browsing systems. In some cases, the production of higher level Archive products (metadata or specific survey products) will be suggested and implemented.

Blast from the past, when oceans could be worked upon without having to worry about politics: the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) 1990 – 2002 (including an appropriate data quality control process)

The WOCE Hydrographic Programme Office in Woods Hole was the first WOCE Data Assembly Centre (DAC) to be established (in 1990). Three years on we can look at how well we are doing. WHPO ‘data’ is digital data of either station locations and times or CTD and bottle data. These data with their attendant documentation come from PIs and at the end of the WHPO involvement are transferred to the WHP Special Analysis Centre (SAC) in Hamburg. After the proprietary period is over, data are made available to the WOCE community on an ftp server. The start of the path is the submission to WHPO of data sets and documentation by individual Chief Scientists. The WHPO usually re-formats the data and, in some cases, generates information files that are not otherwise available. Data are then sent out to a Data Quality Evaluator (DQE) for independent assessment of the quality. In the case of some repeat hydrography cruises, we hold a data set until we receive another one from the same group since it is as easy for a DQE to evaluate two data sets in the same region as one. Once the DQE reviews are complete, they are sent to the Chief Scientist, who is asked to revise his data set, (usually only by changing data flags or submitting additional information). The revised data set is re-submitted and, after further checking at the WHPO, is sent on to SAC and made publicly available once the proprietary period of 2 years elapses.

In fact this is what the WOCE home page shows:

The WOCE data set is the most comprehensive data set ever collected from the global ocean.This site provides access to the final (3rd) Version of the data set collected during the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (1990-1997).

This page provides access to:

Browse the WOCE Data DVD Disk One

Browse the WOCE Data DVD Disk Two

Browse updates and amendments to the WOCE Data DVDs

WOCE 2002 Conference Presentations

WOCE Global Data Resource (PDF, 19.8MB)

How about the Hubble Space Telescope (where we are told what NASA does when it’s not climate in the picture)

In accordance with NASA policy, all science data from the Hubble Space Telescope is archived with a one-year proprietary period by default. This period may be extended or shortened at the request of the principle investigator (PI) and on approval by the STScI Director’s Office. Calibration data (i.e., data obtained under calibration proposals), by default, carries no proprietary period; neither does engineering data, calibration files (derived from calibration observations), and observatory monitoring data.

In addition to the regular proprietary period, observations by General Observers (GOs) which are found to be duplicates of concurrent observations by a Guaranteed Time Observer (GTO) may be placed under restriction. Data under restriction (or “embargoed”) cannot be distributed to the GO until the restriction expires (usually, when the GTO data goes public).

How easy is it, to get a Proprietary Rights Modification? Not much:

Requests for proprietary rights modifications (extensions, reductions, and/or restrictions) should be sent to the archive hotseat (archive@stsci.edu). The hotseat staff will forward all requests to the appropriate authorizing officials. All requests must be approved by the Director’s Office before being enacted.

More at the Space Telescope Science Institute, details about the “Extention of Proprietary Data Period”:

While individual images of my target will have some value, the scientific goals of this program are possible only when the entire dataset has been collected. I am now requesting that the proprietary data period be set to run from the completion of the last visit in the set. The timing on this request is important since your answer will greatly impact the upcoming budget submission.

Requests for non-standard proprietary data periods are unusual and are granted only in exceptional circumstances. Such a request should be addressed to Duccio Macchetto as the Associate Director for Science Policy.

And finally…on 14 April 2010, Nature magazine hosts a protest against “Telescope team may be allowed to sit on exoplanet data“:

on Monday a NASA advisory panel recommended that Kepler be allowed to censor 400 “objects of interest” — presumably good planet candidates — until February 2011, giving the mission team more time to firm up discoveries, rule out false positives and publish. If enacted, the new policy would represent a selective editing of data on the basis of its science content, rather than its quality — unprecedented for such NASA missions.

Many astrophysics programmes allow researchers a proprietary period with the data. For instance, guest observers on the Hubble Space Telescope get exclusive use of their data for a year before public release. But the tradition for NASA Discovery missions — small, principal-investigator-led missions like Kepler — is to make calibrated data available immediately. That policy has already been changed once for Kepler, last year, when the team was given more than a year to pursue confirmations and work out the kinks in its data processing.

Exoplanet astronomers outside the mission, however, are critical of what they say is an overly cautious approach. Scott Gaudi, an astronomer at Ohio State University in Columbus, says external astronomers might help the Kepler team, as it will be unable on its own to follow up and confirm all its candidate planets. “I think Kepler is being far too conservative, and far too closed about what’s going on,” he says, “and I think it’s to the detriment of science”.

[Malcolm] Fridlund, who is ESA’s study scientist for a planned follow-up planet-hunting mission called PLATO (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars), wants to do things differently next time. The policy for the future mission will require the immediate dissemination of data. “You get a larger community and you get a bigger workforce for free,” he says. “It’s clear that the more people you get involved, the more support you get.”

 

Inflation of "Worst Floods" In Australia

Floods Ravage Australia
Reuters

SYDNEY, Australia, – Australia’s worst floods in a century cut off outback towns and forced hundreds of people to take refuge on the roofs of their submerged homes today in the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The authorities say many people have been reported missing but only one death was reported.

When? “Published: April 23, 1990“.

Does it ever just rain, in Australia?

Arctic Sea Ice On The Edge (literally!)

Continuing in my investigation of how “unfair” the situation is regarding Arctic sea ice and its forever-negative anomaly (forever-negative since it is calculated against a reference is pretty much the most sea ice the Arctic will ever going to see), some curious results about where the 1.1 million square kilometers are missing from.

The edges, that is.

As of Jan 16, Cryosphere Today reports 1.131M sq km of missing Northern Hemisphere sea ice area.

If you go into more details, the situation is:

  1. Bering sea, missing .1M sq km
  2. Sea of Okhotsk, missing .15
  3. Greenland sea, missing .1
  4. Baffin/Newfoundland area, missing .4
  5. Hudson Bay, missing .3

————

Total is 1.05M sq km already. If you then look at all the other areas, you will find them pretty much all

  • At around zero anomaly
  • Full of ice (i.e. there is no space for additional ice area)

In other words, there is no way that those places could contribute a positive anomaly that would balance out the negative ones listed abov. The only Arctic place that could contribute anything positive to the anomaly is actually the Barents Sea (where it is currently zero).

And where are all these non-full negative-anomaly areas placed? Why, they are all at the edges of the Arctic ocean.

This strongly indicates it’s not a generalized Arctic warming that is behind the “missing Arctic sea ice area”/negative anomaly, but something connected to sea currents.In fact, the Hudson Bay situation shows this nicely: it’s not the actual Bay that is missing most of the ice, it’s the Hudson Strait linking the Bay to the (negative-anomaly) Baffin/Newfoundland area.

The Weather Is Really Changing (In 1953) (plus Attributions and CO2)

Yes it’s another old New York Times article, this time from July 12, 1953. Stories of unusual weather, retreating ice caps, extreme events (at the time it was tornadoes). Yada yada yada.

Couple of interesting details. Journalist Leonard Engel provides a list of past attributions to human activities:

Unusual weather  inevitably stirs up speculation as to the cause, in part, no doubt, because we like to talk about the weather anyway. And prominent event coincident with the exceptional weather is apt to be blamed. Heavy rains during World War I were popularly attributed to artillery bombardments in France. During the Twenties and Thirties it was fashionably to lay abnormal weather (along with other odd occurrences) to changes in the sunspot cycle. Today the popular villains  of freak weather are atom-bomb tests and the activities of rainmakers.

Engel mentions also greenhouse gases and in particular the concentration of CO2

In 1850 the air contained somewhat less than thirty parts of carbon dioxide per 1,000 parts of air. In the hundred years since, industrialized, urbanized man has poured unprecedented quantities of carbon dioxide out of home and factory chimneys […] As a result, there are now thirty-three parts of the gas per 1,000 in the atmosphere instead of thirty.

Assuming Engel was just victim of some conversion mistake, and he meant 330ppm, it is curious to note that the figure is somewhat off Keeling’s original 1955 value of 310ppm.

Arctic Sea Ice? There Is Only So Much Space For Arctic Sea Ice…

Very quickly, a couple of notes on something that keeps bothering me…Arctic sea ice is the darling of AGW catastrophists, obviously not because its extension getting away from the 1979 maximum has been the most consistent “warming signal” (sorry, hurricanes!). But the geography of the Arctic makes it very difficult to beat the maximum.

For example looking at yesterday’s figures from Cryosphere Today (visual estimates) we have the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Basin and the Arctic Basin pretty much at 100% or slightly lower of maximum-ever sea ice. Only thing, there is no way they can get ABOVE that 100% line, simply because they are already 100% covered by sea ice.

Greenland sea ice runs at -0.05 million square kilometers (84% of its possible maximum, but it usually peaks later in the season). Similar the situation for the Chukchi Sea, the St Lawrence area and the Barents Sea.

So we’re down to where the sea ice actually is missing: Baffin (it’s half of what it should be, but what is should be is “completely covered by sea ice), Hudson Bay (almost the same), Okhotsk (there is 0.1 m sq km missing, despite the ongoing drama, and again the expected value seems to be “completely covered”).

—–

It is obviously very difficult for anybody to be above the zero-meter line if the zero-meter line is defined as the top of Mount Everest. Likewise, we should never expect news of a “healthy” Arctic sea ice extent unless it gets chocked-full of ice: in other words, we should never expect news of a “healthy” Arctic sea ice, really…

Therefore, the use of Arctic sea ice extent to investigate the effects of climate change, and in particular the use of the late-1970s as reference period, is bound to be limited.

 

R.I.P. Climate Change Mitigation (1988-2011)

Richard Black came back yesterday to the Land of the Writing with the uncharacteristic words of a Climate Realist, clearly undermining the mitigation side of climate change…

No-one acknowledges the limitations of computer climate models more readily than modellers themselves, who will frequently bemoan the roughness of the resolution at which they have to work given the tools available.

How fast models’ capabilities will increase is anybody’s guess – partly because funding for new big science projects is scarce in many nations, partly because there are still big gaps in understanding of how oceans and the atmosphere work, and partly because when it comes to projecting trends such as glacier loss, the path human society takes in terms of economic development is a key factor, and that’s certainly a known unknown.

There is not enough detail to know what the impact is going to be, where it is going to hit and when. Worse, it might take a long time to go from Global to Regional level, and then even that might not be detailed enough to be “useful”, with more years still to go from Regional to a “useful” level (whatever that might be).

All mitigation efforts might be just right, or too much, or too little, just in-time, or too soon, or too late, and we simply have no clue to tell what they really are.

The problem is that climate science as it is now asked to help manage the climate risk of the year 2100 is like XVIII century chemistry being asked to develop a nuclear bomb. We know it did, eventually, and science and knowledge moved forward. We also know it would have been absurd to base any policy on what XVIII century chemistry knew about nuclear bombs. And we know that, albeit fundamental to the building of nuclear bombs, XVIII century chemistry studies would have been of very little help in that regard.

So it’s not a matter of pessimism, but (using a similar analogy) of acknowledging that we can’t go to the Moon yet if all we can build is hot-air balloons.

Richard proceeds to ask:

So what should policymakers do?

What does one do if one loses one’s sight? Await in hospital the invention of an artificial eye? Pretend nothing has happened, and try to walk as before? Or does one protects oneself against accidents (=builds up adaptation) by using a white cane, a guide dog, and all available mobility aids?

Risk management under these “blind walk” conditions has to start from adaptation instead of mitigation, building up everybody’s resilience against present and future climate (or better yet, weather) events. There are enough weather disasters already as things are, despite CO2 levels being far from the projected values, and global temperature anomaly still in the 0.7C region.

 

Harrabin/BBC's Warm-or-Cold Reticence (The Met Office's Hidden Third Winter Forecast)

Evidently (and evidently again) the Met Office did tell some people that the winter was going to be mild (pettifogging protestations notwithstanding). And likely (and likely again) it did tell some other people that the winter was going to be harsh.

This might mean they have told some other people yet, that the winter was going to be average. Could those people please step forward. You know, that’s the best way for the Met Office to try to pull off a “Derren Brown” and tell the world how good their work really is.

But that’s not the only strange thing about this ongoing story.

The news about the “exceptionally cold winter” forecast was broken by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin (of Jo Abbess fame), apparently from the pages of the Radio Times. I cannot be 100% sure because I do not read the Radio Times, there is no mention of Harrabin on the RT website and the closest online trace to Harrabin’s words is an article from the Daily Telegraph. Obviously there is no reason to believe the Telegraph has made up Harrabin’s quotes, and given that there’s been no protestation by Harrabin himself the Telegraph story is very very likely to be true.

  • Why then, has Harrabin said not a thing about this all in the BBC News website?

  • How can the Met Office secretly telling something very important to somebody somewhere in the UK Government at local or national level NOT be an important news item to tell the world about in first person, given it also is has appeared in almost 30 mainstream media articles in the UK?

  • Why has nobody at the BBC written anything on the BBC News website, so that the only references you find are in readers’ comments?

Finally…as absence of news is as usual both news of absence, and an open door for speculation….

What indeed.

Build-Your-Own "Anthropogenic Global Something"

Commenter Alvaro of “After Mein Kampf, Mein Klima” Splattergate-era fame has just published another gem in Italian non-warmist site “Climate Monitor“. Its edited and expanded translation is published below as a way to help budding entrepreneurs to identify a niche “Anthropogenic Global Something” where to build their fortunes from.

(Please DO send 10% of the profits).

========

Having learned the lessons of AGW, I wonder if we could emulate the process, starting from scratch though with the aim of finding (and funding) my own place in the sun.

  • First of all, we need a juicy topic, similar to Electrosmog, but not as easy to debunk
  • It also needs to be catchy whilst sounding good in news bites

How about something “magnetic …” – it sounds right and is already well received by the general public, as shown by the never-ending popularity of “magnetic bracelets“.

So, what interesting and “magnetic”? Two minutes spent on Google lead to this (by NASA, no less!), that can be summarily distorted as:

Red alert! The Earth’s magnetic field is no longer constant, indeed it seems that is weakening – and very few percent per century, much more than the changes induced by AGW! And if that field goes, the magnetosphere goes, ending life on earth …

CreatedIdentified the problem, there’s still two important details to care about:

  • We must figure out some “anthropogenic” cause, possibly associated to some kind of “guilt”. Otherwise, there goes the business opportunity
  • Some evil giant corporation has to be the at the root of the problem. This will increase the guilt factor and greatly help in the recruitment of unpaid volunteers

Consider now an old CRT computer monitor. It needs degaussing when it starts being troubled by nearby loudspeakers. That involves the use of of a bit of AC – just as in deleting old music and video tapes. Best of all, there is lots of man-made ACs around. Can you feel the Eureka moment too?

Over the last hundred years, ever since Westinghouse (the evil giant corporation) opted for AC (Tesla’s idea) instead of DC (Edison’s), we have built and then – alas – even synced a giant electricity grid all around our planet, based on AC at 50-60 Hz: a formidable “degaussing grid” of planetary scale!

Of course, this is not enough. Where’s the catastrophe?

  • A sobering message is in order, followed by suitably-placed apocalyptic predictions for decades in the future, in case of inaction

Here comes the message!

We are now painfully aware that we have been unwittingly tampering with Earth’s already-weak magnetic field, risking the wearing out of the magnetosphere. Compared to that, the ozone hole looks like child’s play. So if we do not act now, jetzt, ora, pronto, to stop Anthropogenic Global Degaussing (AGD) we will all fry in a radioactive holocaust, like microwaved mice, in a veritable ELE – Extinction Level Event, We’ll be following in the footsteps of the dinosaurs, in about thirty years’ time, according to accurate peer-reviewed computations.

For the AGD PERP (Precautionary Emergency Response Program) the plan is the following:

  • Take three TRIPs – Temporarily Redundant Important Politicians – and put them in charge of a sky-blue-badged global initiative to coordinate (a) an immediate and massive effort to communicate the seriousness of the AGD emergency, (b) the subsequent coercive-yet-negotiable mitigation initiatives of the impact of the world AC grid and (c) the final big effort to restore Earth’s magnetic field
  • Provide the motives, I mean, encourage large research institutions to align themselves with mainstream AGD in order to harmonize the overall funding for a massive research effort that will confirm the overriding urgency of the TRIPs’ plans
  • Prepare draft Wikipedia article to lay the foundation for a Nobel Prize

And here are a few ideas on what to tell people:

Global Degaussing is the most significant issue of our times, and too important for us to delay it any further. People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global degaussing becomes something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous degaussing patterns and devastating electric storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not magnetic change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.

The warnings about global degaussing have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global magnetic crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences. Etc etc

Only remaining issue is how to deal with AGD deniers, those unable to listen to reason, and able instead mostly to sacrifice truth on the altar of profits yada yada yada…

Suggestions?

A Crock At "Climate Crocks"

It’s all nice and dandy for “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” to mention a video with Isaac Asimov talking of the “greenhouse effect” as the “most interesting” scientific effect of 1988 (why, isnt’t that the year of the staged Hansen visit to the US Congress). It’s a different thing to forget what else The Good Doctor had to say, about science and everything. For example:

Science is uncertain. Theories are subject to revision; observations are open to a variety of interpretations, and scientists quarrel amongst themselves. This is disillusioning for those untrained in the scientific method, who thus turn to the rigid certainty of the Bible instead. There is something comfortable about a view that allows for no deviation and that spares you the painful necessity of having to think.

There is more, all of it blatantly incompatible with the mindset of consensus-obsessed AGWers:

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …’

Clarke’s First Law – Corollary: When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion—the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.

Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold. What does the scientist have to offer in exchange? Uncertainty! Insecurity!

Double-Whammy Befalling London, Jan 19, 2011

As it happens, Polly Higgins and Lord Martin Rees will both be speaking in London on Jan 19, 2011.

Apologies of course to Polly…rather than deranged statements in support of a new Committee of Public Safety (please nobody tell the warmists how little CO2 is emitted by guillotines!), I’ll most likely opt for a relaxed evening about “the search for planets around other stars” and in general anything apart from the world I left behind me.

  • Ecocide – Polly Higgins, international environmental lawyer and activist, is leading a campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international Crime Against Peace – alongside genocide and crimes against humanity. Join us to explore how the crime of Ecocide can be implemented, how it can be applied internationally and nationally within a short timescale, and what the implications for global health may be. Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Malet Place, UCL, Wednesday 19th January 2011, 3-4.30pm with drinks to follow
  • Life’s Future in the Cosmos – Prof Martin Rees – The talk will summarise current developments in understanding cosmic evolution and in the search for planets around other stars, as well as speculating on what may lie beyond the horizon of our observations. Conference Room at 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1SZ, The British Interplanetary Society, 19 January 2011 7 – 8.30 pm

Addendum to Skeptic's Dictionary: Hidden Persuaders Of Anthropogenic Global Warming

(original here of course, with plenty of links to explore each dictionary entry below in depth)

(the text outside < blockquote > is (mostly) mine)

hidden persuaders: A term used by Geoffrey Dean and Ivan Kelly (2003) to describe affective, perceptual, and cognitive biases or illusions that lead to erroneous beliefs.

A NOTE TO THOSE OF AGW-BELIEVING ATTITUDE:

The hidden persuaders sometimes seem to affect people in proportion to their intelligence: the smarter one is the easier it is to develop false beliefs. There are several reasons for this: (1) the hidden persuaders affect everybody to some degree; (2) the smarter one is the easier it is to see patterns, fit data to a hypothesis, and draw inferences; (3) the smarter one is the easier it is to rationalize, i.e., explain away strong evidence contrary to one’s belief; and (4) smart people are often arrogant and incorrectly think that they cannot be deceived by others, the data, or themselves

And now for some examples:

 

ad hoc hypothesis: An ad hoc hypothesis is one created to explain away facts that seem to refute one’s belief or theory. Ad hoc hypotheses are common in paranormal research and in the work of pseudoscientists. It is always more reasonable to apply Occam’s razor than to offer speculative ad hoc hypotheses.

AGW example: The discovery that aerosols have cooled the Earth just when the Earth was cooling, miraculously declining their action exactly when the Earth was warming due to CO2 emissions.

AGW example: The discovery that heavy (winter) snow and cold temperatures are exactly caused by temperature increases

 

affect bias: Our judgment regarding the costs and benefits of items is often significantly influenced by a feeling evoked by pictures or words not directly relevant to the actual cost or benefit

AGW example: Justifying reduction in CO2 emissions by way of how “green” things could become, and civilization “sustainable” in “harmony” with nature.

 

apophenia: Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. “The propensity to see connections between seemingly unrelated objects or ideas most closely links psychosis to creativity … apophenia and creativity may even be seen as two sides of the same coin”. In statistics, apophenia is called a Type I error, seeing patterns where none, in fact, exist.

AGW example: The propensity to see Anthropogenic Global Warming at work in each and every (bad) thing that happens anywhere on Earth, including in earthquakes

 

autokinetic effect: The autokinetic effect refers to perceiving a stationary point of light in the dark as moving

AGW example: The incredible inability of past and present temperature measures to record the actual values, leading to contemporary researchers having to continuously adjust the figures (lowering the old ones, increasing the new ones)

 

availability error: availability heuristic, determining probability “by the ease with which relevant examples come to mind” (Groopman 2007: p. 64) or “by the first thing that comes to mind” (Sutherland 1992: p. 11)

AGW example: The IPCC declaring in 2007 that tens of thousands of indicators were all compatible to global warming, even if the overwhelming majority of those indicators was about Europe alone

 

backfire effect: The “backfire effect” is a term coined by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler to describe how some individuals when confronted with evidence that conflicts with their beliefs come to hold their original position even more strongly

AGW example: AGWers patting each other in the back about climate science remaining totally unscathed by the Climategate e-mails

 

change blindness: Change blindness is the failure to detect non-trivial changes in the visual field.

AGW example: The obsession with computing linear trends, making it impossible even to fathom the step-function behaviors (=”tipping points”) the very same AGWers like to talk about

 

Clever Hans phenomenon: A form of involuntary and unconscious cuing

AGW example: Journalist AGWers crowding RealClimate to know how long to count for

 

Clever Linda phenomenon: A form of involuntary and unconscious cuing

AGW example: Climate scientists writing to journalists making sure they conform, because fortunately, the prestige press doesn’t fall for this sort of stuff, right?

 

clustering illusion: The clustering illusion is the intuition that random events which occur in clusters are not really random events

AGW example: All the global village idiots that will tell the world how climate change is upon us, as shown by the year’s news, rather than by relying on properly conducted scientific research capable to isolate climate-change effects from others such as poverty

 

cognitive dissonance: Cognitive dissonance is a theory of human motivation that asserts that it is psychologically uncomfortable to hold contradictory cognitions. The theory is that dissonance, being unpleasant, motivates a person to change his cognition, attitude, or behavior. What distinguishes the chiropractor’s rationalization from the cult member’s is that the latter is based on pure faith and devotion to a guru or prophet, whereas the former is based on evidence from experience. Neither belief can be falsified because the believers won’t let them be falsified: Nothing can count against them. Those who base their beliefs on experience and what they take to be empirical or scientific evidence (e.g., astrologers, palm readers, mediums, psychics, the intelligent design folks, and the chiropractor) make a pretense of being willing to test their beliefs. They only bother to submit to a test of their ideas to get proof for others. That is why we refer to their beliefs as pseudosciences. We do not refer to the beliefs of cult members as pseudoscientific, but as faith-based irrationality. The chiropractors’ misguided belief is probably not due to worrying about their self-image or removing discomfort. It is more likely due to their being arrogant and incompetent thinkers, convinced by their experience that they “know” what’s going on, and probably assisted by communal reinforcement from the like-minded arrogant and incompetent thinkers they work with and are trained by. They’ve seen how AK works with their own eyes. They’ve demonstrated it many times. If anything makes them uncomfortable it might be that they can’t understand how the world can be so full of idiots who can’t see with their own eyes what they see!

AGW example: Thousands and thousands of words written by journalists, scientists and activists about anthropogenic global warming, and not one of them indicating what if anything could falsify…anthropogenic global warming

 

law of truly large numbers (coincidence): The law of truly large numbers says that with a large enough sample many odd coincidences are likely to happen.

AGW example: Romm scouring the planet’s press agencies to list all sorts of disasters that might somehow be connected to anthropogenic global warming

 

cold reading: Cold reading refers to a set of techniques used by professional manipulators to get a subject to behave in a certain way or to think that the cold reader has some sort of special ability that allows him to “mysteriously” know things about the subject

AGW example: The popularity of climate models’ ensembles among politicians looking for something to confirm they need to be voted for, and in the process getting convinced science can really tell us something about the climate of 2100

 

communal reinforcement: Communal reinforcement is the process by which a claim becomes a strong belief through repeated assertion by members of a community

AGW example: The tendency of warmist websites to censor dissenting comments away, leaving readers (believers) with the impression there is really a huge huge number of them, and just a handful of nasty skeptics

 

confabulation: A confabulation is a fantasy that has unconsciously emerged as a factual account in memory. A confabulation may be based partly on fact or be a complete construction of the imagination

AGW example: The decade-long fight to remove from collective memory the substantial agreement among scientists about global cooling (potentially, an ice age), a consensus that lasted at least between 1972 and 1975.

 

confirmation bias: Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs

AGW example: Briffa’s uncanny ability to avoid for years any mention of the misbehaving trees he had himself published a paper about, in the Yamal saga

 

file-drawer effect: The file-drawer effect refers to the practice of researchers filing away studies with negative outcomes. Negative outcome refers to finding nothing of statistical significance or causal consequence, not to finding that something affects us negatively. Negative outcome may also refer to finding something that is contrary to one’s earlier research or to what one expects

AGW example: Extreme lack of interest among prominent climate scientists to publish anything (not even an Op-Ed) about the “travesty” that was (is) their inability to explain why temperatures (actually, the averages of the global temperature anomaly) have not risen since 1998

 

Forer effect: The Forer effect refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people

AGW example: The worldwide phenomenon that sees most Ministers and Prime Ministers announce that their own particular country is being affected by climate change at twice or more the planetary average

 

gambler’s fallacy: The gambler’s fallacy is the mistaken notion that the odds for something with a fixed probability increase or decrease depending upon recent occurrences

AGW example: Tamino’s (?) absurdist blog about the probability of having consecutive hot periods being astronomically low

 

hindsight bias: Hindsight bias is the tendency to construct one’s memory after the fact (or interpret the meaning of something said in the past) according to currently known facts and one’s current beliefs. In this way, one appears to make the past consistent with the present and more predictive or predictable than it actually was.

AGW example: The Met Office discovering in January how it had forecasted a cold December in October, as shown by a statement nobody did read, and nobody has read

AGW example: The silly notion that Anthropogenic Global Warming has been consensually recognized in the 1970’s or even earlier

 

inattentional blindness: Inattentional blindness is an inability to perceive something that is within one’s direct perceptual field because one is attending to something else

AGW example: Lancet publishing an incredibly misleading Climate Change report with little mention of the huge difference in the number and type of deaths of people during cold and warm snaps

AGW example: The complete lack of interest about linking the generalized Northern Hemispheric cold and the silent Sun

 

magical thinking: According to anthropologist Dr. Phillips Stevens Jr., magical thinking involves several elements, including a belief in the interconnectedness of all things through forces and powers that transcend both physical and spiritual connections. Magical thinking invests special powers and forces in many things that are seen as symbol. One of the driving principles of magical thinking is the notion that things that resemble each other are causally connected in some way that defies scientific testing (the law of similarity)

AGW example: CO2’s mysterious ability to free the Arctic from the ice, and to increase the amount of ice in Antarctica, plus its long hand into anything and everything that ever happens and has bad consequences.

 

motivated reasoning: Motivated reasoning is confirmation bias taken to the next level. Motivated reasoning leads people to confirm what they already believe, while ignoring contrary data. But it also drives people to develop elaborate rationalizations to justify holding beliefs that logic and evidence have shown to be wrong

AGW example: The Anthropogenic Global Warming’s crowd supernatural swiftness in explaining every (bad) phenomenon as a consequence of human CO2 emissions

 

nonfalsifiability: Scientific theories not only explain empirical phenomena, they also predict empirical phenomena. One way we know a scientific theory is no good is that its predictions keep failing. Predictions can’t fail unless a theory is falsifiable. Some pseudoscientific [theories] can’t be falsified because they are consistent with every imaginable empirical state of affairs. Karl Popper noted that psychoanalytic theory, including Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex, is pseudoscientific because they seem to explain everything and do not leave open the possibility of error. Even contradictory behaviors are appealed to in support of the theory.

AGW example: Thousands and thousands of words written by journalists, scientists and activists about anthropogenic global warming, and not one of them indicating what if anything could falsify…anthropogenic global warming

 

positive-outcome (publication) bias: Positive-outcome (or “publication”) bias is the tendency to publish research with a positive outcome more frequently than research with a negative outcome. Negative outcome refers to finding nothing of statistical significance or causal consequence, not to finding that something affects us negatively. Positive-outcome bias also refers to the tendency of the media to publish medical study stories with positive outcomes much more frequently than such stories with negative outcomes

AGW example: The amount of time some highly-functioning minds have spent to justify scientifically the reasons for the “hide the decline”

 

post hoc fallacy: The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event. Post hoc reasoning is the basis for many superstitions and erroneous beliefs

AGW example: The Anthropogenic Global Warming’s crowd supernatural completeness in explaining every (bad) phenomenon as a consequence of human CO2 emissions

 

pragmatic fallacy: The pragmatic fallacy is committed when one argues that something is true because it works and where ‘works’ means something like “I’m satisfied with it,” “I feel better,” “I find it beneficial, meaningful, or significant,” or “It explains things for me

AGW example: The inane request to publish via peer-review a scientific alternative to mainstream Anthropogenic Global Warming theory because “it works”. One doesn’t need to be a leader or a tailor to see if the Emperor is naked.

 

regressive fallacy: The regressive fallacy is the failure to take into account natural and inevitable fluctuations of things when ascribing causes to them

AGW example: The general agreement that natural variability doesn’t count much for Anthropogenic Global Warming, even if the very same people go on to claim temperatures have not increased in a decade because of natural variability

 

representativeness error: In judging items, we compare them to a prototype or representative idea and tend to see them as typical or atypical according to how they match up with our model. The problem with the representativeness heuristic is that what appears typical sometimes blinds you to possibilities that contradict the prototype

AGW example: The sterile obsession with studying climate science by climate models alone

 

retrospective falsification: D. H. Rawcliffe coined this term to refer to the process of telling a story that is factual to some extent, but which gets distorted and falsified over time by retelling it with embellishments

AGW example: The abuse of Arrhenius’ “greenhouse gas” works, with the first one continuously mentioned exactly as the second one gets forgotten, being a more sober rethinking of the original ideas

 

selection bias: Selection bias comes in two flavors: (1) self-selection of individuals to participate in an activity or survey, or as a subject in an experimental study; (2) selection of samples or studies by researchers to support a particular hypothesis

AGW example: Mann’s obviously irrelevant pick-and-choose of which series to use for the Hockey Stick

 

selective thinking: Selective thinking is the process whereby one selects out favorable evidence for remembrance and focus, while ignoring unfavorable evidence for a belief

AGW example: Any post at Skeptical Science, with its incredible list of peer-reviewed all-mutually-consistent scientific papers

 

self-deception: Self-deception is the process or fact of misleading ourselves to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. Self-deception, in short, is a way we justify false beliefs to ourselves

AGW example: Connolley et al publishing an article about a “Myth” of global cooling consensus in the 1970’s despite providing themselves ample evidence to support the same “myth”

 

shoehorning: Shoehorning is the process of force-fitting some current affair into one’s personal, political, or religious agenda

AGW example: Also known as “decorating the Christmas tree”…at every climate negotiation for the UN, thousands of people try to add their pet project to the cause, including “forest protection, poverty alleviation, water equity, women’s and indigenous rights

 

subjective validation: Subjective validation is the process of validating words, initials, statements, or signs as accurate because one is able to find them personally meaningful and significant

AGW example: Anthropogenic Global Warming causing a (temporary?) shutdown in critical thinking among those worried about getting the world “greener”

 

sunk-cost fallacy: When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I can’t stop now, otherwise what I’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Everything one has invested is lost regardless. If there is no hope for success in the future from the investment, then the fact that one has already lost a bundle should lead one to the conclusion that the rational thing to do is to withdraw from the project

AGW example: The UN’s COP bandwagon, moving a lot of people a lot of times in a lot of different locations (but never in Moldova or North Korea, for some reason) even if everybody agrees it will never mean anything substantial

 

anecdotal (testimonial) evidence: Testimonials and vivid anecdotes are one of the most popular and convincing forms of evidence presented for beliefs in the supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific

AGW example: Monbiot’s famous February floral musings brought to the world as evidence of anthropogenic global warmings, back when Februarys were still warm

 

Texas-sharpshooter fallacy: The Texas-sharpshooter fallacy is the name epidemiologists give to the clustering illusion. Politicians, lawyers and some scientists tend to isolate clusters of diseases from their context, thereby giving the illusion of a causal connection between some environmental factor and the disease. What appears to be statistically significant (i.e., not due to chance) is actually expected by the laws of chance

AGW example:Pretty much any Al Gore speech

 

wishful thinking: Wishful thinking is interpreting facts, reports, events, perceptions, etc., according to what one would like to be the case rather than according to the actual evidence

AGW example:Pretty much any warmist blog or statement

=======

Obviously there’s much better examples out there, so do send them across if you see any…

The Ike Nobody Mentions

In a few short days, it will be 50 years since President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (Jan 17, 1961), truly world-famous for its criticism of the “military-industrial complex“. However, a few moments later Ike moved on to a different “complex“, eerily predicting the rise of organizations like the IPCC, and of scientists just too eager to be useful to politicians:

[…] The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[…]

As expected, he had no time for those that put science/technology/whatever else ahead of the democratic system:

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

President Eisenhower even mentions the problem of dwindling resources (Andy Revkin must have heard him as a toddler)

As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

One should note though, that the currently fashionable scaremongering had no space in Ike’s worldview either

this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect

Finally, what were the enemies to be fought? Why, “scourges of poverty, disease, and ignorance“. Perhaps one day a former NYT journalist will recognize how fundamental these are…

Climate "Extremes" In 410AD

Curiously, St Augustine of Hippo‘s Sermon 25 “Sermon on the verse of Psalm 94: Blessed the one whom You instruct, Lord, and whom You teach from Your law” is available online in Latin and Italian, but only inside a Google Book in English (p. 82).

Anyway, just in case anybody was wondering if anything were new under the sun (p. 83):

Practically every year when we feel the cold we say ‘It’s never been so cold!”. ‘It’s never been so hot!’

Good (Unrecognized) News From American Scientist

In their weekly “Science in the News” e-mail, the folks at American Scientist have just managed to include a series of good news about the climate, without much of an acknowledgment. So here they are:

  1. scientists have been drilling beneath the Dead Sea to extract a record of climate change and earthquake history stretching back half a million years. So far, their findings include a wood fragment that’s roughly 400,000 years old“: linked NYT article also includes news about the Dead Sea’s water levels increasing by 300m between 50,000 years ago and now, and “wildly varying layers of salt and mud [representing] dry periods and wet ones” indicating how big local climate changes have been in the past, and how many of them there have been, without much human intervention
  2. researchers have found an ancient mummified forest in a nearly treeless section of the Canadian Arctic that is now surrounded by glaciers“: indeed, linked National Geographic article mentions a time in the past when “the Earth’s climate was drastically changing“, and mentions another NGS article yet, showing how forests contain in-built mechanisms to quickly expand to new areas when the conditions are warm enough. Hopefully nobody’s suggesting those mechanisms haven’t evolved in the remote past..
  3. the White House has issued guidelines to insulate government scientific research from political meddling and to base policy decisions on solid data. Under the guidelines, government scientists are free to speak to journalists and the public about their work“: actually, there is more, as mentioned in the linked NYT article, e.g. with clear wordings that would have hit hard the “hide the decline” Team: “the agencies are instructed that when communicating a scientific finding to the public, they should describe its underlying assumptions. For instance, they are told to describe “probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections”

I do expect AS to come out against current mainstream AGW theory sooner rather than later (sooner than the hopeless critical-thinking-free Scientific American, at least). One little chip at a time, even the strongest wall will come down.

This is WHY

In an incredible case of multitemporal synchronicity, the text from a rather famous 1984 TV ad explains why this blog will keep running for 2011:

My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. And the poisonous weeds of disinformation have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today we celebrate the first, glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive! We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thought is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on Earth! We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion! We shall prevail!

Yes, hammers are still and sorely needed.

Incredibly Accurate Climate Forecast For 2011

(no £33M supercomputer was harmed in the making of this blog)

  • All atmospheric, oceanic, glacial, geological and public-health phenomena with any kind of negative impact will be linked to (anthropogenic) global warming with no shortage of experts confirming how we’d known that all along, and of computer models showing how obvious those consequences have always been
  • No atmospheric, oceanic, glacial, geological and public-health phenomena lacking any kind of negative impact will be linked to (anthropogenic) global warming
  • Romm will continue his fishing expeditions, hoping this or that weather-related mass killing can be taken advantage of, in order to promote the concept of anthropogenic global warming
  • Hansen will get (willingly) arrested once or twice, ready to proclaim 2011 as the warmest year ever, mostly due to extremes of heat in faraway places devoid of people and weather stations
  • McKibben will get even thinner, and just as ineffectual, while identifying new enemies forever closer to himself
  • RealClimate will keep its absurdist censorship policy, and in post after post the Team will “demonstrate” their intellectual superiority
  • Skeptical Science will keep building climate salad surgeries to no end, sprinkling statements of various robustness with seemingly limitless references to the Literature, to be used by the lazy and most scientifically-ignorant among its readership (i.e. the journalists)
  • The Climate Change Rapid Response Team will say nothing of relevance that hasn’t been already said
  • The nastiest criticisms by rabid AGWers will be thrown in the direction of Curry
  • Revkin will keep reaffirming his absolute confidence in mainstream AGW science despite the evidence to the contrary presented in Revkin’s blog
  • Pielke Jr will be distracted by other things, thereby avoiding Revkin’s problem
  • The IPCC will make sure nothing really is changed in its procedures or results
  • McIntyre will be made privy to secret information showing how deeply unpopular in the mainstream climate community is anything remotely linked to McIntyre
  • Goddard (S.) will publish his 25,000th blog post
  • Goddard (NASA’s) will discover that recent thermometer readings must be adjusted upwards, and past ones downwards, for purely scientific reasons of course
  • Watts will be criticized (for being Watts and) for providing web space to people with strange theories
  • ScienceOfDoom will busy himself with explaining the first law of thermodynamics (again!) thereby missing all the fun
  • Connolley will not notice the rest of the planet
  • Tamino will pop up once around here and other places, posting an inane, canned comment that could be written in reply to any other blog post written by anybody on any topic
  • Some people with a very nasty mindset will suggest that the glowing comments to Tamino’s posts might as well have been written by people sharing the same identical DNA with Tamino
  • The recipient of the 2010 Edward Davis Wood, Jr.’s Climate “Blogging Turkey” Award will sink to new lows
  • The art of obfuscating FOI and non-FOI answers will be perfected by the CRU and the BBC
  • Popular media will be filled by photographic reports about a changing climate, with no picture showing anything remotely connected to climate change in a proper scientific way
  • Popular media will be filled by countless breakthroughs in climate science showing how worse it is than we thought
  • Scientifically speaking, there will not be any breakthrough in climate science
  • A very large number of well-known and otherwise knowledgeable scientists will make complete asses of themselves by appearing on TV and in print with idiotic regurgitations of mainstream AGW theory, mostly inconsistent with the very statements made by the IPCC
  • If the weather will keep cold, a major European scientific institution will break ranks with mainstream AGW theory before the summer
  • Popular interest will wane as most people will be titillated about the 2012 “end of the world” instead
  • The EU will find new ways to use climate change to transfer money to the rich, and to China
  • China will happily go along the EU cash-transfer schemes
  • The US Congress and President will strike a united front in protecting climate-change-related pork (money not meat)

And finally for the real world…

  • It will rain, otherwise it will be sunny, foggy, cloudy or overcast. It will snow in places, with sandstorms in other places (or the same ones). It will be cold, then hot, then cold again, or viceversa more or less overall. Some droughts, some floods, and places experiencing drizzle. Unprecedented weather will be experienced for the 200,000th year running, with lack of morals among humans indicated as main culprit for the 200,000th time as well
  • Many people will die of poverty in weather-related events around the world, with the keys being “poverty” and “weather” but all action concentrated on “climate change”
  • Children will keep dying of soot, while the world concerns itself with CO2 emissions only
  • Elderly people will keep dying of fuel poverty, while the world concerns itself to increase fuel prices in order to reduce CO2 emissions