Be prepared for a lot of sullenly cranky Greenies in a week or so:
On Sept. 27, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its fifth report on global warming. Earlier IPCC assessments — the most recent was in 2007 — were the foundation for reams of alarmist reporting. For example, after a 2009 update, the Washington Post ran a story headlined “New Analysis Brings Dire Forecast,” reporting that a predicted 6.3-degree Fahrenheit increase in world temperatures “is nearly double what scientists and world policymakers have identified as the upper limit of warming the world can afford in order to avert catastrophic climate change.”
That was then. Now, the new IPCC document will “dial back the alarm,” in the words of a Wall Street Journal preview. According to the Journal, the report will state that “the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPCC thought in 2007.” The computer forecasts used to produce those forecasts, it turns out, were wrong.
Said Greenies will, of course, come up with new and exciting ways to declare that the sky is falling. The problem is that if it turns out that we’re going back to the slightly warmer and wetter conditions* (or resetting to them) of the early Medieval period then there isn’t actually a problem. A bit more warmth and a bit more humidity and a bit more carbon = happy ecosystem. Continue reading IPCC to walk back Global Warming Doomsday Scenarios next week?
…is a good one; but as commenter Skip notes here, this is a particularly good time to remind the universe of this particular speech.
But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
Hey, that Richard Feynman guy was kind of smart, wasn’t he? Wonder how he would have reacted to the IPCC meltdown.
Oh, my aching head. Via Drudge:
UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article
The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
Well, maybe there was still actual science going on…
…one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
PS: Here’s a little secret about scientific consensus, folks: it assumes – it has to assume – that trusted users are not lying. Nobody can check everything, all the time, so eventually you have to rely on people not abusing the fact that they’re going to have their word taken on their results.
It generally works, too. You have to remember that. Most scientists play be the rules, which is why we continue to see scientific and technological advances. But when they don’t play by the rules, you get scandals like this.
They hung absolutely critical long-term policy positions on the results of one freaking tree.
At the forefront of those who found suspicious the graphs based on tree rings from the Yamal peninsula in Siberia was [Canadian statistician Steve] McIntyre himself, not least because for years the CRU refused to disclose the data used to construct them. This breached a basic rule of scientific procedure. But last summer the Royal Society insisted on the rule being obeyed, and two months ago Briffa accordingly published on his website some of the data McIntyre had been after.
This was startling enough, as McIntyre demonstrated in an explosive series of posts on his Climate Audit blog, because it showed that the CRU studies were based on cherry-picking hundreds of Siberian samples only to leave those that showed the picture that was wanted. Other studies based on similar data had clearly shown the Medieval Warm Period as hotter than today. Indeed only the evidence from one tree, YADO61, seemed to show a “hockey stick” pattern, and it was this, in light of the extraordinary reverence given to the CRU’s studies, which led McIntyre to dub it “the most influential tree in the world”.
Via Protein Wisdom. At this point, I have to start wondering whether I should be showing these people the same reluctant respect that I would any really successful grifter. Except, of course, that regular devotees of the Spanish Prisoner con are not attempting to rewrite the tax code to keep taking my money.
Crossposted to RedState.
It’s going to take a while for them to cycle through the process, though. As in, more than a week. A lot more than a week.
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.
The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.
The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world.
Just in time for Copenhagen, which relied heavily on the climate change data that CRU provided, and can no longer even remotely back up. Meanwhile, the President – who seems to have a real gift at walking into these controversies at the worst possible moment for him – seems determined to use the luster of his name to ensure results at the Copenhagen thing. Personally, I think that it’d be good for the planet, the country, and his political party if the President just dropped the trip entirely. Which he won’t, of course.
Via Q&O, who thinks that they should completely cancel Copenhagen; and Hot Air, who thinks that the British government should stop trying to keep the Met Office from pushing the reset button. And if either actually happens, all three of us will be massively surprised.
Crossposted to RedState.