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the big Climate Change report is coming out this month

Posted by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM
  • 31 Replies

The long awaited 5th assessment report from the IPCC is being published this month, so expect lots of news stories about it.

As a sneak preview, here's one rather telling illustration from it:


What the illustration shows is the result of running climate models under two different assumptions.

The blue shaded area is what the models predict for different parts of the world's land and oceans, over the last 100 years, if you only take into account the natural cycles (eg the ones that cause ice ages).

The pink shaded area is the prediction if you take into account both the natural cycles AND the effect of human activities such as burning lots of oil.

The dark line isn't a prediction.  It is the chances we've actually observed over the last 100 years.   As you can see, the observed changes are compatible with the models that take human activity into account (they stay in the pink area), but they are increasingly incompatible with the predictions you get if you only take natural cycles into account (they leave the blue area further and further behind in the second half, as you go from 1960 to 2010).

by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM
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Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The new IPCC climate report

27 September 2013

The time has come: the new IPCC report is here! After several years of work by over 800 scientists from around the world, and after days of extensive discussion at the IPCC plenary meeting in Stockholm, the Summary for Policymakers was formally adopted at 5 o’clock this morning. Congratulations to all the colleagues who were there and worked night shifts. The full text of the report will be available online beginning of next week.

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Note: the big IPCC report doesn't contain some of the more recent research, such as the fascinating:


it is a consensus report - every figure and number in it has been sent out to the whole community of climatologists for criticism and comment, during the drafting stage, and then those comments have been addressed and investigated.

That comment process took about a year, which is why it doesn't include papers from 2013.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 8:03 PM
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What about the past 18 years - where warming stopped in its tracks, and there's been significant cooling instead?

It is not even certain they will do that - because they are pissed that reality doesn't match their models. 

It's ironic that in the 1970s and 1980s they talked about global COOLING and hypothesized that we would all freeze to death.

And then global warming for about 10 years, and now cooling for 18 years.

Hmmm, I see a pattern!!

All I want is for them to:

1) TELL THE TRUTH - even if it isn't what they want it to be.

2) Update their models, so they represent reality. Much easier to predict from accurate models.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 8:06 PM

No - it is not a concensus report.

Consensus means everyone agrees.

But they do not  - because the mainstream has tried to shut up scientists with alternate views for decades.

Any other science that did this would get laughed out of of the profession.

Real science is not afraid of disagreement - it embraces it as part of the scientific method.

I suppose we shall see.


Quoting Clairwil:

Note: the big IPCC report doesn't contain some of the more recent research, such as the fascinating:


it is a consensus report - every figure and number in it has been sent out to the whole community of climatologists for criticism and comment, during the drafting stage, and then those comments have been addressed and investigated.

That comment process took about a year, which is why it doesn't include papers from 2013.



SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 8:13 PM
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Dodgy statistics and IPCC Assessment Reports

Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

In the 19th century, British Prime Ministers used to say there were “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. In the 21st century, we may say there are frauds, serious frauds, and IPCCAssessment Reports.

Recall, for instance, the notorious graph in the Fourth Assessment Report that falsely indicated that the rate of global warming is accelerating and we are to blame. Using the same statistical dodge, one can show that a sine-wave has a rising trend.

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In the Fifth Assessment Report, the IPCC still cannot bring itself to behave. My expert review of an earlier draft of that report opened with these words:

“To restore some link between IPCC reports and observed reality, the report must address – but does not at present address – the now-pressing question why the key prediction of warming in earlier IPCC reports have proven to be significant exaggerations. The IPCC’s credibility has already been damaged by its premature adoption and subsequent hasty abandonment of the now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph as its logo; by its rewriting its Second Assessment Report after submission of the scientists’ final draft, to state the opposite of their finding that no discernible human influence on climate is detectable; by its declaration that all Himalayan ice would be gone in 25 years; and by its use of a dishonest statistical technique in 2007 falsely to suggest that the rate of global warming is accelerating. But the central damage to its credibility arises from the absence of anything like the warming it had predicted.”

The IPCC have indeed addressed The Pause. But they have addressed it by using statistical prestidigitation to air-brush it out. As Bob Tisdale has pointed out, the very first graphs the reader of the Summary for Policymakers will see are in Figure SPM.1, which consists of three panels. Each of these panels exploits bogus statistical techniques to vanish the pause.

Here is what They did and how They did it.

The first of the three panels shows the global instrumental surface temperature record since 1850:

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And what is wrong with that? It looks innocuous enough, but a mathematician would take one look at it and sniff. He would see two things obviously wrong with drawing any conclusion about dangerously-rising 20th-century temperatures from this graph.

First, there is the aspect-ratio dodge. For the axis is in years and the axis is in Celsius degrees of temperature change. One can choose any aspect ratio one wants. To make 20th-century global warming look worse, just stretch the graph northwards.

Not all climate extremists know that. In a debate with me on Roy Green’s radio show in Canada a few years ago, one of the pointy-heads at TheSmugBlog asked the audience, with that earnest desperation in his voice that is mandatory, “But don’t you see how serious it is that global temperatures are rising at an angle of 45 degrees?”

I had to explain to the poor sap, as gently as I could, that degrees of arc and degrees of temperature change are clean different things.

But it is Dick Lindzen, whose vast experience and profound knowledge allows him to put the climate scare into perspective as no other can, who has best illustrated the insignificance of 20th-century global warming.

His local paper, the Boston Globe, prints the previous month’s temperature movements in the city. He has superimposed on that record an orange band that shows the entire warming of 0.75 Cº over the 20th century.

Even allowing for the fact that a global annual average will change less than a regional monthly one, it is difficult to look at Dick Lindzen’s orange band and draw the conclusion that 20th century global warming was alarmingly beyond the bounds of natural variability.

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The second statistical dodge in the IPCC’s first panel is the error-bars dodge. If you look carefully at the error-bars in the IPCC’s graph, you will see that they are absent. Let us remedy that absence:

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Even today, the combined measurement, coverage, and bias uncertainties in the global terrestrial data are ±0.15 Cº. The uncertainties were far larger in the 19th century. Notice also how much less drastic and exciting the graph looks once the 2 σ uncertainty bounds are plotted.

There is a third dodge that is not directly evident from looking at the graph itself. All around the world the record-keepers have been rewriting the temperatures in the early 20th century to push them downward, so as to make the rate of warming over the century seem a great deal steeper than it was. Here, for instance, is New Zealand:

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And Darwin Airport, Australia:

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And the U.S. Historical Climate Network, before and after adjustment (this example and the next two are thanks to the vigilant Steven Goddard):

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And the GISS record at Reykjavik, Iceland, before (left) and after adjustment (right):

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And Santa Rosa, CA, this time with the trend-line added:

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The effect of all these tamperings is to make it look as though there was more global warming in the 20th century than there was. Fortunately, there is not so much scope for the compilers of the terrestrial temperature records to tamper with what has happened since 1979, because the watching satellites now provide an independent record of global temperature change.

So to the second of the three mendacious panels in Figure SPM.1:

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This graph is an illustration of a meme that has become a favorite with the apologists for Apocalypse: the most recent decade was warmer than earlier decades, so global warming is still getting worse (for the theology of the New Religion, standing common sense on its head, is that warmer weather is worse than cooler).

The priceless advantage of taking decadal averages, if one wants to magic the Pause away, is that it wipes out the entire trend of the most recent decade. One can dock off a further two years if, as here, one uses the decades 1991-2000, 2001-2010 etc. rather than 1993-2002, 2003-2012 etc. Finally, using decades docks off all the months of the current year. So this statistical dodge neatly erases the past 12 years 8 months of the Pause.

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And, by what is perhaps more than a coincidence, the length of the Pause, taken as the longest period exhibiting a zero least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies on the three terrestrial datasets, is – er – precisely 12 years 8 months.

There is another and more subtle dodge here. As we saw in the earlier graph of the uncertainties in the HadCRUt4 global temperature dataset, the error bars narrow toward the present. The way the IPCC has presented the decadal blocks on the graph exploits this to make it seem that the blocks in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and noughties are much further apart than those in the 1910s, 20s, 30s, and 40s, implying without quite saying so that the rate of warming over the four most recent decades on the graph was significantly greater than the warming earlier in the 20th century.

Dick Lindzen, however, uses a graph that shows how little difference there is between the earlier and later periods of warming, even though it was only in the later period that we could have exercised much influence.

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One panel shows the global temperature anomalies from 1895-1946. The other shows the anomalies from 1957-2008. Both cover 52 years. Both are plotted to an identical scale. Dick Lindzen asks his audiences whether they can tell which panel covers which period. It is not at all easy to tell.

Which brings us to the third panel. Here, the dodge is one of the newest in the arsenal of statistical shiftinesses on which the IPCC draws with such disfiguring frequency and relish. It is the use of colors, and bright ones at that, to try to suggest that the mild and beneficial global warming of the 20th century was grievous and alarmingly damaging.

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And here the IPCC will find that it has made a mistake. Previously it has chiefly used bright colors in the red scale to indicate predictions of future planetary overheating. However, most people, on looking about them, will see remarkably little change as a result of 100 years’ warming. The trees are greener; the deserts have shrunk by quite a bit (the Sahara by 300,000 sq. km in 30 years); sea level is 8 inches higher; and that’s it.

Recoloring the graph in neutral tones would have been more scientifically adult:

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Does the Earth really look that much different as a result of 0.7 Cº global warming over 100 years? Not really. Let us end with a God’s-eye view of the planet He has given us. Really, our stewardship has not left it in too much of a mess.

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Yet.

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Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:
Quoting Clairwil:

it is a consensus report

No - it is not a concensus report.

Today, the most comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed climate research to date was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Our analysis found that among papers expressing a position on human-caused global warming, over 97% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. Overwhelming agreement among scientists had already formed in the early 1990s. And the consensus is getting stronger.

In a previous Conversation article, I argued that climate denial is essentially consensus denial. For over two decades, attacking the scientific consensus has been a central part of the movement to prevent meaningful climate action.

As early as 1991, Western Fuels Association spent $510,000 on a campaign to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact)”. Their strategy was to construct the impression of active scientific debate using dissenting scientists as spokesmen. This approach was concisely articulated in a memo to Republicans by political strategist Frank Luntz, leaked in 2002:

Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming in the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.

Using Skeptical Science’s taxonomy of climate myths, a recent analysis tracked climate misinformation published in opinion editorials from 2007 to 2010 by syndicated conservative columnists. The most popular myth was “there is no consensus”. More recently, a variation of the “no consensus” myth has emerged – the notion that the consensus is “on the verge of collapse”.

Our analysis examined the status of the scientific consensus over 21 years of published climate research, from 1991 to 2011. We searched for any papers matching the search “global warming” or “global climate change” in the Web of Science, a database of scientific peer-reviewed research. We rated the level of endorsement of human-caused global warming in each abstract, a short summary at the start of each paper.

In 2007, Naomi Oreskes predicted that as a consensus forms, fewer papers should explicitly endorse the consensus position. For example, you don’t expect to see geography research papers endorsing the fact that the earth is round. Our analysis confirmed this prediction, finding most abstracts didn’t state a position on whether humans were causing global warming.

However, we did identify over 4,000 abstracts that did state a position on human-caused global warming. Among those 4,000 abstracts, 97.1% endorsed the consensus. There was overwhelming agreement on human-caused global warming in every year since 1991.

To independently check our results, we also invited the thousands of scientists who authored the climate papers to rate the level of endorsement of their own papers. We received 1,200 responses with over 2,000 papers receiving a “self-rating”. Interestingly, most of the abstracts that we rated as “No Position” turned out to endorse the consensus in the full paper, according to the papers’ authors. Among all the papers that were self-rated as expressing a position on human-caused global warming, 97.2% endorsed the consensus.

The level of consensus among climate papers stating a position on human-caused global warming (Cook et al 2013)

Click to enlarge

Our results are strikingly consistent with other measurements of consensus. The seminal work on consensus was conducted by Naomi Oreskes who in 2004 analysed 928 climate papers. She found zero papers rejecting the consensus. We analysed the same papers as Oreskes and similarly found zero rejections in the papers matching her search parameters.

Two more recent studies have sought to measure the level of consensus in the scientific community. A survey of Earth scientists found that among actively publishing climate scientists, 97% agreed that humans were significantly changing global temperature. A compilation of scientists making public statements on climate change found that for the scientists who had published peer-reviewed climate research, there was 97% agreement.

While a number of studies have independently established overwhelming agreement among climate scientists, two decades of sustained attack on the consensus has been effective. There is a gaping chasm between the public perception and the actual 97% consensus. When a US representative sample was asked how many climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming, the average answer was around 50%.

Perception of consensus (survey of US representative sample by John Cook) versus the 97% consensus (Doran et al 2009, Anderegg et al 2010, Cook et al 2013).

Click to enlarge

Why is climate denial synonymous with consensus denial? Social scientists are just starting to figure out what climate deniers have understood for decades. A 2011 study found that when people correctly understand that climate scientists agree, they are more likely to support policy to mitigate climate change. This is why a political operative hired by fossil fuel interests to undermine climate policy focused on attacking the consensus, arguing “If we win the science argument, it’s game, set, and match.”

This underscores the importance of correcting the mis-perception that scientists are still debating whether humans are causing global warming. An important step towards stronger public support for meaningful climate action is closing the consensus gap.

The results of the paper Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature are summarised in a simple, user-friendly manner at theconsensusproject.com.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM
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Let's see when it comes out if everyone agrees with it.

We already know everyone doesn't.

And some actually advocate shutting down dissent.

Even though with the scientific process you WELCOME dissent - to make the theory and models more rigorous. And a true scientist ALWAYS update their models based on actual data - a false one continues to argue their theory in the absence of scientific evidence.

Exactly my point and that of many scientists.

How do you explain "The Pause" and why it is not getting warmer, despite higher production of CO2?

Please take the points given in article I copied and pasted - and explain why those scientific criticisms are not valid. Or maybe you agree with several and not others. Please explain why.


Quoting Clairwil:
Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 9:08 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:

Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Does the Earth really look that much different as a result of 0.7 Cº global warming over 100 years? Not really. Let us end with a God’s-eye view of the planet He has given us. Really, our stewardship has not left it in too much of a mess.

clip_image038

Yet.

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Err, are you aware of just how much of a nutter this Monckton is?

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The High Priest of Bunkum, British hereditary peer, Lord Christopher Monckton, third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, compared Ross Garnaut to a Nazi and claimed global warming a communist plot hatched by Hitler Youth.  Other flights of fancy include his claims of inventing a cure for HIV, multiple sclerosis, flu and Graves disease.  His delusional fantasies have resulted in the House of Lords publishing a “cease and desist” letter on its website demanding Monckton stop claiming to be a member of the upper house.

(source)

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We are a little late to the party, but it is worth adding a few words now that our favourite amateur contrarian is at it again. As many already know, the Forum on Physics and Society (an un-peer-reviewed newsletter published by the otherwise quite sensible American Physical Society), rather surprisingly published a new paper by Monckton that tries again to show using rigorous arithmetic that IPCC is all wrong and that climate sensitivity is negligible. His latest sally, like his previous attempt, is full of the usual obfuscating sleight of hand, but to save people the time in working it out themselves, here are a few highlights.

As Deltoid quickly noticed the most egregious error is a completely arbitrary reduction (by 66%) of the radiative forcing due to CO2. He amusingly justifies this with reference to tropical troposphere temperatures – neglecting of course that temperatures change in response to forcing and are not the forcing itself. And of course, he ignores the evidence that the temperature changes are in fact rather uncertain, and may well be much more in accord with the models than he thinks.

But back to his main error: Forcing due to CO2 can be calculated very accurately using line-by-line radiative transfer codes (see Myhre et al 2001; Collins et al 2006). It is normally done for a few standard atmospheric profiles and those results weighted to produce a global mean estimate of 3.7 W/m2 – given the variations in atmospheric composition (clouds, water vapour etc.) uncertainties are about 10% (or 0.4 W/m2) (the spatial pattern can be seen here). There is no way that it is appropriate to arbitrarily divide it by three.

There is a good analogy to gas mileage. The gallon of gasoline is equivalent to the forcing, the miles you can go on a gallon is the response (i.e. temperature), and thus the miles per gallon is analogous to the climate sensitivity. Thinking that forcing should be changed because of your perception of the temperature change is equivalent to deciding after the fact that you only put in third of a gallon because you ran out of gas earlier than you expected. The appropriate response would be to think about the miles per gallon – but you’d need to be sure that you measured the miles travelled accurately (a very big issue for the tropical troposphere).

But Monckton is not satisfied with just a factor of three reduction in sensitivity. So he makes another dodgy claim. Note that Monckton starts off using the IPCC definition of climate sensitivity as the forcing associated with a concentration of 2xCO2 – this is the classical “Charney Sensitivity” and does not include feedbacks associated with carbon cycle, vegetation or ice-sheet change. Think of it this way – if humans raise CO2 levels to 560 ppm from 280 ppm through our emissions, and then as the climate warms the carbon cycle starts adding even more CO2 to the atmosphere, then the final CO2 will be higher and the temperature will end up higher than standard sensitivity would predict, but you are no longer dealing with the sensitivity to 2xCO2. Thus the classical climate sensitivity does not include any carbon cycle feedback term. But Monckton puts one in anyway.

(source)

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For a detailed step by step response to his actual 'science' read this long response to him:

http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/aps-and-global-warming-what-were-they.html

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Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 9:16 PM
Quoting SallyMJ:

true scientists ALWAYS update their models based on actual data

Depends on what you mean by "model".

If by "model" you mean the data the simulation is run upon, plus the source code of the simulation, then I'd agree with you that when additional data becomes available, the model should be updated to include it.

If by "model" you mean just the source code of the simulation, rather than the numerical values of variables it uses, such as "sensitivity", then you don't necessarily have to change the model unless the new data, when the model is applied to it, produces predictions that are incompatible with observed outcomes.


Quoting SallyMJ:

How do you explain "The Pause" and why it is not getting warmer, despite higher production of CO2?

Read the report.   I linked to it.

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 9:17 PM

BUMP!

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