TCS Daily

Science In the House of Pain

By Duane D. Freese - July 26, 2006 12:00 AM

Editor's note: On July 19, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on "Questions Surrounding the 'Hockey Stick' Temperature Studies: Implications for Climate Change Assessments." Those studies, under the lead authorship of paleoclimatologist Michael Mann, claimed that that the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 likely the warmest year in a millennium. They reached iconic status in the climate change debate when they were cited in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as proof of unprecedented human induced global warming.

The hearing on July 19th was to hear a report to the subcommittee by a panel headed by Edward Wegman, who chairs the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, that found Mann and his co-authors had misused certain statistical techniques in their studies, techniques that tended to produce hockey stick shapes in the temperature history. Further they found the studies were peer reviewed by a "social network" within the paleoclimate community who wrote papers together, reviewed each others work and shared the same data sets. Here are some excerpts from that hearing that -- for the most part -- speak for themselves.

* * *

On basing policy on science or science on policy

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.: "I'm very concerned that this is being used in a way to discredit the whole notion that our country and the rest of the industrialized and developing world ought to do anything about global warming. And that's why I ask you that question, Dr. Wegman, if this does not make you somewhat uncomfortable. Can you see in any way how this is being used and does it bother you?"

Edward Wegman: "I can understand that it's your job to sort out the political ramifications of what I have said. In some sense it's not fair for you to say well, gee, you reported on some fact and that's going to be used in a bad way."

On the same issue, from a witness in a second panel

Dr. Hans von Storch, director of the Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS-Research Centre Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht, Germany and professor at the Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg: "I was a bit disappointed about the comment from the lady from Illinois who said, aren't you afraid if you say this, that this would have negative implications on the policy process. I was kind of shocked. Should we really adopt what we say if that's useful for the policy process? Is that what you expect from science? If we give advice, must we first think, is it useful for something? I think that is not the way we should operate."

On how to describe an 88 degree F July day in Washington, D.C.  

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI:
"It doesn't take much more than a quick walk outside today to know that the thermometer has reached dangerously high levels and government heat alerts are abounding these days."

On Peer Review and Hearing Failures

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI: "In your report you criticize Dr. Mann for not obtaining any feedback or review from mainstream statisticians. In compiling your report, did you obtain any feedback or review from paleoclimatologists?

Wegman: "No, of course not, but we weren't addressing paleoclimate issues. We were addressing..."

Rep. Stupak: "But you said you had difficulties understanding some of the terms of art that Dr. Mann used and you had to call your social network to figure it out, so wouldn't it have been helpful to have paleoclimatologists?"

Wegman: "To say that I didn't contact any climate people is not entirely accurate. We have..."

Rep. Stupak: "But they weren't used in compiling your report, that was the question. Correct?"

Wegman: "Well, I'm not sure how to answer that. I certainly went ..."

Rep. Stupak: "Well, yes or no is probably the best way. Did you have any paleoclimatologists when you compiled your report?"

Wegman: "Not on our team, but that doesn't mean I didn't talk to any."

Rep. Stupak: "Did anyone outside your social network peer review your report?"

Wegman: "Yes."

Rep. Stupak: "Who was that?"

Wegman: "Enders Robinson."

Rep. Stupak: "Was that the email we were talking about earlier?"

Wegman: "Pardon?"

Rep. Stupak: "Was that the email that was?"

Wegman: "Yes."

Rep. Stupak: "So when you do peer review..."

Wegman: "Let me answer the question. Enders Robinson; Grace Wahba, who is a member of the National Academy; Noel Cressie, who is at Ohio State University; Bill Wieczorek, who is at Buffalo State University, SUNY; David Banks, who is at Duke University; Fritz Scheuren, who is the immediate past president of the American Statistical Association."

Rep. Stupak: "Let me ask you this question. If you had it peer reviewed, when are peer reviews usually done? Before a report is finalized or after?"

Wegman: "We have submitted this and had feedback from..."

Rep. Stupak: "No, no, I'm talking about general, peer review. If you're going to have a peer review, don't you usually do it before you finalize a report?"

Wegman: "Yes."

Rep. Stupak: "Well, your peer review was after you finalized?"

Wegman: "No, it was before. We submitted this long before."

Rep. Stupak: "Well, when was your report finalized?"

Wegman: "I think we dated the final copy about four days ago."

Rep. Stupak: "Four days ago, so that'd be about July 15? This email sort of indicates that it's July 17 that you asked for this peer review."

Wegman: "I had feedback from Enders much earlier than that. We had asked him to send material to us for purposes of coming here."

Rep. Stupak: "Well, the email read into the record is Tuesday, July 18, so that'd be three days after you finalized your report."

Wegman: "I'm sorry?"

Rep. Stupak: "Have you seen this email?"

Wegman: "Yes, of course I have. Dr. Robinson saw our material before the 18th, before the 17th, before the 16th. He gave us feedback. We incorporated that. He gave us feedback verbally; we incorporated that because there was some interest in getting this report to the committee."

Rep. Joseph Barton, R-TX: "Would my friend from Michigan yield for one simple question on this same point?"

Rep. Stupak: "Sure."

Rep. Barton: "Dr. Wegman, do you object to Mr. Stupak or anybody in the minority submitting your report for peer review as long as the peers are qualified in statistical analysis."

Wegman: "No, not at all."

Rep. Barton: "Thank you."

Rep. Stupak: "In doing peer reviews, do scientists who do the report, do they usually submit to people they want to peer review? Isn't that sort of an independent review?"

Wegman: "This is basically the same mechanism that was used at the National Academy. This is not a sci..."

Rep. Stupak: "Did you ask these people to do your peer review?"

Wegman: "Yes."

Rep. Stupak: "So would they be part of your social network?"

Wegman: "No. When I talk about social networks, I'm talking about people with whom I have actively collaborated in writing research papers. None of these people have actively collaborated with me in writing research papers."

Rep. Stupak: "Isn't that the same kind of social network you criticized Dr. Mann on because the people who reviewed his work were climatologists..."

Wegman: "...were the people that he had actually worked with and published papers with."

Rep. Stupak: "Well, you published papers with some of these people who peer reviewed your report?"

Wegman: "No. I just told you. No, I haven't."

On New Qualifications for Statistical Analysis

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.: "Can you recite for us the first three laws of thermodynamics?"

Wegman: "Probably not."

On Full and Fair Reporting

Rep. Inslee: "I hope the press gets off the story of doubt and starts to get on the story of the scientific consensus that exists in those 900 articles, and no one should report this hearing unless they say that."

On Weighty Issues

Rep. Inslee: "We don't debate gravity anymore and we shouldn't do that with global warming. ...Let me ask you a quick question. If you found a statistical flaw in the Principia, published by Sir Isaac Newton in 16-whatever-it-was, would you suggest that we reject the theory of gravity?"

Wegman: "I would not suggest anything because that was not the question I was asked and that's not the reason I'm here...

Rep. Inslee: "Well, unfortunately this is the reason..."

Wegman: "...if you're asking me as an ordinary citizen."

Rep. Inslee: "No. I want you to make sure you understand the reality of this situation. I've given you all the sincerity that I could give to you. But the reason you are here is not why you think you are here, OK? The reason you are here is to try to win a debate with some industries in this country who are afraid to look forward to a new energy future for this nation. And the reason you are here is to try to create doubt about whether this country should move forward with the new technological, clean-energy future, or whether we should remain addicted to fossil fuels. That's the reason you are here. Now that's not the reason individually why you came, but that's the reason you're here. Thank you very much."

Subcommittee Vice Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.: "The gentleman's time has expired, which is the reason I'm here. (Laughter.) To keep control of this."

Wegman: "But I didn't get to answer."

Rep. Walden: "I'll just give Dr. North a question. Anybody still study gravitational theory?"

Gerald North, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Oceanography and
Harold J. Haynes Endowed Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University:
"Yes, they do. Yes, they do. It's a very active field in physics."

Rep. Walden: "Do you ever learn anything new?"

North: "Absolutely. Things are being learned all the time."

Rep. Walden: "Are you then allowed to publish new findings that might contradict old findings?"

North: "Absolutely."

Rep. Walden: "OK, good. Science moves forward."

On Christmas Guests and Grinches

Rep. Barton: "Let me ask you something, Mr. McIntyre. Since you had the gumption to criticize Dr. Mann, how have you been received in this community. Are people patting you on the back and inviting you to their Christmas parties and saying, 'Right on, way to go, we really appreciate it'? Or are they kind of giving you the cold shoulder and asking you why the hell you did what you did?"

Stephen McIntyre (Canadian business consultant and mathematician, whose work initially uncovered the statistical problems and data errors in Mann's hockey stick studies): "I would say 'cold shoulder' would be overstating the friendliness of it. I would say that I've been reviled."

Rep. Barton: "And so your skepticism for scientific truth has not been welcomed with open arms. Is that a fair statement?"

McIntyre: "I would say it's been an uphill fight. Having said that, one finds allies in certain moments of comfort. Quite frankly I could understand why there would be some reluctance to take the claims seriously at the beginning. That's one of the reasons why I archived the source code calculations, so that people could replicate it, aside from the fact that it's something that should be done, anyway. But my position was that if anybody thinks that my results are wrong, then I'd like to know. I'd like to be the first one to know rather than the last person to know."

On Not Staying Bought

Rep. Stupak: "The majority paid for a report to independently verify the critiques to Dr. Mann's 1999 research by a statistician, but without any input from a climatologist."

Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.: "The committee did not pay Mr. Wegman for this report."

Rep. Barton: "We asked to find some experts to try to replicate Dr. Mann's work. To their credit, when Wegman agreed to do it, he asked for no compensation. I don't think we've even paid him for the fax paper he's used. He picked some eminent statisticians in his field and they studied this thing. Had their report said Dr. Mann's data can be replicated, his conclusions are right on point, he is totally correct, we would have reported that. But that's not what they said."

Statisticians for Gore

Rep. Barton: "There's been some attempt to portray you as a pawn of this committee or me, personally. I am told that you voted for Vice President Gore for president in the year 2000. Is that correct?"

Wegman: "That's correct."

Barton: "So you're by no means a radical, wild-eyed, hard-core, right-wing Republican?"

Wegman: "No, sir."

Duane Freese is TCS Daily deputy editor.



This would be funny...
if it wasn't so damn sad.

This is why C-SPAN is so awesome. You can see a great many of these morons showcase their talents without relying on the MSM to clean them up.

Boots are on
"a lie gets around the world before truth gets its boots on"

Science marches on.

global warming debate
Why doesn't some one take the current climate computer models, plug in two events with known out comes (eruption Mt. Penatouma (sp wrong sorry) and the oil fires in Iraq war one - where we were told massive crop failure would occur in India) and work backward to correct inappropriate assumptions in the curent model. I would challenge the global warming group to prove the computer model is correct.

Ask Oreskes
Global Warming -- Signed, Sealed and Delivered
by Naomi Oreskes
LA Times, July 24, 2006

An Op-Ed article in the Wall Street Journal a month ago claimed that a published study affirming the existence of a scientific consensus on the reality of GLOBAL WARMING HAD BEEN REFUTED. This charge was repeated again last week, in a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

I AM THE AUTHOR OF THAT STUDY, which appeared two years ago in the journal Science, and I'm here to tell you that the consensus stands. The argument put forward in the Wall Street Journal was based on an Internet posting; it has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal -- the normal way to challenge an academic finding. (The Wall Street Journal didn't even get my name right!)

My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that HUMAN ACTIVITIES ARE THE PRINCIPLE CAUSE...

Sun Computers Run Most Comprehensive Climate Model To Date
RCAC, Purdue University, July 13, 2006

The most comprehensive climate model to date of the continental United States predicts more extreme temperatures throughout the country and more extreme precipitation along the Gulf Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and east of the Mississippi...

"WE CHECKED OUR MODEL'S PERFORMANCE BY ANALYZING THE PERIOD FROM 1961 TOI 1985 for which, of course, we do not need a prediction," Diffenbaugh said. "The model performed admirably, which tells us we've got a good understanding of how to represent the physical world in terms of computer code. It's certainly not perfect, but we'll need a computer at least 100 times as powerful as the cluster we used to really improve the accuracy. We would like to have access to such computing power in the future."

What are the errors?
100 times more powerful?

Does that mean their accurate to +/-99%?

There is no consensus on policy, however, and alarmism isn't helpingt.
All this debate on the science of AGW is largely irrelevant, especially with regard to tropical storms. I suggest you read the comments prepared by Dr. Hans von Storch for his testimony to the committee hearings referenced in the above article. They can be found here:

I found the last six pages (18-23) particularly interesting and valuable.

Read it for yourself
Fine-scale processes regulate the response of extreme events to global climate change
Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Jeremy S. Pal, Robert J. Trapp, and Filippo Giorgi
PNAS | November 1, 2005

I think Stephen McIntyre is owed and apology by many.

And I will say "Thank you" for sticking to it.

Beyond The Debate
Who claimed there was consensus on policy? And you correct, alarmism isn't helpful -- action is.

President Bush Meets with Supporters of U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan
The White House, June 26, 2006

Q: I know you are not planning to see Al Gore's new movie, but do you agree with the premise that global warming is a real and significant threat to the planet that requires action --

President: I think -- I have said consistently that global warming is a serious problem. There's a debate over whether it's manmade or naturally caused; WE OUGHT TO GET BEYOND THAT DEBATE AND START IMPLEMENTING the technologies necessary to enable us to achieve a couple of big objectives -- one, be good stewards of the environment; two, become less dependent on foreign sources of oil for economic reasons and for national security reasons.

Wait 25 years
Let's see how it does in 25 years.

Write for clarity?
I have a BS degree in physics and sometimes when I read scientific papers I wonder if they are writing for clarity, or brevity or obfuscation?

I'm not accusing the authors of obfuscation, but maybe they could have someone read it outside their field before publishing.

Many technical papers are like this across all fields. Anyone else think so?

"this science is just too hard!!!"
why in the world do you imagine that you can, without a detailed knowledge of the field, meaningfully criticize a technical paper written for specialists? Would you insist on this for papers in theoretical phyiscs or moliecular biology? If not, why here?

So we should make policy without regard to science??
What's the theory? Just guess & hope for the best?

Von Storch offers his opinion, and nothing but his opinion: This is not a scientific conclusion, but a political one, and a partisan one: only NGOs with opinions von Storch disagrees witwh are unscientific.

Most of environmental science is what sociologists call “post-normal”, i.e., loaded with high uncertainty on an issue of great practical importance. Climate change science is an example of such post-normal science.4 A characteristic of post-normal science is that the boundaries between science and value-driven agendas get blurred; that representatives of NGOs are considered to know better about the
functioning and dynamics of systems than scientists; that parliamentarian committees delve into the technicalities of science; that amateurs engage in the technical debate: and that some scientist
try to force “solutions” upon policymakers and the public.

Then don't refer to it.
Then popular media and posters to this site should not refer to such papers unless there is a version written for non-experts, or, the poster would attempt and interpretation and that can be debated.

OR, maybe, technical writers could write more plainly.

A Nobel prize winning phycists said that if you cannot explain your research to a 6th grader, then you don't understand your research.

Remember DDT...
As a fan of sandwiches, I am all for sliced bread.

However, being a resident of a mosquito-prone region, I have to say that one invention that unquestionably beats sliced bread is DDT. DDT is a pesticide that is, by far, the most effective mosquito-control agent known to man. It is so safe for humans that we can literally eat it by the spoonfull on a regular basis and not suffer the slightest harm. Claims that it causes cancer have been shown to be totally baseless and fradulent. Claims that it weakens the shells of bird eggs were based on studies where the birds were fed substantially less calcium than they would recieve in the wild. Allegations that it kills fish and other forms of wildlife were based on dramatic overuse of the pesticide and questionable scientific practice by the researchers.

In addition, DDT saved millions of lives by effectively ending malaria throughtout much of the world until it was banned by the US and we started denying aid money to nations that used it. It was banned for purely political reasons. Rachel Carson, a woman dying of cancer that she was convinced was caused by DDT wrote a book called Silent Spring that started the movement to ban this miracle chemical. I remain firmly convinced that she will burn in a special ring of hell for the lies and death that she has helped to spread.

DDT was not the first example of politics trumping science, but it was a very prominent example that reflects what is hapening today with global warming. Actual, scientific evidence has been subordinated to an agenda. Shoddy studies produce total fabrications like Mann's hockey stick graph and distortions of expert opinion like the IPCC report of 1995 produce the false image of a consensus on the idea of AGW.

As long as politicians fund science, science will be subordinate to political agendas. Even if you think I am a deluded, right-wing fanatic who is in thrall to the oil companies, I would suggest that you read the afterword in Michael Crichton's book State of Fear. He has some good observations on the political nature of much of science and some suggestions on how to minimize the impact of politics on research outcomes.

(All of the information I have used in this post can be found on this very website. Just do a search for DDT and you will find some of the best and most comprehensive articles on the subject on the web. Additonal excellent articles include:

We should indeed make policy through science
That's the importance of McIntyre and McKittrick. Mann has now been shown conclusively to be a liar or a fool and his published research in 98 and 99 to be worth nothing. Mann did indeed try to foist something on policymakers and the public, and it is to the discredit of the IPCC that it was accepted so uncritically.

Does the demolition of MBH disprove the theory of global warming? Of course not; it simply destroys a piece of propaganda.

Your statement about Storch is wrong. His record of published papers was entered. It is not his opinion, it was his considered view as an expert.

that must be why eric has so much trouble
he never got past 3rd grade.

If you don't understand it, ask someone who does
The papers speak for themselves. They're written for other experts in the field, and must pass peer review for publication.

>OR, maybe, technical writers could write more plainly.

researchers are not "technical writers." They are scientists, writing for other scientists. This isn't democratic, but it's the way science has always worked.

Your statement about Mann is absolutely wrong
THe NAS finding was that the climate reconstruction for the past 500 years was unquestionably right, for the past 1000 years probably right, and before that less reliable. The NAS also found that while natural inputs correlated well with temperature changes for a long part of the record, the most recent part -- the last 100 years -- couldn't be so explained.

There was no finding whatsoever of deception ("liar"), nor uselessness.

>It is not his opinion, it was his considered view as an expert.

It is his opinion as an expert: it is not fact. Please be aware of the difference.

Oreskes is one lying little ms. She claimed she couldn't find a single paper that challenges CO2-driven global warming. I've read some +100 of those that she couldn't find and hence she is a liar.

Gross misstatement on your part
Here are the actual words of Dr. Gerald North in presenting the NAS report:

"4. Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.

5. Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900.

The main reason that our confidence in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions is lower before A.D. 1600 and especially before A.D. 900 is the relative scarcity of precisely dated proxy evidence. Other factors limiting our confidence in surface temperature reconstructions include the relatively short length of the instrumental record, the fact that all proxies are influenced by many climate variables, and the possibility that the relationship between proxy data and local surface temperatures may have varied over time. All of these considerations introduce uncertainties that are difficult to quantify."

Hence, in no way is your statement regarding "probably right" regarding the past 1000 years supportable based on the actual testimony.

As to Mann being a liar, I indicated that the decision was whether or not he was a fool or a liar. The possibility of him being a liar exists because of the "Censored" file on his proxy website. The review done by the NAS and by Wegman confirm the work of MM, namely that the methodology used by Mann was capable only of producing hockey stick shapes even from random numbers. If Mann did not know this, he was a fool for using statistical techniques he did not understand. If he did know this, he was a liar for constructing a method to produce a predetermined result.

"As in all scientific endeavors, research
reported in the scientific literature is often “work in progress” aimed at other investigators, not
always to be taken as individual calls for action in the policy community."

Therefore, unless this Discussion Forum consists of experts in the field, referencing one scientific paper has little meaning.

On climate computer models and bogus aerosol data
Note that the writer of this post, Douglas Hoyt, is the same D.V. Hoyt who wrote the four referenced papers. He is an expert in the field, and he has confirmed my contention that the modellers invented the aerosol data for force-fit their models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975, when there were no trends in the aerosol data over that time period.

For many years I've been reluctant to call AGW/Kyoto a conspiracy, but it certainly has most of the characteristics of one.

Regards, Allan

Post #326.

Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:
Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.

The pyrheliometric ratioing tachnique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.

Here are three papers using the technique:

Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.

Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.

Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.

In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occuring.

There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.

So when MacRae (#321) says: “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated - for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975. Isn’t it true that there was little or no quality aerosol data collected during 1940-1975, and the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”, he close to the truth.

Comment by Douglas Hoyt — 22 July 2006 @ 5:37 am

Side note
>"The papers speak for themselves. They're written for other experts in the field, and must pass peer review for publication."

We have already seen what passes for "peer review" in some circles. This is not an indication of validity.

My summary post #338 on aerosols and models.
Thanks again to Douglas Hoyt for his valuable comments. I hope he will stay on this site and continue his contributions.

It is regrettable and indeed reprehensible that atmospheric aerosol data has not been fully analyzed, when billions have been spent elsewhere on bogus “climate research”, much of it little more than alarmist propaganda - intended to raise the level of fear rather than help understand this complex issue.

For example, I recently came across an article (no doubt well-funded) that claimed that poison ivy was growing faster and more virulent because of increased atmospheric CO2 levels. It is well-established that increased atmospheric CO2 is a very effective fertilizer of most/all plants, but apparently poison ivy is fundable, but similarly increased yields of wheat, corn and soybeans are of less interest. I have also seen numerous studies by biologists and geographers which assume an alarming level of warming (e.g. greater than 4-5 degrees C) and then predict the resulting reduction or extinction of a plant or animal species within a particular geographic area - these well-funded studies are, in general, just more examples of “garbage in, garbage out”.

Conclusions (Preliminary, subject to revision):

A. The climate computer models that claim history-matching, including the 1940-1975 cooling period, used fabricated aerosol data and are therefore rejected as unsound.

B. Adequate research funding should immediately be allocated to analyze the aerosol data, as far back as such data is available.

C. History-matching of climate computer models should be re-run using the actual aerosol data and the results compared to the previous runs using the fabricated data.

Predictions (Fearless) :

1. Using actual rather than fabricated aerosol data, properly history-matched climate computer models will illustrate that more than 80% of the current warming trend is due to natural factors such as solar radiance, and less than 20% is due to humanmade causes. Using such corrected models, projections of future warming due to human activity (assuming a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to 560 ppm) will equal less than 0.3 degrees C.

2. Natural solar-driven cooling, which will begin prior to ~2020 during Solar Cycle 25, will overwhelm the current warming trend.

Regards, Allan

Comment by Allan M.R. MacRae — 22 July 2006 @ 12:58 pm

Oreskes Paper was a farce!
Have you looked at this paper? Oreskes set up here criteria so that any abstract not explicitly containg the words 'man-made global warming is a crock' was deemed as supportive of the 'consensus' view!

The consensus view is then defined as: 'the planet is warming and human emitted CO2 is part of the reason.' Well, duh! Even the most extreme skeptics know that CO2 has a warming influence, and there is no debate that the Earth is warmer than 150 years ago, at the end of the little ice age. The question is and always has been whether human induced warming is a serious problem. That is were the debate has always been and Oreskes survey is a stupid attempt to pretend that debate is not happening.

If Oreskes, a social sciencetist of some sort, really thinks she has a grasp on the scientific uncertainty around global climate change, then she must not be very bright. After reading her editorials, I don't think she really cares about the science. She is a crusader, misusing science in pursuit of her cause.

People who use this paper to try and score points in the debate over man-made global warming, reveal that they really are clueless about the science.

Agreed - Oreskes was wrong - the only remaining question is: Was it fraud?
Benny Peiser in the UK also demonstrated that Oreskes was wrong. Here is David Wojick's view:


Naomi Oreskes asks wrong climate question By David Wojick

The first rule of surveys is "ask the right question," but Naomi Oreskes did not read the book. Oreskes did a survey of the scientific literature on climate change and claims to have found that the science is settled. She is wrong, because she asked the wrong question.

Her claim appears most recently in "Global Warming-Signed, Sealed and Delivered-Scientists agree: The Earth is warming, and human activities are the principal cause" by Naomi Oreskes, a history of science professor at the University of California San Diego, in an op ed in the Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2006 (,0,823343.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail).

This study is news, not because it is new -- it is two years old - but because it came up in a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Some claim that the Oreskes study was refuted, citing the Wall Street Journal, and she fired back in the LA Times. Readers can go the LA Times piece for the gory details.

But here is what is wrong with the Orestes study. As a student of the history of science, she really doesn't understand very well how science actually functions.

She summarizes her findings as follows:

"Not a single paper in a large sample of peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 refuted the consensus position, summarized by the National Academy of Sciences, that 'most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.'"

The weasel word is "refute." As a serious student of the climate change debate, I agree that I have never seen a single paper that claimed to refute the theory of human induced warming. But suppose we ask the right question-are there any papers that cast doubt on the theory of human induced warming? The answer is sure, plenty, maybe most.

Orestes' refutation question shows a deep misunderstanding of the climate science debate. There is no single test, experiment or observation that is going to either refute or prove the human warming theory. But individual tests, experiments and observations are what get published in scientific papers. There is no killer scientific argument here, so no wonder Orestes did not find one.

Dos this mean there is any kind of consensus on the science? By no means. In fact, the debate has widened in recent years, as the number of alternative theories to human induced warming has grown. The science is diverging, not converging on a single explanation for the warming.

Presuming, of course, that there is any warming, which is still an active subject of research. Note too that the temperature record only shows warming in about 20 of the last 50 years, something else we are trying to explain. The $1.7 billion U.S. climate change research program is a catalog of alternative theories, arguments and counter arguments. It's not a consensus.

For example, and to return to Orestes' bungled literature survey, consider solar variability. Numerous papers report strong statistical correlations with various aspects of solar output and the earth's temperature record. Numerous papers explore how this solar variability might drive temperature. In short' this is a very active area of research.

But would any of these papers show up in Orestes' survey? No, because none of them claims to "refute" the human induced warming theory. They merely support the competing theory of solar variability as the cause of the warming. By the same token, there are no papers that refute the theory of solar variability. Climate science is not about refutation, it is about assembling a million tiny pieces of research to try to figure out the world's most complex system. The Orestes approach is mind-bogglingly naive.

If anyone wants to see some of the thousands of papers that Orestes missed, I recommend The subject index leads to an endless supply of plain language summaries of scientific papers that cast doubt on the theory of human induced warming, all sorted by topic. Maybe Orestes should have looked here before publishing her silly findings
David E. Wojick, Ph.D.

Naomi Oreskes
is a professor of history and director of the UCSD Science Studies Program. She has a BS in Geology. Her CV is listed here:

As Allan pointed out, her study is a fraud, because unless it explicitly refuted global warming, a study was assumed to be in support.

oreskes credibility is lower than Mann's
Many others have done the exact same searches that oreskes claimed to have done, and they have found hundreds of papers challenging the AGW orthodoxy.

remember this, Mann actually concealed results that did not fit his hypothesis, which evidence M&M found in his ftp site. There has been no evidence that Oreskes actually cheated on her own hypothesis.

Yeah, yeah, slim I know. It's like asking who's the bigger thief, the second story man or the basher breaking down the front door.

What might bear some looking at is Oreskes' connections with Helen Caldicott. Her CV shows at least one contact.

but roy has been telling us that scientists know precisely how much, and what kind of aerosols were
are you trying to tell me that roy is either lying or sadly mistaken? Again!!!

Yes, but what technologies?
I think we are actually more or less in agreement here. The debate is largely over because positions have hardened and now it's just distracting.

Replacing coal fired power plants with nuclear plants is my policy preference. I don't think any other technology can be implemented as quickly or on as large a scale. We also need to start recycling uranium and plutonium from used fuel rods (and decommissioned nuclear weapons). It makes no economic sense to create a massive storage facility that nobody seems to actually want to bury such valuable material. The proliferation horse left the stable long ago, so the Carter era argument against recycling is moot.

OT: Does anybody know why my browsers (IE and Firefox) won't make paragraphs when I post here?

Computers *sigh*
Apparently, now it does, make paragraphs that is. They didn't show up in the preview, though.

More on aerosols
Let's leave Roy out of this, and just talk about the climate models.

DV Hoyt says in his post (above):
"In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly."

To put a fine point on this issue:

1. There actully is data on aerosols, but this data shows no trends for the period in question.

2. However aerosol data apparently was fabricated which must have shown major trends (of increased aerosols during 1940-1975, with lower values before and after), because such data was used to force-fit computer climate models to show cooling during this period.

3. This aerosol tactic exaggerates the role of CO2 in warming, and also allows the modeller to minimize the role of the sun.

Pretty shabby.

Best, Allan

Fascinating insight into the way liberals work
Note the way certain dems tried to skew this. I find it very interesting they way these people unarguably backed the pro-AGW science and scream when anyone points out the fallicies in the science. Is it any wonder that scientists themselves feel isolated when they don't back the AGW alarmists? I'll bet is is even worse when dealing with a pro-AGW lefty "scientist".

Social Circle Review
I believe the term was social circle. You peer review my paper and I'll peer review yours and when we collaborate we will get another member of the club to peer review.

Did you notice how tolerant the democrats were?

now that you mention
in my lifetime, I have never been able to associate Democrats (or liberals in general), with that concept.

Tolerant, understand and intellectual
My, but aren't they the smart ones! And if you disagree they will lop off your head!!

on this issue we agree fully, mark!!
The most intolerant people on the planet, unless you agree with them!

ask Oreskes
You have no business commenting to the popular press or the public if you can't even spell principal correctly.

Statistical methodology is universal to all studies.
The use of statistics is nearly universal in both hard and social sciences. Whether one is dealing with a physics question, a sociological question or an environmental one, you need to be able to seperate signal from noise, find correlations and make testable predictions. Furthermore, basic concepts like validity and repeatability are useful for almost all papers.

You don't have to be either a statistician or a climate scientist to spot Mann's errors if you have a basic knowledge of the subject.

Expertise does not guarantee you are correct, lack therof does not guarantee you are wrong.

Gridlock (An oldie but a goodie)

" Both sides on the issue of greenhouse gases frame their
arguments in terms of science, but each new scientific
finding only raises new questions dooming the debate to
be a pointless spiral. It’s time, the authors argue,for a
radically new approach: if we took practical steps to reduce
our vulnerability to today’s weather, we would go a long way
toward solving the problem of tomorrow’s climate."

And poorly taught
Ask how many people in any technical field how to Design an Experiment.

Sound Science?
"Most researchers say the warming effect has been winning in recent decades.

Injecting sulfur into the second atmospheric layer closest to Earth would reflect more sunlight back to space and offset greenhouse gas warming, according to Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego.

Crutzen suggests carrying sulfur into the atmosphere via balloons and using artillery guns to release it, where the particles would stay for up to two years. The results could be seen in six months. "

Let's hope it's not too much and the sun cooperates:

"While researchers argue whether Earth is getting warmer and if humans are contributing, a heated debate over the global effect of sunlight boiled to the surface today.

And in this debate there is little data to go on.

A confusing array of new and recent studies reveals that scientists know very little about how much sunlight is absorbed by Earth versus how much the planet reflects, how all this alters temperatures, and why any of it changes from one decade to the next.

Determining Earth's reflectance is crucial to understanding climate change, scientists agree."

Some say they know enough to shoot sulphur into the atm and other's say they need more data.

VERRY settled.

We are implementing those technologies.
When and where it makes sense to do so.
Have been for decades.

TCS Daily Archives