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« Campaign against prison rape | Main | Words to look for in State of the Union address »

January 26, 2010


jj mollo

I can imagine a Monte Python skit where the antagonist shouts, "Aha, I knew it!" after every statement that the speaker makes, trivial, irrelevant or parenthetical. Climate scientists are under a ridiculous but politically motivated assault from all directions at once. The original idea of the RealClimate site was to keep up with all the anklebiting, but it's simply impossible.

For one thing, Science is a big messy thing. These guys are doing research, writing books and articles, trying to coordinate a hundred things with their colleagues and even teaching a few classes perhaps, and there are not really a whole lot of them compared to the population boom of critics.

This AGW hypothesis is a big target. Research that touches on global warming issues covers more fields than you can imagine. There are also a lot of things covered in the IPCC report itself. Now the way Science works is that statements, predictions and observations are generated at a fast and furious rate and generally knocked down just as fast as they can be published. It wouldn't be too surprising if everything in the IPCC report was refuted and/or corrected to one degree or another. But the gist of it will probably hold up.

If you look on RealClimate right now, you'll see an admission that the forecast for Himalayan glacier melting was unsourced and presumably wrong. No matter what the personal histrionics may be, scientists almost always address the substance of issues. They get embarrassed a lot because they are doing hard, intellectually risky work. Do you expect them to lay down and die because they screwed up a few aspects of this report? They always screw up! They know they're going to do it. No matter how careful they are, it happens anyway.

... there is a statement in the second volume of the IPCC (WG2), concerning the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are receding that is not correct and not properly referenced.

Nevertheless, as the post states, you should not conclude that these glaciers are just fine. They are, in fact, not doing well at all. It's just that the evidence supporting that statement has not been properly established. The climate scientists will get around to it -- probably sooner rather than later because of the controversy.

The whole discussion is OBE, though, because new temperature data keeps bringing bad news ... and bad news is likely to continue.

And another thing ... poring over these e-mails for every shred of significance is a political process akin to the way we treat presidential candidates today. Every meep and bluster is recorded for posterity, no matter how old or how obscure, and is presented to the public at the most strategically cogent moment, replete with sober-faced analysts tut-tutting about the "obvious" implications.

And scientists are not even politicians. They are busy people with real work to do. If you want to know what their position is on a given subject, don't go sifting through their trash cans. Just ask them.

Frank Warner

They'd just better stick to the facts. I'm afraid "peer reviewed" doesn't suffice anymore. The "Climategate" e-mails showed the scientists were picking the peers who did the reviews, and attempting to exclude all skeptics.

More to the point, the more I review the e-mails, the more I'm convinced that only a minority in the little circle of climatologist insiders believes the 20th century was the warmest of the last 1,000 years.

Now, if most of them don't believe it, what are we arguing about?

So far, global warming feels good. Despite a few not-unexpected problems here and there, the world is producing bigger harvests than ever. And the heat may have peaked in the last 10 years.

Someone tell me why I should be concerned about the climate when it's doing so well. Try to reverse this helpful warmth, and we really could have wars.


Are these true statement:
In the last 90 years, while manmade CO2 has increased at an unprecedented rate, the average surface temperature in the United States has not shown a steady increased or on average is not higher today that it was then.
The science underlying global warming models has not been proven or has successfully model the average surface temperature in the United States over the last 90 years.


... the science is "settled" .. like solids in a cesspool

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