Thursday, December 31, 2009

¿La lluvia en Sevilla será una maravilla?

El Mediterráneo ha sido identificado al algunos trabajos como uno de las 'zonas calientes' que se verán  especialmente afectadas por el cambio climático. Las razones son el alto calentamiento pronosticado por los modelos climáticos, unido a la disminución de la precipitación. Ambos factores contribuirían a un aumento de la aridez en un area geopolítica caracterizada por un rápido aumento de la población (en el Norte de Africa) o un alto consumo de agua per cápita. Las simulaciones con modelos climáticos globales efectivamente indican en general una tendencia a la intensificaron del anticiclón de las Azores en los meses de invierno, lo que lógicamente traería consigo una disminución de la precipitación. Dada la historia del reparto de recursos hídricos en la Península Ibérica, es ésta una cuestión que se debería tomar muy en serio. La cuestión es, como en muchos otros aspectos en climatología, más compleja.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuvalu, a climate change fairy tale

It's the end of the year, and it is time to look back and let the major events of 2009 pass by. Of course, Copenhagen was the event of the year for those interested in climate change. In my opinion, Tuvalu is the island (or set of islets, atolls and coral reefs) of the year. For some, they were the heroes of Copenhagen, for others, they were final proof that UNFCCC negotiations necessarily have to fail. Either way, Tuvalu exists, out there somewhere between Hawaii and Australia, but also in our discourses and in the virtual reality. Talking about Tuvalu means talking about climate change; the one is as imagined or real as the other. It's up to you to decide, after reading this story about an island of great complexity.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stehr und von Storch: "Lästige Demokratie" in Spiegel online

Der Kopenhagener Gipfel ist gescheitert - und Klimaforscher spielen mit dem Gedanken an eine autoritäre Regierungsform, um die globale Erwärmung zu bewältigen. Die Wissenschaftler Nico Stehr und Hans von Storch warnen vor dieser antidemokratischen Strömung.

Neverla - Über die mediale Bearbeitung des Klimawandels

Interview mit Professorin Irene Neverla: Klimawandel - ein Jahrhundertthema
Zwei Wochen lang dominierte der Klimagipfel in Kopenhagen die Berichterstattung in den Medien. Presse, Rundfunk und Fernsehen überschlugen sich mit Berichten rund um den Klimawandel. Verschwindet das Thema jetzt wieder aus dem medialen Fokus? - schreibt der wdr 3 am 29. Dezember 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adjust your hockey stick!

Please read these instructions closely before participating in the hockey stick debate:
'Based on years of experience we have compiled this guide in order to provide both seasoned climatologists, and newcomers to the climate debate with an in-depth guide to hockey sticks, as well as the knowledge required to make an informed choice when looking for the best hockey stick to suit their specific needs.
Over the last 20 years a combination of technological advances, adaptation of the game to artificial surfaces and consumer demand, has led to hockey stick manufacturers producing a wide range of products to suit all skill sets, playing styles, preferences and budgets.'

Guest comment: Did the Hockeystick kill the medieval warm period?

by Gabi Hegerl

Over the coverage of 'climategate' and on lots of blogsites the view persists that Mike Mann's hockeystick is the one and only scientific obstactle to a warm (ie as warm as the late 20th century or warmer) medieval warm period.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Drama - US without advice by experts

Nation's Experts Give Up: 'From Now On, You're On Your Own,' Say Experts. Klimazwiebel may fill the gap.

Question: Do you find this information convincing?

On Climate Change Deniers vs The Consensus | Information Is Beautiful a position called "deniers" is compared with another position "consensus" ...

Science Wars revisited

Remember the science wars in the nineties? Facts or fiction: on the one hand the scientists who defended scientific facts as objective and representations of truth; on the other hand interdisciplinary science studies (anthropology, sociology, cultural studies etc) arguing that scientific facts are relative, relational and constructed.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

climate reconstructions and future climate projections

What would be the consequences for the estimations of future climate change if the reconstructions of the climate of the past few millennia were wrong? Since estimations of future climate change are presently solely based on model simulations, they would not need to be modified. However, past reconstructions do have a subtle and, for many perhaps surprising, implications in the understanding of global climate, and in this sense they also project into the future.

detection and attribution

There have been numerous comments and inquiries about this statement of Myles Allen and myself: in our nature-online piece (no longer freely available): "The e-mails do not prove, or even suggest, that the main product of CRU, namely the record of global surface air temperature based on thermometer readings, has been compromised. Indeed, the thermometer-based temperature record has been verified by results from other groups." I want no to take the opportunity to explain my arguments. These are my arguments.

No external pressure back in 2003 at Climate Research

Hans von Storch and Clare Goodess, two former editors of Climate Research, who stepped down in 2003, have responded to Pat Michael's comment on Wall Street Journal online, 17 december 2009:

Research Ethics

There has been a reluctance on the part of many climatologists and other observers of Climategate to condemn the exposed behaviour. True, some said that the mails show that the researchers unfortunately do not appear as ‘nice people’ but that they have done top science.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Climate Scientists In The Scheme Of Science

This brief commentary has its origins in the work of Steve Fuller in a short book called ‘Science’ (Open University Press, Buckingham, 1997.) Fuller asks ‘What is the image of social order appropriate to democracy and how is this image best realized...’ (p 4-5). He defines two types of democracy. Here I look at the type of democracy and ‘type’ of science as favored by the sample of climate scientists in the ClilSci2008 Survey of Climate Scientists.

Op-ed in Wall Street Journal

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rajendra Pachauri - claims of conflict of interest, and rebuttal

I was always wondering why media are not looking into the economic and political interests of climate advocates - for some reasons, people conserned about the furture of climate (and the environment in general), are considered as being truly altruistic. This is certainly not the case, and it should be the role of the media to look critically.

An example is provided by the UK-newspaper Telegraph, which ...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Myles Allen and Hans von Storch in nature on ClimateGate

Assessing the failure

The failure in Copenhagen was far from unexpected. One cannot draw up an agreement between 192 nations in two weeks when there are no signs beforehand that a zone of negotiation has emerged.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hans von Storch og Aksel Walløe Hansen i Politiken

Hans von Storch og Aksel Walløe Hansen: "Klimaforskning må ikke blive politisk. Vi må håbe, at en eventuel klimaaftale bygger på videnskabens, og ikke mediernes, version af klimatruslen". Se Politiken, 18. december 2009

Hans von Storch - more Interviews

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pachauri: "There are no doubts about the extent of man-made climate change"

The other day, I heard on German radio news that IPCC Chairman Pachauri would have said on COP-15 "Es gibt keinen Zweifel am Ausmaß des menschgemachten Klimawandels" --

Monday, December 14, 2009

A view from a Philosopher

Martin Cohen, editor of The Philosopher, has written a lenghty piece for the Times Higher Education. While you may find some of the claims too far fetched, it is certainly illuminating.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Daily Mail online

For a tabloid quite a good summary of the debate and what ‘hide the decline’ refers to.

Read it here

Im ZDF: Von Storch, Latif und Rahmstorf zur CRU Affäre

Fernsehbeitrag im ZDF: Das Klimakartell

Die Medienaktivität ist unverändert intensiv, aber es mehren sich die nachdenklichen Kommentare.

Demokratie und Klimapolitik

Einen bemerkenswerten Beitrag in der WELT von heute unter dem Titel Klimaschutz killt die Demokratie von Ulli Kulke.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The way forward

Imagine the data reconstruction post-CRU undermines the current consensus. Would political action to curb GHG emissions be doomed? Some fear, some hope so.

Roger Pielke Jr. has addressed the problem on his blog.

To scare or not to scare, that is the question

The recently released Copenhagen Diagnosis assessment has been accomplished by 26 scientist, down from 4000 or so that contributed to the Fourth IPCC Report. These 26 have been described to be 'leading scientists', raising the question ‘what are they leading us to’?.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Much Ado About Blogs: Anarchy vs. Tradition

As we all know blogs have become a fashionable means of communication made possible by modern technology. The question is, ‘What does this mean for science?’. Is it a reasonable means of communicating science to an open global audience? Is it a reasonable means for intra scientific discussions? How do we keep values from tarnishing scientific objectivity? Can they operate as an alternative to the peer review process associated with journals? And, of course, many more questions.
Here we can address a few of these question.

Zeitzeuge: Vermeidung vs. Anpassung

Als Reaktion auf ein Interview bekam ich diese Mail eines Zeitzeugen aus den fruehen 1990er Jahren:

Gavin Schmidt and John Christy on CNN

Have a look here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The survey, conducted by Dennis Bray (and with some help by me), among climate scientists has now be done 3 times - the statistics of the latest survey from 2008 are now online. Dennis Bray will in future contribute regularly to this blog and highlite results from this and the earlier surveys.

Für die von Euch, die mich gerne hören im Radio oder sehen im Fernsehen:

The former Danish primeminister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on an earlier climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009: "Well, I like to challenge scientists ...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Containing the Medieval Warm...err Climate Anomaly

In the series Draggin' the line, a quite often quoted text is related to the wishes expressed by Mann that 'it would be nice to try to "contain" the putative "MWP.." . In this occasion, however, I think  Mann is completely right to use the word contain.

MET office releases data and claims last decade is hottest on record

From the BBC website:

The UK Met Office has released data from more than 1,000 weather stations ... The decision to make the information available is the latest consequence of the hacked e-mails affair. ...

The Met Office figures indicate that the years since 2000 - the "noughties" - were on average about 0.18C (0.32F) warmer than years in the 1990s;...

Climate "sceptics" have claimed that temperatures have not been rising over the last decade. Of the two widely-used global temperature records, one - the UK HadCRUT3 record - shows an apparent plateau from 1998 to 2008.

But climate scientists point out that this result is achieved by taking 1998 as the starting point. Taking, for instance, 1997 or 1999 as the starting point, they argue, produces a different result.

Welcome to the world of cherry picking! Have a look at Roger Pielke Jr.'s Cherry Picker's Guide to Global Temperature Trends

What I find remarkable about this MET office news is that it combines the release of the CRU related dataset with a statement about the seriousness of the situation. This has to be seen as a political statement at what is perceived as a crucial juncture.

Emails: hacked or leaked?

If you are into the details of Unix and servers, this will make your day

Smoking gun at Darwin?

Here is another skeptic, Willis Eschenbach, apparently one of the first people to have demanded FOI access to the CRU data.

He now has re-examined the historical record for one station in Australia and claims to have found something important:

The Denial Industry

George Monbiot is back to his usual rhetoric. The environmental journalist mainly writing in the UK Guardian, was one of the first to call for a full investigation of the leaked emails at CRU and confessed that he was shocked by these revelations and had lost trust in the scientists he so long believed in.

Now Monbiot focuses attention on the ‘denial industry’ again. Quoting examples from James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore’s Climate Cover-Up, he warns of the power of big oil and coal who have planted a ‘meme’ into public consciousness. These memes are the ‘familiar phrases and concepts which you can see every day on the comment threads’.

It does not occur to him that other familiar phrases and concepts (such as anthropogenic warming, 2degrees stabilization goal, 2 meter sea level rise, or tipping points) must have originated somewhere, too. Monbiot seems to assume that there is a moral divide between one side and the other because the ‘denial industry’ is being paid. He writes that ‘Dr Patrick Michaels, one of a handful of climate change deniers with a qualification in climate science, has been lavishly paid by companies seeking to protect their profits from burning coal.’ This is hardly news, but does it follow that therefore his views are bunk? If it was all about money, why doesn’t the environmental movement offer the skeptics more than the fossil fuel industry? It would not work, because they believe in what they say. You have to engage with their ideas.

If you search the CRU emails for Shell or BP you will find documented attempts of the East Anglia researchers to get funding from the oil industry. Hardly surprising for a research institution in search for new sources of funding. At one point they get excited that $40m was earmarked to Cambridge University and want to know who benefitted—not to expose Cambridge, but to receive likewise. I don’t know how successful they were, but would such an income stream invalidate the findings of the researchers? Monbiot does not ask this question. Maybe for him it is unthinkable that Tyndall researchers should have reached out in such manner.

Monbiot says: ‘The denial industry, which has no interest in establishing the truth about global warming, insists that these emails, which concern three or four scientists and just one or two lines of evidence, destroy the entire canon of climate science.’

He does not realise that the ‘three or four scientists’ were the leading researchers for the IPCC report at the time. Philip Jones and Kevin Trenberth were Coordinating lead authors for the Fourth Assessment Report, WG1, Chapter 3: Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. Michael Mann was the lead scientist on the now infamous ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction with which most of the leaked email controversy has to do. These scientists had a conflict of interest when evaluating published research (of which their own of course figured prominently). And they actively sought to suppress other research findings.

Monbiot seems to be back into ‘trusting mode’: he does not examine claims from ‘skeptical’ scientists (in the proper sense of the term) who have been involved in this battle with some leading IPCC figures for more than a decade. For them, the burning question still remains: What happened to the Medieval Warming Period?

Hacked emails, Tricks & Popular Culture

here you can see one of the most popular news shows in the US, Jon Stewart's 'the daily show', and his interpretation of 'tricks' (you have to wait 2:30 min, but it is worth doing so):
(thanks to Brad King, grad. student at UTexas at Austin, for the link).
Climate scientists shouldn't underestimate popular culture; those folks out there are watching you! It is the context, the body language, the subtle pronunciation that make Jon Stewart's comment interesting. After having read dozens (or hundreds?) of comments on the 'trick', maybe one should consider this one as the 'final official statement'? They used a trick to hide the decline. Period. Blaming Inhofe in the end, in my opinion, is his tribute to political correctness, but the comment on the 'trick' comes as a warning. Many millions are watching Jon Stewart (instead of reading the New York Times).

Monday, December 7, 2009

56 editorials

Today many newspapers across the world carried the same editorial, eg. the Guardian in the UK, Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Germany etc. This was a concerted effort to send a signal to the start of proceedings in Copenhagen.

It would be interesting to analyse the type of paper which participates in each of these countries -- a task which cannot be done on the hoof. However, looking at a few examples, it is clear in which countries the elite papers have a greater or lesser involvement.

For the UK, it is no surprise to see the Guardian (it is not the Financial Times, though). There are some so called papers of record, such as Le Monde in France. Less pronounced, but still highly visible are La Repubblica in Italy, El Pais in Spain. Canada has the Toronto Star, the US the Miami Herald and China the Economic Observer.

Usually the position of elite papers is an important indicator of the political climate in a country.

Interview with Hans von Storch by Daniel Lingenhöhl

Published in German in Spectrumdirekt and Zeit online on 3 December 2009
Translated by Marcel Hendrickx, Brussels
Mr von Storch, soon the world climate conference in Copenhagen will start. Some of your colleagues took this as an opportunity to publish a drastic diagnosis according to which climate change may be faster and more severe than previously thought. Is the climate situation really that bad?


Mike's Nature trick

There seems to be lot of interest, and also a lot of confusion, in trying to interpret what the stolen CRU e-mails really mean. In some of the following posts we will try to place some of these emails in their proper background and include some explanations for those interested. I will try to do it in a neutral way, and let the reader make his/her own judgement.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The cartell

The German version of this essay was published online by die WELT, see.

Her is the English version, so far unpublished:

The climate cartel

The Copenhagen conference will commence in a few days, and the parties are getting active. Also on the side of science, where two groups fight for dominance in providing knowledge – which allegedly will determine the right conclusion.

More suprising CRU e-mails.

Three CRU e-mails, of which I was not aware so far. Read it carefully. What is it Ed Cook, Tom Wigley and Mike Mann are saying?

Hans von Storch