Bray’s useless survey published?

Remember Dennis Bray’s useless survey of climate scientists? The URL and password were posted to the climatesceptics mail list, so the results were biased and included responses from people who were not climate scientists. Bray refused to concede that this meant that the survey was hopelessly flawed. Now in a post on Nature’s Climate Feedback blog: von Storch and Bray say that the survey has now been published. I was somewhat surprised by this. What journal would publish something so obviously flawed? But it seems to be just published as a GKSS technical report. Not that that will stop the skeptics from citing it alongside the Oregon petition.

Comments

  1. #1 Lance
    August 9, 2007

    Oh Tim,

    Have you seen this yet?

    “GISS Has Reranked US Temperature Anomalies
    – Roger Pielke Sr. @ 4:42 pm
    The hard work of Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) and Anthony Watts (www.surfacestations.org) has resulted in the identification of a significant error in the assessment of the rankings of what have been the warmest years in the United States as identified by GISS. The current warmest year is 1934. This new information can be read at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1880#more-1880.

    Climate Science recognizes that this adjustment by GISS is but one of a slew of issues they need to explore, however, it is a clear example of the value of the research that Anthony and Steve are doing.

    Congratulations for this achievement!”

    The actual revised data can be viewed at the NASA GISS data website
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt

    It also relegates many of the other “hottest years” in the last ten to also ran status.

    Wow, bad day for you warmers. Pretty much takes the hot air right out of your whole balloon.

  2. #2 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 9, 2007

    The URL and password were posted to the climatesceptics mail list, so the results were biased

    Tim, what evidence do you have that the URL and password were actually USED by the folks on the climatesceptics mail list to sign on, fill out the survey, and bias the results?

    According to the Nature blog:

    The second survey from 2003 was conducted on the internet, a procedure that in principle could have been misused by multiple submissions by those skeptical or alarmist on climate change who shared the password. However, the 2003 results are internally consistent with the 1996 results. In 2003 scientists expressed increased satisfaction and agreement with the IPCC and increased confidence in the tools of the science. In comparison to 1996, no anomalies were found in the response to questions.

  3. #3 Lee
    August 9, 2007

    Oh, good fricking…

    Lance, are you shooting for the title of ‘least credible denialist ever?’ with this kind of braying?

    And error was found in the analysis of one (of many, many) data set, and the adjustment made. Before indulging yourself in this kind of triumphalist tripe, you need to look at the regional and world data after the adjustment. Yo need to look at whether it distorts the trend even in the US (it doesn’t) You need to look at the other confirming data – things like ice loss, shifting ag zones, dates of spring and fall frosts, and on and on.

    adn you need to shy away from posting utterly off-topic stuff as the first fricking post in a new thread – it makes it look as if your intent is to distract.

    Now, do you have anything to say about the Bray survey? If not, why did you choose this thread?

  4. #4 Lee
    August 9, 2007

    nanny, an open internet survey is inherently useless. As soon as that PW got out, the survey bacame an open internet survey.

  5. #5 Dano
    August 9, 2007

    Lee, don’t you hear the flapping of the butterfly and bird wings? Why, they’re all flying south, returning to their old homes.

    They were, of course, duped by the faulty temp readings that Lance is wanking to, thinking that his envirohate is validated. The plants too, are migrating south, and the alpine plants and pikas are all moving downhill, having been tricked by the warmer/science conspiracy cult.

    Back OT, I want the denialists to trumpet a useless survey. When someone uses the OISM “survey”, that immediately tells me the user has no clue. Saves time.

    Best,

    D

  6. #6 Lee
    August 9, 2007

    adn even looking at that “new” data lance linked – look at the 5 year average.

    Prior to 1988, the 5 year average anomaly gets above 0.5 (not a typo – 0.5) only for two years: 1932-1933, at .63-.61.

    Since 1988, we see upward 5-year anomaly average values of:
    1988 .51
    1989 .50

    1998 .51
    1999 .69
    2000 .79
    2001 .65
    2002 .55
    2003 .58
    2004 .66

    Gee….

  7. #7 Karl Voliene
    August 9, 2007

    Pristine data off by 25% using perfect method now is .2 wrong for .8 change. But that is minor of course yes.

  8. #8 bob koepp
    August 9, 2007

    envirohate?

    Logic, Dano, logic.

  9. #9 Dano
    August 9, 2007

    My logic, Bob, is that the birds aren’t flying south because they just heard the temp trend was adjusted downward. I know for some it might be tough to grasp, but I’m sure you get it despite what you used as a distraction.

    Best,

    D

  10. #10 Testing
    August 9, 2007

    Speaking of Climate Audit, is it just me or have they been down all day?

  11. #11 bob koepp
    August 9, 2007

    Well, Dano, you pretty clearly imply that Lance hates the environment. Where’s the logic in that implication? Don’t get distracted, just address the question.

  12. #12 Peter Bickle
    August 9, 2007

    Hi all

    I feel vindicated on my comments from last week.
    Steve Mc has done for climate science as a man of statistics than those so called scientists, these scientists are no more than alchemists in my eyes.

    Regards form a non warming New Zealand
    Peter Bickle

  13. #13 Doug Clover
    August 9, 2007

    Mr Bickle must be confused as the data indicates that NZ is warming just not as fast as the Northern Hemisphere (as is expected). (See http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc/clivar/pastclimate#nzat )

    For some reason per head of population we seem to produce more than our fair share of climate idiots.

    Cheers Doug

  14. #14 Peter Bickle
    August 9, 2007

    Hi all

    Niwa probably use the same recording logic as GISS/NASA my little clover flower.
    But the fact remains that GISS/NASA have had a massive backdown, funny how the news wires have not published this with the vigour they would have used if these stastics were turned the other way.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  15. #15 Chris O'Neill
    August 10, 2007

    2006 being the second warmest year in the US is not news. NCDC reported on it months ago. It’s not surprising that it’s hard to determine which of the hottest years is actually the hottest when only 0.03 or 0.08 degrees separates the two hottest years, depending on the method of estimating it. NCDC also point out:

    “The last eight 5-year periods (2002-2006, 2001-2005, 2000-2004, 1999-2003, 1998-2002, 1997-2001, 1996-2000, 1995-1999), were the warmest 5-year periods (i.e. pentads) in the last 112 years of national records, illustrating the anomalous warmth of the last decade. The 9th warmest pentad was in the 1930s (1930-34), when the western U.S. was suffering from an extended drought coupled with anomalous warmth.”

    I’ll let Bickle go back to his deck chairs.

  16. #16 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 10, 2007

    nanny, an open internet survey is inherently useless. As soon as that PW got out, the survey bacame an open internet survey.

    Wait a minute, where is the evidence that the survey was actually biased by this supposed ill-sited password?

    It’s not enough to just say that a password’s location taints the survey, you have to actually show that the temperature trend – I mean the survey – was actually affected by the password’s location.

  17. #17 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Wow, bad day for you warmers. Pretty much takes the hot air right out of your whole balloon.

    Lance, with his BS in physics, supposedly working on a PhD in physics, doesn’t know the difference between a data point and a trend.

    I don’t blame him for not posting his full name here. If his thesis prof ever learned how skullnumbingly stupid he is …

  18. #18 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    NGS can’t even accurately quote …

    Wait a minute, where is the evidence that the survey was actually biased by this supposed ill-sited password?

    The statement was that it’s USELESS, not BIASED.

    You can’t tell if it’s biased or not, therefore it tells us nothing.

    Don’t tell me this is too complicated for you …

  19. #19 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    Writing from SS Tiatnic.

    dhogaza, what is your name then, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
    The fact remains that 1934 was the warmest year on record. One Data point maybe but it is correct. The current trend is not as steep as previously thought wrt the past, perhaps a IPCC downgrade in temp rise perhaps is required.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle
    (Bickle to Chris O,Neill)

  20. #20 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    Forgot to add. The word un prescidented cannot now be used for 2006/1998, doesn’t have the same ring to it now does it!

    Regards
    Peter Bickle
    (Bickle to Chris O’Neill)

  21. #21 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Forgot to add. The word un prescidented cannot now be used for 2006/1998, doesn’t have the same ring to it now does it!

    So what?

    The *trend* is unprecedented.

    What kind of world view leads one to believe it really matters if the warmest year won’t come until 2008 or 2010 or … ?

  22. #22 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    GISS Has Reranked US Temperature Anomalies — Roger Pielke Sr. @ 4:42 pm The hard work of Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) and Anthony Watts (www.surfacestations.org)
    So … which photograph from surfacestations.org was the smoking gun?

    (snigger)

  23. #23 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Oops, something went wrong with that post …

    I asked – which of surfacestation.org’s photographs turned out to be the smoking gun? (snigger)

  24. #24 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 10, 2007

    The statement was that it’s USELESS, not BIASED.

    You can’t tell if it’s biased or not, therefore it tells us nothing.

    Aaaah, so if we have evidence of POTENTIAL bias then the surface temperature trend – I mean the study – or whatever is useless?

  25. #25 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Aaaah, so if we have evidence of POTENTIAL bias then the surface temperature trend – I mean the study – or whatever is useless?

    In the case of temperature trends, we know they’re using thermometers, biased or not, and that the different sites actually exist.

    In an open internet survey, we don’t even know what percentage of the responses come from people rather than one or more computer programs.

    I doubt you see the difference, but believe me, it does nothing to improve your credibility.

  26. #26 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 10, 2007

    In the case of temperature trends, we know they’re using thermometers, biased or not, and that the different sites actually exist.

    We know they’re using sites with potential biases.

    In an open internet survey, we don’t even know what percentage of the responses come from people rather than one or more computer programs.

    We know the survey was open to potential bias.

    Two things with potential bias, one is “useless” the other is worshipped like some sort of pagan idol. Welcome to the religion of AGW.

  27. #27 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Oh, nags, please keep posting … please, please, please.

    “This is your brain on libertarianism” … we could do TV ads!

  28. #28 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    nanny_govt_sucks is correct. GW is the new reliogion. Even the most avid warmer has to admit this shows more work has to be done to see the accuracy of the data collected. But this won’t happen on a voluntary basis, too much funding, control of society and taxation is at stake.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle
    (Bickle to O’Neill)

  29. #29 Chris O'Neill
    August 10, 2007

    “Writing from SS Tiatnic.”

    Very funny joke. Love the irony. There was irony, wasn’t there?

    “The fact remains that 1934 was the warmest year on record.”

    Oh so now GISS is a source of facts according to Bickle. So according to Bickle it is a fact that 2005 was the world’s warmest year and it has been equaled by the year to July 2007. No doubt he’ll be stating these facts with every opportunity he gets. Pity that what the NCDC says (that 1998 was the warmest year in the US and 2006 was second with USHCN V2) is not a fact because it is not GISS. Otherwise we would still say that 1998 in the US was unprecedented. Oh well, the deck chairs are not in an unprecedented position. Nothing to worry about.

  30. #30 Chris O'Neill
    August 10, 2007

    “Welcome to the religion of AGW”

    Actually, denialism, like religion, is founded on credulity and delusion.

  31. #31 Paz
    August 10, 2007

    The survey is useless. An even more serious flaw than the open nature of the survey was the ill-phrased queston they asked: People had to say whether they agreed to the statement: “Climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes.”

    Read it closely: The didn’t say “RECENT climate change” but asked about the cause of climate change in general. Of course many climate scientists disagree with this statement when it refers to climate change in general, because it happened long before humans first appeared.

    If they really wanted results about the recent climate change then they completely botched the study. Everybody who used the results to argue for a disagreement among scientists about the causes of climate change should be embarrassed.

  32. #32 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    #29″Writing from SS Tiatnic.”

    Very funny joke. Love the irony. There was irony, wasn’t there?

    Cause it was irony Chris, does not mean we cannot have a laugh as well, agree to dis-agree in this case;)

    But the fact remains that NASA have changed their numbers to reflect what SM @ CA has found. If we look at the trend the longer term trend is smaller than what it was a week ago. Surely warmers should be happy, it shows we are not doing as bad as we keep being told and we can relax some of the sacrifices we are supposed to make. Maybe we can forgive Big Al for using so much electricity at home as it is not causing as much danger to the earth, hell he can use more now, no guilt trip required.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  33. #33 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2007

    I just did a search on Web of Science looking for studies showing clear evidence of the effects of climate change on plant and animal popualtions. As expected, there were hundreds. The abstract from TL Root’s Nature paper (2003, 421:57-60), for instance:

    Although species have responded to climatic changes throughout their evolutionary history(2), a primary concern for wild species and their ecosystems is this rapid rate of change(3). We gathered information on species and global warming from 143 studies for our meta-analyses. These analyses reveal a consistent temperature-related shift, or ‘fingerprint’, in species ranging from molluscs to mammals and from grasses to trees. Indeed, more than 80% of the species that show changes are shifting in the direction expected on the basis of known physiological constraints of species. Consequently, the balance of evidence from these studies strongly suggests that a significant impact of global warming is already discernible in animal and plant populations. The synergism of rapid temperature rise and other stresses, in particular habitat destruction, could easily disrupt the connectedness among species and lead to a reformulation of species communities, reflecting differential changes in species, and to numerous extirpations and possibly extinctions.

    Just what I said a few days ago on a related thread (and Dano said here). Climate change is well underway, and in combination with a myriad of other anthropogenic stresses it will have serious consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. How many of the sceptics out there have read a single study on the effects of climate change on biological communities? If not, why not?

  34. #34 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    Interesting post Jeff. You may have a point but blaming GW on this is the modern fad and is oh so sexy. See, it will be better for funding.

    ‘I would like $x,000 to research the findings of the effects of GW on the population of molluscs found on the local coastline to confirm the conclusion I have come to and to further the research.’

    And Abra Kadabra $x,000 is granted.

    Thats how things go in the academic world these days.

    BTW, Dan nought does not say anything sensible at all these days, has a rant and pisses off.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  35. #35 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2007

    Peter, Pu-lease. Get a life. You have NO idea at all! None. This is the standard refrain used by laymen to smear scientists. If you only knew how hard it was to land research grants you’d change your tune. I know of colleagues who wrote 50 page EU grants exploring a range of processes that were bounced after peer review. Most are rejected – the typical success rate for research grants in my field is about 20%. And this is irrespective as to whether the research has anything to do with climate change or not. One researcher I know wrote a huge proposal to explore the effects of climate change on above and below ground trophic interactions – and it was rejected twice after review. So Peter, before making rash remarks, think. Or at least try.

    By the way, Peter, how many peer-reviewed papers on the subject have you read? I am asking because to the readers here, the answer should be pretty obvious.

  36. #36 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    Peer reviewed ournals read = the big fat 0.
    I used to work as a scientist, I am a chemist (synthetic organic) by training (MSc level) but I do know when I am being had, and this GW is the biggest con going.

    Anyway, peer review means diddly squat in the GW world, everyone peer reviews each other, human nature will tell you what this leads to. It is becoming pretty clear that peer review is poor in climate science.
    I have had to go thru grants processes when I was in research and it was easier if your subject was ‘sexier’ to get a grant. Maybe Hansen’s corrective formulations need peer review!

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  37. #37 stephan harrison
    August 10, 2007

    Just to support Jeff at no. 35. I hear this argument from sceptics all the time. It is generally incredibly difficult to obtain research grants…..the idea that you just put the words climate change into the rationale and you get the money is clearly ridiculous (and put about by people who have no idea how science works).

    Overall, AGW is supported by so many independent lines of evidence (quantum physics, atmospheric chemistry, climatology etc) and its impacts supported by an equally huge number of sciences (Quaternary science, glaciology, ecology etc). Any competing theory must have as much explanatory power as AGW. None of the theories put forward by the sceptics has this. Thus, a simple risk assessment must accept that we take AGW seriously. Even if AGW did not exist, we would still need to reduce GHG (peak oil, acifdification of the oceans).

  38. #38 galmud
    August 10, 2007

    Good point Paz. That particular question in fig 30 is needlessly ambiguous. The most serious issue is its potential to be misused and quoted out of context.

    A better question would be “Global warming of the last 3 decades (or century)is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes” Seems this is what they really wanted to know because in the study they conclude:

    >So, if global warming is happening, and if it might be a significant global problem, who, according to science, is to blame? Figure 30 suggests there is quite some hesitance about putting all of the blame on humans.

    But that was not the question in fig 30! They asked about climate change in general, not current global warming. Reading fig. 31 and 34 seems there actually is strong agreement current global warming is the result of human causes, but again the statements are ambiguous.

  39. #39 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    A better question would be “Global warming of the last 3 decades (or century)is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes” Seems this is what they really wanted to know…

    If this had been asked of climatologists in 1996 – eleven years ago – the responses probably would’ve been largely “no”, because there was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the AGW single was detectable in the years 1986-1996.

    In 2007, the results would be very different, no doubt.

    So, if global warming is happening, and if it might be a significant global problem, who, according to science, is to blame? Figure 30 suggests there is quite some hesitance about putting all of the blame on humans.

    Climatologists don’t claim that AGW is the sole cause of climate change, so a question worded that way would get a very large “no” response.

    “primarily responsible”, “causing most of observed warming in the 21st century”, etc – questions along these lines would get a positive response among climate scientists, I believe.

  40. #40 ChrisC
    August 10, 2007

    Okay, I confess!

    I work in a climatology related field (meteorology), and it IS all a big scam. We’re scamming you all for research grants! Playing you all like suckers!!! HAHAHA!

    Why? Because us scientists are just so evil, we don’t care our proffesion, our reputation or the public. I don’t spend hour after tortorous hour de-bugging code that has small errors for the sake of accuracy. I don’t debate research findings passionatly for the sake of improving the understanding of the world. And I certainly don’t take so much wonder out of my subject that I would die before knowingly misrepresenting it because I love what I do.

    No, I do it for the money and the power, and so do all of us so-called scientists. We have no ethics at all. We just love scamming the public because we’re evil. James Hansen is like Dr. Evil and I’m Mini-Me, only shorter.

    It’s not as though there is a large amount of theoretical science, data and observation that indicate that the climate change is taking place, is a major threat and most likely includes a major human driven component. If there is a chance that the data indicate this, don’t worry, we falsified it knowingly to keep living in the lap of luxury.

    While we’re at it, here are a few of my co-scammers:

    - The IPCC;
    - The national acadamies of

    Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, Brazil, China and India;

    - Bob Brown;

    Al Gore isn’t in on it. He’s what Lenin would call a “useful idiot”. Oh didn’t you hear? We’re communist to. The bad kind of communist.

    And I would have gotten away with it to, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!

  41. #41 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2007

    Peter writes, “I used to work as a scientist, I am a chemist (synthetic organic) by training (MSc level)”.
    Given your contributions on this thread, I find this hard to believe. Your musings are about as shallow as a puddle.

    Peter also wrote, “I do know when I am being had”. So there you have it. Forget empirical science. Peter has infinite wisdom that elevates him above a huge percentage of the scientific community. Peter, why the hell aren’t you writing all this for Nature, Science, Plos, or PNAS? Tell us your secret. I am sure you must have a book at least in the works.

  42. #42 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2007

    You know, on reflection, Peter must think that research scientists are millionaires. We must all live in sprawling estates, own a few dozen properties around the world, yachts, fast cars and enjoy life in the fast lane. After all, its so easy, according to Peter: just fill in a few blanks on standard forms, write in ‘climate change’ and ‘anthropogenic’ and the big bucks come flowing in. Well Peter Bickle, I got news for you: I didn’t study zoology, do a PhD, three post docs and now work as a senior researcher to get rich. I do it cos’ the natural world fascinates me and I like to better understand how communities and ecosystems function. Sure, many of the sceptics out there will think its all a waste of time, but in my view unraveling the complexity of nature helps us to understand just a little more our place in the scheme of things. Lastly, the only component of my research that has anything to do with global change is the effects of invasive plants in non-native ecosystems. But, like ChrisC above, with respect to climate change I tend to defer to the huge body of the expertise of the ‘co-scammers’ he referred to above.

  43. #43 bigcitylib
    August 10, 2007

    What was the name of the climate skeptic mailing list?

    If it has a archive, it would be pretty easy to see if the notion of FREEPING the survey was discussed.

  44. #44 Boris
    August 10, 2007

    nanny,

    I’ll go along with your apples to oranges comparison.

    Has the Bray survey been checked for heterogeneity by comparing it to other surveys conducted from a similar pool of respondents taken at about the same time?

    Better luck next analogy.

  45. #45 Lance
    August 10, 2007

    Jeff,

    The question of whether studies show ecological reactions to warming is quite separate from, and wholly irrelevant to, the question of whether the warming is anthropogenic or even anomalous.

    dhogaza, lee, Dano, Chris,

    As to the downgrading of temperatures of the last decade, it is quite disingenuous to act like it is a minor issue when AGW proponents, such as yourselves, have been leveraging statements like “Warmest year in over a thousand years!” as hammers in the public discourse.

    Now that it turns out it wasn’t even the warmest year in the last 75 it is incumbent upon anyone claiming to be an honest participant in a rational discourse to cede the point gracefully and move on. Why do I doubt that you will do so?

    You are like the Vatican “scientists” that, after radio-carbon dating proved that the “shroud of Turin” was from the 13th century, claimed it was even more of a miracle that Christ’s image would appear on the cloth in the middle ages.

    While this one discovery did not destroy the theory of the resurrection it certainly made those “scientists” look foolish that they clung to the discredited evidence.

    Your religious faith is showing boys.

  46. #46 Lance
    August 10, 2007

    Jeff,

    While I can’t speak for Peter Bickle, I don’t think he meant to impugn your personal scientific integrity. I certainly have nothing but respect for the dedication of any scientist that seeks to understand, through the scientific method, their particular field of interest. Most scientists work hard, for relatively modest compensation, motivated by the passion of discovery.

    I do think however, that once a functional paradigm is in place it can lead to convergent “group think”. While I have every confidence that you are an impartial and vigilant researcher in your field it would appear, from your previous posts, that you have relied largely on the authority of a subset of climate scientists to conclude that anthropogenic CO2 is causing current warming and will accelerate to dangerous levels in the future.

    Based on this assumption, not directly related to your field of expertise, you are demanding that immediate and large scale changes be made in the way most of humanity conduct their lives. Can you at least understand that some of us would require very convincing evidence to make these changes?

  47. #47 Dano
    August 10, 2007

    if I may:

    you have relied largely on the authority of a subset of climate scientists to conclude that anthropogenic CO2 is causing current warming and will accelerate to dangerous levels in the future.

    Based on this assumption, not directly related to your field of expertise, you are demanding that immediate and large scale changes be made in the way most of humanity conduct their lives. Can you at least understand that some of us would require very convincing evidence to make these changes?

    1. Who else do you rely on for knowledge in a specific discipline? The plumbing profession? What kind of critical thinking process drives this cr*p thinking?

    2. Some don’t want to be “convinced”.

    Nonetheless, most societies on the planet are already debating these changes. Haven’t you heard? Too bad. You are being left behind.

    HTH.

    Best,

    D

  48. #48 Danoq
    August 10, 2007

    Hmmm…not sure what happened to the close i tag, but second para should also be italicized immediately above.

    D

  49. #49 Jeff Harvey
    August 10, 2007

    Lance, good point. Glad to be exchanging views and ideas with you in a better (e.g. more polite) way.

    Again, I defer to the views of the academic bodies ChrisC described above with respect to pinpointing the causul agent underlying the current warming episode. Given that pretty well every National Academy of Science on Earth has authorized the IPCC reports, I wonder what the comparatively small number of sceptics know that such a huge scientific body doesn’t. Another problem I alluded to before is that its almost impossible to convince many people that a 0.6-0.7 C rise in global surface temperature over the past 50 years is much of a big thing. But I can assure you that this is not trivial for a largely deterministic system. Moreover, there is considerable spatio-temporal variation in the rate of change: lower latitudes have experienced hardly any warming (although precipitation patterns appear to be changing) whereas some regions in higher latitudes are warming at quite a dramatic rate. Moreover, what we are finding in Holland is that miminal night temperatures are rising faster than day time maximums, and that autumn-winter temperatures are also disproportionately rising. In some recent years we haven’t even had the first frost until December, which is ridiculously late.

    Many scientists believe that the current rate of change requires a major forcing, and there’s a lot of evidence pointing to the human combustion of fossil fuels. I spoke with a climate scientist in Copenhagen University in 2003 and he said that the human fingerprint was ‘all over’ the current warming episode, even though he believed that the 1880-1940 warming had little or nothing to do with human activity.

    As I said before, ecological systems are being experienced to a range of severe anthropogenic stresses at present. Warming is but one, along with habitat loss, eutrophication, invasive species, other forms of pollution and overharvesting. There’s no doubt that we are biologically and ecologically simplifying the planet and that this will rebound on us at some point, given that species and genetically distinct populations are the working parts of our ecological life-support systems.

  50. #50 Ian Forrester
    August 10, 2007

    Lance (#45)

    You do know what the “G” in “AGW” stands for, don’t you?

  51. #51 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Now that it turns out it wasn’t even the warmest year in the last 75 it is incumbent upon anyone claiming to be an honest participant in a rational discourse to cede the point gracefully and move on. Why do I doubt that you will do so?

    I gracefully or ungracefully – your choice – concede that 1998 is the second warmest year, not the warmest year, on record.

    Rather than being 0.01C warmer than 1934, it’s 0.01C cooler.

    I also gracefully concede that 2006 is only the third warmest year on record, and that one of the three warmest years was in the 1930s.

    AGW has been turned on its head, for sure, disproved at last.

    Oh, wait, that conclusion doesn’t follow.

  52. #52 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Now that it turns out it wasn’t even the warmest year in the last 75 it is incumbent upon anyone claiming to be an honest participant in a rational discourse to cede the point gracefully and move on.

    I can’t believe someone who claims to be working on a physics PhD believes this means squat.

    It’s crazy.

    It doesn’t change trends a bit. It doesn’t change the physics underlying warming a bit. It doesn’t change anything other than some foolish hang-up about whether one year is friggin’ 0.01C degrees warmer or cooler than another.

    And, no, I’m not one of those who ever made a big deal of it. It’s been clear all along that a 0.01C difference between 1998 and 1934 is slight, and of course it’s also been clear that 1998 was an exceptionally warm year due to the ENSO effect.

    So, why do you think this is important? It’s not going to change, for instance, the fact that the artic ice cap is disappearing more rapidly less than models predict (you’re right, they’re inaccurate, what’s your basic physics explanation as to why GCMs apparently underestimate artic warming?)

  53. #53 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    While I have every confidence that you are an impartial and vigilant researcher in your field it would appear, from your previous posts, that you have relied largely on the authority of a subset of climate scientists to conclude that anthropogenic CO2

    Strictly speaking, a set is a subset of itself, and in the case of climate science, the subset that concludes that anthropogenic CO2 causing warming and will cause accelerated warming is very close to being the set of all climate scientists.

    Climatology isn’t your field of expertise, either, and when asked to back up your claim that you’ve studied the science and disagree with the AGW hypothesis, you’ve responded with statements of personal incredulity, nothing more.

  54. #54 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Of course, I should’ve made clear in my post above that I only concede that 1934 was a teensy-weensy bit warmer than 1998 IN THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES.

    Lance seems to be forgetting that 1998 is still warmer than 1934 globally.

  55. #55 Boris
    August 10, 2007

    “IN THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES”

    Everyone together now. Lance, I don’t hear you…

  56. #56 Lance
    August 10, 2007

    Jeff,

    I agree that other human caused stresses are affecting world wide ecosystems. I’m all for addressing those. I am not an advocate of unrestricted industrialization and population growth.

    I think that the focusing of resources and publicity on AGW detracts from addressing those other pressures.

  57. #57 Lee
    August 10, 2007

    Lance, take a look at the revised temp data you posted yesterday. Look at the running 5 year average. Teh come back and tell us the 1930s were warmer than the last decade or so.

    I posted on this yesterday. I have yet to see you say one word on that point.

  58. #58 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 10, 2007

    Has the Bray survey been checked for heterogeneity by comparing it to other surveys conducted from a similar pool of respondents taken at about the same time?

    We can do that with the Bray survey. Just pick any old pool of climate science surveys from around the same time, who cares about password siting issues. If it’s good enough for climate science it should be good enough for survey science, right?

  59. #59 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Lance:

    I think that the focusing of resources and publicity on AGW detracts from addressing those other pressures.

    Having worked on forest and sage steppe conservation issues throughout the 80s and 90s, I can assure you that:

    1. AGW doesn’t detract from addressing such issues

    2. AGW threatens to make conservation measures taken in the past to protect such ecosystems moot.

  60. #60 Boris
    August 10, 2007

    Okay, nanny, do it. We’ll eagerly await your result.

  61. #61 Peter Bickle
    August 10, 2007

    Hi all

    Jeff Harvey wrote:
    ‘Peter writes, “I used to work as a scientist, I am a chemist (synthetic organic) by training (MSc level)”. Given your contributions on this thread, I find this hard to believe. Your musings are about as shallow as a puddle.

    Well Jeff, all of this is true, I do have a MSc in chemistry so I do feel I know a bit about science, formulating ideas and doing research. Presently I am the National Sales Manager for a chemical company in New Zealand which has a high degree of technical content in it.

    However, I still stand by my basic statement that AGW is a scam. I am not denying there is climate change but I am not convinced that this is man made. CO2 forcing is decreasing is it not as every new molecule added adds less warming the the previous.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  62. #62 Chris O'Neill
    August 10, 2007

    “But the fact remains that NASA have changed their numbers”

    Whatever happened to:

    “The fact remains that 1934 was the warmest year on record.”

    Bickle facts ain’t what they used to be I guess. Maybe he’s made the mistake of getting them peer-reviewed. As a “scientist”, he should know that peer-review is a mistake.

    “If we look at the trend the longer term trend is smaller than what it was a week ago.”

    Yes, the GISS AGW trend is 0.003 degrees smaller than a week ago.

    “””Writing from SS Tiatnic.”””

    “”Very funny joke. Love the irony. There was irony, wasn’t there?””

    “Cause it was irony Chris”

    Sure, if you say so. Since you are having difficulty with that metaphor, try this one: I’ll leave you to your storm in a teacup.

  63. #63 Ian Gould
    August 11, 2007

    “Just to support Jeff at no. 35. I hear this argument from sceptics all the time. It is generally incredibly difficult to obtain research grants…..the idea that you just put the words climate change into the rationale and you get the money is clearly ridiculous (and put about by people who have no idea how science works).”

    More generally, anyone who goes into science for the money is, to put it bluntly, an idiot.

    Mining and finance companies are full of science grads who came to the same conclusion.

  64. #64 Doug Clover
    August 11, 2007

    I am sorry Mr Bickle based on the resume you have given here I do not have much confidence of your scientific opinion on these matters.

    However, I hear that the NZCSC is looking for a new climate science spokesperson. You would be over qualified for the the position.

    Doug Clover

  65. #65 dhogaza
    August 11, 2007

    Bickle has some mighty strange logic goin’ down:

    However, I still stand by my basic statement that AGW is a scam.

    OK … AGW is a scam …

    I am not denying there is climate change but I am not convinced that this is man made.

    OK … got it … warming isn’t due to man’s activities …

    CO2 forcing is decreasing is it not as every new molecule added adds less warming the the previous.

    But I agree that CO2 is a global warming gas.

    Huh?

    CO2 causes warming (albeit less warming as concentrations increase), yet our emissions of CO2 don’t cause warming, and um AGW is a scam.

    Very, very strange.

    But then again salespeople are used to telling odd stories to potential clients in hopes of getting a sale. Situational truthtelling, in a sense.

  66. #66 Peter Bickle
    August 11, 2007

    Hi all

    dhogaza – no strange logic at all.

    1. dhogaza says: ‘OK … AGW is a scam …

    I am not denying there is climate change but I am not convinced that this is man made. ‘

    Not hard to understand, climate always changes, show me a day where it was the same as another day? I am not convinced this is man made, (I typed this slowly so dhog. could understand). Is it a crime not to beleive AGW as I do?

    2. dhogaza says: ‘OK … got it … warming isn’t due to man’s activities …

    CO2 forcing is decreasing is it not as every new molecule added adds less warming the the previous.
    But I agree that CO2 is a global warming gas.

    Huh?’ Again, (typing slowly) I have never said CO2 is not a warming gas, it is, but as we pump more CO2 (food to plants) the effect on temperture rises diminishes and to attribute astronomical rises of as much as 6 deg C in the next 100 years is nonsense. If it does rise 6 deg C it will be due to other factors.

    3. dhogaza says: ‘But then again salespeople are used to telling odd stories to potential clients in hopes of getting a sale. Situational truthtelling, in a sense.’

    I am not a salesperson, as you can see by my name I am a salesMAN, New Zealand Sales Manager actually for a chemical company. Sales is a nobel profession, you do not last long in a country like New Zealand if you not any good and the amount of repeat business I have is testament to my ability. I do not need to lie to get business, which must piss you off somewhat. Out of interest dhog, what do you do?

    4. Chris – AGW is a storm in a tea cup, after all there have been more storms in teacups this year compared to the north/mid Atlantic.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle
    (Bickle to Chris O’Neill)

  67. #67 guthrie
    August 11, 2007

    In case anyone reading the thread doesn’t already know what Peter is talking about, heres some urls:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii
    on the topic of saturation of Ir in CO2.

    Umm, Peter, where have we guaranteed that 6 degree warming is in teh pipeline, and where is the evidence that it will not wreak havoc in food production, ecosystems, etc. Here is some of my evidence:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6200114.stm
    http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/07/how_global_warming_disrupts_bi_1.php

    Whats yours?

  68. #68 Chris O'Neill
    August 11, 2007

    Bickle: “AGW is a storm in a tea cup”

    You just don’t get the point, do you. A 0.15 degree difference in the US makes bugger all difference to the G in AGW. The US is a teacup.

    “CO2 forcing is decreasing is it not as every new molecule added adds less warming the the previous”

    I presume you mean “CO2 forcing per molecule” rather than just “CO2 forcing”. In that case each molecule of CO2 emitted now has 73% of the warming power of a CO2 molecule emitted in 1750. Yes, now I see, 73% is the same as zero. Good thing Peter Bickle stuck to chemistry rather than mathematics.

  69. #69 dhogaza
    August 11, 2007

    Not hard to understand, climate always changes, show me a day where it was the same as another day?

    Every day, actually. If you don’t know the difference between climate and weather, perhaps you might consider finding a new hobby?

  70. #70 Peter Bickle
    August 11, 2007

    Guthrie

    scienceblogs and BBC are not peer reviewed and are gob pieces for the AGW movement.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

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