Via William Connolley I find another attempt to claim that there is no consensus in the scientific literature:

In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the “consensus view,” defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes’ work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.

Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers “implicit” endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no “consensus.”

This seems likely to be a rerun of Benny Peiser’s effort. (Peiser said that 34 of Oreskes’ abstracts rejected the consensus. Eventually he downgraded the number to just one. I’ve sent off an email to see if I can get a copy of the paper, but in the mean time we can check some stuff.

Searching for “global climate change” in the Web of Science and restricting the search to “Papers” and “since 2004″ gave me 576 results. A bit more than Schultz, but some were published after Feb 2007. I’ve put all the results on the web here. Christopher Monckton has posted seven of the papers that Schultz reckons explicitly reject the consensus. You’d think that those would the best seven, so I looked at them. He does better than Pieser, because three of them really so reject the consensus.

Cao just says that there are uncertainties in our understanding of the carbon cycle. Leiserowitz just studied public opnion of the risks of climate change. Moser was not one of the 576 papers. Lai et al ends up implicitly endorsing the consensus by suggesting that reducing CO2 emissions will reduce global warming.

The three that do reject the consensus are Gerhard, which was published in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin; Shaviv arguing for cosmic rays, which doesn’t explain how they could make a difference over the past 50 years when the cosmic rayflux hasn’t changed over that period; and Zhen-Shan and Xian, which is just a rubbish paper that should not have been published. (What is the next number in this sequence? 60. Their answer is 60.)

Anyway, feel free to pick a month or a year at random and classify some abstracts. Just post a comment something like this:

July 2007
endorseex: 123 126
endorseimp: 156
rejectex: 234
rejectimp: 678
methods: 789
paleo:
discuss:
unrelated:
undecided:

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Bloom
    August 30, 2007

    Was Gerhard even peer-reviewed? Note that it claims to be a review paper. Did Oreskes count review papers?

    Zhen-Shan and Xian indeed looks shaky, but it’s not 100% clear to me from the abstract that it’s necessarily a challenge to the consensus. In a strict sense perhaps, but a bit like the apparently much-superior Tsonis paper, it argues that the anthropogenic signal is overlaid on natural climate cycles, and (diverging somewhat from Tsonis, who finds a smaller-amplitude natural signal) that the amplitude of the anthro signal hasn’t yet gotten to the point that it overwhelms the natural cycle. The implication (don’t know if the paper actually discusses this, but it seems implied) is that given enough time it will, that subsequent to the postulated near-future cooling there will be a compensating nasty hot spell when the anthro signal and the natural cycles synchronize, and that the subsequent natural cooling will just be less hot.

  2. #2 Tom Hilton
    August 30, 2007

    I was hoping you would post about this; I posted my own impressions of the Daily Tech piece, but yours is a far better-informed analysis.

  3. #3 BrianR
    August 30, 2007

    The Gerhard (2004) paper from the AAPG Bulletin is in a section of the journal called “Geohorizons” described as: ‘Geohorizons papers focus on current technical methodologies and should be written for the general readership rather than for a limited audience of experts in a given field. (see Gerhard’s article here).

    So, it is essentially a review article. I would not describe it as a “research paper”. If I were doing a compilation of climate research papers, this would not be on the list.

    You can also see a “Discussion and Reply” from 2006 where Gerhard defends his viewpoint against Lovell’s criticism of the 2004 article (see here).

    As a sedimentary geologist and member of AAPG, people should realize that although the old-school ‘oil man’ figure still has a lot of pull in the organization, things are changing with a new generation of geologists. I, for one, want the tarnish that AAPG has put upon itself removed…but it may be too late. Many members (including me) have written to the organization in the last few years expressing our distaste for its stated position on climate change. They have since backed off…a little bit.

  4. #4 FP
    August 30, 2007

    How about getting some statments from authors on the list of Not decided papers? Perhaps they do agree but that conclusion was beyond the scope of their particular paper?

  5. #5 wizofaus
    August 30, 2007

    There’s also this paper:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007…/2007GL029698.shtml

    which I have since much comment on yet, other than from the denialist camp.

  6. #6 John Cross
    August 30, 2007

    Tim, I think you were pretty generous in your analysis. I agree with Steve. I don’t think the Gerhard paper is that clear cut and Zhen uses the very strange phrase:

    Even though the CO2 greenhouse effect on global climate change is unsuspicious, it could have been excessively exaggerated.

    Anyway, I call dibs on 2004 – December. If I get through it quickly I will go on to November etc. Results to follow.

    John

  7. #7 BrianR
    August 30, 2007

    Hmm…I tried commenting a couple hours ago…not sure what happened.

    The Gerhard paper is a definitely a review paper. It is in a section of the AAPG Bulletin called ‘Geohorizons’, which the equivalent of other journals sections called ‘perspectives’ and the like. And, like Steve Bloom above, I also wonder if Oreskes analysis includes papers like this. That is, papers that don’t present original data/research, but go for a synthesis (and a certain message, typically).

  8. #8 Jerrald Hayes
    August 30, 2007

    That all pretty interesting and helps explain this email I got yesterday that I thought was sort of strange.

    It came from a Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov and the subject line read: Breaking: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory. And then started off:

    [Note: This devastating new climate research has been submitted for publication in the journal Energy and Environment, which continues to show how the entire man-made global warming fear movement is "falling apart." See earlier EPW Blog: New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=84e9e44a-802a-23ad-493a-b35d0842fed8 ]

    The link being to an article entitled “New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears” on “The Inhofe EPW Press Blog”. Ah yes that explained just how there was this was supposedly “devastating new climate research” that I hadn’t heard about. I’m certainly not a scientist but I thanks to Google Reader I keep track of about 18 climate blogs including this one so I’m pretty aware of what going on “news-wise” before most people and that email surprised me.

    I’m thinking they (Inhofe’s people) must have crawled my own personal blog where I write about my own observations of the climate change debate in addition to some other topics and hoping that I was a supporter of the climate changed denial machine they put me on their email list so I could spread that supposedly “devastating new climate research” around.

    Well it turns our I will spread the story around along with this very valuable information that I’ve gotten here.

  9. #9 Hank Roberts
    August 30, 2007

    Can you tell Morano is an advertiser/PR guy?

    > Less Than Half of all Published Scientists
    > Endorse Global Warming Theory.

    And what’s the total number of scientists worldwide who have ever published? Remember, include those long dead, the mycologists, the obstetricians, and everyone else. We want “all published scientists” counted here.

    Fermi Paradox Explained ….

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    August 30, 2007

    Web of Science has a “Review” category, so Gerhard was misclassified by WoS.

    Zhen predicts cooling in the next decade — ie they say that most of the recent warming is from their stupid 60 year cycle, and not manmade.

  11. #11 John Mashey
    August 30, 2007

    This makes perfect sense, especially for E&E:

    0) A paper about scientific consensus on climate change is written by by a well-published geologist/science historian (a very sharp, knowledgable person, I’ve talked to her) Naomi Oreskes, and published in Science.

    1) Benny Peiser (on editorial advisory board for E&E) takes a shot at Naomi and bounces off.

    2) A paper disproving scientific consensus on climate change is written by an MD medical researcher, *submitted*, although Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters says “A new survey about to be published”.

    I guess it went very quickly from submittal through E&E’s “peer review”.

    Still, copies rapidly dispersed, or at least articles by bloggers or somebody about what the article *will* say got rapidly dispersed, although I haven’t yet found the actual article.

    This is instantly accepted as decisive disproof. That makes sense, since the author *is* an MD (endocrinologist, I think), not a 15-year-old student, and the same people bought that as easily.
    Maybe AEI has another $10,000 honorarium for such?

    I can’t wait to see the real thing, assuming E&E actually publishes it.

  12. #12 Steve Bloom
    August 30, 2007

    Tim, I guess the issue is whether Zhen disagrees with the IPCC sensitivity range. If not, the paper can arguably be shoe-horned into the consensus.

  13. #13 melatonin
    August 30, 2007

    OK, I had a bash at a few months:

    Dec 2006 endorseex: 129 149 endorseimp: 134 rejectex: rejectimp: methods: 128 119 paleo: 071 discuss: unrelated: 154 131 118 106 undecided:

    Nov 2006 endorseex: 137 endorseimp: 065 133 138 127 rejectex: rejectimp: methods: 181 156 144 paleo: 122 147 115 discuss: 130 unrelated: 142 undecided:

    Oct 2006 endorseex: 160 121 endorseimp: rejectex: rejectimp: methods: 148 paleo: 167 152 discuss: 171 158 unrelated: 157 113 150 161 153 159 174 104 184 166 183 180 117 155 undecided:

    YMMV…

  14. #14 Ampersand
    August 31, 2007

    Michael Asher claims that “32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright.” Looking at the table on page 11 of this pdf file, however, it turns out that the claim is that 7 papers “explicitly” reject the consensus, and that another 25 “implicitly” rejected it.

    So I have to wonder — is it possible for a rejection of a consensus to be simultaneously “outright” and “implicit”?

  15. #15 Tim Lambert
    August 31, 2007

    Thanks melatonin. I’ve updated the [page](http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/clim/).

  16. #16 John Mashey
    August 31, 2007

    Marc Morano:
    - Works for Senator Inhofe.
    - was once known as ‘Rush Limbaugh’s “Man in Washington”‘
    - Worked for Cybercast news Service (CNS), was first source for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attack on Kerry, and later attacks on John Murtha.

    Not wishing to engage in ad hominem attacks, the following may or may not represent my opinions, I simply report as a fact:
    Ed-in-Chief of Scientific American, John Rennie wrote about Morano, in an article entitled “Senator Inhofe’s Pet Weasel”.
    blog.sciam.com/index.php?title=senator_inhofe_s_pet_weasel&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

  17. #17 Gene Goldring
    August 31, 2007

    I’m hoping that one of you good folks breaks all this down so the rest of us rubber necks can answer the denialists that post these negative findings as if they have something special. Jerrald Hayes mentions the articles I would like to nip in the bud if they are indeed a rerun of Benny Peiser’s effort.
    I’m sure similar posts will be made all over the net by common denialists for the general public to consume. Here’s an example from the site I frequent:
    http://www.techimo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=191121

  18. #18 Magnus W
    August 31, 2007

    Zhen paper,

    I’m no expert on furier stuff but it seams to me the only thing it does is locate trends then claiming that it can’t be CO2 because that don’t explain the variations… And parts of the paper seams strange.

    First of all nothing is compared to what actually is happening (like volcanoes and solar activity) except CO2… and I expect that the other “forcings” he mentions would have even less “trend”.

    Then from the paper It seams impossible to draw any god conclusions, the short timescale without any explanation to why the variations occur makes it possible to draw all kinds of conclusions. Like for example that the 60 year variation seams to be getting bigger and bigger in variation which would mean it would be really cool in about 30 years or adding it to the res would make it really hot the next time it swings. Also the signals don’t seem that strong… Well might need to read it again but the paper don’t do much for me.

    He doesn’t seem to think that CO2 don’t have anything to do with temperature but as he say it’s very over exaggerated. Consequently predicting a cooling in the 20-60 year span and so going against the consensus.

  19. #19 John Cross
    August 31, 2007

    December 2004:

    endorseex: 437, 420
    endorseimp: 425, 434, 415, 414, 368
    rejectex:
    rejectimp:
    methods: 439
    paleo: 411, 430
    discuss: 479
    unrelated: 433, 446, 435, 428, 438
    undecided:

    A quick question, how reasonable is it to look in the article itself if the abstract is not clear? I confess that I did this in a couple of articles and justified it by thinking that accuracy is better than methodology in this case.

    Also, based on what I found the unrelated category will be very large. For example the search turns up “New evidence for a volcanically, tectonically, and climatically active Mars”.

  20. #20 FP
    August 31, 2007

    Why are there not more papers against the consensus? I thought exxon mobile was paying these consultants 10,000 dollars a peice for these things?

    How many of these got the 10,000 dollar prize?

  21. #21 Tim Lambert
    August 31, 2007

    Thanks John. Only 510 to go! I think it’s a good idea to look at the paper when the abstract is unclear.

  22. #22 Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
    August 31, 2007

    Here we go, Jun-Aug 2007:

    Endorseex:

    004, 051

    Endorseimp:
    076, 003, 007, 028, 027, 011, 013, 019, 005

    Methods:
    022, 008, 052

    Undecided:
    010 (Need to look at the paper itself for conclusions)
    020

    Paleo:
    014, 024

    Unrelated:
    002, 035, 001, 012, 018

    Discuss:
    050,

  23. #23 John Cross
    August 31, 2007

    November 2004

    endorseex: 454
    endorseimp: 456, 455
    rejectex:
    rejectimp:
    methods: 442
    paleo:
    discuss: 448
    unrelated: 457, 424, 458, 423
    undecided: 451

  24. #24 BrianR
    August 31, 2007

    Tim…this is a great idea! I will, from time to time, go through the “to-do” list and see if I can evaluate or contribute in some way.

  25. #25 saurabh
    August 31, 2007

    Dec 2005
    endorseex: 299 290 293 281
    endorseimp: 297 263 301 287
    rejectex:
    rejectimp: 288
    methods: 278 298
    paleo: 286
    discuss:
    unrelated: 285 291
    undecided:

  26. #26 Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
    August 31, 2007

    “rejectimp: 288″

    Nahh, 288 is a social/cognitive study on modelers. It’s unrelated.

  27. #27 Dodo
    August 31, 2007

    Great pastime, reading abstracts. Next thing you should do is check the original collection of Oreskes’ abstracts and see if there really are explicit or implicit endorsements this way or that. They are all on Peiser’s site at http://tinyurl.com/ym27gw – have a nice weekend.

  28. #28 FP
    August 31, 2007

    Since they are using this analysis to attempt to discredit or hide the true consensus. Would it make sense to actually contact the authors of the papers in the unrelated, unclassified, and neutral categories and ask them for their statement on whether or not they accept or believe the consensus? Just because their papers are outside the full scope doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion or that they are undecided themselves.

    I am sure most of them, if not all would agree.

  29. #29 Hank Roberts
    August 31, 2007

    Ya know, I think as the USA creeps up on the date the next presidential election is supposed to be held, bloggers ought to consider not tearing into every tempting piece of bait that expert trolls like Morano toss out there, and ask first, what might they be trying to distract your attention from that they’re also doing now, or will do while you’re all dusting up some idiot stuffed straw bale assertion like this one.

    Just wondering.

  30. #30 z
    August 31, 2007

    One may note that there is absolutely no consensus among the what-climate-change folks. There is no warming, the sun is causing the warming, cosmic rays are causing the warming. Often, there is no consensus among one single person.

  31. #31 ChrisC
    September 1, 2007

    Naomi Oreskes has responded to this new “paper” (I’m not sure if after publishing Archibald’s ridiculous solar-climate linked article anything published in EE could be considered a scientific paper)

    [Here's the link](http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2007/08/oreskes_responds_to_schulte.php)

  32. #32 Dano
    September 1, 2007

    What Hank Roberts said.

    Best,

    D

  33. #33 John Mashey
    September 1, 2007

    I haven’t yet been able to track the information flow, but it looks like this surfaced first, embedded in a Lord Monckton [piece](scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/monckton/consensus.pdf)
    in [this](scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton_papers/consensus_what_consensus_among_climate_scientists_the_debate_is_not_over.html)

    I still haven’t seen the actual Schulte paper, just descriptions of what it says. Presumably Lord Monckton has seen the real paper. Has anyone else? Is Monckton a peer-reviewer for E&E? If so, a somewhat strange peer-review process … even for E&E.

  34. #34 John Mashey
    September 1, 2007

    Aha, I’ve solved the question about why this came through Lord Monckton, i.e., was he doing peer review for E&E, so that he could describe it externally?

    A: yes, he’s a Peer of the Realm, so of course he does Peer Review.

  35. Hi Tim,

    Picked up on this, btw. Here’s the post:

    http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/7040.html

  36. #36 cce
    September 2, 2007

    Re: Sadlyno,

    A pet peeve of mine: the proper response to “The IPCC dropped the Hockey Stick graph,” is “no they didn’t.” It’s on page 467, AR4 WGI Chapter 6 along with 11 other reconstructions, none of which show any time in the past 1300 years warmer than today. AR4 rejects the criticism of the Hockey Stick on page 466. Furthermore, the SPM specifically states: “Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely (>90% probability) higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely (>66% probability) the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.”

    Re: Energy & Environment and Morano.

    On Inhofe’s “press blog,” Morano writes:
    “By contrast (to the IPCC’s authors), the ISI Web of Science┬ádatabase┬ácovers 8,700 journals and publications, including every leading scientific journal in the world”
    . . . But it mysteriously doesn’t include Energy and Environment. I wonder why?

  37. #37 J. Althauser
    September 2, 2007

    But it mysteriously doesn’t include Energy and Environment. I wonder why?

    A WorldCat search of E & E shows they have a subscription base of 22 libraries world-wide. Denialists will soon claim that legit scientists are unjustly ignoring this gem. But can they really ‘ignore’ a paper that no one can find?

    A nice find on Oreske’s response. If the Schult claims were true, a more effective strategy would be publishing in Science as an update. The fact he didn’t suggests the method doesn’t replicate what Oreskes did.

    Here is a 2005 article about the journal and the editor. It has been used to push conclusions and expand contrarian claims not allowed by other journals. (3 subscribers have dropped it since then.)

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/aug/policy/pt_skeptics.html

  38. #38 John Mashey
    September 2, 2007

    re: #37
    “ignoring a paper no one can find”

    - Well, the journal *is* online, http://www.multi-science.co.uk/ee.htm.

    - But, the Schulte paper hasn’t been published yet. All that seems visible is a description by Lord Monckton of what the paper says.

    -After a year, you can see the abstracts & articles free. Until then $18.0. I especially can’t wait until the following July 2007 article becomes available for free:

    Climate science and the phlogiston theory: weighing the evidence, Arthur Rorsch.

  39. #39 fergus
    September 2, 2007

    #33 John: Yes, I have seen the paper. I have been involved in some related research recently. I have sent the good doctor an email with some observations, comments and suggestions, and await a reply.

    Most of the content of the paper is in the Monckton piece. The 25 ‘implicits’ are not specified.

    I tend to the view that Schulte has written this piece with good intentions, in the first instance, but the paper as it stands appears in need of some adjustment: I am sure, though, that the referees appointed by E&E will point out any logical inconsistencies and minor errors prior to any publication.

    Regards,

  40. #40 John Mashey
    September 2, 2007

    re #39, Fergus
    Thanks! That makes at least 2 people who have apparently seen the paper. I do have a few more questions, as this entire process seems rather outside the bounds of normal science practice. (maybe an essay on your blog?)

    1) Are you able to say how you managed to see the paper? [careful wording]

    2) Since you mention referees, do you know how far along this process is? The paper is sometimes described as about to be published, which certainly presumes something about the referees’ opinions …

  41. #41 Chris Noble
    September 2, 2007

    Perhaps this is obvious, but wouldn’t you expect that people undertaking an honest scientific project would attempt to convince their peers in the field that their ideas are valid. If you disagree with the scientific consensus then do research and try to change the consensus. Lying about the consensus is hardly going to convince your peers. This effort is transparently directed at a lay audience.

    The parallels with HIV Denial and evolution Denial are obvious.

  42. #42 El Cid
    September 2, 2007

    There is no scientific consensus on Global Warming.

    The definition of “scientific consensus” is that all scientists in the world must come together in one location and repeat out loud in unison for one entire day that global warming is real and it is caused by industrial use of fossil fuels.

    Since they have not done so, this means there is no scientific consensus on global warming.

  43. #43 abanterer
    September 2, 2007

    Just as an aside, Dogstar (from Ace of Spades)has been repeatedly pushing this particular issue on Sadly, No! and bragging like he owned the place, despite several people rubbing this article in his face like he messed the floor.

  44. #44 Steve Bloom
    September 3, 2007

    Re #39: “I am sure, though, that the referees appointed by E&E will point out any logical inconsistencies and minor errors prior to any publication.”

    Fergfus, why in the world would you be sure of that? E&E has a long history of publishing complete crap. OTOH maybe you’re being sarcastic.

  45. #45 fergus
    September 3, 2007

    #40: john: it was sent to me by email, in response to my request. Not by MM, I hasten to add. I have no idea of the peer-review status; as Steve #44 eventually realised, my gently barbed sarcasm was in play here. I’m loath to review before publication in detail. I may, though, email E&E with my own ‘review’, a la the EGU.

    Regards, (& thanks to all for visiting my little blog/cave; I need the encouragement).

  46. #46 Marion Delgado
    September 3, 2007

    John Mashey:

    I wish your quip was just a silly jibe. But go to Monckton’s site. He features prominently as a pretend news item, basically, “global warming and consensus disproved by Peer of the Realm.” No, rahlly. and He’s talking about himself in the third-person journalismal. Maybe the stupid sack DOES think that’s what “Peer Review” means.

  47. #47 John Mashey
    September 3, 2007

    re: 345 Fergus
    Interesting. Have you read “Chris” #24 over in
    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2007/08/oreskes_responds_to_schulte.php

    I’m curious:
    if it wasn’t publicly available, how did Lord Monckton get it and broadcast it a while ago? And you got a copy.

    What exactly, is “publicly available”? :-)

  48. #48 Mark Hadfield
    September 4, 2007

    I wonder how many geodesy papers include an explicit statement in the abstract that the Earth is round.

  49. #49 Hans Erren
    September 5, 2007

    The biggest unresolved issue is CO2 climate sensitivity. If it’s small then manmade global warming doesn’t matter. If it’s big then we should be very worried. Both sides have loud speaking advocates, both sides lack evidence.

    So what does Oreskes see? There is a scientific debate on man-made global warming.

    Big deal.

  50. #50 Jeff Harvey
    September 5, 2007

    El Cid and Hans Erren have as usual obfuscated the facts. El Cid claims there is not a consensus on AGW. Of course there isn’t – as there isn’t on any scientific endeavor. There are a few who still believe the Earth is flat. There will always be outliers. The bottom line is that although science does not function via consensus, public policy must be based on it. Otherwise we’d still be using CFC’s en masse, DDT would still be used in saturation applications to control pests in agriculture, etc. etc. etc. There are still small numbers of scientists who advocate the use of CFCs and DDT in this way – but the vast majority of scientists disagree with them. As for Erren, he’s still stuck in 1960s think mode. By his admission, we should do nothing about CO2 emissions until 100% unequivocal evidence is in as to their link with AGW. This is also the refrain of pseudo-scientific idealogues and contrarians who know all too well that there never will be 100% evidence. Thus, they assume that without this evidence the problem doesn’t exist. Arguing with this sordid lot is like trying to win a pissing match with a skunk. They are just anxious to promote the status quo which means neoliberal economic policies (e.g. the ‘Washington Consensus’) that enrich the few at the expense of the many in their endless pursuit of private profit.

  51. #51 John Cross
    September 5, 2007

    Hans: I wish that were the problem. My main argument is not with the people who think that anthropogenic global warming is taking place but are uncertain how large it will be. It is with the “things are cooling since 1998″, “CO2 is saturated”, “its the sun”, “its the cosmic rays”, etc. (I will note that I don’t include the recent batch of “the surface stations are wrong” proponents here – they are not serious, just amusing). The problem is that there is still a small (albeit getting smaller all the time) political will that these people wield which is being amplified by certain politicians as an excuse to avoid action.

    These points of view should be relegated to the same place as those who think that the “red shift” is caused by light passing through clouds of dust. But they are not.

    In reagrds to the climate sensitivity, where are there skeptics who discuss this as a serious issue. RP Sr. maybe, are there others?

    Now, if you look at the people and groups that support the idea of AGW, you see people like James Annan and sites like RealClimate. These people call it like they see it and if they think someone is coming out with a sensitivity that is too high, they say it is. If they think it is too low – again they say it is. Now please show me such vigorous debate on a skeptic site. Specifically, someone who says “yes, CO2 will cause warming so it doesn’t really matter what the surface stations are saying – the warming will only be 1.5C”.

    John

  52. #52 Andrew Dessler
    September 5, 2007

    I blogged about this here. I found an entirely different set of problems with this analysis.

  53. #53 Hans Erren
    September 6, 2007

    I have a short technical comment in press which took two years to publish, but not in the journal it comments on.

    From the comments in Andrews blog.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muted_group_theory

    Miller (2005) explains that muted group theory also posits that the dominant group in a culture (generally white males) controls the various avenues of expression, including things like media outlets, the government and therefore the ways laws and rules are written, and the words that are used to describe the culture (i.e. books, dictionaries, etc). Because the dominant group controls these avenues, their style of expression will be favored.

  54. #54 Chris O'Neill
    September 6, 2007

    “The biggest unresolved issue is CO2 climate sensitivity.”

    The dinosaurs never go away. A year and a half ago, a p.d.f. for climate sensitivity based solely on observations was published. This gave a 70% confidence that the sensitivity was in the range 2.2-3.9 deg C with a maximum liklihood value of 2.9 deg C. The only people who consider it unresolved are those who like taking big risks.

    “So what does Oreskes see? There is a scientific debate on man-made global warming.”

    Er, where did she say that she saw this?

  55. #55 Adam
    September 7, 2007

    So, the guy finds that 6% of the people agree with him, 45% disagree, and 48% don’t give an opinion, and he seems to think that this bolsters his side? Wow!

  56. #56 Chris
    September 8, 2007

    We have to accept that Oreskes’ little essay in Science was not particularly good in the first place. And her silly and unwise attack on Schulte for “misrepresentation” on three separate occasions when he had not misrepresented her at all and she had not even read what he had written does cast a lot of doubt on her scientific credibility. The fact is that there is far less alarmism in the learned journals than there is in the media, and Schulte has demonstrated this. It’s time to get away from futile “head-count” studies like that of Oreskes, which don’t prove anything and are not taken seriously by real scientists. Indeed, in the three years since Oreskes’ essay was published it’s only been cited 17 times in peer-reviewed papers, which is at first sight surprising given the prominence it got in Gore’s film, in political speeches and in the media. We need to get back to debating the science, instead of making childish ad-hominem attacks on people whose views challenge our own beliefs. My own reading in the scientific literature, which is quite extensive, does suggest that there is a discernible movement away from the unanimity which Oreskes said she had found. In particular the magnitude of the climate sensitivity claimed by the IPCC is challenged in a number of different and fundamental ways. The temperature globally has simply not risen fast enough to match the IPCC’s climate sensitivity, and the IPCC, realizing this, has had to introduce a correcting factor in the shape of an assumption that particulate aerosols exercise a negative radiative forcing that cancels out a good proportionm of the positive forcing from CO2. There is also recent evidence that the temperature feedbacks which the IPCC thinks should amplify the forcings do not in fact do so. So I do think that we must not be over-hasty in saying that the consensus is unanimous or that the scientific debat is over. It isn’t and it isn’t.

  57. #57 Walter
    September 10, 2007

    So which is it?
    1) “Consensus” in science is crap. (Crichton)
    2) There is no consensus. (Peiser)
    3) If there is a consensus, it is changing to anti-AGW. Of course we don’t believe in consensus. (Lord Chris and Dr. Schulte)

  58. #58 Chris O'Neill
    September 10, 2007

    “In particular the magnitude of the climate sensitivity claimed by the IPCC is challenged in a number of different and fundamental ways.”

    If this assertion is a reference to Schwartz then it is wrong.

    “So I do think that we must not be over-hasty in saying that the consensus is unanimous or that the scientific debat is over.”

    The scientific debate occurs in well reviewed, peer reviewed papers. If the debate is not over, where are these papers?

  59. #59 Fergus Brown
    September 10, 2007

    #56: ‘…So I do think that we must not be over-hasty in saying that the consensus is unanimous or that the scientific debat is over. It isn’t and it isn’t….’

    Disproving unanimity is trivial and meaningless. Unless you are engaged in Consensus Theory (and even then it is not a necessary condition of a consensus). Of 1500 + abstracts referred to in these two studies, fewer than 0.5% challenged the ‘consensus’ view, more than 99.5% did not. By any reasonable definition of the term, this is a big, fat, stinky, in-your-face consensus.

    on, ‘The scientific debate is not over’ (paraphrase). On the particular claim ‘that 50% of recent observed warming is anthropogenic in origin’, it is, more or less. See above numbers.

    Regards,

  60. #60 Eli Rabett
    September 11, 2007

    A search in Google Scholar makes it even clearer that there is a consensus and it endorses the IPCC AR4

  61. #61 bi -- Intl. J. Inact.
    April 19, 2008

    My take on the “empirical mode decomposition” method and how it’s “used” by Zhen-Shan and Xian: The empirical, the mode, and the decomposition.