Well thats what RP Sr sez. Although he immeadiately gets cold feet and adds “Or, At Best Cherrypicking”. I think he should make up his mind – if he is going to throw around a rather hard term like “errors” in the title he shouldn’t wimp out to “or at best…” a moment later.

So, first off, does he find any errors? No, of course not. None of the 4 things he lists are wrong. And the person cherry picking appears to be RP.

The first one is about “… snow cover have declined on average in both hemispheres.” Which of course it has (fig SPM-3). Or, if you prefer, the graph RP directs you to. His complaint appears to be that “areal coverage in the Northern Hemisphere has actually slightly increased since the later 1980s!” But this is blatant cherry picking on RPs part, and descending to the Lubos level – claiming that since T hasn’t gone up since the ENSO in 1998 then GW must be all nonsense.

For point 3 (yes I’m skipping 2 and 4 – they aren’t errors either, however you interpret them; on pt 2 I think RP is obsessing over one paper, but not having read it I won’t try and find the error if there is one), RP complains that observations of increased WV in the atmos (which the IPCC reports) conflicts with observations of no change in ppn. But these two things simply aren’t in conflict. Firstly, the WV increase is “1.2 ± 0.3% (95% confidence limits) from 1988 to 2004″ so isn’t comparable to the 1979-2004 that RP uses. Secondly, ppn is noisy so (not totally sure of this) a 1% change might well be below detectability. Thirdly, WV could increase without any change in ppn – there is no hard constraint forcing the two to go together (and indeed, seasonally they are observed not to).

Is RP setting out his stall for an invite to a remake of TGGWS?

[Update: the article in scitizen originally said it was reviewed by RealClimate. It wasn't; they have removed us. Leaving 3 other named reviewers: Dr Ilan Koren, Dr Gavin Foster and Dr Guillaume Dupont-Nivet, who may or may not have reviewed it -W]


  1. #1 John Fleck

    Does Lubos really make that argument about temperature not increasing since 1998, therefore no global warming?

    [Hard to believe anyone could be so silly, eh? :-) -W]

    Here in Albuquerque, we had a warm spell in early February, and it got up to 65F (18C). For a month, it didn’t get any warmer than that. I was beginning to worry there was going to be no spring!

  2. #3 Roger Pielke Sr.

    William – I agree; the use of the word “cherrypicking” is not as accurate as the word “science errors” as applied to the IPCC SPM.

    [I'm not sure what you're agreeing with here. Not me: I think the use of "science errors" is entirely inappropriate -W]

    Readers of your and my weblog can judge the merit of myweblogs on this subject on Climate Science.

    I will, therefore, comment here on just one of your points. Over long integration times (certainly over several years), the input by physical evaporation and transpiration into the atmosphere and the extraction of water vapor by precipitation from the atmosphere must be closely balance. Otherwise, the mass of water vapor will continually be increasing or decreasing in the atmosphere, depending on whether the input or extraction dominates.

    [Atmos moisture can change over a decade without any appreciable change in P-E, let along P which is what you're using. Your position on this is just indefensible -W]

    I also did not see you response to my second weblog entitled,

    “An Error In The 2007 IPCC Statement For Policymakers On The 2005 Global-Average Radiative Forcing”

    [Can't put all the world to rights in one night. I notice you haven't answered my question about reviewers -W]

  3. #4 Lubos Motl

    Whether or not the temperatures were/are increasing recently is an important part of the question about the “climate change”, one of many other important relevant parts, and I certainly care about the data and I care about the new data, too. The rise of temperatures in 1905-1940 and 1975-1998 is a historical fact but there is nothing inherently important about this fact, and except for the people who consider two particular 30-year periods to be the words from the Holy Scripture, all other rational people know that these are just some numbers from a much larger collection of numbers available to science.

    The stable temperatures since 1998 are also a fact. The further we will go, the more important the current and future observed temperatures will become and the more irrelevant the changes 70 years ago will be.

    Whoever argues that the actual behavior of the climate in any period, for example since 1998, and their agreement or (more likely) disagreement with one or another particular theory is irrelevant, is an anti-scientific charlatan and a simpleton, and no amount of attacks against myself can change this fact.

    This is a basic difference between paying attention to Nature and the actual data and observations, which is my approach, from the religious approach to interpret and misinterpret overblown and unfairly selected data from random periods in the past, which is the approach of the global warming charlatans. They don’t want to see any relevant data except for those that have been doctored and selected to create the religious paradigm. This implies, among other things, that they can’t allow any new data because any new data are almost bound to disagree with their silly religion.

  4. #5 Eli Rabett

    Hey Lubos, wanna bet Brian on that?

  5. #6 Luboš Motl

    Which Brian? And bet on what? Could you please try to write a little bit more coherently?

  6. #7 Eli Rabett

    Here is Stoat, we abbreviate. Click on Back Seat Driving to the left and make yourself known.

  7. #8 Anonymous

    Pielke time and again screams like “Chicken Little” while berating real scientists for screaming like “Chicken Little.” I guess that’s the sort of thing you have to do when you take the easy way out and become a self-appointed “science czar.” Usually these sorts of sanctimonious twits are exposed (remember the US’ “ethics czar” William Bennett who was caught illegally gambling, spending millions on gambling debts etc; not to mention drug-addled anti-drug Rush Limbaugh).

  8. #9 Chris O'Neill

    “The stable temperatures since 1998 are also a fact.”

    For example the regression line from January 98 to January 07 (inclusive) of the monthly NCDC data has a slope of +0.157 K/decade. Obviously this was stable compared with January 75 to December 97 which was +0.152 K/decade.

    “This is a basic difference between paying attention to Nature and the actual data and observations, which is my approach, from the religious approach to interpret and misinterpret overblown and unfairly selected data from random periods in the past.

    “Misinterpret”, as in baseless assertions of stability.

    Lubos, not only an anti-scientific charlatan and a simpleton but a hypocrite as well.

  9. #10 Brian S.

    I’d welcome a bet, say 2:1 odds in Lubos’ favor that temps in 10 years will be warmer than 1998. That should be consistent with his statement. I don’t expect he’ll take it.

  10. #11 Alexander Ac

    Lubos will take not, I am quite sure. I tried to offer him something similar a year ago or so… but may be, he changed his mind since then;-)

    BTW, do You know, what is the *evidence* of AGW for Lubos?
    He would like to see an 5-year average temperature to be higher by a factor of 4-5 compared to any of the 5-year average of the instrumental temperature record from the past…

    but maybe we would see this, when all the aircraft flights will be cancelled for five years and also the cooling effect of aerosols will diminish. Just convince all the travellers and aircraft companies to make this nice 5-year experiment ;-).

  11. William

    “[Atmos moisture can change over a decade without any appreciable change in P-E, let along P which is what you're using. Your position on this is just indefensible -W]”

    For the global average atmospheric moisture to change, P-E must be non zero. Moreover, if E increases, atmospheric moisture and precipitation will both increase. A simple mass balance analysis will show this.

    [Roger, its quite weird how you refuse to learn over this. Gavin, Isaac and I have all pointed out how wrong you are and you keep saying the same things in reply. Yes of course, if atmos moisture changes, then avg(P-E) must be non-zero. What you are missing is that for a few % change in moisture over a decade, the change in P-E will be so small you won't notice it. Go on, do the maths, you'll see it immeadiately -W]