Greenies get the feedback effect precisely wrong. Feedback effects are the Greenie way of magnifying the trivial 20th century warming (less than one degree) into something threatening -- so this should really be the death-knell of Warmism
This article addresses new satellite and modeling evidence that previous satellite diagnoses of high climate sensitivity--which directly translate into predictions of dangerous levels of global warming--contain a large spurious bias. It is shown that those exaggerated estimates were the result of faulty assumptions regarding clouds when analyzing variations in average global temperature and average reflected sunlight off of the Earth.
Specifically, it has been assumed (explicitly or implicitly) that, for global averages on time scales of three months or more, temperature variations cause clouds to change, but that cloud variations do not cause temperature to change. But when properly filtered, the satellite data reveal evidence of cloud variations indeed causing temperature changes, and that this source of natural climate variability biases the estimate of climate sensitivity in the direction of a very sensitive climate system.
The new interpretation suggests a very low sensitivity. If the new sensitivity estimate is accurate, it would suggest only 0.5 deg. C of manmade warming by the year 2100. The new sensitivity estimate also suggests that warming over the last century can not be explained by human greenhouse gas emissions alone, but instead might require a mostly natural explanation
Richard Courtney comments:
Re Spencer's finding that "when properly filtered, the satellite data reveal evidence of cloud variations indeed causing temperature changes, and that this source of natural climate variability biases the estimate of climate sensitivity in the direction of a very sensitive climate system.".
I find it interesting because I have been arguing the following since 1991 when Ramanathan & Collins published their first paper reporting maximum sea surface temperature (ref. Nature, v351, 27-32 (1991) ).
Increased temperature implies more evaporation with resulting increase to cloud cover. The evaporation removes heat from the surface with resultant surface cooling (just as evaporation of sweat cools hot skin). And clouds reflect solar radiation with resulting reduction to surface heating (as every sunbather has noticed) so increased cloud cover reduces surface warming. The effect of increased cloud cover with increased temperature is that the tropical warm pool has a maximum surface temperature of 305K (because additional heat increases cloud cover). Similar but lesser increase to cloud cover can be expected everywhere that sea surface temperature is increased for any reason.
(Richard Courtney, DipPhil, is a UN IPCC expert reviewer and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant)
Australian astronomical Society warns of global COOLING as Sun's activity 'significantly diminishes'
A new paper published by the Astronomical Society of Australia has a warning to global warming believers not immediately obvious from the summary:
Based on our claim that changes in the Sun's equatorial rotation rate are synchronized with changes in the Sun's orbital motion about the barycentre, we propose that the mean period for the Sun's meridional flow is set by a Synodic resonance between the flow period (~22.3 yr), the overall 178.7-yr repetition period for the solar orbital motion, and the 19.86-yr synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn.
Or as one of the authors, Ian Wilson, kindly explained to me: It supports the contention that the level of activity on the Sun will significantly diminish sometime in the next decade and remain low for about 20 - 30 years. On each occasion that the Sun has done this in the past the World's mean temperature has dropped by ~ 1 - 2 C. Oh. Global cooling coming, then. Obvious, really.
Silly Sharon Blames Midwest Floods on Global Warming
Newsweek's senior editor Sharon Begley has taken it upon herself to publicly declare the recent floods in the Midwest are being caused by global warming.Those familiar with her work shouldn't be even slightly surprised by this, as Begley was the person responsible for the August 13, 2007, Newsweek cover story "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine" which evoked widespread criticism including from one of her fellow editors. Regardless, Begley is at it again with an article in the upcoming issue of Newsweek disgracefully entitled, "Global Warming Is a Cause of This Year's Extreme Weather"
The frequency of downpours and heat waves, as well as the power of hurricanes, has increased so dramatically that "100-year storms" are striking some areas once every 15 years, and other once rare events keep returning like a bad penny. As a result, some climatologists now say global warming is to blame. Rising temperatures boost the probability of extreme weather, says Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center and lead author of a new report from the Bush administration's Climate Change Science Program; that can "lead to the type of events we are seeing in the Midwest." There, three weeks of downpours have caused rivers to treat their banks as no more than mild suggestions. Think of it this way: if once we experienced one Noachian downpour every 20 years, and now we suffer five, four are likely man-made.
As is her typical modus operandi, Begley chose not to offer any balance concerning this recent report, or identify that top scientists around the world have been critical of both its findings and the lead author. As the University of Colorado at Boulder's Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr. wrote on June 20:
This report perpetuates the use of assessments to promote a particular perspective on climate change, such as they write in the Executive Summary. "It is well established through formal attribution studies that the global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Such studies have only recently been used to determine the causes of some changes in extremes at the scale of a continent. Certain aspects of observed increases in temperature extremes have been linked to human influences. The increase in heavy precipitation events is associated with an increase in water vapor, and the latter has been attributed to human-induced warming."
This claim conflicts with the 2005 National Research Council reportNational Research Council, 2005: "Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties". Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp -- where a diversity of human climate forcings were found to alter global average radiative warming, including from atmospheric aersosols and due to the deposition of soot on snow and ice. The claim of an increase in atmospheric water vapor conflicts with a variety of observations as summarized on Climate Science (e.g. see).
To further illustrate the bias in the report, the assessment chose to ignore peer reviewed research that raises serious questions with respect to the temperature data that is used in their report. As just one example, they ignored research where we have shown major problems in the use of surface air temperature measurements to diagnose long term temperature trends including temperature extremes.
Pielke concluded: "Since this assessment is so clearly biased, it should be rejected as providing adequate climate information to policymakers. There also should be questions raised concerning having the same individuals preparing these reports in which they are using them to promote their own perspective on the climate, and deliberately excluding peer reviewed papers that disagree with their viewpoint and research papers. This is a serious conflict of interest,
Of course, Begley chose not to offer her readers an opposing view, and just continued with the hysteria:
The Midwest, for instance, suffered three weeks of intense rain in May and June, with more than five inches falling on some days. That brought a reprise of the area's 1993 flooding, which was thought to be a once-in-500-years event. The proximate cause was the western part of the jet stream dipping toward the Gulf of Mexico, then rising toward Iowa-funneling moisture from the gulf to the Midwest, says meteorologist Bill Gallus of (the very soggy) Iowa State University.
The puzzle, he says, is why the trough kept reforming in the west, creating a rain-carrying conveyor belt that, like a nightmarish version of a Charlie Chaplin movie, wouldn't turn off. One clue is that global warming has caused the jet stream to shift north. That has brought, and will continue to bring, more tropical storms to the nation's north, and may push around the jet stream in other ways as well.
Interesting that Begley cited Bill Gallus, but chose to ignore some of his other opinions concerning the floods, as well as those of one of his colleagues. For instance, as reported by Radio Iowa on June 10:
The recent spate of wet weather that's stormed over Iowa is very similar to what happened 15 years ago. Iowa State University meteorology professor Bill Gallus has reviewed the data."In many ways, the pattern we've had the last two or three weeks is very similar to what lasted for a much longer time in 1993," Gallus says.....
Iowa State University meteorologist Bill Gutowski says so-called "climate change" might be a part of this weather equation, but it's too soon to say. "There are physical reasons as well as results from models that indicate that we could expect more intense rainfall events occurring in a much warmer climate, but it'd be really hard to say based on what's going on this year that this is directly an outcome of global warming," Gutowski says. "We would need to see that the...frequency of those events is increasing."
According to Gutowski, one of the challenges researchers face is there are "natural fluctuations" in the climate system, so weather data from a single year is just not indicative of any trend.
Sadly, people like Begley choose to ignore such natural fluctuations, and, instead, blame everything on man. On the other hand, Gallus did attach one cause of this year's flooding to humans, but not in a fashion that supported Begley's hysteria as reported by Iowa's Gazette on June 6:
The rains' effect on Eastern Iowa streams and rivers is exaggerated by the lack of crops in nearby fields, said Bill Gallus, Iowa State University professor of meteorology."Most of the crops were delayed getting in," said Gallus. "That tends to lead to more water running off into streams and rivers" because there's no vegetation to catch runoff.
Such facts pertaining to the Midwest floods eluded Begley, much as they did with her following declaration: "Hurricanes have become more powerful due to global warming." Really, Sharon? That's not what hurricane experts such as William Gray and Christopher Landsea believe. But why should their opinions matter when you're on a roll? Although the last time Begley was so reckless with her reporting, one of her colleagues, contributing editor Robert J. Samuelson, called the piece "fundamentally misleading" and "highly contrived." We can only hope her most recent addition to this debate is similarly derided
The UN climate change numbers hoax
It's an assertion repeated by politicians and climate campaigners the world over: "2,500 scientists of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agree that humans are causing a climate crisis." But it's not true. And, for the first time ever, the public can now see the extent to which they have been misled. As lies go, it's a whopper. Here's the real situation.
Like the three IPCC "assessment reports" before it, the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released during 2007 (upon which the UN climate conference in Bali was based) includes the reports of the IPCC's three working groups. Working Group I (WG I) is assigned to report on the extent and possible causes of past climate change as well as future "projections". Its report is titled "The Physical Science Basis".
The reports from working groups II and II are titled "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" and "Mitigation of Climate Change" respectively, and since these are based on the results of WG I, it is crucially important that the WG I report stands up to close scrutiny.
There is, of course serious debate among scientists about the actual technical content of the roughly 1,000-page WG I report, especially its politically motivated Summary for Policymakers which is often the only part read by politicians and non-scientists. The technical content can be difficult for non-scientists to follow and so most people simply assume that if large numbers of scientists agree, they must be right.
Consensus never proves the truth of a scientific claim, but is somehow widely believed to do so for the IPCC reports, so we need to ask how many scientists really did agree with the most important IPCC conclusion, namely that humans are causing significant climate change - in other words the key parts of WG I?
The numbers of scientist reviewers involved in WG I is actually less than a quarter of the whole, a little more than 600 in total. The other 1,900 reviewers assessed the other working group reports. They had nothing to say about the causes of climate change or its future trajectory. Still, 600 "scientific expert reviewers" sounds pretty impressive. After all, they submitted their comments to the IPCC editors who assure us that "all substantive government and expert review comments received appropriate consideration". And since these experts reviewers are all listed in Annex III of the report, they must have endorsed it, right?
For the first time ever, the UN has released on the Web the comments of reviewers who assessed the drafts of the WG I report and the IPCC editors' responses. This release was almost certainly a result of intense pressure applied by "hockey-stick" co-debunker Steve McIntyre of Toronto and his allies. Unlike the other IPCC working groups, WG I is based in the US and McIntyre had used the robust Freedom of Information legislation to request certain details when the full comments were released.
An examination of reviewers' comments on the last draft of the WG I report before final report assembly (i.e. the "Second Order Revision" or SOR) completely debunks the illusion of hundreds of experts diligently poring over all the chapters of the report and providing extensive feedback to the editing teams. Here's the reality.
A total of 308 reviewers commented on the SOR, but only 32 reviewers commented on more than three chapters and only five reviewers commented on all 11 chapters of the report. Only about half the reviewers commented on more than one chapter. It is logical that reviewers would generally limit their comments to their areas of expertise but it's a far cry from the idea of thousands of scientists agreeing to anything.
Compounding this is the fact that IPCC editors could, and often did, ignore reviewers' comments. Some editor responses were banal and others showed inconsistencies with other comments. Reviewers had to justify their requested changes but the responding editors appear to have been under no such obligation. Reviewers were sometimes flatly told they were wrong but no reasons or reliable references were provided.
In other cases reviewers tried to dilute the certainty being expressed and they often provided supporting evidence, but their comments were often flatly rejected. Some comments were rejected on the basis of a lack of space - an incredible assertion in such an important document.
The attitude of the editors seemed to be that simple corrections were accepted, requests for improved clarity tolerated but the assertions and interpretations that appear in the text were to be defended against any challenge. An example of rampant misrepresentation of IPCC reports is the frequent assertion that "hundreds of IPCC scientists" are known to support the following statement, arguably the most important of the WG I report, namely "Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years".
In total, only 62 scientists reviewed the chapter in which this statement appears, the critical chapter 9, "Understanding and Attributing Climate Change". Of the comments received from the 62 reviewers of this critical chapter, almost 60 per cent of them were rejected by IPCC editors. And of the 62 expert reviewers of this chapter, 55 had serious vested interest, leaving only seven expert reviewers who appear impartial.
Two of these seven were contacted by NRSP for the purposes of this article - Dr Vincent Gray of New Zealand and Dr Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, Canada. Concerning the "Greenhouse gas forcing ." statement above, Professor McKitrick explained "A categorical summary statement like this is not supported by the evidence in the IPCC WG I report. Evidence shown in the report suggests that other factors play a major role in climate change, and the specific effects expected from greenhouse gases have not been observed."
Dr Gray labeled the WG I statement as "Typical IPCC doubletalk" asserting "The text of the IPCC report shows that this is decided by a guess from persons with a conflict of interest, not from a tested model".
Determining the level of support expressed by reviewers' comments is subjective but a slightly generous evaluation indicates that just five reviewers endorsed the crucial ninth chapter. Four had vested interests and the other made only a single comment for the entire 11-chapter report. The claim that 2,500 independent scientist reviewers agreed with this, the most important statement of the UN climate reports released this year, or any other statement in the UN climate reports, is nonsense.
"The IPCC owe it to the world to explain who among their expert reviewers actually agree with their conclusions and who don't," says Natural Resources Stewardship Project Chair climatologist Dr Timothy Ball. "Otherwise, their credibility, and the public's trust of science in general, will be even further eroded."
That the IPCC have let this deception continue for so long is a disgrace. Secretary General Ban Kai-Moon must instruct the UN climate body to either completely revise their operating procedures, welcoming dissenting input from scientist reviewers and indicating if reviewers have vested interests, or close the agency down completely.
Right and wrong ways of driving down fuel prices
by Irwin M. Stelzer
Students of energy policy despair, and at times believe that Dante's inscription on the entrance to hell should be emblazoned on the entrances to the Capitol and the White House, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Our president has just gone to Saudi Arabia to grovel before the royal family in the hope of persuading the kingdom to open its taps just a bit to bring soaring oil prices down.
The caribou lobby in the Senate has voted down a bill that would have opened a small portion of Alaska's untapped oil fields to exploration and development. (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted to continue the restriction, and John McCain would have joined them had he not been out of town reveling in the applause for his speech promising to lead the fight on global warming.) And the farm and ethanol lobbies are prepared to crush the groups calling for an end to the food-for-fuel mandate that requires motorists to use nine billion gallons of ethanol (auto fuel made from corn) this year.
A good part of the energy policy muddle stems from a tendency to ask the wrong questions. Ask the wrong questions, and you get the wrong answers. The question now being asked by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and other politicians whose notion of the long run extends only for the six months until the November election is, "How can we lower gasoline prices?" Their answer: Reduce the approximately 18 cent-per-gallon federal tax on gasoline during the summer driving season.
The reasons that is exactly the wrong policy are too many to list. One is that oil producers, or oil companies, or service station operators would raise prices by an equivalent amount. Hillary Clinton, in her new populist incarnation, might dismiss this as the ranting of pointy-headed economists, but it is nevertheless true. But give the pandering pols the benefit of the doubt, and assume that prices would go down. The right question would have been, "Is it good policy to lower gasoline prices?" The right answer is "no."
Higher prices seem to be persuading Americans to use less gasoline, witness the increased use of mass transit reported in many cities around the country. Lower gasoline prices would encourage Americans to drive more, use more of the cheaper gasoline, emit more pollutants, and increase the demand for crude oil. So regimes hostile to the United States would sell us still more oil.
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, whose government owns some 8,000 Citgo gasoline stations in America, must be astonished to learn that leading American politicians are eager to increase his revenues so that he can step up his propaganda campaign against America. And the Saudi financiers of jihadists and of the Wahabbi mullahs who fuel anti-Americanism would be pleased to have a few extra hundred million. So would Vladimir Putin.
Better that, figure our politicians, than to take the political risk of increasing taxes on gasoline, reducing demand, and getting to the consumers' wallets before OPEC and its allies do.
The wrong question--how do we lower prices?--also led Congress last week to pass legislation ordering the president to stop buying oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The reserve now contains 701.3 million barrels, a record. Bush wants to fill it to its capacity of 727 million barrels this year, and eventually double the capacity.
Stop buying oil, critics, including John McCain, tell President Bush, and demand pressures will ease. Better still, start selling off some of the strategic reserve, and increase supplies of crude oil. The notion that the government can outsmart the market by buying low and selling high is, to put it mildly, questionable. As is the assumption that it is smart enough to distinguish a shock, which might justify use of the reserve, from a trend, which should be allowed to play itself out so that the economy can readjust to the new prices.
Besides, oil companies are likely to increase their own inventories when the government stops stockpiling, stepping up purchases of imported crude oil in order to do so. Net effect of all of this on demand and supply: nil. Net effect on our ability to withstand a supply cut-off: substantial.
Next wrong question, and one being asked not only in America, but in most other countries: "How can we replace crude oil with renewable sources of energy?" Answer: Subsidize construction of wind turbines, solar panels, nuclear plants, and the production of corn. But neither wind turbines nor solar energy, on the cheeriest of assumptions, can make a significant dent in the demand for crude oil and its products. As for nuclear, few of these costly plants--and cost estimates seem to be doubling every few months--will be built unless overt or covert subsidies are offered to private-sector players, licensing proceedings and construction times are shortened, and politicians are willing to override Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow the opening of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository.
Which leaves corn. Congress has mandated that farmers be paid huge subsidies to grow corn to be converted into ethanol, a gasoline substitute, while quite inconsistently maintaining a tariff wall to deny motorists access to cheaper imported ethanol. The answer produced by the wrong question has serious negative consequences. For one thing, the negative environmental impact of these biofuels seems to outweigh their positive effect. Among other things, production requires the use of huge amounts of fertilizers, causing run-off that pollutes streams and rivers; farmers around the world cut down environmentally friendly forests to increase planting of oil-substitutes; and acreage previously devoted to growing food is converted to growing fuel. That has contributed to the massive increases in food prices that are afflicting not only Americans but, with greater ferocity, the world's poor. In essence, rich countries are trying to fill their gasoline tanks at the expense of empty stomachs in Africa, Central America, and parts of Asia.
So what are the right questions? First, have any of the programs now in place proved counterproductive? Yes, several have costs that exceed their benefits. Best example: the attempt to grow our way out of the energy problem. Admit that we have erred, and wind down the subsidies that are denuding forests and contributing to food shortages without significantly adding to fuel supplies. That's what a coalition of environmentalists, livestock producers, and consumer groups last week called on Congress to do. They are unlikely to overcome the powerful farmer-ethanol lobby.
Second, are there cost-effective ways of increasing the supply of conventional crude oil? Probably. Studies that showed that the environmental cost of drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and offshore Florida and California exceeded any benefit from new discoveries are now out of date. The benefits were estimated when oil prices were less than half current levels. So the benefits of stepped up exploration have multiplied with the price and value of oil. Meanwhile, the industry claims to have learned a great deal about reducing the environmental impact of such stepped-up drilling. If new studies bear out these impressions, and suggest that the environmental and other costs of drilling are now exceeded by their benefits, restrictions on domestic drilling should be relaxed. But that is not in the cards--all three of the presidential wannabes are pledged to keep Alaska closed to drilling, no matter what the balance of costs and benefits.
Final sensible question, Can anything be done to increase supplies of oil from the world's important suppliers? Answer: Yes, if there is the will to act. The Mexican government depends heavily on remittances sent to poor Mexican families from the millions of its citizens working, legally and illegally, in the United States; the Saudi regime depends on the U.S. military umbrella for its survival; and the Saudi-led OPEC cartel, which has held production constant for eight months in the face of a 54 percent increase in prices, exists only because successive administrations have prevented the antitrust authorities from attempting to break it up. Hillary Clinton is on to something when she calls for antitrust action against this cartel, which would not be the first time the Justice Department has moved against a price-fixing conspiracy by foreign firms. Antitrust lawyers tell me that the immunity of sovereign governments from antitrust prosecution does not extend to their commercial activities.
Bush knows this. He knows that nothing frightens the Saudi regime more than the threat of the furling of the U.S. umbrella, which as Karen Elliott House put it in the Wall Street Journal, "has provided the Saudis with a security blanket that puts this desert kingdom off limits to regional predators" and prevented Iran and Syria from turning Saudi Arabia into another Lebanon. He knows that the Saudis have about two million barrels per day of shut-in, excess capacity. And he knows how vulnerable the Saudi-led OPEC cartel is to antitrust action.
Perhaps he worries that if he deploys any of these weapons the Saudis will dump some part of their dollar pile on the market, driving down the value of our currency, and increasing inflationary pressures and interest rates in America. They might, but only if they are willing to drive down the value of the billions of dollars remaining in their vaults, and damage the value of their U.S. investments. Would the president of the United States or the king of Saudi Arabia be the first to blink in a stare down? We will never know, since the administration prefers the role of supplicant to that of tough bargainer.
Nor is there any indication that we are prepared to harden our line with Mexico. No one has suggested that Mexico's continued refusal to allow American capital to flow into its oil industry might be considered when NAFTA is reviewed. Is it unreasonable to suggest that free trade in goods and services, and the virtually unhindered movement of labor across the border, must be accompanied by the free flow of capital across borders? Yes, we benefit from NAFTA, and its abrogation would impose costs on us. But so does Mexico's ban on U.S. participation in its oil industry.
A serious American administration would explain to the Saudis and their OPEC allies, and to the Mexicans, that continuation of their present policies would not be without cost to them. Continued defense of the Saudi regime, a staying of the hand of the antitrust authorities, and continued absence of restrictions on remittances to Mexico will, they should be told, depend at least in part on their willingness to allow Western firms to develop new reserves and to wring more oil from existing fields, and to relax cartel restrictions on current output.
Unfortunately, the right questions are precisely the sorts of questions that politicians abhor. Asking them produces politically difficult answers--higher not lower taxes on gasoline to encourage new technologies and discourage consumption, the opening of now-closed areas to exploration and development, the end of massive subsidies to farmers to grow corn-for-fuel.
Wrong questions and the inevitably wrong policy answers might be one reason Goldman Sachs is talking about a "super spike" that would take oil prices to $200 per barrel. Remember: These are the guys who were laughed at when they predicted that the price of oil would hit $100. Dante might have been referring to what happens to good ideas on energy policy when they are sent to the halls of Congress or the White House, when he wrote, "Through me you pass into the city of woe .??.... into eternal pain."
Global warming could increase terrorism, official says
Global warming could destabilize "struggling and poor" countries around the world, prompting mass migrations and creating breeding grounds for terrorists, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council told Congress on Wednesday.
Climate change "will aggravate existing problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions," Thomas Fingar said. "All of this threatens the domestic stability of a number of African, Asian, Central American and Central Asian countries."
People are likely to flee destabilized countries, and some may turn to terrorism, he said. "The conditions exacerbated by the effects of climate change could increase the pool of potential recruits into terrorist activity," he said.
"Economic refugees will perceive additional reasons to flee their homes because of harsher climates," Fingar predicted. That will put pressure on countries receiving refugees, many of which "will have neither the resources nor interest to host these climate migrants," he said in testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Comment on the above session from NR::
Today marked a new low for the way congressional Democrats deal with national security. This morning, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a joint hearing on a "National Intelligence Assessment" on global climate change. This analysis was ordered by the Democratic Congress last year and was issued a few weeks ago. Some highlights (or low-lights) from the hearing:
1) In response to a question by Global Warming Committee member Greg Walden (R-OR), the Intelligence Community admitted they had "low to medium confidence" in the accuracy of this estimate because intelligence officers lack the expertise to write such an estimate (it was mostly contracted out to other organizations) and climate change science is so uncertain. As Walden started to ask about why an analysis of such low reliability was issued, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA), the Global Warming Committee Chairman, cut him off and told him he was out of time even though Markey let all the previous Democrats speak substantially past their time limits.
2) Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Peter Hoekstra asked what intelligence was used for this estimate and whether intelligence collection requirements were prepared. National Intelligence Council Chairman Thomas Fingar said no clandestine intelligence was used and that intelligence officers extrapolated what would happen if the "mid-level estimates" by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were correct. When Hoekstra asked why the U.S. Intelligence Community would write an major analysis of low to medium confidence that contained no intelligence, Fingar answered, "because you [Congress] told us to."
3) Hoekstra noted that intelligence assessments of high confidence have proven to be wrong and he wondered why an intelligence assessment of low to medium confidence would even be published. In an attempt to dispel the debate over confidence, Intelligence Committee member Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) responded by noting that the 2002 Iraq WMD NIE had high confidence in its findings. Some Republicans thought Rep. Eshoo's statement actually made their case about the futility of issuing an intelligence assessment that intelligence officers cannot fully back.
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