Sunday, September 29, 2013

MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen Rips UN IPCC Report

‘The latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence’ — ‘It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going’

I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence.  They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.

Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean.  However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans.

 However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability.  Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified.

Finally, in attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about.  It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.


IPCC: “We don’t need no stinking climate sensitivity!”

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The newly-released Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC’s Working Group I for the AR5 report reveals a dogged attempt to salvage the IPCC’s credibility amidst mounting evidence that it has gone overboard in its attempts to scare the global public over the last quarter century.

The recent ~15 year lull in warming is hardly mentioned at all (nothing to see here, move along).

A best estimate for climate sensitivity — unarguably THE most important climate change variable — is no longer provided, due to mounting contradictory evidence on whether the climate system really cares very much about whether there are 2, or 3, or 4, parts of CO2 per 10,000 parts atmosphere.

YET…the IPCC claims their confidence has DOUBLED (uncertainty reduced from 10% that 5%) regarding their claim that humans are most of the cause behind the warming trend in the last 50 years or so:

“It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010.”

Let’s examine that last claim for a minute. For the sake of argument, let’s say that 60% of the surface warming (and increase in ocean heat content, as revealed by supposed warming of hundredths of a degree) is indeed due to increased CO2. What would that say about the sensitivity of the climate system?

One would think that this question would be addressed by the IPCC, since it doesn’t require a full-blown 3D climate model to answer.

But I suspect that they know the answer is: “very low climate sensitivity” (we will reveal more on this issue in a few weeks). Even if humans are responsible for 60% of the ocean heating in the last 60 years, it suggests a level of future warming well below what this report implies will happen.

I say “implies” because the new report is worded in such a way that the IPCC can be technically correct, and still convey a maximum amount of alarm (which has been the IPCC’s modus operandi for the last 20+ years). They still leave the door open to a climate sensitivity below 1 deg. C, since they could claim “we didn’t say we were 100% certain…only 95%”.

And probably the biggest omission of the report continues to be the almost total neglect of natural forcing mechanisms of climate change. The climate system is likely at least a little chaotic, with natural variations due to inherent system nonlinearities and time lags (courtesy of the ocean). As I keep harping on, the observed increase in ocean heat content over the last 60 years (if we can believe hundredths of a degree warming is accurate) equates to a global energy imbalance of only 1 part in 1,000. To believe that Mother Nature is incapable of causing such small imbalances, as the IPCC implicitly believes, is not based upon observations but upon assumptions.

What this means is that, without knowing just how much of recent warming is natural, there is no way to know how much is anthropogenic *nor* how sensitive the climate system is. This is a glaring source of uncertainty that the IPCC continues to gloss over, sweep under the rug, …pick your metaphor.


IPCC’s political exercise in consensus building

The IPCC has never been about science. It has always been about building a gargantuan “consensus” by which to fashion the alarmist narrative and steamroller any attempt at genuine debate.

The organisation is stacked with scientists who are already convinced that global warming is man-made and dangerous and that something must be done. It is riddled with environmental activists from Friends of the Earth, WWF and other extreme-green organisations who are on a crusade to save the planet. Despite claims that the IPCC only considers “peer-reviewed” literature, previous reports have relied heavily on grey literature which, oddly enough, always supports the consensus. Funny that.

So it is of very little consequence that the latest Summary for Policymakers for Working Group 1 (Physical Science Basis) of the 5th Assessment Report, continues in the same way, building on the alarmism created in reports 1 – 4. As we have learned, this document is pored over by scientists and policy wonks for days, with every paragraph, sentence and word subjected to tough negotiation in order to ensure the message remains focussed, and isn’t diluted by, oh, I don’t know, er… facts?

It helpfully advances the narrative created over the past thirty years, so that compliant journalists can continue to print the same old rubbish (more ABC: same old rubbish) they’ve been printing for years. At the press conference, virtually every journalist was a subscriber to the cause, with only David Rose of the UK Daily Mail daring to ask something “off script”.

You only have to look at environmental journalists in Australia to realise that they are almost invariably eco-warriors. Why would anyone who isn’t want to be an environmental journalist in the first place?

It’s bizarre, but since temperatures have actually fallen slightly since the last report in 2007, the IPCC is now more certain that humans have been the dominant cause of observed warming since the 1950s. The IPCC claims that climate models have improved since AR4, but cannot give a best estimate for climate sensitivity, the only number that really matters in the end, because of, quote:

“a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.”

Feeling confident so far? The pause in warming is brushed aside as due to:

“reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle.”

In other words, the dog ate it. Where’s my heat, dude? It’s in the ocean, where we can’t measure it.

Whether the IPCC’s dire warnings will be proved correct is yet to be seen. But as an exercise in political spin, it will no doubt succeed. All we can remember is the old adage, if it’s about consensus, it isn’t science.


Warmists have hornets in their bonnets  -- but only in China

The one thing we can be sure about is that the hornets are NOT the result of global warming  -- because there hasn't been any lately.  At most they are caused by local warming

Over the last few weeks, giant, deadly hornets have killed more than two dozen people in China, the result of bizarre weather patterns there that have allowed the bugs to proliferate.

This summer, China suffered through massive heat waves, breaking records in places like Shanghai, Changsha, and Hangzhou in July, and affecting 700 million people through August. This has lead to dozens of heatstroke deaths, and, now, increasingly aggressive giant insects.

Attacks by giant hornets, most likely the 5-centimeter (2-inch) Vespa mandarinia, have left hundreds injured and 28 people dead, mostly in the Shaanxi region of northwest China. Some victims reported being chased for hundreds of meters and stung — some up to 200 times — by swarms of the insects traveling 40 km/h (25 mph). A director of the Ankang Disease Control Centre said more 30 stings required “immediate emergency treatment.”

A sting from the hornet’s quarter-inch-long stinger feels like a “hot nail through my leg,” according to an entomologist who got too close for comfort. The venom contains an enzyme that can dissolve human tissue, and too much of it can also bring renal failure or death.

Authorities recommend local residents avoid fields and “be very vigilant while in the woods.” A local fire department has removed over 300 hornet nests since July. This year, fatalities from hornet attacks are twice the normal average. The hornets have attacked people in the region in previous years, but Zhou Yuanhong, a Shaanxi health official, said that this year was “unusually severe, possibly because of weather changes.” Experts say that the hornets breed more successfully in warmer temperatures.

Temperatures in China are 10 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer that they were during the last ice age, which is two to four times as hot as scientists believed. As the globe warms, it turns out that China is even more sensitive to that change than previously thought.


Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists

New research suggests people tend to hold negative views of political and social activists

Why don’t people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don’t want to be associated with environmentalists.

That’s the conclusion of troubling new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.

Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”

Writing in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Bashir and her colleagues describe a series of studies documenting this dynamic. They began with three pilot studies, which found people hold stereotyped views of environmentalists and feminists.

In one, the participants—228 Americans recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk—described both varieties of activists in “overwhelmingly negative” terms. The most frequently mentioned traits describing “typical feminists” included “man-hating” and “unhygienic;” for “typical environmentalists,” they included “tree-hugger” and “hippie.”

Another study, featuring 17 male and 45 female undergraduates, confirmed the pervasiveness of those stereotypes. It further found participants were less interested in befriending activists who participated in stereotypical behavior (such as staging protest rallies), but could easily envision hanging out with those who use “nonabrasive and mainstream methods” such as raising money or organizing social events.

The results of three additional studies suggested this aversion to perceived stereotypical behavior impacts people’s behavior. In one of them, 140 Americans (again recruited via Mechanical Turk) read an article about climate change and “the need for individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles.”

For one-third of the participants, the writer was described as a stereotypical environmentalist (his “profile” stated, “I hold rallies outside chemical research labs”). Another third were told he was an atypical, less-abrasive environmentalist (“I’m involved in organizing social events … to raise money for grassroots-level environmental organizations”). For the final third, his profile did not mention environmental activism at all.

After reading the article, participants were asked whether it inspired them to do more recycling, or otherwise take more eco-friendly actions.

“Participants were less motivated to adopt pro-environmental behaviors when these behaviors were advocated by the ‘typical’ environmentalist, rather than by the ‘atypical’ environmentalist or the undefined target,” the researchers report.

This is, needless to say, frustrating news for activists, and not just the ones mentioned here. The researchers suggest this dynamic may very well apply across the board, such as to activities advocating gay rights or Wall Street reform.

“Unfortunately,” they write, “the very nature of activism leads to negative stereotyping. By aggressively promoting change and advocating unconventional practices, activists become associated with hostile militancy and unconventionality or eccentricity.”

“Furthermore, this tendency to associate activists with negative stereotypes and perceive them as people with whom it would be unpleasant to affiliate reduces individuals’ motivation to adopt the pro-change behaviors that activists advocate.”

So the message to advocates is clear: Avoid rhetoric or actions that reinforce the stereotype of the angry activist. Realize that if people find you off-putting, they’re not going to listen to your message. As Bashir and her colleagues note, potential converts to your cause “may be more receptive to advocates who defy stereotypes by coming across as pleasant and approachable.”


Australia: Coal seam gas opponents 'anarchists', says minister

The Federal Minister for Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane, has slammed as "anarchists" some of the opponents to coal seam gas projects in NSW.  "They are anarchists, they don't respect people's property, they don't respect people's rights. They don't respect the law of the land.  "They go out deliberately to break the law."

The minister said he does not oppose people demonstrating but any opponents but they must respect the law, he said.

"If they try to spit on a state's MLA I think that is anarchy.

"If they go onto a farmer's property and trespass and won't remove themselves when asked I think that is anarchy.

"If they do not accept the science that (Professor) Mary (O'Kane, the NSW Chief Scientist) comes up with, if they don't accept the policy and they don't accept the law of the land, that's anarchy."

The newly installed resources minister is to visit the Northern Rivers district of NSW early next week, he said and he expects to encounter some of the opponents to the coal seam gas industry during that visit.

Mr Macfarlane was addressing an energy summit being held in Sydney in the wake of surging gas and electricity prices following restrictions to developing of the gas industry in NSW.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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