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Monthly Archives: March 2010

What you must believe to be afraid of climate change

In order to fear climate change, there are several beliefs you must hold.

1. CO2 drives temperature change

 
This is a the central belief of the AGW theory. If you don’t believe CO2 controls temperature, then the increase in mankind’s emission poses no threat.

2. Strong positive feedbacks exist

 
Even if you believe that CO2 drives temperature change, this isn’t enough. Without strong positive feedbacks the temperature increase is minimal. The fear from future climate change arises from the belief that the slight temperature increase will lead to positive feedbacks (such as water vapor) that will further increase the temperature.

3. The temperature record is reliable

 
The .7c degree increase over the last century is usually considered proof of the AGW theory. After all, CO2 emission have risen quite a bit in the last 50 years, so temperature should have risen as well. To use this evidence, the temperature record must be taken as valid.

4. Life on earth is not very adaptable

 
If you fear climate change, then you must believe that it will negatively affect life on the planet. This assumes that life will be unable to adequately adapt to the future change in temperature.

Conclusion

 
This isn’t an exhaustive list and there may be some who fear climate change who don’t hold all four of these tenets. However, if you throw out any one point then fearing climate change makes little sense. If CO2 doesn’t drive temperature change, then increasing CO2 isn’t a problem. If there are no positive feedbacks, then the minimal rise in temperature from CO2 isn’t a threat. If you don’t believe the temperature record, then there is absolutely no observational evidence for the AGW theory. If you believe that life on planet earth is sufficiently adaptable, then an increase in temperature isn’t something to fear.

I would simply point out that CO2 hasn’t driven temperaturesin the past, positive feedbacks are completely theoretical and very controversial, the temperature record is notoriously unreliable, and planet earth has already shown its incredible adaptivity in the past through several ice ages and other temperature fluxes.

Don’t fear climate change.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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WWF hypocrisy

There was an interesting article in the Telegraph today. It explains how the WWF was preserving a large section of the Amazon, not for true preservation but because they wanted to be able to trade $60 billion in carbon credits. Read the article here.

This just casts more suspicion on the IPCC’s Amazon claim which was supported by only a single non-peer-reviewed WWF source.

Conflicts of interest abound in the world of climate science.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Wolfram|Alpha supports AGW theory?

I occasionally use WolframAlpha for different things, and I happened to look at their blog today. This post was on top:

Comparing Global Warming Potentials with Wolfram|Alpha

Here is a quote:

Today when you hear about global warming, the first thing that comes to mind is probably carbon dioxide; however, there are many greenhouse gases that may contribute to this phenomenon. Wolfram|Alpha now provides information on the relative global warming effects of about 30 common pollutants in the atmosphere using the global warming potential (GWP) index.

The GWP index estimates how much a certain chemical will add to global warming compared to the same mass of carbon dioxide over a certain time span. The data Wolfram|Alpha uses is from the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The post continues by talking about examples of how to use Wolfram|Alpha to compute the impacts of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere.

Some have accused Google of skewing the debate in favor of the AGW theory, could this be an example of the same bias?

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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IPCC coordinating lead author's own paper falsely cited in AR4

Adil Najam

Yesterday I posted about a contributing author’s own paper being incorrectly cited in the AR4. However, I have now found something worse than that: a Coordinating Lead Author’s own paper has been falsely cited.

Recently I posted about an interesting claim and comment made in the AR4. In the Second Order Draft (SOD), the following claim appears (page 43, lines 34-36):

Relatively few NGOs are directly accountable to members in the same way that governments are to voters or businesses are to shareholders, raising further questions about the extent to which their claims to the mantle of civil society are justified.

The claim had no citation, which led an expert reviewer to make the following comment, Comment 12-189 (page 78):

Seems a bold claim – can you substantiate it? ENGOs in most cases are supported through financial contributions from individuals as well as from foundation funding. They are also governed through Boards that in principle represent their consituency. If you leave this, you need to provide a citation.
(Jan Corfee-Morlot, University College London (on
leave from OECD))

The reviewer thinks that this claim is bold, and seems to imply it is false. He ends “If you leave this, you need to provide a citation.” The writing team responds:
Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2010 in IPCC

 

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Some climate humor from the AR4

I thought some of my readers may find the following claim (section 1.2 The Nature of Earth Science of WGI) in the IPCC AR4 humorous:

The attributes of science briefly described here can be used in assessing competing assertions about climate change. Can the statement under consideration, in principle, be proven false? Has it been rigorously tested? Did it appear in the peer-reviewed literature? Did it build on the existing research record where appropriate? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then less credence should be given to the assertion until it is tested and independently verified.

Let’s take them in turn, shall we?

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Posted by on March 15, 2010 in Humor, IPCC

 

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Contributing Author's report cited falsely

I’ve found another mistake in the IPCC AR4, this time a Contributing Author’s own report was incorrectly cited.

Let’s start at the beginning. In the First Draft Order of Chapter 11 of WG II, Australia and New Zealand, the following claim appears on page 22, line 25:

The capital value of the built environment in New Zealand accounts for almost 10% of GDP.

This prompts an expert reviewer to comment, Comment 11-967:

To say that the capital value of NZ’s built environment is nearly 10% of GDP is absolute nonsense. Even an elementary calculation shows that this is far too low. Given the 1.4 million homes, at an average value of $300,000 gives a total value of $420 billion. GDP is about $140 billion, so even without counting office buildings it is clear that the 10% should be a at least 300%.
(Adolf Stroombergen, Infometrics)

He’s right, and this claim was dropped. However, other reviewers noticed the fact that there was no Australian equivalent to this statistic, Comment 11-965:

Can similar statements be made about the value of Australia’s built environment?
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Posted by on March 15, 2010 in IPCC

 

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IPCC first makes claim, then adds reference later

In other posts I have claimed that the IPCC process appears to be along these lines: Make a claim, then find a citation. While it was fairly obvious they did this often, I hadn’t found a slam-dunk case I could point at to prove it. I now have that case.

I am participating in the Audit of the IPCC’s AR4 conducted over at NOconsensus.org (I recommend you spare an hour or two to help if you can). I was given Chapter 12 of WG III, which I’ve completed. Afterwords, I decided to look at the expert reviewers comments for my chapter. I found quite a few biased remarks, which will make another post coming soon. I also found one particular comment interesting. Comment 12-189 (page 78):
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Posted by on March 11, 2010 in IPCC

 

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