ClimateAudit Endorses 1988 Climate Change Projections

Fri, 2008-08-01 10:43Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

ClimateAudit Endorses 1988 Climate Change Projections

Next to the much-(and usually falsely)-maligned hockey stick graph, one of the denier community's favorite targets has been a series of climate modeling graphs that NASA's James Hansen produced in 1988.

Notwithstanding that Hansen has done two more decades of world-leading research, people like Stephen McIntyre of the quibbler site ClimateAudit.Org have obsessed endlessly about the purported “flaws” in that graph series.

Which is why it's so surprising to see McIntyre accepting Hansen's work now.

The thrust of the criticism of this much-dated modeling is that Hansen graphed three potential climate trajectories, two of which appeared to be decidedly above the ACTUAL trajectory of average temperatures mapped during the model period.

Certainly, if you click on McIntyre's most recent post, you see that Hansen's A and B scenarios are riding high. (Although, you will also notice that the trend lines are tracking in a worrying parallel.) You will further notice that McIntyre has picked the annual low point of a graph that goes up and down EVERY YEAR to try to argue that average temperature is currently below even Hansen's most modest prediction. That's a cheap trick, unworthy of a decent statistician.

But then McIntyre says:

“… the uncertainties in the trend are much wider than sometimes thought and are sufficiently wide that neither Hansen’s Scenario B (nor scenarios with lesser and greater “true” increases) can be said to be rejected.”

In English, McIntyre appears to be saying that when temperatures swing as wildly as these ones do, you have to build in a margin of error. And if you accept a reasonable margin of error, you have to accept two of Hansen's three scenarios as also being reasonable.

McIntyre deserves some credit for this acknowledgment. Although he has made himself a tool of the denier community, fixing on statistical errors or controversial interpretations which other people have then used to undermine faith in the whole theory of anthropogenic global warming, he seems in this instance to be valuing his own credibility as a statistician above his alliances to the denier community.

So, Steve: Bravo! We'll try to take you more seriously in the future.

Previous Comments

Got to give you credit for Ingenious Spinning on this one. WOW.
To Spin anything on ClimateAudit (one of the most respected Climate sites on the Net) as Agreeing with Hansen is Stretching the truth to impressive lengths.
And to claim that the Hockey Stick is anything but Fraud is even more amusing.
One only needs to spend a bit of time on the Climate Audit site to realize the truth is quite the opposite.
Today alone is example enough.
Nice try though.

… saw THAT one coming a few light years away! You are SOOOOO predictable, Gary!

Fern Mackenzie

Dear author of the article,
please read this new study.
http://icoads.cdc.noaa.gov/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf

that is all. Thank you

The paper says that land temperatures MAY have been affected more directly by rising ocean temperatures than by the direct effect of global warming from anthropogenic CO2. It then speculates (with no supporting information whatever) that “a role for natural causes of at least some of the recent oceanic warming should not be ruled out.”

But, even as one accommodates “a role for natural causes” for “at least some of the recent oceanic warming,” one might reasonably accept the IPCC estimate: there is a 95 per cent chance that it’s due to greenhouse gases.

Given also that:

1. The majority of the earth is covered by water;

2. Water, when it is warmed, evaporates and acts as a positive feedback;

it makes perfect sense that the ocean would be absorbing the bulk of the increased heat from global warming and that it would, in turn, have a measurable effect on adjacent landmasses.

I am not a scientist, and I would be happy if anyone with honest-to-goodness scientific credentials wanted to critique my analysis.

But, seriously, I reads this paper and I have to ask: what’s your point?

Unless humans can control the PDO, NAO, El Nino, La Nina we cannot control or influence ‘Global Warming’

Your strawman has a mould problem…

Physicist Walter Cunningham, NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut, in July/August 2008 Issue of Launch Magazine calls Calamity Jim Hansen a global warming fear-monger.

http://launchmagonline.com/index.php/Viewpoint/In-Science-Ignorance-is-not-Bliss.html

Here’s an excerpt:

“It doesn’t help that NASA scientist James Hansen was one of the early alarmists claiming humans caused global warming. Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him.

[…] NASA should be at the forefront in the collection of scientific evidence and debunking the current hysteria over human-caused, or Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Unfortunately, it is becoming just another agency caught up in the politics of global warming, or worse, politicized science. Advocacy is replacing objective evaluation of data, while scientific data is being ignored in favor of emotions and politics.

[…] I do see hopeful signs that some true believers are beginning to harbor doubts about AGW. Let’s hope that NASA can focus the global warming discussion back on scientific evidence before we perpetrate an economic disaster on ourselves.

[…] The fearmongers of global warming base their case on the correlation between CO2 and global temperature, even though we cannot be sure which is cause and which is effect. Historically, temperature increases have preceded high CO2 levels, and there have been periods when atmospheric CO2 levels were as much as 16 times what they are now, periods characterized not by warming but by glaciation. You might have to go back half a million years to match our current level of atmospheric CO2, but you only have to go back to the Medieval Warming Period, from the 10th to the 14th Century, to find an intense global warming episode, followed immediately by the drastic cooling of the Little Ice Age. Neither of these events were caused by variations in CO2 levels.”

Yup this sure looks like settled science, doesn’t it Richard. Repeat after me: There is a consensus. There is a consensus. Ooooommmmm

I must ask again:

Why is it that, whatever the thread topic is, the inactivists insist on talking about something else?

It can’t be a method of distraction, can it?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

… a welcome corrective for those of us who might have read that palaver and thought that it was relevant to something.

It is all relevant, Richard. You Desmoggers claim to have settled science on your side. I will use every opportunity to show it isn’t because I know you PR slicks won’t present anything that is fair and balanced on this web site. You try to present yourself as a journalist digging out the truth. You and the rest of your crew are anything but.

A fair journalist would admit that there is no scientific consensus about human-caused global warming. A honest journalist would allow that AGW was first promoted by Hansen and swallowed whole by the main stream media before any real climate research had been done. A balanced journalist would look at Hansen’s record of predictions and dismiss him as a fraud (climate tipping point in 10 years, Hansen stated in 1989).

You are no longer a journalist, Richard, despite your posturing and stern, no-nonsense black and white photo. You are the hired gun of a PR firm that works for David Suzuki. You know which side your bread is buttered on and you govern yourself accordingly.

You forgot to add that an objective reporter analyzes the facts and presents the objective reality. What’s wrong with Richard doing that?

You know, I was once like you - blahblahblah science not settled blahblahblah PDO blahblahblah solar cycle blahblahblah hockey stick broke blahblahblah - Then I woke up and realized that the other side had all the ammo and had the weight of evidence. Ever tried reading the IPCC with an open, rational mind for once? From your ad hom attacks, I doubt it.

I will use every opportunity to show it isn’t because I know you PR slicks won’t present anything that is fair and balanced on this web site.

Keep on railing against the twilight, dude. Fewer folks are paying attention. Oh, don’t mind saying hi to the dodo for me, will ya? Ya’ll be best buddies soon.


A fair journalist would admit that there is no scientific consensus about human-caused global warming.

What a laugh. You don’t even know what a scientific consensus is. Come back when you can figure out the difference between a glorified jet jockey and a professional climate scientist.

As for global-warming research, climate-scientists were concerned about global warming before James Hansen appeared on the scene.

Those actually interested in learning about the history of the global-warming scientific consensus should find the time to watch this video of a lecture given at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography a few months ago: http://www.ucsd.tv/search-details.asp?showID=13459

Now, have you anything to say that is relevant to the post?

If you look at what Steve McIntyre actually said, I think you will find that his comment was

I think that Scenario B is close enough to observed emissions that, in the absence of NASA being able or willing to re-run the actual 1988 model with actual forcings, one can be reasonably use Scenario B for comparisons.

Emphasis added

In short, Hansen’s Scenario B assumptions about emission levels is what he is endorsing as “reasonable”. The temperature projections associated with Scenario B are, however, substantially above those seen by satelites and even by the GISS temperatures produced by Hansen’s agency.

… but then, your spin is all just a PR exercise anyway, isn’t it?

An increase in 0.2 degrees Celsius is nothing.

A difference in less than 0.1 degrees Celsius is “substantial”.

Inactivist logic never fails to amaze me.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

BCH:

McIntyre said:

In my opinion, there is enough autocorrelation in these series such that, statistically, the uncertainties in the trend are much wider than sometimes thought and are sufficiently wide that neither Hansen’s Scenario B (nor scenarios with lesser and greater “true” increases) can be said to be rejected - contrary to the views of many readers. (my emphasis.)

“These series” presumably referred to the seven preceding graphs, all of which addressed global average temperature change.

He then ALSO added your quote and presented four more graphs that addressed CO2 concentrations.

I would invite anyone who thinks that BCH has presented this situation accurately - or that I have twisted McIntyre’s quote - to go back to the original: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3354

Agreed the part where he says….

I think that Scenario B is close enough to observed emissions that, in the absence of NASA being able or willing to re-run the actual 1988 model with actual forcings, one can be reasonably use Scenario B for comparisons.

Seems pretty clear that scenario B is the most likely to follow the forcings from greenhouse gases. Does anyone know the complexity of the 1988 models though, and how they stand up the the ones currently being run?….The real point I am making then is what does it really matter anyway?

… And activist’s inability to read a graph amazes me.

The plot of Hansen’s scenario B Vs. RSS temperature says that we should be at a temperature anomoly of about +0.5 degrees C. The RSS temperature is currently at -0.5 degrees C.

That’s 1.0 degree C.

Considering that the dreaded global warming has resulted in about 0.7 degrees C change in the last 125 years, I would say that a full 1 degree error over 20 years is definitely “substantial”.

Steve McIntyre
Neither … Scenario B (nor scenarios with lesser and greater “true” increases) can be said to be rejected.

Richard Littlemore
… you have to accept two of Hansen’s three scenarios as also being reasonable.

Somehow I just can’t get my head around equating a statement that they can’t be rejected with the claim that he found them to be “reasonable”.

Based on the evidence … you can’t reject the claim that little green men from Alpha Centuri are visiting us to communicate via crop circles. It’s far from a reasonable conclusion however.

Must be a PR thing again.

BCH: I am amazed anew that you can reject out-of-hand the threat of climate change - something that every science academy in the developed world has accepted as a 90% plus likelihood - but you feel unqualified, or merely unwilling to reject the notion that Alpha Centurians are messing in your garden.

You should get that checked.


Fear-monger Hansen
Submitted by JMD (not verified) on Sat, 2008-08-02 01:50.

Physicist Walter Cunningham, NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut, in July/August 2008 Issue of Launch Magazine calls Calamity Jim Hansen a global warming fear-monger.

…………

Yup this sure looks like settled science, doesn’t it Richard. Repeat after me: There is a consensus. There is a consensus. Ooooommmmm

Cunningham received a Master’s degree (*not* a PhD) in physics way back in 1961! I am unable to find any evidence that he has published so much as a single research paper in any peer-reviewed journal having to do with any aspect of climate research.

Cunningham does not qualify as a scientist (it’s clear that he isn’t one, not by a long-shot) – and as far as climate-science is concerned, he doesn’t even qualify as an educated layman.

So JMD, do you know that the term “scientific consensus” means? Here’s a hint: as far as the scientific consensus re: global warming is concerned, the opinion of an unqualified layman who received his college degree nearly a half-century ago simply doesn’t count.

“Here’s a hint: as far as the scientific consensus re: global warming is concerned, the opinion of an unqualified layman who received his college degree nearly a half-century ago simply doesn’t count.”

How does the opinion of Dr Ian Jolliffe strike you? Google to find his qualifications, and the place where he says that the Mann hockey stick is ‘dubious statistics’.

Did you notice that the GISS surf data and the RSS Sat data lines on the graph, which are actual measurements, diverge completely from Hansens predictions (the other lines on the graph)? Hansen fudged and factored his datasets to lean the latter years towards being warmer. And McKintyre was the guy who exposed him as a dishonest “scientist”.

McIntyre said that Hansen’s projections cannot be said to be rejected. This is not the same as saying they are ‘reasonable’, neither is it an ‘endorsement’, as you have stated.

At the time of my writing this, the American public have not yet rejected John McCain, but this does not mean they think he is ‘reasonable’, or that they have ‘endorsed’ him.

Several other posters have pointed this difference out with different analogies. I urge you to modify your post because it is misleading. You have not translated McIntyre’s view into English, you have put it more strongly than he himself expressed it.

It upsets many climate change proponents when their words are twisted or taken out of context. This is not a legitimate tactic on either side of the debate.

If McIntyre wanted to say he thought A and B were ‘reasonable’, he would have said it.

I urge you to withdraw your misleading statement.

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