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NAS: schizophrenic climate report

The theory about an unprecedented global warming, described by James Inhofe as the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, was essentially downgraded from "certain" to "plausible"

A catchy subtitle was needed because much of the material that follows is boring and confusing, and it is not my fault. ;-)

Typo: The filename should say "schizophrenic". Thanks, Benjamin. I don't want to change it now because it would break some links.

The #1 news on cnn.com right now is about the NAS climate report or the

that you can buy, for $42.30, here, but you can also see the pages freely here; the executive summary is also for free, much like the audio. Other sources are here. However, I don't recommend you to spend your money for this new audit of the climate reconstructions because the freely available information is enough. It is a document that tries to make everyone happy which makes it schizophrenic. On one hand, they admit that there has almost certainly been the Little Ice Age and quite plausibly also the Medieval Warm Period - in both cases it is something that the hardcore alarmists wanted to deny for the last 10 years.

Because of the MWP and the large uncertainties before 1600, we can only say that the current temperatures are warmest in 400 years, not more, the panel says. In other words, it's warmer now than in the Little Ice Age. Well, this is why the Little Ice Age is called in this way. On the other hand, however, they try to promote the idea that it could "plausibly" (original report) or even "likely" (CNN's translation or "spin") still be warmer today than in the Middle Ages, and maybe the current temperatures are highest in the last 1000 or 2000 years.




Well, maybe the geologists are also wrong and they temperatures are highest in millions of years. Such "maybe" sentences are completely meaningless. If someone cannot defend a statement at the 99% confidence level, he should close his or her mouth because sentences without sufficiently strong evidence required by scientific standards are nothing else than brainwashing and manipulation.

I am happy that in different parts of the report, the panel at least confirms that Mann's statement that the 1990s were the hottest decade in a millenium and 1998 the hottest year - and similar statements that had filled the media so many times in the past - are unjustifiable by existing data (go to 47:00 of the audio or so), despite 10 years of passionate statements that these insights are definitive, ever more definitive, and that the debate was over.

Because the reconstructions can only be trusted up to 1600 or so instead of 1000 or 0 as claimed previously, Benny Peiser has told us a nice joke: What do you get if you shorten the hockey stick by 60 percent? A boomerang!

Mann suddenly started to say that he never said that he was certain that the current era is the warmest era in the last 1000 years and, on the contrary, he always emphasized that their research was meant to show how uncertain these numbers are. Well, we probably live in different Universes because in this Universe, he said it roughly 350 times and 870,000 articles have been written about this extraordinary statement. This confusion - more precisely these untrue assertions - are discussed at 19:20 of this

You're exactly one click from verifying that various media and the RealClimate group blog are just trying to fool you completely.

If you go to 25:30 of this audio, a distinguished NAS scientist explains that the belief that Mann's results were definitive were not Mann's fault but rather the climate science community's fault. I can't believe he's serious. Is he talking about the same Mann who established his own propagandistic blog to promote his speculations, deny all criticism, and describe the critics as corrupt people? Of course that it was also a fault of the climate community because it is not a terribly bright and honest one, but indications that Mann is innocent are just crazy. At 35:00 into the audio, they discuss Mann's flawed usage of the principal component analysis. At 37:30, they discuss why the bristlecone pines are not good temperature proxies. At 50:00, a panel member answers "Yes" to the question whether he is saying that the odds than Mann is right are around 2:1 - which means "almost completely uncertain".

At 53:40, a desperate activist / journalist tries to criticize the NAS panel that they used the word "plausible". How could this have happened? ;-) The same crazy journalist even says that there is no evidence for string theory but we can say it's "plausible". I assure this comrade that string theory is much more plausible than a catastrophic global warming. ;-) Around 54:30, they also agree with your humble correspondent that quantitative estimates of "Bayesian" confidence levels in this context (and similar contexts) are meaningless and the real uncertainty can't be quantified. Near 57:00, Myron Ebell asks about the divergence problem - the fact that the current proxies don't show the warming measured directly by thermometers. He is answered that the problem is there, indeed, and it might be hand-waved away by some very vague comments about moisture. At 59:30, another passionate eco-journalist complains against the word "plausible". How can you say it is less plausible if there is no evidence against [except for those paid by the oil company, he would normally say]? ;-) He is again explained that we just don't know, and there is a lot of natural climate variability that increases the uncertainty. Around 1:03:00 into the audio, it is being discussed how much money is being wasted for climate research whose insights are ever more murky and questionable, despite hundreds of papers. At 1:06:30, they say that the variability - and thus also the uncertainty - is higher than thought previously.

Although the NAS members say and write a lot of wise and correct things (and things that I've been saying for months if not years), of course, there are many other examples of schizophrenia of their document and its interpretation.

On one hand, they concede that virtually every single criticism of the "hockey stick graph" has been valid and the methodology of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes is unsatisfactory because of all these reasons (besides the examples above, also lacking statistical skill for individual years, problems with unavailable data and secret computational software - go to 16:20 of the audio for the transparency issues). On the other hand, they are using graphs from papers that are criticizable because of the very same reasons and they essentially encourage the reader to think that these reconstructions are trustworthy even though the actual content of the chapters 9 and 11 leads to the opposite conclusion. The most penetrating and freely available analysis of the document was written by
who has been - together with Ross McKitrick, his collaborator - the world's principal auditor of the climate reconstructions and some very useful comments on that page are also offered by Eduardo Zorita and others. I think that the whole field of "global climate science" has become a political game where people are looking for a compromise or, as many of them openly call it, a consensus.

The recent developments in science have shown that some statements in the past decade are scientifically undefendable and some papers have simply been wrong but those people just don't have enough courage and integrity to admit this fact openly which is why they only soften their language and generate logically inconsistent bureaucratic hybrids. It will take a lot of time to restore the integrity of climate science but we may hope that the NAS panel made the first steps towards this goal.

A less technical summary describing the schizophrenia in their report was written by Iain Murray:
Also, you may want to read a rather technical comment by David Stockwell at landshape.org and a nice, non-technical summary of the report by a climate director from the University of Delaware,

When Millikan measured the charge of the electron for the first time, he obtained 50% of the correct result only because of his incorrect treatment of the air viscosity. Those who followed him have already used a correct approach to the air viscosity but they obtained 55%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% of the right result before they settled near the right value. The reason why they did not obtain the correct result already in the second experiment was that they were intentionally eliminating data from their experiments that were too far from the previous ones. Virtually all experimental physicists know that this is bad science - but in the climate science, things seem a bit different. The authors of crappy papers are still forming the consensus and others don't want to lose friends so they keep on including junk science to their reports and statistical ensembles.

The downgrading of the certainty about the "unprecedented global warming" from "certain & debate is over" to "plausible" has made some climate activists, such as our friend William Connolley, worried. He talks about a "step backwards". How does he define progress in science? It's quite obvious. The higher temperatures and disasters are predicted and the more irrational, hysterical, and political the justifications become, the more progressive science becomes according to this "scientist". ;-)

The science about the "catastrophic climate change" seems rather similar to paranormal sciences: the amount of "signal" that one obtains is more or less directly proportional to the lack of scientific integrity of the scientist. Not surprisingly, the signal and certainty obtained by NAS is much smaller than what William Connolley, Al Gore, or other charlatans would obtain. But the NAS members are still not perfect, so they still get a signal. ;-)

At least, William can fool himself into believing that the NAS panel has not confirmed any criticism. Those who have listened to the press conference know very well that the panel has confirmed that, as far as I see, all the criticisms by M&M and others are valid. However, the panel has also tried their best to be nice to people like Mann which I think is questionable.

Meanwhile, Mann and Connolley's propagandistic blog called "RealClimate" is trying to keep a low profile. There are only 13 comments about the topic which is slightly less than 166 comments about the same story at the "Climate Audit".

Liars in the newspapers

While the NAS panel has concluded that the climate before 1600 is virtually completely uncertain, hundreds of left-wing newspapers have published fraudulent and completely false articles claiming that according to NAS, we're the hottest in 1000 or 2000 years. Of course, the journalists remain the most important sources of the disinformation and the primary drivers of the global fraud. See Micajah's article for a more detailed comparison.

A critic of Star Tribune in Minnesota shows that the journalists took a tendentious article in the Washington Post but they were still not quite satisfied, so they erased all the remaining paragraphs that described the problems with the hockey stick graph, and then they published the castrated article!

I ask all honest owners of newspapers and other media bosses who realize that the global warming has become a gigantic fraud in which their employees are actively involved - as shown by lies they published about the NAS panel - to fire these employees as soon as possible.

The diplomatic schizophrenic language of NAS aside, the panel has essentially done a good work, offered a comprehensible summary of their review process, and it has buried the "consensus" on "unprecedented" global warming theory - the conjecture that the recent changes of the climate are unprecedented in comparison with previous millenia - and you can see the graphs from the NAS report that show it rather clearly:

  • I (for example, in Greenland and Antarctica - those that matter - there is no recent warming at all according to the graph 1000-2000)
  • II (noise)
  • III (mostly noise)
Additional frequently visited climate articles on The Reference Frame

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