Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth News Science

Claims of Himalayan Glacier Disaster Melt Away 561

Posted by kdawson
from the embarrassment-on-embarrassment dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "VOA News reports that leaders of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have apologized for making a 'poorly substantiated' claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Scientists who identified the mistake say the IPCC report relied on news accounts that appear to have misquoted a scientific paper — which estimated that the glaciers could disappear by 2350, not 2035. Jeffrey Kargel, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona who helped expose the IPCC's errors, said the botched projections were extremely embarrassing and damaging. 'The damage was that IPCC had, or I think still has, such a stellar reputation that people view it as an authority — as indeed they should — and so they see a bullet that says Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035 and they take that as a fact.' Experts who follow climate science and policy say they believe the IPCC should re-examine how it vets information when compiling its reports. 'These errors could have been avoided had the norms of scientific publication including peer review and concentration upon peer-reviewed work, been respected,' write the researchers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Claims of Himalayan Glacier Disaster Melt Away

Comments Filter:
  • Four YEARS? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rah1420 (234198) <rah1420@gmail.com> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:38PM (#30874110)

    According to the NY Times article, a scientist (Georg Kaser) warned the working group in 2006 that the findings were erroneous. How did it take four years to bubble up?

    I'd call that a pretty glacial response time. (rimshot)

  • Traceability (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:44PM (#30874154) Homepage Journal

    This is how it works in the specifications I deal with. You start with a set of customer requirements and they go into DOORS [ibm.com] which is a crap tool, its just better than all the alternatives. Then from that you generate system specifications which describe your system at a high level and technical specifications which pretty much how it is going to work. At any point you can point and click to trace back to the source of a particular requirement.

    Now all of that has nothing to do with climate change (apart from the horrible overhead of those big binary doors files we keep copying around) but the concept is pretty straightforward.

    When you write your intermediate and final documents you somehow retain traceability back to the source of the information, so that if one of your conclusions is based on crap assumptions then you can easily identify the problem.

    Its not hard. Just takes some experience in fairly professional technical writing. You don't have to use the craptastic tools. I have written doors like functionality into xslt, for example.

  • Re:A typo (Score:5, Informative)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:45PM (#30874160) Journal

    Gpasp, there was a TYPO in a summary report, and the editing process didn't catch it.

    A typo.

    About as much a typo as your claim. If you RTFM (I know, asking a lot on /.), you will see that the UN Panel wrote the number in the report based on "a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist". In other words, the UN Panel read a random non-scientific report and used the erroneous prediction presented there. There is a massive failure here -- by the UN Panel when they relied on non-scientific sources for important predictions.

  • by jlar (584848) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:52PM (#30874208)

    Because it is not a transposition of digits. There simply is no forecast and the estimate that they put in is pure BS. From TFA:

    "The IPCC apparently sourced its forecast on a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist.

    Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, earlier this week, said that Himalayan glaciers are receding but he said the report they will vanish by 2035 is not based on scientific evidence. "

  • IT WAS NOT A TYPO (Score:2, Informative)

    by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:53PM (#30874216)
    From the URL at the bottom:

    "But he [Rajenda Pachauri (Head of the IPCC)] admitted that there may have been other errors in the same section of the report, and said that he was considering whether to take action against those responsible." ...

    "A table below says that between 1845 and 1965, the Pindari Glacier shrank by 2,840m -- a rate of 135.2m a year. The actual rate is only 23.5m a year." ...

    "I [Professor Hasnain] was keeping quiet as I was working here," he said. "My job is not to point out mistakes. And you know the might of the IPCC. What about all the other glaciologists around the world who did not speak out?"

    My opinion: This is the only section of the IPCC under critical review right now. Do you really think are not "other errors" elsewhere in the report that make "innocent mistakes" that mischaracterize actual observations to the tune of x10-x100 the actual observations that always seem to error on the side of promoting AGW? Billions of dollars of funding are awarded to scientists substantiate the theories that their political check writers want, this is the poison in the science! After all, this error was not until recently 'pointed out' by Prof. Hasnain because he was afraid of the "might of the IPCC". Still think it's not a house of cards? Just wait until public opinion shifts enough for scientists to speak critically of the report without the threat of losing their job and/or funding.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999051.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

  • Re:A typo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Burnhard (1031106) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:00PM (#30874260)
    What do you mean "it was a typo"? It wasn't a typo, it was cribbed from a New Scientist article, that itself was cribbed from a WWF report. It wasn't "scientific" research at all; they basically published information from a WWF pamphlet! This is a direct and attributable deliberate lie: TERI, the organisation that Pachauri works for was recently awarded 3,000,000 euros to study the Glaciers. The guy representing TERI, Syed Hasnain, was the source of the original 2035 claim. Do you think his grant application referred to 2350 or 2035? I for one intend to FOI the grant applications, if they are available. They should make interesting reading.
  • Mind the deniers (Score:1, Informative)

    by diretalk (1712478) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:03PM (#30874282)
  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:10PM (#30874332)

    The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

    Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

    In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report's chapter on Asia, said: 'It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action. 'It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html [dailymail.co.uk]

  • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:12PM (#30874352)
    Please write polar CAP (without S). The south pole ice has been EXPANDING (appart 2 small isolated parts of it).

    What's the trend that you are talking about here? The trend for the last decade is a global cooling, and even the IPCC said it. There's no "minor gaffes" but major cover-ups! FACE IT, YOU'VE BEEN FOOLED !
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:17PM (#30874376)
    In the future most politicians will be replaced by the following bash script (no need for Python due to the extremely simple nature of functionality).

    #!/bin/bash
    # Generate a crisis in order to gain political power, and implement
    # all the things I want to implement anyway on the pretext of saving
    # the nation from the crisis. Muhahaha.

    for manbearpig in "terrorists" "poverty" "drugs" \
    "Communism" "pro-lifers" "liberals" "child molesters" \
    "Islamists" "heart disease" "conservatives" \
    "Fox News" "man-made climate change"
    do
    cat <<EOF
    We must all work together to end the threat of ${manbearpig}. The Government has consulted top scientists and determined a plan that will significantly reduce the risk to the nation posed by ${manbearpig}. All you need to do is believe everything we say, do everything we ask, and viciously attack anyone who isn't cooperating, because those guys are part of the problem, not the solution. Only by working together can we be saved from ${manbearpig}, which will otherwise surely destroy us all. Won't somebody please think of the children?
    EOF
    done

    # TODO: add more crises to convince those not taken in
    # by the lies listed above.

  • Re:Take home point (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrcaseyj (902945) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:21PM (#30874406)

    The scientific process will probably ultimately work, but it doesn't always take the most direct route to the truth. I had heard accusations that the hockey stick graph was garbage, but I dismissed such claims as anti-scientific oil company propaganda. But after the climate gate emails came out I started looking at stuff a little closer. The disturbing thing is not the hockey stick graph itself, but the fact that they're STILL defending it. The hockey stick graph uses tree ring data that gives false temperatures for the last 50 years, but they're still trying to get us to believe that the temperatures those rings give from 1000 years ago are not false. Their analysis of evidence is so biased that they can't even see that that is absurd. The only excuse they seem to give on realclimate is that only some of the tree rings give false temperatures for the last 50 years. But if that's the case, and they knew some of the trees were giving false data, then why on earth would they use those known defective trees in their calculations? It's been reported that they used those defective trees because if they didn't, then the medieval warm period wouldn't be flattened out enough.

    The climate crisis promoters have a tough job. Not only do they have to prove that the globe is warming, they have to prove that the warming is caused by humans. And then they still have to prove that the temperatures are significantly higher than they were at other times in the past. If the temperatures have gone from what they were when we started measuring them in the middle of the little ice age, and risen just up to normal, that would be global warming, and maybe even man made global warming, but nothing to worry about. The hockey stick graph and others like it are critical to their case that temperatures now are especially high. But it's very hard to accurately determine what the temperatures were a thousand years ago. In fact I doubt if it's even possible. Boreholes, sediments, and tree rings seem like very iffy measurement techniques. If we hadn't caught them sending emails about how they needed to crush the medieval warm period, then maybe we could put a little more weight to those past temperature reconstructions of theirs.

  • Re:AGW (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:39PM (#30874522) Homepage Journal

    This graph [nasa.gov] uses the following data:

    A global temperature index, as described by Hansen et al. (1996), is obtained by combining the meteorological station measurements with sea surface temperatures based in early years on ship measurements and in recent decades on satellite measurements.

    Note that tree rings are not mentioned [nasa.gov].

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:44PM (#30874558) Homepage Journal

    now the thermometers have been showing a distinct north american cooling.

    So?

    so nobody talks about the thermometers anymore.

    Yes they do [nasa.gov].

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:04PM (#30874646) Journal

    As far as I can tell, the typo wasn't in the research paper but in the subsequent re-phrasings by various groups. FTA:

    The IPCC apparently sourced its forecast on a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist.

    *That* is what is so damning about the entire ordeal. The IPCC republished the figure from an article by the WWF which wrote their piece based on an article in a magazine which was based on a phone conversation with a scientist. It was a shoddy and completely unacceptable comedy of errors by the IPCC. I say this as a pro-AGW scientist myself; they really ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  • Re:A typo (Score:5, Informative)

    by cstacy (534252) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:23PM (#30874752)

    What are you talking about? The IPCC claimed the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. They based this on an article, based on an article, based on offhand speculation of a single scientist, who admits is was pure speculation with no supporting fact.

    This wasn't a typo. It was damningly shoddy work on the part of the IPCC.

    The paragraph starts, "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world." Cogley and Michael Zemp of the World Glacier Monitoring System said Himalayan glaciers are melting at about the same rate as other glaciers.

    From the AP report:

    The mistakes were found not by skeptics like Michaels, but by a few of the scientists themselves, including one who is an IPCC co-author.

    The report in question is the second of four issued by the IPCC in 2007 on global warming. This 838-page document had chapters on each continent. The errors were in a half-page section of the Asia chapter. The section got it wrong as to how fast the thousands of glaciers in the Himalayas are melting, scientists said.

    "It is a very shoddily written section," said Graham Cogley, a professor of geography and glaciers at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, who brought the error to everyone's attention. "It wasn't copy-edited properly."

    Cogley, who wrote a letter about the problems to Science magazine that was published online Wednesday, cited these mistakes:

    • It says that if the Earth continues to warm, the "likelihood of them disappearing by the 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high." Nowhere in peer-reviewed science literature is 2035 mentioned. However, there is a study from Russia that says glaciers could come close to disappearing by 2350. Probably the numbers in the date were transposed, Cogley said.
    • The paragraph says: "Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometers by the year 2035." Cogley said there are only 33,000 square kilometers of glaciers in the Himalayas.
    • The entire paragraph is attributed to the World Wildlife Fund, when only one sentence came from the WWF, Cogley said. And further, the IPCC likes to brag that it is based on peer-reviewed science, not advocacy group reports. Cogley said the WWF cited the popular science press as its source.
    • A table says that between 1845 and 1965, the Pindari Glacier shrank by 2,840 meters. Then comes a math mistake: It says that's a rate of 135.2 meters a year, when it really is only 23.5 meters a year.
  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:47PM (#30874952) Homepage

    I'm sure this won't stop some people from claiming the mistake undermines everything.

    One mistake wouldn't. But the rate at which "mistakes" are piling up is becoming troubling, to say the least.

    Again, this isn't a error in the science-- it isn't even in the basic science report, the Working Group One report. It is an error in a report summarizing the predictions.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:50PM (#30874974)

    NH = "Northern Hemisphere"

    "Average NH temperatures fell 0.6-0.8dC 1998-2007, and will fall more sharply in 2008-2009."

    That's an old deniers' trick. 1998 was an out-lier, an exceptionally warm year. So if you use a 5-year average, then it'll appear that temperature actually fell during 2000's. Of course, 2000-s is the hottest decade and 2009 is the tied for the position of the warmest year on records ( http://climateprogress.org/2010/01/23/nasa-makes-it-official-2000s-were-the-hottest-decade-on-record-2009-tied-for-second-warmest-year [climateprogress.org] ), so you have to stop at 2007.

  • Re:"Authority"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:52PM (#30874984)
  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Etcetera (14711) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @11:14PM (#30875148) Homepage

    I am curious how and by whom you think actually discovered the flaw in the IPCC's claims. Science requires that scientific work, claims, publications etc. undergo some degree of peer review which is exactly what happened. The IPCC made a claim which was analyzed and corrected by a scientist. Error correction is one of the most remarkable traits of science that is completely absent in its alternatives (pseudoscience, political infighting etc.)

    Sorry, but that's naive BS. Removed this week after British media reports? People were talking about this two months ago...

    Here's a blog post from 12/1/09:
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-imminent-demise-of-glaciers-due-to-a-typo/ [pajamasmedia.com]

    See the primary sources here:
    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001065/106523e.pdf [unesco.org] (p 66)
    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR4/website/10.pdf [ipcc-wg2.gov] (p 493)

    And I'm sure *someone* knew about this before then, but simply didn't go public about it.

    Someone want to remind me why I should trust the IPCC (or climate "science") again?

  • Re:Take home point (Score:3, Informative)

    by gillbates (106458) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @11:38PM (#30875298) Homepage Journal

    You know, the real crux of the issue is the politicization.

    Now, I'm not saying global warming isn't real, nor that it isn't human caused. However, I did download the global temperature data and ran stats on it.

    And the result?

    1. The global average temperature is now close to what it was a hundred years ago.
    2. From the last half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, it was relatively warm. Then, in a very short period of time (~ a decade), the temperature fell precipitiously until bottoming out in the first 10 years of the 20th century.
    3. As the 20th century progressed, temperatures rose. In the last half of the 20th century, the rise is dramatic.
    4. After the turn of the century, the temperatures started to drop. For the last few years, we have returned to a level very close to that of 100 years ago.
    5. The variance is substantial. The year on year fluctuations are often several degrees.

    Now, I'll be the first to admit that I still have a bit of work to do - I'm using a very crude global mean average which does not take into account the varying areas served by the various temperature stations; I haven't weighted the data at all. I have, however, used the same "adjusted" data set the scientists used, and the while the trend is smaller, it is still there. I averaged the data over 11 years to eliminate variances caused by the 11 year solar cycle, and the trend is still there. However, that being said, for all the CO2 emitted in the latter half of the 20th century, we have not been able to prevent the Earth from returning to its 20th century low. Instead, it appears as if we're simply going through a natural cycle of temperatures. (Granted, having only 1.5 cycles of data to work with is hardly sufficient to call it a trend, it does appear that way at the moment.)

    Now it's important to keep in mind that I'm looking at actual temperatures here. There's no interpolation of tree ring data or inferential analysis at all. I'm looking at the *actual data*, not someone's projections, not someone's hypothetical model, not some indirect indication of global temperature. Actual data.

    Granted, global warming might be real. But the current numbers do not support the doom-and-gloom hoopla promoted by the pundits. Perhaps there's a good explanation as to why temperatures are dropping, but it doesn't seem forthcoming.

  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:3, Informative)

    by khayman80 (824400) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @12:00AM (#30875426) Homepage Journal

    Yes, this is an embarrassing mistake on the part of working group 2 of the IPCC. When news of this story broke, I wondered why I'd never noticed these ludicrous statements before. Then I realized that the mistake wasn't in the report from working group 1, which is all I'd ever bothered to read. Here's [www.ipcc.ch] what each working group does:

    The IPCC Working Group I (WG I) assesses the physical scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.

    The main topics assessed by WG I include: changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere; observed changes in air, land and ocean temperatures, rainfall, glaciers and ice sheets, oceans and sea level; historical and paleoclimatic perspective on climate change; biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, gases and aerosols; satellite data and other data; climate models; climate projections, causes and attribution of climate change.

    The IPCC Working Group II (WG II) assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.

    It also takes into consideration the inter-relationship between vulnerability, adaptation and sustainable development. The assessed information is considered by sectors (water resources; ecosystems; food & forests; coastal systems; industry; human health) and regions (Africa; Asia; Australia & New Zealand; Europe; Latin America; North America; Polar Regions; Small Islands).

    The wild claim that "glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world", the 2350/2035 mistake, confusion of Himalayan glacier area with the worldwide total, and reliance on non-peer-reviewed source material all occurred in a single paragraph(!) in the WG2 report (section 10.6.2, paragraph 2). Statements in the WG1 report, on the other hand, accurately reflect conclusions in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Due to my obsession with the physical science, I'd never even realized that other working group reports existed. Perhaps other scientists reacted in a similar fashion, which might be why such an absurd cluster of errors went undetected for so long...

  • Re:Peer review? (Score:4, Informative)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @12:05AM (#30875454) Journal

    Consider for example how science treats dissenters such as Michael Behe. When a scientist points out valid problems in papers discussing evolution

    Very very bad example. Behe *is* a creationist. His view of biology and creationism/evolution is faulty at the least and intentionally dishonest at worst. The Intelligent Design movement is a perfect example of what happens when there's plenty of backscrating going on and little if any actual peer review.

  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeoTron (6020) <{ten.sredilgyracs} {ta} {nivek}> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @12:26AM (#30875572) Homepage
    Sorry, Bub, News At 11:

    CO-ORDINATING LEAD AUTHOR OF IPCC 2007 Report on ASIA ADMITS HE KNEW DATA WASN'T VERIFIED. [dailymail.co.uk]

    The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

    Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

    There we have it. Scientists with an agenda.

    Who's being naive?

  • Re:Four YEARS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by NeoTron (6020) <{ten.sredilgyracs} {ta} {nivek}> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @02:41AM (#30876342) Homepage
    Anyone interested please read Bishop Hill's excellent piecing together of the hockey stick story. [squarespace.com]
  • Re:Four YEARS? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @04:23AM (#30876730)

    And you think your maths and computer knowledge makes you an expert on climate change?

    This does make him an expert in a different field. We call it specialization and is very important. An expert in one field is *required* to be able to communicate to people in other fields since most work is cross expert boundaries (modern science). Example, the simulation code is software with lots of math. Why the hell should he not be able to follow it?

    Experts are often from other backgrounds too. I work in biology yet did my masters in physics and a PhD in computational biology. Switching fields is resnably common and not a black mark.

    Finally there is no way to be "ordained" a climatologist. These guys are not the friken pope. They are not infallible or even special in any way. When they bring science into the public eye it is their *job* to explain to the rest. But if you think they can't even do that for a mathematician... well they are not very good at their job.

    PS the IPCC report has a lot of "authors" who are not even scientist let alone climatologists.

  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:3, Informative)

    by chrb (1083577) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:05AM (#30877660)

    There is a logical contradiction in your reasoning:

    This seems to validate all the "deniers" claims that global warming is just a fraudulent industry designed to keep funding going for the scientists involved by scaring people.

    So global warming is a fraud - there is no global warming, and hence no problem?

    That's why they get so angry at anyone who comes up with an alternate solution to the problem [nytimes.com].

    But now global warming is real and is a problem?

    (For the record, Levitt is not a "denier" - he writes "Like those who are criticizing us, we believe that rising global temperatures are a man-made phenomenon and that global warming is an important issue to solve. ")

  • Re:A typo (Score:3, Informative)

    by chrb (1083577) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:27AM (#30877754)

    was known by him to be false when it was made

    Not true. Not even the Daily Mail cherry picked quote says that the claim was known to be false. The actual quote was:

    "We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was 'grey literature' [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors."

    So, they knew that one source hadn't been peer-reviewed, but quoted from it, and were relying on internal and external reviewers to find any problems with that source. This is a completely different thing to knowingly making up and publishing fraudulent data.

  • by bdeclerc (129522) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:51AM (#30877862) Homepage

    2. The hard empirical fact is that atmospheric CO2 has risen from ~280 ppm to over 370ppm. But there is no link between rising CO2 and temperature rise except in the reverse sense: temperature rises and then 800-1000 years later, CO2 rises in delayed response.
     

    *sigh* - this is what is wrong with the whole "debate" - This statement is essentially a lie based on a truth, and it takes about half a page of explanation to explain why this is, but it takes only a few seconds to repeat the lie somewhere else.

    I'll attempt to use less than a page:
    (1) Yes, during the climate changes caused by Milankovitch cycles, CO2-levels trail the start of temperature rise by 800 years, the reason being that CO2 is not the cause of these climate changes, the shape of the earth's orbit is the cause. However, there is a feedback loop which kicks in as temperatures rise, which causes the ocean to exhale CO2. This CO2 then causes further warming, increasing the total warming considerably beyond what would be expected if the only effect where the orbit changes themselves.

    So the "trailing" of CO2 in these cases in no way disproves CO2 as a possible causal agent in climate change...

    (2) On the other hand, there have been warming events in the past that cannot be explained by Milankovitch-cycles, and there the CO2-rise (possibly due to volcanic activity on a massive scale) appears to be the causal agent, and does not trail the temperature change.

    So basically, if something else triggers the climate change, CO2 trails because it is a long-term feedback, if CO2 triggers the climate change, it does not trail.

    Since no scientist claims that only CO2 can cause climate change, there is no problem except that "deniers" use the (1) situation to falsely claim that the (2) situation is false.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @10:43AM (#30878140)

    there is no link between rising CO2 and temperature rise except in the reverse sense: temperature rises and then 800-1000 years later, CO2 rises in delayed response.

    Fail. New Scientist Climate Myths: Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving the link to global warming [newscientist.com]

    The oceans are not acidifying.

    Fail. Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of 0.075). [wikipedia.org]

    The reported change in the average pH of 0.1 is below the measurement error of even well calibrated instruments.

    Fail. The very best (very expensive!) meters have an accuracy of ±0.002 pH units. [cornell.edu] (and besides, multiple replicates and statistical analysis is used to increase accuracy and reduce individual variance - or did you seriously think that scientists only sample a single point in the sea with a single meter to determine temperature change?!)

    The Maldives had a sea level fall in the 1970s followed by stasis since. Tuvalu's sea levels have remained stable during that time.

    The CIA disagree with you: "Maldives: Environment - current issues: depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching" [cia.gov] How sea level rise has affected the Maldives [bbc.co.uk] Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table [cia.gov]

  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @10:54AM (#30878226) Journal

    reference: http://web.hwr.arizona.edu/~gleonard/2009Dec-FallAGU-Soot-PressConference-Backgrounder-Kargel.pdf [arizona.edu]

    number of papers used in this one flawed report: none

    hockey stick graphs created from this: none

    papers from "hide the decline" subroutines: none

    errors in raw data: none (this was a error in a projection, not an observation)

    accurate papers based on flawed data: some, but not in this case.

    Sorry, I gotta call BS. First of all, the hockey stick graph was on the front page of a major IPCC report and other papers as well. The author of the Hockey stick graph is all over the place. From Michael E Mann's Wiki page:

    He was a Lead Author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report (2001). He has been organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences ‘Frontiers of Science’ and has served as a committee member or advisor for other National Academy of Sciences panels. He served as editor for the Journal of Climate and has been a member of numerous international and U.S. scientific advisory panels and steering groups.

    CRU, the place where all those emails came from PROVIDED TEMPERATURE DATA TO THE IPCC! From HERE [aps.org]

    The CRU maintains the repository for temperature measurements used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

    I'm sure I could find more, but I didn't have more than 2 minutes to spend on this.

  • Re:Shhhh! (Score:4, Informative)

    by aurispector (530273) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @11:38AM (#30878536)

    OH NOES! Climate data being faked for political purposes! What's next? Climate data being faked to scam grant money? Oops! Already happened!

    The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
    Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers....he Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into "the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region" as the glaciers began to disappear. Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999975.ece/ [timesonline.co.uk]

    Climate change continues to be a horse ridden by people with personal and political agendas. It continues to amaze how an entire generation has been duped into believing correlation equals causation.

  • Re:A typo (Score:3, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @11:42AM (#30878576)

    Yes, the original mistake was a typo. The IPCC mistake was NOT a typo. It was using information from dubious sources without checking it.

    The actual typo/dates don't matter. If the IPCC report had said 2350 it would still be a problem.

  • Re:Peer review? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TrekkieGod (627867) on Monday January 25, 2010 @02:46PM (#30893752) Homepage Journal

    When Dawkins asserts that evolution disproves God's existence, he's warmly welcomed by science. Nevermind the fact that he can't distinguish between science and philosophy, nor understand the limitations of the former.

    I've actually been to a talk by Dawkins and he addressed this. He's not saying that science has proof God does not exist, he's saying the burden of proof shouldn't be on proving the non-existence of God. Given that there are no documented case of paranormal activity of any kind under proper observing conditions (and if you can offer anything like that, feel free to claim the Randi foundation's prize [randi.org]), the burden of proof should be on the religious group to prove that He does exist. After all, very few people bother trying to find proof that Xenu or Zeus don't exist, but many get all defensive when you don't take their religion of choice for granted (the Xenu believers included).

    When Behe answers by pointing out that evolution doesn't have answers for some of the most basic questions, he's treated like a moron and shunned.

    There are two separate issues here:

    1. Often there are actual answers to the 'basic questions' Behe claims there are no answers for. Every example he managed to come up with irreducible complexity has eventually had a counter-example that managed to reduce said complexity into more basic useful forms. Not to mention that the argument is a bit flawed to begin with. If you develop random gene mutations that have absolutely no use, unless there are actual environmental pressures against them there's no reason they would get selected out. If the presence of said useless mutation is in the same population as organisms with a beneficial quality, they're even likely to increase in number. At some point if further mutations occur that make them useful, they need not have had a more basic use in the past, they just needed to have ridden along in the population, acquiring further mutations.

    2. Lack of answers, even when they legitimately exist (and they do), is not evidence of the paranormal. You've heard the expression 'god of the gaps.' In the past, people have attributed the hand of God to various natural phenomena we have a perfect model for today.

    That, to me, sounds more like religion than science. At least a religion admits when they ask you to believe something on faith.

    Actually, science does not claim, nor has any mechanism for proving a theory correct. Every accepted theory is simply the one that currently best fits observations. When observations disagree with a theory's predictions, you either modify your theory to fit them and give better predictions, or you switch to another completely different theory that gives said better predictions. The 'truth' in the way you want it is not the realm of science. The observations are truth, the predictions can be verified with the observations, but if you can't observe it, a model is the best you can do. Here's an example. You see a black box program that you can only analyze by giving it input and observing the output. You notice that when you type '10' you get '8' back. You type '100' you get '98' back. You type '257', you get '255' back. You do this hundreds of times and come up with a model. "The black box subtracts 2 from your input." Now let's say you can actually look at the code, and find out that what's actually happening is that it's adding 25 and subtracting 27. You can't tell the difference between the inputs and your model was 'wrong' as a model for the actual internal operations. You shouldn't care though, because the predictions from your theory will always exactly match observations anyway.

    That, by the way, is the crux of Occam's Razor. It's not that the simpler theory is more correct. It's that if you have two theories which give the same predictions, but one of them has more variables, you mi

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)

Working...