Boring old climate sensitivity

JA is bored with climate sensitivity – because he knows the answer, 3 oC, and he may well be right. But other people don’t seem to have realised. And (via James again, I think) I ran across Tung and Camp on climate sensitivity, and Knutti et al.. They too think its 3 oC (well 2.8 +/- 0.9; and about 3). K et al. are doing this via CP.Net in J Climate; T&C via ERBE data in, they hope, Nature.
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IREA more interesting than expected

RC has a post on a leaked letter from the little-known IREA (Intermountain rural electric authority, since you ask) (though to be fair I should point out that desmog seem to have posted first). The IREA are worried because most of their lectric comes from coal and so are trying a PR campaign to persuade people that GW is all solar, or somesuch junk. RP Jr is up in arms about this, from his usual perspective – policy, with no interest in the science.

The frustrating thing about this is how pointless it all is. Most of the IREA “briefing” is straightforward junk, or simply misleading. There is, of course, room for an interesting discussion about *policy*. IREA don’t want that, or they would just leave out all the science. They could say “we accept the std.consensus on the science of global warming – now, lets get on and discuss what to do about it!”. Clearly, they are afraid of doing that – I rather suspect, ironically enough, because of their own ignorance. They have, unwittingly perhaps, accepted the over-the-top message that GW is automatically catastrophic, and so find themselves obliged to deny GW. Which is boring.

Of course, if they were going to discuss *policy*, there would be no reason to slip Michaels $100k – he is getting that for his views on the science.

Finally, RP praises the IREA for their description of how they view different policy options. They view a carbon tax and cap-and-trade system as the least desirable options. They support voluntary programs and investments in technology. They also view the participation of India and China as essential to any international agreement. They want all industries involved in any political action on greenhouse gases, and they don’t want the economy to be harmed. Why is this weird? Because don’t-harm-the-economy is what everyone wants; because India-and-China is code for no-Kyoto; because voluntary programs means near-nothing. This isn’t a discussion of policy options: its an attempt to prevent any action. The obvious solution is a carbon tax. Easy to do, and is directly to the problem. IREA don’t want that because its very bad for coal burners, which they are, by proxy.

Warming Wine

I heard that within 15 years, global warming will have made Napa County too hot to grow good wine grapes. Is that true? What other changes are we going to see during our lifetimes because of global warming?…

Hmmm… well assuming 0.2-0.3 oC/decade, globally, and maybe twice that for NH continent, then 15 years gets you maybe 1 oC, on average. Is that enough to see a response from grapes? I really don’t know.

In the UK we’re in the middle of a heatwave, which a little thundery rain doesn’t seem to touch much, and its unpleasant since were not used to it. If it gets any worse, and recurrs next year, then I predict that airconditioning will start to spread here in a way it hasn’t up to now. Already we have advice in the papers about whether to put your bottled wine in the fridge if it goes over 25 oC…

Hurricanes less interesting than expected

RP Jr criticises me for not posting about hurricanes whilst on holiday in the peak district. Sorry – the wireless connections on Stanage Edge are poor, and I didn’t take my laptop anyway.

RP likes the story because the main result We are optimistic that continued research will eventually resolve much of the current controversy over the effect of climate change on hurricanes. But the more urgent problem of our lemming-like march to the sea requires immediate and sustained attention. We call upon leaders of government and industry to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of building practices, and insurance, land use, and disaster relief policies that currently serve to promote an ever-increasing vulnerability to hurricanes – is what Roger has been saying for quite a while now. But since I’ve been agreeing with it, Im not totally sure what else Im supposed to say.

von S’s testimony

Via Prometheus I find von S’s testimony on the Hockey Stick and related issues. Interesting point number 1 is that von S has clearly noticed he is being used (or selectively quoted) by the septics, and so starts his testimony with Based on the scientific evidence, I am convinced that we are facing anthropogenic climate change brought about by the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Maybe that will be enough to stop too many septics pointing to it.

We also have I conclude that the claim of “detection of anthropogenic climate change” is valid independently of which historical temperature reconstruction one chooses to believe in. and It should also been taken notice that the claims of successful detection on non-natural warming trends and its attribution to chiefly elevated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere in the Third Assessment report were not based on the historical reconstructions but on the analysis of the instrumental temperature record as well as on numerical experiments with climate models. Which is what RC has been saying for a while but no-one listens ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But its not all good news for MBH…
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Who is Wegman?

I’m wondering a bit if I took Prof Wegmans credentials a bit too much on faith.

A commenter on the previous post wrote I’m not too knocked out by Wegman’s credentials as a prof at George Mason U, nor do I think he, who was leader of Reagan’s idiotic “Star Wars Program”, could be seen as an impartial, unbiased person. Sounds like the psycho Republicans like Barton are just calling on the old white guy network…. Is this fair? Was Wegman really leader of Star Wars? (only a bit; still that looks like a reasonably impressive CV).

The NRC people do seem to have had impeccable credentials. So what about WSS? One of WSS is Scott, whose publication list looks rather thin to me (he may just have let it get out of date?). But I’m not so good at interpreting credentials of statisticians.

Does anyone out there have any good links, and/or anything to say?

Oh, and before you start off on the obvious “you should judge their report, not their credentials” – I have, in the prev post. And it looks like a regurgitation of M&M, with some climate mistakes thrown in. The only reason to take them seriously is their credentials.

[Update: via Deltoid, I find John Quiggin has some interesting things to say about the network analysis that WSS did

UUpdate: he traces his descent from Hermite

UUUpdate: Said was Wegman’s student at George Mason, there are lots of rightwing policy types at George Mason which houses Fred Singer’s SEPP among other things says EliR at Deltoid

UUUUpdate: James Annan has a snarky aside about a mistake that all the “auditing” by stats “experts” has failed to pick up… (third-to-last para)]

The Wegman report

There is apparently a strange thing called the Wegman report. Sadly that link only contains Smokey Joe Bartons comments on selected extracts (does anyone know where the full thing is? Is it published? Also quite what the committee/panel is, is rather vague. [Update! Aha… I should have known: since it was Per who commented on it, and since it reads like it was written by M&M, the dark side pointed me towrds the full thing]). Still, what did they say? (BTW, in case you hadn’t realised, this is yet more HS stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

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Betting on climate change?

The betting on climate change thing seems to have gone rather quiet. This post is prompted by a comment posted to an old entry on my old blog Probably not betting on climate with Lubos Motl (that post is still worth reading, I think, for the attempt to calculate what are “fair odds”. In some email discussion afterwards, I think I discovered that there isn’t really a good answer to that question). But if you haven’t seen the circuit before, look at James A’s stuff and Brian Schmidt’s. That last post offers a list of bets that GS is prepared to take.
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Climate of the Past

In case you don’t read James Empty Blog I point you towards it for a recent post on a new paper submitted to “Climate of the Past”. Its a HS paper, and has provoked a flurry of comments – as James notes, more than all the other papers, which have none. A bit of a shame that. But still, this looks like it might possibly develope into an interesting discussion. What has been missing in previous exchanges (e.g. the recent Science one) is enough back-and-forth to get down into the details. It might depend on how far the CotP editors are prepared to allow the discussion to go.
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