Global Warming – Scientific Controversies in Climate Variability

Is the title of an International seminar meeting at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden September 11-12th 2006. Sounds like an attempt at a sexy title. However, the list of presentations doesnt look good… ironically, under why this meeting is a bad idea it says This meeting is not intended to be a skeptics vs non-skeptics confrontation – which it won’t be, cos its packed with skeptics (with a few exceptions). Quality control appears to be poor, since they have let in Zbigniew Jaworowski.

And all this is being organised by an NMR specialist.

[Update: if you haven’t read the comments, do: there are some replies from the organiser that are quite revealing -W]

49 thoughts on “Global Warming – Scientific Controversies in Climate Variability”

  1. I’m not familiar with all the names, but is there any legitimate climate scientist on the list aside from von S.?


  2. I think Bengtsson would count. He was the ECMWF director and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology director. He’s at Reading now, but I think he’s semi-retired. He shared the Rene Descartes Prize last year for starting the Climate and Environmental Change in the Arctic project.

    [You said it for me. Thanks! -W]


  3. Hi – thanks for the comments on the meeting. We tried hard to get many what you probably refer to as “legitimate climate scientists” (??) to participate, and even help in organizing this meeting, but I guess they did not want this meeting to materialize.

    From the organizing chairman

    [Thanks for commenting. If I were being asked to come – sadly I’m not eminent enough – I would have looked for (1) an overview of what the meeting was about and (2) the credenitals and credibility of the organising committee. (1) is brief to the point of non-existence. (2) – well, you may well be good at NMR, but was there really no-one with some climate credentials to help out?

    As others have said, if you wanted to present a fair represenation of the state of the science, you would have very few sceptics. If you want to play up the controversies… well, its understandable that people might not be so keen.

    Im curious if you’re aware of – and understand – the criticism of Zbigniew Jaworowski’s work. Because if you allow people like him to speak, you are seriously undermining your credibility -W]


  4. Well there’s the enormous EGU & AGU meetings already, where Fred Singer & the other handful of skeptics get a chance to strut their stuff amidst the thousands of real scientists. So what’s the point of yet another meeting to stroke the egos of McIntyre, Singer, full of Erren, etc?


  5. Thanx for taking it up! I wrote a bit on it on my blog (in Swedish)

    [Yes, that looks like swedish to me… I can read the word “stoat” and thats about it 🙂 -W]


  6. Hi All – if you check the “Speakers” on the web page you find more info on their affiliation and background. Actually, I think they have a lot to add to the discussion – more so than the “legitimate scientists” you probably refer to.

    Also, I do not really understand your arrogance against Jaworowski – I have seen that elsewhere on the web too. Reading what he has to say about the problems of temperature reconstructions from trapped air bubble content in ice contrasts starkly to the “no problems at all” – message you see from the Berne(Switzerland) group – I had a lot of correspondence with them and they were specifically invited – but refused – no one of the like 70 people there could attend. Same story with PD Jones and his huge group of affiliates in the UK and so on… but I will stop boring you now. You seem to have made up your mind permanently.

    With best wishes

    /Peter Stilbs

    [I’ve pointed you to the flaws in ZJ’s CO2 analysis. I don’t see any evidence that you have read or understood that -W]


  7. Peter, did you ever thing that the cast of characters you’ve invited might make people think differently?

    The only one I see on your site who really has anything to add to the debate is von Storch; climate scientists are still willing to listen to him even though his paper was shown to be incorrect (too red if I recall). But really McIntrye?, Singer?, Soon & Baliunas?, Carter?, Erren (I can’t even find his CV online, is he really a scientist?). I rest my case.


  8. John – some people will never think differently. Referring to your list, I guess Källén and Bengtsson would be very offended by your remark :-).

    McIntyre and McKitrick were the first to demonstrate that the Mann hockey stick was pure crap and possibly a fraud and huge scientific scandal. Singer, Soon and Baliunas do have a lot to add to the discussion, in my mind – like Svensmark.

    [Um… you’ve talked about people having open minds prviously – now it seems rather as though you’ve made yours up quite thoroughly – W]

    No – Erren is not a scientist in the normal sense – he has been invited to present one of the “popular lectures” – remember that this meeting is a seminar meeting (not a conference), that includes attending people that even have no idea that water in various forms is responsible for >90% of the greenhouse effect. When did you yourself see/hear that in media? Specifically (also because this meeting is in Stockholm) he will talk about Arrhenius original calculations and the experimental data they were based on.

    The endlessly repeated urban legend that “Arrhenius correctly predicted…” something similar to the IPCC scenarios is plain wrong. This is 100 year old History – but interesting for many reasons anyway – especially here in Stockholm.



  9. are you going to have that nutjob Swedish scientist (he’s head of some Swedish institute or something) who claims that Tuvalu isn’t sinking, ergo global warming is a hoax? He had a funny poster at the past EGU, like Singer with his A4-sized pages with hand-drawn scribbles like a child.


  10. Of the Swedish researchers Källén and Bengtsson are genuine. Karlén IMHO is a bit out of date (he is retired) but has done real research in climate reconstructions.

    Peter Stilbs is as already mentioned a chemist. A couple of years ago he wrote an article in a Swedish paper (Svenska Dagbladet) where he, for example, claimed that IPCC ignores water vapor. When I sent him an email pointing out that he was wrong he referred me to John Daly and SEPP, and he claimed that he knew a lot about te subject after having followed discussions on the Internet for several years, which may explain the odd selection of speakers and his bogus claim that water vapor is responsible for over 90% of the greenhouse effect. How he managed to convince KTH that he was the right person to organize a seminar in climate science is a mystery.


  11. “bogus claim that water vapor is responsible for over 90% of the greenhouse effect” ? Really?

    Nice to hear from you again Thomas 🙂 . Recommended reading = the recent Essenhigh paper in Energy & Fuels, 20 (2006) 1057-1067

    But, of course, he is not a “legitimate climate scientist” either, I guess ?



  12. The “Global Warming scenario” is a hypothesis derived from theoretical models, asserted but not proven. There are numerous inconsistencies between predictions and actual observed climatic facts. The “global” thermal curve has no real significance in climatic terms. Climatic change is not global, but regional: for example, in the North Atlantic aerological unit, the Western side is cooling while that of the Northeast is warming. The 1970s exhibit a fundamental climatic switch which is not “seen” by the models, but is associated with a gradual increase of violent perturbations and irregularity of weather, linked to a change in the general circulation mode (rapid mode).

    [You’re parroting Do at least quote your sources when you do that -W]


  13. Peter, an odd place to publish an article on climate science in, but then as you hint Essenhigh isn’t a climate scientist. I’m can only access the abstract, but a 1D analytical expression is not going to give as good results as a numerical 3D model, you have to make too many simplifications. Besides, from the abstract: “these values then support the dominance of water (as gas and not vapor) at about 80%, compared with CO2 at about 20%, as the primary absorbing/emitting (“greenhouse”) gas in the atmosphere”. Is that really an article you wish to point to as support for the claim that water is responsible for over 90% of the greenhouse effect? (odd distinction he makes between gas and vapor as well. Water vapor is the gas phase).

    Try reading RealClimate instead for a more realistic estimate, and an explanation for why it is a bad question anyway:


  14. The disqualification of the Stockholm conference by mainline researchers of the AGH enhancement effect will not be a surprise to most skeptics/critics. Also to my personal experience the mainline researchers (IPCC supporters) have continuously refused to discuss with critics and I wonder why.

    [If you’re referring to the HS, then you’re obviously wrong. If you’re referring to something else, what is it? -W]

    Rather than of skeptics of the AGH effects, I prefer to speak of critics of the IPCC doctrine. And this critique comes mainly from other disciplines than climate science, e.g., astronomy, geology , paleobiology., science philosophy.
    What is not properly understood by the mainline researchers is, that the critique on their work from other disciplines, originates from a serious doubt on the quality of their fundamental scientific approaches. The mainline researchers are all the time taking refuge in their consensus culture without proper respond to the fundamental scientific objections from neighboring disciplines.. And the strategic attack of the mainline researchers on the critics is their lack of expertise.
    This doubt on expertise may be right, but please, mainline researchers, (IPCC dogma supporters) explain than to the opponents of your views from other disciplines, why they are absolutely wrong?
    If you, mainline researchers, do not turn up at the Stockholm conference, it seems to me sufficient evidence that you can not prove that the critics are absolutely wrong. You just have not the courage to meet the critics from other disciplines.
    I challenge you, IPCC dogma supporters, come to Stockholm and kill the criticism produced by the critical speakers at the conference. If you do not, I think, you are cowards.

    [I’d like to see some substantive criticism from you. What exactly is it you’re objecting to? You’re rather short on substance -W]


  15. Arthur, there will be no new arguments from the contrarians at this conference. They will use the same old tired arguments that have already been debunked, but they won’t care, they will repeat them forever anyway. Especially the people who avoid the peer reviewed literature in favor of publishing on the Internet or in editorials can get away with anything. How do you kill something like the claim that water vapor is responsible for more than 90% of the greenhouse effect when Stilbs don’t even mind quoting a paper that comes to a contradictory result as support?


  16. I forgot to refer Marcel Leroux. Like this:
    «Global warming (GW) is a very confusing subject. It jumbles up:
    1 Pollution and climate: with this latter becoming an alibi – or “scarecrow”.
    2 Emotions and interests (admitted or hidden): the Earth is in danger and must be saved, but permits to pollute are negotiated.
    3 Calculations vs. realities: theories of models vs. real mechanisms of weather; the hypothetical future climate, considered as a postulate – the predictions being all the more speculative as the time span is long (previously 2030, then 2050, and now 2100), vs. the evolution of actual weather.
    4 Sensationalism and scientific gravity, the search for a scoop besides properly justified information, with the media increasing the confusion.
    The debate is undoubtedly dominated and even more so misrepresented, by the fact that GW is a question of climatology when it is in fact treated by non-climatologists as a synonym for pollution, with GW substituted as the moral consequence. The repetition of the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) press statements seems to have been granted adequate qualification to appear to be the conclusions of “climatologists” dogmatically repeating the same stereotyped discourses.
    However, there is no lack of specialisms addressing GW, but these competencies are often not related to climatology at all. The argument that IPCC statements have been prepared and agreed by “hundreds of experts” must be seriously questioned, for the staff in control of the IPCC is very small. This can be observed in the last draft of its 1996 report with regard to the (supposed) “discernible human influence on global climate” (IPCC, 1996). This opinion was added after the event (to “impress” governments), but it does not reflect the opinion of the whole IPCC – far from it. The same was repeated in 2002. The IPCC members agreed among themselves with this critic, for they wrote that: “Scientists’ ability to verify model predictions is often limited by incomplete knowledge of the real climate” (UNEP-WMO, 2001, inf. sheet 7).
    Knowledge of climatology is generally limited, and is essentially based on simple relationships, often prescribed by “the inevitable simplifications used in the construction of models” (Le Treut, 1997). But the more the message is simplified, even made simplistic, the greater are the chances for support, particularly by the media. This explains the blind faith in an idealized meteorology. People are generally unaware that this science has faced a true conceptual dilemma for some fifty years, and that meteorology is not yet founded on a general atmospheric circulation model that is able, firstly to translate the reality of meridional exchanges, and secondly to integrate the perturbations. This impasse has, for example, driven the prestigious Miami Hurricane Center to lamentably “miss” the forecast of the trajectory of hurricane Mitch in 1998 (Leroux, 2000). This situation also explains the almost ingenuous trust, the near complete absence of doubt – usually from the self-interested – observed whenever the quality of models and their predictions arc evaluated.
    The global warming scenario as asserted today is not proven. But, by reason of its “moral” content one must be either for or against it, a choice that is indeed a nonsense from a scientific point of view. In what domain does conviction take the place of knowledge? A reformulation of the GW issue is therefore urgent, and needs to be made carefully and without complacency, strictly devoted to climatology. Pollution is by itself a serious and worrying question, which needs separate treatment.»
    Marcel Leroux tell about IPCC parrots.

    [What on earth is “firstly to translate the reality of meridional exchanges, and secondly to integrate the perturbations” supposd to mean? And as for caveats… have you actually read any of the IPCC reports? Hurricane Mitch – do you understand the weather/climate difference? “The same was repeated in 2002” – you mean 2001? “discernible human influence on global climate” is indeed supported by the IPCC 1996 or 2001 text… but since you haven’t read either, you wouldn’t know. For 2001, its here: on the off chance that you’re actually interested -W]


  17. So the bottom of the issue seems to be that the people attending the International Seminar in Stockholm are not considered “scientists” by a very particular point of view or a non expressed definition of “scientist”.

    What Mr Connolley is really troubled about is that the “sceptics-critics-denialists-unbelievers” are getting organized to an extent that seems to be “a tipping point”, or a point “of no return”. A point beyond which the CCC (catastrophic climate change) will never be believed again.

    So the issue is strawman killing at its best. Do not analyze the message, just shoot the messenger! Nobody should be allowed to read the message: the people might see the light and the profitable racket could collapse. That’s the problem with facts: they have the nasty habit of ruining beautiful theories and spoiling terrific business opportunities.

    But Mr Connolley’s problem is that he hasn’t defined what a scientist is -or should be.

    So let’s see if we can get nearer to the truth than Mr. Connolley think he is. Is a scientist someone doing scientific research? Perhaps, if he does it using what is known as “scientific methodology”, or a pattern of observational practices accepted as helpful to elucidating unknown facts. It is also known as “getting an insight”.

    Perhaps a scientist is someone with a college or university degree or diploma? It may give us a hint on where he got his knowledge (if he really learned something worth being called “knowledge”). But, for putting things straight, it will never serve as a guarantee of honesty or even of scientific capability. There are so many examples of scientific dishonesty and scientific fraud in all fields of science, that I shouldn’t be even mentioning it here.

    Or maybe a scientist is someone publishing only in “peer reviewed” journals? Given the present and pathetic state of the peer review process, that definition excludes about 80% of world scientists, people doing serious research but no publishing in “respected and fashionable peer reviewed journals” -mostly because those fashionable journals have the unethical costume of rejecting papers that do not conform the “consensus view”, or clash against the scientific establishment.

    Galileo Galilei or Giordano Bruno would have never been accepted for publication in Science and Nature. And I doubt if Einstein’s theory would have been accepted, if measured by today’s standards of political correctness.

    [They laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Coco the clown. Quite why you think Einsteins theory wouldn’t be published I don’t know (except it wouldn’t be original, of course…). So… that was an awful lot of ranting by you, but (just like the others) no substance. I’ve pointed to ZJ’s errors – why do you think he is credible? -W]


  18. what I find continually amusing is the skeptics & denialists always whining that they are “censored” & nobody listens to them — yet Singer & Lindzen & Michaels & now McIntyre seems to find plenty of editors & orgs to fly to and blab their misinformation.


  19. what I find continually amusing is the warming alarmist warrior red herring level in discussing climate issue is approaching 100%. The truth out there has nothing to do with sensorship, old tired arguments -yawn-, hand-drawn scribbles like a child, regular rogues gallery of denialists, etc etc.

    That’s why there are problaby so few of them at that conference as their favorite fallacies are likely to be exposed.


  20. Carl thinks he is original playing thirtytwo year old name games. And yes, my CV is on the internet, I hold an MSc in Geophysics.


  21. Hans, where is it? All of the sites Google points to are “no longer maintained” and you tend to get 404’s on all of the links. All of the other things which come up referencing you are generally blog comments, a whole bunch of them on ClimateAudit.


  22. What’s really fascinating is that i remember the same bunch complaining about 5 years ago… and they still have done about nothing to strengthen their claims…


  23. I’m puzzled about this peer review issue. I recall only mention of only one major failure of peer review in recent history — a climate magazine published a study that was so badly done that many of its editors resigned, after the owner refused to print a retraction. I don’t know details, anyone have a summary anywhere?

    Was that one event big and bad enough to convince the US Congress that peer review can’t be trusted?

    What became of the people involved, did that ever get sorted out?

    [See von S: . It wasn’t really a failure of peer review, though -W]


  24. “What became of the people involved, did that ever get sorted out?”. Well, if it wasn’t sorted out before it might be in this seminar. Soon, Beliunas and von Storch are all there.

    I also noted that all the three public presentations will be held by total crackpots while the respected scientists only get to speak to the selected few.

    Those who like analysing these kind of pages might have some fun with Tom V. Segalstad too:
    “Hence it will be impossible to melt the Earth’s ice caps and thereby increase the sea level just by increasing the heat energy of the atmosphere through a few percent by added heat absorption of anthropogenic CO2 in the lower atmosphere. ”
    This guy doesn’t realize the difference between heat flow and heat contents!


  25. Thanks for that link, Thomas!
    I had known that Segalstad was co-author with Jaworowski on an atrocious 1992 paper attempting to discredit all existing ice-core research.
    Indeed, Segalstad cites that paper, saying (put down your coffee before reading further):

    … the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration, according to early accurate analyses, was many times larger (measurements up to 2450 ppmv) than the present atmospheric value.

    So, Segalstad is a crackpot in his own right. And he co-authors with Jaworowski. Hmmm … Has anyone done a network graph showing the relationships among climate crackpots, à la Wegman?


  26. Hi – the word “crackpots” seems to have become popular here, in addition to the original term “legitimate climate scientists”. Fascinating.

    Just to clarify some points before I leave the discussion(or is it a discussion ? – it reminds me of a web search for something computer-related some year ago, and I wound up at some discussion forum for teenage hackers).

    – a) we originally did directly invite local Swedish “legitimate climate scientists” to participate in organizing this meeting – they refused. b) we have directly invited a large number of “legitimate climate scientists” to participate – they all refused or could not make it, except the ones you find in the list of speakers on the web site. (We have one more pending, but embarissingly (to them) I doubt there will be anyone from that constellation – I have not heard anything in the last weeks). c) invitations to the meeting were posted world-wide mid-May to 3-4 big lists in Climate science – reaching more than 1000 “legitimate climate scientists”,
    and the suppremental web page invitation has been open since then. All the time we have strongly welcomed any
    contributions from the “legitimate climate scientists”

    Thomas seems to think “I also noted that all the three public presentations will be held by total crackpots while the respected scientists only get to speak to the selected few” – well – no – all sessions have the same audience, unless peaple leave after the 1st… 🙂

    The “popular lectures” just serve the purpose of introducing part of the subject(s) of the session section, to people that may not even have heard about water as a greenhouse gas, the carbon cycle and so on.

    I hereby leave the discussion on this blog to others.


    /Peter Stilbs


  27. We all should feel chastened for besmirching the reputations of those crackpots^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H heterodox climate researchers, while Peter Stilbs struggled unsuccessfully to maintain the dignity of the discussion. And Peter — thanks for your observation above that “the Mann hockey stick was pure crap.” That sure helped to set the properly dignified tone.


  28. Note the level of competence Stilbs assume the participants will have. “…to people that may not even have heard about water as a greenhouse gas, the carbon cycle and so on”. I’m not surprised established scientists haven’t been very interested in participating, they already know stuff like that as does anyone who has even a slight interest in the subject. Stilbs seems to have the idea that the role of water vapor is a closely guarded secret known only to a selected few.

    People like Stilbs like to dish out insults like calling established science “crap” and “fraud” and then pretend innocence when their own pet theories get equal treatment.


  29. Singer, Soon and Baliunas do have a lot to add to the discussion, in my mind


    Well, there it is right there.

    The mind must maintain the constructs of the ideology, despite all evidence to the contrary, evidenced by Thomas’ observation that

    Stilbs seems to have the idea that the role of water vapor is a closely guarded secret known only to a selected few.

    which is, of course, part of the constructed narrative.

    The only other thing we need to know, Peter, is who is catering your Heritage Victory Tour whistle stop? That is: How well do they feed the shills?




  30. Dano, I don’t agree that all of the heterodox should be lumped in with the shills – some are more of the professors emeritus types from other disciplines who have some time and are giving rein to their impulse to understand and dabble in the very interesting and even important field of climate change science. A number seem to want to prove that they’re not over the hill yet, and rather than take instruction from pups want to reinvent climate science. Hence this conference by Stilbs, and the one organized recently by Chylek. See the commentary here by Rorsch, the Dutch microbiologist who, inspired by his review of the attacks on Lombord, has apparently decided to become a climate scientist (and signed the letter to Harper):

    William, I am afraid that not having real climate scientists attend the Stockholm conference may be a missed opportunity that will lead to further hardening of the “opposition” by the unqualified. Perhaps someone should consider organizing
    a climate conference for dummies and newbies, at least to open lines of communication and to undercut nascent opposition?


  31. perhaps you mean to write:

    William, I am afraid that not having Realclimate scientists attend the Stockholm conference may be a missed opportunity.


  32. Stilbs on Jaworowski

    Personally, I just recently realized how
    poorly understood the “Carbon Cycle” must be, and what problems
    there must be in trying to get any “truth” out of ice core data.
    Everyone should try to read the paper by Jaworowski some years back:

    Click to access zj21c97.pdf

    This was a real eye-opener for me.

    Looks like he really beleieves that CO2 levels were higher in the 19th century.


  33. “McIntyre and McKitrick were the first to demonstrate that the Mann hockey stick was pure crap”

    I might have used the phrases “Mann hockey stick”, “McIntyre and McKitrick”, and “pure crap” in a sentence myself but not the one above.


  34. Hee, hee! I see Peter Stilbs is keeping up with the scientific literature. The curious may want to want to have a look at the table of contents from the prestigious journal in which that article appeared, perhaps even sample some of the other important studies published there. This one, for example, is a pippin.
    Oh, and while we’re on the subject, check out Jaworowski’s reference #25. It never fails to amaze me that even the apparently sober and judicious can be so completely taken in by the mere window-dressing of scholarship.


  35. TokyoTom:

    That commentary you link to sure is interesting, thank you for finding it. I agree with your ‘young pups’ assesment. I also agree with your implicit assertions above.

    F’r instance:

    The rise may be anthropogenic, but other more likely causes of the rise are also possible. And if the rise is not anthropogenic then considerations of anthropogenic global climate change induced by anthropogenic CO2 emissions and Arthur’s points A and B (above) become of little relevance to the IPCC’s conclusions.

    Wow. Ya know, there’s a big controversy about whether the rise in CO2 ppmv is anthropogenic or not. How do we know? Some guy said it. Then, some other guy made conjectures and then a conclusion from that premise, and now it’s CW! Just like the comment threads on some blogs!

    They’re re-doing how th’ sciency stuff is done, by gum.




  36. Re: “a) we originally did directly invite local Swedish “legitimate climate scientists” to participate in organizing this meeting – they refused. b) we have directly invited a large number of “legitimate climate scientists” to participate – they all refused or could not make it”

    Hmmm. I wonder why? Maybe these “legitimate climate scientists” you invited didn’t want to associate or to be seen to be affiliated with the “crackpots” attending the meeting as it would cause them to lose credibility and be frustrated at the many fatal flaws of the “research” presented.


  37. Regarding Peter Stilbs’ comment, quoted above:

    Everyone should try to read the paper by Jaworowski some years back: (link) This was a real eye-opener for me.

    It is good to see that Dr. Stilbs is keeping up with the scientific literature. Those who would like to know more are urged to have a look at the prestigious journal in which this important research was published. I was particularly impressed with “Franklin Roosevelt’s Economic Shock Front: Examining the LaRouche-Riemann Method”, by Sky Shields.

    You really can’t make this stuff up.


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